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September 6, 2019
We all know when there's an elephant in the room --something that's avoided, ignored, or even denied. Defense mechanisms is the way you do that - you handle stress by "defending" against it. Defense mechanisms are largely unconscious. So let's bring them out so that you can see what is helpful, and what is not.
August 30, 2019
Getting motivated for change and maintaining that change can be tricky business. Willpower. Self-discipline. Focus. All are touted as necessary for achievement of your goals. But where does self-acceptance come into this? And what about understanding what's underneath the change you maybe want or need to make? I'll talk today about how motivation -- understanding why you're working toward certain goals and the importance of not depending on shame to move toward those goals, as it will only sabotage your attempts in the end. The listener email is from someone who sought therapy in the past but hasn't as of yet had a successful experience. She's taking responsibility for some of that, but also finds that therapists tend to "meander" instead of coming up with specific goals and ways to get there. 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 my weekly blog posts and podcasts! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then clickhereand answer the membership questions! Welcome! My new book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depressionwill be arriving November 1, 2019 and you can pre-orderhere!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: Book by Mark Mason The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F__k– Important link: Mark Manson on Self-Discipline  
August 23, 2019
Welcome. If you've listened to the previous episode, you know that explaining depression as a "chemical imbalance" is far too simple for such a complex process. Today I'm once again using a very well-written article by a team at Harvard as a guide. Today we'll focus on the  non-neurological factors that have a tremendous influence on whether or not you could become depressed -- specifically stress, trauma, medical illnesses and medications themselves. 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. The listener email format is different today! On my website (and within the show notes) there’s now an icon from SpeakPipe which invites you to leave me a message for use on the podcast. 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: Episode 091 on decreasing stress through mindfulness SelfWork Episode 109 on the use of a timeline Another more recent episode (121) on healing from trauma 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 will be arriving November 1, 2019 and you can pre-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!
August 16, 2019
Can depression be explained simply as a chemical imbalance? The answer is a resounding “no.” I’m basing this episode on a very well-written article by a team at Harvard that offers understandable explanations of what researchers believe is going on in your brain and in your life that can lead to depression. And here’s their […]
August 9, 2019
How often to you look in the mirror and wish you saw another reflection there? There are many reasons for this lack of self-acceptance, everything from bullying to aging to irrational thinking and obsession. I’ll give some examples from my own life – as this has definitely been on my own journey toward health, but […]
August 2, 2019
Even when you want change in your life, it’s hard to give up what’s familiar and risk the unfamiliar. You at least know you can tolerate what’s happening now and change can be daunting. But you can also be struggling with powerful triggers. I’ll define what a trigger is – how it can be known […]
July 26, 2019
When you hear the term “personality disorder,” what does that mean? That someone ‘s personality is off-putting or self-destructive? Is it different from mental illness, and if so, how is it different? And if you identify with one of them or are trying to love someone with these problems, is there hope? In this episode […]
July 19, 2019
What does it mean to “feel invisible?” Like you don’t matter. You aren’t a vital part of things. You’re being overlooked or seen only for what you can do instead of for who you are. That perception can be part of depression, and that “invisibility” may be imagined or misperceived. But sometimes it’s reality, not […]
July 12, 2019
Medications. You are bombarded with advertisements for them everywhere. And meds for mental health are no exception. In today’s show, I’m offering my clinical perspective as a psychologist (as well as expert advice from Dr. Michael Yapko) after watching thousands of people over the years try out different medications and working hand in hand with […]
July 5, 2019
Do you live by the rule, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going?’ In this podcast, I offer another way of approaching life when it gets tough — an approach that honors both the need to forge ahead when things get hard, but one that won’t lead to emotional and even physical burnout. I […]
