Therapy Tips For When You Can’t See a Therapist (Featuring The Angry Therapist)

Tony shares his thoughts on John Kim’s, aka “The Angry Therapist” article “7 Tips for Dealing with Life if You Can’t Afford a Therapist,” John is the author of the book “I Used to Be a Miserable F*ck: An Everyman’s Guide to a Meaningful Life.”

John was featured on episode 107 of The Virtual Couch to sign up for Tony’s “Magnetize Your Marriage” virtual workshop. The cost is only $19. You’ll learn the top 3 things you can do NOW to create a Magnetic Marriage. 

You can learn more about Tony’s pornography recovery program, The Path Back, by visiting And visit 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


[00:00:22] Hey everybody, welcome to Episode 329 of the Virtual Couch. I am your host, Tony Overbay. I’m a licensed marriage and family therapist. And today we are going to start with an email. Now I get plenty of emails and I’m grateful for the emails and please continue to send your emails. I get emails of requests for different episodes or questions to handle on a Q&A or request to point somebody to therapy or whatever the emails are. But here’s one that I received a long time ago and that I never have talked about, but I think it will set the table for where we’re going to go today. So the email says, and I will protect the anonymity of the person that wrote it. But the email says I needed to write and tell you that you’re snorting needs to stop. I can tell that it’s not genuine. It’s obviously forced. I want to listen to your podcast, but in episode 257, you had already snorted. You had already forced two snorts in the first couple of minutes. And I really need you to either stop snorting or I am not going to be able to listen. And I know that several of my friends listen as well, and they all say the same thing. So I did hesitate at the time. I remember writing up a pretty clever response and I never responded to the person because there really wasn’t much need to respond.

[00:01:33] But here was the response that I penned or that I put down in my notes that I never did anything with. I said I honestly did hesitate just before sharing this, because I’ve had so many wonderful conversations with my wife about whether or not you give attention or energy to the people who are negative or mean or the haters, haters going to hate. Right? And maybe I’m just seeking validation, but I feel like the reason that I wanted to share this comment I received at this point when I was writing, it was the day before or the day after I said when I received this comment last night, as I truly empathize for somebody who feels a need to present information in this manner in hopes of eliciting change, and I first wanted to be snarky and funny and say to the person. Episode 247 Try Episodes one through 256, and I even searched for the word snort in my email program and wanted to share many of the comments where people thought that it was funny, human, endearing, genuine, or you name it. And by the way, there were, I think at the time there were 30 or 40 emails that were mentioning snorting at that time. And then I said that I then wanted to get on my soapbox and say how invalidated I felt that at that time. So this was episode 157. So it was I can’t do the math.

[00:02:42] We’re in episode 329 now, but in that many episodes ago that I was at about four or four and a half million downloads of the podcast, and I’ll add a couple of million more of that. But I had said that at that time I felt that 4 million plus downloads of 260, 256 episodes and over at that time 400 hours of essentially free therapy and help that if someone feels like none of that is worth it. If I cannot control my lifelong expression of joy known as snorting, but that is my experience. So at the end of the day, I guess I did say all of those things and I’m fortunate enough that I don’t get a lot of negativity pointed at me, but I get enough. And in all the work that I do, I regularly expressed that we need to stand in our own confidence, embracing everything that makes us the unique individuals that we are, even if others disagree with our message or our look or even our snort. So if you have somebody close to you that just can’t stand my snort and they complain about it constantly, and they may have even recently said, you know what, I’m going to insist that this guy stop snorting or stop podcasting because the world cannot have both. Then please, by all means, give that person a hug for me and I want them to have a wonderful day and perhaps find joy in the fact that another one of my individual responses was to record an intro of all the snorts that I’ve done.

[00:03:55] But then I realized that that would be probably an hour long. So that was an email that I received. Now, why am I sharing that today? Because I receive a lot of emails and others are very positive and some are funny, but I received one recently and the email just simply said, What do you do if you need therapy but you can’t afford therapy? And I thought that was a great it’s just a great simple question. And I now have a wonderful assistant named Naomi who is helping me with emails and I forwarded it to Naomi. And we are putting together a list of resources for people that are seeking therapy. And so I just had made a comment in the email and I said, Hey, if you just if you Google low cost therapy near me, then it should come up with a lot of examples. And I just verified that. As a matter of fact, boy, there are a whole lot of examples. So if you do Google low cost therapy near me, there are a lot of online options, but there should be some non-profits or clinics or that sort of thing around you that can offer you therapy. And if you have any kind of insurance, then I would definitely take a look at that as the mental health stigma is becoming less and less that there are a lot of people that are seeking therapy.

