So You Need Help For Yourself Or Your Child? What Next? Let Me Share A Critical Mistake Most Make When Seeking Help…( Mental Health & Addictions)

dont wait
So – you finally realized life is not what you expected or even what it once was. You are going to get that child with Ad-Hd some help and NOW! Or maybe you are ready to deal with your depression now, your anxiety, or PTSD. Whatever the case is almost everyone is totally lost when it comes to what type of help to seek who to seek it from and whether or not things like medicine should be involved. Most people pick providers like they pick apples at the supermarket. If it looks ok, go for it.
I cannot tell you how many lives that method has RUINED! You cannot just ” pick ” a counselor, therapist, doctor, coach, or any other professional out of a hat and expect results. Let me give you a dose of reality and also explain why I do what I do.
Take a look at the alphabetical list below. Those are all different types of therapy that therapists and doctors use. You literally are playing Russian Roulette when you just ” pick one”.
The reason I have been able to help people get better fast is simple, I know what they need for their specific issues. I outline a specific plan of action for you or your child. I make sure you are not opening a can of worms you will regret. The number 1 mistake in this area by the way is to jump right into a psychiatrist because you heard on Oprah that your kid must have Ad-Hd or some other disorder. You have no clue that when you leave that office you or your child will be the proud owners of mental health labels that will follow you for life. Not even to mention the types of drugs you or your child may be loaded down with.
So what I do for you is very simple but it saves you much heartache, and thousands of wasted dollars. I have worked for 20 years with all types of therapists and doctors -I know how it works. I also counsel and coach when appropriate for the situation but for anyone and everyone I help them get the appropriate services that will produce results.
Do you have any idea over my career how many crying mon’s have told me of all the different things they have tried and all the meds and all the ” recommendations” from friends? Leave the friends for Board Games and do not play with your own or your child’s mental health.
You have 2 choices. Look below and close your eyes then put your finger on one of the hundreds of types of therapeutic methods and find someone to go to.
Your next option is to contact me before you do ANYTHING. I will work with you on a custom treatment plan that matches your needs. That’s it! It is that cut and dry. Gamble or get better. First come first serve.

For help now contact me at tjpetri16@gmail.com and put HELP in the subject. Leave your best contact info. I will be in touch. If it is a real emergency and you need an answer today you can call me directly 386-675-7549 – leave a message and I will get back asap. So there are your 2 choices. I have done my part – now its up to you…

 

TJ

 

 

Why God Didn’t Bless Me Yesterday… ( I Guess)

Some days you just know you aren’t going to have Gods favor , right? I mean our works performance is off, we aren’t careful with our mouth and so on. Yeah that was me yesterday. Just didn’t get enough right to win the favor.

Whew! Yesterday was rough. If someone accused me of being a Christian, I’m not sure there would have been enough evidence to convict me. And I am only sharing the stuff appropriate for public blogging…lol

Past

For example in the morning at a gas station some old man took it upon himself to point to the cross hanging from my rear view and to the harmless radar detector under it and tell me that one of them needs to go! So I exhorted ( biblical, right?) him and pointed out that perhaps he should go change his Hooters shirt before finger pointing.

After that an old AC/DC song with totally inappropriate lyrics came on- and yes I blasted it and sang every word. I also had my FISH symbol on the back window too,  so that’s like double sinning.

Ok now it gets ugly. For some reason every time I am starving and go through a drive through for a sandwich, I NEVER get a red light so I can get a bite. But when I’m in a hurry somewhere I get every red light made. I ended up saying a word that rhymes with STUCK, BUCK, DUCK. A few times. ( Don’t act all shocked either )
About an hour later some heathen in a new Corvette cut me off the road so I almost hit a tree. I kept my mouth shut and refrained from saying anything.
However, I did happen to run into him at the next light and gave him a friendly wave telling him he was #1 . I learned that wave from Dale Earnhardt of NASCAR and he was a champion so how bad could it be?
So I finally made it to church. I listened as the preacher talked about being saved by faith and not works. My itching ears were scratched.
That really set me free and I actually was ready to roll out early but before I could he went into the fruit of the Spirit and the witness of the believer as well as maturity of the believer.
Then he cracked open the book of James and read on the power of the tongue. I turned my MP3 player off for this part and I realized that there was some good news and some not so good news.

Good News!
1- I’m saved by the blood of Jesus not by my works. There is nothing I can do or say to make God love me any more, or any less!

More difficult news-

2- I am supposed to be different then this world. In it but not of it. Growing as a Christian is critical. There is no putting it on a shelf- you are either going forward and maturing or slipping back into the world.

I learned that it’s not about how many times we fall, but how many times we get up. It’s about not buying the lies of the enemy. It’s about remembering the promises of God no matter what it looks like.

When the enemy of your soul reminds you of all your sin, remind him that as a believer , God sees our sin through the blood of Christ. All He sees is the blood sacrifice of Christ. My Godfather used to have a pad of paper he would hand to each of us as we were growing up. He would tell us to write down every sin we could ever remember on the sheet, and assured us nobody would see it.

After we reluctantly wrote them down, he reached behind the notepad and flipped over what was a blood red plastic cover. He then showed it to us and asked us what sins we saw that we had written. None. The red cover had made them go away. That cover represented the blood of Christ, and how God sees believers in Christ.

We do need to keep growing though because each day that passes in this world the armor of God becomes more critical. If you aren’t familiar with the armor yet , then today is a perfect time to look into We do need to keep growing though because each day that passes in this world it!

Bottom line here is I was just as saved yesterday as any day. It’s not what I do for Him, but what He already did at the cross .

tj Continue reading “Why God Didn’t Bless Me Yesterday… ( I Guess)”

Obama@Trump- You Dont Care About American Safety

Are You Serious Mr. President? 

