Sunday, May 14, 2017

Meet Kathy Glick

Kathy Glick, mental health therapist, recently joined Esprit Counseling and is currently accepting new clients. Viewing the client as the most important person in the room, Kathy provides a caring presence, helping clients find hope. Building on clients’ strengths, Kathy helps them discover their own resilience, to better achieve their goals and dreams.
Using evidence based therapies (including CBT, EMDR, ACT, Motivational Interviewing, and Family Systems), Kathy individually tailors her approach and has consistently rated as highly effective in helping clients reduce symptoms. 
Kathy has worked extensively with trauma (e.g., sexual abuse), life adjustment (e.g., grief, divorce, illness), PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, bi-polar disorder, mood disorders, grief, co-dependency, relationship difficulties, and anger issues. She treats adults, adolescents, and children (10 and up), individually, in couples, or as families.  
Kathy holds a Master of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, certification from the National Board for Certified Counselors, and is Licensed in Wisconsin. 

Outside of work, Kathy loves spending time with family, friends, and her dog, Miguel. She enjoys traveling, yoga, walking, biking, cooking, and reading.

Kathy Glick, MSE, LPC, NCC
Phone:  920 521 7133

Fax:  920 521 7134

Talking about Mental Health

     May is mental health awareness month and I think this is a good time to talk about the language surrounding mental health.  It is no surprise that there is much stigma around mental health.  There are many reasons for this but the one I want to discuss today has to do with language.

     A few months ago, my 16 year old son was talking to me about the mental health unit they were learning about in class.  When talking about famous people with mental health issues, he used the phrase “that guy is bipolar”.  As a mom, I felt uncomfortable with this but as a therapist, I feel the need to protect my clients.

     Often times, when I meet with new clients they refer to themselves in derogatory ways such as “crazy” or “nuts” or “bipolar”.  What is actually wrong with saying these things?  These are statements that continue the shame cycle.

     As a therapist, I am not immune to the use of this language either.  Do you remember when Tom Cruise seemed to be acting different?  There was video footage of him jumping up and down on Oprah’s couch during the show?  I made a comment in my office, among my peers, that he was “probably bipolar”.  Later, one of my dear friends (who had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder for many years), gently approached me and told me that what I had said was insensitive.  You know what?  She was absolutely right!  It was insensitive to my friend who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder but it was also very presumptive of me to even suggest that Tom Cruise had this disorder based on a small video clip.  Here I was, a therapist, who would never intentionally shame someone, using shaming language.  I will be forever grateful to my friend for being brave enough to tell me how this impacted her.  It was the start of a shift in how I viewed mental illness and language. 
For example, when someone is diagnosed with cancer, we don’t typically hear someone say “I’m cancer”.  We certainly wouldn’t say to someone “You are cancer”. 

There are likely 2 reasons for this. 
·         We remember that there is much more to the person than just cancer.  That person may have family, other interests and passions, and a whole lifetime of experiences.  
·         Second, cancer is seen as something someone “gets”, usually through no fault of their own.  We don’t shame someone when they get cancer, instead, we rally around that individual and family and do everything we can to lift them up. 

     But when someone is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, or depression or any other mental health illness, we tend to see it very differently.  We wonder what the person did to cause it.  (By the way, we do this in the hopes that we can prevent it happening to us).  And we tend to shame the heck out of it, which then gets transferred to the person who has the mental illness.

     When I meet with clients who refer to themselves as “bipolar” or “crazy”, I gently challenge their language.  They are encouraged to say “I have bipolar” rather than “I’m bipolar”.  It suggests that the only thing this person is, is an illness.  There is so much more to an individual than their mental health.  That individual, too, has hopes and dreams, passions and interests, relationships and a whole lifetime of experiences.

     Language is an issue too when people say someone is “crazy” or “have you taken your crazy pills today”.  It is insensitive and doesn’t address the whole issue.

     So, I challenge you to be aware of your language towards other and also yourself.  Perhaps we can make the world a bit more compassionate together.

Jennifer Olkowski  is a state certified Licensed Professional Counselor and Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor who has worked in a variety of behavioral settings, including inpatient, outpatient and private practice.  Jennifer enjoys working with children, adolescents and adults with a variety of mental health issues from everyday adjustment concerns to mild and significant anxiety concerns to mood disorders.  She is especially passionate and skilled in working with the anxiety spectrum disorders.  Jennifer has received specific training in Exposure and Response Prevention, the gold standard of treatment in anxiety disorders.  She is particularly passionate about bringing mindfulness and commitment to values in everyday life utilizing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.  Her focus is encouraging present moment awareness, more compassion for the self and helping clients identify what truly matters to them.  Jennifer has a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from UW Oshkosh and Masters of Science in Community Counseling from the University of Nebraska.  As a parent herself, Jennifer recognizes the challenges in raising children who are healthy and resilient to the many ups and downs of life.  When Jennifer is not in the office, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and being in the outdoors.