Plans for the ‘Get Help Here’ Project
This is a somewhat over-the-top idea that will make more sense situated in Las Vegas than anywhere else. I would like to create an enigmatically-designed mental health clinic that looks very simple overall (with a modern but very warm and comforting design), with a sign above the door that says, simply, GET HELP HERE. I would like this to be situated near the Las Vegas strip, near the casinos and other ‘worldly’ institutions, and to be positioned as a ‘cure’ (Beuys viewed his artworks as cures) for the addiction and excess that Las Vegas often signifies.
I would like Get Help Here to be, basically, a ‘triage’ center where anyone who needs any kind of help at all will receive direction and guidance on where to go for the help they need, which could include literally anything, e.g., food, shelter, help overcoming an addiction, help with a mental health issue, help finding a local hospital, help developing a better social life, help pursuing one’s goals, help with being happier in life, etc.
I would want the center to be staffed with folks who are skilled at helping people to identify where to go for what they need, and in giving people guidance as they navigate the process of seeking to get their needs fulfilled. For basic needs such as food and shelter, people would obviously need to be directed to outside resources such as soup kitchens and homeless shelters. For psychological needs, I would like Get Help Now to offer a unique kind of therapeutic coaching; I would want this coaching to be the basic service that is offered within the center.
This coaching would be my own unique brand of psychotherapy, something that is a combination of traditional psychotherapy, life coaching, and creative arts-based interventions. The underlying theme of this intervention is that it would be goal-focused, and in fact, helping people to get very clear about their values and their goals would be the most basic mission of the Get Help Here center.
This unique form of psychotherapy I am describing is an elaboration of a type of treatment called ‘solution-focused brief therapy’, which was developed by therapists who realized that traditional psychotherapy tends to keep people stuck in the past, just complaining about their problems over and over, so the ‘solution-focused’ approach was designed to place more emphasis on clients’ goals, and to help them find ways to actually improve their lives.
My only critique of this approach is that it is still indirectly problem-focused, in the sense that focusing on a ‘solution’ still indirectly emphasizes a problem that needs to be solved. What I would like to do is completely change the game altogether by emphasizing from the get-go that my therapeutic approach is goal-focused. This way, we can still focus on the problems or challenges that are preventing clients from reaching their goals, but we will view these problems in context, i.e., simply as obstacles on a path that leads to the goal. ‘Problems’ really only have meaning in reference to the goals that they are obstructing. A ‘goal-focused’ approach places primary emphasis on the goal, and is a much more empowering way to help clients change their lives for the better.