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The Benefits of Small Life Adventures

Before my week off, everyone asked, “What are you doing for your vacation?” I did have some things planned, but for me it’s mostly about what I’m not doing: the same old, same old. I like what I do in a normal week, but it gets stale. For me, vacation is a chance to do something, anything different. It doesn’t have to be exciting to be enjoyable for me. I took about equal pleasure in watching my daughter water pretty much everything in the backyard with her watering can, seeing sites in the White Mountains, listening to live music, and working out in the middle of the day. I find that it’s in the new space of being out of the ordinary that I feel energized. I begin to be more present. I can see the world a little bit     . . . read more

Beyond Postpartum: The Surprising Benefits of Being a Mom

Writer and mother extraordinaire, Lynn Shattuck, recently wrote a great piece for her blog reflecting on her postpartum experience. It was hugely popular because it hit home for many women. It brought back some memories for me, too. It took me a few weeks to regroup emotionally from having a baby in the middle of a dark, cold winter. In the thick of it, I was more exhausted, anxious, and vulnerable than I had ever been. In my worst moments, I worried about everything from dropping the baby, to falling down the stairs, to forgetting her altogether. Who had entrusted the care of this helpless creature to me anyway? Didn’t they know that I occasionally tripped and misplaced things?! I was worn down like all new moms. In the hardest hours, sparks of worries kept me tired and wired in     . . . read more

Dominant Emotional States

A few weeks ago, I wrote to Rudy Skowronski, LCSW, who is a brilliant trauma therapist in practice in Saco, Maine (you can see his full bio at the end of this post). I asked Rudy to talk about his work with Dominant Emotional States as part of the the New Perspectives Series. Rudy’s letter back to us illustrates the deep and profound work that can be done when you worked with a highly skilled therapist. Making lasting emotional changes is possible with the proper understanding and guidance. Many thanks to Rudy for this contribution. Hi All, Here is the explanation that I use to convey  my ideas around Dominant Emotional States (DES).  After the description I will write briefly about the way I use my ideas around DES in therapy with individuals couples and families. Dominant Emotional States are     . . . read more

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

Allowing Ourselves to Feel

Note from Hannah: I’m pleased to feature this guest post by Jennifer Barbour of anotherjennifer.com as part of the New Perspectives Series on mental health, wellness, and just being a human. Enjoy! I could feel my eyes start to sting as I fought back tears. Should I be crying? Is this professional? “Denise” read a letter from her then nine-year-old son, begging her to stop taking drugs so that they could be a family again. It was heart wrenching to hear. The three of us spent the day shooting a video for the treatment facility I worked for. I glanced at the filmmaker. He was concentrating on the shot. And while he was visibly affected by the content of the letter, he did not flinch. Earlier that day, Denise told me how she would bring her twin girls to the     . . . read more