“The shortage of mental health services in Portland is well documented,” notes Mike Sherbun of Cedar Hills Hospital. Now, a new program at that hospital is offering a range of much-needed services to help one portion of the population in particular: women. Named “Exclusively Women,” the program provides a number of different therapy strategies to help women overcome a number of different psychological and behavioral health issues. The program utilizes a number of mental health professionals in conjunction with the hospital’s existing nursing staff to provide whatever course of therapy needed to help each participant. At the program’s core: crisis stabilization.
Most of Exclusively Women’s clients are dealing with issues such as PTSD, spousal abuse, drug or alcohol dependency, anxiety or other obsessive disorders, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts, or pregnancy-related depression. Many deal with more than one of these issues simultaneously. The program is designed to meet each woman where she is, utilizing a blend of group therapy, individual therapy, life skills training, and medical treatment when needed. The life skills training has proven particularly helpful for a number of women who participate in the program. One, who spoke on anonymity, noted that she’d “never learned these skills before.” Through the program, the patient learned how to seek safety, deal with feelings of grief and loss, set boundaries, establish positive coping skills, and foster overall mindfulness in her daily life.
Meeting patients where they are is an essential part of any psychological health treatment, whether it is through a therapist, counselor, psychotherapist, psychiatrist, or religious guide. Exclusively Women’s clientele—often dealing with multiple issues at one time—illustrates the need for personalized care. It’s not just a person’s immediate mental health issues that determine what sort of therapy will most benefit them. Often, the way different life experiences combine can create different struggles and patterns, and can do so differently depending on an individual’s personality and background.
© Copyright 2010 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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