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February 2017 Read

You’re Not Alone

Jennifer Shannon, LMFT, cofounder of the Santa Rosa Center for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, has topped Amazon’s sales for books targeting teenage mental health and depression. The Anxiety Survival Guide for Teens and its companion workbook, The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens (New Harbinger Press) are written to help teens overcome the fear and worry that can keep them from feeling confident and independent.

“Teens who suffer from anxiety often think of themselves as weak, stupid or any of many other negative labels,” Shannon writes. “You may think you are the only one who feels things this way and that everyone else is normal. The thing is, normal doesn’t exist. Everyone feels anxiety, and in a surprising variety of situations.”

Based in cognitive behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy, Survival Guide is designed to help teens develop practical strategies for overcoming the primitive part of the brain where anxious thoughts arise, and arm them to handle even the toughest situations that would previously leave them paralyzed.

Learn more about Shannon’s work at

Memories at your Fingertips

High school yearbooks are often non-negotiable, mandatory treasures for outgoing seniors. The compendiums immortalize childhood friendships, catalog historic moments and become the centerpiece of school pride for its owners. Nearly every high school senior wants one, and everyone wants to leave their signature and a going-away message for their friends’ books.

But for Windsor High School student Maycie Vorreiter, owning a yearbook wouldn’t have the same effect. Vorreiter was born blind, and as an exiting senior, her Windsor High career was drawing to a close. The yearbook staff of 2016 wasn’t going to let her leave without a copy, though, and came up with a solution to honor her contributions to the school and her class.

After winning $500 at a summer yearbook camp in 2015, editor-in-chief Charlie Sparacio drafted a plan to create the school’s first braille yearbook. The $4000 cost was split between the school and the publisher, and the final compendium spanned four volumes and sat a foot tall, with the theme emblazoned in braille on all other yearbook covers.

Sparacio and his team kept the project a secret from Vorreiter until the yearbook was ready. “It was one of those really awesome moments that I would want to relive again,” she told The Press Democrat. “My hope is that in the future, if there are other visually-impaired students that go through high school, they get a yearbook for their senior year, too.”

You Said It

By many accounts, 2016 was an interesting year. This is perhaps no better reflected than in the choices for the 2016 Word of the Year. Oxford Dictionaries chose the word post-truth, due to its spike in frequency this year—an adjective defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

Surreal was Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year. It too was looked up more frequently, with the largest spike in lookups following the United States presidential election in November. saw one word search that spiked time and again, and as a result chose its Word of the Year as xenophobia, defined as; “a fear or hatred of foreigners, people from different cultures, or strangers.” Also defined as; “a fear or dislike of the customs, dress, etc., of people who are culturally different from oneself.”






In this Issue

If Old Vines Could Talk

When Edoardo Seghesio left Italy in 1886, little did he know that he was on his way to building an American winemaking legacy. Seghesio left his family’s vineyards in the Piedmont region to jo...


When the smoke cleared last fall in Wine Country after the most destructive firestorms in California history, the hospitality and wine industries quickly mobilized to bring back tourist dollars, esp...

The Arts

Travelers from around the world make Northern California’s Wine Country a coveted destination. Excellent wine is undeniably a powerful lure, but Sonoma and Napa counties have more to offer. Al...

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