The movie Wag The Dog with Dustin Hoffman comes to mind here.

The financier of the Muslim Brotherhood ( 3 billion ) and the one who has made every effort to take American gun rights, is now making yet another amazing accusation.

President Obama says Trump is not concerned with the safety of this country. Excuse me but was it not you Mr. President who stroked a 3 Billion dollar check to the Muslim Brotherhood a few years back? They used the funds for arms.

You have at the same time tried all you can to take the gun rights of Americans away.  Now when Trump shows concern about the violence with the muslim population you spin it into an anti-religious thing. I for one am glad to hear someone show actual concern for our safety, whereas I have seen nothing but what appears to be a purposeful stripping away of any power and rights we hold by you.

tj

Latest APA Standpoint- It was All In Our Heads. Psychiatry And Psychologists Out Of The Closet. It Was Just An Illusion.

Well it has been whispered for years among clinical workers, doctors, and the general public I assume that the practice of studying the mind scientifically was a bunch of bull. Yet we all know someone who clearly suffers from some mental health issues. They are NOT an illusion. The problem which seems to be tolerated fine by the public is that on paper their has not been a shred of scientific progress in the study of the brain as it relates to behaviors, medications or anything. Notta. Zip.

You know this means they are actually self reporting their deceptive practices and their promotion of designer drugs advertised on television every day. If you think about it, they have formally acknowledged ZERO progress in 50 years of studying the brain. Hold on a second- something just came to mind. If no new information was found in 50 years, how did the BILLION dollar drug companies manage to keep their groove on shootin out new designer drugs faster then Obama can commit treason (allegedly) that are breakthrough for some disorder, when we know now their could not have been any data that actually called for a change in the meds they gave out in the 1960’s?

I think my brain is actually making a comeback. The fog is lifting! I wonder why America is one of only 2 countries in the world that even allow the promotion of drugs on television. It is especially surprising now knowing that the FDA actually had to approve and monitor the clinical trials, giving the nod to the mega-billion dollar pharmaceutical racket. I mean how could it be? Certainly it cannot be what it appears.

However this all plays out, at some point in time those of us that have loved ones on meds all their lives will begin to a tad bit…well slighted. Actually I am clearing up strong in my mind now and the way I see it ( keep in mind I do have Generalized Anxiety Disorder) this could go down as the greatest scam in history. Better then a Ponzi. It dwarfs any illegal money transferring or funneling and kind of makes the mob look -well…a little small time.
This wont really settle in for everyone right away because its too grand. When it does however come clear as to what thousands of doctors have willingly implanted in millions of patients minds and bodies, all the while knowing damn well it could kill half of them?

Hopefully the FDA will crack down and prosecute….wait a minute. The FDA and the drug people and the doctors all had to know..

I am also seeing a possible glitch in the actual creation of these labels that fill the pages of the DSM the doctors use. Come to think of it Hoss- they make them up! Every four or five years I believe its the actual psychologists and psychiatrists who meet up in the back woods kicking around new possibilities for ” disorders”. As a matter of fact this new edition was excellent reading. The one new one that stood out to me was the ” teenage rebellion syndrome”
Although don’t quote me ( you cannot anyways since I have temporary chronic seizure symptoms) but I think one of the boys up in the woods came up with the ” too much laughing syndrome” or something like it.
I suppose just like any good ole boys will do when out in the woods- pour a few back, who knows, maybe they all burned a fat one each day. Whatever they did, one thing ended up the same every time -a new set of reasons for the drug companies to get on the ball and pump out some designer feel good pills to cure all these laugher’s and rebellious teens…

Wait just a minute- Is this what it looks like? You know working in the field I remember wondering how incredible that 15 new disorders were announced, and the drug man already had 15 different fix em up pills standing in the doctors office. You don’t think…I mean its unthinkable. No way. Hmmm. How could the the drug companies know what to put out , create, clinically trial and get FDA nod all at the same time? I think I am getting too cerebral with this. Overthinking it. That is why my anxiety is so high I guess. No worries – I have my xanax too. I just have to keep an eye on the old ticker since the xanny bars slow you down some you know. Thank God for whoever invented uppers. Keeps me balanced with the benzos.

This is real stuff in the real world full of very vulnerable people who can easily be convinced simply by the power of suggestion and some reiteration of who is the doctor. Been happening 50 years now, they say. The doctors and druggists, all aware. Its really a shame one of those guys didnt pick up on this earlier. Heck their is my dang intermittent overthinking thing I Have . I better stop y’all.

God Bless America. Stay Healthy.
tj

sciencehttp://www.theonion.com/article/psychology-comes-to-halt-as-weary-researchers-say–36586

Kids- Nobody Likes To Admit It- But When It Comes Right Down To It- The Tail Waggeth The Dog.

teenagers

My second youngest daughter is 8. That age when she starts to be aware of ” stuff” like Iphones, make up and the like. My boys are 21 and 18 and I think things went pretty well with them, discipline wise. They did something wrong, they knew a consequence was coming.
Somehow I seem to have more difficulty issuing consequences to my little princess, or ” poca” as I call her after pocahontas. I am still totally 100% in control, dont get me wrong.
It just seems that she has a certain way of tearing up that makes my heart weak I know she couldnt be doing it on purpose. She must really be taking this hard, poor kid.
The thing is, about 15 years ago I spent 5 years as a live in foster parent for teenage girls, 6 at a time. I do seem to recall it being a common source of manipulation for them to turn on the tears when they didnt like the answer they got…
Surely those girls had deep troubles. My baby girl is as innocent as they come.
Until yesterday, that is. My little princess pushed it over the ” my daddy loves me” line. It was a simple thing really, we were all doing a little cleaning up, and I asked her to bring the dust pan from the room she was in, into the room I was in. First I thought I heard a little complaining, but I assured myself it must be the television. Just then, around the corner she flew, stopping at the door and tossing the dust pan right at my forehead.
Something snapped in me. I am not sure what exactly, but it ended with no television for the night and she was a few years younger it would have been much worse. After a few minutes I began to pace around and question myself. I used to teach on this! I taught teachers on this! Parents too. Now I found myself stuck in an uncomfortable position. Not having to issue a consequences, but having to ask my the question ” Why would my daughter ever feel comfortable throwing anything at anyone”- that was my real issue.

