Thursday, March 23, 2017

Why I Want To Know Your Mental Health Diagnosis; And Why That's Not A Bad Thing

Why I Want To Know Your Diagnosis; And Why That's Not A Bad Thing -
Recovery Empowerment Tips For 5 Mental Health Diagnoses - A Two-Part Series

Part One: Rationale For Using Diagnosis In Recovery And Empowering People With Depression

Don't assume all mental health workers use diagnosis to put a label on you and treat you like a label. I'm sorry if that happened in the past.  That does not mean that all workers do this all the time.

We work in a medical system and diagnosis is part of that system. People are people and there are always going to be someone who does not treat you right.

I come from a standpoint that consumers aren't  victims of the system, even if the system is seen as 'bad'. Even if the system is "bad", that does not means all workers are uncaring and hold you back in life with a label because they use your diagnosis.

Give your worker a chance. Don't presume to know what a mental health worker thinks about your Diagnosis. What I think about is, "What is the best way to give this client hope and empowerment so they won't need me as much?"

I'm a consumer too and so are two  of my family members. I feel I have a right to express my viewpoints on the topic. I'm with you. I'm on your side. But sometimes I get passionate about things that may seem controversial. Give me a minute to explain and I think you'll agree that I'm doing my best to help you, and I can help you best when I have an accurate diagnosis.

I have a Masters degree in counseling psychology. I worked hard to get an education to be able to help people in and out of the 'system'. I'm one of those people who grew up in the system and went off to college to figure it all out.  I came back with my knowledge and experience to help others because I know what it's like.

I Never Felt My Diagnosis Was A Label. My Diagnosis Was My Ticket To Freedom.

Finally I had a name to make sense of chaos and figure out what baffled me for decades. So I'm a big believer in having a (correct) Diagnosis.

It's only a bad thing if you assume that your Diagnosis label makes me think automatic thoughts about you. Some workers may have those thoughts, society may have those thoughts, but I don't.
Remember that's "all-or-none" thinking and "generalizing" a bad experience to all new experiences. That might even be your depression talking.

Keep in mind also that things have changed. The system has evolved. There's more consumers "out of the closet" and we're normalizing mental health in general and blasting through stereotypes and stigmas on a large scale these last few years. So don't be a hater of Diagnosis.

Respect The Care And Years Of Research That Has Gone Into Trying To Help People By Organizing Symptoms Into Diagnoses. Embrace It All.

The director of one of our mental health community centers said, "The diagnosis framework  should be used as a starting point, and not as a label", and I agree with that.

Think of diagnosis as a constant and everything else is a variable. Meaning that diagnosis stays the same although the workers and the consumers and the circumstances and society are always in a state of change. Diagnosis may be the one thing we can lean on as a constant in a sea of change.

As individuals, we're are all unique and constantly evolving. Time is always going by. The System appears to be outdated at times, but over time it catches up and integrates the wisdom and experience of all its workers and consumers and offers up some of the best wisdom and insight into the Human being as you can find.

Your Dx does not limit you in my mind or box you into a category. It empowers me to help you the best I can in the shortest amount of time available, which is critical in the system. I don't have one hour a week to devote to you and your case like a therapist would.

I have a short amount of time to develop rapport, get a feel for your Dx and Sx and then decide what will best help you today and for the 30 minutes every 2 months I get to see you. (And remember, the doctor sees you for 15 minutes every 3 or 4 months, so s/he has to rely on the Dx framework to know how to treat his/her patients.)

Those 30 Minutes You Have With Me Should Be Packed With 2 Months Of Information To Work On So That You're Already Starting To Recover.

You should leave with a sense of hope, and a real plan of action. Maybe for the first time, the opportunity to change your life around.

When is the best time to start introducing a recovery plan? At intake, at the first introduction and always in your mind. What's important is how you go about it.

I will validate you, empathize with you, support you, be interested in you, and listen to you, until you able to listen to me and the personalized, empowering, psycho-education I'm about to give you that will change your life for the better.

