News

Too busy for therapy?

By Lara Cohen, PsyD Psychologist Candidate/Postdoctoral Fellow Finding time for therapy can feel like a catch-22: a decision between prioritizing your mental health and other obligations.  As a busy person, you may prefer to postpone treatment, but at what cost?   Whether you feel crushed by depression or overwhelmed by anxiety, mental health needs are health needs deserving time and care. Time may heal but therapy will likely give you faster and greater relief. At the Metis Center we offer a variety of personalized services – including therapy and assessment for all ages – to support you on your mental health journey. We respect the reality of a busy work-life schedule and, also, personalize services to fit your unique scheduling needs. At the start of treatment, your therapist will create a treatment timetable with you. One reason we offer free, thirty-minute consultations at the Metis Center is to help identify a treatment timeline that works for you. Depending on your needs, arrange with your therapist to meet weekly or monthly. Alternatively, consider meeting weekly for a month. Arrange to meet with your therapist at the office location closest to you: in Broomfield, Lafayette, or Durango. Or, if travel time remains a concern, consider meeting by telehealth. Brief treatment episodes are highly effective in many cases. Symptom relief is likely for mild to moderate symptoms with the help of skill-building in therapy. If the symptoms are relatively new, there is an opportunity to preempt potentially worsening symptoms. For acute symptoms, short term treatment can help stabilize your

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How Are You? The Importance of Your Emotions

By: Bonnie Brown, PsyD How are you? How’s it going? How have you been? These are frequentlyasked questions in social settings that have almost become a requirementto initiate a conversation. Social norms have stamped these phrases intoour brains in such a way that the person answering often doesn’tactually answer honestly. Common responses might be: “Good, how areyou?” or “I’ve been okay, how have you been?” Only later, in deeperconversation, do we find out that our speaking partner may not actuallybe “good” or “okay”. That being said, perhaps a response of “you knowI’ve actually been pretty depressed lately and let me tell you why…” maynot be the best way to begin a conversation depending on your audience.Regardless of the social rules in play, I urge everyone to actually takea moment to check in with your emotions. How are you feeling right now?If this is a relatively foreign concept to you, you have come to theright place. Why does it matter if we know what we are feeling or not? Well, emotionsare actually quite important to us and the world around us. First,emotions motivate and organize our behavior. They typically have “actionurges” that have been a part of our biology since the beginning. Theseaction urges can save us time by getting us to act quickly in importantsituations. An example might be when we see and hear a rattlesnake. Ifwe experience fear, our action urge would likely be to move away fromthe threat of the snake. This does not mean that we react appropriatelyto every situation, or that acting

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How to Stay Motivated (and Why the Pandemic Makes it Extra Tough!)

By Courtney Glueck, Ph.D. The world we lived in has fundamentally changed, at least for the time being. Many of us are doing more from home than ever (e.g., work, school, meals, special occasions, etc.), and I am commonly encountering patients looking to replenish what seem to be ever-depleting motivation stores. Separated from the typical work/school space, we can no longer depend on being motivated by certain extrinsic motivators, like a stern-faced boss or teacher looking over your shoulder, or a room full of colleagues or fellow students with their heads down, hard at work. So, what are some of the most effective methods of eliciting and maintaining our own motivation? This article will explore this at length, but first, let’s talk a bit more about what motivation is (and is NOT) at its core. What is Motivation? Motivation is generally defined as one’s willingness or desire to act in service of some goal. We can be motivated to achieve (e.g., fulfillment or goal attainment) or to avoid (e.g., pain or disappointment). We can be motivated extrinsically (by some external forces or consequences) or intrinsically (by internal drive or desire). As noted above, the pandemic has forced a number of us into circumstances where we are more heavily reliant on intrinsic motivations OR self-driven extrinsic motivations (e.g., homemade rewards systems, self-pursued accountability partners, etc.). Next, we will a A Few Motivation Myths and Misconceptions Myth 1: Motivation is one-size-fits-all As mentioned above, motivation typically has a lot to do with personal desires. So, in theory, there

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Finding Radical Acceptance, Strength, and Kindness in our “New Normal”