The answer in case this has happened to you, is not that you are a bad parent, necessarily. The real answer lies within the circle of role models the child is surrounded with. Especially adults, the teachers, parents friends parents etc..You are the first line for your children. The old saying ” the apple doesnt fall from the tree ” is right on. Many hundreds of times I sat in meetings at schools, whether IEP or another type. During these meetings I would hear a parent cussing his teen up and down for acting out. The child realized at a much younger age what is acceptable in his home, by the modeling of his parents.

We could go on about this subject for hours, but for now, let me throw in one other critical topic that will help you understand how and why your child has to have postivie and negative reinforcement. I taught parent training for Orange County Public schools, and several other large parenting groups for years.The one thing that was always the biggest surprise, and the most difficult for for parents to change, was what we call ” ratios”. Ratios happen all day each day to your child. They come from you, teachers, and other adult instructors.

During the trainings, I would ask the class , if they had to guess what the ratios of postive to negative comments or negative to comments would be in their house on the average day. Most smirked because positive comments were not all to common..so when we finished the average for each class was about 15 negatives for every positive comment. Why is this important? Because psychologists have proven over and over that positive reinforcement is the only way to actually change patterns of behavior. Sure, if people are yelling and screaming you might get them to stop for the moment by yelling negative comments at them. but that is just a band aid.

Here is one way to start seeing changes in your childs behavior and it doesnt require doctors or counseling -just parents and their kids. The idea is to reverse the thinking which on the average is about 15:1 and try to eventually reverse it. You may be thinking ” YOU ARE NUTS” but I promise you if you try the ” catch -em being good” method you will not be dissapointed. The trick is to forget about what you dont want to see. Look for the behaviors you do want to see. Take a small behavior issue like a child looking down when you speak to him. When you repeatedly ask him to look you in the eyes you get nothing. Now, lets say a week has passed, and you are talking to him, when all of the sudden he glances your way for a second. This is your chance to start turning the behavior around. You stop everything and praise the boy for making eye contact. After awhile he will look at you just for the praise. You can apply this to any type behavior, school work, whatever it may be. 15:1 positive to negatives. If you are chuckling at this, imagine if your boss started praising you 15 times a day. Wouldnt that make you likely to continue it? Of course.
Well, I have to go and clean my daughters room now. We made a deal if I did that I could watch the sports channel tonite.

tj

Addict Or Mental Health Patient? Lets Quit Playing Games. I Am Going To Keep This Real Like No Other Post, So Beware.

addict

I talk about parents and kids and pedophiles and the like on here. However when I scan through the posts I have done over the years I found it very odd that I avoided the one that has cost me the most in my life. Addiction. I worked with addicts/mental health patients ( depending on where they are treated) for many years. The difference between me and them was that I had a secret. I had grown up an ” addict”. My father laid out a case of PBR when I was 12 and from then on it got worse and worse. I was a full blown ” addict” by 16. I made it through jobs, and even did very well at them. That is called a functional alcoholic. That lasts for awhile until eventually it catches up with your ability to function.

My father , brother are both long term prisoners. My dad will die in there. My other brother shot himself in the head right after graduating UF to be a cop. It took me many people praying and many nights of wanting to die to get to the place where I am today. I have been to 30 day, and 90 day inpatient programs, 2 years of AA type meetings ( they have about a 5% success rate BTW)-
If it was not for the praying people around me and the healing that God did in my body, there is no chance I could be writing this. I am being truthful. One surgeon, after my pancreas exploded, came in my room and told me I would not live any longer due to the damage. That night an old christian friend of the family came in my room by herself, leaned over to my ear, and said ” I have a word for you- YOU SHALL LIVE AND NOT DIE”- Then she left the room. I had not seen her in months.

The next morning the same surgeon comes barging in the door to my room holding up an X-RAY to the light. He said ” I dont understand, what happened? The sickness, it is all gone!” Left that day without anything but another nudge from the Lord that He was not giving up on me. I could tell 15 more events that were nothing short of miracles too. As a matter of fact, here is a quick one. I was driving my convertible mustang down the road and doing maybe 45-50 mph. 3 blocks from my house. I blacked out and headed straight for a very big old tree and hit it head on. I remember waking up with the air bag the color of velvet, my forehead torn open, and then a voice. It was a highway patrol man. He stood back about 6 feet, looked again at the car which was totaled like an accordian, and with a soft voice asked me if I could talk. I kicked the driver door open, it was stuck, and walked right along with him telling him what happened.
This is back in the day when I was one of ” those”. I knew I had to go to the hospital.. and i knew that meant toxicology tests…I was not worried about alcohol. I had graduated to higher class type drugs.
I went to the hospital , got the 45 stitches in my face, the doctor gave the tox report to the highway patrol man and after the report, it said ” medical blackout” cause unknown. It could have read a whole lot different.
My point is, most addicts did’nt ask to be addicts any more then cancer patients ask to become cancer patients. I have been through 15 years of hating my life, and then having others tell me how I am wrecking it, like I don’t know it. Where there are many experts, there are few answers. I will be focusing on the myth of addiction in up and coming blogs. One of the reasons I went into the field of social work was to help these type of people. Little did I know I had a live it awhile before I could be any help.
Peace

tj

Big Drug Makers Spend Little On Research- But Enough On Self Promotion To Give You A Headache Disorder-

We have all heard that the drug companies are making billions by pumping out new drugs for children’s disorders and many others. Just how much research is done on the medications they promote? Not much, about 19x less then they spend on self promotion. Read on-

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/09/pharmaceutical-companies-marketing_n_1760380.html

tj

Does it matter how we “fix” kids, as long as they get “fixed” ?

