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10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t (or can’t) Use Health Insurance for Therapy or Counseling

by Don Laird, NCC, LPC, DCC

Did you know that your current health insurance plan may not cover therapy or counseling? You would assume that using insurance to pay for therapy is just another part of your existing coverage, right? You pay enough in premiums, so why wouldn’t it be covered? The long and short answers are typically “no” or “not always.” Most insurance providers continue to relegate mental health to the bottom of the coverage barrel. So it is possible that your health plan may not even contain mental health coverage. If therapy is included it may be minimal at best. If in doubt, ask your carrier. In the meantime, here are just 10 reasons why we do not accept insurance and why you should think about using alternative payment methods regardless of your current health plan.

  1. Cost. Your insurance company’s hidden fees, deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurances are expensive and they add up quickly. Furthermore, due to frequent delays and confusion with billing, you may not receive an invoice until months after a service is provided.
  2. Your treatment is NOT confidential when you use insurance. Since we will not bill insurance companies for our services, the information about your treatment remains confidential between us, unless you wish to release that information to another party.
  3. We would be required to give you a diagnosis. which your health insurance will keep on file permanently. Health insurance companies require us to submit a clinical diagnosis in order to provide you with treatment. However, not everyone has a “mental illness” that requires a diagnosis, but rather they are struggling with life issues and related stressors.
  4. Insurance companies want LOTS of your most intimate information. We would be required to discuss your private information with a total stranger, who then determines (usually after reviewing your case with several other people) whether or not the therapy or counseling is helping you. In other words, the insurance company controls treatment instead of you and your therapist.
  5. Pre-existing condition. This alone should steer you away from using insurance for therapy. With the changing dynamics of healthcare a diagnosis could mean that once again your insurance company will use it against you as a way to raise your premiums or deny you coverage.
  6. Out-of-pocket costs. Deductibles and co-pays for insured clients continues to increase, and in 2019 tax payers won’t be penalized for being uninsured. Therefore, more under-insured and uninsured clients will find themselves seeking alternative avenues to pay for mental health services.
  7. Your insurance company’s Mental Health or Wellness Coach/Concierge is NOT a substitute for a Licensed Professional Counselor or Therapist. They can dress it up however they want, but don’t be fooled. Many of these faux counselors have a minimum amount of therapy experience are not licensed with the state or national boards, and they are in that position to provide simple advice and a referral to an in-network counselor provided by the insurance company. They are there to support the insurance company, not you.
  8. Insurance increases healthcare costs for everyone. Therapists and medical professionals spend more time on administrative paperwork, billing and follow-up than seeing clients. Working with insurance companies costs therapists more in overhead, and that means less time with clients and higher costs for all.
  9. The Bottom Line. In our years of professional experience, there is no “cookie cutter” or “one-size-fits-all” solution when it comes to good mental health. People experience life differently. People navigate their problems and issues differently. There is no substitute for a strong and honest therapeutic relationship. Having an insurance company demand that we get all of your issues resolved in a few sessions is not only unrealistic and unhealthy, but it is unfair to you as a person. We don’t want you to discontinue your sessions because an insurance company representative or medical director doesn’t value your treatment or well-being.
  10. Some additional perspective. Below is the recent annual profit for just one of our region’s largest health insurance providers. The number speaks for itself. Moving forward, and simply said, we can’t in good conscious agree to accept insurance when the price is too high for clients to afford and quality of care is potentially jeopardized by administrative and other related costs.

 

I hope this helps you understand why we do not accept health insurance and why you should check with your provider before assuming therapy and counseling is included under your plan. It may be, but it could also be very costly to use in the end. Of course these are just a few reasons, and I’m certain I could fill several volumes worth before covering all the grounds for why using insurance is just not always in your best interest.

