Obstacles to Opportunities

It is June already which means that we are in the middle of 2024. The yearly budgets we received from the health insurance companies are starting to get tight again at many practices and the waiting lists are getting longer. For some practices working with a limited budget means that they are not able to start new treatment processes with clients from certain health insurance companies.

We at Raja Psychologie also have to deal with limited budgets from some health insurance companies. Every year we get assigned a limited budget from certain health insurance companies with the assignment to help as many clients as possible during the full calendar year while keeping the treatment process as short as possible. A very challenging task that we put a lot of work and energy into.
To explain how we work with budgets, here is an example where we compare the amount of sessions (budget) with apples. Let’s say we get 80 apples from a particular health insurance company, and we expect to have 10 clients during 2024 from that health insurance company. To spread the apples in a equal and fair way, every client gets 8 apples. So an average of 8 sessions per client.

To be able to take on new clients the entire year and to keep the waiting list short we try to spent the budgets as fair as possible with the resources given. Additional to that we have been working with Stichting Noorderlicht (non-profit organisation), freelance therapists and coaches. This way we can offer our clients valuable activities and workshops in addition to their limited individual sessions at our practice.
The coaches and therapists we work with put a lot of energy and love into the workshops and activities they organize. We are very grateful for our collaborations and proud of the unique possibilities given to us as a psychologist practice in the basic health care (Basis GGZ). In our practice your treatment steps will consist of individual sessions combined with workshops and activities that match with your treatment goals.

The challenge provided by the limited budgets triggers our creativity and this time our therapists Rayka and Anastasia have developed something special: the workshop with the theme ‘River of Life’.
In this way clients with limited sessions can have an extra experience in processing feelings and thoughts and develop themselves.

The river of life method is actually a method from schema therapy and based on the metaphor of the river of life. The metaphor represents a person’s life as a river that changes direction due to different influences and events. All rivers (and stories) start somewhere. It’s a way of telling your life story through the metaphor of a river. Create your own river and go as deep or shallow as you want.

Imagine a river, what’s it like? Straight as an arrow, or with twists and turns? Most rivers are quite variable; at times gentle and then with fast flowing sections, some calm pools, and some even have rapids and waterfalls. Bridges are common features, and all rivers have river banks.
When were the fast flowing times? Were there blocked parts or obstacles like rocks or rubbish? Were there times when you slipped down a waterfall, was it high and crashing or a small ripple over some rocks? Were there calm pools? What or who is on the river bank? Distractions? Support? Are there any bridges? Boats? Islands?

During the workshop symbols and metaphors will be used to represent the influences and life events.
Visualizing the River of Life allows clients to create a symbolic image of their life and its course. This image may include various aspects of the client’s life, such as their background, family, relationships, events, emotions, needs, schemas, modes, or coping styles. Helping patients visualize their River of life may enable them to express and understand their life story and its meaning.

Symbols and metaphors are as old as humanity itself. Since ancient times, people have used symbols and metaphors to communicate, learn, think and express themselves. In psychotherapy, symbols and metaphors are seen as the key to the unconscious. The hidden meaning of dreams, fantasies and behaviour.
Symbols and metaphors are therefore important because they enable complex or unspoken
human experiences to be expressed and understood. They can also help us overcome blockages and resistance. At the same time, symbols and metaphors can also help you see your situation from a different perspective and can help you discover new possibilities or solutions.

The great thing about working in a group is the opportunity to receive feedback and validation from other clients, to try new ways of behaviour and communication in a safe setting and the opportunity to strengthen social skills.

So as our clients will work on their river of life in the workshop, we as a psychologist practice also try to make the best of the challenge set for us with working with limited budgets in our river of (work)life!