It’s a difficult thing to choose a therapist and even get to the point when you’re looking at therapy as a viable option. Surely mental health must be as important as physical health for any reasonable person… right? Then why does physical health seem to fall into most people’s daily routine while they let attention to their mental health fall by the wayside.
“We’ve noticed 3 major limitations to people accessing psychological services for their life enhancement”
The first of those things is stigma. Psychological services tend to be stigmatized as opposed to the way accessing a personal trainer is perceived. I’m sure we’ve heard people say that if you see a psychologist, “you’re crazy”. We believe that daily mental fitness activities and the pursuit of self-knowledge are essential to any healthy person. In addition, if seeing a Psychologist made you crazy then all our clinicians here at Shift would be crazy because believe me we have all done our share of therapy!
One of the major driving forces behind Shifts approach is to reduce this stigma and one of the main ways Shift looks to reduce the stigma is by enhancing the standard therapeutic experience. We do this by altering the standard clinical environment and creating a more modern sensory experience. Think: Boutique Hotel meets Art Gallery type of approach. You’re going to sit down and have a nice cup of Jasmine Tea while you wait. It’s a visually stimulating, bright environment. You’re going to hear our “Sounds @ Shift” with various DJ sets handpicked by some of our favourite audiophiles. Beyond this, the way we speak to clients is very egalitarian. Our tone is conversational and we’re not over here throwing our degrees around and trying to impress you with stigmatizing psychological jargon.
The second thing which tends to limit people from accessing psychological services is the mystery. When I was looking for a Psychologist, scrolling through the millions of profiles that exist on Psychology Today, I noticed that there were a lot of terms like narrative therapy, ACT therapy, bi-lateral stimulation and CBT. I had no idea what they meant… none at all. I knew that they were supposed to help me, I saw people on TV and in the movies going to Psychologists but I had no idea what they actually did. I thought that if I wanted a simple conversation then I could just talk to one of my close friends or family members for no cost at all! These sorts of ideas help create the discussed stigmatization towards mental health. Part of how we began to lift this veil of mystery and thus reduce stigma was by creating our Shift Protocol™. The protocol is a standardized approach to treatment which helps outline what you will get from our therapeutic process. The protocol is entrenched in practical philosophy. This simply means that we have a specific rationale for looking at situations the way we do and we can lead you to understanding with reason and evidence instead of psychological double talk! We can explain what we’re doing and why. We teach our clients about attachment theory, attachment trauma, how trauma functions in the brain. Rest assured, you will not be sitting on our couch listening to wandering narratives and wondering exactly what you are paying for and how this will help your situation. We don’t believe that insight changes everything. We know that the behavior itself needs to stop in an organic way by attacking its origin. Our ongoing video and blog series will explain more about the depths of the connection between our protocol and practical philosophy. It will also go into more detail about how we attack the behaviors through their origin.
The third limit we have found to people accessing psychological services is accessibility. Of course, accessing some of these services is not cheap, especially if you are not covered by your health plan. We at Shift have created a tiered treatment program. We have several levels of therapists at Shift ranging from our registered therapists, who are the most expensive, to our provisional psychologist who is more like student psychologist and below that we have our Masters level counsellors and below that we have our Shift coaches for people focusing more strictly on life enhancement and proactive change issues. In addition, we use the profits from Shift to reinvest in the development of a suite of therapeutic apps. We’ll have more details about these in our upcoming video series so stay tuned!