[00:05:02] It is hard to get in to see a therapist at times, but there there are therapists out there that are working at clinics or that do a portion of their time at a sliding scale or low cost. And this is, I guess, a perfect time as well to say check out the world of online therapy. And if you do want to do that, I, of course, highly recommend Virtual couch and you’ll get 10% off your first month’s treatment. And they have a real easy onboarding process and it’s just some paperwork that you can fill out. You could be talking to somebody within two or three days, which is pretty phenomenal right now. And you can communicate with them through tele therapy or through emails or texts or that sort of thing. So I would recommend that as well. But the reason why I set the table with the concept of email in general today and the emails that I receive is because of that email where somebody was asking about what to do if they can’t afford therapy. And that led me to when I was searching this out, I found an article in Psychology Today that I think is phenomenal, and it’s called Seven Tips for Dealing with Life If You Can’t Afford a Therapist.

[00:06:04] And the subheading here is Because therapy is expensive. And I read through the entire article and I just thought of all these different things that I would love to talk about as I go through this article. And I’ll of course, put the link to this in the show notes. But then it was funny at the end. Then I went and I thought, Oh, this was so well written, who wrote this? And it’s a therapist and left name John Kim. And John Kim is also known as the angry therapist. And I have a funny story that goes along with John Kim, the angry therapist, when the Virtual Couch podcast was starting to pick up some steam and I’m not really sure how many episodes in, I started to get contacted by various publicists for people that were promoting books or courses or that sort of thing. And now I get something like that maybe every day or every other day. And at this time I was so flattered. And they said that John Kim, the angry therapist, is promoting his book. In the book, I will put I will put I will edit the title because I have still kept a non explicit rating on my podcast and I’m going to look over my bookshelf. So I’m going to turn away from the microphone here for a second. But his book is called I Used to Be a Miserable F, I Used to be a Miserable Falk.

[00:07:12] And the book is really good. It’s really good. And so the publicist reached out to me and said that John Kim is going to be doing interviews. And so if you’re interested in having them come on your podcast, then let us know. We’ll send you some advance copies of the book. And I said, absolutely. And they sent three or four copies. I ended up I have one on my bookshelf and I have given a couple away to clients. And again, it’s a really good book. I really enjoy it, but I felt very special and I thought, Oh, John Kim, we’re going to talk about the book and he’s a therapist and I’m a therapist, so he’s probably familiar with the virtual couch. But that was the first time that I ever participated in almost what felt like a bit of a cattle call for promoting material. And so I had a, I think a 20 minute spot. And then when he came on, they I think they came in his earpiece, told him my name, and then I asked questions about the book. I tried to work in some anecdotes, says, hey, I’m a therapist, you’re a therapist. And he was charming and wonderful. But the entire interview ended about 20 minutes after it started and we didn’t get into too much depth. But I really do like the book. So John Kim, I was not surprised to see that this was well written and it was written by him because he does a phenomenal job and he’s huge on social media and that sort of thing.

[00:08:17] Let me read this article and then I will give some thoughts, reactions, that sort of thing, as I love to do with any kind of article around therapy psychology. So he says, Let’s face it, therapy can be expensive. He says as a licensed marriage and family therapist myself, I admit that I sometimes wonder on my drive home from work what I could buy with the money my clients drop in just one session and I can’t lie. I want to be so vulnerable. But I really have thought that it is unfair or difficult or a lot of different feelings or thoughts sometimes come up where I know that there’s supply and demand. I know that I’ve put a tremendous amount of time and energy and resources into my education and my practice. And I know that you can go down this path of, hey, what’s a marriage worth? What’s your mental health worth? And so there is a price associated with helping people. And then I have obligations, family obligations, that sort of thing as well. So I know that I’m not going to do this for free. And I’ve thought before about sometimes when I hear people struggles financially, clients that I work with and I know how much they make per hour and know how much they’re paying in therapy and it and I’m human so that is it can make you think about that sometimes he said it’s a tough question to ask in a vacuum because many individual therapy sessions aren’t particularly impactful in and of themselves.

