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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: December, 2021
Dec 31, 2021

Here we are on the cusp of 2022! And many of you will be trying once again to have a New Years resolution. I'm not a huge fan of those but building self-confidence would certainly be a worthy one!  In this second time around for this episode, as my team and I take a break during the holidays, I'll tell the story again about a  patient who'd begun to find her own self-confidence when she said, “I realized that what I needed  - I’d had all along. It’s like the ruby red slippers. You simply have to know their power and your own power.”

I wasn't able to forget that analogy. We all have the capacity to learn, to understand, to see and to have confidence in ourselves - but we can sabotage and discount our strengths, values, talents, and gut feelings. In this episode, I decided to trust my own red slippers in this episode, sponsored by BetterHelp, and allow my own mind and heart to create a list of ten things that can build self-confidence - and with humility I bring it to you.

The listener email is from a man who writes that he’s begun having symptoms of anxiety and panic at a time when he and his wife are having troubles and she wants a separation. What would you say?

Important Links:

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 clickhere 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 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!

Important Links:

Here's the link once again to my new interactive podcast on Fireside Chat! Click here! 

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

Dec 28, 2021

This is our second "Second Time Around" SelfWork episode as the team takes the holidays off (and I work on Book #2!) I loved this series on the most recent research on depression and what it indicates are the diverse potential sources or "reasons" for someone to experience depression. These episodes were first recorded in 2019 so the information was the newest I could find then... What I will say is that the research I've seen since have been further evidence that depression is NOT simply a chemical imbalance. I'll also reference a recent conversation I had with neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf as to her most recent research and what it shows, as well as another episode that feature the most recent findings in gut research and what it has to do with depression as well! You can click on those links for even more information!

In this episode, sponsored by Athletic Greens or AG1, we’ll focus on the  non-neurological things that have a tremendous influence on whether or not you could become depressed — specifically stress, trauma, medical illnesses and medications themselves. I’m again using a very well-written article by a team at Harvard as a guide.And I throw in some of my own observations and thoughts. And as always, there’s a focus on treatment — or what you can do about it.

This listener’s question is a poignant one. She and her husband have been booted out of her daughter’s life, who seems to have a history of significant emotional problems and is in therapy. So the question is how this mother could approach this very painful estrangement from her daughter as she wonders if the therapy itself is encouraging this behavior.

Important links:

Here's the link once again to my new interactive podcast on Fireside Chat! Click here! 

Click Here for the fabulous offer from Athletic Greens - now AG1 - with bonus product with your subscription!

Episode 091 on decreasing stress through mindfulness

SelfWork Episode 109 on the use of a timeline

You can hear more about depression and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to this website and receive her weekly blog posts and podcasts!

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 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!

 

Dec 24, 2021

This is our first "Second Time Around" SelfWork episode as we take the holidays off (and I work on Book #2!) I loved this series on the most recent research on depression and what it indicates are the diverse potential sources or "reasons" for someone to experience depression. This was first recorded in 2019 so the information was the newest I could find then... What I will say is that the research I've seen since have been further evidence that depression is NOT simply a chemical imbalance. I'll also reference a recent conversation I had with neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf as to her most recent research and what it shows, as well as another episode that feature the most recent findings in gut research and what it has to do with depression as well! You can click on those links for even more information!

Our listener email today is from someone who actually saw me many years ago, and she asks a question about her marriage and her unhappiness within it, “Does everyone who’s married have an escape plan?”

This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp! You hope you think about starting the new year off with getting another trained perspective of what you might be facing - and why positive change might be eluding you.

Important Links:

Here's the link once again to my new interactive podcast on Fireside Chat! Click here! 

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

You can hear more about depression and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to this website and receive her weekly blog posts and podcasts!

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 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!

.

Here’s the graphic from the Harvard article:

Figure 1: Areas of the brain affected by depression

Areas of the brain affected by depression

Amygdala: The amygdala is part of the limbic system, a group of structures deep in the brain that’s associated with emotions such as anger, pleasure, sorrow, fear, and sexual arousal. The amygdala is activated when a person recalls emotionally charged memories, such as a frightening situation. Activity in the amygdala is higher when a person is sad or clinically depressed. This increased activity continues even after recovery from depression.

Thalamus: The thalamus receives most sensory information and relays it to the appropriate part of the cerebral cortex, which directs high-level functions such as speech, behavioral reactions, movement, thinking, and learning. Some research suggests that bipolar disorder may result from problems in the thalamus, which helps link sensory input to pleasant and unpleasant feelings.

Hippocampus: The hippocampus is part of the limbic system and has a central role in processing long-term memory and recollection. Interplay between the hippocampus and the amygdala might account for the adage “once bitten, twice shy.” It is this part of the brain that registers fear when you are confronted by a barking, aggressive dog, and the memory of such an experience may make you wary of dogs you come across later in life. The hippocampus is smaller in some depressed people, and research suggests that ongoing exposure to stress hormone impairs the growth of nerve cells in this part of the brain.

One more important link:

The Mayo Clinic article on a genetic test to help determine which medications would be best for you.

 

 

Dec 17, 2021

Today, I wanted to take the time before 2021 ends to answer a few more or your email questions. Your questions are so good, it’s hard not to answer them all! Today’s subjects are enmeshment, developing feelings for your therapist, maternal sexual abuse, and getting multiple forms of therapy at once – all great topics in and of themselves.

