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How to Shrink a Shrink

A mindfulness blog by psychiatrist Candace Good, MD

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Gratitude for Imperfections

gratitude perfectionism Sep 20, 2019

Kintsugi is a Japanese art where lacquer and gold powder fill in cracks in broken pottery. The piece is considered more valuable as the breakage is part of the object’s history.


Growing up in a broken home, I often blamed myself for other’s distress. I tried to be perfect so everything would be OK, and over time, developed OCD. When I achieved my goal of getting into medical school, this perfectionistic pattern fueled my impostor syndrome. It was only a matter of time until everyone found out I wasn’t ‘good enough’ to be there.


No surprise, I became a child psychiatrist. It never occurred to me that my specialty choice was about understanding my childhood and learning how to ‘fix’ myself. With endless clinical hours helping others heal from trauma, there was little time to process the triggering aspects of the work. I never slowed down to care for myself and continued to give from a place of depletion. Aren’t good doctors supposed...

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