[00:09:28] Therapy is a cumulative process, and we can’t predict when growth will come. Most people don’t weigh the benefits of therapy as a result of the ongoing process. Instead, they cling to the cost of a single session and wonder what new Lululemon pants they could have bought instead. And this is so true. I think in a perfect world it’s almost as if people would have a therapist on retainer of some sort and that they can just continue to have this relationship with the therapist so they can process things when they need to process them. And I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I’ve been writing some on what I eventually want to do a couple of podcasts on what I’m going to call It’s your individualized treatment plan, meaning that I understand that I feel like I have all the answers or a lot of information and acceptance and commitment therapy is amazing. And valor stages of faith for people going through faith crisis is incredible. In my four pillars of a connected conversation will save your marriage and and the model the path back recovery that I do will help everyone who is struggling with.

[00:10:20] Any kind of addiction or impulse control issues. And I really believe those things because this is something I’m passionate about. And I seek out things that work. And I have a very thriving practice and have for a number of years, because I think that I just I love this stuff, but I also understand that everybody has their own experiences and where something like just a pure exposure therapy of sitting in an area full of dirt or grime or, or bugs or insects for somebody that might have some OCD, might work for somebody, for somebody else. They’re going to think, this is insane, and this is only going to make my anxiety worse. So I understand that that each therapist has all of their own experiences and they pull from all the things that they’ve learned and they’re passionate about. And then each client has all of their own experiences that they bring into a session. So there are some sessions where you feel like you’re doing some amazing work and you love everything about your job. And there are other sessions where you really feel like, I really hope that that was beneficial. And sometimes I’ve even been thinking a lot about that, even if I have somebody that comes in and I did this on an episode of a few episodes ago where I talked about processing childhood trauma, which that episode is even helped me because I brought some of those concepts into my sessions and it’s reignited some ability to process some deep emotions.

[00:11:30] But I have had times before where people come in and they say, Hey, so somebody told me that I needed to really process the breakup of my first marriage. And then I say, okay, boy, is it is it weighing you down? And they say, Well, not really, but I was telling somebody about it and they said, Did you process it? So then I have even noticed that in the past that I might say, then we better process it and we would start processing and I would feel like, okay, I’m pulling something out of this person and this person’s almost feeling like I got to answer the therapist. I have to do something. It’s almost as if they need the external validation of me as the therapist and that they feel like, Well, yeah, I am paying for this. So I guess we’re on the same page here. This has to be profound. This has to be some incredible process. Or I’ve also had people that have had experiences in therapy where they feel like, well, nothing good is happening if I don’t leave here feeling like garbage, where I’m a bit more of a therapist, where, okay, we can deal with the messy middle of a session, and then by the end let’s see if we can wrap a bow around it and have you leave feeling more empowered and more feeling more hope.

[00:12:24] But I also know that that isn’t every single session. So you can see that there are so many things that go into coming to therapy and what each session is like. And so I go back to John Kim’s comment where he just said that this is an ongoing process. And so when people are just clinging to this, I just spent this much money on a session that can be really hard. So he said there are so many people out there who would benefit greatly from therapy but can barely put food on the table or a roof over their heads. And whether you don’t want to pay for therapy or really can’t afford it. Then in this article, he said, Here are seven tips to deal with your life without seeing a therapist. So I think what John is saying and what I’m definitely saying is I would love for you to reach out to somebody. And it’s one of those things I go back to the phrase often we don’t know what we don’t know. And I really do appreciate when people come in here and they’re expressing things and they say, I don’t know, is that crazy? Or You probably never heard that before. And if I sometimes I have to call myself down of wanting to say, I’ve heard that three times today already, I mean, not trying to dismiss this person’s problem, but to normalize it.

