If I had a dollar for every time a patient asked me to "fix them," I'd be a wealthy woman...or I'd at least have my student loans paid off. But really, jokes aside, this is a common misconception.
To be quite frank, the reason therapy can not "fix" you, is because real change is a mindset that YOU have to have. I can guide you there, but you have to first take accountability for your role in your life, and second you have to truly want to change.
When you place the power on someone or something outside of yourself, you will never transform on the inside. Sure, you may temporarily improve external or superficial things for a moment in time, but no real and lasting improvements will take place until you take responsibility.
I know firsthand how difficult it is to not harbor resentment, anger, or painful emotions toward others who have impacted your life. I'm not telling you to abandon these emotions. It's important to feel these feelings. In fact, without allowing yourself...
Today I want to talk about your fantasies!
No, not that kind of fantasy... get your mind out of the gutter!
Your fantasies about being a mom!
I know you have them because we all do. I had them. For me, I wanted to be a mom from a really young age. I just never expected anything different for my life. It was never even a conscious decision I made for myself. I think I just assumed that when you get to be a certain age that every woman becomes a mom. And I can see how it starts young, because I have a little girl and already she’s asking me how to become a mom, and when she can be a mom, and she wants to be a mommy just like me — her mom.
It’s become the cultural expectation that we women all become moms. This kind of expectation also comes with the unspoken notion that because we were all “created to be” mothers that we will, as a result, love every second of being a mother.
Then, when we have bad days, it is easy for us to start to feel guilty and judge...
I’ve always been pretty. Sure, I had the awkward braces-and-acne phase like any adolescent. My awkwardness was more short-lived than others, though. And fortunately, I’ve never thought I was ugly. I’ve also never had the societal and cultural pressures to change parts of myself that I had no control over… until I realized what little control I had over my weight.
While I’ve always been pretty, I’ve also never felt thin enough. A competitive gymnast growing up, I related my body with a score. I literally would be given a numerical value based on what I looked like. We could say that the score came from how my body performed certain acrobatics and routines, but when you see enough girls with smaller bodies score higher with poor form, you realize the fallacy. And there began the belief that the size and shape of my body determined my self-worth.
It didn’t matter that I was a straight A honors student, an accomplished athlete, a gifted...
I’m going to share with you an exercise that I learned from a good friend of mine back in college. This friend of mine, she had just gone through multiple relationships, kind of back to back, and she hadn’t been single for a while, so she developed this exercise in her life to sort of reclaim her own identity, and she called it “Dating Herself.” And that’s exactly what she did!
She went on all these little dates with herself. She went to the movies by herself. She got a massage by herself. She went for coffee by herself. She went to a restaurant by herself. All these things that you would imagine doing with other people, or maybe as women we’re sort of embarrassed to do by ourselves, she was doing it on her own. And for her, at this time in her life, it was really important that she reclaim her identity, and that she reconnect with her authentic true self.
Sometimes when we’ve been living for someone else—our husband, our baby, our...
Popular opinion instructs you to “Start with your WHY.” However, it may come as a shock to you that this goes against every psychodynamic philosophy I’ve ever learned. One of my early psychodynamic psychotherapy supervisors recited his “Therapy Pearls of Wisdom” frequently. The first Pearl was: Don’t ask your patient why, because they don’t know. If you think about it, he is right. Why we say certain words or engage in certain behaviors is largely unconscious. You may give lip service to a superficial why—based on insecurities, biases, or external judgment, but you are surely struggling to uncover the actual why.
As you will soon see, things are never as they seem. Likely, what you observe to be your problems at a conscious level are not the real problems at all. This is probably why your traditional self-help solutions have not worked either. You haven’t been able to uncover the real problem in the first place.
All you really...
I was never very good at video games when I was a kid. A lack of spatial reasoning, they call it. I also wasn’t allowed to have Nintendo as a child either. That may have something to do with it. Still, I remember trying to navigate a colonoscopy scope in medical school. For a while, I thought I wanted to specialize in gastroenterology, so I interned with a gastroenterologist for a summer. He allowed me to experiment with the scope. They use scopes to perform endoscopies and colonoscopies. It’s basically just what it sounds like—a long tube with a small camera on the end and a couple of switches on the handle to navigate the camera and the forceps that pinch the lining of the gut to remove polyps or pathology samples.
I never got the hang of it. You have to watch a television screen and guide your scope based on what you see on this small screen. I would run into the gut wall, miss a curve in the small intestine, not puncture the epithelium in the right location....
An excerpt from my book, Let Your Heart Out, released March 2018:
In every romance novel, movie, musical or play, there is the priceless moment where the beautiful ingénue and the dashing prince meet for the first time. In the theater world, it’s call your “meet cute.” For entertainment, this word says it all. Meeting a crush or a handsome man is usually cute. There’s some flirting involved. If it’s a Danielle Steel novel, there’s likely third-base action in the first meeting. Sparing all the lush details, there is always positive vibes. Unless of course it’s the “can’t-stand-you-but-then-I-fall-in-love-with-you” diatribe. And then, the meet cute is still, well, cute, because we love the great friction that comes from a more “real life” meeting.
Is it real life though? Sadly, if Hollywood or romance novelists actually talked about real life, they would only get a yawn and negative reviews because it...
The shrink's couch has been dubbed a sacred place.
From the Freudian days to modern times, seeing a therapist is frought with many conflicting emotions, thoughts and feelings. I'm sure none of us dream of seeing a psychiatrist or therapist in our lifetime. If we grew up in traditional environments, there may even be significant shame or guilt attached to "having to see" a therapist.
I know that by the time people come to see me, they have done everything in their power to "heal themselves." And they are desperate. They are warriors.
People come and share their darkest, scariest, and most shameful thoughts. Thoughts often not shared with anyone else in their lives. Maybe ever.
The work that happens in session with me is truly miraculous, but it is not because of me. I'm not a magician. I don't have extra special powers. Interestingly enough, I am usually just the instrument that helps play the melody that's already within my patients and clients.
For the record, I fully...
By Melodye Phillips
Being a mother is one of the greatest joys of my life. Motherhood is amazing. But motherhood is hard. All of it is hard, but in our culture one of the most difficult areas of motherhood is centered around feeding our children.
It starts from day one.
Breast feed or formula?
Purees or baby led weaning?
Homemade baby food or store bought?
Organic or non-organic?
Processed or whole?
The decisions go on and on and on (and that doesn’t even include the stress around legitimate food allergies.) So you step into an area of motherhood (like many others) that is fraught with judgment, shame, insecurity, anxiety, fear, arrogance, pride.
If we allow ourselves to step out of the frenzy of our thoughts, emotions and expectations around feeding our little ones, we give ourselves permission to become curious instead of judgmental and shameful and fearful. And then we can begin to explore the core of this chaos around food. In this...
In this month's segment for The New-Fashioned Mom, where real moms share the unfiltered truths on life, I presented on the theme of Beauty. I answered the questions:
For my full Facebook live addressing this topic, click here. I highly recommend the video. :-)
Below is an abridged transcript for the video.
Hello and welcome to Day 3 of the brand new monthly segment called, The New-Fashioned Mom, where real moms share the unfiltered truths on life. I’m grateful for the opportunity to present this month on the theme of Beauty. In this video, I’m going to share with you:
Don't do another thing until you learn my revolutionary approach. The HEART method can help you deal with anything from daily struggles, anxiety, relationship issues, and career crisis. Watch the webinar now.