Let’s get one thing straight at the start of this blog post: we all numb our pain. We may like to pretend otherwise; that we are somehow more enlightened, that we lean into our pain, that we are proactive about our coping skills, and that we are invested in understanding our emotional experience, and while we may believevery strongly in the value of these approaches to life, when it comes right down to it, when we are hit upside the head with painful emotions, most of us flee. We head for cover, reach for the nearest bag of potato chips, put ourselves in a Netflix-induced coma, or push ourselves to oblivion out on the trail. The mechanism of numbing may be different, but the fact remains the same: we numb in the face of pain. (more…)
I’ve been thinking about the old proverb “April showers bring May flowers” lately because some days it still feels like winter! We are in that weird transitional time in the season when we could experience warm spring weather and cold, snowy and rainy weather in the same week, sometimes even in the same day. (more…)
I remember having one of those childhood toy boxes with the cut-out shapes on the lid, where you were supposed to fit the right shape into the right hole. What great satisfaction there was in finding the right fit. But also what frustration and confusion when you could not. Maybe you see where I’m going with this. I spent a lot of time, even into adulthood, metaphorically feeling like the kid trying to figure out what to do with the “wrong shape”. (more…)
This past week I had the opportunity to attend the Qualtrics X4 Experience Management Summit. From Wednesday to Friday we were treated to instruction and wisdom via business leaders from all over the country, and even the world. Among a whole host of notable speakers were names like Ashton Kutcher (actor and investor), Sir Richard Branson (Entrepreneur and founder of the Virgin Group), Adam Silver (NBA commissioner, a personal favorite), President Barack Obama, and Oprah Winfrey. Needless to say, it was a week full of inspiring stories and life lessons.
Have you ever had your mind so set on something that you could picture every single detail? Who would be there. What you would be wearing. What you would eat. What the weather would be like. Maybe this is your wedding day. A graduation. First day of a dream job. For me, this was the Boston Marathon.
The mental health stigma is real. Research shows that the majority of people have negative perceptions, attitudes, and stereotypes towards people with mental illness.
“Oh. You go to therapy?”
“Isn’t therapy for crazies?”
Well, let me tell you. In my experience in out patient settings like Balance, Health and Healing, typical clients in therapy are usually high functioning, intelligent, successful individuals dealing with a myriad of presenting concerns. So, no, you are not crazy for going to therapy.
This last month, while leading my psychotherapy group, the theme of labels came up and group members shared how they identify themselves with certain labels. Common labels in this context included, “Disciplined” “an Athlete,” and “the Small one.” We explored their attachment to these labels and how that very same attachment is what was getting in the way of their recovery and important flexibility in how they view themselves. I asked the group, “What if the very label you so highly value, is, at best, keeping you stuck, and at worst, hurting you?”
Remember a couple months ago when I was talking about the pre-doctoral internship application process that I’m in? Well, I just finished all of my interviews and submitted my rankings, leaving the fate of my future in the non-existent hands of some complicated matching algorithm. The hardest part of this whole process for me was deciding how to rank these potential sites, so this month I wanted to talk about how I made this literally life-altering decision.