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Battling the Opioid Epidemic in Rural America

A Spotlight on Community Mental Health in High-Need Areas

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - Synthetic opioids claim an average of 91 American lives per day. But the opioid epidemic hits especially hard in rural America, where treatment options are scarce and costly, trained clinicians are in short supply, and a lack of public transportation makes it difficult to get high-quality care. Here are the stories of clinicians working in these areas.

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Facing Disaster in Your Own Backyard

Sometimes the Best Intervention is Not Intervening at All

Patrick Dougherty

By Patrick Dougherty - I went to the TV and turned it on. There to my horror was a bridge that I'd crossed hundreds, maybe thousands of times, and it was sprawling in a twisted heap. My clients were handling what was happening as well as they could. I didn't see any need to "help" anybody. In fact, I realized that the best help I could give was staying out of the way.

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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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The Healing Combination of Therapy and Disaster Relief

How an Uncommon Blend of Therapy and Volunteerism is Changing the World

Chris Lyford

Fifteen years ago, psychotherapist Jeffrey Kottler never imagined he’d be stuffing nine duffel bags full of antibiotics and suture kits for a return trip to Nepal. But since founding Empower Nepali Girls (ENG) to provide scholarships to at-risk children, he's returned to the country several times each year with a small team to rescue girls from probable futures in sex slavery, putting them on the path to careers in medicine, engineering, and teaching. And Kottler isn't alone in his relief efforts. In fact, many therapists are redefining what it means to create a connection, the resulting product being an uncommon blend of therapy, relief work, and social justice advocacy. Here are a few of their stories.

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Blending Psychotherapy and Community Activism

Jeffrey Kottler on the Rewards of Volunteer Therapy in Nepal

Jeffrey Kottler

Who has time to change the world when we already have our hands full trying to make a living and get through the obstacle course of a normal work week? It's not impossible. I now spend several months each year working in remote regions of Nepal, helping lower-caste girls, who are at the greatest risk of being forced into early marriage or trafficked into sex slavery, by making it possible for them to attend school. It's when I'm here that I feel most alive, and at least for the few months after I return, I feel a new clarity and focus about what's most important.

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Reinventing Your Life

Finding Self-Renewal in the Himalayas

Jeffrey Kottler

Who has time to change the world when we already have our hands full trying to make a living and get through the obstacle course of a normal work week? It's not impossible. I now spend several months each year working in remote regions of Nepal, helping lower-caste girls, who are at the greatest risk of being forced into early marriage or trafficked into sex slavery, by making it possible for them to attend school. It's when I'm here that I feel most alive, and at least for the few months after I return, I feel a new clarity and focus about what's most important.

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