I snarled as I scrolled past yet another one of those patronizing posts on Instagram from a therapy practice. You’ve seen something similar, I’m sure. There’s usually a mountain or some other form of nature background along with a silhouette of a person you are supposed to identify with who may or may not appear to be in some form of pain…or maybe they are leaping or climbing on something? This particular post indicated that it was “proud” of me and implied that, because of this, I had accomplished enough for the day. My first thought: “f^^^^^^*k youuuuuu.”
As a psychotherapist, one of my absolute, favorite moves of all time is when I meet a new client who sheepishly admits that they want a romantic relationship in spite of believing that they shouldn’t:
“So you’re a “Turtle Dove.”
With this statement, my hope is that I begin to unravel the years of twisted thinking they’ve been exposed to suggesting that they “need to learn how to be ok with being alone.” Why should they be alone? Because they REALLY don’t want to be alone? Because they are uncomfortable and sad being alone? Because they desire a significant other more than anything else in their lives? So there must be something wrong with them. They must be deficient in some way. They must have a “love addiction” or low self-esteem. Wow. Are we really that sadistic???
Sometimes it is actually not beneficial to ask for help.
Excuse me, what??? Aren’t we supposed to call on people when we are distressed? Doesn’t EVERY social media account hosted by mental health professionals post frilly quotes about how important it is to ask for help and how “it’s ok to not be ok?”
Well that’s one part of the elephant.
Yes, asking for help is a life skill. We all need to do it sometime if we are going to survive and have satisfying relationships. But just like any “good thing,” we can use it too much.
Apparently, September is “Suicide Prevention” month and since it’s the end of the month and no one has said it, it looks like I will have to be the bad guy.
As a DBT therapist for 12+ years, I have worked with multiple people with chronic suicidal urges, people who have attempted to cause their own death on several occasions, and those who have lost people to suicide. I teach licensed therapists all over the country how to use DBT to help clients who want to end their life and I supervise therapists-in-training on working with people who are suicidal. In short, I think my opinion might be worth sharing.
Just in care you needed one more reason to feel like you aren’t keeping up, let us consider whether your “self-care” is up to standard.
No???? Wow. Shocking.
KNOW WHY? Because getting the “recommended” amount of sleep, water, exercise, “me time,” journaling, vitamins, etc., etc. is abso-freakin-lutely impossible. Wait—sorry, actually, you know who is able to do self-care 100% on a daily basis? Liars. That’s who.
Dr. Vaughn and Sarah talk about the difference between a toxic relationship and one that is just difficult. Here’s a hint—it has everything to do with what YOU decide. Don’t let anyone decide what “is best” for you. You are the only one who knows what and if you can handle something. Maybe you’re just tougher than most.
There is no manual on how to manage conflict. In fact, many people are raised to think “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. Dr. Vaughn and Sarah discuss and use DBT skills to help give tips on how to have productive conflict, which can be a positive thing. Take a listen today to learn more.
Overcoming the idea that having a panic attack is TERRIBLE is the groundwork for not spiraling. Dr. Vaughn and Sarah simplify panic attacks and give some steps you can take to bring your anxiety level down. Take a listen today to learn more.
Do you love me? Do you like spending time with me? What do you really want from these questions? Dr. Vaughn talks with relationship expert Sally Roesch about reassurance seeking. They discuss the origin of this behavior and more effective ways of communicating these feelings. Take a listen today to learn more.
Often times, we purposely make ourselves the brunt of jokes and put ourselves down for fun, but self-deprecation can take this to a different level. Self-deprecation is properly defined as “modesty about or cynicism of oneself.”