199. Belonging From the Inside Out with Meg McKelvie

Humans are social animals by nature. Throughout our existence, it has proved important to belong to groups in order to survive and thrive in our environments. The yearning to belong is so strong that, when it’s mismanaged, it can control our behavior in unhelpful ways that are inconsistent with our relationship values. In this episode of Psychologists Off the Clock, Debbie talks with her friend and colleague Meg McKelvie, PhD, Clinical Psychologist and co-founder of ImpACT Psychology Colorado, about belonging. Together they unpack what it means to belong from the inside-out and provide practical advice on fostering a sense of belonging. Grab a friend, and listen in today to learn about embracing the ordinary, clarifying your values, expressive writing, and much, much more!

Listen and Learn:

  • About Debbie and Diana’s experiences with “belonging”
  • What you may have in common with sea anemones when it comes to belonging and vulnerability
  • Meg’s expert definition of belonging and why belonging is so crucial to us as humans
  • The relationship between belonging, birthright, and social justice
  • What typically gets in the way of people feeling a sense of belonging
  • How belonging is different from being liked (spoiler alert: belonging is not a popularity contest!)
  • Why you might consider dropping the desire to be special and embracing the ordinary
  • A way to clarify the motives behind your actions (and clarify your values in the process!)
  • The hidden gifts of being ordinary
  • What it means to belong from the inside-out and the outside-in, and practical advice for how to foster these types of belonging
  • How Meg found a greater sense of belonging from the inside out in her life
  • The important differences between self-acceptance and belonging
  • Meg’s thoughts on jealousy and competition and how they impact experiences of belonging
  • How expressive writing it can be helpful in processing emotions
  • How loneliness and belonging are interrelated 
  • Meg’s evidence-based suggestions for building meaningful connections with others


About Meg McKelvie:

Meg McKelvie, PhD, co-founded ImpACT Psychology Colorado, a psychotherapy collective that serves Boulder/Denver. Their mission is to provide high quality, whole hearted psychotherapy and training in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and other evidence-based psychotherapies.

She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Colorado at Boulder where she studied cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT) and couples therapy and engaged in research. Prior to her work in private practice, she was a clinical psychologist in the Family Program at the Denver Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center where she specialized in developing, delivering, and evaluating compassionate, research-based treatments for distressed couples and couples where one partner is struggling with PTSD. In addition, she served as a nationally recognized consultant and trainer in trauma focused cognitive processing therapy (a cognitive behavioral therapy for trauma) for the Veteran’s Affairs Health Care System and local supervisor for doctoral level trainees. She has specialized in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and couples therapy and research for over fifteen years and reproductive mental health for thirteen years. She has presented her work at international conferences. When she’s not in the office, she enjoys hiking, yoga, skiing, reading, gardening (with a bit of a brown thumb) and spending time with her family. 

Related Episodes: 

Aspen grove image by Janet Meyer from Pixabay 

Join the discussion

Instagram feed @offtheclockpsych

Instagram has returned empty data. Please authorize your Instagram account in the plugin settings .


Episode 199