Elephant And Dog Sit Under The Rain

Loving and Being Loved

We all need each other to get by. Loving and being loved fulfills our deepest human need and allows us to stay on track as we navigate the challenges and difficulties of living. Just as virtually no one practices recovery alone, so most of us need the love, support, understanding, affirmation, validation, and assistance of others. From the day we are born to the day we die, we are dependent upon others. Civilization would not exist were it not for the incredibly intricate matrix of an incomprehensible number of interdependencies.

Loving and allowing ourselves to be loved requires a number of key relational skills:

  1. The ability to enhance and maintain our well-being and vitality so that we can devote ourselves to the care of others and of life itself.
  2. Practicing understanding, compassion, acceptance of others, and nonjudgment of others’ persons (as opposed to their actions).
  3. Knowing that we are all imperfect and vulnerable to hurtful and selfish behavior, we love while also protecting ourselves from being harmed.
  4. The ability to astutely assess others’ characters and intentions.
  5. The ability to trust trustworthy people in the ways that they can be trusted.
  6. The ability to effectively communicate and connect with others.
  7. The habits of treating others with unconditional love, care, and respect.

It is cliché to say that we must first love ourselves before we can love others. Yet this is a truism. If we are self-destructive or self-neglectful, we suffer and become obsessed with our suffering. Ultimately, we often end up treating others similar to how we treat ourselves, sometimes despite our best intentions. To love is to enhance the well-being of life. To love ourselves is to enhance our own well-being. To love another, we need to feel whole and fulfilled, so that we can forget ourselves and devote ourselves to others. This requires knowing how to skillfully care for ourselves and enhance our sense of wholeness and value.

To love ourselves we attend to our biology: sleep, rest, good nutrition, and exercise. We tend to our psychology by devoting our lives to the care of something greater than ourselves and by acting with care and integrity in all our affairs. By doing the right thing, moment-to-moment, we increase our worthiness to others, as it is our actions that define our worthiness to the world. When we are worthy to others, we feel worthy.

The practice of integrity requires daily mindfulness, as we honestly notice our intentions and actions from moment to moment. We notice when are being dishonest, uncaring, or manipulative. We notice when we have an urge to do something we know to be wrong, whether it be out of fear, anger, or greed. With mindfulness, we give ourselves the ability to choose, moment to moment, what is true, right, and good, rather than acting on destructive impulses. Integrity does not sprout overnight. It develops gradually with each right action with right intention, just as a city is built brick by brick.

We also enhance our well being by skillfully engaging in work, play, and in our spiritual practices.

Everyone needs our care and support. We cannot provide this without understanding, acceptance, compassion and nonjudgment. Failure to achieve these qualities of mind has a direct effect on our actions, causing others to feel devalued, judged, and alienated. By developing these qualities of mind, we enable ourselves to show care and kindness to others, even when they are behaving destructively. This is not to say that we do not set limits, assert ourselves, and create boundaries to protect ourselves, it is just that we protect ourselves while maintaining an attitude of loving-kindness. This is a very difficult thing for most of us to do, requiring a lifetime of practice. With practice, however, it is a capacity that slowly grows over time.

Understanding the roots of another person’s unskillful behavior, creates the internal conditions for compassion to arise in us. Understanding comes from carefully listening to others, asking questions, and observing closely. By being interested and attentive to others, we deepen our understanding of them. We learn to not judge others by constantly reminding ourselves that we are all imperfect, and that if we had their genes, their parents, their upbringing, and had experienced their traumas in life, that we would do exactly as they do. We see that people are exactly as they are, beyond the reach of our control and preferences most of the time. Accepting that Reality, including the reality of people the way they are, is as it is, leads to the acceptance of others, even with their quirks, foibles, and even their evil (evil simply being anything that harms life). We are all exactly as we are, and can be nothing other than who we are in this moment. To the extent of our free will, we can choose to do good over bad, but this is all we have control over, as our influence of others is never guaranteed.

With compassion, acceptance, and nonjudgment of others’ persons, we find ourselves enabled to protect ourselves from the harm of other people’s hurtful behavior with a clarity that sustains our ability to feel love and care. The ultimate of this might be, in very extreme circumstances where we are fighting for our life, that we might harm another person to protect ourselves while still feeling care for them.

Often in relationships, our own relationship needs blind us to the true character and intentions of others. We may rush into a relationship out of loneliness, taking at face value what another person might say, believing what we want to hear, without carefully attending to what they do, and then coming from this to a clear understanding of who they are. Some people are manipulative and deceptive. By learning to see others’ clearly and accurately apart from the distortions of our own needs, we learn to become a good judge of character. Once we develop the ability to assess others’ characters accurately, we can then skillfully decide on who is safe for true intimacy.

