THERE IS INTERVENTION AND THEN THERE IS...

There is Intervention and then there is Effective Intervention: or, Is just doing something better than doing nothing?

Many people have been captivated by the A&E Series, Intervention. Quite a bit of drama happening there and, as we are discovering about many of these “Reality” TV shows, some if not much of what is seen is contrived and edited in the interest of viewership. Guess what, it really doesn’t happen that way and what you see is really not effective in the vast majority of cases.

Having been around the block on interventions, I have seen newer, more effective methods developed. In the treatment field it is interesting that, without any empirical research, the “Traditional” intervention of getting a bunch of concerned others together to lovingly confront the individual with an ultimatum to go to treatment (usually residential) or else is still around and being promoted as an effective method of getting someone engaged in treatment. It is so media popular that I recently got an unsolicited invitation to attend a training to become a “Certified Interventionist”. I am a curious individual so; I emailed the sponsors asking for the research on their methodology as it relates to getting people engaged in treatment. This is the response I got: “Although ________’s clinical team evaluated and approved (their program) it didn't result in research, per se. We are primarily practitioners and teachers. I'm not enthusiastic about research that's done internally by the developers of various techniques, even when the research methods meet peer reviewed standards. That kind of research is widely accepted and forms the basis of most "evidence-based" practices, but I find it unconvincing.”

Be assured that we, at Recovery Café, are convinced by the research or, the lack of it. At Recovery Café, we offer both individual and group support for individuals in relationship with another who is misusing or possibly dependent or addicted to alcohol or some other drug. We are trained in and use the evidence based method of intervention known as CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Treatment). CRAFT is the foundation of the book: Getting Your Loved One Sober: Alternatives to Nagging, Pleading and Threatening, by Robert J. Meyers, PhD and Brenda L. Wolfe, PhD and was featured on the HBO series on Addiction (see video clip of Bob Meyers).

If you are living in or affected by another substance abuse and are ready to begin thinking about what you can do to differently that will be effective for you and them, give us a call and talk to our intake coordinator or one of the CRAFT counselors.

Author: Larry Walton

EMDR TRAINING

EMDR is an acronym for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, a highly studied and structured trauma treatment method that helps facilitate our natural healing process of integrating traumatic memories into our experience and attaching new meaning.

In addition to the training that our counselors receive while completing their initial degrees, many of our counselors pursue additional training to be able to provide the best care for clients.

EMDR is an acronym for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, a highly studied and structured trauma treatment method that helps facilitate our natural healing process of integrating traumatic memories into our experience and attaching new meaning. In 2004, the American Psychological Association determined EMDR to be an effective treatment for trauma, and the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense “strongly recommended” EMDR for the treatment of trauma. In EMDR, clients use handheld buzzers or headphones, depending on their choice, to help process or desensitize traumatic memories. Some clients seek counseling solely for EMDR, while others choose to use EMDR as part of counseling. Either way, the exact length of treatment varies depending on the client’s unique needs and preferences.

EMDR Basic Training: Level I and Level II. This training included two three-day training sessions followed by ten hours of supervised practice with an approved consultant. Using EMDR helps individuals recover from past traumatic experiences and the related patterns getting in the way of their health and happiness. One aspect of EMDR that is very important is that the client is in the driver’s seat directing the pace and goals of counseling.

Author: Anonymous

FEELINGS OF STRESS

Feelings of stress, anxiety and depression seem to have become an almost accepted part of our culture. We were meant to thrive in this life, not simply survive it!

Feelings of stress, anxiety and depression seem to have become an almost accepted part of our culture. Perhaps it is the price we have to pay for living the American dream, but I don’t think so. The truth is, there is another way. We were meant to thrive in this life, not simply survive it!

In addition to the many complimentary services highlighted in this issue such as, yoga, meditation, and massage, counseling and other behavioral health care services can also provide a beneficial and rewarding solution to managing life’s challenges.

Behavioral health approaches are a way to enrich your life by reducing stress and increasing emotional, mental and physical well-being. There is a substantial amount of research to support the idea that counseling works. We now understand the link between stress and the development of disease in the body, which greatly informs the practice of behavioral health care. Not only can counseling improve relationships and enhance the quality of day-to-day living, it can literally prevent the development of stress related diseases. Think of a counselor as a different kind of personal trainer or even as a life enhancement specialist. Counseling teaches truly effective ways to deal with common, everyday irritations as well as more entrenched patterns of living.

