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Family Resources of Greater Nebraska
is Celebrating 25 Years!

Emerton SeanneTherapist's Corner...
Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence and Integrity

     We are so excited to celebrate this milestone anniversary this year! I am very grateful for the wonderful team we have assembled over the years, complete with varied specialties, training and experience to offer our large service area truly the best in emotional health and wellness. 
     Little did I know, literally, what a joy and ride it would be when I started Family Resources twenty-five years ago. It began as an idea and a prayer for expanded and quality systemic behavioral health care and wellness for our central Nebraska area.  I had been employed as a marriage and family therapist with Health and Human Services for eight years when this vision became such a strong pull that I just had to jump in and do it. It made no rational sense to do it then, as I was not yet…but was soon to be… completely vested in the state retirement program. Yet it was like receiving “a call” and I couldn’t ignore it. It has always seemed larger than myself, as if my team and I are serving the entity called Family Resources.
     The team organically evolved as I really had no vision for a group practice when I started. (What I did know way back then is that I wanted the tree to be our logo, symbolizing roots, stability, growth and resilience, as well as “family tree”.) I began by doing home-based work and eventually found an office to share with a dietician. (Ironically this office was in the building we now own.) During the first six months of business, I was approached by an MSW therapist with high integrity named Glenda Vetter who asked if she could join me. I thought “why not?” and so she did. Soon others came knocking at the door, such as Joyce Heger, MSW, Linda Ryan, LIMHP, Pam Clausen, LMHP and Carlene Headrick, LMFT. These early founders are the ones who solidified our integrity as an organization. Their impeccability as human beings helped shape the values we stand for today. I learned much from them, and I still do. 
     
We started out in a small office we rented from attorney Howard Tracy on Koenig Street in Grand Island. More therapists came knocking at our door who aligned with our mission so we moved to larger space across the courtyard. Eventually we grew to a point where we needed to move to larger space on Langenheder Street just off south Highway 281. It was during this tenure that Lee Elliott, HR Director at St. Francis Hospital, came knocking at our door to ask if we would be willing to take over their Employee Assistance Program that had been administered internally. We didn’t know the first thing about what that would entail but we said “yes”. Soon a fireball woman I met at a bible study in our church, named Judy Sandstrom, came knocking at the door saying she would love to manage this EAP and grow it. That she did! 
     More therapists joined us through the years and our EAP contracts grew, necessitating additional offices in Kearney, Broken Bow and York. We outgrew our space on Langenheder Street and were able to purchase the building we currently are in on West Capital Avenue (the same building where I originally shared an office with the dietician twenty five years ago.)
     Today we are so excited to have a robust and talented group to provide impeccable service across the continuum of care and lifespan. We have new and seasoned, well-trained therapists on board, a nurse practitioner specializing in mental health, an EAP Administrator with a masters degree in administration and human resources, a psychologist who specializes in health and wellness, a life/executive coach, and a Clinical Director with a doctorate degree in counseling (who started out as one of our very own therapists years ago.)  Additionally, we have an office manager and billing specialist and two highly skilled intake coordinators and receptionists...plus a rock star social media specialist! We are proud of our organization and grateful for the opportunities, lessons and vitality-to-life it brings. 
     We invite you to include us on your team as you start this new year, helping you and yours to enjoy life and move forward to reach your greatest potential. We look forward to beginning our next twenty-five years, embracing and adapting to changes, and above all staying true to our passion to serve. All the best to you and yours in 2016!   

~ Seanne Emerton, Founder/Therapist

JMcCasslin

Therapist's Corner...
2,016 Steps To Letting Go

     I believe our society has created "packrat monsters" in us. We collect, we hoard, we buy-and-toss items we didn't need or that break often. Our homes are packed full of things we don't need, some we don't even want. We hold onto things for sentimental reasons, financial reasons, and because we don't even know they exist (in that dark corner under the stairs). I've always been a packrat but I didn't realize the extent of it until I had to move this past year.
     Many of us hang onto the past, whether it is material or in our minds. We associate feelings with items and memories and refuse to let go. For example, I have several items that were my grandmother's. I cherish them and it reminds me of the love she had for me. That's a positive association. I also have a shirt that I spend...well, A LOT of money on. I think I've worn it twice in three years. However, I feel guilty about getting rid of it because of the money I spent. Just like I feel guilty getting rid of an item that someone else bought for me, but that I don't even use. Those feelings are negative associations.
     Our thoughts and feelings play an important role in our households. I've always believed my household reflects what's inside of me. So, please, don't come over and judge. My house is a mess (but I just moved!). Even here, you can get a sense of the associations I place on my house..."don't come over and judge." I want a clean house for my sanity and to lower my stress level, and that should be enough. However, when company is coming, I "freak out," hollering at my kids to help clean, running around vacuuming, dusting, and doing whatever else I can. I turn into a monster. I'm afraid of being judged, not by my behaviors or personality, but by my house.
     Before moving, I sorted through totes upon totes of clothing and toys. I set goals (e.g., age group A must all fit in one tote, not two). I threw away things that were broken or didn't work (even though I was going to figure out how to fix them...someday). I gave things away. I donated to fundraisers. I REFRAINED from all garage sales (that was torture for me).
     And I was left with a lot of stuff.
     So I have a goal for myself. This year, I'm going to get rid of 2,016 items. I'm going to simplify and "let go" of the guilt or other negative feelings associated with items. If I don't wear it, it's gone. If I don't use it, it needs to go. Negative feelings or memories are more difficult to "let go," but I'm going to focus on letting go of the negative "it's not fair" thoughts that have been invading my mind, such as "It's not fair I had to move and leave all my friends, a great job, and a wonderful town" or "It's not fair that I'm stuck at home, going stir crazy, while my husband is going out to lunches and getting to interact with people older than 7." Yes, time to let go of those thoughts because they just open the door for depression and other illnesses.
     I look forward to less clutter, having fewer things to dust and feeling free. I'm sticking to the goal of getting rid of 2,016 items. I'm currently at four tally marks. Are you in a position where "letting go" would be beneficial? I know 2,016 items may seem like a lot, but I bet you, like me, have more things in your home than you realize. Here's to letting go and being freer!

