Introducing the psychosocial wellness empowerment program

3,204 words

Turn powerlessness into powerful results

Executive summary

Alarming rates of suicide, opioid overdoses, and depression scream for something better than mere symptom treatment. Let’s get to their causes. Let’s find the underlying problems and address these needs.

  1. Workers can’t find meaningful good paying jobs while employers complain they can’t find good workers. With talk of AI replacing work as we know it during this era of a widening wealth gap, why can’t entrepreneurial spirit be funded by the incentivized uber rich? Let’s connect these powerless with the powerful.

  2. Scholars estimate countless thousands have been wrongly convicted and forced into a life of debilitating second-class citizenship of imposed poverty and despair. Most face the prospect of never being exonerated. Let’s connect these powerless with the powerful.

  3. More of us find it stressful to discuss politics with others than ever before, according to the Pew Research Center. In this anti-elite populist era, voters often feel powerless and less willing to vote in the powerful. Let’s connect these powerless with the powerful.

The pioneering practice of psychosociotherapy answer all three in ways others never have. Where psychotherapy changes the individual, psychosociotherapy changes relationships for the better.

  • To turn economic despair into incentivized funding of one’s passionate life purpose.

  • To turn wrongful convictions into opportunities for more meaningful justice.

  • To turn political polarization into mutual respect for each other’s differing needs.

Psychosociotherapy connects the less powerful with the more powerful with a process of mutual respect. It prioritizes resolving needs to remove pain over merely relieving painful symptoms. It innovatively solves larger problems by empowering the resolution of individual needs behind those problems.

Steph Turner of Value Relating seeks seed funding to test the viability of this pioneering vision. This provides funders an opportunity to nurture a bold vision at its earliest stage of growth.

  • to flesh out into a full proposal

  • to test its assumptions by contacting stakeholders and prospective users

  • to start building a team, or join a team interested in adopting this vision to their own mission.

The following logic model not only illustrates this pioneering vision, it exemplifies how this request for support fills a much needed process.

Mission:

The psychosocial wellness empowerment program aims to restore wellness undermined by power differentials by bridging the gap between vulnerable individuals and powerful individuals/entities, toward more proficiently resolving each other’s impacted needs.

Vision:

Turn powerlessness into powerful results, by providing investment opportunities to the powerful to nurture the relatively powerless into powerful problem solvers.

Need situation

Epidemic of mental illness involves situational factors not proactively addressed by traditional psychotherapy; and popular misconception that individuals only need take responsibility for their choices to produce better outcomes stigmatizes into silence those caught in power differentials.

Addresses three primary impacts from power differentials:

Mental health

mental health field increasingly recognizes social contributors, including power differentials, to rising levels of depression, addictions, suicide; power differentials can negatively impact mental health outcomes among the powerful as well.

Functionality

power differentials can constrict options for powerless, limiting their mental bandwidth by overwhelming their cognitive load, and compromising their ability to commit to strategic long-term decisions; the more powerful may delegate less, increasing their own levels of stress.

Marketability

those caught in power differentials generally focus more on placating the powerful than asserting their own passionate purpose to resolve marketable needs, setting a pattern of focusing more on coping with pain than on removing pain by resolving its needs.

Priorities

Bridge power differentials in 3 areas:

1. judicial - wrongly convicted who are not yet exonerated and may never be exonerated

2. political - politically polarized who yearn to bring all sides together to solve public problems

3. economic - wasted life purpose that could be monetized with proper support

These reflect not only my personal priorities but also my personal competencies. This overarching model will next be applied to each of these areas. Others can then apply what I’ve learned to their competency areas.

In each of these areas, exaggerated opposition tends to exploit those with the lease resources, while advantaging those who benefit from the exaggerated differences.

Inputs

Investing

Investing train counselors as psychosociotherapists

This process replaces traditional psychotherapy with “psychosociotherapy.”

Experienced counselors shadow a psychosociotherapist to reorient to these differences. Since this process removes the element of stigma, clients are expected to welcome the added support.

Investing Impact Parity Model to address power differentials

This process introduces a simple model to observe the relationship dynamics in power differentials.

