I often refer to myself as a Recovering Perfectionist. As a kid, I enjoyed learning, and was a “pleaser” by nature. It quickly became clear to me that getting good grades would earn me praise. The more A’s I achieved, the less “special” they started to feel, so the standard was raised to getting 100%. … Continue reading Recovering from Perfectionism
A few winters ago, I broke my toe when I rammed it into the corner of my couch. I knew I had injured it, but promptly went into denial. I ignored it for a few days, walking on it, exercising, jamming my feet into snow boots (gotta love Chicago winters), till the swelling and pain … Continue reading Accepting “clean pain” and letting go of “dirty pain”
When we ignore our personal values and rely instead on external validation to confirm our worth as humans, we tend to struggle with all kinds of dissatisfaction, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. This is why it's so important to explicitly clarify your values and then engage in behaviors that align with those values. I hope … Continue reading How to discover your personal values to improve life satisfaction
I recently saw an exhibit at the Field Museum called “Evolving Planet” that completely blew my mind. The display takes the visitor through four billion years of life on Earth, starting with single-celled organisms and moving all the way up through the evolution of every species till present-day humans. I knew from biology classes over … Continue reading Want to enjoy your life more? Think about death.
When you open up in therapy, it can be magical. It can lead to change, growth, insight, recovery, and healing. But being able to go “deeper” than surface-level topics can be challenging, especially if you’ve been hurt, dismissed, or embarrassed in the past, or if you’re having a hard time coming to terms with a … Continue reading 7 Tips for Opening Up in Therapy
A couple weeks back, I shared my #2018resolution to work harder to demystify mental health treatment. One of the things that makes therapy so complex is that it's designed to treat somewhat abstract human experiences, so it's tricky to point to exactly what works and what doesn't. Because no two humans are exactly the same, … Continue reading Demystifying Mental Health Treatment: What to do if you’re feeling “stuck” in therapy
It’s the start of a new year, and while you don’t need the calendar to tell you when to make a change, the whole #resolutions thing makes it a convenient time for many to reflect on goals for themselves in the upcoming year and start taking action steps. My #resolution is to do my part … Continue reading Demystifying Mental Health Treatment: How long will I need therapy?
Reading tends to be very “all or nothing” for me—I’m either totally consumed, turning pages for hours on end and ignoring the world around me and internal cues for food or sleep until I’m done, or I’m noncommittal, absent-mindedly skimming paragraphs until I inevitably abandon it to collect dust on my nightstand with all of … Continue reading Book Review: “I’m Fine… and Other Lies” by Whitney Cummings
One of the most common questions I’m asked by therapy and testing clients is “Am I normal?” It’s a fair question, and it makes sense that some people view psychologists as the people trained to give a solid answer. After all, one of the core educational requirements of anyone seeking a graduate degree in psychology … Continue reading Am I “Normal?”
The other morning, I decided to cut through a nearby park on my way home from a workout. As I was strolling along, a man approached, clearly staring me up and down. When we crossed paths, he said to me, “You’ve got the face of an angel!” I smiled politely and he continued on, “Do you … Continue reading The “Inner Detective” inside of each woman