By TJ Thomas
*Disclaimer: Podcast episodes are meant for educational purposes only. They are not therapy, and should not be used to replace any therapy, medication, or other mental health services recommended by your licensed mental health care professional.
Therapy ThursdayJul 14, 2022
174. You Actually CAN
173. Discomfort vs Resentment
172. Never Say Never
171. Don’t Do Your Best
170. Emerald Pools and Waterfalls
Sometimes the pain caused by an unmet expectation is far worse than the experience itself. But the good news is that this "expectation pain" is optional!
169. Just Choose It
If you are always struggling to make decisions because you are so concerned about making "the right choice" then I have some good news for you: there is no such thing!
168. You are Definitely Wrong
Did you know it is 100% guaranteed that there is something you believe to be true that you are wrong about? Whether it's something scientifically that we just don't know enough about yet, or a narrative belief about yourself or the way you fit int he world, we all have beliefs that are wrong, and that are holding us back.
167. Misunderstanding Motivation
Sometimes we just don't feel motivated to follow through with things we have committed to. (Like, for me, today, recording this podcast.) And that's okay! In this episode we talk about why re-evaluating your initial reasons for committing to things is important to decide if it still aligns with your values, and how switching the way you think about motivation can help you get started.
166. Pay Attention!
Where we pay our attention has a drastic impact on the quality of our life, so make sure you are paying attention with intention!
165. This Too Shall Pass
Nothing is permanent. This might hit you as good news or bad news, depending on how you look at it. But the truth is that accepting this fact can drastically improve your overall happiness and life satisfaction, according to multiple studies.
164. I Am Not Enough
Many people come to therapy feeling that they are "not enough" or "not good enough." But "enough" is subjective. And rarely do we stop to ask ourselves - "Good enough at what?"
163. Happy Isn't Enough
The phrase "I just want you to be happy" is commonly used in all sorts of relationships, but it can sometimes be the very thing getting in the way of real happiness, particularly when two people have very different ideas of what "happy" means.
162. Common Queer Myths
To celebrate Pride Month, today we are breaking down 3 common myths about LGBTQ+ people: that it isn't natural, that science doesn't support it, and that there are more now than before. Happy Pride!
161. Might as Well Start
If you've been putting off a project or change because you are worried about how long it will take, I like to remember this principle from today's episode: the time is going to pass anyway, so why not just start?
160. Getting Punched in the Face
Did you know that getting punched in the face is a neutral situation? In this episode we break down why situations are neutral, and how our thoughts/opinions create meaning and feelings for us, using this rather painful example!
159. Upgrade Your Problems
Problems are an inescapable part of life (and actually, something that our brain craves!) So instead of trying to get rid of or avoid all problems, let's try upgrading our problems to better ones, or problems that we'd rather be solving.
158. Why You Aren't Having a Breakthrough
Many people (myself included) start therapy thinking that if they go for a while, they will have some sudden eureka-breakthrough type moment. The hard truth, however, is that therapy is not about sudden breakthroughs. It's about slow maintenance, and that can be boring sometimes.
157. Who is God?
I know that question is one of the biggest there is, but in this episode we explore who God is to each one of us by learning about the difference between a god-concept versus a god-image, and how exploring the two sides of our understanding of god can lead to a more fulfilling relationship with our faith and religious beliefs.
156. Mental Health and Gun Violence in America
Every time a mass shooting happens, the same debate is sparked: what is to blame for this awful and continuing crisis? With yet another school shooting recently, and the predicable uptick of blaming the shooter's mental health, we are breaking down the truth about mental health as it relates to gun violence in America.
155. Signs You are Doing Better than You Think
It's really easy to get down on ourselves when we are feeling stuck, or like we aren't making the progress we'd hoped for. This episode is all about reminding you of the progress you have made, the good you are doing, and the signs that you are probably doing better than you give yourself credit for!
154. Says Who?
There are a lot of "shoulds" that we pile onto ourselves. But you can stop and question them with a simple "says who?" You'll find that much of the time, it's just completely made up, and no one is actually holding you to that standard other than your own perceptions.
153. How To Avoid Burnout
Burnout has become more and more common in our world of constant hustle. And by the time burnout hits, it's really hard to get out of it. Like so many things in life, prevention is really the best policy.
152. To Be or To Be Seen
We all have qualities or characteristics that we hope to be - kind, loyal, smart, funny, etc. But it's important to ask ourselves whether we care more about actually being that trait, or just that other people perceive us as having that trait?
151. What Other People Think Does Matter
Your whole life you've probably heard some version of - "Don't care what other people think!" And it sounds like good advice. At first. But it pretty quickly starts to break down in real life. In this episode we discuss why what other people think about you actually does matter, why you should care about it, and how do care about it in a more healthy way.
150. Accessibility Matters
After a sickness-related hiatus, we are coming back and talking about an experience I had losing my voice, and how it opened my eyes to the issues we have with accessibility in our society.
149. The Failure Bias
Our brains have a strong bias towards remembering our failures with much more detail and clarity than our successes, and a nasty habit of bringing them to the front of our minds at the worst times. In today's episode we talk about why that is and what you can do about it!
