Work in progress. This section to be updated periodically.
Statement of Non-Affiliation
This section of the site is listed to offer links to resources for connecting to other levels of care, and to offer information about the concepts and mechanisms to enhance well-being, lifestyle, and self-mastery.
To this purpose, I am going to link the works of outside media, academic, business, strategic, and scientific sources. I do not claim ownership of their ideas, nor a business affiliation as a result of linking to their material. Nothing seen here should supersede one’s own judgment and any direct professional advice. That being said, it’s a collection of information I have found to be useful.
Crisis, Reporting, & Support Links
Crisis, Support, Reporting
Suicide Prevention: http://suicidehotlines.com/louisiana.html
Non-Crisis Talk Line: http://communityservices.startcorp.org/warm-line
Department of Children & Family Services: http://www.dcfs.louisiana.gov/index.cfm?md=pagebuilder&tmp=home&nid=380&pid=109
Peer Support Groups: Substance Abuse
SMART Recovery (Secular, REBT-Based): https://www.smartrecoverytest.org/local/meeting/new-orleans-louisiana-friday-600-pm-to-730-pm/
Refuge Recovery (Mindfulness-Based): https://refugerecovery.org/meetings/refuge-recovery-339
Peer Support Groups: Mental Health
Scientific & Practical Solutions
(A Rant on) the State of Our Mental Healthcare System.
It’s no secret that as a society, we are failing to provide for the well-being of our fellow human beings. While there are factors well beyond the scope of our capability in the mental health world to specifically address, there is much more we could be doing to empower those we serve to better adapt to life’s challenges.
The issues collectively include an adherence to perverse incentives and unsustainable working conditions when involved with managed care, educational institutional indoctrination, and a narrow framework of disciplinary tunnel-vision. But at an individual level, the unpleasant truth is that many mental health practitioners are not nearly as effective as they could be, as a result of adherence to doctrines which fall short of obedience to the scientific method (at best), or directly oppose empirical reality on account of an agenda (at worst). The experiences of clients who engage with such practitioners range from unpredictably helpful, to harmless but useless, to outright detrimental, in effect.
What is there to be done about it?
The possible solutions are many in number, and I do not claim to know how best to guide the systems of incentives that drive current mental healthcare. However, in doing my part, often at risk to my own standing in these very systems, I make a commitment to sustainably improve my understanding of the relevant scientific literature, and integrate that understanding into my practice and service to clientele.
As a person seeking any type of mental health service, please do your research and commit to understanding the well-known rules that govern the operation of our minds and bodies. Develop scientific literacy, and do not offload the responsibility for your own care solely onto an outside expert.
What is science, stated plainly?
Science is the organization of knowledge through predictable experimentation under as many conditions as possible, with an aim to have a measurable, repeatable, predictable, and useful understanding of the world around us.
What is scientific literacy?
While this is a blanket term, one might think of scientific literacy as an education in cause & effect, rational inquiry, and the conditions by which something might be true or not true, more true, or less true.
Why is this important?
Absent repeatable, measurable, conditional, generalizable, and falsifiable(testable) observation, solutions become more difficult to trust as effective and/or sustainable. Much of the mental health world, and even the medical world, is operating in violation of the scientific method, for reasons of tradition, politics, economics, regulatory and educational limitations.
How can I be well-prepared & well-informed when seeking help?
Develop scientific literacy.
Know that holding a degree, professional license, and insurance credentialing alone does not make for an effective practitioner of any trade. It is very tempting to want to trust an outside expert, especially when in distress. But it is extremely important to foster a baseline of knowledge regarding the science of human behavior, thought, and emotion, because this will among other benefits, give you a baseline to gauge the competency of your prospective helping professional.
Ask questions to ensure that your helping professional understands and obeys the scientific method, seek several initial consultations with different professionals before committing, and make certain the professional is attentive and present to adapt to your specific needs.
How do I develop scientific literacy?
Do not be impressed or cowed by hearing terms and theories or jargon and believe in its effectiveness just because it sounds complicated or you are unfamiliar with it. Many of these doctrines are little more than applied philosophical or politicized literature, whose supporting research, if it even exists, lacks the basics of repeatable, generalizable observation under experimental conditions.
Learn to study research articles directly, once informed by the basic principles of the scientific method.
As a shallow justification for a particular point of view, one might state things such as: “There is research on this field; In this article; This has been shown to be evidence-based, etc.” Know that research has widened to such a degree as to be able to espouse nearly any belief about anything. ALL RESEARCH IS NOT CREATED EQUAL.
Be prepared to ask the following questions when confronted with the R word:
What journal published this study?
What is the methodology?
What were the results?
What were the limitations?
Does this match up with the majority of evidence in this field under similar methods?
Such shallow and contradictory justifications, and the widened standards of what constitutes research, has eroded public confidence in the literature, and often makes the job of studying the literature oneself seem daunting. But with a well-developed scientific literacy, an interested reader can pick out treasure from trash.
How can this site help my pursuit of relevant knowledge?
I would encourage you, the reader, not to believe that you are incapable of learning as much as a credentialed expert on a subject. While there are times it is wise to defer to outside expertise, particularly in emergencies, our society has at its disposal the capacity to access the latest research with a few keystrokes. Many of our founding personalities in science came from outside backgrounds, and many lacked formal training at all before creating the very field of study for which they are now famous.
To this end, I will be adding resources for perusal to do my part in helping any interested reader improve their understanding. On the social media page there are articles and media of interest posted. The Therapy Evolved podcast adds interviews and information to this effect. And this section will be a growing resource for technical applications toward improving self-mastery and lifestyle. I hope you enjoy the search for knowledge as much as we do!