Have you ever noticed that your mood and energy levels suddenly drop when the weather gets colder? Do you just not feel like yourself during the dark and shorter days of winter? You’re not alone. Millions of Americans experience an annual onset of depressive symptoms during specific seasons of the year.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a common form of depression that can affect people during seasonal transitions, particularly the colder months in Fall and Winter. SAD is different from other forms of depression because people tend to feel better once the weather warms up in the Spring and Summer. People living in northern, colder climates (think Seattle or Boston) are more likely to experience SAD compared to those living in southern, sunny climates (think Miami or Los Angeles).
While many people may experience a temporary feeling of the winter blues (Hello Daylight Savings!), SAD can impact the way we think, feel and function in daily life for long stretches of time every year. So, what might winter-pattern SAD look like?
Here are some common symptoms:
December 1st is World AIDS Day. While it's important to acknowledge the physical toll that AIDS takes on the body, it's also crucial to acknowledge the mental health effects of the disease. Historically, HIV and AIDS have been associated in the US with the gay community, but many, many people outside the LGBT community become infected every year. In 2010, over 10,000 heterosexual individuals contracted HIV.
For many people living with AIDS, the diagnosis can be devastating. The financial burden of treatment can be overwhelming. The social stigma surrounding the disease can be isolating. It's important to remember that your mental health is just as important as your physical health, especially on a day like World AIDS Day.
The holidays are a time for joy, love, and connection. But they can also be a time of stress, unrealistic expectations, and overcommitment. That's why it's so important to set healthy boundaries during this festive season. By doing so, you can protect your physical and mental health and nurture your relationships in a way that feels good for everyone involved. Here are some tips for setting healthy boundaries this holiday season.
Believe it or not, we are quickly approaching the holiday season. For couples, this time of year is often decorated with the spirit of love and gratitude, the creation of new traditions and… *checks notes* ….negotiations?!
That’s right, this magical time of year can quickly turn into a tricky game of scheduling chess. Deciding where and with whom to spend your precious, and often limited, time can become an obstacle for many couples. This is especially true for couples who may be spending the holidays with each other’s families for the first time. Here are some tips to negotiate the holidays with your partner successfully:
You may be wondering what a prelicensed therapist is and why you would want to work with one. A prelicensed therapist is a mental health professional who is in the process of completing their clinical hours and licensure requirements. In other words, they are not yet licensed to practice independently, but are able to provide therapy under the supervision of a licensed clinician. There are a number of benefits to working with a prelicensed therapist that are well worth considering.
Please join us in welcoming Alexis Bibler, AMFT, to the team!
Alexis loves working with adults and couples and has experience working with people of all ages. She's trained in the Gottman approach to couples therapy.
"Therapy works its magic when the teamwork between therapist and client is strong. My intention is to prioritize you in our work together so that you feel comfortable and empowered in our sessions. Whatever your goals, I am excited to offer support and collaboration so you can lead your best life."
You can read more about Alexis and her approach to working with clients here.
Alexis comes to us having finished her Masters at Pepperdine University and completing practicum at Hope For Healthy Families in Sacramento. She is clinically supervised by Laurel Roberts-Meese, LMFT.
Happy National Coming Out Day! At Laurel Therapy Collective, we have a passion for healing and uplifting the LGBT+ community. Every year on October 11, we celebrate National Coming Out Day. But why do we need a day for coming out?
October is LGBT History Month, a time to reflect on the progress made by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community and to keep pushing for equality. LGBT History Month is an important time to remember the advances made by the LGBT community and to continue working towards a world where everyone can live with pride. This also applies to mental health.
There’s been a lot of attention lately on the concept of “quiet quitting.” It’s a confusing term because people aren’t actually quitting. Quiet quitting is when someone continues to work, but doesn’t go above and beyond what is reasonably expected of them. In many workplaces, this might be the best way to maintain boundaries and in turn reduce stress and burnout. Having good boundaries in all areas of your life helps you have better work-life balance, better mental health, and better relationships. We want that for you!
I’ve been doing therapy for about 10 years now and I have worked with many couples and I wanted to share one of the most common problems that I hear about and see on my couch: that is the pursuer-distancer dynamic.
Introducing our newest team member, Hadley Davis, LMFT! Hadley comes to Laurel Therapy Collective with over a decade of full time experience working with teens. She loves this age group because it's a chance to help develop healthy habits and coping strategies before unhealthy ones get ingrained. "I feel it’s a great honor to be able to work and support somebody during this period of time." When it comes to understanding and loving this age group, it doesn't get better than Hadley.
To learn more about our services for teens, see here. To read more about Hadley's experience and approach, see here.
Transcript under Read More.
Today we’re going to talk about the Sound Relationship House, a theory from John Gottman after decades of research and studying couples. This theory provides a nice structure for a relationship. As you can see, trust and commitment are pillars in a relationship, meaning that if one or both of them fall, the whole house comes down. When that happens, such as after an affair, you have to start from scratch and rebuild the foundation and go up.
Here’s my favorite hack for figuring out why you don’t feel good. Now, this is a short term, in-the-moment hack, and it’s not meant to replace therapy or medication or any kind of longer-term plan. But if you’re having a day where you just do not feel like yourself, you feel terrible, this acronym can help you hopefully get some relief:
H - hungry
A - angry
L - lonely
T - tired
T - thirsty
Let’s talk about how you can maximize a visit with a psychiatrist. Now, an appointment with a psychiatrist is often difficult to get, particularly if you’re going through your insurance, so you really want to maximize that time. I have six steps today to help you [do that.] You might only get half an hour with them so you want to make sure that you communicate really clearly and in language that they will understand.
Today I wanted to talk about couples and relationships. The pandemic tested a lot of them, am I right? Across the board, similarities between various types of relationships, whether poly, monogamous, queer or heterosexual, most people desire better communication, creating shared meaning or values with one another -- meaning what is the goal of the couple together -- and navigating personal differences. Most people want to feel more supported, committed, and understood.
Laurel Therapy Collective
offers online therapy to California residents for anxiety, transitions, and trauma.