Does Medicare Cover Mental Health Services?

Often, individuals will opt out of mental health services because of money. They think that they cannot afford it. However, there are different ways you can afford the care you need. Medicare covers many of the costs for various mental health care services. This can be outpatient and inpatient at a general or psychiatric hospital. Medicare is a great option; however, it’s important to be aware that these benefits are subject to limitations—such as copayments, coinsurance, and lifetime maximums.

Medicare Coverage

Medicare provides coverage for both inpatient and outpatient mental health care. Additionally, Medicare prescription drug plans include coverage for medications used to treat mental health conditions. It’s important to review the formulary to ensure that the specific brands and dosages you require are covered.

  • Medicare Part B

Under Medicare Part B, outpatient mental health care is covered and includes a range of services such as:

  • Individual and group therapy
  • Treatment for substance use disorders
  • Diagnostic tests to ensure appropriate care
  • Occupational therapy
  • Activity therapies like art, dance, or music therapy
  • Training and education related to your condition
  • Family counseling as part of your treatment
  • Laboratory tests
  • Prescription drugs that necessitate administration by a medical professional, like injections
  • An annual depression screening

Before beginning services, confirm with your healthcare provider whether they accept Medicare insurance. Providers who don’t accept Medicare might require you to bear the full cost of care. 

  • Medicare Part A

Medicare Part A encompasses inpatient mental health care coverage, whether in a psychiatric hospital or a general hospital. 

Your healthcare provider determines the appropriate hospital setting. If care is provided in a psychiatric hospital setting, Medicare covers up to 190 days of inpatient care over your lifetime. If you’ve used up your lifetime days but require further mental health care, Medicare may cover care received in a general hospital.

  • Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D covers most prescription drugs used to treat mental health conditions. 

Your Part D coverage might be through a Medicare Advantage Plan or a stand-alone Part D plan. All Part D plans are required to provide coverage for at least two drugs from most drug categories and all drugs within specific categories, including antidepressants and antipsychotic medications.

Providing Medicare Covered Therapy

Here at PPH, we have a number of different licensed professionals who offer Medicare covered therapy sessions. Contact us today to learn more about our services and treatment options!

The Diversity Amongst Back-To-School Students

By: Katie Walker |

It’s time for school…again.
For most parents out there this is a return to schedule, structure, and knowing the kids are in what they hope is a safe place for hours of the day. For some kids its a return to friends, structure, and learning which most enjoy. Today’s blog is about every instance in between. This means the kids who dread school for fear of bullying, rejection, power struggles with teachers, being labeled, compared, and feeling school only makes it worse.
Also, this is for the kids who love school because it’s consistent, provides safe expectations of what to do and what needs to be done, it’s an escape from what could be an unsafe home. Having worked with kids and teens for almost 10 years now – all of these groupings of kids exist and there are some not mentioned. What I hope this blog can be is a quick reminder of the diversity of experiences the kids and teens heading back to school are going through as well as a reminder to be kind. 

Types of Students

1. Kids and teens who are excited and ready for school – these friends come together in this grouping for many reasons. These friends are ready to learn and really enjoy the process of learning. These friends are the kids ready to be out of their homes to hang out with friends more. These are also the kids ready to be away from their home because home is unsafe, unstable, and unpredictable. When you come across these kids don’t doubt their sincerity and don’t downplay their excitement. Welcome their energy to the classroom. 

