Your Success Over Stress – Free Workshop

Your Success Over Stress – Free Workshop

The Workshop is FREE but seating is limited, so tickets MUST be reserved in advanced by calling (509) 466-6632

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Date: WED Sept 26th

Time: 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Your Success Over Stress

Stress can harm you physically, mentally, and relationally. Learning to master stress at home and at work will improve your health, coping and relationships. The American Psychological Association reports chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide.

Dr. Ray Smith at the Healthy Counseling Center in Spokane said, “More than 75% of all physician office visits are for stress-related ailments.” “Mental stress changes the heart rate and rhythm of the heart, even in people without evidence of heart disease,” said Barbara Folden, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Spokane. “Anger-like stress can trigger sudden death. Between 20 and 40 percent of sudden death by heart attack are precipitated by emotional stress.”

Dr. Ray Smith, a Spokane therapist for 32 years, said reducing the impact of stress is a learnable skill. The Healthy Counseling Center in Spokane will teach success over stress at a free workshop on September 26 at the North Spokane County Library.

Dr. Smith, an ordained minister, will teach expert tips from proven biblical principles. Barbara Folden, a forensic evaluator, will present best psychological practices for coping with stress. “We’re offering the God Blesses Stresses Workshop to prevent and heal problems from stress,” Dr. Smith added. “The Workshop is free. Seating is limited at the Library, so call for your ticket (509) 466-6632.”

The pioneer of scientific work on the responses of organisms to stressor, Hans Selye, said adopting the right attitude helps convert a negative stress into a positive one. “Man should not try to avoid stress any more than he would shun food, lover or exercise,” Hans Selye said.

“Stress is the body’s response to any demand for change.” The God Blesses Stresses Workshop, led by Barbara Folden and Dr. Ray Smith, will be at the North Spokane Library from 6:30 until 8:00 p.m. by tickets in advance only.

For more information about the Workshop, said Dr. Smith, “Please call our office at 466.6632.”

“We want to reduce the harmful impact of stress on the attenders,” Barbara Folden said.

About Dr. Ray Wm. Smith
Suicide and addiction are on the increase in the Spokane area. Dr. Smith and the team of therapists at the Healthy Counseling Center provide psychotherapy, education and prevention to lower stress.

Dr. Ray Smith is available for interviews and photographs. Photographs are also available on request.

Mental Health Care and Health Care Insurance

Mental Health Care and Health Care Insurance

Surely, it is no surprise that millions of Americans today are perfectly fed-up with the health care insurance industry, and the reasons are simple. The insurance industry is profit-driven ~ period. This means that insurance billing and claims systems are carefully designed and managed to do two things very well to best ensure high profits; (1) collect hefty premiums. (2) avoid or delay paying claims. Insurance companies don’t care the slightest about your health and wellbeing, they care only about their own bottom line. This may sound cold and heartless, but the truth is that the business of insurance is all about sustained profitability. This is precisely why the insurance industry is not user-friendly or user-attractive. In fact, insurance companies are hoping that you will become confused, frustrated, and overwhelmed in navigating your way through the maze of these complex systems that are set-up to capture revenue, and then pay little or none of it back out in the form of benefits and coverage. They want you to give up at claiming what is right and fair and just accept the system as it is.

Here are some very important points concerning mental health care and health care insurance services.

1. Health care insurance may be good for providing coverage and benefits for your physical health, but the same cannot always be said for your mental health. Many insurances don’t cover mental health therapy, or they will have a high deductible, or require a high co-pay for mental health treatment. Furthermore, the insurance product may only cover a few visits, and have significant limitations concerning what kinds of mental health concerns and conditions they will cover. Most insurance products are very narrow concerning mental health.

2. Mental health care providers who are billing insurance for treatment(s) are “required” by the insurance carrier to designate a mental health diagnosis (a medically-coded mental health disorder) to the patient’s clinical record. Truly, this information can then be used against the patient in the form of future denied claims or limitations and restrictions in accessing benefits and certain types of health care that they would allow or pay for. This system builds insurance profit.

3. The mental health diagnosis or disorder thus applied to treatment might not be completely accurate or fully relevant to the patient’s actual presenting needs or problems. Many practitioners feel as though they are forced into stretching and modifying assessments and evaluations so that the clinical diagnosis will fit-into the insurance carrier’s specific system of approved and qualified claims and coverage for services.

4. These “stretched” or otherwise “interpretive” diagnostics can cause patients to feel stigmatized, and categorized by a given diagnostic label. A patient may begin to believe that his or her life is more disordered than it really is, and begin to think that without critical treatment, things could remain problematic or get worse. This can create an inflated dependency on treatment and insurance use.

5. The patient’s diagnosis, no matter how accurate or inaccurate, then becomes a part of their unretractable medical record. This can have disadvantageous consequences. For example; certain disorders can completely disqualify individuals from accessing opportunities into various kinds of vocations and employment, such as the U.S. military and certain kinds of public service. These diagnoses and conditions will become a part of the patient’s medical record, and insurance carriers can then later find there to be “pre-existing conditions”. This is a built-in metric to raise premiums, deny coverage, or limit benefits and claims.

6. Of great importance is confidentiality! Since insurance companies always look for ways to deny claims and limit or otherwise control benefits, they will surely find ways to do it. And since they are paying for at least some of the patient’s treatment, they can access patient records. Here they will scrutinize treatment methods and objectives, question improvements made or not made (all very subjective), and challenge recovery or overall progress. They may ask the practitioner to prove that the prescribed treatment is “medically necessary”. And know this: An average insurance claim may pass-through more than a dozen different people who are trained to “evaluate and challenge” the merit of, or the necessity of the given treatment. This evaluation of the patient’s treatment is equally subjective and is purposely set-up to reject billing reimbursements to the health care providers and coverage for the insurance users.

