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July 2023 – Vol. #21, No. 4

Welcome to the July edition.

In SAVVY, STUMP THE SHRINK and SKILLS, a reader asks about my thoughts on Feedback Informed Treatment (FIT). It reminded me of how far behind we still are from the rest of healthcare’s Measurement-based Care practices. Check out Jim Walt’s entertaining and informative keynote presentation about golf and what it has to do with Feedback-Informed Treatment (FIT).

In SOUL, I share another joke-with-a-message from Funsteria about cutting off the end of the ham before baking it. How often do you do something because that’s the way it’s always been done?

David Mee-Lee, M.D.
DML Training and Consulting

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June 2023 – Vol. #21, No. 3

Welcome to the June edition.

In SAVVY, STUMP THE SHRINK and SKILLSa reader asks about my thoughts on what stage of change people are who go into treatment. He somewhat disagrees with what he heard at a training: “Rarely will you see a person come into treatment in the Preparation or Action stage of change”. 

In SOULat least one reader didn’t ‘get’ the message I was sending last month when I shared Tucker Carlson’s text messages. I believe the wisdom I highlighted is so important, that I’m giving it one more try to explicitly spell out what to do about the polarization in the USA.

David Mee-Lee, M.D.
DML Training and Consulting

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May 2023 – Vol. #21, No. 2

Welcome to the May edition of Tips and Topics and to all the new subscribers.

In SAVVY, there is preoccupation with medication as the main and most effective treatment in physical and mental health and addiction. But there are a variety of non-medication lifestyle interventions that can be as effective as medication, if not even better.

In SKILLS, engage with clients to embrace an exercise mindset, use the power of placebo to build hope, and work with families to improve relationship time.

In SOUL, Tucker Carlson, previously a ratings star for Fox News, sent a text message to a producer on January 7, 2021 when he was watching a video of people fighting on the street in Washington. In this age of polarization and demonizing those with whom we disagree, Carlson shares some surprisingly good and insightful advice.

David Mee-Lee, M.D.
DML Training and Consulting

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April 2023-Vol. #21, No. 1

What to do for a client with a history of addiction who is socially drinking? Twenty years of Tips and Topics. What’s next?

Welcome to the April edition, the start of year 21 for Tips and Topics.

In SAVVY, STUMP THE SHRINK and SKILLS,  two clinical vignettes about clients with a history of moderate to severe Alcohol Use Disorder and three DWIs (Driving While Intoxicated) raise assessment and engagement questions to be considered.

In SOUL, I started publishing Tips and Topics April 2003. On this 20th anniversary, I look back at what the initial goals were; whether I lived up to those; and what’s next for Tips and Topics.

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March 2023 – Vol. #20, No. 12

The bear, wolf, fox and rabbit – a joke that teaches; Feeling good – it’s your responsibility; My son, Taylor’s take on money, career, Dad and the SKILLS and SOUL that drive him.

Welcome to the March edition of Tips and Topics.

In SAVVY, the joke about the bear, wolf, fox and rabbit highlights the need to teach our clients (and ourselves) to be assertive and abandon a “victim” mentality. It’s about taking responsibility for your own happiness.

In SKILLS and SOUL, my son, Taylor writes about his take on a discussion he and I had about how his relationship to money and career and how it was impacted differently by his relationship with his mother versus me. He shares his SKILLS and what drives his SOUL.

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February 2023 – Vol. #20, No. 11

Teen mental health – sadness, suicide and social media; An Uncle’s Wisdom on Love, Work and Play; Some Reflections Four years after I lost my wife.

Welcome to the February edition of Tips and Topics.

In SAVVY, I share some recent news items on teen mental health, especially with teen girls versus boys. Statistics on sadness, suicidal feelings, thoughts and attempts and social media use.

In SKILLS, I reflect on “wisdoms” I shared with my 21 year old niece…wisdoms that I wished I had known at 21 about Work, Love and Play.

In SOUL, my ever evolving grief process and that of my children has been reflections on our past family relationships. They provide an opportunity to remember how life was when Marcia was alive with us. They also allow for healing old wounds that haven’t served us well.

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January 2023 – Vol. #20, No. 10

Responses to the story of the Judge and the Grieving Team; It’s time to retire “graduation” and “treatment completion”; My four words for the year ahead.

Welcome to the January edition of Tips and Topics.

In SAVVY, It’s time to retire terms and concepts like “graduation” “treatment completion” and embrace terms like “transition” and “commencement” after having done an initial piece of work on the path to recovery.

In SKILLS, what to say to Orient Participants to entering Drug Court and about “graduating”. Rename the Graduation or Treatment Completion Ceremony.

In SOUL, my four words to encapsulate the year ahead. What words do you see?

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December 2022

The story of the Judge and the Grieving Team; What does “going high” mean (keep an open mind on these excerpts). 

In SAVVY, STUMP THE SHRINK and SKILLS,  this is the story of the Judge and the grieving Treatment Court team. Relapse and a deadly overdose is sad at any time for anyone with addiction. But it is all themore stinging when the participant has been in long-term recovery and then relapses and dies.

In SOUL, I feel sad, confused, and sometimes hopeless about the way we deal with our political differences. But keep an open mind to review what solutions Michelle Obama offers when she explains what “going high” means.

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November 2022

Dr. Ken Minkoff on “Welcoming” and “Skills-based learning” when serving people with complex needs; 70th birthday and 50th wedding anniversary and Thanksgiving week

In SAVVY, guest writer and psychiatrist, Ken Minkoff, M.D., highlights the importance of designing services expecting to see people with co-occurring mental health, substance use and other complex needs. But most importantly, organizing ourselves and services in a welcoming manner in everything we do.

In SKILLS, Dr. Minkoff addresses another important principle in helping people with complex needs, what he calls “Adequately supported, adequately rewarded, skills based learning for each condition.” As simple as you may think this needs to be, it needs to be even simpler!!!!

In SOUL, I reflect on what would have been my wife’s 70th birthday, our 50th wedding anniversary. Thanksgiving Day is an opportunity for pain or joy.  I choose to make it a week of Thanks and Giving.

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October 2022

Clients who don’t want inpatient treatment – What to do; Individualized, accountable care; Right turns on red.

In SAVVY, STUMP THE SHRINK and SKILLS, Amber asks a couple of questions about what to do when clients are recommended for inpatient treatment but decline and only want outpatient services. This edition explores how to meet the client where they are at, but also hold them accountable to the outcomes of whatever plan they agree to work on, even in outpatient services.

In SOUL, I am grateful for the “Right turn on red” law and ponder why we can’t have an “everybody wins” attitude to lots of challenges and problems.

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