Hope in Healing – Working w/ Couples Through Betrayal, Pornography and Shame w/ Sam Tielemans LMFT

Tony welcomes therapist and friend Sam Tielemans, LMFT, to the Virtual Couch. They cover topics from shame’s role in furthering addictive behaviors to why working with your spouse can ultimately be a powerful way to enhance recovery. They tackle the challenging issue of pornography, is it an addiction or does that matter when it comes to recovery? They challenge the “once an addict, always an addict” dialogue often heard in the recovery world. And they give some new insight on working with betrayal trauma. You can find Sam at http://coupleshealing.org and subscribe to his podcast Couples Healing From Pornography Addiction.

Go to http://tonyoverbay.com/magnetic to sign up for Tony’s “Magnetize Your Marriage” virtual workshop on April 7th. You’ll learn the top 3 things you can do NOW to create a Magnetic Marriage.

With the continuing “sheltering” rules spreading across the country, PLEASE do not think you can’t continue or begin therapy now. http://betterhelp.com/virtualcouch can put you quickly in touch with licensed mental health professionals who can meet through text, email, or videoconference often as soon as 24-48 hours. And if you use the link http://betterhelp.com/virtualcouch, you will receive 10% off your first month of services. Please make your mental health a priority, http://betterhelp.com/virtualcouch offers affordable counseling, and they even have sliding scale options if your budget is tight.

You can learn more about Tony’s pornography recovery program, The Path Back, by visiting http://pathbackrecovery.com And visit http://tonyoverbay.com and sign up to receive updates on upcoming programs and podcasts.

Tony mentioned a product that he used to take out all of the “uh’s” and “um’s” that, in his words, “must be created by wizards and magic!” because it’s that good! To learn more about Descript, click here https://descript.com?lmref=bSWcEQ

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[00:00:15] Come on, take a seat, I.

[00:00:22] Hey, everybody, welcome to Episode 316 of the Virtual Couch. I am your host, Tony Overbay. I’m a licensed marriage and family therapist, certified mindful habit coach, writer, speaker, husband, father for ultramarathon runner and creator of The Path Back and online pornography recovery program that is helping people just become the very best versions of themselves without needing to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms. And the way you do that is, is truly plugging up the holes in your relationships and your parenting and your faith and your health and your career. And that’s the stuff that we really work on. And sure, we help someone move away from unhealthy coping mechanisms. If you want to know more, go to Pathbackrecovery.com. And I’m trying to get this out on time on a Tuesday, April 5th, and this Thursday, April 7th, I’m doing a magnetic marriage workshop. How to magnetize your marriage. And I’m going big on this one. It is virtual. You can find out more at Tony over Baker Magnetic. And here’s the premise. If there is anything that you feel is even just a challenge in your relationship, if it’s a struggle at times to communicate or you feel like it just could be better, that it doesn’t mean that it’s broken, that you are starting to head toward divorce or anything like that. It’s it’s normal. We do not have the tools in our factory settings on how to have the very best relationship or to show up as our very best self.

[00:01:37] Because of all the things I talk about on my podcast so often, our our abandonment wounds, our attachment wounds, and how we show up in our relationship and our fear of invalidation and our need for external validation. And are you differentiated? Are you two autonomous people coming together with curiosity and all these other buzzwords and things that I talk about that I’m getting passionate about right now, even as I’m just describing them? I’m going to talk about all of that. And it’s Thursday night, it’s 7:00 Pacific Time. And and you can go to Tony over Macomb Magnetic and you can find out more. It isn’t something that you have to take with your spouse. It is for anyone, whether you’re in a relationship, whether you hope to be in a relationship, if you can spell the word relationship, any, anyone. I cannot wait to share all the things that I can about what the tools are because there is nothing wrong with you or your relationship if you don’t have the tools because people have to go through things in order to even know that they don’t have the right tools, then they have to go find the tools, then they have to use them. They may not be good at using the tools. A lot of tool analogy here, but I really am excited to talk about this Thursday night.

[00:02:41] Just go to Tony over Macomb Magnetic if you if you want to know more and we’re going to get to a tremendous show today. I have a friend I’d call him an old friend, Sam Thielemans on. Sam and I have been circling around each other for years trying to get on each other’s podcast. And I really I have to use my own acceptance and commitment therapy skills where now I’m beating myself up because I wish I would have communicated with him earlier. I think he and I were first trying to connect back in 2018 or 2019 and we didn’t. And it was mainly my fault I would get distracted or busy or overschedule myself and we just really vibed. And we talked about pornography as a coping mechanism. We talked about a little bit of a new way to work with betrayal, trauma, and we talked about just he’s so on the same page. And I wasn’t exactly sure what page Sam was on. I knew he was a good person and a great therapist and he has a podcast as well, and all of that information will be in the show notes and he talks about it at the end of the show, but we just he’s on the same page. Shame has no place in recovery and that there is a there’s a really good way to work with your spouse through concepts like betrayal and in trying to turn away from unhealthy coping mechanisms.

[00:03:50] And I quote Sue Johnson, founder of emotionally focused therapy that were designed to deal with emotion in concert with another human. I think that Sam ultimately wants to do that as much as I do, which is why I’ve created a marriage seminar and a magnetic marriage course, which is coming soon. I feel like it’s a really inspiring or hope filled interview, so let me get to that. Before I do, I cannot even begin to tell you how grateful I am for the outpouring of support from last week’s episode, where I interviewed my daughter Alexa, her husband Mitch. My wife Wendy was on there. I just have to say that episode had the single biggest 24 hour download by thousands than I’ve ever had of an episode. And we do talk about Alex’s challenges with her accident, and we do point to a Go Fund Me page, which is just I mean, I can’t even tell you how grateful I am for the support there as well. And and if you’re not in a position to support her through the go fund me, it is absolutely fine. We literally feel the prayers, the karma, the good vibes and just please keep those coming. Let’s get to today’s show. I think you’re really going to enjoy Sam Clemens. All right. Let’s get to my interview with Sam. Come on.

[00:04:54] Take a seat. Oh.

[00:04:59] Oh. Recording you started. Sam, welcome to the virtual couch.

[00:05:02] Thank you. I’m really excited to be here. I know we’ve been talking about this for a while.

[00:05:05] A long time, and I feel like I have to take full ownership. And I’ve been the one that has then said, Oh, man, I forgot, or I canceled this thing or whatever. So patient and I appreciate it because do you remember how we met Sam?

[00:05:17] It was through.

[00:05:18] Kurt. Oh, was it I.

[00:05:20] That was an early.

[00:05:21] Interaction was okay because I was thinking, did you do some of the betrayal trauma training as well with Dr. Skinner? And I met you through that.

[00:05:28] So I have gone through some of his stuff. I used to work at Otto that was like.

