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The Exhausted Teacher’s Guide to a Rejuvenating Summer Break

When you are a teacher at the end of the school year, it can be hard to put one foot in front of the other. You so badly want to be DONE already, but you still feel that pressure to pull off incredibly engaging and meaningful year-end activities. It’s no wonder that burn out is common this time of year. I totally get it. I, too, was a teacher before becoming a therapist. I remember the burnout, the exhaustion, and the PRESSURE. I am grateful for my colleagues who would remind me that teachers pack a full year of work into 9 months! We are understandably exhausted by the end of it. It makes total sense. You deserve a real break this summer, a time to fully recharge. I find that if you use this time to address sources of     . . . read more

You are Poised, Hard-working, and Ready to Help Others. But Could You Also Be Depressed?

There is a highly treatable, common illness that is too often ignored by the most capable among us. Symptoms may include sadness, numbness, irritability, fatigue, low energy, dis-interest or difficulty engaging in activities or with other people, feeling like a failure, lack of hope, skepticism, difficulty finding self-worth, trouble sleeping, or sleeping too much, no appetite, or eating too much, thoughts about death, dying, perhaps even about killing yourself. This illness is depression and it is no joke. Yes, it is a real thing. And it is NOT you. Depression can be sneaky. It creeps in slowly. The symptoms can start at low levels. It’s lurking just below the surface for awhile until it becomes your new norm. At first it seems relatively manageable. Depression may be related to difficult life events that would carry an expectable amount of distress     . . . read more

Emotional Health: Are You Proactive or Reactive?

We mostly accept that it’s good practice to go for a yearly physical. It’s helpful to talk with the doctor about what’s going well and where we may be off track. They take our blood pressure and run some basic blood tests so that we get a sense of how we are doing. We do this to stay well, not because we are already sick. We know that prevention is better than intervention. However, that logic is only extended to our physical health. When it comes to our emotional wellbeing, far too many people wait until they are in a serious downward spiral, and only then decide that therapy might be helpful. That’s not the best approach. It’s time to think of therapy as prevention as much as an intervention. When should you come to therapy? The moment when you notice you are negatively     . . . read more

New Approaches Welcomes Leah Ottow, LCSW

Big news: We are pleased to welcome Leah Ottow, LCSW to New Approaches! Kind, compassionate, insightful, and intelligent, Leah is an excellent therapist and we are thrilled to have her on board. Some words from Leah: My style is collaborative and based on the belief that a trusting relationship is the foundation for therapeutic growth and change.  My approach is integrative and includes elements of humanistic, cognitive, family systems, and mind-body theories, with treatment tailored to a client’s individual needs. Areas of interest include anxiety, relationships, perfectionism, identity, depression, mindfulness, trauma, stress management, loneliness, pregnancy/post-partum. . I’ve worked with adults, adolescents and children in Southern and Mid-Coast Maine since 2007.  A Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Maine, I hold a Master’s in Social Work from Boston College and a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College. She joins Hannah Curtis, LCSW     . . . read more

How to Adapt to the Season Change

Note: I’m pleased to feature this guest post by Darcy Forrest, LAc., Dipl. OM.  The leaves have started to turn color, and the brisk fall winds have already begun to scatter the dried up leaves about the ground.  Without much notice, we were plunged into cooler temps, shorter days, and darker skies.   This change of season proves especially hard on some, as this particular season change is about decline. Yet, this is the nature of all things, the end of one thing leads to the beginning of another. The continuous cycle of the seasons changing is represented in the Five Elements of Chinese Medicine.  Fall brings with it this notion of grief, the emotion associated with the Metal Element, and of the lung and large intestine organs.  Often times, the thought of decline might bring with it, a negative connotation.      . . . read more

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