Posts tagged ‘Affordable Counseling’

You Should (not) Be Ashamed of Yourself! ll Erin Amundson

You Should (not) Be Ashamed of Yourself!
By: Erin Amundson

**(Written and published with permission by the young man in question)

     I am continually honored to be invited into the deepest parts of other’s experience.  Recently, I sat down with a young man I happen to be related to and had a conversation that turned out to be all about shame.  Neither of us knew going in that we would head toward that most elusive, secretive, and important topic.  However, I’ve come to understand that the source of most human suffering is just that: shame.

     This young man began by talking about feelings. He was not feeling so good about himself as a person.  He confided in me that he had some secrets – he had done some things nobody else knew about.  These things caused others in his life to feel a great deal of pain. 

     He described having a sexual relationship with a girl that was dating one of his best friends.  He threw a co-worker under the bus rather than taking responsibility for a mistake at work.  This co-worker was fired.  He went on to say that there have been so many things he has done to hurt others that he couldn’t possibly name them all – the point was, he was feeling out of control and concerned that his behaviors would only get worse in time.  I agreed with him that without some exploration into his subconscious, they might.

     In the course of our conversation, his face became flushed.  I noticed his trembling and could hear him choke back the tears that wanted to fall.  Clearly this young man was in emotional hell.  He wondered aloud why he had done these things to people, and then very quickly claimed to be a “waste of space” who “never should have been born”.   In these words I heard the source of his actions and his suffering. 

This young man was trapped in shame.   

     I asked this young man to talk about the first time he could remember feeling like a “waste of space” – going to the source of the pain so that he could begin the journey to healing.  He described being bullied at a very young age.  He also described some pretty severe abuse by a sibling.  As I pieced together the details of what I already knew about this young man, I added the experience of abandonment (he was sent away to military school and the abusive sibling stayed home).   It was clear to me that he was given a lot of reasons to feel worthless in the world.  He learned shame at a very early age. 

     When we learn shame early on in life, before our brains are able to engage in a mature process of understanding, our ego identity is formed on this basis.  Shame becomes a trusted source of esteem.  Yes, it’s a painful esteem, but if we don’t know any differently, we remain comfortable with what is familiar to us. 

     It was clear to me that the actions that brought this young man my way were subconscious attempts to mirror his shame back to him so that he could address it.  In hurting others, he was re-creating the same low emotion that he experienced early in his childhood.  Much like the cycles of addiction, shame takes on a life of its own.  If it continues to go unaddressed, the levels to which we will go to experience shame continue to get greater and greater. 

We can actually become addicted to feeling bad about ourselves.

     This young man came to me saying he had a “dark side”.  The truth is, we all do.  And our psyche will do what it takes to illuminate it so that we can heal.  This man didn’t start out his life hurting others.  In fact, the pattern started with self-sabotage.  He would make mistakes at work and lose his job, or cheat on a partner when the relationship was just getting good.  He had a long history of hurting himself before he moved on to hurting others.  However, much like a chemical addiction, he began to need more and more shame in his life to get the same effects. 

     It is human nature to experience shame.  The sad truth is that shame is the source of suffering in many forms, including addiction, violence against others and suicide.  Our lack of permission to be vulnerable and our cultural belief that we should be able to navigate life on our own fuels the fire.  Not only that, but our culture actually supports the outlets of suffering that keep us in our shame by advocating substance abuse, eating disorders, consumerism and the myriad of ways that we numb out.

     I decided to share this heavy topic with you today because I believe it is truly a part of our calling as humans to return to love.  In order to do so, we must allow one another to be vulnerable as this young man was with me.  I’m not sure where this young man would have found himself had he not come to me to address his suffering.  I do know that it’s likely his actions would have continued to accelerate – perhaps to violence or suicide.  I am grateful that he trusted me enough to explore this issue, and felt it important enough to allow me to share his story with you with the hope that we might break the silence of suffering in our world. 

