Permission to Heal

Permission to Heal Episode #26 - A Conversation with Dr. Anabelle Bugatti About Relentless Empathy in Relationships.

May 12, 2021 Marci Brockmann Season 1 Episode 26
Permission to Heal
Permission to Heal Episode #26 - A Conversation with Dr. Anabelle Bugatti About Relentless Empathy in Relationships.
Show Notes Transcript

Anabelle Bugatti, Ph.D., LMFT, NCC, BC-TMH, President of Southern NV EFT, Cert EFT Supervisor & Therapist, Couples & Individual Counselor

Dr. Anabelle Bugatti is a nationally certified counselor and an ICEEFT Certified Emotionally Focused Couples Supervisor and Therapist (EFT) with specializations in helping couples and individuals mend broken relationships, and overcome issues such as chronic stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, or challenges with their personal life. Dr. Bugatti’s expertise is in competing attachment in romantic relationships and how this impacts relationship satisfaction and security.

Dr. Belle's NEW  book Using Relentless Empathy in the Therapeutic Relationship; Connecting with Challenging and Resistant Clients
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Welcome to permission to heal. I am Marci Brockman, and I am so glad you're here in this podcast. We engage in meaningful, deeply human conversations using our voices to inspire connection, compassion, understanding, empathy, and whole hearted wellness. I want you to find the courage to transform yourself no matter what others tell you only you can give yourself permission to trust yourself, permission, to take care of yourself, permission to follow your heart and desires and build a life of love, home and belonging.

Through sharing our stories. We will help each other to heal and create the healthy, meaningful lives we richly deserve. We only need our own permission to begin.

Welcome to permission to heal. I am Marci Brockman, and I am thrilled that you're here today. Today. I am talking with Annabel Bugatti, Dr. Annabel Bugatti. She is a nationally certified counselor and I C E F T certified emotionally focused couples, supervisor and therapist. She is in Las Vegas with specializations in helping couples and individuals mend broken relationships and overcome issues such as chronic stress, anxiety, low self esteem or challenges with their personal life.

Dr.  or Dr. Bell. As we like to call her, earned her PhD in marriage and family therapy at North central university. Her dissertation research focus was on competing attachment in romantic relationships and how this impacts relationship, satisfaction and security. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in marriage and family therapy and a master's of science in clinical mental health counseling at long Island university CW post campus in Greenville, where I got my first master's too.

She has extensive training in couples therapy and substance abuse counseling, and recently published her second book called using relentless empathy in therapeutic relationship, connecting with challenges and resistant clients. And she just published that in 2020. Welcome Dr. Bell. I'm thrilled that you're here.

I know. Thank you. And it's great to be here and thanks for having me. And I should probably also mention that I do have my license as a marriage and family therapist here in Nevada. My book actually came out at the very end of 2020. Believe it or not. It was the best, the really good thing that happened in 2020, right.

Under the nose it published on December 31st. Wow, cool. That's how I rang in the new year. Beautiful. That's wonderful. Yeah. It's amazing what you can get done when you're focused and you're motivated. Yeah. Yeah. It does take a lot of focus and a lot of discipline that's for sure. Yeah. How long did it take you to write the book?

Once he actually sat down and wrote it? It probably took me between three and six months, but I sat on it for a long time, but once I. Got down to the hair of the contract when it was due. I just started coming up with a plan and I had the writing accountability partner and I would just set aside eight to my schedule and writing like anything else you've kind of have to be in the creative zone.

And sometimes you can't always schedule that creative mojo. Right. So, but it's kind of, I hate to say, it's kind of like when you have to schedule sex with your partner, it's like, you know, it's coming. So you just start getting yourself into the moment and into the head space. And so I would just do whatever I needed to do to help the creative mojo flow.

And I would just set specific time every weekend. And this was my dedicated writing time and I'm really, I'm a good sprinter. So I would set up my book in a series of sprints. So I wouldn't try to do the whole thing at once. It's like, okay, this weekend, I'm just going to do the rough draft on chapter, whatever, right?

Yeah. Just set small goals. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I found that there were sometimes where I would get so much in the zone when I was writing my book that I could spend upwards of seven or eight hours straight, just like downloading things out of my brain into the computer. But there were other times where I'd be driving to work or doing errands or something.

And some, I don't want to say creative. Yeah. Random creative lightning bolt. So I would voice text it to myself while I was driving. There were people sections of things that were sort of glued together that way. Oh, yeah. And that works so well when you can do the voice to text and then you send it to yourself and then you can just copy and paste it.

Right, right. Whatever you gotta do. You just got to roll with it when those users flow or I would do like the note section on my iPhone, I would just dictate some notes in sections. Oh, I feel inspired. You know? So whenever that inspiration hits you, you gotta gotta find a way to capture it. Exactly.

Exactly. So before we dive in and there's plenty to dive into, I want to do the six quick questions that I try to do with most of my guests at the beginning. What six words would you use to describe yourself first and foremost? One of the words I would describe myself as bubbly. This has always been a word to describe me.

I just. Especially when I have energy, when I'm tired, maybe I'm not so bubbly, but I think that, uh, goes for most people, but definitely bubbly. I really enjoy people. I'm a morning person. Okay. So this is six words. Sure. Okay. Give her, you know, I, Billy ambitious, passionate, definitely passionate, passionate, passionate, passionate.

What words did I give you so far? Do they say driven, ambitious and loving all excellent characteristics. Excellent. What is your favorite way to spend a day? Well, and let me qualify this because it's really kind of depends on what kind of a day it is outside. So if it's a sure, it was me like rainy day.

I'd love to spend the day. Watching movies and cuddling with the Blinky on my couch. I love binge watching movies have always loved Hollywood, especially old Hollywood, always been obsessed with the movie. So I really enjoy watching movies and doing a good binge-watch. If it's a beautiful sunny day, I really like to find some way to be outdoors.

I'm not someone who generally likes to hike or anything like that. I enjoy hiking

40 here, walk around the neighborhood, but I enjoy having like lunch with friends at an outdoor cafe during the hot summer nights. I enjoy some tacos and good margaritas or if I can get to the beach, but Vegas, where I am is very far from the beach. So we don't get much of that, but I love the ocean and I love water.

So yeah. Sounds great. I love eating outdoors where there is live music. Yeah. The energy of that I find just exhilarating and motivating. I just, it makes me feel really alone. I just love eating outdoors. I don't know what it is about eating outdoors, having picnics, or if you're at a restaurant that has outdoor dining, my friends always tease me.

Like even in the dead of winter, if there's an option to eat outside, all eat outside. Right. It works really well in a pandemic when everyone's eating outside because inside not so safe. Yeah. Well, and in Vegas, unlike New York where you really have to plan your life around the weather in Vegas, you don't have to do that so much.

