AwareNow: Issue 16: The Mayday Edition

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“It’s not your job to have the perfect words or answers…”

Finally, try to avoid phrases such as, “This is just a phase,” “Think about your family and how much they love you,” or “You should try harder to get out and about, it will make you feel better.” All of these, while they may come from a loving place, invalidate a person’s struggle and will likely shut them down. Instead, you can offer responses such as, “I’m sad to know you’re hurting. I want to learn how to best support you,” or simply, “It’s OK to feel this way.” 
 It’s not your job to have the perfect words or answers to help someone you love that’s hurting. Words rarely fix things, anyway. What matters most is an approach of active listening, empathy, and validation. The best place to start practicing these techniques is with ourselves. When we commit to creating a deeper sense of internal empathy and compassion, it naturally exudes to those around us, too. ∎


Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Author & Awareness Ties Official Ambassador Dr. Jenny Martin is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Chicago, IL. Her private practice, Gemstone Wellness, specializes in working with adolescents and adults touched by depression, anxiety, trauma, loss, purposelessness, and issues related to race, sexuality and gender expression. Jenny possesses an extensive background in the arts, specifically in music, and she enjoys incorporating creative mediums to facilitate emotional expression. Jenny received both her Masters Degree and her Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She completed her Bachelor's Degree in Music and Songwriting at Berklee College of Music.