Member Login

Healing Mind, Body, Spirit & Community
Got A Serious Case of SAD? Seek Professional Solutions.

Blog

Got A Serious Case of SAD? Seek Professional Solutions.

Blog

Got A Serious Case of SAD? Seek Professional Solutions.

Posted on by Jill Harp

September is approaching, and with it comes the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) for many in Wisconsin. During the past two weeks, I’ve blogged about SAD symptoms and strategies to self-treat mild SAD cases.

If your case of the “winter blues” seems severe and you find yourself unable to handle it on your own, I would highly recommend seeking professional help.

  • Start by talking to your doctor. He or she may suggest medication or psychotherapy to help you with SAD.
  • Light therapy is another option. However, it is important that you speak to your doctor first before trying to treat a severe case of SAD on your own.

If you end up seeking professional help for SAD, you still can benefit from the self-treatment tips in my previous post. Those techniques can be used in combination with any other treatment you receive. Using those skills, you may eventually be empowered to manage the “winter blues” on your own.

I hope you now better understand the “winter blues” and SAD. If you notice the symptoms, apply the self-help techniques, and reach out for help when you need it, winter can be just as enjoyable as summer. I encourage you to be attentive to your mood so you can feel happy and healthy all year long!

*Information gathered from www.helpguide.org

Lorenz Kayci 5247

 

Kayci Lorenz is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Training. She focuses on young adults dealing with a variety of mental wellness concerns, including anxiety and stress management. She sees clients at our Menasha location and at the UW-Fox Valley campus.


Strategies to Self-Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder

Posted on by Jill Harp

middle aged couple

If, as summer turns to fall, you find yourself feeling depressed or experiencing other symptoms I described in last Wednesday’s blog post, you may have SAD or the “winter blues.”

There are several steps you can take to relieve a mild case of SAD:

 

Get as much natural sunlight as possible. Try to step outside for a few minutes to get that Vitamin D!

Exercise regularly. Activity will boost the feel-good chemicals in your brain.  Exercise is also relieves stress and keeps your body strong and healthy.

Reach out to friends and family. Isolation may exacerbate your symptoms.

Eat a well-balanced diet. SAD often comes with carbohydrate cravings. Resist the urge to fight the blues with empty calories.

Make time for fun activities. Doing something you enjoy can lift your spirits.

These tips are just suggestions. You don’t need to do them all at once. Try one or two to see if they make a difference for you. It may take some trial and error to assemble your perfect personalized “winter blues” tool kit.

If these strategies don’t provide relief, your “winter blues” may be a more serious case of SAD. Next Wednesday I’ll cover how professional help from your primary care provider and/or therapist can help.

*Information gathered from www.helpguide.org

Lorenz Kayci 5247

 

Kayci Lorenz is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Training. She focuses on young adults dealing with a variety of mental wellness concerns, including anxiety and stress management. She sees clients at our Menasha location and at the UW-Fox Valley campus.

 


’Tis the Season for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Posted on by Jill Harp

Smokey Mtns_Harp 1608There is something about the summertime that gives me a whole new perspective on life.  I feel reinvigorated during these months and have more motivation to get things done.  The longer days and warmer air elevate my mood, and I get excited about venturing outside and admiring the flowers and sunshine.

Unfortunately, summer can’t last forever. As all Wisconsinites know, winter will soon return. It is not that I do not like the colder months; I just notice myself feeling a little less energetic and enthusiastic than usual. You might say I get a case of the “winter blues.”

These “winter blues” are a mild type of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a form of depression associated with winter – but it usually begins in September or October.

It is estimated that one to two percent of the population suffers from SAD. It is most common among people living farther north (ding ding, Wisconsin!).

Do I have Seasonal Affective Disorder?

If, as summer turns to fall, you find yourself experiencing the following, you may have SAD.

  • Hopelessness, sadness or tension
  • Decreased interest in things you once enjoyed
  • Depressed mood
  • Irritability
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Weight changes (usually weight gain)
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating

Mild symptoms usually start in September and October and worsen as the days get shorter and colder.

If you notice these symptoms in yourself or someone you love, there are several steps you can take on your own to help you move through these months without feeling so weighed down. I’ll cover those steps in next Wednesday’s blog post.

*Information gathered from www.helpguide.org

Lorenz Kayci 5247

Kayci Lorenz is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Training. She focuses on young adults dealing with a variety of mental wellness concerns, including anxiety and stress management. She sees clients at our Menasha location and at the UW-Fox Valley campus.


Want to Express Your Feelings Clearly?

Grok cards

Grok Cards are a great tool to have both in and out of the therapy room!  They are non-violent communication cards that promote honesty, compassion and connection.

Each Grok box comes with both feelings and needs cards, as well as instructions for an assortment of games and other ways to use the cards. I use Grok cards in therapy sessions with adolescents, adults, couples and families to help them clearly express what they are feeling about a person or situation. The cards also help my clients articulate unmet needs.

Grok cards can be used to improve empathy, clarify values and goals, and resolve conflict. These cards are especially helpful for those who have a hard time expressing what they are feeling.

Grok offers a variety of options to choose from and explore!

Kinas Katelynn 5523Katelynn Kinas is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Training. She sees adolescents, adults, couples and families for issues that include relationship struggles, sexuality and gender, depression, anxiety, body image and eating concerns.


Samaritan Counseling, Spirituality and the Healing Connection

Posted on by Jill Harp
Siebers Tracy 2955

Dr. Tracy M. Siebers, Ed. D., LPC

Dr. Tracy M. Siebers joined Samaritan Counseling in mid-June in a dual role as new clinical director and therapist.