Readers, here is an article written by a 19-year-old who describes his feelings about 2 different ways of bringing control and a sense of respect into one that was previously “out of control”- Read this carefully and then I will follow with my feelings, having done both with the same success rate, but with a very different looking-glass I see! Please read.

toughlove There is an age-old debate when it comes to schooling and parenting. Should we discipline children by enforcing punishment and obedience, or raise them through respect and understanding? I am about to share how one principal walks the first path, while another embraced the second. Our first principal is Dave Derpak. He took over Killarney Secondary School in Vancouver, Canada, in the summer of 2010. Vandalism, false fire alarms, locker break-ins and drug deals were common before his arrival. However, as of 2013, suspensions and absenteeism are down 30 percent, late arrivals dropped by 39 percent, the graffiti is gone and the prank fire alarms have all but stopped. Many are crediting Derpak for the betterment of the school, but how did he accomplish such a feat? In an article on The Globe and Mail.com, Derpak explained:

The students have to feel like you’re always watching. You have to play on the kids’ emotions. If you bring order to a place of chaos, my theory is, the rest will follow.”

 Each day, Derpak and his two vice-principals scoured the hallways, keeping in touch via walkie-talkies and developing code names for different parts of the school. Surveillance cameras were installed throughout the school. Derpak gained the support of students by buying sweatshirts for the girls’ hockey team and offering $500 to anybody who pointed out rule-breakers. One local school-board member commented, “He knows those kids. He knows their stories. He knows what they’re doing this weekend.”

Whether or not you agree with Derpak’s methods, let us look at our second principal, Jim Sporleder. His school, Lincoln High, was much like Killarney Secondary. In fact, one can argue it was worse. While Killarney is the largest secondary school in Vancouver, Lincoln High School is an alternative school where many of the students have come from places where they had been expelled. Gangs controlled the building, and many of the students have suffered from emotional, physical or sexual abuse. Despite these odds, Sporleder and his staff achieved an 85% drop in suspension rates, while cutting expulsions and written referrals by half. What may come as a surprise to most, is that Sporleder did not need cameras, bribery, sedatives, policemen, or SWAT team tactics. No, his methods are quite the opposite. Sporleder’s approach can be gauged through the following scenario. A student dropped the F-bomb towards a teacher and was sent to Sporleder for discipline. The kid had his defences ready for the usual, “How could you do that? What’s wrong with you?” and the boot out of school. Instead, what the teen received was kindness. “Wow. Are you OK? What’s going on? This doesn’t sound like you,” Jim Sporleder said. The teen’s calloused demeanour dropped, where he admitted his aggression stemmed from his alcoholic father’s broken promises. After he got a minor consequen(or punishment, depending on how you define the two words) befitting his menial ‘crime,’ the student apologized to his teacher on his own, without prompting from Sporleder. How often does a troubled student apologize without being forced to, and actually mean it? I believe it’s when they are helped to understand where their ce hostility stems from. “It sounds simple,” says Sporleder about his approach. “Just by asking kids what’s going on with them, they just started talking.” In the end, both principals achieved their goals. Derpak got his quiet school through fear and punishment, while Jim Sporleder got there with patience and communication. Many say that it doesn’t matter how an authority figure attains his or her goals, so long as the ends justify the means. In my opinion, the disparity between Dave Derpak and Jim Sporleder makes all the difference. One school has a totalitarian atmosphere where students feel like they’re potential criminals, while the other gives youth the trusting relationships that many of them never had. If all adults treated kids the way Sporleder does, perhaps many children wouldn’t rebel, because they would have nothing to rebel against. Unfortunately, that is not the way of our world. The words below come from one of Dave Derpak’s supporters, and they echo the sentiments held by most citizens:

“Whatever pyschobabbler invented the terms ‘self-esteem’, ‘student lead parent interviews’, ‘fuzzy math’, touchy-feely, rubrics not grades et al wouldn’t last a day in this school. Tough love does tame a blackboard jungle. It is so inspiring to see a principal willing to throw out all of the worst education fads. They must come to the realization that our young people should be disciplined in just this manner. Tough but fair. Its the only way to get a handle on the problems that were plaguing the school. Kudos to all principals who are enlightened enough to set aside all the (teacher union and school board) claptrap so these kids will stand a solid chance of landing a good education. Then they can move on to greater and better things in their lives.”

At the risk of sounding like a “pyschobabbler,” I disagree completely. Zero-tolerance is the opposite of fairness and no study has shown that a “might makes right” approach improves education. “Tough love” is for those who choose punishment over discipline because they’re too lazy or ignorant to explain anything. If all schools were run on empathy, kids might actually want to attend classes. Until then, I wish for schools worldwide to practice Sporleder’s approach, if only for a month. Luke Dang, 19, was expelled from school when he was 14. He now spends his time writing about youth rights, teenage depression, and compulsory schooling. He works at EQI.org

So there it is, straight from the mouth of a 19-year-old.

The two sides of how two men run their shows when it comes to alternative schooling. First off  does it even matter what a teenager thinks? I think it not only matters, but is really the answer we all have been searching for, if I am correct. We want to unveil the secrets of how these kids think, yet they are typically the last ones we consult! Ok now on to the article at hand.

