March 12, 2020
In this episode I am going to be sharing with you some big changes that are about to happen on Mama Shrink.
I have loved doing the Mama Shrink podcast. It has been fulfilling and wonderful sharing advice with people. I’ve also gotten great feedback that it has helped them and that means the world to me. However, in the online world, it’s important to focus on a particular niche. And for the longest time I’ve wanted to serve Mamapreneurs. But, it’s also a flooded market and a very hard market to reach.
This is why I’ve decided to switch gears this 2020 and it’s what I’m going to talk about in this episode of Mama Shrink.
- [02:10] I started to think about where I can niche down into a particular area where I want to help and a couple of things came up for me such as eating disorders and lyme disease but there were also some considerations I had.
- [06:01] It dawned on me that I needed to focus on helping moms and moms-to-be go through domestic newborn adoption. It felt so right and clear to me because I’ve been through it. I have beautiful boys and a family because of adoption and I feel hopeful about that. There are so many moms-to-be that need help to do that.
- [07:51] Starting next week, I’m going to rename the podcast to Soulful Adoption, which means a lot to me.
- [09:40] If you know of anyone who’s going through the adoption process, please have them follow me and subscribe. Each week I’m going to dive in new topics more so domestic newborn adoption because that’s my area of expertise.
- [13:04] I want to be the real voice of adoption and talk about the hard things that some people aren’t talking about.
March 5, 2020
This is the last part of my series on discussing eating disorders. Today I’ll be talking about helping and supporting people in recovery. I’ll be discussing things that you should and shouldn’t say to people who have gone through an eating disorder
Most often than not, people don’t get what recovering individuals are going through. People in recovery are very sensitive to their environment, things that are being said to them, and comments they receive. And that’s the part I really want to focus on today because it can set back people in recovery.
If you are a parent, partner or child of someone who has an eating disorder - these are the things that are important to remember.
February 27, 2020
Last week, I talked about my journey with anorexia nervosa. Today, I’m going to dive into the 3 main types of eating disorders and give you some facts, statistics and things to look out for in case you have an eating disorder or know someone who does.
Eating disorders are all really about control. It’s also about feeling anxiety, loneliness and depression. Food becomes a source of comfort and it’s always there. Once you have an eating disorder, you’ll always have it.
I am doing a 3-part series on this topic because I know that it is super important. I want people to be aware of it and be able to help themselves or people who they know who have these disorders.
- [06:50] The hardest part of recovery is when the symptoms aren’t active because everyone in the outside world thinks you’re okay but inside that’s not how it feels.
- [10:31] A lot of people who suffer with eating disorders don’t ever get help or they die before they get help.
- [11:45] 30 million people of all ages and gender suffer from an eating disorder in the United States. Once every 62 minutes, 1 person dies because of an eating disorder.
- [12:42] Anorexia Nervosa has the highest mortality rate out of any eating disorder. Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder also have high mortality rates. Suicide is a very common thing that can happen with an eating disorder.
- [12:46] 13% of women over age 50 engage in eating disorder behavior.
- [16:58] 5.5% of women and 4% of men in the military have an eating disorder.
- [20:40] 1 in 5 people with anorexia will die of suicide.
- [26:09] 50% of people who have an eating disorder usually have other psychological diagnosis.
- [28:33] DSM 5 says that for Anorexia is #1 you need to have the restriction of energy intake leading to signifcant low body weight and the context of age, sex, developmental history and physical health. Significantly low weight is defined as weight that is less than minimally normal for children and adolescents and less than is minimally expected.
- [33:50] #2 criteria is the intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat or persistent behavior that interferes with weight gain even though their body weight is low.
- [36:04] #3 criteria is the disturbance in the way one's body shape is experienced and undue influence of body weight or shape in their self evaluation and the lack of recognition or seriousness of the current low body weight.
- [41:21] Anorexia can be the restricting type or the binge-purge type.
- [43:00] Bulimia Nervosa definition in the DSM 5 is you have to have both of the following: 1) eating in a discrete period of time within usually a 2 hour period an amount of food that is larger than what most individuals would eat in a similar period of time under the same circumstances. 2) this is followed by a lack of control during the episode and compensatory behavior to prevent weight gain.
