Dr. Valerie Rein is a psychologist and women’s mental health expert who has discovered Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) and created the only science-backed system for helping women achieve their ultimate success, happiness, and fulfillment by healing the intergenerational trauma of oppression.
Her #1 Amazon bestselling book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Inner Barrier to Women’s Happiness and Fulfillment
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[00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to season three of the Permission to Heal Podcast. As many of you who follow me on social media know, in late September, I was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer invasive ductal carcinoma to be specific. And I took a 10 week hiatus from permission to heal to have surgery and remove the tumor, which went perfectly.
[00:00:21] And I am now cancer free. I am beginning targeted radiation treatment to minimize the chances of cancer reoccurring and continuing on with my life. I'm beginning season three of permission to heal Now as the new year begins, because this is the time of year for healing, self-care, self-awareness, and becoming better versions of ourselves.
[00:00:42] The first conversation for 2023 is with Dr. Valerie Rain, and I am so excited that you are here today. Dr. Valerie is a psychologist and a women's health expert who has researched what she terms patriarchy stress disorder or P S D, and created the only science back system for helping women to achieve their ultimate success, happiness, and fulfillment by healing the intergenerational trauma of oppression.
[00:01:11] She holds a Master's degree in psychological counseling from Columbia University and a PhD in Psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, her number one Amazon bestselling book, patriarchy Stress Disorder. The invisible inner barrier to help women's happiness and fulfillment has been heralded by reviewers as the most important body of literary work in our modern times, and perhaps the most important book of the century for women. That's freaking huge.
[00:01:41] Dr. Valerie's cutting edge programs have helped thousands of women shift from how much they can bear to how good it can get from surviving to thriving in their work and their personal lives.
[00:01:53] On her Dr. Valerie podcast, she talks not about asking what's wrong with me. But helps us to realize that there really isn't anything wrong with any of us.
[00:02:02] We all have our mental health, physical health challenges, but ultimately, a great deal of it is caused by intergenerational trauma, the trauma of oppression, the trauma of emotional abuse, and basically the trauma of just not feeling safe.
[00:02:18] As we begin season three of Permission to Heal, I sincerely want to thank you for being here, for listening, and for sharing permission to heal with your friends and family.
[00:02:28] If you really like this episode, the best thing you can do to help grow permission to heal is by giving it five stars and writing a review. It's very easy to do on Apple podcasts. Your beauty and humanity are fabulous and awe-inspiring. I love you all and thank you so much for being here.
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When my own healing journey began after my divorce and my mother's death, art and creativity were there to help me process decades of trauma and pain and through art painting and writing, I found my authentic. I wrote my book permission to land, searching for love, home and belonging as a way to share my healing journey with the world.
I found my way out of the darkness of mental illness and addiction into the light of a healthy life I intentionally created for myself and my children ending the intergeneration. Altium. To get your own personally signed hardcover or paperback copies of permission to land searching for love, home and belonging and the companion journal book permission to heal personal transformation through writing, go to my website.
Marci brockman.com, M a R C I B R O C K M a N n.com
Use my Amazon links to get your own Kindle or audiobook, version of permission to land, to help support my permission to heal podcast. Use the links in the show notes of this podcast episode. Thank you so much for listening. And remember, you only need your own permission to live your best life.
[00:00:00] Good afternoon, Valerie. How are you today? I'm doing great, Marcy.
[00:00:04] How are you? I'm great. I'm so excited that you're here. We it took us a while, but the universe had, its had its eye on this day, so, absolutely. It's awesome. I wanna like jump into this whole thing and this whole book of yours, patriarchy stress Disorder. And, you know, as I'm reading the book, I, I was like, oh my God.
[00:00:25] Like everything that I have been suffering from, and everything that I've been angry and resentful about is all under this umbrella. So, you know, could you, no one could do this better than you, could you, introduce how you came up with this as a, as a thing, how it pres, how the universe presented it to you? And, and we'll start from there.
[00:00:47] Yeah, you and I both Marci and pretty much everyone else I've, I've ever come in contact with. Yeah. And this is the thing about intergenerational trauma. This is the thing about patriarchy stress disorder. It is, it is a common denominator no matter where we come from our own personal histories.
[00:01:07] I've talked to and we work with women all over the world. Different socioeconomic classes, different races, and different religions. Mm-hmm and spiritual beliefs, different everything. And yet, The commonality is in this and what this is and how I came, how it came into my life. That awareness, I guess it started with my own journey that has been driven since I was a very little girl by a single question, and the question was, what's wrong with me?
[00:01:42] Hallelujah. I guess we can all relate in our own ways and the, the thing about the question, what's wrong with me makes, makes one think and feel as if it's personal, as if it's like, I am defective and I am broken and I, I need to fix myself. So I did wanna fix myself and that desire took me down the path of studying psychology.
[00:02:12] Mm-hmm. and two graduate degrees later I was. working in the field. Loved my work. Had a thriving private practice in New York. Had a beautiful home and beautiful family. And from the outside looking in my life looked great. Mm-hmm. and yeah, I did check all the boxes that I was going for it. And one day I was on the phone with a client having a regular session when something highly irregular happened.
[00:02:47] I noticed that, that I was smiling only with the right side of my face and the left side of my face just hung in there as did my left arm. And I finished the call and then Googled with my right thumb the symptoms and the word stroke came up. Yeah. And I then drove myself. To the emergency room using my right arm.
[00:03:17] At least I'm not the only crazy person who drives herself to the emergency room. Sometimes you can get yourself there faster than an ambulance, , but, but not, not having the use of the whole left side of your body though, Valerie really . Yeah. And that pretty much Marcy, that, that, that that's the scope, right?
[00:03:35] Of that, that kind of gives you a snapshot of what, what was happening. But I wasn't aware. I wasn't aware of it. I wasn't aware why I was making the decisions I was making and what was driving me . So I ended up in the ER with these symptoms. They scanned me up and down for hours, and then they came out with the diagnosis of quote unquote, just stress.
