DANA MALONEY | Good Enough Therapist | No. 05
HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW.
Growing up on the East Coast with a highly achieving older brother, Dana Maloney never felt good enough.
“Oh that’s Dana, his sister - not as smart. That crippled (me) and I think it contributed to the migraines. I didn’t feel good enough and that became ingrained in my belief system.”
She was diagnosed with chronic migraine syndrome which resulted in social anxiety. By the age of 22, her migraines became so bad she spent 90% of her time in bed.
"I tried everything that western medicine had to offer, I was on a million different meds. I had surgeries, injections, hospital stays, inpatient treatments. I felt that my identity was wrapped up in this illness."
Without a light at the end of the tunnel, her husband asked that they make a change. So they moved to California where she would meet a therapist who would challenge her deeply ingrained belief system and response to pain.
"Going to California - it was very progressive - I found this amazing marriage + family therapist. She was unlike any other therapist I’d seen. She said, 'Dana get off those fucking meds. We’re going to start doing something called cognitive behavioral therapy.'”
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy not only saved her but it changed her life. Through the experience of learning this new language, Dana was able to find tools which would help her control some of the pain she was experiencing.
“The truth is, the pain never really went away. It was more about redirecting my attention. I can be in pain, but I control my suffering.”
It was working and because of that she finally saw the light. She found hope.
Without giving away too much of this conversation, Dana's career trajectory is quite remarkable. Her chance meeting with a therapist named John Kim aka The Angry Therapist, further pushed her into trusting in her own unique skills and beliefs, which eventually led her to becoming a therapist in her own right.
“(John said) you have to lead with your story. Your story is what’s going to make you a good therapist.
You can learn the foundations, you can learn the theories..and you will, but your story is what’s going to make you good.”
To this thought process, she added her own unique approach by choosing to Disrupt the too-clinical, too-expensive therapeutic model.
She called herself and her business: Good Enough Therapist. Beautifully ironic after all the years she saw herself as less than, she stands on the foundation that we all encounter this thought process and feeling.
“We do black and white thinking. Like, I’m all good or I’m all bad. I’m a failure or I’m a success. I should be this or I should be that."
"A lot of us should all over ourselves."
For me, this was a DREAM conversation. Not only did I learn SO much from Dana, I was able to share some of my deeply painful and personal experiences. She is also a firm believer (as am I) in early emotional intelligence and it's need in the educational system.
“I think an important thing that we can do - at an early age with kids - is to normalize these things. Is to normalize feelings and speaking your feelings. To normalize feeling vulnerable. To encourage them. Theres actually a lot of evidence out there that says that this kind of learning about emotional intelligence, learning about feelings and being vulnerable, affects PERFORMANCE in academia.”
She is an overall BADASS. I feel you'll think this too.
"The more suffering you’ve been through and the more pain, you get that kind of endurance and it doesn’t hit you as hard. They become speed-bumps not roadblocks.
Life doesn’t exist on a smooth plain. We make progress. We have ups and downs.”
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I DON'T LIKE CHEATERS BUT HERE'S A QUICK CHEAT-SHEET FOR YOU.
YOUR SUGGESTED TAKEAWAYS + LESSONS:
Why we believe that we're not good enough + how to break this habit
The tools to start believing in being good enough
The benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy and why it works
Non-traditional therapy. The advantages of getting OFF meds
Why having a chip on your shoulder can be beneficial **
Pain + Trauma and their ability to manifest into physical ailments
Practicing KINDNESS on ourselves
Testing reality: why distortions aren't our truths
We dive into a lengthy conversation on social anxiety + exposure therapy
Also, why illness breeds social anxiety
Why at times, we can feel like a burden | FULL DISCLOSURE: I get pretty personal about my story here.
Education System, Therapy for Kids (wait 'til you hear about Kamochi) and why it's important to NORMALIZE feelings
We speak about neuroplasticity and our amazing brains
How and Why Dana became a BADASS Therapist **
The power of Power-Posing
How + Why Social Media is "fucking with us" and what to do about it
And then, a pretty big dive into Kim Kardashian + Lena Dunham **
Plus much more...