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Dr. Irvin is a clinical psychologist and mental health educator who enjoys writing about mental wellness, women’s issues, and the lived experience of race.

Gender, Society & Radical Authenticity

Gendered politeness isn’t about being polite. It is about ensuring that women don’t disrupt the gender hierarchy.

Image: Jen Theodore/Unsplash

Would you ever consider approaching an airline pilot to offer advice about flying a Boeing 747? Unless you are a pilot yourself, it wouldn’t make sense to do so. What about an attorney? Would you tell them how to practice law? Again, unless you also practice law, you likely are not qualified to offer unsolicited advice to an expert for their area of expertise.

I spent the first half of the year writing and editing my doctoral dissertation. …

Racism, COVID-19, Self-Care

At the crossroads of COVID-19 + race-related stress, self-care is crucial. But when discussing mental health is taboo, it is hard to know where to start.

Image: Redrecords/Pexels

“To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.” ―James Baldwin

Disbelief, horror, fear, and rage. They describe the most intense levels of human emotion a person could experience. Imagine experiencing them all at once, day after day. Between the stream of images of Black people dying at the hands of racial injustice and the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are dealing with an unsustainable cocktail of emotions. Dr. …

Emotional Health & Resilience

Learn 5 cognitive hacks that can help minimize their emotional impact.

Image: Elias Sch./Pixabay

“No man is broken because bad things happen to him. He’s broken because he doesn’t keep going after those things happen.” ―Courtney Milan

The adage is true: Bad things happen to the best of us (also known as “shit happens”). No matter how meticulous we are at managing our lives, things won’t always go our way.

Through science, philosophy, and spirituality, we learn about the duality of complementary opposites. We understand the notion of opposing forces:

  • Light and dark
  • Positive and negative
  • Good and evil
  • Joy and sorrow

We bear witness to this duality in our daily lives. Across our…

Hate Speech, Authority & Purpose

Why you shouldn’t let trolls discourage you from speaking out.

Image: Markus Winkler/Unsplash

“The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” ―Albert Camus

As writers, we have diverse motivations for putting pen to paper. Some may seek fame and fortune, while others seek catharsis. We teach, encourage, and entertain. We savor the moments when our stories go viral, feeling proud to say, “I’m a writer.” Other moments cause us to question that identity when our writings miss the mark, landing in a reader-less limbo. Regardless of which way it goes, we wake up each day with fresh ideas, ready to put ourselves out there again and again.

The first…

Flourishing, Fulfillment, & Living Well

How to put an end to existential procrastination.

Image: Nappy/Pexels

Someday: the unofficial day of observance for tasks and activities we like to talk about but put aside until later. We envision accomplishing many goals on this glorious day, but we can’t pinpoint when it will occur. Maybe it will be tomorrow. Or sometime next year. Or maybe five years from now.

I hate to tell you this, but without a plan of action or an “X” on a calendar, it may as well be a myth. Like the Loch Ness Monster and Big Foot, we have no proof that someday exists. …

Psychology, Assertiveness & Radical Authenticity

And you shouldn’t either.

Image: Gordon Johnson/Pixabay

“Real freedom is saying ‘no’ without giving a reason.” ―Amit Kalantri

“Yes” and “no” are two of the most powerful words in the English language. They lead to wedding bells, fuel business deals, and empower the democratic process. They are so powerful they evoke positive or negative emotions by the very thought of saying them.

Whether it’s on the job or in our personal lives, people often approach us for favors. When we say yes, it feels good for both parties because it conveys congeniality. But saying no can feel uncomfortable because we are going against the grain. …

Fear, Courage & Accomplishing More

I started accomplishing more once I realized my relationship with fear didn’t have to be adversarial.

Image: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

“Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.”

— Brendan Francis

Like many children, I went through a stage of being afraid of the dark. I wasn’t afraid of what may lurk under the bed; it was the closet that commanded my attention. I can recall lying in bed, eyes riveted on a shadow I hadn’t noticed before.

I lay there for what seemed like hours, staring at the shadowy figure. I was too afraid to know what it was, but also afraid of not knowing. Eventually, I conjured up the…

Angela K. Irvin, Psy.D.

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