washington dc therapy

Are You a Mind Reader or a Mind Knower?

Are You a Mind Reader or a Mind Knower_

Sometimes Kathleen gets too excited and forgets that there are other children in the class.

My first grade teacher left this biting review on one of my report cards. It was a criticism repeated by many people to my parents and myself: my zeal for knowledge eclipsed my awareness of social norms. Aka, I talked too much.

I heard this message enough that I had the opposite problem by middle school. I don’t blame anyone, but I do think that this type of feedback made me more aware of how I was being perceived by others. Don’t be the girl who talks too much or raises her hand for every question. Everyone hates that girl. 
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Moving Mountains. . .of Underwear

I once had a therapy client who couldn’t get her unemployed husband to do anything. She’d beg him to apply to jobs. She’d lecture him about going to therapy. She criticized him for leaving his dirty underwear on the bathroom floor. You can guess how effective this strategy was.

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If you’ve ever participated in any communication training, you’ve been taught to use I-statements. You’re told that a feeling statement helps a person understand your point of view. “I feel X when you do Y.”  My client had tried this approach. “I feel sad when you don’t take care of yourself.” “I feel hopeless when you avoid looking for jobs.” “I feel angry when you leave your underwear in the bathroom!” All this did was dial up the anxiety in the relationship.

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