A Therapist Takes Her Own Advice

Rebekah Shackney

Therapists may seem like they have all the answers, but that doesn’t mean they can easily apply them to their own lives. Join Rebekah Shackney as she discusses her own challenges with guests who offer unique insight into overcoming them. Whether you’re struggling with the effects of the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic, trying to devote more time to self-care or meditation, or looking to make a major life change, you’ll find inspiration and get practical advice on your journey. Topics include mindfulness, parenting, depression, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), eldercare, family, emotions, happiness, stress management, and more.
https://rebekahshackney.com
Produced by David DibS Shackney.
Marketing Strategy by Jessica Hulett
Photo by Alex Joyce.

Demystifying Mindfulness: Accessing Wise Mind
Apr 22 2022
Demystifying Mindfulness: Accessing Wise Mind
In this episode, I tell a personal story that illustrates the DBT concept of the three states of mind, emotion mind, reasonable mind and wise mind. Emotion mind is when you’re thinking and behaving emotionally, treating feelings as facts about the world and letting your emotions rule your behavior. Emotion mind decisions disregards reason and pragmatics. They are pressured and desperate, you feel as if you must do it now or your life will be over. Reasonable mind decisions are logical and pragmatic…they are the know it all of decisions. They are the choices your parents want you to make, but they don’t necessarily make your heart sing because they ignore feelings.Wise mind is when you are thinking and behaving wisely. Seeing things as they are. Wise mind is in alignment with values and goals where you can access both reason and emotion. When you in wise mind you are moving through the world mindfully. Seeing reality as it is and making decisions make sense and feel right. We all have a wise mind, and we just need to learn to access it and listen to it. Thanks so much for your support of A Therapist Takes Her Own Advice. If you connected with what you heard here, and you want to work with me, go to my website, rebekahshackney.com and send a message through my contact page. And if you have enjoyed what you’ve heard here, please subscribe, rate and review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.To learn more about DBT group therapy with Rebekah Shackney LCSW, go to
GUIDED MEDITATION - Paced Breathing
Mar 28 2022
GUIDED MEDITATION - Paced Breathing
This episode offers a paced breathing guided meditation to help reduce emotional pain quickly and allow you to get through a difficult moment without making the situation worse. When emotional arousal is high the body goes into fight or flight mode. The adrenaline pumps and blood flows to the extremities to prepare the body to face danger. This process works well if you're in real danger, but it's uncomfortable and can lead to problems when you're not.  Paced breathing is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skill that rapidly sends a message to your mind and body to stop the fight or flight process and move into rest and digest by triggering your parasympathetic nervous system. This skill is DBT TIPP Skill and used as a first line of defense when emotional intensity is at it's highest. Other skills in the category are Temperature — By placing icepacks on your face and neck or dunking your face in a bowl of ice (not lower than 50 degrees), you can rapidly lessen emotional intensity. Hold your breath and put your face in the ice-water for 30-60 seconds. This skill shouldn't be attempted if you have a heart condition.Intense exercise – Intense cardio exercise for 15-20 minutes can decrease intense emotions for up to an hour. Go for a run or run in place, punch a punching bag or pillow, or do a You Tube workout.  Here are a couple to try: 20 minute Home HIIT Workout and The Fitness Marshall (Short fun dance workouts, do 2-3  for optimal effect).Paced breathing – This breathing exercise triggers the parasympathetic nervous system by slowing the breath and making the inhale shorter than the exhale.  In this meditation, we breathed in for 4 and out for 6.Paired muscle relaxation – In this exercise you tense and relax one muscle group at a time.  When you first tense muscles before relaxing them, your muscles release more deeply than with relaxing alone. This was demonstrated on a previous episode of A Therapist Takes Her Own Advice.TIPP Skills work quickly and easily to reduce emotional intensity. However, the effects are not often long lasting. If you are not read to face your day after completing your TIPP Skill, try another, or try another skills. Self-soothe by triggering the 5 senses. I recommend creating a crisis survival kit for this purpose. You can also distract with activity: playing video games, doing a puzzle, walking your dog, calling a friend, watching TV or YouTube, listening to music, baking a cake, taking a shower, going for a drive. Do not engage with the source of your emotional intensity until you're in a wise mind place.Thanks so much for your support of A Therapist Takes Her Own Advice. If you connected with what you heard here, and you want to work with me, go to my website, rebekahshackney.com and send a message through my contact page. And if you have enjoyed what you’ve heard here, please subscribe, rate and review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.To learn more about DBT group therapy with Rebekah Shackney LCSW, go to
