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June 21, 2019
134 SelfWork: Making A Distrustful Mess with Money and Marriage
Money and the distrust that can be created because of it in a partnership or marriage is what’s on the agenda for today. It’s amazing how many people commit to one another and never touch the subject. We’ll talk about the business of relationships and common problems people run into when they initially establish their […]
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23 min
June 14, 2019
133 SelfWork: “I Have Body Image Issues.” The Damage of Eating Disorders and Seven Things You Can Do
Today we’re talking about psychological disorders that have to do with you, food, and exercise that have the power to damage your child’s body image and self-esteem as well — no matter how you try to keep it out of their life. Both moms and dads can have struggles that not only damage their own […]
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23 min
June 7, 2019
132 SelfWork: Where Do I Begin If I Want A Better Relationship? Change What You Do, What You Say and What You Think. That’s All.
Is therapy really helpful when a relationship is in trouble? And what are the kinds of things you need to realize about therapy that might increase the chances of it being effective? Let’s talk about what’ s important in choosing a couples therapist, but also I’ll offer a roadmap to guide your healing. There are […]
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24 min
May 31, 2019
131 SelfWork: When Your Dad Isn’t A Dad. The Effects of Father Hunger
Father hunger… when your dad isn’t or wasn’t available or connected with you either due to divorce, death or disinterest — causes many problems for a child and the family as a whole. But the numbers are staggering of how many homes are without dads. There are so many engaged dads out there, but when […]
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25 min
May 24, 2019
130 SelfWork: The Power of Failure and What You Can Learn From Flying a Kite
No one particularly likes to fail. And what does it have to do with flying a kite? In this episode, we’ll talk about the power that failure can have in your life and what can help you learn from it. Because failure is inevitable. And far too many people shame themselves for failure and then […]
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22 min
May 17, 2019
129 SelfWork: Challenging and Changing Negative Self-Talk
We’re talking self-talk here today. What is it? And what can you do about it? A lot of people tell me they kinda “know” what it is, but haven’t a clue how to change it. It feels as if it’s too elusive. How could you possibly rein in what your mind is telling you about […]
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21 min
May 10, 2019
128 SelfWork: What Happens When You Quit Perfectly Hiding Depression? You Find Grief.
Dr. Jennifer Ashton of ABC News was interviewed this week as she revealed the suicidal death of her ex-husband. She stated quite clearly that he displayed none of the signs of depression that she had studied in medical school. None of them. I need to read her new book on surviving the suicide of […]
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20 min
May 3, 2019
127 SelfWork: The Two Masked Marks of Manipulation aka Stonewalling and Gaslighting
There are many ways of creating problems in relationships, but there are two manipulations that are sometimes harder to see than out and out contempt or defensiveness. They are stonewalling, basically “the silent treatment” and gaslighting, when someone tries to undermine your own perceptions to the point where you distrust your own mind. The first […]
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24 min
April 26, 2019
126 SelfWork: What Makes Your Work Life… Work?
Do you find satisfaction and fulfillment at work? You spend many hours there so if you don’t, that can be a huge problem. In this episode, I’ve found some experts on the workplace to discuss this vital issue. What do studies show are the most important factors in being happy at work? The results are […]
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21 min
April 19, 2019
125 SelfWork: Fighting the Fear and Loneliness of Social Anxiety
Social anxiety and shyness often get confused, but they’re far from the same. So what is social anxiety? What happens when you suffer from it? And what can you do about it? I’ll offer six steps to consider, as once again, we focus on “what you can do about it.” The listener email today is […]
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24 min
April 12, 2019
124 SelfWork: Learning from the Voices of Childhood Neglect
Childhood neglect can be much more confusing to work through. It’s abuse all right. But its message was just as harsh as physical beatings or harsh punishment. What is that message? That you weren’t worth feeding, or being educated. Whatever physical or emotional pain you had didn’t matter. What you experienced simply didn’t matter. And […]
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25 min
April 5, 2019
123 SelfWork: Are You Afraid of Losing Your Edge? Challenging Perfectionism in the Workplace
I’ve had the pleasure of working with several people who’ve come to me due to my writing about perfectionism and perfectly hidden depression. So we’re going to be talking about the fear of losing your edge – the edge that you believe keeps you on your toes, keeps you doing better, doing more, doing doing doing… […]
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24 min
March 29, 2019
122 SelfWork: What’s Love Got to Do With It: Love Addiction and Narcissism
What’s love addiction? Some people use the term to describe someone who’s constantly seeking relationships. But today we’re talking about how you can be addicted to the drama of a relationship – addicted to breaking up and getting back together – addicted to the very edginess and even arguing that can be involved. We’ll look […]
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22 min
March 22, 2019
121 SelfWork: Recovering from Trauma and How to Recreate a Sense of Safety
Trauma. Sometimes even hearing that word can make all of us cringe. Trauma is the emotional response to an event or experience occurring that was tragic and life-altering, such as a tornado, war, or a rape. You are said to be “traumatized.”  We all have unique responses to it. And ways to combat the fear, […]
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21 min
March 15, 2019
120 SelfWork: The Role of Disappointment in Relationships: How Much Is Too Much?
Disappointment is hard to hear, and sometimes hard to reveal, but it’s also inevitable in a relationship. Whether it’s a one-time event or there’s a pattern that’s been established, there’s a way to work them out. But it takes emotional maturity and realizing that each time you work through a disappointment together, you build trust. […]