[00:05:31] That’s where I met you, because that was where I think I first saw you as well. I forgot about the Kurt connection. That’s amazing. Yeah. So. So you’re being very kind, but I still look at you as you are. This person that when I first started talking with you and Sam knows so much more than I do.

[00:05:44] Well, I don’t know about that, but I’m.

[00:05:47] Appreciate that. Yeah. And full vulnerability. I look at your last name and I always want to pronounce it either Tielemans or Tielemans or.

[00:05:55] That’s right. You got it right. It’s too limited, too.

[00:05:57] Is that is that German?

[00:05:58] It’s close, it’s Dutch. So they’re kind of in the same general. Yeah.

[00:06:03] Are they okay. If you don’t mind, maybe tell my audience a little bit about you. And again, I’m so excited to have you. I think I may have first reached out to you and then I signed you or ghosted you, as the kids say these days, because you’re you’re a certified and emotionally focused. Right. And I absolutely love and adore EFT. And so I think I had wanted to get you on then. And then I dropped the ball and then you also are EMDR certified.

[00:06:26] So I didn’t get certified in that one, but fully trained.

[00:06:29] Okay. Which I love that part too. And you deal with pornography, addiction, compulsive behavior, impulse control, all those things.

[00:06:35] Yes. Yes. Okay, so so yeah. Yeah. I’m happy to share. Yeah. I’ve been working with couples for about ten years now. I work with couples and individuals. I really like the relationship side of things because I think there are so many layers that get very complicated. And so I’ve just really niched down into how to help couples overcome the impact of pornography or a sexual betrayal, how to restore trust, how to work with betrayal, trauma, help with the addiction. So that’s my little sphere. And I live in Las Vegas, so it’s I’ll see people from all people say, oh, you work in this industry, in that city.

[00:07:07] Is there anything significantly different, do you think, working there? Well.

[00:07:11] Some of the behaviors can be more escalated. I think there’s access to other stuff here. It’s just more easily accessible, I think. But yeah, you can find anything anywhere.

[00:07:20] Okay. So that is I am curious because there’s the one concept of with even pornography where there’s an acceptance that, okay, sure I can, but I’m going to do all these other things that are more in my align with my values, but I’m not trying to beat myself up about, oh my gosh, the guy wants to look at porn. And so then it’s that acceptance. Or then they find out, Okay, I really don’t necessarily need to do that as often. I would be curious if it’s that accessible. Is that same principle hold true?

[00:07:46] Well, yeah. I think the majority of the people that I work with it does not escalate beyond pornography or if there is an affair. Sometimes that happens. But I’ve worked with people where there’s been like prostitution for years and years and really, really escalated. But typically it’s and that all comes from the same core issue. It just shows up differently. But yeah, it’s typically it’s it’s pornography and the betrayal that happens there. So I’ve been doing that for about ten years now.

[00:08:09] I was okay and maybe. How did you get started in this? I am always curious about the origin story. That’s the only thing I like about superhero movies is the first one. So yeah.

[00:08:17] So of course you’re exposed to it as a kid and curiosity as a teen. But I’ve never struggled with addiction. That wasn’t my challenge. And so I remember being in grad school, though, speaking with a friend of mine who opened up Mature with me, that he’d been struggling for like 15 years. And he said he’s done everything under the sun. He went to therapy, he went to groups, he got an accountability partner. All of the things that are commonly recommended. He’s like, I’ve literally done everything. I can’t overcome this thing. And I remember sitting on the couch in our little break room there. I had the clear thought that comes to my mind that said I should learn how to treat this because I’m sure I’m going to see it a lot in the church. That was like the phrase that popped in my mind. And so I thought, okay, let’s I’ll pursue this. And as I’ve learned more and more about it, it’s I love being able to help people in this area because pornography is just the symptom. You’re really dealing with all the stuff that’s underneath, which I know that, you know that, but that I didn’t know that at the time.

[00:09:10] And neither did I. Yeah, absolutely. Right. Yeah, yeah.

[00:09:13] Which is yeah, it was. So it’s fascinating to me to know that really like shame is such a core part of why people struggle. There’s other things that contribute to that. But that kind of started me on this journey of like, I got to I want to help people with this. And as I’ve been doing it and you see tiny little miracles in sessions, it’s such a cool thing to see people’s life change in such a significant way because this is something that follows people around for decades if they don’t get the help that they need. So that’s just that was my start in it. I should learn how to treat this because my body is struggling and I’m sure I’m going to see it more. And it truly is not only in the church but outside of the church, Christian community, wherever so many people struggle with it.

[00:09:51] Okay, now I feel like the stuff that I said, Hey, let’s talk about couples. The more you’re talking, I feel like I just want to have a conversation with you about the shame and about the lies that we tell ourselves, or about the things where I almost feel like everything that we’re trying to do or have been trying to do around. And I even have a hard time calling it pornography addiction because it’s. But is it actually making the problem worse? You find that a lot of your clients do feel do you get pushback on the get rid of the shame you feel like a lot of people say I got to have a little bit some.

[00:10:20] Times or they’ll want to get rid of it but not know how. They just they just don’t really know how. And I’m a big fan because you mentioned addiction, right? I think addiction it’s all in a spectrum. Yeah. And a lot of people don’t actually like sometimes I’ll see like a group like a like a Facebook group that I’m in that the mom will say, well, my my 13 year old has an addiction. Yeah, well, it’s probably not an addiction, but is he struggling with something? Sure. So I never refer to guys as addicts.

[00:10:45] Same. Okay. This is stuff, I think, man. Sam, this can be fun to talk about. And because I will often say that. All right, if somebody wants to say I’m an addict, all right, okay, fine. But I don’t feel like sometimes I feel like that carries such 100%.

[00:11:00] Yeah. Because that’s their identity, right? If you define yourself as addict, then subconsciously you can only go so far because then you’re going to get reminded, well, you’re that kind of a person so that you can’t get too far away from like your behaviors, the negative behaviors. So I can see somebody who’s maybe struggling with an addiction or with some kind of compulsive behavior or unwanted habit, but it’s never this is your identity because then you’re stuck and then your wife is stuck because she’s like, If I’m married to an addict, we’re going to deal with this for the rest of our marriage. Exactly. That’s I don’t think that. Yeah, I don’t think that either.

[00:11:32] Okay. Now I feel like, okay, now be my therapist for a second. Stay on my group. A couple of nights ago, somebody had asked, how long does it take? And I felt like I was having this little bit of an epiphany where I had worked with someone at one point that said, I tell my clients it’s 3 to 5 year process. And I thought, Oh, I’m not going to say that because I feel like that is somebody that’s going to say, Man, talk about bringing on the shame. And so as I was just talking this through and I really do, I would love for you to poke holes in this. And it’s funny, before we were caught, I said, Sam, I’m not going to say much. I just want to hear what you have to say.

[00:12:01] And I said, No, please do it.

