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What is EMDR and Can It Help Me?

Many people have heard about EMDR. You may be wondering how does it work? Could it help you? EMDR is a means to assist in recognizing and changing the negative responses that weigh us down and inhibit us from living our most fulfilling lives. EMDR helps to fully process and integrate difficult events in our lives, so that we don’t remain stuck. If you find yourself asking “why does that still bother me?” or find yourself repeating patterns or making choices that no longer serve you—despite your best efforts to change them—it may benefit you to talk to an EMDR trained mental health professional. The role of memory networks Our brain has a natural ability to process and integrate information. However, our ability to process information becomes compromised when under stress. When we are unable to process distressing events, the     . . . read more

Navigating Family Dynamics for Happier Holidays

The holidays have a way of bringing out the kid in all of us. We long to innocently enjoy all the wonder (blissfully unaware of the work involved!). We treat ourselves to hot chocolate with a candy cane stirrer because, after all, it’s the holidays. The first time we turn on the tree lights, we remember our very first tree and clap our hands with the same joy and excitement. Innocent childhood delights adding a special flavor to our adult celebrations. No harm in that, right? Right! But what if your holiday-inspired temporary reversion to childhood isn’t quite so harmless? What if you get together with your family and find yourself acting like the bossy older sister, a role you thought you’d outgrown a long time ago? Or what if a step through Granny’s door takes you instantly from competent, capable mother to     . . . read more

Handling the Holidays When You’re Grieving

Holidays can be a minefield to navigate when you are grieving the loss of a loved one, especially if that loss was recent and this is your first holiday without them. There you are, feeling so very sad and vulnerable and raw, and everywhere you turn you are listening to cheerful holiday music, looking at pictures of smiling people, and watching excited children and beaming parents going about their holiday preparations. The contrast between where you are and where the rest of the world seems to be can be overwhelming and quite painful. Holidays are a time when cultural tradition exerts tremendous pressure on you to be a certain way, feel a certain way, act a certain way – ways that feel almost foreign to you in the midst of your grief. As you look around your holiday table, the     . . . read more

Burnout Blues? You Need The One Skill Everyone Overlooks

Jennifer is just like you and me – a highly competent, compassionate woman with a great career, a family she adores, and a very full life. On the outside, she looks great. You should see her Facebook photos! On the inside, she’s cooked. Beyond done. A bunch of jangled nerves running on sheer will alone. Jennifer’s been chronically stressed out for so long that her physical and mental health are starting to become compromised. She’s about to burn out big time. For checking all those boxes, doing all the right things, it seems all that she gets in return is exhaustion. And she knows it, but she doesn’t know what to do about it. Jennifer has tried to figure out how to manage her time better, how to cope better, how to practice more and better self-care. She’s read the books     . . . read more

Mature Behavior in 10 Easy (okay…actually pretty difficult) Steps

Though I strive to be sensible and balance reason with carefully considered emotions, I have had to put myself in time-out several times recently. My kids drive me nuts because they are children and we are inside together a lot because it’s winter in Maine, and I want to lose my mind. “Those people” on the internet drive me nuts because, in case you have not observed, things are tense out there. It seems like no matter who you are, every emotional button is being pushed in the current climate. Keeping myself under control is not always easy. Perhaps you can relate. I find it facinating how we work so hard to teach our kids to behave appropriately, meanwhile often misbehaving ourselves. My daughter’s school is amazing. They have beautifully explained expectations for how people treat each other- in the classroom,     . . . read more