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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: May, 2021
May 30, 2021

So welcome to all of you on this second of a two-part series on veterans' suicide on this Memorial Day weekend, once again sponsored by Athletic Greens.  The story you're going to hear from this young woman is one you'll likely never forget. Danica Thomas was the wife of a career military guy, Alan Thomas. But his military career ended in a traumatic way as did his life. And Danica, who married him and became a mom very early in her twenties, was faced with things she never imagined trying to handle or take in stride. Life has dealt her and her family a huge blow that also dramatically and tragically caused others' suffering. Danica has dedicated her life to trying to improve the mental health services that returning soldiers receive from the VA. You'll be moved, maybe angered, maybe shocked, and certainly saddened by her story, but you'll also hear her courage and determination to fight this fight.

Now Danica is a fierce activist for mental health treatment and expanded care for America's combat veterans. She is now the chairman of the Susan M Tillis foundation. She's a national ambassador for PREVENTS and a key advisor for the OpRES Suicide Prevention Fund. She and her two daughters live outside Charlotte, North Carolina.  If you've had suicide in your family, if you've ever had those kinds of thoughts, please listen to this with caution; the suicide hotline is below.

Other Important Links:

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

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline

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!

 

 

 

 
May 28, 2021

Welcome to a two-part series created to highlight our veterans and first responders, all whose suicide rates are very high. If you're a veteran or first responder, or you love one, this series is a must listen.

Today's interview is with Dr. Shauna Springer, better known to her veteran clients as "Doc." The story of how she learned how to work with veterans' trauma actually holds within it a far broader approach and hope to anyone who might be trying to heal from invisible wounds. You may be surprised to learn what those actual wounds are - not the ones we typically think of as civilians. But rather, ones that belong to those that experience a vital bond with the people that fight beside them. And if that bond is broken or damaged, shame, guilt and a vast emptiness can be created - feelings that last far longer than actual memories of violence.

Shauna ‘Doc’ Springer is a best-selling author, frequently requested keynote speaker, and one of the world's leading experts on psychological trauma, military transition, suicide prevention, and close relationships. She is the author of WARRIOR: How to Support Those Who Protect Us and the co-author of BEYOND THE MILITARY: A Leader’s Handbook for Warrior Reintegration. A Harvard graduate who has become a trusted Doc to our nation’s military warfighters, she navigates different cultures with exceptional agility. As Chief Psychologist for Stella, she advances a new model for treating psychological trauma that combines biological and psychological interventions. Doc Springer is a licensed psychologist who is frequently sourced by the media for her uniquely perceptive insights on trauma recovery, post-traumatic growth, psychological health, and interpersonal relationships, developed from two decades of work at the extremes. Doc Springer’s work has been featured in multiple media outlets, including CNN, VICE, NPR, NBC, CBS Radio, Forbes, Business Insider, Military Times, Military.com, Gun Talk Radio, Coffee or Die Magazine, Havok Journal, THRIVE GLOBAL, Police1, Anxiety.org, Washington Post, and Psychology Today.

Other important links:

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

Dr. Shauna Springer's Speaking Page

Overcoming Barriers to Treatment (based on Chapter 2 of Dr. Shauna Springer's book WARRIOR):  https://youtu.be/oNUiCNDYeys

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!

Image courtesy of Pixels.

 

May 25, 2021

Today's YGYG (You Get The Gist) is focusing on the promise of there being genetic tests that would help your doctor choose the most effective medication for you. It's exciting to consider due to the fact that many people have to try several medications before finding one that works for them - while at the same time managing ongoing mental and emotional problems. But there's lots of debate and new research happening - so here's a rundown from the experts. I'd certainly recommend that you talk to your doctor about it!

Important Links:

To give you an example, there's the most prominent text I reviewed.

FDA 2018 Warning

2019 Research by Harvard

Most recent information from The Mayo Clinic and their researchers

And another Mayo article specifying a test that holds lots of promise

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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May 21, 2021

Before we get started, I wanted you to know that Facing Depression, my new course all about depression -  what causes it and what you can do about it - is available now, exclusively on Himalaya Learning. Himalaya Learning is an audio learning platform that provides an extensive library of courses straight to your ears from the world's greatest minds like Malcolm Gladwell, Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, and more. To listen to this course and others like it, go to himalaya.com/depression and enter promo code OVERCOMING at checkout to get your first 14 days free. I hope to see you there!

In this episode of SelfWork, sponsored by Athletic Greens, we’re going to look into the facts about being an only child, about birth order in general, and about the parent/child fit or the role temperament plays in a parent/child relationship..   I’ve had many a patient who said, “My mother never liked me.” or “It was obvious she was closer to my older sister." Often recognizing that the fit between their temperaments was not so easy, is healing. It can ease the tension in the present, and help both parent and adult child to establish a better relationship with one another.

One article (link below) outlined what you can do as a parent to understand the fit between your temperament and your child's. And there are five steps:

1.) Identify your child’s temperament traits.  Notice how they interact with the world - what their temperament is.

