WHY EUSTRESSIN'?: GREGORY JACKSON
I remember being a freshman on campus at UNC trying to find my around. Luckily the upperclassmen were cool. Greg was one of those dope individuals and helped pave the way for youngins like myself. It was a pleasure to discuss how he adds Eustress to his life as Dr. Jackson making moves in neuropsychology. Check it out!
HEY GREGORY, WHY EUSTRESSIN’?
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING/ HOW LONG?
I’m a neuropsychology postdoctoral fellow for Kaiser Permanente. I do inpatient work with traumatic brain injury, stroke, and spinal cord injury. I also do outpatient neuropsychological evaluations, sports concussion management, and brief psychotherapy. I’ve been in this role for almost 2 years
DO YOU EVER THINK ABOUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IN YOUR PROFESSION?
Of course. I can’t be at my best to help my patients if I don’t focus on my own self-care and wellbeing.
WHAT UNIQUE CHALLENGES DO YOU ENCOUNTER SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUR JOB THAT HAS AN IMPACT ON YOUR MENTAL HEALTH THAT OTHERS MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT?
For most people that do therapy, being a holding space for the emotions of others can be draining. What I do has the added component of medical complications. Some of my patients have died or have terminal diagnoses and there is never a right thing to say in those situations. The stories are heavy, and I have to decompress when I get home.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH WHEN TAKING ON DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES?
Probably not until I started pursuing mental health as a career. I guess I always “knew” mental health was an important part of overall health, but I didn’t always practice good self-care or actively work on my own mental-health related issues.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE THOSE STRESSORS ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
I think it’s important to give myself time to have an emotional reaction because I’m human, y’all it out if needed, and take a break when needed.
HOW DOES BEING MENTALLY HEALTHY HELP IN YOUR FIELD OF WORK OR ON THE JOB?
It’s extremely important that I’m present for my patients and that I’m able to be a source of calm energy when everything feels like it’s unknown or in chaos. When I’m off my game, I’m doing others a disservice because I’m not picking up on what’s happening with them.
WHAT DOES EUSTRESS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU AT WORK? AT HOME/AWAY FROM WORK?
I have a great support system of friends and family. I find time to do things I enjoy, and I have always maintained a creative outlet using music and photography/videography.
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD TELL SOMEONE JUST STARTING IN YOUR PROFESSION OR A YOUNG PERSON WHO ASPIRES TO BE THE PROFESSIONAL THAT YOU ARE?
I would say that you have to be willing to accept that you don’t always have all the answers, go to therapy to learn more about yourself and your triggers, and find things that you truly enjoy outside of work. I would also say that work should be enjoyable. Really take the time to consider if it’s truly what you want to do because you don’t want to be living for the weekends.
ANY OTHER INFORMATION YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU AND WHAT YOU’RE UP TO?
I’m working on getting licensed so I can do private practice work and figuring out where I’ll be working after my residency. I’ll keep everyone posted!
HOW CAN PEOPLE CONTACT YOU FOR MORE INFORMATION?