So, lots of diversity in this episode sponsored by Athletic Greens, or AG1 - and they have a special offer for SelfWork listeners that you can click below!

Important Links:

Here's the link once again to my new interactive podcast on Fireside Chat! Click here! 

Click Here for the fabulous offer from Athletic Greens - now AG1 - with bonus product with your subscription!

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 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!

 

Dec 14, 2021
 
Synergy is a strange and phenomenal thing. Like many people around the world, I watched in horror as the US military withdrew from Afghanistan, seeing the frenetic despair of those trying to get out, handing babies over to troops, risking their lives to get to freedom - It was raw fear happening right before your eyes - no matter what your political party or views.  I had no idea how to help.
 
Only a few days later, I received a request from a Forbes' publicist, asking if I would interview the author of the new and highly acclaimed book, Hear Us Speak: Letters From Arab Women.  Tears came to my eyes; this is what I could do. Suzan “Suzy” Kanoo, one of the most successful female business leaders in Bahrain and one of the top CEOs in the Arab world, is the author. I found her incredibly engaging, smart, and passionate, as I know you will as well.

Through a series of candid interviews with women from several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain who have faced the difficult consequences of a lack of legislation. Being jailed for expressing their opinions on social media, receiving inheritances that are a fraction of those given to their brothers, having their children abducted—legally—by their husbands and suffering physical and emotional abuse with little chance for protection from the courts, these women, like countless others in their region, have faced dire circumstances..“To be a woman is a gift,” Kanoo writes.  “We give birth to future generations. We give love unconditionally. And we face unique daily challenges and adversity with grace, strength, and courage. This is universal.  Hear us speak.”

Important Links: 

Here's the link once again to my new interactive podcast on Fireside Chat! Click here! 

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

Link to Hear Us Speak

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

My book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has been published and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism 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 it’s available in paperback, eBook or as an audiobook!

Now there’s another 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!

 

 

 

Dec 10, 2021

 

Perhaps one of the most complex concepts in mental health is the concept of choice. More specifically, there’s a huge and dramatic debate over the idea that someone “chooses” depression or anxiety. I myself have panic disorder as many of you know and it riles me up a bit to hear from someone that I chose at one point in my life to shake and sweat, for my heart to race as if I’m facing a monster – when it was simply my turn to introduce myself at a meeting. So on today's SelfWork, sponsored by Athletic Greens,  we’re going to try to have a reasonable look at choice - choice theory, positive psychology and just how far you should go with the concept of choice in mental health issues and especially, trauma.

The listener email today is from a woman who says that she’s dissociated often since childhood and the habit or the tendency is now getting in her way of staying in the present especially when she’s with family.  And she picks her nails when she dissociates so that maybe there’s a clue there!

Important Links:

Here's the link once again to my new interactive podcast on Fireside Chat! Click here! 

Click Here for the fabulous offer from Athletic Greens - now AG1 - with bonus product with your subscription!

APA's article on Choice Theory

TalkSpace article on positive psychology

Martin Seligman's  TED Talk on positive psychology

Carol Kauffman's article in the   Harvard Mental Health Letter on how to integrate positive psychology into more traditional therapy

Cleveland Clinic's article on depersonalization/derealization disorder

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

My book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has been published and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism 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 it’s available in paperback, eBook or as an audiobook!

Now there’s another 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!

 

 

Dec 3, 2021

 

As a therapist, I’ve been honored by many to try to help them work through their grief. And it can be raw,  cutting off someone’s ability to breathe deeply or feel like they’re even breathing at all. Or want to. But when I met met Leslie Streeter, I knew I had to have her on SelfWork. Her story, told with candor, humor and grit, is about her husband Scott's death when suddenly she was thrust into being a single mom while trying to cope with life and grief.

Leslie Gray Streeter is an author, veteran journalist and speaker. whose memoir “Black Widow,” was published in March 2020 by Little, Brown and Company. Until recently, she was the longtime entertainment and lifestyle columnist and writer for the Palm Beach Post. A native of Baltimore, Md and a University of Maryland graduate, she and her work have been featured in The Washington Post, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Seattle Times, The Atlantic, The Today show, SiriusXM, O, The Oprah Magazine and more. She lives with her son Brooks and her mother Tina in her hometown of Baltimore, which she moved back to last summer. She’s a slow runner, an amateur vegan cook and a true crime and “Law and Order” enthusiast.

You can see her light and spirit in her Today Show interview. This certainly wasn't the life that she could've possibly imagined. And yet, she's made it work. And she's written a book that makes her husband come alive.

Why am I offering this conversation now? Because in entering the holiday season, not only am I aware of millions of people around the world, and almost 800,000 people here in the US who have died from Covid. So each one of those people had families and friends, coworkers and neighbors who are grieving their absence. I wanted to offer to them the story of someone who got through – who has moved forward with her grief.

So in this episode of SelfWork, sponsored by BetterHelp, it's my honor to introduce you to Leslie Streeter.

Important Links:

Here's the link once again to my new interactive podcast on Fireside Chat! Click here! 

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

Get Black Widow on Amazon...

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

My book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has been published and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism 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 it’s available in paperback, eBook or as an audiobook!

Now there’s another 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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