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PodcastCreate 'Flexible' Thinking, with Dr. Jenna Glover

Create 'Flexible' Thinking, with Dr. Jenna Glover

Dr. Jenna Glover is our guest-host for Pride Week! Today, she breaks down the concept of dialectical thinking, how she used it to cope after coming out, and why creating a more flexible mindset can help us take on life's challenges.

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(gentle music) Headspace Studio. (gentle music continues) Hi, I'm Dr. Jenna Glover. Welcome to Radio Headspace and a Monday morning. I'm so excited because I'll be guest hosting all week to celebrate Pride. As someone who's part of the LGBTQ+ community, this week is really special to me and to so many others. So let's get into it. First, a little about me. I'm a psychologist at Headspace and I specialize in something called dialectical behavior therapy. Essentially, I help people understand how two opposite ideas can be true at once. For example, you know how it's bad to be on your phone all the time, but TikTok is really fun. That's dialectical thinking. It helps us be more flexible so we can adapt to what life throws at us. So what does this mental flexibility have to do with pride? It can help members of the LGBTQ+ community, and honestly everyone, navigate a complicated and non-binary world. You can feel othered, but part of a community. You can disagree deeply with your family and still love them. It's about approaching life with a more delicate and nuanced perspective. So today I'm gonna break down this concept a little further and discuss how it can improve our mental health and society in general, which I know sounds dramatic, but it's true. Now, there's a real danger in our thinking patterns which often default into thinking in extremes. As therapists, we call this black and white or all or nothing thinking, and it's when we see things as completely being one way and we are unable to acknowledge that they can be any other way. One of the things I commonly hear in my work with individuals is "I'm unlovable" or "people just can't be trusted". And those are examples of all or nothing thinking. They don't provide options for other ways to see oneself. And what that does is limit the quantity and quality of our choices. It reduces how we can cope with the world. And dialectical thinking is one of the anecdotes to these thinking traps. (gentle music continues) One of the most important times that I ever utilized dialectical thinking was when I came out. I took about seven years from the time I realized that I was gay before I was able to share that with my family. And unfortunately, the religion that we were a part of is not accepting of LGBTQ+ individuals. And my parents weren't able to be initially accepting of me and I felt very isolated from them. And at the same time, I knew that they loved me. I was very angry for a long time about how they initially responded to me coming out. And a few months into the process, I had this insight from kind of a dialectical standpoint where wow it took me seven years to accept myself. It's gonna take my family a minute to get there. I can be hurt that my family isn't able...


Duration6 min

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