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Rhett Smith Podcast

Therapist + Writer + Speaker In this long-form interview format Rhett explores the lives of various thought leaders to discover what helped them thrive in multiple areas of their lives, and what lessons we can learn from them. Rhett is particularly interested in the intersection of self-care and relationships, and he loves to explore how one can thrive physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. He interacts with people such as therapists, athletes, spiritual leaders, entrepreneurs and many others, covering a variety of topics from fitness, leadership, mental health, and spirituality. What would your marriage look like when you are thriving? What does your parenting look like when you are thriving? What does your work look like when you are thriving? What does your faith look like when you are thriving? When we thrive in these areas of our lives we become people who are "life-giving." And when we are "life-givers" we impact all the relationships around us in positive ways. So engage the podcast and discover how you can thrive personally and relationally.
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Now displaying: August, 2015
Aug 31, 2015

I love to run. It's one of my favorite things to do, and more recently I recorded a podcast episode on how running has changed my life. One of my bigger accomplishments was running my first 50k about a year and a half ago with my friend and neighbor Eric Fortner at the Ft. Worth Cowtown. I loved the opportunity to test my limits and to train as much as I could with other people such as Eric. This last year I committed to run the Palo Duro 50 Mile Train Run with Eric and one of our other friends Clay Shapiro. I tell you all of this because I've just been able to come into contact with some amazing people in the running community and I continue to hear stories and come across even more.

About 6 months ago Eric started telling me about a friend of his, Melissa Martinez. He talked about her passion for both running and her faith, which is something that I am passionate about as well. In the last 10 years that I have really been running I have seen such a beautiful integration of both the physical and spiritual in the act of running. So in this episode I was happy to connect with Melissa and her more about her running journey and how it inspires her faith. Melissa is an accomplished runner at all distances (Boston Marathon for one), and has lately been testing the ultrarunning distances out. So I was excited to talk with her about this and many other things. In this episode we explore:

  • Melissa's history with running and her journey to where she is today.
  • some key turning moments in her training and races.
  • inspiring stories of Melissa's interactions with other runners.
  • what she has learned from her running that applies to her faith and vice-versa.
  • looking for opportunities beyond personal bests and finish lines during a race.
  • her weekly/monthly training regime of running and weightlifting.
  • her participation with Team 413 running.
  • her blog (she posts 5 times a week about her faith and running)

Resources and Links Mentioned in the Episode

Grace Runner 413 (blog)

Team 413

Blog post on Nick Symmonds

Aug 26, 2015

I love technology. It has absolutely shaped my life in some amazing ways in the last 12 years especially. Technology can encompass all kinds of things, but the technology I'm primarily speaking about here have to do with computers, cell phones and social media. In fact, there was a season of my life for about 7-8 years where I spoke quite frequently on the role of technology in our lives, specifically the impact it can have not only on us, but in our relationships. Though I don't go out and speak on technology as often these days, it's still something that I talk about everyday in my work with my clients and in my personal relationships.

In this episode I wanted to briefly explore 3 aspects of technology that I think are really important. These three aspects are constant and never changing which is an important distinction in the world of technology which feels like it's always changing. The three aspects are:

  • technology shapes us
  • technology informs our identity
  • technology needs boundaries as we use it

I think that if someone grasps these three components of technology, then they can successfully navigate the world of technology in some healthy ways.

So in this episode I explore:

  • the importance of thinking about technology and the impact is has on us as we use it.
  • the idea that technology is not neutral.
  • the metaphor of a shovel in describing technology as a tool that shapes us.
  • the idea that technology often is a tool that mediates our relationships.
  • the metaphor of a mirror in describing how technology informs our identity.
  • the idea that technology needs boundaries in our use of it.
  • the metaphor of a tray/basket in describing how technology needs boundaries.
  • ways that people can immediately go out and engage in some healthy practices and boundaries in their technology use.

Resources and Links Mentioned in the Episode

The Influence of Technology in our Lives

Maintaining Relational Presence in a Technological World

From the Garden to the City: The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology by John Dyer

The Saturated Self: Dilemmas of Identity in Contemporary Life by Kenneth Gergen

Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man by Marshall McLuhan

Two Technology Tips That Will Transform Your Relationships

Exploring the Way that Technology Shapes Us, Our Relationships, and our Faith -- with Author, Technologist and Theologian, John Dyer

Aug 18, 2015

I know it's a cliche and commonplace to say that you are "busy" when someone asks how you are doing. I find myself saying that a lot, and more recently I've tried to correct that by questioning why am I so busy? And do I like being busy and do I get something from it?