[00:04:03] It was a huge relief, but also very surprising because I did not feel. Stressed. Right. And that became really concerning. And since I had a little bit of time to think and to feel I was lying down in the hospital gurney in that very uncomfortable hospital gown. And what was even more uncomfortable was that realization that even though my life looked picture perfect, deep down inside, I did not feel happy and fulfilled.
[00:04:40] Right. And obviously you were suffering from a lot of stress that you, that I didn't even have been aware of. But as a high functioning, I do the same thing. A high functioning woman dealing with stress on a regular basis. Yeah. And that's the thing, right? That's the thing. And again, I thought that was, it was just me and that question of what's wrong with me?
[00:05:07] was still alive and well underneath all the stress, underneath working all the time underneath, keeping busy. Mm-hmm. , which I later realized was this kind of a security blanket that kept all of that feeling and thinking at bay so I could carry on with my quote unquote, successful. Highly achieving.
[00:05:27] Highly productive, well, that's what society tells us we're supposed to do, right? You're supposed to have goals and fulfill them and check them off. It makes us wanna be task oriented and, and, and base our personal value on productivity. Yeah. So if you're doing all of that, isn't that supposed to be. What brings you meaning and happiness and health and all that sort of thing.
[00:05:51] It's supposed to, supposed to. And yet it's not just like, and just, just like for me realizing, realizing that it doesn't is a very brutal moment. And so there, there, there I was in, in that cold hospital room, realizing that, oh wow. I've read all the self-help books I could get my hands on. Mm-hmm.
[00:06:15] I've gone to seminars and workshops and retreats and have been a therapist myself for years and have been in therapy for years with different therapists. And I was still not feeling happy, fulfilled, free, and like my authentic self. And that question, what's wrong with me was still there. It was a despairing moment.
[00:06:36] And thankfully in that moment I thought of my own clients who somehow were getting unstuck, somehow were getting in touch with their, the fullness of their lives with their authentic selves. Obviously I was doing something for them that I wasn't doing for me. Mm-hmm. . And what that was, was uncovering and healing hidden trauma with mind body energy tools.
[00:07:03] And here's an interesting piece that none of my clients, oh, almost none of them would've said, oh yeah, I have trauma. Most of them would've said no. And they did. They said, oh, I, I had quote unquote, normal and normal childhood and normal life. And that's what I would've said too. So my question became, is there a kind of trauma that we're just overlooking?
[00:07:27] That is so prevalent, but we don't know. Just like I, I didn't know that I was stressed until I ended up in the er. Right. We don't know that we carry this trauma and it, it, it runs our lives. It affects our lives in very profound ways in the sense of disconnection, which is a core symptom of trauma.
[00:07:45] Disconnection from ourselves, from our authentic selves, from parts of our bodies. And that's when the dots began to connect. For me, research in epigenetics has been showing yes, that trauma is genetically transmitted and women have been oppressed for thousands of years. Oppression is traumatic. Mm-hmm.
[00:08:05] And if it hasn't been safe to be a woman in the world for a very long, And particularly unsafe still now, . Yes. And particularly what's going on in Teran now, they're burning, oh my gosh, jobs because people were getting shot for not wearing them. Like it's, it's what, it's deeply, deeply, deeply disturbing on so many levels.
[00:08:28] And we will get into how our subconscious actually is attuned to all that's going on inside and outside of us and what was going on in the past with the past generations and how it gets triggered on a daily basis in the world we're living in now. Right. So, yeah, so all of this came together for me. And the name that, the term came patriarchy stress disorder, is that, is, that is a stress response that is chronic that we've been living with.
[00:09:00] We've been, we were born with and in our lives. It, it's so many things contribute to it. And here's the irony. Now we have more opportunity than our mothers did, than our grandmothers did. Great-grandmothers. And our biology has not caught up to this opportunity. More than that, the more we reach for success, achievement, intimacy, sexual expression, and pleasure, wealth.
[00:09:30] Mm-hmm. , Ooh. The more to our subconscious, that signals unsafe. Unsafe, unsafe. Because women who did that in the past, We're burnt at the stake. Sure. These women were locked up in asylum. They were, they suffered terrible consequences. So although we have access to these opportunities more so than the previous generations, our subconscious is actually signaling and unsafe and driving the bus away from our desires, nor not toward them.
[00:10:06] And this is what we know from science in neuroscience. They've done many studies that have come to a conclusion that the scientists themselves found kind of wow. Like mind blowing. Our actions are decided in our subconscious that is what they were seeing again and again, that it's the subconscious that decides our actions.
[00:10:29] Yes, in all these years with all personal development and count behavioral therapy, that still is utilized as like this is the golden, golden standard. Sure, thoughts do not actually drive the path. Is c b t if your unconscious is what's driving the behavior. Yeah. So, so the thoughts, of course, it's, you know, it's better, it's a better experience to think more, like thoughts that are more affirming and supportive than thoughts that are terrible, negative and self-defeating.
[00:11:04] However, it doesn't start with the thought. It starts deeper. It starts with the subconscious. Your subconscious already decided if you are gonna send that email, if you're gonna send that pitch, if you're gonna send that resume, if you're gonna say yes to an opportunity, if you are gonna dare, if you are gonna put your, dating profile on a dating app if you are gonna follow through with that fitness program.
[00:11:29] all of these things, your subconscious already decided, and that decision is based on this very binary thing, safe, unsafe. If it feels unsafe based on trauma, it's a no. And then the mind jumps in to rationalize it. Oh, it's a no because it's not exactly the right time. It's not exactly the right fit. First, I need to blah, blah, blah.
[00:11:51] I need to lose the weight. I need to read a hundred more books to feel like I am worthy to feel like I'm an expert. And all of it is simply a narrative. It doesn't drive the bus. Mm-hmm. . What drives the bus is the subconscious. That's why we need to realize, we need to be aware of the trauma. That's why we are having this conversation now.
[00:12:12] The trauma that didn't start with us and how it dictates our choices. Because unless we do, we are, we, we don't have a a place to go. We'll be hitting our head against the wall trying to change our thoughts day in and day out, or trying to willpower our ourselves. Yeah. Through, the fitness program or through working harder to make more.