By Laura Agurkis, MS With everything going on in the world, our lives have been turned upside down, and we have all been asked to adjust to this “new normal.” It comes with immense feelings and emotions that most of us struggle to navigate, find meaning, and gain acceptance around. I, as a licensed clinician, have been working intensely around this dynamic with several of my patients. The one thing we all must remember is that we are not alone. Without question or exception, we have all been asked to make major changes in our day-to-day lives, such as scaling back our spending, working from home, changing our routine, monitoring and teaching our children, etc. All of these changes come with their own specific challenges and added stress that can make it difficult to cope. “Radical acceptance” is a particularly useful skill I teach frequently in my practice, because without acceptance, we often will find ourselves building resentment and having increased frustration around circumstances we cannot control. Radical Acceptance: What is it and why should we use it? Radical acceptance is a skill that is commonly taught when learning “distress tolerance.” At times in our lives we have all been asked to cope with distress (e.g., considerable anxiety, sorrow, pain, etc.), and during such times, it can be difficult to find relief. Furthermore, distress is often unpredictable, and impossible to avoid. This is why we must rely heavily on coping skills to battle feelings of distress. Radical acceptance, specifically, refers to “when you stop fighting reality,

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What is Bipolar Disorder? Facts and Myths Explained.

By: Bonnie Brown, PsyD Mental health is a popular topic at the moment, thanks to stay-at-homeand safer-at-home orders. Plenty of people are having their firstencounters with intentional focus on their own mental health. Whiledepression and anxiety are primarily discussed, there are other mentalhealth issues that may be more common than people think. Bipolardisorder, once known as manic-depressive disorder, is a diagnosis thathas often been thought of as mysterious. If you’ve been diagnosedrecently, or are just generally curious, keep reading. You are not alonein either scenario. Okay so here’s the technical bit… Bipolar disorder is categorized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manualof Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM 5) as two types of diagnoses.Bipolar I Disorder requires the individual to have experienced a manicepisode. Symptoms of mania must include: elevated or irritable mood forat least one week, and increased energy or activity during this time.The increased energy or activity may include: inflated self-esteem,decreased need for sleep, more talkative than usual or pressure to keeptalking, racing thoughts or ideas, distractibility, increase ingoal-directed activity, and/or involvement in activities that have ahigh potential for painful consequences. A majority of those who haveexperienced a manic episode have also experienced major depressiveepisodes during their lives. A major depressive episode requires five or more of these symptoms thathave been present during a two-week period: depressed mood, decreasedinterest or pleasure in activities, weight fluctuations not attributableto dieting, sleep disturbances, physical agitation or slowing, fatigue,feelings of worthlessness, difficulties concentrating, and/or thoughtsof death or suicide. Bipolar II Disorder consists of experiencing both a hypomanic episodeand major depressive

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Understanding and Coping with the Grief a Global Pandemic Brings

By Courtney Glueck, PhD There is no question that the current pandemic has left us all experiencing challenging emotions – anxiety, fear, sadness, confusion, frustration, anger, etc. And as we continue to wade through this muddy water together the best way we know how, I continue to hear many of my patients repeatedly talking about feelings that can best be described as manifestations of grief. People are grieving the loss of loved ones, jobs and financial security, feelings of safety, comfort, and routine. Milestones are passing people by. Those who looked forward to their proms or graduations for months or years have watched the dates of these events come and go without a fraction of the pomp or circumstance these rites of passage warrant. What’s more, not only are we collectively mourning the loss of these things that are long-gone or have passed us by, but we are also dealing with “anticipatory grief,” or grief associated with feeling as though greater losses are yet to come. Without question, grief can be one of the most challenging human experiences to process and work through. And with so many of us experiencing such raw emotional manifestations of grief right now, it seems more important than ever that we all learn as much as possible about the grieving process and how we can (and will!) make it through. Two Common Theoretical Frameworks for Understanding Grief Perhaps the most commonly cited framework from which to view the grieving process is that which was originally presented by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in the

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Finding Balance in Unsteady Times

