From the Couch

From the Couch

By Todd Schmenk, LMHC
Join Todd for a variety of mental health topics related to chronic illness, anxiety, and depression issues as he shares what he has observed works best, answers questions from his followers, and gives overviews of themes he sees occurring in the scope of his practice, profession, and life.

The "From the Couch" podcast presents audio versions of the most useful, compelling, and effective tools and concepts used within Todd Schmenk's mental health counseling practice.
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Introduction to the Body Scan Exercise

From the Couch

Introduction to the Body Scan Exercise

From the Couch

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Who Can You Compare Yourself Against?
Principle to live by: Compare Yourself To Who You Were Yesterday Not To Who Someone Else Is Today since the only person you can compare yourself to is you.  Quick overview of why we compare, who we compare ourselves against, and who we should be comparing ourselves to.
03:56
July 13, 2020
What is Cognitive Fusion?
A quick overview of cognitive fusion and diffusion and how knowing this is useful in developing psychological flexibility.
05:25
June 19, 2020
Failure Is A Part Of Success | Failure is Essential
Consider that Failure Is A Part Of Success.  The fear of failure often associated with higher levels of anxiety.  This short talk walks through some of the reasons why failure is essential and how we could not succeed without failing.
06:16
June 5, 2020
The #1 Job of the Mind
Join Todd as he walks through what the thinking mind is, what its job is, and how this sometimes gets in the way and causes us to become stuck, especially when dealing with a problem that is, for the moment at least, unsolvable and\or out of our control. 
18:17
May 8, 2020
Support Tools for Covid-19
In this episode, Todd Schmenk walks listeners through a series of the most common answers he has been focusing on with those in his practice as well as friends and family in being able to refocus and reset ones mindset in dealing with the stay at home orders in response to Covid-19.  
08:22
April 24, 2020
5 to 1 Ration, A Couples Communication Concept
What is the ratio of positive to negative interactions needed to maintain a good relationship?  How does one go about figuring out what the ratio is in your relationship?  Join Todd as he walks through what it is, where it came from, why it's important, and most importantly, how to use the idea to improve and maintain your own relationship. 
11:35
April 10, 2020
Does Social Anxiety Reduce Openness To Experience?
In this video, I answer the question "does social anxiety reduce openness to experience" which I received in an email request to answer.  It addresses how our behaviors can affect our openness and how, if we are willing to experience some modest discomfort, it is possible to increase our confidence to be more open.
05:38
March 27, 2020
Dealing with Distress (part 3 of 3)
One of the considerations of how to build a chronic illness support group is in learning how the mind works in order to come up with ways of dealing with distress.  This podcast looks at the thinking mind and observing mind for strategies to be able to distance yourself as well as highlighting the importance of managing your energy.  It is designed for both the patient and for anyone in a supportive role.  It is broken into three parts due to its length, one coming out each week, and each one provides an effective coping skill you can try immediately.  A special focus of this episode is in managing your energy levels to ensure you can use the other tools outlined in this series. 
11:42
March 13, 2020
Dealing with Distress (Part 2 of 3)
In this episode in dealing with distress, Todd focuses on two more techniques in being able to better manage stressful situations, thoughts and emotions.  The first technique looks at a way to look for and find exceptions to your usual rules or ways of responding.  This provides you with two practices within a practice, identification, and defusion from a thought and the ability to test the situation for the thought's truthfulness and its usefulness.  In doing so, this frees you up to act on something that truly matters to you.  It allows you to find the exceptions to situations which often look more dire than they truly are.  The second half looks at the S.T.O.P. technique, which allows you to create some space so that you can find the exceptions and choose what you will do/become next.  
10:21
February 28, 2020
Dealing with Distress (Part 1 of 3)
