Our Connections to Mental Health


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Presented at the Western State College's Healthy Connections Conference-April 21, 2012

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  • Our Western Medical Mental Health Model is dependent upon the DSMThe US Census of 1840 was the first to include idiocy and insanity in its questionnaire. In 1917, the Committee on Statistics – now known as the American Psychiatric Association – and the National Commission on Mental Hygiene published the first identifiable manual called Statistical Manual for the Use of Institutions for the Insane. Both are precursors to the DSM. This naming and labeling with no scientific rigor or foundation led to a manual that has never had to comply with such basic research concepts as validity and reliability. The World Health Organization published the sixth revision of its International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD) in 1949. For the first time, it included a section on mental disorders. Based solely on US Army and psych hospital statistics, no valid or reliable science was involved.DSM-I and the DSM-II reflected the predominant psychodynamic psychiatry,DSM-III addressed the need to standardize diagnostic practices within the US and with other countries after research showed that psychiatric diagnoses differed markedly between Europe and the USA. The establishment of these criteria was an attempt to facilitate the pharmaceutical regulatory process. Used a categorical approach assumed each particular pattern of symptoms in a category reflected a particular underlying pathology. Started the Multiaxial system.DSM-IV inclusion of a clinical significance criterion to almost half of all the categories when symptoms cause “clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning”
  • The book is the basis of psychiatrists’ authority to pronounce upon our mental health, to command health care dollars from insurance companies for treatment and from government agencies for research. It is as important to psychiatrists as the Constitution is to the US government or the Bible is to Christians.it is invoked by lawyers in arguing over the culpability of criminal defendants and by parents seeking school services for their children.The author of the 4th edition Allen Frances, believes his DSM inadvertently facilitated the skyrocketed diagnoses of autism, ADHD, and bipolar disorder and fostered an increasing tendency to chalk up life’s difficulties to mental illness and then treat them with pscyhiatric drugs. Psychiatrists are always wanting to show that their diagnoses are as good as the scientific ones used in real medicine.If used by people without clinical training can lead to inappropriate application of its contents. Appropriate use of the diagnostic criteria is said to require extensive clinical training, and its contents “cannot simply be applied in a cookbook fashion”.[25] *The APA notes diagnostic labels are primarily for use as a “convenient shorthand” among professionals. The DSM advises laypersons should consult the DSM only to obtain information, not to make diagnosesWith a diagnosis from the DSM, a licensed professional counselor/clinical social worker/marriage and family therapist/psychologist/psychiatrist, or in CO, anyone registered with the state, can provide their own approach to treating the symptoms of the illness with the informed consent of the client. *original note from Wikipedia
  • The insurance company doesn't cover a person’s life, to the contrary it pays off when a person dies. Amazing how we continue to accept terms that have no meaning as stated and may even have the opposite meaning. Life insurance means death insurance just as health insurance means sick insurance. Reimbursement requires sick To receive mental health services, you have to claim mental illness and obtain a diagnosis. You cannot be well, simply struggling with life issues, receive treatment, and have your insurance company pay for the service. You have to be sick to be reimbursed. If you are better and desire additional mental health services, you have to claim you are sick or payment is terminated. Psychiatrists and psychologists have to keep convincing insurance companies that you are still too sick to stop treatment. And insurance companies have to keep verifying the state of your well-being with the professional providing the service.
  • Categories are like the virtues and character strengths promoted in the positive psychology movement
  • Closest movement to supporting true mental health to date. Isn’t thisjust common wisdom? Sometimes this common “wisdom” is true, sometimes it is not. One person’s wisdom can be another person’s folly. Positive psychology research is discovering some things that might not be considered wisdom to all.
  • Take a moment to give thanks and express gratitude for something in your life today.
  • http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/newsletter.aspx?id=1553When Martin Seligman launched PP movement was born at the National APA conference in 2000, psychologists didn’t believe you could measure happiness, but why not? It’s obvious they were comfortable measuring depression.Dr. Richard Davidson at the U. of Wisc has been able to measure the part of the brain that fires when happy whereas in the past it was just self report. This is now a biological measure of happiness. Sensor technology is developing at a rapid pace and I’m sure soon will have a sensor that can give us or a counselor biofeedback data on our frequency and duration of happiness.
  • http://www.ppc.sas.upenn.edu/faqs.htm1. Novel isn’t it?2.courage, future mindedness, optimism, faith, work ethic, hope, honesty, perseverance, and the capacity for flow and insight, to name several. 3. immunizations have largely eliminated polio and other diseases. People care about more than just the relief of their suffering. People also care about living a fulfilling and meaningful life.4. Since when did a healthy living culture that guides people toward fulfillment and meaning exist?
