6 Years and Still Going Strong!

happy-6th-anniversaryToday is our 6th Anniversary!

That’s a lot of years doing what we love to do, with so many amazing families and individuals!

Thank you for continuing to see the value in our services and for letting us into your precious lives. We cherish the privilege of witnessing your journeys. We are immensely grateful.

It is also, again, the birthday of our little cat, Sallie Mae. She is now 8 years old and is as crazy as ever.

So to end on a frivolous note, here’s a favorite clip of mine from the old Sesame Street days, “The Queen of 6″. And let’s dive right into year 7!

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And for the Third Monday in a row…

closed 2/9/15…MFT3 is closed for the day due to icing conditions.

As my colleague Audrey just stated, let’s just be glad we’re not in Boston!

Stay safe and warm everyone.

We are available by phone for rescheduling, etc.

Katherine: x602
Audrey: x604
Lisa: x605

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This is your Brain on Trauma

Heart-MindI recently had the amazing opportunity to spend 3 days of learning and training with David Grand, PhD, and 14 local therapists, courtesy of the Resiliency Center of Newtown. They invited the local area therapists who have been working with the tragedy of 12/14 to further hone and deepen our trauma healing skills in Brainspotting.

One of the most important take aways from those 3 days was the basic education of how anyone’s brain reacts to and handles trauma.

First of all, we all have experienced and will experience trauma in our lives, there is no escaping it. Rather than fearing it and suppressing it, though, I would like to share this educational bit to help everyone see how the brain works and can be served in getting through life’s unexpected events.

It is amazing to see how the 12/14 event brought everyone instantly back to the 9/11 event even though they are separated by 11 years. One wouldn’t think that an event so far removed would trigger an older one, but that is in fact exactly how the brain works.

When the brain is confronted with a traumatic event (and this can be anything from a national tragedy to a scheduled surgery to a personal assault to watching the bloody nightly news), it “self-sacrifices” a bit of itself and encapsulates that event, storing it in the back of the brain. It knows that the event is too much (personally) to handle at the moment so it protects you and finds a way for you to get through the immediate steps needed to function. But now there’s this capsule in the brain that is holding this terrible experience. Over time we fear touching that capsule, we go to great lengths to avoid it, yet it is still there.

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 2.08.24 PMThen another trauma occurs and it’s instantly as if the old capsule has been opened and added to the new event, making it seem vastly worse and unmanageable. In my office I call this a “sympathetic explosion,” meaning the new event has dislodged an old event and both are feeling immediate and overwhelming simultaneously.

In the above example I have only mentioned the 12/14 and 9/11 events, but what if someone has had multiple traumas in their life, possibly stemming as far back as early childhood? How then might a new event feel based on this capsule-opening premise? One can hopefully see how each and every individual has an utterly personal and unique reaction to a trauma.

We learned that even within the community, there are factions of “us” and “them” between folks with different experiences of the tragedy. Rather than comparing and judging someone else’s experience, can’t we come together and recognize that each and every individual has a personal and powerful reaction to such a huge and horrific event. There is no one experience that is more or less than any other seeing as we are all carrying our own unopened capsules of prior life events. As a community, we must become better at understanding this phenomenon and find ways to increase the compassion for one another rather than make it a competition.

As a Brainspotting therapist, I have a passion and a commitment to providing a safe and nurturing space for my clients to safely and planfully open and process old capsules so when a new trauma comes along, it can be a solo event and not one consisting of many capsules being jostled.

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Check Us Out!

I wanted to bring to everyone’s attention the fact that we have a new website/blog layout!

Now all of the features are accessed from one space so it’s easier to stay on top of the blog posts for topical information and winter weather statuses while also accessing the website information for things like location, forms, profiles, etc.

Please take some time and wander through our new layout. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

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MFT3 is Closed for Groundhog Day!

Oh No!

Oh No!

Well, that and the huge snow and ice storm.

Sorry Punxsutawney Phil, and everyone else.

Stay home and stay safe and warm.

 

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And So It Begins…

2015 Blizzard

2015 Blizzard

Yes, folks, Mother Nature is upon us with 18-36 inches of snow predicted so MFT3 is officially closed from 1p Monday 1/26 through Wednesday 1/28 morning.

We will re-assess what transpires and determine if we will be open on Wednesday. Let’s all just get through tomorrow first!

In the meantime, be safe, stay warm, enjoy the snow! (and lift with the knees!)

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Compassion, Empathy and the Dalai Lama

Paul Ekman has created something quite extraordinary. He has filmed and presented to us, free of charge, an extremely lengthy series of interviews with his Holiness the Dalai Lama. They are presented in shorter “Webisodes” for a more digestible format.

Here is Webisode 15: The Role of Intelligence of Compassion (in the understanding and developing of global compassion)

 

You can access all 14 previous Webisodes through his youtube site.

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Transitions offer us the time to reflect on what has come before, and to dream about what might come.

2014 was a very busy year for all of us at MFT3. And already 2015 is shaping up to be one filled with changes and new transitions.

At the core, always, is the reality that change is a constant and that all change, regardless of its origin, includes some degree of pain. Many pains are unnecessary (as in addiction patterns or holding on to old ways of doing/seeing self or others) and many are part of the very necessary path of redefinition (like letting go of people who no longer nurture or support you, etc.).

We wish each and every one of our past, present and future clients a Happy New Year filled with the changes associated with redefinition, renewal and reclamation. We are always grateful to be invited into your amazing and beautiful lives.

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Holiday Break Info

2014treeJust a quick post to remind everyone that Katherine is officially on her Christmas break. She will be back in the office just one day, 12/29, but is already fully booked for that day. Otherwise, regular scheduling will begin again on 1/5/2015.

Audrey is also on break and will be back in the office just on 12/26 and 12/27.

Lisa will be seeing clients on Saturdays (12/20 and 12/27) through the holiday.

As a reminder, if an emergency or crisis occurs, please dial 9-1-1 and get immediate help. You can contact your individual therapist once the crisis has cleared. We are always available by phone and will return your calls in as timely a manner as we can.

Please use the resources, articles and videos posted here on the blog, Facebook and twitter as aides during the holiday break.

We wish one and all a peaceful, healthy and joyful New Year.

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Some Changes for the New Year

iStock_insurance2015 is right around the corner!

MFT3 is making some changes to its insurance acceptances and we wanted to keep everyone updated.

Katherine Allen will no longer be taking the Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield family of plans and Audrey Bernstein will no longer be accepting the Aetna insurance plan beginning January 2015.

We have decided to make these changes for a variety of reasons, partly due to the poor reimbursements that managed care gives to behavioral health providers and partly due to an increasing intrusion of private insurers requesting case files and then having strangers review them and determine whether or not we are doing a good job, whether you still need therapy, or whether or not they want to pay us for what we have already done. It’s a changing landscape in healthcare these days and therefore we are paring down our enrollment in the insurance pool.

We know that this decision may impact your ability or decision to keep coming to therapy, may affect the frequency of sessions, but we truly feel that therapy is much more about education than mental illness and therefore this change is appropriate in that light. Having the therapeutic pace and focus stay between us – we feel – is vastly superior to having middle managers make that assessment for us, wouldn’t you agree?

Our commitment to providing high-quality services for those on state aid will not waver; we will all continue to accept the HUSKY family of plans for the foreseeable future.

Please don’t hesitate to speak with us privately about how this may impact your process.

We wish everyone a safe, joyful and peaceful holiday season!

 

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