I had never seen a therapist before due to the following reasons:
1. I thought you "needed" a legit reason to see a therapist ie you had a traumatic event, you are going through a divorce, someone died ect.....
2. In my 20's I looked into seeing one when I was having relationship problems and was told the visit was going to be $80-$120 without insurance. At that point working at a Pottery Shop at $8 an hour- one visit would be around 2 days worth of pay- totally inaccessible for me.
The truth is in my 20's I didn't have insurance. I just couldn't afford it. I did have insurance for a hot second in my mid 20's but the plan didn't cover a lot and I ended up having some bills going to collections because certain things I thought were covered by my plan weren't.
In my late 20's I started more alternative/holistic approach to healthcare.Only seeing my PCP for an annual or for the fluke case of strep throat I got when I was 29.Sure I went to Acupuncture, Massage, Naturopathic Physicians , Herbalists but none of those services were covered by any insurance I could afford.
Last year where I was working I got insurance through my employer. I paid around $80 bucks a month for an $5000 deductible plan.That's right folks basically an " Oh Shit Plan" I had to pay up to $5000 grand towards office visits, procedures,prescriptions, etc..... then they would cover anything after that. So crazy as I didn't even go to the doctor once last year! I did many alternative health care things but even those didn't equal up to $5,000.
Fast forward to current day and Obama care making it all possible. I still have mixed feelings about Obama Care. I don't like the idea of being forced to get insurance. More so because most of the insurance plans that are out there and affordable don't include the health services I use such as Acupuncture, Massage, Naturopathic doctors, Herbalists.
Though having said that I decided to give it a whirl.This year I signed up through the Affordable Healthcare Act. I chose a plan through Maine Community Health Options.
I love them because they are a Health Co-Op, they have great plans and many practitioners in Maine accept them! I pay the same amount as my previous insurance and get SO much more!
I found on my plan Naturopathic Physicians were covered as " Specialists" for only a $45 co-pay. Along with this I found out that behavioral health services ie therapy were only $10 per session!
As I mentioned in the beginning I had never seen a therapist.Though this winter I had been reflecting on some patterns and behaviors that I felt like needed shifting. Normally I journal, read self-help books, and just figure it out eventually. Though being in the healing world I also understand it is really nice to have a support system. Someone who will help you address areas where you would like improvement and set goals to reach where you want to be. So after thinking about it for awhile I thought " Well it's only $10 what do I have to loose?"
My first appointment was just so healing I came into the room not knowing the therapist but trusting that she was going to provide me with the guidance I was seeking. Her energy was kind, gentle and understanding.The approach she takes is one of almost a life coach and it really resonated with me.
Thinking about it being an herbalist is much like being a therapist. People come to you with their stories about their journey with health and healing.Their joys and successes as well as fears and traumas. In walking the path of an herbalist I know the power there is in having someone listen. Someone listen with compassion and non judgement- such a beautiful thing to experience. I feel that this experience I am having will only deepend my pratice as an Clinical Herbalist.
The truth is every healer out there provides therapy in one modality or another.Doctors, Therapists, Social Workers, Herbalists, and more we are all healers. We come humbly to listen and provide support. Here is the definition of Therapy- I like the 3rd definition.
1. Treatment of illness, injury, or disability.
3. Healing power or quality.
I am so glad I opened my mind up to therapy and let go of my preconceived notions of it. The reality is it is an amazing tool to reflect, practice mindfulness and really process your emotions.
I feel grateful that I have this opportunity due to health care becoming more accessible. I know we have a long way to go but small steps at a time make a shift.
My dream for the future in healthcare is that individuals can choose how they would like to heal themselves and it will be affordable and accessible.That if someone chooses to go to a Herbalist, Acupuncturist, Homeopath or a Therapist that it will be covered with their insurance and there won't be a question about it.
Here is a song that I love, love, love! Change is the only constant and I look foward to the changes that are happening in the Healthcare system in the USA.
So tell me what is your experience with healthcare in the USA or another country? What do you think about the Affordable HealthCare Act?