Sometimes I like to incorporate humor into my posts to keep the site from just being about depression and addiction and PTSD etc… I just cannot be all too funny with this. This is a topic that is DEADLY. I remember, because my brothers suicide wont seem to get out of my mind some days. So I am going to ask everyone to stop and read this, and you know what it may not even apply to you. But it could prevent what happened with my family. I cannot undo the gunshot that ended my brothers life. But I can share my 20 years of experience in mental health and addictions, from a personal, and then a professional standpoint. I sure hope you will send this to anyone that seems like they may be one step away from tragedy. If it is you. I tell you what to do at the end. Anyhow, I hope you take this to heart. Anyone who follows me knows how much I love you all and just want to keep getting the word out that you cannot delay treatment for mental health without terrible consequences. But let me say this, there is some really good news on here about the success we are having worldwide in a new area to help….tj
Is Therapy Going To Drive Me To Suicide?
Most people in and around the mental health field as a client or provider are familiar with these two terms. The question is, what is the difference? Its a valid question that deserves an honest answer.
So your deciding how to address the situation your going through and the options. Whether it be a depression issue, a divorce issue or any other circumstance that has proved itself to be interfering in your routine to the point that you need at least some action. Lets face it, there are thousands of different providers who all claim to offer up the most successful, healing, lasting and least restrictive and intrusive on your life.
Where do you start? A friend’s recommendation? An ad that catches your eye or ear? The most well known methods? Its a tough call for anyone. It does not have to be. You see just as we have progressed in other industries like automobiles, and appliances and homes, the same applies when it is time for mental health choices. We don’t screw bolts into the sides of peoples heads anymore to see the effect. We don’t torture people hoping to alter behavior or feelings. Things have improved. Much progress has been made in these areas and you will do yourself a disservice by not following up on what is working and what is not.
Just because you are struggling with an issue in your life does not paralyze your ability to educate yourself. Of course you must be strong enough to make your own decisions and choices on treatment unless you are in need of inpatient care. This post is about outpatient care. If you follow along you just may see clearly some things that have been unclear until now. I have had extensive experience in both coaching and therapy, both as a client, and eventually as a professional for 20 years. To try and break down all the theories of personality and modalities of treatment would take an entire book. In my opinion it is not necessary.
Everyone has their opinion about what works best and many of the ideas have validity and can indeed help. However do you want to get 45% help when another method would bump that up to 85%? Of course not. Let me add that I have no dog in the hunt. Our team together has decades of experience in just about every major modality used in outpatient therapy. If you want to come lay on a couch each week while we remind each other how miserable your life has been, someone will take your money. But what about outcomes? After all the whole point of therapy is to get better and move on with your life, right?
What if medication is recommended? We all know that game right? Try this for 6 weeks, if it does not make you feel good we will change to the next, and the next and so on. You may be caught up in a weekly sit down regurgitating old dark memories for a year before any medications start working. That is , if they ever work, since even major drug makers have admitted that 5 or 6 of their latest anti-depressants actually cause suicidal thoughts.
OOPS! Yeah, it does happen and it is not uncommon.
But even so, therapy is just so much more ” professional ” sounding. It must be the best if its been around so long. I mean this coaching thing is fairly new. Why take chances on that when you can enjoy the benefits listed above of a therapeutic model?
Maybe because coaching works.
Lets take a closer look at this whole coaching model. The coaching models at least that I am familiar with takes the therapy model and turns it on its head. It rejects everything traditional long term therapy stands for.
Coaching focuses on what is right in your life. What you can do well. What strengths we have. A return to normalcy as soon as possible in the least restrictive environment is key. On the other hand have we all not at one time or another seen a post or article that begins with ” I have been seeing my therapist now for 5 years ” or ‘ My therapist says he thinks I need a higher dose of medication”. If you have not, you need not leave WordPress because they are everywhere.
Try finding one that says they have had their coach for more than a few months. It will be tough. The reason being is coaches create independence for you by emphasizing what you can do and have done well, whereas a typical therapy session will hover around how many failures or let downs occurred and how did you deal with them. If not monitored closely therapy can simply become something you must depend on and have or you will crack. It also can make for real strong job security for the provider. I am in no way saying that this is always the case, I am simply pointing out the facts.
Let me give you another example that may be easier to illustrate. AA & NA have been absolutely famous and known to be the savior for millions who swear they cant make it without it. There is good reason for that. Part of the mantra you must repeat and repeat and repeat until its drilled in your head is that you are powerless over your addiction. Sounds like pure healthy honesty right? We need to face the truth, right? The problem here folks is that most AA & NA programs have a tough time breaking into double digits as far as success in remaining sober for 12 months. Hmm. Sounds like AA & NA need the addicts more than the addicts need it.