If others who we trusted in the past have hurt us, we will have difficulty trusting others in the future, out of fear we will be hurt again. Learning to trust intelligently requires that we see others clearly. We can always trust others to do what they feel is in their best interests. Not everyone understands that to treat others with respect and care is in their best interests. Not everyone understands the law of Karma, which states that if you do good, good comes back to you, and if you do bad, bad comes back to you. Only a few of us deeply understand that the ultimate selfish act is to be selfless. We must learn to assess others’ character and motives. We need to be able to see who may want to manipulate us for their own desires, exploit us, or even harm us out of frustrated anger that we are not giving them something that they want. Many people do the right thing, but for the wrong reasons, meaning not for the mere sake of doing what is right as an end in itself. Once we see others clearly, we can then intelligently decide who we can trust, and what we can trust them for. We learn who has the capacity to be a true friend, who “has our back,” and who has made a commitment to not harm us. We then take many incremental risks of trusting, constantly “testing the waters” to see if the other person responds in a trustworthy way. As we learn to understand others more deeply, we cultivate the courage to trust.

Healthy relationships require communication. The most important skill of communication is the ability to stop what we are doing, pay close attention to what another person is saying, and listen very carefully. We then mirror back to them what we have heard for correction and confirmation, our intent being to make sure the other person feels understood.

By helping another person to feel understood, we create the conditions for them to be more receptive to what we have to say. We take care in our speech to make “I” statements, avoiding blame and criticism, which are both communication stoppers. Saying, “When you don’t clean up after yourself, I feel annoyed, and wish that you wouldn’t leave messes for me to clean,” is very different from saying, “You’re an inconsiderate slob.” If we voice our feelings and preferences with care and respect, we will stand a better chance of getting care and respect back. We need to help others to understand us by not causing them to feeling judged, hurt, or fearful, as these emotions invariably lead to defensiveness and anger.

Implied in all that has been said it that all people are worthy of our care and respect, simply because of the fact that they are human beings, apart from their actions. Each of us is of infinite value and worth as a living being. By seeing each other as sacred, we cement our commitment to unconditional care and respect regardless of how hurt, frustrated, or angry we may feel. Furthermore, we commit ourselves to being respectful and loving because that is who we are committed to being, regardless of another person’s behavior.

These relational skills take a lot of effort and practice to develop. We often need the help of our therapist, recovery coach, sponsor, family, and/or friends. We do not always learn these skills on our own. Healing and growth require humility, and the ability to both ask for help and accept feedback. If we devote ourselves to the practice of loving and being loved, with the help of others, we will find that we slowly enhance our relationship skills over time.

Terms & Conditions

*** If you are experiencing, or think you may be experiencing, a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

Disclaimer/Terms and Conditions Governing General Use of this Web Site

The following terms and conditions apply to WellMind with the Dr. Michael McGee ("the practice", "we") Web Site. Please read these terms and conditions carefully each time you access this site as the terms may change from time to time.

1.  Agreement.

This website is an Internet-based online information and communication service provided by the practice. It is sometimes referred to in this Agreement as the Service. You agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of this Agreement. The practice may modify this Agreement at any time. You agree to review this Agreement periodically to ensure that you are aware of any modifications. Your continued access or use of the practice Web site after the modifications have become effective shall be deemed your conclusive acceptance of the modified Agreement.

2. License.

We hereby grant you the right to view and use this Web site subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement. You may download and/or print a copy of information provided in this Web site for your personal use only. Permission to reprint or electronically reproduce any document or graphic in whole or in part for any other purpose is expressly prohibited, unless prior written consent is obtained from the respective copyright holder(s). Our designated contact for obtaining consent is:

WellMind with Dr. Michael McGee
Phone: 805-459-8232
Fax:     877-399-5883
Email:  info@wellmind.com

3. Privacy.

We take your personal privacy seriously. In addition to the publicly accessible pages on this Web site, there are sections on the site where you can request more information or submit personal information. For information about how we secure personal information, please read section 11. Security below and the APPROVEME Terms of Service for Users in New Patient Registration and Patient Forms sections [link to:  https://wellmind.com/new-patient-registration/].For Information about how we use and secure a registered user’s information as well as your rights and responsibilities regarding the use of these features, please read our Public Online Privacy Policy, which is incorporated by reference into this Agreement. In addition to these policies, this site fully complies with the practice’s Notice of Privacy Practices as required by the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

4. Warranty.

Communications through the website do not constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Secure patient registration must be conducted and approved prior to consultation (See New Patient Registration [link to https://wellmind.com/new-patient-registration/]. In our content areas, information is provided for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as a recommendation for a specific treatment plan, product or course of action. The content areas should not be relied upon for specific medical advice for you. We assume no responsibility for how you use the content area information provided through this Service. You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Health Information

The health information on this Web site is provided by the practice solely for informational purposes as a public service to enhance customer service for our customers and to promote consumer health. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. The practice assumes no responsibility for any circumstances arising out of the use, misuse, interpretation or application of any information supplied on this site. Always consult with your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations. Do not rely on information on this site as a tool for self-diagnosis. If you have a specific medical condition, please contact your health care provider. Use of this Web site does not replace medical consultations with WellMind with Dr. Michael McGee or other qualified health or medical professional to meet the health and medical needs of you or a loved one. Please check with a physician or health professional if you suspect you are ill.

