Sharing ways to make good days happen


Happy Holidays! Here's Free "Kick Back And Relax" Movies For Computer Or Ipod or Iphone! sticky icon

Harris Jensen Releases Four Free Movies About The Beauty Of The Rocky Mountains! Relaxation Movies Play On Your IPOD!

All Feature Fabulous  Jazz Music By Mark Sloniker!

Just Click The Links Below And Get'em Free!

by Harris Jensen, MD

Editor, Good Day Journal

Many of us live in the Rocky Mountains because of the glorious nature that surrounds us here.  Soaring peaks 14,000 feet high, elk, bigho

How To Deal With A Scary Economy sticky icon

The Coloradoan Publishes Article By Harris Jensen

by Harris Jensen, MD

I was moved by friends wrestling with this bad economy, and how presidential candidates were trying to wrestle with the issues as well.

"Four Secrets For Successful Living" Is Getting Some Good Reviews! sticky icon

Readers Find It Useful For Stress Managment, Panic and Weight Loss Issues

by Harris Jensen, MD

Editor, Good Day Journal

It's encouraging when a book gets good reviews before it's even done!  People using concepts in the book, "Four Secrets For Successful Living," report finding themselve more effective in managing stress, panic and weight loss problems.

Here's hundreds of wildlife photos from the Rocky Mountains! sticky icon

Harris Jensen's nature photo slide show is quick and easy...

just watch the hundreds of photos of the Rocky Mountains from Colorado and Wyoming and Montana...a great way to destress!


by Harris Jensen, MD

Editor, Good Day Journal

After a long day at school or at the office, the last think you want to do is work at something to relieve stress.  Your are out of gas--maybe emotionally and with what is in your car's gas tank.

Here is something to do to let go of the worries of the world without making much of an effort.

Watch these images from a lake high in the Snowy Range of Wyoming and elsewhere in the Rockies.  It was a warm summer afternoon when some of these pictures were taken.  Brook trout were sipping mayflies on the surface of the lake.  A light breeze rippled the surface.  And no one else was around.  A rabbit hopped along the shore.  Flowers were blooming in a meadow.

Some photos are from Estes Park, Colorado, others are from the Front Range here in Colorado, while others are from the Tetons and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming...the heron pictures however are from Florida...enjoy!

Enjoy letting go!  Nature makes it easier!

If you put your mouse's cursor over the photos, a menu will appear over the bottom of the pictures. Clicking the colored circle in the lower right corner of the picture will bring you to a page where you can click "Harris" and get to my other public web galleries of photos.  Enjoy them too if you want...


Harris Jensen tells the story about seasonal depression treatment... sticky icon

Light Therapy Brings Back That Spring In Your Step!  Lamps At The Light Center In Fort Collins Provide The Required Full Spectrum Light

Teton Sunset
by Harris Jensen, MD
Psychiatrist, Fort Collins, Colorado
Key Words: Harris Jensen, seasonal depression, light therapy, full spectrum light therapy.

We’ve fallen in love with lots of sun in Colorado.  More than 300 sunny days a year see us flocking to the mountains to ski or hike or what have you...and we get a little grumpy when we lose some of that light in the fall and winter as the sun sails lower in the sky.
At least one in ten of us feel that way, anyway.
Experts call it seasonal affective disorder or syndrome, but really we just miss our bath of summer sun, all 10,000 lux (or units) of full spectrum light warming our skin and our emotional brain.  
The winter blues start with low energy.  You miss that spring in your step.  You find yourself sleeping more, maybe nine hours instead of eight, and still you feel tired on your to class or work...and getting through your day.  It’s harder to focus, more of an effort to stay what you know you enjoy.
Your “get up and go just got up and left”, thanks to not enough sun.  There’s too much of the sleep hormone melatonin in your head, according to one theory.  
About 10,000 units, or lux, of light, is needed to reduce the release of the melatonin from the pineal gland deep in your brain.  The sun’s light hits the back of your eye and creates an electric signal in the 12 layers of cells in the retina, that rockets at 100 feet per second down specialized highways of nerves called the retinohypothalamic tract and suprachiasmatic nucleus, before it reaches the pineal gland.  Full spectrum lamps, available at The Light Center in Fort Collins, CO, provide just this kind of light, reversing this "seasonal depression."
But come fall, it “ain’t happening” with full spectrum light from the sun.  The earth is tilted away from the sun and much less that 10,000 units of light hit the earth, perhaps 8,000 lux or 6,000 lux make it through a much deeper path through the earth’s atmosphere at northern latitudes, filtering out some wavelengths of light.

