Our society has made great advances toward understanding mental health issues and their effective treatment. The dungeon-like asylums and experimental surgeries of past centuries have given way to therapy and more effective medications. However, to some degree, the stigma associated with mental health problems still remains. While we may not condemn someone suffering from depression or addiction, we tend to avoid admitting our own issues, and consider treatment to be a last act of desperation.
Katie Harrold, therapist and founder of Changing Pathways Therapy, recommends a different attitude toward mental health and treatment, which she applies to her work with individuals, couples, and families.
Harrold says, “Some misconceptions are that [therapy] is only for people who are horribly depressed, or it’s for people who are about to break up—just those drastic things. But really, sometimes, it’s a little bit of ‘I’m stuck right now,’ or I need to deal with this issue. The sooner you come in—the sooner that ‘stuckness’ shows up—the more options you have.”
Most clients would not need to spend years in a psychologist’s office. Harrold explains that the majority may just need a couple of months to get them through a rough spot in their lives.
While other therapists may follow one school of thought (for example, applying Freudian models to every client, regardless of his or her needs), Harrold has resisted that impulse.
In Harrold’s words, “It’s more about what works for each person, and how they approach the world—and how it’s best for them. Everybody has their own story, and the meaning they attribute to that story.”
Harrold sees her role as a kind of facilitator to help her clients realize that they have more options open to them in their lives. She also helps with what she refers to as more everyday things: anxiety, stress, and change.
So that her services can be more accessible, Harrold doesn’t bill insurance companies; instead, her clients pay her directly. While that may sound like a disadvantage, for her, it’s a way to make sure she can treat anyone and everyone.
According to Harrold, “A lot of insurance companies don’t cover relational and family work, and they only cover things that are medically necessary or diagnosable disorders.”
Harrold’s typical rate is $100 per hour, but if that amount is too high, she often can find a solution—for example, contracting for a certain amount of sessions at a discounted rate.
As Harrold remarks, “It’s a combination of wanting to get people the care they need, as well as realizing that my services are of a certain value.”
Harrold volunteers her time regularly with the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition.
To schedule a free initial half-hour consultation, contact Harrold’s office.
Name of Company: Changing Pathways Therapy
Year Founded: 2006
President/CEO: Katie Harrold
Number of Employees: 1
Address: 3137 Hennepin Ave. S., Ste.102, Mpls.
Phone: (612) 203-2820
Web Site: www.changingpathways.net