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19 min
March 8, 2019
119 SelfWork: Why Risk Telling Your Truth? Why Risk Vulnerability?
Vulnerability is a topic near and dear to my heart because I believe it’s so important to true change and growth. As prominent researcher and author Dr. Brené Brown says, “You can’t get to change without vulnerability.. period.” Vulnerability requires opening up, letting others in and telling your truth. Most of my most obvious vulnerability […]
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18 min
March 1, 2019
118 SelfWork: The Incredible Power of Journaling
I was caught off guard the other day when in my FaceBook group, I asked them to journal about a specific topic, and someone wrote that they didn’t know what journaling was. So let’s talk about journaling. What is it? How is it helpful? Are there specific problems where journaling is particularly helpful? What might make […]
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19 min
February 22, 2019
117 SelfWork: A Three Step Guide to Making Decisions You Won’t (Likely) Regret
Have you made choices you terribly regret? How do you evaluate the decisions you make? Most of us might say that a choice was “right” if in five days, or five months or five years. we still feel that it was. If it stands up to the test of time, we can reassure ourselves that […]
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21 min
February 15, 2019
116 SelfWork: Do You Have Perfectly Hidden or High Functioning Depression? And Why Does It Matter?
What’s the difference, or is there one, between Perfectly Hidden Depression and what’s called high-functioning depression? I’m particularly motivated – in fact very sadly motivated – to talk about it because of an email I received this week from a woman whose husband killed himself. He was in his early 40’s. And no one could […]
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20 min
February 8, 2019
115 SelfWork: The Awesome, Frustrating, Complicated Job of Step-Parenting and How to Avoid Common Mistakes
Step-parenting may be one of the hardest jobs on earth, second only to parenting. It’s complicated, awesome, frustrating and sometimes downright irritating. Blending families successfully takes much more time than people want to think. There can be lots of personalities involved, old wounds and new hurts. So much depends on time and in what context […]
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22 min
February 1, 2019
114 SelfWork: How to Find and Interview A Potential Therapist
How do you find a therapist? What are the pros and cons if you get a referral from a friend? What questions is it okay to ask before you start working with them? All of these questions will be answered today. Finding a therapist that you believe understands and tunes into you is a vital […]
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25 min
January 25, 2019
113 SelfWork: When You Feel Like A Fake: Ten Ways to Challenge Imposter Syndrome
If you’re successful but you walk around feeling like a fake, you could be experiencing what’s called imposter syndrome – the fear that you aren’t what you appear to be. That you haven’t truly earned your place. That any day now, someone is going to discover that you’re a phony or a fraud. We’ll be featuring the […]
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22 min
January 18, 2019
112 SelfWork: One Way to Confront Your Fear of Aging — No Matter How Old You Are
Let’s face it. With each new birthday, with every new decade, you can become more afraid of the future. No matter what your age, you can worry and dread aging. How do you keep on growing a sense of purpose and positivity in the face of these inevitable changes? You can tuck, and plank, and devour […]
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21 min
January 11, 2019
111 SelfWork: How to Stay Out of Texting Trouble
Today texting is the topic and I’m talking about how to keep texting safe and healthy in both a relationship and in families. We’ll reference an article by Christine Schoenwald featured in Psych Central who talks about the six ways it can cause problems. But I’m going to stress how those problems can be avoided […]
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22 min
January 4, 2019
110 SelfWork: What Depression Is and What It’s Not: Common Myths About Depression
Today we’re talking about seven major myths about depression. There are many more than seven but these are common questions I get or comments I hear out in public. So we’re going to set the record straight. In this episode, sponsored by Audible.com, we’ll answer questions about PostPartum Depression, PreMenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, Bipolar Disorder and […]
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25 min
December 28, 2018
109 SelfWork: A First Step In Creating More Perspective on Your Life — Using A Timeline
Today we’re talking about the development of perspective on your life. Of course there are many ways to do that – but a helpful tool is a timeline. What’s a timeline? It’s a tool you can use to see how events in your life are connected – what led to what… and it can help you […]
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22 min
December 21, 2018
108 SelfWork: How to Keep Comparison from Stealing Your Joy
In this episode we’re talking about how to use comparison of yourself with others in a way that’s healthy and healing rather than creating a harder, more jealous or more insecure you! I’ll tell some of the stories I’ve witnessed and a couple of my own to move the discussion along, and help you see […]
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22 min
December 14, 2018
107 SelfWork: What Perfectly Hidden Depression Is Not
Today we’re focusing again on Perfectly Hidden Depression, but this time we’re talking about what PHD is not. I received two emails in the same day this week and thought someone had sent theirs twice. But they were actually sent by two different people. Both of their first sentences were, “I think you may have […]
