coping skills

Tarot: Should It Have a Place In Your Self-Care Routine?

I generally promote evidence-based practice, so most people familiar with my work may be wondering if I got hacked. I know that Tarot isn’t for everyone, and I know that there are a lot of different ways to use it. So I’m going to be very clear about what I am discussing.

Tarot is not an evidence-based treatment for trauma or any other mental health diagnosis. However, I do think that creative, non-sciencey activities can be really helpful for developing insight when we’re stuck on an issue or want to better understand how we feel about something. It’s not unlike flipping a coin not to let the coin make the decision, but because the outcome of the coin toss tells you which option you wanted all along.
What is Tarot, exactly?
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The Right to Say No

Because I work at a school, I get introduced to a lot of children. I usually start by holding out a hand in case they want to brush it, grasp it or go in for a hug. Sometimes a shy child draws back altogether. Unfortunately, when this happens, the child often is admonished: “Don’t be rude, give her your hand”

“No no!” I jump in quickly. “It’s okay for her not to touch me. I want her to learn that she has the right to refuse to touch someone, that it’s her body.”

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coping skills

Therapeutic Writing: An Introduction

It makes sense that writing is helpful for trauma. After all, writing can play a part in any phase of evidenced-based trauma treatment, whether safety and coping improvement, exposure or reintegration. And research has shown that writing can reduce stress, improve coping skills, mood and physical health. and when used in a specifically structured way, writing therapy can be as effective as treatments like CBT for PTSD. Writing therapies have emerged from all over the therapeutic landscape: from cognitive-behavioral to psychodynamic methods to systems and family therapy to trauma therapy. Modes of writing range from traditional journal entries to poetry to trauma narratives to letters.
When can it help?
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Getting Out of the Comparison Trap

Most of us know that comparing ourselves to others usually makes us feel worse and most of us do it anyway. We all know by now that there is always someone smarter, more attractive, richer, with a cooler job and with better luck in the fertility department. But knowing that and seeing the reminder in our Facebook feed are two different things.

In fact, that constant reminder is a downer.  Turns out it doesn't actually feel good to think that everyone else’s lives are peachy and smooth so ours feel broken and choppy in comparison. Instead of overflowing with happiness for others' good fortunes, we feel like we're sinking.

Brené Brown says that comparison is one of the elements of scarcity. Scarcity is the “not enough” culture.
“I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong or to cultivate a sense of purpose.”  from Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

When we’re comparing ourselves to a photoshopped version of perfection, we aren’t going to be enough. And I’m not just talking about images. What people choose to share on social media is usually the sanitized and glorified version of their lives. So when we’re elbow deep in our reality, looking at vacation pictures, family photos of tidy and giggling children, clean houses and happy relationships, it’s only normal to think, Geez I’m the only one who hasn’t figured it out. A favorite article that describes this brilliantly can be read here.
How to Stop the Madness
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Narcissism is not a They problem, it’s a We problem

I see a lot of article headlines about offering guidance for detecting narcissists. They’re everywhere, apparently: online, in the workplace and in our bedrooms. The articles are often in “trending” lists, suggesting that the topic resonates with a lot of people and with good reason. A lot of us do put up with narcissistic behavior on a regular basis. But when there is such an abundance of bad behavior, it’s not because a few individuals are twisted. It’s because there is an epidemic, and this one is cultural.

Obviously, some narcissists are more harmful than others, to the point where they can be downright abusive. But a lot of concerns stem from behavior that is more annoying than abusive, so before we go pointing our fingers and talking about how terrible narcissists are, ask yourself if you have ever done the following on social media, (or if you’re not on that, your annual Christmas letter, mass email, etc):

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4 Rules for Apologizing

We all mess up. It’s just part of being human and connecting with other humans. So we all need to apologize once in a while. The thing is, a bad apology can be worse than no apology at all. So here are some tips on getting it right—and these also help me recognize what’s wrong if someone else’s apology feels icky.

Be clear

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