Living by Scripts

A script can be understood as a sort of underlying principle, or as a set of rules utilized by the person. When scripts are activated, possibilities arise to get to know the underlying dynamics of the person. In short, self psychology, script theory, and the theory of affect–consciousness offer a consistent theoretical approach to work with GIM as music therapy as well as an adjunct to the verbal modality.

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How Often Do You Argue?

So how do couples know if there’s too much fighting in their relationship? That depends entirely on the couple. Some people have a high tolerance for confrontation. However, others are uncomfortable with any amount of arguing, so even a moderately disagreeable partner can be difficult for them to live with. Some couples may not argue much at all, but the one or two arguments they have might be so intense that as to threaten the entire marriage. Nevertheless, for most of us, we’re probably within acceptable limits if we’re able to keep our disagreements in perspective. We don’t allow them to interfere with other aspects of our relationship. Our overall thoughts about our marriage stay positive, we don’t harbor bad feelings long afterwards, and we enjoy our partner’s company during times of peace. Additionally, if we’re able to hammer out workable solutions as a result of our arguments, then we’re probably fighting with our partner as often as we need to.

More important than how often couples argue is how they behave when they do. Specifically, we’re referring to partners’ treatment towards each other in the heat of an argument. That in large part determines whether or not our communication is effective, and by that we mean it achieves the straightforward objectives of a problem and we do it efficiently. We’re efficient when our disagreements are not drawn out longer than necessary, they don’t move on to topics that have nothing to do with the original problem, they don’t escalate to personal attacks or a rehashing of past disappointments and resentments, and both partners feel better about each other when they’ve ended.

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Distinguishing what Oppositional Defiant Disorder is….

It is normal for children to be oppositional and defiant at least some of the time. In fact, it’s a sign of healthy development. So when does a child have oppositional defiant disorder? The diagnosis should not be given, for example, to a toddler who has just discovered that her new favorite word is “no.”

ODD is typically diagnosed around early elementary school ages and stops being diagnosed around adolescence. Kids who have ODD have a well-established pattern of behavior problems. Symptoms include:

  • Being unusually angry and irritable
  • Frequently losing their temper
  • Being easily annoyed
  • Arguing with authority figures
  • Refusing to follow rules
  • Deliberately annoying people
  • Blaming others for mistakes
  • Being vindictive

All children can have these symptoms from time to time. What distinguishes ODD from normal oppositional behavior is how severe it is, and how long it has been going on for. A child with ODD will have had extreme behavior issues for at least six months.

Another hallmark of ODD is the toll it takes on family relationships. Regular daily frustrations — ignored commands, arguments, explosive outbursts — build up over time, and these negative interactions damage the parent-child bond and reinforce hostile patterns of behavior.

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How to Value Yourself

You are likely to find that specific outward appearances automatically trigger a need within you to compare yourself to others, whether it is how much money someone else has or is making, how physically attractive they are, their relationship status or what material possessions they own and so on. Dig a little deeper and you will find that you have unwittingly placed an undue value on these outward appearances and are using them to determine your own self worth. In other words, how much money you have, how attractive you are and so on, have become the determining function of your self worth, and usually in isolation of all your other qualities and achievements. Such specific comparisons leave you temporarily feeling either better or worse about yourself, depending on where you ranked yourself on society’s scale of success.

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Trust Issues Where Do They Come From?

Often, issues with trust arise based on experiences and interactions in the early phases of life, primarily childhood. A person who did not receive adequate nurturing, affection, and acceptance or who was abused, violated, or mistreated as a child will often find difficulty in establishing trust as an adult.

Likewise, adolescent experiences of either social rejection or acceptance may shape a person’s ability to trust those around him or her. For instance, if someone is mocked, teased, or treated as an outcast by his or her peers during the teenage years, this will influence later relationships. Being betrayed or belittled by others impacts self esteem, which also plays a significant role in a person’s capacity to trust. Basically, those who experience low self-esteem will be less likely to put their trust in those around them than those who are more self-assured.

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How Can I Trust Again

If you’ve been burned in the past, it’s understandable that you might have a hard time trusting other people. It can help to remind yourself that your new partner is NOT your old partner (or your friend, family member, or whoever broke your trust before), and making assumptions about them based on the actions of a completely different person isn’t really fair. Even if you’ve been hurt before, that’s not an excuse for checking up on your new partner or demanding that they prove their trustworthiness to you. As we’ve said, trust is a choice, and building on that trust within a relationship takes time. When we begin a relationship with someone, we’re making the choice to trust them. If you feel that you aren’t able to trust anyone else right now, you might not be ready to be in a relationship.

It’s worth noting that being able to trust yourself is an important component in trusting others. Being hurt by someone in the past may have affected your ability to trust yourself and your own instincts. Just remember that the person who broke your trust in the past made that choice; you can’t take responsibility for someone else’s actions or decisions. If you’re struggling with this, taking time to work through it, maybe with a counselor or therapist, could be very helpful in regaining trust in yourself and your ability to trust others.