At eTalkTherapy we provide professional, HIPPA compliant online therapy that is both affordable and convenient.  We are serious about your mental health needs and we have highly trained, experienced therapists and licensed counselors who are also certified in telehealth. eTalkTherapy is reasonably priced, and fits easily into most budgets. If you want to change your life for the better, contact us today. We hope to work with you soon.

In good health,
Don

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Everyday folk

by Christy Gualtieri

For Christmas last year, one of my brothers gifted our dad with one of those ancestry-type DNA tests, the kind where you spit into a tube and mail it away. You wait for a while, and then results get sent back to you, sort of breaking down your ancestral heritage.  He hasn’t received any results yet, but I’m decently clear on my family’s history – on the one side there’s some Eastern European and some Irish (more Irish than not, I believe); and on the other, there’s Cuban. My father’s parents were from Cuba, but up until recently I learned that they were only in Cuba for that one generation. Before that, they were from Spain.

My other brother told me last week that he found out recently through some other family of ours that we were from Spain, and we were pretty righteous people there: Jewish men and women fighting against the Inquisition. A statue of one of my great-great-great grandfathers still stands in a Spanish town, apparently, in honor of his efforts. And for a second, I puffed up with pride, because it’s a nice feeling when you come from honorable people – it makes you feel kind of honorable, too.

But as I thought more about it, I realized how interesting it was, this tug in our hearts to get connected to our past families through these sorts of lineage-type activities. Because who are we looking for? Are we looking for people similar to us? Maybe you’ll find out you had a great-great-great grandmother who liked to knit, just like you do. Or a way-distant relative who liked to be very close to nature, and now you’ll feel justified to your TV-loving family that you’re not weird for not liking TV, you’re just like that great-great aunt who also just loved being outdoors. Are we looking for people to inspire us? Hey, that crazy relative went whole hog on this patent idea that made him famous and really wealthy, so maybe I can quit my job and go all-in on my idea, too! Or are we looking for ways to puff ourselves up? Apparently, my entire ancestral lineage was a bunch of good-for-nothings, and I’m doing great now in comparison – I’ve really made it!

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great fun to look back and see who was there along the way long before I arrived. But the temptation for me, and maybe for some other folks out there, is to find out someone great we can focus on (the guy they built the statue of, for example) and not the long line of people before him and since then that were just normal, everyday folk, who lived and died just doing what they did – holding down a job maybe, having children, fretting about the weather and taxes – but having enough sense to keep creating a line, so we’d get to where we are today.

In today’s world, so many of us hear the message that we need to succeed to really mean something to someone. You’re only valuable if you can produce something other people like; you only matter if people know who you are. But I think deep down, you and I know that’s not really the case. We matter because we carry an inherent dignity, just by virtue of the fact that we are people.

So if you end up doing one of these ancestry lineage tests, and you find out there’s no glamorous fruit hanging off the family tree, remember that it’s not a bad thing. Remember that the everyday folk are just as important as the freedom fighters and the warriors, because otherwise, you wouldn’t be here! And if you’re not as successful as your neighbor is, don’t stress out about that either because you’re just as worthy as they are of love and dignity.

Until next time, be well!
Christy

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6 Reasons Why Online Therapy Will Work for You

by Christina Pettinato, MS, NCC, LPC, DCC

Scenario 1: Jump in the car after work. Fight Traffic. Skip dinner. Arrive at the therapist’s office. Sit in a cramped, stodgy waiting room with your stomach rumbling. Wait a week for your next appointment. Rinse. Repeat.

Scenario 2: Look for a sitter. Can’t find a sitter. Cancel therapy this week.

Scenario 3: It’s snowing, again. Roads are horrible. Cancel therapy.

Scenario 4: “I feel overwhelmed, and I’m really anxious. I’m struggling with my thoughts and feelings.” Your next available appointment is in two weeks? Really?!

Scenario 5: Your insurance deductible is $5,000 and you’re not even sure if therapy is covered.

Does this sound familiar? These are just a few practical criticisms levied against traditional therapy. As technology, costs and schedules change, having the option to talk to your therapist live-online is becoming a popular choice for a number of reasons.

