Giving in Action


The community of Wilder Therapy and Wellness has been collecting nonperishable and household items to support two local organizations. Donations have been collected to help the RI Food Bank and the Women’s Center of Rhode Island. Both organizations give back to the state community in a multitude of ways. We are happy to support their efforts and thank those who gave generously to them.

The Decision

In the spirit of our theme this month – may Jordan and Sarah’s courage and grace inspire you.

our battle, my blog

Life is full of prescribed responses.

You bump into someone- “Excuse me.”

Someone gives you a gift- “I love it.”

You see a newborn baby- “How adorable!”

But there are no prescribed responses for the moment an oncologist looks at you and your wife and says, “My goal for you is five year survivorship.”

At this point, I should’ve known better and worn a chest protector to this appointment. Maybe then, his words wouldn’t have been able to hit me with enough power to force the air out of my lungs.

I told my body to breathe, but nothing happened. His words slowly dripped into my ears again and again.

Soon they weren’t words, merely letters. Letters that became only sounds as I frantically tried to strip them of their meaning.

Survivorship? What does that even mean? Maybe it doesn’t mean what it sounds like. I asked him to clarify…

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Generating Random Acts of Kindness – Our Pay it Forward Campaign


Welcome to our first annual PAY IT FORWARD! Campaign.

By refocusing our energy outward, we often bring some healing to ourselves. Research on well-being, mental health, and happiness highlights the benefit of giving to others. People who consistently help others experience less depression and better overall health.

Not to mention that when we give to others, kindness spreads exponentially.

Wilder Therapy is launching our PAY IT FORWARD! campaign in the effort to highlight the mental health benefits of giving to others.

pfi2The campaign is simple:

We have left 20 envelopes, each containing $5, around Warwick, RI. Some have been delivered to office buildings. Others have been left in mailboxes.  

Each envelope states:

“We believe in the power of giving to others and its benefit to psychological well-being. Today, we are giving to you. Inside, you will find $5. We hope it will brighten your day in some way. We also hope it will inspire you to do something kind for someone else. If you do, share your story with us. Visit and click on the PAY IT FORWARD! link on the top of the page.”

What happens next is up to you…

Share your experience of Random Acts of Kindness with us and read those others have shared at

Feb/March Focus: PAY IT FORWARD!

ghandi quote

By Dr. Jami Wilder

If you have interacted with the world of mental health care, it is likely that you have come across the concepts of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). This particular therapeutic approach is multifacted and includes an abundance of principles. One particular concept is Opposite Action (or Opposite to Emotional Action). In simplest terms, it means that to alleviate a particular distressing emotional state, you sometimes need to do something that would generate an opposing emotion.

Or as one of my favorite people described it recently: “When you feel like shit about yourself, do something for someone else.”

This statement has resonated with me recently. When we are in emotional and psycholgoical distress, we feel isolated. The world becomes increasingly small and our interaction with it decreases. We turn inward. To some degree, this is helpful. We often need time and space to address our own pain. But often, what develops to help us help ourselves becomes harmful. Inward focus and isolation can become our prison.

Our way out may be through a paradox – through Opposite Action (“When you feel like shit about yourself, do something for someone else.”).

By refocusing our energy outward, we can begin to bring some healing to ourselves. Research on well-being, mental health, and happiness time and time again points to the benefit of giving to others. It shows that people who consistently help others experience less depression, greater sense of calm and connection to others, and better overall health.

Pay-It-Forward-FundRazr1For the next couple months, Life in Balance and the clinicans at Wilder Therapy & Wellness are focusing on the mental health benefits of giving to others. We will bring you article and videos highlighting the power of paying it forward. In addition, we will turn the spotlight on local and national organizations that embrace the notion.

Also, during this time, we will be living the concept ourselves. Throughout the months, we will be starting several “Pay it Forward” campaigns and engaging in acts of kindness and service to others. So stay tuned to Life in Balance for updates and ways to join us.

Jami Wilder, Psy.D., is a clinical psycholgist and and firm believer of the power of paying it forward. She is co-owner of Wilder Therapy & Wellness located in Warwick, RI. 

The Things I Never Have To See: A Note on Gender Normative Privilege

Life in Balance

This article is part of the month-long focus on LGBTQ mental health and issues. Each month, Life in Balance provides an in-depth look at aspects of mental health, identity, and wellness.

Dr. Jami Wilder

The recent news of 6-year-old Coy Mathis’ victory in the battle with her school district for access to the girls restroom has spurred a lot of conversation. Coy, a transgirl from Colorado, won the right to use the girls bathroom at her elementary school after initially being denied permission. While there is much to discuss in relation to this victory, I think for me what is striking is how few people (at least in my vicinity) were aware of this as an issue for Trans individuals. Quite frankly, they just hadn’t considered the challenges of something as simple (at least in their experience) as finding a safe place to pee.

Lack of awareness is the perk…

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