  • Translates literally ‘to make right’Where this practice shows up as a daily routine, the family gathers to express love for each other at the end of the day and to 'track', relive, recognize and own any transgressions against each other.  Really sensing the feelings caused by these disconnecting moments, each person involved will own the negative moment caused to the extent that they are responsible as best as they can, and then ask the other who is impacted for forgiveness.  the elders support the children to learn and understand the importance of this routine.  It is a daily releasing of the things that trouble usThe process begins with prayer. A statement of the problem is made, and the transgression discussed. Family members are expected to work problems through and cooperate, not “hold fast to the fault.” One or more periods of silence may be taken for reflection on the entanglement of emotions and injuries. Everyone’s feelings are acknowledged. Then confession, repentance and forgiveness take place. Everyone releases (kala) each other, letting go. They cut off the past (ʻoki), and together they close the event with a ceremonial feast, called pani, which often included eating limukala or kala seaweed, symbolic of the release.[22] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HoʻoponoponoBecame a training for the UN’s international peace work.Don Wills, a former pastor of Waimea Congregational Church in Hawaii, brought leadership to the local nonprofit-Gunnison Area Restorative Practices.
  • The traditional healers of the Kalahari Bushmen talk about grief as it is passed between community members.  The healers call the negative feelings and moods "nails."  They visualize these as metal nails getting passed from one person to another.  Elders in these traditional communities monitor the group to watch these "nails".  If the elders see a buildup or critical mass of behaviors that indicate too many nails are present and spreading, they will call the community to put on a healing dance.  the dance creates a space for healing to occur.  The healers are mentored in how to remove these "nails" from people so that love and good feeling can flow once more.  In traditional communities this can happen every evening for days on end before the nails are away-at least to the satisfaction of the elders and healers. 
  • This mentoring model is from the 8 Shields Institute, who’s vision is to believe that many of the ailments that plague modern people, their communities, andthe earth are the result of disconnection. By developing tools that enable people to deeply connect to nature, themselves, and others, they intend to facilitate a more balanced, joyful, and healthful world.Their work is based on the 8 Shields Mentoring model, a holistic approach that maps the process of deep connection as a cultural phenomenon. The model offers insights into effective ways to foster learning, personal growth, and positive community interactions while forming relationships with the local environment.The 8 Shields model is rooted both in the legacies of place-based traditional ecological and indigenous cultures, and in the latest scientific research on learning, health, and biology. The institute claims that these sources provide the basis for routines, processes, and practices that inspire and support deep connection and engagement for all ages.●The quiet mind and a sense of being fully present in the moment, which deepensaccess to one’s inner creativity● Inner happiness and joy;● Vitality and energy flowing in the body;● An instinct & commitment to help others and make the world a better place;● A deeply empathetic and sensitive connection to the natural world;● Being truly helpful to others proactively, and in alignment with one’s gift andvision;● Being fully alive and able to give oneself fully to chosen endeavors & actions;● The ability to forgive and love others and oneself in a real and meaningful way
  • “the actual number of neural connections going from the emotional centers to the cognitive centers is greater than the number going the other way. This goes some way to explain the tremendous power of emotions, in contrast to thought alone. Once an emotion is experienced, it becomes a powerful motivator of future behaviors, affecting moment-to-moment actions, attitudes and long-term achievements. Emotions can easily bump mundane events out of awareness, but non-emotional forms of mental activity (like thoughts) do not so readily displace emotions from the mental landscape. Likewise, experience reminds us that the most pervasive thoughts – those least easily dismissed – are typically those fueled by the greatest intensity of emotion. Because emotions exert such a powerful influence on cognitive activity, scientistshave discovered that intervening at the emotional level is often the most efficient way to initiate change in mental patterns and processes.”
  • by far the most powerful rhythmic field produced by the human body—not only envelops every cell of the body but also extends out in all directions into the space around us. The cardiac field can be measured several feet away from the body by sensitive devices. Documentary, “I Am” features Tom Shadyac with an emwave hooked up to yogurt.As a counselor, I’m always working with people on an emotional level and, if this heart signals to our brain our environmental signals, I wonder why my profession is called mental health instead of heart health.
  • Personal experience tells us when we are angry, inhospitable and uncaring, we affect not only ourselves, but also those around us. Consider how one unkind, thoughtless or angry person affects a roomful of people; the feeling of discomfort and negative energy is noticeable. Conversely, have you ever felt the change a room’s atmosphere undergoes upon the entrance of a vibrant, cheerful or positive person? What if people around the world intentionally experienced sincere love, care, compassion and other positive emotions simultaneously and fed this positive energy into the global field environment? Isn’t this the scientific confirmation of the spiritual traditions of prayer and meditation?
  • Emwave is a heart-rate monitoring system that facilitates learning techniques to create an optimal state in which the heart, mind and emotions are operating in-sync and balanced. This is achieved through a biofeedback process which displays heart rhythm patterns in real time showing you when you are in this high performance state. This is called this coherence. This feedback of knowing how stress is affecting you can help you manage your emotional response and teach you to stay calm and think your way through stressful situations. As a professional Christian counselor, I encounter the healing and wellness power of prayer all of the time.