So I get it. I know we all live busy lives, but something that has been a concern for me since day one of my therapy practice (and probably before then in my ministry experience) was the over-scheduling of our kid's lives. I work with kids who play multiple sports and often all year round. They are expected to perform on the field and then get straight A's in the classroom. And on top of that they are expected to be socially well-rounded and involved in all kinds of other activities whether it be youth group, a musical instrument, volunteering, etc. And what this often leads to is just a bunch of burnt out kids. It may not be noticeable at first, but by the time they get to high school and into college you start to see the effects...anxiety, depression, addiction to drugs, alcohol, pornography, etc. I have worked with lots of kids who finally had enough and escaped into unhealthy things, or just quit things all together. While many just want a break and struggle to find motivation again.

I decided to bring Dr. Neil Stafford on because he's a friend, colleague and classmate of mine who has expertise in working with kids and families, and I thought that his position as a psychologist in private practice and on staff of an elementary school made him the right fit to discuss these things.

In this episode we explore:

  • our culture's obsession with busyness.
  • parents who over-schedule their kid's lives.
  • parents who work out their "issues" through their kid's activities rather than working on them on their own.
  • the importance of listening to your kids from a very young age.
  • anxiety, stress, depression, burning out in kids who are over-scheduled.
  • importance of parents sticking to new techniques rather than giving up on them after a few attempts.
  • Meg Meeker's rule of one activity, per kid, per grading period.

 

Resources and Sites Mentioned in this Episode

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman

1-2-3 Magic Parenting

Dr. Ross Greene

Center for Collaborative Problem Solving

Live in the Balance

Facebook Page

Podcast on iTunes

Website

Aug 11, 2015

About 15 years ago as I was reading through the Bible a specific passage jumped out at me and forever changed my life. I remember the moment 15 years ago...that's how powerful this simple little verse was. The verse read:

"From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded." -- Exodus 17:1

I was captivated by this idea that God journeyed his people...the whole congregation...the whole community that is...out of the desert wilderness. But he didn't do it in one fell swoop, but literally, stage by stage. In fact, we know that the journey which should have taken only about 13 days into the Promised Land, actually took 40 years. Talk about a journey.

What fascinated me as I continued to read about this journey was that you get a real sense of this stage by stage movement in Numbers 33 where over 40 times in the first 48 verses of that chapter that the community "left" a place and "camped" somewhere else.

We are a people faced with constant change and always in transition. Often our desire is to find comfort and security, to just stay put and resist change. But the reality is that when we face our anxieties and move through change and transition we grow in the process. I can't think of one good story where the character resisted change and came out a more compelling figure. It just doesn't happen.

So why is it that we are so resistant to change and transition in our own lives? And how can we navigate it better? In this episode I explore a couple of different ideas:

  • how anxiety is really our cue to keep moving forward and change, rather than hunker down.
  • the difference between change and transition.
  • what the move from orientation, to disorientation, to new orientation looks like

I love this quote by William Bridges from his book Transitions:

Our society confuses them constantly, leading us to imagine that transition is just another word for change. But it isn’t. Change is your move to a new city or your shift to a new job. It is the birth of your new baby or the death of your father. It is the switch from the old health plan at work to a new one, or the replacement of your manager by a new one, or it is the acquisition that your company just made.
In other words, change is situational. Transition on the other hand, is psychological (bold added for emphasis). It is not those events, but rather the inner reorientation and self-redefinition that you have to go through in order to incorporate any of those changes into your life. Without a transition, a change is just a rearrangement of the furniture. Unless transition happens, the change won’t work, because it doesn’t ‘take.’ Whatever word we use, our society talks a lot about change; but it seldom deals with transition. Unfortunately for us, it is the transition that blind-sides us and is often the source of our troubles.

And in this episode I want to address all of you who are facing change, and help encourage you to think through the actual transitional aspects of that change.

