Joan Phillips

Joan Phillips

Joan Phillips is a counselor, art therapist, and marriage and family therapist. She maintains a private practice and teaches at the University of Oklahoma.

  • Consumer Or Client? Or Something Else Entirely?

    Sep 13, 2010
    I’ve been a helping professional for enough years that many terms have come and gone in referring to our work, diagnoses, and clients. Recently a nomenclature shift happened in our state Medicaid paperwork that now refers to “consumers”. I have already been through patients, clients, participants, attendees, and now consumers comes around. Even professionals are referred to by many names including counselor, therapist, “doc” (no matter what your degree), shrinks (again no matter what your degree or training), helping professionals, psychologists (again no matter what your degree)- do you see a pattern here?
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  • Are You My Daddy?

    Aug 18, 2010
    We’ve all seen the children’s book “Are you my Mother?” (P.D. Eastman, 1960) and it is a perennial favorite among children. But I am using this and inspired by recent films to open a discussion of the issue of children wanting to know who their parents are. Two recent movies have me thinking about it- in each the issue of sperm donor parentage is focused on. While I have not dealt with someone becoming re-united with a “donor” , I have many times had cases where an adult or child is seeking their birth parent, or information, or connection and I don’t think the issues are any different. It is a longing to know. A longing to connect. A natural curiosity.
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  • Facebook As Inspiration?

    Aug 16, 2010
    There are many sociological and interpersonally weighty issues raised by the whole arena of “social networking” sites such as Facebook. But recently I began to think about how inspiring some of the silly, playful parts of Facebook can be for ways to reach our clients creatively. For those of you that partake of Facebook you know there are a myriad of surveys, quizzes and other interactive opportunities to learn such things as “what would your trailer trash name be?” or “what rock star are you?” but in the midst of these kind of surveys is a truth that bears scrutiny: we all want to be known.
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  • The Ethics of Billing

    Aug 03, 2010
    If you are like me, when I think of ethics I think of confidentiality, multiple relationships, competence, boundaries, impaired practioners, etc. I rarely, until recently that is, thought of the word “billing”. These days I do think of billing as an ethical issue, because I asked my state licensure board what types of complaints they are seeing the most of lately, and the reply was- billing! This refers mostly to allegations that someone bills for services not rendered, or bills inappropriately, or bills for services they did not have the appropriate supervision in place to be providing etc.
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  • Media Coverage That Enables; Warning: Rant Ahead

    Jul 21, 2010
    I’m sick of Lindsay Lohan. I’m sick of Mel Gibson and his hate filled phone calls. I don’t need to see them as they walk into or out of court. I don’t need repeated stories about them- the same stories over and over. Media coverage is enabling a society that loves to see a good train wreck. Basic behavioral theory shows us the poor outcomes of using only negative attention- “see how you messed up?” and points toward a need for positive reinforcement and re-direction. But is that any part of news coverage? Maybe I expect too much, or maybe I just don’t enjoy someone else’s pain that much- I gave at the office.
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