June 28, 2019
Your emails are coming in fast and furious so I decided today that I would answer some of those questions with everyone and we can continue to learn from one another. The subjects range from trauma to ending a relationship to having trouble letting go of regrets and shame to perfectly hidden depression. — so […]
June 21, 2019
Money and the distrust that can be created because of it in a partnership or marriage is what’s on the agenda for today. It’s amazing how many people commit to one another and never touch the subject. We’ll talk about the business of relationships and common problems people run into when they initially establish their […]
June 14, 2019
Today we’re talking about psychological disorders that have to do with you, food, and exercise that have the power to damage your child’s body image and self-esteem as well — no matter how you try to keep it out of their life. Both moms and dads can have struggles that not only damage their own […]
June 7, 2019
Is therapy really helpful when a relationship is in trouble? And what are the kinds of things you need to realize about therapy that might increase the chances of it being effective? Let’s talk about what’ s important in choosing a couples therapist, but also I’ll offer a roadmap to guide your healing. There are […]
May 31, 2019
Father hunger… when your dad isn’t or wasn’t available or connected with you either due to divorce, death or disinterest — causes many problems for a child and the family as a whole. But the numbers are staggering of how many homes are without dads. There are so many engaged dads out there, but when […]
May 24, 2019
No one particularly likes to fail. And what does it have to do with flying a kite? In this episode, we’ll talk about the power that failure can have in your life and what can help you learn from it. Because failure is inevitable. And far too many people shame themselves for failure and then […]
May 17, 2019
We’re talking self-talk here today. What is it? And what can you do about it? A lot of people tell me they kinda “know” what it is, but haven’t a clue how to change it. It feels as if it’s too elusive. How could you possibly rein in what your mind is telling you about […]
May 10, 2019
Dr. Jennifer Ashton of ABC News was interviewed this week as she revealed the suicidal death of her ex-husband. She stated quite clearly that he displayed none of the signs of depression that she had studied in medical school. None of them. I need to read her new book on surviving the suicide of […]
May 3, 2019
There are many ways of creating problems in relationships, but there are two manipulations that are sometimes harder to see than out and out contempt or defensiveness. They are stonewalling, basically “the silent treatment” and gaslighting, when someone tries to undermine your own perceptions to the point where you distrust your own mind. The first […]
April 26, 2019
Do you find satisfaction and fulfillment at work? You spend many hours there so if you don’t, that can be a huge problem. In this episode, I’ve found some experts on the workplace to discuss this vital issue. What do studies show are the most important factors in being happy at work? The results are […]
April 19, 2019
Social anxiety and shyness often get confused, but they’re far from the same. So what is social anxiety? What happens when you suffer from it? And what can you do about it? I’ll offer six steps to consider, as once again, we focus on “what you can do about it.” The listener email today is […]
April 12, 2019
Childhood neglect can be much more confusing to work through. It’s abuse all right. But its message was just as harsh as physical beatings or harsh punishment. What is that message? That you weren’t worth feeding, or being educated. Whatever physical or emotional pain you had didn’t matter. What you experienced simply didn’t matter. And […]
April 5, 2019
I’ve had the pleasure of working with several people who’ve come to me due to my writing about perfectionism and perfectly hidden depression. So we’re going to be talking about the fear of losing your edge – the edge that you believe keeps you on your toes, keeps you doing better, doing more, doing doing doing… […]
March 29, 2019
What’s love addiction? Some people use the term to describe someone who’s constantly seeking relationships. But today we’re talking about how you can be addicted to the drama of a relationship – addicted to breaking up and getting back together – addicted to the very edginess and even arguing that can be involved. We’ll look […]
March 22, 2019
Trauma. Sometimes even hearing that word can make all of us cringe. Trauma is the emotional response to an event or experience occurring that was tragic and life-altering, such as a tornado, war, or a rape. You are said to be “traumatized.”  We all have unique responses to it. And ways to combat the fear, […]
March 15, 2019
