Self Concept Model of Substance Abuse Treatment

Man looks depressed with empty beer bottles
Daryl Bem’s view of how one sees the self, Self-Perception Theory, is defined as: we are what we repeatedly do. That is, you only know how to define yourself by the things you have observed yourself doing. If you do something frequently, you must enjoy that thing, or you would be doing another thing.

Leon Festinger’s view of how one sees the self, Continue reading “Self Concept Model of Substance Abuse Treatment”

Talk About Mental Health

0MH
by Beatrice the Biologist

For hundreds of years, mental health has long been talked about in hushed tones.

Is it any wonder, when we started out treating it as possession by evil spirits? Ancient skulls have been found with holes knocked in them to let out the demons. If this was the method of treatment, I’d keep any abnormal thoughts to myself, too, to avoid having to “get better” that way. Continue reading “Talk About Mental Health”

Your Power Song

picjumbo.com_HNCK8495Symbols are powerful instruments used by the brain to store larger clusters of data. Hypnotherapists frequently use symbols to embed commands and anchor to positive emotions. Symbols can be visual or auditory, or even based in touch.

Music is an auditory form of a symbol. Music can evoke Continue reading “Your Power Song”

Mastermind Groups

picjumbo.com_HNCK2146If you do not already have one, I highly recommend starting a Mastermind Group for you and your colleagues.

What is it? A group of people with similar careers meet on a scheduled basis to discuss their progress, growth, share resources, and assist one another.

What’s the benefit? Everyone is better at Continue reading “Mastermind Groups”

No OCD Diagnosis During a Pandemic

Conversation With A  Psychologist

This may become an unpopular opinion, but it is my informed clinical opinion: We mental health professionals should not be diagnosing germ-based OCD now, and for the next year or so.

When making a diagnosis, mental health professionals need to consider the lasting impact of that diagnosis on the client’s medical record, current and future treatment, and their ability to handle knowing their diagnosis. Telling a client that they have OCD as related to germs, illness, or fears thereof during a pandemic dismisses their legitimate fears.

There is an overabundance of news to take in by traditional and social media, many of whose statements are at odds with one another. It can be difficult to know how to feel informed and confusion can reign when finding trusted sources. 

This is an unprecedented time. There is no rule for diagnosing during a pandemic because, thankfully, we have not had one in recent memory that lasted so long or had such far-reaching and significant effects. 

Exceptions: If the problem was in existence before the pandemic by several months, and client is certain that it was in place, but it is exacerbated by the pandemic, I might diagnose OCD. If the problem is not related to germs or illness, I would diagnose OCD.

Once the pandemic is over, as things become “the new normal”, continue to monitor the client. Ask how they are easing back into routine. Anxiety, trauma, depression, or obsessive thoughts may cause them to be slower to reintegrate. Ask if the compulsions are similar or have abated at all. OCD is a big diagnosis and I would not want a client saddled with something so heavy if it were situationally appropriate, even if it was out of proportion. 

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

Always Communicate

Yellow tulips on a dark background
Bouquet of yellow tulips on a dark background

It’s cliche because it’s true; communication is key in any relationship. My relationship is no exception. Here’s an excerpt from my real life:

Some friends were coming into town on Friday night for our mutual friend’s birthday party the next day. I suggested to my husband that they might want to get together for a late dinner. I couldn’t attend because I was getting over being sick and needed the extra rest. He said that sounded good. I told him “It’ll take an effort on your part,” meaning he needed to call them to arrange plans.

Husband said “I feel guilty tripped, now. Like I have to call them and go out.”

I said “That’s not how I meant to come across. I wanted to make you aware of an opportunity, in case you choose to make plans. Help me; how would you have liked to have heard that so it didn’t sound like guilt or obligation?”

Husband replied “Maybe if you’d have explained it as an option, or not used the phrase ‘an effort’, because you’ve said that I need to ‘make an effort’ before when I wasn’t seeing our friends.”

I responded “That makes sense to me. Sorry that I made you feel guilty. They’re your friends, too. I’m stuck home, but call them if you want, or you’ll see them tomorrow.”

He did call and they went out. And we all hung out the next day. But there was no animosity, no hurt feelings, no lingering guilt or anger because we discussed it in the moment like rational adults.

What is an example of a time you communicated your feelings and were heard in a positive way? Or is this a skill you’re just learning?

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter, and Facebook. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

Exposure Therapy is Harming Our Vets

0vetThis post is intentionally controversial. Rather, this post asserts my position firmly and you’re welcome to disagree with me.

A 2013 episode of 60 Minutes discussed treatments being used to treat trauma (PTSD) in veterans. I am disgusted at re-traumatization as a “cure.” If you were raped, would you want to relive rape until you were desensitized or would you rather an alternative that worked faster and involved none of that painful reliving? Continue reading “Exposure Therapy is Harming Our Vets”

Good Kids; Yes, Even Yours

0Bubble_Wrap_Your_Kid_Cover_for_KindleAvoid arguments with your child and encourage compliance by scaling the number of choices down by the age and stage of your child. For children under 10, 2 options will be sufficient. Lay out tomorrow’s clothes and ask, “Would you rather wear the brown pants or the green ones?” As your child ages, so do the decisions. “Would you rather have the Spiderman backpack or the Dora one?”

Set a pattern for narrowing things down to 2 choices and choosing between them. This helps to avoid arguments Continue reading “Good Kids; Yes, Even Yours”