It's a question I hear often in therapy. "Am I crazy?" "I sound crazy, right?" Or just a statement of fact, "I know. I'm crazy." Labels don't serve those who seek mental and emotional health and wholeness. They're arbitrary names that doctors thought up to describe a cluster of symptoms, but they certainly don't heal, and I'm not quite sure they help. We'd do much better understanding ourselves than we do labeling ourselves. This week, I focus on an important part of mental health: the relationship you have with all of the parts of you. Yes, you read that correctly. There are many, many parts of you, and your relationship with each part contributes and determines the health of the whole person that you are. Let's talk about what psychotherapists call "parts work." Every single part of you arose from an experience that necessitated its presence, therefore every single part deserves your love, respect, and acceptance. This week, I'll make the case for exactly that.
The beloved Buddhist monk Ticht Naht Hanh said, “When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well.” For too long, professionals in medicine and the field of psychology have blamed depression on a chemical imbalance in the brain despite an absence of proof. This is essentially blaming the lettuce: blaming the brain of the person who suffers. The time has come, and we are already late: we need to start talking about depression differently, and that means talking about our environment as children, as adults, any unhealed and unresolved traumas, and the corresponding beliefs that may be limiting us from finding the joy we deserve. We need to start asking ourselves honestly: what are the reasons I'm not doing well - and be brave when facing those answers.
It's a tough gig this "being a human being," isn't it? Our lives start out in a way that is totally out of our control, and yet that early imprint - called childhood - is what habituates our relationship patterns and expectations for the rest of our lives. If the imprint was healthy, we pursue health by and large. If the imprint was unhealthy, dysfunctional, or even traumatic, we live out these patterns unless or until something comes along to interrupt the negative cycles. How do we change the cycles? What do we do with our past? Can we really leave the past in the past? Listen to today's episode for instructions on how to walk down memory lane and heal the broken places along the way. Being a human being isn't just about unconsciously operating on autopilot. It's about being alive in every part of our lives, past and present.
We hear this word "authenticity" a lot, but what exactly is authenticity, and how do we cultivate it? Is it something we should just intuitively know, or is it learned? What are the implications for mental and emotional health?
Today we'll explore how we can be supported on the path of authenticity or manipulated away from it. You'll learn what the biggest threat to authenticity is and three ways you can become more authentic today.
Authenticity, like integrity, is a non-negotiable, essential quality in a mentally and emotionally healthy person. We can't afford to get this one wrong.
We don't talk about it enough, but we need to. We need to talk about what integrity is and how the presence or lack of it affects our mental and emotional health. Integrity is indeed a virtue and a desirable quality in character, but it goes far beyond being simply praiseworthy. Our integrity is directly related to how we connect with ourselves and others, forming the basis of our support systems and communities. Our level of integrity determines our inner peace and is a potent antidote to anxiety. It's too important to not talk about. This week is all about understanding and cultivating integrity.
Now that we've got a working definition of love, let's talk about what love means in adulthood. How do we know if what we are giving and receiving is the real deal? Hint: real love doesn't cause harm. But... so often we think we are giving love, and what we are doing is actually in the best interest of ourselves. Some of us really struggle with receiving love, and we live in chronic loneliness. We need a clear understanding of how love works and what actions demonstrate real love. It isn't always easy, but it's always in the best interest of another. This week, we explore how love functions in adult lives and why we need to start trusting it. Love changes us, for the better. Love matters.
This week, we tackle the psychological concept and behavioral reality of Love. What is love? What does it mean to be loved? What happens inside of us when we are loved well? What ideas and beliefs do we form about ourselves when we receive love, good love? What happens when we hear "I love you," but the actions we witness or experience aren't loving? What message is communicated then? Love isn't just a subject for theologians and poets; it's an essential concept for everyone who wants to live a healthy life, mentally and emotionally. Human beings need love throughout the lifespan. This week, we take a deeper look at what that means in childhood. Next week, we'll look at the repercussions in adulthood. Believe it or not: love matters.
People seek therapy because they are in pain - emotional or psychological. They form addictions to substances and processes because they are in pain. We seek comfort, consolation, and company because we find ourselves in pain. Pain is the universal human woe, but so few of us understand what to do with it or how to understand it. Today's podcast unpacks the subject of Pain and gives you an understanding of where you can apply your energy to transform the pain in your life and find your power in it.
Let's unpack Emotional Health. It's a thing. A distinct thing. It has its own markers, and it is work that spans our entire life. We'll take a look at how emotional health is formed, nurtured, encouraged, or stymied in childhood. Then we'll look at what an emotionally healthy adult looks like. How do emotionally healthy adults handle their emotions? Emotional health is inextricably linked to overall mental health. Today's topic is an important one to get under our belts.
Listen today and learn about the principles, practices, and particulars of mental and emotional growth and how growth is different than change. If we want to grow, we need to create the conditions for growth.