Ask the Therapist

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Columns & articles by Rita Seiden, C.S.W., Ph.D.

Dr. Seiden is the Executive Director of the Park Slope Center for Mental Health and its programs, including New York City Voices (consumer-run), Institute Latino, Elder Care Services, The Hypnosis Institute, and the Spectrum Program for HIV/AIDS patients. She has a distinguished career as a therapist and can address a wide range of questions. Fax questions to her at 212-957-6763, or send them to New York City Voices, Box 2618 Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163

Care for Caregivers
"Caregivers need to take a break. Mental health workers need to take their vacations, leave the office at a reasonable time, and generally know their limitations. Family caregivers need to be 'off duty' on a regular basis."

Ask the Therapist: May 1999
"I'm 28 years old and live at home with my parents. I suffer from manic depressive illness. My parents expect my therapist and doctor to share everything about my therapy and my medication with them. Don't I have any right to privacy?"

Another Rx Recovery Story
"Wilma's thoughts and speech were more organized; the voices were at first diminished, and then they disappeared. Wilma became able to entertain some plans for her life and to understand how much trouble she was to herself and others without the Risperdal."

Ask the Therapist: July 1999
"Aging parents of disabled adult children are often in a quandary. They want the child to be independent but the history of illness and acute episodes gives the parents' anxiety a basis in reality."

Ask the Therapist: November 1999
"If you are a consumer of many years of illness and treatment, then we need to trust that you may know more about professionals than we know about ourselves."

Ask the Therapist: January 2000
"I've fallen in love with my therapist. I don't know what to do."

Ask the Therapist: March 2000
"You have probably heard the expression 'a danger to self or others' ... both types of behavior have a similar mental origin and need to be regarded very seriously."

Ask the Therapist: May 2000
"The other one drinks and sleeps a lot and ... gets very drunk and sometimes verbally abusive. What can we do?"

Remembering Ken Steele
 "There were many psychotic and tumultuous hours in the early recovery year. There was more than one time when I said, 'I don't think I can do this'; and yet it was mixed with sufficient evidence of your astonishing abilities to be sane, loving, connected, and intelligent."

Ask the Therapist: November 2000
"Mourning helps us to deal with loss, even though it may feel so painful as we do it."

Ask the Therapist: April 2001
"I have a terrible time getting up in the morning. I feel cold and grumpy. Is this part of mental illness?

Ask the Therapist: January/March 2002
"Do I Need to Suffer Too?"

Ask the Therapist: June/August 2002
"I am going to a therapist for the first time. Are there any questions I should ask? What should I look for in a therapist?"

Ask the Therapist: November/December 2002
"...I think a lot of our readers, professional and consumer alike, would like to know how to get through holiday dinners even if they haven't just gotten out of the hospital."

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