Telehealth Services

We continue to welcome new clients to schedule appointments with the best match within our group. All of our appointments are virtual: care when you need it, on your terms.

At Frey & Associates we have found that both our clients and clinicians genuinely enjoy, and prefer, telehealth services. Why telehealth? Click the button below to learn more about why we provide our services virtually.

Please reach out to see if we can be of help getting you scheduled with one of our clinicians, or if we can connect you to additional resources. We strive to respond to all inquiries as quickly as possible.

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melissa: seasonal symptoms

“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence. Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance. Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence. Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.” -Yoko Ono

As the weather cools down, many people begin to experience changes in their mental health. While some people embrace the cold, soon to be snowy days, others find themselves feeling more down and generally less energetic and motivated.

No matter what camp you find yourself in, the long winter days can be hard for us all and fall is the time to prepare for the upcoming seasonal changes. One place to start is by beginning to develop your winter routine: scheduled movement, a standing sleep/wake cycle, and sun exposure (whenever possible). Talking with your therapist, family, and friends can also help keep you anchored in managing these changes and to maintain a self care plan. Know that countless people find seasonal changes to be challenging for a variety of reasons and that there are always ways to develop a plan that works specifically for you.

Want a better understanding of how seasonal changes impact our mental health and ideas for coping? You can read more here, here and here.

Copyright © Melissa A. Frey, LCSW 2022. All rights reserved.

mindful moment

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting — over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

-Mary Oliver

melissa: autumn changes

If you’re like many others, fall often feels like a time of change. The weather becomes cooler, and the days feel shorter. For some, this is a cozy time of reflection; for others, this is a time of an onset of mood symptoms. Whichever camp you are in (or perhaps both), part of embracing the change of seasons is embracing the inevitability of change. Taking care of ourselves can be a bit more challenging when it’s cooler and there are less sunny days. I encourage clients to find one or two simple joys in their daily activities and ensure they get to these joys as though they are on your “to do” list. Sometimes these joys shift as the seasons shift, so ensuring you still have a few “go to” joys is essential. Looking for some ideas? Here are 75 simple joy examples to help get you started.

Wanting to think through fall feels more? You can read more here.

Loving fall and want to know why? You can read more here.

“Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love—that makes life and nature harmonize.” -George Eliot 

Copyright ©Melissa A. Frey, LCSW 2022. All rights reserved.

mindful moment

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
Rainer Maria Rilke

melissa: welcome autumn

September Midnight

Lyric night of the lingering Indian summer, Shadowy fields that are scentless but full of singing, Never a bird, but the passionless chant of insects, Ceaseless, insistent.

The grasshopper’s horn, and far-off, high in the maples, The wheel of a locust leisurely grinding the silence Under a moon waning and worn, broken, Tired with summer.

Let me remember you, voices of little insects, Weeds in the moonlight, fields that are tangled with asters, Let me remember, soon will the winter be on us, Snow-hushed and heavy.

Over my soul murmur your mute benediction, While I gaze, O fields that rest after harvest, As those who part look long in the eyes they lean to, Lest they forget them.

– Sara Teasdale

mindful moment

“I don’t mind falling. Every mistake is just a thoughtful decision in disguise. Taking bold steps into the future with purpose and intention is the same thing as watching both of your sleeves being pulled into the threshing machine. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do but watch. And if I stay as open as possible and feel as much as possible and I keep writing about it, I might as well be dashing around on the wet pavement with little to no walking experience. But I want to trust my instincts anyway. Tucking into a ball as you hit the pavement is a superpower. Getting up with a smile on your face is a superpower.”

melissa: what we’re reading

Therapists are almost always reading some sort of therapy book (in the background of their fiction pile), in my experience. We often are asked about books for specific subjects and love offering recommendations, so always ask if you’ve got a topic in mind.

In the meantime, here are some of the books our clinicians are reading now:

All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks

A very accessible book about every facet of love, including a working definition of the action of giving and receiving love.

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk

The cult following/classic about how the brain, mind, and body are connected in the framework of trauma.

Attached. by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller

Another very accessible book about attachment styles; extremely helpful to understanding one’s own attachment style, independent of any relationship status.

Copyright © Melissa A. Frey, LCSW 2022. All rights reserved.

melissa: mindfulness exercise for painful emotions

As we find ourselves during a particularly difficult time with filled many emotions, I’ve been reflecting on ways in which we can open ourselves up to strong/painful emotions in a structured way. There is a “Gentle Practice for Opening Up to Painful Emotions” that you can find here both recorded and written, depending on your preferred modality.

As the writer of the practice, Rhonda Magee, writes, “Take a moment to pause with all of the news coming at us, especially if you are someone who seeks to move in the direction of the suffering, to work, and to alleviate it, through actions and engagements in the world.”

Remember to seek out support from loved ones, family, and friends as we seek to process the emotions and events we are facing and have faced.

Copyright © 2022 Melissa A. Frey, LCSW. All rights reserved.

mindful moment

Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.

-Elizabeth Edwards

 

melissa: musing on resilience

Keep Going – Edgar Guest

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must—but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.

mindful moment

Dance, when you’re broken open.

Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off.

Dance in the middle of the fighting.

Dance when you’re perfectly free.

…Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.

-Rumi

melissa: kintsugi + wabi sabi

During times that feel (and are) particularly challenging, as has often been the case in the past couple of years, we may be left wondering how to continue to find hope and healing.  One thought that comes to mind is the Japanese concept of kintsugi. “Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold — built on the idea that in embracing flaws and imperfections, you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art.”