[00:12:03] He did. It was fair. But I’m so I want to get your thoughts and we can just fix the whole world maybe. But but I thought, okay, initially that is the question where somebody is saying, okay, I know I’m an addict, I know this can be with me for the rest of my life. And I just need to settle down. And I feel like if somebody that’s been doing this for so long, I wanted to say no or maybe yeah with that attitude, but that is only going to introduce more of the shame. And I just talked about how it really is not so much about, yeah, we know that you don’t want to do that or you’re turning to this unhealthy coping mechanism and now it’s on my group. We start talking about ways to just become a better person and to feel more whole and to to find the things that are more value based so that you don’t necessarily turn to the unhealthy coping mechanism. And it takes a while and then people beat themselves up when they have a setback. And so then I said on this thing where you’re really it’s more of just the process of becoming or being. And so two years, however long it is, all of a sudden it’s all that was even the right question to ask at the time. But you can’t tell the person that when they’re asking the question. I think.

[00:13:03] Yeah, yeah, it’s tough because I agree. I think I mean, because I’ve seen people make some like miraculous changes. Like unbelievable. Like you wouldn’t believe it if you weren’t there type of a change. Right or if you because I guess because like we’ve just discussed pornography, it’s a symptom. So if you can trace it down to exactly what the hang up is, what the core issue is, and you shift it like in an instant, people can change. Yeah. And then it just takes some time for the follow through to demonstrate the change. And so I’ve seen people like within weeks be in a completely different place because there was one major belief that they’re struggling with about like unworthiness or not being enough. But as soon as that shifts, they walk out a different person because they don’t see themselves as unworthy. It’s almost like, you know, those diagrams where you look at the diagram and you see a vase. Oh yeah, you look at it in another one, you see two faces pointing towards each other. It’s like one of those things when somebody has like a dramatic shift in their beliefs, it’s like, you can’t now unsee this new version, you know? Yeah. And so when that happens and like some people just they never go back to it. Other people, it’s a progress. It’s a process that takes some time and that’s fine. But yeah, I agree with you. It’s a process of becoming and the more you have this target of this is the person I want to become and that’s what you’re shooting for instead of I think the framing is important too, because sometimes people will say, Well, I’ll put I’m working with somebody right now who he’s like, I want to turn off my wi fi at 10:00 pm so I don’t slip. I’m like, Okay, that’s good that you want to turn the Wi-Fi off. I would free frame it a little bit. It’s like I want to turn off my wi fi so I get a good night’s sleep.

[00:14:41] Oh, I like.

[00:14:42] Shooting towards a pot. Like, what’s the positive outcome? Because if you’re it’s just looking at it from if I do this so I don’t mess up. You’re driving in reverse.

[00:14:51] Yes.

[00:14:53] But if you I want to do this behavior for this positive outcome, it’s a small it might seem.

[00:14:57] I love reframing.

[00:14:58] It makes a big difference. Yeah, it really does make a big difference.

[00:15:01] So I really appreciate that about the that I do. You have people that can have these miraculous changes. And do you find, though, that then if someone doesn’t, then they go to the see then something’s wrong with me or that I must not be doing it right.

[00:15:16] I try to get them away from that.

[00:15:17] Yeah.

[00:15:20] I don’t want. Because that’s not true. Yeah, sometimes there’s just different layers. So I’ll share with you the framework that I have when I’m working with people. I see it on three different levels. On the highest level is like a behavioral level. And I think before people really get started into doing like more focused work, they’re focused on the behavioral level. It’s like filters and everything in place, which, you know, there can be a place for that and that can be. I had somebody a good analogy said if you put guardrails on the side of a freeway. Yeah, that’s helpful. However, guardrails don’t push you forward down the road like it doesn’t propel you towards your goal. So can guardrails help? Sure. But on the on the behavioral level, it’s just habits, right? Patterns and habits. If you come home, you’re just used to taking your shoes off, sitting on the couch. Sometimes people, they just get overwhelmed or if they stress out. And that’s just what they do is their behavioral habit. So that’s on the highest level, the level beneath that. These are the reasons why people struggle. It’s behavior, it’s habit. The emotional level is the second one. It’s the middle one. And as I frame this, when people are lonely or when they’re afraid or they feel disconnected or stress or some emotional component to it that they want to get away from how they feel.

[00:16:26] Yeah. Okay.

[00:16:28] And then I think at the core level is our beliefs and our identity. So going back to this one idea, if somebody says I’m unworthy as a person, if we don’t shift that, they’re going to struggle for a long, long time because that is such an overwhelming negative belief that who wouldn’t want to get away from how bad that feels? Who wouldn’t want to numb that out? Who wouldn’t want to just avoid that and find some other way to forget about it for a moment? So I think when I work with people, those that’s the frame I have in my mind is we’re starting at the base. Let’s work through these negative beliefs first and then once we clear that layer out, we’ll see what’s next. And then they might come and say, Well, I’m feeling different, but I was triggered by this thing. And maybe it was more like a circumstantial thing where they’re walking down the road and they see something then like a visual trigger. Okay, we’ll start to process some visual triggers, but I find that once you address things on all three of these levels, that’s what makes it sustainable instead of somebody who’s just got the guardrails. But eventually it’s not enough to keep them from going backwards, you know?

[00:17:28] Oh, I love that. So what I like about that too, is I feel when I started working with this population that I was doing more of behavioral things and I feel like you do it right. So if we at the good church leaders bless their hearts meaning well but this is I think where the just seeing him or do some push ups comes from is just take care of the behavioral. So I really like what you’re saying is that’s that’s fine. But somebody can do push ups and still think that they’re a horrible person. As a matter of fact, they really have a negative sense of self. They can beat themselves up that they didn’t do as many push ups as they would have liked or they don’t remember the words to the song they’re supposed to be singing.

[00:18:03] Yes, they’ll find some way to bring them back. So I heard somebody say that the strongest force in the human personality is to act in alignment with how you see yourself. So however you identify yourself, you’re going to find a way back to your home base. If somebody describes himself as this very conservative proper person, you’ll never see them on the table dancing and having a good time. Yeah, they just don’t. Don’t do that. That’s not who I am. Which is why it goes back to this idea of somebody says, Well, I’m an addict so consciously you’re telling yourself where to go back to. That’s just who I am. I will struggle with this for the rest of my life. Then your mind says, All right, we’re going to make it so. Yeah, because if that’s who you are, then all your behaviors are going to find your way back there if you do something good. Yeah, I had a good moment, but that’s not really like this is who I am. Yeah. So that’s yeah. I think the identity piece is the key shift that a lot of people miss, which is why they stay in that cycle for.

