Therapy

What Causes Addiction?

What Causes Addiction?

Contrary to popular belief, while personal efforts can contribute to one’s attendance to appointments, groups, and to one taking medications as prescribed, addiction or substance use disorders are caused by a combination of bio-psycho-social and cultural factors, and the treatment also requires the same multidimensional approach. As clinicians, it is our role and duty to follow this framework in our assessment, treatment, and approach with our patients and clients, and especially in how we communicate with them and talk about them and about addiction, as a whole.

Steps to Integrate Substance Use Treatment and Mental Health Services

Steps to Integrate Substance Use Treatment and Mental Health Services

Split treatment remains a challenge and has been shown to be detrimental to our patients and clients. This becomes more significant when it involves a patient population with several comorbidities. Patients with both mental health and substance use treatment needs are particularly vulnerable to split treatment, and integrating substance use treatment and mental health services is not only advised but also essential if we are to make meaningful changes.

New Strategies to Working with Individuals with Substance Use Disorder: 5 Benefits

New Strategies to Working with Individuals with Substance Use Disorder: 5 Benefits

You may be failing to provide the right care to your patients and clients with substance use disorder. You may also be using your counter transference and biases to their detriment, unknowingly and unintentionally. Learning the new strategies to working with individuals with substance use disorder will help you avoid falling into this trap. It will also help you promote and practice integrated substance use treatment and mental health care; improve your awareness and advocacy skills on behalf of your patients and clients with substance use disorders; and become a passionate educator to help decrease stigma against substance use disorders.

Clinician Burnout: Does The System Really Care?

Clinician Burnout: Does The System Really Care?

The system has its role to play. It needs to empower clinicians and advocates, patients and clients, if there are interests in decreasing staff turnover and restoring trust. If burnout is to be addressed and prevented and self-care promoted, we all have to work together. And, these efforts must be supported by the system, if we are to reach our goals and continue working effectively and with the passion with which we came into this field.

Basic Integrated Care Skills for Non-Medical Staff: Likelihood of Death

Basic Integrated Care Skills for Non-Medical Staff: Likelihood of Death

Kate looked at Roger and said: “I am feeling more and more empowered each day. Peter is opening up to me.  However, he keeps talking about dying and about his non-stop cough.  How do I best support him?”

Many of the same principles required for supporting someone going through pain and loss can also be applied to assisting someone who is battling a terminal illness.  

De-escalation skills: 6 Reasons Why

De-escalation skills: 6 Reasons Why

“I went to look for help, and now I am going to jail. What do I need to live for?” Matthew said in anger to the medical student conducting the initial interview. Two days later, he was found tying the bed sheet around his neck. His roommate arrived soon enough, and he was placed on “one-to-one” monitoring for suicide watch. After discharge, Matthew found himself in jail, waiting for trial. Three days later, he was found once again, with his bed sheet around his neck, this time, unconscious.

Symptom Contextualization: 2 Reasons Why

Symptom Contextualization: 2 Reasons Why

“I used to just equate hearing voices with schizophrenia,” said Clara, a clinician employed at the Hope Center. “Now, I know how naive of me that was. I walked in the room expecting it to be psychosis related to schizophrenia, not realizing that it could have been a physical or a different mental health issue. I feel embarrassed and wonder how often I have misdiagnosed clients who have been under my care,” Clara added.

CBT and Cognitive Distortions: 3 more

CBT and Cognitive Distortions: 3 more

“Talking about these cognitive distortions has been helpful. What are some of the other ones?" Vladimir, a colleague who previously did not think much about CBT, has now become a believer.

After providing the background on CBT and an overview of cognitive restructuring and automatic thoughts, I then started to talk with him about cognitive distortions. Here we discuss 3 more...

Engaging Challenging Patients and Clients – Wood Did It Best

Engaging Challenging Patients and Clients – Wood Did It Best

“I’m here because of Mr. Wood. For the first time, I felt like someone listened to me, treated me with respect and like a human being.” Jose said this to Danie at the front desk, when he arrived for his first follow up visit with Wood.

Basic Integrated Care Skills for Non-Medical Staff: Likelihood of Death

Basic Integrated Care Skills for Non-Medical Staff: Likelihood of Death

Kate looked at Roger and said: “I am feeling more and more empowered each day. Peter is opening up to me.  However, he keeps talking about dying and about his non-stop cough.  How do I best support him?”

