Counseling & Therapy Newsletter December 2020

Counseling & Therapy Newsletter December 2020

Dec 22, 2020

newsletter, Counseling & Therapy




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Hello and welcome to FamilyMeans Counseling & Therapy’s Monthly Newsletter!

In each issue we will address a different topic surrounding mental health, highlight a treatment perspective from the field, as well as showcase a few of our own clinicians. Our hope is that this newsletter helps to raise awareness, begins conversations around tough topics, and instills hope.

As a result of COVID-19, FamilyMeans Counseling & Therapy sessions are being done using tele-health video calls. To set-up an appointment please call 651-439-4840 or visit Click here to see COVID-19 updates.


Seasonal Affective Disorder 

Sad face in snow

This time of year can be a joyous time for many people. Holiday cheer, social gatherings, and festive activities abound. Yet for some, about 5% of adults, the wintery months ahead are difficult because they have a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression where moods change along with the seasons; usually changing about the same time each year. Symptoms can occur in the spring/early summer, but are more common in the fall and winter.

SAD is more than ‘the winter blues’ that some refer to it as. Symptoms associated with SAD can be overwhelming and debilitating to one’s daily life. Oftentimes people with fall and winter SAD can have symptoms such as: oversleeping, appetite changes, weight gain, social withdrawal, tiredness, or lower energy. These symptoms can last all throughout the fall and winter season, partly due to the decreased amount of daylight we have during this time of year.

In general, SAD is found more often in women than in men. It is also more common for those who live further north, such as we do here in Minnesota/Wisconsin. If you or someone you know may be exhibiting these types of symptoms there is help. The first step is talking with your doctor or a mental health professional about your symptoms. To be diagnosed with SAD, depressive symptoms, such as stated in this article, must be present, around the same time of year, for 2 consecutive years.

There are four common treatments for SAD.

  • Vitamin D
  • Medications (such as antidepressants)
  • Talk therapy
  • Light therapy

There is not a one-size fits all treatment for SAD, so please talk with a health professional for further for information about SAD and possible treatments. FamilyMeans clinicians can help with this type of symptomology – reach out today at 651-439-4840 or click here to schedule an appointment.


Other Support Resources for This Winter Season

Click to read article

Grief and the Holidays
Holiday activities to promote mindfullness
Grieving through the covid 19 pandemic

FamilyMeans Clinician Spotlight

Jennifer Miles 2020

Jennifer Miles, M.Div., MSW
Stillwater Clinic and School-Based Therapist

Jennifer went into the mental health field to be educated in specific ways to lift people up and help them realize how special and amazing they are. The world is full of experiences, positive and negative, which influence who we become. Through collaboration, Jennifer and her clients explore what barriers are in the way, which direction to take towards healing, what issues to address, and which talents will foster a peaceful and satisfying life.  

Clients of all ages and concerns work with Jennifer. She has had training in, and often uses, EMDR, Racialized historical trauma, Narrative Therapy, Ego Psychology, and/or solutions focused and mindfulness. 


Ashley Richardson 2020

Ashley Richardson, MA, LMFT
School-Based Therapist

Ashley has her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Argosy University. She provides school-linked mental health services for elementary and high school students. Ashley enjoys working with children, adolescents, and adults through a relational, client-centered, and systemic-based approach. Ashley believes in working from a warm, empathetic approach to create a safe and nonjudgmental space where clients can learn, grow, and achieve shared goals. Ashley has a variety of experiences in working with children, adolescents, and adults and has a passion for helping others achieve their goals. She utilizes various therapeutic approaches including family systems, Bowen, CBT, and structural.