Even when it's cold, I'm in it. It does get pretty cold here in the desert, but for the most part, it is rather pleasant outside. So we have more opportunities to dine outside. I believe that most likely, most likely. Yeah. We're confined to certain months of the year here. Yes. Although my son is in Vermont and it's really cold there and he's walking around without a jacket on, cause he's totally used to it, but that's so funny.

That's so funny. I love, I haven't been in the Vermont yet, but I've been to New Hampshire. I love new England. So when we lived in New York, we made a point of touring, new England and visiting parts. Vermont was one of the only ones we did not get to, but it's still on the list. We ended up in Maine when it was like 14 degrees below, zero it's cold there.

It was still fun. And it's gorgeous. You get hot toddies at the restaurants with some great hot food. The boil lobster. Oh man. The climate shouter. Oh, it is a foodie heaven. Absolutely. I agree with you completely. What is your favorite childhood memory? Christmas. Always Christmas. It was the one time, a year that you could know predictably was going to be filled with laughter and joy and all the family was going to come together.

So you get to see extended relatives that you didn't get to see most of the year. And I loved the way my mom would always make things magical and special. We'd put on the Christmas music and we decorate the tree together and she'd bake cookies. And then we'd get to watch certain Christmas videos together.

Like we'd watch Charlie Brown Christmas and we'd watch a frosty, the snowman. And we had this other one called Prancer. So we have some family favorite movies that we'd watch. And it was just, I love Christmas music. I love Christmas lights. We would get hot chocolate and we drive around the neighborhoods and look at Christmas lights, music in the car.

I just loved it. So do you have siblings? I have two big brothers. Of course the boys don't get into Christmas, quite like the girls do, but depends. It depends. My I'm Jewish and my husband was raised Catholic. So we kind of do everything here and he's very big into Christmas trees and setting it up. And he, I could some years, it just seems like so much work to put the tree up and down and thank goodness for the guys.

So they're good at doing the manly stuff or they do there's those reality shows. That's like the war of the Christmas lights and that it's all the guys out there doing their Christmas light thing, which is a whole lot of fun. Cause I enjoy looking at them, but absolutely clean them up is another animal.

Oh absolutely. It's crazy. I tried doing that once when I was a single mom and I thought my kids would like. The lights in front of the house. And I nearly fell off a ladder trying to get the lights up on the, just not worth my physical health. Yeah, definitely not that, but I bet your kids appreciated mom.

Absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely. Even the almost catastrophe is a funny story, as long as it's an almost catastrophe, right. Craziness, number four, what is your favorite meal? My favorite meal. It used to be steak, but my favorite meal is. Tacos. I have to say it's tacos. I could hate. And I could hear my fiance downstairs, laughing at me because he knows I love tacos.

I could eat them like morning, noon, and night hard shell, soft shell. I do like a good, hard shell taco more, I guess, homemade, but I love soft. Shell is fine. I love the street tacos. When I go to Mexico, I don't typically dine in the restaurant restaurants. I like the little guy with the streetcar, best food ever.

I love tacos. I like chicken tacos. I love Carnegie Satta tacos. I just love tacos, fish tacos lately that this little Mexican place makes. And I just everyone's watering all this other stuff and I'm like, no, I just want like six of these fish tacos. They're so good. Yes. Tacos in general are good. I can just eat them emotions right now, making these corny emotions about, we might have to have that for lunch.

I'm craving tacos. Hold on.

Number five. What one piece of advice would you give your younger self? This was a reading, of course, the butterfly effect. A really good question. And the biggest thing, looking back on my younger self that I would, if I could have a time machine and show up and go back and give myself this advice, it would be that the world is really a lot bigger than I was led to believe it was.

And that there are many more opportunities than I think that there are, and I should have more courage to be adventurous and take more risks and get out and explore and go other places because I think. Growing up my secondary school or primary school was really good at making you believe that the world was actually really quite small and that opportunity lay only really close to home.

And you really, they kind of felt like they stifled getting out and going and exploring the world. And had I known that there were far more opportunities actually, if I got outside and I grew up in a really small town, so maybe that's part of it too, was that small town mentality. But I just, if I had known how many opportunities and adventures were really available to me, I would have gone out, explored them more.

I think that's a certain amount of that is universal. I think that as adolescents, children and adolescents are. View worldview. And our scope of understanding of the world is rather limited unless we were able to grow up with a family that did do a lot of traveling, or that was from its inception, more internationally oriented.

My sister is from long Island, obviously, and her husband's from Brazil, but grew up partially in California. And they met in Copenhagen and he was living in Amsterdam at the time and she was on a vacation and then they had this, they were automatically international. And so I think their kids are growing up with a much different worldview than I had.

Cause I, my initial family didn't go anywhere. We went to Florida and then that was it. We went to Canada once and that was kind of it, but my nephews are growing up. They've been to London, they've been to pair up to Brazil. They've been to California and they're not even in first grade yet. That's amazing.

I grew up my family's. We grew up in Southern California, but we did not have money. We did not have means. And given the eighties, the economy also was much different. So we went on vacation to places where we could drive to and we would camp a lot. So the vacations that we took were really pretty close to home.

I think my parents went on a flight once when I was a baby. But other than that, I didn't. My, the first airplane trip that I can remember was an, until I was age 17. Wow. That was a high school band. So I had to work so hard to be able to afford to go on that trip to go to Hawaii. So that was really big.

Yeah. That's exciting. You know? Right. He went from New York to Florida and did a thing that Disney world when I was like a sophomore or junior in high school and that we sold more oranges than I thought they would grow in Florida just to afford, to be able to go on the trip. So I totally get that. It's exciting though, to do it that way with your friends.

Oh yeah. I think you really value it bunched differently when you have to work really hard to earn it. Yeah. Thank you. Just appreciate it so much more. Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think you have more time to anticipate the event actually happening, which I think adds to it. All right. Let's get to question six.

What is one thing you would most like to change about the world? I wish, and this kind of goes to my book. I wish that people could be more tolerant of each other's differences and not be that. This is the really ironic thing is we try to say that we're so tolerant yet. There is no tolerance for somebody having a point of view that's different than your own.

And that we tend to judge these people. We tend to make these sweeping assumptions about who they are based on who they voted for, or however they live their lifestyle. And it's really not fair to paint people in a corner like that. And then we were canceling relationships where we're not allowing people to have opportunities where squat we're stifling free speech.

I mean, that's not tolerance. Tolerance is you can have a different point of view and that doesn't necessarily make you a bad person just because you see something different than I am really at the end of the day. It's how do we bring those two things together and find a way to connect and have a good relationship.

And people have not found a way to do this and. People I've just witnessed even people in my own profession, which is really discouraging. It just feels like general meanness, each other. And that's so discouraging. It's like, everybody's just trying to make their way through this world. And I believe we all generally want the same thing to have a successful stable, happy life.

