Shopping For Your Next Therapist?

Dear readers,

I looked through this blog, and I found nothing in it that I would consider a thing about how to help a patient shop for a therapist. If you’re one of those individuals who’s experiencing mental health issues because of the pandemic, here’s your place to learn about what to look for in a therapist that might befit the needs of someone, especially someone with a disability. I wrote a couple years back, maybe three or so, about what treatment providers can expect as they treat blind and disabled patients, but I want to talk about finding a therapist whether you’re doing this for the first time or doing this therapist shopping thing for a third time, fifth time, whatever. So here are some questions you should ask your therapist, especially without stepping on HIPAA.

First and foremost, is the therapist willing and able to work with disabled women without blaming the disability for their mental illness? Some people actually blame disability for mental illness, but certain factors such as trauma can cause mental illness. Take it from the patient who’s been there, done that, don’t like to necessarily go back and forth about it.

Is the therapist friendly and able to establish rapport with you? If the therapist feels awesome and starts establishing rapport with you, great. But listen to your guts as you should be doing with everybody anyway. If your gut feeling is that the therapist is not clicking, that’s okay. Move on to the next one.

Does the therapist have good credentials of any sort? Usually, the therapist will tell you what they specialize in, and they will give you their prerequisites, a la college and where they studied. For female therapists, I have a lot of experience with them, she will likely tell you what her experiences are with women and such, but if you prefer a male therapist, same deal. If you are a member of the LGBTQI+ community and are also disabled, it may be helpful to have a therapist who is also a part of the community, though it is not required. Black/African American therapists, according to some news things I came across, are harder to find than white ones, but don’t be shy about asking about a therapist’s experience with ethnic minorities, and do they come off as condescending or do they still click with you? If you’re of any ethnic minority, chances are you’ve struggled to find a therapist who meets the ethnic minority thing, but since there might not be one that meets your insuring requirements, be open and flexible about your choices.

Does the therapist have expperience with religious minorities? Ask any question you like about this, but for those in religious minorities groups, i.e. nonChristian groups, this is a highly important question. You may be experiencing some things related to religious stuff, so a therapist could help if they have experience with religious minorities.

Ask if the therapist can provide digital or Braille material if you’re totally blind and wish to participate in a group they facilitate? IF you want to participate in groups, odds are there will be papers to play with. So ask the therapist if they could email or help with transcribing the materials in to Braille, depending on your personal needs. Any therapist should be required to do so, but some will say some stuff about HIPAA and stuff and might not want to do this very much. It takes a bit of advocacy to do this, trust me I have a bit of experience with this.

When you first go into a therapy session for the first time with your new therapist, whether this is your first or tenth, be prepared for the good stuff. The therapist will introduce themselves, including name, college credentials if any, how many years experience they have, what they specialize in if applicable, and then they’ll start telling you the confidentiality credo that goes like, “If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or homicidal thoughts” and remind you that whatever you say to them is confidential except in the case of suicidal or homicidal thoughts. I actually had to say this during a simulated therapy session with a social work student in college, so yeah, I know waht this is all about. You will likely have to sign a release of records, treatment papers and a consent for treatment form is among these. You will likely be asked a barrage of questions if this is your first time with the therapist, but one Facebook user has suggested grabbing your prior records if this is your second, third, or even tenth therapist you’ve gone through. I’ve been through about five or seven, but in doctors, psychiatrists, I’ve been through at least six or seven. That’s between two mental health providers.

Also, you may need to ask the therapist about how many years experience they have with working with disabled patients, and do they have papers they can share with you about the results of their treatment methodologies regarding traumas or other types of therapy. You may want talk therapy to start, but if you have specific needs, something that you want the healthcare company to cover,, talk to your therapist. Community mental health care is good for some who can’t afford private practice, and having a casework person coordinate your treatment team is a plus especially if you feel overwhelmed, so be prepared to do the same as above with a regular therapist if you’re doing intakes for community mental health.

If you want, guys, I can do a Mental Health Clinics 101 if needed. Don’t be so surprised, but mental health is a tough road to navigate for some, and during Covid it has become exhaustive for a lot of reasons. Isolation can make people go insane, quite literally. The social distancing is something that kids aren’t taking well, especially if they have suicidal thoughts going on. I’m lucky I have a partner to do lockdown with, but it’s sad when your friends can’t just drop by for your birthday or Christmas or what have you. I hope this post helps a lot.

Beth

How Hard Is It to Process When Freedom’s Gone?

Dear readers,

A spoiler alert is in effect for Handmaid’s Tale Season II. Please skip if you haven’t seen or watched this show. However, if you have seen the show and know what came after, do read this post.

This is hard to process. Emily found out in Season II of the Handmaid’s Tale that her professor colleague was hanged and called a really bad word that refers to gay men. Emily herself is in a lesbian relationship and her Martha partner got hanged for it. Emily was forced to go to the Colonies with the so called unwomen. Same with Janine. I feel bad for Janine, and for all the Emilys out there in Afghanistan who will never see her lover again.

There is something quite different about OfFred in the handmaid’s Tale. She’s spunky and she’s ready to rebel at all costs. Now I know why a buddy of mine hates Serena, and that gal deserves the same fate as the unknown wife in the colonies who was being punished for what? Falling in love. Women are assigned in marriage in Gilead, but let me tell you where in the real world that happens. Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, the entire third world, and the United States, so hell bent on “not offending cultural sensitivities” insists on legal child marriage. Let me explain why I hate this. Because little girls are too young to figure the love thing out … and too young for sex and relationships. Teenagers should never be brides, period.

