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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: June, 2022
Jun 24, 2022

I’ve long been fascinated by the connections between our minds and our bodies, so much so that I wrote my dissertation (the original research you must complete before they give you a Ph.D.) on pseudoseizures. What are those? They look like actual seizures -  which are bursts of uncontrolled electrical activity between neurons that can cause all kinds of movements and abnormalities in muscle tone, sensations, or states of awareness. But they’re not.  Pseudoseizures are seizure-like activity that’s apparently caused by emotional/psychological factors.

So today we’re focusing on the mind/body interaction – how your brain processes physical and emotional pain – a brief touch on what are called somatic disorders -  but what I want to focus on how your body might be expressing the pain or trauma you’ve experienced in your life. It's an intriguing topic and one I hope you'll enjoy.

The listener voicemail is from a daughter who believes her mom may have something to do with her being ill and not knowing how to leave or get other help. This could be something called “munchausen’s syndrome by proxy” which is a very complicated dynamic – but it might also be that this daughter’s mom has been part of her trauma. I’ll offer suggestions for both..

So in this episode, sponsored by AG1, let’s learn together about just how your body and mind are interconnected – which of course is what AG is all about! Settle in and I’m so glad you’re here.

Scads of Important Links!

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

A recent Forbes article… discussing how your brain processes physical and social pain.

Depression Isn't Simply A Chemical Imbalance Part One (SelfWork Podcast)

Depression Isn't Simply A Chemical Imbalance Part Two (SelfWork)

An article on somatic disorders found on VeryWellMind.

How To Become An Emotional Grownup I don’t have time sadly to discuss all of it – but here’s a

A recent Psychology Today article about different techniques that you can try to "get at" your body's holding on to trauma. And encouraging it to let go.

Article on FDIA. Facticious Disorder impoased on another

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 here and 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!

And 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!

 

Jun 17, 2022

What risks do you run when you follow a quest for popularity or even celebrity? Envy is right at the top of the list, and today I'll offer 8 different signs that your need for external validation is running too high, and 6 more that reflect that envy has taken hold of your mind and heart. Envy is defined as believing yourself to be worthy of what you perceive others getting and your behavior then can become governed by that poisonous belief. We'll talk about the need for all of us to have a balance between what validation we receive externally with what we're able to give ourselves internally - and when those are out of balance, what you can do about it!

Then the third thing we’ll focus on is celebrity. Does being well known have a downside? Here’s what Tim Ferriss, whose podcast has been downloaded 700 M times, has to say about the fame he’s achieved, like it or not.  "If you suddenly had 100,000 or 1,000,000 or 10,000,000 more followers, what might happen? I thought I knew, and I was naive".

The listener voicemail this week is from a man whose brother is depressed but will do nothing about it. You can hear his concern and sense of helplessness in his voicemail – and I’ll do my best to try to offer some ideas.

So today in this episode sponsored by the #1 online therapy provider, BetterHelp, , we’re talking about the quest to be known – to be recognized by many – how you can know that you’ve become envious - the difference between internal and external validation (and how a balance of both is really great) – all of that! And what  megapodcaster Tim Ferris might say… welcome to the 288th episode of SW!

Here are the signs of being too needy or dependent on external validation:

  • You scroll through others FB/tiktok/Instagram and compare their feedback to yours.
  • You are almost constantly checking your own numbers or ‘likes’
  • You bring up your own work with others without being asked.
  • You begin to alter your life so that it ‘looks’ better on social media – or if social media isn’t involved, you spend time worrying that your life doesn’t seem “special” enough.
  • The bulk of your time is spent trying to meet or exceed the expectations of others (this is very true in what’s called socially-prescribed perfectionism and is highly destructive.”
  • You discount or deny your fear of disappointing others. Or being seen as having made a mistake.
  • You begin to hide your insecurity by drinking more or using drugs.
  • You’ve had tough – very tough – childhood experiences or traumas that you don’t disclose or you’ve never worked through.

And here's now it can  move into very ugly envy.

