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Author: Laura Russell, PhD

Mental Health Requires A Strong And Safe Community

Picture me at my desk, working on these pages. Tomorrow is the second anniversary of my husband’s death from cancer. Continuing on this personal note, I have Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. This means that any positive or negative excitement results in physical pain somewhere in my body the next day. Yesterday was July 4, 2000, American Independence Day. To celebrate, many of my neighbors set off fireworks. Some sounded like bombs creating noise pollution. All created air pollution. Most startled and frightened me. All startled and frightened my dog and two cats, creating chaos in my...

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Solving The Puzzle: Finding Help

Clara was upset. She’d been seeing the same therapist for three years and didn’t feel like she was getting any better. Furthermore, she didn’t feel respected or as if her counselor believed in her. Clara suspected he had decided that she was incurable. She thought he wasn’t listening to her, and occasionally suspected her doctor of falling asleep when she was talking. She felt wrong, bewildered, and misunderstood. She began to get angry at spending all the money. Worst of all, the therapist had begun to give her advice, insisting she follow it. She felt blamed and judged when she reported that his advice didn’t work. Clara joined a self-help group to deal with her addictions even though her counselor recommended against it. She simply couldn’t understand his point of view on this. After she had actively participated in her self-help group for a while, she began to question the quality of the psychological services she had been receiving. Clara decided to stop going to that counselor after a conversation with some people she trusted in her group. Finding the help you need is similar to putting the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together. Whether your need is for yourself, your children, spouse, or entire family, your task is to find the therapist who can best help you. While there is excellent therapy available, there is also poor and...

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