On Boundaries: Defining Boundaries

Let’s Start By Defining Boundaries:  Prentis Hemphill defines boundaries like this: “Boundaries are the distance at which I can love you and me simultaneously.”  Of all the definitions of interpersonal boundaries I’ve seen, I love this one best.  Wikipedia provides an expanded definition that covers much what I’m covering here. “Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits”. I will add that boundaries work both ways. If we are defining boundaries that others …

Patreon Membership Tier Updates

Today I totally revamped my Patreon membership tiers from top to bottom. In short: I  release all videos, audio files, and articles to the public after a one-week Patron-exclusive period. Also, I encourage Patrons and non-Patrons to join the Out Of My Mind Facebook group. The group provides a moderated space to safely discuss the issues with living with mental health challenges in an unjust world.  Patrons at the $1 level and above will get same-day access to videos, audio, and articles. I will also credit all Patrons in the closing credits of all full-length videos and on the website.  …

Chain of Events: How DBT’s Behavioral Chain Analysis Can Help YOU

How to Do a Behavioral Chain Analysis (The Simple Version) Reminder: A Behavioral Chain Analysis should be done in between crises when you are relatively calm and relax. Each part should be completed in excruciating detail. Lots and lots and lots and lots of detail.

On Boundaries: No Is A Complete Sentence

An important safety note:  Be Cautious using the advice in “No is a complete sentence” in situations of domestic violence or other significantly unsafe situations. Always put your personal safety first.  No Is A Complete Sentence We are trained not to say no to others. Many of us are also trained not to take no for an answer. This can cause significant problems in our relationships as we leap over consent issues in our efforts to get to a yes. No is a complete sentence when you say it to someone else. It is also a complete sentence when someone …

The Shark Cage Metaphor: Spotting Potential Abusers

What is the Shark Cage Metaphor? The Shark Cage Metaphor is the brainchild of Ursula Benstead, a psychologist practicing in Melbourne, Australia.   We often find ways to blame victims for their own abuse, without taking into account the behavior of abusers. The Shark Cage metaphor puts the responsibility for abuse squarely where it belongs while providing survivors and potential victims with tools to build their “shark cages”.  She tells a story to illustrate the idea that goes as follows:  the shark enters the bar Of course, in Ms. Benstead’s example, it’s a pub, because she’s in Australia. The “shark” is …

How To Apologize When It Matters: Own, Apologize, Repair

What Do You Mean, “How to Apologize”? A lot of folks are reading this thinking “don’t I just say ‘I’m sorry’”? Actually, it’s not that simple. We were often taught how to apologize as children by being forced to apologize when we weren’t really sorry. So a lot of us default to grudging words mumbled under our breaths. Some of us default to defensive, half-yelling sarcastic words tossed in anger. But neither of those ways of apologizing serves to preserve and improve relationships. And that’s the goal, right?  “Harm” vs “offend” Offend is a judgment word, and relates to feelings …

The Four “F”s of Fear: Fight, Flight, Freeze, and Fawn

What Are the Four “F”s of Fear? Those of us who live with PTSD and other anxiety disorders live with frequent, sometimes constant, fear. “The tiger in the tent” refers to the belief, deeply held in our basal ganglia, that we are in immediate danger. We use the four “f”s of fear to help us understand what our “lizard brain” is trying to do.  The “lizard brain” lives in the basal ganglia at the base of our skull.  It holds instinct, nightmare, habit, and fear, among other things. Mostly, it holds the things we do “without thinking”. The fearful lizard …