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast

Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes by William Bridges

The Anxious Christian: Can God Use Your Anxiety for Good? by Rhett Smith

The Message of the Psalms by Walter Brueggemann

Aug 4, 2015

About 5 years ago I was introduced to a therapy model that changed my life. And that's not an exaggeration. It literally changed my life, beginning with me, then my marriage, then my parenting, then my therapy work, then friendships, and eventually in the work I do with organizations, churches and corporations. I was introduced to a model of therapy developed by Terry Hargrave called Restoration Therapy. Actually, at the time I didn't know it as Restoration Therapy, but rather as the 5 Days to a New Marriage model that was developed for The Hideaway Experience by Terry and Shawn Stoever. Essentially, from what I know, Terry and Shawn created a model for the marriage intensives based on Terry's Restoration Therapy work that he was developing, and which was eventually written by Terry and Franz Pfitzer under the title Restoration Therapy: Understanding and Guiding Healing in Marriage and Family Therapy.

 

In October 2010 I attended my first marriage intensive and sat "3rd chair", which essentially means I was not one of the co-therapists, but was rather there to observe...and speak/share if I felt compelled. I was so intimidated by that first experience I remember saying very little, but I also remember being blown away by the transformation I witnessed taking place with the 4 couples who were there that weekend. It was an unbelievable team effort between the founders/operators Steve and Rajan Trafton, the two therapists, the cook (who provided all the meals)...and of course the 4 couples who ended up really being some of the biggest encouragers of transformation for the other couples. If you are curious about what this experience is like, I blogged about it early on. I ended up staying on staff of The Hideaway Experience for about four years and it continues to be one of the most amazing experiences I have had in working with clients, especially couples, as well as being an amazing experience for me. Eventually it was difficult for me in my stage of life (young family, growing practice, etc.) to continue to travel to Palo Duro to do an intensive, so I eventually resigned, but continue to be in collaboration with them, as well as referring clients to them and working with couples after they do an intensive.

 

But all of these experiences led me to really want to dive more in depth into Restoration Therapy so I could better understand the change I was seeing in individuals and couples I worked with, as well become a better practitioner of the model. So in December of 2014 I started Level I training with Terry, and then completed Level II training with Terry in May and June of this year. Now I'm a certified Restoration Therapy therapist...it has helped me better understand a model I had already been practicing for about the last 4+ years.

 

As I have stated above, this is a model that has changed my life, so I use it with all my clients to varying degrees, whether individual, couples or families. And what I have learned from it I implement in my relationships, whether it be my wife, kids, parents, friends or colleagues. That being said, I decided it was time to do a podcast about Restoration Therapy. There is so much I could talk about, but I thought I could start with just a general overview of some of its features, as well as how the Pain and Peace Cycles work. There is definitely more to be said on this topic, and I will continue to write some posts on it, as well as record some podcasts on the topic, and eventually have Terry Hargrave on the podcast, as well as Steve and Rajan Trafton, and my good friend Todd Sandel who was the first to train me at The Hideaway Experience.

 

So in this podcast I do my best to talk through some of the features of Restoration Therapy and how it can be applied to your life and relationships.

In the podcast I discuss:

  • my experience at The Hideaway Experience early on and eventually as a co-therapist.
  • my experience in learning the 5 Days to a New Marriage (i.e. Restoration Therapy) and how I began to apply it to my practice.
  • how Restoration Therapy changed people's lives.
  • my desire to learn more about Restoration Therapy, and eventually go train with Terry Hargrave
  • the 4 elements of Restoration Therapy: a) helping people identify and understand their pain (fostering awareness in the client of their destructive pattern); b) promote emotional regulation through helping the client identify their truth (teaching the client to take responsibility for themselves); c) provide cognitive map for understanding new behavior (helping client make choices); d) practice of these steps (mindfulness/experiential).
  • Restoration Therapy's focus on attachment, emotional regulation, and mindfulness.
  • the Pain Cycle
  • the Peace Cycle
  • Restoration Therapy's 4 steps: a) say what you feel; b) say what you normally do; c) say your truth; d) say what action you will do differently.
  • how I've used the Restoration Therapy model for individuals, couples, families, churches, organizations and corporations.

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

iTunes

Stitcher

Player FM

Libsyn

Resources Discussed in This Episode

The Hideaway Experience

Steve and Rajan Trafton

5 Days to a New Marriage

Terry Hargrave

Restoration Therapy and Restoration Therapy Training

Restoration Therapy: Understanding and Guiding Healing in Marriage and Family Therapy

Shawn Stoever

Winshape

Todd Sandel

LifeGate Counseling

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