Disappointment is hard to hear, and sometimes hard to reveal, but it’s also inevitable in a relationship. Whether it’s a one-time event or there’s a pattern that’s been established, there’s a way to work them out. But it takes emotional maturity and realizing that each time you work through a disappointment together, you build trust. […]
March 8, 2019
Vulnerability is a topic near and dear to my heart because I believe it’s so important to true change and growth. As prominent researcher and author Dr. Brené Brown says, “You can’t get to change without vulnerability.. period.” Vulnerability requires opening up, letting others in and telling your truth. Most of my most obvious vulnerability […]
March 1, 2019
I was caught off guard the other day when in my FaceBook group, I asked them to journal about a specific topic, and someone wrote that they didn’t know what journaling was. So let’s talk about journaling. What is it? How is it helpful? Are there specific problems where journaling is particularly helpful? What might make […]
February 22, 2019
Have you made choices you terribly regret? How do you evaluate the decisions you make? Most of us might say that a choice was “right” if in five days, or five months or five years. we still feel that it was. If it stands up to the test of time, we can reassure ourselves that […]
February 15, 2019
What’s the difference, or is there one, between Perfectly Hidden Depression and what’s called high-functioning depression? I’m particularly motivated – in fact very sadly motivated – to talk about it because of an email I received this week from a woman whose husband killed himself. He was in his early 40’s. And no one could […]
February 8, 2019
Step-parenting may be one of the hardest jobs on earth, second only to parenting. It’s complicated, awesome, frustrating and sometimes downright irritating. Blending families successfully takes much more time than people want to think. There can be lots of personalities involved, old wounds and new hurts. So much depends on time and in what context […]
February 1, 2019
How do you find a therapist? What are the pros and cons if you get a referral from a friend? What questions is it okay to ask before you start working with them? All of these questions will be answered today. Finding a therapist that you believe understands and tunes into you is a vital […]
January 25, 2019
If you’re successful but you walk around feeling like a fake, you could be experiencing what’s called imposter syndrome – the fear that you aren’t what you appear to be. That you haven’t truly earned your place. That any day now, someone is going to discover that you’re a phony or a fraud. We’ll be featuring the […]
January 18, 2019
Let’s face it. With each new birthday, with every new decade, you can become more afraid of the future. No matter what your age, you can worry and dread aging. How do you keep on growing a sense of purpose and positivity in the face of these inevitable changes? You can tuck, and plank, and devour […]
January 11, 2019
Today texting is the topic and I’m talking about how to keep texting safe and healthy in both a relationship and in families. We’ll reference an article by Christine Schoenwald featured in Psych Central who talks about the six ways it can cause problems. But I’m going to stress how those problems can be avoided […]
January 4, 2019
Today we’re talking about seven major myths about depression. There are many more than seven but these are common questions I get or comments I hear out in public. So we’re going to set the record straight. In this episode, sponsored by Audible.com, we’ll answer questions about PostPartum Depression, PreMenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, Bipolar Disorder and […]
December 28, 2018
Today we’re talking about the development of perspective on your life. Of course there are many ways to do that – but a helpful tool is a timeline. What’s a timeline? It’s a tool you can use to see how events in your life are connected – what led to what… and it can help you […]
December 21, 2018
In this episode we’re talking about how to use comparison of yourself with others in a way that’s healthy and healing rather than creating a harder, more jealous or more insecure you! I’ll tell some of the stories I’ve witnessed and a couple of my own to move the discussion along, and help you see […]
December 14, 2018
Today we’re focusing again on Perfectly Hidden Depression, but this time we’re talking about what PHD is not. I received two emails in the same day this week and thought someone had sent theirs twice. But they were actually sent by two different people. Both of their first sentences were, “I think you may have […]
December 7, 2018
You may have asked yourself this question once or many times — “Why Couldn’t I Have Figured This Out Sooner?” In this episode of SelfWork, we’ll talk about the grief you may need to feel after asking yourself this question and the role of self-compassion in its answer. This is a part of any healing, […]
November 30, 2018
