Counseling for Children

counseling for childrenCounseling for Children

For many of you reading this blog post, I am sure I have outlived you by a few years, here or there. During my childhood I remember going to school and receiving a well rounded education. Not everything was math or science, as a matter of fact it was required for children to participate in a physical education class daily, throughout their complete education until college. Some colleges continued to require students take a physical education course during their first year.

Children also had the requirement of taking music classes and art classes to encourage them to explore their musical and art capabilities. This meant that those interested in math and science could explore those avenues as they went through school. As one examines the histories of very important people over the last century one would could to find that Albert Einstein failed his entrance college exams, yet he was a Genius in math, physics, a great violin player and spoke three languages.
Steven Spielberg had poor grades in school and turned out to be one of the most successful movie directors and producers in history. John Lennon, one of the most celebrated musicians in history suffered from Dyslexia and grades in school were very poor. Let us not forget all of the other famous people that dropped out of school, Ellen DeGeneres, Mark Zuckerberg , Media mogul Russell Simmons , Brad Pitt , Ted Turner, Steve Jobs , Oprah , Bill Gates, F. Scott Fitzgerald , Whole Foods CEO John Mackey , John Mayer , Ralph Lauren , Lady Gaga ,Jim Carrey , Al Pacino , Wolfgang Puck , Walt Disney , Tom Hanks , Abraham Lincoln left school at 12, Coco Chanel left school at 18 to become one of the world’s most famous fashion designers. With today’s emphasis on math, science and standardized tests, children are being placed under extreme mental stress for the first time in Human History. Coinciding with this, we have also never seen the rates of mental illness, drug abuse, gang activities, shootings in schools by students and suicide. `As after school sports and activities continue to be cut from our schools it is becoming evident we cannot put our faith into providing the education children need in order to be successful. Parents must become more involved with the lives of their children and stop focusing on self indulgent behaviors, or we will certainly lose what made this country great. In no means am I suggesting people pull their kids out of school. What I am suggesting is that kids need LOVE. They need praise, unconditional love, encouragement to explore the world, a feeling that the world is a safe place, not more standardized tests.

If you feel your child needs counseling to overcome some of the obstacles in life.

Feel free to call me at 480-250-1857 or email michaelharmon@cox.net

for a free 15 minute phone conslutation

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Heart and Cancer Disease

zion park

Heart and Cancer Disease, Never did I think I would have both.


It has been some time since I have written in this blog. There is much going on with me medically and I have decided to use this blog as a way to write my life down. I hope this will help someone else with their similar problems.

In the year 2000 I was diagnosed with a heart disease called Cardiomyopathy. It is suppose to be an incurable disease. I have been under the care of a cardiologist for the past fifteen years, I have followed my directions and taken all my medications as prescribed. During this fifteen years I had a number of instances which weakened my heart. I had my Mitral valve replaced. Had a pace maker/defibrillator Installed, underwent numerous times of congestive heart failure and have been in Atrial fibrillation about 10 times.

Last year I went through a battery of tests to see if I qualified for a heart transplant. I did so, I was put on a heart transplant list, this was about 10 months ago. I have patiently waited until recently when I began having trouble urinating. I informed the cardiology team as I see them ever other week. They did a blood test , low and be hold I have an aggressive form of prostate cancer. Woops, the hospital should have checked the blood and prostate of a 60 year old man before putting him on a heart transplant list. Now I am trying to figure out what to do. The Urologist says to operate, but he is afraid I will die on the table because of my heart. The oncologist states he can do it with radiation. No one is willing to come together and decide what the best treatment options may be. They royally fucked up, and now no one is willing to take responsibility to help correct the problem. At the same time I have recently lost my job. The company wont say they did it because of all the doctor’s appointments I had. Believe it or not I was working for one of the biggest medical insurance businesses in the world. I have decided to go for a second opinion. I am angry, scared, frustrated and confused. The United States spends more per person on medical care than any other country in the world and we rank 37th in the best care around the world. Go figure.

Meanwhile I ran across a book called the China Study and watched a very interesting movie called forks over knives. It is on Netflix. This had led me to take a new approach on treatment. I have now begun the practice of becoming a Vegan Vegetarian. No animal meat and no dairy. Before you begin to pass judgment and think I anm just a tree hugging hippi from the 60’s (you would be right) read the book and watch the film. It seems doctors know very little about medicine and they just do what the pharmaceutical companies want them to do, which is to push pills.

I am not sure what happened to this country. In the old days people would rise up and fight, not everyone just sits around, works, eats junk food and gets fatter and sicker, while these mega food companies reap untold profits. Well I will go now but I will keep you posted.