- [50:09] Bulimia is more common than anorexia.
- [51:39] Bulimia usually has a comorbid disorder. There’s a higher rate of people with bulimia with substance abuse disorder, mostly alcohol.
- [53:35] Binge Eating Disorder in the DSM 5 is eating a discrete period of time in any 2 hour period as an example amount of food that’s definitely larger than what most people would eat in one period of time under similar circumstances. There’s a lack of control in the eating or how much one is eating.
February 20, 2020
For the longest time, I've been wanting to do a series of episodes on eating disorders. I specialize in this area and I feel that it’s a really important topic that I want to give it justice. If you’ve listened to some of my previous episodes, you already know that I’ve dealth with an eating disorder, too, when I was young. I know how it feels and I want to share it’s seriousness with you in the hopes that you or someone you know will be helped or will reach out for help.
This will be a 3 part episode where I talk about my journey, the different eating disorders and some statistics. I want to share with you things like what you need to do to help someone, what you shouldn’t say, the setbacks people with eating disorders experience, and so much more.
If you know someone who has an eating disorder, these episodes will be important to share.
- [05:15] When you are malnourished you don’t have the capacity to think clearly. You won’t remember things clearly.
- [06:04] My eating disorder started when i was 14. I was never really overweight. I was going through puberty and my body was starting to change.
- [08:48] It started out as a normal diet to shed a few pounds. I then started to shed those pounds, started to exercise and at one point I was only consuming 500 to 600 calories a day.
- [09:17] When i started to lose weight people would commend me how I looked great like I’v lost weight. That can be such a trigger to someone.
- [09:50] wWhen i know someone who’s trying to lose weight, I never talk about it. I believe that we don’t know who can develop an eating disorder. In my brain I was saying, “wow will people say when i lose 20 pounds or 30 pounds at then it doesn’t become enough.”
- [10:48] When someone has an eating disorder, it’s never enough. The best anorexic is a dead anorexic because there’s no stopping end point and it’s never going to be enough
- [13:54] You feel control, powerful, because you feel you’re doing something challenging. But in reality, the stuff you’re doing isn’t normal.
- [19:00] Here’s the thing you have to remember about an eating disorder, especially anorexia. They will tell you “I’m not hungry. I don’t want to eat that.” I was hungry. People with anorexia are hungry. And they will tell you things like “I eat.” but they eat very little.
- [21:12] I was living in hell on the outside. I was trying to convice everyone I’m fine but inside it was torture. I hated myself, I knew it was never going to be enough. I was extremely depressed, very obsessive compulsive. I wanted to have normal relationships.
- [27:08] One of the big things that lead people to death with anorexia, which has the highest mortality rate out of all the eating disorders, is suicide. My brain wasn’t working right, I wasn't thinking clearly.
- [30:07] One day I saw the Karen carpenter story. She died of an eating disorder. She died of congestive heart failure. My mom also stepped up and inspired me to get things right. This was the turning point in my life.
- [32:05] if I could get someone to shift their thinking towards their recovery , that’s the key. All other things fall into place.
- [45:20] I share this story with you because I want you to know the seriousness of what can happen when you have an eating disorder. It isn’t just a matter of when you have. It can catch up to you years later. And that’s what I always tell people when they see me.
- [45:48] I do hope that by sharing this story people are given hope, it gives them the seriousness that you can’t minimize it. It made me find my direction in life as a psychiatrist.
February 13, 2020
As a tribute to my upcoming birthday, I've decided to talk about growing older. In my 48 years of existence on this planet, I share with you the top 20 things I have learned in my journey in hopes that it will get you to think about your own life, what you value, and things to consider as you move forward in life.
Before I start the episode, I’d like to let you know that I am looking for just a few people to do some 1-on-1 coaching. We will dive deep and change your mindset. If you are interested you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- [04:48] #1 - Always trust your intuition. It’s sometimes hard to find but meditation or checking in with yourself can help you find it. I believe everyone has intuition, you just have to get quiet and ask.