2. Kids and teens who are dreading school – again, these friends are here for many different reasons. One can be that school doesn’t feel like it fits their needs – these can be kids with adhd, autism, depression, developmental disorders; kids who don’t feel they fit the school expectation mold and school doesn’t seem to have the ability to meet their individual needs. This can cycle the kid or teen through feelings of incompetence, rejection, embarrassment, shame – emotions and thoughts that do not help anyone thrive. If you come across these kids – welcome them, help them feel capable and needed. 
This group of kids and teens are also those who have dealt with bullying, assault, mistreatment in the school arena and returning to it can feel traumatizing. Their reality needs to be seen and handled with kindness as well. These are kids who may end up in the counselor’s office; missing a lot of school; “acting out” in classes and the hallways; and much more. Keep an eye out for these kids too, they just want to feel seen and heard. To feel cared for. 
3. Kids and teens who mask their inner world – these are the friends who “seem” fine and “seem” able to be at school, do their homework, get the extracurriculars done and don’t “make a fuss.” I use quotation marks to denote that things are not always okay and to expect kids and teens to always be okay is unrealistic and unfair. 
Kids and teens need to be able to be authentic, to be silly, goofy, express their innerworld, and to speak up when things are not okay. Kids and teens who mask are really masters at self-control because they got the message at some point to not make a stir, or a fuss, or to draw attention. 
These kids and teens sometimes have outbursts that surprise teachers, friends, and family – this is because they are trying so hard to be what they were told is “good” but their emotions, feelings, and thoughts must come out. Let kids and teens be authentic. Open their expression of self into the classroom and be grateful when they share. 

Final Thoughts

Now, I imagine there are more groupings of kids we could come up with. However, this gets almost all of them. If you have time, scroll back through this post and consider those groups as people in college; people in the workplace; your colleagues; your neighbors; people in your congregation or community. If we can see that everyone is dealing with something and we choose to be kind rather than assessing and judging; life could be more bearable. 
For you kids and teens returning to school – good luck and be kind. For the rest of us – be kind. 

8 Effective Tips for Adolescent Therapy

Adolescence is a whirlwind phase in life characterized by rapid physical, emotional, and psychological changes. It’s a time of self-discovery, identity formation, and establishing one’s place in the world. However, it can also be a challenging period marked by uncertainty, peer pressure, and roller coaster emotions. 

As parents, caregivers, and mental health professionals, supporting adolescents through this critical stage is essential to their overall well-being. 

1. Establish a Safe and Trusting Environment

First of all, at PPH Therapy we create a safe space for adolescents to express themselves openly without fear of judgment. 

Therapy sessions are welcoming, confidential, and non-critical. Adolescents often feel vulnerable during this time, so building trust with our therapist is essential to the success of therapy.

Additionally, as parents, your teens should be able to come to you for anything. Create an open, accepting environment; allow them to be free to say whatever they want without lectures or reprimands. 

2. Focus on Active Listening

Listening actively and empathetically is a cornerstone of effective adolescent therapy. 

Please allow them to voice their concerns, fears, and dreams, and refrain from interrupting or imposing adult perspectives. By truly hearing their experiences, you can gain insights into their inner world and develop appropriate interventions.

3. Validate Their Emotions

Adolescents experience many emotions, and validating what they’re going through is essential. Even if their emotions seem irrational, acknowledging their feelings as real and significant fosters a sense of self-worth. They’ll feel seen and understood.

4. Encourage Self-Expression 

Not all adolescents are comfortable expressing themselves verbally. 

Therefore, be open to alternative forms of expression, such as art therapy, music therapy, or writing. Engaging in these creative outlets can help adolescents process their emotions and experiences in a non-threatening manner.

5. Address Identity and Self-Esteem Issues

Adolescence is a time when young individuals seek to define their identity and sense of self. Therapy can be a safe place to explore questions of identity, self-esteem, and self-worth. Encourage adolescents to discover their strengths and values while gently challenging negative self-perceptions.

6. Address Peer Relationships and Social Challenges

Peer relationships play a significant role in an adolescent’s life, often bringing joy and stress. Discussing friendship dynamics, conflict resolution, and social challenges can help adolescents develop healthier relationship patterns and coping strategies.

7. Cultivate Resilience and Coping Skills

Helping adolescents build resilience and effective coping mechanisms is vital. Teach them how to deal with stress, setbacks, and disappointments constructively. This will empower them to face life’s challenges more confidently.

8. Normalize Seeking Help

Many adolescents may hesitate to seek therapy, fearing it makes them “different” or “weak.” So, normalize the idea of seeking help for mental health, just as they would for physical health. Emphasize that therapy is a tool for personal growth, not a sign of weakness.

6 Reasons To Go To Couples Therapy

Maintaining a healthy and fulfilling relationship requires effort, communication, and understanding. However, even the strongest partnerships encounter challenges and conflicts that can strain the bond between partners. 