  • You aren’t happy for others when they achieve success.
  • Another person’s success makes you feel unhappy. I’ll take this even farther.
  • You feel the need to diminish someone else’s success. You’ll say something about them that’s harsh or belittling.
  • You judge others negatively.
  • You’re happy when others face setbacks.
  • You surround yourself with other envious people so you get validation.

Important Links:

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

Interesting interview with the actress who plays Lady Whistledown/Penelope in Bridgerton.

blogpost by Tim Ferriss about what you may really get from fame

SelfWork Episode 010 on loving someone with depression

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 here and 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!

And 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!

 

Jun 14, 2022

I use all kinds of stories and metaphors in therapy  to help people actually remember a point. I’m not sure when I started doing it, but there’s something about a story or a picture that cements or anchors an idea in your mind. Just think about in Forrest Gump, the famous “Life is like a box of chocolates” and you’ll understand.

So today, I want to read you a poem that I use all the time in therapy. The author, Portia Nelson was an American popular singer, songwriter, actress, and author. In 1965, she portrayed the cantankerous Sister Berthe in the film version of The Sound of Music,and on TV's All My Children Nelson played the long-running role of nanny Mrs. Gurney. Her book of poetic musings, There's a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery, became a mainstay of twelve-step programs.

Here's Portia's poem that can act as an anchor for you!

“I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes me a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in. It's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault. I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

I walk down another street.”

― Portia Nelson, There's a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery

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!

 

 

Jun 10, 2022
If you like SelfWork because we talk about "what you can do about it," this interview will be incredibly helpful to you! As a therapist who focuses a lot on how to move from negative, destructive thinking to much more positive, motivating self-talk - I've learned that HOW you talk to yourself highly influences what you actually do. I've asked people who are fighting viciously with one another to imagine what they want their relationship to look like in five years - and all of a sudden, their communication improves or is less vitriolic. In order to distance from pain, someone will move from saying "I feel..," into referring to themselves in second tense. "When something like this happens, you feel...". It's good emotional management.

It turns out these "techniques" have names or labels! Ethan Kross is a highly respected researcher from the University of Michigan - and his new book Chatter; The Voice In Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It identifies, verifies, and organizes these techniques for you! He's one of the world’s leading experts on controlling the conscious mind and as an award-winning professor in the University of Michigan’s top ranked Psychology Department and its Ross School of Business, he's the director of the Emotion & Self Control Laboratory. His research and teachings can show you how you can very purposefully change the way you talk to yourself so that you find more calm, resolution, creativity, and empowerment.  And he tells animated stories of how that chatter can lead to struggle, giving Simone Biles as a recent example. She opted out of the last Olympics due to her awareness that her own thinking was negatively influencing her performance and in so doing, honored the idea that your mental well-being and inner life has to be considered when making decisions.

So in this episode, sponsored by Athletic Greens or AG1, I know you'll be fascinated by his inspiring and useful ways of changing your inner conversation!

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

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 here and 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!

And 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!

 

Jun 3, 2022

Trigger Warning: References to Suicide (International Suicide Prevention Resources)

After the shootings in New York, California and Texas within the last couple of weeks, I'm preparing an episode concerning mental health issues that may play a part in violent crime, but also - and very clearly - where they do not play a part. Hatred can be taught. Absorbed. It's very different than true mental illness. But that research will take a bit.

So, this episode highlights the email questions that you’ve sent to me – and my responses. The questions are diverse, as well as challenging. The first is from a man who identifies with perfectly hidden depression but cannot see a way to not fear that others will see his vulnerability.. The second from a mother of three whose suffered with postpartum depression, while her own mom has abandoned her. She says quite poignantly, “I see articles written on adult children abandoning their parents, but not adult parents abandoning their adult children.”  Last, we’ll hear from a widow who found an article of mine on her deceased spouse’s IPad – he killed himself before he even made it to a second therapy session with her after she learned of an affair. And she has deep, troubling feelings – and wants my help.

BetterHelp is sponsoring this episode – I’m always honored to answer your questions. And today is no exception. Thank you for being here. Settle in and let’s learn more about these issues.

Important Links and A Great Offer! 

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

My article in the Gottman Blog about healing from affairs

Episode on suicide from Nora McInerny's podcast "Terrible Thanks for Asking."

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 here and 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!

And 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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