Mike

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Why are so many people unhappy today?

Why are so many people unhappy today?

Teenage girl siiting against brick wall in a depressed stateAs a professional who has been working in the helping fields for the past thirty years I have met an astounding number of unhappy people. These are not just people who have come to me for therapy. There are also many, many, many people in the general population that I have met, throughout my sixty year journey, who have informed me there is little satisfaction in their lives. . If you were to add up all the people who are either addicted to drugs, including alcohol, or regular users, along with all the people that take psychotropic medications, along with all the people who have severe obesity problems because they use food for comfort, along with all the people who are suffering from illnesses related to stress, along with all the cigarette smokers, you probably would be looking at a very large portion of the population.

But why is this so? After all, we are living in a time in which many of the daunting physical tasks we were enslaved to in the past, have been taken over by machine. This being the case why are so many people unhappy? According to a recent article, a Fox News poll jointly conducted by Anderson Robbins Research and Shaw & Company Research. Some 53% of Americans were “very happy” or “happy.” And while that’s a (slim) majority, it’s still down from 56% in 2009 and a significant slump from 68% in 2001, previous studies concluded. The rate of antidepressant use has surged 400% over the last decade, according to the CDC, though that may also be due to the heavy marketing of drugs like Zoloft, Lexapro and Paxil.

Our mechanized world has left us in a daily mundane routine which has very little if any purpose in our lives, other than to be a society whose happiness relies on buying stuff, what some would call a consumer economy. There are many people who live in a consumer economy that are unhappy. They find that after having everything they could have dreamed of, they are still not happy. How many famous people have we heard or read about, that have taken their own life.

But wait, don’t people have the right to choose whether to be happy or not? Well some say yes, it is a choice and some say know it is a social and cultural issue.  As psychologist William James put it, “The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human can alter his life by altering his attitude.”   This may have been a fine philosophy during his time, but I can’t help wondering how he would feel in the year 2015. Would he have the same positive attitude if he had to choose between making his car payment and feeding his children? Or losing his job, finding that very few companies wish to hire old people and the funds he paid into Social Security for his entire life will not support his ability to stay alive. Some may see me as a pessimist; I like to consider myself as a realist. I feel the profession of Psychology needs to become intertwined with the field of Social Work. As psychologists, we are not looking at the whole picture of mental illness. It is not realistic to conclude that people have the ability to live in a bubble and not be mentally affected by their surroundings. I suspect if Mr. James were living in a slum, witnessing children being murdered in drive by shootings, he might be one of the many filling his prescriptions for Zoloft, Lexapro or Paxil.

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Does your Mental Health Status Affect your Relationships?

Does your Mental Health Status Affect your Relationships?

bigstockphoto_Sailing_And_Sunset_1139424[1] - CopyMost mental health professionals would tell you the answer is absolutely, if they do not they should. According to an article in the Huffington Post (l) Mental illness surely does seriously affect the relationship, epically when one spouse or partner keeps the information a secret from the other. Many people in this country go either un-diagnosed or not diagnosed with a mental illness, such as depression and anxiety with ever receiving treatment. If it is kept a secret the other spouse may not understands what’s going on enough to try and help, they may assume that there partner is just moody, or only sees the glass as half empty instead of half full.

 

Unfortunately the leaders of our country have done little to address this problem. Mental illness continues to remain a terrible problem in our country.  If there is mental illness you are defined as “crazy or loony”. Therefore with this kind of stigma means you need to hide what is going on inside you for fear your partner will judge you or not except you. So what does mental illness look like in a relationship? That depends on the people. If you have someone who is excessive compulsive they may be up cleaning house all night. A woman who may have bipolar depression may go from leading her regular life and then when she is depressed, is unable to get out of bed and get the kids to school. Or she may be sitting at the kitchen table sobbing uncontrollably while her husband and children look on with helplessness. Fortunately most spouses do not react negatively.

 

A study was released by the organization Relate, which is the largest organization of providing online support for couples found: Two in three (63%) people with mental health problems who tell their partners about their condition have said that partners ‘weren’t fazed’ and were ‘really understanding’ when they first heard the news.  74% of people surveyed with a mental health problem said they regularly talk about their mental health with their partner, and three in five (60%) of these people said it then ‘made the relationship easier to manage’  Three in five (60%) people with mental health problems said being in a relationship has had a ‘positive impact’ on their mental health. Half (50%) of partners surveyed said dating someone with a mental health problem wasn’t as daunting as they thought it might be. Of these people, 47% said it was because they felt the mental health problem does not define the person. So if you have mental health issues do not be afraid to speak with your partner about this. Work as a team and go find help together.

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