I like to keep my responses or writings in general on point and stay on track , and I will attempt to do so here. First off I think that results in these 2 scenarios are useless. If we are looking to find the man who can get the human to perform the way we want for the duration of high school, then in my opinion it is a pointless goal. I always went into every situation as if I was going to change a life. I always did. I am not proud of this fact though because in my early years I was the potter and kids were my clay. I got them molded into my way of looking , acting, talking, or whatever the goal was and many times under my conditions, under my guidelines and with privileges tied to my strings I was successful.

I tried very hard and meant well, but failed to keep in mind the “rest of the world” that the kids would be facing when I was not pulling the strings, and the mean world, that does not have a pill and a counselor that pop out on every corner. The result was that the kids would leave my foster home or alternative school or program with a solid foundation of social skills and maybe even a sense of right and wrong to some extent. However in some situations they faced down the road of life, they got slapped very hard by the brutal reality of a cruel and apathetic world, which they were protected from to some extent.

Some ended up looking around for a counselor or person to guide them on their every move. The clinical aspect of some projects I was involved in was almost enshrined and given a position that made it almost impossible for the kids to function without in the real world without. No question that either way, all of the kids any of us served ended up with something they probably did not have when they came. They often came from the streets, gangs, broken homes, all of the above or whatever. Any skill set or tools they could attain would put them one step ahead of the kids they were around before.

However now I have had years to look back, and even still talk to some of the kids who lived in my group home 20 years ago.  I strongly feel a good service was done to them by pulling them out of abusive or abandoned situations. I never question that teaching them extensively how to use and understand social skills like Following Instructions . There are patterns that I see in my next 20 years of working with at risk children and their families, that evolved into more clearly directed and reality based thinking. Patterns that I learned and applied on the run as I found my way around the social worker and counselor’s pathway in the field of mental health. Many and dare I even say most of my most productive lessons that have produced fruit over the years came from a teenager I worked with. I am not discouraging higher education by any means, but as a parent and having lived more than half of my life in the mental health circles I must say my heart bleeds now a little thicker  that I have watched my own family suffer, and lived in the same places that some of the teens I worked with lived. I have known the pains of suicide in a family, and have shared in the terrible dark place of addiction with many people I love. Things change.

How this relates to the article about the two administrators is that since I have been also in the identical place they are, with the same challenges they have, I see from a unique perspective. I learn things everyday, and I do not think anyone has all of the answers. I do however firmly believe that just as I may be but a student in one field, I also may have become an “expert” in another. By expert, if you are checking my article for typos I think you may be on a different page than some of us are. I aim to please nobody, but to serve everyone in some small way and my idea of an expert is simply someone I know that has the truth about a certain situation.

This brings me a step closer to the main point and my take on the two schools. I have learned something very powerful in this world. You become much like those you spend time with. You lower the morality bar when needed, and raise it high and proud when called for, but to those we desire to be around, we will become almost anybody! The hard lesson I have learned by this truth  surfaced when I came to realize I was a pleaser. After spending a few years in shock about that, I came around to gain a valuable tool. I learned that I needed to find people who I liked and admired, and try to get as much time with them as I could! Then I might become one of them.

A person who had abandoned the temporary security of a job, or money, or pleasing all of the people all of the time, and embraced the idea of being who you are, learning all that you could learn from the people who had conquered the challenges I faced. Using the gifts you were given not the ones you wished you had. You see, jobs come and go, people come and go, money comes and goes, but the truth will always be truth. Going to bed with a clear mind and a content heart also beats laying down worrying how to be someone you are not, and how to please all the people. In some way, this all leads back to another topic, maybe not discussed as much, perhaps much more important though. That subject, is motives. Motives tell everything and leave nothing uncovered. They are the success of some and the doom for others.

This article was written by a 19-year-old. I have never met him but can safely assume from his age bracket alone that he will probably be likely to stand up for what he thinks is right and wrong. I remember when my boys were young, around 5 or 6 years old. They were so very impressionable. So trusting. If I said that the sun would leap over the giant giraffe at the zoo that night, the look in their eyes was never one of doubt, never debating in their mind as to whether I was lying or not. They trusted me. They would ask me questions like “will it hurt the giraffe?” and things that showed me they had no doubt in my word. It was good.

The other day I was talking to my youngest son Jesse about a bull riding competition he was getting ready for. For you with dropping jaws right now, the answer is yes I do let him  ride 1500 and 1800lb bulls to see how long until he gets bucked off or until he rides it out the full 8 seconds. When people ask me the”how could you let him question” on a Friday night, I usually respond with a “where is Johnny tonite” and we change topics. They do not always know where their children are, but they think I am nuts for having mine on dirt bikes at 4&6 and now bulls.

I rarely let it get to me, but if for even a milli- second I doubted myself for supporting him since age 10 doing this, one glance over at his eyes and I am fine. He is so memorized by those animals, so focused on getting the biggest baddest and meanest bull and riding it out. I know that he truly loves what he is doing. Because he loves it, he studies those that are older than him, that ride for the big buckles and in the big arenas. He has studied the safety and risk, the benefits and potential problems, and then over years, he has now decided to pursue it as a career (with a plan B of course) and a dream to chase. Jesse and I have ongoing joke about something that happened when he was about 10. For a long time, maybe two years or so, his brother Micah and I would be out at the store (usually somewhere Jesse wanted to go) and when we got to the check out counter and Jesse and Micah would put their items on the counter and then like clockwork there it was, that “look.” It was a certain type of innocent look that for almost 2 years Micah and I had fallen for since we were usually in a hurry. After the frozen look followed a light surprised “I lost it” and many frantic hand pats to check his pockets….”I lost my money!”

