Call 315.637.0605   Rev. Heath Can Help!

Hi! I am Michael Heath and this is the Pine Ridge Pastoral Counseling Web Page. Pine Ridge is a place for folks who are looking for the best mental health care but who are turned off by large clinics or impersonal facilities.

Since 1994, Pine Ridge has offered a distinctive and more personal alternative for mental health needs while providing a comprehensive range of psychological services to help individuals, couples and families deal with a wide range of emotional, relational, crisis related, life phase and spiritual problems.

Since I am both a state Licensed Psychotherapist and a nationally Certified Pastoral Counselor, I offer a comprehensive therapeutic approach which can relate to both the psychological and spiritual dimensions of life's difficulties .

This web site is a great place to learn about my areas of expertise and to find answers to questions you may have concerning psychotherapy, marriage counseling, couples counseling, and other counseling related issues. If you can't find what you're looking for, please contact me and I'll be glad to help.

Serving the people of Central New York since 1978!

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Do You know - that  May is Mental Health Awareness Month

 so ... this is a great time to ask yourself about how much you know about mental health and if you might be holding on to some old fashioned ideas about emotional disorders or their treatment. This month will be filled with opportunities to learn more and shine light on areas that have to long been kept in the dark. It is amazing that although we live in the 21st century too many folks have ideas about emotional problems that stem from the 19th. Stay tuned to this page as I will be asking questions and providing answers about some of the more common mental health myths that need to be burst .

Rev. Michael Heath 5 /03/2015      


Mental Health Myth # 4: Talking to friends is the same thing as going to therapy.

A common misconception which confuses public awareness is that talking things over with friends is the same as going to therapy.  While it is true that the empathy and support one receives while talking honestly with a good friend is therapeutic, psychotherapy involves more than just having a sympathetic ear.


First, a therapist is one who listens without bias or personal involvement.  A counselor is a neutral resource who does not have a personal investment in the choices you make.


Second, a therapist gathers information about you in order to make a clinical diagnosis, that is, to understand the underlying issues which are causing the unpleasant symptoms you experience.  


Third, a therapist and client agree to a therapeutic plan which includes specific steps to resolve the problem you’re having. The goals of therapeutic talk is not simply to understand or support the client but also to enable and assist them in making important changes.


Finally, the therapeutic relationship differs from a social friendships in that it deals exclusively with your problem and is time limited.  When the problem is resolved, therapy ends.  Having good friends along with a therapist is a great combination that can lead to satisfying change and growth. 5 28 2015



Watch Rev. Heath's Bridge Street Mental Health segments below:

May 28, 2015

Myth # 3: Psychological disorders are very rare

Myth # 3: Psychological disorders are very rare, so ... if you have one, you are weird.

    You may have seen the Newsweek article whose headline read "One in Five Suffer from Mental Illness" which based on National Institutes of Health (NIH) data.  That figure is important because it explodes the false notion that emotional problems are  extremely rare or that people who suffer from them are odd or different from everyone else. 
--While this finding is accurate it doesn't tell the whole story. In fact, there is a disorder which 100% of the population will experience at least once, some time, in their life.  That diagnosis  is 309 in the DSM 5 and is called an Adjustment Disorder.  People experience adjustment disorders when they go through life changes or losses. Getting a divorce or losing a job or a loved one are examples of a changes that can temporarily overload our ability to cope.  
--The symptoms include a wide range of problems which can be both physical and emotional.  People go through these periods lose their good judgment and have difficulty accurately assessing the magnitude of the issues wit…
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