- [07:18] #2 - Invest in good therapy because doing good therapy can be life changing. I would never have gotten to the place I am today if I hadn’t found a way to heal myself. Therapy helps you with healing and moving on from things that have been holding you back.
- [09:23] #3 - Don’t live in your past. Sometimes people get stuck in the past, which hinders you from looking forward. That’s where good therapy comes into play because you need to heal in order to move forward. When we’re stuck in the past we’re not allowing ourselves to move forward.
- [11:20] #4 - Never give up on your dreams. Whatever your dream is, try and find a way to reach it. At least try, even if you don’t achieve it.
- [17:47] #5 - Never stop learning. There’s always more we can learn. We should be educating ourselves all the time. Whenever you learn something, it’s good for your brain, for you, and for the people around you.
- [19:02] #6 - Allow yourself to have fun. Life is limited and it shouldn’t always be so serious.
- [20:07] #7 - Marriage takes hard work. People sometimes aren’t willing to put in the work. But if you are invested in it, it’s the best thing that can happen. If you are happy in front of your children, it’s a gift to them. I also believe that people shouldn’t stay married just to stay married. We all deserve to be happy.
- [24:28] #8 - Invest in yourself. Invest in self-care in any way that may be. We have to stop feeling guilty about caring for ourselves because if that happens, we have nothing left to give.
- [27:28] #9 - Live in Integrity. You stick to your word and always be genuine.
- [28:49] #10 - Value your friendships. Really strong female ties stand the test of any relationship. Your true friends will always have your back and will always be there for you. We need to invest in them. I’m talking about good friends that nourish your soul, make you feel good, that you can cry with, be yourself with, knows you inside out. It’s hard to find a good friend like that so if you found one in your life, nurture it.
- [29:05] #11 - Blood is not thicker than water. Just because you are related to someone does not mean that you tolerate a relationship with the person if it doesn’t nourish you in some way.
- [32:47] #12 - Being a mom is the hardest job on the planet and you truly don’t know that until you are one. When you’re a mom your life changes completely. We need to value ourselves for being a mom and give appreciation to other moms on the same journey.
- [34:38] #13 - Travel! Going places will broaden your view of the world. Travel is so important and I highly encourage it.
- [37:44] #14 - Time is the most precious resource we have. Try to learn not to waste it. Think about how you spend your time and value it.
- [39:28] #15 - Always live like it may be your last day. We don’t know when our time might be up. It’s important to spend our time giving to other people and telling them how much we appreciate them.
- [40:55] #16 - Be kind. Kindness goes a lot farther than anger.
- [41:50] #17 - Be trustworthy.
- [43:11] #18 - Forgiveness. Learn how to forgive because it sets you free...
- [45:22] #19 - Take care of your health while you can.
- [49:28] #20 - Take care of your skin - take multivitamins, sleep well, and wash your face every single night before going to bed. I swear it works!
February 6, 2020
In today’s episode, I am going to be sharing with you my thoughts on a question I have gotten so many times: What is the difference between working with a psychologist or working with a coach. I am a clinical psychologist and a coach, so I can speak to both.
The work of a psychologist and coach may be similar in some ways but they also differ in many ways. I’m here to teach you the difference and how you can figure out which you need in your life.
Before I start the episode, I want to let you know I am offering some limited and exclusive, 1-on-1 coaching. If you ready to delve deep into self-care, saying no, finding balance in your life, becoming assertive, and finding balance (mind, body and soul) to help you live your best life and be the best mom you can be then email me at email@example.com or head over to my website mamashrink.com and link to my calendar for a 15 minute session to see if we are a good fit. I am not sure when I will offer this again so if you are interested, please contact me.
- [04:25] As a psychologist, people come to me because they are usually working on healing something in their life whether past or current. There’s a deeper component behind why they’re coming in. The psychologist dives deep and figures out the layers leading to the diagnoses they are dealing with. People come to mental health professionals usually because they have a certain diagnosis such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, etc.
