Maintaining Mental Stability – Behavioral Health and Happiness

Charles Darwin discovered that we are basically primates. However, scientific discoveries carried on in the end of the twentieth century prove that the truth about the human nature is more complex than what he had believed.

The biologist and behaviorist Konrad Lorenz and other biologists discovered that we are basically programmed to react in a certain way. All wild animals are programmed to have certain specific reactions to various stimuli from their environment that indicate danger, that help them find food, and many other things. This means that many of the reactions that appear in our behavior are not the result of our own decisions, but the result of the existence of behavioral programs that pre-define our reactions, depending on the various stimuli of our environment that put them into action.

Lorenz related the findings of many biologists to his own findings concerning human and animal behavior. His remarkable research should have enlightened humanity. However, the conclusions he made were not appreciated by our hypocritical world leaders. This is why his discoveries didn’t change the global mindset, even though he was honored with the Noble Prize in 1974.

He discovered that there are so many hard-wired responses in human behavior, that we cannot talk about ‘human freedom’. In other words, if we are already programmed to react like animals in so many ways, we don’t have the freedom to make our own decisions and do what we really want to. We don’t control our behavior as we believe we do.

I related Konrad Lorenz’s discoveries to Carl Jung’s discoveries about the meaning of dreams. Then, I continued Jung’s research through dream interpretation, discovering the wild side of our conscience (anti-conscience) that he could not see. The anti-conscience is our primitive conscience that didn’t evolve like our human side. It is a very violent primate, with the difference that it can think.

The existence of such primitive content in the biggest part of our brain means that we are basically cavemen who didn’t evolve enough yet. This is why so many behavioral programs determine our behavior.

The powerful anti-conscience generates mental illnesses and mental disorders within our human conscience until it manages to destroy it. Then, it completely controls our behavior, leading us to terror and despair.

If we want to maintain our mental stability and behave in a way that will help us find happiness in life, we must eliminate the absurd thoughts generated by our anti-conscience. We must also eliminate the negative behavior imposed by its violent nature.

The unconscious mind that produces our dreams works like a doctor because we need constant protection and guidance. We must follow the unconscious psychotherapy in order to transform the anti-conscience into positive content before it manages to destroy our humanity. Only then will we acquire true behavioral health and mental stability. Thus, only then will we find real peace and happiness in life.

Economic Recovery and Healthcare Reform – Opportunities For Mental Health and Addictions

2009 is a critical year. Promised economic recovery and healthcare reform legislation are opportunities for meaningful financial commitments to mental health and addictions services and mental healthcare organizations are offering a practical actionable agenda:

– The integration of primary care services in behavioral health settings: The Healthcare Collaborative Project brings together behavioral health and primary care organizations offering a bi-directional approach for care. The need for behavioral health services in primary care is widely accepted. But the integration of primary care services in behavioral health settings remains controversial despite the fact that individuals with serious mental illness appear to have the worst mortality rates in the public health system. Therefore, mental healthcare organizations are actively pursuing single points of accountability to enhance continuity of care for this underserved population.

– Cost-based-plus financing that supports service excellence: People want and deserve quality services but quality services depend on skilled staff. Low salaries have created – and are perpetuating – a recruitment, retention, and quality crisis for behavioral healthcare. We need a workforce of skilled staff delivering nationally recognized practices within organizations that live by the rule “If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”For mental healthcare organizations, healthcare reform is an opportunity to bring “parity” to public mental health services by ending the second class status of community mental health and addiction providers in America’s safety net.

– Federal mental health funding stream dedicated to mental health and integrated treatment services for the uninsured: The uninsured have exceptionally high rates of untreated mental illnesses with co-occurring addiction disorders and there is no safety net. State plans to cover the uninsured have all but disappeared and federal universal coverage plans may well be incremental. We have large numbers of individuals with treatable mental illnesses and addictions in our overburdened emergency rooms, in jails, and on the streets with no access to services that can engage them, treat them and return them to work. We must stop denying our economy productive taxpayers and wasting human lives.

– Eligibility for social security disability for people with addiction disorders: Addiction has come a long way from the days when it was perceived as merely a failure of will. Today, there is growing public awareness and acceptance of addiction as a chronic, relapsing condition that requires continual monitoring and management, as do other chronic illnesses like diabetes, asthma, and hypertension and yes, mental illness. If we accept addiction as a chronic illness then we must advocate that people with addiction disorders be eligible for disability support.

– Funds to support investments by behavioral healthcare organizations in information technology: We talk about information technology and service transparency, but behavioral healthcare organizations that move forward to automate their clinical systems get no support, funding, or technical assistance. We and those we serve cannot continue to be marginalized. Healthcare reform and economic recovery will depend upon the expansion of information technologies and behavioral health providers must be included.

– Expansion of research-based education and prevention practices: There are mental health and addiction prevention and education programs that work. These include research-based prevention initiatives that reduce the risk of childhood serious emotional disturbance by treating maternal depression, the Nurse-Family Partnership Program that has an array of consistent positive effects across multiple trials, and Mental Health First Aid – an evidence-based mental health literacy program. Now we must adequately fund and support the spread of these interventions to communities across the country.

