While searching for updated guidance on cross-cultural eye contact in counseling and psychotherapy (for the 7th edition revision of Clinical Interviewing), I came across a young therapist with over 1 million YouTube subscribers. She was perky, articulate, and very impressive in her delivery of almost-true information about the meaning of eye contact in counseling (from about 5 years ago). There were so many public comments on her video . . . I couldn’t possibly read or track them all. Sadly, although she waxed eloquent about trauma and eye contact, she never once mentioned culture, or how the meaning of eye contact varies based on cultural, familial, and individual factors. Part of my takeaway was her retelling a version of a John Wayne-esq sort of message wherein we should all strive to look the other person in the eye. Ugh. I’m sad we have so many perky, articulate influencers who share information that’s NOT inclusive or deep or particularly accurate. Oh well.
Curious, and TBH, perhaps a bit jealous of this therapist’s YouTube fame, I clicked on her most recent video. I discovered her in tears, describing how she needs a break, and detailing a range of symptoms that fit pretty well with major depressive disorder. Oh my. This time I felt sad for her and her life because it must have turned into a runaway train of influencer-related opportunities and demands. My jealousy of her particular type of fame evaporated.
Many therapists—including me—aren’t as good at practicing as we are preaching. Every day I try to get better and fail a little and succeed a little. Life is a marathon. Small changes can make their way into our lives and become bigger changes.
Because of our Clinical Interviewing revision, I’m saying “No” to presentation opportunities more often than usual. That’s a good thing. Setting limits and taking care of business at home is essential. However, in about one month, I’ve set aside a week for a gamut of presentations and appearances. These presentations and appearances all include some content related to positive psychology, positive coping, and how we can all live better lives in the face of challenging work. Here they are:
- On Friday, November 4 at 8:30am, I’ll be doing an opening keynote address for the Montana CBT conference. The keynote is titled, “Exploring the Potential of Evidence-Based Happiness.” The whole conference looks great (12.75 CEs available). I’ve also got a break-out session from 1:15pm to 3:15pm, titled, “Using a Strengths-Based Approach to Suicide Assessment and Treatment in Your Counseling Practice.” You can register for the two-day Montana CBT conference here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/montana-cbt-conference-registration-367811452957Helena
- On Monday, November 7 at 11am in Missoula I’ll be presenting for the University of Montana Molli Program. Although in-person seats are sold-out, people can still register to attend online. https://www.missoulaevents.net/11/07/2022/the-art-science-and-practice-of-meaningful-happiness/ The presentation title is: The Art, Science, and Practice of Meaningful Happiness. Molli is the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UM – which focuses on educational offerings for folks 50+ years-old.
- On Wednesday, November 9 from 12:30-4:30pm I’ll be doing a Strengths-Based suicide assessment and treatment workshop for Bitterroot Connect in Hamilton, MT. https://sites.google.com/starckcounseling.com/adrianna-starck-counseling/bitterroot-valley-connect
In closing, I’m posting something everyone needs, an 11-second video featuring one of our new piglets, Alfalfa, doing her “lay down” trick.
Be well . . .
6 thoughts on “Eye Contact, Influencers, and Self-Care CBT”
I wish I could attend one of your sessions but you are in MT and I am in Washougal. Our piggies were named William and Wilbur. We loved them.
Our piggies are Poppy, Hollyhock, Dandelion, and Alfalfa, partly because all those plants are available for them to eat:). I hope you and Matt are doing as well as possible. Love you, J
We are doing great! Healthy and happy. We just came back from Seaside for a Masco sibling safari. Great time. Love to you and Rita.
Excellent! Happy to hear the sibs are having fun. Big hugs.
John, I really liked your critique—wow. Perfect example of culture-blind therapist loses client at hello.
And everything else. You always make me self-assess and be more mindful.
Your piglets were most relevant. Little Alfalfa reminded me why I don’t do hypnosis professionally.
Thanks Nadine. I appreciate your kindness and support. Sounds like you only do hypnosis recreationally:)! Hope you’re doing great.