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.
I was born and raised in Hawaii so for most of my life, the only seasonal changes I experienced were summer, when it felt hot as Hades, and winter, when it was slightly cooler and rainy. I was in for a rude awakening when I moved to Utah right before winter season in 2011 with my yearlong wardrobe of shorts, t-shirts, and slippers (which I have since learned that most people around here call flip flops). Since then, I have been better prepared with winter clothes, anti-freeze liquid for my car, and salt to sprinkle on my driveway and I’ve learned the hard way to not run or even walk briskly on ice, slow down on the freeway, and shovel the snow in the driveway before it sticks.
Somehow I missed reading, The Giver by Lois Lowry, in middle school, when most people read it for English class. But better late than never! I devoured The giver in two days over the holiday break. While I’m sure it makes for great YA reading, I am glad I read it, now, as an adult. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the book and it’s themes since. Some important themes stand out and relate to how I view the world and why I chose to be a therapist.