[00:19:02] So it goes back to that. How many people do you work with that just feel like they they are broken or they are not enough or they are unlovable or any of those things? And I think exactly what you’re talking about, I talk so often about the concept of abandonment, where if somebody doesn’t respond the way I want them to, we don’t take into consideration. They’re just people doing people things. They must not love me or I must be. Yeah. So I love what you’re saying. So we’re going to find a way back there to whatever that core story is. So then how do you shift that core story or belief? How do you start to work with that?

[00:19:32] So there’s a few different ways to do it. I would say there’s three or four different things that I like to do. I think number one is helping them become, okay, I’ll share with you a little bit of my own back story. I remember being like a teenager. And this all fits into your answer. Your question. This is one of the ways that I like to work with people where I remember being a teenager and feeling just kind of depressed and I was embarrassed to talk to my parents about it. I remember I get this like the book on depression. I still remember like I hid it in my trunk of my car. Really. I never ended up reading it, but I was like, I just feel so bad. And so I grew up in a religious household and I’m like, I love my parents for it and I’m still active in my church.

[00:20:04] By the way, I always say, Sam, if as long as you say bless their heart, you can say whatever you want about them.

[00:20:07] There you go, with all due respect and bless their heart. Yeah. So I grew up in the message that my mom taught us as kids was be Christ. And that’s such an important message. And I’m doing the same thing. My kids now as I have them, because I feel like that’s what that’s a value of mine. Yeah. Inevitably when I wasn’t Christlike, I internalized it as I’m a bad person. That was my source of shame. And so it was like it’s unavoidable. Everybody is going to pick up some negative belief along the way, and that’s fine. It’s just can we minimize that? And then once that develops, can we just diffuse that? I didn’t know. I didn’t even know I had that belief for like my entire life. I just felt bad. I felt like depressed kind of. And so it wasn’t until grad school that I read Brené Brown’s book. It was called I Thought It Was Just Me, where she talks about the concept of shame, which I know you’re a big advocate of and a proponent of how important that is. I had no idea.

[00:21:06] I’m over 1600 and having shame be a component of recovery. I always say right. Yes. Never played a role.

[00:21:13] Right. Series. Yeah. But it’s. I didn’t even know what it was. And I just. So, again, like, shame. Meaning, just for people who might not be aware.

[00:21:21] Please. Yeah. How do you describe it? Shame versus for example.

[00:21:24] So guilt versus saying. So this is what I got from Brené Brown. She said Guilt is associated with your behavior. Shame is associated with how you see yourself. Instead of saying, I did a bad thing, it’s I did this thing and I’m a bad person. Yeah. When I read that, like, light bulb went off, I’m like, This is all I do. And I didn’t even realize it was happening, that it was like complete shame. It wasn’t depression. Like it showed up as sadness. I didn’t have depression, but I like it was as if I did because I felt so bad all the time, right? So any time I wasn’t Christlike and living within that value, I would instantly feel just like this pain of what’s I’m not a good person. Once I became aware of that’s what I was doing, then I could start to separate those two things out. And I started to just train myself to say, okay, like this is a silly example, but I remember there would be times where I’d walk into church, let’s say, and then I’d see somebody there, and then I’d think that I have this critical thought or like that that suit is kind of whatever. Like a pinstripe suit. That’s orange. Wow. What are you doing, bro? Like, I have this thought. That’s critical. Yeah. Then instantly I’d feel that.

[00:22:29] Oh, like, I’m such a bad person. I’d sit in the pew with my head down. I’d be praying for, like, 15 minutes, asking for forgiveness. Like, it was so ingrained, like, bad. Like, I didn’t. I could not separate. Oh, that was just a thought. It doesn’t mean anything about who I am. Like, I would be so hard on myself. But once I started to recognize that that’s what I was doing, I could now have a way to organize and separate out. That was just a thought. That doesn’t mean anything about me. Do I actually see that? Am I really this bad person that’s trying to judge somebody? No. I just had a thought flash across my mind. So, like, within that, I found a whole lot of grace, I guess you could say. I could give myself a break instead of reminding myself or telling myself, Well, a judgmental thought means you’re a bad person. It’s just, no, I had a negative thought or had a judgmental thought. Okay, fine. Let’s. Fine, let’s then put another thought. Like what? Good thing can I find? Yeah. It was there was then it just started to release this emotional charge. So I guess to answer your question, that’s one of the ways is to first help people recognize that beliefs like we’re conflating actions with beliefs.

[00:23:35] Yeah.

[00:23:35] If I make a bad decision that has no bearing on whether I’m a good or a bad person, it just is a reflection of the decision I made in the moment. Yeah. So just that framework was like liberating for me personally. So that’s one way I like to do it another way. So EMDR can be a really, really powerful way to target a moment in time where you develop the belief and just helps you to shift it and see it differently. Because once you have a new view, kind of like that vase analogy, if you see the voice your whole life, but then you have this experience where you shift it and see the other side of the picture. Then that can help relieve a lot of the pain that people feel. Can you talk about those are two of the ways.

[00:24:13] I’ve done a couple of episodes with people, but it’s been probably over a year where has even talked about EMDR and I’m not certified. And can you just give a real quick overview of what that is for people hearing this right now?

[00:24:23] Yeah, sure. And there’s other so so in transparency as well. Like I don’t do the EMDR anymore. I feel like I’m obsessed with trainings. Like I love going to conferences. And so I found other tools that seem to help more.

[00:24:33] Which ones are using. I watched a video on your website about neurofeedback or are you doing brain spotting or brain mapping?

[00:24:39] I was doing that too. So I’m like I’m like it’s like a revolving door of what seems I love how to grab the best pieces that seem to fit for me. Good. So neurofeedback can be super helpful. I’m a big fan of neurofeedback though. I don’t personally do it just because I don’t have the time to devote to it anymore. I definitely refer people to it. That’s just essentially neurofeedback is a it’s a brain training system that helps to teach the brain how to function more optimally. It helps to reduce and regulate anxiety and depression and with the feelings of the shame. Like it’s super cool to help reduce the intensity of the negative feelings that we have to help us like function more optimally. So I’m a big fan of that. There’s another training that I’ve gone to. It’s not even in the therapy world. So it’s like other stuff. There’s one called Neuro Linguistic Programing.

[00:25:24] And NLP I’ve read about it is See Sam’s out there doing it. I’m just reading it.

[00:25:28] Well, that’s where I start. I heard about it. I’m like, Oh, let’s go check this out. And there’s another one that I heard. Oh, I’m always like, Let’s just go check this out. And that has been such a huge thing for me to be able to. And again, it’s not even in the recovery world. It’s not it’s no no therapist even does this. I learned that at some random event that I went to. I learned about that at some Tony Robbins event. I’m like Tony Robbins. Oh, sure. Let’s go check him out. All right. So I’m like, yeah, I like learning all these different things. So that kind of got me on that thread of NLP. But basically there are some techniques in that where very quickly your shift in beliefs, which is what I was looking for the whole time. So that’s what I mainly lean on now. And but with again with these tools, the overlay of.