[00:12:35] Working hard, working hard, working hard, which is what we're all conditioned to do, but not actually getting the results and certainly not feeling as happy, free, fulfilled, authentic as as we'd like to feel. And as we're working harder, we're making ourselves. Unfortunately, unfortunately, and, and, and we know this, we, we'll look around, we hear like stories like my story, so many high achieving women ended, ending up in the emergency rooms or with some mysterious symptoms, and then later turn out to be bright.
[00:13:08] Something to me. I was doing yard work, which wasn't really all that abnormal. I, yeah, was drinking plenty of water and all of a sudden I went blind in my left eye. Ooh. I couldn't see anything and I had a horrible migraine, like migraine tight headache. And I went inside and I shut the light off and I turned on the air conditioning and I took some Advil and a big gigantic glass of water.
[00:13:35] And I laid down on the couch. And then I called my husband and I said he wasn't home. And I said, I need you to come home now. I'm okay. But I just went blind in my left eye. And he's like, if you went blind in your left eye, you are not okay.
[00:13:53] Wow. Turns out everything was fine. They, they said it was stress. Right? Fine. Quote unquote fine. And here we are. Thank you for sharing that story, Marcy. And it's not interesting that both of us, for both of us, the left side of the body was affected in some traditions like yoga. Energy medicine, energy psychology traditions. It's you know, the thinking is the left side is the feminine side. Really represents the feminine Yeah. And the right represents the masculine. So isn't that something to, to, to shout at us from the left side. Hello. I'm suffering here. And it is fine. Right? You are fine. It's just stress. It's so easy.
[00:14:36] Like our society gaslights us in this case, the doctors, but we gaslight ourselves too. We say to ourselves, I'm fine. My life is good. It's good. What else do I want? And we ignore, ignore that, that little voice that if we don't tend to, it gets louder sometimes through circumstances like health crisis or mm-hmm.
[00:14:58] Money crisis or a love crisis. Something has to give, something has to pull the rug from under us. To stop. Right. To stop us from running in this hamster wheel. Of doing more. Doing more. Working harder. Working harder. Exactly. Until a symptom like that shows up to literally pull the rug out from under you.
[00:15:17] Most women Yes. Will just keep going. Exactly. Because we need, and the li life will stop us sooner or later because we are here to live our authentic life. We are here to fulfill our mission. That's what we are here to do. And doing that, we don't need to sacrifice ourselves. That is not necessary. , we don't, we don't need to suffer.
[00:15:44] But fulfilling our mission can go hand in hand with thriving. And in fact, that is what helps us to get in full alignment, mind, body, spirit, energy, everything. When we are living on purpose, we're living on mission and of course to P S D, The, the trauma, like every trauma has a defense mechanism. Many, actually, many, many, many, many, many layers usually have defense mechanisms.
[00:16:09] And in our system, which we call the thriving method, we call these defense mechanisms, prison guards, right? So the prison guards are keeping us safe. The only way they know how is by keeping us in this invisible in the prison of, okay, this is, this is who you are, this is what you get to do, this is what you get, don't get to do.
[00:16:29] And the moment we start moving forward toward more freedom, toward being more, having more, enjoying more, feeling more, being more connected, more, more intimate, more fulfilled, more expressed. The alarm right? Begins to go off in the, the prison complex and the de defenses a prison guards rush in. No, you don't get to live fully expressed on your mission cuz it's not safe.
[00:16:56] All comes down to that safety programming around the trauma that we both inherited and have been experiencing again and again. So that's why it's really key, right? It's really key to know what that is, what's affecting us and engage in, in the healing work. Reprograming our subconscious, rewiring our nervous system so that the subconscious can interpret success is safe and the nervous system can allow us to feel all our feelings and yeah.
[00:17:32] And have a full life. Now I know exactly why the universe delayed our appointment. Mm, because I needed to hear this now. not two months ago when I would've said, yeah, I totally get it and not really have gotten it. Mm-hmm. . Now I get it. Hmm. I was sitting in a session two weeks ago and I was saying that I was really, really angry about a situation, and through the conversation it turned out that I really wasn't angry at someone else who I was, I was aiming my anger at.
[00:18:11] I was really angry at myself for the, the, for not doing something that I felt that I should have been able to do, even though I didn't know it was happening and I didn't have the tools to address it, even if I did. And, you know, I just didn't, none of those tools were in my toolbox way back then. Yeah.
[00:18:34] Yeah. And. , no one else is upset. No one else is mad at me. No one else feels like I let it, let them down. I just, you know, moms wanna be there for their kids and there's a part of me that doesn't know how to let that go. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. There is so much in our human experience. that we tend to blame ourselves for.
[00:19:00] Like, I should have done better. Like I should be able to control myself, my anger, or I should be a bigger person and I should be forgiving or, or whatever. Or feeling ashamed when like we knew exactly what we need to do, but somehow we are not doing it. And the common denominator in the human experience is trauma.
[00:19:22] It is a human experience. No one escapes that. Of course there is a wide spectrum of trauma anywhere from, you know, the, the field now recognized as adverse childhood experiences as traumatic. That didn't used to be the case. You talked about big T versus little t trauma in your body. Exactly. Would you explain that for the listeners?
[00:19:43] Now they recognize the the Big T trauma as life-threatening experiences. That's one category. That's all they used to talk about in the trauma conversation. Now, thankfully there, there's a little T trauma, which is your everyday traumas. And what is trauma? Is any experience that made you feel. Physically or emotionally unsafe.
[00:20:08] Sure. And led to creating trauma adaptations. And those adaptations, which I referenced before as prison guards. Their thoughts, they are experiences in the body and these behaviors or actions, and they all were created to keep us safe. But now they're not current. They're not up to date because that trauma was either inherited from a while ago or that happened a long time ago.
[00:20:36] And although it made sense in the moment that adaptation in order to resolve to evolve. . We need to, to work with that. Otherwise, it just, it's like a time machine. Every time we get triggered, every time that particular trauma gets triggered, it's like a time machine, right? We're all of a sudden, we are four years old again, right?