You exercise your own judgment when using or purchasing any product or selecting a physician through any site or service linked to this Web site. In addition, while the practice frequently updates its contents, medical information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors.

Viruses, Worms, Use of Files

The practice cannot and does not guarantee or warrant that files available for downloading from this site are free of viruses, worms, Trojan horses or other code that has contaminating or destructive properties. The practice does not make any express or implied warranties, representations or endorsements whatsoever (including without limitation warranties of title, non-infringement or fitness for a particular purpose) with respect to the files available for downloading from this site. In no event will the practice be liable to you or to anyone else for any decision made or action taken by you or anyone else in reliance on results obtained from use of files downloaded from this site. These files may be downloaded and/or reprinted for personal use only. Permission to reprint or electronically reproduce any document or graphic in whole or in part for any reason except for personal use is expressly prohibited, unless prior written consent is obtained from the appropriate practice copyright holder.

5. General Disclaimer.

All Material including any link to other sites and content found at linked sites is provided "as is" and without any express or implied warranties including warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Due to the nature of the Internet, we do not warrant that access to this Web site or any of its pages will be uninterrupted or error free. The practice does not warrant or make any representations regarding the usefulness of or the expected results of the material contained on this Web site. Note that some jurisdictions may not allow the exclusion of implied warranties so some of the above exclusions may not apply to you. Please check your local laws for any such restrictions.

6. Limitation of Liability (Indemnification).

You agree by accessing this Web site that under no circumstances or any theories of liability under international or civil, common or statutory law including but not limited to strict liability, negligence or other tort theories or contract, patent or copyright laws, will the practice be liable for damages of any kind occurring from the use of this Web site or any information, goods or services obtained on this Web site including direct, indirect, consequential, incidental, or punitive damages (even if the practice has been advised of the possibility of such damages), to the fullest extent permitted by law. Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of certain damages so some of these limitations may not apply to you.

7. User Representations & Responsibilities.

You represent and warrant that you are at least 18 years of age and that you possess the legal right and ability to enter into this Agreement and to use this Web site in accordance with this Agreement. You agree to be financially responsible for your use of this Web site and to comply with your responsibilities and obligations as stated in this Agreement.

User Submissions

As a user, you are responsible for your own communications and are responsible for the consequences of their posting. You must not, and by using this Web site you agree not to, do the following things: post or email sensitive personal health information outside of secure patient registration forms(general comment areas and email sent through this Web site may not be secure), post material that is copyrighted, unless you are the copyright owner or have the permission of the copyright owner to post it; post material that reveals trade secrets, unless you own them or have the permission of the owner; post material that infringes on any other intellectual property rights of others or on the privacy or publicity rights of others; post material that is obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, abusive, hateful, or embarrassing to another user or any other person or entity; post a sexually-explicit image or statement; post advertisements or solicitations of business, post chain letters or pyramid schemes; impersonate another person; or post material that contains viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, cancelbots or other computer programming routines or engines that are intended to damage, detrimentally interfere with, surreptitiously intercept or expropriate any system, data or information.

The practice has taken reasonable steps and has employed industry-standard practices and technology to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of your personally identifiable information; however, since even the most secure system can be violated, the practice cannot guarantee security.
Completion and submission of the forms provided under Contact Us are for use in providing personal information for the purpose of obtaining additional information from the practiceand serves as conclusive acceptance of the Terms of Service.

Minors and Child Online Privacy Protection Act

This Web site does not direct content to Minors and does not intend to collect personal information from Minors and therefore is not subject to the Child Online Privacy Protection Act.
If you allow your minor child, or a child for whom you are legal guardian (a "Minor"), to access and use this Web site, you agree that you will be solely responsible for: (i) the online conduct of such Minor; (ii) monitoring such Minor’s access to and use of this Web site; and (iii) the consequences of any use.

8. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

We reserve the right, but not the obligation, to terminate your access to this Web site if it determines in its sole and absolute discretion that you are involved in infringing activity, including alleged acts of first-time or repeat infringement, regardless or whether the material or activity is ultimately determined to be infringing. The practice may deliver notice to you under this Agreement by means of electronic mail, a general notice on this Web site or by written communication delivered by first class U.S. mail to your address on record in the practice’s account information, if any.

