Where the Sidewalk Starts: Randy Garbin Wants Walkable Communities

walkablejenkintownA walkable community is a healthier community, says Jenkintown resident Randy Garbin, who leads his community by turning the intricacies of local policy into opportunities for residents to effect change. His website, WalkableJenkintown.com, is a call to action, putting the spotlight on Borough issues and offering practical solutions that make the pedestrian the priority.

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A Chiropractic Maverick: Dr. Andrew Persky Innovates the Path to Pain Relief

ed_lifealigned-andrewpersky_0616It takes just a few minutes speaking with Dr. Andrew Persky, owner of LifeAligned Upper Cervical Treatment Center, to realize he is not a “typical” chiropractor, nor are his treatment and results typical. His revolutionary work in precise realignment of the craniocervical junction (joint between the head and neck) is changing the way doctors and patients throughout the tri-state area think about pain and how to address its underlying cause without drugs, surgery or their negative side effects. He is changing the lives of people that had lost hope of ever finding relief from debilitating conditions such as chronic headaches, seizures, tremors, post-concussion brain fog and fibromyalgia.

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Lowering Overhead, Customizing Care: Karen L. Smith Reimagines the Therapy Model

cs_fullliving_karensmith_0316Industry disrupters like Uber and Airbnb have changed the way customers shop for lodging or for a lift by matching services to potential clients through crowdsourcing. A similar concept is behind Full Living: A Psychotherapy Practice, founded and directed by Karen L. Smith, MSS, LCSW. Smith is setting her own trend by building a local network of personally selected and supervised experts in mental health that are then carefully matched with potential clients.

What makes your business model unique to the mental health care space?
The brilliance of businesses working in this “sharing economy” is their innovative use of people’s pre-existing resources. We took that idea and decided to apply it to therapy. We identified a large number of clinicians in the Philadelphia area that had an existing resource they were up for sharing—namely their own practices. These professionals have existing practices, with their own offices, their own malpractice insurance and clinical supervision. What they lacked was simply an adequate number of referrals to keep their practices full. Like Airbnb and Uber, however, it is not merely a referral service. The client continues to be a Full Living client, but under the care of the individual therapist. Nor is this a traditional fee-for-service system, since, given our low overhead due to shareable resources, the bulk of the client fee goes to the therapist.

How did Full Living come about?
As a national educator on issues of gender/sexuality/orientation/family constellations and, more recently, educating other therapists on enriching their work with analytic theory, I have always secured more referrals than my 20-year private practice could absorb. Rather than simply referring them out to other clinicians, I decided to create a group practice that relies exclusively on seasoned clinicians throughout the city and surrounding areas that I have hand-selected for excellence. This offers a reliable network of psychotherapy services.

What kinds of services does Full Living provide?
Full Living offers a full range of modalities, including individual, couples, family and group therapies from experienced therapists with very different backgrounds, educations, specialties, personalities and styles. These differences, along with my personal initial consult with the client seeking therapy, allow me to make a meaningful match. We assist in coordinating psychiatric services, psychological testing and referral services for other needs, including nutritional counseling and EMDR treatment.

What is Full Living’s approach to treatment?
We know the difference between counseling and therapy. Counseling has its goals to support and validate; to provide advice, suggestions, resources; and to offer motivation for change. Those tactics are great; however, they are not therapy. The terms “therapy” or “psychotherapy” should be reserved for a more complex intervention. Our therapists are trained and attuned to noticing many things that can alert us to information our unconscious might have about what ails us. A good therapist is one who knows the value, from personal history, of facing whatever truths must be faced, with boldness; the Full Living therapists are those kinds of professionals.

Location: Offices located across the Greater Philadelphia area. For more information or to schedule a free, initial consultation, call 215-494-7818, email KarenSmith@FullLiving.com or visit FullLiving.com.

November 2016

Signs of Love: Meg Miller Inspires Her Corner of Wynnewood

megmiller1Wynnewood resident and Natural Awakenings reader Meg Miller posts lawn signs with inspirational messages on her yard on a busy thoroughfare where Penn Road meets the Montgomery Avenue residential and Lancaster Avenue business districts.

Most lawn signs we see are about civic issues. Your signs are much more personal, asking the driver to consider a certain spiritual idea or question. What’s the backstory here?
Eight years ago, there were signs all over my neighborhood about redistricting the high schools. Then a Fast Signs store opened up around the corner from where I live. One day, when I was standing at my kitchen sink doing the dishes, I looked out my window and saw the discarded sign from a play my daughter had been in. All of a sudden the thought popped into my head, “Hey, I could put my own signs out!” I sat down and started listing all the words and concepts related to my spiritual path: love, gratitude, compassion and peace, among others. img_0960Then I began sculpting the words into phrases that could fit on the signs. I would sit and drop deeply inside myself and see what was important that day, what wanted to be expressed. Sometimes the inspiration came from the spiritual book I was reading, and often it was related to what I was studying in the Diamond Approach group I attend.

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Advocacy, Activism & Art: Matthew Pillischer Creates His Own Niche

profile_mattpillischer_cr-ryanbrandenbergCritically acclaimed filmmaker, artist, musician, actor, lawyer, organizer, podcaster: Matthew Pillischer has the sort of talent that’s hard to pin down. Binding it all together is a commitment to justice and a better world.

What are you working on now?
My new project is called The Thread: A Podcast Against Mass Incarceration. This work is like a thread, connecting people and ideas and activities from around the country to try to bring everyone together in ways that can strengthen the movement.

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