[00:13:22] And so therapy can be great just to feel heard and to feel understood. And then a good therapist who’s been doing this for a long time and has a pretty solid model of therapy or the way that they feel like they can really help. They are going to have tools and they’re going to have homework and they’re going to have all these things that that could help you. So he says the first recommendation is to live farther outside of yourself. Now, he says it may sound counterintuitive, but he said, I believe many people are depressed because they live excessively in their own heads. And when you live a life centered in your mind, you are turned inward, likely listening to a constant inner dialog of judgment and criticism, he says. That may sound like I’m not good enough. I’m not pretty enough. I’m not strong enough. I could have done better. I don’t deserve fill in the blank. And he said that a self centered world like this is a small world. And that is where I continually talk about we just beat ourselves up. We have a default of shame and that default comes from our childhood wounds. Not to be dramatic about it, but our brain had to come up with the reason why our parents would not get us a pony when we lived in suburbia, or why they would not just let us eat candy constantly.

[00:14:29] And when you’re a kid, it makes no sense because you’re asking for it. So we have this just we go back to this shame almost as if any time that we’re not being intentional about being present or trying to be more positive, we go back to this place of shame. So when he says Live Father outside of yourself, I really do feel like that means to not continually beat yourself up or ruminate or try to make sense of things or look for certainty or all these things that I’ve talked about in previous episodes. So he said, Unless you come from a perfect family and had nothing but flawless relationships, your head will play this broken record of judgment or criticism. And he says, of course, the volume of the record varies depending upon your story, but it starts with a raw emotion which can be anger or hopelessness or loneliness or despair, sadness or anxiety. And these are all emotions can become emotion driven thoughts, which then can turn into false beliefs. And he said the beliefs may sound like things like the world would be better off without me. Or I would be better off turning back to drinking again. Or who cares? The porn is not affecting me or no one understands me or nobody loves me or I’m worthless, or I don’t deserve any better than this anyway.

[00:15:29] And so those are the default places that we most people go to in their mind if they just let their mind just continually ruminate and go to this negative. So he said, the way that you break this record is to get out of your own mind, accept your feelings, but not the judgmental thoughts behind him. And I love it. Except the feelings. The feelings are there because you’re a human being and you’re going to think the things you do because you’re thinking them. But then they are just thoughts, they are just feelings, they are just emotions. And there they are. Check those out. And we said, feel the finger, feel the finger, feel the anger, but don’t label it. Don’t draw conclusions from your judgment, no matter how convincing it seems. He says it’s okay to feel lonely, but it’s not okay to stamp yourself as unlovable. There’s the big difference and I just love that he points it out that way. The second tip that he gives for dealing with life if you can’t afford a therapist, is pull from your what he calls solid self instead of what he calls your pseudo self. And I really like the way he laid this out. He said People with weak transparency muscles just let that one sink in. Weak transparency muscles. Do you have a hard time being transparent? He said, If you do, then you live within a pseudo self.

[00:16:30] In plain English, they live according to a false version of themselves. They’re unable to be transparent about their authentic needs and desires. Rather, the pseudo self seeks other people’s approval as a way of trying to stay in a place of false security. The however, in doing this, John Kim says the pseudo self eventually will strap a muzzle on your gifts and the gifts, those are the things that make you different from any other person on the planet. He said that in screenwriting they say that what’s most important is your voice. Everybody has a story to tell, but it’s your voice that makes your script stand out from the rest. He says, for example, Quentin Tarantino has a very strong voice. It comes out in his dialog and his nonlinear way of storytelling and being transparent allows you to find your voice. Your voice is your gift. Your voice is your solid self. It’s the true you. And what prevents people from exercising their transparency muscle, he says, is fear. This fear prevents growth, and you must shatter fear or you’ll snap back every time you stretch. And this really is when we feel like we must be validated by external people or external means external sources. Then what we’re saying is, I’m not sure if I really believe in my gift. What do you think? And we are handing that power over to somebody that is just it’s it’s a psychology.

