Participant Wisdom

Instead of "How great is Dr. Kelly ...", participants were asked to share skills they've learned in their work - as if they were offering a stranger tips to improve their life.

I'm not afraid of my feelings anymore! And as such, I enjoy my life *so* much more -- beginning with having the tools to actually notice what I truly enjoy, what I want to do in life, and having the support and skills to let go of the rest.

How many people can say their therapist is a brilliant no-bullshit badass who's also funny and fun to be around? I've never seen any other therapists, but I've got to assume it's a rare winning combo.

24 year old comedian

when you're feeling 'irrational' or 'out of control', take some time to ask yourself what is really bothering you. often what is initially upsetting you is only the skin deep problem, and you're either running away from one feeling or another, or trying to shove it down so you can't feel it at all. also, tell those bitchy little thoughts in the back of your mind to fuck right off. the only thing they ever do is sit around and criticize you all day, what right do they have to judge you?

18 year old student and musician

For more than half my life, JJ has given me a safe space to explore what I am really feeling. She has taught me how to be kind to myself, identify and validate my feelings, and reminds me always that I am worth it, whatever "it" may be.

29 year old server and forensic autopsy technician

The most valuable thing that I've learned through the time I've spent working with JJ is gratitude practice. It started off with small things, like saying thank you to a pretty sunset, a nice flower, a good spot on the beach. Once I learned to do that, without feeling corny, I was able to do it in all other aspects of my life. In moments of feeling anxious, scared, sad, I could find something--one tiny thing--to say thank you to. Gratitude is such a beautiful way to deal with anxiety because instead of ruminating on something negative, you can alleviate your anxiety while giving something positive back. For example, part of my anxiety led me to over apologizing for things that could easily be swapped out by a thank you. If felt insecure after sharing something with a friend, normally I would say, "I'm sorry for talking so much" which isn't a real apology, it's just an anxious reaction that ends up taking even more from the person I'm trying to "apologize" to. Instead, now I say, "Thank you for listening" which both absolves the anxiety I have about feeling selfish, and also gives gratitude to the person I'm talking to. It's small little tweaks like that, that have really changed my outlook on the way I maneuver through the world.

21 year old student and writer

​I remember the 'Golden Rule' from kindergarten: "treat others how you want to be treated".... it also goes for your relationship with yourself... treat yourself how you want to be treated. It doesn't matter who you are, how you've messed up, how you've succeeded or failed, everyone deserves to be loved and cared for, especially from themselves. Be compassionate with yourself like you would with a friend who is struggling. There is only one person that you are required to spend the rest of your life with, and that's yourself. I believe self-compassion self-care are the most valuable and important things to learn, they also set great foundation for feeling connected and compassionate with others. It does get better, we have to be willing to try.

21 year old athlete, student, musician

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