[00:26:09] Yeah, I was saying, oh I’m sorry, I was just saying now I feel bad because basically then we’ll take that number to the saying that there’s a lot of other tools that you can use. And so yeah, and I love that you’re saying you’ll go find something. And honestly, this is what I dig about our profession to Sam is I had people talk before, you know, they don’t know until they find the profession. They love that when you really love something that you do, then you do want to read all the books and go to all the trimmings and you just become passionate about it. And I don’t know, I can feel that in what you’re sharing right now.

[00:26:39] And I get excited about this.

[00:26:42] And I think but I think it’s also a good thing for people to hear that it does say that we’re all going to respond to different things or things are going to work. Things might not, and it doesn’t come from a place of man that didn’t work. What’s wrong with me? It’s that didn’t work. What’s next? I feel like.

[00:26:56] Yes, I love that. I think that’s great because. Yeah. And though again, this is the phase that I’m in now because maybe in two years I’ll find something else. I’m like, That’s all I want to do is that thing right? So I think there’s lots of different ways, whether it’s EMDR, whether it’s neurofeedback, whether it’s individual work, whether it’s group stuff. Like there’s so many different ways. But in my mind the target is to change beliefs, is to help people have that deeper shift. And in whatever way we do that it doesn’t. However you do it is fine, but if that’s the target, then you’re going to get so much more traction versus doing only staying on the behavioral level. I think there’s a place for those things. I think there’s a place for let’s get a good night’s sleep. But so we can wake up energized and so we can be excited about the next day and these. What positive outcome do you want? Not so I don’t make a mistake. Yeah, because there’s no, like, push, there’s no energy that pushes you down the road of success by not falling off the cliff. It’s like. So, yeah, I guess just to condense all of that, there’s a lot of different ways to do it, but those are some of the ones that have helped me personally.

[00:28:02] And then you have a third thing that I cut you off.

[00:28:04] So I guess separating guilt and shame. Yeah, EMDR has been really helpful for that. One thing that I find with the EMDR is that it’s so let me actually take a step back. There’s this like all star shooting. I’m like basically van der Kolk Bessel van der Call.

[00:28:21] Body keeps the score. I talk obsessively to the legend.

[00:28:25] The work that he’s done. I remember hearing him speak, watching this conference. He said that EMDR is the word that he used was sensationally effective with single incident traumas. And I have found that to be true too, where it’s like if it’s a moment in time, EMDR is so helpful to shift people from a negative state about the event to they feel neutral. It’s like it doesn’t bother them anymore. It’s not as effective when it comes to general like long term chronic trauma, where if it’s just somebody gets bullied and then they make mistakes and they make it mess up on test and they call these negative things that happen to somebody parents separate. It’s slower with that. That was my only complaint about EMDR, that if it was more chronic issue and a lot of times these beliefs are more chronic ones, sometimes you have one event and it’s like it’s solidifies in their mind, like I’m a piece of garbage or whatever belief. Other times it’s just like a slow development and then it gets reinforced over time. So he said that EMDR is really helpful for a single incident events, but then he’s neurofeedback is the thing that’s been tremendously helpful for people with longer term trauma.

[00:29:32] And so that’s what kind of kicked started me in a little let’s check that out too then I want to find out more about that. And it is it’s great. It’s so, so helpful to help just regulate somebody and how they feel and to give them a new baseline of just how they feel. So that’s okay. So guilt and shame is number one, neurofeedback. Number two, EMDR can be helpful. Number three, NLP number four. So there was like a few of these like, okay, let’s try this didn’t work together, shift here and do this. So like I’m like the ever optimist. Like it’s when I’m working the people, like I tell them on the outside, I’m like, this is inevitable. We’re going to get there. We’re going to get there for you’re going to overcome this. We’re just going to figure out what that path looks like. But this is it’s a slam dunk all. That’s how I feel anyway.

[00:30:15] No. And I’m again, we’re just going to mutual admiration society here for a second because. I feel like this is such an important message, though, because I often give it in the context of someone comes to me and then they say, Yeah, I know we met a couple of times, but look, I’m still acting out. So almost as if they’re subconsciously saying so I must be like really bad. So can you go out and tell me? I guess it’s not going to work so I can go and just live a life of acting out or that sort of thing. And that’s why I love that part of a therapist to be able to say, Oh, no, perfectly normal. That’s, you know, your brain’s pushing back a little bit or falling into path of least resistance. And they want you sometimes to tell them that they are broken because because they’re telling themselves that. And so then by two males it’s there must be true.

[00:30:56] Yes, right. Yeah, right.

[00:30:57] Yeah.

[00:30:59] That’s exactly right. So that’s why. Yeah, because I’ve just I’m obsessed with learning and growth and how do you do this better and more effectively? It’s inevitable that people can overcome this. I’m pretty selective with people that I take on, too, because sometimes they’re like people. They’re like, it’s not that big of a deal. It’s not my wife’s upset about it, but it’s kind of whatever. Yeah, it’s okay. That’s fine. That’s just maybe not the best fit for me. I want to work with people who are so committed that just need the right tools in the right order. Then we’ll handle that. But people who aren’t quite there and don’t really want to, and it’s not that big of a deal, it’s just that’s a whole nother there are people who like to work with those.

[00:31:33] I just go nuts with acceptance and commitment therapy. I act changed my whole world. Are you an act person?

[00:31:39] I don’t know too much about it, but.

[00:31:41] So there’s a kind of I’ve been there that is so amazing where and this is where I feel like it taps into that finding out who you really are. Get rid of the guilt and shame. Peace is that when people in essence take on the values of their family or of their culture or their church, and so then they don’t really know who they are. In fact, we talk about socially compliant goals and that’s doing something because I think I’m supposed to or I’m bad if I don’t. And Stephen Hayes, founder of ACT, says that if we are living by socially compliant goals, that our motivation is weak and ineffective because it goes against our process of unfolding. And so I feel like if we’re telling somebody to do something because they should or they’re supposed to then now and I feel like this is the now I can step up on the porch is the old man and say the kids these days. But I feel like that’s where then he says you turn to experiential avoidance. So if I don’t really want to do the thing that I’m supposed to do now, we live in this world of 900 million things that I can do instead. And so then when I turn to my phone or stream things on Hulu or Netflix, and now I’m not doing what I’m supposed to do now I also get to beat myself up about it too. And then I get to go back to that story of See, I’m a big piece of garbage.

[00:32:49] That’s exactly right. And that’s great. I’ll have to learn more about that. Maybe that’s my next thing.

