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Helping Our Helpers 💚

Full Disclosure - am a MH Consumer & Advocate writing on my own accord, with no affiliation whatsoever to media, government or activist groups and am a private citizen employed as a Truck Driver who wants to empower our Mental Health #treatment community so they can continue saving lives and lifting up society.

When it comes to #mentalwellness , Forced Therapy can be Compassionate Therapy. Heard this in an Audiobook yesterday by DJ Jaffe, put another way, something along the lines of "We may much rather have forced treatment than forced criminal incarcerations" - because many people in prison, may never have been diagnosed yet. People living with Severe Mental Illness are 20-1 times more likely to end up in prison than in a hospital. In order to protect both our vulnerable Mental Health #patients and our vulnerable Public, we must adopt Mental Wellness focused legislation similar to, the H.R.3717 Helping Families in Mental Health #Crisis Act of 2013, and go yet the further, empowering our Mental Wellness Professionals individually to have legal authority, for self certifying Need Of #Therapy Orders, including and not limited to, IVC & AOT.

Many people discover incremental improvements in their Mental Wellness Journey before being fully recovered, which is when some often suddenly begin refusing treatment, ghosting their dedicated Mental Health Team. As if the diagnosis was some misunderstanding or maybe they've been cured. This recede and withdraw phase, remains not some new phenomenon or an independent decision, rather it is part of the process, we must continue working through towards healing. The unfortunate reality is however, when we prioritize Patient Rights over Patient Health, we end up losing both; with many of these Patients falling into the same downward spiral - that recurring and worsening of their Mental #suffering ; leading them to Unaliving themselves, Drug Addictions, Public Outbursts, Unemployment & Rising Crime, which become a burden to Family Members, Themselves and to Society.

Organizations like APA, MHA, MHLG, NASW, NAMI, NABH, NCMW, NIMH, SAMHSA, TAC, THE MIGHTY and others, can help our Civilization with structured healing only when we let them. Otherwise, we continue to actively accept rising Drug Addictions, spreading Crime Rates, climbing national Unaliving Statistics and out of control Growing Poverty, into our very own neighborhoods and schools.

At some point, many Mental Health Consumers can enter an expected phase, where they become counterproductive, even asserting rights, to refuse continuing safe and effective Treatment, unless they are deemed a threat to themselves or others in a scheduled Court Hearing. Sadly, Hearings remain very time consuming when there are only minutes available, rather than weeks. When a Psychotherapist finally finds out a Patient is going through a combative withdrawal phase, planning an Attack or Unaliving themselves, it’s often already too late for scheduling Court Hearings to obtain an IVC or AOT order.

So we end up with hurt or worse, Victims, many of whom come to us for help. All it takes, to become a threat to injuring oneself or others; is that single Event, a Personal Crisis or Manic Episode, maybe some observed Social Media Post, an Intrusive Thought or even a Snap Impulse.

Short of the Federal or Municipal Government putting forward a much needed program of regularly introducing the continuous supply of SSRi and/or an Antipsychotic solution into our Water Treatment Facilities across the nation to benefit public health, our growing Crime Rates and our random Violence are becoming the new normal. While our Mental Health Professionals are handcuffed, in literal red tape, under "Patient Rights" - they still somehow carry this very heavy onus; or Crystal Ball, to be the ones who ring alarm before a grenade suddenly rolls across the busy office floor.

Reasonably, we don't allow intoxicated people to make decisions behind the wheel of a vehicle. So when does it make sense to have Mental Health Patients, who are naturally unaware of therapeutic benefits in Psychology and Psychiatry; making decisions to refuse, cancel or even ghost, their needed Mental Health Therapy?

It cannot be guaranteed that the Patient is even remotely aware what incidents may occur for themselves or others nearby, or even what is going on at the time, when doing so.
"Comprehension of important Medical Information'' and the "ability to keep a Safe Environment" - currently, stipulate whether your next possible Serial Outburst, gets treatment or not. They may lack the capacity to make responsible decisions hours after an interview, during a depressive or manic episode, where their brain chemicals do not function in the predicted way, causing them to suddenly snap. We don't have to continue inviting this.

