Archive for February, 2010

Am I Better, Yet?: The Mental Health Treatment Plan Series

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Recently, radio host Michael Dresser made a very apt comparison. He said that it seems that therapy can be approached at least somewhat starting like a business. Having a business plan certainly helps and in terms of assessing goals, addressing budgetary concerns, and so on, the comparison holds. But what about in terms of time-frame projections, that is, target dates for progress? I contend that the business-plan model can work. In therapy, as in business, one should set target dates for achieving goals and schedule regular check-ins to make sure that things are on the right track.


Find Your Inner Spartacus

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

It is a beloved Jewish teaching that when it comes to spiritual service and growth, one can learn lessons from every person. For example, the 18th century mystic Reb Zusha said that from a child, one can learn to never sit still and to keep striving for what he wants. From a thief, one can learn to keep trying to attain the “treasure” (that is, spiritual growth)—if a thief fails one night, he will try the next night, and so on.

The same holds true for the path of one’s psycho-emotional growth. When it comes to recovery, whether it is recovery from a mental illness or an addiction, one can learn a lot from all kinds of people. Even from a rather violent (though compelling), figure currently in the public’s eye, the ancient gladiator, Spartacus.


Does Therapy Work? My Answer in Audio & Text

Friday, February 19th, 2010

It’s unbelievable. Nearly one third of patients with depression reported that therapy was pretty much useless. Can you imagine if antibiotics or a particular surgery failed a third of the time? Would the FDA allow this to continue? What if your car’s brakes were little or no help a third of the time? Psychotherapy is a health and safety issue, too.


Double Trouble: Mental Illness and Addiction, Part 2

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Mental health patients share the biases of the rest of our
society. They experience shame and stigma from their mental disorder and
this is amplified when it comes to drug abuse. In the U.S., 90% of individual
with drug abuse or drug dependency do not seek treatment. We should not be
surprised that MICAs face similar issues.


Double Trouble: Mental Illness and Addiction, Part 1

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

People start using or experimenting with drugs and alcohol for
a number of different reasons. These include the desire to experience
intense pleasure, wanting to suppress bad feelings, curiosity (wanting to
know what the big deal is), and [in order to] enhance performance.


Your Mental Health "To-Do" List

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

To give our readers a better sense of what an effective mental health treatment plan looks like, I have been recreating a treatment plan here through a series of blog posts. To see other posts in this series, please click here.

If your therapist is the GPS, you are the driver. Ultimately, you have control over where you are going emotionally.*

Therefore, outlining courses of action that you will take is as vital to your success as are your therapist’s courses of action, which we discussed in our blog post Your Therapist’s “To Do” List. The next section of the mental health treatment plan I use is called the Patient’s Objectives—in a nutshell, your own “to do” list. These objectives are the actual courses of action you will take to help you reach your goals. They will usually be a reflection of your therapist’s objectives.


New Video Series: How to Talk to Your Therapist—or Anyone Else!

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

What can you do to get the most out of your therapy sessions? What basic communication and relationship skills (see videos, below), can you learn in order to improve all your relationships, not just your relationship with your therapist?

One day a few months ago, I was doing a weekly training for therapists and one of them said, “I wish my patients could sit in on this training—it would be really beneficial to them.”

Bingo! It occurred to me that if I could distill some of the information about communication skills that I impart to therapists and patients—keep the content simple and the explanations brief—it might help patients get more from therapy.


Part II: Near-Death Experience Changes Therapist's Life and Work

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

“There is so much suffering in the world. What I learned from my experience was that we aren’t able to understand the suffering. Haiti for example—it’s a terrible thing. People ask: How can a loving God do that? But we can’t understand how a loving God could do that, because God is the mastermind—not us. He has reasons for what happens that we just can’t understand. We are limited by our bodies, and our perceptions are limited by our physical form.”


Your Therapist's "To Do" List

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

To give our readers a better sense of what an effective mental health treatment plan looks like, I have been recreating a treatment plan here through a series of blog posts. To see other posts in this series, please click here.

The next section of the mental health treatment plan I like to use is number three—the Therapist’s Objectives—in a nutshell, your therapist’s “to do” list. These objectives are the actual courses of action that your therapist will take to help you reach your goals. They may be very specific, and describe the methods and techniques (also known as interventions), that your therapist will be using. Or, they may be more general.


Sensitive Kids Like "Orchids," Says Scientist

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Parents, beware! According to a University of British Columbia study led  by Jelena Obradović, presently an assistant professor in the School of Education at Stanford University, kids who are sensitive to stress, despite being prone to behavior and health problems, are  likely to do extremely well, even better than their peers, when raised in a supportive environment. Obradović compares these children to “orchids.”

What does this mean for adults who are sensitive and prone to responding to stress with anxiety? What you or others might view as a weakness if looked at from another perspective, can actually be a strength. Where would the world be without sensitive individuals? Try to imagine art, music, literature, science, medicine, religion,  and so on devoid of the contributions of sensitive or “high-strung” people. Don’t view your sensitivity as merely a weakness—it could very well indicate a undiscovered talent.

(The original story can be found at Science Daily—Society for Research in Child Development. “High Sensitivity to Stress Isn’t Always Bad for Children.” ScienceDaily 7 February 2010).


Therapy Soup



Archives



Subscribe to this Blog:
Feed


Or Get a Single, Daily Email (enter email address):

via FeedBurner



Psychotherapy



Therapy Revolution
Check out the book!
Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and
Move On without Wasting Time or Money
by Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Subscribe to this Blog:
Feed


Or Get a Single, Daily Email (enter email address):

via FeedBurner



Recent Comments
  • Blessings Or lessons: Each day I feel grateful & know my happiness is a choice that has become my awareness of...
  • Brian: The “it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye” element of such pairings” is...
  • Dr Harry Henshaw: Jane, thank you very much for your comments and complement. I have always believed that music and...
  • Crystal: This article caught my eye and was very informative to me. I never thought of schizophrenia with a...
  • Jane Derry: We believe that music and sound therapy is an excellent component of a holistic addiction treatment...
Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 12240
Join Us Now!