Prevention Mental Health for a Better Future

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, April 01, 2020
By Todd D. Giardina, PH. D

I just started with a new therapist. I’m not in crisis. I’m high functioning and successful (depending on who you ask).

But I like to keep a therapist “on retainer.”  So that I have a professional who knows my story and the context, should a crisis arise.  And, to be the person to keep me in check such that crises don’t occur.

Prevention and maintenance are always easier than repair.

I meet new patients all the time, and I’d estimate 90% of them initiate treatment with me due to an acute crisis.

I know how to help, and I do help. But it could be done more elegantly and painlessly if we had started before the inciting incident.

Don't forget to be happy

It’s like I step into the room when the story is halfway done being told. So while the speaker is full of emotions and reaching the crescendo of the tale, I have to interrupt with questions about names and facts. It messes with the flow. It’s messy.

Preventive mental health is preferable to acute, crisis mental health. Please meet your therapist before the bad moment hits!

There’s never a time in life when everything is perfect. We could always use a listening ear.

And yes, I know, we never have the time to add more to the schedule. But y’all, it’s that old saying – penny wise pound foolish. It means, if you try to save money and cut corners today it may cost you more time and money in the long run.

Better to “sacrifice” an hour every three weeks to talk to me now than waste 10 times that in anxiety and sleeplessness a few months from now.

PS It can take some time to find someone you like. That takes your insurance or that you can afford. That also has available time or time that suits your calendar. So, when the storm hits, it may be a multiple week-ordeal just to even MEET your therapist for the first time.

And, PPS, the first session is often about diagnosis and understanding. Not much therapy or “fixing” gets done. That may not happen for another few sessions. You see how the timeline starts to be an issue? Best to get ahead of it.

Hope to meet some of you soon. And get to know you before you “need” me 😉