Think counseling is not for you? You’re not alone. Many people will avoid the option of counseling because of a belief that it is only for people with "real problems," but in reality, most of those who choose counseling as an option are intelligent, successful, and “normal” individuals who simply want to improve their personal, career or family lives. Even for those who enter counseling through a crisis or other urgent need, the experience often opens the door to looking at other areas of their life. The possibilities for growth and personal development are truly limitless.

“When my doctor suggested I talk to a counselor to help reduce stress, I was skeptical. I never thought I would benefit from it, but it was the best thing I ever did! “
-38 year old male
Athens, GA

Author: Anonymous

PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAUMA- WHAT IS IT?

There is no shortage of psychological trauma in our world: experiences that cause us to feel highly overwhelmed and helpless. Countless clients enter counseling to find relief from it and there are many effective treatment options available.

There is no shortage of psychological trauma in our world: experiences that cause us to feel highly overwhelmed and helpless. Countless clients enter counseling to find relief from it and there are many effective treatment options available. The first step is becoming aware of how psychological trauma shows up in our lives.

What is traumatizing for you might be different than what is traumatizing for someone else. It can be a one-time event, like a violent crime or natural disaster, or a repeated occurrence, such as in the case of childhood abuse and neglect. An experience becomes traumatic when we feel so threatened and overwhelmed that we are unable to process it at the time. Our minds go offline and our bodies shut down to get through it. The fight, flight, or freeze response kicks in and, unfortunately for us, our stress response sometimes gets stuck in the “on” position.

It is hard to be constantly switched “on.” We might feel tired, irritable, and emotional. We might suffer from seemingly inexplicable headaches, stomachaches, and other bodily aches and pains. Our lives might be interrupted by panic attacks, heart attacks, flashbacks, and nightmares. These symptoms seriously interfere with our ability to lead the lives that we desire- but, thankfully, they are not permanent.

Just as experiencing psychological trauma is part of being human, it is in our nature to heal. There are many things that we can do to assist in our recovery. Talking with a trusted friend or counselor, making art, seeking spiritual support, and undergoing specialized trauma treatment all help provide relief from trauma-related symptoms.

Our healing depends upon our ability to stay in touch with ourselves as we process the traumatic event. This might sound a bit scary but a counselor who has been trained to work with trauma will teach you skills to stay calm and as you process your experience so that it doesn’t overwhelm you. Together, you and your counselor will come up with a plan that’s just for you and keeps you in the driver’s seat.

Today’s counselors can help clients recovering from trauma with a wide variety of tools in addition to talk-therapy, such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Rapid Trauma Resolution (RTR). These methods work by de-activating traumatic memories, which are stored differently in the mind than other memories. Once we remove the charge of old experiences, new perspectives are able to take root, opening the door to increased levels of health and wellbeing.

Trauma is a heavy subject. You might notice some tension in your body, right now. As you read this last paragraph, I invite you to take a deep breath. Notice the natural rhythm of your chest rising and falling. Notice your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations and the sights, smells, and sounds around you. Just for a moment, see if you can let it all be and be easy with your self in this imperfect world in which we live.

Author: Anonymous

IS TRAUMA TREATMENT RIGHT FOR ME?

You can receive treatment for trauma through individual or group counseling formats. So, how do you know what’s right for you?

The field of trauma treatment has made great strides since 1980, when Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) first made its appearance in mental health clinicians’ reference book, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM III). Our understanding of neuroscience has grown dramatically since then, enabling us to identify and treat psychological trauma better than ever before. One thing that has become clear is there are a variety of types of trauma and effective treatments.

Trauma can be thought of as existing on a continuum. On one end, we have “Big T” traumas. Big T traumas include sexual assault, war, and other life-threatening traumas. On the other end of the spectrum, we have “little t” traumas. Little t traumas are more common everyday occurrences, such as teasing, divorce, and the loss of a loved one. PTSD results from Big T traumas. But, all traumatic events, from little t to Big T, can have profound and long-lasting effects on our health and happiness.

