The Most Powerful Question We Can Ask Others During Difficult Times

It goes without saying that there is a lot (understatement of the millennia) of political turmoil going on. I know it has been hard on people. It is hard on them as individuals, families, couples, employees, companies, etc. I felt it might be beneficial for me to sit down and write about it as a mental health clinician. As my cursor blinked at me from the blank page, I thought, “What on earth can I write that would be helpful?” Continue reading

Why You Should Not Fight Your Feelings

One of the hardest parts, in my experience, of beginning to practice self-compassion is getting an idea of what it would sound like to do it. Does self-compassion sound like pity (“Oh you poor thing”)? Is it like cheerleading (“It’s okay! Get back up again, you can do it! You’re #1!”)? Does it sound like coaching (“Okay, so you messed that up. Here’s what you need to do next…”)? Continue reading

Quit Punishing Yourself (Do This Instead)

In my last blog, Why We Self Criticize and What To Do About It, I raised a question about what makes it so difficult for us to extend the same compassion to ourselves that we give to others. So many times, after a client has disclosed a self-critical thought they have toward themselves (i.e. “I am unlovable” or “I am a bad parent”), I have asked them whether they would ever say that to anyone else. Typically people will emphatically say that they would never say such a nasty thing to someone else, yet they consistently have the thought about themselves day after day. Continue reading

“I just don’t know what to do.”

“I just don’t know what to do”. This phrase has been uttered innumerable times in sessions with clients, usually accompanied by them hanging their head or looking at the floor. The statement typically follows some description of a feeling or situation in their life that is causing intense pain or anxiety, and does not seem to be improving. Seeing someone so dejected can be heart-wrenching and I think that most people then feel a pull to give an answer. To fix it.

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