338 episodes

I'm Dr. Margaret, a psychologist for over 25 years and the author of Perfectly Hidden Depression. I created The SelfWork Podcast in 2016 to explain mental health treatment, and to give you the chance to consider therapy without thinking it's weird or somehow suggests you can't "fix" your own problems. My team is so honored that five years later, SelfWork has earned nearly 3.5 million downloads! Each episode features the popular listener question. And, once a month, you’ll hear a “You Get the Gist” segment - a five minute run-down of a current topic - as well as an interview with an outstanding guest author or expert, adding to the wide diversity of topics listeners so appreciate. Regularly rated as one of the top mental health/depression podcasts out there, I keep it short and casual - and I'd love to hear from you. Please join me.

The SelfWork Podcast Margaret Robinson Rutherford PhD

    • Mental Health
    • 4.8 • 1.1K Ratings

I'm Dr. Margaret, a psychologist for over 25 years and the author of Perfectly Hidden Depression. I created The SelfWork Podcast in 2016 to explain mental health treatment, and to give you the chance to consider therapy without thinking it's weird or somehow suggests you can't "fix" your own problems. My team is so honored that five years later, SelfWork has earned nearly 3.5 million downloads! Each episode features the popular listener question. And, once a month, you’ll hear a “You Get the Gist” segment - a five minute run-down of a current topic - as well as an interview with an outstanding guest author or expert, adding to the wide diversity of topics listeners so appreciate. Regularly rated as one of the top mental health/depression podcasts out there, I keep it short and casual - and I'd love to hear from you. Please join me.

    Lying, Suicide Notes, and Medication Fears: Opening My Emailbag

    Lying, Suicide Notes, and Medication Fears: Opening My Emailbag

    I’m thrilled today to introduce you to a new sponsor of SelfWork! Not only have I used this product for over three years,  but it suddenly dawned on me that I should talk to them about a collaboration! And voilá… here it is. Let me introduce you to Ozark Mountain Medicine’s fantastic CBD products!
    We’re delving into my SelfWork emailbag again this week – and the questions you’ve brought me will resonate with many of you. I love hearing from all of you – because it gives me a chance to give back to those of you who are listeners in a very specific way. What are those topics? The relationship between self-esteem and lying, what to do with things that are left behind by someone who died (and this listener’s father had died by suicide – so trigger warning here), and last, is there a danger if you take medication for depression that it will numb you to your feelings?
    Our second sponsor today is Athletic Greens – another product I use daily - and we’ll hear from them later in the broadcast!.
    Vital Links:  Click this link to try out some of the best CBD out there! Ozark Mountain Medicine's CBD products and get 10% off! 
    Click Here for the fabulous offer from Athletic Greens - now AG1 - with bonus product with your subscription!
    An informative Forbes article on lying and the neuroscience behind it.
    VeryWell Mind article on feeling numb due to antidepressant use
    Pharmacogenetic testing and SelfWork Episode on Pharmacogenetics
    SelfWork episode on A Psychologist's View of Medication Use
    You can hear more about this and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive my weekly newsletter including a blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!
    My book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has been published and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life. And it’s available in paperback, eBook or as an audiobook!
    And there’s another way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

     
     

    • 28 min
    The Alarming Jungle of Mental Illness Misdiagnoses: A Conversation with Author and Activist Sarah Fay

    The Alarming Jungle of Mental Illness Misdiagnoses: A Conversation with Author and Activist Sarah Fay

    If you've listened to SelfWork, or read my book Perfectly Hidden Depression, you know that I've cautioned about doctors and clinicians' overdependence on the DSM-V (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition). In this riveting conversation with the author of Pathological: The True Story of Six Misdiagnoses and activist Sarah Fay, she tells her story of being labeled with six different diagnoses during three decade  of treatment, all accompanied by prescribed medications with, at times, very difficult side effects, and numerous therapy techniques. Until finally, one psychiatrist told her - after the typical 30 minute initial visit - "I don't know what you have." His humility and caution changed her life, and she began looking into exactly what this "DSM" was and learning how subjective mental health diagnoses can be.
    She's also quick to say that she's developed a healthy respect for mental health providers, as the field is a complex one to navigate. And as a provider myself, I know that there are many facets to "diagnosing" that have to be considered. That said, an accurate diagnosis takes more than 30 minutes to determine.
    So, in this episode sponsored by BetterHelp, I hope you'll learn more about how mental illness diagnoses are made - and how you can have a conversation with your provider or clinician to make sure that you are truly seen and understood, not "labeled."
    Vital Links: BetterHelp, the #1 online therapy provider, has a special offer for you now!
    You can hear more about this and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive my weekly newsletter including a blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!
    My book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has been published and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life. And it’s available in paperback, eBook or as an audiobook!
    And there’s another way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

