Hannah Curtis

Therapist/Owner at New Approaches



Does Therapy Need a Makeover?

I’m on a mission to convey to people everywhere that working on your emotional life is a positive and useful endeavor that yields good results.

I may have my work cut out for me. I have a deep concern that most people have negative associations with words like therapy or mental health.

Essentially, I worry that people think they are healthy as long as they don’t “need” to go to therapy. Therapy is seen as evidence of illness, instead of a way to accomplish wellness.

I love what I do. My day tends to be uplifting, fun, interesting, inspiring and motivating. The fabulous clients I work with do come for depression, anxiety, trauma, anger, and other issues. I listen, empathize, and validate feelings. The work, however, is focused on finding ways to make life feel better and more fulfilling.

Through conversation, education, reflection and connection, I help people find ways to look at their situations in a more helpful way and take actions that increase their life satisfaction. It's a pretty great way to make a living.

Still, when I think about “mental health” as a topic or as a profession, it seems heavy and a bit yucky. Even I don’t like it’s reputation, and I’m happily in the field.

I want this to change. We can find ways to be happier, healthier, and wiser. We can work on ourselves not because we are sick, but because we want to be well.

I believe that my calling is to find some way to communicate on a large scale that we need to focus on our emotional well-being. I want emotional wellness to be a topic that we all talk about and teach our children.

I'm not sure what it will take. New words? A whole new system? New options? I need your help so that I can figure out how to fulfill my mission. Please share your thoughts:

What do you really think about therapy? Have you ever thought about ways to improve your emotional wellness? Am I right? Is there a PR issue here? What would make it more appealing? How do I convince people that investing in emotional well-being is truly a positive thing and not an admission of defect? 

(I blog semi-regulary, if you get a chance, check it out!)


I selected three posts that I recently shared.

1. http://gcdspa.blogspot.com/2013/03/strong-mind-soft-heart.html

This post has a beautiful picture and quote. The best part for me is that it shares some uncommon wisdom about what it means to be "soft-hearted." It talks about why it is not only kind, but effective in life and in business. I'm all about revamping the old and unhelpful ways we relate to ourselves and each other. This blog is right on target with challenging the pervasive message that being hard and cold is the way to be successful. It also includes helpful links for further information, which I think is a great feature in any blog.

2. http://existanew.com/2012/06/27/finding-your-territory/

This post is quite exceptional. The writing is fantastic. It challenges conventional wisdom about how we think about our lives, how we relate to others, and how we think about success. It convincingly begs us to think about these assumptions and offers another, potentially more helpfu,l framework. Read this. Really.

3. http://loveforlemons.blogspot.com/2013/02/coping-with-winter-whys.html?spref=fb

I love this post because it tells a very relatable story. When we read stories that we can relate to, I think it helps us feel validated and less alone. I love that there are some very useable suggestions for coping with being home with kids during the long months that make up winter in Maine. The writing is well-crafted with great descriptions that make it so real. I can't help saying out loud, "yup, I've been there." 


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