The Buddha on belief

In today’s world I find the below teaching of the Buddha very, very useful!
Perhaps we can all learn from what the Buddha purportedly said about belief:

“Believe nothing because a wise person said it. Believe nothing because it is generally held. Believe nothing because it is written. Believe nothing because it is said to be Divine. Believe nothing because someone else believes it. But believe only what you yourself judge to be true.”

Connecticut Department of Public Health Quarterly Action Reports

Here’s a link to a report on some  “select”  Licensed Health Professionals in Connecticut.

The volume of hairdressers, and nurses still amazes me! So does the very low count of Mental Health Professionals…one LPC, and one Psychologist, who was mentioned as he “completed his probation” for incompetance/negligence…feel safe?
….and I still wonder what an embalmer can do wrong!

More on choosing a therapist…

This article has some information I find very useful! It is very important to ask many questions when choosing a therapist…remember… you are the boss and are Hiring this person to work for you!

It can be difficult to choose a therapist. The times we feel our best, smartest, and most discerning will usually not be the times we find ourselves wanting to get some counseling. And when we’re not feeling our best, it can be frustrating to sift through the names and counseling styles to find someone who is understanding, experienced, and in possession of a good range of skills. The following is a procedure which should make the process easier and the results more reliable.

1. Determine what part of your problem can be helped by a therapist, and write a brief (two or three sentences) summary of this. Use What a Therapist Can Do and What a Therapist Cannot Do in the Tips section below.
2. Obtain the names of therapists from sources that you trust. These can be family members or friends, favorite teachers, school counselors, your family doctor, your pastor or rabbi, and any other person whose opinion you value. Use online referral listings too, as there is a wealth of resources available online, often with an informative blurb about how each therapist works, their fees, etc.
3. Call each of the recommended therapists: ask lots of questions and take notes. You could ask the therapist about his/her training, or about whatever else feels important to you to know (for example, does s/he have experience working with people of your ethnicity/sexual orientation, etc.) You might also ask the therapist about how s/he handles conflict: therapists who are able to repair the rupture in the relationship when there is a conflict tend to have better outcomes than their conflict-avoidant colleagues. You’re essentially acting as an employer who is giving a job interview, and you’re going to determine whether you want to hire this therapist as a consultant. Keep this idea in mind during each call.
4. Try to call several therapists before you make a decision. Compare your findings to the tips and warnings below. Does s/he return your phone call in a timely manner? Do you like the way that s/he talks to you? Do you feel relatively comfortable talking to him/her about what is going on with you? When a therapist seems warm, personable, intelligent, and knowledgeable, and doesn’t display any of the warning signs below, consider hiring that person. Once you have interviewed all the prospective therapists, take some time to think about the best choice. If you plan on using insurance, call your insurance company to be sure that the therapist you like is covered, or if that therapist will provide ‘out of network provider’ statements to you.
5. Remember that your therapist is someone you have hired.(!) It’s important to bear in mind that some problems will take longer to resolve than others, so treatment duration can vary considerably. But if you notice absolutely no change in your problem after the first couple of months, hire a different therapist.

What a Therapist Can Do:
Can be an understanding and supportive listener.
Can help you develop your ability to cope with life’s difficulties.
Can help you develop some of your life-skills: more effective communication, better problem-solving, better impulse-control, etc.
Can help you look at your problems in different ways and with a different perspective.
Can help you gain more insight into your behaviors and emotions.
May be able to help you make changes in how you function and feel. (This may require a lot of hard work on your part, though!)
Can offer advice on how to find services which s/he isn’t able to provide.

What a Therapist Cannot Do:
Cannot remove hurt feelings and unhappy events.
Cannot change other people in your life, and cannot tell you how to change them, either.
Cannot create instantaneous change in you. Personal change requires hard and dedicated work.