When difficulties arise, seeking professional help through couples therapy can provide invaluable guidance and support. If you and your partner are considering therapy, here are six reasons to inspire you.

1. Enhancing Communication and Conflict Resolution Skills

One of the fundamental pillars of a successful relationship is effective communication.

Couples therapy offers a safe and neutral environment where couples can learn and practice healthier ways to express their needs, concerns, and emotions. Therapists provide invaluable tools and techniques to improve communication skills, such as active listening, assertiveness, and empathy. 

In this space, couples can reduce misunderstandings, resolve conflicts, and deepen their connection by learning to communicate more effectively.

2. Gaining a Deeper Understanding of Each Other

One of the best things about couples therapy is that it facilitates a deeper understanding of one another’s thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. 

Skilled therapists guide couples through conversations that uncover underlying issues, past traumas, and unmet needs. This increased awareness fosters empathy, compassion, and a greater appreciation for each other’s experiences. By gaining insight into their partner’s inner world, couples can strengthen their emotional connection and build a more solid foundation for their relationship.

3. Strengthening Relationship Bonds

Relationships evolve, which means couples need to nurture their bond continuously. 

In couples therapy, partners can rediscover what initially drew them together and reignite the spark that may have diminished over time. Therapists guide couples in developing shared goals, interests, and values, fostering a sense of partnership and teamwork. Couples can build a resilient and enduring connection by investing in their relationship through therapy.

4. Resolving Long-standing Issues

Unresolved issues and resentments can create a significant strain on a relationship. 

Couples therapy provides a structured and supportive environment for addressing these long-standing concerns. Therapists assist couples in identifying the root causes of conflicts and guiding them toward effective resolution. This process promotes forgiveness, healing, and a sense of closure, allowing couples to move forward with a renewed sense of harmony.

5. Strengthening Emotional and Mental Well-being

Relationship difficulties can take a toll on individuals’ emotional and mental well-being. 

Couples therapy focuses on the relationship itself and offers support for individual growth. Therapists help partners develop self-awareness, self-esteem, and coping strategies to manage stress and emotional challenges. As individuals experience personal growth, they bring a healthier and more balanced self to the relationship, benefiting both partners.

6. Preventing Future Issues

Couples therapy is not solely reserved for relationships in distress; engaging in therapy as a preventative measure can be incredibly beneficial. 

In therapy, couples can prevent lingering issues from escalating into significant challenges by addressing minor concerns early on. Additionally, couples therapy equips partners with tools to effectively navigate future conflicts and maintain a healthy relationship in the long term.

