Interview with Psychologist Tony Sheppard


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Episode 18: There’s a lot of negative news with COVID-19, protests, riots and other factors. Jim and Dr. Tony Sheppard will discuss some useful perspectives and tips for filtering out that negativity so you can maintain positive mental health as you manage your business and protect your family.

Dr. Sheppard is the owner of Groupworks Psychological Services in Louisville, KY. He’s a certified group psychotherapist. The practice provides various types of psychological services for children, adults and families. During the COVID-19 crisis, his practice has successfully transitioned to a tele-health format.

Many of Dr. Sheppard’s 2020 business goals have been delayed or sidetracked. This is a common theme for many business owners, entrepreneurs and managers. In fact, Tony actually contracted the coronavirus at a conference in New York, earlier this year. Luckily, he’s made a full recovery.

Business owners are struggling with financial pressures, increased stress and anxiety, feelings of helplessness and maybe even failure. I’ve also dealt with so many distractions and a general inability to focus.

The temptation to constantly check the news for information is adding to the issue. We don’t deal well with uncertainty. Humans are wired to look for what’s coming next and to scan the environment for threats. It’s amped up and primed our anxiety levels. This anxiety spreads to and elevates our concern for our businesses, our families and our extended family.

Tips to Maintaining Your Mental Health at Work

  • Give yourself permission to reframe and adjust to the current business climate. This year is simply going to be different than what we anticipated. It’s okay to understand you’re not in control of everything.
  • Keep things in perspective. It’s important to stay in the present and deal with what’s actually in front of you, rather than the false narrative your fear may be whispering in your year. Live today and don’t spend too much time thinking too far ahead.
  • The human mind is programmed to focus on negative information. One way to limit the impact of all of this uncertainty, is to limit your exposure to the constant stream of media stories and/or social media.
  • Focus on the things you do know. Concentrate on tasks and hobbies. This can add a sense of control and normality to your day.
  • Try making lists to counteract your anxiety. Routines are also helpful, especially in the midst of chaos. This is especially important for your kiddos who are struggling with the disruption.

Tips to Help Your Children’s Mental Health

  • Find ways to implement structure back into your child’s day. Routines are familiar and can help them to feel less anxious.
  • Maintain positive communication. Be conscious of the need to reassure them. We will get through this current situation. That positive message is a safety zone.
  • Focus on the aspects of life that can be controlled. There’s a lot outside of our control right now. Don’t waste time worrying about things we can’t control.
  • Find ways to maintain social connectivity. This promotes quality time with people whom you love and care about. Try taking a hike or some other outdoor activity. You may also need to ease the rules to allow your children to spend time with their friends.

Dr. Tony Sheppard’s practice, Groupworks Psychological Services is taking new clients. If you’re asking if you need to seek help, maybe that’s a good sign you should. The stigma around seeking mental health services has diminished. You don’t have to make a commitment for years of therapy. Some people find a few sessions with a qualified therapist to be extremely helpful.

Visit Feel free to explore the COVID-19 page and the Services page for additional links to additional resources.

For more information about Jim Ray Consulting Services, additional episodes of the Grow For It! small business podcast or to contact Jim Ray, visit

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