CRITICAL TIMES CALL FOR CREATIVE SOLUTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This is no news to any of you: These are critical times politically and economically and, as a result, nearly every aspect of our lives is affected.

In many instances decisions made are not in our control. If a business goes belly-up and you happen to be one of its employees, you’ve lost your job. If you work for a company that couldn’t afford to give bonuses this year, then money you were counting on to pay for certain necessities is not available to you. For others, if a boss decided that in order to remain in business jobs had to be cut along with salaries, and if you were lucky enough to still have your job you had to decide whether you were able to afford to live on the reduced salary being offered.

While most of us like to think that we’re resilient, too many working men and women are being challenged, put to tests that call into question their ability to make the best decision for themselves and/or their family.

That being said, however, many people are necessarily changing careers, creating new positions for themselves and fighting to survive, maintaining their dignity by being pro-active and creative in their thinking.

For those over 65 (the once customary age of retirement) who still wish to continue working, the challenge is even greater. As one such person in that group, I feel fortunate that I am self-employed:(1)as a psychotherapist with a sub-specialty in addictions treating individuals, couples and families (2)as an author and blogger (3)and as an oral historian and lecturer. This still means, however, that I am having to cut corners and make decisions that I would not have had to make in the past. But, along with many of my friends and colleagues, I am opting to think creatively and come up with solutions that will allow me to do the work I enjoy while not giving up or drastically changing my lifestyle.

Examples: Due to the difficulties imposed upon all of us by insurance companies, many physicians are leaving solo private practices, taking salaried positions or forming group practices. (There is power in numbers and they’re figuring that out!) A great many of my colleagues who are psychotherapists are no longer on any insurance panels. Their patients, for the most part, claim their fees as medical deductions at year’s end and others are being treated in clinics where some are still able to receive quality care.

I have chosen to offer some of my patients fees on a sliding scale to help accommodate their economic hardships. To meet a resulting monthly short fall myself, I’m planning ways to increase my practice.

Although I am – as many of you are – on FACEBOOK and LINKEDIN as ways to make myself visible to more people and to gain greater access to various possibilities, I am also in the process of designing a personal website which will enable others to know about my practice, to sign up for a free consultation and then be offered a fee they can afford. In addition to statements about how I work, testimonials from current patients will be available, as well as my bio, which will show anyone interested, my educational background, training, and degrees.

As the author of a memoir, FOUR ROOMS, UPSTAIRS, which has received nothing but 5 star reviews on and named FINALIST in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and as a weekly blogger, named TOP BLOGGER in the Mental Health Field by WELLsphere, I will also be offering a direct link/subscription to my blog and my book and will, with luck, keep my book in continued circulation by offering an order form right on my website. I will then send copies out immediately upon request, making it easy to pay through a PAY PAL account and offering a discounted rate, as well.

I am telling you all this not merely to promote myself, but hopefully to give you the courage to think outside the box, to be creative about your own life choices so that you are able to manage what IS in your control.

It’s not easy and it’s not always possible, but I do think solutions are more probable if we wrap our minds around different ways of being in the world and, like children who are learning something new and inevitably make mistakes, we can learn from our mistakes, move on and succeed.

On this Easter Sunday – a day and time of “renewal” for Christians – and at the end of this week of Passover which celebrates an escape from slavery, I wish you all the courage and strength to escape from financial/personal bondage, to fulfill your potential and to believe in the power of your ability to help your dreams become reality.