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The Beautiful Process: Therapy as a Human Right





Therapy as a human right


Therapy provides individuals with a safe and confidential space to explore their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. It allows them to gain insight into their emotions, develop coping mechanisms, and improve their overall well-being. Through therapy, individuals can learn to navigate life's challenges, manage stress, and build healthy relationships. It is a powerful tool that can help people overcome trauma, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. By understanding therapy as a fundamental human right, we can promote mental health and well-being for all.


Therapy has been a beautiful and transformative process for me personally. Sitting down with my therapist who supported me through my struggles, helping me understand my responses and move beyond symptoms and diagnoses, has been invaluable. This professional relationship has nourished my psyche and improved my relationships with others. Therapy has made me a better husband, father, brother, son, relative, and member of society. I would not be a therapist if it was not for this therapist willingness to form this type of professional working relationship. I have experienced therapy within managed care systems, like the Veterans Administration. While they focus on symptom reduction and quick patient turnover, my therapy went beyond the standard 18 sessions. I am grateful for this because it allowed me to truly grow and develop as an individual which impacts others.


At Neighbors Counseling Services we have always believed that access to therapy should be considered a fundamental human right. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and everyone should have the opportunity to seek help and support when they need it as long as needed for any reason. Unfortunately, there is still a stigma and strong tendencies of managed care surrounding therapy, and many people are unable to access the care they desperately need. By recognizing therapy as a fundamental human right, we can break down barriers and ensure that everyone has equal access to mental health services for any reason and as long as needed.


The benefits of therapy for mental health

Therapy offers a wide range of benefits for mental health. One of the most significant advantages is the opportunity for self-reflection and personal growth. In therapy, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of themselves, their values, and their goals. They can explore their past experiences and how they have shaped their present behavior. This self-awareness is crucial for personal development and can lead to positive changes in all aspects of life.


Another benefit of therapy is the development of coping skills. Life is filled with challenges, and therapy equips individuals with effective strategies to navigate these difficulties. Whether it's managing stress, dealing with grief, or overcoming trauma, therapy provides individuals with the tools they need to cope with life's ups and downs. These coping skills not only improve mental health but also enhance resilience and enable individuals to thrive in the face of adversity.


Furthermore, therapy offers a supportive and non-judgmental environment. Many individuals feel isolated and alone in their struggles, but therapy provides a space where they can feel heard and understood. The therapeutic relationship itself can be incredibly healing, as individuals build trust and rapport with their therapist. This support system can be a lifeline for those experiencing mental health challenges, providing them with validation, empathy, and guidance.


Why therapy needs no restrictions

One of the reasons therapy should be considered a fundamental human right is that it has no restrictions on why you need to go or how long you go for. Mental health issues can arise for a variety of reasons, and therapy should be available to address any and all concerns. Whether someone is struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, or relationship issues, therapy can provide the support and guidance needed to work through these challenges. Just feeling alone or needing someone to be an objective support person can lead a person to well-being which in turn improves their relationships and their communities.


Furthermore, therapy is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Each individual is unique, and their therapy needs may vary. Some individuals may benefit from short-term therapy to address a specific issue, while others may require long-term therapy to manage chronic mental health conditions or to be able to form a nourishing secure relationship. By recognizing therapy as a fundamental human right, we ensure that individuals have access to the appropriate level and duration of care they need. No one should be denied therapy simply because their needs do not fit into a predetermined mold. Individuals should not be disenfranchised by insurance and managed care principles of determining how long it takes to manage emotional pain, avoidance, depression, anxiety, loneliness, or any experience human experience of suffering.


The role of the Parity act in providing non-restrictive therapy services

The Parity act plays a crucial role in providing non-restrictive therapy services. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, passed in 2008, requires insurance companies to provide equal coverage for mental health and substance use disorder services compared to physical health services. This act ensures that individuals have fair and equal access to therapy, removing many of the barriers that previously prevented people from seeking help.

The Parity act prohibits insurance companies from imposing stricter limitations or higher copayments for mental health services compared to physical health services. It also prevents insurance companies from requiring prior authorization or imposing excessive administrative burdens on individuals seeking therapy. By mandating equal coverage, the Parity act ensures that therapy is accessible and affordable for all individuals, regardless of their mental health needs.


The Parity Act reverses years of managed care practices that prioritize efficiency at the expense of effectiveness. During the 1960s and going to the early 2000s, clients were predominantly treated within a specific number of sessions, with quotas dictating the limits on treating conditions and issues under phrases like"evidence based approaches". However, the Parity Act has helped remove the rigid perception of session quotas, allowing for a more comprehensive approach to care. In private practice and more so in places that are not hospitals or government organizations the focus is now on understanding clients' needs and providing necessary support and guidance throughout the therapy process rather planning discharge and end of therapy from the very beginning.


Conclusion: Advocating for therapy as a fundamental human right

In conclusion, therapy should be recognized as a fundamental human right. Mental health is an essential component of overall well-being, and everyone deserves access to the care and support they need. By understanding therapy as a fundamental human right, we can promote mental health, reduce stigma, and ensure that individuals have equal access to therapy services.


Therapy offers numerous benefits for mental health, including self-reflection, personal growth, and the development of coping skills. It provides individuals with a supportive and non-judgmental environment where they can explore their emotions and experiences. Therapy has no restrictions on why someone needs to go or how long they go for, making it a versatile and flexible form of support.


The Parity act plays a vital role in providing non-restrictive therapy services by mandating equal coverage and transparency. It ensures that insurance companies cannot impose stricter limitations or higher copayments for mental health services. The Parity act removes many of the barriers that have historically prevented individuals from seeking therapy and promotes equal access to care.


By advocating for therapy as a fundamental human right, we can create a society that prioritizes mental health and well-being as something casual and routine rather than in moment of crisis or dysfuction. Let's break down the barriers, eliminate the stigma, and ensure that everyone has equal access to the therapy they need to live their best lives.


Call to Action:

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, don't hesitate to seek help. Reach out to a licensed therapist or mental health professional who can provide the support and guidance you need. Remember, therapy is a fundamental human right, and you deserve to prioritize your mental health.

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