This is Mentalogy

by Rachel Rubenstein, LCSW
Rubenstein Counseling, PLLC

ment ٠ al ٠ o ٠ gy
noun The pursuit of mental health wellness

This is the Mentalogy blog: an exploration of mental health wellness, offering tips, inspiration, insight, introspection, opinion, and education for today. The Mentalogy blog will look at the “who, what, where, when and how” of mental health wellness, and the obstacles we encounter in our pursuit to achieve it.

My personal journey into mental health wellness began at a young age, when I realized the importance of “happiness.” In the mid-’80s, I was 14, and my parents divorced. Mental health services, self-help books and general mental health wellness was still not commonplace.

Today, the benefits of talk therapy are well known, and mental health counseling is mainstream. We know there are ways to solve problems and manage emotions, and that good mental health leads to stronger relationships and happier lives.

As an early Gen-Xer, I muddled through adolescence and early adulthood, eventually finding my voice as a professional artist. Emotions and relationships were at the forefront of my art, which served as a powerful way for expressing my feelings and my life.

Art helped me realize my desire to make a difference with people in a more direct way. I found Social Work, and the meaningful and fascinating opportunities which followed taught me about people and mental health wellness. For more than 20 years, my professional experience has included social work in hospital, hospice, and other clinical settings.

These social service positions gave me the opportunity to see people at their most vulnerable and their most resilient times. I was inspired. I realized that mental health wellness is not just for those of us struggling to cope, but those of us striving for excellence. The didactic piece to mental health (psychoeducation) can be very empowering: learning new skills, and strengthening abilities we already possess. Therapy can be a strength-based experience—a conversation and opportunity from which we can all learn. We are our own most interesting resource and subject.

I am still an art enthusiast, but my passion is as a mental health provider and advocate. For more than two decades, including over 10 years in private practice, I’ve come to realize we are all unique, but our life issues often have a commonality: depression, anxiety, family conflict, relationships, loss. Life happens, and it is my life’s work to assist and accompany others.

The Mentalogy blog strives to spark thought and make sense of the chaotic and sometimes scary, fast-paced world we navigate. There is an onslaught of news and events that can leave us feeling hopeless, powerless, or lost. Connecting with my clients and hearing personal stories of strife and resilience give me hope that by being part of the mental health wellness conversation, we can strengthen ourselves, creating opportunity for our communities to flourish in a chaotic world. mental health wellness is the essential component that moves us forward.

The Mentalogy blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional mental health guidance. If you are in crisis, please seek professional help. If you have thoughts of self-harm, please contact a crisis hotline (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-8255).

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