“Are you going to do what’s “medically necessary” to justify your insurance claims or are you going to do what’s in the best interest of my wellness?”

      “Will you help me find whatever approach is best suited for me even if it does not include your services?”

Lisa, my prospective patient, was interviewing me.  She was trying to decide if she wanted to enlist my services.  And though she apologized for her bluntness, I applauded her courage and told her I shared some of her frustrations.

Many in the mental health treatment system have lost their way.  They’ve lost sight of their purpose:  To assist healing.  I understand why.  In the mad dash to find and provide relief, it’s easy to disregard the concept of healing.  Medication is overprescribed because it works fast and saves health insurance dollars.  Never mind that it can blunt your feelings and slow your thoughts.  Never mind that it can result in serious side-effects and derail healing.  As long as enough of the people who take it can go to work and seem to function in their stressful lives, medications will remain the popular solution.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m just as opposed to anti-psychiatry as I am to psychiatry.  I think it’s foolish to ignore powerful medications that can save lives and restore healing.  I also think it’s foolish to overuse them and to use them in place of wellness promotion, psychotherapy, and other healing arts.

I told Lisa that I operate from a healing perspective and that I consider treatment simply as a way to assist healing.  Assisting healing, I said, is more likely to help without harming.  It is also more likely to result in greater self-awareness and wisdom.

I also made some suggestions that I thought would help Lisa decide if she would be comfortable working with me:

“It’s time for you to stop being treated and start being healed.”

“It’s time to replace your treatment plan with a healing plan.”

“It’s time for you to insist that attention be given to healing as the driving force behind your recovery and wellness.”

“It’s time for you to write your own healing plan.  If you wish to work with me, I can help you with that.”

Lisa decided that we should continue on together and as you read Mind Easing, she and I will share her healing plan as a way of helping you to create one for yourself.