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[00:00:00] Dr. Sharp: Hello everyone. Welcome to The Testing Psychologist podcast, the podcast where we talk all about the business and practice of psychological and neuropsychological assessment. I’m your host, Dr. Jeremy Sharp, licensed psychologist, group practice owner, and private practice coach.

This episode is brought to you by PAR.

PAR offers the SPECTRA Indices of Psychopathology, a hierarchical dimensional look at adult psychopathology. The SPECTRA is available for paper and pencil assessment or administration and scoring via PARiConnect. Learn more at parinc.com/spectra.

Hey everyone. Welcome back to The Testing Psychologist podcast.

Today is a gratitude episode. Tis the season for gratitude, right? So without further ado, I would love to jump into a discussion of [00:01:00] all things gratitude.

All right, everyone. We’re back and we’re talking about gratitude.

I don’t think I did a gratitude episode last year, maybe not the year before, but I distinctly remember recording a gratitude episode in 2020. This was right in the thick of the pandemic. It was November of 2020. The vaccine had not yet come out. I remember recording this episode because I was sitting on my mother-in-law’s patio in Phoenix. We had just driven down from Colorado with our kids. We quarantined for I think a week, maybe 10 days [00:02:00] before we went to see her because we wanted to make sure that we weren’t sick. And I just remember feeling so grateful for the opportunity to:

1. Get away from cold weather in Colorado.

2. Have the opportunity to spend time with family after not being able to do that for quite a while.

3. Being able to sit outside and do my work and many other things.

That was such a moment of reflection and just recognizing that even though things can be challenging, there was a lot to be grateful for. But I lost this thread of gratitude, I think over the last two years, at least with the podcast. And so I’ve come back to it.

Of course, this is a time of year that prompts many folks to reflect and feel grateful. I like that idea, of course, and I’ve heard that [00:03:00] gratitude is linked to well-being. I imagine many of us have heard that as well, but being The Testing Psychologist podcast and a scientist at heart, I wanted to dig into that a little bit.

So for my own edification and maybe some of y’all’s as well, a recent meta-analysis, which I have linked in the show notes, confirmed what I’ve always heard that there is a moderate to strong link between gratitude and wellbeing. The interesting thing is that there were two moderators, though. It was moderated first by age in the sense that older individuals have a stronger association between gratitude and wellbeing, and individualistic orientation of country interestingly had a stronger association between gratitude and wellbeing in the sense that more individualistic countries had that stronger [00:04:00] association. So no differences in gender and none others that the authors described.

They did not discuss a point that I’ve also heard often in these gratitude and well-being discussions. And that is the idea that to truly get this benefit of being grateful, you can’t just say what you’re grateful for. You need to do as much as you can to feel that gratitude. So maybe that’s visualizing what you’re grateful for, or just being very deliberate in what you’re grateful for. Trying to put yourself back into that circumstance or imagine that person or whatever it may be is an added layer that helps to get that little bump between gratitude and well-being.

I don’t [00:05:00] know about you, but I can fall into the trap of not being grateful often enough. At this phase of my life, there are many things to juggle and it feels like they’re always spinning plates that are on the verge of falling off and crashing. And so I can get wrapped up in the day-to-day and not recognize the things to be grateful for. But this is a moment in time to step back, reflect a bit, and just talk about a few things that bring me a lot of gratitude.

I’ll start with the idea of just circumstance. I think that a lot of us can fall into the trap of attributing our success to our own abilities or taking full [00:06:00] responsibility for what we do well. It’s a variation of the fundamental attribution error. But I listen to a podcast called Pivot a lot and one of the co-hosts, Scott Galloway is a successful business person, talks a lot about when people ask him the key to success and what he’s done to be such a successful business person, the first answer that he gives is simply being born at a certain period of time in a certain place. And that is the United States of America in the era that he was born when there were many factors wind at his back.

I would say the exact same thing. I mean, just being grateful to be born in a place that gives so much opportunity and frankly, to have a huge amount of luck to be born to [00:07:00] parents that did not struggle with addiction or trauma or any of those factors that may have negatively influenced how I grew up. Being a healthy white guy in the United States is pretty huge and affords a lot of privilege. And so a lot of this is just being grateful for luck essentially.

But beyond that, I’m so grateful to have a supportive family- my immediate family, of course, my wife. I’ve talked about her a lot. I have kids who are relatively free of major concerns so far. We have our ups and downs, of course, but no one is chronically ill or otherwise struggling with major mental health stuff. My parents are still alive. I don’t know how long that’s going to continue to be true, but it is true now. I’m incredibly grateful for that.

Staff and leadership [00:08:00] in my practice is also pretty amazing. I’ve always said that we have the best staff ever, and I’ll never back down from that. And my leadership team has done so much for our practice to elevate what we’re doing.

Similarly, I have so much help on The Testing Psychologist side. My assistant, Laura is my podcast producer and takes care of so much behind the scenes with the podcast, marketing and emails, and things like that. She’s fabulous. I have my moderators, of course, Andres, Laura, Chris, and Claudia in the Facebook group that help keep the group on the rails and make sure that it’s a safe and mostly happy and fun place to discuss testing topics. I’m so grateful for y’all.

Podcast sponsors. Of course, PAR has been with me for 2 or 3 years now, and so grateful for them.  [00:09:00] Also grateful that I will have the opportunity to add another valuable sponsor to the podcast next year. So y’all should be excited about that.

