Lately, I’ve had a wave of mothers and daughters in the therapy room that have been having some knock-down, drag out verbal brawls right before my very eyes.  And as I’m witnessing these all-out battles, one word comes to mind - AWESOME! That’s right… awesome! Today’s short podcast is about how it’s just okay to emote; to scream at your loved ones; to hash out your issues as a way to work toward resolving them.  You’d be surprised about the amount of anxiety that this simple tactic can relieve!

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What if depression wasn’t what we thought it was? The intense periods of lethargy, the despair, the sadness, wallowing alone in a dark room - what if we thought of this condition that affects so many of our loved ones not so much as a disease, but as a calling? A calling to embark upon journey, to discover whatever it is that really calls out to your spirit in this life. Whether or not she fully realizes it yet, this has been the experience of today’s guest, Julia, who grew depressed after bouncing around from numerous social circles throughout school while struggling to maintain a significant connection with her peers. And then, she found art...

Highlights of this episode include:

-Bouncing around various social circles throughout school
-Finding art as a means of battling depression
-Her favorite artistic mediums
-Why she says “No” a lot to people
-Why she doesn’t hide her periods of depression from her peers

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Today’s guest, Samantha, describes the post-college job search as a period of “Free Fall,” in which there is lots of uncertainty, instability, and rejection to be encountered along the path to building a meaningful career.  And riding the coattails of those three things, of course, is anxiety. Anxiety about immediately being able to support yourself and pay back student debts. Anxiety about comparing yourself to others. Anxiety about your family wondering what how come you haven’t found a job already. But the truth is that today’s job market for college grads has changed quite a bit since the last generation, and getting caught in any of the above mindsets isn’t productive or helpful. Luckily, Samantha is able to report from the trenches here with some valuable words of wisdom for navigating this period.

Highlights of this episode include:
-How today’s entry level job market for college grads isn’t the same as earlier generations
-Is there shame around not having all "the answers" at 22?
-How her struggles has inspired her really work on the art of self-acceptance, and maintaining self-worth through transitional periods
-Why you shouldn’t beat yourself up with what you “should’ve done” on missed opportunities, etc.
-Appropriate self criticism - what is helpful and useful vs. excessive and hurtful?
-How to cope when nothing is really panning out career wise
-How “transitional jobs” can assist with personal growth and finding your path

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Today’s guest is Matthew, who in 8th grade, was diagnosed with something called “school refusal”. But what exactly is school refusal? Is it an actual condition in and of itself exhibited by a defiant child, or is it merely a symptom of some larger anxiety issues brewing beneath the surface? Matthew’s story is a prime example of the ways anxiety is misunderstood, even among doctors, teachers, parents, and even the people who are going through it themselves.

Highlights:
-Why he suddenly didn’t want to go to school anymore in 8th grade
-The sneakiness of anxiety; how it can create real physical symptoms of illness
-How his issues continues to affect him throughout high school
-How he saw 9 different mental health professionals, and even had the cops called to his house once for his anxiety
-How he finally began to understand what anxiety was
-His advice for parents trying to help a child through anxiety of school refusal issues
-What ultimately happened when he decided to finish high school online
-His outlook for the future: Does he always see anxiety as being a part of his life?

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“This is not me. This is literally the medication taking over my body."

Medication can be a controversial topic in the therapy room, and often a double-edged sword. While they can be useful and effective in some regards, they can be destructive in others.  One of my favorite past guests, Jillian, is back on the podcast today to share her experiences in dealing with a few different depression & anxiety meds over the years, at her own request. Lots of ups of downs on this one. Lots of stigma shattering on an important subject. Enjoy!

Highlights of this episode include:
-The factors that she thinks contributed to the development of her anxiety issues
-The role that birth control pills played in a period of depression
-Struggling with blaming herself for the negative side effects of certain medications
-Does she feel shame for taking medicine?
-Her outlook for the future regarding her meds. Does she plan on taking them forever?
-Why you specifically should not be ashamed of having to take meds; don’t suffer unnecessarily

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Remember my very first podcast guest, Andrew? For those of you that do, he’s back today, to talk to me a little bit about millennials, and some of the common misconceptions surrounding this particular generation. Are they really as disrespectful, disconnected, and addicted to their phones as they seem?  Andrew gives us his perspective very honestly.

