Tuesday, April 23, 2013

It’s all in the code.

When I was in grad school, I did an internship at one of the public mental health centers in a high risk area.  I learned almost nothing about actual mental health treatment. No modes of assessment. No rapport building techniques. No care plan writing skills.  Nada.

However, more important than actual mental health treatment, I learned a few things about the mental health field. 

One, almost everyone who goes into the mental health field is, to a greater or lesser extent, nuts. And, the crazy really comes out at staff meeting. Hours of mind numbing inactivity while the health care providers engage in verbal combat to assert their dominance.  

Two, accurate diagnosis of a disorder is irrelevant.  Learn what diagnostic codes the insurance will reimburse for and then be amazed that all of your patients happen to have that disorder.


Three, even at the public clinic there are a few ethics you have to adhere to.  For example, while I was doing my internship, the clinic director got caught having sex with one of his patients in his office. I would guess that most people, therapy license or not, could figure out that this was not a good idea.

Four, my interest in working in the mental health field was about the same as my interest in watching Nascar.  Oh look! A manipulative, non-compliant, pregnant, unemployed, court-ordered, drug addict.  Therapy will fix that right up and I bet the Nascar drivers are about to turn left.        

“Of course I'm crazy, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.” Robert Anton Wilson

“A major difference between witches and psychotherapists is that witches see the mental health of women as having important political consequences.” Naomi R. Goldenberg

"Insane people are always sure they are fine.  It is only the sane people who are willing to admit that they are crazy." Nora Ephron

"I didn't decide I was crazy until 1952. That's when I began making a steady salary and could afford to be crazy." Allan Sherman

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