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Jon Filitti, LMHC

The holidays are just around the corner, and with that, come a difficult time for many clients – clients who are not having “happy holidays.” Incessant calls for cheerfulness, indulgence, disruption of routine and supports all throw a client off balance; all at a time their counseling schedule is also thrown off schedule.

As the clocks change, so can our mood. SAD symptoms typically present themselves during the winter months and is believed to be a result of a lack of sunlight, colder temperatures, and the pressure of the holidays. Studies show during this time individuals may experience sadness, depression, and anxiety.

Welcome to our Holiday Blues Series, where we talk about how to support our clients through the holidays.
Today’s article focuses on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD, also called Seasonal Depression). We want to thank Jon Filitti, LMHC from Dubuque, IA (an avid Mentegram user) for helping us make sense of SAD.

The Mayo Clinic says

Don’t brush off that yearly feeling as simply a case of the “winter blues” or a seasonal funk that you have to tough out on your own. Take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year.

We worked with Jon Filitti to identify the right supports for clients with SAD, helping them understand their struggle, and prompting them to keep up with recommended SAD remedies such as exercise, taking vitamins, and using light box. He also recommends sending clients home with an open-ended journal, prompting them to check-in and build mindfulness. Based on Jon’s recommendations, we have built three SAD instruments into the Mentegram Library.

  • A What is SAD?” Information sheet links to the Mayo Clinic’s information sheet on SAD
  • A “SAD Remedies Check-in” prompts clients to keep up with their vitamins, exercise and light therapy, and finally
  • A “Daily Journal” is an open-ended journal that prompts mindfulness, and also includes a simple Mood Thermometer.

Filter the Mentegram Instrument Library for “SAD” to find these instruments.

Jon, further encourages clinicians to take the time to build a personalized journal that is more relevant to each of your clients, improving alliance and adherence over time.

With careful preparation during the final sessions of this year, and carefully assembled Mentegram instruments, we can help our clients overcome the at-times-intense feelings of loneliness, and depression related to SAD, and help them have a more joyful Holidays.

Mentegram is a service for counselors allowing them to send clients home with effective therapy tools on their smartphones. Our library of evidence-based tools is second to none, and our prices begin at $5 per month, that’s the price of a coffee a month! Take advantage our our free 30-day trial and support your clients through the holidays. 

For many clients , the holiday season is not the “happiest time of year.” With Mentegram we can help guide our clients away from triggers and crises towards  toward calmer, happier experiences this season. It’s time to bring the holiday cheer with Mentegram!

Sources:

  • http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/welcome/features/20081217_holiday_blues/
  • http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Holiday+Blues
  • http://www.webmd.com/depression/features/seasonal-affective-disorder?page=3
  • http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/basics/definition/CON-20021047?p=1
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