Monday, May 23, 2011

Brain Scans and Mental Health. THE FINAL FRONTIER!

...These are the voyagers of the Starship, Enterprise. It's continuing mission to explore strange new worlds...

No, this is not some cheap trick to get you to read more about my obsession about Star Trek! It is about real-life stuff for real people.
I know that I have spoken in the past about Dr. Daniel Amen. He is a psychiatrist who provides treatment for individuals and uses SPECT imaging as part of the diagnostic and treatment regime. I cannot do justice to describing the work he does. I have friends who have used his work results to help their children and had great results. Dr. Amen has studied which parts of the brain are not functioning properly for ADHD, OCD, Anxiety disorders, depression, traumatic brain injuries, and so on. He then studies what happens to the brain as an individual receives mental health treatment, dietary supplements, and medications. The results are astounding. If you want to learn more, click on the link below. I just finished reviewing this portion of his newsletter. At the bottom is a powerpoint that he uses in presentations to discuss why he uses SPECT imaging.

Addiction and Fear Are Married!

Dr. Athena Staik, PhD posted this link on twitter today. I found the information beneficial, not only as a professional in the mental health field, but also personally.
She discusses how addiction is formed in the brain and how coupling a behavior, dopamine (neurotransmitter utilized in pleasure-center areas in the brain), and biological teaching components can pave the way to any type of addiction.
She then talks about how fear is at the foundation of addictions and how it is built into us as we go through developmental stages.
Check it out!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Jamison Law is "The Beast!" So says a student....

The following is an excerpt from an assignment I gave to masters-level students taking a course on counseling skills. I asked the students to provide a short autobiography at the beginning of the term. I also asked them to have some "fun" with it. The student gave me permission to use this...I'm not sure how to take it, though.

Therapist: Hi there, Joanne. I’m very glad to meet you. . .

Client: Wow, I can’t believe I actually made it to your office.

Therapist: Why do you say that?

Client: I got lost on the way and thought I was going to go crazy.

Therapist: (Chuckling) There’s no such thing as a crazy person in my office . . . you don’t need to worry about that.

Client: I’m really relieved, cause there have been times on my way to work that I knew that the cops were following me.

Therapist: Why did you think the cops were following you?

Client: Well, I work at a residential treatment center for teen girls, and I swear, every time I get on the road to go to work, a cop follows me. I think he is stalking me.

Therapist: Stalking you?

Client: Yeah, I mean, first, I hear him on the radio to his dispatcher, telling her that he just spotted me. Then I take evasive maneuvers.

Therapist: How do you hear his radio?

Client: Through my car radio, silly. The conservative talk radio guys are actually sending messages for the cops.

Therapist: How long have you been hearing these messages?

Client: Oh, since I had my twin boys about 16 years ago. But it got a lot worse after I had my last baby at age forty-one. That one really put me over the edge. You know, don’t you, that Rush Limbaugh is planning on divorcing his wife to run away with me?

Therapist: What evidence do you have for that?

Client: Well, I’ve been married to this terrific guy for 30 years, see? And had seven remarkable children. . .perfect really. Never done anything bad in their lives. . .

Therapist: You believe that?

Client: What’s to believe? They just are perfect.

Therapist: (Muttering and writing in his notes) Wow. . .delusional . . .

Client: Anyway, Rush said that all I have to do is to get my LPC from Argosy, and then he will leave his wife. So that’s why I enrolled. Hey, did you know that on my American Express account that Argosy is spelled ORGASY??? Somebody switched the letters of the university’s name on the bill. It’s a conspiracy!

Therapist: You pay for school with American Express? Whoa. . . (He scribbles another note)

Client: It’s true, I swear! My husband always collapses on the ground laughing when he sees the name of my school on the account . . . He can’t figure out how to pronounce it—Orgassy? Or--

Therapist: (Interrupting) So what does your husband think about this new marriage?

Client: Oh, he loves Rush, too. It’ll all work out. I only have about another year and a half of classes. My biggest hurdle is this class I gotta take from Jamison Law.

Therapist: Man, I heard he was a beast.

Client: Same. I’m really anxious. I just need a few sessions of therapy to calm me down and get through his class. Then I’m sure everything will work out.

Therapist: What do you mean by “everything will work out”?

Client: You know—I’ll get an “A”, get my degree, get my license, marry Rush Limbaugh, and start my own residential treatment center and be rich for life!

Therapist: I have a friend that might be willing to see you instead of me. . .

Client: You don’t like me? You’re trying to abandon me? (she crouches in an attack stance)

Therapist: Don’t think of it as “leaving” exactly. Think of it as, er, expanding your network.

Client: If you try to get rid of me, I’ll sic Jamison Law on you! You’ll regret this! (She lunges across the desk at the therapist).

Therapist: (Yelling) Security! Security! Get in here! She’s crazy!!