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 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.

A therapist explains how to wean yourself from needing praise

Are successful people less anxious? It all depends on how you define success.

It’s impossible to look at a person and tell how much chronic anxiety they carry. This is because humans are masters at using anything and everything to appear high-functioning. For many people, overachieving is the fastest way…

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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