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The Senselessness of Stigma

Today I have the honor of having my guest post The Senselessness of Stigma featured on Growing Up Chaotic. Growing Up Chaotic is a blog dedicated to “Hope and guidance with a modern kick on how to survive growing up chaotic.” When creator, Dawn Clancy, told me that there has been a lot of talk about mental health stigma on her blog, I knew it was a topic I needed to write about. I’m very interested in adding to the conversation and showing how stigma is both problematic and, well, senseless. (click here to read the post). Dawn contributed a fabulous piece recently, Emotions and the Binge – How I Learned to Sit With Discomfort, for the New Perspectives Series on this blog. Dawn also has a radio program, Growing Up Chaotic Live, where I was a guest talking about EMDR a     . . . read more

From Surviving to Thriving

Last weekend I went to a fantastic concert, right here in Portland. Enjoying the music, I realized I was not just hearing it, but feeling it as well. There were thirteen musicians on stage, so there was a lot to watch. I felt more deeply relaxed than I had in quite some time. I felt alert but calm, my body let go of tension. My mind was focused and engaged. It seemed like an optimal state of being. Needless to say, it was highly enjoyable. This experience got me thinking about the fantastic piece, from our guest writer last week as part of the New Perspectives Series on this blog. He explains how he was able to use an evolutionary perspective to make life changes that helped improve his mental health. His perspective is that if we consider the types of foods,     . . . read more

Looking Way (Way) Back: An Evolutionary Perspective for Modern Mental Health

  Note from Hannah: This the first in a series of guest posts with the goal of providing new perspectives to mental health, wellness, and being a human. This piece was bravely shared by our guest writer, David.  My brain is broken, I thought to myself, as I sat in a plush, brown leather chair in my psychiatrist’s office; the perfect cliché- in an old brick building in downtown Portland, Maine. I stared, vacantly, through a large bay window, the sun’s rays cast upon my face, warming my skin through the white sheer curtains. Being a few stories up, I gazed at a slightly veiled view of  the modest skyline of the city I grew up in, amidst the backdrop of sparkling ocean and blue sky. The view made it easy to transport myself elsewhere, in avoidance of what I     . . . read more

New Perspectives Make a Difference

Recently I heard a talk radio program where the host said (in reference to what, I cannot remember), “This is not like psychotherapy where they are trying to fix you…” I couldn’t hear the rest because I was in total shock. I knew this point of view existed, but I had never heard it said so succinctly: psychotherapists try to fix people. I could only think in little sound bites: Wait. Time out. FALSE. It took me a couple of weeks to recover and process. So now let me say in response that I’m not interested in fixing anyone. I don’t believe anyone is broken. At the heart of it, I actually think most people fear they are broken, but are not. It’s this fear that creates a lot of problems. As a therapist, I do not try to fix     . . . read more

Can EMDR Help Me Change an Old Pattern?

Tomorrow I will be a guest on the internet radio program Growing Up Chaotic to discuss EMDR and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s at 7pm EST and I hope you will listen. As a result, I’ve got EMDR on the brain. I’ve been using this type of therapy with many of my clients for several years now. What I’ve learned is that EMDR can be a tool for change when you have an old pattern that just won’t budge. EMDR is a comprehensive form of therapy that is well-researched and highly effective. It is an approach that is done by  psychotherapists who have received specific training. “What is EMDR?,” you ask: well my previous post will start to answer that question- click here. In my practice I tend to use EMDR when clients indicate a history of trauma or a     . . . read more

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