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Outsmart Depression

It’s dreary today here in Maine. The cold and dark is beginning to wear on everyone. It is especially hard for those diagnosed with depression. Depression is a serious diagnosis that requires treatment. For more information on depression, check out the National Institute of Mental Health. I also urge you to talk with a health care provider if you believe you may be depressed. The trick with depression is that it cons you into doing things that make you feel worse. It says, “stay inside and isolate yourself from the world until you feel better.” It says, “eating junk food is the key to getting better.” Or “just sleep all day, it will help.” Or (my least favorite) “this is the way you are, nobody can help you.” In short, depression makes you think that doing less, eating poorly, being     . . . read more

Easing Common Fears About Going to Therapy

It’s really cool when my clients help others better understand how and why therapy is helpful. I’m especially impressed with my teen clients. They are really great about sharing the news that therapy can be effective and you don’t have to be “crazy” to go. People of all ages are mostly suspicious of therapy. They fear that it will be an unhelpful waste of time and money and/or potentially make things worse. Yikes! That’s a reputation I think therapists need to work harder to change. I can only speak to the way I do things, but here are my clarifications on common fears people have about therapy: The therapist will tell me to do things I don’t want to do. I’m certainly not going to tell you what to do. My job is to help you identify more clearly what     . . . read more

Building Self-Esteem, Moment by Moment

I enjoy going to what I refer to as “the jungle gym for grown-ups.” It reminds me of recess time. I think adults need that kind of physical recreation too. Last night I was working on my clean (its a weight lifting move) and making good progress. Some of the ladies I work out with noticed. Several were appropriately congratulatory about my personal record. I said to them, “I feel good about that.” As a therapist, those are the moments I help clients identify. It’s about finding times where you feel both physically and emotionally good about something you have done. Many people want to work on self-esteem and confidence. I think the key is to take note of these moments and to be able to direct your mind back to them again and again. Next time I’m at “recess”     . . . read more

See Options, Make Changes

Change. That’s what’s on my mind. This week I have been really inspired by stories of change all around me. People always presume that my job is kind of a drag. They think that all I hear about is stuff that would ordinarily bum anybody out. Honestly, it’s truly the opposite on most days. What’s really going on all day is people showing up in my office with a lot of will to have things go better in their lives. There are certainly ups and downs and rough situations that people have encountered. However, the majority of people stick with coming to see me and they succeed with their goals. That’s incredibly uplifting. My job is pretty awesome. In a recent post, I talked about how people have to decide to make changes. Then, with intention and attention, changes can     . . . read more

Motivation, Momentum, and Play

I’ve been inspired lately by someone who works tirelessly to grow and change. She wakes in the wee hours of the morning practicing new skills for hours at a time. Everyday there are profound differences from the day before. It sounds quite tiring, and it is (occasionally naps are required). But since she is not quite a year old, we call this dedication to change play. Play. That’s right. Learning new things and forming new neural networks in our brain to support these changes is the very stuff of child’s play. So if my infant daughter has this much ability to change, to work, to be dedicated to new tasks like walking, talking and feeding herself, is this true of all humans? Or do we out grow it? It appears that we actually get a little complacent. Once we have     . . . read more

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