A Thank You
Today marked the last work day before my trip to Europe and it was one final push. Doesn’t it always seem that it gets extra busy before you need to leave for something? This was no exception and I found myself doing new assessments and writing out reports well into the evening. Did I complain? Maybe at first but as I took an honest look at what I eventually accomplished I was very proud.
I want to thank all the people that have put their faith in me and in my staff at Basic Steps Mental Health. A big thank you to Tina and Charity for their service, heart, and belief in the Spiritual Psychology program that we provide.
A thank you to Dr’s Ron and Mary Hulnick for teaching me this incredible approach in their Spiritual Psychology school at The University of Santa Monica. There is no program like this in the world, and I was blessed to be involved in a program where people from all over the world flew to the school, one weekend a month from all different points, to study something that has impacted over 10,000 people I have treated in my 29-year career. What I thought was going to be meditating and learning how to levitate, turned out to be a very clinical approach that incorporated at least 10 of the top psychology approaches used widely in this country. What was even more amazing was that most faiths attended the school including, Priests, Rabbi’s, Nuns, people wearing turbines, and this goofy pool cleaner wearing shorts and a tan. I knew that I was in an elite club each moment I was there.
Today was special, and everybody that entered the office felt it. The mornings start off with our IOP program from 9:00 am and it goes until noon. The four of us played a problem-solving game named “The Wall” and it is roughly based on the Pink Floyd song. What stops you from living your dreams? This is what we grappled with, played with, and processed. Hard work? Of course, but all who were involved put their all into it, and why not? We can overcome any issue with determination and dedication. A few of the bricks that stop us from living our dreams were dismantled today and we all celebrated this victory.
In the afternoons, individual and family sessions take place. Not for the group members, normally, but others, not in our IOP program can enter therapy and work on their issues. Today I met with people who were experiencing a lot of pain. Having empathy, because that was me before I learned how to work on myself, I could feel the hopelessness and frustration of not being able to get through the difficulties of their situation.
When I was first learning how to be a therapist at Tarzana Treatment Center in Southern California, I had the privilege of being trained by one of the best. When I saw Dr. Noah Young in action in my first week there I was mesmerized. We were walking down the hall together and a young man came rushing up to him in a panic and Noah stopped talking to me, faced the man, and gave him his undivided attention. After the man finished talking Noah just nodded his head solemnly, as to feel the pain with him. I had never seen that. To me at the time, I was into fixing people. He was into joining with a person where they were at and demonstrated how much they mattered. No advice was given.
A thank you to Dr. Noah for his unwavering support right up to the day that he died. I loved this man and he loved me – well at least I think so. He tended to laugh at me a lot, because my spirituality was so clinical, while his being a minister in the Science of Mind church was more religious in nature. Somehow we always came to the same conclusions, and of course with a laugh.
In 29 years in this industry, the greatest learning that I have experienced was with my clients. From the Mental Health Urgent Care Center – the first of its kind, to now my outpatient clinic – Basic Steps Mental Health, I have had my days filled with people who were trying to improve their lot. No, this isn’t easy and I have witnessed people entering treatment in a lot of pain. Not physical pain, but the pain of having to process through the difficulties in life that they would rather make-believe would disappear, but of course, the memories don’t fade until you process through them. I faced it, now it is important for me to help people face it themselves, otherwise, the pain remains.
Each Saturday we have people in the group write out a self-questionnaire about how they are currently doing and then talk openly about it. The feedback that we got in the group today was that our type of therapy was effective and radically different. Learning counseling skills and practicing them on each other brings the approach to life. One commented that this isn’t talking about the weather, but tracking back recent hurts to the core and applying love to the younger part of themselves that went through that experience is so effective and so unique. One thing for certain is that Spiritual Psychology doesn’t skirt the issues but embraces them because we can truly heal an issue for the last time. A lofty claim? Read our reviews. They weren’t solicited but people who had transformational experiences were moved to share their experiences in hopes that others would choose to go through this approach, that only a handful practice throughout the country. Some lofty claim? I just know what I experienced in going through this therapy myself and because of it, I am changed forever.
So, in two days I am gone on a sort of sabbatical. I leave this country to recharge myself and reconnect. No, I haven’t separated myself from me, but at times I can get lost in another person’s issues because I am human. This vacation has been a long time coming for me. Usually, I travel at the holidays and reconnect with family. Since my family is so large and scattered it is like a full-time job to drive here and there to connect with everyone. I often wonder why don’t they instead visit me. But, many are up in years and I am still vibrant enough to make the effort.
I am proud of Basic Steps Mental Health, now in our sixth year. It was a year in the making after I left my residential treatment program, which was the reason why I moved up here from Southern California in the first place. Not knowing how to run a business, I simply dove in, made all the mistakes but somehow managed to keep my doors open long enough to now have a steady flow of people coming in for treatment. I am grateful that people put their faith in me and my staff and especially grateful for all the positive reviews that they eagerly share.
I would like to wish everybody a great three weeks, while I am away on my European adventure. My staff will hold down the fort just fine and I get to see the sites in person that I’ve dreamed of ever since I was a child.
As Dr. Noah always said: Treat yourselves and your loved ones with kindness.
Compassionate Care is Always Available
There are many more tools and strategies you can use in your pursuit of happiness. Here is where we come in. Contact us at Basic Steps Mental Health and let us support and educate you on this journey back to your loving heart center. Imagine living a heart-centered life, regardless of what is happening externally. We’d love to be of help.
For 25 years, Dr. Scott Alpert, the clinical director of Basic Steps Mental Health, has treated over 7,000 people with mental health and addiction problems, using a Psychological approach that mixes and matches ten of the top approaches used in the industry. We are here virtually and in-person to help you get through this COVID-19 pandemic and many other difficulties you may be experiencing.
May you have good mental health.
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