In the West, the concept of kintsugi is often paired with the phrase wabi sabiLoosely translated, “wabi” is simplicity, whether elegant or rustic; “sabi” means the beauty of age and wear. While academics have varying definitions of this phrase, they all come back to a generalized concept of embracing that which is flawed, asymmetrical, unfinished, and imperfect. The etiology of these concepts traces back prior to the 14th century, when the phrases began to take a more “positive” feeling of noting the beauty in the imperfect and unfinished.  For Richard Powell, “Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.”[6]

One can do a very deep research dive on kintsugi and wabi sabi and find some beautiful ceramics, theories, research, books, quotes, and more. As many of us tend to do, you can easily start your reading on Wikipedia, and take off from there, should you be so inclined. If you desire no further research or reading, then simply imagine yourself as a ceramic pot with a few cracks and breaks, assembled back together with gold, with light shining through. That unfinished, asymmetrical, lopsided, beautiful piece of art work is you, and it can always be repaired when, inevitably, it has a tiny (or large) crack. That, surely, is an endless source of hope.

Copyright © 2022 Melissa A. Frey, LCSW. All rights reserved.

 

mindful moment

spring is like a perhaps hand

spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere) arranging
a window, into which people look (while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here) and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and fro moving New and
Old things, while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there) and

without breaking anything.

-e.e. cummings

melissa: free mindful apps

One of the questions we are often asked is regarding where to find useful mindfulness resources and apps for meditation and/or anxiety, sleep and mood. Look no further, mindful.org has compiled a list of free apps to consider and their descriptions. A list of those free mindful and meditation apps can be found here. Interested in books or journals? We’ve got our list here. If you’re looking for additional resources that are not listed here, let us know!

“Don’t search for anything except peace. Try to calm the mind. Everything else will come on its own.”

Baba Hari Das

Copyright ©Melissa A. Frey, LCSW 2022. All rights reserved. 

 

melissa: joyscrolling

Amidst the ongoing stressful, often very sad news, and overall state of the world, it can be very challenging to find joy in the news. While it can be critically important not to bury our heads in the sand and ignore the world around us, it’s also crucial to find some small semblance of balance in our worlds. One writer describes the concept of joy scrolling versus doom scrolling. Want to know more? You can read the article here. One of my personal favorites is UpWorthy, which finds and shares “the best of humanity daily” via their website and social media.

“Life is a series of painful or joyful moments, which follow each other in an endless cycle. Whenever pain comes near us, our only salvation is to seek places of beauty, joy, and peace. Wherever there is joy, our souls can heal.” -unknown

Copyright ©Melissa A. Frey, LCSW 2022. All rights reserved. 

 

mindful moment

Sorrow prepares you for joy.
It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter.

It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place.

It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow.
Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their
place.

…Moonlight floods the whole sky from horizon to horizon;
How much it can fill your room depends on its windows.

-Rumi

melissa: changes

Change, it seems, is in the air. And while there’s, as it also seems, a lot of feelings on all sides of these changes- one thing remains true: change is inevitable. Learning to let go of things we cannot change and the strength to advocate for the things we can change is a lifelong evaluation process and balancing act. No matter where you stand in the face of the constant change we are in, know that you will find a path that works for you. Decision fatigue is as real as physical fatigue, and we are in the thick of it. With these changes, I hope we can shortly say goodbye to winter, and hello to some sunshine- both metaphorical and literal.

“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy.” C. JoyBell C.

We’ve made it this far and we will continue on forever forward.

Copyright © Melissa A. Frey, LCSW 2022. All rights reserved. 

melissa: breathing, meditation, and mindfulness

Lately, we’ve gotten quite a few requests for a better understanding on how to begin mindfulness exercises (mindful movement, generally quieting the mind, journaling, meditation, etc). Mindfulness is one of the most accessible tools we can easily access for managing the stressors or daily life, as well as the bigger obstacles and problems we face.

To get you started, I’ve listed some resources below. Top tip: even taking a minute to mindfully breathe can make big differences in our lives. Science has told us this many times over! If you’re intimated by taking on a new task, know that this one can truly take just minutes. Take a deep breath, and give it a go!

Here are some basics about meditation and mindfulness from Mindful.org.

From Berkeley University Great Good Science Center, try a five minute exercise (you can read it or listen to the recording). There are also additional guided exercises from the Berkeley Center here.

Copyright ©Melissa A. Frey, LCSW 2022. All rights reserved. 

 

mindful moment

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low but the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit…
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit!

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many failures turn about
When we might have won had we stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow…
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out…
And you can never tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Edgar A. Guest

all of us: gratitude

As we approach the closing of this year, and the opening of a new year, we are reflecting on 2021. So much has changed, and yet so much has also stayed the same. While we are facing uncertainty at the closure of this year, we are also welcoming in hope and peace. We are endlessly grateful for the hours we’ve spent alongside our clients this year- as we have felt in every year that goes by. We have had so many moments of laughter, knowing and understanding, holding of space, and peace, along with the difficult moments we shared together as well. It is our honor to welcome in another year of changes and connection with our clients; knowing, in so many ways, that we face this next horizon together.

from all of us at frey & associates with gratitude: cheers to another year

 

Copyright ©Melissa A. Frey, LCSW 2021. All rights reserved.