Our bodies and minds let us know that we are living in a trauma informed state. Do you suffer from tension or tightness in your body- or perhaps a stress-related problem, such as migraines, fibromyalgia, back pain, or other mysterious aches and pains? Do you feel run down much of the time? Are you easily set off by people and circumstances? Dealing with these chronic symptoms can interfere with our ability to lead the lives we desire, causing a person to feel anxious and alone, bitter, and hopeless that things can’t or won’t improve. Luckily, relief is possible with treatment.

There are many well researched trauma treatment methods available, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), medication, and exposure therapy, such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Hypnotherapy, such as Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT), also shows promising results. You can receive treatment through individual or group counseling formats. So, how do you know what’s right for you?

Group counseling is a particularly good option for individuals experiencing mild to moderate PTSD and stress related conditions who are looking for support and skill training and at a lower cost than individual therapy. It has the unique benefit of helping you feel less alone as you interact and relate with others who have had similar experiences. Group counseling for trauma can include the treatment methods listed above in addition to the unique offerings of the counselor, sometimes called the facilitator. There are women’s groups, men’s groups, and mixed groups available. The best way to decide if a group is right for you is to attend a session.

It’s important to note that just as we feel the effects of trauma deeply, it takes time to heal. As with most things, there is no magic pill or overnight cure for the difficulties we face. But, healing from trauma is possible. And, it’s not nearly as hard as living with the effects of untreated trauma. Giving ourselves the support of individual or group counseling can give us the strength we need to find relief. Only you know what’s right for you. There is help out there. You can find health and happiness after trauma.

Author: Anonymous

After The Holidays Project For You And Your Children

All the gifts have been opened, the wrapping paper is gone, decorations are packed away, and the kids are back at school. What can you do to start the year off on a good note so your children will feel better and develop good values and habits?

Encourage gratitude.
Studies show that kids who are grateful may feel happier and satisfied with what they have in their lives, feel confident, and experience fewer physical maladies.

So how do you go about helping your children feel more gratitude for what they have?
Now, in this post-holiday period, before the Valentines come out and the gifts they loved at Christmas have been forgotten, sit down with your children and help them to write some thank you notes. Oh no, you groan. That sounds like a chore to you and will definitely sound like one to them. Here are some ways to make the experience a fun and creative project for them:

  1. Plan.
    Gather together some note cards, stamps, scissors, glue, watercolors or markers, fancy pens and stickers. Make a list of all those who would enjoy a thank you note. Your list may include not only those who sent a gift to your children but perhaps someone who spent time with them or is a special part of their lives.

  2. Introduce the idea.
    Tell your children you have a fun project for them and gather everyone around the table. Show them the supplies you have on hand and show them the list. Ask if they have others who should be a part of the gratitude project. As they work, talk about what they received from the givers and ask what it means for them to be recipients of these gifts of time or presents.

  3. Help with the tough parts.
    If your child is still learning to write, offer your help by asking her to tell you the message and you can then transcribe it for her. Let your child create the message with your help so that it is in his or her own words. If your child received a gift that was not a good fit, be sincere about the message and help your child find a way to express appreciation for it anyway by focusing on what he or she did like about the present (favorite color, person was thinking of them).

  4. Involve the kids all the way.
    After the notes are written and sealed in envelopes, let them add the stamps and make a visit to the post office a part of the project.

  5. Help them to imagine the response.
    In days to come you can wonder along with your children about what response Aunt Addie will have when she goes to the mailbox and finds a note just for her. Talk about how long it might take for the note to arrive and how far it has to travel. You can look at a map if the children are curious about the distance from your home to the recipient’s house.

  6. Continue the process.
    When your child receives a gift or card in the future, remind them of the fun it was to create their own thank you cards after Christmas. Encourage them to send notes for other occasions and keep your Thank You box of supplies available to them to do more to show their gratitude.

Tip: Check out this list of 13 Homemade Thank-You Note Ideas from RealSimple magazine:

Author: Virginia Maxfield

RAPID RESOLUTION THERAPY

Rapid Resolution Therapy is an integrative approach developed by Dr. Jon Connelly that resolves the psychological and physical effects of trauma.

