Can you swear your way to sanity? Ask that question of Dr. Jodie Eckleberry-Hunt PhD, ABPP, a psychologist with a private practice in Fenton, and her answer is a resounding “Yes!” And, you can find out how to do it by reading her recently-published book, Swear Your Way to Sanity, which includes a companion journal. “After many years of counseling people, I decided to write about an approach that combines cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness techniques with profanity, helping one to let go and move on from self-defeating thoughts and pain,” she explains. This approach is what she calls MOMF (“Move on, motherf**ker”), which can help change patterns of self-defeating behavior. “You need to tell yourself to just let it go,” says the psychologist. “I discovered that if you can call yourself out as the Motherfu**ker, it will help you to laugh and let go. Vulgarity isn’t the point.”
Eckleberry-Hunt learned that swearing could be a useful technique from personal experience. After working at Beaumont Hospital for many years, she changed jobs and discovered that her new work environment was very dysfunctional. A co-worker felt the same way. “We would complain about it, and then we would curse and laugh, and it made us feel better,” she remembers. Her co-worker continued to complain. “I finally looked at the guy and said, ‘You have to move on, mother**ker.’” Later, the co-worker told her those words had changed his life. It made him realize that you can have negative thoughts, argue back with them and move on. She decided to write a book, hoping to inspire others with this approach.
The doctor has used the MOMF approach on select patients who are open to it, and they loved it. “Painful things have to be let go,” she states. She freely admits MOMF isn’t for everyone, “Some people may be offended,” she says. “My book is for those who want to try a different way.” People who are not comfortable using profanity, can refer to MOMF as Move On, “My Friend,” or replace it with another word. “Use words that work for you,” she advises. “It’s individualized. The whole point is to not beat yourself up, and to talk to yourself like you are your own best friend.”
The MOMF approach isn’t intended for people who are battling severe depression or victims of some type of abuse. “I would never tell those patients to ‘just move on’,” she shares, adding that MOMF works for everyday life stress, not severe emotional disorders.
An excerpt from Swear Your Way to Sanity describes how MOMF works.
“MOMF is about setting boundaries – with yourself and with others. It’s about telling yourself ‘Stop! Enough already!’ It can help you to communicate an aura of ‘I’m done with your sh*t. Move on, mother**ker and leave me alone. Don’t bother lingering around me.’ Or, you can use it when you need to face up to someone or something.”
Swear Your Way to Sanity can be purchased online at Amazon.com, jodieeckleberryhunt.com and at Fenton’s Open Book, where she recently held a book-signing. She lives in Fenton with her husband Dr. Ronald Hunt, and their two sons.
“I discovered that if you can call yourself out
as the motherfu**ker, it will cause you to
laugh and let go. Vulgarity isn’t the point.”
Dr. Jodie Eckleberry-Hunt, Ph.D., ABPP