According to one of the most reputable surveys of its kind, the National Comorbidity Study Replication (NCS-R), almost one in five Americans has met the criteria for an anxiety disorder over the past year, and an estimated one in three people will experience an anxiety disorder in their lives. Bearing in mind that in 1980, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) estimated lifetime prevalence rates of anxiety disorders in the 2 to 4% range, it is safe to say that the diagnosing of anxiety disorders has spiked in recent decades.Read More
Confessing to a friend or family member that you were entering therapy used to mean something. It was akin to divulging that you were embarking on a quasi-spiritual endeavor to take an honest inventory of your past, to forge a truer self, to develop a greater capacity to love, to learn to live more intentionally. It also meant to better understand and productively express your emotions, and so alleviate anxiety and depression stemming from the suppression of self.
But we live not in the age of therapy, but of “mental health interventions.” The prevailing wisdom is that people are better off managing their mental health symptoms by turning to medications and availing themselves of short-term therapy aimed at speedily correcting thinking errors and changing unwanted behaviors. This is due to several pernicious myths about what treatment is effective and what kind of psychotherapy coverage is actually available under most health plans.Read More
Americans are well aware that their health insurance premiums have increased steadily in recent years. The data substantiate it. According to Mercer’s 2017 National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, large employers have absorbed a 3 percent annual increase in health insurance costs over the past five years, and will be hit by a 4.3 percent increase in 2018. What people aren’t privy to is that psychotherapy reimbursement rates have been stagnant or in decline for several decades, even though insurance premiums have risen sharply. This is mystifying given that the vast majority of people afflicted with anxiety and depression prefer psychotherapy over medications, science shows it rivals or even exceeds the benefits of medications, and it yields a “medical-cost offset,” or saves insurance carriers money on avoidable medical costs.Read More
Upon becoming licensed ten years ago, I began scampering around in search of “gigs” to supplement the meager income I was making as a part-time community-mental health therapist and college lecturer. It was my good fortune to land a two-year position with Teri Solochek, an educational consultant in the San Fernando Valley who was well known for conducting psychoeducational testing with the wayward children of the upper-strata and placing them in high-end therapeutic boarding schools around the country. I nodded politely and disguised my ignorance when she spoke of psychoeducational testing, assuming it was a of hybridization of the more regal psychodiagnostic testing that we are all trained to do in graduate school. Indeed, my stint with Teri Solochek proved to be auspicious and I incorporated psychoeducational testing as a dimension of my own private practice.Read More