Be A Champ At Losing Weight! Be Empowered By New Science! sticky icon

Tips and Traps In Weight Loss
New Studies And A New Book Show What Works and What Doesn’t
Dieters Empowered By New Data -- Revised As Of 4/24/09

by Harris Jensen, MD
Editor, Good Day Journal


Keywords: Dieting, Weight Loss, The Beck Diet Solution, Dr. Judith Beck,  metabolic syndrome, impact of weight gain, Fort Collins, Colorado psychiatrist

(Photo at above: Healthy living in action!  Here's a tastey dish of spaghetti sauce, green beans, zuchini and other garden veggies, full of nutrition and flavor, but not full of high carbohydrate  or high fat foods.  Yum yum!   Photo: Harris Jensen)

If you are dieting, you want to be a loser.  And you don’t want to lose at that.

The key to losing weight and keeping it off is focus, focus, focus...on learning what works for you.

Focus on results.

What gives you the results: the thinking and action.

Now you are thinking thin, according to national dieting experts.  Any other focus and you are "thinking fat" and chances are if you lose weight then you will gain it back.

Being ready to change is not enough.

Being motivated is not enough.

You need to focus on results.

Two out of three dieters will gain back the weight they lost...and go on to get demoralized and give up...and be another casualty to overeating.

You want to lose weight and keep it off?

To be a success at losing weight and keeping it off...that takes effort, and strategies.

Good News For Cigarette Smokers! New Medicine Kills The Cravings! sticky icon

Chantix is hailed as new "arrow in the quiver"

in the arsenal to fight cigarette smoking

Key Words: Chantix, smoking, smoking cessation, quitting smoking, nicotine dependence, Fort Collins Colorado psychiatrist

by Harris Jensen, MD

Editor, Good Day Journal

Dr. Harris Jensen, Psychiatrist, Fort Collins, Colorado sticky icon

Compassion, Innovation, Service and Dedication To Your Care

by Harris Jensen, MD
3500 John F Kennedy PKWY Ste 210 Fort Collins, CO 80525 Ph 970-416-8354

At my office we strive to be as helpful as possible, empowering people to overcome depression or anxiety or similar issues.  We take insurance and self pay patients.  We provide a large array of services to help you get control of your life again, from a "positive" approach.

 I even share hundreds of audio blogs and pdfs on dozens of stress relief topics at: Positivity Library.

I practice what is now known as "Positive Psychiatry." Here is a link reviewing that in great detail: POSITIVE.

These services include: medication, alternative medication, counseling, and training in a wide array of stress managment strategies.

You are in the driver's seat.  You can choose what you want to do and I am here to help you every step of the way.  I can teach time managment strategies, meditation, mindfulness strategies, rational thinking skills, relationship skills, among many other stress managment strategies.  You pick what you want to do and I'll work with you on those things you choose.  Superior stress managment strategies often allow a person to reduce their need for medication.  To empower my patients I give them a link to a library of 800 audio files and dozens of PDF's I have written, which explains specific examples of how people have changed their thinking to develope more confidence and emotional self control!

Another innovation is different visit times.  I see people for a 45 minute first visit.  Depending on what we think is reasonable, followup visits can be for  15 minutes or 30 minute visits. 

Next, I'd like to share my practice philosophy.

In trying to help people heal, the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates sought to understand the person, the mind and the body, and find ways to help the body heal itself.   The body can heal itself, but sometimes it needs a little help.

In taking a holistic approach, I look at the biological and psychological and social factors causing problems. 

I look for biological answers, like medication, when a biological problem has been identified.  And sometimes there are psychological problems, so they should get psychological answers with new thinking strategies to reduce stress.  A new medication won't help if a person's thinking is off track.  And then social problems should get a social answer.

