Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Why I'm Not a Barista

I have worked the better part of 16 years in child and adolescent day and residential treatment. One feature of being a therapist working with teenagers for so long is that other people are flabbergasted and/or impressed that anybody would want my job, let alone enjoy it.  Most people seem satisfied with the casual reassurance that there are a lot of good things about it or that teenagers really aren’t as bad as they sound.  But sometimes, I run into somebody who’s more curious and they press with the whys and hows that I can’t easily explain.  After several of these encounters over the past months I decided to try to really give their questions some thought.  Why am I still Sarah Hazelton, therapist; not Sarah Hazelton, private chef, or knitting instructor, or raft guide, or (heaven forbid) barista?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

On October 15, 2011 my wife, Rachel, and I lost our baby who was 5 months along in the 9 month process before being born. Our baby, Johnny, was going to be our fourth and final son. We were busy planning, getting ready, and feeling very excited for the birth of our fourth son. Our other three boys were very excited, especially our youngest because now he would have a little brother.

On October 15, 2011 Rachel and I went in for a scheduled ultrasound. The ultrasound specialist quickly discovered that Johnny was not breathing and had passed away. He sympathetically shared with us that our baby was not alive any longer. Rachel and I were stunned and shocked. This scenario was not something we were expecting or had even considered.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Introducing Ivy

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the newest member of the Logan River Academy team, Ivy.  Ivy is a Labradoodle, a mix between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle, and we adopted her from a nearby family that could no longer care for her.  Ivy has made an immediate impact on the students that we work with, and her ability connect with them has been amazing to see.  Ivy will typically spend her days in the clinical area, and at times in the school hall.  With Ivy’s breed in particular come the positive traits of being friendly and outgoing, as well as hypoallergenic.  

I personally have always felt a strong connection to dogs, and as I grew up, I knew that I could also find comfort in spending time with my childhood dogs.  It was a natural way for me to calm down and be soothed, without really knowing why or how.  We now know that people benefit from interacting with dogs.  Simply petting a dog can decrease levels of stress hormones, regulate breathing, and lower blood pressure. Research also has shown that petting releases oxytocin, a hormone associated with bonding and affection, in both the dog and the human. (Geographic)  This was evidenced this morning as I had Ivy in my Anger Management group.  One student in particular appeared to be withdrawn, sullen, and down.  Ivy made her way to him multiple times and each time, he sat up, pet Ivy, and his countenance became much brighter.   

If your child enjoys dogs, feel free to take the time to ask about Ivy and their interactions with her.  We feel that she will greatly benefit our students, and add a friendly and therapeutic component to our school. 

Sean Maynard, CMHC

Works Cited

Geographic, N. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What Mindfulness Really Means

A lot of the phase work that we give our students in the girls’ program, Maple Rise, is centered on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). This was developed to help people who have a really hard time regulating emotions (also known as emotional dysregulation) because they are so complex. Quite often, people with this type of emotional difficulty end up hurting themselves, physically or at the very least, they do things that actually make their lives worse—like turning to drugs or alcohol, shoplifting, gambling, etc. They tend to lead chaotic lives because their emotions are so out of control, which can lead to problems in their relationships. The DBT concepts and skills that we teach are designed to help students lead healthier, less-confusing lives.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

​Crafting a Meaningful Life

In all our humanness, I think we occasionally find ourselves asking, "Does my life have meaning?". Sometimes routine can pull us into ruts where we feel entirely unremarkable and struggle to find meaning in what we do. If you ever begin asking the same question, may I suggest an inspiring role mode? 

Maya Angelou was born during the start of the Great Depression. Her childhood was far from glamorous or easy and she faced countless tragedies, but she managed to ultimately have a life of victory and accomplishment. Among many other things, she was a writer, actress, and civil rights activist. Read more about her example of creativity, generosity, and resilience here
Photo via.

Here are a few words of wisdom from the inspiring Maya Angelou:

In all my work, I try to say, 'You may be given a load of sour lemons, why not try to make a dozen lemon meringue pies?'

My life has been long, and believing that life loves the liver of it, I have dared to try many things, sometimes trembling, but daring still.

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

I'm convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they're stones that don't matter. As long as you're breathing, it's never too late to do some good.

Kayla Geddes

Much good is being done at Logan River Academy