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In this issue:

  1. Benefits of Getting Outdoors
  2. Creating a Budget as a Couple
  3. Manage Kids' Summertime Anxiety
  4. Mindfulness for Managing Anxiety
  5. Clinician's Wanted

Appointments Available 
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(541) 868-2004

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Mental Health Benefits of Time Outdoors

As the summer winds down, consider one of the easiest ways to boost your mental health and even prepare for the fall: Spend more time outside. It seems almost too simple to be true, but studies have shown significant mental health benefits from spending time outdoors. Here are just a few of the benefits, along with some ideas for getting out in nature for a few minutes every day. 

Reduces Stress and Mental Fatigue

We could all do with tuning out of the barrage of mental noise every once in a while. Being outside encourages you to do exactly that. While science hasn’t pinpointed exactly what it is about grass, trees, and open air that help us to relax, it’s an established fact that they do. Just twenty minutes in your garden reduces the high cortisol levels that lead to stress. So next time you’re feeling under pressure, see if you can sneak out the back door for a few minutes and allow your brain to reset. 

Fights Depression and Anxiety

Depression and anxiety are two of the most prevalent mental health conditions in the United States, but spending time in the natural world can lessen symptoms in those who suffer from both. Even if you don’t struggle in this way, dedicating some time each day to outdoor activities actually reduces your chances of becoming clinically depressed or anxious. It’s well worth it to invest a couple of hours a week at the park to help mitigate or prevent the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Boosts Mood

Whether it’s linked to a mental health condition or not, we all experience blue moods and listlessness on occasion. The natural light you’re exposed to when outside has been proven to have a positive effect on your overall mood and sense of self-worth. In a recent study, people who spent just two hours a week outdoors were twenty percent more likely to report that they felt happy and satisfied with life than people who didn’t spend time outside. 

Two hours a week (around twenty minutes a day) seems to be the sweet spot for reaping the mental health benefits of time outdoors. Ready to get started? Here are just a few ideas for working that twenty minutes a day into your summer:

  • Take your exercise routine off the treadmill and onto the sidewalk. Walking, running, cycling, swimming, and yoga are all great workouts that are conducive to being transplanted into the great outdoors.

  • Have a picnic. We all have to eat, so pack a basket and head to the park. If that won’t work, just bringing your sandwich to the backyard instead of the table counts too. 

  • Start a garden. It doesn’t have to be big. Try a couple of hanging baskets, or a tomato plant and some cilantro for homemade salsa. 

  • Sign up for summer reading. That twenty minutes will fly by when you’re hanging out in your hammock with a good book.

  • At work? Take advantage of your lunch hour or breaks to step outside the office and soak up some sunshine.

Text or call us at 541-868-2004 to speak with an Intake Therapist.

Creating a Budget as a Couple

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Managing finances as a couple can be complicated. When two people with different backgrounds and experiences combine their lives and finances, it’s normal for them to have different ideas about the best way to manage resources. One of the most effective things you can do as a couple to make sure money issues don’t take over your marriage is to create a budget together.

Identify Family Needs

The first step to creating a budget as a couple is to determine what your household expenses are. Things like rent or house payments, buying groceries, and paying for utilities involve both of you. Calculate what your current expenses are, and then talk with each other to see if there are areas you think could be adjusted. It’s important to work as a team on managing joint expenses like these, and to share resources to pay for things that are necessary to keep your household functioning. 

Identify Individual Needs

Once you’ve figured out the needs of the whole household, it’s time to take a look at the individual needs of each member of the family. It’s important to keep an open mind during this step, as every person is unique. The things that are important to your spouse, like a gym membership or monthly trips to the salon, may seem insignificant to you. The important thing is to be understanding of one another’s needs and wants. Depending on your situation, you may want to talk about these things together, or you may decide to set aside a weekly or monthly allowance for each individual, with the understanding that they can spend that amount on whatever they want.