Since 2017, our highly trained and experienced telehealth professionals have been providing clients with quality care. In most cases, you will be able to schedule and meet with a therapist the same day. Unlike many other practices, we use a state-of-the-art HIPPA secure portal. Your information and sessions are secure and private.

Here are just a few of the benefits of choosing eTalkTherapy:

  1. You can tackle your issues today: If you are seeking support for anxiety or stress-related issues, and feel overwhelmed at the prospect of having to schedule and attend an in-office appointment, then the online option could be the best one for you. This is your health and wellness, and it has to suit your needs. Anxiety and depression are not viruses, and they just don’t go away on their own. Addressing your issues and using proven techniques such as a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and traditional talk therapy will likely help you feel as though your life is not out of control and that you are making gains toward a better, mindful life.
  2. You can have both privacy and comfort: At eTalkTherapy, you can meet live online with your therapist from the comfort and privacy of your own home. All you need is a computer or tablet. Maybe you’re struggling with transportation or a long commute, maybe you can’t get childcare, maybe the weather forecast is not looking favorable, maybe your insurance co-pay or deductible is too high, or maybe you are away from home at college. For whatever reason, if having your session on live video chat works for you, then it works for you.
  3. You can keep your sessions while traveling: We offer you the flexibility of having your sessions online. You might be traveling for work, going on an extended vacation, or leaving for college. Whatever the reason, eTalkTherapy gives you a convenient and affordable alternative to a traditional office visit.
  4. You can schedule to suit your needs: Your time is important. The online option gives you back the time you’d spend commuting without delaying or interrupting your therapeutic work.
  5. You meet with our therapists live-online: Unlike other services, we have been doing telehealth since 2017. We value the therapeutic relationship and understand that texting or email correspondence will not replace being able to see someone face to face. We provide a HIPPA secure and professional online experience for every client we meet. If the internet is not an option we can also provide counseling by phone.
  6. You don’t have to worry about insurance co-pays or deductibles: In fact, you’re mental health needs may not even be covered by insurance. Your information remains private between you and your therapist. Our affordable rates give you the flexibility and financial comfort you may have been seeking from your therapy experience.

If you are looking to make positive changes in your life, we can help! Please contact us today about how to register and schedule your live video counseling session with Christina.

Follow eTalkTherapy on Facebook and Twitter for updates and articles related to good mental health!

Avanti,
Christina

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Turning Dreams and Goals into Action

by Don Laird, MS, NCC, LPC, DCC

What’s on your “bucket list?”

Writing a novel?

Traveling through Europe or Asia or both?

Learning how to paint or play piano or dance the Tango?

Goals and dreams give us hope, make life interesting, and provide us with a source of everlasting motivation and meaning. Often they present a sense of balance in a seemingly unbalanced world. Naturally, realizing your goals and dreams requires action.

You know all the tired, self-generated excuses as to why your goals are “impractical” or “will have to wait until a better time.” You’ve justified these reasons enough that they have become the only response to your ever-patient, ever-waiting life dreams. Here are a few thoughts that might turn these excuses into accomplishments and help you realize the potential of your life’s goal:

  1. What do I really want? It seems like a simple question until you begin focusing on what is important. What gives me a sense of connection, purpose and meaning? What is my “calling?” Do I possess talents and abilities that I have told myself are not practical or unimportant? How many of my negative thoughts about my dreams and goals are self generated?
  2. How will I get there? What do you need to connect the dots between Point A and Point B. Map out each step you might take on your journey. If you don’t have some plan in mind, you will likely find yourself struggling with frustration and uncertainty.
  3. What if my dream were already happening? Successful performers, sports figures and entrepreneurs report they are able to visualize their achievements far in advance. The use of positive visualization does not make automatically your dreams or goals come true, but it does provide a healthy nutrient for the soil in which your achievements can take root.
  4. What can I control? Staying focused on your goals and dreams without allowing others to interfere can be difficult at times, but not impossible. Do NOT allow others to dictate or influence your goals and aspirations. Becoming caught in others opinions or good intentions often times is the proverbial pin to your goal balloon. Remain in the present, knowing that you can only control what is happening at this moment, and only what is happening with you.
  5. What if I fail? Every journey will have its share of stormy weather. Treat any rejection or misstep as a learning moment toward realizing your dream and goal. Most everyone can agree that they will regret what they DIDN’T do in life versus what they did do.
  6. Is it even realistic? Perhaps not, but are you willing to try? Be persistent and flexible. Know that you will have to “roll with the punches” from time to time. Perhaps you will be surprised over what you discover about yourself on your journey.