- [06:04] I take a positive psychology approach by meeting someone where they are at. Sessions can sometimes move at a slower pace. It depends on where the person is in their life and how ready they are to move past it. Even though I want people to move forward, I am also looking at what got them to the place they are currently at. With psychology, we deal with a diagnosis and look at healing before moving into anything else.
- [07:39] If someone has a lot of underlying issues, it is recommended that they see a psychologist or therapist before undergoing coaching. You can’t move someone to a higher level (which is what we do in coaching) when they are suffering or not in a place where they are ready to do that.
- [09:05] Coaches should not be doing coaching! I see people cross this line a lot and it’s dangerous.
- [10:11] If you are looking for a coach, make sure you know how they became coach....what is there training....rained because anyone can call themselves a coach and it is not a regulated field like psychology. Ask the coach a lot of questions like: the training they have, have they had supervision, coaching programs they’ve gone through, work history with coaching mentors, and the results they have gotten for people.
- [11:20] There are great coaches out there but you need to be careful. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
- [12:20] Contracts are important for coaching because it can protect you but you need to look through it carefully before signing anything.
- [12:55] Coaching is usually more short term, action-focused, and you’re more accountable so it shouldn’t take as long.
- [13:07] When you’re paying for something, you get motivated quickly. With coaching, from the moment the agreement takes place, you are already in action. You’re willing to do the work.
- [14:07] Health insurance usually pays for therapy.
- [16:08] Basic principles for coaching: more short term, more motivational, more inspirational, not dealing with a mental health diagnosis, more present and solution-focused, and looks at behavioral outcomes.
- [17:27] As a therapist, I know when people need to be pushed and when to pull back. With coaching, it’s a lot of pushing you into action and much more motivational.
- [25:25] Psychology and coaching should be strength-based. Everybody has strengths and we should always looking for this. So we need someone to point it out to us.
January 30, 2020
Mamas, it is so important to have a good therapist for yourself and for your children if either of you need one. You shouldn’t settle for a therapist just because it’s convenient, they accept your insurance, or because you’ve worked with someone forever and don’t want to start over.
In this episode, I’m going to be talking to you about what you need to look for and what you should want regarding good and bad therapy.
I’m going to give you some tips and tricks on how to know for sure that the therapist you’re seeing is the right fit for you and your family.
- [03:33] A lot of times, people continue going to the same therapist because they get comfortable but they’re not really finding that they’re having any change. On the other hand, therapists also have to check how much a client is working in the session or in between sessions.
- [04:01] A good therapist should educate people on what therapy is and it is not something that should last forever. The goal of therapy is to get the person functioning again, to help them find relationships outside the therapy session that serve them, and to find ways for them to improve. This could vary depending on the person and what diagnosis they are suffering with.
- [06:18] It’s important to know the differences between psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, licensed social workers and the qualifications they have.
- [14:38] Some red flags to look for in therapy: if you are not feeling safe and comfortable; you should feel heard - make sure the person is listening to you; you should feel that your therapist likes you; you shouldn’t leave a session feeling embarrassed or shameful; make sure that progress is being made; you want someone who challenges you a bit; make sure that the therapist is professional; the therapist should not seem anxious, distracted or uncomfortable; the therapist should be approachable and you feel completely supported by them; you should not feel like you have to take care of your therapist; your therapist should never touch you or cross a boundary where they are sexual towards you or wanting you to be their friend.
- [24:47] The things you should look for in a therapist that will be a good fit for you: ask other people what they’ve heard about the practice; go to a someone who specializes in what you need help on; look at the therapeutic style they have; make sure your personality fits your therapist, that you are connected with them and you feel safe with them; you need to see results; their feedback should be practical and emotionally in tune with what you’re dealing with; therapist needs to understand what you are looking for and what you want to accomplish; you want to feel they’re listening to you and that they remember your story; you should feel like they’re interested in what you’re saying; you should be able to ask questions to them; they should check in on your progress; they believe you can change; make sure they’re keeping up with new treatments, evidence and continuing education; you want to feel safe in their office; therapist should have done their own therapy.