GUIDED MEDITATION - New Year New Intentions
Jan 4 2022
GUIDED MEDITATION - New Year New Intentions
As we celebrate the New Year and a New Moon, I invite you to practice this guided meditation that asks you to go of what no longer serves you and make room for new intentions and new dreams for the year ahead.Together lets examine the previous 12 months and decide what’s been working for us and what hasn’t. Then we can make the choice to say goodbye to the old and invite in the new. We can let go of old thoughts, behaviors, habits, relationships, etc. that no longer serve us. In doing so we create space for all that we want to expand on. THIS NEW YEAR IS PARTICULARLY SPECIAL AS IT’S ALSO A NEW MOON, A DOUBLE RENEWAL. In a lot of ways, it may feel like we are back where we were last year at this time. With COVID numbers up and the looming fear of another shutdown it might feel like we are just spinning our wheels, it can feel scary and anxiety provoking. You might tense up around all that is out of your control, or you can go within. Choose to focus on what you have control over, allow yourself to let go of all that does not serve you…. fear, grasping, blaming, anger, longing for reality to be different. Invite in grace, peace, compassion, and love for yourself and for others.Thanks so much for your support of A Therapist Takes Her Own Advice. If you connected with what you heard here, and you want to work with me, go to my website, rebekahshackney.com and send a message through my contact page. And if you have enjoyed what you’ve heard here, please subscribe, rate and review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.To learn more about DBT group therapy with Rebekah Shackney LCSW, go to
GUIDED MEDITATION - Observe Emotions
Sep 10 2021
GUIDED MEDITATION - Observe Emotions
Do you feel like your emotions control you? Like they come on quickly and intensely taking you by surprise? Or Have you ever felt stuck in an uncomfortable emotion? When our lizard brain senses pain or discomfort our natural instinct is to try and suppress it or avoid it. That impulse to suppress painful feelings is understandable but avoiding emotions is not effective. It’s like trying to sink a ping pong ball in water...no matter how hard you try to push it down it keeps popping up. Similarly, when you push away painful emotions they keep floating back to the surface. This mindfulness exercise is a guided meditation that allows you to build awareness of your emotions. By observing emotions you separate yourself from your emotions, you notice how the intensity ebbs and flows and most importantly you notice that even the most painful emotions eventually dissipate. The truth is nothing that enters your consciousness, no thought no feeling no sensation stays forever. With practice you will see that you are separate from your emotions and you can tolerate your emotions without acting on them. Thanks so much for your support of A Therapist Takes Her Own Advice. If you connected with what you heard here, and you want to work with me, go to my website, rebekahshackney.com and send a message through my contact page. And if you have enjoyed what you’ve heard here, please subscribe, rate and review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.To learn more about DBT group therapy with Rebekah Shackney LCSW, go to
Reclaim Your Rhythm with Maya Benattar
Jun 16 2021
Reclaim Your Rhythm with Maya Benattar
In this episode, I’m speaking with Maya Benattar, musician, vocalist and music therapist. She talks about how her parents inspired her to become a music therapist and how she uses music to help clients connect with their emotions and deepen their therapeutic experience. She invites clients to let loose, get messy and fully participate  and reclaim their rhythm. Maya Benattar, MA, MT-BC, LCAT is a music therapist and psychotherapist in private practice in Midtown Manhattan and online throughout NY state. Her specialties include anxiety, developmental/intergenerational trauma and highly sensitive people (HSP). In addition to her clinical work, Maya offers supervision/consultation for other therapists, provides professional development and wellness workshops, and offers restorative workshops for helpers and healers.Maya received her master’s degree from New York University, and has completed extensive postgraduate training in vocal psychotherapy, creative arts therapies in trauma treatment, and music and imagery. For more information about Maya and her work, visit her website at www.mayabenattar.com  Thanks so much for listening to A Therapist Takes Her Own Advice. If you connected with what you heard here, and you want to work with me, go to my website, rebekahshackney.com and send a message through my contact page. And if you have enjoyed what you’ve heard here, please subscribe, rate and review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.To learn more about DBT group therapy with Rebekah Shackney LCSW, go to
GUIDED MEDITATION - Observing Thoughts
Feb 23 2021
GUIDED MEDITATION - Observing Thoughts
