Thursday, December 17, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Thank you!

     Recently I received notes from past clients who contacted me to say thank you.  I can't begin to describe how I felt after reading their thoughtful emails providing updates and saying thanks! To quote a few; "Thank you for helping me become more empowered in my life", "Thank you for all your help when I was struggling", "I will never forget how you helped me.." and "Your professionalism and thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated". 

I reflected on our sessions remembering my clients' vulnerability while sharing their innermost struggles. I cherish the dedication, honesty and hard work that happens during therapy. I'm not sure why I received these unsolicited thank you notes this week, but I do know that they touched me deeply. Thank you all for letting me into your lives, allowing me to help, guide, listen, smile, offer insight, teach, reflect etc. ~Nancy

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

When life goes astray

People seek help when life does not go according to plan. Often we have a preconceived idea of what our lives SHOULD be like and so we plan and prep accordingly. We try our best to reach our well planned goals. Life however doesn't always go according to our master plan. It's filled with bumps and bruises along the way. It twists and turns for better or for worse. So in order to deal with the unexpected we need to "reframe". Instead of being ready for the unexpected, welcome it with open arms and have tools, coping skills and strategies in place to incorporate when "life happens" time and time again. Life is colorful. The unexpected bumps, twists, change of plans etc are what make us unique and interesting. Reframing helps us handle stress and anxiety. Try being flexible and open to life. Remember when you least expect it, you may meet someone who will impact your life, discover new places, take on different challenges that will add spice to your life. The outcome will be greater self-confidence, and improved ability to deal with transitions and change. Therefore, embrace life even when it may have gone awry. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Follow Your Passion

I asked a client the other day, "What hobbies do you have? What's your passion?" She thought for awhile and said "sadly, I am not passionate about anything". Finding interests outside of work is key to improving self-esteem, mood and confidence. Hobbies add creativity to our lives. In actuality the act of doing something that is not routine, reduces depression and anxiety. It doesn't have to be anything too grand either. Observing the beauty in our environment or appreciating the little things in life - like a smile, small acts of kindness etc help too! Take time to think, what do you feel passionate about? Then just do it! 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sunrise therapy!

My version of sunrise therapy. That's the sign for help(using one hand). Sorry was holding my camera with my right hand!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Food for "relationship" thought!

The One Often Overlooked Secret To A Successful Marriage
Forget the phrase “Happy wife, happy life”: A recent study by the University of Chicago reports what many wives have suspected for years: that the happiness of a marriage is determined by the husband’s health and attitude—not the wife’s... Read the link below

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

6 signs of a failed marriage - Gottman

1. Harsh set up 
2. Four horseman: 
    contempt, defensiveness,
    stonewalling, criticism
3. Flooding
4. Body language
5. Failed repair attempts
6. Bad Memories

Let's work on this!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Separation Anxiety

With the school year fast approaching, I thought I'd talk about separation anxiety. This occurs when our children are worried about leaving home. When they are small, it may signify a healthy bond between mother/father and child. But it can also become a real problem when your child has a very difficult time letting go and socializing or attending school.  Parents must gently encourage their child to branch out and become their own person. When kids show signs of anxiety or fear, we may naturally try and protect, comfort, and attend to their worries. What we don't realize is that this makes separating more challenging. They  sense their parents worry, which may feed into their own fears. Show strength and love to your children when they prepare for school. Listen to their concerns but give them positive messages about leaving. For very young children, I always recommend giving them something of yours to hold onto like - a little bracelet, a key chain, or a hat etc. Which can give them peace of mind. Comfort them with surprises in their lunch box. Be creative  and always teach by example. Remember a parent's job never ends. Separation anxiety can happen around college time too. Although I'm not sure who is filled with more anxiety, children or their parents! ~Nancy Shertok, MSW, LCSW 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Days of Summer...
     I am going through a bit of weather shock since my move to Atlanta. Despite the warm days, I still feel a need to bring a sweater at night even though temperatures are usually in the 80's. Living in Milwaukee, near a GREAT lake always kept the evenings cool. It is nice to actually feel warmth and enjoy the long summer months in Georgia. With that said, many of us from the North may suffer from depression due, in part, to the lack of Vitamin D from the sun. So lets all get outside in the sun (with sunscreen) and enjoy the long summer days.

     While we are on the subject, why not try this challenge. Ask yourself the question, "What would I do today if I only had three more days to live in this city?"  Make a bucket list and "just do it." Include new restaurants, places of interest, national parks, farmers markets, sporting events, hikes, music.. the list is endless. Start living today!  Depression is treatable, but it starts with you. Change up your routine to get out of your rut.  Stay active, take walks, workout, smile, explore new sights and meet new people. This is a step in the right direction to improve your mood. If you can't do it alone, please call for help  ~Nancy

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy July 4th

Hope everyone is enjoying a weekend filled with fun, family, and relaxation. Trying to figure out what to do today, despite the rain. Farmers market, pool time, parades are still questionable for now. Gym time? TV? Reading?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Friday, January 2, 2015


Trust is very important in relationships. This is obvious, right? Then why is it so fragile at times when we need to trust our partner, spouse, family, or friend? We want to be able to be genuine, express complaints, concerns, and show the good or bad side of ourselves and know it won't jeopardize our relationships. Yet, often our relationships feel compromised or tentative when we do. We may feel like we walk on eggshells, fearful that we might lose the very thing we love, without trust. We may shut down, isolate and turn away from people we rely on. Not only do we require trust in others, but we must also be trustworthy. It's a two way commitment. Although trust is obviously a key ingredient to healthy long term relationships, we may take it for granted until it's too late for repair. 

~Nancy Shertok, MSW, LCSW

Thursday, January 1, 2015

"You don't know what you got 'til it's gone"

This phrase has been a reoccurring theme lately. Maybe more heightened during the holidays when we are more keenly aware of our families, friends, and precious people in our lives. But it causes me to pause and consider its meaning. Why don't we know what we "got 'til it's gone?" 

Perhaps we take our lives and people for granted? Maybe we don't appreciate the relationships or treasured belongings that we have? From my experience in therapy, it seems that we get caught up in our daily lives, often sweating the small stuff, that we forget to take time out to value what is, what we have in plain sight. When it's gone, the reality sets in and it hurts. Grief takes over. We spend time wishing, regretting, feeling heart broken. 

Take time to appreciate what we have today and talk, share, be open with those you love, even if it hurts. Time invested today leads to fewer regrets and self-fulfillment later. While we have little control over what happens in life, we do have control over how we live our lives today.

~Nancy Shertok, MSW, LCSW psychotherapist