Right. And that's, but it doesn't have struggle. And I think we make it unnecessarily harder on each other when we start asking judgment on each other and then trying to again, pigeonhole them or paint them into a corner as universally this or universally that, and it's just, that's really hard. I agree. I see that even in my, my own community, but even all over social media.

And I think in, in my, just in my little. Bubble here. I feel like it's gotten worse over the last decade. Yeah. Maybe even shorter than that.  And I don't know how to fix that, except I guess, to just shine a light on the fact that it's happening and then talk, keep talking about it. Um, and I think the best way to, to change that is to be that vessel of change yourself.

And it's X that other people may judge you, or may judge me, or may judge our friends or family, but let that speak to them. I'm going to get you to have an open heart and practice what I preach, walk the talk, which is very big to the units. Like if somebody has a different point of view, even though I may not agree with it.

Well, the strategy for me is to figure out what is their end game? What is the goal that they want at the end of the day? And usually you can see when you can go from that vantage point, you see that they want the same thing. They just may disagree fundamentally on how to get there. And that's okay. You can disagree on how to get there, but I see that you just want the same thing as me and you're not my enemy and I'm not going to make you my inner, my enemy.

And I want someone to be able to take in and tolerate that I may have a different point of view. So I'm going to take in and tolerate that you have a different point of view. You're always going to be welcome in my home. I'm not going to say, Oh, you voted for, so-and-so get out of my house or you're not welcome here.

Or you do this or you shop there or whatever, you posted this on your social media to no way I can't be friends with you. I'm not going to do that. Right. Yeah. Me either. Absolutely. Yes. Many people are. Yeah. Right. So you said that it was sort of connected to your book or the ideas in your book. So why don't we start talking about that?

So using relentless empathy in therapeutic relationship, connecting with challenging and resisting resistant clients, I love the idea of relentless empathy. Yeah. So that's a term that we have in the model of counseling. I used, I use emotionally focused therapy pioneered by Sue Johnson, and it's really Sue Johnson's word.

But as therapists and mental health, we all were kind of taught in grad school. This idea of unconditional positive regard. This came from Paul Rogers, but in EFT we call it relentless empathy, which is a much deeper form of unconditional positive regard for your clients. And. What really inspired me to write this book.

And my book is for anybody in the helping professions, I have nurses read this book. I have folks who are addiction counselors. I have lay pastors, counselors, social workers, teachers would work. Yes. Teachers. Absolutely. Absolutely definitely have resistant clients. Yeah. Yes. Anybody, anybody in your life that you find difficult?

Right. And therapists, we don't always have the luxury of choosing our clients or finding clients who are just easy to work with. There are clients who challenge us, who come in with having done things that are really hurtful or do, or say things within sessions that are hurtful or are hard to understand or relate to, or just really can make your blood boil.

But what I found was happening even within my own profession is that I would see on social media all the time. Is the way that therapists would talk about these clients and just talk about, well, I need to refer them out their personality disorder, really, as these labels used to maybe at one time he diagnostic terms so that people could have a, an effective treatment plan based on their needs and their presenting issues.

But over time, the stopped being helpful diagnostic terms and became labels by which we judge people. And so personality disorders are just one of the things that I talk about in my book. But it's really, those terms have gotten used now to say that somebody's hard to work with. Right. And so what their pissed would start doing is I just want to refer them out.

I want to send them somewhere else. And if we keep doing that, then the client never gets the help that they need. Why do you think they're in therapy? They need their help. And if you can't find a way to be with them and relentless empathy is a way of just being able to walk in their shoes, see the world through their way so that you can have a therapeutic relationship with them.

You've got to have that professional relationship so you can help them. But if they feel judged by you, then they're not going to feel safe to open up to you. And if they can't open up, they're not going to be willing to see things in themselves that need to change, or be able to be open to difficult questions or to be challenged, to change in the ways that they need to.

So, yeah, or even begin to scratch the surface of even the most basic things without the safety of that therapeutic bubble there, it's not going to happen. Yes. And clients can absolutely feel when you don't have empathy for them. And again, empathy doesn't mean that I approve of your behavior or that I'm validating what you're doing is correct or healthy.

It means I'm finding the humanity underneath the hurtful behavior. And I'm trying to get to the person in pain and that's who I'm validating, which make them feel like somebody is with me. Somebody doesn't see me as a monster. Okay. As long as you in my heart of hearts, I'm not a monster, then it's so much easier for me to open up so we can change maybe behavior that I'm doing that can feel monstrous to others.

Right. Absolutely. Makes sense. Absolutely. Makes sense. And I feel like I, my own therapist who I've been with for more than a decade is definitely practicing relentless empathy. We just have such a. A good relationship, wonderful relationship. It's a little beyond, I think what is traditionally therapeutic?

I mean, she came to my wedding and I'm not sure most therapists would do that, but, depends on the relationship. Kind of adopted her as my Jewish mom. I just, I can't, I don't want to say that I can't make a move without her cause that's not true, but I feel like I need to share with her what's going on and it's acceptable for a therapist to celebrate moments of growth.

And you know, it kind of has to be evaluated on a case by case basis, depending on the therapeutic relationship, because we don't want to get into ethics violations, but there are definitely cases. I mean, I have, as a couples therapist, I'm actually ordained. To be an efficient and yeah, I can, officiate weddings actually started when I was living in New York and now I do it in Nevada.

And so for a lot of my couples that come in, who aren't married or who have divorced and are repairing their relationship, I do their ceremonies for them and it's kind of like this and that is wow. Yeah. It's amazing. It's quite amazing. Is that a hell of a graduation ceremony from marriage? Oh yeah. And couples are hard because you have not just one, but you have two people in the room that you have to balance and you have to relate to, you have to create a relationship with both people and any tutor human beings that you get into a room together are going to disagree on their version of reality.

When you have to recognize both are correct, because we're both experiencing life through our own lens. It's how we're both making meaning out of that. And how do we. How do we cope with that on the outside in a way that either drives us closer to relationship or pushes us farther apart. And so that's what you're really looking for.

Yeah. Both parties, perceptions are valid and somewhere within the disparate perceptions is where the heart of the thing is. Yes. And you just want to get to the heart of people's humanity and most people stop shorted the behavior and they don't see the human underneath. I mean, People fail to recognize that adults act out and it's not a temper tantrum.

It's not a childish thing. It's all human beings that don't have words for their emotional experience. Have to get emotions out somewhere. That's just the basic laws of emotion because they live in your nervous system and pain demands to be felt. So if they can't give it words, they're going to act out in a way to describe it again.

That doesn't mean that the behavior is helpful or effective. Doesn't mean that it's not hurtful because a lot of times it is, that's a tell of somebody in pain and you've got to get to the person in pain and find a way to relate to them so that you can help them find a more effective, more healthy strategy than to get the comfort.