  • I propose that both techniques offer the coherence and unity of our mental and emotional states, but I prefer prayer as it offers a spiritual intercession that the Cut Through only believes to be heart intellignece through electromagnetic resonance. In group practice, both can accomplish more health as you may have experienced with prayer chains, group meditation or yoga.
  • 1. 2. Should a few paid professionals carry this weight or can our agencies and providers act as cultural repair mentors to facilitate the shift toward community responsibility for our health?I leave you with these questions to ponder and develop answers that can forever change our connections to mental health.Thank you.
  • Our Connections to Mental Health

    1. 1. Participants will: Review the medical model of mental health Evaluate the Positive Psychology model Understand a few past and present cultural models Consider the impacts of biofeedback research
    2. 2.  The 1st edition was published by the APA in 1952 DSM-II (1968), DSM- III (1980), DSM-IV (1994) The 5th edition is scheduled to come out May 2013 with deep reservations from top psychiatrists
    3. 3.  The authority of any doctor depends on their ability to name a patient’s suffering. For patients to accept a diagnosis, they must believe that doctors know that their disease exists and that they have it. By DSM criteria, a staggering 30 percent of Americans are mentally ill in any given year
    4. 4.  In the US, conscientious objectors to the Vietnam War often found themselves diagnosed as mentally ill. Not all individuals who have a mental disorder are aware of their failure to function. Schizophrenics are a good case in point - often denying that they have a problem. The definition of dysfunction is subjective and dependent upon culture and social context.
    5. 5.  Similar to life insurance, which pays when a person dies, health insurance should be called sick insurance To receive mental health services, you have to claim mental illness and obtain a diagnosis If you’re better and want more mental health services, you have to claim you are sick to be reimbursed.
    6. 6.  In 1958 Marie Jahoda was the first to make the case for understanding well being in its own right, not simply as the absence of disorder or distress, and called it Ideal Mental Health. Identified five categories which she said were vital to feelings of well-being: self perception, realistic self-esteem and acceptance, voluntary control of behavior, true perception of the world, sustaining relationships and giving affection, self direction and productivity.
    7. 7.  Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive.
    8. 8.  People who express gratitude on a regular basis have better physical health, optimism, progress toward goals, well-being, and help others more (Emmons &Crumpler, 2000).
    9. 9.  Positive psychotherapy relieved depressive symptoms on all outcome measures better than treatment as usual and better than drugs Found that 55 percent of patients in positive psychotherapy, 20 percent in treatment as usual, and only 8 percent in treatment as usual plus drugs achieved remission.
    10. 10.  Research has shown that one way to help suffering people is to focus on the building of strengths. Prevention researchers have discovered that there are strengths that act as buffers against mental illness Prevention can be far more effective than cure The responsibility of a psychologist is not merely to heal damage and treat disorder, but also to guide people toward a life that can be fulfilling and meaningful.
    11. 11.  Does our community/culture have a grief releasing process? If so, how effective has it been? What have you learned from your own processes about connection and what blocks connection?
    12. 12.  “Connection is ultimately about health and happiness. Its not about spreading a belief system, political agenda or philosophy. Its very much like the right to clean air and clean water. Think of these processes as dedicated to assuring there is the right to healthy connections with self, nature and others.”
    13. 13.  In recent years, scientists have discovered that the heart has its own independent nervous system —a complex system referred to as “the brain in the heart.” This system receives and relays information back to the brain in the head, creating a two-way communication between heart and brain. Emotions are no longer understood to be purely mental expressions, but a just as much are a heart and body expression.
    14. 14.  Seeking to raise global awareness about the field of negative mental and emotional pollution. Believes the negative energy encircling the globe is harming Earth Calling on Earth Day supporters to show their commitment to care for our planet. Examining how collective human emotional resonance in response to mass events of emotional significance is reflected in the earth’s magnetic field.
    15. 15.  A state associated with: Sustained positive emotion High degree of mental and emotional stability Constructive integration of the cognitive and emotional systems Increased synchronization and harmony between the cognitive, emotional and physiological systems
    16. 16. Cut Through Christian Prayer Be aware of how you feel about  Offer praise of recognition an issue at hand.  Give thanks for blessings Breathe a positive feeling or  Confess sins attitude.  Forgive offenses of others Be objective, as if the issue or  Communicate needs problem is someone else’s. Rest peacefully in this neutral  Listen for response or read Bible state, allowing your heart  Close in thanks for results intelligence to offer new perspectives and possibilities. Soak and relax all resistances and disturbing or perplexing feelings in your heart’s compassion. Ask for guidance, then be patient and receptive. While awaiting an answer from the heart find something or someone to genuinely appreciate.
    17. 17.  Could our mental health agencies and providers serve the community differently? Who should be responsible for our community’s mental health? What can you do to improve the mental health and wellbeing of yourself? Your community?
    18. 18.  www.authentichappiness.org www.heartmath.org www.8shields.org www.erickrawczyk.com