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Polio Network News (ISSN 1066-5331)

Vol. 18, No. 4, Fall 2002
Pursuing Therapeutic Resources to Improve Your Health (continued)

Suggestions for People with Limited Resources

Individuals with limited financial resources, who are interested in reducing their symptoms and pursuing a level of healing from their polio memories, are encouraged to consider the following options:

Recommended Readings

The reference books listed in the "Treatment Approach Options" chart and the references are available through many libraries and can be ordered at bookstores. Carefully selected reading materials can guide survivors through varying levels of emotional healing. For example, The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook: A Guide to Healing, Recovery and Growth by Glenn Schiraldi is a useful self-help tool. While this option is not a replacement for therapy, a person can gain insights and ideas that can help in managing problems and reacting to stressful situations.

Healthy Support Groups

Support groups can offer sources of support and healing for individuals who have lived their polio experience in isolation. A healthy support group will provide a safe place for people to be heard and understood by others who live with a similar challenge; focus on wellness by providing speakers, workshops and balanced input from the healthcare community; explore healthy wellness alternatives; avoid negativity and encourage participants to move forward in their coping; and spin off into small networks of people who meet or call one another.

Personal Development Workshops

Medical centers, mental health clinics, family service associations and other non-profit organizations may offer workshops and talks on topics such as anxiety management, pain management, and coping with depression. By attending these workshops, survivors can gain self-awareness and learn about strategies that can help them with everyday coping.

Healthy Relationships

The section on "Recognizing a Qualified Therapist" discusses healthy principles that individuals may apply to their daily lives. Survivors can use this information to recognize those relationships that have healthy characteristics versus those that are damaging or re-traumatizing (Whitfield, 1993). Part of the healing process involves making choices about the kind of friendships and relationships they will pursue. For the good of their own health, they may need to gradually set limits and boundaries with people who are draining or distressful to be around or are unwilling to take responsibility for their own welfare.

Treatment Approach Options Chart

Individuals with limited resources may select one area that they can afford to gain assistance. This chart lists various therapeutic approaches that are effective in reducing stress, anxiety and physical symptoms.

Publicly-funded Mental Health Services or Non-profit Programs

Individuals may qualify for these services or programs, which often offer sliding-scale fees based on the client's ability to pay. The availability, cost and expertise of community services vary greatly, yet are worth pursuing when funds are limited. Clients typically are assigned a therapist in an agency - they may not have a voice in choosing one. However, consumers have the right to ask questions to determine if a therapist is qualified to help them. Most organizations will respect a client's need to work with a person with whom he/she feels comfortable and who has expertise in treating the client's specific problem.

Also, consumers are encouraged to thoroughly investigate the reputation of an agency or program by checking with other organizations and professionals about their experiences with that agency, and if possible, with clients who have used the agency's services (Finney, 1995).  

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