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  counseling is not just for folks with psychological disorders.   Many times emotionally healthy people seek counseling to deal with difficult times, e.g. times of change or loss.  Things like changing jobs, having  a baby , going through a divorce or losing a family member can simply be too much and overload our ability to effectively cope.  The stress of change can not only be emotionally painful but can also impair our judgment and even affect our mental and physical health.  When this happens, therapy can help one to keep a reasonable perspective and process intense emotion in a constructive way. Counseling in this context, is like having a shoulder to lean on until the stress levels drop to a more manageable level.

Rev. Michael Heath 4 /15/2015      

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I was encouraged to hear that the President has called for a ban on so called reparative or conversion "therapies" for adolescents.  But I think some clarification is needed. 

--Some of the media are spinning this story as a gay right’s issue. While this recommendation is certainly a boon for homosexual and transgendered people, it is not simply a gay rights issue. 

--At its base, the faux controversy concerning these therapies is nothing more than yet another vicious assault on science  made by conservative religious groups.

-- Let me be clear.  There is absolutely no scientific evidence, what so ever, that either homosexuality or gender dysphoria is learned behavior or that any type of medical or psychological treatment can change a person's sense of their sexual preference or gender identity.

-- What has been called therapy is in fact, a futile and abusive attempt to brainwash a vulnerable population into denying their true identity. As was noted by the president, not only are these fear and religiously motivated efforts ineffective but they can also have disastrous consequences for those who are exposed to them.  Patients often become severely depressed and even commit suicide.

--Although  the concept of reparative therapy is a cruel hoax, scientifically based, supportive counseling which is conducted by fully credentialed therapists can be very important for those who are confused or conflicted by their sexuality. The focus and overall goal of these treatments is to assist the clients to better understand and to accept (not to change) who they are.    

--If you have any questions concerning this issue, please feel free to contact me.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/09/us/politics/obama-to-call-for-end-to-conversion-therapies-for-gay-and-transgender-youth.html?_r=0

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


April 03, 2015

Sexism in FDA: Continues a Double Standard, Hurts Women

This excellent article in Salon : makes two very important observations everyone, but especially women and doctors need to pay attention to:

-- Not all sexual dysfunction in women is psychologically based . I know from 36 years of clinical experiences that women who say that they aren't interested in sex may be experiencing pain during sex and therefore, due to embarrassment or discouragement, may simply want to avoid it. There are a number of physical conditions that do not stem from either anxiety or depression or simply the lack of lubrication. If your doctor isn't mentioning other possible causes of difficulty, you need to speak up and ask.

-- There are effective "off label" treatments for most physically based sexual disorders, however, since the FDA has not approved any of them specifically for female sexual dysfunction, insurance companies will not pay for them.  This leaves the patients (who were courageous enough to talk openly about their issues and who were fortunate enough to have gynecologists who are smart enough to know how to treat the problem) in the lurch and having to pay for their treatment out of pocket.

While part of the problem stems…
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