Frequently Asked Questions:
Where do I find therapy?
Different kinds of therapy are more effective based on the nature of the mental health condition, symptoms, and each unique person. For example: Although I have a general license to practice mental health counseling in the state of Washington, I also have a specialization in children’s mental health. However, in addition to focusing part of my practice on children, I also have years of experience in treating depression and anxiety in adults. My practice also consists of vocational counseling and training as well as parental training. My other experiences include interventions in business settings to help organizations become more effective.
Why do I need to find help early if I am noticing changes in myself or others?
Early identification and treatment is of vital importance. Recovery is accelerated and further harm is reduced when treatment and recovery supports that are effective are implemented.
What options for counseling are available?
Just as there are different types of medications for physical illness, different counseling treatment options work for individuals with mental illness. Because treatment works differently for different people, it is important to find what works best for you. If you are seeking help for your child, look for a "Children's Mental Health Specialist", if possible. The reason for this is that specialists have years of extra training, education, and experience with children before they are granted this credential.
What should I do if I am concerned about mental, behavioral, or emotional changes I see in my child?
As a first step you might want to talk to your child’s doctor. Ask questions and learn everything you can about the behavior or symptoms that worry you. If your child is in school, ask the teacher if your child has been showing any changes in behavior. Share this with your child’s doctor. However, keep in mind that every child is unique and quite different. Even normal development, such as when children develop language, motor, and social skills, varies from child to child. Ask if your child needs further evaluation by a specialist with experience in child behavioral problems. Specialists may include psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, and behavioral therapists. I am a children's mental health behavioral specialist and I would be glad to help. I can help by enlisting the help of the educators of your child and we may also evaluate your child with you and your child's permission. If you take your child to a specialist, such as myself, ask, “Do you have experience treating the problems I see in my child?” Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Continue to learn everything you can. The more you learn, the more you will be able to understand the behaviors you are seeing in your child. The knowledge you acquire will help you work with your child’s doctor, teachers, and specialists to make decisions that feel right for you, your child, and everyone involved.
Where can I go to find a support group?
Many people find a support group helpful in their recovery. There are a variety of organizations that offer support groups for clients, their family members and friends. Some support groups are peer-led, while others may be led by a mental health professional. To find a group in your area, you may want to do an internet search. For instance for grief and bereavement, type in grief support group. You may also wish to ask a minister or your doctor. In addition, you are always welcome to call me at 509-366-6097. Often, I will advise a peer support group in addition to our private therapeutic sessions.
Can people stabilize depression simply with medication alone?
Medications can often aid in the treatment of depression However, it is unlikely that taking medication as the only form of treatment will be effective in "getting over" or stabilizing one's mental well being. Professionals generally recommend therapy and medication to manage depression most effectively. This is the best practice for recovery.
If you suffer from severe depression, you, or others around you may put pressure on you to just "get over it." and return to an active life again, but like other mental health diagnoses, it takes therapy and sometimes medication to stabilize your feelings and your life.
What is NAMI and how do I find a local chapter?
"NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons living with serious mental illness and their families. NAMI is represented in every state and in over 1100 local communities across the country. NAMI achieves its mission of eradicating mental illnesses and improving the quality of life of all whose lives are affected by these diseases through advocacy, research, support, and education.
Contact the NAMI National HelpLine at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-950-6264 for a chapter near you, or for volunteer opportunities or more information about the organization."
Sources used to answer these questions: NAMI, www.thekimfoundation.org, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)