One of the considerations of how to build a chronic illness support group is in learning how the mind works in order to come up with ways of dealing with distress.  This podcast walks through the topic of the thinking mind and observing mind for strategies to be able to distance yourself as well as highlighting the importance of managing your energy.  It is designed for both the patient and for anyone in a supportive role.  It is broken into three parts due to its length, one coming out every other week, and each one provides an effective coping skill you can try immediately. Designed in support of the book:  "Team Positive: How to Build Support for Someone Coping with Chronic Illness" 
14:46
February 14, 2020
The Dirty Dozen
Listen in as Todd walks through the "Dirty Dozen",  the 12 most common cognitive biases that we all experience along with tips on how to detect them and why it is important to do so.
15:24
January 31, 2020
How Much Time Do You Waste On Social Media
An exploration of why it is so enticing, what occurs when we spend too much time on social media including higher anxiety levels, and some strategies for what to do about it. 
08:34
January 24, 2020
One Dumb Moment
Ever witnessed something dumb?  Something that annoyed you?  This little exercise helps you to step back, take a breath, observe what's going on and move in a direction of compassion. 
05:12
January 17, 2020
Right Brain to Right Brain Communication
Ever have a moment where you meant well, but it appeared that you somehow missed the mark in communicating with a loved one, child or friend?  Take a look at a way to engage more fully by understanding this technique. You can watch the video here:  Right Brain to Right Brain Communication on WellnessTalks.Org
06:14
January 10, 2020
Recurring Thoughts | What They Are and What to Do About Them
What are recurring thoughts?  (sometimes called reoccurring thoughts or repetitive thoughts) and is there any way to manage them?  Listen as Todd walks through what they are, where they come from, and follow up with a few experiments and skills for how to handle them. 
10:07
January 3, 2020
What Is Integral Theory | An Introduction
What is Integral Theory and how is it useful?  This podcast is a brief introduction and overview of the theory and its usefulness in everyday life.  Based on the popular video of the same name.
07:37
December 27, 2019
Your Personal 24 Hour Radio Station
The mind is always on, always telling you something.  This short presentation explains the key to noticing this fact and why you should. Podcast created from a presentation.  When I talk about "Here" imagine me pointing to my head.   You can also watch the video here:  Your Personal 24 Hour Radio Station
04:33
December 20, 2019
Utilizing the Witness
Excerpt from an ACT Mindfulness class I led early in 2019 where the topic of the mindfulness technique, the witness, was being introduced to help those in attendance understand better the concept of the witness and the importance of doing the exercise in addressing challenges with pain, anxiety, depression, and unwanted thoughts. 
10:03
December 20, 2019
Mindful Coffee
This is a simple introduction and exercise giving you an idea for how to add simple mindfulness practices to everyday activities.  It does not have to be difficult to add such a life skill to your day and the benefits outweigh the investment.  Listen to the whole podcast to get an overview of the skill, why it is useful, and how to add this to other components of your day OR just listen to the actual exercise all by itself by selecting that portion of the podcast.  This last suggestion is good should you want to return to the simple 6-minute exercise a few more times. 
09:50
December 14, 2019
Introduction to the Body Scan Exercise
A simple exercise to increase your mindfulness skills, this quick body scan exercise helps you in noticing the present. It is a body scan meditation 5 minutes in length and a meditation for beginners.  I will eventually make a shorter version which will just be a guided mindfulness exercise, this podcast walks you through it while explaining how to do it on your own as well as a few other tidbits to help you grasp and use the skill.  This technique is useful in managing symptoms of anxiety, depression and even helps with managing pain.   This was originally a video but I made it into an audio file given the feedback from viewers who wanted to be able to download this to use detached from their phones, tablets, or televisions.   You can find the original video here:  https://youtu.be/n_cO8EhPmW0
12:48
December 6, 2019
Who Can You Compare Yourself To?
We often, due to how we are wired, will make the mistake of comparing ourselves against others, but who can we truly and fairly compare ourselves against?  Listen to this brief podcast to find out. 
04:00
December 6, 2019
Introduction to "From the Couch"
Overview of why this podast was created and what you can expect to hear in future podcast episodes.  
07:05
December 4, 2019