     

    • 52 min
    Ten Common Birthplaces of The Shame You Never Deserved... But Carried With You

    Ten Common Birthplaces of The Shame You Never Deserved... But Carried With You

    Shame. People often come into therapy saying things like, “I’m afraid I’m wasting your time, “ or, “I don’t know why I can’t pull myself together, “ Or, “If I believed in my faith and God enough, I wouldn’t be here. But because I am, I’ve failed.”
    I know – without a doubt – I’m listening to shame talking.
    Today, we’re going to focus on the shame that you may carry around – that doesn’t belong to you. Here are the ten most common birthplaces of shame you've never deserved... but carried with you. And it's time to challenge any voices that tell you differently, because they're flawed and were absorbed by you as a child.
    You were treated like an object through physical or sexual abuse. You were neglected and your most basic needs were intentionally unmet. You were valued only for external attributes or achievements, not for who you were. You were put on a pedestal or smothered, so you lack a sense of true security in yourself. Instead, you could “do no wrong.” You were put in charge as a child, did the best you could, but ultimately felt as if you failed. You were pulled into adult conflicts/dynamics that you couldn’t fix. What hurt you was invalidated or you feared rejection if you revealed your true self. You weren’t allowed to want/be/talk/think differently than your parents. You grew up in a family where nothing made rational sense and rules were always changing. You were compared negatively to others. The listener voicemail is from someone who’s been diagnosed with Bp 1, 2, and then BPD, and he’s become overly reclusive. But it sounds as if his biggest impediment to becoming more successful professionally and personally is his tendency to take what others say too personally – and building a wall of resentment toward them which is self-sabotaging to the work. At the same time, he has friends and family who are supportive – so what’s going wrong?
    So please come with me today in this episode sponsored by AG1, as we discuss 10 sources of shame – and of course, what you can do about it…
    Vital Links: Click Here for the fabulous offer from Athletic Greens - now AG1 - with bonus product with your subscription!
    Excellent article on 17 shaming states children hear in shame-based families by Doran Lamb
    BetterHelp''s extremely helpful article illustrating how to find a Certified DBT Therapist
    You can hear more about this and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive my weekly newsletter including a blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!
    My book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has been published and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life. And it’s available in paperback, eBook or as an audiobook!
    And there’s another way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

     
     

    • 27 min
    When Too Much Self-Help Is... Too Much

    When Too Much Self-Help Is... Too Much

    Today's YGTG (You Get the Gist) is focused on self-help; can you seek out too much help? The answer is yes. Self-help can actually make some people feel inferior and ashamed, rather than better about themselves - especially if you inundate yourself with it, or are almost addicted to seeking out articles and TikTok's and Instagram reels. And... podcasts.
    Even though I'm one of those people who are trying to offer my experience as a psychologist, I've often suggested to people that they need to stop looking outside of themselves for answers or waiting for just one more piece of information before they act. You can get into analysis paralysis - and time passes, and passes, and passes. And you do nothing - because you're so afraid of making a mistake.
    So... if it will be helpful - truly helpful - please listen in to the wisdom of Mel Robbins and Mark Manson. But know you and only you can learn to trust yourself.
    Vital Links:
    Mel Robbins' five-second rule.
    Great article by Mark Manson on the one thing that self-help cannot help you do.
    You can hear more about this and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive my weekly newsletter including a blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!
    My book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has been published and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life. And it’s available in paperback, eBook or as an audiobook!
    And there’s another way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

     

    • 8 min
    Do You Stay In Emotional Chaos? How DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) Can Help

    Do You Stay In Emotional Chaos? How DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) Can Help

    Back when I was busy creating my own emotional chaos,  my therapists used CBT therapy (cognitive behavioral therapy) and family systems therapy – both of which were very helpful to me. But today, we’re taking a dive into a therapy I wish had existed then ...  DBT or dialectical behavior therapy. Why? Because DBT teaches distinct tools for those whose decision-making is highly governed by their intense emotions. And those tools are not only practical, but practice-able.
    What I learned when I took that dive was that the tools of DBT are immense! And there are way too many of them for one episode! So, we’re going to focus on one aspect of DBT – the role of distress tolerance - which is one of the four modules of DBT.
    The listener voicemail today is from a woman who’s confused because her husband has told her he no longer has feelings for her -especially sexual feelings – and she doesn’t know what to do. I’ll do my best to offer some ideas..
    This episode is once again sponsored by BetterHelp, consistently rated as one of the best online therapy opportunities out there. And I checked and here’s an article by BH on finding a DBT therapist – and they offer tremendous ideas! But today, they have an offer for SelfWork listeners!
    Vital Links: BetterHelp, the #1 online therapy provider, has a special offer for you now!
    Follow along with this episode by clicking on the info from this DBT great website to learn more about DBT! A wonderful article on BetterHelp on how to find a DBT-certified therapy near you!
    General information from Psych Central on DBT.
    A SelfWork episode  on radical acceptance… and wow, it’s from almost 100 episodes ago!!
    You can hear more about this and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive my weekly newsletter including a blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!
    My book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has been published and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life. And it’s available in paperback, eBook or as an audiobook!
    And there’s another way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