34th Annual Boston International Trauma Conference | Part 4

By: Katie Walker |

Here we are at the end of the journey and I promise, at least for me, the full saga is not anywhere near over. We were reminded multiple times these past 4 days that a therapist who wants to be of help to their clients/patients will always keep learning to provide the best possible care. The next thing they shared after education is for each therapist in attendance to make sure they are actively doing their own therapy to again, be able to provide the best possible care. 
This morning was 3 brilliant individuals who have been adding to the trauma field in their own ways for decades. 
1. Dante Cicchetti PhD ( – Discussed the consequences of child maltreatment from the perspective of developmental psychopathology and with research evidence of what affects children, teens. He defined child maltreatment as anything from abuses, neglect of all kinds, divorce, fighting in family, homelessness, and much more. He has decades of research that discuss options for how to treat and look at ways to support the healing of children and teenagers. He looked originally at groups of people in the middle socio-economic status (SES) and said child maltreatment was very, very prevalent with them. He shared that it was and still is not only the lower SES that experiences trauma due to poverty and other environmental factors but that the middle SES has at times more covert maltreatment as well because of societal expectations. Anyway, his work makes a lot of sense to me as I’ve seen it in practice *and* experienced some personally. Take a look at his website if you are interested in more. Or they even mentioned in the conference to Google Scholar his name and you’ll find dozens of articles. 
2. Diana Fosha PhD ( – Treating attachment trauma with AEDP. She has created a therapy practice called Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) which is an empirically supported model that gives patients corrective emotional and relational experiences that mobilize changes in the brain. Whew, that was a mouthful. Essentially what I gathered is she has done research both through scientific methods and through hands on practice that incorporates a focus on secure, healthy attachments. She shared that sometimes when we go to therapy we are getting the first healthy attachment in our life and it can be new, overwhelming, scary *and* healing, transformative, and empowering. This really spoke to me as I completely agree and support the idea that as therapists we need more compassion and attunement in sessions with our clients to help them. Again, check out her name, work and when you are searching for a therapist ask if they know AEDP is this felt right for you!
3. Matthew Fleischman PhD ( – Treatment of developmental trauma for children with neurofeedback. Neurofeedback is a tremendous treatment option that is noninvasive that has amazing research outcomes that as far as they know are long lasting. Neurofeedback has been around since the 1980s and the research as well as practice of it has increased significantly. I don’t know how to explain this treatment, only to share that I have had Clients go and do neurofeedback then return to therapy with me greatly improved. It’s important to note that sometimes the unknown could feel scary. However, making a plan with your therapist to get you into neurofeedback can help you feel empowered in making choices for your life. I know for people close to Layton Utah there are a group of neurofeedback practitioners that do good work. Here is a direct link to the neurofeedback advocacy project website that explains what it is. You can also explore the website and find more information. (
4. Adriana Barton ( – “Wired for Music” is a book she has written and a cumulative report of information gathered across multiple disciplines to discuss how important music and rhythm are to our lives. She discussed music and rhythm and how they stimulate social and biological processes involved in psychological healing. “Throughout human history, music has been used as medicine. Drawing from neuroscience, anthropology and evolutionary biology, [her] book explores how a music habit can enhance everyday life, from moods and memory to social relationships and the age-old search for meaning.” This was an excerpt from her website and was reiterated in the workshop. She shared, “musical rhythms, brainwave entrainment and neurochemicals [were] discussed in relation to music’s evolutionary role as a ‘social glue,’ demonstrated to increase feelings of trust and interpersonal connection.” This showed me that when a kid or teenager talks to me about how music helps them – I need to validate them and include more music opportunities in my sessions. 
It’s been so great to take you all through what I have learned. I promise, if you are reading these as a person looking for therapy – call our office. There is hope. If you are a fellow therapist or teacher, or someone who loves kids and people – call our office. We are with you. If you happen to be a policy maker and want to know what to do you help our area – please call our office. *We can do more to help people.*


By: Katie Walker |

Come with me for day by day takeaways on the latest and greatest in trauma treatment: 