Get going – now! Tend to your dreams and goals. Your journey can begin with a first, small step.

In good health,
Don

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Bitter Popcorn

By Aurora Starr

The editor of this blog approached me some time ago asking if I would be interested in writing an article about “ten movies that highlight existential motifs.” I know this because the assignment had been scrawled on a coffee stained notepad that often goes missing for weeks at a time. My handbag is a mysterious and often unforgiving portal to the unknown. Things appear, and then disappear. I recovered the pad last week as I desperately searched for my keys and, of course, I had missed the deadline.

To be honest, I had no idea where to begin with this article, which may account for the “lost” notepad. There are no accidents according to Freud, right? However, the editor insisted. So even after missing my first deadline, and in spite of my protests that this subject has been written about by far better connoisseurs of movie magic, I give you Aurora’s take on Five Movies that Highlight Existential Motifs. I know, it was supposed to be ten, but I’m a busy girl.

A bit of explanation is in order before we get started, and as this is not my area of expertise (if there could ever be one), my apologies if I am slightly off the mark. Existentialism is a term coined by 19th and 20th-century philosophers who believed that philosophical thinking begins and ends with the human subject. It is an analysis of human existence and the value and consequence of human choice. “Existence proceeds essence” with a Nietzsche-sized middle finger to any method designed to define humankind in a systematic or empirical way. Yeah, I know it’s complicated. In short, it is a philosophy concerned with finding meaning through free will, choice, and personal responsibility; a confrontation with existence by an exploration of death and meaning.

So, through the beauty of Netflix and Hulu I present you with my 5 flick picks; a sampling, if you will, with no intended spoilers. And in spite of the order they are listed, I wouldn’t consider one better than the other. All of them illustrate existential themes and are entertaining as well.

  1. “The Truman Show” (1998)

Remember that old Twilight Zone episode where reality is not what it seems and everyone but the main character is in on it? Okay, so that is just about every episode of the Twilight Zone, but if you get that then you’ll get the gist of The Truman Show. Starring Jim Carey (minus the usual shenanigans), Truman is a character that is both authentic and conflicted.

This film explores the idea that life has been a lie. Indeed, what happens when people who you thought were your family and friends turn out to be nothing more than actors employed to perform a role in a reality show that stars you? That’s the question posed by The Truman Show. What would you choose? Remain in a pristine world reminiscent of Main Street, USA or walk toward an unknown existence? Cue Rod Serling.

Yet, The Truman Show remains optimistic as many of its darker philosophical underpinnings are curbed by a love story tangled in the hero’s journey. Truman hints at some key concepts of existentialism such as questioning the meaning and purpose of life, personal responsibility and freedom to act, as well as stressing the significance of being with others.

  1. “Groundhog Day” (1993)

From what I remember from my 8:00 am college philosophy class (Thanks, Dr. Nelson) Friedrich Nietzsche offered some fun thoughts about a term he coined as Eternal Recurrence. In a nutshell it goes like this; each one of us will live this life again, exactly as we are living it now. Sounds great, right? It’s a bit more complex than that, with many moving parts regarding time and a finite universe, but you get the idea. So Bill Murray stars in this witty and entertaining film that entwines Nietzsche’s term along with some basic déjà vu. Murray is a cynical and bored TV news reporter who is sent to cover what he considers to be a non-story. Under any other actor’s tutelage this would be a most pedestrian rom-com affair. Yet, Groundhog Day is far more than just another serving of comedy from an SNL alum.