The reason why I focus on recovery according to your diagnosis or set of symptoms, is that I know, I won't always be there for you, but your diagnosis and your recovery plan will.

Therefore, its best that I equip you with a plan and tools and a pathway - and the confidence - to create your own recovery routine. And it's best that you know what your diagnosis is so you can manage it the best way you can too, so education on your diagnosis is part of accomplishing your recovery goals.

So here are the 5 'acceptable' Dx that Medi-cal will pay for and here is why knowing which one you are will help me help you so much better, rather than wasting months or years of your life just being a 'support person', which is healing in itself and better than nothing. But why stop there when there is so much more you could be doing?

I Can Feed You "Fish" Or I Could Be Teaching You 'How To Fish' So You Are Not Dependent On Me Forever.

You will become aware of how to get support for yourself which is more in line with your real "everyday life",  which in turn helps you not be so dependent on a system.

So,… would you be willing for me to Tx you for your Dx in exchange for empowerment? 

Would you be ok with me using labels for your own good? 

What do you think people would rather have if given a choice: a half hour of venting or a half hour of being empowered?


When people have depression they need to jump right into the wellness & recovery model because they need to get into action, and stop ruminating which means not thinking and talking about problems but doing wellness actions and daily routines .

What depressed person wants to start taking action after months of procrastinating, inactivity and isolating? What depressed person even has the energy to do that? Not many. 

So the first step is finding how to motivate or interest them in recovery. You've got to sell them on the benefits of recovery but you can't do that if you don't have their trust and interest.

So the first step toward that is rapport and acknowledgment. I have to let them know that I know how bad they feel and where they're at or I won't have much of a chance getting them to listen to me on how to change.

I have to say out loud that I know they are depressed.  I let them know I "get it" by saying that I know what it feels like to be depressed. I share and talk about how there's no energy, lack of interest, no joy, flat and then emotional, and fighting with your head and inner critic all the time.  Even though it seems like we're focusing on all the negative stuff.

I'm talking about THEM and no one else understands THEM or their depression, so when someone comes along who does understand, then it gets their attention.

Now They Are Smiling And Nodding Their Head Because They See I Do Get It And Know Exactly What They're Going Through.

I'm also giving them sorely needed answers and explanation of things that they are confused about. I teach them about the symptoms and what they're called.

I make sure to say "The hardest part about depression is battling your own head that's beating you up". And that may be the first time someone has articulated the vague mental imprisonment of the shame and helplessness they've been experiencing.

So they're like, "Oh my god, she gets it, she knows what I'm going through. She understands what I dare not say out loud to anyone. Maybe she's got more answers and knows a way out of this."

I talk about the downward spiral of depression, how you feel bad and do less and feel worse and do even less and down they go deeper into depression. They nod their head a lot.

Then I share what works to help stop the downward spiral and start the upward spiral and this leads into their interests and strengths and talents and what they really want in life. Now I see them paying close attention with a look of curiosity on their face. This is a good sign because  with depression there is a loss of interest.

They see it makes a strange kind of sense but they never thought about it like that. They didn't know there was a spiral and that it could be reversed. Maybe their depression made no sense and there was no rhyme or reason to it, and now they hear their symptoms being organized into a label that may also come with recovery instructions.

Mainly I help them with their inner critic and self-doubt, which gets them interested because again, they thought they were trapped, stuck and a victim of the inner critic and have no way of fighting it because they assume all those thoughts are true.

I Teach Them How To Catch Their Depression In The Act And Say, "Ah Ha, That's My Depression Talking. What Does My Wise/Higher/True/Recovery Mind Say?"

I teach them the art of re-framing negative thoughts.

I still validate and non-judgmentally say that the emotional part they're going through is hard, and yes, it is very hard to start trying something different, but we can start with baby steps,  and I move right into  asking, "So what are you going to do for your recovery this week?"