Enabling our Mental Health Professionals to help and empower our Mental Wellness and SMI Consumers, is a two way street. We must remove bureaucratic red tape and allow our Mental Health Professionals to exercise their own Professional Judgment, having Discretionary Authority, without needing time consuming Court Orders, when providing on ground responsive Emergency Care, for Clients during their next sudden Crisis Event - as it happens - not after. This is how we streamline Mental Wellness. Only then, can we begin to curb random Public Outbursts, Terrorism, Road Rage, Domestic Disputes and more. Another positive, would be having too, Migrants, who may be silently suffering with Mental Illness, #PTSD , et cetera - finally being treated, who otherwise would go homeless, unaccounted, undocumented and untreated, left roaming neighborhoods.

And so it remains with great urgency that our Elected Representatives Draft then Pass Legislation, streamlining our Mental Wellness Professionals, with legal power to self certify IVC & AOT orders. This way, we will finally be lowering criminal activities; random violence, daily road rage and even, serial outbursts.

We owe this to both our Public and our Patients, who are actively seeking to improve their #MentalHealth .

Most Sincerely, Patient & Mental Health Treatment Advocate,


Sources; Look Up Your State - Treatment Advocacy Center

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Where do you go when you need to think or reflect?

When it comes time to sit with yourself and think through whatever is on your mind — both the good and bad — it can be helpful to find a place that helps you center yourself and process your thoughts.

Whether it’s your bedroom, a walk (or roll!) in a nearby park, your local cafe, or a therapist’s office, where do you go when you need a moment to pause and reflect?

#52SmallThings #ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #MentalHealth #Anxiety #Depression #Therapy #RareDisease #Grief #Disability #Caregiving #Cancer #Autism #CheckInWithMe

95 reactions 29 comments

New decisions.. any advice?

Thinking about trying online therapy again. I haven’t been in therapy for over a year but I think I need to start going again. Also thinking about getting a cat so I’m not as lonely and anxious. Anybody have any advice on either of these topics or is there anything you think I should know prior to doing these things?
#Anxiety #MentalHealth #Therapy

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So true...

I believe this... Actually, it would probably help us express how we feel a lot better! :)#MentalHealth #Therapy #Memes #inkblots

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Be Careful When Looking for a Therapist

If you are looking for a therapist, it's not always as simple as it seems to find good, seasoned, trained, and experienced therapists. The therapy field unfortunately in more recent years has become saturated with people who wish to be therapists, but who don't often wish to go through the training or time it takes to become a good therapist. It is unfortunate, because it is very hard for the general public to be able to discern between a well-trained experienced therapist, and someone who doesn't have the necessary training to appropriately do the work of providing therapy.

Here are some situations to be careful of:

Corporate "Therapy" -- Do your best to avoid the big corporations who advertise therapeutic conversation, no matter how little they charge. You'll recognize these by their plentiful social media ads and sometimes using known actors or athletes to advertise their corporation of online therapists. Articles have been published regarding these massive corporate groups of therapists, exposing the lack of ethics, sharing of client information, and not actually providing therapy at all in many cases. They provide someone to talk to, and the corporations want the "therapists" to respond according to their corporate business model -- NOT what makes the most sense for a healthy therapy model. If what you want is therapy, you most likely will not receive it in these settings, even if someone is assigned to communicate with you. (Search the internet for articles on these issues).

No Post-Graduate Credentials -- Believe it or not, graduate schools do not teach people how to be therapists/psychotherapists. Graduate schools teach the knowledge to start into the field of psychology, social work, school counseling, mental health counseling, etc. When I received my masters in social work, I thought that I must know enough to provide therapy, based on the field placements I had been doing in therapy and counseling at the time. However, I quickly realized that if I wanted to actually provide real therapy and offer effective interventions to treat complex emotional and psychological processes, post-graduate training wasn't just a good idea, it was really going to be essential. Being empathic, caring, and an attuned listener are necessary foundations for providing therapy -- however, these qualities don't make up for a lack of true education on practicing therapy. There is nothing in a graduate school curriculum that provides this type of education. Therefore, when searching for a therapist, if you want someone trained and experienced, ask them where they did their post-graduate psychotherapy training. For many, this will be at analytic institutes and will take several years of training. This is generally not something that can be accomplished in a weekend seminar or something of this variety. A word of caution that many, many therapists do not seek post-graduate training. This would undoubtedly impact the quality and potential of your therapy.