[00:17:42] It’s I call it the psychological peanut gallery, but it’s just I don’t know. I want to come up with some clever phrase right in this very moment of psychology bingo or something like that, where when you are handing your worth or when you’re handing your what do you think about me gifts to someone else? Then remember when you’re seeking just purely external validation, I like to say there’s a pretty strong chance I’m talking 90, 95% chance. They’re not going to say the exact thing that you are hoping they will say that you’re not even aware that you need said because you’re the one that doesn’t feel good about yourself in that moment. So when you look for external validation and you say, hey, what do you think about that? And they say, I wouldn’t do that, or I don’t know. I don’t know if you are as good at that as you think you are. What do we get to do? Then we get to say, Well, wow, that was harsh. That person doesn’t like me. And we get to them, beat ourselves up internally and say, I am unlovable. So when we can validate ourselves and then we can show up and then with more confidence, then when we’re expressing ourselves of somebody saying, Oh, I wouldn’t have done that, or I don’t know why you’re doing that, then we’re just saying, okay, I appreciate your opinion, but it doesn’t define who we are.

[00:18:44] It doesn’t make us feel bad about ourselves. He said The third thing, the third tip of dealing with life if you can’t afford a therapist, is take off your bowling shoes, said. Every Sunday morning, he sits down with a friend who’s a spiritual mentor and he says at a local breakfast place near his house. And he said One morning he gave me some great advice regarding the anxiety that John Kim had been experiencing in a new job. He said, don’t own the anxiety. And John said, I thought about this for a while. And he said he was absolutely right. If I chose not to own my anxiety, then it can’t own me, he said. The fight that you have with your boyfriend, the date that went south, the transition to a new job, these events are not yours to own. They were a gift from God or the universe or whatever higher power you believe in, that they are yours to borrow and learn from. He talked about how we tend to create anxiety because we clutch onto things in an effort to control them. How often, boy? How often do we just have to accept the fact that we may not have control? And that can feel scary. But it’s one of those where acceptance doesn’t mean apathy. If I accept the fact that I do not have control over my children or my spouse or the situation at work, that I can only control me and how I show up that that can feel scary.

[00:19:54] And it’s perfectly normal and human to feel like I don’t want to give up control because that is scary, because that is an acceptance that maybe there’s a little bit more chaos in the world than we think that there is. But we cannot control other people. We can’t control their thoughts. We can control their emotions or their behaviors. And if we are trying to do that, then we’re truly going to drive ourselves crazy or we’re going to create a pretty unhealthy relationship with someone where they feel like the only time that they can communicate. With this is if they are doing it in a way that we agree with. So that is not a real that is not a real conversation. It’s not a real relationship. But so, again, John says we tend to create anxiety because we clutch onto the things in an effort to control them. And we do this with our children, our relationships, our jobs and certain aspects of ourselves. But if you believe you do not own the event, the person or the experience in question, then it will not have power over you. And he said, No, this does not mean don’t own your feelings. Your feelings are valid and you do own them because they are your truth.

[00:20:51] But he said the stuff that’s happening in your life is separate from you. You are borrowing those experiences like a pair of bowling shoes. You get to use them as tools. Now, he missed an obvious opportunity to talk about spraying the disinfectant in the shoes, but we’ll let that one pass. So number four, the fourth tip that he has for people that can’t afford therapy is have firm non-negotiables. He said. I believe we all negotiate too much in our jobs or relationships or boundaries, our time, our passions, our health and our happiness. But consider this, he said. Without non-negotiables, you’re flimsy. You don’t have a center of gravity. You don’t know who you are. And if you don’t know who you are, how will you know where you’re going? He says. You become a piece of driftwood floating in the ocean. You’re lost, you’re stagnant, you compromise your needs. And then you get into things like abusive relationships, or you fall into depression, or you begin to go back to this story that you tell yourself that you are worthless. So he says, What are the things that you are no longer willing to negotiate about yourself? Here are some examples that he gives. He said, I will always be heard. I will always create a space to pursue my passions in some form. I have been going big for the last two or three years in particular on I will be authentic.

[00:21:55] And let me tell you a little story from the religious world, the religious context. I do a lot of speaking, training and sessions daily on helping people navigate faith journeys, sometimes formerly known as faith crisis and where people will start to feel like, Really What’s Wrong with me story? And I did a podcast interview a long time ago on it’s the podcast is called Leading Saints and it is dealing with leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. And I was talking to I was saying, we need to take shame out of the ecclesiastical leader’s office, the bishop’s office, and that if somebody comes in and they’re struggling with compulsive sexual behavior, impulse control disorder, pornography, any of those things, that the first thing that we need to do is say, hey, thank you so much for coming in. That takes a lot of courage. It takes a lot of bravery. We don’t need any bit of the you know, this is bad, right? You know, that this could affect you in a negative way because that person, I guarantee you, is thought, oh, I think this is bad. As a matter of fact, that’s part of what draws or drives the the addictive or compulsive behaviors. So we need to take that shame out of the office. And so in the LDS culture in particular, there’s a weekly thing called the sacrament, where they have the bread and the water and they they eat and drink it and remembrance of Christ Jesus Christ.