The premise is Murray is destined to repeat the same benign day again and again. There is no escape from a calendar day that repeats itself ad nasueam. In the beginning he uses this knowledge to his advantage, but the novelty quickly wears off as he is confronted with the reality that he may be doomed to spend eternity doing the same thing(s), while watching the same events unfold in an endless point in time. Did I mention it’s a comedy? It is, and that’s where Murray shines in his typical deadpan way.

Groundhog Day wonderfully illustrates ideas in existentialism about time, choice, responsibility, isolation, death, and how we define meaning in our lives. In the end, it is an open and fun introduction to the philosophy of existentialism and how to grasp many of its loftier ideas.

  1. “Ikiru” (1952)

This Japanese film takes on the sobering and always existential subject of death. Ikiru – which translates as ‘to live’ – tells the tale of an individual faced with his own mortality after hearing that he has cancer. Reflecting back on his life, Kanji Watanabe awakens to the fact that his life has amounted to nothing as he has spent it on the accumulation of things and work. He sees his life up to this point as senseless and void of meaning. Determined not to spend his final days in the same way, Watanabe finds meaning and a purpose before his death. Following his funeral, several of his work colleagues resolve to follow the same principles he ultimately found so fulfilling. Despite its age Ikiru’s message is as relevant today as it was in the 1950s. It’s a great primer for some major existential themes, such as being faced with death before learning to live and the search for meaning in a seemingly meaningless universe.

  1. “The Seventh Seal” (1957)

Our second entry in the death category and the Granddaddy of all things Kierkegaardian is Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal. Its iconic scene of death playing chess with a lone knight has been parodied in everything from The Simpsons to Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. Swedish filmmaker Bergman gives us as a dark fantasy wrapped in a metaphorical meeting with death. In a game of chess between a medieval knight and the human manifestation of death during the Black Plague in Europe, Bergman masterfully explores the answers to a lot of existential questions about life, death and the presence or absence of God. It’s not the feel good movie of the year, but it is clearly a benchmark for how film and philosophy can fuse as one.

  1. “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968)

In spite of what you may have heard 2001: A Space Odyssey is at its core a spiritual journey. Yes, it can at times seem exhausting and slow. Yes, it is visually stunning even by today’s bombastic CGI standards. Yet, it does something few films can do. It takes us along for a voyage that transcends theism, philosophy and agnosticism and squares both question and the answer on the shoulders of the audience. There are many Gods on display throughout this film; the ever loving God; the God of Tech; the God of Nihilism. Director and mad film genius Stanley Kubrick establishes how insignificant we are even with our technological advancements and gadgets. In the end, 2001 flashes us forward to face mortality and rebirth in the form of the iconic star child as Wagner’s Thus Spake Zarathustra reaches a fitting crescendo that will have you asking, “What just happened?” Ironically, a question that all of us might be asking the day we draw or final breaths.

So there you have it – Existentialism, indeed.

Shine Brightly,
Aurora

Please note: The opinions expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of eTalkTherapy. Aurora Starr is a freelance writer, not a therapist, and her views, thoughts and opinions are her own. However, if you are easily offended then Aurora’s blog may not be for you. 

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The Sounds of Silence

by Don Laird, MS, NCC, LPC, DCC

Culturally, spiritually and psychologically we live in a paradox. We retreat from our call-to-being by crafting stylish diversions. All neatly self-manufactured to conveniently bypass the chaotic backwoods of our lives rather than direct us on a path through the Terra Incognita. Yet, we crave something more beyond our smartly planned objectives. “Be still and know that I am God,” the Christian Psalm tells us. Stillness, tranquility, peacefulness, calm and concentration; the Buddhists call it Samatha.

