Happiness Is Not Out There for Us to Find, The Reason That It’s Not There Is That It’s Inside Us - Liz Earnshaw

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1. Tell us about your background and journey.

My name is Liz Earnshaw and I am a mama, wife, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and business owner. I grew up in a small town on the bay in Maryland and have always been fascinated by relationships

Hias you can imagine, there were some...interesting... relationships within my family system. When I first began my studies, I went to school to become a teacher. I quickly recognized that I was not very good at managing a classroom and was more ested in creating the more quiet and personal relationships that come with one on one work. After I finished my undergraduate degree, I decided to begin a graduate program in Couples and Family Therapy at Jefferson University and it's been history ever since!

2. What led you to take up this career path?

I was inspired by a billboard - I was driving down the highway, feeling lost about what I wanted to do following my undergrad degree and a billboard appeared with information about the couples and family therapy program at Jefferson University. This was my first conscious recognition that I wanted to be in this line of work. However, my own experiences with relational dysfunction certainly were the driving force.

3. What are some common myths in the society about psychology?

A huge myth that I see perpetuated is that getting mental health support is about "being a victim" or finding ways to blame others. This couldn't be further from the truth - getting support is about finding ways to connect with, heal, and empower the self so that you get choice and responsibility in your life. Yes, at times, the work is exploring ways in which a person has been harmed, traumatized, or victimized and that within that there is exploration of how other's have perpetuated that pain. But, the ultimate goal is to connect with the self and find ways empower the self.

4. How can people practice mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a practice that seems tricky at first but ultimately is about being about to come into the present moment and truly connect with yourself. You can practice everyday mindfulness by tuning into your body (listening to the sounds it makes, noticing how it feels, what it needs) or tuning into your senses by taking a 5 minute time out to notice tastes, sounds, smells, physical sensations of touch, and what you see.

5. What are your tips for people who want to practice this profession?

Take  time  to  learn  about  yourself.  Understanding  yourself  and  your  own  triggers  is  incredibly  important  if  you  are  going  to  do  this  work. It's  also  important  to  remember  that  while  you  will  have  professional  insight  and  knowledge,  you  never  will  know  more  about  a  person  and  what  they  need  than  they  do.  Allow  them  to  be  t important  guide.

6. Is work-life balance a myth or reality according  to  you?

It  can  be  a  reality  but  for  some  it  might  not  be.  First,  it  requires  some  form  of  privilege  to  have  the  balance  -  does  your  boss  allow But,  if  you  do  have  the  supports  needed  to  have  the  balance  you  will  also  need  to  make  conscious  effort  to  maintain  it  by  setting  boundaries  around  work  and  home.

7. How according to you can one manage stress  ?

Don't  bite  off  more  than  you  can  chew  -  make  sure  you  mindfully  choose  how  much  you  take  on Practice self compassion Rest! Spend time with other people.  


- Liz Earnshaw

Interviewed by - Rupali Rawat

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