In order to provide the best care to clients, many clinicians at The Banyan Tree complete additional trainings and classes after completing their graduate degree coursework. I am Kimberly Austin and I agree with continuing education to help my clients. I chose to complete additional training in Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT). Rapid Resolution Therapy is an integrative approach developed by Dr. Jon Connelly that resolves the psychological and physical effects of trauma. I completed several Level I and II trainings entitled “Clinical Hypnosis with Rapid Trauma Resolution.” Each level is an intensive weekend training that teaches licensed clinicians to use gentle methods that eliminate the ongoing influence of troubling past experiences.

At Rapid Resolution Therapy trainings, I learned the foundational basis of how to clear trauma by using the RRT sequence and addressing areas such as sexual trauma, frozen grief, anxiety and panic, substance cravings and healing mind-body language. I also learned how to use effect-driven communication to bring about a positive change in thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. RRT is able to get the subconscious mind to respond in a way where change is possible and emotional blockages and pains associated with them are released. This is done in a safe and relaxed therapeutic environment where most clients report feeling more peaceful, free, clear and calm.

I primarily work with adults using Rapid Resolution Therapy techniques, but RRT can also be used with adolescents. I am confident using RRT techniques with clients dealing with ongoing issues such as anxiety, panic, grief, addiction, sexual abuse (including rape, molestation, incest, coercion), anger, jealousy, fear, stuckness and compulsive behaviors. Effects of Rapid Resolution Therapy can be seen with just one session, or a client can book several sessions to address more than one issue or trauma. RRT is not traditionally long-term therapy. I have already seen great results using RRT in a way that feels very rewarding for both the client and the counselor.

Author: Kimberly Austin

HELP EXISTS TO FIND BEST CHOICE FOR MIDLIFE CAREER SWAPS

All is not lost. Contrary to popular belief, you can make a change at midlife without it being a crisis.

Steve Jobs may have said it best: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Bottom line, if you don’t love it, keep searching. And don’t settle. But if you’ve invested 10, 20, 30 or more years into a career and you’re not Steve Jobs, then the idea of continuing the hunt for your life’s work may feel like a dream you’ll never realize.

Often, we find ourselves in a job where we are punching the clock, pulling a paycheck and uninspired. The dread may even start on Sunday evenings as you look toward another work week. But that’s because you’re not using your natural abilities.

All is not lost. Contrary to popular belief, you can make a change at midlife without it being a crisis. One of those ways is through taking a simple test that objectively evaluates your natural abilities and strengths. These tests can objectively measure how you problem solve, learn, generate ideas and understand the world around you and identify your unique individual pattern of abilities and traits. Once you understand your natural abilities, you can start the process with a counselor to explore how these fit in with other important career factors such as personal style, values and interests to create a personal vision for your work and life.

Sometimes, after taking these tests and working with a career counselor, people will decide to make a radical shift of what they do for work. Other times, people will discover or rediscover an ability that leads them to a hobby or activity, a simple addition that can lead to re-energization.

For example, a corporate headhunter who discovers she has a natural musical ear may realize that working in the music industry might be a better fit. If she desires a big life shift, she may transfer her skills into a job discovering unknown musicians. Conversely, she may need to stay in her job, but she could incorporate music into her life as more of a hobby. She may also find inspiration and renewed energy by joining a choral group, taking up an instrument or seeing live music on the weekends. To create your personal vision, along with your counselor you will explore the process and steps involved to make small or large changes that make sense.

Regardless of the change, understanding yourself and what drives you can help you make positive changes at midlife that can increase your satisfaction with life. Midlife change doesn’t have to be a crisis. If you make the change on your own terms and based on good information, it can lead to more fulfillment. You might even find yourself looking forward to Mondays.

Author: Kim Turner

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING “BORED”

What is the cost of constant stimulation?

When was the last time you felt truly bored? Do you reflexively reach for your smartphone or other device in waiting rooms? In line at the grocery store? On breaks at work?

If so, you are not alone. Many of us impulsively grab our devices at the first hint of boredom in our day.

But what is the cost of constant stimulation? Research suggests that over-stimulation stifles our creativity and our brain’s natural tendency to develop new connections. A lack of mental downtime may hinder our ability to do autographical planning or goal setting – tasks that can help us get out of a rut and make progress in our lives.