34th Annual Boston International Trauma Conference (

Today was amazing. There is so much that has been going on in the neurobiological and neuroscientific research of trauma injuries, trauma, and methods to help heal trauma. Since it was a lot of science lingo I cannot do justice here in a blog I am going to provide names, some of their research topics, and websites. It will be up to you to either take my word for it that there is a tremendous battery of research available and still being done to understand the brain and the impact emotions and trauma have on it; or do some of your own reading (highly recommending you discover it for yourself too!). 
Very, very similar in the afternoon session was experiential innovations in treatment of trauma. Those exercises are best learned through doing so I will provide names and some websites then please discover the magic on your own. 
1. Bessel van der Kolk M.D. (https://www.besselvanderkolk.com – Provided an overview of the past 3 decades of trauma research and trauma explorations. He has hundreds of published research articles; podcast interviews; teachings; trainings; recorded interviews; dozens of books. 
2. Kerry J. Ressler M.D, PhD ( – Has done a tremendous amount of research on the neuroscience of fear and PTSD. He has information about how trauma impacts all of our sensory systems. This work is really important for helping us be able to gain understanding of how trauma also can impact our genetics from generation to generation. 
3. Martin H. Teicher M.D, PhD ( – Shared a brief reaction and addendum to Kerry Ressler’s talk. Martin Teicher is one of the founding researchers to look at the biological impact of developmental trauma on the brain at different ages and stages of life. 
4. Tania Singer PhD (https://taniasinger.de – She gave a review of what was shared on Day 1; go check it out again! 🙂 Her work could change things for society. 
5. Ronald D Siegel PsyD (https://drronsiegel.com – He discussed some of the mindfulness work from Day 1. However, in this talk he went into mindfulness, compassion & psychedelic-assisted therapy and how evoking “non-ordinary” states can deeply benefit trauma treatment. Okay, I have a pretty open mind to drugs when they are used in a trained, healthy, purposeful way. The research they discussed is extremely promising for healing. 
In the afternoon there were 3 different people/groups discussing specific treatments and interventions:
1. Bethany Brand PhD ( – Finding Solid Ground…even with the most dissociated individuals! Bethany has increased the amount of research and proof of positive treatment outcomes for people living with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and other dissociative and traumatized disorders. She reported that until she began her research that the most recent research prior to hers was from the 70s and 80s. She has created a treatment workbook and there is a companion book as well. I promise I’m not getting paid to share this; but here is a link to Amazon where you can find the book then the workbook is the same title with the work “workbook” after it ( As a therapist who did not learn enough about DID in any of my schooling; if sharing this book knowing that treatment options are available to learn – I want to let everyone know. If there are treatment options for groups of people who need help and are underserved; I’m more than happy to name resources. 
2. Licia Sky ( – Embodied self awareness, identity, multigenerational stories, and the emergent process of healing. Licia is a gentle, kind, embodied soul. She has spent decades learning about and sharing the power of movement. She has shared the healing knowledge that our bodies already possess but through life and different circumstances we have stopped listening to our bodies. If you follow the link to her website that will take you directly to videos of practice. I know at least for me when I include body work in my healing, life journey that I feel so much wholeness. 
3. Andres Gonzalez, Ali Smith, Atman Smith, and Cathy Malchiodi PhD, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC, REAT (https://holisticlifefoundation.org – Empowering communities to heal trauma. Okay, this one just amazed me. I work with almost all ages, but lately I’ve been working most with kids and teens. This work Andres, Ali, and Atman have been doing for 20+ years is truly inspired. They have worked with kids and teens in schools to teach them regulation skills that, through the years, have shown to improve outcomes for those they work with. They are based in Baltimore, MD and have seen over 100,000 (per their website) kids and teens not end up in prison, in gangs, detention; being the first in their family to graduate high school. Please check out the website above – this is the Holistic Life Foundation. If you are a therapist or someone reading this in Utah – our state could *greatly* benefit from bringing this to our kids and teens in school. We need to do better taking care of our kids and teenagers and this could be a good option. Cathy Malchiodi is an expressive arts therapist; experiential work. She has years of working with people and communities. She has done some work with Holistic Life and has years of her own work and treatment tools. She is definitely worth checking out as well. 


By: Katie Walker |

Come with me for day by day takeaways on the latest and greatest in trauma treatment: 

34th Annual Boston International Trauma Conference (

Okay today was like drinking from a fire hydrant – but completely refreshing and so worth it. I attended three sessions today and have a lot to share. Before I get in to it here are the topics I will be writing on: 

1. Conversations about SMART Implementation Across Cultures.

Featuring Elizabeth Warner, Alexandra Cook, Anne Westcott, Heather Finn, Alicia Hu, Mei Ling Hu, Kasey Pendexter, and Mari Kjølseth Braein. (

SMART is a form of body focused therapy currently focused on children and teens however there are current projects exploring what this could look like for adults. SMART stands for Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Therapy. 


2. IFS and Addictions. 

Looking into a different way to treat, talk about, and thinking about addictions. 

3. Keynote Talk: Psychological Trauma Underlying Mental Processes.

These two men have created a different way to consider trauma, healing, and the human experience. For me personally they have changed the way I am a therapist and the way that I relate to myself and others. 
Okay – now that was a lot. It’s just getting good though so feel free to skip ahead or read through each description! 