The connection that they're really longing for underneath absolutely makes sense. It's so much of. Expressing pain and shame and fear of abandonment or any of past traumas that have created the template through which we deal with others. And have relationships comes out in a sideways way that takes a little bit of walking on eggshells and yet tenacity to get up when a whole trust you can't go around the fire.

This is one thing where you have to go into the fire. There's no, right? Yes, exactly. I love that. And I, and basically you just talked about basic attachment science, is that the relationship we have with our caregivers, usually our parents is the first relationship we have with other human beings. And that formulate our blueprint for the rest of our relationships, with the human race.

And so that is a good quality relationship. We're more likely to develop healthy strategies, healthy coping behaviors and mechanisms, and a healthy perspective of other people in the world and ourselves as a person in the world. If we have inconsistent caregiving where parents are available sometimes, and not others, obviously kids can't, they don't their advanced logic systems aren't developed yet.

They can't make sense of that. So it's hard for their nervous system to wrap their head around and understand what causes my caregiver to be here. What causes them to go away. Mm. Hmm. And even neglect is even more insidious because people, Oh yeah. I learned to do it on my own and which is great for survival, but it's not great for relationship with other people because you learn how not to attach to other people, which again, connection and attachment is actually hardwired into our physical being.

It's hardwired through the survival part of our brains. So to actually learn how to do it all on your own violates actually the core of our humanity, right. That's how my mom was bipolar and undiagnosed bipolar and whole lot of other things. And so I grew up as an only child really. Internalizing the fact that if I didn't do it myself, it wasn't going to happen.

Exactly. And yes, it was great in teaching me to be resilient. And it was great in teaching me to be independent, but it was not good in teaching me that I could trust other people to be there for me. And I, my first response when my first response was to not ever ask for help, because I never wanted to put myself in the position where somebody could say no and make me feel that way again.

And the feud, there were a few times as an adult that I tried to ask for help and was told no by people who I thought I could count on and it just smacked me down again. So it took me a really long time. I should say I'm 52 and still learning this. My husband will say to me, you're allowed to ask for help.

Why didn't you ask me to do that? I would totally do that. And I'm better. But it's still a process. Is it hard to interdependent in a healthy way on each other and to be vulnerable with somebody to really let yourself get super close, because to get super close to somebody means to open yourself up to asking for help, to being vulnerable.

And look, it doesn't mean that we're not able to do things on our own, and that's not what I'm saying is don't ever learn to do things on your own because you certainly do. But what I'm saying is independence and dependence are two sides of the same coin. They are part of the same system. The more healthy interdependence you have, more healthy independence.

You have. Avoidance is not independence. It's unhealthy the autonomy. And so it's like this, the thing too is remember what I said about attachment is why physically hardwired into our survival mechanisms. So just like we have instincts that kick on to tell us to sleep or eat or be physically safe. We have the same instincts that kick on that, say be close to somebody.

And when you're dealing with the stress of life, your body releases, chemicals there, all of your emotions have a chemical component that physically happens in your body. So when you have stress or distress, your body's releasing cortisol, it's releasing adrenaline. And when you have secure attachment, you're able to turn and get help from somebody, even if sometimes it's just connection.

It's just somebody being a friend to you in that moment, commiserating for you. What they've shown happens is by getting that connection, your brain actually starts to release different chemicals, like their tone and dopamine oxytocin, these release that start counteracting the stress hormones. And so by counteracting those stress hormones, you don't have all these negative chemicals floating around in your body.

I can't remember how I said paying demands to be felt. So you don't clear those chemicals out of your body. Guess what they start to do to your organs. They start eating them. They start going after them. And then guess what all your body's energy has to go towards trying to repair itself. And if you're never getting this healthy connection, this is a constant process.

And so this holiness and stress can cause illness and premature aging and things like that. Yes. And why people who are also lonely and stressed, chronically don't have quality connection also are sick all the time. And they're not as able to bounce back because their body's constantly rallying its forces to fend this stuff off.

Versus when you have somebody. Who, when you can get that, we call it. Co-regulation basically, it means just help regulating your own emotions, that close connection, having somebody to open up to and share with yes, even sometimes somebody can hug you and you're able to take it in and be comforted and soothed.

That's your brain starting to release those good hormones that counteracts everything else. Guess what? Now your body doesn't have to rally its energy to try to protect your organs and heal them. And so you have more energy. Your body is less physically stressed. It's not as sick. You're able to bounce back from illness.

So it does even. It's good for your actual like physiological heart. That's cuddled to save our lives basically, or just connect let's connect. You don't necessarily have to cuddle, but you have to connect. So in a lot of people like, Ooh, I don't want to. Anytime you hear somebody that is anti attachment or avoidant of attachment.

I guarantee you, they have had experiences that say it is not safe to rely on other people. And I guarantee if you didn't have bad experiences, then you would not have a reason to avoid it or fear it so much or dislike it. Right? So it is physically good for you for your body, for your emotional health, for your psyche.

And again, like we said, early childhood experiences impact how you see other people, whether or not you see them as trustworthy. Are they going to show up for me when I need them? Can I count on them? I trust them. And it also impacts how you see yourself in the world. Am I good? Am I lovable? Do people see me as lovable, worthy, valuable, or in this again comes from those experiences.

If I don't have a caregiver that's around or is intermittently around it, I can't really make sense of why. Then we're more likely to turn inside because we have no other way to make sense of it. No other templates. So we go inside,  I internalized it so that it was like, I wasn't worthy of her sticking around and there were something just inherently wrong with me or lacking in me.

That was the reason, or I did something that made her mad, or it just turned me into this chronic people pleaser with no boundaries, because I didn't know how to protect myself or I was doing that to protect myself to, to ward off being abandoned further or being ignored. Or, and I carried that into all of my adult relationships, not knowing that I could communicate strong, healthy boundaries.

Like I needed to be respected. If you say, you're gonna call, you're gonna call ways somebody should treat me and speak to me. And so on when we were interacting, things like that, I didn't insist that the things that I said that I really wanted to myself were, were consistently met because I was so afraid that the other person was going to reject me or say, I wasn't worth it trouble.

Right. And this is how you get people, pleasers. People who ignore their boundaries have no boundaries because it's like, if I don't adjust my boundary, then this person's going to leave me or abandon me, reject me. And that doesn't feel good. So it's better to violate my boundary than to lose the relationship.

And then what you end up is a life full of unhealthy relationships, right? Yeah. And that's the other thing too, is, is emotions are part of your body's survival system. They tell you when everything is all right, it's like your body's threat detection system. They tell you when things are great, they tell you when things are not great, when people shut down their emotions.

And usually they do this for survival reasons, but when they shut it down and they don't allow themselves to really connect with their emotions. And this is like over the long haul, you know, obviously there's some parts, some situations where you need to be able to remain calm. And not overly rely react.

