I wonder whether out of pocket spending for mental health services has gone up or down with high-deductible health coverage. More research to come. But for now, a look at how “consumer-directed” health care is affecting overall consumer spending for health care:
“I’ve heard of nothing but acceleration” of employers into consumer-directed health insurance, said Roy Ramthun, a benefits consultant who was a senior health policy advisor in President George W. Bush’s administration. “More local units of government, school districts and even some union plans are starting to move more aggressively into these areas.”
This article states that high deductible plans have skyrocketed from 8% in 2009 to 19% last year. If they continue at this rate, about 50% of people will have high deductible plans by 2020. Oh what a wonderful world it will be.
My food photographer took the first picture for the book — gluten-free chocolate chip oatmeal cookies — good for the Warrior’s soul.
Recipe to follow in my book, Cooking for Emotional Wellness — due out this fall!
One of the recommendations I make in “Know Thyself” for expressing and healing your Wounded Child is to volunteer for an organization that helps others. One of the ways that I help children heal from trauma is also by inviting them to join the community of my office by contributing something to the Rainbow Wall, a wall of arts and crafts creations made by children in the process of therapy. This wall helps children to know they are not alone, and that even in their suffering, they have something to give to others, which is a representation of progress and hope.
In my book, “Know Thyself: A Kid’s Guide to the Archetypes,” I recommend that children watch or play with animals in order to become more aware of the Innocent Archetype — the naturally curious part of our identity. Research into how animals affect our mental health is just in its infancy, but so far there are some compelling studies to suggest that animals can contribute to mental health on a number of levels and across a wide span of ages and mental health problems.
I have done some searching and reading, and here are some good resources on the growing body of evidence that pet ownership and spending time around animals has a positive correlation to physical and mental health.
From Australia, this paper talks about research showing animal-assisted therapy improving mental health for elderly people in nursing homes as well as children diagnosed with ADHD. It also points out that because of financial hardship, pet ownership for some people has become more difficult. It reports that pet ownership was on the decline in Australia due to increased renting and decreasing owning of homes.
The American Humane Association has a good page that talks about animal-assisted work being done with military families and children with cancer. Their hope is that with more clinical trials, animal-assisted therapies will become more mainstream and available for different treatment and caregiving environments.
On this page, Dr. Andrew Weil talks about how animal-assisted therapy and/or pet ownership can alleviate anxiety, depression and social isolation, while improving blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
My discussion of animals in “Know Thyself” is focused primarily on expressing your Innocent, but there are several archetypes that are expressed when animals are a part of our lives. Animals also call forth our Caregiver as we feed and nurture them, and most of us also know people who express a sense of deeper connection with animals — a sense of animals as Soul Mates. Essentially, animals give us the opportunity to express love, which is the basis for so much of what makes life pleasurable and fulfilling.
There is a tremendous amount of evidence to support the practices and suggestions in my book, “Know Thyself: A Kid’s Guide to the Archetypes.” With regard to expressing your Innocent, I advise children to play outdoors every day. Here is a piece of research that shows that outdoor play is one of the most effective antidotes for ADHD.
Over the next few weeks, I will be compiling and publishing links to research that supports the treatment recommendations I offer in my book, as well as research on therapeutic practices with children and families that I teach about in my CEU Course, “Know Thyself: Using Archetypes to Understand and Heal Children.”
“This book is an easy and fun read, a very friendly tool that can help kids get to know and befriend the different dimensions of themselves. It also provides their parents and therapists with a way to help them along their path to self-knowledge and rich and ever greater wholeness.” — Dr. David Stern
“Know Thyself” is a lovely, accessible introduction to Jung’s archetypes. It is suitable for kids of all ages (and the Jung at heart). Marek’s delightful workbook deserves a spot in any child therapist’s (or parent’s) library. — David Jaffe, LICSW
“Know Thyself” is available here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/kiersten-marek/know-thyself-a-kids-guide-to-the-archetypes/paperback/product-20212610.html