[00:20:57] When that event happened, and that's how we are responding. And then we're finding ourselves not having access to our, like the, the best thinking and intentions. We are just falling apart and, or we don't even know. We don't even know what it has to do with, we don't have that story. It's the trauma we inherited.
[00:21:17] But every time our, our income is rising, we work with women entrepreneurs a lot, and this is just something that everybody shares, okay, yeah, I'm doing better. I'm doing better. And there's some freak out that begins to happen and there's something falls apart in some other area of life. Or there's some self-sabotage that happens because it, the, the story, the subconscious story that we inherited is, is that it's not safe to be more visible, to be wealthier, to have more impact.
[00:21:51] Oh, no, you're putting yourself on the line and your family. Yes. So all of this comes up and we, we may, if we don't have the trauma lens, we're gonna be thinking, oh, something is wrong with me. I'm not working hard enough. I should just push through it. What am I doing? And there's so much conversation about self sabotage as if we are sabotaging ourselves.
[00:22:14] Okay? I just woke up this morning and I thought to myself, okay, Valerie, today would be a good day to sabotage myself. Let's see what I can do. This is such bullshit. It drives me off the wall that in the personal development field, people actually blamed for what is a natural trauma response. Now exactly.
[00:22:33] Understanding that it is a trauma response and having that lens doesn't mean that we're letting ourselves off the hook. The opposite is true. Well, if you know that it's a trauma response, wouldn't you wanna do something about it? Right. It's like as simple as that. Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. Again, I was talking about this exact question with my therapist.
[00:22:53] My homework this week is to figure out, like, I could figure it out in a week why I am self sabotaging myself. Yeah. Well, I hope this, I hope this conversation is, is, is helpful Yeah. In terms of uncovering that I consider your homework done . I could tell your therapist, guess what? Well, you know, like as I'm listening to you talk, I, I'm, you know, the time machine is very active Yeah.
[00:23:22] In my home . Yeah. I have a problem. I've always had a problem asking for help. Mm-hmm. , I have, I got the ver this message very, very early on in my. That I needed to take care of things myself because nobody else was reliable enough to do it. You know, my mom was a self-medicated, un undiagnosed bipolar. Yeah.
[00:23:46] And later in my teens, my early adult life, she became an opiate addict. Mm-hmm. , and it was not safe. She had Yeah. Bushels of unresolved trauma that mm-hmm. , she just hauled around wherever she went and took no responsibility for any of it. And I felt like from the time that I was, you know, maybe five or six years old on, I was the grownup and she was the daughter.
[00:24:10] Yeah. And, but when I needed things from her, I didn't get them. I got volatility, I got unpredictability and Yeah. And so I grew up being afraid to ask for help, being ashamed that I couldn't do it myself. And still, like if I'm gonna ask my husband to vacuum the living room, which I just did over the weekend, I had to like talk myself into doing that.
[00:24:38] Yeah. And like cognitively, like reframe that for myself so that the six year old wasn't the one asking the 56 year old to vacuum. The 54 year old was asking the 56 year old to vacuum. Yeah. And you just brought up a couple of huge things that I'd like to really, put in the spotlight here and thank you so much for sharing.
[00:25:02] Sure. Like one is the intergenerational transmission. I'm gonna circle back to that. And the other is how much energy. , and this is not just you. This is everyone. Everyone. How much time and energy is consumed? in that negotiation of, oh my gosh, like I need to, first of all, how many times you didn't ask him to vacuum and you did it yourself because it was quote unquote easier, right?
[00:25:31] Of course. Emotion, of course, easy course, right? For , I dunno how long you, you've been together, but he probably is not the first per first person. You didn't ask for help, right? For a while, of course, decades. So there, there is that, there is such a such a loss. Time and energy there because people could have been helping you all along.
[00:25:51] And guess what, it would've been easier. You could have, you know, at the very least, rested more and maybe use that time and energy for some something else that w would've been also joyful and helpful and on your mission. Right? And, and when, when I was writing my book Patriarchy Stress Disorder, the invisible in the barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment, I interviewed a lot of women and I also knew from so many women I had worked with already as a therapist and women who work with now, you know, programs.
[00:26:27] Oh. When I ask this question after they realize what we are talking about after they recognize those prison, , what in their mind, in their body and in actions interferes or sabotages them when they try to move toward their desires. Once they recognize that, I ask them, well, how much of your time and energy is consumed in the battle with prison guards?
[00:26:53] And you know what they say? Most of them say 90%, boom, 90%. That's a lot. We talk about privilege and oppression. Mm-hmm. There is the external privilege and oppression, which is important to understand, contextualize where we are in that spectrum, where we enjoy privilege, where we have the experiences of oppression.
[00:27:16] But it's also internal. Yes, absolutely Internal. And, and this is, this is where this oppression shows up internally that women are pushing this boulder up the hill. It's not just that we have more opportunity externally now. Yay. We do. And thank you for thank you to everyone who fought so hard for it to advance the movement to a advance.
[00:27:41] Yes. Yeah. To advance women's right, to advance racial equality. There's been a lot of movement there thanks to all these heroes. And now I think the battle is also internal. Now that we have all the science, that that helps us see what's going on with this unprocessed trauma. If we are investing 90% or rather it's being drained from us, our time, energy, and consequently finances too.
[00:28:10] Sure. How hard are we working? We are burning out, women are suffering from autoimmune conditions, from all the conditions that have the underlying stress as as the root. Even if we were to reclaim, we were to reclaim as. As much or as little as 10%. Yeah. By doing healing work, right, we would effectively double our available time and energy.
[00:28:35] What? But that's exactly what the prison guards don't want us to do because their job is keeping us quote unquote safe from the threat of visibility, wealth, impact, intimacy, you name it. Right? Everything that's in the realm of our authentic desires. And that's why on the o on the one hand, it is the message that every woman needs.
[00:28:57] And not only women, really people across the gender spectrum, because trauma is a human experience, of course. But on, on the other hand, because of the prison guards, it is also the hardest. The hardest sell, quote unquote, to women. Like, oh yeah, we need this. And women will like, yeah, we need this. Yeah, rah rah.
