Archives for Treatment
How would you feel if a therapist, who claimed to be trained in working with adopted or foster children with mental and behavioral health problems (a topic discussed last week) came into your home and encouraged you to engage your 10-year old child in a "therapeutic session" that would include you holding your child down to re-create the "childbirth experience?" How would you feel if a trauma therapist forced you to discuss a very bad experience that was traumatizing to you? Would you go along, even though it might sound ridiculous or cause you distress? Would you be afraid and totally shut down? Most parents would be enraged and most of you reading this are probably shaking your head and questioning where I am going with this. Therapy can be one of the most rewarding experiences for individuals who have struggled with trauma and attachment. But there are many types of therapies that can also be detrimental to a child, primarily an adopted or foster child. In fact, a "therapy" known as Attachment therapy (also known as holding therapy or rage reduction therapy) has always been a controversial "alternative therapy" that is used with adopted or foster children who have poor attachment with a parental figure. Similarly, a treatment technique known as a "trauma narrative" or "timeline" can also be detrimental to some kids if not completed appropriately and at the right time. Although CBT is a scientifically proven technique (that I really like) it can still be challenging (and even unhealthy) for some kids. This article will explore some common issues with different types of therapy and provide a video of Neil Feinberg, a proponent of attachment therapy, performing a "rage reduction session" with a client. We will also explore 5 types of therapy to reasearch and think twice about for adopted and foster children.
How do you think of the mental health system in the United States? Is it everything we need it to be? Is it far behind research and the mental health needs of patients? Or...is it a failed mental health system? For many of the clients that I have had the opportunity of working with over the years, our mental health system has been characterized as a BIG failure. For someone who feels honored to work with others and loves the field itself, I must agree. The reason for failure is mainly due to the politics of the field which often includes but is not limited to: how much treatment a client can receive before insurance stops paying, how much a type of therapy or medication will cost, how long a client can see a therapist before they have to move on (due to managed health care promoting brief, solution-focused therapy), who a client can see due to the type of insurance a client may have, and limited access to higher levels of care such as group home or residential treatment facilities due to the high expense of this care. In fact, a residential treatment facility or group home can run as high as 140,000 + a day! It's sickening. This article will discuss and explore some of the challenges faced by many clients and their families in the mental health system.
When I meet with clients and their families, I often hear the following comment over and over again: "I did not like the previous therapist." A barrage of negatives often follows this statement such as "she was controlling," "he was crazy," or "she did not help me." It can be difficult to find a good therapist because it takes time. A therapist who is capable of understanding you and your needs, makes you feel comfortable and not judged, and who can step into your complicated situations and guide you into deeper insight, is worth every penny or time spent in therapy. Each therapist has a different life course, educational course, and calling. Not all therapists have the capability to be effective. We are all made differently and every experience has a way of shaping who we will ultimately become, how we will see life, and how well we can help our clients see the issues in their lives as well. The question I encourage you to ask yourself throughout this article is "what makes a therapist helpful or detrimental to a client?"
Have you ever had to face the fact that perhaps your loved one or close friend needed to be hospitalized? Was their illness so bad and jeopardizing his or her safety that you considered discussing the need to have the person "sign themselves in?" If so, join the millions of other individuals and families who have had to face this very difficult and emotionally draining situation.
Would you know where to turn for funds to pay for mental health treatment? Would you know who to ask for referrals or information on federally funded programs? If not, you are not alone because many families and caregivers struggle with this. Sadly, thousands of families become discouraged during the first year of searching for programs to help pay for mental health treatment services or services for those with intellectual disabilities (formerly called MR-Mental Retardation). After a certain period of time searching for funds to pay down costs, families get discouraged by the multiple resources thrown at them and the millions of programs that have either: closed by a certain date, require loads of paperwork, doesn't provide long-term stability, offers minimal financial support, and requires a legal guardian or mentally competent individual to apply (making it difficult for foster parents, extended family, or those under age to apply).
The introduction of Thorazine, an antipsychotic medication, in the mid 1950s led to multiple changes in mental health including positive (increased levels of independence, reduced psychiatric stay, and control of symptoms) and negative (terrible side effects, over-medicating, prescription drug abuse, and de-institutionalization) outcomes. Leeriness of psychotropic drugs has continued into 2013 and many supporters of medication usage are being met with resistance.
While surfing the web I read an article about the “uncivil” nature of civil commitment laws. Civil commitment is the legal process by which an individual with a severe mental illness can be involuntarily committed to a hospital for treatment. It gives families hope if their loved one doesn't think they need help. Arguments against this action dates back to the mid-1950s when civil rights attorneys fought to reduce inpatient care. The detrimental consequences of this argument is noticeable in the increase in homelessness, victimization, crime, incarceration, and suicide.
Electro-convulsive Therapy (ECT), termed shock therapy in the 1940s and 1950s, is a type of treatment used in cases of resistant or severe depression. It is often the last resort following a line of treatments (medication, talk therapy, etc.). ECT is the induction (or encouragement) of a seizure using an electrical stimulus (or electrode) applied to the scalp to create shock-like waves to the brain. Anesthesia or a muscle relaxant is used and a device is placed between the teeth to prevent loss of teeth.
Families are quite unaware of what leads their loved one(s) to consider suicide. Suicidal ideation is the act of entertaining thoughts of taking your life. For the most part, depression alone can leave a detrimental mark on the psyche. Having worked with suicidal and extremely depressed teens, I consider depression a disease of humanity, a human condition of existence.