Today we’re going to talk about your relationship with food and I’ll share a couple of stories about my own journey there. We’ll identify the difference between comfort eating and binge eating… and we’ll discuss the fairly new field of food addiction. I’ve had several gastric-bypass recipients as patients, and have watched them, as they lost […]
November 23, 2018
Bickering is a bad habit. These are fights that are practically scripted – you know what your partner is going to say and they know what you’re going to say before you ever say it as well. But you can recognize these patterns and figure out what you’re actually fighting about. Things like trust, control, […]
November 16, 2018
Today we’ll be focusing on what you have control over when you’re with family for the holiday season and I’ll offer seven pretty frank and real-time tips on how to manage your own. We can all hear the same tips over and over about not forgetting to maintain good self-care, don’t eat every dessert you’re […]
November 9, 2018
Many people have trouble with connecting with their feelings. I’ve talked a lot about PHD – and certainly those folks have many intense feelings well hidden away. But it’s not only in PHD that this can occur. Many times, I’ve watched someone on the verge of letting go, of allowing an emotion to surface – […]
November 2, 2018
Do you dread the leaves turning color? Did you have a loss during this year that you’re still grieving and the thought of raising a glass to another year makes you sick to your stomach? Are you looking back at last year and berating yourself for pounds not lost, goals not accomplished? Or are you so perfectionistic, […]
October 26, 2018
Today is a huge celebration with the 100th Episode of SelfWork! You are the reason that SelfWork is going strong. You’re writing in questions. You’re letting friends and family know that SelfWork is helping you. You’re leaving ratings and reviews. I cannot be grateful enough for all the support, encouragement and caring that have come […]
October 19, 2018
Fighting depression can take courage, persistence and support. It can be created by so many events or experiences and it can wear so many faces, that there isn’t one path toward healing. That healing will be unique to you. Episode 099 focuses on three common hurdles — three decisions or thoughts — that can paralyze […]
October 12, 2018
Secrets can be devastating within a relationship. But it’s possible to work through them – with time and lots of effort. Yet what if your partner, who lost your trust for some reason, refuses to talk any more about it? You ask for therapy and they say no. What if the distrust is brushed under […]
October 5, 2018
How do you know a therapist is the right one for you? Do you need someone who’s suffered the same loss or trauma as you? Or does it matter? Based on a great question from a listener, Dr. Margaret will be looking into what you might want to consider when you make your choice. The […]
September 28, 2018
Aging takes a great attitude. No matter what decade you’re living in, you can fear turning older or embrace it. We’ll especially be talking about healthy families and how each generation learns to grow and change with one another. So what does Tina Turner have to do with it? Let’s say I had a revelation […]
September 21, 2018
SelfWork’s 100th episode is coming up! And I’m celebrating by welcoming more of your questions — so ask away and we’ll focus #100 on you! Today’s SelfWork is about bitterness, an emotion where both anger and hatred reside. People who are swallowed up in it can certainly have been hurt or scarred in some way. […]
September 14, 2018
What is the relationship between rules and beliefs and how do they affect whether or not you’re depressed? Today I’m going to pull from cognitive-behavioral and family systems therapy to outline a series of steps to challenge and change your thinking for those experiencing depression, anxiety or Perfectly Hidden Depression. You can begin to identify […]
September 7, 2018
It’s a huge risk to reveal sexual abuse. A second betrayal occurs when you say “MeToo” and you’re not believed, it’s ignored or somehow you’re hurt all over again. Fearing this is what keeps many people from revealing what happened either years ago or in this very moment. Here are real people’s stories about what […]
August 31, 2018
The Mighty is a terrific website that offers a place for everyone who struggles with a physical or mental illness, no matter how rare or chronic, to share their experience. You don’t just read information. You can hear a very personal story that helps you better understand someone you love who’s suffering, or gives you […]
August 24, 2018
Today we’re talking about mindfulness and how to use this practice to address your own tendencies toward shame and perfectionism. This episode is sponsored by Audible.com and there’s a free trial offer for you today! What exactly is the difference between experiencing shame (or any emotion for that matter…) and being mindful of that emotion? […]
August 17, 2018
“You know the second that it happens, you feel your heart rip open and you know that everything’s changed and you’re just never the same again. And so… we call it a rebuilding. You spend your time rebuilding your life after the death of your child because the life you knew beforehand is gone,”   […]
