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Taking the Fear Out of Change

Some of you might know that I’m really into helping my clients make changes. But I am also very aware that change can feel scary and overwhelming. If you are torn between wanting to make changes, but feeling like it’s just too big of a job, you are not alone. I often see people who are in the stage of wanting change but not sure if they can handle it. This is a perfectly fine place to be. I like seeing clients who want to explore what change might be like even if they are not convinced to make the change. Change is a process. Part of the process is thinking about and talking about making a change. We called this the contemplation stage. Having a therapist at this stage in the process can be very helpful. You can identify     . . . read more

New Home for New Approaches

Big news: the move is complete and today was the first day operating out of the new office at 203 Anderson Street! The new space features more space, more light and views of the Back Cove in Portland. I’m loving the East Bayside location, just off of Marginal Way and 295. I’m neighbors with cool local businesses like Urban Farm Fermentory (your source for quality fermented foods), Zero Station (digital printing and framing), and Portland Power Yoga. Who wouldn’t love being around artists, culinary geniuses, and yogis? I’m also conveniently located off of Bayside Trail, the Back Bay Trail, and the Eastern Prom Trail. I hope you will consider New Approaches for individual and family therapy and maybe have a walk and support some local Portland businesses while in my new neighborhood!  

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

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