hint: it’s not what you think

I didn’t set out to be a teen therapist, after all I’m a middle aged divorced woman who never got around to starting a family of her own. But one by one, teens started trickling into my office. They were brought in by concerned mom’s and on occasion dad’s as well because…their teenager just seemed so depressed.


I fully expected to eventually hear from these teens about their dark woes and one by one they started to open up to me. They weren’t depressed as much as bored. They weren’t sad so much as…

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It’s a question I hear almost weekly from potential new clients, I’d like to know more about your therapy services, but I’m not sure I need therapy. It’s a valid question. The reality is, in 2021 I can’t think of a single person who has not been impacted by the pandemic and would benefit from receiving therapy.

A therapist can help you sort through the areas where you may be struggling whether that be financially, emotionally, physically or mentally. I help my clients solve all kinds of issues from dating and relationship advice to how to improve their finances or…

It’s the Sweetest Joy

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It happened by accident really. A friend of mine was in her early 20’s and made the comment that she had recently taken a Myers Briggs test and it helped her find the right career path. I was nearly 50, and while I thought the idea of changing careers “at my age” was a bit of a stretch I decided to search out an online Myers Briggs test and discover my results.

I had a been a successful marketer for nearly 30 years and while I had enjoyed the career, something was definitely missing. …

It’s easier then you think


I’ve been writing for Medium for a while now and have discovered a few solid tips that help me achieve success. Here are just a few.

Do — Write about what interests you

I’m a marriage and family therapist intern so some of my best articles have been focused around things that interest me, including how to create better relationships, have better sex and how to heal after a miscarriage. While it’s great to write about things you know, it also helps if you have a topic that is of interest to other people as well.

Do — Title with care

Perhaps you have a well written article but a poorly written…

And what you can do instead

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I often have unhappy couples sit on my therapy couch about once a week and the wife will say in frustration…. doesn’t he know the rule, happy wife happy life?

I smile, and nod and then look at the man who stares blankly back at me in defeat.

He assumes I’m going to agree with her. But then I shake my head no and smile slightly.

I happen to think that’s bad advise I say. Now I have both of their attention.

I actually subscribe to my own theory. I continue.

Which is? The husband asks intently.

“Happy spouse, happy…

Help for those who are hurting

@spochatun Unsplash

Losses are always hard but some of the most complicated healings I’ve encountered in my therapy practice are helping those families who have endured one or even multiple miscarriages.

To compound the problem, many well meaning friends and loved ones often offer unhelpful and even hurtful remarks.

These remarks are not meant to be offensive but they often are to those who have endured this tragic event. Some of these hurtful comments include:

Well I guess that just wasn’t meant to be.

Don’t worry, you can always get pregnant again.

I guess God needed another angel.

This happened to me too, you just need to get over it.

Maybe you should have waited until you were further along to tell everyone about your pregnancy.

These comments are not only hurtful, but they can keep the griever stuck in pain, shame, guilt and sadness.

There are multiple resources I often recommend for…

Help for when you are feeling low


I see clients every day who are working through their depression, one of the keys to recovery is to actually get some help from a qualified professional.

Sometimes your depression is situational, you’ve been through a breakup, divorce or a family member, friend or pet has died. If that is the case, enrolling in a Grief Recovery course can be life changing.

Other times, your depression may seem to come out of left field. …

Unlocking Your True Potential

It happened effortlessly, I crafted a magical day and that’s what can be so surprising when we relax into our authentic self.

Photo by Lefteris kallergis on Unsplash

I slept in until 10 am, a luxury I had denied myself for far too long, downed two huge glasses of water and then went to the gym for a fast 30 minute but effective weight workout. I then set out to reconnect with a girlfriend I hadn’t seen in months.

We sipped coffee as the overhead stereo system seemed to be cranking out my all time favorite playlist. We laughed, we shared and we connected. She was…

The Key to Adulting

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I recently went from working full time to part time and fortunately my budget was not impacted in the least! How did I do it? A simple little secret….I acted my wage.

The reality is too many people spend mindlessly or fail to save up for their own dreams.

Two years ago, I decided at age 48 to go back to school and pursue a masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. I began planning two years ago for this day, the time I would be working only 3 days a week instead of 5 so that I could complete my practicum within a year and graduate.

I adjusted several expenses which included paying off my credit…

How to Handle Them


They are everywhere, on the highway, at the grocery store, your pesky co-worker, the teenagers lurking around your house.

You are having a perfectly good day and then they do that annoying little thing that makes you feel as if you may lose your mind.

Maybe they pull their fancy SUV out directly in front of you narrowly causing an accident. Or you get to work and realize that assignment given to your co-worker who DIDN’T do it, is not on your desk. …

Tonja Vallin

Nevada Marriage and Family Therapist Intern

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