We, professionals, often think that we are the only holders of intelligent observations and trained to understand insights. After all, we have studied human behaviors long and hard, learned about theories and diagnosis, and trained in evidence-based approaches.One of the lessons many of my mentors/supervisors shared with me was the importance of recognizing the innate wisdom lurking in every recipient of our care.Read More
TWO New York City researchers, Pat and Jake Cohen, undertook a very interesting study in the early 1980s. Both were statisticians in two different departments of psychiatry in the city. Together, they had written one of the primary textbooks on multivariate analysis. In another collaborative study, they looked at the composition of physician caseloads, including, but not limited to, psychiatry. What they found was startling.Read More
Don’t throw the baby out with bathwater – even if it’s the baby that peed in the tub!
When we first realize that something is wrong – the water is yellow! – it’s all too easy for the next phase of chane to be a reflex reaction. Toss the water and there goes our baby. But what if we took the time to really understand the nature of the problem – and found it’s the baby that contaminated the water!Read More
A long time ago in a galaxy far away, I was a nurse at in the neurosurgical unit at Boston’s famous Children’s Hospital. One afternoon, we received a semi-comatose patient named Charlie in our ICU. He was 15, and apparently a really good kid from a terrible neighborhood in Roxbury, a section of Boston next door to us. He and his best friend had found a gun in a trash can. They thought that they had checked the gun barrel for bullets and proceeded to play a game of Russian Roulette. The friend put the gun between his own eyebrows and pulled the trigger.Read More
2013 Theme: Service Innovation Across The Lifespan: What Does It Take To Make An Impact?
International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) is holding its ninth Leadership Exchange the week of March 4, 2013. This is not a conference but an opportunity for a small number of about 300 Mental Health and Disability leaders to meet and learn from their colleagues. You can browse the full agenda on our website. It’s not too late to join this year’s cohort.Read More
Welcome to my new “Recover, Revitalize and Restore” blog, a place to open conversation and connection to remove the obstacles that we find are blocking mental health excellence in our systems, persons and culture.My passion for this topic grew to a burning need while working to connect with a guest in a Community Mental Health Center Residential facility who had struggled with the system for over twenty years – he was rejected by many, not trusted and forced to hide who he was in order to navigate the system that was supposed to be “helping”, but actually further traumatized and dehumanized him. While working to advocate for him and provide relationship-centered care, which to me translates as a true recovery mentality, I ran into the full force of the barriers that our systems present. I had already experienced these firsthand while providing care in hospital settings. In the ensuing time, however, working within a therapeutic community, advocating for eating disorder parity and education, being trained in psychodrama and experiential therapy, and adopting the personal contemplative practice grounded in the teachings Thich Nhat Hahn all fueled my belief that there is another answer and we really can provide hope and healing. The agency I work in was willing to try a new approach, so I began searching for other places and models to meet the needs I saw.Read More