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A Shared Mission

Therapist-Police Partnerships are Changing How Communities Tackle Mental Illness

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - For almost a year, therapist Courtney Tran has been embedded in the Aurora Police Department as part of a two-year Department of Justice initiative designed to improve the way law enforcement tackles mental health issues. But getting a program like this off the ground can be an uphill battle.

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What Does a Son Owe a Mother?

A squeeze of the Hand

Barry Jacobs

By Barry Jacobs - For 58 years, from my birth until her death, my mother and I clashed over money and material values, cents and sensibilities. She may have felt entitled to a grand lifestyle, but I felt entitled to a less solipsistic mother—one who relished, not hated, my help. Years later, I found myself able to relax and just be her adult son in a way I’d never experienced.

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Inside the Asian Immigrant Experience

Dealing with Ongoing Discomfort as a Perpetual Outsider

Tazuko Shibusawa

By Tazuko Shibusawa - I was born in Japan, but spent my earliest childhood years in Michigan with my family. Since World War II, the image of Asians as a model minority has held, with increasing numbers of immigrants from all over Asia. But we Asian Americans are under tremendous pressure to prove ourselves, and we continue to be on guard against outbreaks of racial hatred.

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Therapy Outside Your Comfort Zone (and Zip Code)

How a Trip to Nepal Uncovered a Professional Calling

Jeffrey Kottler

By Jeffrey Kottler - Each year, thousands of poor Nepalese girls "disappear" from their villages. On an impulse, an American therapist winds up devoting himself to ending these disappearances.

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Confronting Racism as a Social Disease

Deborah Peterson Small on the Need to Hone Our Therapeutic Focus

Deborah Peterson Small

When you talk about mental health and racism, bear two things in mind. One is the obvious harm that racism causes to the black and brown people who are the objects of racial discriminatory behavior, but the other part---never really talked about---is the harm that comes to white people from living in a racist society and the way in which it distorts their perspectives of themselves. It doesn’t matter so much how people acquired the condition of racism. Instead, the relevant questions are how we contain it and how we prevent it from being passed on to the next generation.

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The Secret Ingredients for Effective Therapy in Inner-City Communities

Thelma Dye on Inspiring Hope at Harlem's Northside Center

Thelma Dye

When you do therapy in poor, underserved, inner-city communities, it’s important to be aware of the message your program communicates. For example, we never underestimate how important it is for people in the community to see our the environment at Northside Center for Child Development---a community-based agency in Harlem that’s provided outpatient mental health and educational services to children and families for 70 years---as a place that’s well cared for, inviting, and reflective of their culture. Regardless of training, the most important thing our therapists bring to the table is the strong belief that clients can get better, despite life circumstances.

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Finding Comfort in the Financial Crisis

Coping with the Switch from Poverty to Wealth and Back

Fred Wistow

In late 2008, a breathtaking realignment of our wealth occurred, and with it, our consciousness. This magical fairy tale that had somehow become reality started fading back into make believe. Just when we thought we were going to live happily ever after with no twists or turns in the golden road that lay before us, the carriage turned into a pumpkin. Yet, even as we fear the future and regret our stupidity and pine for our losses, can't we also simultaneously detect a strange and perverse comfort in the notion that maybe this wrenching course correction we're experiencing is sending us back to a place we're more at ease in?

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