Now I can already here people yelling at me reciting the serenity prayer and how the program has kept you clean for 5 years. If that is true, good for you and stick with it. The problem is we have this other 90% who fail and fail and fail. This group is just as important as the 10% who are doing well. right? The program or therapeutic modality cannot replace the addiction. Trading one addiction for another is , well not the goal.
Lets quickly review. Coaching is a process where someone trained in the area your needing comes along side of you and helps you identify your strengths, address any negative patterns that are interfering with your life and resets your thinking and goals to align with your abilities. This process in general is a much shorter and effective one that rarely disturbs your daily routine and acts more as a cheerleader to help you up and out of a rut then a tape recorder that plays your most hideous memories over and over until one week you think you have it beat- but then at your therapy session your forced to drag it back out of the dark corner of your head.
Coaching is not becoming dependent in any way on someone else. Therapy can lead to a total dependency on a person to survive, and even worse create a stigma that you are lesser of a person because you cannot live life normally or without the handicap of a label, diagnoses, or medication.
Am I saying that therapy is a waste and coaching is the only way to get help? Of course not. What I absolutely am saying is that one better be educated on their true need lest they become involved in a very dependent situation that may strip you of self esteem when that method is not needed. I have been a therapist. I have been a coach which is what I am more involved in then formal therapy. There will always be times when someone is in need of long term clinical therapy. What I have learned however is that everyone deserves the chance to be helped up and out of a rut through short term coaching before the much more restrictive clinical environment.
Besides the the stigma, the dependency, and the long term visits in the therapy model, you also need to understand that the difference financially between the two are radical and you are talking tens of thousands of dollars for any long term clinical therapy and that is besides medications. Why would you put yourself or anyone you love in that box before you give them a chance to be coached back to health? So far I have given you my personal and career experience, but in case your wondering, the established and very well run coaching programs that are in existence now are running circles around any treatment centers for addictions and over 20 other issues from domestic violence to PTSD. As a matter of fact many insurance companies wont even pay for therapy anymore. That is right, they pulled out and are happy to pour their efforts into legit coaching programs. Why would they, when the success rates on coaching is 75% and up and traditional treatment centers around 20%? Not to mention coaching is 1/3 the cost if not more to you and to insurers.
I want to close with a very important point. This article is designed to offer new options and hope to those who may not be familiar with coaching model. Any good therapist or doctor will tell you the truth about whether long term expensive therapy is needed or if coaching is what will work best for the client. I wont lie to you, just like any industry, not every provider is truthful and many will keep you or your child locked up and medicated as long as the payer will pay. Authorities are trying to crack down on those who use clients for personal gain but with tens of thousands of programs, it is very hard.
Take a few minutes and enjoy a laugh. The Old School Psychiatrists Were Just a little more upfront and honest with their patients then in today’s world- Would it not be nice if all Doctors were this up front! Today she would likely here ” Maam, you have OCD, your in denial, you are paranoid and I think these 3 prescriptions may help….We can all learn a thing or two from this Bob Newhart clip…
I have worked with and still do some of the finest clinical therapists around and they are excellent. Doctors as well and in no way am I saying nobody needs clinical therapy. What I am doing here is giving you all a little heads up about what is coming down the pipe. Coaching has proven itself, its cost effective, and is the latest and greatest alternative to what we had to live with. You will hear about it if you have not. All the Don’t Label My Kid! Team members are coaches and you can check out our areas of expertise on the home page menu. Read a quick bio of what we each do and reach out to us if you think you need help. We always work with people and have yet to turn anyone away.
This is a post I would not have written even two years ago. However the coaching success, and opportunities for those who have been coached to actually become working coaches after they find success makes this a win win for anyone and everyone. Don’t put it off anymore. No matter what the age, race, background, or need- believe me we have been there and done it. Just look at our bios and you will understand. If you are doing great, and your kids are doing great. but you have this friend from church, neighbor, or relative that is hurting- be the one to help them get help. You never know what people may be just one more step away from and the tragedy of ignoring it can do.
When my brother shot himself after we just watched some television together, I sure wish I would have asked him why he was so quiet for 2 hours. But, I did not. Instead he walked out the door and shot himself in the head. Don’t let that happen to anyone you know. Contact us immediately for prompt response.
Write these contacts down. Print this out. Share with a friend. Share with your followers. We cannot help unless you get in touch. At the bottom is a personal cell number that is available to call 24/7- 365. If you are in trouble now, or know who is , you may call it anytime.
Otherwise for a consult about a family plan, or individual need and 100% confidential, email one of these – leave a contact number in the subject if you wish to be called back
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Emergency Crisis Line- 386-675-7549