[00:32:57] So I ask you to say I’m going completely in a different direction, but I could talk to you for hours about this. And and I almost am acting. I feel like I’m almost wanting to say, oh, this is so controversial, what I’m about to say, but I need to be authentic because I can be. But what do you do with the. So I work with a lot of people from the religion, from the church people as well. And so someone goes and confesses and they’re in essence told go and said no more. And expectation of perfection is there. And I just had an interaction with a leader who I love. I love this leader so much. And they were saying, okay, why did this person why were they able to succeed for a while? And the reality is because and I and I shared with him that because the people are starting to feel more comfortable talking to their therapist about their real challenges and not their their religious leaders, because they realize that when I go and express myself to my leader and now I’m told, okay, you had a setback, so now you got another three months before you can go on your mission or you can have a particular calling. Then that person, they feel like, what’s the point? And so sure, you deal a lot with that as well.

[00:34:04] You know, so there is somebody that I’m working with right now that’s that’s the situation that is in. There is some things that have happened in this past eventually led to a disfellowshipped thing. And right now the arrangement is that he can’t come back into full fellowship until he reaches X amount of months. So it’s so discouraging for him. So we’re not done with our process. We’re in the middle of it right now, but I’m like, We’re going to get you there. It’s just super discouraging all along the way of I can only go one month and I slip and then three weeks, and he just sees the timeline getting pushed back further. So I think.

[00:34:35] He follows up. I think totally so. And I’m just being super transparent. So if I’m talking about I feel like I work with a pretty large population of teenage boys who want to go on missions, for example. And I feel like we’re in this day and age now where if someone if a teenage boy has not struggled with pornography, that would be odd. I almost don’t believe them because of the access to technology. And so I feel like the mission, for example, is the carrot where you’re going to go even if you struggle with pornography. Because if we’re saying no, you have to be perfect before you can go, then I feel like we’re creating a generation of people that are not going to be completely honest.

[00:35:10] Right. That’s a good point right there. Right. Because I think if it’s hidden, yeah. Then that’s a whole nother thing that you’re and most people do hide in the beginning. They feel so bad about it. But yeah, if if there’s not a place for you to be able to express and talk through and work through what’s going on, it’s it does wrap people into this. I don’t know.

[00:35:29] I get stuck there like I can’t tell somebody. And I feel like that is such a setup for feeling bad because then the person may and I just had an experience with someone who then did make it out into the field and they were out and their mission president just to be again really transparent, said, hey, if you’re not successful, then that means you didn’t clear everything up before you left. And so right and so then write down all the things you’ve done that were that you probably didn’t talk about. And you’re going to remember a lot of things. So write them all down. And then that this person did and they were sent home. Now, when they were sent home, now they felt really bad about themselves and now they’re really acting out. So right. And so then I feel like there’s the whole.

[00:36:11] That just man, there’s so much. Yeah. And I think there’s progress made for sure just in like how people are trying to approach things and like you’ll see church videos about like mental health and depression and dealing with pornography. That’s all. That’s real. That’s real good. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I think that dialog should continue to be refined for sure.

[00:36:29] Yeah, exactly. So then I do want to ask you because we got some time here, how do you what are the ways you’re seeing pornography addressed in relationships? And I think even in the email I sent you, there was I if you are someone listening to the episode right now and you are you really do want to I know you want to do you want to put it in your past and you’re hiding it? Or do you feel like it is something you go to your spouse and talk about? Do you go to your. I don’t. Do you go to a therapist and talk about do you go to your religious leader and talk about what are your thoughts?

[00:36:58] Yeah, it’s a good question. So I typically end up working with people who come to me after discovery where the wife is, hey, I found this stuff. I don’t know if I can stay anymore because, like, you’ve been lying and hiding this stuff, and he’s like, I’ll do anything and okay, let me can I do a quick little tangent?

[00:37:17] Oh, please. I live in the world of tangents. Okay.

[00:37:19] Okay. This just reminded me of because going back to these, the people that I like to work with, I think whatever initially brings somebody into therapy is good. Yes. Because if the husband says, I’m going to lose my wife, I’ll do whatever it takes. Great. Like we’ve got you here. Now we can do the work because again, like if somebody is like it’s not that big of a deal. I guess if I want to maybe clarify that a little more, a lot of times people can minimize it, but you can still do fantastic work with the person. I think maybe the difference is if somebody is willing to or not, those are the people that’s. I want to clarify what I said earlier. If somebody says it’s not that big of a deal, but I’ll do it because she wants me to whatever gets you in the door, because then we’re going to be able to shift things in a way that the motivation will change. People who say, I’m not willing to work on it, like those are the people that said, okay, that’s cool. That’s not I’m not here to convince you that this is a problem in your life. If you feel like it is and you want help, then I’m here to help you. So sometimes again, I’ll work with people. Not even sometimes 98% of the time it’s because wife finds out. And this is like stereotyping right now. I know it goes.

[00:38:25] I’m right there with you, though. If I if we’re just going to go the numbers I feel like. Yeah.

[00:38:29] I’m just for simplicity. Okay. Husband struggle is why I finds out. Of course it happens the other way, but just for simplicity’s sake. So usually wife finds out, husband comes in is like, I’ll do whatever I need to do, and then they start to get to work. So whatever the case is that brings them in is fine. I’ve also worked with people who have a lot of resistance, but if you get underneath that, you’ll understand. Again, this is burned in my mind. This is one of these like I remember first working at auto, the Vegas office just opened up. This was like 2014 and we were doing free assessments just to, okay, we’re here. This is what we work with. This couple came down from Salt Lake. They drove all that way for an assessment. And so I was like, okay, we’re going to do one session, so let’s do one session together because they weren’t coming back. And in the session, the the wife says, you know, my husband’s here, but he’s not willing to work on this. And so I was like, okay, well, help me understand that husband. This is why I like working with couples the most, because if wife comes in by herself and says, Husband won’t work on this, I’m like, Well, how do you want to respond then? What does this mean for you? What are you what do you want to do moving forward and how do you want to purchase? But if husband’s in the room, I can look at him and say, Hey, help me understand when you say, I don’t want to work on this. What? What do you mean, what’s happening? What are you thinking about? And he’s just. I don’t know, like, I just. It’s just he started off by minimizing it. It’s not that big of a deal. She’s just overreacting. But the more we spend time uncovering, well, what about this? And asking him how he felt about this and what his perspectives were, he started to weep in session.

[00:40:00] Wow.

[00:40:00] And he told me that he’s afraid that he’ll never be able to get over it.

[00:40:05] Okay.

[00:40:06] And that’s where the resistance was coming from. It wasn’t that he didn’t care about his wife. It wasn’t that he really didn’t want to overcome it. But he had been so defeated that he said, I, you know what? That was like his smokescreen. So we didn’t feel. So bad. It’s not that big of a deal. You’re overreacting, but really on the inside, I’m so like I have no other way to cope, and I’m scared that I’ve got, like, there will be no other options. And so just in that one moment, wife leaves that session seeing things completely different.