In this episode, we practice the DBT Mindfulness Skill Observe. It’s one of the three What Skills David and I discussed a few weeks ago. As a reminder, Observe is noticing without pushing away or clinging to anything. We observe our external environment through our 5 senses: sight, smell, sound, taste and touch. We observe our internal world by noticing thoughts, emotions and sensations in the body. We will practice observing by observing thoughts. So why do this? In my experience the majority of our suffering occurs when we make interpretations. When we add to reality. And often when you struggle with anxiety and depression those interpretations are negative. I’m an idiot rather than I made a mistake. observing thoughts lets us notice our thoughts and let them go instead of mindlessly grasping onto them. Just because a thought pops into our head does not mean it’s true and yet we so often believe our thoughts and it leads to increased suffering. This skill allows us to to simply notice our thoughts and let them go.Thanks so much for your support of A Therapist Takes Her Own Advice. If you connected with what you heard here, and you want to work with me, go to my website, rebekahshackney.com and send a message through my contact page. And if you have enjoyed what you’ve heard here, please subscribe, rate and review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. To learn more about DBT group therapy with Rebekah Shackney LCSW, go to
Demystifying Mindfulness: The What Skills
Dec 7 2020
Demystifying Mindfulness: The What Skills
With stress levels through the roof, we could all benefit from mindfulness. This season of A Therapist Takes Her Own Advice is all about making mindfulness understandable and accessible to everyone.In today's episode, David and I are talking about the DBT What Skills. These skills outline what to do to become more mindful. They are Observe, Describe and Participate. Observe is noticing without pushing away or clinging to anything. We observe our external environment through our 5 senses: sight, smell, sound, taste and touch. We observe our internal world by noticing thoughts, emotions and sensations in the body. Describing is simply adding words to what we observe. If we can't observe it we can't describe it. We describe without criticism or adding to reality. We can't observe the thoughts, feelings, interpretations or motivations of other people so we can't describe them. Participating is entering into an activity wholeheartedly without self-consciousness. When we participate we are one with what we are doing. If observing and describing are the rehearsal, participating is the performance. Thanks so much for your support of A Therapist Takes Her Own Advice. If you connected with what you heard here, and you want to work with me, go to my website, rebekahshackney.com and send a message through my contact page. And if you have enjoyed what you’ve heard here, please subscribe, rate and review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.To learn more about DBT group therapy with Rebekah Shackney LCSW, go to
Demystifying Mindfulness
Nov 13 2020
Demystifying Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a word that you hear thrown around a lot these days, but is often misunderstood. It does everything from decrease depression to improve relationships to making pain more manageable… but how? This season of ATTHO, going is all about demystifying mindfulness, what is it? How is it helpful? And how exactly do you use it in your daily life? I’ll break it down into manageable steps and I’ll interview people with interesting perspectives on mindfulness. Hopefully along the way we can all become more mindful.  I spend my days teaching my clients mindfulness skills, and trying to stay mindful myself but mindfulness is an ever- evolving practice and like everyone else, I’m trying to do better. This is ATTHA.  In today’s episode David and I discuss how mindfulness is defined from a DBT perspective.What is mindfulness?Mindfulness is paying attention on purpose to the present moment. To mindfully experience your internal world you notice thoughts, emotions and physical sensations. To mindfully experiencing the external world use your five senses, sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Notice without judgment and without criticism or pushing away. How does mindfulness help?1.    Mindfulness changes the experience of pain, emotional as well as physical by teaching acceptance of uncomfortable sensations and stimulating the relaxation response.2.    Mindfulness gets you out of your head and into your life. So much suffering is caused by thoughts, judgments and interpretations playing on repeat without awareness. Mindfulness helps reduce repetitive thinking.3.    Mindfulness helps increase compassion for self and others. What is mindfulness practice?Mindfulness can be practiced many ways. Mindfulness can be practiced with meditation. You can sit and notice your breath or the sensations in your body. Mindfulness can be practiced in everyday life. You can eat mindfully, you can brush your teeth mindfully or wash the dishes mindfully. Mindfulness practice with movement. Yoga, martial arts, Tai Chi, dancing, taking a nature walk are all excellent mindfulness activities.PRACTICE IDEAS: Connecting to Wise MindThere are a number of different activities or exercises that help to connect you to wise mind. One of my favorites is closing your eyes and breathing and asking wise mind a question. This works when you’ve got a decision to make. Start your own business or take that job? Remain in a relationship or breakup? Stay or move? Whatever the question is, you can close your eyes, focus on your breath and imagine accessing the center of wise mind just sitting and calmly breathing. When you are relaxed and calm ask the question and allow the answer to come into your consciousness. You may have to do this exercise a few times, but I’ve found it to be an effective practice when there’s a question to be answered.  Notice yourself in the 3 States of mindAnother more basic practice is to notice yourself in different states of mind. Notice when you're in reasonable mind, emotion mind and wise mind.Think about how it feels and how do you behave in each state of mind. If you connected with what you read here and you want to work with me, send me a message through my contact page.To learn more about DBT group therapy with Rebekah Shackney LCSW, go to
