Archives for Policy and Advocacy

Addiction

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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Addiction

Meditation: Benefits…And Dangers?

C.R. writes: A friend of mine's son left his home in Israel to travel through India and Nepal and returned shortly before the recent earthquake. He had trekked with his friends, searching for enlightenment, but returned home with a parasitic infection, feeling weak and also disillusioned.

He described what he saw as the hypocrisy of some of the gurus and yogis he met (he called them "cash-rakers") and told how some of the Westerners who flocked to them seemed to magnify their worst personality traits after time spent following certain meditative practices.

His email to me said: "They become intolerant of anyone who disturbs their "bliss", and they are like addicts being hooked on their drug," he told me. "Nothing bothers them unless it messes with their personal comfort and they seem to become really short on compassion."

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Communication

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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Addiction

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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