The Tattooed Mental Health Professional: How Would It Make You Feel?

By Támara Hill, MS

Tattoo girlHow do you view tattoos? Are you okay with them? Does it matter to you what the tattoo is or means? For many people, “body art” is either the object of much criticism or the object of a strong personal association with a belief or person. A parent posed a challenging question to me a few years ago while I trained at a semi-prominent clinic: “Why is the Clinical Director sporting a tattoo in clear sight and she knows that I have trouble trusting doctors in the first place?” I found myself not only floored, but a tad upset by the social stigma that swept into the clinic and across multiple clinicians. What I had failed to realize is that although I saw the situation from various perspectives, clients often felt threatened or defensive after noticing the tattoo(s). But….can you blame them?

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National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

By Támara Hill, MS

national minority mental health awareness monthDid you know that July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month? If not, you’re not alone. Sadly this month is often overlooked by the majority of Americans. It is a time when summer has bloomed, fireworks have entered the scene, and multiple summer parties and cook-outs are in full swing. It comes at a time of the year when so many people are outdoors, enjoying the summer time weather and penetrating sun. This lack of awareness, however, not only affects minorities struggling with mental health problems, but our society at large.

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The Overworked Mental Health Professional

By Támara Hill, MS

Andrew RichardsHave you ever heard of the terms “burnout,”  “compassion fatigue,” or “secondary traumatic stress?” If not, you’ll soon find out what these terms mean in this article. Each week we discuss issues specific to parents, families, caregivers, and individuals who are living with or helping someone with a mental health condition. But this week, we’ll talk a bit about the mental health professional and the challenges many helpers face. This is important for you to know because burnout, compassion fatigue, or secondary traumatic stress can interfere with the level of care you or your loved one receives.

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Pathological Lying: Can You Spot A Liar?

By Támara Hill, MS

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThink back to an age at which you told the most lies or “fibs?” Were you 4, 5, 8, or 10? Why did you tell the lie? Were you trying to get something in return, manipulate a situation in your favor, or avoid hurting someone’s feelings? If so, you are like the majority of us who curtail the truth in order to make things less stressful or negative for us. Curtailing the truth happens a lot, even in the lives of adults.

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Why Avoidant Personality and Reactive Attachment Disorder Are Similar

By Támara Hill, MS

Scared boyLast week I spoke about Avoidant Personality Disorder, a disorder characterized by the “he loves me, he loves me not syndrome.” The individual lives a life of perpetual distrust and yet has a desire to connect with another person. The disorder, treatment, and cause(s) are complicated. For youngsters, however, treatment often includes counseling and parent education. Sadly, most research remains unclear on the cause of Avoidant Personality Disorder, but some research points to the infant and child disorder Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) as being the beginning of many woes.

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Understanding The Avoidant Personality

By Támara Hill, MS

Vivek ChughHave you ever had a relationship with someone who appeared loving and interested in the relationship, only to later pull away when things got too “involved?” Did you raise a child who would hug you and show you unconditional love one moment, and the next totally detach from you as if you were a stranger? What about your own mother or father. Did they love you in a strange way, often equating “separateness” with love? If this sounds familiar, then perhaps this article is for you. 

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Why Kendra’s Law Should Spread Across the Nation

By Támara Hill, MS

In the winter of 1999, a man with a history of repeated hospitalizations and mental illness (by the name of Andrew Goldstein) pushed Kendra Webdale onto Manhattan’s subway tracks in New York city. Kendra never saw it coming. Not only were Kendra’s parents devastated but Governor George Pataki immediately pushed to enact a law that would require individuals with severe and untreated mental illness, a history of hospitalizations, or violence  to receive treatment in the community.

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What you Should Watch Out For In Therapy

By Támara Hill, MS

SONY DSCTherapy (or psychotherapy as some call it) is a very complex endeavor because it involves emotions, the mind, personalities, belief systems, and interpersonal communication that can either make or break therapy. It is important that we are all aware of the issues that we can potentially encounter in therapy.

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An Unforgettable History of Mental Illness

By Támara Hill, MS

ID-10042324Mental illness affects each and every one of us. It has become one of the most emotionally charged topics of our current time. If you mention mental illness anywhere you are, you can expect someone to say “I have a loved one who struggles with…..,” or you could find yourself in an argument over gun laws, mental health laws, and barriers to treatment. Many of us have lost track of the various cases that have occurred over the past 2-3 years involving untreated or poorly treated mental illness. Lets take a look a few notable ones.

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Finding Mental Health Resources For Your Loved One

By Támara Hill, MS

ID-10075948As a mental health professional I often find myself confused, frustrated, and overwhelmed by the mental health needs of our youth today. Even with a few years of education and career experience under my belt, I still feel lost for words when a parent describes the grueling process of seeking services for her child. I find myself inwardly say a prayer in hopes that she will find her way. If I have the opportunity to be close enough to reach that person, I will. I almost “flood” a parent with resources and direction. My ultimate goal has been to offer the direction I see so many families without. I have been close enough to families to see the frustration and pain inherent in not knowing where to turn, feeling alone, and maybe even cursed.

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Mental Health In A Failed American System

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book, Mental Health In A Failed American System!

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Recent Comments
  • Susie S: Wow, what an interesting thought!! I’ve actually never come across a medical professional with...
  • Caroline: This sounds just like me! I’d say it’s very hard to differentiate between avoidant personality...
  • Támara Hill, MS: Hello Dr Nora: I do see your point. I think for me, and hopefully for others, the term “ethnic...
  • Dr. Nora: The title of this is “National Minority Mental Health” but the article immediatly morphed into...
  • Anonymous: In my sad experience, people who go out of their way to charm you with kindness while giving away very...
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