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The SelfWork Podcast

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The SelfWork Podcast

Margaret Robinson Rutherford PhD

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Depression, anxiety, and personal emotional struggles, are hard to manage on their own. You can feel very lonely in that battle. And so many people either can’t or won’t try therapy. It’s too weird, it’s too expensive, or you’re nervous about trying it. SelfWork can help you begin that healing, or be an addition to the work you’re already doing, as I offer compassionate common-sense directions, ideas and goals toward the changes you want to make. I’ve been a psychologist for over 25 years; a ...
 
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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…
 
It’s confession time here at SelfWork. People ask me all the time, “How do you have time for writing?” Or, “How do you come up with ideas?” Well, yesterday I was hitting a blank wall for this episode today. I’d start writing and then figure out I’d already written on the topic. Or I’d start something and talk myself out of it. But then, I decided t…
 
I have a request to make – and I fully realize how difficult it might be for some of you to consider this. So my request is made very respectfully.. I am writing a second book about the potential dangers of destructive perfectionism, of suppressed emotional pain, of hidden depression – and at its worst and most cruel, how those secrets and despair …
 
In today’s episode, sponsored by Athletic Greens, I want to talk about borderline personality disorder, but in a different way than I have before on SelfWork. I’ve mostly written about what it’s like to try to love someone with a serious personality disorder, like narcissism or borderline personality disorders. But today, I want to talk about what …
 
Today’s SelfWork, sponsored by BetterHelp, is all about answering your questions. We’re going to talk about everything from fear of failure (I'll talk about navigating my own failures) to negative forecasting (aka "catastrophizing" (to identifying depression when it’s been all you can remember to what’s termed maladaptive daydreaming. I learn a lot…
 
There are some people who are both humble and brilliant and Dr. Caroline Leaf is one of those people. She's a world renowned Neuroscientist, mental health and mind expert, bestselling author of Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess and host of Cleaning Up The Mental Mess podcast. In this episode, we have a fascinating conversation about the mind-brain conne…
 
Today, in this episode sponsored by BetterHelp, we’re going to focus on what psychologists call "a solid sense of self" - which is a little jargonistic for me. First we'll touch on the huge difference between codependence and interdependence, with the latter being so important in the development of trust and cooperation. Then we'll move onto the is…
 
We’re going to talk about what I term a "trilogy of trouble" today, or basically how jealousy, envy and possessiveness can sabotage a relationship or commitment. This can happen in personal as well as professional relationships, but we're mostly focused on personal aspects of the trio of trouble. Jealousy can emerge from fear and it can emerge from…
 
Today's You Get the Gist is a short bow to my own aging process - as today is my birthday! It became clear to me last week that when someone is using such figures as Colonel Sanders to encourage you to keep on keeping on - something has shifted! lolol.. So I looked for stories of very cool people that had done just that - and I found the awe-inspir…
 
I truly can't express how I feel about SelfWork being alive and well and celebrating its 5th anniversary! I couldn't do it without the listeners, the commenters, those who've emailed, those who've left ratings and reviews, those who listen week after week - or those of you who drop in from time to time. All of you are important, in fact vital. I’ve…
 
Welcome to a difficult episode of SelfWork, sponsored by BetterHelp. First of all, I need to state a trigger/content warning for anyone listening who was forced manipulatively, physically or sexually into a sexual relationship with a parent or grandparent. I’ve done an episode on sibling sexual abuse and received a lot of feedback, thanking me for …
 
Today I want to focus on the confusion that anyone can have about what's causing their depression. And the important question is, "Is it me or is it my relationship?" The episode is in answer to an email I received from a 20-something listener but is a confusing problem for many. They write, “I would love to not receive a solution, but just gain so…
 
Ashley Stahl is a counterterrorism professional turned career coach, spokesperson, and author of the bestselling book, You Turn: Get Unstuck, Discover Your Direction, Design Your Dream Career. Through her two viral TEDx speeches, her online courses, and her podcast, the You Turn Podcast, she’s been able to support clients in 31 countries in discove…
 
Many people these days are on an SSRI, a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor. Like Lexapro. Or Prozac. But there is some danger that needs mostly to be known to be prevented. There's a condition called serotonin syndrome, where you have too much serotonin in your system, that can be very dangerous. It doesn't happen that often, but you need to …
 
This is the 250th episode of SelfWork. And frankly, I'm amazed. So, that made me wonder... where does willpower come from? Can you learn to have more willpower? What makes something worth sacrificing for? What can cause you to forego immediate gratification for something where you’ll obtain or earn or enjoy something in the future? Is it your “faul…
 
Today we’re focused on how on the power of words can calm or basically how to self-soothe. I stopped to think about “soothers” with words in our culture , such as Mister Rogers, Aibileen Clark from the movie The Help, and even more recently and comically, Ted Lasso. What they did or do reminds us of what we can do to calm ourselves. Dr. Dan Siegel,…
 
This episode is my response to a review that was left on SelfWork this week. They write, “Thank you for taking the time to make this podcast. I’ve tried therapy at least five times in the last ten years for anxiety, depression and grief. I could never stick with therapy. But since discovering your podcast and binging on the episodes that resonate, …
 
When I was a kid, I went to a Presbyterian church every Sunday and grew up there. Sunday School, church, youth group – the whole program. That’s not the subject for this episode, however. The topic today is self-forgiveness. Why did I bring up my church memories? Because I was very thoughtful about the whole thing, and remember asking my mother thi…
 
Every day I receive a bunch of emails from publicists, publishing houses, or teachers on every subject you could think of to suggest either themselves or their client to be a guest on SelfWork. It's a flattering problems to have. But some are very unique, like this one from LinkedIn's Scott Shute. "Hi Dr. Margaret, I hope this finds you in the midd…
 
Sometimes I receive an email that tears at my heartstrings. And this week was one of those times. I’ll read you the email – the heads up is that it’s about a sudden and totally unexpected suicide that led its writer to reach out to me about perfectly hidden depression with the question – Can someone hide depression, even suicidal thinking, from the…
 
Today we're going to focus on why we lie to each other, to ourselves and even in therapy. We'll touch on severe manipulative lying, called pathological lying, and compulsive lying, but most of the episode we'll discuss plain old lying. I found two wonderful articles on the subject and their links are below. Hopefully understanding the "why" might h…
 
On today's You Get the Gist, I’m wanting to make a couple of points that may or may not have occurred to you while you heard about or you were watching Simone Biles’ journey at the Olympics. First, I wondered what your first thought might’ve been when you heard Ms. Biles had initially opted out. And we fairly quickly learned it was because of her c…
 
This week was very hard as one of my close family members died suddenly. I didn’t know if I’d have the energy or even the ability to do a podcast. So, I looked for one that I might add on to - maybe about grief. And I found this podcast from a year and a half ago that fit. I'll focus first on what I've learned from many who are mourning about what …
 
Do you or someone you know apologize all the time? This can stem from several dynamics – if you’re in an abusive relationship currently or there was trauma in your childhood where you’ve grown up believing that the fault when relationships or events go sour is somehow all yours. There’s also the presence of anxiety or more specifically OCD, or what…
 
For today's YGTG, or "You Get the Gist", I was pondering what a patient of mine said the other day. He had to struggle a bit with the idea that therapy – for him – felt a little self-indulgent. He followed quickly up by saying, “I know it’s because I rarely if ever focus on myself. And it feels a little odd doing it. But it’s also not an easy thing…
 
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