Holiday Season Blues

Ah, the Holiday Season. For lots of people, there is so much emotion attached to this time of year. Whether you celebrate any of the holidays that fall this time of year or not, you likely have some association with December. It might be the lack of natural light, specific holiday or the perennial visit with family… your association might be very positive, or not so much. If your associations are only positive, then you are probably not reading this blog. But if you have some mixed emotions about this time of year, you might be the person reading this now.

Perhaps it is family conflict or just that feeling that when you are around your family, you fall into (or get shoved into) your old family role that you haven’t fit since adolescence. Or maybe it is the grief of a loss renewed when you encounter the holidays without that loved one who has passed away. Maybe the lack of light (or scant snow so far this year!) makes you feel lethargic and down. Maybe the New Year makes you re-evaluate your life, your relationships, your career and you are discovering that you are not where you want to be. If any of this is you, you are not alone. There is so much hype about how positive this time of year is supposed to be – parties, encouragement of material consumption (which rarely makes anyone feel better), but what I find is that many people’s sense of sadness, anxiety and isolation are heightened right about now.

Perhaps your New Year’s Resolution can be something a little different this year. Maybe, just maybe, you are ready to move toward these difficult emotions and examine them in order to better understand your self, your relationships and your life. If you are looking to move forward and change your life, consider this option rather than just hoping the feelings will go away and waiting for the next time they come up.


I am super-excited to be restructuring my schedule which will create three more openings! If you are on the east coast there is even one after-school time open! What, you ask? But aren’t you located in Montana? If I am on the east coast how can I work with you (or how can my teen work with you)? Well, that is the other exciting part of my restructuring! I will be offering my services via telephone! Contact me to sign up for a free 30-minute Jump-Start Your Change call.

Don’t worry if you are local. I will be continuing to do work locally AND will get those posts up of my favorite people to refer clients to asap.

My referral go-to for couples counseling

When I am full and someone is looking for a couples counselor, Sunny Mavor is the first person I think of. (I often refer to Wendy Morrison too, but you will have to wait for her bio.) It turns out, Sunny sees individuals too. She, like me, has been trained in EMDR and uses that with individuals to help them move beyond those old issues that keep coming up. Here is what Sunny has to say about her work:

I see couples and individuals from adolescence to any age onward; people of all faiths, beliefs and diversities. I especially enjoy working with couples and have trained intensively in Emotionally Focused Therapy. EFT is a highly-researched and effective method of helping couples restore their connection and respect for each other while creating a new, lasting relationship. I am constantly astounded how this method ‘cuts to the chase’ and helps couples communicate.

I have also trained in EMDR for trauma and Dialectical Behavior Therapy for those who desire more intensive therapy.

For more information, check out Sunny’s own site:
or call her at 406-581-4011

Change is coming…

I am really happy to be working with the clients that I am currently seeing, but I am also full. I get so many calls and emails from such interesting people who are seeking to create change and health in their life and I can’t see everyone. Right now, I am trying to figure out how to expand my practice, but in the mean time, I have been referring people to a handful of other, awesome local therapists. These are people who I know both personally and professionally and who I trust 100% to serve their clients well and create huge change. Really, each client needs to find the counselor that is the right fit for them personally, but these folks are really great. If you are not a good fit with one or any of them, okay, but if you are, lucky you. Check back in the coming weeks for a bio on each of them or just email me if you need their information sooner.

Do I need to see a psychiatrist?

Maybe. But maybe not. Often, your primary care doctor can prescribe psychotropic medication to help you with your anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder. Sometimes though, if your diagnosis is a little harder to nail down, it can be helpful to do a more thorough evaluation than your doctor has time for. I can help with that. Actually, that is what I did for the doctors over at Community Health Partners before I left to start my private practice.

I will meet with you for 90-110 minutes to gather a complete history and get a feel for what is going on with you right now. I will then send my diagnostic impression over to your doctor so they can proceed with prescribing medication if that is what you are interested in and if it is appropriate for your diagnosis. I will also recommend counseling if I believe it would benefit your progress toward your goals. That might be with me, or depending on your needs, it might be with another counselor in the community – we will discuss my recommendation at your initial evaluation.

So if you think you want to try medication for your mood concerns, call me so we can schedule a time to meet and nail down your diagnosis so you can walk into your doctor’s office with the knowledge that you have a clear diagnosis for them to work with so they can start out on the right track in finding the right medication for you.