Money Mindset with Jelisha Gatling
Sep 9 2020
Money Mindset with Jelisha Gatling
Money is a taboo word that can bring up so many uncomfortable feelings. And this discomfort effects our relationships, our livelihoods and our futures. My guest, Jelisha Gatling, is a couples therapist and money mindset coach. She tackled her own maladaptive believes about money and turned her finances and her life around with the help of money mindset guru, Tiffany McLain, Jen Sincero's book, You Are a Badass at Making Money and Linzy Bonham's Money Nuts and Bolts. Now she teaches others to do the same. Jelisha Gatling is a couples therapist who has branched into providing money mindset coaching to therapists helping them work through their money blocks and rewrite the stories that are keeping them on the brink of burnout and broke.  She thrives off of helping therapists to see a reality where they can help others while also thriving financially.  She is working on her first book, “The Closet Wreck Therapist: Saving the Saver”, a humorous recounting of her journey transforming from “broke to woke” while giving a step-by-step guide to abundance for therapists who struggle to practice what they preach.If you'd like to work with Jelisha Gatling contact her at the links below: Website for Therapy Clients: letsunpacktherapy.comWebsite for Therapists: savingthesaver.comThanks so much for your support of A Therapist Takes Her Own Advice. If you connected with what you heard here, and you want to work with me, go to my website, rebekahshackney.com and send a message through my contact page. And if you have enjoyed what you’ve heard here, please subscribe, rate and review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. To learn more about DBT group therapy with Rebekah Shackney LCSW, go to
BONUS EPISODE - Self-Care
Sep 1 2020
BONUS EPISODE - Self-Care
Right now, so many people are chronically stressed and this takes a huge toll on mental as well as physical health. As a result, the term self-care gets thrown around a lot. In this bonus episode, my producer/husband David Shackney and I demystify selfcare. We discuss what it is, why it’s important and how to practice it.  Self-care is anything that we do to preserve health, well-being and increase happiness  Self-care looks different for each individual. Some people practice it by gardening, journaling and socializing with friends, while others prefer yoga, therapy and alone time. No matter what you do, during these very stressful times, selfcare is a necessity.  ·      Physical self-care includes things like eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep, attending to medical issues, getting regular massage ·      Emotional self-care includes things like a seeing a therapist, journaling, attending to the breath, connecting with friends and family, taking time for yourself, expressing creativity ·       Spiritual self-care includes things like meditation, prayer, connecting with nature, practicing gratitude, offering compassion for self and others.It’s important to choose activities you enjoy. If you hate the gym choose another way to exercise.  Let me know how you practice selfcare. Send my a message on my A Therapist Takes Her own Advice Facebook page. To learn more about DBT group therapy with Rebekah Shackney LCSW, go to
A Healing Journey with Nicole Poole
Aug 26 2020
A Healing Journey with Nicole Poole
In this episode, Nicole Poole, shares her history of trauma and her journey to health and healing. She talks about how CPT Therapy, EMDR and meditation have allowed her to stop the negative tape playing in her mind and regain her sense of self. Now, during the pandemic she has found a way to spread joy throughout her community and beyond by chalking the sidewalks in her neighborhood. Find her creations at Wordsmiff405. Don't  miss her in a livestream reading of The Odyssey on Saturday, August 29th at 7:30. And here's the link to the This American Life episode that inspired Nicole to seek CPT therapy. Nicole Poole is a native Oklahoman, recently repatriated after 20+ years in NYC and a few in Paris. In addition to specializing in multidisciplinary collaborative performance and live composition, she is an award-winning audiobook narrator, collection curator, entrepreneur and advocate for Oklahoma’s artists.Nicole has performed stateside and internationally, in both self-produced projects and with companies ranging from the New York International Fringe Festival to England’s Royal Shakespeare Company.  She is a core member of the Walter Thompson Orchestra and founding member of Kollecti’F, an international poetic cabaret launched in Geneva, Switzerland in February, 2020. She has narrated more than 200 audiobooks, and her work has been recognized by Publisher’s Weekly, AudioFile Magazine, the Independent Audiobook Awards and by the Audio Publisher Association’s Audie Awards. Nicole is the owner and curator of the O. Gail Poole Collection, a significant catalogue of works of visual art by her late father. She has produced exhibits of his work in Oklahoma, Paris and Tuscany; most recently, “O. Gail Poole’s Sideshow,” a landmark exhibit of more than 60 of Poole’s bizarre works of human folly, was granted a solo exhibition at the Fred Jones, Jr. Museum of Art. As the North American Liaison for Art Ludique le Musée, a Parisian museum dedicated to the art of entertainment, Nicole is the bridge between the museum and film/comic contacts including SDCC, Pixar, Blue Sky and the late, great, Stan Lee.  