Talking about Mental Health: Braving tough conversations through new methods
Experts say it’s more important than ever before to connect with your students and your teenagers. Find ways to have those tough conversations.
“It might sound funny, but sometimes the best discussions you have with teens happens in the car,” says Sue Abderholden, executive director of NAMI Minnesota. “They don’t have to look at you. You are side by side or they are in the backseat. Sometimes it’s easier to have tough conversations. Walking with them is another way to do it. But they aren’t going to sit down at the kitchen table and spill the beans, so you have to find other ways to have those kinds of tough conversations.”
Walk and Talk Therapy
Getting out and going for a walk isn’t just for teenagers, either.
A Maple Grove therapist named Jenny Reimann uses what she calls walk and talk therapy with her clients. Not having to look at a therapist face-to-face keeps people relaxed. The exercise also gets endorphins flowing. Reimann says she’ll continue to hit the trails in Maple Grove with her clients, because it works.
Often schedules can be so packed that it can be difficult for people to make time for a therapist. Another therapist, also from Maple Grove, started a thriving business that allows busy people easier access to therapy.
“We do therapy by phone and video,” explains Dr. Lisa Herman, a licensed clinical psychologist. “It’s compliant with regulations. It’s private and it’s secure. Just like you would receive your therapy in person, we see people by video.”
Dr. Herman runs the practice through her website SynergyETherapy.
We’ve had a lot of success with clients that we’ve been seeing,” says Herman. “We have a lot of people that want this. They are busy and they need mental health care and can’t figure out how to fit it in their life.”
Herman has recently expanded the number of therapists she offers online as well as the number of states where they are licensed to practice. The clinic does free consultations for people who might want to be a client, because telemedicine isn’t the best fit for every condition.
“Our goal is to help people function better in their daily lives,” says Herman. “We don’t want them to feel stressed out going to therapy.”
Herman says the therapy is great for families, couples, and adults.
For more information:
Want to know more about mental health? Check out our special report, “The Silent Struggle: Talking about Mental Health.”
NAMI Minnesota provides free classes and information for crisis responders, medical and mental health professionals and the general community. If you are concerned about someone or are having thoughts of suicide yourself, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or **CRISIS, or text MN 741741.