Group Practices -- While group practices in and of themselves aren't problematic, it's important if you want a seasoned and trained therapist that you verify who you're paired with in a group practice. Often, people will be referred to a group practice for either one of the therapists, or just because the referring source knows of the group. However, group practices often employ masters level therapists who have not completed their clinical licensing hours. Meaning, they are working under supervision of a clinical therapist, but don't yet have their own experience hours for their clinical licenses. If it is important to you to have a clinically licensed therapist (which is the level required for any therapist to be in private practice), then be sure you request this or verify this if you're going to see someone in a group practice.

"Life Coaches" (who don't also have therapy training) -- Life coaching for a number of reasons has always been a complicated field to understand, mainly because it is not regulated by anything. Anyone can call themselves a life coach, for any reason. You don't need a certificate or a degree for it. This has allowed a large number of people to attempt to mimic the work of therapy without having any background in therapy, or even in a related field to therapy. While many trained therapists will also offer life coaching in various areas of struggle (since this is related to work they are actually trained in), it is very different for a person with no training in therapy to try to offer counseling services or therapy-adjacent services. Always be sure to verify credentials. 

#MentalHealth #Psychotherapy #psychotherapist #Therapy #Therapist

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Therapists be like

My therapist has made these faces before when I talk about my dad tbh. How is #Therapy going for you?

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When was the last time you felt like a doctor believed you?

In a lot of ways, it’s heartbreaking that we even have to ask this question, but we also know it’s a pretty common experience for Mighties to feel dismissed by health care providers and professionals.

So we’re curious about the good experiences you’ve had lately, no matter the type of provider or specialty. Who believed you? Who validated your pain, symptoms, or struggle? Who didn’t question your lived experience?

It’s always worth saying: You deserve to be believed. It should be the built-in bare minimum of care. We see you.

#MightyMinute #CheckInWithMe #MentalHealth #Anxiety #Depression #ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #RareDisease #Disability #CheckInWithMe #Undiagnosed #Caregiving #Cancer #Therapy #Suicide

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AI "Therapy" Can't Be Actual Therapy

...And it shouldn't be.

In a world where some people would be happy to see everything operated by a computer, it is a reality that not everything can, or even should be.

I've seen a number of stories in the past couple of years about the attempts to create AI therapists. There was even a story discussing an unethical situation that involved a company pairing people with AI therapists, without their knowledge, in order to test their model. The result of this was that, within a few months, everyone paired with an AI therapist ended up leaving their "therapy", purely sensing that something was off about the interactions they were having with, as it turns out, a computer program and not a person.

While there are a whole host of problems with the idea of AI providing therapy, one that will not be able to be overcome is the issue of empathy.

Why is empathy such a deal-breaker?

Empathy arguably plays one of the most important (if not, the most important) role in how people connect. And when I say empathy, I'm not simply referring to empathic comments, such as, "It sounds like you've had a stressful day." One can make empathic comments without them actually coming from a place of empathy. And one can also relay empathy without having to make empathic-sounding comments.

Actual empathy comes from a deeper, often unconscious place within ourselves that can only be experienced between two people, whether or not words are even spoken. This is an important piece -- words are not needed to relay empathy.

Words, without the underlying empathic sentiment, are generally experienced by the other as empty, or void of emotion, and usually will not be able to be taken in or land appropriately, if at all. Imagine a moment in your life where someone has made an empathic sounding comment, but that you felt within yourself was not actually connected to the real emotion, or felt misaligned. In these moments, it can feel uncomfortable, dissonant, or even like you're being manipulated. The feeling is off, it's not a good feeling, it makes people squirm and want to turn away.

