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The SelfWork Podcast

I'm Dr. Margaret, a psychologist for over 25 years and the author of Perfectly Hidden Depression. I created The SelfWork Podcast in 2016 to explain mental health treatment, and to give you the chance to consider therapy without thinking it's weird or somehow suggests you can't "fix" your own problems. My team is so honored that five years later, SelfWork has earned nearly 3.5 million downloads! Each episode features the popular listener question. And, once a month, you’ll hear a “You Get the Gist” segment - a five minute run-down of a current topic - as well as an interview with an outstanding guest author or expert, adding to the wide diversity of topics listeners so appreciate. Regularly rated as one of the top mental health/depression podcasts out there, I keep it short and casual - and I'd love to hear from you. Please join me.
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Now displaying: February, 2021
Feb 26, 2021

This is the first in a series here on SelfWork about careers that can kill. Over the next few months, we're going to interview people who are led to careers that hold within them the ever-increasing danger of suicidal ideation or suicide itself. Doctors, police officers, the military. We are losing the people that we, as a culture, expect to do very difficult jobs psychologically. Yet the professions themselves don't encourage mental health treatment, or even disparage those that reveal struggle.

Sometimes you don’t know why, but you’re drawn to someone or to their story. Adam Hill is one of those people for me. Adam presented himself as a thoughtful guy as well as being a doctor who’d trained as a pediatric oncologist at some of the finest schools and research centers the USA has to offer. And then came the fact that he is a recovering alcoholic. He's the author of Long Walk Out of The Woods – which when you read the book, you totally get that he’s not simply talking metaphorically, but quite literally -as he nearly ended his own life in a deep, sheltered place in the woods.

So I wanted to talk to this man who’d risked everything career-wise to reveal his struggle with severe depression and alcoholism –  and become not only a doctor, but now a mental health advocate whose fighting to change how his profession’s licensing boards and entire medical community views seeking help for mental illness or substance abuse.

So I  present to you Dr. Adam Hill. His story is riveting and may carry within it something important for you or your loved one to hear.

Feb 24, 2021

 

Today I’m sharing the work of Stacey Wright, a psychotherapist in Georgia whose work is frequently featured on The Mighty. She specializes in the treatment of highly sensitive people. I thought what she had to say was very clear in her latest article on The Mighty. And she further distinguishes those who are highly sensitive (HSP) people to those she terms true "empaths."

And yet there's debate about the term and even the concept of an "empath" being a noun is disputed as an appropriate label for someone who's simply highly empathetic. We can hear the other side as it's voiced by Rick Cormier, a retired psychotherapist and author of Mixed Nuts, He says the term was lifted from Star Trek, in fact was made up by its creators, and doesn't exist other than in science fiction. It's a hot debate!

Whatever you believe, you can make up your own mind – But I hope you get the gist.

Important Links:

Contact Stacey Wright through her blog!

The Mighty's new podcast! 

Judith Orloff’s newest book on thriving as an empath

You can hear more about mental health and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has arrived and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism or need for control which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

 

Feb 19, 2021

"I want this over!!"  is being shouted from the rooftops by many after this round of holidays held little release from the sacrifices we are all making. But pandemic fatigue can easily morph into pandemic burnout, meaning that whatever skills you’d been using to dig a little deeper or find some laughter or hope – those skills are maxed out . It's easy to take frustration out on the person who's your pandemic partner. And the three facets of burnout - excessive fatigue, detachment  and cynicism, and a feeling of lack of accomplishment - can too easily be focused on your relationship. So in this episode of SelfWork, sponsored by BetterHelp, we'll also focus on four considerations that might help you realize that the pandemic is dramatizing what are fairly normal facets of long relationships.

What are these four considerations?

  1. Realize the problem could lie with you as you might've become clinically depressed.
  2. Be aware of how others might be negatively impacting how you think about your partner.
  3. Consider which of your disappointments in your partner are tied in with things you love about them. You don't get one without the other.
  4. Recognize that you might not be "in sync" with one another, living almost parallel lives, and try to listen and respond more kindly and lovingly.

The listener email is from a mom who’s confused about her children saying she’s coming across as needy when she feels all she’s doing is letting them all know she’s thinking of them and praying for them. So I’ll answer her as best I can – and you can decide what you think as well!

Important Links:

BetterHelp, the #1 online therapy provider, has a special offer for you now!

. An article in EveryDay Health talks about pandemic fatigue

Find out how pandemic burnout is defined in this article in New Scientist

Article on Intimate Partner Violence and how the pandemic has affecting hotline use

From Mom to Me Again: Wonderful book on managing empty nest .

