“Erin” came to counseling with all the signs of depression. She was unhappy with her career, her health and her family. Her mother was distressed, her father was distant and her disabled brother was sick.
Erin spent a lot of energy calming and directing her family, and she complained about how little her family supported her in return. She increasingly relied on sugar to calm herself down, and she struggled to end this dependence.
Erin’s anxiety was high, and as a newbie counselor, I struggled to operate outside of it. She cried through many of our meetings, and she grew increasingly critical of our work together.
Read the rest of my essay at Counseling Today.
Not long ago, a close friend of mine was struggling with a huge life decision: Should she marry her long-term partner, or was it time to part ways? “Be my therapist!” she begged me at one point, when the two of us were hanging out with a group of friends. I tried to deflect, but she kept requesting my advice, like it was a party trick. Over the course of the night, I watched as our other friends offered their own opinions on her partner, only sharing my thoughts when we finally got a moment alone.
Read the rest of my essay from New York magazine here.
My latest from Thought Catalog
Did you know that when a work project is past due, or a massive truck veers in front of you on the highway, your body flips on the same physiological responses as if a lion was chasing you? Our physiology kept us alive as a species when we had to escape predators on the savannah, but now this chronic triggering takes its toll on the human body.
While thirty lions might not chase you every day, you might have thirty worries that send the stress-response system into overdrive. The fact that we can anticipate catastrophe before it even occurs is one of the best and worst things about being human. Thinking ahead keeps us alive, but it also keeps us up at night, with worries tipping over like dominoes in our anxious heads. Read the rest here.