A guide for mental health experts entering digital health, tech, and corporate worlds

We’re defining the digital mental health revolution together. Credit: Shridhar Gupta.

I interviewed at a major digital health start-up years ago and in the final loop, I was asked a series of questions by a VP like, “Give examples of ways you could blitz scale a team? How would you roll-out this feature and what might be your roll-back plan?” I was then asked, “What are your preferred tools for product road mapping?” Amazingly, despite having sat across from high-level tech executives as their therapist for years here in tech-centric Seattle, I had no idea how to respond. WTF was a roadmap, blitz scale, or roll-out?

A parent’s guide to starting the conversation about political violence, racism, pandemics, and other difficult topics.

Image credit: Anek Soowannaphoom. Shutterstock.

I’m a board-certified child and family psychologist and parent of two. Here’s some information for parents on how to open the conversation about distressing news. I’ll give you a reading list for other important perspectives on this topic at the end. I want to acknowledge that like all parenting advice, this may not resonate with you and your experience. There is no one size fits all for parenting and you know your kid better than anyone else.

We can help our kids understand what’s happening in the world by opening the conversation. It is possible to approach difficult and complex…

First, ask permission.

People like to be in control of their lives, and most don’t actually want advice unless they specifically ask for it. A series of studies found that people that give advice to others are more likely to be interested in seeking power and having more control over others. When people don’t want to give up control, advice-giving can become a power struggle. You might hear a response like, “Yeah, that kind of thing doesn’t work for me,” or “Well, the reason that I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing is ….”

This is code for, “You don’t get it.”

Other…

The father of humanistic psychotherapy was appalled by the word “reflections”

As a training therapist, there was a magical reverence for Carl Rogers- the father of humanistic psychotherapy. He is credited for having defined what are now taken-for-granted ingredients in good therapy, like alliance and unconditional positive regard. His dedication to empathy and conflict resolution was so expansive that Rogers was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1987. He lost to Mother Teresa. (Reminds me of the year that The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Lost in Translation were nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. Kind of unfair really.)

In graduate school, we were required to watch the infamous…

Well-trained therapists fail even while doing all the “right” things

“I know exactly what you are going through!”

When the doors close in the therapy room only the patient and therapist are privy to what’s happening inside. There are a few exceptions where this black box is opened: when a therapist is training, doing court-mandated work, or conducting research. That’s where I come in — my specialty is listening to therapists perform therapy. I’ve had the unique privilege to listen to thousands of hours of therapy sessions over the past ten years to assess the quality of the therapeutic interaction.

One of the surprising insights I have gained from this work is that my global impression of the…

Don’t know what to say next? Just reflect.

“I’m just holding this in case I run out of things to say.”

Many of us feel pressure to be interesting, funny, intelligent in conversation. You feel like you must have shared knowledge or interests to carry on a conversation or that you need to know the right thing to say at the right time. Small talk is avoided at all costs. Maybe you even get excited to say something and then find yourself paralyzed. These are conversation concerns that a lot of folks face — it’s not an issue just for those on the spectrum or with social anxiety.

There is one thing you can do to survive and thrive in any…

Grin Lord

Dr. Lord is a board certified, licensed psychologist who innovates AI mental health interventions. Her mission is to help people learn how to listen.👂🏼💗🦻🏽

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