subscribe to my podcast

Meet Danielle, your guide on the journey to self-discovery and growth. With a background in counseling and a passion for empowering others, Danielle brings warmth, insight, and practical wisdom to her work.

Meet Danielle

buy my guided journal

shop now



Search the Blog

We can’t outsmart our feelings.

A love note for logical thinkers.

I didn’t start participating in my own therapy until I’d been a practicing therapist for 6 months. For most of my 20’s and 30’s my storefront sandwich board would’ve read, “It’s okay. I’m fine. I’m smart enough to figure this out. I’m just one more how-to guide away from getting it together.”

Cringe. I know.

Before grad-school, during grad-school, and in my early days in the “expert seat,” I was operating my life with the same manual I’ve seen every one of my clients use – I’m smart. I should be able to figure this out.

This = big uncomfortable feelings – unworthiness, worry, perfectionism, anxious attachment, avoidant attachment, fear of abandonment, that itchy/sweaty feeling of being alone in a crowd and wanting to live near the open bar.

Not only is the belief that “I should be able to figure this out” dripping in the rotten ectoplasm of SHAME, it also has some gaping holes…logically speaking.

You can’t outsmart your big feelings because your brain doesn’t work that way.

When trauma, disorganized attachment, grief, loss, or pain present themselves in childhood, pre-language, without context, and/or pre-longterm memory your adult mind will NOT be able to access the thoughts that allow you to name your experience, rationalize it and neatly organize it in your emotional body. More simply repeated, your brain doesn’t work that way.

It’s not your fault. It’s not your brain’s fault. And, it never was a reflection of your intelligence.

What you will feel is dis-regulated, upset, agitated or out of control. When we are activated, triggered or grieving the part of our brain that contextualizes time is offline, meaning the past is now and our pain will last forever. The pain avoiding, threat detecting, pleasure seeking, and deeply feeling parts of your brain are older, develop first and will speak the loudest to get your attention.

Information is great. Knowledge is power. AND, thinking about our feelings will not change them. The irony of ironies – feeling our feelings is what changes them. More specifically, being present with them with safety and support over time is what gives us the greatest opportunity to change them.

If you still have doubt, consider this – How many “simple steps” or “how-to guides” have had long-term lasting affects on your life? My guess. None.

I don’t want to vote logic off the island completely. Buying into a concept or a logically presented argument can lower our defenses enough to participate in the BIG messy feelings process.

Every client that’s ever reached out for help, scheduled a therapy session or gone to treatment has acknowledged the hard truths first:

  • I think I have a problem.
  • I think I need help.
  • I think I need to talk to someone.

Thinking matters. Of course it does. It’s an important step, but it doesn’t stop there. Thinking is the threshold to the healing. It’s the invitation to the party. And, while it can be scary standing on the welcome mat, once inside, you quickly realize you’re in good company.

Podcast news

Don’t Cut Your Own Bangs was listed in Indianapolis Monthly’s Best of 2023, for top podcast. It was unexpected and such a great way to end my maternity leave.

Thank you for listening! If you haven’t already, subscribe to the Don’t Cut Your Own Bangs podcast on iTunes or Spotify. More episodes are coming April 2024.

Support for you

Grab a pen and put your thoughts on paper. If you’re thinking “I’ve tried before but didn’t really know if I was doing it right,”—consider getting a copy of the Treasured Journal. The Treasured Journal includes questions, prompts, and exercises that will help you open up so that you can make sense of what you’re feeling. You can get the journal and its companion meditation guide HERE.

Stay connected

Even if emails are delayed, you can expect new and original content from me every week in the following places:

  • Instagram (100% my comfort zone)
  • Facebook (Post about 3x a week)
  • TikTok (little by little/getting there/learning)

The best things in life are shared.

Share this email with someone you love and invite them along!

xo, Danielle

Browse Articles