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17 min
December 7, 2018
106 SelfWork: Why Couldn’t I Have Figured This Out Sooner?
You may have asked yourself this question once or many times — “Why Couldn’t I Have Figured This Out Sooner?” In this episode of SelfWork, we’ll talk about the grief you may need to feel after asking yourself this question and the role of self-compassion in its answer. This is a part of any healing, […]
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21 min
November 30, 2018
105 SelfWork: When Comfort Eating Becomes A Problem
Today we’re going to talk about your relationship with food and I’ll share a couple of stories about my own journey there. We’ll identify the difference between comfort eating and binge eating… and we’ll discuss the fairly new field of food addiction. I’ve had several gastric-bypass recipients as patients, and have watched them, as they lost […]
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22 min
November 23, 2018
104 SelfWork: How To Break The Bickering Habit
Bickering is a bad habit. These are fights that are practically scripted – you know what your partner is going to say and they know what you’re going to say before you ever say it as well. But you can recognize these patterns and figure out what you’re actually fighting about. Things like trust, control, […]
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21 min
November 16, 2018
103 SelfWork: Seven Frank Tips For Getting Along with Family
Today we’ll be focusing on what you have control over when you’re with family for the holiday season and I’ll offer seven pretty frank and real-time tips on how to manage your own. We can all hear the same tips over and over about not forgetting to maintain good self-care, don’t eat every dessert you’re […]
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21 min
November 9, 2018
102 SelfWork: How Do You Feel Your Feelings?
Many people have trouble with connecting with their feelings. I’ve talked a lot about PHD – and certainly those folks have many intense feelings well hidden away. But it’s not only in PHD that this can occur. Many times, I’ve watched someone on the verge of letting go, of allowing an emotion to surface – […]
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23 min
November 2, 2018
101 SelfWork: Coping with SAD, Shame, Grief and Perfectionism During the Holidays
Do you dread the leaves turning color? Did you have a loss during this year that you’re still grieving and the thought of raising a glass to another year makes you sick to your stomach? Are you looking back at last year and berating yourself for pounds not lost, goals not accomplished? Or are you so perfectionistic, […]
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23 min
October 26, 2018
100 SelfWork: Celebrating #100! And It’s All About You!
Today is a huge celebration with the 100th Episode of SelfWork! You are the reason that SelfWork is going strong. You’re writing in questions. You’re letting friends and family know that SelfWork is helping you. You’re leaving ratings and reviews. I cannot be grateful enough for all the support, encouragement and caring that have come […]
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31 min
October 19, 2018
099 SelfWork: Three Hurdles in Fighting the Black Dog of Depression
Fighting depression can take courage, persistence and support. It can be created by so many events or experiences and it can wear so many faces, that there isn’t one path toward healing. That healing will be unique to you. Episode 099 focuses on three common hurdles — three decisions or thoughts — that can paralyze […]
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22 min
October 12, 2018
098 SelfWork: The Devastating Power of Secrets Within A Relationship
Secrets can be devastating within a relationship. But it’s possible to work through them – with time and lots of effort. Yet what if your partner, who lost your trust for some reason, refuses to talk any more about it? You ask for therapy and they say no. What if the distrust is brushed under […]
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24 min
October 5, 2018
097 SelfWork: What Makes A Therapist Right For Me?
How do you know a therapist is the right one for you? Do you need someone who’s suffered the same loss or trauma as you? Or does it matter? Based on a great question from a listener, Dr. Margaret will be looking into what you might want to consider when you make your choice. The […]
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17 min
September 28, 2018
096 SelfWork: Tina Turner Takes A Seat: Aging and Attitude
Aging takes a great attitude. No matter what decade you’re living in, you can fear turning older or embrace it. We’ll especially be talking about healthy families and how each generation learns to grow and change with one another. So what does Tina Turner have to do with it? Let’s say I had a revelation […]
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18 min
September 21, 2018
095 SelfWork: The Risks of Bitterness
SelfWork’s 100th episode is coming up! And I’m celebrating by welcoming more of your questions — so ask away and we’ll focus #100 on you! Today’s SelfWork is about bitterness, an emotion where both anger and hatred reside. People who are swallowed up in it can certainly have been hurt or scarred in some way. […]
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17 min
September 14, 2018
094 SelfWork: Challenging and Changing the Rules and Beliefs That Lead to Depression
What is the relationship between rules and beliefs and how do they affect whether or not you’re depressed? Today I’m going to pull from cognitive-behavioral and family systems therapy to outline a series of steps to challenge and change your thinking for those experiencing depression, anxiety or Perfectly Hidden Depression. You can begin to identify […]
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21 min
September 7, 2018
093 SelfWork: A Second Betrayal: When You Say #MeToo and You Get Hurt Again
It’s a huge risk to reveal sexual abuse. A second betrayal occurs when you say “MeToo” and you’re not believed, it’s ignored or somehow you’re hurt all over again. Fearing this is what keeps many people from revealing what happened either years ago or in this very moment. Here are real people’s stories about what […]
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25 min
August 31, 2018
092 SelfWork: Talking Mental Health on The Mighty with Editor Sarah Schuster
The Mighty is a terrific website that offers a place for everyone who struggles with a physical or mental illness, no matter how rare or chronic, to share their experience. You don’t just read information. You can hear a very personal story that helps you better understand someone you love who’s suffering, or gives you […]
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28 min
August 24, 2018
091 SelfWork: Healing Shame Through Mindfulness
Today we’re talking about mindfulness and how to use this practice to address your own tendencies toward shame and perfectionism. This episode is sponsored by Audible.com and there’s a free trial offer for you today! What exactly is the difference between experiencing shame (or any emotion for that matter…) and being mindful of that emotion? […]
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22 min
August 17, 2018
090 SelfWork: Living Through the Unthinkable Death of A Child
