What about our care?

Photo credit:  seiuhealthcare775nw

Last week I started a discussion as a result of some news articles I read.

The first article dealt with Dr. Donald Levin who felt that he could not provide both talk-therapy and medical treatment anymore.  Dinah Miller, MD, however, maintains the view that it is essential to receive both treatments from one qualified person.  John M Grohol PsyD introduced the thought that nowadays clinical psychologists,  amongst other mental health workers,  are much better trained in the area of psychotherapy than psychiatrists.

This led me to ask two questions:

1)         What to think of the appearance of other mental health workers providing various types of (talk-)therapy?

2)         Is it really better to be treated by one doctor providing talk-therapy as well as medical treatment?

One commenter, A. Karmin, wrote:

Since there are so many approaches to psych, it’s an asset to have various providers to turn to. If one has a negative experience it does not mean they should stop all treatment, rather they need to find a new provider. Kinda like if you go to a bad restaurant, you don’t stop eating, you just find another place to dine. The bottom line is to find the kind of treatment that suits your taste.

I love how he relates it to a dining experience!  Instead of staying with a health care provider who is not to our taste,  be it a p-doc,  counselor or some other therapist,  we should find one that is.  For this to happen we first need to know what care we need and want,  before we can go looking for it.

This can be as diverse as our food taste,  as Mommylebron’s comment shows:

I have an adult friend who sees a p-doc who is on charge of both her meds and therapy. However, in our case I feel that having one doctor who could cover both areas effectively would make it easier for me to keep up with my daughter’s treatment plan.

Since she is a mom to several children,  having  to go to different doctors for treatment is simply not an option.  So,  she needs to look for a p-doc providing both med and talk therapy with whom she and her daughter feel comfortable.  Unfortunately,  this can be quite a challenge…

Melody observes the following:

I believe it is imperative to have a level of continuity of care between the medication management and the therapeutic treatment to retrain the brain.

I wholeheartedly agree with this statement.  Oftentimes,  since diagnosis tends to happen during a crisis,  the medication treatment is started first.  Once the crisis  has passed or is under control there is room to start a form of therapeutic treatment.

My own care is divided between my counselor who resides in America and my p-doc and GP who live here in the Netherlands.  This is a pretty unusual situation and something the Dutch mental health system couldn’t deal too well with.

My counselor and I were already working together for over three years when I unexpectedly ended up back in my home country.  Through telephone and mostly Skype,  we continue our sessions as I was not willing to give up what we had built up over that time.  I am very grateful that it works very well for me!

I opted out of the Dutch mental health care system and found myself a psychiatrist in private practice,  specialized in mood disorders amongst other things.  My GP happens to know him and both of them have short links with the mental health care system.  Which is a reassuring thought!

With thanks to my commentors ;)


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8 Comments

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8 responses to “What about our care?

  1. hi fenny,
    thanks so much for your sweet words today… i really have been “hiding” in my house and leading the 31 day challenge gave me a reason to really hide read and write lol but thank goodness i do have a good doctor who is out there driving with me to get me back in the “game” lol.. wishing you a great day!
    shelley

  2. Awww Shelley, you really deserve it :) Besides, where would any of us be without support? Seriously, so glad I found SITS and you!
    I am so glad to know you have a good doctor, that is soooo important. You go girl, I know you will get there!!

  3. Hey – Shah for /Monday Madness here. Great article here. Pondering on it I must say I have only ever experienced a multi-layer type service. A psychiatrist to medicate me. A nurse to see me regularly and see I’m okay – home visits. She also liaised between me and the psych. And all too rarely I was give counselling. All the counselling I had was of limited or of no real use however. And I found they all had so much time of sick that there was never a routine of therapy I could rely on. I waited years to get given it, the first one treated me three weeks then spent a month off sick. Waited through Christmas etc, got back saw her twice and she was off another month. Blah blah – it went on. Then I was referred as it was decided I needed different therapy/therapist. Waited another year/half. Finally got someone and it was a nurse – not a counsellor or doctor. She saw me – I had to wait three months to see her again and we had the same ‘first’ session again before she’d lost her notes and forgot me. It went on like that and I decided it was more like hard work then actually ‘therapy. Anyone who gets GOOD therapy is luck I think.

    Shah .X

    • Wow, that sounds tedious…. I would have given up long ago! Caregivers have no business being sick all the time, lol :)
      Yeah, I know I am blessed with the care I receive.
      Here in good ole Holland a lot of this care is paid for by government, by law. Also our health insurance is not dependent on having a job.
      I guess living in Dubai isn’t helping either in that area?
      I lived in UK many years ago and was not impressed witht he health care system…
      Glad you take good care of yourself! Keep at it :)

  4. Found your blog courtesy of Monday Madness. It sounds like you really are receiving the type of care you need which is great. That article sounds great and really makes me think about the types of care here in Ontario Canada. It is so hard to get into any form of thereapy – even takes months to get into the Psychologist just for med changes – very frustrating.

    • Sandra, thanks for visiting!
      I hopped over to your blog – life can sure be challenging!
      Wow – do psychologist write out meds in Canada? I find that a bit scary – here they don’t get med training…
      Frustrating that mental health care is so difficult to come by, while it is so important for us to stay well.
      Do take care of yourself!

  5. Wow, this is one of the great benefits of new technology. I am so impressed! Really glad things are working out for you Fenny, you seem to be an empowered woman who is unafraid to get the help she needs. Kudo’s to you!

    • *blush* Thanks for the compliment Elizabeth! It was born out of necessity and proven very useful in later life!
      I love your blog and will be a regular visitor, I love your way with words!

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