That was followed by a quick check of time and a “I got it Jess, just get in the truck” by me, and a head nod by his older brother. After 2 years or so, when Jesse was around 10, we had heard every possible excuse about where his money suddenly went, every story about how he would pay us back when we got in the car, because he was sure he left it there LOL! We let Jesse con us out of buying little 3-4 dollar items for a long time now, but this time was different. Looking back I do recall that 10 is right about when he met his first few cowboys and started going to rodeos, so it could have been that. Whatever it was this time was different and we all knew it. Jesse had his cowboy boots on and instead of delaying our trip by doing a 5 minute drama clip, he said nothing. He quietly walked to the register in front of us, put  down his items, pulled out his chain wallet (cowboy style) and paid the lady quickly and waited for us.

As we walked out into the parking lot, I ribbed him a little about finding his wallet, and he smiled but didn’t say much. We all just knew it, Jesse was growin up and there was not much more to it. From that time on he has never pulled the wallet trick. And I have seen many of those transitional moments where something important took place but you are not sure what! I allowed Jesse to do that for a long time with the wallet thing. I knew that I had already taught him what was right and wrong, and some would say I should have stopped it long before. I did not want to force his honesty. I was not on a power trip or an authority ride either. I was just a dad waiting to see if any of what I had sown in to the boy was going to bear fruit on its own or would I have to force the truth out of him. I was never the perfect dad, but an honest one. When I made mistakes, big or small I would come clean and do what I could to correct my wrong. I think my boys respected that. There was always a line, don’t get me wrong. Jesse and Micah did their fair share of testing my lines! However I have usually found that at the end of the day I am happy-that I let them make their own choices. Sure it was freedom within limits, and there were always things that were deal breakers no matter what the excuse. It was just nice to know that Jesse knew what was right, and at the right time, his true motives had to come out and that attempt at testing me had to go. Had I not let him have it his way for a while he would have never experienced the feeling everyone gets when they know they are not doing the right thing, but continue anyhow. Sometimes it is better to tell the truth and even if you end up on the wrong side of the story, people will usually respect you more for it. It also makes you human, shows that you are vulnerable , life can be tough, and even your messes can turn into messages for young kids and your failed efforts may be what a struggling teenager needs to hear at the moment in order to keep on trucking in their own situation.

In this situation as I see it, we have a thirst for power needing to be quenched no matter the cost to the child on the one side. I have said it once and maybe 1000 times if ever once, loved people love people and hurt people hurt people. You do not need to be Columbo to figure out why some people are doing the things they are. We all know about the high school football coach still working through some high school issues, acting all tough and making threats every time he can. We have all seen examples of what verbal or physical abuse does to people.Throughout my career and my life in general, I have become pretty good at identifying why people do what they do. I have met police officers who would give their lives to save another life, and I have met officers who could not wait for the moment to exercise their right to pull a gun on someone or thow them in jail. I have met the same nasty motives in every kind of person of any profession. I have seen the purest of motives very clearly, through the humility in a persons daily routine.

So if you ask me do I believe in discipline, I would prefer consequences that are natural and logical. If you ask if medicine is ok I would say if the child needs it. How about the psychobabble mentioned earlier? Well I think it is hard for a 25-year-old with no kids to advise on anything to do with  children , but sometimes a good long walk with a person who has faced similar challenges as you and beat them might be even better. What about the violent gang kids and all, they just need a good old-fashioned  whoopin, right? Probably not, but it might make the adult feel better to see it!

One time, on a project I was working on in Central Florida, I had just hired and trained a staff of about 30 teachers, 10 therapists, 10 assistants, and maybe 10 others to work with the most “violent and aggressive” teens in the state I was told. After a stack of files a few feet thick  full of labels and diagnoses as well offenses each child had committed was placed on the conference table, I was asked by one of the highest ranking officials in the state if I could have them all read before week’s end. I glanced up at the man, and said ” I prefer not to read these unless I have to sir. He leaned over the table and whispered to me, ” these are not children here for telling lies, I would strongly recommend you become familiar with their behavioral patterns.” I said “thank you sir but I prefer they get to know mine”.

I will spare you the details, but I had just taken on the biggest challenge of my career, written a specific behavioral program based on reinforcing the positive,  where students could earn the right to see the principal by being good, not by being bad. I had just convinced all 45 staff that we would be using mostly positive comments to the students  about 10 positive to each 1 negative and also we would treat each child with the utmost respect. I had just finished a comprehensive motivation system that went against every one I had seen, it commanded respect for students while asking staff to keep all comments positive. I wrote in the program different levels of positive behavior that could EARN the kids a lunch with the principal! People thought I was nuts. As a matter of fact I had myself evaluated before implementing this! LOL!

I had a hunch. Just a hunch, that if we showed true respect and trust in these kids, and modeled for them the skill expectations, and rewarded them if they did so by getting some one on one time with me or other staff, we would see change and quick. I believed based on my experience that kids wanted the attention of any adult so badly that they would do very bad things to get a little time with anyone for a variety of reasons. On the day of orientation, my staff all stood in the corner while the six-foot something 10th graders walked by! I had to remind them that they were in charge here. It was great fun though it was a test for many, myself included. Just a hunch, I had just a hunch but I believed in it so much that it became something tangible to me and then to others. Could we take the kids, expelled from public schools, expelled then from day programs, some that we saw on the news every now and again, and make them respect us? Only if we showed them how respect tasted.