While words are, of course, important to some degree, it is the underlying empathy that lays the foundation for the words to land. Empathic communication is often unconscious and unspoken, not only in therapy but also between people in life. Underlying (unspoken) empathy is instrumental in how we hear, how we take in, how we sit with, and how we form a genuine connection with another person.

With this in mind, it is just not possible for a computer program to relay empathy. Empathy is a phenomenon that is created between two humans interacting in a shared space together. This happens whether in-person or virtually. As long as there are two people interacting in real time, empathy has room to exist. (However, it does not work the same with text or email, which is why people often misinterpret the tone of written communication. The other isn't there to detect the underlying emotion and they end up projecting their own experiences in these moments.).

If you are interacting with another person, some sort of underlying empathy or regard is at play, even if you don't always consciously acknowledge or tune into it. Even if there are no spoken words. If you are attempting to interact with AI and no words are spoken, there is nothing.

Even if AI were to speak to you and use empathic-sounding recordings of human voices, it still cannot create and relay empathy. Why? Because even an empathic human voice recording wouldn't be connecting with you in your subjective space. It cannot create a deeper, unspoken connection with where you are emotionally, mentally, or physiologically. The responses of a recording would be coming from a disconnected place (or it would be coming from a moment of connection with someone else when the recording was created), and that disconnect would be felt, even unconsciously. Even if it were possible to be "fooled" at first, this would erode as the inconsistencies in connectivity and lack of true emotion were to be experienced.

(I should also point out that it's utterly impossible for AI to provide therapy. A great deal of therapy is based on the experience of the shared space between the client and the therapist. AI can't truly have this experience).

Is AI "therapy" more harmful than good?

There is also a greater danger with AI "therapy" which one should consider. If you're attempting to create a connection to a computer program for an emotionally-based experience, there are potentially drastic consequences to your mental health being set up. Empathy is the cornerstone of how one develops emotionally, from infancy and childhood and even through adulthood. This involves not only how your parents (or others) talk to you, but how they feel towards you. When there is little underlying empathy or attunement from parents or caretakers growing up, this opens up a range of potential mental health issues, from anxiety or depression to even more severe issues such as antisocial personality disorder (sociopathy), and others.

If you're engaging in a pseudo-therapy with an AI computer program, the result is more likely to distort (or even mute) your own empathy and your ability to connect with others, as well as to potentially disconnect you internally from yourself. Even with a therapist who speaks less often, there is always an underlying feeling, empathy, regard for you. This silent, yet still highly empathic communication is crucial to not only the developing child in the world from their parents, but also to any human experience, which includes the therapy experience. So even a less talkative therapist can still relay a great deal of empathy.

In the end, an AI "therapy" program can make pre-determined comments. It can sound supportive on the surface. It may offer a coping skill. But these are merely algorithmic responses to words, or even possibly a tone or other "markers" that sets off a pre-programmed response. But it cannot truly know or feel you, or understand or "get" you, or be able to have the vast experience of a seasoned therapist who can discern between what someone else may need in a moment, versus what you personally may need that differs in a very similar situation. While empathy is not the only piece to consider in why AI "therapy" should never happen, without the ability to truly have empathy the entire rug is pulled out from under a therapy -- or any relationship for that matter.

#Therapy #AItherapy #MentalHealth #Empathy

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Learning new things in therapy

I go to therapy weekly.
One or two times.
Group therapy and individual therapy.
And I am being really brave.
First of all for showing up!
That does take a lot sometimes.
And secondly for making myself available for change.
By sharing, learning, seeing patterns, receiving advice and home work.
It you have ever been in therapy or are right now; I applaud you!
It takes a lot.
So does the homework.
I am finding it all quite challenging.
Also, I am a perfectionist.
I want it all done right away and in a A+ manner.
But that's not how healing goes AT ALL...
So I was happy I found this on Pinterest:
Instead of thinking "It's too hard, I can't".
I am now practicing saying "I need more practice. It will take time and that's okay. It's all new to me. I am doing good".
And showing myself grace.
Don't know who needs to see this.
But I imagine one or two of you do - like me.
(Picture from Pinterest)

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