The Taliban are notorious for acting just like the commanders, Sons of Jacob, in Gilead. And for those who say the Handmaid’s Tale is “irrelevant fiction”, go to Afghanistan. Try living under Taliban rules, no education, no work, just sex and breeding for you who say this who are straight females. My worst analysis of the recent scenes I saw in the Handmaid’s Tale are also true. I personally want to make sure that all my sisters and brothers in all communities outside of Christianity and Islam are safe, and the Handmaid’s Tale as I have said is a dire warning. It is a dire warning to us all, and Atwood’s book is even deeper. Need I ask that you read the Testaments?

The big thing is that Serena is about to find out how wicked she was to her handmaid, June Osborne, also known as OfFred. OfRobert, also known as Alma, had both her hands burned off. I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to kill a woman like Alma. Then there was Moira, who was a Jezebel for a time, but now, boy she’s going to be very very important.

I honestly am glad we don’t have Aunt Lydias in the world, but you could say Isis’s AlHamza Brigade is similar to the aunts of Gilead, only they’re Muslim ladies with guns who force their beliefs down girls’ throats. People, if you’re not paying attention to the similarities between Gilead and Afghanistan, I don’t know what planet you’re on.

I’ll b writing an analysis of a new book by Laura bates, a book about Incels and Pickup artists and the like. I will be talking about her book, how it analyzes the internet, the trolls and former community members she’s interviewed, and so much more. Yes, I’m going to tell you, there are plenty of incels in the white communities here in America, and I did write about one such. I do have some ideas about how we can fight back against such people, but if we don’t, we’re going to be a Republican right extremist country possibly called just plain America, or Columbian Gilead, or something else. We women won’t be able to write these blogs, read other blogs, or do anything but breed and marry, and handmaids could. be the surrogacy contract that most couples could arrange and I could be in big doo doo. People say, “Block the trolls.” But the truth is these trolls are like Eliot Roger, who said he’d punish women for rejecting him. Well, I’ve got something to question Roger’s actions.

What if all men had the government right and duty to kill or maim or impregnate women? I’d have to get out a pistol like June does in the Handmaid’s Tale and … not sure what I’d do exactly, but I’d have to do a resistance thing and take down the incel regime because that revolution is invalid. First and foremost, they’re racists. Incels also don’t like women to the point where they dehumanize and downgrade women from humans to “foid.” Notice the quotation marks I put that word around.

So what are the precautions we women must take? First, I’d never go to places where these men hang out, but if you have to work at a bar, things will be different. First, I’d stick a rapex device in the birth canal, I’d warn my partner I had it there, and go to the bar. Then if a guy tries to approach me and try to work sex like a vending machine, he’d get zapped or cut, simple as this. Something like this happened to a lady in New York, and the guy was forced to go to the ER for treatment, but then the cops showed up and the DA charged him with attempted rape, and that device is evidence of such a thing taking place. Another thing women should know about these types of guys, they could organize, form a male only government, and partner with terrorist orgs. Guess whawt? It happened in Afghanistan for the second time. Taliban rulers will not allow women in cabinet positions, government positions, or what have you. They are lying to all women in their borders, and trust me, they’re a lot worse than incelibates on the internet who say, “Women are not human.” There are men who avoid women too, thinking they’ll charge them with sexual harassment. Well, here’s a tip for gents who want to approach me: don’t catcall or harass me, or you’ll get kicked by my partner because it’s not cool to harass women to begin with. My short skirt is not a license to rape, and neither is my tank top, my dress, or what have you. Neither is a geisha’s gold kimono dress or what have you. Just … don’t … do it at all. Hold your dicks in your pants, don’t open your fly at the bar, just do not do it. You can approach me as a friend, a colleague wanting me to do more with my career, help me and train me as a conductor with a choir, whatever you have to do to get to me and train me in a profession other than sex work. the sex workers have to control the situation anyway, and I don’t plan on doing such things because hell, my partner would be a bit sad, so yeah.

Now if any of you people think this Handmaid’s Tale and incel post is scatterbrained, think again. Women who’ve told me I was incapable and incompetent should know that they will lose their freedom if they associate themselves with a Gileadean government. Here’s what I think the solutions should be regarding feminism and progressive causes and women’s rights. How do we protect boys from incel communities and MGTOW as well?

1. We need to ban these communities altogether, I don’t care if you think freedom of speech. We need to set up algorithms on Facebook and other social media platforms to catch the bad guys before they act. And here’s the good news: we have that capacity, so use it or lose it.

2. We need to establish that gender and sexuality evolve over time, and reteach all these boys in our schools that it’s not okay to handle women the way a pickup artist does, and we need to make boys aware of incel communities so they stay far away from them.

3. Girls must take governing positions as women, and we need to ban some things along the way. One, we need to ban sexual harassment at work, in schools, at home, and in play. Boys need to be taught by good parents, myself included should I birth such a person, that girls are humans, and that girls are not to be raped or violated in any way possible. Boys and girls in high school should be required to read the Handmaid’s Tale and the Testaments and … explore the possible distopian results of not standing up and saying no.

With all this in mind, I’m going to continue watching the Handmaid’s Tale another time.

Beth