August 10, 2018
The empty nest. It’s what some parents dread while others are counting down the days. This podcast is definitely for that first group and might give some good ideas to those that are delighting in their new freedoms. Learning new purpose, finding a fresh passion, letting go and realizing you won’t know your now grown […]
August 3, 2018
I’ve never talked to anyone who was dealing with grief and loss that didn’t feel lonely in that grief. Whether it’s a death, an illness, divorce, coping with the drug addiction of a loved one, whether it’s sudden or long-lived loss, you’re walking much of that path by yourself. You may have faith that guides […]
July 27, 2018
We all know that advertising always makes things look better than they actually are. What happens however when you’re on social media – Facebook or Instagram? Is it fun for you or do you get depressed? Do you believe everything you see? We’re talking today about how to have fun and enjoy the benefits of […]
July 20, 2018
I’ll be talking about borderline personality disorder today and of the exhaustion and guilt that someone who’s trying to love then can feel. You’ll rarely if ever be enough due to their immense and irrational fears of abandonment. I’ll offer nine ways to try to ease that guilt — […]
July 13, 2018
Perfectionism is one of the chief traits of Perfectly Hidden Depression. We’re going to be talking about confronting perfectionism – the first thing is to realize you’re not going to do it perfectly. I’ll share other important hurdles to recognize as you begin the difficult task of undoing a perfectionistic streak in yourself that only […]
July 6, 2018
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness many people don’t understand and can be difficult to diagnose. Being moody is one thing. But being bipolar means your emotions can swing from high to low, with no apparent (and that’s an important word) reason for them doing so. Discovering how to manage bipolar is key to living […]
June 29, 2018
Talking matters! Exciting research now shows that when mentally ill people share openly about their mental illness, it changes others’ perceptions. Today’s two guests on SelfWork are doing incredible and thrilling work to prove that when people talk about their own disorders, it changes the hearts and minds of others, decreasing stigma and a previously […]
June 22, 2018
Loneliness is hard no matter when or where it happens. This episode, sponsored by Audible.com, gives ten ways to combat or confront apathy and loneliness in your relationship or marriage. Feeling lonely in a relationship can also be devastating, as your lives are lived side by side but there’s little to no real connection. You’re […]
June 15, 2018
When sexual abuse occurs within a family, it can wreak mental, physical and emotional damage for the victim that’s complicated to heal. The stats tell us that 34% of cases of child sexual abuse occur in families. That figure is staggering, but my clinical experience over the years backs that figure up. In this episode, […]
June 14, 2018
Today’s podcast is in response to what has been a more than difficult week for many who looked up to and followed these two celebrities, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. If you are one of them, or certainly someone who knew them personally, then our hearts are with you. It may be however you’re one […]
June 8, 2018
Stuart Walker is a friend to all, the owner of two successful gyms in Arkansas, and a dad and father of three children, two of whom have autism and one with other disabilities and significant physical problems. And he was suicidal for months before he finally broke down and sought help. Stuart is the exact […]
June 1, 2018
“How can I forgive myself?” is a question I hear often as a therapist. We all can do things that we find more than difficult to forgive ourselves for, hurting people we care about or making a mistake that now carries guilt or shame. The opposite of this process is how people with narcissism view […]
May 25, 2018
When you’re trying to move out of depression, negativity and “feeling stuck” — feeling hopeless about change — can be your worst enemies. How do you get your energy going outward instead of imploding inward? It’s often not easy. Here’s a simple exercise that can help you do just that. Even if you’re not depressed, […]
May 18, 2018
Infertility treatment can be an exhausting and lonely journey. I went through it myself, and was blessed to conceive a son through in vitro fertilization. In today’s podcast, I’ll offer ten things that can help keep you sane and emotionally stable, even in the midst of feeling so out of control. These tips could be […]
May 11, 2018
Sarah Fader, author, blogger and staunch warrior in the fight for education and openness about mental illness, is my first guest on SelfWork. Her work was featured in a powerful piece on The Washington Post as she speaks candidly about her own diagnoses — Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder — (which can be confusing […]