[00:40:36] Yes.

[00:40:37] Because no longer is it some belligerent resistant husband who doesn’t care about her. It’s this wounded, uncertain, insecure, fearful person that he has no other way to deal with how bad he feels. Now we can work with that, right?

[00:40:54] Yeah.

[00:40:55] So yeah, in terms of working with couples, I think when there’s so much power and having both people in the room and creating new conversations together that you can’t get anywhere else.

[00:41:08] Know that that’s beautiful because I feel like that is that concept. I feel like that right there is. I’ve been looking a lot at attachment, avoidant and anxious attachment. And can I just read something very quickly that I think is why watch this actually be completely not the point and that would be embarrassing. But this talks about talking about this pursuer and in a distancer and I just thought this was so I think it’s what you’re talking about there says the pursuer feels abandoned but is unconscious, that they’re afraid of closeness. And so they rely on the distancer to achieve enough space for the pursuers need for autonomy and independence. And so I feel like that’s that piece where they need this. He almost needs this distance in the relationship because if that’s not there, then he’s afraid of that. He’ll lose his autonomy or independence, or even more so, he’s afraid that if she really knows him that then she won’t care about him. I love what you’re saying there, because I feel like the coping mechanisms in general are just this fear of if this person knows me, that then they will. If they know that I have these thoughts or these emotions, then they’ll leave. And isn’t that part of the big piece of actually that right? That if this person knows me, they will leave the relationship when that’s not the case.

[00:42:20] Yeah, you’re now and that goes right back to that shame, right? It’s there’s something wrong with me. I can’t expose who I am because if I do, they’ll leave. And that’s their biggest fear. They don’t want to lose their marriage as much as they resist and they distance and they minimize. It’s not like there’s different ways to look at that. And sometimes, again, when I’m in these Facebook groups and I see these wives whose husbands are in that cycle of resist, minimize, not that big of a deal like you’re the problem blaming her, understandably, she’s going to think, my husband doesn’t care about me. Yeah, I’m doing this by myself because, look, he’s not engaged. Every time I have a conversation with them, he doesn’t care. So, like, how could you not think that? But if you look at it through the attachment lens and you understand the motivation behind that, going back to that client who came in for the assessment, if you get to the stuff that’s underneath that, your whole mindset has changed around why they’re doing what they’re doing. Yeah, if it’s a big difference between he doesn’t want to have conversations with me because he doesn’t care about me versus he doesn’t want to have hard conversations because of how bad he feels about himself and how much he’s afraid to lose me if he really shares, like how he sees himself. Yeah, totally different things.

[00:43:35] Okay. Because that when he’s saying, all right, I will just I will avoid emotion, I will hunker down and I’ll wait. I’ll weather this storm because eventually we’ll get back to. Okay. And yes, but I don’t have to risk this chance to either be known or that she’s going to boot me out.

[00:43:53] That’s exactly right. And that’s the place where couples will get stuck for decades, literally decades, because it’s the same dynamic. Right. He feels bad underneath the surface. He feels bad. So he pulls back. Wife sees him, wife doesn’t know he feels bad, but his wife just sees. Husband doesn’t want to talk to me, doesn’t want to spend time with me. He doesn’t care about my pain. Whenever I bring up how much I’m hurting, he goes away. So she’s left to interpret that as well. I’m not important to him. I don’t matter. I’m all by myself. Which again, I. How could you not feel that? How could you not see that? So the whole idea of doing this couples work is to help them get beneath those surface ways of protecting themselves. Yeah, he distances as protection. He doesn’t want things to get worse. But unless she has an experience like if somebody is listening to this, they might say, well, that’s fine for somebody else, but that’s not my husband because she’s never seen that from him. Right? Yeah. So that’s why, again, when you have somebody together, a couple together, you can as I’ve spent time with that husband, I’m like, well, tell me about this and what do you think about this and how do you feel about that? You get to the point where he gets into the fear and when he’s telling, and that’s what I like to do in session.

[00:45:05] It’s great. Can you turn and tell your wife right now how scared you feel in those moments that she’s going to leave you? If you really open up and tell her who you are, then he turns to her and. Face to face says, Honey, when I pull away, it’s not that I don’t care. I’m scared of losing you because you mean so much to me. She’s like, This happens every session, right? Every, like, initial, first two, one, two, three sessions. They’re like, the wife is like, this. Is this? What do you mean, you’re afraid? This is so unbelievable, because all I see you with doing is shutting down and avoiding me. But when he’s in his tears and looking at her, she’s. What is this? Do I really mean that much to him? And he’s like, Yeah, you do. I don’t handle it very well. I just pull. I pull away because I’m scared. I don’t handle my fear very well. But that’s really what’s going on, on the inside. Like her mind, it’s again, they can leave the session completely different. Like your whole world has changed when you understand the why behind the behavior, which is again, why the couple’s pieces so overlooked for so many people when really I like to start with the couples piece to get some traction, to then splinter off and do some individual stuff.

[00:46:18] It’s funny that you say that too. I don’t know if this is just the way that therapists I don’t know if you started out right out of the gate with couples. But I went from this point of not wanting to work with couples and because I didn’t have the tools and right working with the guy coming in and struggling with pornography and then realizing, oh, and I talk about in my program, I talk about five they have these voids of they turn to the coping mechanism because they don’t feel connected in their marriage, their parenting, their faith, their health or their career. And so then we go find a nice model to work on all those. And that’s what got me doing, the couples. And I’m so right there with you where, boy, the fastest way to start to work together or to get to the Promised Land, I think, is when Sue Johnson says that we’re designed to deal with emotion in concert with another human. So. Right. But then if we are showing up immature, we don’t have the framework. Then I get why it’s scary when you’re telling that story. I thought of how many times the wife then might in that situation say, okay, why didn’t you tell me this before? And I think, Right, I feel like he wants to say, don’t remember this stuff about I feel like I’m a piece of garbage. That’s pretty much been it. I needed this guy to help us figure this out. And that’s why I love what you said earlier. Boy, whatever it takes, people don’t know that they need the tools till they need the tools and they don’t even know that there are tools till.

[00:47:32] Man, it’s so I’m super glad because again, the couples piece is such an overlooked part of it. And I think the traditional way of going about it is he does his work, she does her work. And then 18 months, two years down the road, you meet back up. And when I hear that that’s so unfortunate that you’re going to go 18 months without leveraging the greatest resource that you have, which is creating a strong and connected and fulfilling relationship. You’re going to go without that for 18 months, and I’m glad that you’re on the same page with me because sometimes when I talk about this stuff, if I make little comments in groups sometimes just to help, I’ll get devoured sometimes by people saying, This is not how you do it. I’m like, If you could only see what I see, if you could only see when couples leave the room. I remember listening to somebody speak. She said, Yeah, this is some other podcast. She said, It takes. Roughly three years. She was speaking to the wives. Just anticipate it’s likely going to be 3 to 4 years until you feel safe in your relationship. And when I hear that, I’m like, how depressing of a picture does that paint? But again, this is if you are working individually, then it’s likely going to take you that long. But as I’ve been working again, this is why this is on top of mind right now, because I had a session with somebody a few days ago is session number one.