“You know the second that it happens, you feel your heart rip open and you know that everything’s changed and you’re just never the same again. And so… we call it a rebuilding. You spend your time rebuilding your life after the death of your child because the life you knew beforehand is gone,”   […]
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33 min
August 10, 2018
089 SelfWork: How To Let Go and Fill Your Empty Nest
The empty nest. It’s what some parents dread while others are counting down the days. This podcast is definitely for that first group and might give some good ideas to those that are delighting in their new freedoms. Learning new purpose, finding a fresh passion, letting go and realizing you won’t know your now grown […]
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23 min
August 3, 2018
088 SelfWork: How to Handle the Loneliness of Grief and Loss
I’ve never talked to anyone who was dealing with grief and loss that didn’t feel lonely in that grief. Whether it’s a death, an illness, divorce, coping with the drug addiction of a loved one, whether it’s sudden or long-lived loss, you’re walking much of that path by yourself. You may have faith that guides […]
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25 min
July 27, 2018
087 SelfWork: Five Ways to Keep The Fun In Social Media And Avoid Its Pitfalls
We all know that advertising always makes things look better than they actually are. What happens however when you’re on social media – Facebook or Instagram? Is it fun for you or do you get depressed? Do you believe everything you see? We’re talking today about how to have fun and enjoy the benefits of […]
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25 min
July 20, 2018
086 SelfWork: When You Can Never Be Enough — Loving Someone with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)
I’ll be talking about borderline personality disorder today and of the exhaustion and guilt that someone who’s trying to love then can feel. You’ll rarely if ever be enough due to their immense and irrational fears of abandonment. I’ll offer nine ways to try to ease that guilt — […]
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24 min
July 13, 2018
085 SelfWork: Six Hurdles to Confronting Perfectionism and Perfectly Hidden Depression
Perfectionism is one of the chief traits of Perfectly Hidden Depression. We’re going to be talking about confronting perfectionism – the first thing is to realize you’re not going to do it perfectly. I’ll share other important hurdles to recognize as you begin the difficult task of undoing a perfectionistic streak in yourself that only […]
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21 min
July 6, 2018
084 SelfWork: What Bipolar Disorder Is And What It Isn’t
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness many people don’t understand and can be difficult to diagnose. Being moody is one thing. But being bipolar means your emotions can swing from high to low, with no apparent (and that’s an important word) reason for them doing so. Discovering how to manage bipolar is key to living […]
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26 min
June 29, 2018
083 SelfWork: Talking Matters. Interview with Jennifer Marshall, Co-founder of This Is My Brave and Dr. Kristin Kosyluk
Talking matters! Exciting research now shows that when mentally ill people share openly about their mental illness, it changes others’ perceptions. Today’s two guests on SelfWork are doing incredible and thrilling work to prove that when people talk about their own disorders, it changes the hearts and minds of others, decreasing stigma and a previously […]
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32 min
June 22, 2018
082 SelfWork: Confronting the Loneliness and Apathy of Living Parallel Lives
Loneliness is hard no matter when or where it happens. This episode, sponsored by Audible.com, gives ten ways to combat or confront apathy and loneliness in your relationship or marriage. Feeling lonely in a relationship can also be devastating, as your lives are lived side by side but there’s little to no real connection. You’re […]
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23 min
June 15, 2018
081 SelfWork: When Sexual Abuse Happens at Home — The Choice to Confront
When sexual abuse occurs within a family, it can wreak mental, physical and emotional damage for the victim that’s complicated to heal. The stats tell us that 34% of cases of child sexual abuse occur in families. That figure is staggering, but my clinical experience over the years backs that figure up. In this episode, […]
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19 min
June 14, 2018
080 SelfWork: Kate Spade. Anthony Bourdain. Are We Asking The Right Questions?
Today’s podcast is in response to what has been a more than difficult week for many who looked up to and followed these two celebrities, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. If you are one of them, or certainly someone who knew them personally, then our hearts are with you. It may be however you’re one […]
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17 min
June 8, 2018
079 SelfWork: Perfectly Hidden. An Interview with Stuart Walker
Stuart Walker is a friend to all, the owner of two successful gyms in Arkansas, and a dad and father of three children, two of whom have autism and one with other disabilities and significant physical problems. And he was suicidal for months before he finally broke down and sought help. Stuart is the exact […]
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27 min
June 1, 2018
078 SelfWork: Five Not-So-Simple Steps Toward Self-Forgiveness
“How can I forgive myself?” is a question I hear often as a therapist. We all can do things that we find more than difficult to forgive ourselves for, hurting people we care about or making a mistake that now carries guilt or shame. The opposite of this process is how people with narcissism view […]
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22 min
May 25, 2018
077 SelfWork: Confronting Negativity And “Feeling Stuck” In Depression
When you’re trying to move out of depression, negativity and “feeling stuck” — feeling hopeless about change — can be your worst enemies. How do you get your energy going outward instead of imploding inward? It’s often not easy. Here’s a simple exercise that can help you do just that. Even if you’re not depressed, […]
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20 min
May 18, 2018
076 SelfWork: 10 Ways To Survive Infertility Treatment
Infertility treatment can be an exhausting and lonely journey. I went through it myself, and was blessed to conceive a son through in vitro fertilization. In today’s podcast, I’ll offer ten things that can help keep you sane and emotionally stable, even in the midst of feeling so out of control. These tips could be […]
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25 min
May 11, 2018
075 SelfWork: Interview with StigmaFighter’s Founder Sarah Fader
Sarah Fader, author, blogger and staunch warrior in the fight for education and openness about mental illness, is my first guest on SelfWork. Her work was featured in a powerful piece on The Washington Post as she speaks candidly about her own diagnoses — Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder — (which can be confusing […]
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29 min
