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Jackie Schuld Art Therapy Blog

All the Essays I’ve Thought About Writing… But Didn’t

For my 36th year of life, I wrote 360 essays. I started the challenge 1/4th the way into my birthday year, so it was quite the whirlwind of writing. I originally wanted to write because my head felt so full of thoughts. There was so much I wanted to say and articulate. I thought writing would empty my head.

Turns out, the more I wrote, the more ideas I had. I keep track of every idea by writing it down in my current journal.

Autistic Art Therapist Jackie Schuld shares an abstract painting of pastel circles going in a diagonal line
"All of the Ideas" Acrylic painting by Jackie Schuld

My list of ideas is now longer than my list of 360 essays I’ve written. I kept track of everything I wrote and my writing topics so that I could see trends over time. There were periods that I wrote more about general psychology topics and then periods where I wrote primarily about private practice. I’m currently in a period where most of my articles are about autism. I appreciate the eb and flow.

Accordingly, my list of ideas flow in and out of different categories. Whenever I wasn’t sure what to write about, I’d review my list to see if something piqued my interest. I only would write about something if I felt excited to do it. Only about 1 in 5 of my ideas make it to fruition.

Here’s my list of ideas that never made it to written form.

Art Therapy

  1. When is it time to go to therapy?

  2. Anatomy of an art therapy session

  3. Therapy for overwhelming thoughts and emotions

  4. How can art therapy help

  5. Therapy alone will not solve all your problems

  6. Seeing burnt out and overworked therapists at my first conference

  7. Cultural appropriation in art therapy

  8. Perfectionism in art therapy

  9. Therapy takes time

  10. 10 ways art therapy helps entrepreneurs find peace of mind

  11. The Drift from art therapy to talk therapy


  1. Why art therapy for autistics

  2. Do I need to get a diagnosis for autism?

  3. How to know it’s time for therapy when you’re autistic

  4. How therapy can help you address the impacts of growing up unidentified autistic

  5. How therapy can help you see new aspects of your autistic self

  6. The health and well being of an autistic mind

  7. Nest construction

  8. How much more therapy do I need

  9. I live by different standards/norms

  10. The trauma of trying

  11. A second chance in life

  12. We can adapt

  13. Trauma can’t be healed until we recognize autism as the source

  14. Giving ourselves some slack as autistics

  15. Not treatment, but understanding

  16. Friendships based on tasks

  17. No longer an existential dread

  18. Wondering if they believe me

  19. What does an autistic meltdown look like?

  20. Brutal honesty

  21. Passing for normal

  22. We don’t need 8 hours, redefining productivity

  23. What works best for your biology

  24. You may never hit the same level of productivity again

  25. How autism can impact the holidays

  26. Autistics throw ourselves in because of connection

  27. I’m sharing the experience of being smart and autistic

  28. It’s an exciting time to be autistic

  29. Are we gifted because we’ve had so much practice masking?

  30. Dear Autism

  31. Sensory getting worse with time

  32. Preparing for travel

  33. Square peg gets damaged trying to fit into round hole

  34. Constellation things

  35. Adaptations or Accomodations people want

  36. Shame of others witnessing detours

  37. How therapy can help you flourish

  38. How therapy can help autistic transitioning to adulthood

  39. How therapy can help you design a sustainable life

  40. How therapy can help you heal autistic past

  41. Ways autistics are gaslit in therapy

  42. Strategies for autism

  43. I’m shifting what I wear

  44. Why it matters to know you’re autistic when you need therapy

  45. Why the transition to adulthood is difficult for autitstics

  46. My fat list of autism characteristics

  47. Autism and sexual trauma

  48. Friendships being hard in the middle range

  49. Cultural bullshit: push yourself outside your comfort zone

  50. Cringeworthy autism education

  51. What if it is neurotypicals who need better theory of mind

  52. Let it be multi-layered and complex: what I say does not apply

  53. Autism and level of preference

  54. Why feeling you’re too sensitive is exhausting

  55. When overwhelmed: tell me what to do

  56. Stigma of autism

  57. Why autism is so confusing

  58. Anxiety after never being accepted

  59. I am you, just a little more extreme

  60. Autism and being more connected to earth energy

  61. Autism and people not feeling real

  62. When someone else defines your growth or wellbeing

  63. Stop mandatory participation

  64. “But Everyone Feels That Way” as a form of gaslighting autism

  65. My autistic brain helped me out of religion

  66. What if autistics are meant to be the norm

  67. How do people on the spectrum differ

  68. Self Diagnosis and autism

General Psychology

  1. “Let it Go” is bad advice

  2. Don’t compare me to intimidating people

  3. Conflicting messages about embracing being a woman

  4. I’m angry about vaginoplasties

  5. Misogny in sexual activity

  6. How porn highlights issues

  7. Toxicity around goals, pushing ourselves

  8. Bangability/likeability as conferred by others

  9. Do most people have a complicated relationships with their body?

  10. Maybe it’s not good advice because you’re not them

  11. Relationship with social media

  12. Apology as weapon

  13. Maybe you love yourself more than you think (action)

  14. Narrative scarcity

  15. Men need to change

  16. Shame spiraling

  17. Food righteousness

  18. Who benefits when we think we’re the problem mentally

  19. Who benefits when we need to love harder

  20. Who benefits when we only focus on what’s in our control

  21. Use orange cards

  22. When you use romance to soothe low self esteem

  23. Too much and not enough

  24. Befriending our emotions

  25. How self shaming gets in the way