7. Insurance fine print and hidden provisos within insurance policies are common in insurance plans. Remember, the goal of insurance companies is to collect money, but then not pay much or any of it back out. The “fine print” will contain listed exceptions and disqualifying language which can be difficult to understand.

Taking control or your mental health care and protecting your money, your very personal and confidential mental health information, and your dignity may best be accomplished by accessing mental health counseling services independent of an insurance carrier. Consider carefully the costs, risks, benefits, and alternatives before deciding how you are going to pay for your mental health care. Ask your mental health provider to explain the pro’s and cons of using insurance and the same in paying “out-of-pocket” for clinical services. Advocate for your own best interests and needs.

Meet with Us

We are here to help, so give us a call at 509.466.6632 or

send us a message, whatever works for you.

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Counseling Federal Employees

Counseling Federal Employees

Years ago, there was a man on the committee which hired me in San Antonio. He had worked for the federal government since he returned home from military service in World War II. He was my Dad’s age, he had no kids, and my folks lived in Kansas City, so we became family of choice.

You’d have loved his warm smile and bright eyes flowing from his unselfish personality. You’d have respected how he climbed the ladder of GS ratings through devoted hard work. And, you’d have been heart broken when his kidneys failed.

We hear a lot of bad press about bureaucrats and federal employees pursuing and exercising power for selfish reasons. We need to hear more about people like my adoptive father. When he had to retire after 30 years of service, he had accrued a couple of years of vacation and sick time he had not used over his career. After he stopped working, he continued to receive the salary and benefits he had earned over the decades and made life a little easier on his wife during the treatment years.

I miss him.

I want to continue to work with and for people like him. His vocation was a federal employee, but his passion was this country. He served the nation to continue what was good and to solve bad problems. I want to serve such public servants. Your Blue Cross will pay for your services here.

If you need a counselor who is a preferred and experienced provider with your FEP insurance, no matter where you live (we can use Telehealth).

As Paul Harvey used to say, I’ll tell you the rest of the story: 509-466-6632.

Swimming Lessons

There are at least two theories for entering a swimming pool: slowly ease down into the water in order to gradually adjust to the temperature, or, jump in and be done with it. There are also at least two theories for learning how to swim: slowly with incremental lessons, or, jump in and sink or swim. I heard a comedian say that if your parents threw you out of their boat, they were not trying the second procedure, actually they were trying to drown you!

Entering a private practice has at least two options: jump in alone, or join an existing practice. Both can be started part-time while you have a job at an agency or institution. You can buy a practice from a Baby Boomer who is retiring so that there is already a stream of clients available to serve. You can partner with one or more others ready to start a private practice. You can join an established group that already has momentum in your area.

In Carol Dweck’s Mindset, the differences between the stuck mindset and the growth mindset might help you decide which approach to try first. The fixed mindset cautions us against failure or getting embarrassed, while the growth mindset welcomes failure as a means toward the goal of accomplishment. When we were little, we had the growth mindset for learning to walk and talk, and all of us failed often during walking and talking lessons.

I failed terribly as a boy learning to swim. I jumped into the deep end of a pool, and none of the adults noticed or came to my rescue. I could see the “hill” that led to the shallow end where we had been playing earlier, so I just walked up there. During that short walk, I started a long fear of the water.

My parents were both afraid of drowning and neither knew how to swim. My mom and her friends started a YMCA in our neighborhood, and I remember helping assemble the lockers. We had swimming lessons there and I outgrew the fear of the water. Years later in that YMCA pool I earned the Life Saver merit badge for Scouts.

However you may start a private practice, don’t be foolish and risk drowning (hire a Life Guard), but anticipate and celebrate failures. Mentors and supervisors can help you grow and succeed no matter how slowly or quickly you want to enter the pool.

If you need some encouragement, then please contact me at


Starting a Business and Keeping Records

One of the many advantages of starting a private practice today is that you do not have to invent anything. Pioneers have gone before you blazing a trail that may be difficult to follow but clearing a way for you that is much more convenient for you than it was for them.

For example, a private practice is a business, similar in many ways to a local coffee stand or an international company like Starbucks. Businesses of every size have to pay taxes. One of the best sources for tax information is the Internal Revenue Service. A private practice may be the first business that you have started, but they have seen many, and although their motives may be self-serving, they do offer help.

The United States Department of the Treasury has a website as well as printed materials. Their Publication 583 is entitled, “Starting a Business and Keeping Records.” You can find it at:

If you are ever overwhelmed by the technicalities of starting your private practice, then recruit local help from your CPA, attorney or bookkeeper (who already uses QuickBooks and knows from other businesses how to help you start yours).

If I can help you with the scary parts, then I would work with you through the course that I taught on Private Practice Pragmatics at Whitworth University. Contact me at

Private Practice Pragmatics: Use Your Autobiography

The Reverend Norman Vincent Peale used to advise people wanting to succeed to “find a need and fill it,” believing that helping others succeed would help you to become a success. His slogan was a part of his autobiography as a minister and author motivated by helping others who needed to be motivated.

Bill Wilson and the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous admitted their need for sobriety and filled it by starting a program to help other families struggling with addiction.

After seminary, I returned to graduate school for another doctorate, and later started the Christian Counseling Center in my home to integrate my degrees in ministry and counseling.

If you’re open to starting a private practice, then check out your own story. A woman told me once that she was a jerk-magnet. She and I both had failed first marriages and we joked about starting a PPA for recovery (Poor Pickers Anonymous!), which morphed into a divorce recovery group at our church to help other people who also needed to get over their losses.

Whose needs do you see around you? How could you be useful to fulfill their needs?