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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: April, 2021
Apr 30, 2021

Dr. Kristina Kiefer reached out to me recently. Her email was simple and to the point. "I’m in vet med and veterinarians are in trouble." I was intrigued and looked up some statistics on my own. Nearly 400 veterinarians died by suicide between 1979 and 2015, according to a CDC study published in January that analyzed more than 11,000 veterinarian death records in that timeframe. The study also found that female veterinarians are up to 3.5 times more likely to kill themselves than members of the general population.

She then introduced me to her friend and colleague, Dr. Kimberly Pope-Robinson who has spoken many times about this subject and is the author of the book “The Unspoken Life”, detailing what vets need to do to stay stable. I can tell you these two are a dynamic duo and told me things about the vet profession I’d never have believed.

Even if you’re not a vet, many of us have pets and put our trust in them implicitly. Or so I thought. What vets contend with on a regular basis – from completely erratic schedules to problems with the people who bring their pets – or sadly, dump their pets on a vet. I do want to give a trigger warning for any of you who might be pet lovers – some of what they discuss might anger you. But I was also delighted to learn of efforts to help these animals who have no voice. But also to support those in vet med in their own mental health struggles. You might think it’s euthanasia that’s the problem. But it’s much more.

So in this episode, sponsored by BetterHelp, let's learn more about the life of someone in vet med and the struggles they have.

Important Links:

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

Statistics on veterinarian suicide

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 23, 2021

Today we’re going to focus on your gut – and how recent research is finding that it may have more to do with depression and anxiety than realized in the past. Believe it or not, there’s a second independent nervous system in your body called the enteric nervous system, located in your gut. And it constantly communicates with the brain through the vagus nerve. Certainly puts a different perspective on having a “gut” feeling… or “having butterflies”…

We’ll also focus on half a dozen things you can do to stimulate the vagus nerve which (somewhat contradictorily sounding) slows down your heart rate and calms you down. We'll talk about  some fascinating things for this 228th episode of SelfWork, one sponsored by Athletic Greens.

Our listener email today is from someone who says that her mom laid a big guilt trip on her when she was a child.. and now she guilts herself for everything and far too readily feels guilty for too many things. She wants to know what she can do about!

Important Links:

Click this link to try Athletic Greens wonderful offer as a SelfWork Listener!

Understanding the autonomic nervous system

Johns Hopkins article on the brain gut connection

Role of gut bacteria in anxiety and depression

Science Magazine article on gut bacteria

Six ways to calm your vagus nerve

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!

 

 

 

Apr 16, 2021

Compartmentalization (sometimes called stuffing away feelings) is a healthy skill much of the time. And you can tell when people don’t have that skill. Their emotions govern their lives and their choices. Something unpleasant or unwelcome ruins their day or causes them to have to leave their job or to yell at their kids. Or at you. So learning how to monitor and evaluate a situation – using mindfulness to be aware of something being emotionally difficult - and then being able to table those feeling until it’s the right time and place to work through those emotions can be a vital skill.

But compartmentalization can also be damaging when it's connected with a need to escape, for example, through addictions; when you use it to avoid what's termed cognitive dissonance, as when you're behaving in a certain way that doesn't match your true values; or when it's part of a sociopathic or even psychopathic personality disorder.

Our listener email is from a man whose ex is talking to their son in an inappropriate way – causing what he has read in my articles an “enmeshment” between the two of them. And he’s wondering what he can do.. What would you do?? So in this episode, sponsored by a new sponsor - Athletic Greens - we'll focus on the good and bad about compartmentalization.

Links:

Click this link to try Athletic Greens wonderful offer as a SelfWork Listener!

A testimonial about compartmentalization

Richard Castro's article about the dark side of compartmentalization

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!

 

 

Apr 14, 2021

Today's "You Get the Gist" explains the four different types of narcissism. All of them share the major features of a constant need for admiration, an unrealistic sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy, and great difficulty forming meaningful relationships. What are they and how are both similar and dissimilar to one another? You'll find out more.. but they are the grandiose narcissist, the covert narcissist, the communal narcissist (I'd never heard of that one..) and the malignant narcissist. I use the excellent work of Darlene Lancer, an attorney and a mental health clinician  (link below). However, I do offer one caveat - be careful about diagnostic labels. They were historically meant to aid in better communication but often go way beyond that.

Links:

Darlene Lancer Psych Central article

Article on covert narcissism

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!

 

 

 

 

Apr 9, 2021

 

As many of you know, I was a professional singer before I began my journey to become a therapist and a psychologist. The only thing I knew about therapy was that I’d had lots of it and had never laid down on a couch. And that it had been extremely helpful many times. My decision was made in 1984 and I became licensed in 1993. Nine years is a long time. So, I couldn't wait to use all I'd learned in school.

But the learning actually started when I began seeing patients on my own. And I also realized that many of the things I'd experienced from being in therapy myself - made me a better therapist. So today, in this episode sponsored by BetterHelp, I'll talk about ten things that a good therapist knows to do. In fact, here they are:

  1. The importance of timing. Sometimes it's better to wait.
  2. What true empathy is.
  3. Staying curious rather than assuming I know.
  4. When to listen to my gut.
  5. The vital importance of self-care.
  6. When personal sharing is helpful.
  7. The importance of being myself and not adopting some kind of therapeutic persona.
  8. To think outside of the box.
  9. How to hold a safe space.
  10. How and when to use gentle confrontation.

The listener email is from a woman whose mother sends her what the listener calls “unfiltered” critical comments about her parenting – she’s caught between wanting to love her mom, but not being willing to receive the non-asked for feedback. It’s a tough place to be..

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!

 

 

 

 

Apr 2, 2021

Jenny Lawson is a blogger, known as The Bloggess, has literally thousands who follow her. She's also a mom, a wife, and luckily for us, an author. Broken (in the best possible way) is her newest book. In all her books, she’s more than open about her struggles with chronic mental illness, including severe social anxiety and chronic debilitating (at times) depression. So debilitating that for months she’s often dysfunctional.

Yet as she writes, Jenny makes you laugh until you don’t think you can laugh anymore as she describes her persistent battles with insurance, with her autoimmune disorders – with destructive side effects of medicine… wacky things that go on between herself and her husband - and these embarrassing side stories of what her life is actually like. Her memory’s shot. She loses crap all the time. She has a fascination with weird animal creatures. And the graphic on the front of the book says it all, as every day she hauls around her illness like a huge horned animal, always present and never on the back burner. But she’s also very quick to say that she’s grown from having them. And she wants you to know, in a very genuine and warm-hearted way, that you are far from alone if you do the same.

This very special episode with Jenny also brings a very new sponsor to SelfWork, Athletic Greens. They have a special offer for the listeners of SelfWork. I'm so excited for you to try it, as it's made a huge difference in my life as well as my husband's. Just click here!

Important Links:

You can find all her books on her website! Broken publishes on April 5, 2021 but you can pre-order it today!

If you want to join her book club, Fantastic Strangelings, you can go to her bookstore, Nowhere Bookshop!

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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