2.) Describe what you are observing to the child.  This helps her learn about her behavior style, how to handle it, and what you expect from her, “You don’t like new places.  You like to watch until you feel comfortable.”

3.) Identify your own temperament traits.  Notice how they affect your behavior.

4.) Consider whether your temperamental traits and those of your child fit together easily.  If not, recognize any difficulties which the differences may cause.  For example, a parent who has low sensitivity has difficulty being patient with her high sensitivity child who can’t tolerate the feel of the tags on his shirts.

5.) Avoid criticizing or labeling your child with words such as forgetful, wild, fussy, quitter, shy.

The listener voicemail asks a question about how to handle a partner not being emotionally available. She asked it after listening to the episode on trauma bonding – but wanted to hear more as she herself had ended a relationship with a covert narcissist. She says, “I keep attracting people who aren’t emotionally supportive and I keep craving it when I know they can’t give it.” So I’ll answer her – what would you say?

Important Links:

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

The work of Alfred Adler concerning birth order

The work of Toni Falbo, dispelling the myth of the "only child syndrome"

Emily Oster's article on only children in The New York Times

Scientific American article on birth order

NIH article on temperament - survey of studies

What do you do to ensure a better parent/child fit? 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 14, 2021

Before we get started, I wanted you to know that Facing Depression, my new course all about depression -  what causes it and what you can do about it - is available now, exclusively on Himalaya Learning. Himalaya Learning is an audio learning platform that provides an extensive library of courses straight to your ears from the world's greatest minds like Malcolm Gladwell, Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, and more. To listen to this course and others like it, go to himalaya.com/depression and enter promo code OVERCOMING at checkout to get your first 14 days free. I hope to see you there!

Today’s episode, sponsored by BetterHelp, covers two topics – each one of them important to understand. The first topic is what positive psychologists (those that study what makes life worth living) call languishing – as its touted as the major emotion caused by the pandemic. What is languishing? It’s defined as a lack of well-being – or as one definition put it, an absence of a positive emotion about life.  Researchers in the positive psychology camp say it’s different than actual depression and identify how you can go from languishing to flourishing or true happiness by stabilizing your life with these five pillars  - focusing on positive emotions, being highly engaged, having quality relationships, identifying with something meaningful or broader than yourself, and feeling a sense of accomplishment.

The listener email is particularly poignant: it’s from a woman whose child died a decade ago. And her grief doesn’t seem to be remitting in any way.  I’ll answer her using the words of other mothers who’ve lost their children.

Important Links:

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

Article about Martin Seligman and the Five Pillars of Happiness

Article by Corey Keyes

NY Times article by organization psychologist Adam Grant on languishing

Six areas of psychological well-being

Episode 90 of SelfWork: Interview with Dr. Susan Averitt about grieving the death of a child

Best Online Grief Support Groups

HuffPost Article on Grieving the Death of a Child

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!

 

May 11, 2021

Hello and welcome to another five minute interlude or what we call You Get The Gist! YGTG. Today I’m revealing some new thoughts about imposter syndrome – I did an episode on it now years ago. But what I was intrigued to read recently was some research coming out of Harvard – critiquing the whole idea of women "suffering" from this horribly insecure feeling. Now, with the impetus of the #metoo movement, women of all ethnicities are realizing that perhaps it's been the workplace that's been most of the problem. As these Harvard researchers state, "Even if women demonstrate strength, ambition, and resilience, our daily battles with microaggressions, especially expectations and assumptions formed by stereotypes and racism, often push us down."

Important Link:

Harvard article Stop Telling Women They Have Imposter Syndrome

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!

 

May 7, 2021

There are so many times when I don’t think things are going to go well and I hope I'm  wrong. And sometimes, I certainly am.  But I wrote a post back in 2015 right after a young Josh Duggar’s problems with sexual abuse came to be known. My post focused on how his family had missed a wonderful opportunity to model openness and honesty about the difficulties facing our kids in the realm of sexual abuse; to get help not only for the their daughters who'd been molested by Josh, but for Josh himself. The Duggars, rooted in a very conservative faith system, didn’t send him to appropriate treatment, which they could’ve well afforded. Now he’s been charged with alleged internet child porn charges – and has six of his own children with another on the way.

So today I’m going to focus sexual addiction, in this episode sponsored once again by Athletic Greens. You may not believe sex addiction is actually real – but from my experience, it is. And very destructive. We also always talk about what you can do about it, and I'll share well-known researcher, author and speaker Dr. Patrick Carnes' ideas about not only sexual addiction but its treatment.

The listener email for today is from a man whose girlfriend suffers from depression – and with whom he was deeply in love – and she suddenly and to him inexplicably broke up with him. He’s asking for some kind of information or understanding as he tried to face what has happened. What would you advise?

Important Links:

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

Recent article on the present charges against Josh Duggar

Another article on these charges

WHO designates compulsive sexual impulse disorder

An interview with Dr. Patrick Carnes

Other thoughts on sexual addiction

One man's addiction story published in the Irish Times

CSAT information

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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