[00:23:05] And so there’s a big not a big, but there’s a belief there where when somebody is transgressed that then they need to not partake of the bread and the water. And on this particular interview, I said, man, the person that’s struggling, I feel like they need a big cup of water and maybe two or three cups of water and a giant piece of bread to let them know they’re going to be okay. And so then I was asked a year or so ago in an interview with a leader and they said, hey, was that metaphorical or were you being honest about that? And I said, oh, absolutely. Being honest. I mean, that’s my belief. And so even if somebody says, Well, I don’t think that you should have that belief, then bless their heart. That’s okay. I appreciate your experience. But as somebody that’s worked with I mean, I think at last count, 15, 1600 individuals struggling with turning away from unproductive coping mechanisms or unhealthy coping mechanisms have yet to see shame be a component in any of their recovery. So that’s something that I feel very passionate about. So this person said, Well, if you were put into a position of leadership, then would you then not advise people to not take the bread and water when they’re when they’ve done something wrong? And I said, Oh, I absolutely would not tell them.

[00:24:08] I would tell them, please enjoy. Take, feel, feel the love of Jesus and feel, hope and feel all of those things. Like we need some hope here. And then they said, Well, what if that would preclude you from having a leadership position in this particular faith? And then I said Then that would absolutely preclude me from having a leadership position in this particular faith. So that’s just an example where I felt like, Oh, I have to be authentic. That’s a non-negotiable. If somebody says, Do you believe this? And if I don’t, my answer is going to be, No, I don’t. But tell me about what your belief is. You let’s have a conversation, because that’s what differentiation really looks like. I can I feel very confident in where I’m at. And then as I go through new experiences, then I absolutely leave the door open to having a change of thought, a change of mind, a change of belief, because that’s part of the human process. But my non-negotiable is I’m going to be absolutely authentic and I’m going to look at things with curiosity, because that’s one of my core values. But the values of curiosity and authenticity and adventure and knowledge are just things that are non-negotiable. So what are the things that you are no longer willing to negotiate about yourself might be just a good place to start again.

[00:25:15] Ideal if you were able to process that with a therapist. If not, though, then I highly recommend. That’s a. Place that you start and you can shoot me an email. I have a nice copy and paste available for people that are looking for the values worksheet that I referred to in the past. And I think that that’s a great place to begin to of to understand your values and what really does matter to you, not the things that you feel like you are supposed to care about. The fifth thing that John talks about is he says, live inside out. He said, most of us allow external objects to define us money, career, cars, esthetics, other people’s opinions. And he said, with this mindset, it’s nearly impossible to be an authentic version of ourselves because we’ll morph our truth to match things in the world around us and we’ll lose our voice and authenticity. There’s that word in the process. Instead, the world will leave its mark on us. We will walk around, weighed down by the word should. And again, no one likes to be shown on. We will be comparing ourselves to others with a constant desire to chase what’s outside of ourselves. He said. It’s impossible to live at our fullest potential when we live so fixated on the external again that is seeking external validation. What do you think? What do you think I should do? What do you think I should say? And instead of saying, Here’s how I feel, I feel like this is what I would like to do.

[00:26:25] And I feel like this is what I’m going to say. Now, if I have someone I trust, then I can absolutely have a productive conversation from a differentiated standpoint. And then if I’m saying, hey, I feel I feel like this is what I want to say, what are your thoughts? Then I can take that in as data to process. I don’t have to take that in as, okay, I don’t want you to be mad at me, so I guess I’ll say those things. John said that we end up carrying this weight and in order to move through life with a gorilla chest with certainty and transparency, we must unload what we carry. The treasure is not outside. What makes us valuable, he says, is what’s within. So if we choose to live inside out, we will share our values with the world. And this really is a choice that you make. So we have to more. Number six, he says, expand your bright spots. Someone once told him, I said, life is crap except for the few moments of joy. It’s a motivational speech, if I ever heard one. Right. But he says that, well, if that’s the case, then what do we got to do? We got to stretch those moments of joy like cookie dough.