- [39:16] What to look for in therapists for children: make sure they have experience working with children; that they are connected with your child’s pediatrician should any issues arise; parents have to participate in therapy with their children.
Places to find therapists online:
January 23, 2020
In today’s episode I want to jump into something a little less heavy than what I’ve talked about last week. Well, it’s still kind of heavy for me and maybe for some of you moms listening.
Lately, I’ve noticed a huge transition in my son from turning 7 to 8. But in this episode I will discuss how to not take this personally (even as I cry in the bathroom) and understand the changes they are going through as well. I will end today by discussing warning signs of something more serious that may be going on with your child.
- [01:54] As a psychologist, I’ve worked with children for years but it is so different being on the mom side of things. I know professionally what is going on but as a mom It affects you when you see your little baby turning into a little boy.
- [04:27] We need to decipher what normal development and change vs. a mental health issue.
- [04:51] I know as my son turns eight, it is a defined time. A time in children’s lives where they go through a period of really wanting their independence, where friends are becoming more important, and where fitting in is starting to become part of their life.
- [05:48] Boys tend to shut down and talk to us less while girls may vocalize more about what’s bothering them and say it out loud. When you’re raising boys it’s important to make sure to always engage in conversation. For me, the time right before bed is a nice time to catch up and check in. I get lots of information from my boys during this time period.
- [09:35] I just want moms to know that you are not alone. It can feel sad and upsetting when you are navigating this time period. It’s a perfect time to teach our kids about how their actions can hurt others, without making them feel guilty.
- [11:04] This is a very important time for moms to support and talk to each other because we’re losing our little babies and it’s such a transition. You have less and less control because their peer groups are influencing them way more than what’s going on at home.
- [11:35] You have to continue to set limits, encourage talking, let them have their space, be aware or what they are doing: all while showing unconditional love. Who said being a mom was going to be easy? They need to know that home is a safe place and that no matter what, they’re going to be loved and accepted.
- [13:54] Don’t take everything personally and recognize that this is totally normal.
- [14:20] If you start to see serious changes in your child you should reach out to a mental health professional immediately.
- [15:15] Some of the things to look out for are: long lasting mood swings, very strong lows and very high highs, extreme fears, really strong defiance, physical changes, and extreme inattention and hyperactivity.
- [20:50] If your child is having mental health issues, make sure to seek help from an experienced child therapist and get it addressed as soon as possible.
January 16, 2020
I want to dive deeper into the topic of adoption and share with you my own experience of raising children of a different race than my husband and I. This often gets flagged as a very heated topic and I have resisted discussing it until now, but it important and I always I promise to be authentic with all of you.
Let me start by saying, “Happy Gotcha Day Thomas!” In honor of my favorite day, the discussion of adoption is perfect. After listening to the episode, please let me know your thoughts and if you know anyone who has gone through transracial adoption, please have them listen to this and connect with me.
- [03:30] “Gotcha Day”, adoptive parents often celebrate this as it is the day we bring our child home. It is also the day a birth mother decided to do the most brave, courageous, selfless, and loving thing. To me, adoption is the most loving gift in the whole world. It is important for your child who has been adopted to know what a happy day Gotcha Day is. In our home we celebrate Gotcha Day as the day ever.
- [06:50] Different states have different processes for adoption. Waiting periods can vary from a few days to a month. We have to go through a whole range of things in the adoption world that are pretty scary and uncertain.
- [09:33] If you are a parent raising children of a different race, you have to do your homework, be sensitive and be culturally aware of the differences. We attended a camp for white parents raising African American children. There were pros and cons to this experience. I would say the greatest pro was that our boys got to see other families that looked like ours. The whole concept of the camp was beautiful but the conversations got a bit sad and hurt my heart sometimes.
- [15:40] When you are a transracial family, you sometimes don’t know where you fit in. We have faced racial discrimination and for people to say that racism does not exist, does not know what they are talking about.
- [18:30] Then besides the skill color issue, we also have to deal with language people use with our family. Such as saying the term “real parents” instead of “birth parents.” If you are an adoptive parent and you hear someone ask, “Who are their real parents?”, that crushes your soul. Please be mindful of terms and language that is used when speaking to adoptive parents.
