Ever since beginning my work in mental health with recovering addicts, I have been asked "Are you an addict". As a person who specializes in mental health and understands its importance in addiction work, my reply has always been "No, but I have spent time in recovery".

And that is the issue for most of us. We live in an unforgiving, demanding, traumatic and violent culture. All of us have been affected in one way or another.

Along the way I have accumulated a grab bag of skills through personal healing, education and training. Combined they make an effective package.

My Approach

I tailor my approach to the needs of the person, couple or family that I assist. People come to me feeling powerless in specific situations. Together we brainstorm different approaches that might prove helpful. Clients are encouraged to try these approaches in their day-to-day lives between sessions. We meet to discuss the effectiveness of interventions and then determine if adjustments need to be made. As other problems arise, we deal with them in the same manner, prioritizing issues of importance.

Scheduling Sessions

I tell clients that there is an easy way to determine how frequently we need to see each other. If we run out of things to say before the regular 45 minutes have transpired, then it is time to schedule more time between sessions. If we are still talking after 45 minutes, we need to schedule more. If we are right on time then we are perfectly scheduled.

I hope to challenge people to use the different skills in their interactions between sessions without being overwhelmed. My relationship with clients is special so crisis calls are returned. The first is a freebee. When I receive the second, however, it is time to schedule another appointment.

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