The Same 24 Hours

Sasha Heinz, Ph.D: Perfectionism, People-Pleasing and Positive Psychology

April 22, 2019

Sasha Heinz, Ph.D., MAPP, Developmental Psychologist and Life Coach, is an expert in Positive Psychology, lasting behavioral change, and the science of getting unstuck. Dr. Heinz has leveraged her academic expertise as a former faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Applied Positive Psychology program to give her clients the tools to change their lives for good. In her private coaching practice, she helps achievement junkies feel as good on the inside as their lives look on the outside. A graduate of Harvard University and a working mom, she’s lived life on the frontline of the battle with perfectionism. So, she can help you with that, too.

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Dr. Sasha Heinz says, "Therapy didn’t get me unstuck. It helped me understand why I was miserable, but instead of changing anything, I stayed married to that story: my mother, my childhood, feeling pressured to be perfect, yadda yadda. Understanding without changing, I was rolling around in the muck instead of cleaning it up. As a tool for change, “why” fell short.

Then, I got a coach (a year after calling and hanging up on her when I wasn’t ready). The coach helped me unlearn my self-destructive habits and replace them with positive ones. We worked on my mind and my emotions, but, most importantly, took action in a way I hadn’t done in therapy. She helped pull me out of the rough water and find my footing on terra firma.

The concept that life could be lived in a joyful, healthy, and internally driven way was fascinating new terrain for me. If I could make behavioral changes that seemed impossible to me and radically change my relationship with myself, what else could I do? What could I help other people do? I wanted to pour my academic curiosity into the science of well-being, behavioral change, and optimal human functioning. I did—and made it my career.

Since then, I have studied under and taught alongside some of the most influential and innovative psychologists in the field of Positive Psychology, including: Martin Seligman, Ph.D., Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ph.D., Angela Duckworth, Ph.D., Barry Schwartz, Ph.D., Jonathan Haidt, Ph.D., and Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D. Not only did they pioneer the psychological study of happiness, but made terms like “flow” and “grit” a part of our colloquial vocabulary. My research at Columbia with Dr. Suniya Luthar focused on the developmental outcomes of both affluent and low-income adolescents."


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Host & Production: Meredith Atwood

Intro: Carl Stover Music

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