Archives for Mental Health Treatment Plan


Use Joy To Treat Depression, Anxiety, Addiction

To find joy is the hardest thing of all. It is harder than all other spiritual tasks…Put all your energy into being happy. — Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

People struggling with depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses benefit from making joy a part of their mental health treatment plan.

Joy's Power

Joy's Dark Opposites: Joy is the opposite of nearly every draining emotion and feeling: Despair. Anger. Depression. Jealousy. Hate. You can't merely implant joy on top of negative emotions and feelings, but you can engage in joyful activities which are important to the healing process.
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Just as some medical doctors aren’t in tune with the importance of recommending psychotherapeutic evaluations, some psychotherapists aren’t aware of the importance of recommending medical evaluations.

Sadly, I would say this is often the case. Illnesses that should be treated medically can sometimes masquerade as emotional problems.

For example, a condition such as mitral- valve prolapse (a common disorder where the valve between the heart's heart’s left upper chamber and the left lower chamber doesn't doesn’t close properly) can cause symptoms of anxiety, including heart palpitations.
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The Summertime Blahs & Blues

For many of us, summer is the time we feel the most upbeat. For those with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), the long days packed with sunshine can offer blessed relief from depression and low energy.

Outdoor walks and other activities and a more relaxed approach to time are things both of us really look forward to and enjoy.

But for some, the summertime is emotionally difficult. The very things that make summer appealing to one person, make it seem negative to another. You can end up with the blahs or even the blues. Here are a few, plus some quick fixes:
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Therapists: Could A Medical Condition Be The Cause Of Your Client’s Mental Illness?

A well-trained and dedicated medical doctor will consider whether or not there is an emotional component possibly triggering a physical issue, such as stress in the case of fatigue. But often, those in the mental health field, especially psychotherapists, might not evaluate and rule out medical or other issues in the case of a client presenting with a mental illness.

In training sessions with interns and therapists-in-training, I emphasize the importance of doing a comprehensive evaluation before diagnosing—and doing therapy with—a client. I explain that when it comes to a mental health evaluation it is as vital for therapists to determine which factors are contributing to or causing mental illness, whether that mental illness is mild or more severe.

Yet many therapists jump right into talk therapy at the first or second visit; not everyone in private practice examines medical records or asks their clients to get blood-work done.
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Goals and Objectives

5 Essential Ingredients Of Successful Therapy

Successful therapy, that is, therapy that effectively changes how you live your life, must contain five fundamental ingredients:

1. The therapist must be a motivated, experienced professional.

2. The therapist must use evidence-based treatments; that is, proven methods and techniques.

3. Therapy must be carried out in a reasonable treatment time frame.

4. The therapist’s per-hour fee and the entire cost of the course of treatment must be fair and reasonable.

5. The patient must be a motivated patient.

It is important to know
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The Therapist That Didn’t Show Up For His Sessions

Recently we advised a young woman in her twenties to seek another therapist. We didn't make the suggestion on a whim, this was after consulting with her three times in six months.

Here's why.

Last summer, a friend of a friend (we'll call her Ann), called to ask us for advice regarding her therapist. She and her husband had been seeing him individually, and together in couple's counseling, spending nearly $2000 a month out of pocket. They had been seeing him for just under a year and felt they had seen little to no improvement. Because finances were very tight, they had been cutting back on everything, even basics, like groceries, to pay his fee.

After asking her about what went on in therapy this is what we learned:
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Should Your Therapist Poke His/Her Nose Into Your Personal Business?

Good therapists are the ones who have the specialized knowledge to actually give you the key to your own transformation. They also have the sensitivity, training, and ability to work within the parameters of your belief system; not aggressively challenging, nor blindly accepting your conditional outlook, but gently helping you deepen your understanding of your life and your life’s purpose. They help you resolve to improve.

From Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better and Move On Without Wasting Time or Money

Should your therapist "butt in" to your personal life?

Anyone who has ever been in therapy finds this question at once both ludicrous and apt.

How personal should therapy actually be?

There is no easy answer that holds true for everyone. If you are in therapy to work on a certain issue, such as anger, for example, you might be content to gain more awareness of your anger as it occurs in the present, and learn thought-based and behavioral changes to manage it.

Or you might yearn to find the deeper roots of your anger, how it might be related to your deepest fears, and spend a year or more analyzing every nuance of your anger-fear feelings.
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A Collaborative Approach To Pediatric Depression, Anxiety

We're following up with pediatric occupational therapist Miriam Manela, who specializes in behavioral issues, whom we interviewed earlier in the week.

Tell us more about how you collaborate with mental health professionals.

Sure, I’ll give you an example. Recently I worked with a social worker in private practice. We worked together with a client I’ll call Jake. Jake is sixteen and in a special ed school. He’s challenged by learning disabilities and social delays.

He was very depressed and suicidal, making threats of killing himself. He gets very angry and either shuts down, which presents as not talking, or moaning and complaining repeatedly. He also has anxiety.

The social worker has been working with Jake on
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Why Aren’t Therapists Prescribing Exercise For Depression?

Should therapists be "prescribing" exercise for patients with mild to moderate depression*?

We've known for a while that exercise increases endorphins and the neurotransmitter norepinephrine (which may improve mood) and improves overall well-being. It also boosts the immune system and helps people feel good about their bodies.

In 2011, a study showed that exercise worked as well or better than drugs in treating depression in some cases. Another study, cited by Harvard News, showed that individuals with depression who exercised, whether or not they took the anti-depressant, Zoloft, were less likely to have relapses than those who took anti-depressants and didn't exercise.

So, why aren't more therapists doing more to encourage their clients to exercise?
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