LEILA FADEL, HOST:
It's the beginning of a new year. And for many people, that means it's time to set their intentions. So we have Jessica Dore, a psychotherapist and a tarot card reader, here to help us with that. She joins us via Skype.
Thanks for talking with us.
[POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: In this story, Jessica Dore incorrectly refers to herself as a psychotherapist. She practices psychotherapy as part of her master's program in social work but is not licensed.]
JESSICA DORE: Thank you so much for having me.
FADEL: So Jessica, tell us about what you do exactly.
DORE: I'm a psychotherapist. And my interest has been using tarot cards in more of a therapeutic way as opposed to for divination or fortunetelling, which is kind of more traditionally how they've been used.
FADEL: So why tarot cards?
DORE: Well, metaphor is something that is used a lot in psychotherapy. And tarot cards are kind of rich with symbolism and, you know, lots of metaphors that can, I think, help people understand the relationship between thoughts and feelings and behavior, which is, really, what we're trying to do in therapy as well - helping people make those connections.
FADEL: So you chose a card that you felt would be the best to describe 2019. And I have that card in front of me, too. Can you tell us what we're looking at?
DORE: So I chose the six of swords, which is - in the image of the card, you see a person in a boat. And they're moving across a body of water.
DORE: And in the boat, they have six swords that are sort of surrounding them. And in tarot, the swords represent kind of psychological life - so mental events, so, like, thoughts and feelings.
DORE: And so those swords are sort of representing, you know, some of those more challenging mental events, like anxiety and fear and guilt.
DORE: And this person is moving across this body of water. They're moving toward change, moving toward a new life in a way. And they're bringing those feelings of fear, anxiety or guilt or grief along with them. And so it's this idea that in order to have change, we have to be willing to feel some things that we might not rather - we might rather not feel.
FADEL: You know, there's been a lot of uncertainty and fear and anxiety in the year that we just came out of. And we're starting 2019, at least as a nation, with a lot of uncertainty as well if you look in D.C. And I'm sure that's happening also on the individual level. What do you tell people when they're looking at this sort of sea of uncertainty ahead?
DORE: Yeah. Well, I mean, definitely starting with clarifying values is a huge one. I think a lot of times, people are not super clear on what's important to them. And they don't take the time to sit down and clarify those things, and then it does become more challenging. I also think that social support is super important. And I mean, on one hand, we have a sense of being connected constantly through social media. And that can sometimes be sort of illusory. But on the other hand, social media allows us to connect with people who are going through similar things as we are.
So for instance, you know, if you are having to have difficult conversations with family members or something like that, like there's, surely, a community online, some other social media forum that can kind of help you and give you some tips for that. I think social support is incredibly important. And knowing that there are other people sharing the experience that you're sharing and offering tips for kind of how to get through it and sharing ideas, I think that's - could be very helpful.
FADEL: Jessica Dore is a psychotherapist and tarot card reader. Thanks for speaking with us.
DORE: Thank you so much for having me.