Trauma-based & Family Psychotherapy For Angry, Anxious, Depressed, and Frustrated Families

Therapists Need Security Too!

Hidden 1I have worked in multiple treatment facilities ranging from residential facilities, schools, and community centers, to hospitals, stand alone clinics, and probation programs for teens. Within each of these settings, there was always something very important missing and that was security. Why are mental health facilities lacking in security? Well…most places claim it is money related, that there isn’t enough money to pay for security to watch staff and clients for long periods of the day. Other organizations claim that there is security but that a part-time schedule is all that can be afforded. Other places arrogantly state they do not need security presence. One Director of an Ohio clinic stated arrogantly to me: “there has always been a low level of impulsive behavior among our clients.” Still, other places do not want to give the impression that violence or impulsive behavior stems from some individuals with severe, persistent, or untreated mental illness. In other words, reducing stigma is the ultimate goal, not protecting their professional mental health therapists and other staff including clients.

This is a tragedy for more reasons than one.

  1. Firstly, security presence sets the tone for many places of business and puts up an important barrier between staff and clients or people who may walk into clinics for appointments. When security presence is unavailable, some people feel more prone to challenge staff or disregard others in the agency or clinic.
  2. Secondly, the reality is that impulsivity and violence does occur in a small proportion of cases involving mental illness, primarily untreated, persistent, and severe. Individuals who are being controlled by hallucinations or delusions are likely to report feeling unable to control impulses or wanting to harm others. About 1,600 cases of severe mental illness include homicide.
  3. Thirdly, security presence is important for clients who visit or reside in mental health facilities. We have a history involving cases where patients have been abused by staff, sexually assaulted by staff, and staff have been assaulted by patients.

In order for us to remain safe, we must have a balanced, realistic perspective. We should not operate within or visit facilities that do not have proper security. A great deal of facilities do not have security and this needs to change. What disaster needs to happen for this lax perception of the system to change? Hopefully another death, homicide, sexual assault, suicide, or assault on a staff member will not occur before we change this. But knowing our slow-to-learn society, it probably will.

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As always, I wish you well

*CORONA VIRUS UPDATE1050 Lincoln Way, Ste 1 - Pittsburgh PA

States across the nation are passing laws, reducing restrictions, and enacting new regulations to help support the transition from stay-at-home orders to the normal flow of life again.

To keep everyone at Anchored Child & Family Counseling safe, I will only be opening the office for in-person sessions 1 day of the week. The other days of the week will consist of teletherapy sessions until the mask wearing restrictions are reduced or eliminated and corona virus cases have gone down.

My office assistant and I will be monitoring insurance policies for any changes to corona-related cost share, copayment, and coinsurance policies. I will be checking and rechecking insurance policies to ensure you will be covered for teletherapy. At this time, all major insurance companies (UPMC, Highmark, Aetna, Optum/United, and Cigna) are continuing to provide coverage for teletherapy into September 2020.

Please check (the practice website) for updates and my business facebook page at:

Please continue to stay safe!
Thank you



Támara Hill, MS, NCC, CCTP, LPC

Licensed Child & Family Therapist
National Board Certified Counselor
Internationally Certified Trauma Therapist

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