[00:29:17] And then nothing. Or like, she may read a book and she, she'll go, oh, I got it, I got it. But like, what has changed in your life? Right. The trick is implementing it, but implementing, you can't do it on your own. Right. That's the thing. How do we fire these damn prison guards? Yeah. That is not gonna happen because it has, has to, the, the healing process is very intricate.
[00:29:41] We can't fire them. They, it's, it's not how it works, because it just becomes the game of whack-a-mole, right? With like, oh, I dealt with this one. That's where the mindset work comes in. Sure. I dealt with those thoughts that were holding me back. All right, but then this comes up, or your body starts to like, like you, you have adrenal fatigue all, all of a sudden crap.
[00:30:03] Like we, we, it's, it's, it's not. . It's not an easy way, it's not an effective way and it's potentially a harmful way. Mm-hmm. so there is an easier, more elegant and faster way uncovering and healing the layers of trauma and what we see become possible every day with this work blows our minds every day. Cuz I actually, I, I don't know, like I didn't really set out to quote unquote change the world.
[00:30:34] I knew when this information came in with this awareness came in, I had to share it, but I had no idea, Marcy, what was gonna be possible with this, that my life was gonna transform completely. But also women who got into this work their lives, oh my gosh, where, where do I begin? Do I even begin going from, I'm thinking of a woman who joined our program when she was going through a divorce and she was feeling completely defeated.
[00:31:06] She was married to a narcissist for over 20 years. They got together and she was very young, , so her self-esteem was just destroyed. They had two kids, so she was becoming a single mom. And we actually talked from the airport because she was going to Mexico with her two kids to just get far away from him so that she could just thank and also cut down on the living expenses.
[00:31:31] And she was so fearful that she would never be able to provide for them, that she would be dependent on, on his handouts. And so doing this work allowed her to get in touch with all these layers of trauma in her, not only from the marriage, but also what she inherited, right? And, and from her childhood.
[00:31:51] And little by little, she started to come back to herself in the way that she was never even in touch with herself before and her power. So she learned, she learned. How to make money happen, but what made that possible was that she got in touch with her power and that became safe for her. Mm-hmm. . So she learned how to day trade.
[00:32:19] Oh my goodness. Like, that's not something that I would even like recommend to most people because that is, requires not only a skill of actually doing it, but also emotional regulation. Like, oh my gosh, topnotch. Right? She not panic. Yeah. Yeah. And she became this like topnotch, emotional regulated person and also built that skill in a very short period of time.
[00:32:43] And now she works one hour a day, she travels the rest of the time she works, she makes more than she did as an attorney and her big win was giving up her low license. She's not going back. And she just recently spent a month in Paris with her kids because she wanted to, and by the way, she started homeschooling them, which in the beginning it was like, oh, I have nothing to offer to my kids.
[00:33:12] I have failed them. She didn't believe in herself as a mom. She was, she's already an attorney. She's clearly an intelligent woman. Well, and here is, I'm so glad you're bringing this up, how it doesn't matter how much evidence we have of how intelligent we are, right? When you look at your life of how much you've accomplished, when you read your resume, you're like, oh, yeah, yeah.
[00:33:33] But does it, is it actually embodied? Does it translate in, in, into this feeling, unshakeable feeling of confidence and self-worth where your life is just dripping with pleasure and goodness and everything so here that, that's the rub. He, and that is where the trauma healing work comes in. It's not what we think.
[00:33:53] It's not what we think thoughts are, you know, kind of, they're kind of in the middle between what our subconscious sees as sa, as safe or unsafe. And then what happens, the thoughts may kind of interfere with driving a little bit one way or another, but the subconscious is really the who is at the wheel.
[00:34:14] So, yeah, I just. My life is completely unrecognizable after having been in therapy for years and all that. And my life was so, you know, I, I live my life. This is, this is what and it's been about, it's been, it's been a few years since this came in and the transformation has been so rapid that the bulk of my work and the bulk of the work of women in our program, the Thriving Circle at as they go through a few months of this work where they reach for their desires, they, they, they getting what they want becomes more normal.
[00:34:52] The bulk of the work is actually learning to have what we have and not panic , because we think that like getting what we want is the work. But actually once we get what we work, what we wanted, Becomes something that feels unsafe. And then we're waiting for the other shoe to drop. We're like anxious.
[00:35:15] And that's where this self sabotage can come in. And, and, and that's also a big reason why so many women can't experience success. But then they stall. They plateau or they kind of go backwards or things fall apart in, in some other area of their life. It doesn't have to be this way, but it is big work.
[00:35:33] It is deep work. Yeah. It is big and deep work. And we do it in community because it's not one-on-one work. Like you and I could be having these conversations, we could be doing great work together, but we also need, need to be in a community of women doing this work. We call it collective acupuncture because hello, there's so, yes, there is so much genius in the community and when one woman shares, okay, I just got in touch with this.
[00:36:02] and the rest of us go, what? Me too. But it wasn't in my awareness a second ago, or a woman goes, oh, I was just able to do this, and we'll all go, and all of a sudden my subconscious gets the message. Oh, so it's possible for me too, and it's safe for me too because I can see her, a woman who I know, and I know her prison guards.
[00:36:24] I know that it wasn't just. Super easy for her. My prison guards and my subconscious gets the message, okay, it is safe, it is possible. And not only is she not sh sh in danger, she's not shamed. She's not punished, but she's actually celebrated by the community, which is something that we really don't get enough.
[00:36:47] We don't get enough. We don't give ourself enough celebrating every damn step, every damn step. And oftentimes the step is not even like, oh, I achieved my goals. No, I fucking showed up. And that needs to be celebrated right outta a bed today and took a shower. Yay. And that needs to be celebrated. Right. And when the community celebrates us with us, it just goes deeper, it wise and deeper.
[00:37:14] Cuz all our, our traumas were received in the community, be it a community of just one other person or more intergenerational and personal. So when we're together, this is also a very powerful healing agent. Makes so much sense. Right? Wow. I'm so proud. There really is a limited amount of things that you can, you know, one-on-one therapy is amazing and I've been doing it for a very long time.