Are you dealing with trust issues? Our therapist are here to help. Call, chat or text with an advocate today! We can be reached by phone at (813) 244-1251 or online at:

http://www.starpointcounselingtampa.com

http://www.starpointcounselingbrandon.com

http://www.affordablecounselingbrandon.com

We provide counseling services to individuals, couples, families, children, teens, and adults with any type of crises.  We help you build tools as well as help design and implement individualized goals and objectives, help you sort out beliefs, thoughts, and behavior patterns that may be hindering you in your relationship(s) whether at the work place or in other areas of your life.  
 
We have the tools you need for managing pain, anxiety, disappointment, frustration, hopelessness, or anger resulting from circumstances that interfere in achieving a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.  By working together, we will show you how to set and achieve goals and objectives therapeutically designed to meet your needs that will allow you to live the life you know that you deserve.

 

Why Is Therapy So Expensive?

Many people struggle to find talk-based therapy that’s covered by their insurance plans. Of all practicing medical professionals, therapists are the least likely to take insurance. Only 55 percent of therapists accept insurance plans, compared to 89 percent of other health care providers, like cardiologists, dermatologists and podiatrists, according to a 2014 study.

That’s a big problem, since approximately 1 in 5 Americans will experience some sort of mental health disorder in a given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health Illness.  Many will also seek counseling for divorce or grief.

Treatment is highly individualized, but experts agree that talk therapy is the gold standard for treating psychiatric problems. A 2015 study revealed that cognitive behavioral therapies were just as effective as antidepressants for treating depression.

So why is therapy so unaffordable for so many people? And why don’t more mental health professionals work with third party payers? It turns out several factors contribute to making therapy unaffordable ― many outside individual clinicians’ control.

Insurance systems don’t support therapists’ diagnoses.

Poor insurance coverage for therapy is largely a reflection of how society views mental health.

Insurance companies tend to see things more from a medical perspective ― where if you get sick, for example, then you take a blood test, they figure out what is wrong with you, they give you a medication and then you are all better.

But with mental health a lot of times what we are trying to do is preventative maintenance-type work, and it makes it a lot more difficult to justify medical necessity with insurance companies.

 

Even when insurance companies consider a mental health diagnosis a valid billable condition, the coverage may only be temporary. Insurance companies do not cover marriage counseling, relationship counseling, family counseling and grief and loss.

More and more insurance plans we see either have a high co pay or a high deductible. So technically, people do have mental health coverage, but they are paying for most or all of the cost out of pocket anyway.

All of the major insurance companies are closed to enrollment for Licensed Therapists in the Tampa Bat area, including Brandon, St. Pete and Tampa. We receive calls all the time from potential new clients complaining they can not find a therapist in their insurance network.

Another thing insurance companies do that most people don’t know about is sub contract the mental health portion of a policy to another insurance company. I had an instance recently where a client had Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance but Cigna actually covers the mental health portion of the policy. In most cases of sub contracting the mental health portion of a policy, they sub contract to a much smaller insurance company that pays extremely low and has very few Mental Health Providers in network. A good example is Hillsborough County School Teachers and Employees. They have Humana for the medical part, but they have MH NET for the mental health part of their policy. MH NET requires authorization, treatment plans to get authorization every 8 sessions, you have to fill out a paper form that they “conveniently never receive” and they pay $40 per session. Therapists literally spend more time collecting their $40 than they do therapy with the client.

Therapists honestly can’t afford to accept insurance. 

The gap between a therapist’s hourly fee and the reimbursement rates they receive from insurance companies can be massive.

I’ve seen it lower than $50 a session. We charge $120 a session, so that would be a major blow in terms of income for us.

We can’t sustain our practices when that kind of value is put on mental health.

While $120 per session sounds steep,  it helps cover rent, the cost of business and malpractice insurance, advertising, administrative staff, office equipment and credit card processing fees. Many therapists have also accrued massive student debt. Therapists have to get a Master’s Degree, at minimum, then do a 2 year Registered Internship and pass a State Board Exam to become a Licensed Therapist in Florida.

Therapists are health care professionals that all have master’s degrees or higher. Many have doctorates, medical degrees, and [have] graduated from specialized institutes for the teaching of psychotherapy.

Lawyers, accountants and architects generally make $120-$400 per hour or more. One should expect to pay the same for therapy from a competent, highly trained professional.

Therapists are in a no-win position. Therapists are almost forced to charge the patient directly because they are not able to be reimbursed at equitable rates as their counterparts that have M.D. or D.O. behind their name.

More equitable rates across all insurance companies would allow patients to have greater choice and access in terms of their health care decisions.

Filling out insurance paperwork is a full-time job.

It’s a Catch-22: To keep overhead low, many therapists don’t hire staff or assistants. But without them, the job of working with insurance companies is overwhelming.

Many people who work in mental health don’t have the volume of patients that primary care [physicians] might have. They might see seven or eight patients max in a day, where a primary care doctor might see as many as 40 patient’s a day and also have dedicated staff who handle billing and who are very familiar with what the requirements are with all the different payers out there.

