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Ask Julie: My Anxiety Is Hurting My Relationships

Q:All my life, I have never been able to do what i like to do for the fear of being judged by other people. It has come to such a point that I cannot think for myself; it always has to be “if I do this, what will others think?”I have good friends who keep advising me to be more social, but my fear gets the better of me. I haven’t had a serious relationship in a long time. I am scared if that if I keep being such an introvert, I’ll end up with no life. I have lost all sense of emotions in the last few months and am becoming desperate for companionship and just to be accepted.

A: Thank you for writing in. I wish I could talk to you to clarify how long this has been going on. I do have a few thoughts, though. You may have developed social phobia or another form of anxiety disorder. What you’re describing sounds like more than just simply being introverted. I really think you should get some help from a professional. Watch the video for the rest of this answer.

Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW

5 Ways to Develop Resilience: Studio 5

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Everyone goes through challenging experiences: loss, illness, divorce, and other hardships can take a heavy emotional toll. Resilience is being able overcome these kind of struggles and is the ability to “bounce back.” But you don’t have to wait until the storms hit to develop this skill. Here are 5 ways to build resilience for when you really need it:
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How to Help an Unhappy Friend: Studio 5

How to help and unhappy friend: Julie Hanks, LCSW on Studio 5

True friends often go through a lot together. They experience the joys and good times, and sometimes they seeeach other through harder seasons of life as well. But it can be difficult to know exactly how to react when a friend is weathering a particularly difficult storm or is in some way unfulfilled. Here are 5 strategies to employ when a friend is unhappy:

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Ask Julie: How Do I Open up Emotionally to my Therapist?

Q: How do I open up to my therapist? I am constantly worried that he might think I’m trying to get attention. I have an eating disorder, and I’m slightly overweight (according to my BMI). I’m just not able to be truly open and honest. He really is a great therapist, and I have a deeper connection with him than most others in my life. I have these feelings outside of therapy, but when I go in, I put on a face that everything is ok. How do I work on this to communicate better?

A: Great question! The emotional pattern of guarding your feelings is likely part of the reason you’re in therapy in the first place. I think the first step is to tell you’re therapist that you’re having a hard time opening up! Watch the video for complete answer.

Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW

“Who Am I Without You” 5 Reasons Self-Esteem is a Myth

IPPY Award-Winning Author of This is How We Grow, Dr. Christina Hibbert and I have been close friends for over 8 years. We’ve seen each other through many ups and downs, through stresses and successes, and I am thrilled to get to share one of Christina’s latest successes—her brand new, just-released book, “Who Am I Without You!”  A fabulous guide to overcoming a breakup, divorce, or any life transition or loss, “Who Am I Without You” shares 52 short lessons and tools for overcoming, becoming and flourishing! I received an advanced copy of the book and here’s what I had to say about it:

“With just the right blend of empathy for the reader’s pain and encouragement to move forward, Christina Hibbert has written an accessible, practical, and compassionate guidebook for reclaiming self-worth after a breakup. I’ve seen hundreds of women in my psychotherapy practice who feel unworthy of love, and whose self-esteem has taken a blow after a failed relationship—and I wish I’d had this book to recommend to them! Who Am I Without You? is a much-needed companion on the road to resolving emotional barriers, reclaiming your worth, and re-envisioning a life of love after loss.”

—Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW, psychotherapist, author of The Burnout Cure, and owner and executive director of Wasatch Family Therapy

Check out this excerpt from one of Dr. Hibbert’s favorite chapters and then check out the book! If you don’t need it, then you probably know someone who does.

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5 Common Creativity Myths: Studio 5

5 Common CreativityMyths(1)

When you think of the idea of creativity, what comes to mind? A brilliant painter? A famous film director? An acclaimed composer? While those examples certainly are true, there is more to creativity than famous artists and their work. For the purpose of this discussion, the definition of creativity is the ability to make new things or think new ideas, transforming existing materials into something novel and beneficial. Here are 5 common myths about creativity:
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The Marilyn Monroe You May Not Know: Celebrity Legacies

I’m fortunate enough to be part of a television project docu-series called “Celebrity Legacies” on ReelzChannel, where I provided mental health and relationship commentary on the lives of deceased celebrities.


Celebrity Legacies on Reelz Channel

Julie Hanks on Celebrity Legacies

Beneath the Glamour

Marilyn Monroe is perhaps the most iconic figure in Hollywood history. At the height of her fame, she oozed glamour, effortless charm, and sex appeal, and the audiences and critics couldn’t get enough. But beneath the exterior of the “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” singing one-woman empire was a deeply troubled girl riddled with insecurity, family losses, and emotional pain.

A Troubled Childhood

Norma Jean Mortenson had an unstable early childhood. Born in a charity ward in Los Angeles, she moved in and out of foster homes for years, as her mother Gladys was emotionally and financially unstable to raise her. Though Gladys did temporarily regain custody of her daughter a few times, her mental state rendered her unable to permanently care for her, and Norma Jean eventually became a ward of the state. As Gladys was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, Norma Jean lived the rest of her life in fear that she too would experience mental illness. Her tumultuous upbringing was not lost on her; of her experience, she wrote: “this sad bitter child who grew up too fast is hardly ever out of my heart.”

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5 Steps to a Powerful Apology: Studio 5

5 steps to powerful apology

Human beings are prone to mistakes, and we all have the experience of doing or saying something that has hurt another person (even someone we value and love). In order to repair those precious relationships, it is often necessary to apologize. But simply saying, “I’m sorry” is rarely enough. Here are 5 steps to giving a powerful, sincere apology:

1) Own Your Part

To truly mean that you are sorry, you need to own up to the specific thing you said or did that contributed to the other person’s pain. Take full responsibility for the part you played. Avoid general statements (“I’m sorry for whatever I did to hurt you“) or making reservations about the mistake you made. Have the courage to own up to your fault.

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UVU Keynote: Focus on Perfectionism

I enjoyed presenting at the UVU Mental Health Symposium yesterday. Thank you to those who attended for your wonderful participation and for UVU’s Dr. Kris Doty for the invitation.

Many of you asked about how to access the slides from my presentation. You can download them in PDF format through the link below:

UVU Creativity as Antidote to Perfectionism Powerpoint

5 Phrases for Recovering Perfectionists

Read news articles about the symposium below

Being imperfect can be a good thing! (Daily Herald)

Speakers at UVU symposium encourage people to embrace their imperfections (Deseret News)

 

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