A 16-year-old boy came in (most came to orientation without parents) and he was scarred up, ink all over, and I decided to show him around. Half way through the tour, he saw pictures and plants and a well waxed floor, but no time out or restraining rooms. He asked me where all those places were. I told him that we do not have them here because we do not use them here. He stopped in his tracks as the idea sunk in then began to walk with me again, and said one sentence “Oh, so we just can’t act out here” If I yelled any louder I would have scared the boy to death! I was yelling, and telling and calling for my staff to hear what this boy just said! He got it ! He understood! The expectation was there, and it was met with a casual but amazingly powerful response!Next I wanted to really make the kids wonder. Next we showed them a nice large computer lab. Plenty for all to use, but that was not what they were thinking on that first night at orientation. The very last thing they expected for kids with their history was for anyone to trust them with anything again. We took them by surprise and assigned a computer to each one. It was a silent moment with a room full of teenagers who could not figure this out. It was easy for me, and a great investment in their lives. Maybe a chance for them to witness unconditional love, trust and respect at a time when they deserved it the very least. Have you ever felt that from anyone that you have let down? It’s an awesome feeling, a second chance on the 81st try, a new light in the dark tunnel of life. That night, on the first interaction between staff and student, I watched and breathed a sigh of relief. It was going to work. I was going to get to witness a little magic and the only price we would have to pay was giving some respect to those who did not feel they deserved it, and some trust to those who thought they had lost all rights to being trusted years ago.

Just respect and trust. It came down to those two critical components to make a huge group of failures begin to feel like winners. The kids who were so very disrespectful all the years before, were now being treated as if it all never happened.

We had 90 kids and about 85% success rate. The school district superintendent called us Stonehenge, he did not understand how it worked, but saw that it did. I was even nominated for school district administrator of the year my first year! Kids were returning to their schools using words like “yes sir” and “thank you”. Amazing job my staff did and those kids did as well. It took everyone but it worked.  A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Even if you have 50 links, they have to all give what they can.

Shortly after our first year I noticed the company I worked with to do this project was asking lots of questions about what we did, and suddenly wanted my written plan and numbers of students transitioning back to their zoned schools and all these details. I did not mind that part, but there was something missing. They were not happy for the kids, and the way they had turned themselves around. As a matter of fact they seemed disturbed.

It was just a few days later when I became disturbed. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew what I was doing was right. The district was all over it, nothing but rave reviews from parents and everyone. Everyone, except the people in south Florida in the accounting department. They were losing money to the tune of 18 thousand dollars per year for each child we sent back to their zoned school. You know I was going to finish that story, but just cannot let what was a very sweet victory for those kids go out on a downer here. The point I really need to emphasize here, is that it is possible to take the kids with the worst background on paper you may have ever seen, and using a few simple tools begin to give them new hope.

It has been done and will be done over and over again, providing that every staff member is on board with the theory. That the staff know it may mean total humiliation on their part to make a point to a hardened heart. It would mean even if they did not understand the vision, they trusted the leader. Staff that could get to watch miracles happen, so long as they were ok with getting their “hands dirty”so to speak. When it comes right down to it, we end up back at motives again.

People in the human services profession in general should never choose that option if there may be an issue with why they are doing the job. Policeman, teachers, therapists, and many other positions of authority are unusually affected if they have impure motives. The teachers that steal a child’s trust away by committing an inappropriate act, the policeman who has power/ego problems. They are everywhere. In every profession there are the true and the counterfeit. Try to find the ones who make it obvious they will do whatever it takes to change a life. Look for the ones with the glimmer in their eye when you even talk about what good may come out of this. Identify the rare trait of humility, the guys who do not have an ” I love me wall” in their office. Humility can easily copied, but never duplicated. The less people talk about themselves the more I want to know. If people are too busy patting themselves on the shoulder, what makes you think they will make time for you to have the one left? I do not really know the two men that are running these 2 schools. I have never met them. I would be interested in seeing some of the fruit of their labors. More importantly, and my final answer, is that there is respect and trust shown, and that lives are being changed. Lives, not temporary behavioral modifications. Thats not hard at all. What trumps all other victories, is when you see that the child you have invested in is now investing that into someone else. if you have a goal to “get them through” high school, I think its unfair to the student. If you have a goal to teach them life skills and how to use them in everyday living, then you can actually begin to teach kids. After all, that is why we came, is it not? To teach things? Teach the unteachable to learn, 

and teach him to give and you will have invested in a life. Help a student learn to take orders to get through a certain period in their life is not building a foundation for them. It is just a way of passing time. I still talk to many of the kids who were teens when I met them and it is always the greatest compliment when someone says that something I did changed their life. I do not hear it often, but I never forget when I do. We all make mistakes along the journey. Never let fear stop you from trying something that may turn out very good for others…after all, you would never really know unless you gave it a shot, would you?

If I had to pick based on the little I know of these two schools, I would say No to the power team, and a maybe to the other. If I were to guess who had the appropriate motives, I would say the school who has the therapist on every corner. That may come back to bite when the child hits the real world, but it seems like the hearts are good. What I would really need to know who is going to succeed on either side, is to see what both schools have incorporated into the lives of the kids AFTER they are out of school. What stays and pays dividends? You ask me, I say respect and trust must be given to be earned with these kids. I think given the right scenario anyone can change a life for 3-4 years. How many can change one forever during the 3-4 years? I want to see those kids paying for their stuff at the store because it is the right thing to do, not because they had to when at a certain school. My Jesse, and thousands of other kids I have been worked around did it! They were taught how, given the trust to know when to make a change, and made the change on their own. I hope other kids get that same chance in their educational career. Loved people love people. Hurt people should not be running children’s lives. Just my two cents.

 

Is my DSM mental health diagnoses correct? How do I know? I don’t feel Bi-Polar!

Well. I said it was coming and the plane has landed on this topic. I like to keep my posts easy to read and filled with information, yet brief enough that you can take the time to read them. My best shot here at doing this. Asking the question “is my diagnoses accurate” is really not one that can be answered by anyone.