Submitting a bill to an insurance company can involve jumping through an array of hoops including justifying your services to an insurance representative, providing status report updates and getting on the phone with providers to track down late payments.

This can be particularly complicated because not everyone who sees a therapist has a diagnosable mental illness.

Common reasons for coming to therapy, like couples counseling and grief counseling, are typically not covered by insurance.

We do try to provide lower cost therapy at Star Point Counseling Center by utilizing a sliding scale based on household income. This way people who are needing therapy can get the help they are looking for without going into debt.

Please visit us at starpointcounselingtampa.com or call us at 813-244-1251 if you have insurance questions.

 

HAPPY 5th BIRTHDAY STAR POINT COUNSELING CENTER

HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY TO STAR POINT COUNSELING CENTER. It was 5 years ago today Clarissa Crystal-Belle, LMHC, Co Founder/ Executive Clinical Director and Author saw her first client in a small rented office with an office chair and a card table. I know it is not the proper setting for a professional office but this client didn’t care, they just wanted to get in to see her. Sam DiFranco Co Founder/ Executive Business Director was managing Star Point Counseling Center from the lobby with a brief case and a lap top computer. We grew exponentially into multiple office and a counseling team of over 10 therapists helping thousands and thousands of clients. 5 years, where has the time gone! We look forward to helping thousands and thousands more clients in the future.

Black Lives Matter

Black lives matter, I truly believe that and that everyone is equal. African Americans have had inequalities since slaves were brought to America to be bought and sold. The Emancipation Proclamation was suppose to free slaves, and it did. However, the inequalities did not stop. The Union had troops in the southern states after the civil war to enforce that slaves were indeed free, although inequalities were rampant. The presidential election of 1876 changed that. Republican Rutherford B. Hayes was the northern states nominee and Democrat Samuel J. Tilden was the southern states nominee. The election was disputed and that led to The Compromise of 1877. The democrats agreed to give the presidency to Rutherford B. Hayes and in exchange they had to withdraw the Union troops out of the south. With the Union troops gone from the southern states the white plantation owners did whatever the wanted to do to the black people and the authorities turned the cheek and pretended to not notice. This practice went on for almost 100 years until the civil rights movement in the 1960’s, much overdo at that point.  If I was an African American living in the south from 1865 to 1965 I would gotten the heck out of there as soon as I could, why would they stay?

My concern is that the inequalities are focused on Black America and Black Lives Matter, which I totally agree, they do matter. But, how about the other ethnic groups in America? How about the Asian’s who helped build the railroads across our nation? How about the inequality right after Pearl Harbor when the U.S. Government rounded up as many Asians as they could find and put them in a barricaded area simply because of the way they looked. How about the Irish and Italian Immigrants who came to America from 1870 to 1925? They were the manual labor who helped build the industrialized cities with no labor laws and severe labor inequalities. How about the Hispanic immigrants who came to America in the last 50 years or so? They are feeling inequalities simply on a language barrier. How about the inequalities of women, they were treated as if they were stupid, weak and could not do anything except cook and clean. How about the current inequality on gay, lesbian and transgender people, the recent hate crimes in Orlando exposed the most recent inequality in America. How about the pre judgement and inequalities on Eastern Indian and Middle Eastern people in America after 9-11-2001?  How about the biggest inequality of all, the American Native’s? They welcomes the white man from England, taught them how to survive only to have their entire nation stripped of them piece by piece, broken treaty after broken treaty and then cast into the desert.

So, with that being said, I think we, as Americans, should change Black Lives Matter to All Lives Matter.

Mental Health Care for Veterans

The American Government should be ashamed of the mental health care we give our Veterans. The people who fight for our freedom and protect us have to go to the VA for mental health treatment. A lot of Veterans come back home with P.T.S.D and/or severe trauma. The VA is arguably the worst health care in America, we all read about and hear the horror stories the Veterans go through trying to get into the VA to see a mental health provider. I personally have taken calls from Veterans trying to get mental health treatment telling me the VA said they have a 3 month waiting list to see a mental health provider. They sometimes are willing to pay for treatment out of their own pocket. That is how much they want help from a mental health provider.

Meanwhile, Federal Employee’s enjoy Blue Cross & Blue Shield with a $20 co pay as their insurance carrier. With BCBS Federal Employee’s can see a mental health provider within a few days. There are a lot of excellent mental health providers who are in network with BCBS.  My question to the American Government is, why can’t our Veterans also have Blue Cross & Blue Shield insurance as well so they can get the help they need?

Our active duty Military Personnel have Tri Care insurance, which is a Government funded insurance company managed very much like the VA. Why can’t our active duty Military Personnel have Blue Cross & Blue Shield insurance as well?

This is not a political bash on the Democratic Party or Republican Party, just simply a question to our government. This practice of the American Government giving arguably the worse insurance and care in America to our Veterans and Active Duty Military Personnel has been going on for decades.