Using Psychological Strength to THRIVE Through Adversity with Dr. Ashley Smith

Using Psychological Strength to THRIVE Through Adversity with Dr. Ashley Smith

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When we talk about psychological strength, we must talk about thriving through adversity – you can’t have one without the other.

Dr. Ashley Smith is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders. She spends her time providing therapy and training other professionals. Her first book, Childhood Anxiety Disorders, is coming out in April. After working at a nationally recognized specialty center for years, she is branching out on her own by starting a private practice. She helps individuals learn to embrace uncertainty, face their fears, and lead a life that is not ruled by anxiety.

Ashley is also legally blind. With a rare untreatable retinal disease, Ashley knows what it’s like to face uncertainty. Despite doctors predicting the contrary, her vision has worsened significantly in recent years making daily activities she used to take for granted–like driving, reading books, and recognizing people across the room–impossible. As her vision has declined, she has had to learn to adapt. She will readily admit that living with a disability is a scary struggle, but she strives to keep it from defining her or holding her back. Those professional skills definitely come in handy after hours! Keep an eye out (pun intended) for her blog A Blind Quest for Happiness, which she hopes to launch later this year.

Ashley grew up in Arkansas, went to graduate school in Nebraska, and now lives in Kansas City. She enjoys ballroom and swing dancing (and has a few amateur comps under belt), reading (thank you adaptive technology!), and traveling. She thrives on new experiences and believes that boredom is the antithesis of happiness.

Developing mental strength like strong problem-solving skills, and confidence in leaving your comfort zone, is as important to your physical health as it is to your mental health. Just like physicial exercise, building mental strength (mental toughness) makes it easier to navigate challenging times in your life. And as physical exercise uses a series of repeatable actions, so too are the cognitive and behavioral actionable steps repeatable and something mentally-strong people implement.

NOTE: This is a legacy episode from the Women Inspired podcast, before it transitioned to be the Building Psychological Strength podcast. While you will hear some mention of the Women Inspired brand during this episode, the content is highly relevant to the goals of Peak Mind, which is why we have included it here. Enjoy!

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