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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Health

 

I often find that when potential clients contact me regarding an initial screening for services, they communicate differing perspectives regarding how they conceptualize the field of mental, emotional, and behavioral health—collectively, “mental health.” Is there a distinction without a difference concerning these terms?

 

I suppose it depends on who one asks. Personally, I’ve come to understand that in common parlance, mental health incorporates elements of mental, emotional, and behavioral health qualities.

 

Nevertheless, it may be useful to provide my perspective on this matter, as viewed through the lens of a Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) practitioner. First, when considering the mental element of health, I’m referring to the quality of one’s cognitive faculties.

 

This includes thoughts and beliefs. Whereas thoughts or cognitions are descriptive in nature, beliefs or assumptions are in essence prescriptive.

 

As an example, when merely describing what is, I may think, “Today is a sunny day.” Still, if I add an element of demandingness to this observation, believing that today’s high temperature shouldn’t, mustn’t, or oughtn’t to be too hot, I’m prescribing what ought to be.

 

In REBT, the ABC model is used to demonstrate how rigid prescriptions pertaining to oneself, others, and the world tend to diminish the quality of one’s mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being. This unpleasant belief-consequence (B-C) connection is known as self-disturbance.

 

Second, and building upon the B-C connection, I’m referring to consequences which are caused by unhelpful beliefs. These include reactions related to feelings (emotions and bodily sensations) and behavior.

 

Regarding emotions, I’m alluding to primary emotions such as joy, fear, anger, sorrow, disgust, and surprise. As well, secondary and tertiary emotions related to guilt, jealousy, revulsion, shame, and others are also produced by the B-C connection.

 

Essentially, people disturb themselves into a reduced quality of emotional well-being when they cling to inflexible beliefs rather than opting for more adaptive assumptions. Therefore, and with perhaps few exceptions, one’s emotional health is directly correlated with one’s mental processes.

 

Finally, and as referenced in association with B-C interplay, the consequence of behavioral health is mostly dependent upon one’s mental processes. For instance, if I were to unproductively believe that the weather should be cooler, and because it isn’t I avoid attending a picnic to which I was invited, my avoidance is a behavioral component of the B-C connection.

 

While a decision to forego attendance at a social gathering isn’t an inherently unhealthy action, my behavioral response to an inflexible belief prevents me from enjoying life as fully as I could if I were to instead use an adaptive assumption. As such, my behavioral health is affected.

 

Given the clarification outlined herein, I maintain that there’s a difference between mental, emotional, and behavioral health. Be that as it may, the generally-accepted term “mental health” is adequate enough to describe these elements, because each begins with one’s mental processes.

 

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

 

As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

 

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

 

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW

 

 

 



 

References:

 

American Medical Association. (2022, August 16). What is behavioral health? Retrieved from https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/what-behavioral-health

Hollings, D. (2022, October 31). Demandingness. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/demandingness

Hollings, D. (2022, October 5). Description vs. prescription. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/description-vs-prescription

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/fair-use

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/get-better

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-coaching

Hollings, D. (2024, March 3). Naturalistic and moralistic fallacies. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/naturalistic-and-moralistic-fallacies

Hollings, D. (2022, March 24). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2024, January 4). Rigid vs. rigorous. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rigid-vs-rigorous

Hollings, D. (2022, November 1). Self-disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-disturbance

Hollings, D. (2022, October 7). Should, must, and ought. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/should-must-and-ought

Hollings, D. (2022, November 9). The ABC model. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-abc-model

Hollings, D. (2022, December 25). The B-C connection. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-b-c-connection

Sissons, B. (2024, January 11). What is emotional health and well-being? Healthline Media. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/emotional-wellbeing

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