We each have a long list of personal responsibilities: our finances, careers, bodies, families, etc. It’s critical to be aware of our lives and our needs. But when does self-awareness become self-obsession? Do we think about ourselves too much? Here’s how to determine if you’re self-aware or self-absorbed:
Are you usually the center of attention? Do you monopolize conversations? Are all your social media updates about yourself? If so, you may be self-absorbed. Try instead to balance the attention you give to yourself and to others. Remember that everyone needs to be recognized, celebrated, and validated.
Jodie Gale MA built a thriving practice through online presence, blogging and social media. Read about her journey in this inspiring guest post.
When I returned home from the UK several years ago, I was shocked at the state of psychotherapy in Australia. There was, and still is, a lack of understanding about what psychotherapy is and a lack of promotion regarding the benefits of psychotherapy from our professional associations. Frustratingly, it is rare to find a psychotherapist (or a family/play/art therapist) working as part of a multidisciplinary team in private or public health.
There is also a deeply pervasive myth that it is impossible to fill a ‘full fee paying’ private practice as a counsellor or psychotherapist because of the mental health plan insurance system which only provides rebates to psychologists and a small number of social workers. Trying to persuade clients to engage in weekly, depth psychotherapy (without a rebate) literally felt like mission impossible. My private practice reflected this and was sporadic to say the least. Desperate and down hearted after 8 years of Master’s training to become a psychotherapist – I found myself smack bang in the middle of a major career crisis.
You already have content for hundreds of blog posts. You just don’t recognize it yet.
Therapists who are new to blogging sometimes have a difficult time finding material to write about. So where to begin? Actually, it’s much easier than you might expect.
An excellent strategy to finding material to write about is to simply repurpose and repackage existing content. That means that you remake something that’s already been created, either by you or someone else. This of course does NOT mean that you simply regurgitate what has already been written, but instead you thoughtfully craft existing material to serve a new purpose and audience. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, here!
This week on Studio 5, host Brooke Walker did a segment called “Say it in 60,” where she asked me a series of rapid-fire questions for one minute. I answered them on the spot as quickly as I could, and the results were sometimes hilarious!
Watch the video to find out if I prefer manicures or pedicures, diamonds or pearls, and diet Coke or regular Coke. I also reveal my secret talent.
The best part is toward the end when Brooke asks me what I think of when I hear the phrase “power tool.” (Hint: it’s a beauty product!)
In light of Robin Williams recent suicide, I wanted to share a colleague’s anonymous story of her own battle with depression and suicidality.
There are two things I’d like you to know about me. The first is that I’m a therapist, a clinical social worker with well over a decade of experience. I run a successful private practice and am very happily married with three children. The second is that for many years in my early twenties, I suffered from severe, treatment-resistant depression.
For close to four years, I was in and out of psychiatric hospitals, emergency rooms, and therapy offices. I was voluntarily committed, involuntarily committed, and at one point I escaped from an ER when my police escort thought it safe enough to leave me.
I remember the horrible feeling of my stomach being filled with a thick charcoal and then being emptied out, the stitches that were sewn on my skin. I recall waking up and dreading that I was still alive rather than dead.
No matter what medications they tried or which therapists I was sent to, I remained determined and desperate to end my life. At my lowest point, I called my parents from the psychiatric hospital and told them I was sorry, but I was going to kill myself again once they let me out. As a mother, I cannot fathom getting a phone call like this from my child.
In my mind, there was no future. I had been kicked out of two graduate schools for attempting suicide. I could not imagine how life would ever be tolerable. All I wanted was for the pain to stop.
I rarely think about this time in my life. None of my colleagues and very few of my friends know about it. I haven’t told my children yet, although I know that this time will come.
As I recall those days, I am truly thankful for those who interceded. But this was not always the case: For a long time I was so angry at the roommate who came home early and called 911. I was furious at the paramedics, the police and the therapists, because they didn’t understand that there was nothing left for me on this earth.
I thought it was my right as an adult human to choose if I wanted to die. I knew in my heart that I was not insane or stupid or incompetent. The problem was that I could not think clearly because depression held a vice grip on my entire being. I did not know at the time that I would find a treatment that worked, and that the demons I struggled with would eventually leave.
During my darkest days, I needed people in the world to fight for my life, because I could not.
I do not talk about my own past or current struggles in the therapy room. But when someone comes in who is hurting deeply and considering suicide, this is my message: “I know you cannot see a future for yourself. I know you don’t have the strength right now to hope for something other than what you’re feeling in this moment. So I will be strong for you. I will hope for you, until you are able to hope for yourself. “
For those who have run out of hope, we must hope. For those who have run out of strength, we must be strong. And this is why I am a therapist.
Have you ever had a task that you kept putting off? Maybe it was only for a day or two, but maybe it was for weeks or even months. Procrastination is something we all experience from time to time, but thankfully there are steps we can take to minimize this problem.
I had the opportunity to share my personal and professional insight on ways to beat procrastination in an article on Dr. Oz’s Sharecare. Here’s an outline of a few of the points I made:
1) Know Your Patterns
2) Break Tasks into Smaller Chunks
3) Go for “Good Enough”
4) Use Deadlines to Help Focus and Motivate
Click here for the full article on how to stop procrastinating for good!
Next month, I have a wonderful opportunity to participate in Affirmation, a conference dedicated to fostering a loving discussion among LGBT Mormons, their friends and family, and the LDS community. The conference is non-political, but is instead focused on providing healing, love, and support for our LGBT brothers and sisters.
These days, more and more women with children are choosing to work from home. This has many advantages: increased flexibility, spending more time with the kids, and supplementing the family income are all attractive reasons to pursue work opportunities from home. But there are unique challenges as well: these women have constant interruptions and may experience difficulty concentrating with the distractions of home life. Here are 5 survival skills for work-at-home moms:
Do you get very upset or angry easily? Have you ever been accused of being hot-headed? If you respond with intensity and emotion that is disproportionate to the situation at hand, you are overreacting.
I recently had an article published in the August edition of Community Orange Magazine where I discussed strategies to keep calm and appropriately respond to stressful situations. Here are a few basic ways to keep from overreacting.
Click here to read the full article about ways to keep your cool.