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I have recently started doing a small amount of work with Meomind, a mental health startup, and a top 10 therapy app on app stores. Meomind aims to create a library of simulated audio therapy sessions for individuals who may be interested in receiving psychotherapy but are unsure of where to begin. Many individuals face difficulties accessing proper therapy due to cost, stigma, or low provider availability. Meomind offers listeners the chance to be matched to the most relevant sessions in their library based on their self-identified mental health needs. Their library contains sessions where listeners can hear the client (either actual or played by an actor) and the therapist, providing insight, comfort, and strategies they can implement. Meomind’s advisory board includes esteemed clinical psychologists such as John C. Norcross and Bruce Wampold.

Working with Meomind has been a unique experience for me as a psychotherapist. Creating a psychotherapeutic session with a client where rapport wasn’t built can be challenging. The client-actor often brings their real-life experiences into the session, making the sessions very real, even when the typical clinical groundwork hasn’t been established. These conditions add a layer of authenticity to the sessions, making them a valuable option for those who may be apprehensive about seeking traditional psychotherapy.

One of the small struggles I experience with the Meomind platform as a “clinician” is navigating through just one or maybe two sessions when with real clients, there is an arc of treatment that often spans 3 to 10 sessions. Typically, there is a goal-oriented treatment plan in traditional psychotherapy, and it can be less than ideal to conduct a session without that trajectory and format.

The future of telehealth or online therapy environments is rapidly evolving. Technology is providing us with new tools to augment traditional “talk therapy.” Meomind is pioneering a unique aspect of this, and I’m excited to have a “toe in the water” as part of my involvement in the mental health community.

Overall, I’m very excited about what the future brings. The Meomind platform provides a unique way to offer psychotherapy to individuals who may be apprehensive about seeking traditional psychotherapy. As a psychotherapist, I believe that these platforms have enormous potential to augment and provide innovative ways to deliver mental health services.

See more about Meomind here

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Dad at 50

Being a dad at 50 is a unique experience. As a dad in my 50s with a second marriage, I have a small handful of adult children from my first marriage and a young child in my current marriage. It’s a journey full of ups and downs, but one that I’m both committed to and enjoying.

One of the unique challenges as a dad in my 50s is the lack of sleep. Raising a young child requires a lot of energy, and I often feel drained. Despite this, I wouldn’t trade these precious moments for anything. I cherish every moment with my child, no matter how exhausted I may be.

The grief associated with raising a child at this stage of life is another challenge. I am constantly reminded of what it was like when my other children were young, and it is difficult not to compare. I try to remain present and embrace this new chapter in my life, but the memories are always there and come back frequently.

Wisdom is a helpful tool for raising a child, but it also promotes my anxiety. I constantly second-guess my decisions and worry about whether I am doing the right thing for my child with the information in my head. But I remind myself that I am doing the best I can and that every parent goes through this. The phrase “ignorance is bliss” has merit.

This experience is not just a new chapter in life. It’s a whole new book. The world is so different today than it was 20 years ago. The rapid pace of technological advancements and the media’s influence has changed how we raise our children. Even parenting styles have changed, and staying informed and up-to-date on the latest trends, and best practices have been helpful for me.

Another significant difference I’ve noticed is the economic pressures that parents face today. The cost of living has increased, and it has been challenging to provide for my family and make ends meet. But, I am grateful for the opportunity to be a dad at this stage of life and to be able to provide for my family. My changing careers didn’t make this any easier.

It’s interesting to see my young child associated with her half-siblings, who are a generation apart. I watch as she interacts with them and learns from them. I wish they all lived closer. It’s also interesting to see her associate with her older half-siblings’ children, who are around the same age; she is a younger aunt. It’s a unique family dynamic that I never thought I would experience, but I am grateful for it. It’s a unique perspective on the diversity of family systems.

Being a dad at 50 is a unique experience with its own challenges and rewards. Despite the lack of sleep, the grief, and the anxieties, I wouldn’t exchange this journey for anything in the world. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a dad at this phase of life and, most of the time, embrace the unique challenges.

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Quality mental health is a critical aspect of our lives that affects our daily functioning and well-being. While we may think that we are making good choices for ourselves, our unconscious mind is often driving our actions. This is where mindfulness helps by promoting healthier experiences.

Mindfulness is being fully present in the moment, with an open and non-judgmental attitude toward our experiences. This allows us to make conscious choices that align with our core values and desires. When living unconsciously, we often find ourselves stuck in patterns and routines that do not serve us in the long run.

For instance, when it comes to coping strategies, it is better to choose unhealthy ones consciously rather than participate in healthy ones unconsciously. This is because unconscious coping strategies can often lead us down a path that does not align with our values and goals. By being mindful, we can choose coping strategies that align with our purpose and promote long-term well-being.

Individuals can understand and reflect on the reasoning behind their actions. They can consider the potential consequences of their choices and make a deliberate decision to either continue with the unhealthy behavior or seek alternative coping mechanisms. On the other hand, when coping strategies are performed unconsciously, individuals are less aware. Unconscious behaviors are often automatic and repetitive, limiting an individual’s ability to change and find healthier coping strategies. Consciously choosing unhealthy coping strategies, although not always best in the short term, can provide an opportunity for self-reflection and growth toward finding healthier methods.

Mindfulness is a helpful approach to creating a strong balance and forward-looking life experience, as it allows us to make conscious choices to improve developing experiences. By being present in the moment and aware of our path, we can avoid getting stuck in unhealthy patterns and routines.

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