An Open Letter to Former and Potentially New Clients:
I have been in a leave of absence and closed my office in Albany during the past year and a half. I am reopening my practice in October/November so want to contact you and let you know where and what I am doing.
As of today, September 1, 2015, the team of doctors have given me an oaky to return to practice in a lower intensity way in October/November, 2015. I began preaching again two Sundays ago.
To people who I suddenly abandoned, I ask for your forgiveness but this depressive part has taken me on a ride, mentored me into a better understanding of Self, what helps people, and what needs to change to balance self care and the care of others.. I have worked with Dr. Dick Schwartz (IFS), local psychiatrists and a therapist during the past 17 months. I have worked honestly, diligently, discreetly and directly with all and have learned things about depression and manic parts on a first hand and inside the psychiatric caring machine that have changed forever how I do therapy. I, at first thought I would not return to my practice and began doing some substitute teaching which is a good side income source which I continue to do this fall. Recently with some experiences of light (as opposed to heavy) and light (as opposed to darkness), I have decided to take my renewed energy and awareness back into the field of counseling and offer a new version of parakalein, which is "interactive presence" with the keys of "honesty with, honor of. and humility towards clients and friends. So I have decided to return to private practice.
Hope you are well, I am. This summer I have been enjoying Greenwich Beach and working with kids, in CT; enjoyed Baileyville, Maine in our cabin on a private island in the St Croix River where the waters have been healing and restoring. The wonder of God's nature is a natural resource for healing. On this side of the tunnel of death all is well. I do not want to go into much detail in this email nor do I think it is all that necessary. I am back. If you are a client that I hurt by my sudden defaulting on my commitment to be there for you (yes I know that many felt abandoned even betrayed by my sudden disappearance even though I made arrangements for all to contact new therapists, abandonment is a feeling I understand now more than ever) I ask your forgiveness, If you want to restore contact my new address is below and this email address works.
What is amazing to me are all the many connectors to others during my healing time (the last 17 months), in particular the healing from the inside out that I now understand in an excitedly anticipatory way. The concept of "parakalein" which first came to me 20 years ago has gone through the refining fires with me and my new and renewed understanding make sit more simply put, "parakalein is presence", an alongside of quality that is not about the quantity of time experienced but the quality and nature of that time being compassionate, calm, consistent, constant, courageous, contemplative, cooperative, collaborative, conscious, conscientious, creative, and corrective. It is a little like a "demilitarized zone", a "no-judgment Zone" a "Non-Assessing" just welcoming zone that is as refreshing as the flowing waters of the St Croix River, and as healing as the rolling waves of the Ocean Waters of Maine, Connecticut, and Cape Cod, and as the loving and nurturing as time with family and friends.
Lastly as first, I want to thank God for just being there in a parakalein presence, nurturing and caring for me in a personal, positive, powerful, and perfecting way as the mentor who does not mean to tear down but to build up.
Parakalein was a concept first given to me in Albany while still a pastor 20 years ago. It has developed into a more cohesive therapy of "along side of" focus when I trained as an internal family therapist with Dr. Richard Schwartz. The Self is in all of us and alongside of all our parts to provide care comfort and compassion to self and others. In the recent couple years as I have gone through a contemplative, reflective, recalibrating time both of my personal living and my professional functioning I have come to a new morphed understanding of the concept of parakalein that is not different but more refined.
Just this morning I came up with a tentative name for this new focus: Internal Redemptive Services/Counseling (IRS). I am developing the concept and would appreciate input from all who have devised a renewing business plan. In the recent couple years as I have gone through a contemplative, reflective, recalibrating time both of my personal living and my professional functioning I have come to a new morphed understanding of the concept of parakalein that is not different but more refined.
20 years ago this symbol came to me as I left the Church pastoral Ministry that I had been part of for 20 years in two churches. Parakalein is a greek work for "called or Come alongside of" which is used by Jesus in John 16:7-8 in reference to the Spirit of God coming alongside of us for enlightenment and instruction. It is also used in its Hebrew form in Genesis 1:1 "the sprit was adjacent to, alongside, and over the waters". The concept is whether you feel her (yes parakalein is feminine) or not the Spirit of God is alongside of you (to assist you in figuring life out), over you (but not lording it over you), around you (but not confining you) in you, behind you (but not pushy), in front of you (leading you). and under you (supporting you always).
I have become critically aware that I while caring about others did not care for my self in good and healthy ways which is why I have to change some policies of how I care about people but also take care of myself.
New Policies and Procedures of Parakalein Counseling Services:
1) I need to receive payment at the time services are rendered and will do no billing of insurance companies or of clients.
2) I closed my office in Albany partly due to related Compassion Fatigue. I will reopen an office with a colleague at 908 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12208
3) I have concluded after twenty years of practice and after dealing with insurance companies that the issue of entitlement creates a negative. Investment in the process of counseling via fees is directly related to the success of the client regardless of issues. In short the greater the investment the greater the benefit. It is not “you get what you pay for” it is, “as you pay you go”. I let too many people run up a huge bill which is /was not good for the m or me. Nor can I see anyone who has an existing debt to me with out their creating a payment plan to honor and pay that debt.
4) That a pay as you go policy, without insurance is the best. Without insurance people invest in their own growth. While I have parts that want to be helpful and take insurance I have other parts that see the negative impact. So I will fill out the paper work for a client to get reimbursement but I will ask for payment up front. Insurance can mask true commitment to the work of therapy, and a professional focus that is not as much about psychotherapy as it is often defined but "healing the soul". The new focus of Parakalein will be on healing of injured and traumatized parts that hold the system captive and need to be set-free.
5) The focus of therapy will be to find the healing power that is God given in every human being. I will work with anyone who really wants to get well but will not work with anyone who is not ready to do their work. This is intentionally a positive posture that will serve both therapist and client. I have come to believe that it is not external redemption but internal redemption that we seek and so have coined the name for this new approach of therapy that is Christ centered and Internal Family Systems informed: "Internal Redemptive Services".
6) The fee format is a fee of $150.00 with an application for hardship on the website that would allow for up to 60% off or $60.00.
7) Any existing debts to me will be forgiven but only if they are paid up will any records be released which is a fair, equitable, reasonable and customary position in the presents of preexisting debt of clients.
8) Will begin seeing patients in West Stockbridge on Fridays beginning on October 14, 2015 and in Albany on October 12th, 2015. Will accept only patients that have clearly parts that want to get well as well as parts that are fighting again at the “let’s get well” team within.
Revised Policies and foci of Parakalein Counseling Ministries
Rev. Dr. Donald L. Paine
September 1, 2015
New Office location in Albany:
PS new office location: 902 Washington Avenue, Albany New York. Phone 518-5-505-7359
West Stockbridge Office same, phone 413-232-6144
“Be Well and Drink Deeply from the Well within”
Rev. Dr. Donald L. Paine, LICSW, AAMFT. UCC Ordained Minister
Trained Internal Family System Therapist