A lesson on benign neglect!

My mom taught me that I was raised on benign neglect, and since I do think I turned out okay, I benignly neglect my children as well. Benign neglect implies the appropriate amount of neglect. Just enough where needs are met, and no harm is done. Benign neglect is always here for us when we are running on empty.

There are a ton of articles listing strategies on how to fill our cups up so that we can give to others. We know self-care ideas, and we know that putting our own oxygen mask on first is ideal. …

How My Daughter Throwing up in the Car Taught Me a Lesson on Acceptance

Photo by Nathan McBride on Unsplash

There are a lot of things we don’t want to happen that are going to happen. It is natural to resist thinking about these possible events because they bring up feelings of dread, sadness, fear, and other undesirable emotions. However, accepting that our fears might come true can actually be our most calming option.

Two years ago my family decided to go on a vacation (remember vacations?!) and something happened. My daughter, who was 3 years old at the time, threw up in the car on the way to the airport.

Besides it being gross, it also threw me into…

Presenting a United Front Can Be Incredibly Harmful

Okay, because some readers might be like WHAAATTTT, let me do a little disclaimer. This is not an excuse to yell incessantly (definitely yell sometimes, but not always). This is not permission to name-call, emotionally abuse, or get physical with your partner ever, and especially not in front of your kids. That does cause a lot of harm and we are not here for that.

What we are here for is generational healing and reparenting ourselves to be the best guides for the children observing us. …

Simple and Concise Questions to Climb Out of the Dark Hole

Photo by Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu on Unsplash

Something I wish I was taught in grad school was that I am just a mammal walking around with a brain that doesn’t understand all the sensations I experience daily. Now don’t quote me on the exact evolution or body parts because that is not my expertise, but I can share the gist.

We developed from beings who were in constant imminent danger. Think about being in the jungle, predators and prey, survival of the fittest. Our bodies evolved to protect us. Our nervous systems evolved to sense danger and jump into action. That is all well and good if…

It’s been a let down, but there’s still some hope, hopefully.

A mug with the statement “I’m sorry did I roll my eyes out loud?” https://www.cafepress.com/mf/108703911/roll-my-eyes-large_m
A mug with the statement “I’m sorry did I roll my eyes out loud?” https://www.cafepress.com/mf/108703911/roll-my-eyes-large_m

So New Years came and went and it was a big let down. And I don’t mean I had fun plans and they didn’t live up to the hype. What I mean is that New Years was tricking our minds into thinking a big change was looming. We got amped, we got excited, we got happy and then we woke up on January 1st to a pandemic and cold temps.

Not to age myself, but this is the opposite of when it was 1999 and it was about to…

Is this goal setting you up to feel bad about yourself?

Picture of a person writing goals in a journal https://stockup.sitebuilderreport.com/#q=truth

As a therapist, I am constantly talking to people about their goals. The pandemic has not erased the desire to have goals, and the New Year has brought a slew of goal talk to the surface.

Now you might think I hear peoples’ goals and then help them develop ways to meet said goal. That would be nice and supportive, but that would also be way too easy. I actually am pretty annoying (and helpful!) when it comes to the goal-setting process.

Here are three questions I ask my clients (and myself) when considering spending any amount of time working…

We wish life was linear!

Nothing is Linear. This a truth that is so frustrating. There are a million times in our lives that we wish were linear that are not. We can pretend they are, but in reality there is so much we don’t have control over and linear is not promised to us.

When we’re young we go from grade to grade or level to level, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have set backs. Failed tests, negative auditions, sickness, or maybe a pandemic!

Job searches bring the same. We hope that there is a ladder to climb, so that when we get…

What is Underneath all of that Tension

I think it is safe to assume that we are all not at our best. Personally, I am not walking around my house as a patient, kind, jolly human being right now. I am having many wonderful moments with my nuclear family and loving seeing my clients virtually, but I am also SPENT. TIRED. FATIGUED. ALL SET.

At any given moment you could come in to our house (well actually you can’t come in) and hear the following: “Stop whining” “Please say that in a regular voice” “Can you say please?” “I’m working!”…

In my practice, I often reference our nervous system zones or states. The picture above is a great visual for our autonomic ladder. Our ladder holds three zones and all the rungs in between. The bottom is referred to as a shut down mode. We think of this as depressive symptoms, possible sleeping a lot or isolating oneself. The middle zone is an anxious state. It is where our fight or flight response lives. The top of our ladder is our safe and social paradise. This is where we are communicative, engaged, calm, and all things comfortable.

Our nervous system…

My favorite type of beauty

Five Strategies to Get Through This (as written by a parent and a therapist)

**I need to note that this post comes from a place of privilege. We are spread thin because we still have jobs. I miss my family because I have a family to miss. I have a lot on my plate, because I have a full plate and on many days that full plate is my greatest blessing. I send strength to all people struggling currently, whether it be food insecurity, loss of a loved one or working on the front lines. …

Robyn Isman

Robyn Isman is a therapist focusing on befriending our anxieties. Robyn is also a mom of 3, business owner, and tie dye enthusiast.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store