This appeal is to raise funding for a year of psychotherapy, with me (and Nya the Dog), for a person who otherwise would not be able to afford it.
Psychotherapy and trauma treatment needs to be available to everyone, in all communities. But it's not. Far from it. The sorry state of health care funding in the US means that many people cannot afford access to the kind of treatment that will help them access their own internal healing resources and contextualize their experiences within the systems of oppression that have impacted them, whether those systems are familial, cultural, political, or economic (and how separate are those things, really?).
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, working and licensed in both Missouri and Illinois, specializing in treating anxiety, trauma, and depression. I am trained in the trauma treatments EMDR, AF-EMDR and somatic psychotherapy, as well as DBT, cognitive methods, and depth psychology and dreamwork, among other post-graduate trainings and skills. I've written about the importance of trauma-sensitivity in yoga (see my writings at https://www.huffpost.com/author/margaret-howard), including the afterword in Brendon Abrams's book Teaching Trauma-Sensitive Yoga: A Practical Guide: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/568013/teaching-trauma-sensitive-yoga-by-brendon-abram/9781623172244/, and incorporate these principles and some activities into the therapy as appropriate. I have a focus on earth reconnection, and how systems of oppression such as racism, homophobia, diet culture and lack of body diversity acceptance, speciesism, misogyny, and capitalism adversely impact us. And, Nya the Dog (pictured) is in session with us, providing her warm dearness and presence. Nya has joined me in session for around seven years, and has a the ability to develop deep, empathic connections with clients, providing comfort and grounding.
I have always offered sliding scale slots -- reduced fees based on income. However, as a small, solo private practice, the number of such slots I'm able to offer and still get my bills paid are limited. When I first started out in practice I thought I could do far more of them. But I quickly realized that I wouldn't stay afloat if I didn't structure my fees in a way that would actually provide myself a living wage.
I will, with these amount, fund someone for therapy at 100 percent for an entire year. That's where the $7000 number comes in -- that's one session a week, for 50 weeks (allowing for time off), at my base rate of $140 per "therapy hour" session: 140 X 50=7000.
If you share this value of community support for equal access to mental health care, you now have the opportunity to put that value into action by donating to the Community Accessibility Fund.
Once this fund reaches $7000 I will offer a free slot for one year to someone who otherwise would not be able to afford therapy.
Conditions apply, including: Uninsured or grossly underinsured person, not insured by any plan I am contracted under; screened for household income limits; subject to application process and screening for appropriate fit within practice scope and expertise; in-person sessions only. Women, community activists, POC, Indigenous US, LGBTQ folks, and others from marginalized or economically oppressed communities are encouraged to apply. Once the funding goal is reached instructions for application will be publicly posted.
NOTE that due to privacy and confidentiality there will NOT be a "profile" of any person given the slot this effort funds. But I will announce when it is funded and filled!
NOTE that if the goal is surpassed those additional funds will go to more sessions, or to funding additional slots for the same purpose. This will likely depend on whether the original receiver of this slot wants to stay past a year, or not.
NOTE that if the original receiver does not opt to stay for the full year of sessions, the remaining sessions will be rolled over to another person, either existing or new client, with the same criteria.
Most likely this slot will be filled in the southern Illinois office, due to the fact that my St. Louis practice is full at present.
If the goal is not reached the following will be considered, and I may poll donors for opinions before making a decision:
1. Apply the funds to a current therapy patient who could be substantially benefited by elimination of their current sliding scale fee.
2. Fund someone for less than a year (not my preferred option, but could be appropriate for some; an additional screening would apply).