Behavioral Abnormalities Caused by Your Self-Defensive Mechanism

The translation of the meaning of dreams according to the scientific method of dream interpretation will help you understand the influence of the wild side of your conscience (anti-conscience) into the human side of your conscience. You will learn what determines your behavior and how to acquire sound mental health.

For example, dreams about other people give you information about your own behavior. Each person who appears in your dream is a part of your personality that has the same characteristics of the people who appear in the dream. Therefore, if you’ll have a dream about a person who has the tendency to distort the truth and present the facts according to their personal opinion, this means that a certain part of your personality imitates this person’s attitude.

Now, if the part of your personality who distorts the truth is a policeman in a dream, this means that this part of your personality is responsible for your self-defensive mechanism.

Putting everything together: Your self-defense is controlled by a component of your personality that has the tendency to lie and distort the truth.

When you’ll relate this information to your life biography (since you are the dreamer) you will understand that you have this self-defensive reaction because you had a traumatic childhood. You always defend yourself with a component of your personality that presents the truth according to your desires and not as it really is.

This attitude reflects abnormal behavior. Your abnormal behavior denounces the existence of a behavioral disorder. In other words, your anti-conscience managed to generate a mental illness within your human conscience because you had a trauma when you were a child.

You always have a self-defensive reaction given by a component of your personality that is not conscious, but belongs to your wild conscience. You adopt this behavior in order to protect yourself from the attacks of the world, and from your own thoughts. However, this reaction is based on absurd criteria.

Your self-defensive reaction is based on the distortion of the truth. It is the result of a traumatic experience. It is not a conscious and positive reaction before what is bad.

The unconscious mind analyzes your behavior in order to show you why you are making mistakes, and how you can stop doing what has a negative effect on your personality and life.

A mental illness is caused by the invasion of the absurdity of your anti-conscience into the human side of your conscience. It begins with a trauma and the acceptance of the absurd ideas of your wild side, which pretends to give you solutions to your problems.

All behavioral disorders reflect the control of your anti-conscience, which takes the place of your ego. It invades your conscience with its absurd ideas. Then, it gradually destroys your capacity to think logically. It also distorts your behavior. The unconscious mind gives you many explanations and lessons in the dream images in order to eliminate the negative influence of your anti-conscience.

Without understanding what causes absurd reactions and what kind of mistakes you make for being influenced by the absurdity of your anti-conscience, you cannot stop being a victim of your wild nature. Only after understanding what is negative and must be eliminated, will you acquire permanent mental stability and perfect behavioral health.

How State Budget Cuts Impact Continuity of Mental Health Care

Continuity of care between the inpatient and outpatient settings continues to be a challenge. Current hospital payments assume that hospitals are actively involved through discharge and the transition to outpatient settings and advocating for payments for outpatient providers to assist in this process is viewed as duplicative. This undermines mental health care providers’ ability to smoothly transition clients between service settings.

Meeting the credentialing requirements for program services and mental health professionals has posed new challenges. Community behavioral health organizations employ professionals that may not meet private insurers’ credentialing standards (for example, 3 years of post-licensure experience). Community providers have addressed this through contractual arrangements in which quality assurance and supervision requirements substitute for these credentialing standards. Services are billed under a supervisory protocol in which the supervising professional’s national provider identifier is used.

Additionally, some programs offer services that rely on a combination of funding sources such as county, state, and private insurers. In these situations, counties sometimes want to limit private insurance clients’ access to these programs because a portion of the overall program is covered by the county.

Impact of State Budget Cuts on Mental Health Care –

In a dramatic turnabout that may foreshadow dilemmas faced by other states, the governor of Minnesota vetoed funding for the state’s mental healthcare program. The legislature would have extended the program for several months, as a compromise was negotiated to retain elements of coverage for the state’s mental health population – a hospital uncompensated care fund, medication/pharmacy, and “coordinated care delivery systems.” In the system, an accountable hospital-centered program paid a fixed amount to cover about 40% of the state’s mental illness population who elected to participate. As there is no reimbursement for outpatient clinic and all non-hospital services, providers and consumers now are scrambling to seek disability determination or enroll in Medicare type coverage after the six month state mental illness coverage enrollment period ends.

While these cuts are only effective as of June 1, 2010, it is expected that they will result in increases to the uncompensated care burden on hospitals and community safety net providers.

How Do We Minimize The Impact of Budget Cuts on Mental Health Care?

Many not-for-profit membership organizations representing community mental health and other service provider agencies throughout Minnesota have been working in coalition with national mental health groups on advocacy related to the state’s mental health program changes. Initially, advocacy efforts were focused on encouraging the state legislature to vote in support of expanding the state Medicaid program early to receive additional federal funding (as provided for in the national healthcare reform bill). Unfortunately, this proved to be politically untenable in the immediate future; however, a measure was passed to allow the governor to use executive authority to expand Medicaid coverage for mental illness patients.

