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This Just In! *New Post*

“If a Bear Can Do It, Why Can’t I?”

By: Samantha Edwards, MA, LAC

For several decades now, I’ve held a deep conviction that I would make a really good bear. Climbing trees… protecting my young… being exceptionally strong and fast… snatching live salmon from a stream with my bare paws… and best of all…  (say it with me…) — HIBERNATION.  

As a therapist, I have conversations with many people who struggle with the “winter blues” – chronic fatigue, sadness, and low motivation when the seasons change – or at its most severe, Seasonal Affective Disorder… 

Check out our previous posts for more resources!

Parenting is a Hard Job, but You Don’t Have to Do it Alone: The Power of Parent Coaching

By: Angela Mancao, MSW, LCSW

Parenting is the journey of a lifetime that is filled with beautiful and rewarding moments. But as wonderful as it can be, it is also filled with challenges that can make parents question themselves.

If you are a parent, you might be all too familiar with the ups and downs that come with raising a child or teen. You may experience sleepless nights and anxiety as you are unsure about what you “should” be doing. Although the love for your child is unconditional and unwavering, it can be difficult and overwhelming to navigate the complexities of parenting. It may also feel isolating to feel like you have to figure out parenting all on your own.

Making a Tough Conversation Easier: Talking to Your Partner About Starting Couples Therapy 

By Courtney Barbera, MSW, MPH, LSW

If you are ready to propose couples counseling to your partner, it wouldn’t be surprising if the thought of having the “going to couples therapy”  conversation makes you want to run and hide. After all, it can be uncomfortable admitting when something you care about isn’t totally working for you anymore, and that you think your relationship could use an extra hand.

The good news is: there are ways to make this conversation a little less daunting. If you are struggling with initiating this conversation with your partner, read on…

Recognizing the Unseen on International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) 2023 

By Courtney Barbera, MSW, MPH, LSW

Thursday, August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD). The theme of this year’s IOAD campaign is, “recognizing the people affected by the overdose crisis who often go unseen“. These “unseen” include people such as grieving family members and friends, healthcare and social workers, and individuals who have had to unexpectedly take action when someone around them has overdosed. Because of how widespread and invasive the opioid epidemic has become, we are sadly all a part of the “unseen” in one way or another…

…When I reflect on how this crisis has played out in my personal life, I think about my own family members who have experienced drug addiction, and the pain of trying to support them while loving them from a distance to shield myself from the devastation each time they fall down…

Overcoming Barriers Is In Your DNA

By Veronica O’Brien, MS, LPC

Twenty years ago this year, I decided to immigrate to New Jersey from St. Lucia. It was not my first time traveling outside my Country of birth, but it was my first time in America. I had lived between a Caribbean (West Indian) and European (British) climate for much of my life, and deciding to leave my home was difficult. However, I found the courage and embraced the challenges that were ahead.

I invite you to reflect as I explore a few experiences, complexities, and triumphs of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Together, we can come to an empathetic and empowering knowledge that we are more alike than different!

A common theme that has prevented Black individuals from receiving therapeutic help for years is shame. Shame for damaging the reputation of the family system. Shame for what exposure from therapy could lead to. Shame for identifying that there is a problem in the first place. Shame for disrupting the norm. Shame for what it could mean for the reflection of parents/elders in the home. Shame for how others view our culture. Shame for revealing family secrets. Shame from rejection and judgment. Shame is what continues to feed the stigma of mental and emotional health in the Black community.

The Pregnancy and Postpartum Fog

By Jacquie Schriver, LSW

The birth of my first child was pretty much textbook for ‘typical’ recovery. The birth of my second child was very different. In fact, I experienced depression during the pregnancy. That felt isolating in and of itself because pregnant women are supposed to be enjoying every little change and craving, every little kick and growth.

There’s a few takeaways in this post, and perhaps one of them is to avoid “shoulda-woulda-coulda.” Self-compassion is so difficult to attain, though, when you’re stuck and lost….

Demystifying OCD: What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

By: Angela Mancao, LSW, LCSW


OCD is a mental health condition that is often misunderstood. It has recently become an adjective used to describe someone who is organized or concerned with being clean, which adds to the misconception about what it actually is.

In honor of OCD Awareness Week 2022 (October 9th to 15th), let’s talk more about what OCD is and what it isn’t.

Outside ~ Finding a place to belong as an Adopted LGBTQ+ Individual

“Early on, you face
The realization you don’t
Have a space
Where you fit in
And recognize
You were born to exist”

~ Outside by Mariah Carey

Supporting LGBTQ Youth during the Holidays

LGBTQ youth need additional support during the holidays, especially this year. With anxiety and stress being high, it’s important to take some extra time to connect and hear what they need from you. Click here to get a few tips from Elle on how you can best support the LGBTQ+ youth in your lives!

Hurting During the Holidays

By Kim McDonald, MA, LPC, NCC

In the movie The Holiday​, Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet’s characters seamlessly swap houses in order to escape their heartbreak and stress. Each finds love, self-acceptance and hope for the future through the melody of empowered decision-making and the harmony of self-reflection.

What is LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy?

Elle (she/they) shares their thoughts on what you can expect from an affirming therapist. Feeling affirmed is experienced differently by everyone; however, there is a through-line that you can depend on. There are many LGBTQ folks, especially BIPOC, who have experienced harm from the healthcare system. If you have been dismissed, devalued, or victimized, an LGBTQ+ affirming therapist could provide you with the safety and nurturance stolen from you. Elle and others specialize in these areas. Contact us with any questions!