In this episode, we discuss:
-How it’s difficult to honestly share an opinion on social media, and why
-Why he specifically doesn’t have an Instagram account
-Are Millennials aware of how they’re generally perceived as lazy and disconnected?
-His thoughts on if millennials are truly uninterested in politics, financially irresponsible, etc?

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Strength. Clarity. Integrity. These are the three words that come to mind with regards to today’s guest, Charlotte, who is here today to dig deep into her thoughts about the state of both gender and race in America, especially as it pertains to black women. As a bright college journalist, Charlotte’s particular experience has led to her encountering some surprising challenges. And as you can tell by the tone of our conversation, we go way back!

Highlights of this episode include:
-What she deems is the “sh***iest intersection of gender and race"
-The surprising role that race and gender plays as a college journalist
-What she thinks of the Black Lives Matter movement vs. All Lives Matter, etc.
-How often she finds herself confronted with issues of racism and/or sexism
-The lack of black women in television and media as opposed to men
-Her thoughts on that guy who’s running for president
-The nuances of her hairstyle, and how it’s proving to be a challenge for her professionally

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Bela is probably the most enlightened 18 year old that I know, and she’s back on the podcast today to help me deconstruct what makes her so strong, insightful, joyous, and ultimately - resilient.  

In this episode, we discuss:
-How she was exposed to a few different suicides growing up, and how to process that at a young age...
-The selfishness of suicide, having witnessed the effect it has on surviving family members..
-Her tried and true method for dealing with some of the darkest times - simply “talking"
-How her support system of close family and friends are the #1 thing that keeps depression away
-The importance of having a muse or activity for therapeutic value
-The easiest thing you can do to help someone you think might be depressed or suicidal
-How to simply be OK with everyone not liking you.
-Why social media sucks, and the problem with words “Cool” and “Popular"

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On Monday’s episode, I talked to the “Genius Guru” Gina Marotta, about how to find the kind of work that you were truly born to do, based on her inspirational personal story of transformation. Today, Gina is back for our first ever Q&A, which takes some common career-oriented questions that many people have, and offers some very unique insight based on cultivating your own personal genius. Topics we touch on include:

-The main thing that prevents people from discovering their genius
-Important advice she has for the younger generations - based on what she’s learned from working with clients in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s
-Why you should be careful about the kind of person you get your advice from
-What to do when you suspect you’re being harassed in the workplace
-How and when to ask for a raise
-How to create your own promotion
-How to know when it’s time to move on
-Moving On Vs. Quitting - how to let go without labeling
-How you can actually manifest serious illnesses by lingering in a situation that is not right for you

And More!

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"You deserve the life you really want, and if this isn’t it, keep looking…”

Gina Marotta was once a rising star as a lawyer, working on the all the most high-profile cases in Chicago, each case like an episode of “Law & Order.” But despite rapid success and what seemed like a natural gift, something was off. There was a reason why she found herself crying in the shower in the fetal position one morning, just unable to go to work. What Gina didn’t know at the time was that this unhappiness would serve as the very catalyst for an incredible journey of self-discovery and transformation. Also known as “The Genius Guru,” her life’s new mission is to help others discover and hone their true talents and passions, and she’s here today to share her story.

Highlights from this episode:
-Gina’s first career choice, and how she realized it wasn’t for her
-The surprising way her career as a lawyer materialized and, despite a great deal of success, something still wasn’t right in her life...
-DID YOU KNOW that Jim Carrey’s father was just as funny as he was, but didn’t believe he could make a career for himself in comedy?
-The word SHOULD - all the reason why Gina hates this word, and has eliminated it from her vocabulary
-“What do I really want?” - How to ask yourself this question, and more importantly - how to answer it
-How to find a “Transition Role” for get yourself through a major life or career change
-How tapping into your “inner genius” can change your life
-Gina’s top three questions for discovering your genius (this is a really fun exercise!)
-The massage therapy business she started at 7 YEARS OLD (no joke!). And how that helped inform who she is today...

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