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.

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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.

How to be the Meanest Mommy in the World!

Holly T. Meginniss, MSW, LSWAIC

I spend a lot of time working with families, particularly with teens and their families, on the need for teens to experience the natural consequences of their choices, good and bad, as well as taking responsibility for mistakes. I work hard to assure my families that I do empathize with them how difficult it is to see your child struggle. As I say, it is easy for me to say, but not always easily done.

But the truth is I have been exceptionally lucky to have two children who have been able to learn lessons with a minimum of traumatic consequences; my daughter is now an adult who works in a job of considerable responsibility, and recently married a wonderful young man whom she has dated for several years. My son is about to start his final year of high school, and is exceptionally bright. He has also learned a strong work ethic, and with the challenge of ADHD has understood the importance of taking his medication daily, and developed habits to manage his symptoms that allow him to be successful at all his endeavors.

Recently my son was given the opportunity to do some photography work at an event for kids; to be able to tell the story well, my son was part of the staff that stayed with the campers for the entire event. Near the end of the event my son realized that during the travelling around to different activities in the area he had lost an integral piece of equipment needed to complete one of the assignments, as it needed to be done for the final day of the camp. He contacted his sister, who was not sure how to handle the situation, and sought advice from me. Of course, this all happened late in the evening, and it was going to be about 2 hours of running around for myself and my daughter.

I became frustrated with my son, and expressed this on the phone. One of the dirty little secrets of my profession is that sometimes emotions get the better of us and we make mistakes with our own children. This did not help the situation, as my son was plenty hard on himself. As my daughter and I were harping and getting ready to make the trip, an unexpected voice of reason came forward—my son-in-law. He gently reminded us that he too struggles with ADHD, and has made mistakes in his job that he has had to solve; if it were him, his wife would have had him solve the problem.

I realized that he was right; as excruciating as it was, I called my son back and told him we were not coming. I gave him suggestions on how to calm down, and we formulated a strategy to let the other staff members know what was happening, and see if they could help him brainstorm ideas how to solve the problem. I also assured him that if worse came to worse, his brother-in-law would be there early in the morning as planned and would bring another computer. I went to bed knowing I did the right thing, but feeling like the meanest Mommy in the entire world.

When parenting children, it can be so hard to be the voice of reason, and to not save them from their mistakes. Yet if we want to be their first and best teachers, we have no choice. I often refer to this as “controlled failure”; when children have opportunities to struggle and problem solve when the consequences are not catastrophic to strengthen those “muscles”, they are able to take the reins when the problems arise on their own with confidence. It also gives children the opportunity to feel the success of problem solving, and the positive consequences of taking responsibility for making mistakes. In that we help our kids gain the most valuable gift of all, wisdom.

My son did practice problem solving, and not only did his project get rave reviews, he also got the piece of equipment back. He came home from the trip tired but satisfied with his work. He also said that he learned his lesson, and will make sure he can’t get stuck again in this situation.
Mission accomplished.



I didn’t see “Fifty Shades of Gray” because I had clients who told me not to see it due to its subject matter. Also, I don’t really have 50 pairs of sunglasses. Those disclaimers aside, I do want to suggest to all black-or-white thinkers that there may be other options.

When I was a child, my older brother and I would watch westerns on our black and white TV. The good guys wore white hats and did good deeds. The bad guys wore black hats and did bad deeds. As we grew up the characters on the screen grew more complicated. For example, Bill Murray played characters in three movies doing bad deeds at the beginning, then changing into a good guy: Ghostbusters, Scrooged, and Groundhog’s Day.

Between good and bad, all or nothing, or black and white, there must be at least 50 shades of gray, as well as every color in the rainbow. I do not want to be wishy washy, however I do want to acknowledge that between right and wrong there be options. When the Pharisees confronted Jesus for breaking the Sabbath, which they would have labeled as a sin, He showed them there was another option for looking at his behavior (and at the choice of King David feeding people on the Sabbath).

Feeding the hungry seems good, but what if it’s done to call attention to yourself? Being selfish seems bad, but what if a conceited weatherman grows into a loving and lovable man (okay, most guys would change to get Andie MacDowell to love them!).

Freedom of speech seems good, but what if the nonverbal communication is rioting, looting, and harming others? Condemning a singer who wants to blow up the White House seems good, but what if she’s gone through something bad and wants something legitimate, even though she may have pursued it in illegitimate means?

Don’t be wishy washy or absolutely convinced it’s “my way or the highway” because there may be many shades of gray between perspectives. Be curious and fascinated, open to different ways of looking at things.

Credibility Robbers

Credibility Robbers

Expect a lot in the Spring?
One of my neighbors has been snowed in all winter and for a mobile business that is named Expect-A-Lot, I’m afraid that prospects may be learning not to expect a lot from them.

I wonder what my neighbors and prospects see me doing that is unwittingly eroding my credibility?

“If we could only see ourselves as others do . . . “