Here are some warning signs to watch out for. A therapist who exhibits any of these behaviors should be viewed with caution or even avoided altogether.
The therapist doesn’t seem interested in allowing you to explain your problem; s/he seems to be more interested in fulfilling an agenda.
The therapist takes a ‘one size fits all’ approach. That is, s/he seems to have a ‘rigid program’ that everybody needs to follow.
The therapist advertises or claims ‘sure cures’ or ‘spiritual transformations’.
The therapist seems bossy or confrontational in a way that makes you feel intimidated or uncomfortable.
The therapist tries to get you to commit to a set number of sessions, or tries to get you to sign a contract for a ‘program’.
The therapist claims to have some radical new way of living or looking at life, which s/he is going to teach you about.
The therapist tends to cultivate a ‘cult of personality’ or mystique around who s/he is or what s/he does.
The therapist responds to some of your questions with “You won’t be able to understand what this is all about until you’ve made enough progress.”
The therapist offers ‘insights’ about your past which don’t seem to add up — which don’t seem to be true.
***The therapist makes any kind of sexual advance towards you.
***I’ll also add if the therapist commits insurance fraud!
ex. billing for sessions you did not have or billing more than an insurance copayment amount

These last two should be followed up by reporting the therapist to your State Licensing Agency and if fraud, your insurance company!

Choosing a therapist is a “buyer beware” activity. Be picky, and take your time choosing. Go with he person you intuitively FEEL will help you…not necessarily who you THINK will help you. If your encounters with a therapist feel wrong…they almost surely are wrong, or at least the therapist is not the “best” therapist for you!

“License to harm” Mental health Standards from Seattle


….and I thought Mental Health Care standards were low in Connecticut! These from Washington are staggering!

What to look for in a Therapist from Ofer Zur Ph.D

This is a pretty good checklist…I agree with all but the “expert” in #15…knowledable and professional yes, expert not necessary… and an ego trip label for the therapist
How To Choose A Therapist

By Ofer Zur, Ph.D.
Director, Zur Institute,

What To Look For
If you or a loved one is looking for a therapist, look carefully over the checklist below. If you are already in therapy, consider going over the list with your therapist as a way to evaluate your progress. Remember, there is a dangerously wide range of psychotherapists in practice. While many are competent and ethical, many more are injured people who enter the profession for the wrong reasons.

Be sure that 21 of the 22 items are checked.

If not, engaging this particular therapist may be costly to your pocketbook and hazardous to your mental health.

Checklist for Choosing a Therapist
Seems warm and accepting. Has a sense of humor, however willing to challenge you when necessary.

Is emotionally healthy. Seems to feel at ease with himself/herself. Does not seem anxious, arrogant or depressed.

Does not suffer from a God complex. Decent, respectful, not condescending. Neither shows off, belittles nor demeans. Check walls for over-abundance or certificates, awards or prizes. Check for excess of jewelry, silver, or gold.

Is trained in talk therapy, not just in “pill therapy. ” Watch out for someone who offers medication (e.g., Prozac) as the solution to your problems.

Accepts and encourages the idea that clients are entitled to shop around for a therapist before they commit. Is willing to talk to you on the phone for at least 10 minutes so you can interview him/her thoroughly.

Accepts the idea that consultation or second opinions may be helpful in the course of therapy.

Lets you explain your problems, doesn’t tell you what they are prematurely or try to fit you into a standardized box (e.g., co-dependent, you have been molested, etc).

Is active and engaged. Quit right away if the therapist avoids discussions, does not answer most questions, or pretends to be a “blank wall. ” Successful therapy needs ongoing dialogue and authentic relationships.

Has more than one clinical orientation and promises to fit his/her approach to your specific problems and not impose his/her pet approach on all patients.

Is flexible in terms of what is appropriate and helpful. Contrary to common practice, some clients can benefit from a walk in the park or a home visit; and a touch still has more healing power than volumes of words.