This is purely descriptive, not normative. It’s a tool to help see what’s there long before acting upon it.

Investing website platform

ValueRelating.com currently hosts this vision. It serves as a for-profit platform to test the market’s response to psychosociotherapy as a response to power differential problems. Value Relating is to be one of many smaller companies hosted on a larger nonprofit platform, called Saybackr.org.

Nonprofits typically rely on many smaller, nimble for-profit contractors to help fulfill its public good mission. Saybackr is to allow impactors to contribute to impactees as deductible donations. Saybackr is to host specific specialized services to impactees, both for-profit and nonprofits.

Investing landing pages to lodge “complaints” to attract clients

Value Relating currently hosts a landing page inviting the wrongly convicted to check how much compensation they are potentially eligible to receive if officially exonerated. The page gives them the option to seek support for their innocence claim. These are free, inbound marketing content. It leads to offers for psychosociotherapeutic support, with various cost structures.

Similar landing pages are to be created for the other services. Including other free content, such as a self-quiz to test how much one knows about the criminal justice system.

Investing clients referred from counselors

Counselors are to be invited to learn how to be psychosociotherapists. They can assist Value Relating or other providers, or join the Saybackr platform as their own provider. If passing on the invitation, they become aware of the option to tell their clients of this alternative.

Investing eTherapy

As currently envisioned, the service is delivered completely online. It provides a mix of email content and videoconferencing. Unlike healthcare-oriented psychotherapy, there is no issue yet of licensure portability for psychosociotherapy.

Current onboarding focuses more on powerless “impactees” and not on the powerful “impactors.” That process is to be developed after testing the responsiveness of the population of impactees. Until then, impactors onboard through invitation by impactees.

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Outputs

Serving power differentials

Eventually, this platform can serve a wide array of relationship styles. For now the focus remains on power differentials, using the Impact Parity Model to identify who this program specifically serves.

Reporting Impactee (RI): individuals potentially or actually impacted by powerful others. E.g., wrongly convicted person who, because of the impactful wrongful conviction, lacks means to be officially exonerated.

RI key supporter: individual close to RI, typically the RI’s spouse, partner, or close family member. In some instances, the RI’s counselor.

RI supporters: individuals relatively close to RI, such as friends, colleagues, or others who share their group identifiers of typically marginalized populations.

Ascribed Impactor (AI): individuals and entities who potentially or actually impact powerless. E.g., employer.

How (theory of change)

How: non-stigmatizing “psychosociotherapy” in three overlapping progressing phases.

1) Improve RI’s resilience: support client stretching their tolerance for discomfort, to embrace pain as natural messengers of trouble, integrated into their overall mental health. If requiring pain relief then referred to appropriate professional (i.e., psychiatrist, psychotherapist).

2) Improve RI’s social supports: guide clients to grow their social capital, to support each other’s needs more proactively, toward self-sustaining greater functionality.

3) Improve resolving of impacted needs: spur clients to connect with AIs to mutually respect each other’s impacted needs much better, improving each other’s marketability.

Creating

Creating: conciliatory process to resolve needs mutually.

Identify impacted needs: replace generalized beliefs with specific needs overlooked by widely accepted generalizing beliefs. RI assesses AI’s responsiveness to their apparent needs.

Express impacted needs: replace alienation of assumed norms by engaging where each other impacts one another’s specific needs. RI audits AI’s impact on them and others similarly situated.

Address impacted needs: replace assumed defensive opposition with mutual valuing of what each other needs. RI avows to AI to address their impacted needs with or without their support.

Outcomes

Learning results

To shift from merely relieving complained symptoms to resolving needs behind those systems in ways that solve larger problems. This includes destigmatizing “therapy” by locating the problem in relationship dynamics, replacing faulting problems within vulnerable individuals.

How to turn mental health challenges into meaningful growth opportunities. Instead of assuming private healthcare costs, this process invites investment into the client’s “cause” to solve their shared problem with others similarly situation. E.g., wrongly convicted not yet exonerated.

