5 ways to Identify and Manage your emotions

Abby Clark, Marriage and Family Therapist Intern

Humans have myriads of feelings in their bodies every day. Yet in our fast-paced culture, slowing down and noticing our feelings is an exercise few people engage in, and most, aware of it or not, avoid. We avoid feeling our feelings for different reasons. Sometimes, they are too painful; sometimes, we are so busy we don’t think we have time to feel them; and sometimes, we have disconnected ourselves from our feelings because they are overwhelming. Distracting ourselves from feeling is quite easy. Endless scrolling on our phones, drinking alcohol until we feel relaxed, smoking cannabis to ease anxiety, or overworking to distract ourselves are some ways we do this. Is there any benefit to feeling our feelings?  Yes.  Counseling is one of the resources some people utilize to do just that.

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A Tribute to my Mom

Nancy Kuhn M.S., LMFT

Nancy Kuhn M.S., LMFT Practice Owner

I offered this eulogy at my mother’s passing and wanted to share my tribute to her here.  It’s fitting because without her, my professional life, our practice, may have never come to be.   

So here we are family, facing the end of another chapter in the book of life. Our sister Lin, our mother Linda, our aunt Linda, our grandma Linda, and our dear friend Linda has moved on to her eternal home. And someday we will join her. And I know this because of the beautiful gift of faith my mother planted and nurtured in me.
I would like to reflect on some of the most meaningful and impactful gifts my mother gave me. I know she also gave all of you gifts of herself, and I’m sure as you’ve listened today, you’ve been reflecting on the blessings Linda gave each of you. I hope to hear about them when we gather.

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David Efken, M.A., LCPC

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

Professional counselors do their best to deeply understand their clients as comprehensively as possible to provide hope, health and healing. Human beings are not just their mind and body. A comprehensive and holistic understanding of an individual human being includes her/his unique Emotional, Physical, Mental and Spiritual components. To the degree that the spiritual component is neglected in providing mental health services, the client is underserved. Sadly, the spiritual component is too frequently minimized, or completely neglected, in providing mental health care to clients.


A 4 Step Process for the Management of Stress

Alex Czop, M.A., LCPC

Giving our selves the time to take care of our physical and mental health has become an inner challenge. It is common among people to be overcome with exterior pressures that come with their current position in life. Often these exterior pressures can lead to intrusive thoughts, rumination, poor self-care, and other symptoms of depression. Over time, such pressure becomes not only debilitating to ones own health (mental/physical) but also to the relationships that they hold within their own community (isolation). Such an expansion of depressive symptoms from the subjective to there communal effect shows how the management of stress is a critical aspect of self growth so that we as community can have the opportunity to grow as well.

The question that often gets posed at this point is how to “let it go?” or “how to relax” in the midst of this exterior pressure.  Taking the Cognitive Behavioral (CBT) approach it is imperative to:

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New Year’s Resolutions Solutions!

Katelyn Lukensmeyer MSW, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the first month of a new year! The holidays are over, kids are back to school, and you’re crushing those new 2024 goals, right? Right?

The resolutions we set for the new year often start off great; we feel motivated, ambitious, and hopeful at the prospect of, “the new me!” Then, the holidays end, the kids go back to school, a foot of snow falls, the kids return home, your entire house gets sick, your to-do list grows, your resolutions take a back seat, and feelings of failure or defeat start to creep in.

It’s around this time of year, when clients start saying some variety of, “I’ve already ruined my resolutions for 2024, maybe 2025 will be my year!” If you’re feeling this way, and wondering what you can do differently, here are a few common “Mistakes” and “Fixes” when it comes to setting and executing those New Year’s goals!

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Let’s Take A Moment and Breathe

Nanette Thomas Shepardson, M.A., LPC, CADC
Licensed Professional Counselor


Has anyone ever made the above suggestion when you felt anxious, “out of control,” or angry? Did you find the suggestion helpful or comforting? Or did you become more anxious, less in control, and angrier than ever?

Be comforted if you find yourself “triggered” into less than-desirable feelings and behaviors due to the “just breathe” recommendation, as many of us do.  Here are some things we can do to help us resume our standard breathing patterns when feeling anxious.

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Pregnancy and motherhood

Pregnancy and motherhood is a time in a woman’s life that brings about so many life changes, emotions and new experiences. Many of these new changes can be filled with immense joy, but it is equally as common for individuals to encounter challenges during this time.

Research shows that 80% of mothers experience “baby blues” in the first few days after childbirth, and 1 in 7 develop postpartum depression or anxiety within the first year. Although postpartum mental health disorders are common, there are often social stigmas and myths that can prevent women from being diagnosed and receiving the care they need which can include counseling. There are several factors that contribute to perinatal mood disorders including physical, psychosocial and concurrent stressors. Some of these factors include genetic predisposition, history of mental health disorders, sensitivity to hormonal changes, lack of support system, perfectionism, lack of sleep, poor diet, interpersonal stress, and cultural stress. Rates of PPD and PPA have also risen throughout COVID. One study indicates that 1 in 3 new mothers reported postpartum depression amidst the pandemic. This drastic increase in prevalence highlights the importance of receiving adequate and consistent prenatal care and having access to a support system.

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New Years’ Day 2022: Our Need for Connection

Happy New Year! Or is it???  Today we wake up to a world none of us knew existed two years ago.  Two years ago on New Year’s Day we woke up to whispers of a potentially threatening virus that was spreading across China and Europe.  “Will it really come our way this time?” was the thought we all had.  And I’m sure none of us gave much thought to “How will our life change because of a threatening virus?”.  And NONE of us could have predicted how drastically our lives would change because of COVID-19.  Sure, in the past there were several other potential flu threats on the horizon but thank God none came to fruition.  As the spread of COVID-19 has taken hold of us, our lives have gone from “free to be” to “can I be with you safely?”

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What are your divorce options?

By Caitlin S. Lowry, M.S., LMFT

If the time has come for you and your partner to part ways, the prospect of navigating a divorce can be an overwhelming and daunting task. Educating yourself on your divorce options is the first step. As a divorce consultant, I will describe all of the dispute resolution procedures available to you so that you may make an informed decision regarding which approach is best for you and your family. In the following 5-part series, I will describe each option along with its pros and cons to help you determine whether each divorce procedure may or may not be an appropriate option for you.

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