In a recent study by psychologist, Sandi Mann, participants were found to be most creative after being asked to complete the unthinkably boring task of copying numbers from a phone book.

This study is consistent with existing research that suggests we are most creative when we allow ourselves time to be bored or to space out. In other words, our best thinking occurs when we appear to be “doing nothing.” Our minds need downtime to daydream, to wander, and to be unoccupied.

For creative types, zoning out is typically anything but boring (hence the quotation marks around “bored” in the title). When we allow our thoughts to roam freely, our minds can be a pretty fascinating place to be. Yet, too often we withhold this act of self-care from our daily routine.

There is often a compulsive element involved in checking our digital devices, similar to addiction. So, how do we break free from the compulsion and change our digital habits?
Try the following:

  • Be conscious of the situations and emotions that make you want to check your device. Is it boredom? Loneliness? Anxiety? When we are aware of our triggers, we become more empowered; we have the option to replace the activity with another soothing activity.

  • Create boundaries around your usage. Just as we must learn when to say “no” to others, we must learn when to say “no” to our devices. An email or text message alert on your phone does not require your immediate attention. If checking your phone before bed causes you stress or anxiety, try committing to keeping your phone on silent after 9pm.

  • Be patient with yourself. When we start by accomplishing small goals, we set ourselves up for success. For instance, if you have been checking your device compulsively, try checking only every 15 minutes, then 30 minutes, then an hour. See how this feels and keep a journal of any positive changes you observe – this can serve as a helpful reminder to reinforce maintenance of your goal.

* Here’s what works for the author:
As a former email and social media “addict,” I started limiting my usage with a simple boundary that works for me. I allow myself to check my computer twice per evening. I stay online as long as I want, but once I’ve closed my computer for the second time, I am done for the night. If ideas pop into my head about topics I want to research or an email I need send, I write them down on a piece of paper to complete the next day. The result? I feel more in control of my evenings, and I find myself devoting more time to activities that I love: reading, playing with my dogs, and spacing out!

British Psychological Society (BPS). (2013, January 9). Being bored at work can make us more creative. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 9, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130108201517.htm

Author: Devon Young

Coping With Anxiety

While some stress can give us more drive or motivation to succeed, higher levels of anxiety can feel paralyzing and keep us from living the way we want and achieving our goals.

Stress and anxiety are parts of life that affect us all. Whether we’re giving a speech in class, going on a first date, or trying something new for the first time, we all experience jitters or nervousness. While some stress can give us more drive or motivation to succeed, higher levels of anxiety can feel paralyzing and keep us from living the way we want and achieving our goals.

A good rule of thumb for deciding how anxiety is impacting your life is to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Is your anxiety keeping you from doing things you really want to do?

  • Is anxiety taking up a large part of your day—are you nervous or worrying more often than not?

  • Do you have trouble controlling your worrying?

  • Do you have other symptoms of anxiety, such as: restlessness, feeling tired more easily, difficulty concentrating, being easily annoyed or irritated, muscle tension, or difficulty sleeping?

If those symptoms are common for you, anxiety may be holding you back from living the life you want. Sometimes anxiety can escalate into panic disorders, which involve either expected or unexpected panic attacks. During a panic attack, a person may feel shortness of breath, pounding heart, chest pain or discomfort, sweating, fear of losing control or dying, nausea, and trembling. A panic attack can be a frightening and very upsetting experience. Whether you experience panic attacks or not, anxiety can feel exhausting and overwhelming. The good news is—counseling can help.

If you’re feeling out of control and don’t know what to do, remember you’re not alone. Anxiety disorders affect approximately 40 million American adults each year, and women are 40% more likely to be affected. Anxiety disorders are among the most commonly diagnosed in the country, and they’re highly treatable. There are many tools and techniques for dealing with anxiety, and talking with a counselor can identify the cause of your anxiety and the best ways to combat it. If you think counseling can help you work through anxiety, give our intake coordinator a call.

We’d love to help.

Author: Emily Duke

IS DEPRESSION A MENTAL ILLNESS?

Depression can be mild, moderate, or severe and anywhere between.