You can hear more about mental health and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has arrived and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism or need for control which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

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Feb 12, 2021

Today in this episode sponsored by BetterHelp, we’re talking about hypnosis. Not only will I try to debunk the various myths there are out there about it, but help you understand exactly how it can work. I’ve been hypnotized several times myself and I’ll explain what I experienced.  I’ve also been trained in hypnosis so I can explain what it’s like to actually do hypnosis; what you’re watching for in the client, how you set the process up for the most success. I’ll draw heavily on the work of Michael Yapko, whose trainings I’ve attended and who’s an international expert on hypnosis and its effectiveness with depression. It’s truly a fascinating experience – both to use it in therapy and to participate in it. And I'll include the most dramatic example I've had thus far in my practice of it helping my client tremendously with PTSD.

Our listener email today is from a woman who’s talking about something we touched on in last week’s episode about sexual abuse; that one of the lingering issues can be the strong association of sex with danger or dominance or even pain. Just how do you break that kind of connection so that normal healthy sexual intimacy can be enjoyed?

Important Links:

BetterHelp, the #1 online therapy provider, has a special offer for you now!

Wikipedia description of hypnosis

Dr. Michael Yapko's definition and explanation of hypnosis

Harvard's brain scanning research using the brains of 57 people during guided hypnosis.

Article on the myths of hypnosis

A great article by  psychiatrist Dr. Aaron Kheriaty explaining the mind/body connection in BDSM.

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk

A wonderful summary of Dr. Van Der Kolk's book

You can hear more about mental health and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has arrived and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism or need for control which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 10, 2021

Writing a book is the hardest and most labor-intensive task I've ever accomplished. And sometimes, while I was deep in the throws of its creation, I would wonder why I was doing it, even though I was so passionate about its message. What did I really hope would happen as a result? Well, two things have happened this week that remind me of why the topic of perfectly hidden depression is vital for our mental health culture- and you - to understand. The first was from a conversation I had with psychologist Lindsay Weisner, who was interviewing me and was reading Perfectly Hidden Depression. The second was an email from a middle-aged man who was shocked at his own identification with PHD - and what that realization was leading him to do.

Such an honor.  None of us ever know how others will perceive what we do or what we try to offer, do we?

BetterHelp, the #1 online therapy provider, has a special offer for you now!

You can hear more about mental health and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My new book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has arrived and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism or need for control which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

Feb 5, 2021

Trigger Warning: If you choose to listen to this episode on sibling sexual abuse, please keep your own self-care in mind. I’ll have international sexual abuse hotline numbers in the show notes: But the US hotline is  1-800-656-4673.

Sibling sexual abuse is a complex and painful subject that's vastly underreported. And it can happen in any home, anywhere. How is it different than normal sexual curiosity between siblings? What sets the environment up for it to occur? Why don't they tell a parent? How does it affect its victims? What if they themselves repeated or even forced sexual activity on others in the family? I'll use a case from my own practice to talk about how and when it can occur - and as always, what a parent or loved one can do about it. What's important to know from the beginning is that sexual abuse isn't only about sex; it's much more about control and grabbing power.

In this episode sponsored by BetterHelp, we'll go over in detail a very moving email I received – and I'll point out the language used by the writer, a victim of sibling abuse. You'll be able to hear for yourself her confusion about blame, responsibility, shame, and fear.

Listener Email: (Bolded sections created by Dr. Rutherford)

What do you do if you're carrying the guilt and shame of being sexually abused as a child, but also the guilt of taking part in the abuse? My abuse started when I was probably 2 years old by my sisters and cousins who were all older than me. Then I was taught to do things as a child and my first and only sexual experiences were us kids doing sexual acts to each other. This went on until I was about 11/12. Family member's were involved and no one talks about it to this day but I suffer mentally with it. I feel like it was my fault, mostly because my sister's (the two who abused me would say this to me, and that I didn't speak up.  And when I was 7 I was raped by a male family friend. I never told. Now as an almost 40yr old woman I still feel ashamed, like someone should have stopped it.

Important Links:

BetterHelp, the #1 online therapy provider, has a special offer for you now!

Facts about sibling abuse from a VeryWell Mind

SelfWork episode on the Karpman Triangle 

Article on the cycle of sexual abuse and outcomes for victims; Article in VeryWell Mind

SelfWork episode on the shame associated with sexual arousal during sexual abuse

Facts about sexual offenders

Sexual anorexia: What is it?

Healing the Shame That Binds You

Sexual Abuse Hotlines

https://www.childhelplineinternational.org/child-helplines/child-helpline-network/

https://www.hotpeachpages.net/a/countries.html

https://www.rainn.org/

https://victimconnect.org/resources/national-hotlines/

You can hear more about mental health and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My new book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has arrived and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism or need for control which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

 

 

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