     With this, I invite you to consider how shame impacts your daily life.  When you make a mistake, how do you treat yourself?  Can you meet your imperfections with compassion, or do you have a tendency to treat yourself with harsh judgment?  Do you have people in your life you can truly connect to, be vulnerable with, and share your deepest secrets with?   Our ability to open up and share not only helps us to heal and connect, but provides permission for those around us to do the same.  So today, with you, I will consider how I can better show up for myself. 


 

All About Erin:

Erin currently practices as a depth psychotherapist in Denver, Colorado and via the internet around the world.  In addition to her dream work, Erin is a certified past life regressionist, an intuitive astrologer and a lover of travel, snowboarding, deep conversations and cooking delicious food, all of which she enjoys practicing while she sleeps.

6 Ways to Get Affordable Mental-Health Services

Here is a great post from Michelle Andrews published on U.S. News on affordable mental health. You can access the original article at http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/on-health-and-money/2009/04/15/6-ways-to-get-affordable-mental-health-services


Times are tough. Everywhere you look, people are stressed out, anxious, depressed. But at a time when addressing some people’s mental-health problems may be even more important than ministering to their physical aches and pains, two thirds of primary-care doctors say they have a tough time getting mental-health services for their patients. Doctors in a new Health Affairs study said several factors, from a shortage of professionals in some regions or in some specialties to problems with insurance coverage, make getting mental-health services challenging. (The study data came from 2004 and 2005, so chances are it’s even more difficult now.) “It’s a big problem,” says Ted Epperly, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, who says referrals are toughest in rural areas and the urban inner city.

There are no easy answers. Safety net organizations are feeling the pinch of increased demand and funding shortfalls. Meanwhile, if you’ve lost your job and your health insurance, you’re most likely struggling with funding shortfalls of your own. But here are options that you (or even your doctor) may not be aware of:

1. Mental Health America, an advocacy organization with over 300 affiliates in 41 states, works with people to connect them with affordable mental-health services in their communities. Click on “local MHAs” on their homepage to find services in your area. “We spend an enormous amount of time helping people navigate the system, doing problem solving,” says David Shern, the group’s president and CEO.

2. Community health centers. Currently operating in more than 7,000 locations nationwide, these centers got a $155 million boost under the economic stimulus package to add another 126 centers. In addition to primary-care services, they are increasingly offering mental-health services. Fees are charged on a sliding scale based on income. Find a center in your area here.

3. Community mental-health centers. These centers serve Medicaid and other low-income patients. State income limits vary. Click on “find a provider” here, and call to find out whether you may qualify.
4. Employee Assistance Programs. Many employers offer a limited number of counseling sessions and referrals to mental-health professionals through an EAP service. For some people, this may be all they need. “A short-term intervention may help someone develop the flexibility they need to deal with the problem,” says Lynn Bufka, a psychologist who is the assistant executive director for practice research and policy at the American Psychological Association.

5. Churches, synagogues, and other places of worship. Clergy members are trained in counseling, and their services are generally free.

6. Group therapy. Many therapists offer group sessions, which are often a less expensive alternative to traditional one-on-one counseling. You can find a psychologist in your area here through the APA or through U.S. News‘s Find a Therapist search engine.

Remember, one of the best—and most affordable—ways to manage stress and anxiety is by taking care of your physical health. Get regular exercise, stick to a healthful diet, and get enough sleep. Although job and other worries may ignite cravings for all kinds of unwholesome mood modifiers—gin and tonic, anyone?—try to steer clear. And remember: Even if you don’t get professional counseling, discussing your troubles with friends and family can help make problems seem more manageable. “Just being able to talk, there’s therapy in that,” says Epperly.

Check out recent posts on using meditation to help reduce stress, the new COBRA subsidy that may make it easier to hang on to health insurance after a layoff, and on expanded mental-health coveragefor kids under the new SCHIP law.