- [19:35] People think and want to believe that color doesn’t matter. I also want to believe this to be true, but unfortunately it does matter. As my kids grow older I have to teach them how it is to be a brown man in this world and all the things that come along with it. We are lucky because we live in a small community with a good group of friends where people look out for our boys, but the reality is that our community is mostly white.
- [21:25] One of the things I’ve had to do a lot is politely educate others. We get asked a lot if our boys are twins, “real” brothers, and where they’re from. And as our boys are growing up and understanding more, I need to protect them more. The sad thing is that if my boys were white, I don’t think anyone would ask these questions.
- [24:23] We’ve experienced covert racism. We do still live in a world of white privilege and believe that we still need to talk about the fact that race is an issue.
- [28:30] With adoption you always have to be ready with questions, reactions or things that might happen with your children. It’s a beautiful journey but also a hard one. It is not easy to see your child want to wipe away their brown skin and be white.
- [35:05] One of the things my husband and I want to create is a place where white parents raising kids of a different race can get together and feel accepted. We know how important that is for our children. If you know of anyone who is also looking for this, please have them reach out to me.
January 9, 2020
In the midst of the first week of the new decade, I hope you set intentions and not put too much pressure on yourself this new year.
If you listened to my podcast from 2 weeks ago, I talked about the goals I’ve set for myself for this coming year. And today, I’m going to talk about my own experience with reaching those goals. Personally, it’s very hard for me and it might be hard for you as well to implement changes in your life but it’s important that we check in with ourselves and work hard in keeping our goals. This is why I’ve suggested that you write down your own goals.
I am sharing this story with you today in the podcast in the hopes that it can give you some learnings and help you out. I want you to know that you are not alone on this journey - we all feel this way sometimes and it’s perfectly okay.
- [02:00] My adoption journey with my son, Thomas.
- [05:01] 3 Goals I have set for myself this new year: Integrity, Alignment and Growth.
- [06:37] I feel uncomfortable with inviting people into my home but my son, Thomas, wanted to have his birthday party at home. I was so worried about getting my home looking perfect for the party.
- [08:34] A serendipitous event that made me realize how many opportunities were missing for connection because we are afraid of inviting people to our home. I read the article “In praise of scruffy hospitality” where it talks about how so many of us spend so much time making our house look picture perfect but we forget that our home is where we spend the most time in and a lot of times we just want to invite our friends to our home. But… so many of us don’t invite people over because we’re fearful of what our houses look like. We’re so afraid of what other people will think.
- [10:18] The truth of the matter is, I don’t pick people who to be friends with based on what their houses look like. I could care less. It’s the people. We just want to spend time with the people.
- [12:51] My fear of inviting people over to our house came from my experience when i was still young and invited friends over to my house and had an embarrassing experience. But my friends let me know and made me feel that it wasn’t about the house and that they loved going to our house because it was fun. No one cared about our messy house.
- [16:32] My realization about this experience: I have to find balance and light up a bit. It’s okay. People want to come to your home because they care about you. You don’t want to look back and think, “wow, I missed these memories because I was worried about what people would think coming to my home.” We have to give ourselves a break mommas. If someone comes to your house and judges you, you don’t need that in your life.
- [20:55] My challenge for you is I want you to invite someone over when your house is a mess and say “okay, I’m going to do it!” and be okay with it. The final thing I’m focusing on this year is growth and when I say growth I mean change. Change is uncomfortable and hard. It’s hard to let people into our lives and see it not perfect.
- [21:34] Think about the people who seem to be very perfect in your life… are they the most fun, chill, and filled with good energy? I think that imperfection is beautiful. My favorite people are people who are real, honest, who tell the truth, cry, feel crap - and that’s what I want for you. Don’t waste your life on nonsense like making sure your house is perfect.
- [22:50] Do this for yourself. Invite people into your social network into your house. Do things that are uncomfortable but might bring you the best joy. The people who care about you and love you, they don’t care what your house looks like.