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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4862
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Hello, Im a 38-year-old female, and am trying to become

Resolved Question:

Hello,

I'm a 38-year-old female, and am trying to become more effective with goal-setting and success in general, and dealing with difficult people. I made a list of acknowledging negative attributes as a self-help action per a book recommendation. I also made a positive attributes list as I am trying to have a balance attitude, but it is my struggles I would love to receive some insight on.

I was wondering what I may do based on these descriptors to move forward with career and health and relationships? I am an artist who has always struggled with money (including dealing with an ex-husband who borrowed many tens of thousands of dollars in my name and never took responsibility), and feel the sting of perfectionism by myself and others.

Negative Attributes:

1. I take too many things personal

2. I can't stand to be around or deal with abusive behavior

3. I'm too critical of myself

4. My anxiety is impossible

5. I have trouble finishing things I want to and don't want to

6. I'm afraid of disappointing others

7. I can't figure out how to balance pursuing my art career and money (I get sick easily if my schedule gets too busy)

8. I get paralyzed when there isn't a clear answer

9. My childhood damage will not go away despite years of examination

10. I feel like I'm not successful at anything, even though I have a strong education and have had some positive things happen over the years


Thank you kindly in advance for the consideration of my situation and how I can get more mobile towards my emotional, and thereby my physical, health.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello

Dr. Z :

I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

Please give me a couple minutes to look over your question so that I can better assist you

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that you are having these difficulties in your life, but that is great that you are trying to be more "goal setting" and successful in your life.

Customer:

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX becoming quite necessary.

Dr. Z :

You mention that you have tried medications, have you ever tried therapy before?

Customer:

I have a couple times, but for various reasons it was short-term. I don't have health insurance so therapy falls into a 'luxury' category. I was given Trazodone briefly last year by a general physician.

Dr. Z :

Well there is a type of therapy that you can do by yourself in the comfort of your own home that can be very effective. This is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that is very effective and the most evidence based therapy to date that can help with your anxiety issues and help give you direction too. CBT has a premise that your symptoms are caused by negative thoughts, so if we change your thought process to be more positive and objective as well, then your symptoms will lessen.

Customer:

I see. That makes sense and I am very willing to commit to trying. I like the outcomes of 'positive and objective'. Those very much seem like they will allow more mobility. But it is very difficult for me to acknowledge that my thoughts tend toward the negative. My mother would call me crazy, told me regularly I belonged in a mental institution, and her favorite thing to criticize me over to tell me how negative I am. She was also very physically abusive. It is difficult for me to admit that she is right about anything, so facing that I am negative is especially difficult.

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry to hear about your mother being that abusive towards you. Facing the negative thoughts is okay, and it will not mean you are admitting that she is right, but instead you will recognize the problem possibly and then re-train your brain to fix it, I would like to show you some techniques that can help

Customer:

Thank for the insight, that is encouraging. I would be interested in knowing how to approach the re-training. My brain has become tiresome, rather making me tired.

Dr. Z :

So this link may help you, it contains a technique I use with patients called a thought record. It will help you keep track of any negative thoughts you have. You put the negative thought on paper, the emotion accompanying, the evidence to support it, and the evidence against it. Then I want you to come up with an alternative thought for the situation (more objective and plausible). This will help you change your way of thinking to be able to think more positive and not automatically go to a negative type of thinking.

Dr. Z :

In addition, these two worksheets are very good at helping lessen your symptoms. It can help you focus on the big picture and the objective/positive thoughts and outcomes.

Dr. Z :

Also individuals with similar symptoms may have a poor coping mechanism, so this worksheet will help you develop a better coping strategy to manage your symptoms better.

Dr. Z :

And these books may be helpful for you as well

Dr. Z :

Also this website has great CBT techniques that you can use whenever you like.

Customer:

This is a wealth of help and information. I look very forward to reviewing and incorporating these tools into my commitment to these challenges. I heartily thank you very much.

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am always happy to help. Is there anything else I can assist you with?

Customer:

No, thank you. This is a lot for me to absorb. Again, I appreciate the help and attention.

Dr. Z :

I am happy that I was able to help you. I wish you all the best with your future success. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime. Before you sign off though, I would very much appreciate if you could rate my performance in helping you so that I can get credit for this question. Thank you very much

Customer:

I would be happy to. Have a good day.

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4862
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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