Is not rigid or paranoid about seeing you or engaging with you in the community. Accepts that you may bump into each other during religious services, your children’s school or on the basketball court. Does not hide behind the professional persona.

Presents you with clear office policies, including limits of confidentiality, clients’ rights, etc. Read the contract carefully before you sign.

Talks to you on the phone in between sessions if necessary.

While flexible in many ways, still maintains clear and healthy boundaries. No hugging unless you initiate it, no sexual innuendo, no business offers.

Seems professional, knowledgeable, and an expert (writer, teacher, supervisor) and above all competent, human and experienced.

Communicates well with parents when treating children and adolescents. A delicate balance must be reached between respecting adolescents’ privacy and not keeping parents in the dark.

Does not focus exclusively on your childhood or inner life. Make sure that the effects of real-life pressures, such as long commute, children or harassing boss, are dealt with.

Shares your basic moral and political values but does not work hard to prove to you how much they are like you (e.g., “I was molested too “). It’s okay to ask about the therapist’s values.

Is flexible about who can be part of therapy. At times, it is helpful to bring your friend/lover, child, or parent with you to therapy.

Conducts regular evaluations of progress in therapy, including discussion of treatment plans. Listens to your assessment of what is helpful and what is not during the course of therapy.

Takes responsibility for not being effective when therapy does not progress over time. When therapy has not yielded any significant results for a long time, neither blames you nor continues to take your money.

Is willing to go over this list with you without being offended or defensive

What to look for in a Mental Health Therapist

What to Look for in a Mental Health Therapist

Kathy Foust, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Dec 21, 2010
Therapist What to Look For .A mental health therapist is someone that you plan to reveal innermost thoughts and personal issues to. You want to be sure that the therapist has the ability to use this information in a way that is going to help you
improve your life. You should know what to expect from your therapist and be aware of what the qualities of a good therapist are. Below are some traits to look for in a quality mental health therapist.

Listening skills: The primary job of a mental health therapist is to listen to the client. If they listen to what you’re saying they can better assess your needs. They may take notes or use a recorder to help them to document what you say. They need to do this so that they can create a treatment plan that is suitable to your mental health needs.

Validating: Many people who go to a mental health therapist are unsure of themselves and sometimes unsure if their feelings are appropriate. That’s perfectly normal even for people who aren’t seeing a therapist. However, part of the the job of the therapist is to help you sort out your thoughts and feelings so that you can see and deal with them more clearly. They should never argue with you about how you feel or do anything to make you feel judged.

Timely: You might have to wait in the waiting room for the last client to finish up and for the therapist to wrap up their notes, but your appointment should start on time. When the therapist calls you into his or her office, they should already have any notes or files from the last client put away. Part of this is a privacy issue and part of it is so that you are the complete focus of their time.

Privacy: Your name should never be mentioned within hearing of other clients or visitors. The therapist may need to discuss things with your psychologist or psychiatrist as they each have their own role to play. There is a difference between psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists. They all must combine their efforts to meet the goals of a treatment plan. But, they must do this in a discreet manner and not in a hallway or exposed office.

Boundaries: There are rigid boundaries in place to regulate the mental health world. These boundaries are for the protection of the client. You should never be touched in any situation without your permission, but most
especially with a medical or mental health professional. A hug may be offered at times but some mental health professionals even frown on this as it could be misinterpreted. Your therapist should never ask you to get undressed or ask for any type of intimate touch.

Another consideration of boundaries concerns the role of the client and therapist. Though a client is expected to shared detailed information about his or her life, the therapist should not. The therapist may share information as they empathize with the client, but the session should never be focused on the life of the therapist.

Respect: The therapist works for you to meet your needs. You get to decide what you want to get out of these sessions, not the therapist. This may be a topic that is debated about during sessions as the therapist encourages you to set your goals higher or lower, but in the end it’s up to you what you want to get out of your mental health sessions and activities.