Depression is indeed classified as a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association. According to the DSM-IV-TR, major depressive disorder is classified as a mood disorder. Mental illnesses, including depression, stem from a number of causes, including but not limited to: genetic predisposition, trauma, changes in hormones, changes in environment (positive or negative), giving birth, major physical illnesses, divorce, and other major life changes. Depression can be mild, moderate, or severe and anywhere between. One key item to note is that mental illness does not denote a flaw in character but rather a flaw in brain chemistry, just as physical illnesses are also a flaw in the chemical reactions in your body. If you believe you or someone you know may have depression, please contact our office at (706) 850-7041. One of our specialists will be happy to help you.

Author: Staci Pfeiffer

WHAT ARE THE PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION?

People with symptoms of depression may never realize they are depressed and may attribute the symptoms to other causes.

Physical symptoms of depression include:

  • Fatigue

  • Loss of energy

  • Change in appetite- either increase or decrease

  • Problems sleeping

  • Dizziness or light headed

  • Headaches

  • Back pain

  • Muscle aches and joint pain

  • Chest pain

  • Digestive problems including nausea, diarrhea, and constipation

People with these symptoms may never realize they have depression and may attribute the symptoms to other causes. If you or someone you know has these symptoms as well as the emotional symptoms of depression, please contact our office at (706) 850-7041. One of our specialists will be happy to help you.

Author: Staci Pfeiffer

HOW TO DEAL WITH DEPRESSION?

While there is no cure for depression, it is treatable and can be manageable. Depression treatment can include group, family, or individual counseling.

While there is no cure for depression, it is treatable and can be manageable. Depression treatment can include group, family, or individual counseling. Sometimes a combination of therapy and medication is prescribed for extreme cases and is found to be an effective treatment for depression. Many different types of medication exist for depression; therefore, it may take time to find the most effective medicine.

While therapy is the best professional help, there are also daily things you can do to manage your depression:

  • Go outside. Plenty of sunlight helps release serotonin into the brain, the chemical responsible for your mood.

  • Exercise. Any physical activity releases endorphins in the brain, which helps to improve mood.

  • Eat well. Reduce the intake of fast food, sodas, foods with high fat and sugar content. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

  • Drink a lot of water. Keeping your brain hydrated is important.

  • Take care of yourself. Get out of bed. Shower. Brush your teeth. Congratulate yourself on completing these things, because they are hard to do with depression.

  • Do something creative such as drawing, painting, playing an instrument, cooking, scrap booking, writing a story, etc. Creativity helps give you an emotional outlet and is also a great distraction technique.

  • Adopt a pet. Studies have shown that having a pet helps reduce depression.

  • Read a book. Watch a movie. Listen and dance to upbeat music. These all help you relax and are great distraction techniques.

  • Write a list of things you are looking forward to and/or are grateful for. Write a list of the things you like about yourself.

  • Keep a journal of your feelings and thoughts.

  • Make your home as light-filled as possible. Darkness has been known to increase feelings of depression. You can even buy light bulbs that imitate sunlight and help with depression.

  • If you are living with someone who is depressed, keep the home clean and organized. It seems like a small matter, but cleanliness and organization help the person with depression feel better.

  • If you are living with someone who is depressed, remind them of their good qualities and remind of the things they have done well in their life. Be patient with them, as they may not be able to see the good in themselves.

  • Lastly, remind yourself or your loved one while although their situation seems hopeless and permanent, it is not. It is temporary, and there is indeed hope.

If you believe you or someone you know may have depression, please contact our office at (706) 850-7041. One of our specialists will be happy to help you.

Author: Staci Pfeiffer

WHAT DOES DEPRESSION FEEL LIKE?

There are some general physical and emotional/mental symptoms commonly seen among people with depression.

It is important to note that depression will feel different for each individual person. However, there are some general physical and emotional/mental symptoms commonly seen among people with depression. A person with depression may experience:

  • A significant decrease in energy

  • A loss of interest in things that normally excite them

  • Feelings of hopelessness, despair, emptiness and sadness

  • A lack of emotions; a “numbness”

  • Fatigue

  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping excessively

  • Thoughts or intentions of self harm

  • Thoughts of death and thoughts or intentions of suicide

  • Changes in appetite and weight

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Irritation

  • Loneliness

People with depression may also feel like they are in a fog and that everything is moving in slow motion. Nothing is exciting and life seems meaningless. They may feel indifferent and apathetic to the things happening around them. They may cry for no apparent reason and also may feel like they cannot do anything right. If you or someone you know are experiencing these feelings and symptoms, please contact our office at (706) 850-7041. One of our specialists will be happy to help you.