 

People House offers therapy on a sliding fee scale, with rates ranging between $20-$50.  We use masters level counseling interns in our Affordable Counseling Program. To see a full list of all of these therapists click here

Spring Cleaning Part Two– Cleansing/Loving our Bodies|| Lora Cheadle

By Lora Cheadle
New posts every other Tuesday

My last post was a short and sweet post on spring cleaning with a twist. The twist was to make your surroundings pleasant to you by keeping only that which made you happy, whether that was minimalistic and bare or comfortably full. My premise was that since we take care of what we love, the words cleaning and loving ware interchangeable, and spring cleaning really meant spring loving. This post takes that concept and applies it to cleansing our bodies by doing that which shows love for our bodies.  

spring loving part 2

 

Like I said previously, I’m not going into the specifics of why it’s important to cleanse our bodies, nor am I providing you with details of what to eat, for how long or why. Volumes have been written about cleansing and there are many different theories and directions available on line. What I want to do is provide you with a slightly different perspective about cleansing and loving our bodies.

Everything we eat, drink, breathe or put on our skin is absorbed in our bodies in some way.

We are truly products of our environment and everything around us and everything we interact with literally becomes part of our bodies in some way. Unfortunately, we have little control over many aspects of our environment and it’s exhausting and expensive to monitor every cleaning product, personal care item, and food and beverage item we ingest. That’s why we need spring cleansing with a twist.

Spring cleansing/loving our body means doing what feels divine and wonderful and cutting out that which feels negative, bad or unhealthy.

It’s not about some program to be followed for a prescribed period of time or cutting out anything in particular. Your personal preferences are your personal preferences and nothing is right or wrong. Take some time and notice what feels good to you and make changes based on that.

Do cleaning products make you feel ill? Do they make your hands dry and cracked or your lungs and eyes burn? Then get rid of them and find an organic line that you adore. Does eating meat make your stomach feel full and heavy? Then quit eating it or reduce the amount you eat until you figure out how much sits well with you. Does alcohol or soda make your mouth and sweat sticky? See how it feels to drink sparkly water with fruit instead. Does your soap, lotion or shampoo make you itch or feel clogged up? Invest in a line that doesn’t.

Make changes that make you happy and that honor your body, don’t worry about somebody else’s program.

It doesn’t matter if you buy a water filter and improve the quality of your water, if you cut out meat, dairy, wheat, caffeine, sugar or alcohol or if you start using organic cleaners or personal care items. What matters is that you notice what feels bad and you stop doing it. Notice what feels good, healthy or what makes you happy and start doing that. 

Do what makes you feel good and stop eating/drinking/using/breathing anything that doesn’t. It’s that simple!

 

 

 


About the Author: Not sure what lights your fire, or do you know exactly what lights your fire, but you keep spinning your wheels? Either way, Lora’s got you covered! Whether it’s through an Angel Reading or through hypnotherapy, where the subconscious mind is brought on board with the conscious mind, working with Lora reveals your divine path and gets you chugging down the road in no time. As a former lawyer, (She knows firsthand the courage it takes to following a new path!) Lora is very straight forward and process- oriented, using modalities that that yield results. No crystal balls or goddess robes here! See more on her website. 

Think you can’t Afford Counseling? Low Cost Therapy is Available

From the maxed-out mom who finds comfort in a community support group to the recent retiree who needs help pinpointing the source of his blues, access to adequate, affordable treatment and support is essential for millions of American with mental health concerns. But with state budget cuts threatening local services and programs across the country, the people who need these services most could see their support systems disappear.

A recent report from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) found that more than half of Americans with mental and emotional issues don’t get help – and that number is only expected to grow as states slash their mental health care budgets in response to growing deficits.

But if you need mental health attention and you can’t afford it, the last thing you should do is nothing.


