Posts by Susan Shehata

Are Guns Just Another Possession?

  With times as they are, I find myself reflecting on gun violence, more than I would like.   Recently, I was reflecting on gun ownership through my “Spacework” lens. After all, an aspect of my work involves the psychology of our possessions—what our stuff represents, how it serves us, and why we are attached…

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The Danger Of Polarized Thinking

  I don’t believe in “good” guys and “bad” guys. It’s a cognitive distortion to believe that people fall fully into one of two camps. Or to forget that we are constantly fluid, and capable of wonderful and terrible things, under certain circumstances. So, to base conversations, debates, or policy on that belief is usually…

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Why We Normalize Social Injustice

Normalization.   Normalization refers to social processes through which ideas and actions come to be seen as ‘normal,’ and become taken-for-granted or ‘natural’ in everyday life. (Thanks Wikipedia!)   Normalization, itself, isn’t inherently good or bad. But, when we experience trauma, one of our biggest survival strategies is to normalize what we experience.   For…

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Can Experiences Be Toxic?

  Why are we willing to believe that exposure to toxic chemicals can cause cancer, but we can’t accept that exposure to a toxic experience can do the same? When we experience trauma, the subsequent feelings can linger in our bodies, for the rest of our lives. These chronic feelings impact our nervous system, and…

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Be Responsible with your Voice

  I am in the market for a new wool rug, so, I have been reading online reviews. I began to notice a through line… The reviews are riddled with comments like, “Terrible rug! Won’t stop shedding!” and “I had to return this rug because there is something wrong with it. It’s shedding all over…

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Anxiety is Not An Emotion

Yesterday, I read a post about emotions being neutral, a concept to which I also subscribe, and recently wrote about. The post mentioned how if you observe emotion without judgment, the emotion passes, or transforms into something else. Someone made a comment on the post regarding anxiety. She mentioned that she lived with anxiety for…

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Are You Giving Away Your Power?

  Perhaps you are afraid. Perhaps you have prescribed to one of the following: “There are those who seek to hurt me and the people I love. The government is contributing to this threat.” OR “There are those who seek to hurt me and the people I love. The government will save me from this…

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Can You Be Overly Attached To Trauma?

  Yesterday I posted about the importance of not suppressing trauma. So, today, I want to talk about indulging the feelings related to a past trauma or being attached to past trauma. Now, I hesitate to talk about this, because it can easily be misconstrued. I would NEVER put a timeline on any person, because…

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Are Suppressed Traumas Causing you Pain?

  Do you experience the symptoms of anxiety or depression? Do you have any physical health challenges? If I were to ask you if you had experienced trauma, what would you say? Many experts in the field define trauma as an event that left you feeling disempowered. If that seems like a really large spectrum…it…

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Emotions are Neutral—even the uncomfortable ones

  I have seen several references to “negative emotions” lately. Socially speaking, we have a way of labeling any uncomfortable emotion as negative. And, from my professional perspective, I feel that is damaging to our well-being. I believe that ALL emotions are neutral—there is no such thing as good or bad emotions. Emotions are simply…

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