Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Misguided Angel

I don't often give alive, mostly because it never works.  But I will offer this up anyway, just because  there are some things I have learned.

If you are a parent, grandparent, close friend, teacher, or other important person in the life of a young woman between 12 and 19, and you see that she is  becoming overly attached to "bad boys," then do whatever you can to get her away from him, and then find out why she does this to herself.

Now, this won't be easy. There is no more unquestioned, loyal, unexplained ridiculous love that that of a fifteen year old girl-- remember the original Juliet?  And fifteen year old girls never listen to their mother, especially mothers who have done the same thing.

Yet, you will save this woman, and everyone in her family many years of aggravation and heartache  if you can pry her away.

Tell her if she wantss to be a savior and a social worker she will be underpaid enough.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Yes, Hope for the New Year!

It is a new year.  We are about half way through the first month.  It's been OK so, far; good for me.  I have just completed a weekend of hosting a young woman who is fifteen months old, and then all of us went to visit another who is a very mature twenty-five month old little girl.  They seem to like each other.  They also like to run, chase, dance, jump and be silly. Now that I have finally recovered from my cold and ensuing cough I can fully enjoy their company.

While my practice is very busy the foundation upon which it is based is crumbling. It's going to be a bad year for many psychotherapists. Despite all the attention that is being suddenly paid to mental health problem, due to the rash of irrational killings, the attention is not tied to any resources, just rhetoric.  For reasons that remain obscure, this year we are now supposed to limit, and monitor, the number of minutes we spend in a psychotherapy session.  Suddenly we are supposed to average 45 minutes instead of 50 to 60.  I guess we can do what we want, but we will get paid less.

To me, it hardly matters, as I am not going to put in the time to fight the American Medical Association, United Health Care, Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the other corporate deciders who have never actually attempted to deal with a person who is stressed, depressed, or in the middle of a panic attack -- not to mention  attempt to smooth out the life of someone who has been raped, molested by their step-father, grew-up with a schizophrenic or drag addicted mother, or lost three of the five members of their family in a fire when they were eight.

It gets a bit discouraging to be expected to work hard, confront vast, complex individual and societal problems, and be told that we shouldn't really expect to get a living wage for that, and that in order to get what they will give us we have to keep better records, become more efficient, justify how we work, and document that we are following protocols that may or may not be relevant, and accept less money. So, if your therapist seems a bit stress, cut him/her some slack.

The prevailing American culture still makes it clear that money is still more important than actual people. I doubt that many of those decision makers spent the weekend playing run, chase, dance, jump and being silly. They were worried about the cost.

Too bad for them.