May 4, 2018
074 SelfWork: Depression and The Unpredictability of Suicide
Today on SelfWork, we’re going to be looking at research asking the question is suicide predictable. There is also controversy about whether or not it’s preventable – I recently had a mom whose daughter had accidentally overdosed tell me with tears in her eyes. “I can’t go there. I can’t believe that I could’ve predicted […]
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21 min
April 27, 2018
073 SelfWork: Three Steps To Emotionally Get Control Of Yourself
Welcome to SelfWork! I’m talking about self-control today… especially emotional self-control. We won’t touch on addictions, although they obviously have to do with emotional self-control. We’re talking about in the realm of communication how to maintain self-control when you’re angry, or taken aback, afraid or surprised. There’s a simple mantra that can be helpful — […]
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24 min
April 20, 2018
072 SelfWork: The One Question To Ask Yourself If You Take Things Too Personally
Today’s podcast identifies the one question that you can ask yourself before you take things too personally. I’ve heard lots of couples bicker and fight over the twenty-five years I’ve been a therapist, and this question will save you from so many assumptions and misunderstandings. I’ll use an example when I actually followed my own […]
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20 min
April 13, 2018
071 SelfWork: The Disease of Perfectionism
Today’s topic is perfectionism. I call it a disease in the title because it can cause not only emotional and psychological problems when it’s out of control, but the stress of perfectionism can lead to illness and even suicide. I talked with a phenomenal expert on perfectionism last week, Dr. Gordon Flett, and I’ll have some […]
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22 min
April 6, 2018
070 SelfWork: How To Love Someone Who Won’t Get Help
What do you do when you love someone who won’t get help for their depression or anxiety? This episode, sponsored by Audible.com, will focus on what my own research has found, and how we can talk about mental health treatment or therapy in a way that would make it far easier for men to consider. We’ll […]
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21 min
March 30, 2018
069 SelfWork: The Victim-Savior Relationship. How You Get In It and How You Get Out Of It
We’re going to be talking about healthy and not so healthy relationships today. Many relationships get their start with one person “saving” another. These are boundary-less relationship and they’re doomed for trouble. The victim gets tired of being the victim. The savior gets tired of not being appreciated for saving.  Mark Manson, a blogger with […]
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18 min
March 23, 2018
068 SelfWork: How To Create A Family Of Choice
What is a family of choice? It’s a family you create with friends. Some of us don’t have families that we can count on in times of stress or need, or joy for that matter. Instead of staying bitter or lonely, I’ve come up with five “caveats” in finding people who would earn the right […]
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21 min
March 16, 2018
067 SelfWork: Understanding Social Anxiety And The Fear Of Commitment
Social anxiety affects millions of Americans. Today I’m going to talk about how it may be affecting commitment, as well as how it’s affected by social media. When you get a FaceBook invitation or a “save the date” notice, do you automatically say, “It’s too much to think about,” or,  “I don’t know who else is going,” or even, “I […]
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20 min
March 9, 2018
066 SelfWork: Can Unconditional Love Be Used Up?
We all hear about unconditional love, especially when talking about how parents feel about their children. However, unconditional love can be worn out — used up. Even though today’s podcast focuses on healthy, “good enough” parents and self-destructive and manipulative children, you can apply this to any relationship, so listen in!  (This dynamic can obviously […]
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20 min
March 2, 2018
065 SelfWork: What I Learned About Bad Boys And Creating A Life I Liked
I created a lot of chaos in my life by being attracted to “bad boys,” men who were not interested in my own growth as a person, and who acted as if women couldn’t be trusted and that love wasn’t possible. I, like many women before me, decided to try to change a mind or […]
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16 min
February 23, 2018
064 SelfWork: What Could Be Causing Your Procrastination?
Procrastination can be a huge problem, with shame over things not accomplished or put off being a problem between parents and children, husband and wives, or supervisors and employees. But there’s more than one reason why it’s happening, and understanding that reason can guide the way toward what you can do about it. Today we’ll […]
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18 min
February 16, 2018
063 SelfWork: Going To Couples Counseling. What’s Getting In Your Way?
Couples counseling can make individual counseling look like a breeze. In today’s podcast, sponsored by Audible.com, I’ll go through the four misconceptions or “hurdles” that people believe or face when they consider couples work. The benefits can be immense. You can learn how to really listen, how to change entrenched painful patterns, and how […]
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22 min
February 9, 2018
062 SelfWork: How To Know If You’re Too Close To Your Child (Or Your Parent)
Today we’re talking about parents who can’t let go of their children, and adult children who are struggling to have their own lives, independent of a parent. This dynamic doesn’t exist because kids are having addiction or learning problems. This more complex relationship is created due to the emotional needs of the parent.  We’ll touch […]
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23 min
February 2, 2018
061 SelfWork: Three Very Practical Exercises To Boost Your Self-Esteem
There’s lots of information out there about how to stop beating yourself up or how to increase your self-esteem. But how do-able is it? I’m always interested in practical ways people can approach problems, or “What You Can Do About It.” So I’m offering three practical exercises for you to try — things that I’ve […]
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23 min
January 26, 2018
060 SelfWork: Unmasking The Pain Of Perfectly Hidden Depression
As promised, today’s episode is about peeling off the mask of Perfectly Hidden Depression (PHD). Thousands of you have listened to the episodes on PHD, and I’d love to hear from you personally. Email me confidentially so I can learn more from you!  This episode covers basic steps of change, with specific examples and directions […]
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20 min
January 19, 2018
059 SelfWork: How To Cope With The Fear Of Judgment
How much do you hide about yourself because you fear the judgment of others, and perhaps rejection based on that judgment? We probably all do from time to time. I’ll share some of my own story, and one of the surprising gifts of being a therapist. We’ll also define two beliefs that are required for […]