[00:37:40] I'm actually training now to be a counselor. I went back to school for a third graduate degree so that I can do this when I leave teaching. Cause I just, I feel like the universe is pulling me in that direction. A learner in me sees the learner. Learner in you. Yes. There we go. But. . Yeah. I, I can see where, where this would be much more effective in a group setting versus a one-on-one setting.
[00:38:06] Yeah. Yeah. It's just. there is so much. And when the two of us are working together, we are two humans with our scope of experience. And when we increase that scope of experience by all these women who have diverse paths and experiences and awareness, and they have also done a lot of work on this healing journey and they all bring it together.
[00:38:32] It's like a potluck where everybody brings their, their, their, their own best dish and it just goes so much faster, so much faster. It actually happens even in the scope, like outside of our paid programs, we offer a community event called the Thriving Experience. And sometimes we hear from women that in three days they make such dramatic shifts because.
[00:39:02] As they show up and we do go deep in those three days, they show up and they experience this work in community, magic can happen. So the thriving experience is where. If this resonates, you can learn more. The thriving experience.com tickets start at no charge. You can upgrade to a V I P option, but also you don't have to.
[00:39:27] Cuz we wanted to make it like in person or is it virtual? It's virtual. It's virtual. It happens online. And, yeah, we have in-person retreats in our programs. But the, but because of Covid, we actually, we couldn't have live, in, in-person retreats. And so we took this online, in, in the spring of 2020.
[00:39:49] We didn't know what to expect. We're like, can we replicate it? Can it be effective online? Cause things are so much powerful, so, so powerful in person. And then we were shocked to discover, not only was it super effective, but also there are some, we can create safety in the online environment in so many more ways.
[00:40:10] Mm-hmm. that are just. Really just. They are online. Like for example, like you can be in your pajamas or you can be outdoors, or you can be cuddling and snuggling with your, favorite blanket drinking out of your favorite mug. And so, and you can like go on camera, go off camera, you can take breaks, you can pace yourself.
[00:40:34] You, you are in control of your experience, which adds to safety so much. So we just, we, we, we saw that it was working. We just kept at it. And we love that we can contribute in this way. And of course, those who are, who are already benefiting from, from this, and they desire to continue the journey with us in our longer form programs where we actually have the opportunity to work with trauma.
[00:41:01] Then of course we are here for that too. Cuz that that takes, that takes a little longer. It takes a little longer, right? That takes a minute. . So you've got this, this, is this what you mean when you said three day deep dive? That's this thing. Yeah. The thriving experience. Yeah. And we, we started yeah, calling it also our thriving experience, a virtual retreat.
[00:41:21] Because recently recognizing that for some women to take three days, dedicate three days to their own healing is just too much to ask for different reasons. Right. Either they don't, don't have childcare, they don't have support, they have to work. Right. So we also created a challenge format. It's not the same Sure.
[00:41:43] But it's also very helpful where we get together for one hour a day over the course of a week and we just hit those main points. It's very action oriented. We help to put things in, into action right away. . So that's available too. It's the same page. The thriving experience.com. And you can choose to attend one or, or, or the other, or both.
[00:42:05] Why not? Sure. Very cool. And then you also have your podcast. Why don't you what, tell us about that. The Dr. Valerie show. Yeah. So I am in the middle of visiting what conversations I wanna have, and this is why I. . Yeah. I just really wanna open this up to the audience. Maybe those who are listening will send some inquiries, some questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
[00:42:39] If, you know, I'm, I'm playing with an idea of actually having sessions also live. Cool on, on the podcast, like little mini sessions. So I would love to hear from the listeners if that resonates for you, if you'd like to be on and receive. I'm feeling like a surge of creativity with the start of this new year.
[00:43:01] It feels like a new, it's like the summer's over and it's like we're into the fall and the energies have shifted. So I will be delighted to hear from our listeners that is right now a great idea. Yeah, thank you. We experiments with a lot of different formats on the, on the podcast, so you, you can find some mini teachings, like little two, three minute ones and long form interviews.
[00:43:26] So we'd love to hear what's resonating because we'd love to serve in more meaning, in more ways. In more ways. That's awesome. That's awesome. I, I, there is a, I can't think of what it's called, but there is a podcast. It's a, a man and a woman. They're both therapists and they, I guess they do a session with, with couples.
[00:43:49] It's generally couples therapy, I think, and they change all the names so that nobody's, you know, overly exposed and all that sort of thing. And it's really very interesting, you know? Yeah. I've been in therapy for my entire adult life with mm-hmm. , a series of different therapists depending on, you know mm-hmm.
[00:44:07] what I'm doing at the time. And now that I'm studying to be a therapist, I'm seeing what the really what. What's going on on the other side of the couch? You know, ? Yeah. Yeah. There's, there's a lot that's going on. I actually, I work with my life partner, my husband, Jeffrey Tambour. And he like his story, like his whole family has been into therapy, going to therapy, and of course a lot of, lot of intergenerational trauma, a lot of intergenerational trauma.
[00:44:38] He is, as an example of just one branch of the family. His grandparents, his great grandparents with his grandparents as children, fled, Europe, during World War ii, when Hitler was already, you know, like they, they, their lives were just in imminent danger and seeing, experiencing and I, I can't even begin to describe.
[00:45:10] Right. Sure. Like, I don't think we can even tap into the depth of, of that experience, but, and it's not like they shared those stories right. With their descendants as much. But that intergenerational trauma, the intergenerational trauma of the Holocaust, the intergenerational trauma of immigration, the intergenerational trauma of persecution, of, of poverty.
[00:45:34] Yeah. So many layers, right? It just showed up in different ways. And so, so Jeffrey's parents went in therapy. He was in therapy since he was like three and, and something that he talks about like his, his, his mom particularly, like her commitment to her healing. She would go to therapy like twice a week for many years.