I look at the “four legs” of the chair of life, to borrow a metaphor from Plato.

Each leg of the chair represents the biological, psychological, social, and environmental aspects of a person’s life. These are the vital issues in one’s life. 

If even one leg is knocked out, the chair doesn’t work well.  If you sit in a chair and find it unsteady with one leg find by experience that you can’t trust the stability of that chair  and have to you don’t fall!
In this manner, compassion and understanding one’s needs are the keys to a healing relationship between doctor and patient.

One key item to understand is that while the world is often harsh,  a person can learn to deal more effectively with it, using strengths more effectively, if the underlying key  “chemical imbalance” can be improved.  For example, once an antidepressant starts working, a person often reports naturally having good self esteem and feels safe to take risks and meet new people and work to better their living situation (all four legs are covered, strengthened, in the chair model.)

At Our Office, We Are Personable
I endeavor to take such a wholistic approach in my practice of psychiatry.   I never label people, only the illnesses that are bothering them.  I often help people to quit labeling themselves.  The key to helping the body heal from illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder,or an  anxiety disorder involves gaining a deeper understanding of the person and their world and how the illness has changed over time.


To help people feel comfortable coming to our office for medical care, we’ve done a number of things:

  • Our office is at 3500 John F Kennedy Parkway, Suite 210, Fort Collins, CO.  It is quiet yet private.Handicap accessible.
  • We have early and late hours to accomodate people's schedules: Mondays we work until 7pm and most days we start at 8 am.  People appreciate this!
  • Our staff strives to be sensitive and personable and understanding.
  • We offer coffee, tea and other condiments, as well as magazines and music and comfortable chairs.
  • And did I forget someone?  We have a“happy greeter dog” to meet you.  Charlie joined us in 2004 and is a “mellow lab,” greeting you with a wagging tail too.

.It is stressful for many to come to a doctor and deal with life’s troubles, and a number of therapists and psychiatrists in the country have found pets help people take their minds off themselves for a moment.  A dog's accepting and cheerful attitude can also be infectious!  And what better to complete the homey environment than a dog?

Here Is A List Of Issues I Help People With In My Medical Practice...With Links To Articles That Describe How I Address Those Issues For You.  See topic titles on page to the right as well.

Depression, Bipolar Affective Disorder, Mood Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury with resulting mood issues, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, eating disorders, obesity and weight loss issues, Alcohol Dependance, Alcohol Abuse, Stimulant Abuse and Dependance, Marijuana Abuse and Dependance, Internet Addiction, Pornography Addiction, Gambling Addiction.  I also help people with time managment issues and organization problems, as well as issues related to work conflicts, relationship issues, men's issues, grief and loss issues, and professional interaction issues.

Another key issue is helping people with insurance issues!

Our administrative assistant does a great job working with people on the many insurance questions that come up...even if you haven't started working with me.  Ask my assistant or receptionist your questions and we'll do our best to help you sort out things in that jungle of insurance rules...

Thanks for all your work and dedication, guys! I couldn't have a medical practice without your help and I very much appreciate all your hard work and integrity.


The more relaxed and comfortable a person feels, the better able they are to tell me what is really going on so  I can find a way to help.  And that is important. Getting better also involves an accurate understanding of what is bothering you. Studies show patients getting better often don’t follow through with their medication or other strategies and doctors need to do a better job in forging stronger doctor patient relationships.

So our “homey environment” is all about helping you get better and stay better. To top it off I have put dozens of my wildlife photographs in the office for making the office more personal.  I threw out a bunch of money off coupon displays from drug companies to make for a less corporate atmosphere, in response to feedback from patients.

At Our Office, We Are On Time!

Doctors are notorious for being late.  Nowdays, everyone is busy. Recently a housewife was kept waiting at a doctor’s office, only to find that her child’s immunizations first needed another doctor’s signed recommendation.  She had two free hours every day, in the midst of caring for two children, a house, paying bills, cooking dinner, cleaning, answering letters. 

“My day was wasted!” she said.  