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20 min
January 12, 2018
058 SelfWork: What Is Codependency And What Can You Do About It?
“Codependent” is a word that’s thrown around a lot these days to describe relationships. But what exactly defines a codependent relationship, and how do you know if you’re part of one? Using examples from real couples, I’ll answer that question, as well as offering you some questions to ask yourself if you’re the “enabled” or […]
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21 min
January 5, 2018
057 SelfWork: The Real Voices Of Perfectly Hidden Depression
Perfectly Hidden Depression (PHD)  is a topic I’ve been researching and writing about for over three years, and many people have written me about their own experience with the syndrome. In this episode, you’ll here directly from them about their struggles with perfectionism — putting up a constant front of success, while simultaneously never satisfying […]
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19 min
December 29, 2017
056 SelfWork: The Vital Importance Of Touch
How long has it been since you touched your partner? Not in a sexual way, but a simple touch… It’s amazing to me how many people in long-term relationships have fallen into the rut of not touching one another. It can be awkward to begin again, but is a simple, free way to improve your […]
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19 min
December 17, 2017
055 SelfWork: An Anniversary Of Grief And Gratitude.
In this special edition of SelfWork, Dr. Margaret launches a new website and podcast design in celebration of her fifth anniversary of taking a risk and beginning to blog. It’s somewhat bittersweet, as she also honors the deaths of her parents on the same day. Join her as she thanks readers and listeners for all […]
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9 min
December 15, 2017
054 SelfWork: How To Learn From A Mistake
“Always be humble and kind” was a huge country hit last year, and Dr. Margaret talks in this episode about making mistakes and learning from them. How do you actually do that? She offers five pragmatic ideas of accepting mistakes, and specific questions to ask so that you may be less likely to make them […]
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20 min
December 8, 2017
053 SelfWork: 7 Ways To Feel Partnered In Parenting
Parenting is hard, overwhelming in fact at times. And there are some common fights that couples have. “Who’s working harder in this relationship?” can be a very destructive one. “You don’t know what it’s like to be home with the kids.” Or “You come home from work, and all you do is stay on your […]
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22 min
November 29, 2017
052 SelfWork: Coping with Suicide
If your life has been tragically touched by suicide, coping with that loss is like no other grief. In this episode of SelfWork, I’ll talk about that specific grief, and the research that looks at the reasons people take their own lives. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is often found in those who’ve experienced their loved […]
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25 min
November 21, 2017
051 SelfWork: The Silent Agony of Staying Thin
For many women, being thin is worshipped like no other physical attribute. Not your hair, not your muscles, not your voice. The greatest compliment a woman can hear (at least according to some)? “You look like you’ve lost weight…”. For girls or women with anorexia, staying thin becomes an addictive compulsion. Every waking minute they’re thinking […]
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22 min
November 17, 2017
050 SelfWork: Is Perfectly Hidden Depression Real?
Could you be functioning well -in fact “perfectly” in many ways — and underneath it all, be hiding pain, loneliness or even suicidal thoughts? Dr. Margaret’s term for this is Perfectly Hidden Depression (PHD), a syndrome of behaviors that can lead to a way-too-manicured persona out there for the public to see, while below the […]
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19 min
November 13, 2017
049 SelfWork: Honoring Your Rituals And You During The Holidays
You can hear the pressures beginning to mount in people’s voices, as we all approach the holiday season. Dr. Margaret offers her own personal story of her parents’ deaths the week before Christmas of 2007, and how giving herself options was key in balancing the meaning of rituals with her grief. Rituals can be incredibly […]
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17 min
November 3, 2017
048 SelfWork: The Apology. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
Apologizing, saying “I’m sorry,” is quite difficult for many people. Yet a sincere heartfelt apology can make a world of difference in a relationship. Dr. Margaret adds to a list of good and not so good apologies that appeared in The Wall Street Journal (written by Elizabeth Bernstein), including the contingency apology, the passing the […]
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19 min
October 27, 2017
047 SelfWork: If You Love (Or Have Loved) A Narcissist
Narcissism has been a hot topic for the past few years, with many people writing about their fate — being attracted to and trying to love someone with narcissistic traits. Dr. Margaret talks clearly about what narcissism is and what it’s not, as well as offering five recognitions about your own role in the furor […]
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25 min
October 20, 2017
046 SelfWork: How A Woman Feels Around A Harvey Weinstein
If you haven’t heard about Harvey Weinstein, you may have been living under a rock the last couple of weeks. He’s been accused of sexual harassment and assault by multiple women. Dr. Margaret relays an incident in her own history with sexual harassment, and how it made her feel. She also focuses on human’s normal […]
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19 min
October 13, 2017
045 SelfWork: Self-Compassion. What It Is And Why It’s Vital
Dr. Margaret received a fascinating question from a listener recently. “How do I learn to feel my feelings, when I’ve been suppressing them for years?” The key is self-compassion, and it’s vital in healing from depression, anxiety or what I term perfectly hidden depression. Dr. Margaret focuses on self-compassion, giving examples from her own patients […]