[00:45:57] And yet she had these she had so much suffering and she had these outbursts and, you know, she had to be on medication, which is, you know, it, it's a part of treatment. There's nothing, nothing wrong with being on medication and it saves lives, it supports healing. But there was this piece missing in her healing, which was identifying that trauma and particularly intergenerational trauma.
[00:46:20] And when this is a big part of his why, because it's like, oh my gosh, it could have been resolved. So much sooner and in in just one generation instead of being passed down again and again and again. And his mom and his dad committing so much resources, so much time to the healing, but it was missing this crucial part.
[00:46:43] And so it became his life's mission to bring trauma awareness and healing to people where we just, like epigenetics shows that trauma is genetically transmitted, so is healing. We can stop this in one generation and it doesn't. only have to do with our physical descendants. It has to do with everybody in our life because like whole families transform, kids stop acting out.
[00:47:14] There is rekindling of hot sex life that happens with the couple. There's repairing of relationships that happen happens with parents, and it's all because one person, in, in the case of our programs, usually a woman who is on this journey doing this pioneering healing work. Yeah. So it's truly world changing.
[00:47:36] So I'm so grateful that we can share it. We can have this conversation, Marcy. Yeah, me too. Me too. It's, it's, it's like coalescing so many different thoughts in my head. All, all in one place. I, I had spent most of my adult life, I should say, sort of victimizing myself. Or thinking my of myself as a victim from my mom's emotional abuse and my mother's addiction and my father's narcissism and, you know, all of this stuff.
[00:48:06] And, and it wasn't until I started reading about epigenetics and tracing it all the way back, the farthest I can really go with any clarity is my great-grandmother and my great-grandmother on my mom's side. My grandmother's mother immigrated from Russia in 1899, fleeing zaist pogroms that were killing Jews and came over here with nothing.
[00:48:39] To marry a man who, they were sort of, they knew each other from Russia and he had already moved a couple of years ago and she was miserable. They were poorer than dirt. He cheated on her with everything. So she was like, she had three stillborn kids. She had four little daughters. She worked her fingers to the bone while her husband did whatever he did with the money and then disappeared and then showed up.
[00:49:03] And, you know, she lived a very, very hard life through the depression, through World War I. Yeah. You know, the whole thing. Yeah. My grandmother and her three sisters who survived, were all born somewhere between, let's say 1915 and 1928. And, They had very hard lives. Yeah. I remember interviewing my grandmother for a woman's studies class I took as an undergrad, and I was like shocked at the things that she lived through and what they were told, you know, like how to.
[00:49:37] Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and you don't take charity and whatever. But then they did, they wouldn't have had coats or shoes if they didn't take charity. Yeah. And they worked and took care of each other. And, you know, it's like, no wonder my grandmother was the way she was. No wonder my mother was the way she was.
[00:49:55] No wonder my childhood was the way it was. Yes. Cause of all of this. And this is just the stuff I can see exactly. And the things that I can historically put together on a timeline to know like, all right, so this is gonna cause this kind of behavior. Of course, she was a hypochondriac, of course. She was super worried about her daughters.
[00:50:17] My mom had rheumatic fever and my grandmother was a crazy person about it. She watched her little brothers. Oh, yes, of course she's gonna be freaked out, you know? Yes, yes. Like, and this is suddenly I stopped victimizing myself. Oh yeah. In, in a standstill. Like by the time I finished a book, I was done. Yeah.
[00:50:39] Yeah. So powerful. So powerful. And now the next step is to address it in the body because it doesn't live up here in the head. It lives in, in our nervous system. It lives in our subconscious. And even if we don't know the, , although piecing it together is so beautiful and creates so much compassion. Yes.
[00:50:59] For the whole family lineage and for ourselves, even if we don't know the stories, the body is the most accurate history book on the planet and that the body doesn't forget. Mm-hmm. and the body doesn't lie. And so that's why in the thriving method, we work with the body directly. We don't, we don't really, I mean the story, you may know it, you may not know it.
[00:51:22] There are so many stories that we don't know, but we do know what we experience. And when we go to the body, we can unwind that trauma. Right? We can make our experiences of success, of intimacy, visibility. We can make them safe again and. again, as in whenever they were safe, right? Maybe thousands of years ago.
[00:51:46] I don't know. But we can absolutely claim that safety. That is, that is our birthright. It is a birthright for all beings. And sadly because the systems of oppression has been taken from us, but we can restore it, and by doing it, we are restoring, reclaiming it, the world. So beautiful. I have chills now.
[00:52:07] Mm-hmm. . I feel you, Marcy. Thank you. Amazing. Okay, so before we close this lovely interview, I always do the seven quick questions with my guests. All right. Let's do it. Okay. What's six words would you use to describe yourself? Oh, I don't know if I have so many in my vocabulary. . I like, I like to think that I'm funny.
[00:52:32] That's my life's aspiration. I want it on my tombstone. She was funny.
[00:52:40] I'm almost funny by accident. I can never plan to be funny. . Yeah. That, that, that's great too. I, I'm deeply feeling mm-hmm. . I cry at the drop of a head. I, I, I laugh at the drop of a head. I'm very explosive. I guess that's the third word. Explosive. . I'm ecstatic also. Like I feel deeply. I roll with that.
[00:53:06] Loving and, you know, I'm a dreamer. I, I dream, I dream of a better world. I dream of better ways of doing things. And, a seeker, I seeker always seeking, always learning. Beautiful. What is your favorite way to spend a day? Oh, so many. And I have this balance. I'm mostly introverted by but I also love, love, love spending time with people.
[00:53:33] I enjoy both large groups and like at our, like, in-person retreats and my, my friends and family. So, I love a good balance, right? Sometimes I, I like to be by myself. Sometimes I like to be with people. Nature is a big part of that feeling, happy and balanced movement. Good food, , very important.
[00:53:58] Good books. Yeah. You know, games and yeah. Any anyways to connect and yeah, definitely. And kind of surprise each other. Right. I was just connecting with my daughter, last night, which is like cuddling. She's gonna be 12, here shortly. And so, and I'm just waiting, waiting. We cuddling. I'm waiting for her to like, share something unexpected and surprising and then if I wait long enough, she does.