Everyone is busy, everyone’s time is valuable, so I endeavor to not rush patients, but start and finish on time.  We do much better than the national average of 20 minutes late.  Yet occasionally I am late due to patient emergencies!  I am sorry for that but I am sure you appreciate the kind of situations I can run into.  This is an unusual occurrance.  I appreciate you have a busy schedule too.     It takes teamwork!   Everybody in the office is working to help visits stay on time and within the scheduled time limit. Thank you for your understanding.  Thank you in advance for coming to your visit prepared, with a list of questions, if need be.

My followup visits are often brief, about 15 minutes.  I don't do "in depth" psychotherapy with brief visits, but solution focused teaching and coaching.  I teach coping skills and new thinking strategies to help people get on top of problems they are facing.  Some people need longer visits of 45 to 60 minutes for in depth counseling, and for those situations I recommend they see me for medication followup and another person for counseling  .To help with life skills coaching I have about 20 pdf books and over 800 audio files on a web page. I can email a patient a link to that web page so they can download what they want when they want it.  Simple and convenient! 

The audio file are on topics like: power over depression, power over bipolar disorder, power for time managment, power over anxiety, power over social anxiety, power to build yourself up (self esteem building), power over obsessions, power for job hunting.

In all I have more than 100 hours of audio files or podcasts to help you learn!

At Our Office, We Are Encouraging
I use the latest in medical science training in coming up with a treatment plan.  That means I have read my medical journals, and may offer medication, but I’m also trying to “tap in” to your wide array of strengths as well.
What kind of strengths?
ones people wish others would appreciate in themselves:

  • willingness to learn
  • interest in learning new information by listening
  • willingness to be a “team player” with the doctor
  • willingness to set new goals
  • willing to use to do lists to pursue those goals
  • daring to do a few new things
  • a desire to please yourself by achieving goals
  • an interest in thinking from a new point of view
  • taking an interest in what’s right in your life...your accomplishments
  • willing to tap into your abilities
  • an interest in setting smaller goals to get more achievments
  • willingness to ask others for help
  • being open to encouragment
  • consistency
  • following through on committments

What about negative reviews on Google?  What business doesn't get those!.  I can't acknowledge if a reviewer is even my patient!  Therefore, ethically, I can't speak specifically to issues such as if there were misunderstandings, etc., affecting the review. I estimate I have taught at least 500 people how to manage their stress so well they have gotten off all their medications and were doing well.  Then they didn't need to see me anymore.  I wish those folks would write reviews on Google!  Oh well.


Back to positivity:

People have a very large list of talents, abilities, accomplishments, experiences to tap into.  I am amazed daily by what I see my patients overcome.

My challenge is to find what medicine can allow that person to use their strengths effectively and tackle the current challenges before them and have some personally rewarding experinces that help them feel they are moving forward in a purposeful direction again.


A Wholistic Approach Based On Evidence, Not Dogma

Understanding how the brain works opens up great possibilities for new treatment approaches.

I work with people to use the mix of medicines, thinking strategies, and herbal supplements that "do the job" for controlling their mood or other issues.  The key is a focus on what works.  Nothing in life works the same way for everyone.  The goal is to learn what works by observing the impact of different strategies.  The picture above is of the Purple Coneflower.  It was used by Native Americans to treat some kinds of infections.  No well designed study shows it works.  However, one person I know used it to cure recurrent sinus infections.  So some people can find benefit from herbal medicines using an observation based approach.

One patient found great benefit from antidepressants, but the sexual side effects were unacceptable.  We used exercise four times per week, which increases nerve growth factor four times more in the presence of an antidepressant, to allow cutting down the antidepressant to one half to one fourth the usual level.  His mood was good and sexual side effects were gone.  Changing thinking strategies helped control anxiety.  Supplementation with fish oil helped provide the physical building blocks for nerves to rebuild nerve circuitry to reinforce his positive thinking and positive attitude.  He notices if he drops off his exercising, his anxiety gets worse, and he self corrects his behavior.  He's in charge of his mood!

At Our Office, We Stay Current With The Science

There has been an explosion in new medicines for a variety of concerns in recent years. 