If you are in the situation where you are financially unable to get treatment through large care providers, then there are some things to consider. The first is whether you have health insurance. Sometimes insurance can be more of a burden than a help since it will disqualify you from certain programs. Add in high deductibles, large co-pays, and large premiums and you may find yourself still not being able to afford treatment.

If you don’t have insurance and don’t qualify for a financial assistance program, your options diminish. There is a large group of people who fall into this category. Usually your income will fall in a range that disqualifies you for government assistance and other private assistance programs while also being unable to afford costly insurance payments. Worried? Don’t be.

You’re not out of options.


In this situation you will need to find private free clinics or mental health centers that offer a sliding scaleGo grassroots. Mental health organizations, such as NAMI and Mental Health America (MHA), have made it their mission to help every American find a mental health care solution. These grassroots advocacy organizations have local affiliates spanning all states — they’re generally small groups that can assist you in identifying local, low-cost, high quality care.

So if you can’t afford traditionally priced therapy, know that other options are available. Your mental health does matter and having the courage to reach out is hard enough without having to feel as though you can’t access the help you need. It takes a little digging sometimes, but it’s well worth it, because you can’t afford to do nothing.

People House has a program that offers low cost therapy, it operates on a sliding fee scale with rates between $20-$40. It is a cost effective option, check out the counselors in our Affordable Counseling Program here 

Where to start?

NAMI and MHA are great resources. You can find information on your local state chapter online, as well as contact information and further resource lists. There are many therapists, social workers, and other mental health professionals offering slide scale and low-cost services. You can also look for support groups and process groups, many of which you can find offered for a low fee, on a donation basis, and even free.

Starting Therapy

If you’ve done your research and decided that you want to see a therapist, the next step is to contact the professionals you’re interested in working with to set up an initial appointment. If you found the therapist online, there is probably contact information listed.

Emailing or calling the therapist is normal and expected – that is how they get clients!


Making the first phone call can be the hardest part, but it will be well worth the benefit! Prepare what you want to say before making the call so that you can be clear about your needs, even if you’re nervous or anxious to talk about them. Some things to consider are: why you’re seeking counseling, what you want to work on with a therapist, what you can afford to pay, and what your availability is. You might also consider asking questions about the therapist’s practice and areas of focus.

You can decide whether you want to feel confident about your connection with a therapist before making a first appointment or if you want to wait and see how things go in person. Some therapists offer a free short consultation! They understand that the relationship between the therapist and client (you) is of the utmost importance, so it is important to them that you two are the right match. Don’t be afraid to ask the therapist if they offer a free (or discounted) consultation/initial meeting.

It’s important to remember that finding a therapist is a unique process and you should never feel like you have to work with the first person you reach. You get to advocate for yourself. If you don’t feel like it’s a good match, it’s okay to thank the therapist for their time and find someone else.

Some Tips for Surviving Your First Session:

  • Don’t schedule something for immediately after your appointment. You might want some time to decompress and think through what came up for you in your session.
  • Write down a list of what you’d like to tell the therapist. If, during the session, you get too anxious, you can give this list to the therapist to give her a starting point.
  • If you’re unsure where to start, tell your therapist that you need some help or guidance.
  • Only say what you’re comfortable with saying – you don’t have to go into everything in your first session.
  • If you can’t bring yourself to say something, ask the therapist if you can write it down. Many therapists have pen and paper for this exact purpose!
  • Remember that you are always in control of what and how much you say.
  • Bring a comfort object with you.
  • Find a comfortable sitting position. If you don’t like where the pillows are, move them!
  • Be gentle with yourself. You are making a huge step in your healing process.
  • Treat yourself to something special after your appointment. You deserve it.

 

 

Resources

http://www.bandbacktogether.com/what-to-expect-therapist-visit/

http://www.everydayhealth.com/emotional-health/0329/ways-to-get-cheap-mental-health-care.aspx

http://jaredwilmer.com/i-cant-afford-mental-health-care/

People House: a Center for Personal and Spiritual Growth