By: Rachael Sullivan, PsyD Finding Balance in Unsteady Times As we all attempt to adjust to this “new normal” with no playbook, our mental health is undoubtedly impacted. Collectively, our baseline anxiety levels have risen in the face of uncertainty and forced adaptation. Whether we’ve dealt with anxiety for years prior or are struggling with worrisome thoughts for the first time, we’re all looking for effective ways to cope and find balance. Balance. A small word with incredible meaning. While we have heard before that a sense of balance in our lives is recommended (e.g., “work-life balance”), the COVID-19 pandemic drives home the importance of balance in a way previously unknown. This unique balancing act has multiple components: balanced routine, balanced emotions, balanced perspective, balanced information – just to name a few. Balanced Routine Fifty plus days into our new normal, you likely have had to adapt and find new routines. Balancing our routines does not mean we have to schedule out every hour of the day or strive towards unattainable ideals for what we could be doing with our time. Rather, balance in our routines means doing what we can to fulfill our roles and responsibilities, while also ensuring we are caring for ourselves. Self-care has become quite a “buzz word” over the last few years, but it is more important than ever. Self-care means being intentional about taking time to engage in activities that bring us pleasure and increase our mood, without the notion that we need to “earn” them. Self-care will look different

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We are Here to Support You During the COVID-19/Coronavirus Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing massive changes to all of our lives. It is normal to have feelings of isolation, anxiety, depression, and confusion during chaotic times. The Metis Center and are clinicians are dedicated to supporting our community throughout this pandemic. To help you and our community through this crisis, the Metis Center’s psychotherapists are available to help with your mental health needs. We are continuing care for all of our current patients, and are also accepting new patients. Our commitment to remaining available to our patients is unwavering. Our physical offices are open and will remain so unless circumstances change. We are also providing comprehensive telehealth online counseling services, as we have done since 2016. We pledge that we will continue to provide care through one or both of these channels to all of our patients who need it. Click here to learn more about our telehealth online therapy services. Appointments are available from 8 AM – 8 PM, Mountain Daylight Time, although there is limited availability of in-person appointments. At our offices, we are ensuring that we clean, sanitize, and disinfect surfaces multiple times throughout the day, and are providing “sanitizing stations” for patients coming to our office. If you have any symptoms of illness or have been exposed to someone who may be ill, we ask that you not come into the office and instead make an appointment for telehealth therapy. If you are a current patient, you do not need to cancel your current appointment. Just contact the office or your

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How to Cope During Time of High Stress

By: Bonnie Brown, PsyD The world has learned a lot about itself in the past several weeks. We, as individuals, have learned a lot about ourselves in the past several weeks. “Social distancing” and “quarantine” are becoming a normal part of our vocabulary. While these can be scary, and getting lost in the thoughts about what happens next can be enveloping, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. You do not have to go through this alone. You can take steps to minimize the difficulties that lie ahead. Social Interaction Humans are such social beings, and now more than ever we are realizing that concept. A quarantine can mean working from home, not working at all, not going to a favorite restaurant or brewery, skipping that sports practice, not attending that play that you bought tickets for, not going to the park with your kids, skipping the play-dates that gave you some relief, and not attending church. Instead, only leaving the house for essentials (i.e., food, water, medications). That means no social interaction, doesn’t it? Definitely not. It’s incredibly important to maintain as close to the same level of social interaction as you were used to by other means. Options include: Face Time calls, virtual brunches or happy hours, texting friends and family members, watching Netflix “together”, sending emails, sending snail-mail letters, having kids decorate cards to send to others, and maybe even interacting with your neighbors from your back or front lawn. Another option to get connected is the NextDoor website/app that connects

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Access Your Patient Portal

We offer a convenient online portal for current patients. On this portal you can:

  • Schedule appointments
  • Pay your bills and view your billing history and balances 
  • Securely message our office and your clinician
  • Upload and access your documents

If you have any questions about using your patient portal, or need help setting up an account, please contact us  or call us at (720) 387-8458.

Access Your Patient Portal

We offer a convenient online portal for current patients. On this portal you can:

  • Schedule appointments
  • Pay your bills and view your billing history and balances 
  • Securely message our office and your clinician
  • Upload and access your documents

If you have any questions about using your patient portal, or need help setting up an account, please contact us  or call us at (720) 387-8458.