These are the indications of a good therapist. It’s up to you to decide whether the mental health professional you hired is going to meet your needs. If you don’t feel that they meet these qualifications or you are just uncomfortable with them, it may be time to look for a new therapist.

Florida professor arrested after carrying suspicious bagel on airplane

(NaturalNews) If you carry bagels or other food items with you on an airplane these days, you’d better paint them red white and blue just to make sure all the passengers around you know you’re truly an American. Otherwise, they just might turn you in. In yet another case of air passengers turning into in-flight SS troops, a Florida professor was arrested, handcuffed and removed from a plane when his fellow passengers reported he had a “suspicious-looking bag” in his hands.

The contents of that suspicious-looking bag turned out to be a bagel with cream cheese, a set of keys and a hat.

But in America’s ultra-paranoid environment where the U.S. government actually encourages people to spy on each other (…), apparently just about anything can set off the suspicions of the citizens’ secret police. Maybe you talk funny, or walk funny or just look funny. Maybe your skin isn’t white. Maybe you speak with some sort of foreign accent which, as all Americans already know, means you must be a terrorist.

Perhaps you pay with cash instead of a credit card. What? Only a terrorist would carry cash! Or maybe you are just “suspiciously minding your own business” and not chatting it up with all the other people around you. That makes you a potential terrorist, too, didn’t you know?

I can’t wait to see how quickly I’ll be arrested on my next flight. I bring superfood powders and a Blender Bottle with that springy metal mixer inside. So during the flight, I’m sitting there mixing water and powders like some sort of mad chemist. Some nutritional noob sitting nearby would no doubt have no clue what was really going on and probably call the flight attendant to report, in secretive tones, “There’s a strange man sitting over there mixing up a bomb!”

And that’s all it would take. The FBI’s anti-terrorism unit would be called out, the plane would be diverted to the nearest landing strip, the on-board Air Marshall would pull a gun on me, and I’d be arrested upon landing, then interrogated for 48 hours under the U.S. Patriot Act (no more Bill of Rights, see?) for the mere act of drinking superfoods on a flight.

Obama becomes Bush
This is no exaggeration, by the way. The paranoia has reached precisely such a level on airplanes crossing the skies of America today. This is all due to government-sponsored paranoia and the idea that people should all spy on each other. Just today, the Obama administration, which was elected primarily to oppose the secret prisons and fear-mongering of the Bush administration, has now announced that federal agencies should all spy on their employees to prevent future Wikileaks incidents (…).

Now, the mere act of not being a “happy” federal employee makes you a suspicious target for being spied on, too. This just gets more and more like 1984 all the time, doesn’t it?

Be sure to watch my “report suspicious behavior at Wal-Mart” video at:…

Oh, and don’t bring a bagel on any flights. Your average corn-fed American thinks a bagel is “foreign food” and it immediately raises red flags that you might be a terrorist. Same story with hummous. Actually, hummous is even more suspicious and can earn you a trip to Guantanamo Bay just for mentioning it, because your typical TSA moron can’t differentiate between “hummous” and “Hamas.” They think “hummous” is a terrorist group.

The whole thing is so sadly laughable. Instead of addressing the real threats to America (such as the Federal Reserve and the FDA), the U.S. government turns the citizenry into a network of secret spies who now accuse each other of being terrorists for things like going to the bathroom too many times during a flight. (I drank some watermelon juice, okay?)

If you really want to protect the safety of the American people, just dismantle the FDA and end the government-protected monopolies for Big Pharma and conventional medicine. You would save upwards of several hundred thousand lives a year just from the decrease in deaths caused by the medical industry.

Big Pharma’s FDA-approved drugs, just by themselves, kill roughly 30 times the number of Americans killed in 9/11 — every year! That’s why the FDA is far more dangerous than any terrorism group (

In fact, the most suspicious person on an airplane these days should be a drug company CEO. There’s a terrorist if I ever saw one. Someone call 911.

Sources for this story include:…

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