Do You Live in a Depressed House?


This time of year can be especially difficult for those who are prone to Depression.  Lately, I’ve noticed an influx of clients who are really depressed and struggling with the cold, dreary days we’ve been experiencing.  Whether it’s Depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder, or both—it can be hard to function when the days are so short and gray. Have you ever heard of a depressed house?  It’s a household that has one or more people who struggle with Depression.  When even one person in a house struggles with Depression, it changes the whole dynamic of a house.  So how can you help your household? When You Are the Depressed Person Depression can look very different from person to person.  For some,...

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“It’s OK That You’re Not OK”: A Book Review on Grief


Last fall, one of my clients recommended a book to me.  My client had suffered a humongous loss, and someone had given her this book entitled “It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture that Doesn't Understand” by Megan Devine.  So I grabbed a copy and read it on a flight, often with tears streaming down my face. Megan Devine is a therapist, just like me.  We both have around a decade of experience.  And like Ms. Devine, I thought I understood grief and loss.  Until I experienced 2 major back-to-back losses in a span of 10 months. Ms. Devine lost her partner, Matt, in a drowning accident in 2009.  None of her training, experience,...

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Why January is Called “Divorce Month”


January is a hard month for multiple reasons—it’s cold, dreary, there is not a lot to look forward to, and the holidays are over.  January is also known unofficially as “divorce month”—the month where more divorces are filed than any other month of the year. The first Monday after New Year’s Day sees a significant hike in divorce filings.  For some couples, they stay together for the holidays to create one last “normal” Christmas.  Oftentimes this is done for the sake of the children and/or extended family.  Sometimes it is because the couple wanted to give it one last push at the end of the year to see if things could be fixed.  Also, since the New Year is associated...

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The Long Goodbye: Grieving Someone with Alzheimer’s


My husband and I have been binge-watching the TV show The West Wing.  If you don’t know about this fictional show from the late ’90s, it’s awesome!  It’s about the behind-the-scenes of the presidency, including the staff and their roles, and all the many stressful things the West Wing deals with while the rest of us go about our day.  Recently, one of the episodes we watched was about the Press Secretary and her father’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease.  The name of the episode was “The Long Goodbye”. This episode not only made me think about my own experiences with Alzheimer’s, but also my clients.  I have so many clients who have loved ones that have received this diagnosis.  Caring...

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Why I Think You Should Start Therapy this Year


Happy New Year from Journey to Joy Counseling! Are you one of those people that sets goals for the New Year?  I’m not talking about just making New Year's resolutions, but setting actual goals.  A resolution is only a desire to do or not do something.  Resolutions, while good in theory, don’t usually (statistically) work out.  According to Forbes, around 8% of New Year’s resolutions are actually achieved.   That means 92% fail! Setting goals can help you hone in on a specific achievement.  Goals represent ambition, and they are dreams.  They create direction and guide us to the desired outcome.  Goals often bring along permanent changes.  Goals are often more likely to be achieved than just resolutions. This New Year,...

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How to Take Care of Yourself During the Holiday Season


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Journey to Joy!  As wonderful as the holiday season is, it can also be really, really hard on people.  Today I want to take some time to address ways to take care of YOU during this season—despite what may be going on around you.  I firmly believe that we can all not only survive this holiday season but also thrive during it. Boundaries About a year ago, I wrote a blog called How to Set Boundaries During the Holidays.  I talk so much about boundary-setting during the holiday season because boundaries are so incredibly important.  If you don’t set boundaries you end up frustrated, anxious, hurt, and disappointed (at yourself and others).  When you...

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What Does it Really Mean to Have Gratitude?


Happy Thanksgiving from Journey to Joy Counseling!  This week is full of cleaning, shopping, preparing, and cooking for many people.  It’s easy in the busyness to get lost in the planning and lose sight of what this holiday is all about: Gratitude. According to the Oxford Dictionary, gratitude is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”.  But what does it really mean to have gratitude?  How do you work to increase your gratitude?  This week we are going to discuss what gratitude really means, and what it looks like in action. Be Present Gratitude forces you to be present, and to see things in the here and now.  When you are grateful, you...

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Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Propose


We are coming into the holiday season, which means that lots of people will be getting engaged soon.  If you plan to propose soon or believe your partner may be, I want you to take a second to consider if this is the right fit for you, or even the right time.  In a time period where the divorce rate for first marriages is 50% and rising, you want to make sure you are making the right decision for both of you. As someone who works with a lot of couples in many different stages of relationships (dating, engaged, married, divorcing), I meet a lot of couples who rushed into marriage without understanding the commitment they were making.  My hope...

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Why Your “Good” Kid is at Risk for Teen Depression

teen depression

I work with a lot of teen Depression.  It’s not unusual for a client’s parent to be upset when their teenager is diagnosed with mental health issues.  It’s common for them to say “But my kid is a good kid”.  The problem is, depression and anxiety (and other mental health issues) do not discriminate.  Your teen could be the best kid, and they could still struggle. Today my hope is to obliterate the stigma that good kids don’t struggle with mental health issues.  Because they definitely do.  I want to talk about the pressures put on kids today, and how that also impacts their emotional well-being.  And maybe how we can work together to help prevent mental health issues and...

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What Masks Do You Wear and Why?


“The world is full of precious souls wearing masks to hide the pain”—Alfa Happy Halloween from Journey to Joy Counseling!  This week on the blog, we are going to talk about masks.  Not Halloween masks, but rather the masks we wear EVERY SINGLE DAY.  I love this quote from the poet Alfa because I think there is so much truth in it.  We pretend to be okay on the outside, but on the inside, we hurt, are messy, and oftentimes unhappy.  So what masks do we wear to compensate? Perfectionism Sometimes people who try to be perfect in everything actually feel pretty awful on the inside.  What they want to project to everyone else is “I have it all together”...

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