If you're in war, you're not gonna want to panic and freak out when you're working, but you can't have this be your main way of getting through life. And what happens is when people in the mountains shut down their emotions, they shut down those mechanisms that are supposed to kick on and alert them.

When they're in a unhealthy relationship. That's being that happens in your gut. When you have a new interaction with somebody where you're like, Hmm, something about them, just, I don't get a good vibe, but those who ignore their emotions, who shut them down, just keep it's like that check engine light. I just keep shutting it off, shutting it off.

I'm not paying attention to what the check engine light is saying. Check on. And then I ended up getting a D used by people, or I ended up getting taken advantage of, or people do hurtful things to me. And why do I keep ending up with these guys or these women or these people, these friends around me who keep treating me the same way.

It's because you keep ignoring that gut instinct that comes on that says, don't be in this relationship. This person's not healthy. Right. Yeah. It took me 40 years to figure that out. But at least I figured it out, right. At least you figured it out and it's never too late, as long as there's breath in your body and you have the ability to have the chance to have good, healthy, wonderful relationships.

So please don't give up hope, no matter how old you are. It is never too late. It's never too late. If you're listening, it's never too late. My husband and I have been married four years. He's 55 and I'm 52. And so we were. He was 51 and I was 49 when we got married and we known each other for 30 years, but we just hadn't taken our relationship past friendship until 26, 2015.

And it's never too late. And we had both experienced detrimentally, awful first marriages and lots of subsequent unhealthy attachments in between and did the hard therapeutic work. He went through AA and did a ton of work himself doing, digging deep in his own past and finding patterns and fixing them.

And I did it with my therapist and dealing with my mom and her drug addiction and everything else. And so we were both finally in a place. Where we could be relentlessly empathetic towards each other and he killing each other with kindness, so to speak. And it's made for a beautiful relationship that allows us to each, to continue growing within it because you have to have safety.

All people need to feel accepted and loved and like a worthwhile human being, even when they screw up. And I think most people know when they screw up, but if they feel like the person that I'm close to, isn't going to turn their back on me is still going to love me and think I'm worthy. Even when I mess up, then it's easier for me to admit my mess ups and for me to do what it takes to have that motivation, to not miss up and do the growth, go to therapy, do the things that we need to do to change that.

And I've been married and divorced before. And that's part of what informs my work with couples, because I love relationships. I loved being married and I'm going to be getting married again. And I'll say, thank you. It took, it, took some failures to end becoming a therapist to help me figure out what success is that why you became a therapist because you had the last Rocky experience?

Well, my, with my first marriage, that definitely had an impact growing up as a, in a super religious household. We didn't really believe in divorce. And I thought I was like, The poster child for healthy relationships and they must did not. And I got married when I was 20 and a half. The first time, it was way too young.

And I was so young and naive, but definitely my experiences with marriage counseling gave me a taste for therapy. And I really enjoyed it. I learned so much about myself. I definitely learned how not to make a relationship work. And I learned that there was a lot more, that goes into the recipe of how to make a relationship work.

Then they tried to paint in church. So they definitely teach you some good things, but they're very generic and nobody ever really teaches you what those mean and look like in practical application and even society. Now doesn't really teach us how to work on relationships and they make everything seem replaceable.

If it doesn't work, just replace them, just get out of it. And I definitely fought hard for both of my marriages and unfortunately I didn't have. And again, because I got married both times. I married these people before I became a therapist. So I did a lot of growing from becoming a therapist. Of course, now I am in a much healthier place.

I'm able to accurately determine the health of a partner. And because I made it, my life's work to study love and relationships and what makes them work? What speaks to people, what motivates them? I'm in a much healthier place too. I was able to look back and recognize where was I in this place? What was my role?

What was, what did I do that wasn't healthy? And I'm able to change those. And I have an amazing partner now, and I learned so much about what secure attachment actually means. And. I always thought before being secure, that your partner is not going to cheat on you. It's not going to leave you is not going to abuse you.

It's not going to be a drug addict is not the same as having secure attachment, not as all, not at all and secure to have those things, but it goes much deeper than that. Yes. And secure attachment is a term we use in therapy. So a lot of therapists know this term, but really it is a way of relating to each other.

It creates safety where both people are fighting for the relationship, but you also know that when things get tough, I can come to you. I can share that things are feeling tough, that I'm scared that I'm hurt by this. And I can trust that you're going to turn back towards me and you're going to care about my feelings.

And again, Just because your partner says that you've heard them just not mean that they're saying you're a bad person. And this is where a lot of people get hung up and we feel bad. Guess what? The fact that you feel bad when you hurt somebody's feelings means you're a good person because bad people don't feel bad when they do bad things.

Right? So the fact that you feel bad means you're a good person. So tune into that because that's, what's supposed to happen when your attachment and caregiving system is functioning properly, you are supposed to feel bad when you hurt somebody's feelings, but it is a tough pill to swallow. When somebody turns to you and says, you really hurt my feelings.

It's like, Oh, you have to suck up your pride. Oh, I didn't mean it, but we just had a moment. Like that was a few weeks ago. I was, I asked my husband a question because there was something that he was doing that was making me feel in a not so good way. And he said that the reason that he was responding that way was because of something else that I said previously that had hurt him.

And he was changing to try to. I had said that that's something he was doing was making me feel in a way that I was uncomfortable. And so he was changing his behavior so that he wasn't making me uncomfortable, but it was making me feel uncomfortable in a different way. And when we pulled it apart, we realized that my initial reaction.

Was old stuff leftover from my first marriage that was just rearing its ugly head in an inappropriate situation, but it takes a healthy, secure relationship to be able to have that conversation. Right. People think that not fighting is a sign of health in a relationship. Not at all. I have couples who don't fight at all and they couldn't be more disconnected.

And I have couples who fight all the time and they're really connected, you know? So it's whether or not a couple fights is not the measure of connection or health in the relationship. It's how they fight. It's how they get through the fight. Do they repair? Do they learn the lessons from the fight?

Because the function of fighting is to actually work through things, to break new ground, to work out kinks in the system, to understand each other better. And so in these securely attached relationships, you're able to turn towards your partner and barrier, heart barrier, soul, draw yourself, close to them.

It's safe for you to do so. They're not going to hurt you. And if they do unintentionally, it's going to feel safe to talk about it. They're going to be able to take it in. They're going to address it. And they're going to do everything they can to fight with you for the relationship to be safe and connected.

And you're going to feel free. You're going to feel liberated in ways. You've never felt before. It's like free to be you authentically you like, I don't have to be politically correct around my partner. I don't have to be perfect. I can say things that sound stupid or clumsy or I can get it wrong. And my partner doesn't make me feel like total crap or I'm this dual person, or I'm a failure.

I'm a bad spouse or bad partner. What's I can make mistakes. And my partner may lovingly say, ouch, that kind of hurt. And I can take it in and correct it. But because I know that I'm still loved and valued and they see the best in me, it continues to hold up the mirror that I want to keep being the best I can in my relationship.