  26. Comparing our pain to others does not help

  27. The line between accepting and changing

  28. Humor as weapon/gaslighting (haha jk)

  29. Avoiding after an argument

  30. Being intelligent and the pressure of time

  31. The pressure of time and milestones

  32. Directly asking for what we want

  33. Peacemakers not being at peace internally

  34. “Purpose in Life” leading many people astray

  35. What it means to be listened to (grandma)

  36. Growing phenomena of ghosting

  37. Pretting privilege

  38. Just stop worrying

  39. Fear creates the thing we fear

  40. Hypergamy - unequal relationships

  41. How the response to the problem matters most in dating

  42. Manipulation as power

  43. Displaced anger at those who stood by

  44. Trauma inspired love

  45. The social systems and cultural norms that harm men (men get a raw deal too_

  46. Maybe your toxic parents were victims too

  47. Psychosomatic and causing cancer

  48. I don’t think most perpetrators even know they’re that

  49. You’re not uniquely defective

  50. Depression as a systemic warning sign

  51. The pressure of becoming

  52. Mental health and blaming video games, food, and exercise versus the real problems

  53. Is happy and poverty a myth?

  54. Borderline misdiagnosis

  55. Unearned confidence in white men

  56. Fat as neutral

  57. What’s happening is demoralizing: body issues


  1. Letter to future self

  2. Letter to past self

  3. Writing about my art

  4. Writing about all the books I’ve thought about writing

  5. Write about periods of art

  6. What I’m reading update

  7. Cancer: be a good cancer patient

  8. Dear quasi cancer patient

  9. Tips for a pap smear test

  10. Open position: hiring for a best friend

  11. Don’t therapize me

Private Practice

  1. The unforeseen ways private practice benefited me

  2. Keeping track of our contributions as therapists

  3. Parallel pathing as you make changes (two jobs)

  4. Snap of what my business was like before

  5. Trustworthy sources of feedback

  6. How I design my practice to fit my autistic needs

  7. What if your imposter syndrome is legit?

  8. What is your commitment to social justice and transformative work?

  9. The need to explain ourselves

  10. Just because it works doesn’t mean we should do it

  11. What is success revisted

  12. Shifting over time

  13. I am living my end game

  14. The role of privilege in private practice

  15. You never know (the journey to private practice and everything working out)

  16. Who benefits when we feel we must take insurance

  17. Our fees are a matter of social justice

  18. Cognitive distortions and private practice

  19. Should I make an exception to my canceellation policy?

  20. Potential clients - exploiting them or putting them in their power

  21. Need to get out of our own way

  22. Feeling more grounded in our policies

  23. Fear of being sued

  24. How raising your fee can uplift the field

  25. What a premium fee provides me

  26. Overwhelmed setting up therapy space

  27. Maybe you don’t like marketing because it is predatory

Religious Deconstruction

  1. What is religious trauma

  2. Your life is only of worth when you’re serving

  3. What is religious deconstruction

  4. Beliefs: God will never give you more than you can handle

  5. Beliefs” Idle hands are the devil’s playground

  6. Beliefs: All for the glory of God

  7. The Church is gaslighting you

  8. Found to be lacking

  9. Help others first

  10. Mental health damages with sin

  11. Difficulty of writing the nuances around religion

  12. Hate the sin not the sinner

  13. What I’ve done to heal impacts of Christianity

  14. You can justify anything you want

  15. Servitude Complex

  16. Make your relationship work through anything

  17. When beliefs and feeling don’t align (Biblical love can fuck you up)

  18. You will know them by their fruit

  19. LDS missions are toxic supremacy culture

  20. I’m scared of Christians

  21. Everything must glorify God

  22. Christian girls trained for the male

  23. You don’t have doubt, that is the neutral

  24. God will never give you more than you can handle

  25. This list is only from the past 6 weeks. Now imagine how long my list is from the past year of writing.

  26. This is what I would say if I didn’t fear getting murdered

  27. Shirt off back

Therapist Life

  1. Investing in ourselves as therapists

  2. How most therapists are generalists

  3. Traumatic intake procedures

  4. Signs I’m feeling rundown

  5. What are we teaching by not paying?

  6. Let’s stop normalizing damaging behavior

  7. Wounded healer

  8. Should you become a therapist

  9. Taking care of yourself as a therapist

  10. Patriarchy shaping the field

  11. Why unpaid internships are problematic

  12. Constructive withholding

  13. Who gets off the hook

  14. Sometimes therapists muck up conversations

  15. Continuity of care in agences

  16. That’s what you took away from therapy?

  17. Therapist vs. Coach

  18. Emotions to watch out for: resentment, bitter, not caring, etc.

  19. The helping profession with bring up your issues

  20. Partners being upset with therapists

  21. Choosing clients versus being given


  1. The symbiotic relationship between writing and being a therapist

  2. Who benefits when we write to be seen

  3. Why do illustrators get the short end of the stick

  4. A new way of writing

I guess my list wasn’t as long as I thought. It’s only in the range of 225 essays. Regardless of its length, it’s still a sizeable amount of essays that I chose not to write.

Typing this list only reaffirmed to me the importance of following our energy. Of the 100+ ideas above, I only felt two were inspiring for me to write about now. I think it’s ok to have lots of ideas that we do not act on. As an autistic individual, it’s a part of my everyday life. I have to develop the skill of discernment. For me, I have chosen to base discernment on my energy. I think that is far better than what I think people will like or develop the marketing I want.

It has taken good care of me thus far.


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