~ Jessica McCaslin, Therapist

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From Our EAP...
10 Steps to Making 2016 A Happy, Healthy & Productive Year

     1.  USE LIFE-ORGANIZING TECH TOOLS. Utilize free technology products for organizing and planning your life. One free service is Toodledo.com, an ultimate to-do list organizer that integrates with your mobile phone, email, or browser. You’ll keep track of every idea and task. For a productivity tune-up, try Rescuetime.com. See what you’re really doing while on the computer and compare your efficiency to other users. 
     2. BE A CONFLICT MANAGEMENT PRO.  No one is immune from workplace conflict. It’s normal! You don’t have to be a mediation expert to know the basics. Resolve 50% of conflicts fast or prevent them altogether by being proactive. Check in regularly with coworkers to discuss roles, resources, stresses, and needs. You’ll quash most issues faster so they don’t fester!
     3. IMPROVE THE RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR BOSS. You can’t change your boss, but you can change. That’s the secret to improving your relationship. Three changes can improve almost any difficult relationship, but they take guts: 1) Plan meetings for regular discussion and feedback—and don’t stop!; 2) Ask your boss for advice before it’s given; and 3) Try, try...to see things from his or her viewpoint.
     4. INVESTIGATE THAT NAGGING BLAH” FEELING. Depression is not “in your head.” It’s in your whole body. And it’s a real, treatable disease—but only if you know you have it. Depression may be the result of genetics, environment, lifestyle, or a combination of factors. Your EAP can screen you for depression, score its severity, and find the help you need.
     5. PERSPECTIVE! JOBS ONLY FINANCE YOUR JOURNEY! The busier you get, the more you can forget what a job is all about—making your life meaningful. It’s easy to get lost in deadlines, conflicts with the boss and coworkers, not getting that promotion, and customer complaints. The job is not your life. It finances your life. (True, that’s easy to say.) With the rush and stress comes a natural loss of perspective. Planned and purposeful activities that change your focus and create temporary healthy detachments can help you avoid getting lost in work. 
     6. REGULAR EXERCISE. Sure it’s tough, but regular exercise is so important that you can’t drop the ball. Stop kicking yourself for the setbacks, and instead focus on your future fitness habits. Best tips include 1) setting reasonable, short-term goals; 2) exercising at a regular time; 3) getting a buddy; and 4) tracking your progress.  
     7. GUARD YOUR MENTAL HEALTH LIKE A WATCHDOG. Your mental health is important. So be cautious about acting or thinking in ways that limit your potential. Negative self-talk when things go awry puts you at risk for undermining other goals for yourself. Defeat destructive thought patterns by banishing them as they arise. Use a mental keyword such as “enough!” and refocus into positive territory.
     8. UNDERSTAND YOUR BODY’S  RESPONSE TO ALCOHOL.  Alcoholism is NOT an equal opportunity illness. Reactions to alcohol vary based on biochemistry and genetics. Those with a family history of alcoholism are at greater risk of developing problems. If you’re a regular drinker, be aware of the many warning signs of possible addictive disease like “efficient high tolerance”, periodic memory loss when  you over-drink, and more. Don’t shy away from getting screened for alcoholism, especially if family “stories” or “problems” exists.
     9. TACKLE PROCRASTINATION. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when you just keep after it. Organize and prioritize by making a list of what you need to accomplish this week and this month. Break down your workload into daily bite-size chunks. Make copies and post them in areas where you’re most likely to goof off. Give yourself permission to play as soon as your tasks are done.
     10. ACT ON NON-NEGOTIABLE LIFE GOALS. Find the thing that you can be doing right now to enjoy what really matters to you down the road. Achieving long-term goals is really just a matter of accomplishing a series of small steps. Today determines tomorrow. Start with where you want to be and work backward to the present. You will get a powerful boost in work-life balance while building momentum and confidence toward what you care about the most.

~ Lana Lenz, EAP Administrator (resource: Daniel Feerst, LISW-CP, WorkExcel.com)

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