And as a human being for the relationship. Absolutely. It is so liberating to feel like I can be me. I can let my guard down. I can show all sides of myself. I don't need to hide. I don't need to pretend. And you just find yourself being able to be more vulnerable and the more vulnerable you are and the more you're loved and yeah.

Place, the more free you feel. And it is just this exciting. All I can say is it is so freeing and it allows you to experience yourself in a whole new way. It allows you to experience your real life in a whole new way and your partner in a whole new way. And I mean, things like sex, a few, I have a hard time being vulnerable.

It's probably going to show up in the bedroom also. And I've got a whole couple episodes on that. On my podcast. We heart therapy where I talk about women in sex. Because again, I grew up in, in a religious household where it was shameful to even desire sex or to talk about it. And so that was. Something really hard, but I realized that how I saw myself, how I didn't feel safe in relationships also showed up in, in the sexual way.

And I noticed how my own shame would come up, how I would kind of hide myself, even just  emotionally I'd go behind these walls. And I wasn't allowing myself to fully emotionally engage in sex. And because I wasn't emotionally, fully engaged. Were present during the act. I wouldn't get much out of it.

So it felt more like my body was being used. Yeah. Even though it was like, I was allowing it and cause it was my partner and I want to please my partner and I don't want them to leave the relationship, but again, I didn't get much out of it. So then I didn't crave it. I didn't want to do it very much. And in some ways I don't think that was very satisfying for my spouses at the time.

So when you have that secure attachment, you're able, like I said, you're able to experience each other and yourselves and whole new way. And it's that this is completely different when you feel free, when you don't feel inhibited, when you feel like I can be me, I can be fully me. I'm still gonna be loved. It's okay if I have roles or fat or imperfect bodies and it's okay if there's weird sounds or I have strange looks on my face, I'm still going to be loved , and I can just let go and be free. And then you just start enjoying yourself and each other and the relationship. Again, even outside of that, it's just one way look, cause I do enjoy talking to women about reclaiming their sexual life.

Hard time. After my hysterectomy, it completely obviously changes hormonal patterns. I'm no longer getting ovarian hormones at all. So estrogen is really low and my, it changed my brain. It changed the whole way. My body felt just to be just to exist, feels different. And then my, it changed my whole libido.

My whole sexual life. Everything felt differently, responded differently. And I didn't ever question that my husband wasn't going to be there with me through every step of it, which was so much more comforting. And so. Liberating. And it just made me feel safe because I could say, all right, this is what used to feel good.

And I don't feel anything that way anymore. Let's try it this way, or I need more time to get my brain into it so that my body responds. But what's so important is everything that you're talking about indicates you have the securely attached relationship is what I see in couples is when they don't have that secure attachment, when that connection is not that deep, what ends up happening is they let menopause, they let hysterectomy, or even other kinds of illnesses or disease become an excuse to stop exploring, to stop working past those barriers.

And so they just stopped having sex and they use I've got fibromyalgia, or I've got this, I'm just in too much pain and then the other partner accepts it. And then there you go, intimacy sex goes out the window. And the couple is even trying to find their way around the blocks. When you have secure attachment, it's like.

We don't want to stop sharing this part of our relationship together. So even though we have these limitations, let's find a way to work through these limitations. And we also don't take those limitations personally. Like your spouse is not 25 anymore. Yeah. It's like, Oh, it's not that you're not turned on by me or this or that.

It's all we recognize. Our bodies are changing. Our hormones are changing. Our psyche is changing. So we need to work with all these factors and just find a new way to break through. And that process can actually be kind of exciting and fun, fun. We've been trying things and talking about things that we.

Wouldn't have had the opportunity to before or that just didn't come up, you know? So it's been fun.

That's amazing. Well, I'm glad for you and your husband, it sounds like you guys have a really amazing relationship. Yeah. It's been hard. One. It's not easy. Good relationships take work. That's it. See, this is the thing. This is what I hate is people give marriage such a bad rap. Oh, marriage is broken.

No. Marriage is not broken. Marriage works great. It's broken people, entering marriage, expecting it to be some kind of a magic button or a match you're going to, it's not going to automatically fix everything. We'll make everything go away. If you don't know how to be in relationship, it doesn't matter if that's marriage or cohabitating or just dating relationship.

Those habits are going to be there. Marriage is not broken. It's two people that don't know how to make relationship work in a healthy way. So they blame it. And it's like, you guys got to do the work. Great relationships, take work, anything out there, people who are CEOs, people who are the best at what they do, didn't just get there.

But your MVPs in sports, they didn't just pop out of the womb. Being an Allstate. Right. It doesn't mean they didn't have talent, but they also had to work. They had to hone that talent, hone their skills. They had to have a coach. Right? So everyone who is deeply successful has had to work really hard. So if you want the Ferrari of marriages, you need to put the Ferrari type maintenance into it.

If you have a Ferrari, I guarantee you're babying it versus you're driving like a Pinto or something. You can't take care of it. Like it's a Pinto. You need to take care of it. Like it's a Ferrari. If you want to have the Ferrari marriages, let's just, it's a great metaphor. That's a great metaphor. So a new couple comes into your office and they say, we are disconnected.

We haven't had sex. Then I don't know how long we, every interaction seems like we're attacking one another and we need help. What do you do? What's the first thing you see, or the first set of things you say to them to sort of try to help them fix that. First of all the things that I let them know is I know exactly how to help you.

And you're in really good hands. I want them to be reassured that somebody knows what the heck is going on and has a path and a roadmap that has been proven by science and research to be effective more than anything else usually helps. But I always want to look at the package. It's not the fact that couples have issues.

It's again, the pattern that they get stuck in the worst of pattern, the more dug in and entrenched the pattern is the harder it is for couples to get out. And then they get themselves stuck and then these issues don't get resolved and they have things like. Reoccurring fights that don't seem to go away.

They're not being repaired. Sex goes away and hasn't been coming back. So I want to look at the pattern the way it looks between them. And I, I get to know them very deeply and get to know their pattern very deeply so that we can unpack it. We understand all the layers, we understand exactly what's driving it, how they're interacting off each other, the meanings and messages that they're getting from these interactions, the emotions attached and the behaviors attached to all that.

And then I work on helping them do things differently. Well, teaching them the skills all the way through, because I don't want, first of all, I don't want to solve your problems because that puts too much responsibility on me. And then you forever. I had enough responsibility on the couple of one thing you have to forever come to me to help you.

Anytime you have an issue, you can't resolve where rather I want to teach you how to solve your own problems. I want to give you the skills to solve your own problems, work your way through conflict, and to have the skills, to be able to draw closer, to do vulnerability and emotions better so that you can have that Ferrari of marriage.

