Millions of people who could benefit from mental health care never receive it, but the reason might surprise you. It is because the principal manifestation of their condition is one or more physical symptoms such as pain. Consequently, they seek care from medical clinicians. Frustratingly, diagnostic tests are typically entirely normal and the patient falls into a blind spot in the health care system. They may spend years or even decades hoping that their next doctor or test will reveal the cause of their illness.
Fortunately, your training and experience provide you with nearly everything you need to successfully assess and treat clients with physical illness linked to psychosocial stress. At our teaching conferences, we explain how to uncover the links between these illnesses and life stresses with which you are already familiar. These issues include marital and family problems, prolonged effects of childhood distress, and less overt but readily identifiable instances of Depression, PTSD and Anxiety.
The process of uncovering the links between mental health issues and physical symptoms is called a Stress Check-Up. This term is less stigmatizing for the physically ill than synonyms such as Psychological Assessment or Mental Health Evaluation. Consequently it is easier for medical clinicians to recommend and patients to accept.
The Stress Check-Up begins with obtaining a chronology of the physical symptoms which facilitates understanding the connections to psychological issues explored next. Insights that place the patient on a pathway toward recovery often occur surprisingly readily. You can find more information in the PPD Treatment Outline. We will add more training material to this website in the coming months and years.
Please consider joining us in meeting the needs of this highly treatable and rewarding population.