Many of the same principles required for supporting someone going through pain and loss can also be applied to assisting someone who is battling a terminal illness.  

Preventing Burnout From a System Perspective

Preventing Burnout From a System Perspective

The system has its role to play. It needs to empower clinicians and advocates, patients and clients, if there are interests in decreasing staff turnover and restoring trust. If burnout is to be addressed and prevented and self-care promoted, we all have to work together. And, these efforts must be supported by the system, if we are to reach our goals and continue working effectively and with the passion with which we came into this field.

New Strategies for Substance Use Assessment: What Causes Addiction?

New Strategies for Substance Use Assessment: What Causes Addiction?

Contrary to popular belief, while personal efforts can contribute to one’s attendance to appointments, groups, and to one taking medications as prescribed, addiction or substance use disorders are caused by a combination of bio-psycho-social and cultural factors, and the treatment also requires the same multidimensional approach. As clinicians, it is our role and duty to follow this framework in our assessment, treatment, and approach with our patients and clients, and especially in how we communicate with them and talk about them and about addiction, as a whole.

Integrating Substance Use Treatment and Mental Health Services: The How To and The 5 Steps

Integrating Substance Use Treatment and Mental Health Services: The How To and The 5 Steps

And so it went. Five steps:

  1. Ask,

  2. Assess,

  3. Formulate,

  4. Implement, and

  5. Track.

 These five steps are simply part of the key strategies to successfully integrating substance use treatment and mental health services.  

New Strategies for Substance Use Assessment: 5 Reasons Why

New Strategies for Substance Use Assessment: 5 Reasons Why

Substance Use Disorder is a chronic condition that requires long-term treatment, and any progress made often waxes and wanes. Like Maryann, you may similarly work with patients and clients affected by Substance Use Disorder, and you may no longer know what to do. Part of the answer starts with an effective and comprehensive substance use assessment. 

Mood Stabilizers: Lithium: 10 Things All Clinicians Need to Know

Mood Stabilizers: Lithium: 10 Things All Clinicians Need to Know

“Ron continues to ask me questions about Lithium and the effects on his kidneys and thyroid. I have no idea what he is talking about, but I want to help.” Lily articulated these words to Dawn, as they were getting ready for the weekly talk on Mood Stabilizers. “There is a lot to know about Lithium, and we could spend days just talking about it. 

New Strategies for Mental Health Assessment: 5 Required Techniques

New Strategies for Mental Health Assessment: 5 Required Techniques

Completing an effective and comprehensive mental health assessment involves the use of art and science, and techniques. The principles and these techniques of effective and comprehensive mental health assessment are empowering tools for all of us who strive to make a difference in the lives of our patents and clients.

Basic Knowledge of Antipsychotics: The How and The Next Five

Basic Knowledge of Antipsychotics: The How and The Next Five

“Haldol and Prolixin.  A few of the patients and clients are on Thorazine. How is it different from Haldol and Prolixin?”  

Basic Knowledge of Antipsychotics: The How and the First Two

Basic Knowledge of Antipsychotics: The How and the First Two

Pharmacology is the study of drugs (pharmaceuticals), their actions and effects, and it is further divided into several branches, depending on the part of the body or the physiologic system a class of drugs has major active or target effects.   Psychopharmacology is, therefore, the study of the action and effects of drugs on the thinking (cognition), emotions, behavior, and sensation of an individual.

Likelihood of Death: The 10 Reasons Why

Likelihood of Death: The 10 Reasons Why

Kate looked at Roger and said: “I am feeling more and more empowered each day. Peter is opening up to me.  However, he keeps talking about dying and about his non-stop cough.  How do I best support him?”

Many of the same principles required for supporting someone going through pain and loss can also be applied to assisting someone who is battling a terminal illness.  

De-escalation skills: 6 Reasons Why

De-escalation skills: 6 Reasons Why

Matthew is a client at the Healing Outpatient Clinic. All had been well for 8 months until he started missing his follow-up appointments.  Two months after his last visit, Matthew arrived at the clinic, at 4:40pm, asking to be seen.  His interactions with the front desk staff, his therapist, and psychiatrist were all “different” this time, threatening and immediately prompted a 911 call; Matthew began to resist, hitting two of the officers who were trying to get him to cooperate towards an emergent hospital admission. During the inpatient hospitalization…