Inspiration from the Couch

Inspiration from the Couch

Ever wonder what tools and advice psychologists are inspired to use in their own lives? Join Avery, Jamie, and Lucy, three psychologists, and moms, as they discuss what they’ve figured out, what they’ve yet to figure out, and what there’s just no figuring out. Through our stories and pearls of wisdom, we hope we can inspire listeners to connect to themselves and others more mindfully, authentically, and powerfully. It’s sure to be fun, and you may learn a little something along the way!


December 8, 2022 24 min

The plan was to take a deep dive into “time off,” but as we got to talking, we realized that it’s hard to isolate this aspect of how we spend our time. So we broadened the conversation to the ways we spend our time, with specific focus on time off, time on, time away, time in(ward), and half-ass time (when we’re in no man’s land/purgatory of time, so to speak). We strategize about how we can spend our time over the holidays, connec...

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Happy holidays! Today’s episode focuses on various ways we can celebrate.. We explore the what and why of our favorite holiday celebrations. We discuss some of the ways we can celebrate everyday - the big things AND the small things. We also differentiate when celebrating might slip into overindulgence and entitlement. We then talk about things that get in the way of celebrating such as stress, depression, and anxiety and how celeb...

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In today’s episode, Jamie, Lucy, and Avery talk about how expectations come up for us in our lives. We notice that expectations can have a negative effect on our daily experiences and can impact special occasions like the holidays. We talk about how expectations can sneak up on us and threaten to “ruin” our experiences. We discuss how expectations feel in our body and some strategies we have found helping in managing our expectatio...

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October 27, 2022 22 min

In today’s episode, Lucy, Jamie, and Avery discuss comfort zones. Comfort zones get some pretty negative press, but great things can happen when we have a comfortable place to land where we can rest and feel secure, confident, and safe. Comfort zones can be, well, comfortable, but they can also become constraining. There are drawbacks to doing things as they have always been done before. Even though it can feel scary at first, push...

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In this episode, Jamie, Avery, and Lucy talk about the pros, cons, and boundaries around social media and technology. We briefly discuss our own love/hate relationships with social media and tech. We then explore the pros and cons of this dimension of our lives and how it affects our mental health. We offer suggestions and clues regarding when stricter boundaries around social media and tech might be needed. Lastly, we offer tips a...

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September 29, 2022 35 min

Settle in and pop on your oxygen mask, as today’s episode is all about taking care of yourself. The Inspiration from the Couch ladies walk you through it all: what is self-care, why it’s important, and what gets in the way. Instead of adding more self-care “tasks” to your to-do list, we frame our discussion as giving yourself permission to prioritize yourself. We walk you through our top 5 permission slips: 

  • Permission to Say No
  • Perm...
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    September 15, 2022 26 min

    Lucy, Jamie, and Avery dive into “vulnerability hangovers,” which is what we experience after putting ourselves out in the world in some way (i.e., after we are vulnerable!). We define the common symptoms, including exhaustion, shame, regret, turtle mode (desire to avoid, withdraw), distraction, overthinking, overanalyzing, tenderness, headache, and insecurity. We explore how this comes up in our clinical work, as well as in our ow...

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    September 1, 2022 28 min

    In this episode, Jamie, Avery, and Lucy talk about the concept of Beginner’s Mind. We briefly discuss the characteristics of having a beginner’s mind, as well as things that get in the way such as ego, being the expert, comparison-making, and habits. We share some of our most humbling experiences as beginners. We then talk about how a beginner's mind can be helpful in our daily lives and how “not having it all figured out” can ...

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    August 18, 2022 31 min

    Today, Jamie, Lucy, and Avery discuss the benefits of taking the easy way out. We talk about how we inadvertently make things more difficult for ourselves by over-analyzing, over-controlling, people-pleasing, over-planning, and simply forgetting that doing less is an option.  We also review strategies that have helped us to notice when we are falling into these habits and make different choices instead. 