Nicole is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma School of Drama; she is also a certified Creative Catalyst and member of the founding cohort of an intensive program in artistic leadership and entrepreneurship through the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Finally, Nicole’s values of compassion and service, combined with her penchant for collaboration and delightful disruption, manifest in pop-up creative hijinks around the world.Thanks so much for joining me today for A Therapist Takes Her Own Advice. If you connected with what you heard here, and you want to work with me, go to my website, rebekahshackney.com and send a message through my contact page. And if you have enjoyed what you’ve heard here, please subscribe, rate and review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.To learn more about DBT group therapy with Rebekah Shackney LCSW, go to
Connecting With Kids Through Creativity with Jessica Irons
Aug 19 2020
Connecting With Kids Through Creativity with Jessica Irons
In this episode, I speak with Jessica Irons, founder and Artistic Director of Theater O, an independent theater school for kids in Ossining New York. She discusses the struggles of finding her purpose and then serving that purpose during a pandemic. She gives us the perspective of an artist and educator with the daunting task of trying to keep kids connected to their creative spirit while remaining safe. Jessica, an Ossining resident, and sits on the boards of the Ossining Arts Project (The Village Art Committee) and Bethany Arts Community.  She sat on the Board of Ossining MATTERS for 6 years and was president for 2. For 10 years she was the Artistic Director of the award-winning , NYC based Andhow ! Theater Company where she fostered new plays from a seed of an idea through to full productions. She directed Off & Off Off-Broadway at the Flea, The Ohio, HERE Arts Center, 78th Street Theater Lab, The Connelly Theater, Dixon Place, The Blue Heron Arts Center, The Ontological at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery  New Georges and adobe theatre company. She was the Associate Artistic Director of adobe theatre company and the Artistic Associate at Adirondack Theater Festival. As an educator she has directed/taught in Newark NJ, Redhook, Brooklyn, for the 52nd Street Project in Manhattan, Allan Stevenson, Fordham University, the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester and elsewhere throughout the tri-state area. She was the original therapeutic arts director at Children of Promise, NYC in Bedford Stuyvesant, where she developed and implemented therapeutic art & theater curricula for children of incarcerated parents.  Jessica studied theater at Skidmore College (BA) and Creative Arts Therapy at the New School.Thanks so much for joining me today for A Therapist Takes Her Own Advice. If you connected with what you heard here, and you want to work with me, go to my website, rebekahshackney.com and send a message through my contact page. And if you have enjoyed what you’ve heard here, please subscribe, rate and review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.To learn more about DBT group therapy with Rebekah Shackney LCSW, go to
Back To School with Superintendent Dr Ray Sanchez
Aug 12 2020
Back To School with Superintendent Dr Ray Sanchez
On this episode, Superintendent Sanchez, talks about the ups and downs on  the road to reopening schools this year. We get to know him better as he discussing his family and his journey from teacher to administrator. He even talks about his own self-care habits and offers suggestions for parents and student to manage during these stressful times. Raymond Sanchez serves as the superintendent for the Ossining Union Free School District. As an administrator in the Ossining School District, he demonstrates a commitment to serve all the students of the district on a daily basis.Along with the Board of Education, faculty, staff, and the Ossining community at large, Sanchez focuses on “raising the bar” and enhancing success for all students.Sanchez served as the past president of the Lower Hudson Council of School Personnel Administrators, the former president of the Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES Curriculum Council, and as a past liaison for the New York State Association of Bilingual Educators. Sanchez has presented at various state and national conferences. He is on the advisory board of the Future School Leadership Academy (FSLA), the Teaching American History program, and Teatown Nature Preservation. He also shares his expertise as an adjunct professor at Mercy College, Manhattanville College, and Bank Street College of Education.Sanchez is also a past recipient of the Raymond Delaney Award from the New York State Association of School Superintendents.Thanks so much for joining me today for A Therapist Takes Her Own Advice. If you connected with what you heard here, and you want to work with me, go to my website, rebekahshackney.com and send a message through my contact page. And if you have enjoyed what you’ve heard here, please subscribe, rate and review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.To learn more about DBT group therapy with Rebekah Shackney LCSW, go to