What happens when you try to save a drowning person?

You see a person drowning in the distance.  Maybe you’re a life guard, a strong swimmer, or just a person that feels compelled to help others.  You immediately dive in, praying you can get to them before they go under.  But just as you reach them, just as help has arrived for this panicing person, they do something strange.  The drowning person pulls you under. It’s a known fact that drowning people, although they desperately want the help, will struggle

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The severely mentally ill need to have a place in this world, period.

As regular readers are well aware by now, I write a lot about what I think is wrong with the mental health field.  This isn’t to say that I think I have all the answers or know what the solution is; I don’t.  I have no idea.  But it’s my hope that by writing down my thoughts it will eventually lead to something useful.  But for now, I will continue writing. First, I need to clarify what I mean by

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The mental health crisis is here; this needs to change now

I’ve written a lot about the looming mental health crisis in this country.  The writing has been on the wall for years: Masters in Psychology and Social Work consistently ranked as being the worse Masters degrees to get, decreasing numbers of new professionals, decreasing reimbursements from insurance, followed by increasing paperwork and liability.  Add to this that as a society we are becoming sicker, and the mental health crisis is no longer looming, it’s here. I can’t speak for other

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Preserving our shared history: The old abandoned State Hospitals

Back in the late 1800s, a new idea swept the country.  What if instead of burdening families with the caretaking of their chronically ill family member or letting the mentally ill wander the streets, we put them in state of the art healing facilities?  Beautiful facilities surrounded by acres of woodlands and farmlands that looked like college campuses.  And so a massive undertaking took place, with majestic buildings erected surrounded by gardens that were tended by the patients.  At the

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Why you might not want a blog for your private practice

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve really slowed down blogging over at my website for my private practice (counselingwithmarina.com).  There’s a reason for that.  This blog (yep, this one! 🙂  ) has long been a collection of lessons learned while I’m learning them, with the hopes that those of you starting out can avoid my mistakes.  I hate to say it, but having a blog for my private practice may have been one of those mistakes. When I

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A time to nurture & a time to confront: Knowing the difference is crucial for success as a therapist

Have you ever had a prospective client or even just a random person ask you “What exactly is counseling?”  It’s a surprisingly difficult question to answer.  Counseling is such a complicated profession, full of nuances and subtleties.  One way to think of counseling though is that it’s a balance between nurturing and confrontation.  And walking that line is key for having successful outcomes with your clients. Nurturing is obvious.  It’s reassurance, empathy, understanding, and validation.  Confrontation in counseling though is

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Coworkers! Some thoughts on getting along with other therapists

Even in solo private practice, coworkers never really go away.  Your coworkers become the psychiatrists you refer to, the provider relations rep from the insurance company, the teachers and physicians you receives referrals from; they’re all relationships that need to be managed, not just for your benefit, but for everyone’s.  But this post isn’t for people in solo private practice, this is for therapists that are working in agencies and other institutions.  I have found that getting along with therapist

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Is there life after counseling?

Lately I’ve been coming across a lot of therapists asking what they can do with their careers if they no longer want to do counseling.  It’s a valid question.  There’s definitely more to professional development than just sharpening your clinical skills, and people often forget that when it comes to the psychology and social work field.  Leading, team-building, and administrative skills are also important. A bigger issue is that a lot of therapists get burned out.  It’s really not just

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Considering offering virtual therapy? You may want to rethink that

It would seem that everything is going digital, and digital therapy or “distance therapy” is the future of the counseling profession.  Why is it?  Well, there are many valid reasons.  We know, for instance, that inconvenience is the #1 thing keeping people from seeing a therapist.  This may be very surprising to those that always heard that the stigma of seeing a therapist was what kept people away.  But actually, stigma and cost fall very far on the list in

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The fantasy of change

It is often said that we therapists are in the business of change.  People come to us because they want their life to be different:  They want to fight less with their spouse, feel better about themselves, feel confident while giving a presentation, and lose weight.  They want to CHANGE.  It’s something that’s so obvious and banal to us that we often forget how important and how powerful change really is to the client. When we ask the client what

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My name is Marina Williams and I am a licensed mental health counselor with a private practice in Jamaica Plain, MA. This website is my professional website devoted to my activities as a therapist. If you are interested in finding out more about my private practice, please visit my other website JPcounseling.com


Do you want to make an appointment for counseling or supervision? Interested in having me speak at your event? Have any questions or concerns? Feel free to contact me at 774-240-5550 or info@jpcounseling.com