BY: ANGIE HADDOCK
Last week, I let you know about “Move On Motherf*cker,” which comes out next week. If you’re interested in learning more, read on! The interview below is one that the author, Jodie Eckleberry-Hunt, did with her publishing company to tell people about the book.
Eckleberry-Hunt has a Masters Degree in Counseling and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Indiana State University, and had a long-running private practice for children 12 and older, adults, couples, and families. She is currently engaged in executive wellness coaching.
Q: How did you discover the MOMF approach?
I took a risk and took a new job. Shortly after starting, I realized that the environment was extremely toxic. To cope, a colleague and I started having cursing competitions where we used increasing crazy language to describe the insanity around us. We were in a lot of pain, and none of the things I’d taught my patients to use were working for me in sustained ways. One day, I blurted out to my colleague, “Move on Motherfucker!” My point was that we were talking about the same stuff, and it was going nowhere. It was time to move on. We both paused in that moment – sensing a deeper meaning – and laughed heartily. In that moment, we discovered that we were creating our own suffering. The situation was the same, but we were making it worse. In that moment, we chose to be motherfuckers. I learned that talking back to oneself, being mindful, and calling oneself out with profanity as playing the motherfucker (as a friend would do) allowed an emotional release. It allowed me to move on. I tried it with some patients, and others felt the same.
Q: What are people’s reactions when you describe MOMF?
To be honest, I don’t use it with everyone as it isn’t meant for everyone. You have to be open to cursing, and the issue has to be amenable to MOMF. For example, I would never tell someone to use MOMF to manage abuse (past or present), grief or other serious psychological disorders. When used appropriately with the right person, though, MOMF is healing. I think people get the point of holding themselves accountable, and it feels empowering. In any situation, we are all vulnerable to feeling like we’ve lost control, but we can regain control of our reactions with targeted techniques and practice. Humor and profanity helps release the pain that sometimes jams us up. I think people also feel like MOMF is relatable. It makes psychology everyday.
Q: How does MOMF differ from other self-help methods?
MOMF includes other research-based self-help methods (like CBT and mindfulness) . The difference is the focus on our own accountability in creating and maintaining suffering AND the targeted use of profanity to release emotional pain that may get in the way of the other methods working.
Q: What makes MOMF work so well?
I believe it is using shock value to break through the internal BS our mind is creating and the laughter that can be induced. Personally, I have found immense value in learning to laugh at myself. If we can see and accept ourselves as flawed – sometimes acting a little crazy – it feels healing. What I am talking about is learning to accept ourselves – as is – just as we do for our friends. It is a process, and it is doable.
Q: What do you recommend for people who have trouble cursing?
I typically haven’t recommended MOMF for people who don’t curse. There are other methods out there, but I guess one may be able to use other targeted words to get self-attention. It is just finding a word or words that pack the punch – not everyday words.
Q: What is one of your favorite journaling or self-awareness exercises from the book?
Chapter 9 is about moving on from past hurt. This is something that gets a lot of people stuck, and they have no idea how to move forward. I love the work of making a complete written list of hurts to let go. It puts pain into language. It gives words to the complex chaos in our heads. It helps us find our voice and gives validation to the hurt. It is the first step in what I call emptying the shit sack. It all starts with sorting through all of the heavy stuff we’ve been carrying and acknowledging it.
Q: Why is this book and talking about MOMF important to you?
I know there are a lot of people who don’t feel like counseling is for them, don’t have access, or don’t feel ready to share. They may also find traditional techniques too complex. My hope is that MOMF will speak to people in a new way. I want to attract new folks to research-based methods so they see they work. Making it more fun or relatable is a method of doing that. Counseling can be expensive, particularly in a time when insurance is a luxury and deductibles are so high. I wanted to create an affordable and effective tool that people could use on their own for common life stressors and situations. To be clear, though, this book is not designed to replace counseling. Trauma, grief, depression, and other serious psychological disorders. These need professional treatment, and I highly recommend a good therapist. For everyday stress and anxiety – to learn to tame the negative voice in your head – MOMF can be a useful tool.
Q: Are you working on anything else?
Indeed! I have a couple of other things in the works. I am working on a book about recovering from a relationship break up as this is a very common concern of people who consult me. I can never seem to find the right book that helps people navigate the process in a healthy way. I am also working on a book about qualities that make people successful in life – with the goal of helping people harness and maximize these qualities. It is also about having a clear personal definition of success based on values rather than chasing what others tell us is success.
Find “Move On Motherf*cker” in stores on Nov. 3.