Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Journey: From Suicidal Despair to Wholeness and Hope

Check out this true account of a miraculous journey.  What one woman can do, others can do.

Click HERE to read this inspiring story.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

When to Ask for Help

Ask for help when you don't know how to help yourself, or the information and assistance provided by an expert will expedite resolution of your problems.

I was impressed by the wisdom of the young man in my office. "Why did you ask for counseling?" I asked. "Some of the brightest people in history had breakdowns; Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein for instance", he said.  Instantly I realized that this case had a good prognosis.  Wisdom to ask for assistance is often accompanied by humility, a teachable spirit, and motivation to do whatever is necessary to resolve painful problems...and it is a mark of great leaders. 

Leaders, you ask?  Yes, leaders, as in we are each responsible to lead our own lives, and if we influence only one other person, then we are a leader per one popular definition, "Leadership is influence."

So, this young man is serious about living a life of impact, commensurate with his God-given intellect and creativity.  And, he is already evincing a key quality of effective leadership; wisdom regarding when to ask for help.

Great leaders make great decisions by gathering as much information as possible before the decision deadline.  That's why we see a multiplicity of advisers around Presidents, and numerous consultants employed by business executives.  Great leaders turn to experts for information and perspective as an essential part of their process of executive decision-making.

And so it is for you, and me; leaders of our own lives.

When to ask for help?  When you don't know the answer, or when information and perspective provided by an expert could hasten the solution.

"Of course I'll try what you've suggested" the young man said.  "You've got the degrees" he said as he pointed to the wall.  "That's why I'm here; to learn from you how to help myself".  

As a counselor I couldn't ask for a better scenario.

By the way, do you now how many counselor's it takes to change a light bulb?

Just one, but the light bulb has to really want to change....

blessings, Jeff

Jeffrey J. Williams is licensed as a Professional Clinical Counsleor and Supervising Counselor in the State of Ohio, License #E-3098

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pay to Talk because Talking Pays Off

The New York times posted a series of articles this past week about how the majority of U.S. Psychiatrists (approx. 48,00) have decided that it doesn't pay to talk to patients about their problems.  It's not that they don't believe it doesn't help, but rather that they can get paid more for three 15 minute medication sessions, than one 45 minute therapy session. 

Check out the response from the Chief Executive of the American Psychological Association:

"As “Talk Doesn’t Pay, So Psychiatry Turns Instead to Drug Therapy” (“Doctors Inc.” series, front page, March 6) noted, decades of research have shown that psychotherapy, now eschewed for financial reasons by many practicing psychiatrists, is often as effective as psychotropic drugs — if not more so, as in the treatment for depression. 

There is something inherently wrong with a health care system that allows a practitioner to earn more for three 15-minute prescription-writing sessions than for a 45-minute therapy session that teaches patients lifelong coping skills and has no adverse physical side effects. 

What is of great concern with the current treatment situation, driven in large measure by the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries, is the diminished quality of care provided to patients. While many of the new psychotropic drugs have proved effective, taking a pill is not always the answer to a mental health problem..."(read more of Dr. Anderson's comments here).

This is exactly why I think we are seeing an increase in referrals at Grace and Truth.  More and more people realize two things:

1. Pills don't solve problems, though they can be an essential part of recovery from disabling and painful mental and emotional disorders.

2. Skillful talking about painful and challenging issues, relationships and circumstances that can lead to miraculous resolution is priceless.  As one client said, "Can I afford it? I can't afford not to. It's my life, and I have to get it back on track!"

As Dr. Anderson said above, decades of research have shown that psychotherapy is as effective if not more effective than psychotropic drugs in the treatment of clinical depression (the most common emotional disorder that affects upwards of 40% of Americans at some point in their life).  The point we'd like to make to the potential counseling client is this: Great treatment for mental, emotional and relationship problems is out there.  Don't be deluded by the push for medication solutions.  Sometimes it is indicated and necessary, but it is rarely the sole solution, even if insurance companies have decided that it is the most expedient and cost effective (if only partial and short-term) solution.

Remember Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)? Soma was the drug given to the masses to make them happy, dull their senses, and to solve angst about anything from their personal life circumstances to concerns about the political situation.  We're not far away from that scenario when insurance companies push doctors to push pills. 

Will you need medication as part of your treatment plan for the problems that bring you to Grace and Truth?  Maybe.  But let's talk about it and other potential solutions before you choose.


Jeffrey J. Williams
Professional Clinical Counselor - Supervising Counselor
Ohio License #E-3098