Balancing Doing and Being Mind

One of the core skills in DBT is Wise Mind. Getting in touch with your Wise Mind and recognizing what state of mind you’re is a foundation of skillful behavior. Being in Wise Mind feels like a sense of stability, spaciousness, and deep knowing. I’ll describe the way I like to think about Wise Mind. 

Read More
The Dialectics of Mom Guilt!

In case you didn't know, I'm a psychologist who specializes in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). My favorite part about DBT is that these skills are helpful for everyone, and I use them every day. Let's be real, as a brand new mom I need them now more than ever! 

Read More
How Many Skills Does It Take?

Recently I completed a course of physical therapy on my left wrist, which had developed arthritis, a cyst, and a malformed ligament.  I broke my left wrist ice skating with my boyfriend when I was 19 years old, during a cold Iowa and Minnesota winter while on a concert band tour.  I don’t even want to tell you what year that was.

Read More
Flying With DBT: Mindfulness as a Practical Skill of Life

Often we don't think that mindfulness is a practical skill. Many people still believe that mindfulness must look like a more formal meditation practice, but I've found that everyday mindfulness makes a difference in big and not-so-big ways. 

Read More
Entering the Paradox: Self-Improvement and Radical Self-Acceptance

As a therapist, I often aim to practice what I preach. Not only because I feel more genuine in the work I do with my clients… But because this stuff (particularly DBT of course) works! Practicing what I preach in my personal life has improved how I handle what life has thrown my way. This is something I often pride myself in and find to be important in my life.

Read More
Riding the Wave of all the Guilty Feels

In the past I let my feelings of guilt, when justified or unjustified, control my thoughts and behaviors.  If I didn't attend every event that I was invited to, I felt guilty.  If I said something that hurt someone's feelings without any intention to hurt them, I felt guilty.  If I wanted to go to the movies with my friends and my family was going out to dinner, I felt guilty.  If I said I would complete a task for someone and I let them down, I felt guilty.

Read More
Politics and Mindfulness: Reflections on a Forgotten Skill Set

I don’t know about you but my head space over these last couple of months has been dominated by all things politics. At work with clients and coworkers, at home with friends and family members, even at yoga waiting for class to begin. It seems like every corner I turn, it’s waiting for me, like the (hopefully less permanent but equally unsettling) Grim Reaper.

Read More
Deciding to STOP...Time for Deep Cleaning or Emotion Febreze?

Driving in the car each day is probably the one point when I am completely alone, without distractions. I consider myself to be an introvert, and I usually enjoy the quiet time in the car at the beginning and end of each work day, or at the beginning and end of any social interactions, to recharge my batteries and let my mind be alone with itself.

Read More
Permission to Rest

An ongoing struggle of mine is giving myself permission to rest without guilt. Doing nothing strangely involves much work and it feels easy to see why I'm driven to constantly be moving. Earlier this week in graduate group, the topic of non-doing came up. It seems that a judgement would surface when the skill to practice in the situation was to simply observe. Even as I write this blog, I notice judgements of the simplicity of the teaching.

Read More
Opposite Action: Getting My Insides to Match My Outsides

Text from Shaelene: “Are you up for writing a blog for the website in December?”  Judgments start to get loud “Me?? Blog?  What am I going to write about?”  Memories start to surface of staring at a blank word document the night before a 10-page paper was due.   I really do not like writing.  I paused, took a step back and tuned into my current thoughts.  I began to observe all of my judgments and check the facts.

Read More
Deep Breaths: The Peace found in The Pause

7:20am or so I wake up to my dog incessantly scratching himself. He has allergy problems that keep him from sleeping, as well as anyone else in the room. I feel bad for him and know I need to get up to go get his medication. I notice feeling annoyed that he woke me up, and I feel bad about that.

Read More