Therapy

Jack Rodolico

Anyone can take a first aid class to learn how to perform CPR or splint a broken bone. But how should you respond to someone not in a physical health crisis, but a mental health crisis?

Mental health professionals in New Hampshire are promoting a course in mental health first aid. The goal is to train the general public to recognize the signs of mental illness - and encourage them to intervene.

For 20 years, Charlie fought bruising battles with mental illness. When he was at his lowest point, here’s how he describes his life.

CubaGallery / Flickr Creative Commons

Childhood has always had its fears - from monsters under the bed, to sleep-away camp, to schoolyard bullies. But normal jitters, about these and other childhood challenges, become an issue when they interfere with regular activities, from riding the bus to going to bed at night. And this kind of debilitating anxiety seems to be on the rise: now affecting close to 1 in 5  kids.

Journey Song

Journey Song, a group of singers based in the New Hampshire Seacoast, brings the solace of music to hospice patients and their families. Ed Brown remembers how the group sang for his wife, Judith Whipple Brown.

Courtesy Sarah Kirsch

Sarah Kirsch rescued her dog, Angel, from the Concord-Merrimack County SPCA, and enrolled Angel in a program to become a therapy dog through that organization. Now certified, Angel makes regular visits to nursing homes.

The presence of a therapy dog can have a significant impact on the residents.

Kirsch and Angel were directed to one resident, Pearl. Though she seemed to be unresponsive, her roommate informed Kirsch that she liked dogs.

theangrytherapist.com

Like many aspects of contemporary life, therapy is available online. An estimated 2.5 million licensed marriage and family therapists meet with clients using internet tools like Skype, Google Hangout and now, Tumblr. John Kim claims to be “the first ever licensed therapist to build his entire client base from patients he first met on the internet”. He has a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and counsels hundreds of patients online under the moniker “The Angry Therapist.” John spoke with us about his work.

Journey Song

Journey Song, a group of singers based in the New Hampshire Seacoast, brings the solace of music to hospice patients and their families. Ed Brown remembers how the group sang for his wife, Judith Whipple Brown.

Courtesy Sarah Kirsch

Sarah Kirsch rescued her dog, Angel, from the Concord-Merrimack County SPCA, and enrolled Angel in a program to become a therapy dog through that organization. Now certified, Angel makes regular visits to nursing homes.

The presence of a therapy dog can have a significant impact on the residents.

Kirsch and Angel were directed to one resident, Pearl. Though she seemed to be unresponsive, her roommate informed Kirsch that she really did like dogs.

Sean Hurley

Animals have long played a part in human therapy and healing; from dogs trained to assist the disabled, to all manner of animals making visits to hospitals and nursing homes. For one Vermont woman, it’s a horse that’s helped her heal; not from physical ailments, but from the emotional and spiritual scars of abuse. Sean Hurley brings us her story.

There are many ways to ease the pangs of loneliness, illness, and old age –among them, spending time with a friendly animal companion. More than ten thousand animals are currently registered as care workers in the United States - only fourteen of them however, are llamas. I recently spoke with llama trainer Niki Kuklenski of J.N.K. Llamas about how this unusual animal is playing a role in human therapy.

Check out a video from Colors Magazine that shows Niki's llamas in action.