Action in the now and the in the near future, is always the focus. Sometimes they balk and resist and doubt they can do anything. That's when I ask them to just spend 5 minutes this week doing one easy thing.

I give them my list of 81 easy, gentle, no-cost, self-nurturing activities, like star gaze, paint, day dream, bubble bath, walk in nature, listen to your favorite music, play with animals - things that make them feel good just reading about. I tell them to circle all the ones they like, used to like, or would like to try.

Pleasant Activities That They Might Not Have Done In Years That Brings Up Old Memories And Feelings Of Well-Being As They Read The List.

While reading the list, it starts to feel easy. It starts to bring up memories of good times and reminds them that these things are not gone, they were  just forgotten for awhile. The brain is already starting to heal as a result of seeing these soothing activities on paper because as they read each one, they are seeing them with their mind's eye.

This gives then a good feeling. That may motivate them to do some activities which will give them an even better feeling when they do them in real life.

I teach them how to pause and really take in those pleasant experiences, and let the good feeling linger for a few moments. Feelings of well-being strengthens the neural pathways in the brain, which in turns brings some relief from depression.

So the healing and recovery have already begun without them having to do a thing but listen, read a list, and see themselves in their mind's eye doing some nurturing things that feel light and easy and not  impossible like huge list of things- to-do would feel.

Next is social support. Isn't it great talking to someone who gets it who does recovery? Yes, they love talking to me about it, but they instantly resist the thought of showing up to a group where more people like us are talking about it. If they went, they could get more support, more validation and more recovery ideas.

But their depression and negative self talk takes over again and say "no, I can't do groups".
If I could get every depressed client in a room who says they hate groups, we'd have a huge group! 
They'd all have one thing in common and it would be an excellent support group for depression. 

So I did just that. I created a depression art group so my depressed clients can get social support while relaxing and coloring and talking about what they're doing for their recovery. It's once a week and they can drop in anytime and it counts as a visit if they want it to.

This Is When They Discover They Are Not Alone And They Are Not The Only One.

I focus on where they can find people who understand depression and how to connect with them. I avoid focusing  on people that don't understand them or don't have recovery. No matter what negative thought they throw at me, I accept it, even agree, but in moving forward I'm focused on planting seeds for them to have a better experience with people.

This also lets them know that there are others out there. Most depressed people like other people, they enjoy talking to someone knowledgeable and who understand and have recovery

"Just think what it would be like if you could talk to more people like me who have recovering from their depression."

Most still won't go to group and that's OK. I've planted a seed that I am not the only one who "gets" depression. There are others out there. Millions in fact.

This opens their mind and expands their limited often negative view of the world. Most people suffering from depression are criticized, neglected or rejected because of it. They don't feel like dealing with people or forcing a smile or dealing with social anxiety. They don't feel like dealing with people who might trigger them into irritability either.

I let them know I have confidence and faith in them and their abilities to be able to get there, however slow, because even though most people don't get them, like-minded people who understand - like me - are cool and they tend to agree because I've been demonstrating it this whole time.

Even If They Have To Take Baby Steps, They Got To Do Some Recovery Actions If They Want To Crawl Out Of The Black Hole They've Been Stuck In.

Or they can do nothing, let their head take over and go deeper in the hole.  I don't have to tell them, 'if you don't do recovery, things will likely get worse' because they already can infer that from the up and downward spirals I educate them about. They can see the downward spiral operating in their life already and now they know how to get that spiral to move upward, if they want, because I've explained to them that the more you do, the better you feel, which inspires you to do more and you feel proud of yourself for doing it and having happy moments enjoying life again from doing so which inspires them to do more. Do less feel worse. Do more and feel better.

I'm Giving Them A Choice They May Not Have Had Before. I'm In No Hurry For Them To Make It.

There's never any pressure to do anything, only encouragement . I just present the information so  they can clearly see the two paths that lay before them; keep doing the same things and get worse or start doing recovery and feel better.

