Do you feel like your worth changes based on your actions? Do you struggle with thinking you are a bad person because of a poor decision? Do you know how to reframe shame-based thinking?
Learn the answers to these questions by joining us today for a fantastic episode of Real Talk and Friends featuring David Thompson—licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sexual addictions therapist. With our hosts, David discusses the three elements of effective therapy, human being vs. human doing, living with purpose, dealing with chronic mental health issues, guilt vs. shame, and so much more. He also suggests reciting the following five positive affirmations every day:
1. I am a child of God.
2. My worth is 100 percent.
3. I am lovable as I am.
4. I can manage my emotions in healthy ways.
5. I am responsible for my happiness.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to improve your mental health, tune in to today’s episode!
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Real Talk friends. First friends episode of 2022, are super excited to bring you an amazing discussion today.Ganel-Lyn Condie:
Yeah, we want to make sure our audience always understands that one of our big priorities on the show is to make mental health, a part of the gospel a part of our real lives. And for us, it's normalizing that conversation within a gospel context. So that is why we have our special guest today.John Fossum:
Our special guest today, as you can see is David Thompson. David Thompson is a licensed marriage and family therapist who is also a supervisor. So he is an LMFTS, if I get that, right. He's uber qualified and high demand as a therapist for lots of reasons. He is a CSAT. I'm going to try to get all these right, Davidson if you help me. CSAT standing for...David Thompson:
Certified sexual addictions therapist.John Fossum:
David specializes in betrayal and trauma therapy, and sexual addiction therapy. I love how David implements some unique things in his therapy, one of which is the use of a lie detector. And that might seem kind of extreme for some people, but it's gonna dive into that, yeah, it's really, it's really productive, especially in couples therapy, when it comes to sort of the full disclosure moment at the beginning of therapy, because any healing or change ultimately has to be preceded by honesty and transparency. Which brings me to an acronym that David uses a lot in his therapy, how-H O W, the three elements of sort of effective therapy, honesty, openness, and willingness. And without those three elements, then we're all kind of wasting time you're wasting time. Yeah, that's how we put it. Joining us today in studio is David's wife, Liz has been married to Liz for how many years now?David Thompson:
Don't look at her. 21 years.Ganel-Lyn Condie:
He's making sure he passes the test.John Fossum:
They have five children, the oldest of which is serving a mission right now in Pittsburgh, shout out to my nephew, Graham, full disclosure, David is my brother in law. But that's not why we have him on the episode. And you'll see why he has so many wonderful things to say, especially when it comes to having an accurate and healthy perception of self worth, before we move forward, and pretty much most aspects of our life. And so, David, welcome to the show.David Thompson:
Thank you.Ganel-Lyn Condie:
We're excited to have you here. And to have this conversation. John has had a lot of conversations with you because your family. But I love when we within this context of this show. Good to have a conversation about one of my favorite subjects, which is mental health, and it's yours as well. I don't know, are you feeling like, if ever there was a time to be talking mental health after the last few years? I don't know anyone that is not in need of mental health support right now.David Thompson:
Right? Yeah, it's only gotten worse for sure. So. I think it's important to understand, too, that I think in the context of this conversation today, I still feel like in all the messaging that we've done that I've done individually in other ways, that there's still this perception somehow that if you're a person of faith, then somehow your mental health can be checked at the door, or that there's still a sense of shame in saying we're going to therapy for me, it's like something to brag about when I get to go to a therapy session. And so I hope today in this conversation that we answer some prayers, we start conversations, and more than anything, normalize that mental health is for everybody. Yeah, I like it. Okay. So a little bit about where you come from. A few weeks ago, on a regular episode, we talked about that this life is a classroom and not a test, and it created a little buzz. And it was a good reframe.John Fossum:
I think than we expected. In terms of a metaphor, we hadn't realized maybe just how profound some of those implications are. You might speak into that at all. I know, that's something that's kind of, you're kind of in the same vein with the way you approach things.David Thompson:
This is an important one, I think, because a lot of times as we're raised, there's a sense of we need to perform or earn. Almost even like, if I'm lovable, it's because I'm perfect. And so if I'm not perfect, I'm not lovable. And so it colors everything that we do and so life being a classroom and not a test is a big one, because it takes the focus off of. What I do to earn or to be worth it or valuable, which is a big part for sure of you know what we try to do, at least what I try to do in therapyGanel-Lyn Condie:
...and the way you frame that is human being versus human doing?David Thompson:
Yeah. So when I was in college, I had a course from a professor who was a biker, and he had a big old long beard, and it was a video course back when that wasn't all that big a deal. He was a rough looking guy, and he was part of the bikers against child abuse. But he was a professor, and really well read. And the only thing I remember from the entire course, and I don't even remember the name of the course, which is odd, but I remember he got really serious, really quiet at one point. And he said, We are human beings, not human doings. And he had like the split. And it was like, it was profound for me, because it was this we're both human being and human doing and what does that mean? And why does it matter? And it just resonated so deep with me, I'd never heard this concept before. And I love itJohn Fossum:
Do you mind fleshing it out a little bit just for our audience, what would you say is the main distinction between human being versus human doing and why is it so important to make that distinction?David Thompson:
It's really important, because if we don't separate into both, then we are just performing, we're just earning, we feel like our worth and our value just comes from what we do. And so if we're able to separate, for example, in therapy, somebody comes in. And in my case, a lot of times, there's addiction, there's things that they've done, that they are not happy about, there's things they're doing that they're stuck in and caught in. And because of these things, they are convinced they are worthless, absolutely worthless, they're inadequate. They're never going to get what they want. And it's heartbreaking. And they see this as I'll get there when I'm perfect. And so check those boxes, right when I check all the boxes, and so it's just a matter of time, but they feel pretty hopeless, because they've been doing this, you know, most of their lives, and they can't overcome, they can't get past things. And so they feel absolutely, just not good enough all the time. And so, in the very first session, you know, we talk about being able to separate and what that means is, both are important. The human doing is our quality of life. And so both have a place, but the human being is actually what we're worth our value as it were. But the way I kind of show them is the human doing goes like this, it kind of goes up and down. And sometimes we're more effective. And sometimes we're less effective. But all of this, all of our stuff is separate from who we are. And if we can make that separation into no matter what I'm still worth it. My worth is 100%, it allows them to work on the things that they need to work on. And not because they're bad if they don't, it'll improve their quality of life. So relationships will improve trust will build, lots of things will happen. And so...Ganel-Lyn Condie:
With addiction is that that cycling starts to wear down that sense of self and worth. And it's easy to feel like you're constantly slipping. And so somehow you're not worthy of ultimately God's love or anyone else's love, which then feeds the cycle of the addiction because then you're in the shame and want to that shame. Yep. So approaching it from like, this core belief of your worth is not based on a hustle or a box that you check or how well you perform, or even your addiction that you keep cycling through. Is that right?David Thompson:
Perfect. Exactly. A question that I'll often ask some people come in and I'll say, Okay, first gut reaction, don't overthink it. I'm going to ask you on a scale of zero to 100 What do you feel you're worth? I pause and they're like, gut reaction like 50, 30, 20, 10. sometimes you'll get like 80/90Ganel-Lyn Condie:
Out of what?David Thompson:
100 Okay, zero could be less, 100 is could be more, but it's usually very low. And I'll say okay, and I'll say now I want you to think about 45 years ago, 30 years ago, 20 years ago you were born. This is why I need to slow down and kind of be more intentional. I say I want you to imagine newborn you mom and dad are probably there. There you are on the hospital bed I want you to sit beside newborn you and just look at you. Okay, you're like the size of a loaf of bread. Little hands, little feet, little toes, really tiny little toenails. Perfectly groomed. Like-okay, so imagine this newborn you-okay, can you see newborn you? Yeah-I can. I can see him or her. I'm like okay same question. What do you feel?