How to Help Children/Teens Manage School Stress

Does seeing your child overwhelmed and stressed by school overwhelm and stress you out?  If your answer is “yes”, you are not alone!

Countless parents are experiencing their own stress seeing their children frustrated by remote and/or hybrid learning.

As parents, we’re deeply connected to our children.  What they feel, we feel…

Taking Care of Yourself During Stressful Times: Anchor Activity

Join Elizabeth Kahn, MA, LAC, as she walks you through an anchor activity – an activity that helps you ground yourself in your experience in the here and now. This activity allows you to access your creativity as a means for self-expression.

Finding Grace in the Chaos

You think about your day when you first wake up.

Laundry. Groceries (ugh, I forgot to wash my mask). The email reminder staring at you about the report that was due 2 days ago that you haven’t started. Your partner isn’t getting out of bed when they said they would, and you just remembered you forgot to feed the dog the night before.
Thank goodness you fed the kiddo.

In-Home Scavenger Hunt

In the detailed video above, I challenged any child to find 5 items within their home that can make them feel safe, happy and loved. This also included a picture or person of someone who embodies all those same feelings.

Dear Mom, How are you?

Dear Mom,

How are YOU?

I’m curious if the first thing that came to mind was the health of your family, the guidelines you’re keeping regarding Covid-19, or even enough toilet paper in the house?

 Each of those responses comes from a mom who is loving, wise and responsible.  Yet they don’t answer how YOU are doing.  How are you feeling? How are you sleeping?  Are you able to have moments for self-care?

Dear Mom, How are you?

(Part 2)

Dear Mom,

How are YOU?

Since the impacts of Covid-19, you’ve have hit the ground running and haven’t stopped.  You’ve navigated through months of challenges, stress and sacrifices and it has not been easy.  But…most things of true and lasting value don’t come easy. 

Issues Faced by LGBTQ + Youth During Quarantine

As we head into week (9) of quarantine I think greatly about folxs who are potentially stuck at home right now with unsupportive parents. It can be difficult to navigate through the world as an LGBTQ+ youth, especially during a time like this.

For many, school, extracurricular activities, a local coffee shop, or community center is a safe haven for youth who feel misplaced at home. There, they are fully allowed to be themselves and be seen by the world in a genuine way.

It can be difficult stuck at home with parents who struggle with calling you by your name or using your correct pronouns.

A teacher’s advice to other teachers

1. The most important thing to remember is the work you are assigning doesn’t matter as much as the care and support you are providing to your students.

2. Connect with your students.  Just as you have a start and finish time at school, employ “hours” at home as well. It is easy to be engulfed and then realize it is 7 pm!. Set boundaries for yourself.

3. Self care!  Take breaks. You do not need to be glued to your computer all day (although you will want…

Finding Comfort in the Unknown

I keep hearing the word unprecedented when referring to the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak, and more globally, the state of our world. It is an accurate descriptor that certainly justifies the anxiety-provoking response that many of us have experienced over the last few weeks. People of all ages, genders, backgrounds, religion, economic status, race, ethnicity, ability, and sexual orientation are being impacted by COVID-19. There is not one person anywhere in the world who will be wholly immune to this experience. While not everyone will contract the virus, we will likely know someone, somewhere, who has…

Holding the space for gratitude and setting positive intentions.

CFCE’s Kim McDonald talks to viewers about holding the space for gratitude and setting positive intentions as a positive habit and form of self-care. Cultivating gratitude in our lives teaches us to self soothe as well as manage and reduce anxiety.

A Message for Parents

One of our wonderful therapists, Kim McDonald, has some words of compassion for parents during this time. We see how hard you work! Kim offers some suggestions and we would like to hear how you are coping. Please let us know in the comments section.

The Day My World Changed

Please join us as one of our amazing therapists Kristin reads a story about a little girl’s experience coping with the Coronavirus. Your children can participate in the story too! This story will allow your children to express their thoughts and feelings about the recent changes as they fill in the blanks to this story.

Entering week 5 – Offering hope

We are entering the second month of the COVID-19 pandemic. Every week goes by, and we are collectively facing new challenges together. State parks and beaches are closed, and grocery stores limit patrons to 50% capacity. It leaves us with questions that do not have a definitive answer. So, where do we go from here? How do we remain physically distanced from our loved ones in a time when connection is paramount to survival? You do not have to be alone. We at the Center for Counseling and Education are here to support you during…

Five ways to improve familyinteractions

Five tips to help improve the mood of families stuck together.

Child 1: (with anger) MOM!! You said you would help me with my math 5 minutes ago!!

Child 2: (with frustration) You are so annoying…I am trying to help mom figure out how to video conference on her laptop!

Mom: (to child 1, with what she hopes sounds like patience, but does not)…

The Opposite of Fear

Fear, whether real or perceived, wants to silence us. To silence something is to take away its potential, purpose and light. To keep silent about our story, our struggles and pain is to hold a burden we weren’t meant to bear alone.

There is no kindness, hope or love in fear. It is void of all things that make us, humans, stronger and more capable of growth. But what exactly is fear

The Habit of Staying Connected

We are built to survive challenging times. Our brain, hearts and even breath do everything in their power to protect us. Their ultimate goal is to sustain our life and, if need be, heal us. Yet how do we survive less life-threatening but more heart-challenging times such as loneliness? More importantly, how do we thrive despite of it?

The answer is we stay connected.