Action results

Grow social network: Declining social cohesion appears to correlate with increasing poor mental health outcomes. Growing social capital can reverse this trend. Implementation of this program can be positioned to measure this impactful correlation.

Improve overall impactful functioning: This program aims to replace common conflict strategies of pain avoidance and pain-relieving opposition with conciliatory pain-removing resolution of affected needs. As needs resolve, overall functioning as a society could measurably improve.

Respond better to each other’s needs: The program challenges the popular reliance on impersonal norms to convey each other’s needs. It empowers both sides to a conflict to first ask about the overlooked needs on all sides. Then mutually respect them the best each honestly can.

Mutually invest in poverty alleviation: As AIs improve their responsiveness to RI affected needs, RIs function better. This can raise the marketability of the RI, as noted when their peers rate their soft skills and provides references for their economic activity. In return, AIs learn specific ways to respond to overlooked populations and individuals, to improve their own branding.

Condition results

Decrease in levels of depression, anxiety, irritation, powerlessness, addiction, suicide. By resolving needs instead of merely easing symptoms, accompanying painful symptoms naturally subside. As client functionality improves, along with improved economic security from their improved marketability, their previous stress levels are anticipated to decline precipitously.

Increase in marketable value on both sides. Traditional counseling ends with self-improvement. This psychosociotherapeutic approach seeks to improve each other’s capacity to function in society. Improved functionality includes the capacity to attend more to the needs of others, as one’s own needs demand less and less attention. Attentive to the needs of others correlates with attractability to the market place of needs.

Critical assumptions

Pivot or discontinue program if any of these are found demonstrably false.​

  1. Prospect impactee clients will be willing to suspend their adversarial options to try a conciliatory approach to address their power differential situated problem.

  2. Impactee clients can find at least one person to champion their cause and share the costs of weekly psychosociotherapy sessions.

  3. Impactees can attract enough supporters to support their cause and share the costs of weekly psychosociotherapy sessions.

  4. Impactors would be willing to support impactee’s psychosociotherapy costs with a dollar-for-dollar matched pledge if asked and if impactee client can show progress.

  5. Once ascribed as contributing negatively to another under their influence, the impactor(s) will willingly try a conciliatory approach over adversarial options at RI’s discretion.

External factors

Availability of counselors willing to train as psychosociotherapists. Few counselors can afford the time outside of their caseload. However, these could be essential for referrals.

Public reaction to something entirely new and different. Early adopters open to this innovation may be few for a while. Or until proven results make it more attractive than current options.

Reaction of entrenched institutions traditionally resistant to change, such as the criminal justice system. Institutions incentivized to relieve perpetual pain could be threatened by a process that removes such pain. They could be stakeholders whose buy-in could be essential.

Evaluatation

Process measures

Participation

# clients request psychosociotherapy service deemed a good fit, AMB

# clients who reach end of step one after four sessions/weeks, as measured by automatically documented web activity

# clients who reach end of step two after eight sessions/weeks, as measured by automatically documented web activity

# clients who reach end of step three after 12 sessions/weeks who add a key supporter, as measured by automatically documented web activity

# clients who reach end of step four after 16 sessions/weeks who add other peer supporters, as measured by automatically documented web activity

# clients who reach end of program after 20 sessions/weeks who add impactors, as measured by automatically documented web activity

# clients who satisfactorily reach their “cause” by end of 20-week program, as measured by exit interview

# clients who seek to continue onto next phase, as measured by exit interview

Impactor buy-in

# impactors invited to match dollar-to-dollar of client’s team earlier investments, as measured by automatically documented online activity

# impactors who agree to match dollar-to-dollar of earlier investments, as measured by automatically documented online payment transactions

Progress measures

Progress measures are built into the program. Impactee clients get pretested by self-reporting their current levels in the following areas. Specific to each program. [TE] [TJ] [TP]

  1. anxiety

  2. irritation

  3. depression

  4. guilt

  5. powerlessness

  6. functionality

These levels are checked again at set intervals by the serving psychosociotherapist, corroborated by independent observations.