Since you can make yourself feel better just by playing your favorite music or taking a daily walk or losing yourself in coloring, or getting a goal accomplished, or reading about recovery or practicing a craft that you're interested in, it doesn't seem so hard anymore to give recovery activities a try.

Already they can feel a relief, their depression has lifted because recovery has already begun in my office.  (Remember they perked up when I spoke their language, understood and validated their depression. They got a hint of hope when I educated them on the upward spiral. While reading a list of self-nurturing activities they remember or can imagine feeling good ).

Sometimes you can see them fighting with themselves about it, because they hate to admit that they can feel better and they can do something about it. They resist change which is why it's so important to get their interest first and validate them.

They're so conditioned to think the worker will counsel them and help them analyze their woes or that a magic pill will be all they have to take. They may not be used to getting empowered to take responsibility for themselves by choosing wellness actions.

They felt better when they imagined themselves doing some of the stuff on the list, and they have someone giving them permission to do things they would otherwise skip, or think was a waste, or self-indulgent or they lost interest. But now someone is giving them homework to do things depressed people like to do, like star gaze, read, color, etc.

 Depressed people love to spend time alone in their heads thinking or dreaming, and now they get to do it for homework. They begin to see a little light at the end of the tunnel, they got a taste of feeling good for a few minutes, and that's enough to feel that recovery may be possible for them if they keep this up.

If I were to let them vent and ruminate the whole time they would have missed all that and went home and did the same routines and would still be stuck in depression.

As soon as they leave, they leave wanting more of what they just experienced which motivates them to go home and do something different, which in turn gives them a good experience which then makes it easier to do the next thing.

The next session is really all about what barriers came up so I can give them tips on dealing with those barriers so they can go try it again. More empowerment.

I'm empowering them to know how to deal with their own inner critic and how to take control of their lives.  I tell them they are doing good and to keep going. I'm their cheerleader and teacher and I don't let them beat themselves up because it's not their fault they have depression and its hard and they failed to do anything.

I simply encourage them to do one item they've circled for five minutes once per week. I don't worry about what they failed to do, I'm always future-pacing to the near future to try it again. Most of them report back that they did some of them and they did enjoy them. I keep encouraging them to keep that up by telling them they're doing good and I'm proud of them.

I ask them about their strengths and their recovery actions at each visit. And it goes from there. The whole point is getting them to play an active role in crafting their life in recovery and reaping the benefits of wellness.

It's like teaching them the controls and now they know how to turn down their depression and turn up their wellness and pleasant feelings.  Officially this is called "behavior activation" which is opposed to traditional "talk therapy" for depression as it exasperates their rumination. They think they need talk therapy, they are dying to sit and talk about their depression.

I always give them some time in the beginning to talk about it, but then I redirect them to what helps all that by re-framing depression as a battle with the inner critic. They didn't know they could do something about it. Heck, they didn't know it was their depression and inner critic even talking when they had all those negative thoughts.

Depressed people are usually creative so when I talk about music or art that sometimes gets them sharing how they write poetry or music or used to paint.

I Encourage Them To Do Their Art Again And Ask Them To Bring It In Next Time So I Can See It.

No one seems this interested in their art and their inner critic certainly beats them up over the idea of doing it for fun and relaxation. Talking about art as recovery motivates them to partake in their crafts again. I love to see their stuff. I always find their strengths in them and make sure to mention them out loud and give them genuine compliments on their work.

They feel good about that so they feel better. They may go home and go back to being depressed for awhile, but  I keep giving them positive recovery experiences when I see them. I'm pointing them over and over again to craft their recovery plan and incorporate all these feel-good activities into it.

Almost every client despite their diagnosis gets most of the tips above. But if they have a diagnosis other than depression I go into the tips in Part Two for Bipolar, Trauma and Schizophrenia.

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 Thank you!
JP Bailey, M.A.