If you ask ” do my symptoms seem to meet the criteria for a diagnoses of depression” for example, it is much easier to answer. Everyone experiences periods of depression at some point in their lifetime. Usually a medical professional will call this “situational depression”. If the symptoms last longer than a certain period of time, you may be bumped up to a new level of depression, such as Major Depressive disorder, or Depression not specified, which is also known as NOS. Not otherwise specified. So say you have a loved one die, and you are slightly depressed. That is normal. However, after a few weeks you begin to drink a little nip throughout the day to get you by. The next few weeks are even worse, so you see a psychiatrist. You tell him you have been feeling depressed for a month or more, and leave out the drinking part. You are now just a few questions away from a major depression diagnoses! The doctor may ask you if you ever have mood swings. Maybe next a quicky about if anyone in the family has suffered from depression. Family history plays a part in diagnosing too! You answer “well, uncle Jim is a big drinker and gets depressed all the time, but the rest of us are good.” Then a few more questions and suddenly you are leaving with prescription for an anti-depressant in hand, and a label to go with it. You are now “suffering” from major depressive disorder.

How can that be, you ask? Simple, it is all in the bible of mental health, the DSM-V which is the latest edition. Recently, some diagnoses were removed under the Autism spectrum, not because they do not exist, but the cost to treat the child or adult was too much. So, they take it out of the DSM and POOF! The diagnoses is not valid anymore and the benefits go away. The DSM is a book with a list of diagnoses and the criteria needed to meet those diagnoses. Many people could easily meet criteria for some type of psychosis, as we have all had our moments.

However, when I was collecting information with a psychiatrist for years helping to rule out, or issue a diagnoses, I noticed something unsettling. Many times after I screened a client and either found that they met criteria for a diagnoses, such as AD/HD, I realized that the information I received from the parent was often verbatim of at least 10 symptoms which must be present out of the 13 needed to be diagnosed with AD/HD. They knew what to say to meet criteria since they did their homework! When a child has a “disability” many places will issue a check to the guardian each month for the “disability”. I once had a mother tell me that she had 3 small boys and got them all diagnosed with something, and made more money than she ever could working for a living!

There is also the huge problem of living up to the label, which we often see in public everyday. People are told they have ” anger control” problems, so what do they do? They live up to the expectation! They have a good excuse. Now let me be clear,there are people who have uncontrollable behaviors that need medication and 1 on 1 monitoring all the time. These are not the ones I refer to. There will be more detail on the DSM-V and the power it gives a mental health professional in coming posts. Right now, think about how you, or someone you know was diagnosed with whatever disorder they have. Do they act any different since they were told about their new-found disorder? People tend to believe what they are told!

People do not often dispute anything they are told when it comes to mental health issues, unless they have a background in it, just like any other profession. For example-

I posted a statistic yesterday about what percentage of information we believe and how we adopt information from what other people say. Specific numbers. I made it all up. I did not get one bit of feedback or a comment disputing my numbers. I will not do that again, but it needs to be shown how vulnerable we are sometimes.

Please leave any comments or questions you may have, and do contact me personally for help in whatever situation you are in. I am a trained Social Worker with 25 years in the field, working with all ages, and disabilities. I can help you for an hour, for a month, or support you through an even longer period if needed.

Please view my link at http://www.gofundme.com/hiptim

 

How to deal with my out of control child?

As I have mentioned, Don’t Label My kid is not just a phrase. It is a way of thinking, a way that every parent should be thinking as they speak to their child, and as they consider seeking medical help. Here is an article with some suggestions on dealing with children at home. It is fairly comprehensive, and authored by a well educated woman, who has experience working with children. See what you agree or disagree with and please post a comment on your thoughts. I will not always be posting information that is 100% in agreement with the Don’t Label My Kid concept. The idea is for you to find out what really works… I think my concept works with many other theories, but not all. You be the judge…

http://www.kidpower.org/library/article/7-strategies-for-managing-aggressive-behavior-in-young-children/

To get me involved in your personal situation, its easy. Just click on the following link;

http://www.gofundme.com/HipTim

 

 

How does the doctor determine my child’s diagnoses? Autism is a great example…here is some truth that may be disturbing to parents of autistic kids.

Did you know that how and whether your child gets diagnoses with a disorder is based in part on money? Here is an excellent article about the way that autism may be “discarded” in some aspects from the DSM-V! The diagnoses itself may remain, but the spectrum is adjusted as to who meets the “new” criteria. Sadly, the reason for the cuts are due to the cost of caring for those with the diagnoses….so how will they get care?

http://vactruth.com/2013/03/09/changes-to-autism-diagnosis/

This is an excellent example of what goes on behind the scenes in the mental health field. The average person will accept a doctor’s diagnoses of ODD, AD/HD, ADD, BI-Polar, Anxiety, or any other label chosen for your child. However, the grounds for the diagnoses can be solely based on what money is available to fund coverage by the government for that label..confused yet? That is alright, most parents of kids with behavioral issues, or parents who ask questions like ” Is my child ADD or AD/HD” or” does my child need medicine for hyperactivity” have no idea what to do other than maybe see a doctor, who will make his or her decision on what their “bible” tells them. The DSM-V is the guide for making any diagnoses by a mental health professional. When you look at the criteria of most disorders, almost any child or adult can be fit into just about any one. For example, I once took the criteria listed to meet Major Depressive disorder, and made them into questions on a pamphlet. I then asked my staff at the time, of 50 teachers, therapists, and nurses to answer the questions but not put their name down. When I analyzed the data, about 85% met full criteria for the diagnoses of Major Depressive disorder…

If you think you may need some help figuring out what to do in your situation, I am available for as little as an hour of consultation, or months of help to see you through this very cloudy path. You deserve an honest answer, not a label to fund big drug companies who in turn may help doctors diagnose more people with certain labels, regardless of whether it applies in your case. Contact me for help.

http://www.gofundme.com/HipTim