Of course, podcast listeners and guests make this engine run. And I am eternally grateful for folks who take their time to hang out and talk with me and provide the content for this cool niche podcast.

Let’s take a quick break to hear from our featured partner.

The SPECTRA Indices of Psychopathology provides a hierarchical dimensional look at adult psychopathology. Decades of research into psychiatric disorders have shown that most diagnoses can be integrated into a few broad dimensions.

The SPECTRA measures 12 clinically important constructs of depression, anxiety, social anxiety, PTSD, alcohol problems, severe aggression, antisocial behavior, [00:10:00] drug problems, psychosis, paranoid ideation, manic activation, and grandiose ideation. That’s a lot. It organizes them into three higher-order psychopathology spectra of Internalizing, Externalizing, and Reality Impairing. The spectra is available for paper and pencil assessment or administration and scoring via PARiConnect. You can learn more at parinc.com/spectra.

All right, let’s get back to the podcast.

This year in particular, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to connect with those 22 wonderful folks in August who came to the Crafted Practice Retreat. That was, I think, a pretty magical experience for most of the folks who came and for me as well. It allowed me to [00:11:00] truly live into a dream that I’ve had for a long time to bring people together and do a small retreat where we focus on business and connection and get some downtime and recharge time. I think it went pretty well. It has just made me realize that I love doing that kind of thing and has validated the idea. I’m looking forward to hosting another one in 2024, maybe more than one in 2024.

There’s so much to be great. I could go on and on and on, but in the spirit of like I said, truly feeling into these things I’m grateful for, I kept the list pretty small so I could actually feel what I was talking about and embody each of these things as I shared them.

Now, for a little twist, I wanted to also share some points of gratitude from the Facebook [00:12:00] community, from the Testing Psychologist Community. I put up a post back in October and got so many responses. I cannot list them all of course, but I wanted to share a few items of gratitude that y’all put out there to close our episode.

So from the Facebook community, there was some gratitude for working a cushy job as a psychologist rather than a manual labor job. There was gratitude for a short commute or being able to walk to work that resonated with me. I cannot do that right now, but I am doing everything in my power to get to a place where I can walk to work. Gratitude for scheduling flexibility and seeing ideal clients in private practice. Someone was grateful for being able to pay off student loans.

Getting back in the gym after a long [00:13:00] break and being sick for a while. I know that feeling well. Whenever I’m sick and I can’t run, it is brutal. And even though that first run back might be a little more painful, I’m so tuned in to how grateful I am to be able to get out there and do it again.

Someone was grateful for a business partner that you can trust. So valuable. Someone is grateful for retirement. That’s a little way down the road, but man, I can appreciate that. Fatherhood. The courage to go out on your on their own. Grateful for the many opportunities that our degree allows, just flexibility in our work environment, teaching, and supervising- a related point of gratitude.

Someone mentioned an amazing staff retreat that they had recently and just being thankful for their staff. Let’s see, returning to [00:14:00] one’s country of origin and allowing and that allowing them to be closer to family and eat the food they grew up with and be in a really beautiful environment and many other things.

I think there is just a general theme of being grateful for connections, both personal and professional amongst all these other things that folks mentioned.

So I hope this is valuable. It’s if nothing else, a time to touch into some gratitude; what others may be feeling. Hopefully, it’s got you thinking about what you may be grateful for. And if you have time to pause before you go on to whatever the next thing is and do a little moment of quiet and perhaps think about what there is to be [00:15:00] grateful for, it may do you some good. It may give you a little bump in well-being, at least in the short term.

Now, I have to acknowledge, there are all kinds of struggles out there right now, and it can be tough to find points of gratitude. I totally get that. And certainly don’t want to invalidate or undermine any of those feelings. So please, not my intent. I just want to give you a little bit of space. If you have the space and the ability to reflect on whatever may be bringing you some gratitude right now.

All right, y’all. I will close it there. I wish everyone a happy season, whatever that might look like. Hope you at least get a little bit of time off over the holiday and maybe get some intention or some time [00:16:00] to take a little more time off over the next several weeks as we head into the longer holiday season. But once again, thank you all for listening. Thank you for being here. Thanks for hanging with me for years, many of you, and happy testing.

All right, y’all. Thank you so much for tuning into this episode. Always grateful to have you here. I hope that you take away some information that you can implement in your practice in your life. Any resources that we mentioned during the episode will be listed in the show notes. So make sure to check those out.

If you like what you hear on the podcast, I would be so grateful if you left a review on iTunes or Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

And if you’re a practice owner or aspiring practice owner, I’d invite you to check out The Testing Psychologist mastermind groups. I have mastermind groups at every stage of practice development; Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. We have homework, we have [00:17:00] accountability, we have support, we have resources. These groups are amazing. We do a lot of work and a lot of connecting. If that sounds interesting to you, you can check out the details at thetestingpsychologist.com/consulting. You can sign up for a pre-group phone call and we will chat and figure out if a group could be a good fit for you. Thanks so much.

The information contained in this podcast and on The Testing Psychologist website are intended for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast or on the website is intended to be a substitute for professional, psychological, psychiatric, or medical advice, diagnosis, [00:18:00] or treatment.

Please note that no doctor-patient relationship is formed here, and similarly, no supervisory or consultative relationship is formed between the host or guests of this podcast and listeners of this podcast. If you need the qualified advice of any mental health practitioner or medical provider, please seek one in your area. Similarly, if you need supervision on clinical matters, please find a supervisor with expertise that fits your needs.

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