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Time Change and Mental Health

Time Change and Mental Health It’s darker, it’s colder, and I’m busier. This time of year is hard for a lot of folks. Clients who have been managing well suddenly see themselves needing more support. Things just change at this time of year. Everybody is sick, we have to spend more time indoors, lots of people are having a hard time adjusting to life back in an office or back in school after the summer. Oh yea – and then there is a very stressful election tomorrow. What does all of this mean for us and our mental health? For a lot of people, it’s not good news. I know that I find working after the sun goes down mentally just a different load than having time and daylight to burn once I log off for the day. Though I don’t think my perspective is exactly balanced because of the two small children I have that make the clocks changing an exercise in pure torture. I wish that I had a magic formula for this time of year. I often find myself busier than ever trying to help people feel better. School is getting more stressful, work is becoming more

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From My Bookshelf

From My Bookshelf I have always found friendship in books. As an English literature major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, my nose was always stuck in a book, assigned reading and otherwise. Nowadays, with two small children, a dog, a cat, and a practice to run, my reading looks different. However, one thing remains the same. There is so much good in picking up a book (or putting in headphones for an Audible) and just using your brain for something besides parenting or work. Now I am definitely guilty of often reading books that would be good for clients or for work or for parenting. But every now and then I make myself read or listen to something that is purely of benefit for me. I preach self-care every day and those books truly are my self-care. I recently have been listening to the biography of Michael Jordan and anybody who dares to argue that he is not the GOAT will probably not be seen by me at my practice (only kind of kidding).  Perhaps the greatest treasures of my home library are the books that I share with clients. I am often recommending The Gifts

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Teacher Support Group

The teaching and educational crisis is putting a strain on the mental health of our teachers. If you are interested in getting support through the frustrations you may feel, our support group may be a good fit for you. If you are interested in participating, please let us know by emailing ellie@vawellnessassociates.com for more information.  The group will be led by Ellie Moran, LPC who has been working with teachers as a therapist for many years and has worked with schools to help support students throughout her career. Well-versed in the frustration level teachers are facing, this support group will be a chance for you to feel heard, validated, and learn real strategies to help you more than just survive the school year. Please reach out to learn more! The group will meet once weekly via our virtual platform  and the participation number will be capped – so be sure to reach out soon.

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Working with a resident – how is it different and why should I give it a try?

Jo-Ann is our Resident in Counseling at VWA and an excellent clinician. What does it mean to be a resident? Jo-Ann is working towards her LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) licensure with Ellie’s help. She practices under her supervision until she has accrued a certain number of hours and passed a comprehensive exam. This means that Jo-Ann has lots and lots of training and is jumping through the final hoops before she is able to practice under her own license. She comes to VWA with several years of post-graduate training and experience and we cannot say enough about Jo-Ann’s compassion for her work and how her experience truly helps people to reach their goals. Jo-Ann recently covered Ellie’s caseload while she was on maternity leave and the positive feedback was overwhelming. There are several benefits to working with a resident. For one, it is less expensive than a fully-licensed clinician. Secondly, because residents more often than not are closer to their training than licensed clinicians who have been in the field for a while, they often are the most up to date on research and new methods that can really help people. Furthermore, they work closely with their supervisor so you

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Breaking news from the New York Times – Should We Be Scared?

The New York Times published the above piece over the weekend that really got my attention. Matt Ritchel wrote about a teenager who was prescribed 10 different medications for her mental health condition. A headline that shocked many did not surprise me in the least. What is interesting to me is that now people are talking about it. Let us talk about how we treat teenagers for their big feelings in their developing hormonal brains. There is a LOT going on there. There is a temptation to find the quick fix. The problem is, there is no such thing as a magic pill when it comes to adolescent mental health. Don’t get me wrong, I have worked with many quality adolescent and even pediatric psychiatrists who do a WONDERFUL job making a horrible situation better. Medication is not the enemy. However, I have worked with adolescents as a therapist and commonly hear complaints about side effects that seem to exacerbate what was already a problem. Weight gain in the age of social media can be a serious problem, especially with eating disorders being as prevalent as they are. The question I ask myself is what’s wrong with talking more and

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Meet More of Our Team!

Virginia Wellness Associates is happy to share with you more about our practice administrator, Joe Moran. Joe and Ellie have been married for 8 years and counting and he has always been supportive of Ellie’s professional goals. He is pleased to transition to working for the practice as the Practice Administrator and will be taking care of the behind the scenes details that keep VWA in ship shape, such as billing statements, client requests, etc. Joe likes to spend his free time doing various projects and puzzles with Ellie and Joe’s two kids and can often be found enjoying the great outdoors. He is an Eagle Scout and spent much of his childhood camping and learning how to embrace wildlife and nature while being safe. Our practice is very encouraging of time spent outdoors and we are grateful to Joe for telling us which spiders are our friends and which are…NOT! Joe comes to VWA with lots of life experience and a resume full of managing offices and various types of businesses. We are so happy that he is able to be a part of our team! Please welcome Joe to Virginia Wellness Associates and reach out if you have

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