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26 min
October 9, 2017
044 SelfWork: Is Your PTSD, Depression Or Anxiety Being Triggered By The Last Vegas Tragedy?
If you have already experiencing depression, anxiety or even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), you may be being triggered by the horrific massacre in Las Vegas. In this special edition of SelfWork, Dr. Margaret offers some important ideas on how to process your thoughts and emotions if your symptoms have re-emerged or are worsening. Please […]
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11 min
October 6, 2017
043 SelfWork: When Friendships End
Friends. They’re often your “family of choice.” They can be wonderfully satisfying, intellectually challenging, and just plain fun. But what happens when one friend backs out of the friendship?  How do you understand it, grieve the loss and move on? Dr. Margaret speaks again of her own experience with being “ghosted” by a friend, and […]
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25 min
September 28, 2017
042 SelfWork: How To Fall Back In Love (Or Make Sure You Stay)
“I’m not in love with you anymore.” These are words that can bring pain, confusion — a total feeling of rejection and emotional abandonment. How do couples try to prevent this from happening? What do you need to do to stay connected and committed? What’s the one question you heed to ask yourself? Dr. Margaret […]
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22 min
September 21, 2017
041 SelfWork: Making “Long Distance Love” Work
Loving “long distance” is something that many people have to learn how to do. Whether you live far away from parents, your partner, your children or great friends, maintaining that relationship can require understanding, flexibility and other significant personal skills. Dr. Margaret tells her personal story of living away from loved ones, both as a […]
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24 min
September 15, 2017
040 SelfWork: Depression, Suicide And Your Cell Phone
The rate of suicide is increasing dramatically in the United States as well as internationally, both in teenagers and in midlife. As this is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in the US, Dr. Margaret discusses this cultural shift, quoting the fascinating work of prominent researcher Jean Twenge who reports a relationship between the emergence of the […]
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23 min
September 8, 2017
039 SelfWork: The Unique Basic Needs Of Women And Men
There’s tremendous controversy about whether or not gender differences occur as a result of cultural influence or are they innate. What’s important for this podcast isn’t how they’re created, but what influence do they have on a couple’s communication? Dr. Margaret tells about her own observations in working with couples, and shares the ideas from […]
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19 min
September 1, 2017
038 SelfWork: Kindness Matters
“When I sat down to record this morning, I could only think of the many tragedies, caused by humans and by nature, that have been occurring for the last few weeks and months. I felt paralyzed. What did what I might have to say matter? Then I remembered a stranger’s kindness, and I smiled.” Dr. Margaret tells […]
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22 min
August 26, 2017
037 SelfWork: How To Parent Well Together
Parenting. It’s hectic, Complicated. Fatiguing. Wonderful. Meaningful. Frightening. One would think that it would be easier with two people doing it, and it is in many ways. But you can get in battles about everything from who’s the better parent to who cares the most to who is the better disciplinarian. Dr. Margaret offers four […]
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21 min
August 19, 2017
036 SelfWork: The Shame No One Talks About After Sexual Abuse
In today’s podcast, Dr. Margaret talks about a certain type of shame that’s rarely revealed after sexual abuse. What is that shame? It’s the result of your body responding with arousal during the actual abuse itself. What’s vital to understand is that arousal doesn’t reflect consent — not in any way. Dr. Margaret describes conditions […]
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19 min
August 14, 2017
035 SelfWork: Four Steps To Heal From Parental Abuse
No one has a “say” in the kind of parents we had. Some are lucky, and have parents who loved them deeply and cared for them in a healthy way. Many are not so lucky, and have to deal with very painful memories, the emotions that stem from them, and how their present life may […]
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20 min
August 12, 2017
034 SelfWork : Divorce. How To “Get Along For The Kids’ Sake”
There is a huge difference between divorce with children, and divorce without children. Dr. Margaret offers nine practical and do-able choices to make when living out your divorced life, with shared children. “Getting along for the children’s sake” can lead to your children to survive the divorce and thrive in their lives, whereas a continuation […]
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19 min
August 5, 2017
033 SelfWork: How Self-Esteem And Self-Acceptance Work Together, Even With Depression
What is the relationship between self-esteem and self-acceptance? And how do you manage to hang on to either when you’re experiencing depression? Dr. Margaret gives you her perspective, with the offering that no one fact about you defines you as a person. She also describes the difference between resignation and acceptance, and how the latter […]
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18 min
July 29, 2017
032 SelfWork: The Nine Paths To Perfectly Hidden Depression
Hiding or detaching temporarily from emotional pain is a healthy skill. If you have something hurtful happen, but you need to “get your act together” in order to work, or watch children, then knowing you can do that rather than being besieged by your pain, reflects emotional competence. However, people with Perfectly Hidden Depression have […]
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21 min
July 22, 2017
031 SelfWork: Hiding Depression And Perfectly Hidden Depression – Is There A Difference?
The Beck Depression Inventory has been used to identify depression for many years. But it will miss those with Perfectly Hidden Depression, due to the fact that they’d rarely allow themselves to reveal their pain, not even to a computer. Even people with more moderate classic depression may discount or deny their symptoms — no […]
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July 16, 2017
030 SelfWork: “I Love You, But…” The Art Of Giving And Receiving Criticism
“I love you, but….” How do we handle criticism, even “constructive criticism” from people we care about? Often, not too well. That could be a problem with how it’s delivered, how we hear it, or both. Dr. Margaret discusses what makes critical feedback so difficult and offers ten ideas of how to get out of […]
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July 11, 2017
029 SelfWork: Marriage Is Not For Chickens
Today’s podcast is a little unusual. Dr. Margaret’s telling a bit of her own love story with the man she married almost 28 years ago. She wrote a post about their marriage in 2014 that went viral on The Huffington Post, which she’s going to share with you, along with a few back stories of […]