[00:54:24] And that's delightful. That's wonderful. I miss those times. My kids are adults and in July moved to another state. They're both living in Massachusetts in separate towns, but they're only half an hour apart and they are doing their thing and moms in New York and it's an adjustment for all of us. It's an adjustment.
[00:54:48] Yeah, it's an adjustment. And now you, you're fully in your cudo, right? You get Absolutely. You get to be Yeah. At the next level of your beingness. Yep. That's the plan. Mm-hmm. , what's your favorite childhood memory? My parents took me, I'm, I, I'm an only child. Parents took me every year since I was three.
[00:55:11] We would take our little car, which was the same car that we've had for throughout my childhood and my adolescence until I moved out of the house. . We took a two day trip from central Russia where I grew up to the south to the sea. And we went to the same place. For all, all these years.
[00:55:33] So three till I am like, moved out, like 18, 19 and was just such freedom and I enjoy being in nature and, and they changed. My parents changed because they got relaxed. Sure. Everything was just right. I guess that that gave me a taste and a desire for a life that is free and relaxed and full of connection and showed me that it's possible.
[00:56:00] That's amazing. That's amazing that you had a role model like that so that you could, you could actually see what that looked like and know that was a possibility. Yeah, that was a gift. Absolutely. What is your favorite meal? Oh, oh my gosh. I just love food. I really, I, I can't play favorites there. . . What is something that makes you feel like, like it's a comfort food kind of thing?
[00:56:25] Let's see. I don't, it, it changes. It changes all the time. I think apples are my perennial favorite. They never go out of style, but like really? I very rarely meet a food. I don't like . Okay. That's fair. That's fair. What one piece of advice would you give your younger self? Mm. Piece of advice? Whew.
[00:56:51] Depends on what age, right? What age are you thinking? I don't have a preconceived notion. I could be eight, could be 12, could be right, could be two. I don't know. Yeah. If it's the school age, like age, I would say it's all bullshit. What they're teaching you just don't worry about it. . Probably true , and that's like pretty much throughout the school including my undergrad and both graduate degrees.
[00:57:20] They look like, see tiny specs of like, yeah, this is like, this is actually wisdom that that resonates everything else. Don't worry about it. I sort of wondered that, you know, like I, I have my undergrad degree and two graduate degrees so far and I was trying to figure out like what kind of applicable useful content or skill did I acquire from any of that?
[00:57:50] Or was it just that I was experiencing these things and. The world was teaching me what I was needing. Yeah. And what I needed to know. Yeah. Well, you are a learner. You, you are a learner. You're a seeker. I totally, I totally resonate with that. And I think for me also, like I needed to get that validation, that patriarchy approval, like the stamp of approval from patriarchy.
[00:58:15] Like, I'm qualified. I had my master's in counseling psychology from Columbia first, and then I went for my PhD. Yes. I learned things. I got my license and gave me the right to practice. But what I do now, very little of it, I learned. in school very little because like they, they don't, didn't talk about trauma in these ways.
[00:58:37] They certainly didn't teach the, the tools to embody trauma resolution. I learned all of this outside of conventional. Yeah. So, so it's also like, I hope my youngest self is, you know, benefiting from that. Just trust yourself. Trust that, you know, trust your calling. Keep on, you know, stumbling forward, running forward, whatever feels good.
[00:59:01] Go for it. Sounds like great life advice to me.
[00:59:07] Oh, okay. What? I could use it right now too. . Oh yeah. Wow. What is one thing you would most like to change about the world? This really, this what we're working on. I want every woman. and e every human, but between are starting with women to know that there's nothing wrong with them to come out of the silos of shame that patriarchy lock them in, realize their power and not just intellectually like girl, you can do it, but embody, embody who they are, their authenticity, their sovereignty, their freedom.
[00:59:46] Yeah. And that's the journey I am on. That's the world I want my daughter to live in. Yeah. I want every woman to be a role model for my daughter, and that's, that's what I want to see happen. Beautiful. Okay. Now the last question is, is very superficial and ridiculous compared to everything else that we've been talking about, but I'm really interested in what TV shows or movies people binge and what they're interested in.
[01:00:12] Oh. Lately or kind of over time? Either. Either. There was this, this show that came out a while ago. I liked, I still like it, it's called Lie to Me, and it's actually based on the real person psychologist, Paul Ackman, who studied emotion. Wow. Yeah. And, so the, the, this person was kind of helping the F B I or whoever he was helping sell, solve crimes, mysteries.
[01:00:40] And he could tell. better person was lying by their micro-expressions, but he couldn't Oh, cool. Tell what they were lying about. And that was the intrigue. Right, right. And to me, it just like dovetails into like what we do. Sometimes we are being inauthentic. Not, not even, because we, we mean to be Right, right.
[01:00:59] But because there are some protective mechanisms, like it's not safe to be who I am. And so anyway, as it, it kind of hooked me with that. I guess it's my own quest to like how to live my life in, in this radical honesty with myself. Right. So like I'm not lying to myself in any Oh, that's cool way. I'm gonna look up that show.
[01:01:24] That sounds interesting. Yeah. That's very cool. So the links to your websites and your podcast and your book and your challenge and your three day deep dive, thriving, experiential thriving experience will all be linked to the show notes. So if the listeners are not thriving, they can scroll down and links to anything fantastic.
[01:01:48] And if you are thriving, I assure you there is so much more beyond your wildest dreams to experience. And a good place to start is downloading the first chapter of my book. It's available on audio. It's available as a pdf f to kind of dip your toes into these orders. You can do it for email@example.com, D r V A L e R A e.com/bo.
[01:02:10] And of course, we'd love to meet you in, in person, virtually at our experie. Excellent. Thank you so much for your time and your generosity and your expertise in being here and sharing all this with us. I am my pleasure. Marcy, moved and grateful. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for having me and for your leadership and having these thank you revolutionary deep healing conversations and giving everyone permission to heal.
[01:02:36] Thank you for your work in the world. Thank you for your mission. Thank you so much.