Interested in EFT for Codependency Recovery?
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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Why Do I Want To Know Your Diagnosis And Why That's Not A Bad Thing - Part 2

Why Do I Want To Know Your Diagnosis; And Why That's Not A Bad Thing -
Recovery Empowerment Tips For 5 Mental Health Diagnoses - A Two-Part Series

Part Two: Empowering People With Bipolar, Trauma & Schizophrenia

In Part one I went into detail on the rational for treating and empowering the 5 Medi-cal accepted mental health diagnoses and then described in detail how I would treat a depressed person. In this Part 2, I will go into each of the other four. 


Most Bipolar people, by definition have depression, but that's not really their problem. They are dealing with excess energy, not lack of energy. They are dealing mainly with irritability and anger, and often times, anxiety too. Of course if they were in a depressive cycle I would revert to my depression tips.

They already are goal oriented so it's just some tweaking of the goals.

However during manic phases, they are already into action, always in motion, already engaged with life. They already are pretty much in control of and managing their lives, have activities and connections with others. Even if their lives are out of control in some way, at least they are moving. They enjoy goal-oriented activity. 

They may have problems with relationships or their relationship problems bring them the most anxiety.  They benefit greatly with some education on communicating and other coping skills when they are irritable and how to manage their manic phases by learning from their past ones. 

Just the fact that I understand that they're angry, without judging them, and normalizing their anger, is a relief for them.

They do need to vent, but not for venting sake. They actually work out their own problems by being given the space to vent. Just listen and nod your head and empathize with whatever they are venting about. 

When they feel the relief from being heard in this way, they become open to some recovery ideas. I talk about social support in recovery, because they like being social when they are manic and they need more (positive) social outlets where they can be themselves. 

You can also tell venting has helped when they get to something funny and start laughing or telling you something in a very funny way. 

Laugh with them in a way that says, "Yeah, we humans can be so funny sometimes". 

Laugh as a way to agree there's no shame in their mistakes. It helps normalize their feelings and mistakes. You've just done them a huge favor by combining socializing, laughter and recovery. 

Don't try and give them advice even if you know a perfect solution that they'll love, they tend to reject what comes from you because they need to work it out on their own. When they do, you can be there to agree with the healthy parts of what they came up with. Then you can add in a suggestion or give them some insider information. They are open to listen to things that make them feel more empowered. But they can't listen to you until they feel you've listened to them.

They Need To Feel The Idea Came From Them. It's Their Choice, You're Just Pointing Out Some Good Choices.

The point of this article was to explain why I treat different diagnoses differently. If we compare how I empowered a depressed person to how I'm empowering a bipolar person, the benefits to each will become more clear.

Depressed people are like the opposite of bipolars. They need the homework and the permission to do activities or be social or even to love themselves. They need permission to see their value and worth . They need to be redirected to make wellness a priority so they can generate their own relief from depression and peak their interest again.

So already you might be asking how or why I treat these two diagnoses differently rather than "treating both of them the same, and or as individuals". Well, here's why. If I let a depressed person vent, it would be enabling their ruminating, which in turn makes their depression worse.  So that's why it's important to know who is a depressed type and who is a true bi-polar.

Bi-polar's tend to be more extroverted and enjoy their energy and social connections, things a deep, introverted, depressed person would avoid or reject.  And a Bipolar might reject the soft, slow, solitary activities of self-nurturing that a depressed person finds comfort in. Depressed people shouldn't isolate for long periods of time, but they do need quiet, alone "me time". Bipolar people should dominate all conversations, but they do need loud, social, "fun time".

I hope you can see the difference and how I gave both the Depressed and the Bi-polar person empowering and nurturing support.. Knowing your diagnosis helps me know what won't work and what does work, what content to focus on and what to ignore, etc. 


These folks need the most love, respect, dignity and care that you can give. Just accepting them as they are and treating them like they are equal to you does a lot of good for these folks because they are the most rejected and stigmatized of all.

When you get to know them as people and see them, see their personality come out and act interested in them and their interests, they notice. It helps them accept themselves and stay in touch with treatment and helps them not to isolate.

