Understanding Psychobabble; How to talk to a mental health professional

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1 Understanding Psychobabble; How to talk to a mental health professional

2 What we will talk about Commonly used terms and what they mean Abbreviations Questions you need to ask Tips for making your concerns known Differences between mental health professionals

3 Getting started Hopefully the person referring you has a few professionals for you to choose from Your insurance company may offer some help Chose a provider that is right for what you need For an initial appointment, therapy may be the best Therapists can be social workers, licensed professional counselors, psychologists, marriage and family therapists or nurses Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in the brain; they can prescribe medications

4 Appropriate? Age, sex and issues are important Children who are under the age of 10 may do better with play therapy, which is a specialized therapy Some kids do better with males vs. females It is ok to interview a therapist. If the relationship doesn t work, find another. Mental health professionals should be able to answer your questions and have a good rapport with the patient

5 Now Comes the Action Step The first step is to make the call: have insurance information available. Have written down what the main issues are you want to address. Make sure the person you are talking to knows if the need is urgent or critical. They will advise you what to do if someone is in danger

6 Types of Therapy Individual Therapy: this is generally an hour long meeting with a therapist and the child Family Therapy: hour long discussion with the child and parents. Some times includes siblings or grandparents Group Therapy: Generally a number of same age kids with the same basic issues who meet together with a therapist.

7 More Therapy Options Acute Care: a level of hospitalization that offers safety for the patient while getting treatment on any of a variety of issues. Sub Acute: level of care that allows for the child to remain at the hospital, but leave for visits home and on outings. Generally is therapy focused with a strong family involvement Day Treatment/ Partial Hospital: A less restrictive treatment option where the child goes to therapy and groups during the day and returns home in the evening

8 Some Abbreviations RTC: residential treatment center ADHD: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder MHMR: Mental Health Mental Retardation: state funded organizations that serve as the local authority for these types of services MDD: Major Depressive Disorder BPD: Border Line Personality Disorder ODD: Oppositional Defiant Disorder

9 Terms You Will Hear Assessment: This is a very detailed interview with the parent and child. It may take an hour or more. This is the beginning of the relationship. Diagnosis: a specific set of symptoms that point to s particular disorder. Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Talk Therapy. Used for a variety of different issues and usually short treatment course with a very good outcome. This requires the child to be developmentally able to process information and arrive at conclusions.

10 Terms You May Hear Psychological Testing: This is a series of tests ( noninvasive) designed to look at the way a child takes in information from a variety of sources and how they use that information. It may include questions, pictures and a game of blocks. This is used to make the diagnosis more evident or uncover something that may be hidden at this time. It is effective in uncovering some learning issues. Testing can take several hours to complete.

11 Words Intervention: Just a way to say this is the plan is for what we are going to do Informed Consent: this means someone has explained the treatment to you in a language you can understand and verifies that you understand it all including the drawbacks and positives about the proposed treatment. It requires a signature. You will get a copy of this Integration of Services: Making sure the family receives the services they need but not ones they don t, and everyone involved in care is aware of what the others are doing.

12 More Words Involuntary admission: This mean the child did not agree to go to the hospital. This may involve a court proceeding Voluntary admission: The family and the child agree to being in the hospital Prognosis: this is the outlook; how well is the treatment going to work; what can you expect Restraint: this is a tool used when people get out of control and may hurt themselves or someone else.

13 Still More Terms Multidisciplinary Team: this is a bunch of different types of professionals who are providing services or activities. They may include a psychiatrist, social worker, psychologist, nurse, dietician, teacher, recreational therapist and mental health technicians or helpers Symptoms: the behaviors or actions that suggest the particular problem. These are usually physical, but may also include thinking symptoms as well

14 Final Terms Case Manager: this is a social worker or nurse who manages the care while in the hospital. They make sure the insurance gets what they need in order to approve the care, set up appointments for after the patient leaves and provides a communication point for the family. Case managers can also assist with school issues, and in some cases getting assistance for housing and other issues

15 Final Thoughts Make sure you understand what medical or mental health professionals are saying to you. Ask questions until you are crystal clear about what the issues are and what the plan is. Once you understand and agree to the plan, be an active member of the team. Show up for appointments as scheduled Maintain open communication with the doctor and the therapist

16 Additional Steps Have a plan for an emergency. Find support groups for you and the family Be kind to yourself Be active in your child s life and stay involved Learn all you can about their condition If you have a hard time remembering questions that come up, write them down in a book and take it with you to your next appointment Call if there are any concerns; no matter what time

17 Resources Know where to go Some resources for you are listed here: NAMI San Antonio : / Support groups and educational classes on mental health issues that are free The Center for Health Care Services: / Local mental health authority: wide range for services for people with little or no insurance Clarity Child Guidance Center: / Not for Profit mental health organization for children and adolescents; psychiatrist/ therapist and all levels of care

18 Resources Laurel Ridge Treatment Center; / for profit mental health hospital for adults and children. All levels of care available. Local churches: Community Bible Church, University Methodist Church and many others have counseling available Family Services : The Health Collaborative:

19 Thank You All! Kathy L Cunningham, RN Clarity Child Guidance Center

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