A therapist explains why there’s more to growing up than completing your to-do list

How do you measure real growth? As a therapist, this is a question I ask each of my clients. Because when we don’t have an answer, we tend to borrow society’s narratives about success and maturity.

One of these narratives is the belief that accomplishing more makes you more of…

A therapist explains how to be curious about a new year.

The Internet loves to debate whether New Year’s resolutions are useful or an unhealthy product of our culture. As a therapist, I ask people a different question:

How does anxiety influence your resolution-making?

When you are reacting rather than responding to your challenges and interests, anxiety is at the helm…

A therapist explains how to stay calm and thoughtful about challenges.

When a person is struggling with their mental health, they usually feel like they aren’t doing enough. Often the opposite is true — they are trying so hard to solve their problems, that they leave no space for flexibility, creativity, or self-compassion.

This is how anxious reactions to a problem…

A therapist explains how to live a more thoughtful and less frantic life

Anxious people often come to therapy for answers. But as a therapist, I’m more interested in questions. Questions engage the front part of our brain, the part that solves problems and set goals. They direct us away from our fight-or-flight response, the anxious autopilot that chooses calmness at any cost.

Kathleen Smith

Kathleen Smith is a therapist and author of the book Everything Isn’t Terrible: Conquer Your Insecurities, Interrupt Your Anxiety, and Finally Calm Down.

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