They need love and respect "as if they were normal", which can mean simply being interested in their interests and not worrying about fixing them or anything like that. They do not need you sitting around feeling empathy for them like you would someone with trauma or depression who really need it and are deprived of it. 

What schizophrenics are deprived of is someone interested in conversation about their weird world of topics.

Attending To That Isolation By Just Being There With Them And Not Abruptly Abandoning Them Or Treating Them Differently Than Anyone Else.

They're treated differently out there in the real world and even in their family. Treating them like you would your neighbor or coworker is a gift of healing for them. You're giving them the gift of the natural human healing of connection which they are deprived of most. They suffer, almost like the trauma victim, from being disconnected from society. 

I introduce them to WRAP, I have the book with Mary Ellen Copeland's picture on it and let them know she has Schizophrenia and she got a PhD and became an author and a psychologist. So right there they get the message that they can still do anything anyone else can do and they can get well and feel better and take better care of themselves. They can learn to manage their symptoms and condition and live a good life.

I ask them questions about themselves and their life and what they are struggling with and I pause a lot, giving them a lot of safe space to answer. 

For those who outright ask, I'll give them tips on managing symptoms. It might be helping them see what stressors trigger their symptoms and what recovery actions help and helping them plan for how they will practice coping skills at home.

In general, stressors tend to increase bizarre symptoms so the focus is also on stress management and symptom management alongside increasing coping skills and wellness activities. It really depends on what they are struggling with at the time. I may find just one that works for them and just stick to that one thing for awhile 

This is different than the mood disorders where the focus of recovery is more about affect regulation along with nurturing self-wellness.


The sooner I know you have Borderline Personality Disorder the better. I stop the usual and switch gears, I tone down my empathy and increase awareness on my boundaries. 

I can't let you drain or manipulate me with your emotions because then I'm not helping you. Then I'm not in control, you are, and that makes you feel out of control which increases symptoms.

I can't feel sorry for you, try to rescue you, allow you to scare me, allow you to use me or pressure me or push my emotional buttons. I'm here to give you real safety. 

The safety of showing you were the edges are so you don't fall off the deep end.

To not allow you to move me helps you feel secure because you are still accepted by me. I still like you, I still care and I show all that in the way I talk, listen or look at you, but I am not taken in by your show and emotional manipulation.

I know you are not doing that for a bad reason, you can't help it and you're almost like an addict trying to get a fix so I help you sit down and have a cup of coffee instead and let you get the inner gratification of connecting with someone and that is hard for you.

 I'm still there whether you hate me or love me and that gives you consistency. I let you rattle on without getting caught up in your content. I help you self care and nurture but in general don't need to help you with much of anything except help contain you and teach you ways to contain yourself. 

Or I keep consistent limits so that in itself feels containing to you and you feel safe in my office. Feeling safe for borderline personality disorder is very healing.

I will praise your efforts and express confidence in your abilities, noting your strengths, skills, and accomplishments help your self esteem.

Social support is encouraged and general wellness concepts are encouraged but you're really going to do whatever you want to, so there's not sense in trying to say much of anything because you'll tend to disagree and reject a lot of what I say anyway (and that makes me feel drained, frustrated and unappreciated), so it's best to go with recovery concepts that are well established like exercise and eating good.

I hate to say it, but yes, things an authority would tell you is good for you. Borderlines need people in authority not to have it over them but to have it over themselves so they feel less out of control in themselves. Teaching them how to self sooth gives them authority over themselves.

People with Borderline Personality Disorder are famous for baiting you into giving advise  and then rejecting it and making you frustrated so they can split on you. So instead of telling them what to do ask them a lot of questions like, what would you really like to do? what do you think you need? what kind of support do you need? etc. 

Putting their treatment in their hands like this helps them with self control and empowerment and helps them not to split.

If they are hating on themselves good luck trying to convince them not to. It's better to ask them what it's like to go through what they are going through and acknowledge that sounds terrible. I give a little sympathy but no direct advice that can be rejected which would keep the cycle of asking and then rejecting help going around and around.  there is no goal and no agenda, your just keeping the edges for them.