    Do try this at home:

  • Create/c...
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    August 4, 2022 30 min

    In this episode, Jamie, Avery, and Lucy talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly of vacationing. We briefly discuss the differences in vacation policy between the U.S. and other countries, share some of our own vacation plans, and talk about all the stressors associated with planning, traveling, and being on vacation. We then talk about post-vacation depression and share tips on how to minimize stress so that you can enjoy your v...

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    July 21, 2022 29 min

    In today’s episode, Jamie, Avery, and Lucy talk about the concept of “Dialectics,” which is holding two opposite viewpoints that are simultaneously true. This entails leaning heavily into both-and thinking, rather than getting trapped in either-or thinking. We talk through several “dialectical dilemmas,” including: 

  • Acceptance (validation) vs change (problem solving)
  • Emotion Mind vs Reasonable Mind (which equals Wise Mind)
  • Rigidity vs...
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    July 7, 2022 27 min

    In this episode, Jamie, Lucy, and Avery discuss the Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade. We focus on strategies to manage the emotional distress that this decision has caused for many of us specifically in regard to politically charged conversations, general empathy and concern for others and the future, and the personal relevance of the decision. We touch on strategies to foster compassion as we each navigate ...

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    June 23, 2022 27 min

    Inspiration from the Couch book club returns! Today we are diving into Essentialism by Greg McKeown. The tagline of this book is “the disciplined pursuit of less.” We start by defining both essentialism and nonessentialism, comparing and contrasting these two ways of being. We then explore the core mindset of an essentialist, including choice, discernment, and the reality of tradeoffs. Lastly we talk about the 3-step process for be...

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    June 9, 2022 20 min

    Waffles and spaghetti are both delicious, but we aren’t talking about food today. We're talking about personality styles. “Waffles” are more compartmentalized with each task fitting into its own little separate square, and “spaghetti” is a more aerial view of interconnected parts. We touch on problem solving strategies and some communication skills that have been helpful to us as we have interacted with the “spaghetti” and “waf...

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    May 26, 2022 29 min

    In this episode, Jamie, Avery, and Lucy talk about work. We briefly discuss the impact of The Great Resignation on the world of work, share some of our early work histories and what moved us into the world of psychology, and what a “work identity” is. We then talk about the drawbacks of shaping one’s entire identity around career and offer self-reflection questions to help determine whether one is “enmeshed” with career, We also sh...

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    May 12, 2022 32 min
    In today’s episode Lucy shares about her biggest current struggle: feeling distracted. She asks Avery and Jamie for guidance on how she can intervene to find more peace and presence. We explore how distraction shows up, both for Lucy specifically and for many of us more generally. We talk about potential culprits for distraction, as well as dive into some specific strategies to help settle our brains and nervous systems so we can b...
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    April 28, 2022 33 min

    One topic that we can’t seem to stop talking about these days is adolescent relationships: with our patients, with our friends who are parents, and at home with our own teens and pre-teens. As a parent, it can be difficult to figure out when to step in, when to step back, and when to step alongside our adolescents as they navigate social dynamics. Recent situations such as the pandemic and the increased reliance on technology for s...

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    April 14, 2022 30 min

    In this episode, Jamie, Avery, and Lucy talk about friendships! We discuss changing trends in our friendship networks over time, why friendships are important for our physical and mental health, and what to do if we are spread too thin. We also share tips on how to develop new friendships and deepen current ones.

    Do Try This at Home:

  • Do a “friendship inventory” to discover whether you have the bandwidth to take on new friends and to ...
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    March 31, 2022 27 min

    Jamie, Avery, and Lucy are mixing things up for today’s episode! We start with a beautiful reading called What’s So by Werner Erhard. We then offer some journal prompts, and you can pause the podcast to reflect in the moment, or you can hold on to these prompts for later. Finally we discuss our experiences with the nuggets of wisdom from the reading. Feel free to get your journal and a pen ready, so you can take some notes along th...

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    March 17, 2022 27 min

    Avery, Jamie and Lucy get pretty vulnerable in this episode. We each talk about our own experiences with diet culture, self-acceptance, and self-compassion. We review some of our favorite sources of inspiration and information on this topic and talk about a few helpful questions to consider: How much space do thoughts about diet and body size take up in your life? If you were able to clear some of that space, what else would you be...

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