Set Goals

Any good budget should include financial goals. As a couple, decide what your long-term goals are. These might include having a specific amount of money in your savings account, buying a home, paying off debts, or setting aside a portion of your income for retirement. Goals can also include “fun stuff,” like going on a vacation, taking a cruise, or buying an RV. Talk about what you want your future together to look like, prioritize your goals, and make a plan to reach them. Having goals can help both of you stay motivated to stick to a budget, and strengthen your relationship as a couple as you work together toward something you both want. 

Set and Maintain Ground Rules

When discussing finances, it's easy to get into 'business mode' and to stop treating your partner like a 'relationship partner'. Talk ahead of time about what the ground rules should be. Consider things like: Use 'I' statements, maintain respectful communication, active listening and other techniques that overtly demonstrate mutual respect. 

Creating a budget as a couple can bring long-term benefits for your family. Working together to manage your resources wisely can help you to be financially secure now and to look forward to a bright financial future. Since finances are the number one thing couples argue about, practicing both fiscal and relationship responsibility can pay big dividends. 

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Text or call us at 541-868-2004 to speak with an Intake Therapist.

Manage End of Summer Anxiety


Simple ways to reduce the surprise of end of summer anxiety

Many kids look forward to summer as a time to play, relax, and try new things. But for children with anxiety, summer can present some unique stressors. Here are a few common ways that summer can cause increased anxiety for kids, and what you can do to help your child feel more secure and also prepare for the fall. 

Lack of Structure – Maintain a Summer Routine

Children with anxiety often thrive on routine. With the end of the school year, their schedule can suddenly become unpredictable, and this lack of predictability can be very stressful. Creating and maintaining a summer routine that lets kids know what to expect on a daily and weekly basis may give them the sense of control that they need in order to relax. It also helps to prepare them (and you) for the coming start of the new school year. If you haven't done so already, it's not too late to start introducing some structure; especially as August transitions to September.

Overscheduling – Spend Time Together

Although it’s a good idea to keep children occupied and busy, a schedule that is jam-packed with new experiences like day camps, swimming classes, and other activities may not be the best fit for kids who struggle with anxiety. Continue to choose just a few activities that your child is interested in, and be aware that those with predictable schedules and built-in downtime will probably be the most enjoyable for a child who tends to worry. And the best thing you can work into their schedule? More time with you. 

Changes in Sleep Patterns – Keep a Regular Bedtime

When it stays light until well past nine o’clock, it can be tempting to let bedtimes slide. While a late night here and there won’t hurt, and can even be an exciting change for some kiddos, keeping a regular bedtime is important for your child’s emotional and physical well-being. Help children wind down at the end of the day with a story or other quiet activity, and avoid screen-time in the evening, which can interfere with sleep patterns. Then tuck them into bed at the regular time. This will help both of you adjust when the early morning schedule of the fall re-starts.

Travel – Plan Ahead and 'Normalize' Change

Summer frequently involves some travel, whether that’s a day trip to the beach, a week with the grandparents, or a family vacation to a new destination. Trips like these can be fun, but they can be worrisome for kids with anxiety. It can be helpful to go over the details of the trip with your child, such as layovers and pit stops, the length of travel time, and what the plans are if you run into problems or delays. Bringing along a familiar item like a stuffed animal, blanket, or favorite bedtime story may also help your child to feel safe.

Summer anxiety and the transition into the fall is a common issue for many kids, but by understanding your child’s concerns and preparing for them, you can help your kiddo have a fun, relaxing, and memorable summer and transition into September and beyond. 

Mindfulness for Managing Anxiety


What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is exactly what it sounds like: It’s the simple act of paying attention and practicing awareness throughout your day. Mindfulness can be very beneficial for anyone who struggles with stress or anxiety, and it’s easy to apply. Unlike meditation, which is often easiest to practice in quiet and solitude, you can be mindful in any situation. When you practice mindfulness, you bring awareness to your body, your emotions, and your surroundings. 

