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The Worthiness Crisis

Okay, so this topic is bigger than a blog post can contain, but it’s a start. I’m so worried about this problem, I need to start talking about it every place I can. The problem: many people, and most notably young people, feel that their worth is in question. They (or really “we”) feel that worth is tied to things like GPA, salary, position, social class, appearance, romantic success, productivity, cleanliness, organization, keeping up with milestones, how cool you look on Facebook…pretty much everything. It’s always at stake. “Am I good enough?” is the question plaguing so many wonderful, lovely people everywhere. The interesting thing for me is that many people who look like they are succeeding on many of these measures are the ones who feel the worst. I think it’s because when you are acutely aware of what     . . . read more

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!  

Making Breakthroughs in Therapy

I get excited when clients make breakthroughs. They are also really excited, and so we both feel terrific. This week, a client pointed out that not every session contains a breakthrough. “That’s true,” I admitted. It got me thinking about the importance of having a breakthrough- a sudden “click” or an “ah-ha” moment. Should I be trying to get people to have one at every session? As motivating and energizing as a sudden advancement in knowledge or awareness can be, a breakthrough is just one aspect of therapy. That is the answer that came to me in the place where I have most of my breakthroughs: the gym. Having come off yet another small winter illness, it felt like a feat just to show up. That was my breakthrough. Just showing up is the real work of any long-term commitment     . . . read more

Can a Therapy App Help You?

I try not to take offense, but it seems that scientists are obsessed with eliminating my job. Some want to see machines replace trained therapists to help you with your emotional problems. That seems a little weird, since emotions are the only thing a computer cannot do at this point. At any rate, I’m a pragmatic person and I’ll support anything that helps people. The New York Times is reporting that apps may in fact help people with anxiety and depression. A recent article explains how a video game-like app helps people overcome ways of thinking that lead to anxiety and depression. So, today I’m setting up all of my clients with my iPhone and taking off for a hike. Okay, no, wait a minute… if you read the full article, you realize that they are less than sure about     . . . read more