Therapy Education

How to Ask for Mental Health Help

Hand on man's shoulder
We often hear people say, “If you need help, just reach out.” But how can we possibly ask for help when we feel we’re at our worst? Reaching out is a skill we are expected to know, but is often not modeled for us. When you’re in a negative mental space, you might have thoughts of loneliness, insignificance or shame. You may think you’re not feeling “low” enough to ask for help. You might even prepare yourself to ask for help, but then later talk yourself out of it for fear of being judged. You need to know that you are not alone. The truth is that there are many people who love you and want to [...]

When Winter Days Are SAD

A girl surrounded by bad weather with a sad expression
The change in seasons can do more than alter the weather, it can also affect our mood. Starting in the fall and into the winter season, the days are shorter and usually less sunny. For some people, the change in season can be accompanied by a change in mood, known as seasonal depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that typically begins in the fall and lasts through the winter months. As the season progresses, the symptoms of SAD may worsen. What Are the Symptoms of SAD? Feeling listless, sad, or down most of the day, nearly every [...]

How to Spot Mental Health Warning Signs in Kids

Adults need to be on the lookout for mental health warning signs in children
Did you know that 1 in 6 youth from ages 6 to 17 experience mental health issues each year? Children often cannot voice their emotions like adults can, and that is why it is important that adults look out for warning signs of mental illness in kids. Early recognition of childhood mental health issues can prevent suicide, learning challenges, long-term mental health issues, and homelessness. Whether you are a parent, teacher, or mentor of a child, it’s important that you are able to identify possible symptoms of mental health struggles in children. What mental health issues can children face [...]

Signs of Codependency

Couple's hands tied with metal chain
Try to envision all of the relationships you have in your life – your relationship with your parents, your spouse, your children, or your best friend. Do any stick out to you? Would you classify any or all of these relationships as being fulfilling and mutually beneficial, or would you classify them as one-sided and controlling? If the latter option sounds more familiar, your relationships may have codependency issues. Codependency is a behavior that can be passed down from generation to generation, and it affects a person’s ability to have a healthy and rewarding relationship. To put it [...]

What is Rumination?

Illustration of many dark thought clouds
Have you ever replayed a train of thought in your head over and over again? No matter what you do, you can’t seem to think about anything else. Rumination is the act or habit of obsessing over negative events or interactions in the past, and it is a stress-magnifier that can have negative effects on a person's mind or body. Rumination can prolong or intensify depression or anxiety, and it can impair your ability to think or process emotions. Ruminating thoughts can interfere with moving forward to more positive thoughts or attitudes. It’s a toxic mindset that encourages pessimism and [...]

8 Dimensions of Wellness

Girl standing against colorful wall with headphones looking at her phone
Personal well-being isn’t just how physically fit you are, or how you feel right now. Achieving wellness involves making choices that positively affect you in many different areas of life, as physical and mental health interact with each other. Working toward wellness can help you to engage in positive interactions, ward off stress, and reduce the likelihood of becoming ill, according to the University of California Davis. There are actually 8 different dimensions of wellness. Think of it like a wheel. The wedges in your wellness wheel can be of different size and importance, but all of them [...]

Brainspotting Therapy Explained

Brainspotting graphic depicting two silhouettes back to back, one with a brain outline and one with a fuzzy emotion cloud in their head
The body has an amazing ability to heal itself from trauma. This fairly new type of therapy uses a client's visual field to uncover unprocessed trauma, negative emotions, and pain. Identifying and utilizing “brainspots” can allow us to access deeper emotions and traumatic memories that we maybe didn’t even know we were hiding from ourselves. Digging those experiences out of our body’s memory can help us face them head on and process them the right way. To put it more simply, your brain can tell you how you’re feeling based on where you look. What is Brainspotting? Brainspotting, which was [...]

How EMDR Can Help Kids

EMDR works in children as well as adults to process trauma
When something bad happens to us, the whole body remembers it. Negative thoughts can get stuck in places where talk therapy just can’t reach. Kids might not be able to express traumatic or disturbing memories – “icky” or “mixed up” thoughts and feelings, as Grand Forks Village therapist Janet Amundson describes them. That’s one reason Janet loves a type of therapy called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR. EMDR is an evidence-based tool that helps clients replace negative beliefs with positive ones by alternately stimulating the two sides of the brain through sight, sound [...]

Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) Explained

Close up of a blue eye symbolizing EMDR
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing. It is a type of therapy used to treat a variety of mental health issues. EMDR involves reprocessing memories that have essentially become stuck in the brain. Sessions involve stimulating the hemispheres of the brain through visual, auditory, or tactile means until the memory is less disturbing. More positive thoughts and beliefs replace the prior negative thoughts and belief. Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapy technique that has been used for years with adults and children to treat a variety of psychological [...]

Art Therapy with Danielle

Danielle Klapper, therapist at The Village in Moorhead
For Danielle Klapper, a blank canvas and plastic cups filled with thin paint could be the makings of an art therapy session for a client who struggles to let go of control. Danielle would give a directive – pour the paint on the canvas – and then help the client process what they experienced. What was it like to not have control as the paint flowed around the canvas? What could be controlled in this situation? Danielle is an art therapist with The Village Family Service Center. Her office at The Village’s Moorhead, Minn., location features the traditional couch and chairs of any counseling [...]