Tracy recently shared how during her 20-plus years of experience in the mental health field she has continuously witnessed the important healing connection between mind, body and spirit in helping individuals, couples, families and organizations function most effectively.

“Based on the research I’ve done, Samaritan Counseling Center of the Fox Valley is an industry leader in utilizing an individual, couple or family’s spirituality in the counseling relationship in order to help them in obtaining wholeness and healing,” Tracy said.

Samaritan’s impressive Clergy and Congregation Care program has been part of this mission, she said, as well as the recent Creating Hope conference for faith leaders that equips them to understand and minister to those who have been affected by trauma.

“I am proud to say that I am in a leadership position at an organization that supports this connection for clients, as well as for staff,” Tracy said.


More About Dr. Tracy Siebers, New Clinical Director and Therapist

Posted on by Jill Harp

siebers banner 2Tracy came on board with Samaritan in mid-June. In addition to her clinical director role, Tracy will be offering counseling in both English and Spanish at the Samaritan Center in Menasha.

“Samaritan Counseling… is known for integrating spirituality into the counseling process to more effectively promote emotional healing and growth.  It is my strong belief that spirituality and faith offer hope, inspiration and direction to an individual, couple or family when skillfully integrated into the counseling process,” Tracy said.

Tracy has experience working with children, adolescents, adults, couples and families facing:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Anger Management
  • Behavioral Problems
  • Cultural Adjustment
  • Mindfulness
  • Trauma
  • Borderline Personality Disorders

Learn more about Tracy and our amazing team of therapists here.


Wellness Screen Stars in re:TH!NK’s July 2016 Video

Winnebago County Public Health’s re:TH!NK program has been a great partner to Samaritan Counseling Center in the recent past. You can feel that partnership in re:TH!NK’s latest video.

The video, anchored by Winnebago County public health educator Emily Dieringer (in green), features a segment on Samaritan’s Connected Community Wellness Screen program presented by executive director Rosangela Berbert (seated, in pink), program coordinator Jen Parsons (seated, in coral) and the Oshkosh Area School District’s pupil services director, Matt Kaemmerer (seated).

reTH!NK wellness screening cable show - Lynnsey Erickson, Beth Clay, Rosangela Berbert Jen Parsons
The video can be viewed online (click on the re:TH!NK image, like the one below) or via public access television (Time Warner Cable Channel 2) at the following times now through Aug. 31.

Mondays, 2:30-3 p.m. and 8-8:30 p.m.
Tuesdays, 2-2:30 p.m. and 9:30-10 p.m.
Wednesdays, 1-1:30 p.m. and 10-10:30 p.m.
Fridays, 5:30-6 p.m.
Saturdays, 2-2:30 p.m.
Sundays, 5:30-6 p.m.

Worth noting: The others in the photo are Lynnsey Erickson (in black/gray) of re:TH!NK, who, as a 2014-15 AmeriCorps member, collaborated extensively with the Wellness Screen program, and Beth Clay (standing, in pink), executive director of the NEW Mental Health Connection, of which Samaritan is a founding member.


MEET NEW CLINICAL DIRECTOR DR. TRACY SIEBERS, Ed.D., LPC

Posted on by Jill Harp

Siebers Tracy temporaryPlease welcome, Dr. Tracy Siebers, new clinical director and psychotherapist!

Tracy brings to Samaritan 20 plus years’ experience in the mental health field and nine years’ in clinical supervision and coordination roles.

“This is the (organization) I’ve been looking for, a place where they truly value the worth of the individual as a whole.  I am excited to use my background, experience and skills to further assist (Samaritan) in continuing to make great things happen in our community.”

As of mid-June, Tracy joined our counseling program and amazing team of therapists not only in a leadership role, but also offering counseling in both English and Spanish.

 Learn more about Tracy’s experience and roles with Samaritan.


Want to meet a strong woman?

Executive director Rosangela Berbert and 2016 Connie Steele Woman of Strength Beth Heuer

Executive director Rosangela Berbert and 2016 Connie Steele Woman of Strength Beth Heuer

Last week some 100 guests joined us at our Silent Samaritan Luncheon, held at the beautiful Riverview Gardens. We celebrated a successful Silent Samaritan Campaign, which raised $26,000 to give low-income women access to counseling. The campaign, themed “Women of Strength Helping Women in Need,” is in its 11th year. The 130+ donors to the campaign made this its best year yet, motivated by three anonymous matching gifts totaling $9,500.

At the luncheon, we also honored Beth Heuer our 2016 Connie Steele Woman of Strength. An article on Beth and the award appears in today’s Post-Crescent. Read more about it here.

There was more to celebrate, too! Keynote speaker Nancy Heykes, VP of development for Goodwill NCW, was surprised when Samaritan executive director Rosangela Berbert and development director Lisa Strandberg led guests in a harmonious rendition of “Happy Birthday” immediately following her message.

Happy birthday, Nancy!

Happy birthday, Nancy!

Thank you, Pat Mahoney, husband of board member Kathy Mahoney, for all the amazing event photos!


Does your workplace emphasize mental wellness?

Samaritan staffers tend to their mental health through yoga.

Samaritan staffers tend to their mental health through yoga.

Workplace wellness programs have caught on with large and small employers alike. The idea: Healthy employees show up for work, perform better and get more done.

During Mental Health Awareness Month, we pose this question: Does your workplace wellness program include a mental wellness component?

Not many do, according to this May 4 Fast Company article. This despite the fact that 50 percent of adults will face a mental health issue in their lifetimes — and adults spend an average of nine hours a day at work.

If your workplace does include mental wellness in its wellness program, what does that look like?

If your workplace doesn’t, what do you think are the reasons?

Feel free to share your thoughts by commenting on this post.