Author: Staci Pfeiffer

TIPS TO HELP FAMILIES COPE WITH ECONOMIC STRESS

Here are some tips to help families deal with the economic stresses.

  • Focus on appreciating each family member and sharing that appreciation in some way every day. (Taking these opportunities instills the belief that a persons self worth is not attached to their economic worth)

  • Provide the Family with structure and routine; revisit old family traditions and create new ones. (This will instill a sense of stability)

  • Emphasize Family Communication

  • Talk about the effects the economy is having on your family and involve family members in making decisions about how to handle the changes. Allow everyone to brainstorm together.

  • Focus also on the effects the economy is having on our community, our country and the global economy. How can your family help others who are being impacted?

  • Create gratitude activities as a family that shift the focus from what we don't have to what we do have.

  • Allow children to take ownership in helping out with household tasks. (this will reduce parent stress and allow the children to feel a sense of autonomy).

  • Emphasize the importance of Self -Care. (We tend to abandon basic self-care principles in times of distress. As parents it is important to model self-care through eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep and prioritizing recreation.

  • Create regular times for Family Fun & Recreation: play games, have discussions, prepare special meals together etc.

  • Build a support network with relatives, friends, and neighbors to expand your resources.

  • Take this opportunity to discover new community resources and activities.

  • Become informed about what you can do to be more economically responsible and get help where needed. (perhaps include some community resources here)

Author: Staci Pfeiffer

MINDFUL MATTERS

The laid back feeling of summer may be fading but the energy of the fall can be invigorating.

As August rolls in I find myself reflecting on how quickly the seasons come and go. It seems like the 1st of March was just yesterday when the air was frigid and snow was covering the ground. I can remember that as the snow melted and the cold hung on I became eager for spring, which quickly passed bringing us to summer. Now here we are in the last few weeks of the season that we so eagerly awaited. Other than Christmas, summer seems to be the most anticipated time of year. Everyone discusses where they will go for vacation, what they will do, and who they will visit. Thoughts of the water, beach lines, seafood and lazy summer nights quickly come to mind and spark conversation.

The sounds of crickets on a warm summer night, the smell of fresh cut grass or the feel of the sunlight on our skin…these are all powerful sensations that evoke pleasant memories for many. Perhaps my favorite part of summer is the evening once the sun has set… the crickets and frogs come out to play their music and I often gather with family and friends to enjoy outdoor rooms where lights have been strung in the trees and there is ample space for everyone to sit together taking in the light of the moon and each others cooking and casual company. These are the moments of summer that I cherish and find myself wanting to hold on to. They feel perfect and I am inclined to want to not let the moments go. I think we all have these moments…these perfect parts of summer that we don’t want to let fade away.

And then we realize it is already August. School is starting back within days and that seems to impact everything regardless of your age. The roads will have more traffic, the restaurants will be more crowded and the stores will have longer lines. Even the atmosphere of our workplaces will become less relaxed as people return from vacations and get back to business as usual. You can almost hear the hustle and bustle of the next season coming in like a train. The relentless scheduling of all life’s events begins again as we struggle to settle back into a routine.

So what do we do as the dread arises in the pit of our stomach and threatens to steal the joy of our last few days of summer? We have two choices, really. We can fight the passing of the season or we can embrace it and welcome all that the next season has to offer. I am reminded of a favorite poem by William Blake:

He who binds himself to a joy,
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies,
Lives in eternity’s sunrise.
-William Blake

The laid back feeling of summer may be fading but the energy of the fall can be invigorating. As you savor the end of summer appreciating all the joy it has brought you, welcome the energy of September. Allow this to be an opportunity to practice letting go. Friends and family will gather for sporting events and the food will take on a new flavor. This is an excellent time to pour yourself into the last quarter of the year at work or to gain motivation for a new project. As it turns out, each ending promises a new beginning. What will your new beginning be?

Author: Staci Pfeiffer