So you can have the kind of sex life, the kind of love life, the kind of companion relationship that you want to have with your partners. So we unpack all these layers and I teach them the tools so that again, they can have what they need to maintain it on their own, and they don't have to be a client of mine forever.

And however, fast or slow they move through therapy really depends on them. Really depends on how willing they are to do the work. Unfortunately, not everyone who comes to therapy is a customer for change. Sometimes. Yeah, people come, a lot of people are resistant to do the hard work, to figure themselves out.

They want all the benefits of a great relationship and none of the costs, right. And other people just already know they're done, but they don't know how to say it. So they come in and they want the therapist to take their side in and tell their partner why their partner is horrible and sucks. And Oregon, they just they're actually coming to break up and they need to know that their partner will be okay.

And that they aren't going to have a mental breakdown or go on a shooting rampage if they file for divorce. And so mother did that for years. From my earliest memories, I have memories of being three or four years old and sitting in. Waiting rooms with coloring books and crayons, not knowing where I was.

My parents were inside talking to somebody and I was just sitting there, but they were in marriage, counselors and therapists, office offices, and lots of different therapists offices over a great many years because that's what my mother was doing. She was looking for a therapist to take her side and say that my dad was evil and that she was totally vindicated and that she was a princess and had no responsibility for anything that was going wrong.

And it was all him and no therapist ever said that. And she resisted time and time and time again for decades, she resisted anybody telling her that she was responsible for her own part of this relationship. She was responsible for her own happiness and that. They were both equally culpable in what they had.

Oh yeah. The piece she wasn't responsible is part, but she was responsible for her, but her own, and she absolutely refused to accept that she had any behavior to correct. And whenever a therapist would say that she needed to do the work, she'd fire the therapist called them a bozo and find someone else.

And she went through dozens. Yeah. And there's definitely people out there like that. And that's very frustrating for us as the therapist. And, but oftentimes it can be validating for the spouse when they're like, at least you see what I'm going through. I think it made my father feel a little bit less alone in the universe, but it didn't make it any happier for him.

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And then you have people who actually just come to therapy so that they can say they went to therapy. Like I'm just checking a box. Right, right. I'm ready for divorce, but not going to thing. I went to therapy and we know full well when those people are there. Like we know when you're not doing the work.

Yeah. No. Okay. Absolutely. And then you'll have to pick a therapist also with whom you feel safe and with whom you feel there's a personality match or an energy match of some sort like I've been in therapy for all of my adult life. And there have been a few therapists who I've only met with one or two times before I said, this just doesn't feel right to me.

I don't feel safe here. And it is what it is. Everybody's needs. Oh, a lot by doing a lot of research on a therapist, reading reviews and just getting to read their profile. You want somebody who's really highly trained in the model of counseling that they do in the specialties that they specialize in a lot of people, and this is very important, but I see this a lot.

People just get out of grad school and they're like, I'm just going to sit in a chair and dispense advice and collect a check and. That's not right. And they don't really, their heart is not in it in the same way that others like me who commit so many man hours and time away from home and mental energy, just trying to become really good and masters of the skills of knowing people of how to help people, trying to give them something that's effective.

So you want somebody that really cares about what they're doing, that they care enough to get trained. They care enough to get good in it. I'm certified. Not only is it therapist, but as a supervisor and hopefully knock on wood, maybe one day a trainer of this model of counseling. So I really care a lot about it.

And so you're going to see that carry through when you're reading that therapist profile, you know, that they really know what they're talking about, and they're really going to know how to relate to you. Makes a lot of sense to do the research. And there are so many websites out there. I mean, not only do therapists and counselors themselves have their own websites, but there are so many other like psychology today has an endless list and reviews and so on of doctors and their specialties and where they went to school.

And I'm a research queen. So I research everybody. Yeah. I want know I've actually gotten off psychology today. It was helpful when I was a beginning practitioner, but you don't tend to get great quality referrals from psychology today. And a lot of those are just, they're like databases. Okay. People will just pay a fee and it helps them get listed.

But you know, again, Really get such a good resource. I mean, they definitely, they have a reason and they have an audience. And I think if you're looking for a therapist that takes insurance, they're a great resource because it will list the therapist who accept insurance. And it is hard, pretty much most of the best therapists.

I know don't accept insurance. And part of that is because insurance limits the kind of counseling and the amount of counseling that you can do with people. They don't like to pay a very decent wage. It's extremely hard to get paid by them. And we've had clients who have been turned down for life insurance because they've been diagnosed with depression or who have had a spike in their healthcare rates because of things like a diagnosis of depression and such.

So these things can find their way back. So it just seems that the healthcare system hasn't quite the insurance business, hasn't quite got it together. Oh, yeah. Mental health care has to be completely revamped in this country. Yes. It needs to be more accessible to people who don't have the financial means to pay out of pocket for fancy therapists.

Like I think the underserved community almost needs it more and yet doesn't have access. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly. So we definitely need a lot of help in that and therapists that charge more are probably trained more. So they have a lot of overhead because they're constantly training, constantly spending money on their own growth and training.

And I mean, good. So you want somebody who knows their skills and knows their audience and is deeply trained in it. That makes a lot of sense. So we're get somebody get your book. Amazon actually, if you just type in the Amazon search bar, relentless empathy, Dr. Bugatti, or on a bell Bugatti, you can just type in relentless empathy.

I think it comes up as the second on the list. And you'll see my book. If you watch, if you get to watch this video, you'll see the picture of me in the background is from my book cover. So that'll be great. I love the black and white, the intensity of that, like metaphorically, you're going to be the light.

I like it. I try, I really enjoy finding the light in my clients and helping stoke the light within. But yeah, absolutely. So you can find my book on Amazon and there's also new therapy. Like tele-health kind of thing. It was all in person. I do as much in person as I can. I'm licensed in the state of Nevada.

I'm registered as a telehealth provider in Florida. I do some telehealth sessions, especially if somebody is under quarantine and they can't come in. Of course I want people to be safe first and foremost. Sure. I don't want to be exposed, but if they're healthy, it, especially with couples, it's really hard to, some people are gifted at doing it.

Over telehealth, but it's most, a lot of people have too many distractions over telehealth. They have like kids in the background or animals running a plastic table. So I always prefer to do it in person, but I do screen before people come into my office for health and in COVID. So yeah. Well, you have to do that nowadays.

That's imperative. I haven't been in a room with my therapist and over a year  she's not very adept at computers, so we've been doing everything on the phone, which has been okay, but it's not quite the same. And now that I'm vaccinated and she's vaccinated, we're hoping to get back to the.

In person, even if it's in outdoors and I don't tend to get like super close to my clients anyway, so there's social distancing and it's not like we're packing a party in there. It's like one or two other people in the room at most, at any given time. So it's very small. So yeah, but absolutely I do. And I do intensives for couples as well.