May 4, 2018
Today on SelfWork, we’re going to be looking at research asking the question is suicide predictable. There is also controversy about whether or not it’s preventable – I recently had a mom whose daughter had accidentally overdosed tell me with tears in her eyes. “I can’t go there. I can’t believe that I could’ve predicted […]
April 27, 2018
Welcome to SelfWork! I’m talking about self-control today… especially emotional self-control. We won’t touch on addictions, although they obviously have to do with emotional self-control. We’re talking about in the realm of communication how to maintain self-control when you’re angry, or taken aback, afraid or surprised. There’s a simple mantra that can be helpful — […]
April 20, 2018
Today’s podcast identifies the one question that you can ask yourself before you take things too personally. I’ve heard lots of couples bicker and fight over the twenty-five years I’ve been a therapist, and this question will save you from so many assumptions and misunderstandings. I’ll use an example when I actually followed my own […]
April 13, 2018
Today’s topic is perfectionism. I call it a disease in the title because it can cause not only emotional and psychological problems when it’s out of control, but the stress of perfectionism can lead to illness and even suicide. I talked with a phenomenal expert on perfectionism last week, Dr. Gordon Flett, and I’ll have some […]
April 6, 2018
What do you do when you love someone who won’t get help for their depression or anxiety? This episode, sponsored by Audible.com, will focus on what my own research has found, and how we can talk about mental health treatment or therapy in a way that would make it far easier for men to consider. We’ll […]
March 30, 2018
We’re going to be talking about healthy and not so healthy relationships today. Many relationships get their start with one person “saving” another. These are boundary-less relationship and they’re doomed for trouble. The victim gets tired of being the victim. The savior gets tired of not being appreciated for saving.  Mark Manson, a blogger with […]
March 23, 2018
What is a family of choice? It’s a family you create with friends. Some of us don’t have families that we can count on in times of stress or need, or joy for that matter. Instead of staying bitter or lonely, I’ve come up with five “caveats” in finding people who would earn the right […]
March 16, 2018
Social anxiety affects millions of Americans. Today I’m going to talk about how it may be affecting commitment, as well as how it’s affected by social media. When you get a FaceBook invitation or a “save the date” notice, do you automatically say, “It’s too much to think about,” or,  “I don’t know who else is going,” or even, “I […]
March 9, 2018
We all hear about unconditional love, especially when talking about how parents feel about their children. However, unconditional love can be worn out — used up. Even though today’s podcast focuses on healthy, “good enough” parents and self-destructive and manipulative children, you can apply this to any relationship, so listen in!  (This dynamic can obviously […]
March 2, 2018
I created a lot of chaos in my life by being attracted to “bad boys,” men who were not interested in my own growth as a person, and who acted as if women couldn’t be trusted and that love wasn’t possible. I, like many women before me, decided to try to change a mind or […]
February 23, 2018
Procrastination can be a huge problem, with shame over things not accomplished or put off being a problem between parents and children, husband and wives, or supervisors and employees. But there’s more than one reason why it’s happening, and understanding that reason can guide the way toward what you can do about it. Today we’ll […]
February 16, 2018
Couples counseling can make individual counseling look like a breeze. In today’s podcast, sponsored by Audible.com, I’ll go through the four misconceptions or “hurdles” that people believe or face when they consider couples work. The benefits can be immense. You can learn how to really listen, how to change entrenched painful patterns, and how […]
February 9, 2018
Today we’re talking about parents who can’t let go of their children, and adult children who are struggling to have their own lives, independent of a parent. This dynamic doesn’t exist because kids are having addiction or learning problems. This more complex relationship is created due to the emotional needs of the parent.  We’ll touch […]
February 2, 2018
There’s lots of information out there about how to stop beating yourself up or how to increase your self-esteem. But how do-able is it? I’m always interested in practical ways people can approach problems, or “What You Can Do About It.” So I’m offering three practical exercises for you to try — things that I’ve […]
January 26, 2018