[00:48:50] And this is not because I’m some all star, because I’m not. But the model is the approach makes all the difference. So not because I’m some all star, but just because of the way that I’ve been trained to see things. I focus on different things in session. I did the same thing that I just described. We get underneath the surface, get into his fear, get into the sadness and the whole thing of Great. Can you turn and tell her that? I know you just told me, but can you tell her directly? Because that’s where the power is when they’re talking to each other. And he turns and says something right along those lines, Hey, when I shut down and avoid you, I’m actually feeling so afraid that I’m going to get rejected, that you might not want to hear from me, that I just go away because I’m scared, like I don’t want to mess this up. Yeah. After the literally after the one session that we had, we checked in. Session number two, she’s I feel safe with him now. Like instantly things can change once you have different experiences and so it doesn’t that so again it just makes me sad when I hear people it’s going to take you three or four years before you can have conversations with your husband. I’m like, Dang, man, you’re going such a long time without being able to find again. The reason why there’s betrayal is because of the break in the bond. Yeah.

[00:50:02] No, nobody sets out and wants to betray. That’s right. Right.

[00:50:07] And the thing is that so many people in their recovery community will say, yes, betrayal, trauma exists. And then this is the part where I completely disagree again in some of these different groups or whatever. Like I hear the conversation, betrayal exists and she then needs to go deal with that betrayal on her own. I’m like, How does that make sense? How does it make any sense if he hurts her feelings? Wouldn’t it be better if he came back and repaired that with her and said he’s sorry and then modifies how he approaches her and then comforts her and then loves on her? That’s how you heal betrayal. It’s not more distance. It’s closing the gap.

[00:50:47] You know, it’s funny, Sam, and I know we’re going to run out of time, but I talk often about, Oh, we shouldn’t need external validation, we should do internal validation. But I feel so externally validated by what you’re saying now. And I haven’t spoken about this, what you’re saying out loud yet because yeah, I did all the betrayal trauma training and it’s so real and I understand the trail and that feeling, but I’ve personally been working for about a year and a half with I feel like Again, I love how you say it. It’s not like I think I’ve got life figured out, but I’ve got my and my listeners up here all the time. But my I call them four pillars of a Connected Conversation. It’s based off of EFT, and I’ve been taking my couples with betrayal and infidelity and all this. And I’m saying, okay, we’re going to learn how to communicate effectively and be heard before we tackle the high charge topics. And I’m finding that and I’ll tell you super quick, my four pillars are assuming good intentions. Nobody is wakes up and says, How can I hurt my spouse? There’s a reason why we do what we do. And the pillar two is you can’t you have to have this mindset where you can’t tell somebody, I don’t believe you, or That’s ridiculous.

[00:51:45] Even if you feel like you don’t believe them or that’s ridiculous. And Pillar three is I’m going to ask questions before I’m going to make comments. And then pillar four is I got to stay present. I can’t go into a victim mentality. And so when you do those and you have a goal to be heard, I’m finding that man, couples don’t even know how to communicate effectively, which is what caused the problem. And when I feel like I will literally tell them we are going to we are going to purposely kick the can down the road a pretty good distance, and we’re going to learn how to communicate, be heard and understood. Before we get to the people want to know. I want to know that I need my questions answered. I want to know the details. I want to know that. And I feel like if you learn to communicate and understand that there’s a void there, there is these attachment wounds and we didn’t have the tools and we didn’t know how to communicate. Then it almost it does it gives more empathy and a bit more understanding of why things happened instead of trying to figure out why things happen. So then I can tell him he’s a piece of crap. I don’t know. Are we kind of binding here? Sam.

[00:52:36] Man, that’s great. And I definitely we definitely have to talk about that. I’ll have you on my podcast so when I hear you go into depth with that. But that’s so important, right? Having those conversations because most couples don’t know how to communicate. And I think when people think about couples therapy and this is where I can understand if I were to say, hey, couples work is critical and people have an experience of going to couples therapy, and the therapist says, well, why don’t you spend more time or go on more dates or have more sex like that? Yeah, that does not work. That will set you further back, right?

[00:53:06] I’m with you.

[00:53:07] So I think that’s what that’s the image they have in their mind when they hear couples work. It’s like, why would I do that? I don’t want to spend more time with him because he’s he ignores me all the time. Why would I or whatever the situation is. So I think it’s a very specific type of couples work that needs to be done. Yes. I think you’re nailing on the head. And so for the people who are listening, I would encourage you to get into Tony’s programs, work with him to help.

[00:53:27] Him do that. I mean, we have a Sam Sam, you know what you’re talking about here, which is so fun. So and you and I both have a 2:00 here. Where do people find you and what do you what is the best way to start with you? You have a podcast.

[00:53:41] Okay. Yeah, yeah. And again, yeah, whether it’s so I guess the easiest way if people are interested in learning more about the relationship part of it and then the addiction part or the trauma part. So I’ve got a podcast called Couples Healing from Pornography Addiction, and my website is Couples Healing dot org. And so there’s just there’s a free couples course, there’s podcast links. So if you’re interested, then you can find that information there.

[00:54:04] And then and also so I haven’t talked about this out loud yet, but I’ve got I got another podcast coming and it’s, it’s basically it’s in essence therapist group supervision. And I had a couple of therapists and we’re going to bring somebody on every week and then talk about these things. And I would love to have you on that one and just we’re going to kick these around without maybe a time limit. So I think that would be awesome.

[00:54:25] Yeah, I love talking about this stuff because I just there’s there’s hope. That’s why I get so excited. And then I feel bad. Like when people don’t, they haven’t been exposed to or seen the vision of what’s possible. Yeah. So I’m like, I’m so convinced that people can overcome addiction and heal trauma and restore their relationships. So that’s why, like when people call me, I say, this is inevitable. If you want to have this outcome like we can get you there, we know how to do it. It’s just can we just it’s just working through those blocks that get in the way. So, yeah, let’s talk.

[00:54:53] About this. It took me too long to circle back around. I appreciate your patience. And because I didn’t really realize we were speaking the same language, I kind of.

[00:55:02] Yeah, this has been great.

[00:55:04] You know, thanks for coming on the show and then I can’t wait to have you back on and hang tight here. I want to hit stop.

[00:55:16] Compressed air motions flying. So I heading out the other end. The pressures of the daily grind. It’s wonderful. And that’s the question, Rob. A ghost. I’m floating past the midnight hour. They push aside the things that matter most.

[00:55:50] Takes up all my time.

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