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21 min
July 3, 2017
028 SelfWork: You’re Mad. Do You Stuff It, Reveal It Or Explode?
Anger. It’s not an emotion that many people know how to express well. And some even believe it’s to be avoided at all costs. Where do we get those beliefs? And what are the different ways we let each other know we’re angry? Dr. Margaret discusses how to express anger, and why often it’s important […]
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27 min
June 25, 2017
027 SelfWork: Anxiety, My Mom and Prescription Drug Abuse
“My mother was many things — lovely, talented, and she had a prescription drug addiction.” This is the very personal story of Dr. Margaret’s own mom, how anxiety and addiction affected her life and the lives of those who loved her. She had what would now be called Generalized Anxiety Disorder and obsessive-compulsive traits, and […]
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June 21, 2017
026 SelfWork 13 Reasons Why: The Rise Of Teen Depression
13 Reasons Why, the explosively haunting Netflix series focusing on teenagers, is giving our culture a message. It’s about bullying, drug and alcohol use, sexual assault, anxiety and alienation caused by the cruel use of social media, depression and suicide. Not that only parents of teens should listen to this podcast! Dr. Margaret points out […]
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27 min
June 11, 2017
025 SelfWork: Living With Anxiety And Bipolar Disorder: Stories From This Is My Brave
What does it feel like to live with mental illness, such as panic disorder or bipolar disorder? In this episode, Dr. Margaret tells her story of having and managing panic attacks, as performed in the local This Is My Brave program. In rehearsal, she met the young Caitlin McDowell, whose stunning piece on living with bipolar disorder […]
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June 4, 2017
024 SelfWork: How To Prevent “Empty Nest” And Let Go, With Intention
Any time you can claim intention, it’s empowering. Letting go of children and avoiding the depression that can come from “empty nest?” You can decide to handle that transition with intentionality as well. Dr. Margaret offer specific ideas and references to help you do just that — and the process starts way before your children […]
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May 27, 2017
023 SelfWork: Do You Have FOMO (the Fear of Missing Out)?
You may not believe you experience FOMO, the recent acronym for the “fear of missing out.” But wait until you hear actual quotes from people who do, and you may hear yourself! Here’s one: “I can see from her SnapChat that she went out with all of our friends. I ended the friendship with her, but […]
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May 17, 2017
022 SelfWork: How To Not Hate Your Body
Eating disorders and body image problems are rampant in our culture, with good reason. We are pummeled with images of the “acceptable” body, which is much younger, fitter, and probably photo-shopped. Dr. Margaret is talking today about the different kinds of eating disorders, her own history with anorexia and three non-scale things you can begin […]
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May 10, 2017
021 SelfWork: The Ten Traits Of Perfectly Hidden Depression
If you’re an expert at hiding emotional pain, and do it almost perfectly, then this episode is likely to speak to you. Dr. Margaret has been researching and writing about a syndrome she calls Perfectly Hidden Depression for three years. Listen in as she outlines the ten major traits of PHD in the detail that […]
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April 30, 2017
020 SelfWork: Why Risk Vulnerability?
Vulnerability is the presence of a sensitivity, a painful hurt or a struggle. In this episode of SelfWork, Dr. Margaret explores how recognizing your vulnerability is pragmatically important in managing mental illness. Accepting and revealing these tender aspects of yourself is also vital in deeply connecting with others, and with developing a greater understanding of […]
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April 23, 2017
019 SelfWork: Narcissism And How To Cope With It
Understanding narcissism is difficult. But if you’re a person who’s trying to love someone with a lack of empathy, the tendency to be quite self-involved, and to need an incredible amount of attention or praise, he or she could have narcissism. It’s vital to know what it is and how it affects relationships. What’s important […]
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April 13, 2017
018 SelfWork: Facing Change – Both Welcome And Unwelcome
Change, whether it’s welcome and wanted, or unwelcome and difficult, involves stress. Today’s podcast is about living with both kinds, as well as the sometimes bizarre ways people try to avoid the reality of change. What are the most stressful life transitions for adults and children? And what is the most successful way people can […]
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April 6, 2017
017 SelfWork: How Do We Fight The Stigma Of Mental Illness
What do Bruce Springsteen (The Boss), Jay Guillermo (collegiate football player), Kid Cude (rapper) and Princess Diana (not the Disney kind) all have in common? They’ve suffered with chronic mental illness, revealed it, and talked openly about it. Prejudice against mental illness is alive and well, but we can all fight it, both within ourselves, […]
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24 min
March 27, 2017
016 SelfWork: What Is So Hard About Couples Therapy?
Individual therapy can be emotionally difficult, although well worth it. Couples therapy? In some ways, it’s even harder, as two people who are more or less demoralized try to remedy problems that have been around for quite a while. With both nurturing and directness, Dr. Margaret identifies the four major signs of relationship disaster (researched […]
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21 min
March 21, 2017
015 SelfWork: What Keeps You From Leaving
Abusive relationships, whether the abuse is emotional, physical or sexual, can be extremely difficult to leave. Yet many people will shrug their shoulders, saying, “If someone treated me like that, I’d be out the door.” What is that old saying? “Walk a mile in my shoes….”. This podcast is all about the complication of abusive […]
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20 min
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