How Can Mindfulness Help with Anxiety?

Anxiety usually happens when you become distracted by worrying thoughts and negative emotions. Interestingly, the worries that come with anxiety are almost always associated with something in the future that you feel like you don’t have control over, or something in the past that is continuing to bother you. Anxiety is rarely about the present moment, and that’s where mindfulness comes in. When you practice mindfulness, you bring your attention to the present, focusing on the here and now, and you’re able to fully experience and appreciate what this moment in life has to offer. Mindfulness has been shown to ease anxiety in many ways. It helps you to become more aware of what you’re feeling, so you can recognize and regulate your emotions, and it also increases your ability to focus your attention and tune out distractions. Regularly practicing mindfulness can even improve your sense of self-worth. And it doesn’t just affect your mental state: mindfulness can reduce blood pressure and lower cortisol levels, helping your whole body to feel more relaxed.

What Are Some Simple Mindfulness Techniques I Can Try?

Mindfulness is a flexible technique that you can use no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Here are just a few ideas for incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine:Use your daily commute. Instead of drumming your fingers on the steering wheel while you wait for the light to turn green, use those few seconds to take a deep breath, sit up straight, and admire the sunlight streaming through your windshield or the patterns of the rain on your window. Make a cup of tea. Savor the act of putting the leaves or bag in the cup, watch the steam rise as you pour the water from the kettle, and take a minute to watch the honey dissolve as you stir it in. As you sip your drink, take the time to let the aroma fill your nostrils, and enjoy the warmth of the cup in your hands. Get a coloring book. It’s not just for kids! Artists have designed a variety of beautiful coloring books designed for adults. Pick one up at the store or print some free pages from the Internet, invest in a brand new set of crayons or pencils, then enjoy the process of watching bright colors fill your paper. Focus during daily tasks. Pay attention to the cheerful orange color of the carrot you’re peeling as you make dinner. Pop a few bubbles while you do the dishes. Draw a breath of fresh air deep into your lungs when you take the trash to the street. Even household chores can calm anxiety and bring a sense of peace when they become moments of mindfulness.

Why Mindfulness Helps with Anxiety.

Anxiety is almost always about feeling out of control; of the past, the future, or both. By paying attention to what is happening right now, the chances are vastly increased that you will realize you are ‘okay’ in this moment. Anxiety tends to trigger a fight or flight response; which really is only needed in extreme situations. Since the moments in between any troubling times in our life are typically, not emergencies, we can gain a greater sense of control by training our minds and bodies to view ‘this moment’ as a non-emergency and even something to be cherished. That is one of the keys to anxiety management. Many of our therapists focus on incorporating mindfulness into their psychotherapy practice. Contact us today to see if we can help.


Clinicians Wanted

We are experiencing very high demand for clinical services in the community and are looking for exceptional clinicians to join us.


Please consider applying if you are:

  • A gifted therapist focused on client care.
  • A clinician with great clinical references.
  • Collegial and enjoyable to work with.
  • Confident in your abilities and eager to grow.
  • Interested in being part of a growing group.
  • Licensed (Psychologist, LCSW, LMFT, LPC).
  • Specialize in working with couples and/or kids.

Let us do the marketing, billing, scheduling, credentialing -- all you have to do is provide excellent psychotherapy. We offer:

  • Group Health Insurance.
  • Generous pay with scheduled increases.
  • Retirement plan with matching.
  • Paid Time Off.
  • Licensure benefit.
  • CEU benefit.
  • Comprehensive administrative support from an exceptional, experienced team.
  • A healthy, positive, collaborative work environment.
  • Frequent consultation with an inspiring team of clinicians, including prescribers.
  • Ongoing CEU opportunities.
  • Advancement and supervision opportunities.
  • A 10 year track record of keeping our clinicians' schedules full.
  • A great way to supplement your existing private practice.


Apply Here


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