     

    • 27 min
    The Elephant In The Room: Five Tips On Caring For Someone Who Won't Help Themselves

    The Elephant In The Room: Five Tips On Caring For Someone Who Won't Help Themselves

    What's one of the most frequent questions I get from SelfWorkers?
     What do you do when you care about someone who’s depressed or destructive or anxious or ill and they don’t seem to be able to or even want to help themselves? Maybe from your perspective they’ve given up, are in denial, or are extremely defensive about how they’re living or how their struggles are impacting you, the family, them, their job – their entire life.  Part of many mental and emotional problems – especially those that involve seeming distortions in thinking – are hard to recognize by the person who has those very beliefs or behaviors. Or maybe they don't see their depression – or their impulsivity – or their hypervigilance – as something that could be helped and/or treated.
    When you're trying to love them, you can feel confusion, helplessness, self-righteousness, anger, sadness, irritation, disappointment – so many emotions. So today, we'll focus on five tips of what to do  – or try to do about it. And a quick hint… sometimes the “it” isn’t how to get your point across to the other person. Sometimes it means looking at yourself and reevaluating your own choices.
    The listener email today is from a young woman who found my book PHD on Audible recently and she’s giving me what the book has meant to her. You might find yourself in her story… and if so, I hope the book could help you as well.
    And in response to hearing from many of you these past few weeks about the meaning of Perfectly Hidden Depression for you - and for a little summer kick, here's a giveaway for you!!!  Email me at askdrmargaret@drmargaretrutherford.com or send me a voicemail.via SpeakPipe … and for the 10th email and the 4th Speakpipe, I’ll send you a free signed copy of my book PHD! So two ways of winning!
    Here are the five tips:
    Make sure you check your own agenda. Remain available but know you may have to emotionally detach. Recognize your loved one may not have the capacity to make the desired change at this time. Maybe they're learning something they need to learn. Take care of yourself, and by so doing, you're acting as a role model as well. Keep watch over your own mental and emotional state. Find a trusted friend or therapist to confide in. So in this episode of SW, also sponsored by AG1, let’s focus on how you can approach or cope with depression and anxiety disorders in someone you love – when they themselves can’t seem to try or don’t agree with you that something is a problem.
    Important Links:  Click Here for the fabulous offer from Athletic Greens - now AG1 - with bonus product with your subscription!
    Wonderful Tiny Buddha article on what to do when someone you love won't help themselves.
    Excellent article on Boardwalk Recovery: about Al-Anon
    YouTube video on recent rise of young female suicides in Japan
    Perfectly Hidden Depression Questionnaire
    You can hear more about this and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive my weekly newsletter including a blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!
    My book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has been published and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life. And it’s available in paperback, eBook or as an audiobook!
    And there’s another way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forwar

    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
1.1K Ratings

1.1K Ratings

kitesteacher ,

Awesome podcast and psychologist!

I have been listening to Selfwork for over a year and a half now. Dr. Margaret is genuine and gives her listeners hope, encouragement, and suggestions of what to do about things. She is a hands on therapist who really makes a difference in my life and many others that listen to her each week. I can’t wait until Friday comes each week for a new episode. Thanks for truly caring about your listeners and making us feel connected. - Connie

kdnychfn ,

Excellent Podcast

I love this podcast. Dr. Margaret explains things in easy to understand terms and she gives suggestions on how to handle all kinds of issues. I listen to the podcast at night when my thoughts are racing all over the place. Listening to her soothing voice helps me to focus and to relax. I always learn something.

TuitNutrition ,

I Adore SelfWork & Dr. Rutherford

I stumbled upon SelfWork almost a year ago when I was looking for podcasts about self-help specifically around depression after a devastating breakup and also feeling incredibly lost and unfulfilled in my career. Dr. Margaret and this podcast are an oasis of insights and actionable information that are genuinely helpful, as opposed to just superficial platitudes. Dr. Rutherford has a very soothing voice and calming manner and I always feel safe even just listening to her, even when there’s an episode about a topic that doesn’t really resonate with me, personally. One of my favorite things about her is that she validates people’s feelings. She never makes anyone feel bad or wrong for what they’re feeling. She only offers gentle help for healing. There are a handful of episodes I must’ve listened to 10 times already and they never get old. Thank you for what you do, Dr. Margaret. You are touching more lives than you know.

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