1. Conversations about SMART Implementation Across Cultures.

Featuring Elizabeth Warner, Alexandra Cook, Anne Westcott, Heather Finn, Alicia Hu, Mei Ling Hu, Kasey Pendexter, and Mari Kjølseth Braein. (
This conversation started off with different members of the group sharing some basics about SMART method for therapy. SMART stands for Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Therapy. This therapy takes three threads of treatment: somatic regulation, trauma processing, and attachment building; works on them in the therapeutic relationship and hopes to build the individual kid’s window of tolerance. There is a hierarchy of development that SMART uses to inform priorities and treatment options. This hierarchy looks at a child’s development from sensory processing foundations up through 6 levels to integrated engagement with the whole self in the emotional, motor, cognitive, and social areas. 
Though this conference session was aimed at helping therapists see how this could be used across a multitude of cultures – the highlights I want to share can be seen as benefits to finding a therapist for yourself, your child, or teen that includes SMART methods. 
There are 7 tools they draw from: tactile, vestibular, proprioceptive, sensation satiation, combining inputs, rhythmicity, and safe space. These tools are sensory systems; can be seen in occupational therapy, play therapy, and somatic experiencing type therapies. Also though with a little google search you can access ideas to help while you find therapy to help bring everything together in a coherent way. 
More important things: 
1. All children and teens need to move to find that “just right” space; their safe space.
2. Tending to safety is a priority in the process which models what most children and teens miss in the home environment in different ways.
3. This model can allow for attachment security and create attachment bonds so the child and teen can experience examples in vivo of regulation and repair.
4. When trying to adapt SMART for different cultures and communities there needs to be participation of members of that community in learning and teaching to provide the best understanding. one example here was that SMART has been adapted for the deaf and hard of hearing community and seen tremendous success in finding regulation for kids and teens. 
5. Both therapists, teachers, parents all need to understand that children know what they need; they need us as the adults to slow down and listen.
Again – amazing work, amazing therapy offering. This blurb does not do it justice. It is worth learning more. 

2. IFS and Addictions. 

Looking into a different way to treat, talk about, and thinking about addictions. 

I have a love love relationship with IFS (Internal Family Systems). A very, very brief overview of this therapy is that all of us have a core “Self” that is considered: compassionate, curious, creative, confident, calm, clear, courageous, and connected. This “Self” is who we really are underneath different “parts” that developed in almost extreme ways to help us or the “Self” cope with something traumatic or dysfunctional. “Parts” come in three categories and those categories can have multiple different behaviors, attitudes, thoughts that come with them. 

There are “exile parts” that are parts of us that have been hurt, traumatized, sad; they are exiled because our system wants to protect us from danger, discomfort, and to keep us safe.  There are “manager parts” that rush in the extreme to make sure the exiles never get triggered. An example of a “manager” would be an internal critic – the critic’s job is to make sure we don’t do things that trigger the exile and that voice comes with a lot of shame typically. Then there are “firefighter parts”; these are parts that rush in when an “exile” breaks through a “manager”‘s efforts and will do anything to decrease the emotion, thought, hurt by any means. These means can be addiction, daily behaviors (shopping, distracting, avoiding), self-harm, and suicide. These “firefighters” do anything to keep us safe and safety comes to mean that our exiles don’t feel hurt anymore. 

I admit that at times this can sound really suspect. There are parts of me that want me to be safe and happy but do it by keeping the hard stuff locked away? Well – it’s real. I’ve experienced it as I have worked with Clients helping them discover, learn and care for their parts as well as doing my own work. 
How this relates to addiction – in most areas, America especially – addiction is seen as a moral failing. However, when you talk to anyone who uses or has addictions, behaviors they use to escape – the things people are escaping return to the “exile parts”; shame, trauma, bullying, fighting with parents and so much more. 
When we choose to see addictions as parts that are trying to protect us from emotional and mental harm; there is a tremendous increase in compassion to ourselves and the efforts we make. If we adopted this mentality locally, nationally – there would be more healthy people in recovery. We would see people seeming rested, kind. 
There is *so* much more here. I’ll leave this session with the title of Dick Schwartz’s last book, there are “No Bad Parts.” 

3. Keynote Talk: Psychological Trauma Underlying Mental Processes.

Gabor Mate ( and Richard Schwartz (

These two men have created a different way to consider trauma, healing, and the human experience. For me personally they have changed the way I am a therapist and the way that I relate to myself and others. 