Our raison d’être for exploring the geography of psyche is to discover deeper and lasting meaning, direction and rationale through an evident lack of meaning, direction and rationale in our world.  Consequently, occupation, career, acquisitiveness, and changing technology and systems are now endemic throughout our collective and personal unconscious. Taking the time to work through a crisis, even a relatively minor one, requires us to concede that our bridges are not so stylish, not so sturdy, and not so safe. The map plainly illustrates that monsters of yore have been replaced with meaninglessness, steady bi-product of lives left unquestioned and existential anxiety unchecked. Sadly, our egos are not well-versed in plotting an effective course, and anxiety swells while we further devise elevated, objective methods to escape the natural world lingering below.

This increased anxiety results in a further distancing from our creative selves, while we force as much activity and noise into our psyche in a self-medicating attempt to obscure the call. Reality television, smart devices, texting, instant messaging, music and movies on demand, are now directly accessible in packages that are engaging on the surface, but are highly symptomatic of our creative insolvency. These diversions, void of personal meaning and substance, nurture our digressions and weaken our creative and psychological vigor.

Simply put, we’ve become bored with our lives.

Therapists have an obligation to be familiar with the creative influence of stillness and the empowerment of silence as an art, not a technique. In recent years, our profession has demanded we circumvent the prickly subject of being still; a quiet mind is metaphorically viewed as a “devil’s playground,” and most empirical validated therapies heed this adage.

Stay distracted, rate your feelings on a arbitrary scale of 1-10 , complete the therapeutic homework and your symptoms will decrease. However, the wellspring of an individual’s malaise remains unattended like a super-sized, hyperactive child running amok in a jungle-gym of smoke and mirrors. The inexhaustible revisions in textbooks, the pretentiousness of clinical research and statistics, the departmental and administrative meetings, and the suggestion that we as therapists somehow provide helpful and informed solutions for others, exhibits the inane, magical thinking that plagues our human sciences. Positive thoughts will explain away pain, while CBT workbooks will change behaviors.

Let us never lose sight of what Toto revealed behind the curtain.

Within the context of the creative process, our ability to integrate psyche is possible if executed with care, compassion and understanding. Just as a tree is an arrangement of numerous substances that compose its treeness, imagination and vision tend to present as multifaceted essentials. There are many roots to the same tree all moving in different directions, but sharing common qualities. The same could be said for the creative process, be it writing, painting, sculpting, or composing music. The cohesive bond shared between artist and expression is a silent channel of communication that is open, deep and provides connectivity to the psyche in a creative style.

It is our creative and artistic endeavors that become the conduit for change, and it’s here that the spiritual essence of an individual-in-the-world can be called forth. Psyche is always with us.

Exploring the crossroads of creativity and psyche reawakens our conception and understanding of both. The most prized gift we can give the other is our creative presence. This presence need not be spoken in any language other than that of the artist’s silence. When our presence is attentive it blooms within us and others, crafting an otherwise ordinary encounter into a rich tapestry on a weaver’s endless loom.

In good health,
Don

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Digging in the Dirt

by Don Laird, MS, NCC, LPC, DCC

Why gardening? It is a question I have been thinking about as the days begin to grow longer and summer is quickly approaching. Amid all the thoughts roving the terra nova of my consciousness, the act of gardening – excuse the pun, has taken root. By no coincidence, I began to reflect on gardening while standing in line at my local home improvement store, that vast warehouse of do-it-yourself paraphernalia that includes an overabundance of trappings designed for the weekend and professional landscaper.

On the surface, the subject of gardening appears fairly innocuous, but dig a bit further and what is uncovered is a rich topography of metaphor and meaning that spreads deep and wide. Arguably, the pragmatic reasons for why people garden are to eat and to improve the curb appeal of their homes. If you survive on the vegetation from your garden or fancy an attractive lawn, it is easy to understand these primary motives. However, why the obsession? Our agrarian way of life ended around the same time industry began seeing dollar signs in the valleys and rivers that shape this region, and we never looked back. Sort of.

