The Problem with the Mental Health Solution

– This post is adapted from a post I made on social media earlier this week –

Eleven days ago, a former student of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, brought a semi-automatic rifle to his old school and killed 17 people. 14 more were injured. It feels callous to mention these numbers; I imagine that to those who were close to the victims, the numbers can feel depersonalizing. And yet, to read the stories told by those who survive their loved ones, to think about the loss and innocence of those whose time was cut short, is a very bitter undertaking. I feel like I’ve become jaded – hardened to the reality of these events, perhaps because they’ve become so relatively commonplace.

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The Long Game

I work with a few teenagers in my private practice. They tend to be older teenagers, since I tend to enjoy working more with people who are able to self-reflect and think about their thoughts and emotions.

One byproduct of working with older teens is learning how to navigate the sometimes treacherous waters between the teen and their concerned parent. Often, parents who bring their child to therapy do so in the hope that whatever problem they see will get corrected – their child will start doing better in school, stop drinking/smoking, or become more compliant at home. The tricky part comes when the solutions that the parent might see as valid (which they’ve already tried) haven’t worked, and sustainable solutions that could work for the teen seem invalid to the parent. Continue reading “The Long Game”

The Prices We Pay

Cielle and I have only ever bought one of our cars new. It was a decision we ended up regretting for multiple reasons, not the least of which was that we discovered a few months later that Cielle was expecting twins – the car we had bought would be too small for our suddenly larger family.

Even before we discovered just how poor our decision had been to buy this particular car, we felt uneasy about the process of buying it. Neither of us are very shrewd negotiators, and the haggling about the price of the car with our salesperson at the dealership was uncomfortable. At one point, we were invited to talk to the salesperson’s manager (a tactic I later learned is commonly used to secure a sale), and we discussed different financing options.

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