I have almost too much good I can say about Gabor Mate and his work. He has a tremendous amount of research, work, and experience he brings into the trauma field. Today’s talk was about the impact of stress, trauma, and emotional turmoil on the physical body. 
He shared about how his years as a family doctor showed him that the questions doctors don’t ask are truly the real reason why we are all sick. Some of the questions he mentioned are about our childhood trauma; experiences of loss; how daily family life is; environmental concerns. He shared significant clinical experiences showing the correlation of increased stress with increased inflammation in the body and when we dismiss or shove our emotions down then our own immune system will become depressed. When the immune system becomes depressed we are more likely to become ill. One metaphorical example he shared was that emotions, especially healthy anger are a boundary marker for us of what is okay and not okay. However he compared the literal purpose of our immune system to that it is a boundary of what gets to come in and stays out of our body. 
He draws together impressive evidence of a literal mind/body connection that is at play within us daily. To learn more check out his website listed above, podcast interviews he has done, as well as any of his books (The Myth of Normal is the most current one). 
Now, it was great to hear from Dick Schwartz again. In this talk what he shared was very similar to the session earlier in the day. He added on the implications of IFS being used at a systemic level to facilitate large scale healing and resolution. Some of these large scale examples he gave were: group therapies, conflict resolution, mediation, legacy burdens, activism, companies, group therapies. He shared that there is more than enough evidence that groups, people, cultures, employees just want to be witnessed. This idea of IFS being used in systems could bring us miraculous outcomes. 
Phew – that’s today! Check back tomorrow for more information about conference sessions and then a bonus workshop just for understanding traumatized kids. 

34th Annual Boston International Trauma Conference | Part 1

By: Katie Walter |

Come with me for day by day takeaways on the latest and greatest in trauma treatment: 

34th Annual Boston International Trauma Conference (

This year I am attending the conference from the comfort of my living room and home office 🙂 And…it is completely worth it! The conference this year is 4 days of amazing information from researchers and practitioners that continue to create the best treatment options for individuals living with trauma and those of us who work in the trauma field. 

Today I attended “From Empathic Distress to Compassion: Building Resilience in the Face of Trauma” with Tania Singer ( and Ronald Siegel (

They discussed research that is helping to train peoples’ minds to improve three things: 

  1. attention & mindfulness (through breathing meditations and body scans)
  2. care & compassion (through loving kindness meditations and dyad exercises)
  3. cognitive perspective taking & theory of mind (through dyad exercises and observing-thoughts meditations)

A few interesting things they brought up early on is that attention & mindfulness are self oriented  skills. Care & compassion are self and other oriented skills (about relating to others and relationships). Cognitive perspective taking is a self and other oriented skill that is called “meta” meaning that you work on thinking about how you and others are thinking. 

The main research study here can be found on Tania Singer’s website ( under the menu topic ReSource Project. This study was conducted for at least a year and phases were done in person as well as virtually because part of the study occurred while Germany was in lock down d/t COVID 19. Two things she shared from this study was seeing that the brain actually thickens, grows, and shows improvements in people who were doing the training. The parts that grow play a role in empathy, care and compassion. Second thing – that  peoples’ capacity and tolerance for social situations increases. 

Now, for those of us living with trauma this may sound great but very overwhelming. When it comes to tools, resources, and healing therapy is still a great way to go. Finding a therapist who will work with you, be patient, listen to you and provide some gentle guidance; all good things. One timeline for healing with improving feeling and sensation in the body as well as ability to name those things was 6-9 months with help. 

Okay, cutting this short here because really; this is better learned and done together. Head over to the Meet Our Team tab and see if anyone of us feel like a good fit to help you in healing from trauma and learning to find compassion for yourself. 

Come back tomorrow where I will be writing about “How to incorporate Neurofeedback into Trauma Treatment – Latest Developments”; “IFS and Addictions” … and possibly more! 

Common Misconceptions About Seeking Therapy

There was a lot of stigma surrounding topics like mental illness and addiction. Fortunately, nowadays, people are much more open about seeking the help they need. 

Here in Ogden and Salt Lake City, therapy can be used to treat many mental conditions, including anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. But, of course, you don’t have to have any of these specific conditions to seek therapy—anyone can meet with a therapist.

However, therapy can sometimes still get a bad rap. Some people might be too dependent on what they see on television or in fictional books, which causes a distorted view of what therapy is.