This practice does not interfere with standard technical measures used by copyright owners to protect materials. We have implemented procedures for receiving written notification of claimed infringements and for processing such claims in accordance with the Act. Our designated agent to receive notification of claimed infringement is:

WellMind with Dr. Michael McGee
Phone: 805-459-8232
Fax:     877-399-5883
Email:  info@wellmind.com

Any written notice regarding any infringement of copyright or of other proprietary rights, should be sent to our designated agent, listed above, and must include the following information:

A. A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of (i) the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed or (ii) the person defamed.

B. Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.

C. Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing, or to be the subject of infringing activity, including information reasonably sufficient to permit us to locate the material.

D. Information reasonably sufficient to permit us to contact you, such as your address, telephone number, and/or electronic mail address.

E. A statement that you have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright or other proprietary right owner, its agent, or the law.

If you choose to access this Web site from outside the United States you do so on your own initiative and are responsible for compliance with U.S. and local laws, if and to the extent that local laws are applicable. Software is subject to United States export controls. No software may be downloaded or otherwise exported or re-exported (i) into (or to a national resident of) any country to which the U.S. has embargoed goods, or (ii) to anyone on the U.S. Treasury Department list of Specially Designated Nationals or the U.S. Commerce Department’s Table of Deny Orders. You represent and warrant that you are not located in, under the control of, or a national resident of any such country or on any such list. You agree to comply with U.S. export control laws and that you will not transfer any software or other content from this Web site to a foreign national or foreign country in violation of those laws.

9. Trademarks.

There are references throughout this Web site to various trademarks or service marks and these, whether registered or not, are the property of their respective owners.

10. Changes and Applicable Law.

We reserve the right to make changes to this Web site and our Legal Disclaimer/Conditions of Use. We encourage you to review the Web site and these terms periodically for any updates or changes. Your continued access or use of this Web site shall be deemed your acceptance of these Legal Disclaimers/Conditions of Use and any changes and the reasonableness of these standards for notice of changes. Use of this Web siteand purchases of products from this Web site will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California, without giving effect to its conflict of law provisions. You agree that any legal action or proceeding between you and this Web site will be brought exclusively in a federal or state court of competent jurisdiction sitting in the State of California. If any provision of this agreement shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions. Any cause of action or claim you may have with respect to the practice must be commenced within one (1) year after the claim or cause of action arises. The practice’s failure to insist upon or enforce strict performance of any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right. Neither the course of conduct between the parties nor trade practice shall act to modify any provision of this Agreement. The practice may assign its rights and duties under this Agreement to any party at any time without notice to you.

11. Security.

We will only use the information you submit to provide you with the services you have requested and as otherwise described in the Public Online Privacy Policy.

We use secure technology

In addition to our Public Online Privacy Policy, we also take the technical side of security very seriously. Any personally identifying information you submit is stored on a secure server in a way that maximizes security and confidentiality. Our servers are behind a complex series of firewalls to add an extra layer of security.

Access to the information you submit

Information you submit can be seen only by those employees and staff who have a need to use the information in the following manner:

Complete and verify patient registration and appointment scheduling.

Direct response to your inquiry. If you send a non-urgent inquiry through the Contact Us section of this Web site, only those individuals authorized to review, research and respond to your inquiry have access to that information.

Web Site Maintenance. Sometimes our technical staff may view data in the course of their work. We have special rules to make sure they do this only for legitimate reasons and we monitor access to all Web technology.

Public Privacy Policy

Our Commitment To Privacy

Your privacy is important to us. To better protect your privacy we provide this notice explaining our online information practices and the choices you can make about the way your information is collected and used. To make this notice easy to find, we make it available on our homepage and at every point where personally identifiable information may be requested.

The Information We Collect

This notice applies to all information collected or submitted on the WellMind with Dr. McGee website. On some pages, you can make requests, register for treatment and payment. The types of personal information collected at these pages are: Name, Address, Email address, Phone number, Credit/Debit Card Information (etc.).

The Way We Use Information

We use the information you provide about yourself when creating an account only to complete that account. We do not share this information with outside parties except to the extent necessary to complete the account.

We use return email addresses to answer the email we receive. Such addresses are not used for any other purpose and are not shared with outside parties.

Finally, we never use or share the personally identifiable information provided to us online in ways unrelated to the ones described above without also providing you an opportunity to opt-out or otherwise prohibit such unrelated uses.

Our Commitment To Data Security

To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the correct use of information, we have put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.

How To Contact Us

Should you have other questions or concerns about these privacy policies please contact:
WellMind with Dr. Michael McGee

Phone: 805-459-8232
Fax:     877-399-5883
Email:  info@wellmind.com