While being actively involved in this advocacy process is vitally important to the community behavioral health system, national mental health advocacy medicaid organizations and their members are also evaluating ways in which they can optimize their business practices to meet this changing budgetary reality. Among other strategies, community behavioral health providers are working to develop partnerships with community hospitals to reduce the number of avoidable emergency department admissions and ease the transition from the inpatient to outpatient settings, supporting clients through the disability determinations process so they may become eligible for Medicaid as quickly as possible, and raising funds that will help to cover the cost sharing requirements for state sponsored mental health care and the enrolled clients that are unable to pay.

Through this two-pronged approach that includes both advocacy and pragmatic business considerations, it is hoped that the community behavioral health system will be able to develop new cost-effective ways of delivering services that will be well-positioned to withstand funding changes while taking advantage of new opportunities made available through national and state health care reform initiatives.

Coaching & Consulting – Implications for the Mental Health Profession

This is the final article of a five part series exploring unique and noteworthy trends in the mental health profession. The article discusses the rise of professional coaching/consulting and its overall impact in the world of behavioral health. The purpose for examining all of these trends is to note business opportunities and competitive influences within the marketplace.

The Rise of Professional Coaches & Consultants

In early 2007 I was speaking with a friend of mine who told me he attended a relationship workshop he found to be very informative and helpful for both he and his wife. Naturally, I assumed it was a psychologist, marriage and family therapist, professional counselor or clinical social worker facilitating the program. Since I was in the field and felt I had a good handle on the marketplace I assumed I would know the clinician. When I asked the person’s name I did not recognize it. I asked my friend if the person was a therapist and he nodded his head in acknowledgement. Since I did not know this person I looked her up and realized she was not a clinician but a relationship coach.

There are several points worth noting about this conversation with my friend. One is the fact that there are people in your community providing a variety of individual and group services who are not mental health professionals in the traditional sense. The second point is that many of the people offering these services are very good at what they do, the third is that they are business savvy, know how to market their services and how to speak to consumers, and finally there is the reality that most people outside of mental health are not aware of the distinction between a mental health clinician and a relationship coach. They see them as interchangeable, as one in the same. Let’s briefly take a look at these important points since they speak to a phenomenon that will have more and more of an effect on the mental health profession as a whole.

a. Coaches & Consultants

Coaching is growing at an international level and these professionals are involved in numerous areas that overlap with mental health services. Some of these areas include career counseling, relationship counseling, leadership counseling, life change consulting, business consulting and grief counseling. They have done an excellent job penetrating highly lucrative markets such as Fortune 500 companies, CEO level executives, Schools and high end communities. In the past there was a stigma associated with this profession, however, the stigma has lessened considerably and in many parts of the world it is virtually non-existent. In addition, many of these programs and service offerings are of very high quality. They are well researched, innovative and highly structured. I recently attended a workshop delivered by a life coach who worked with people going through significant life changes whether it be death of a loved one, life threatening illness, divorce, career change, unemployment or any number of other things. The program was well defined, unique and utilized both clinical and coaching principles. It was a very effective program!

b. Marketing & Sales Savvy

Adding to the dilemma for mental health practitioners is the fact that many coaches are experienced in all areas of business. They know how to uncover needs/opportunities and then design and market programs that will speak to potential consumers. In many ways they are ahead of the curve in terms of sales and marketing principles. They are also able to leverage technology to improve their reach and to expand their presence in the market. Another interesting aspect to life coaching is that they are very specific with regards to who their target audience is, and as a result, they craft their message accordingly. These are important lessons to be aware of as you move forward in your career. Being clear as to who you are offering services to will help you to use your time wisely when it comes to marketing and selling. The good news is that you can learn a lot researching some of these professionals and taking a look at what they do effectively and not so effectively. Some areas I recommend researching are how coaches uncover what the customer wants and how they sell and market those services. All of this should generate new and fresh ideas for you!

Want some good examples of what I am talking about when I refer to Life Coaches?

Take a look at Marie Forleo and her website: www.thegoodlife-inc.com. She is a well-known coach who has received much praise for her work. Take a moment to view the site and hear what she has to say on her audio clip. Once you read the upcoming chapters of this book you will notice that she has adopted many of the principles I propose you begin using as soon as possible! Also take note of what she proposes to offer people and how she goes about doing this. You may not agree with her proposal to “skyrocket your productivity” and/or “revitalize your relationships”, however, what you cannot argue is the fact that she has successfully hit upon the needs and wants of her specific target audience.

Another site that will give you an idea of the power and scope life coaches and consultants offer is www.simpleology.com. This is a concept offered by marketing expert, Mark Joyner. He would not necessarily consider himself a life coach, however, his Simpleology program is based on scientific and behavioral research and is designed to help people manage and make sense of their hectic lives. It proposes to offer solutions that will increase your productivity and peace of mind. In addition, he leverages the power of the Internet to reach a broad audience by offering a sophisticated learning platform complete with free modules and software tools designed to help you prioritize and manage daily tasks and goals. His program should give mental health professionals a much better picture as to the kinds of programs and service offerings behavioral healthcare practitioners can develop and promote.

This article marks the end of my series on trends in the industry. Thank you for your interest! I hope this exercise gives you food for thought along with some new ideas for you to explore.

Copyright 2008 – David Diana.