Even though a lot of information is available, it can be easy to fall for the misconceptions surrounding therapy.

Only “Crazy” People And Those With Big Problems Go To Therapy

First, “crazy” has many different connotations—sometimes, good ones. Secondly, it’s untrue.

If you are in a crisis, therapy can make a huge difference in your life. But you don’t need to suffer from a severe mental illness to get to therapy. Therapy clients often struggle with the same issues we all deal with daily: relationships, self-doubt and confidence, self-esteem, and work-life stress.

Therapy Is Like Talking To A Friend

It’s easy to see therapy as a conversation with a friend. Because with friends, you can share your feelings. And a good friend can be there for you during stress or emotional distress. 

However, therapy is very different from your relationships with family and friends. Your therapist is a trained professional who has learned the most effective evidence-based techniques to assist you in taking control of your mental health.

Also, your therapist will help you manage your emotions and challenge your negative thoughts, behaviors, and patterns. They will teach you how to build good relationships and avoid toxic ones. During your sessions, you’ll learn techniques to calm your emotions and stay grounded.

You Only Need One Session

Sometimes, movies make it seem like one session solves all the problems, but it doesn’t work in real life.

Here at Psychological Preventative Health, most of our sessions are scheduled for 55 minutes. And you can’t learn everything about someone in 55 minutes. Getting to the root of the problem will take many sessions.

Therapy Doesn’t Work

You might think therapy is a joke.

If you’re in a bad or dark place in your life, it can be difficult to imagine not feeling like this. However, therapy works and has made a huge difference in many lives.

Of course, it’s important to remember that therapy is a journey that’s unique to each individual. No two experiences will be the same. Therapy makes the most impact when you meet the right therapist who caters the best treatment for you.

Seek The Help You Need Today

If you want to take control of your life, schedule a session today!

With two convenient Utah locations—Salt Lake City and Ogden—Psychological Preventative Health is here for you. With our team of licensed SelectHeath professionals, you’re in good hands.

Back To School Therapy Tips To Help Transition

Help Yourself and Your Children Transition Back to School

This is a time of year when there are so many changes for kids, teens, and parents alike. Returning to school brings new and old friends, activities, learning, expectations, and grades. All of that is the added stress of social media, being a kid, family member, and parent.

Okay, writing that started to bring some flashbacks of school…phew! This post is hopefully going to provide ideas, tips, and general direction for kids, teens, and parents to help navigate the coming school year.

Mentally Prepare Yourself and Your Child for The School Year

Going into the school year is a big transition time and everyone involved in this process needs to be on the same page. The ideas to prepare and plan for our life skills, time commitments, education priorities, mental health, and play – giving them chances to be a kid. These things become complicated when expectations are kept silent or one-sided.

Taking time to break each of the above areas down will help parents and caregivers have an idea of how to help their kids and teens.

Priorities to Consider

Life skills examples include planning, organizing, cleaning, communication, boundaries, and responsibility.

male and female sit over young male smiling at a computer as the mom pats the boys head

Time commitment examples include sitting down together and going through all 168 hours you and your child have in one week. Consider all 24 hours in a day and really help them look at how their time is spent. Look for opportunities to have transition time between school, activities, and homework.

Education priority examples include everyone setting realistic expectations for performance.

Openly discussing learning ability, factors that can impact that, and really having an open min on both sides to accepting limits as well as pushing limits when appropriate.

Mental health is so crucial for kids and teens. The amount of stress, environmental factors, friends, bullies, and social media are all so much to handle. Managing times for breaks; discussing anxiety, suicidal thoughts, depression, and self-harm; support systems; and normalizing conversations and acceptance of these things can open so much in having your kid or teen come to you.

Play examples include time with friends, rest, fun activities, creativity, and using imagination.

older and younger female walk down a shrubbery path and the older woman has her arms around the younger child

With all the things to consider going into a new school year remember that everyone at home is going to have some high emotions during the first 6-8 weeks and then things hopefully will even out.

Keep in mind that home can become a safe place for kids and teens when they know, and trust parents are on their side with their best interests in mind. Invest the time now to be able to create a successful school year for everyone.