First see the section on schizophrenia, then go to the mood section depending on what they are presenting with; depression or manic/irritability and follow the suggestions there.

basically someone with a schizo-affective diagnosis means a Bi-polar or depressed person with psychotic symptoms.

I always default to treating them like I would a schizophrenic first, with dignity and compassion and understanding because its been a huge struggle for them to feel normal, and be accepted in society and not feel stigmatized.

Some help with moods if they are depressed, give them some of the depression work, but if they are manic type or bipolar then its more about their actions and trying  to give them ideas about wellness stuff to do.

so treat them from the schizophrenic viewpoint and then decide which to add to that, the depression or the bipolar.


a lot like with depression but need to really slow down and see where they are in the trauma cycle and go from there. You have to be with them where they are and not go beyond. 

Help them with emotional regulation skills and self care and normalize the Symptoms by showing them you understand their torture inside of isolating but lonely and unable to connect and engage with life or others and letting them know that time plays a factor.

Validation is the number one healing gift you can give someone with Trauma, especially Complex Trauma.

They need healing info and time and patience, validation, it takes them more time to engage and connect with their self because the nature of trauma is that you are severed from what you thought was 'you' or 'normal' or 'life'. You've been ripped away from it or its been ripped away from you and they are truly tortured and stuck.

Teaching them emotional flashback management is the most empowering and compassionate thing you can do. educating them on all the symptoms of PTSD, including how they questions life and god and everything now and how it's like being the walking dead. (Jeff Walker's book "Complex PTSD" is a goldmine of what helps flashbacks and provides a paradigm shift that can pop them out of the self-hatred they've been stuck in.)

This gives them hope because they thought no one would understand what they're going through. for these folks I will share my own PTSD in a way that is educating them about Sx mgt and self care and how things got better over time.

These 5 Categories Are Brushed With Distinct But Broad Strokes.

Their edges are malleable and dynamic, growing wiser as you learn more through experience. Not every detail will work, but in general these are topics of best empowering to look at for each Dx.

They are not all-inclusive.

They are dynamic tips, in that you can use them all or just parts and weave them into your own unique ways of showing up for people who have a diagnosis.

Remember everyone is different and although they might fit into one of these 5 labels, they also come in combinations of them. It's OK to mix and match strategies of support and empowerment and see which one your client responds to best.

These Tips Also Empower Me And Bring Me Much More Fulfillment In My Job Rather Than Getting Compassion Fatigue And Being Burnt Out From Everyone' S Stuff.

It's my office they're in and I'm in control of it. It is not to be used by anyone as if it’s a cheap commodity. It’s a classroom and I protect its value and its energy by teaching.

Each mental health worker must do the same for themselves, in their own way, decide how you're going to show up, how much energy to give and manage your own Wellness and Recovery , and that includes empowerment.

Embrace your expert position so that you can help the public in the best way possible; not the way they want or you think it should be, which tends to lead to feeling worn out, unappreciated and drained.

Don't be afraid to practice your skills with your clients, you'll get better at it and you're clients will love you for it.  Don't try to dig into traumatic memories. In fact, stay away from "memories" as much as possible unless they bring it up, then listen, validate how terrible that was and lead them into self-compassion and remind them they are in the here and now and they are safe now.

Lastly, praise them for being survivors. Acknowledge that they've been through a lot. Give them hope that they can recover from this. They can re-invent themselves and go on to live a normal life, albeit with some coping and symptom management skills along the way. 

So with all that in mind, I hope you got a few pieces of wisdom out of this article. I know I would have loved to have read it twenty years ago! 

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 There's someone out there would will appreciate you for it.
 Thank you!
JP Bailey, M.A.

 Interested in EFT for Codependency Recovery? Get Relief from Emotional Pain & Relationship Issues!

Kindle Book: "EFT for Codependency"