By simply reporting their power differential problem in this context of guided support, the program anticipates these levels will show some improvement.

To sustain improvement, impactee clients are required to build a team of supporters. Improving their mental health with this support is expected to inspire impactors. Impactors are then invited to add their support to the impactee client’s cause. And help contribute to the costs of the client’s psychosociotherapy program.

The support team rates the impactee client’s soft skills. Client receives recommendations on which skills to improve. Client reviews these soft skills at the free eLearning course by Michigan Talent.

Finally, impactee client’s marketability is to be measured by how much support attracted from invited impactors. And by how much revenue raised to support their marketable cause.

Impact evaluation

To be determined independently by funders.

Revenue model

Once spurred by outside funding, the program can be self-sustainable. Clients pay for weekly sessions that include email support. Progressive pricing allows space for client to grow, and then invite others to help share the progressively increasing costs.

Fee for service

Revenue distribution

Impactee revenue

Impactees create marketable value to impactors through this support process. Saybackr platform levies a transaction fee, charging a small percentage of revenue that AI pays to RI for receiving this service.

Investment revenue

Impactee clients can potentially raise more capital than necessary to cover the $200 final step weekly session. Onboarding impactors are encouraged to invest in the client’s cause—a need shared with others similarly situated.

For investing impactors, one option is for their investments go into a managed account. Client’s receive a debit card to access this fund from a monitored account. Algorithms automatically release funds as the client reaches milestones within budgetary constraints.

While risk of failure is high, the amounts remain relatively low. In the mere hundreds at the start. As client’s demonstrate fiscal responsibility and effectiveness with stewardship of these initial small investments, they are honored with more investments.

Impactors utilize this process to turn any previous negative impact into positive impacts. They become mentors encouraging the impactee client’s success.

Budget

At this early stage, seed money is sought to explore this program’s feasibility. Instead of trying to start another nonprofit, Value Relating anticipates this program being taken on by an existing nonprofit with a matching mission.

To transition from underfunded bootstrapping to a more sustainable footing, Value Relating seeks seed money to test its viability. Value Relating currently lacks sufficient resources to properly test these assumptions. With seed money, the next phase for taking this to market can begin in earnest.

IMPORTANT: This simple budget and timeframe mimics the program. Funding is issued month-by-month, released when reaching agreed upon milestones. This incentivizes the impactee to shift to a results-oriented self-employment framework. Testing this program’s assumptions has already begun.

This ask samples the learning curve of future clients. Few will have the means to discover actual costs of their cause in the long run. Seed funding empowers them to learn as they go, with a little to avoid failing with a lot. After learning with a manageable amount, they can trust themselves with more.

This program fills the underserved need to invest early in impactee need-resolving causes, with minimal risk if still learning by trial and error. In other words, expecting clients who receive initial funding for their cause to then reasonably predict their project’s costs and timeframes, then deny funding if they don’t, is part of the divisive problem this program aims to solve.

You can think of this request for seed funding as a pilot to the program’s envisioned process.

Thank you

Thank you for your interest.

This document is intended as a conversation starter. To engage stakeholders, build interest, invite support, attract a team. Then perhaps use this logic model to draft a full proposal.

Thank you for considering this pioneering vision.

Steph Turner, Value Relating founder

DOWNLOAD A PDF OF THIS PROGRAM DESCRIPTION HERE

Value Relating

Steph Turner valuerelating@gmail.com 248-872-5500 (prefer text messages)

Educational background (all Oakland University)

Sociology and Anthropology, 2008

Masters of Public Administration, 2012

Masters in Counseling, 2015 (not completed)

Nonprofit background (all in Michigan)

Transgender Michigan, 2007-2009 board member, 2012 strategic planner

Michigan Consumers for Healthcare, 2012 grant report writer

Affirmations, 2015-2016 front desk volunteer & counseling intern

Steph is a self-described transspirit, which is a kind of sacred misfit. By transcending conventional limits—gender norms, religious identities, political polarities, and more—Steph experiences a unique connection in life. And suspects others do as well. This blog shares that spirituality, and affirms others of a similar state of being.

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