There are now medications for fibromyalgia (lyrica), chronic fatigue (provigil), and a whole host of new medications for other concerns:

  • Depression (more than two dozen new medicines)
  • Bipolar Affective Disorder (more than a dozen new medicines)
  • Panic Disorder (more than a dozen new medicines)
  • Alcohol Dependence (antabuse, campral, revia)
  • Nicotine Dependence (chantix)
  • Borderline Personality Disorder (dialectic behavior  therapy and several new medicines)

Increasingly my own medical journals have gone beyond medical research alone and tapped in to an enormous base of hundreds of scientific journals  in the new field of brain science.  A leader in this field is the psychiatrist Eric Kanfield, winner of the Nobel Prize for his work in this field, defining the molecular basis of learning in neurons in the central nervous system.

You, as a result, will benefit from my readling in these fields.  I have many articles copied on my computer as well on paper in my office for your perusal.

These include articles from well respected peer-reviewed journals in science, such as:

  • Archives of General Psychiatry
  • American Journal of Psychiatry
  • Journal of the American Psychiatric Association
  • National Institutes of Mental Health
  • Natural History
  • Neuropsychopharmacology
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Nature Medicine
  • Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • The Journal of Neuroscience
  • Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health
  • Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience
  • American Family Physician
  • Archives of Internal Medicine
  • The New England Journal of Medicine
  • Molecular Psychiatry
  • Neurobiology
  • Annual Reviews of Neuroscience
  • Journal of American Medical Association
  • Psychiatric Annals
  • Science

Are you beginning to get a picture of the explosion of information about how the brain works? 

You don’t have to read these journals.  I have!  I’ll simply share with you the  “nuggets of gold” of information relevant to your care.  If you want to read some summaries of new science, I can refer you to web sites I’ve personally visited and found to have accurate information.

At Our Office, We Stay Current With The New Medical Information As Well

Medicines can help the brain heal from “chemical imbalances,”  or structural problems such as defective serotonin pumps, or inflammatory processes such as depression, and I will share with you scientific evidence for this fact. 

It is important you understand why we believe a medicine works and how we believe it works.  I will either show you the scientific study that proves a medication works, or I will show you how to find that study by doing an internet search yourself.  Now days, people want to take an active role in their medical care.

“Expert opinions” about what a medicine is good for is not enough now days, people want to see “proof” because the placebo effect and “tricks with statistics” can make herbal preparations, alternative and traditional medications look like they work for a given problem, when they don’t.  Everyone has heard stories of drug companies “covering up” research studies that showed a certain medicine didn’t work.

People want results and that’s what I’m here for!

As a trained physician, my approach is “driven by the evidence.”  The days of a doctor just making educated guesses is long gone.  We have evidence now to inform us of what medications work for what concerns, and likewise what counseling strategies work for what specific concerns.  We even have a deeper understanding of the nature of the underlying brain structures that are not working right.

For instance, with depression, a major factor in depression is thought to be with early life stress activating the otherwise dormant s allele of the promoter region of the SERT gene (SLC 6A4), which leads the serotonin nerves to make defective serotonin reuptake  transporters (SERT), thereby causing the serotonin nerves to be ineffective in reabsorbing serotonin it has released.  This is a major way serotonin nerves “recycle” serotonin by reabsorbing and repackaging it so its readily available to be released again. (1)

Another study found antidepressants stop the reduction in serotonin 1A receptors due to stress, allowing serotonin nerves to better respond to stress and calm down the depression center in the brain (thalamus) and fear center (amygdala).  This also allows the brain to more dynamically respond to “natural remedies,” too.  Exercise releases about 4 times more nerve growth factor in rats that used an antidepressant compared to rats that ran 2 kilomoters per night and didn’t use an MAO inhibitor antidepressant.  I have a number of patients using daily exercise and medication and exposure to sunlight to “beat back” their depression, when medication alone didn’t give good enough results.

The Information Age has truly brought about much healing in the area of mental health by allowing us to understand our brain more effectively.

At Our Office We Believe In Using The Latest Technology

None of that does any good, however, if you are such a bundle of nerves you don’t feel comfortable opening up to your doctor!  So we have our home office and our greeter dogs and recently we’ve added a web site, “Good Day Journal.”

