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Confronting Your "Fantasy Self" in Motherhood

May 22, 2018

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...

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My Top Strategy to Help You Reconnect with Yourself

May 15, 2018

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...

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How to Escape the Compare and Despair of Social Media

May 08, 2018

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....

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Following God's Calling for Your Life

Apr 03, 2018

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...

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The Fear of Food in Motherhood

Mar 29, 2018

Supermom Series Guest Posts

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...

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What is Mental Health Really Worth? (And Why I Don't Accept Insurance)

Mar 09, 2018

The number one question I am asked by both patients, as well as trainees and students, is: "do you accept insurance?" The simple answer is: No. But it lends itself to further explanation, as I fully acknowledge the limitations that this places on my practice (though shockingly not as much as you may think, as most of my patients are still reimbursed by their insurance companies).

"Know that just because I do not accept insurance upfront does not mean that you yourself will not receive money from your insurance company."

Before I give you my reasons for not accepting insurance in my psychiatric practice, I want to reframe the question to: what is mental wellness really worth to you?

You've likely spent the same amount of money (if not more) on any one of the following:

  • Professional photography
  • Binge spending spree at Target (just me?)
  • Brazilian Blow Out
  • Holiday groceries bill
  • Amazon Kindle reader
  • iPhone X (definitely more than my standard fee)
  • Inventory for your MLM business
  • ...
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What does Beauty Really Mean?

Mar 01, 2018

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:

  • What is your definition of beauty?
  • What do you wish you knew about beauty growing up?
  • What do you hope to pass on to your children about beauty?
  • As an influencer, what message do you want to spread?

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:

  • My definition of beauty
  • What I wish I knew about beauty growing up
  • What I hope to pass on to my children about beauty
  • What message I want to spread as an influencer

Before I...

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What is Anxiety?

Feb 26, 2018

Anxiety has become a catchy buzz word these days. Everyone seems to "have anxiety." What does that even mean? Anxiety is the most common mental illness worldwide and most common in women as well.  It affects more than 4 million Americans each year and often is a lifelong struggle for individuals. Given the right tools, it's also one of the easiest mental illnesses to treat... even without medication. But let's get on the same page about WHAT exactly is anxiety. 

As a doctor who was trained in medical school, I think of diseases by the biopsychosocial model meaning that for any given disease, including mental illness, you look at the biological factors, the psychological factors, and the social factors.

Biological Factors

Biologically speaking, anxiety is, first and foremost, a physical feeling within your body. According to the research of Antonio Damasio, famous neuroscientist and creator of the somatic marker hypothesis, he proved that every...

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Selfies to Improve Body Image: Friend or Foe?

Feb 13, 2018

It seems that everyone has an opinion on selfies these days. Some people love them, others hate them. Our fitness-fanatical society biases our minds to believe that selfies are those half naked photos of before/ after transformation photos or bodybuilding competition photos. With this skewed vision, it's easy to feel unworthy anytime we glance a view of our less-than-airbrushed, perfectly-ordinary selves. 

Nonetheless, the issue of selfies, body checking, and mirror exposure arise with my patients and clients. Should I look at myself? Should I take more selfies? (I mean, selfies did initially begin in an effort to help one girl gain more confidence with photos of herself.) Or the flip, how can avoid mirrors and photographs? Will I ever like what I see in the mirror or a photograph? So, I figured I should settle things with a few points of my own.

1. Selfies may improve your confidence. 

Most women I work with have highly charged negative emotions around their appearance....

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What to Do When Someone's Words Hurt You

Feb 05, 2018

Whoever said sticks and stones can break your bones but words can never hurt you has never actually had any painful words spoken to them before.

We all experience painful words a time or two whether it’s like real true bullying or abuse or just like really painful, hurtful words, we all go through it. I want to give you some steps to help you go past it so you don’t keep holding a grudge or resentment against people in your life because possibly these are the people that love you the most. Here are 5 steps to help you overcome those painful, hurtful words that people tell us.

1. Pause and acknowledge your emotions.

This may seem super basic but I want you to actually experience those emotions that you have. If someone said something really mean to you, be sad. If you are angry about what somebody said, be angry. Allow yourself to embrace those emotions.

We tend to suppress our emotions so often and then we avoid feeling those feelings by doing things like...

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