According to Christianity, humanity started in a garden. Buddhists create gardens to allow nature to fuse with their surroundings. The Babylonian’s imagined a “garden of the gods.” Almost every major palace and government building has a garden. So why all the attention to something we can only do a few months out of the year based on our temperate climate zone?

I believe one of the reasons people love gardens and the act of gardening is that while we have a desire to progress and develop in a contemporary milieu there is, deep within us, a primordial requisite for human beings to join with nature. In short, we are driven to make something, to grow something, apart from ourselves. Hence, the garden, a small path for nature to reenter our existence becomes that something. Being in nature connects us with our earliest evolutionary development.

Gardens remind us that we still care, and that we are capable of nurturing and cultivating the earth in a peaceful fashion. The garden stands in contrast to our collective, destructive patterns of behavior. Ancient philosophers viewed gardens as a means of self-actualization and enlightenment. Thus, gardening nourishes a natural need within us to create order, structure and beauty. The garden becomes the conduit between the self and the natural world.

From a practical standpoint, gardening is definitely a healthy habit that promotes physical exercise, helps the environment, and improves our diet. So go – get your garden on – weekend warrior. What you may view as a hobby has a history that serves to improve the current state of our individual and collective well-being.

In good health,
Don

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The Freedom of Learning

by Christy Gualtieri

It’s very possible that everyone else in the world but me knows this, but I recently learned that the origin of the term “liberal arts education” was based around the idea, long ago, that when it came to learning, if you did not have to learn things to work in order to make a living (because your family had a lot of money, say; or because of other serendipitous circumstances), you were free to learn more about things for the sake of learning them – things like the humanities, the arts, etc. The Latin word for freedom is “libertas,” which the English word is drawn from.

Learning for the sake of learning – learning just because. It’s fascinating, isn’t it? It’s different from how a child learns; a child learns in order to understand the world around them. It’s different, of course, then how a scholar learns, or how a person who works in a trade learns – all of those types of learning have ends to them. Anyone who’s watched a YouTube tutorial (*raises hand*) has learned for the sake of a particular goal in mind.  But learning something just because? There really is freedom in that!

And these days, it’s so easy to do that because of the sheer volume of information that is so readily available to us. If I wanted to, right this minute, I could look up how to create those amazing Japanese fluff-ball edible desserts that are designed to look like a cherry blossom suspended in a raindrop. (I’d make it and I’m sure it would come out looking nothing like it is supposed to, but I could try.)

And I should – and so should you. Not the Japanese cake (although, it does look challenging and delicious; and if you do it, please post a pic in the comments, because you’ve pretty much just become my personal hero), but learning something new – and not because you need to. Because you’ve always wanted to, but never did. And you may not have time (I feel you – I’m a mom of two young kids, and so personal time is an extremely foreign concept to me), but I think this “liberal learning” would be beneficial. And you can find the time, because you can learn new things during your self-care time; the time you take to practice taking care of yourself mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

What’s that, you say? Self-care? To quote that ever-famous meme, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”  Indeed. But you and I both know that it is essential to our mental health to find some time, even if it’s just a sliver of a few minutes. And just like looking at glossy Instagram pics of beautifully-plated, delicious whole foods does not make you a nutritionist, neither does just thinking of delighting in something new make you more learned in it. We live in a time period full of accessible knowledge that was unthinkable to people not even a generation before us. We have more time than they did to think liberally (meaning freely – no politics here!) about things; and so I really encourage you to take a few minutes to learn something new just because.

So, take a minute. Close your eyes. Smile, and think of something that delights you. Now, research how to do it / build it / pronounce it. For no other reason than that you delight in it. After you’ve done that, smile again. You’ve learned something new.

Wasn’t that fun?

Until next time, be well!
Christy

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Good Therapy is Just a Click Away

Why Choose eTalkTherapy?