As promised, today’s episode is about peeling off the mask of Perfectly Hidden Depression (PHD). Thousands of you have listened to the episodes on PHD, and I’d love to hear from you personally. Email me confidentially so I can learn more from you!  This episode covers basic steps of change, with specific examples and directions […]
January 19, 2018
How much do you hide about yourself because you fear the judgment of others, and perhaps rejection based on that judgment? We probably all do from time to time. I’ll share some of my own story, and one of the surprising gifts of being a therapist. We’ll also define two beliefs that are required for […]
January 12, 2018
“Codependent” is a word that’s thrown around a lot these days to describe relationships. But what exactly defines a codependent relationship, and how do you know if you’re part of one? Using examples from real couples, I’ll answer that question, as well as offering you some questions to ask yourself if you’re the “enabled” or […]
January 5, 2018
Perfectly Hidden Depression (PHD)  is a topic I’ve been researching and writing about for over three years, and many people have written me about their own experience with the syndrome. In this episode, you’ll here directly from them about their struggles with perfectionism — putting up a constant front of success, while simultaneously never satisfying […]
December 29, 2017
How long has it been since you touched your partner? Not in a sexual way, but a simple touch… It’s amazing to me how many people in long-term relationships have fallen into the rut of not touching one another. It can be awkward to begin again, but is a simple, free way to improve your […]
December 17, 2017
In this special edition of SelfWork, Dr. Margaret launches a new website and podcast design in celebration of her fifth anniversary of taking a risk and beginning to blog. It’s somewhat bittersweet, as she also honors the deaths of her parents on the same day. Join her as she thanks readers and listeners for all […]
December 15, 2017
“Always be humble and kind” was a huge country hit last year, and Dr. Margaret talks in this episode about making mistakes and learning from them. How do you actually do that? She offers five pragmatic ideas of accepting mistakes, and specific questions to ask so that you may be less likely to make them […]
December 8, 2017
Parenting is hard, overwhelming in fact at times. And there are some common fights that couples have. “Who’s working harder in this relationship?” can be a very destructive one. “You don’t know what it’s like to be home with the kids.” Or “You come home from work, and all you do is stay on your […]
November 29, 2017
If your life has been tragically touched by suicide, coping with that loss is like no other grief. In this episode of SelfWork, I’ll talk about that specific grief, and the research that looks at the reasons people take their own lives. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is often found in those who’ve experienced their loved […]
November 21, 2017
For many women, being thin is worshipped like no other physical attribute. Not your hair, not your muscles, not your voice. The greatest compliment a woman can hear (at least according to some)? “You look like you’ve lost weight…”. For girls or women with anorexia, staying thin becomes an addictive compulsion. Every waking minute they’re thinking […]
November 17, 2017
Could you be functioning well -in fact “perfectly” in many ways — and underneath it all, be hiding pain, loneliness or even suicidal thoughts? Dr. Margaret’s term for this is Perfectly Hidden Depression (PHD), a syndrome of behaviors that can lead to a way-too-manicured persona out there for the public to see, while below the […]
November 13, 2017
You can hear the pressures beginning to mount in people’s voices, as we all approach the holiday season. Dr. Margaret offers her own personal story of her parents’ deaths the week before Christmas of 2007, and how giving herself options was key in balancing the meaning of rituals with her grief. Rituals can be incredibly […]
November 3, 2017
Apologizing, saying “I’m sorry,” is quite difficult for many people. Yet a sincere heartfelt apology can make a world of difference in a relationship. Dr. Margaret adds to a list of good and not so good apologies that appeared in The Wall Street Journal (written by Elizabeth Bernstein), including the contingency apology, the passing the […]
October 27, 2017
Narcissism has been a hot topic for the past few years, with many people writing about their fate — being attracted to and trying to love someone with narcissistic traits. Dr. Margaret talks clearly about what narcissism is and what it’s not, as well as offering five recognitions about your own role in the furor […]
October 20, 2017
If you haven’t heard about Harvey Weinstein, you may have been living under a rock the last couple of weeks. He’s been accused of sexual harassment and assault by multiple women. Dr. Margaret relays an incident in her own history with sexual harassment, and how it made her feel. She also focuses on human’s normal […]
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