So if couples want to fly in from out of state and they just want to do like a two day intensive just to jumpstart their therapy, or maybe they've had an impasse with their current therapist where they are, they can come and we might be able to move some of the pieces enough that they can go home and get set with their therapist and get moving again or spend all of two days with them.

Oh yeah. It's about six between six and eight hours of therapy. Each day. So it's about, wow. That is intensive. Yeah. Four to six hours each day. And yeah, we had accomplished a lot in a short amount of time, but it's very helpful in some couples who are just new to therapy or who were more positive that aren't sure that they want to do an entire course of therapy will come to intensives.

You've seen things like this on like couples retreat and such. So it's really a lot of fun. So you can come to me and we do that and I really love the movie. , hope Springs, where Steve Carell plays a therapist. He actually did a really good job and he does couples intensives there as well. So it's a really to look for it.

Yeah, just you and the couple, it's not like other couples. Nope. Just me and a couple. I have couples come in for premarital intensive so that we can kind of work through some of their main concerns as they prepare to go down that aisle. And that's really helpful as well. So it's and make sure that it's all on the up and up and we're all where we need to be before we need lawyers.

Exactly. Exactly. You think divorce is expensive, so invest before it really is an investment and it does pay off. Believe me in the long run therapy is way more affordable than divorce I have been there. Absolutely. Absolutely. So can you give us just like one last piece of advice or one last thing to think about before we sign off?

I would just say that again. It's never, even if you feel like it's been a while, since you've been connected in your relationship and you're feeling like there's no hope there is hope. I promise. I have had couples who have been married for 25, 30 years. Some of whom haven't had sex in 10 years and they're reclaiming their relationship.

They're having a better marriage than they even had to start with. They're having better sex. They're having sex again, it may feel like it's beyond hope, but I promise it's not get a really good therapist. I always recommend finding an EFT certified therapist or an EFT therapist. This is emotionally focused therapy.

And it is pioneered by Sue Johnson. And you don't want someone who practices EFT and a bunch of other things, because they're not going to EFT is, has been established as the industry's gold standard of couples counseling. We know how it works. We know why it works. We've done a ton of research on the interventions itself to prove that they actually work and they work more than any other model of counseling.

So the research outcomes are based on somebody who is practicing EFT, not doing a drip and drab of this other stuff. So find someone who seriously committed to doing, to excellence in the model. And you can do that by going to, This is the international center for excellence in EFT.

And you can think of this website in the show notes as well. And you can type in the state, you live in, you can type in the zip code. You can even type in the country because there are EFT therapists and other countries as well. And you can find an EMT therapist in your area and they will let you know how trained the therapist is.

If it's somebody who's just done their two basic trainings, if it's a certified therapist, if it's a trainer, if it's a supervisor, that's a really great resource. And I promise you, my mom, she was my writing accountability partner with my book, and it's all written with the tools and the methods from EFT and my mom read it.

And she was like, man, if I had EFT, when I was going through marriage counseling, this was exactly what we needed because Sue Johnson says we are the best at getting to the heart of the matter, the quickest and most effectively. And so by reading your book, people can get introduced to this themselves.

You can get introduced the ideas of attachment, the principles of attachment and emotion and behavior and how they're all inextricably intertwined. And I talk about addiction. I talk about anger and violence. I even talked about how to apply these things to yourself, because as a helping professional, it's easier to point at other people and say, here's what you should be doing.

But when you're the one in it, when it's your own relationship and you're inside your own cycle of conflict, how to be able to walk the talk and apply those to yourself is very essential. Yeah. So again, if you're a helping professional, again, you don't have to be a therapist. You could be a pastor, you could be a nurse, you could be a teacher university professor there's.

I had a lot of friends read this who knew nothing about therapy or being a therapist. And they loved it. They said they got stuck of out of it. Yeah. I think anybody who's in a relationship of any kind could probably benefit from reading this. Absolutely. Absolutely. It's not necessarily geared towards helping people have better like romantic relationships.

It's just helping people to have to shape better interactions and relationships with people. They find the most difficult. So even if you're like a sales manager somewhere and you have that lady who comes in and wants to argue and pitch a fit over, wanting to return this half eaten piece of fruit that she bought, can we get to go

through some things in here that can help you? So we've all had clients like that. And in various ways, we all have difficult people in our life. Hey, we may even be the one who's difficult in somebody else's life. That's true. That's true. Are you willing to take a look and find out if you're that difficult person and do what it takes?

Do the work to not be that difficult person and underneath I promise you're probably someone who just wants to be loved. Wants to be cared for and wants to be seen as valuable, valued, important and good. Yeah. So you gotta make sure you're not getting in your own way. Yes. Yes. A lot of us do that. We get in our own way and we don't know how to get out of our own way.

Absolutely. So. Well, thank you so much for having me on. I so appreciate you. Yeah. So great. This was wonderful. Thank you so much for being here. I feel like I've had a therapy session. This is just lovely. I hope everyone listening and agrees and thank you to all the listeners for listening and for buying my book again, check it out on Amazon and you can visit my website, Dr., D R B E L L Okay. I will link Dr. and I will link the Amazon link to your book in the show notes, as well as the I C E F T website for people. And so it all be there in the show notes. So just scroll down from where you're listening to the podcast or watching it on YouTube. And it'll all be there.

Yes. And my YouTube channel is we heart therapy. You can also find it wherever podcasts are found. We heart therapy. A lot of it geared towards other therapists, but I do have a ton of videos on YouTube that are also for the general public. So that'd be awesome out Hart, w E D w I G H a R T therapy yet, and some of my videos are on my Instagram.

You can also follow me on Instagram. And, my latest video that I did is a women in sex. And we were talking about helping women to what gets in the way from them having an enjoyable sex life and watch that. Yeah, it's good. It's good. And I have one that I did previous to that, which was, let's talk about sex and why talking about sex is so uncomfortable.

Why is it uncomfortable, whole other conversation, the whole other conversation I've always had this sort of mantra that if you, or this idea that if you can't talk about sex, you shouldn't be having it through. Or if you can't talk about sex, chances are you're not having very good sex either. Well, probably.

Okay. On that note, this has been such a lovely interview discussion conversation episode. Thank you so much, Dr. Bell. I loved this and thank you so much. I so appreciate you and everyone listening.

Hello, I'm Marci Brockman, author, artist, English, teacher, and podcaster. Everyone has an interesting and inspiring story to tell. And it's precisely the sharing and listening of these stories that creates human connection and empathy. In the last year, I've taken this mission of storytelling worldwide through painting publishing my first two books and starting a hit podcast.

Join me this Wednesday. As I chat live with Casey Armstrong on podcast business network, about my exciting multifaceted adventures that empower people to live their best lives. Join us on Spotify, Stitcher tune in and Deezer and give yourself permission to live your best life. Thank you for joining me for this episode of permission to heal.

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