148. Move Over, Grandma!
We have all experienced driving down the road when someone is going either waaaaay too slow or dangerously fast. And as we pass them (or they pass us) we have a seemingly uncontrollable urge to look over and see who the other driver was. In today's episode we talk about that urge and what it is doing for our brains.
This New Years, instead of adding yet another goal that probably won't last til February and then leaving you feeling guilty for not accomplishing it, try setting an anti-resolution by choosing something from your life to get rid of, rather than trying to add another new thing.
146. Be Unsurprised
Being "unsurprised" this Holiday season is a great way to break cycles. You know the topics that will stir up problems. You know the family members that will do/say something a bit out in left field. So be unsurprised by that, and take your power back.
145. Ditching Traditions
Holiday traditions can be lots of fun, but they can also be a huge headache. When the downsides and costs of continuing a tradition outweighs the benefits, it is time to move on. In this episode we talk about why and how this happens.
144. Live from the Traffic Jam
143. Myths about Gender Affirming Care
There are a LOT of myths and straight up lies that have been circulating for a long time about gender affirming care. So today we are setting the record straight with facts and studies, not fear and hunches.
142. The Science of Gratitude
We hear all the time about how gratitude can improve our mood, but did you know it can also improve your physical health? The psychological principles behind why this happens are fascinating. Check it out on this week's Thanksgiving episode!
141. They Might Be Happier
Today we address a commonly held belief amongst many religious groups, political parties, businesses, etc - that a person will not be able to be truly happy if they leave the group. It's a dangerous belief that not only harms the person leaving, but can seriously limit our own happiness as well.
140. Origins of Anger
Where does anger come from? Why do we feel it so intensely? Is it good or bad? Is it always a secondary emotions? There are a lot of questions to explore about anger on today's episode.
139. Empaths 101
Have you ever wondered why empaths seem to only take on the "negative" emotions around them, rather than attune to all the people with more positive emotions they meet? In this episode we talk all about empaths, where this skill comes from, and why they are more likely to take on other people's sadness, distress, etc, rather than people's happiness or joy.
138. You Got it Wrong
We all get it wrong sometimes. The most common seems to be when we project our views, understandings, opinions, cultures, etc, onto other people. It helps reduce a lot of conflict and stress when you just communicate with someone about a perceived wrongdoing rather than assume they did it intentionally.
137. TikTok Lied to You
TikTok and other social media have done a great job at increasing the amount we talk about mental health and therapy. Unfortunately, that has also increased the amount of false information about mental health and therapy. And considering GenZ use TikTok to search for information more than Google, that leads to a lot of incorrect and dangerous self-diagnosing.
136. Validation 101
In this episode we dive into why validation is so important to us, how we so often get it wrong, and offer tips on how to do it better. Learning how to better validate people's emotions (including your own) can be a key step in improving overall mental health!
135. Gaslighting 101
Gaslighting has become a very popular phrase to be thrown around during arguments, but most of the time I hear it being used, it is being used incorrectly. Gaslighting is not just lying or remembering events differently. In this episode we discuss exactly what gaslighting is, what it is not, and how you can tell the difference.
134. No More Excuses
If you've ever heard someone say "Well that's just how I am because I'm from New York" or "I'm a Scorpio so I can't help it" or anything like that, to justify misbehavior or mistreating other people, we need to put a stop to that. No more excuses.
133. Men's Mental Health
Despite experiencing mental health concerns at the same rate as women, men are significantly less likely to seek help or treatment for it. In this episode, we talk about how big a problem that actually is, and one shift of thinking that might help.
132. Sleep and Mental Health
Sleep is one of the closest links between our physical health and mental/emotional health. In addition to good sleep health habits, knowing your chronotype can also help you improve your sleep health, and thus improve your mental health.
131. Suicide Awareness & Prevention
September is National Suicide Awareness & Prevention month, so on today's episode we talk about suicide's warning signs, risk indicators, protective factors, and more, including what you can do specifically if you fear someone in your life is contemplating suicide. For immediate assistance, dial 988 to be connected with the suicide hotline and mental health emergency services in your area.
130. Boundary vs Control
Many people wonder what is the difference between setting a boundary versus trying to control someone. The short answer is this: boundaries are focused on your life, control is focused on other peoples' lives. Listen to find out more.
129. Feelings are Not...
As important as feelings are, they are not everything. This week we talk specifically about what feelings are not, and what are their limitations.
128. Thoughts are Not...
In the world of therapy, we do a lot of work about our thoughts - which is a good thing! But in our efforts we sometimes take the talk about thoughts a little too far. So today let's talk about the things that thoughts are not: thoughts are not facts, thoughts are not our identity, and thoughts are not completely in our control.
127. Insurance Headache
Some very exciting news this week: I have officially launched my private practice and am accepting new clients! Head to tjcounselicg.com to find out more!
Now the sad news: I am not accepting insurance. In this episode I talk about why that is, and how insurance companies are making access to mental health care so difficult.
126. Thinking in Opposites
In this episode we cover the basics of thinking in opposites, a.k.a. "dialectical thinking." It's a very important mental health skill that is widely applicable to almost every client I've ever worked with.
125. Overthink More
A lot of my friends and clients feel like overthinking is causing their anxiety. It shocks them to learn that it actually might be under thinking that is causing their anxiety! Find out why.