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One of my professional supervisors recently referred someone to my practice for couples counseling. A day or so later, my colleague got an angry call from this same person, wanting to know why he gave him my name. Did he actually know who I was?!

Of course, my colleague said. I gave you her name because she's a very good therapist.

I looked her up online. Have you read that newspaper column about the Church? he countered.

Well, yes, and I don't think there was anything in that column about the Church and child sex abuse that wasn't true, my mentor said. After some other choice words, the caller asked for a different referral.

I think that's what we call client "self selecting."

One of the risks of writing or speaking in public is that people may actually listen to you. Since most if not all of what I write would be considered persuasive speech, what happens as a matter of course is that some people will agree with me, and some people won't. And in that p…

Violence and Mental Illness, Again

Yes, most mentally ill people are not violent. Thanks to the USPRA for such a wonderful professional reflection on the violent attack in Arizona.


USPRA Issues Statement on Tucson Shooting      January 13, 2011

The US Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association released the following statement in reaction to Saturday’s Tucson shooting in Arizona:

In wake of Tucson’s tragic shooting that shook America over the past weekend, we wish Congresswoman Giffords and the 13 other wounded individuals a speedy recovery, and our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those whose lives were impacted by this act of horrific violence.

With such senseless acts, we often search for someone or something to blame. The assassination attempt on Congresswoman Giffords has generated considerable speculation around the mental condition of the suspected shooter, which has heightened the stigma associated with mental illness. We must remember that there is a weak link between mental illness and violence. According to …

Spiritual Reflections: How we use our words has impact on our lives

Here's how I wrote about the shooting in Arizona for the Savage Pacer this weekend:

Spiritual Reflections: How we use our words has impact on our lives

Violence and Mental Illness

Today I pray, along with so many others for the victims of the Arizona shooting yesterday: six dead, at least 12 others injured, including Congresswoman Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The man in custody for this violence is now being held on multiple counts of murder, and his background searched for clues to his destructiveness. The county sheriff says the young man has mental issues. I say No Kidding.

Most of us who suffer from issues of behavior, emotion and thinking have what are called mental disorders. In other words, we as individuals have problems. Problems we know as something a part of ourselves but distinct from ourselves as a people. Those who suffer mental illness are people whose disorders have them. Major mental illness (MMI) like schizophrenia or psychosis so distorts the mind, mood, perception and behavior that we have commonly called these people "out of their mind." They behave as if they don't have two normal thoughts to rub together. Often, they don't.

No scientific backing to bracelet of stars | StarTribune.com

While all kinds of remedies have no "scientific backing," the Placebo effect, the power of the mind to effect healing with hope and expectation, is certainly a fact of science.

No scientific backing to bracelet of stars | StarTribune.com