When problems arise people turn to their laptops, tablets or smartphones for information and guidance. The Internet has created a space where assistance is readily available, changing the way people obtain knowledge, connect with others, and seek professional help.

Now more than ever, we are facing serious challenges in our daily lives. We long for purpose and meaning while all too often resorting to negative thinking and destructive behaviors to answer life’s questions and challenges. We often feel stuck, lost, isolated and disconnected from ourselves and others.  Are you experiencing an issue with one or more of the following:

  • Anxiety or Constant Worry
  • Sadness or Low Mood
  • Depression
  • Grief and Loss
  • Adjusting to College Life
  • Empty Nest
  • Low Self-Esteem or Poor Confidence
  • Life Transitions
  • Job Burnout
  • Loss of Meaning
  • Relationship or Marital Problems
  • Overwhelming Stress
  • Postpartum Depression

In these cases, eTalkTherapy may be a helpful and meaningful alternative to a traditional office visit as it creates a level of anonymity that gives you the freedom and ability to address tough issues that might otherwise leave you feeling uncomfortable, anxious, vulnerable or disconnected in an office setting.

Not seeing what you need? Still unsure if we can help? Contact us today, we’d love to talk.

eTalkTherapy - talk with a counselor online

Why Choose eTalkTherapy for Live Video-Chat Counseling?

In most cases, eTalkTherapy may be a helpful and meaningful alternative to a traditional office visit as it creates a level of anonymity that gives you the freedom and ability to address tough issues that might otherwise leave you feeling uncomfortable, vulnerable or disconnected in an office setting.

How Does eTalkTherapy Work?

Through online (live, secure video chat) counseling, we create a plan together and set out in an effort to gain better self awareness and engagement with others. eTalkTherapy is about living life on your terms, problem solving, and creating a life worth living. Ultimately, our goal is to help you by examining your personal history, embracing your present strengths and struggles, and accepting the anxiety of an uncertain future.

Above all, we want to help you find value and meaning in your life.

Can I Afford eTalkTherapy?

How much would you give to live a happier, peaceful, and more productive life? For most people, the answer is “whatever it takes.” However, we understand that almost all of us have financial limitations. eTalkTherapy is quite affordable, and fits easily into most budgets. If you want to change your life for the better, the cost of eTalkTherapy is a very small price to pay. Our fees start at $40.00. It’s that simple. There are no deductibles, no co-pays, and no surprises. We believe therapy should be affordable as well as accessible. LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR PRICES HERE.

What are the Benefits to eTalkTherapy?

  • Convenience and Affordability.

eTalkTherapy is affordable and convenient. Since you will be attending sessions online in the comfort of your own home, dorm room or office, you can schedule your therapy sessions for times that are the most convenient for you and your busy schedule.

  • eTalkTherapy Makes Counseling Accessible.

eTalkTherapy offers easy access for college students, stay-at-home parents, business travelers, new parents, those living in rural or remote areas, as well as those living with anxiety, depression or physical illnesses or limitations. It can be an important tool to help you learn more about your psychological health. Even if you feel like your mental well-being is strong, online counseling can help you become psychologically stronger. You can learn more about your behaviors and coping strategies that will lead to better psychological health.

Is eTalkTherapy Effective?

Distance communication between a therapist and a client is not a new concept. Even Sigmund Freud used written correspondence extensively to communicate with his clients. Counseling of any kind, including online counseling, does have certain limitations, but evidence now suggests that online therapy and counseling may have the same level of effectiveness as a traditional office visit. In a study published in the World Journal of Psychiatry, clients receiving mental health treatment through video conferencing reported “high levels of satisfaction.” Online counseling is not for everyone, but it is a viable option, and should be taken into consideration as you choose your path to wellness.

Find solutions, rediscover meaning, and create a life worth living. Spend a few minutes with us, and we think you will agree that eTalkTherapy may benefit your life starting today.