This web site offers a whole host of information to enlighten and encourage you as you seek to overcome your adversities.  I’m writing new articles every week about what people are doing and can do to take more control of things in their life, and often these articles refer to recent research in medical science and brain science journals.

Some people learn best by listening.  So hearing it once from a doctor is enough.  But they’d like to listen to an article on the topic to learn things more deeply now that their curiosity is up.  But they don’t have the energy to read.  This is very many people!  I’m an encouraging “passive learning” by adding audio files at the end of many of my articles, including this one, so those who want to can simply “listen and learn.”

I’ve had great feedback on my instructional audio files. 

Others need to dig deeper and learn better by reading.  So they can read things more deeply at The Good Day Journal.  A number of articles have references to the scientific journals quoted.

And still others learn more by use of multimedia.  So at The Good Day Journal I put some articles in pdf format or in audio format and have one relaxation movie with more on the way.

Currently there is a free CD for learning relaxation methods there...there are several tracks to download where you can listen to me provide guided relaxation training.  A number of patients have told me this was useful.  In the near future I’ll offer more audio files for guided training in other forms of relaxation and stress managment...not that this will ever take the place of psychotherapy.  But many people use CD’s to learn, just look at all the trainning CD’s on different topics next time you visit Barnes and Noble!

The most powerful tool for me to help your feedback!  You need to be satisfied I am understanding what is going on and we are helping you move forward taking charge of different issues in your life.  You are entitled to give me feedback  we need to focus more on one area or another.  You are entitled that you need to feel satisfied I am giving you the medication and teaching you need to overcome your problems.  I love feedback!

Mostly I have learned from my patients.  They told me they needed more than medicines.  They needed bigger plans to control their mood and anxiety concerns, plans that included medication and better coping skills.  They also had limited time and energy.  They needed me on time with new services!  I’ve done my best to respond and I’m always looking for ways to improve.  Thank you for considering using my practice...and thanks for your feedback!

Harris Jensen, MD

1. “Influence of life stress on depression: moderation by a polymorphism in the 5-HTT gene. Caspi, A, et. al. Science 2003, 301:386-389.  As quoted in, "Recent findings in the pathophysiology of depression," Charles B. Nemeroff, MD, PhD,  p. 7, Focus: The Journal of Lifelong Learning in Psychiatry, Winter, 2008, 6:1.

Good News: Free Relaxation Movie About The Rocky Mountains! sticky icon

Journal Release First In Series Of Nature Music Videos
Nature images and jazz music make for relaxing moments...

"Autumn Treasure" is ready to web stream to you right now, just click the play button below!

Hit the "square button" in the lower right hand corner for full screen mode...thanks to You Tube, you've got video...

The .m4v file at bottom of article is ready to download to your computer to transfer to your ipod as well...for free!

Click this link to see the video on your ipod or iphone at You Tube!

Key words: relaxation, nature photography, nature video, jazz music, Mark Sloniker, stress managment
by Harris Jensen, MD
Editor Good Day Journal


After several years in development, it’s here!  A collaboration of two Colorado artists has yielded a series of four movies totaling about 90 minutes of relaxing nature images and soothing jazz sounds.
Mark Sloniker, a well known jazz artist in Colorado, has produced a number of CD’s (see which have been used as movie soundtracks before (ABC Sports and Public Television) but this is his first collaboration with Jensen.
Now is Jensen an artist?

Good News For Learning Meditation! sticky icon

Journal Releases Free Meditation Audio File!!!

Yours for the downloading at the bottom of this article...

just click on the blue "attachments" link below!

by Harris Jensen, MD

Editor, Good Day Journal

The audio files below review an introduction to meditation or mindfulness training.  With a little humor involved in the process!

Our lives can be so stressful, but nothing beats quieting our busy brains down, so they simply accept each moment as it comes to it.

We often "resist" each moment as it comes to us.

We may do that by thinking too much, feeling too much, worrying about the past, worrying about the future, planning, dwelling on how things are not how you like them.

Hey, we are good at fighting the present moment!

But that is where we live.

We have no other time to live in, but now.