[00:27:22] Everybody has bright spots, though, he says. Most of us are unaware of them. We are so busy obsessing about the future and dwelling on the past that we don’t notice them when they’re happening. They fly by just like our adolescence. One of the most beautiful concepts of acceptance and commitment therapy that I think about literally several times a day is when I catch myself ruminating and worrying about the past. Then I just have to say, yeah, that happened. And when I worry about the future, then I say, and that may be a thing, but all I can deal with is the here and now, the present. As I turn to value based actions, then it will keep me more in alignment with my values, allow me to be more present, and if I am being more present on a minute by minute, hour by hour, a day by day basis, then that future is absolutely going to look different. And that past is going to become even more of my teacher and my guide. Not my sentence, not my prison sentence. So the past happened? Absolutely it did. Acceptance doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you. Those things happen in the future. Yeah. That is that there’s a lot of unknown, a lot of uncertainty. And if we really worry about that, then that can be overwhelming. It can be exhausting, but all we can deal with is turn into the present moment.

[00:28:30] Last weekend I was in Las Vegas for my first ever full boys weekend with my son and son in law. And it was amazing. The NBA summer league games and playing golf and eating food and it was fantastic. It was everything I’ve always literally dreamed of. I cannot complain, but I also found myself in the familiar place and I did a podcast about this last year where there we were. We had great seats. We were watching these games. It was a third of four games on a particular day, and I think we were a little bit tired, a little bit exhausted, and I was just sitting there and I felt flat. And what do I do when I feel flat? I could beat myself up. I could say, Are you kidding me? You got these two guys here that you love and adore and you’re on this trip that you’ve always dreamt of and now you’re feeling flat. What’s wrong with you? Could have absolutely gone to that place, but instead, when I noticed I was feeling flat once again, I pull up my phone. I have a value of curiosity and it is Google Time. And I would just Google players on the court that we had never heard of and what’s their back story and where are they from? And just relating funny anecdotes. We sat at one point, there were a group of scouts that were from Europe in front of us and behind us, and they were talking back and forth that we were in the middle.

[00:29:39] I thought it was hilarious. It didn’t understand what they were saying, but we could see that they were talking animatedly about different players. We would catch little, we would catch last names. We could peek over one of their shoulders and see that they had this list of players and their strengths and their weaknesses, and they were writing some of that in English. And so we would just it was almost as if when I felt like I was getting flat again, that I would just tune in to the present moment, listen to what was going on around me, and then have a conversation with my son or my son in law. And it was amazing. It really was. What he’s saying then again, is that we need to stretch out those moments. We are so busy obsessing about the future, dwelling on the past that he said, again, we don’t notice these good moments when they’re happening. So he says, push back against this. He said, Turn your. I go from macro to micro, so be my micro in that very moment, he said. And taste the nectar of your life, even the smallest things, he says. For him, it’s the first sip of hot coffee in the morning or the few seconds after a brisk run or consuming your favorite meal.

[00:30:33] He says the scent of your lover, a life changing conversation, feeling beautiful and address the moment that you forget you’re on a motorcycle. He said The more you are aware of your bright spots, the more you’re training your brain. And that is such a key concept training your brain. The more that you come back to the present moment, your brain is going to figure it out. It is going to skip steps. It’s going to become a habit. And when you notice that you are feeling flat, and if your brain already says this guy is going to turn back to the present moment, then it will start to turn back to the present moment. It will become the visceral reaction. So you are training your brain to appreciate the little things in life. So he said that if we stretch these moments and string them together, your days will feel happier and lighter and you can flip the script and believe that that life is joy except for a few moments of crap. And I testify to that with every bit of my being that it is a switch that flips the path of least resistance eventually becomes that, Hey, I’m enjoying the moment. Yeah, I’m going to worry, I’m going to ruminate, but then I’m going to come back to the present and that becomes your new baseline of reality. The last thing he says.

[00:31:35] Number seven, share your story so that sharing your story doesn’t mean verbally vomiting, verbally vomiting on those around you. It means being vulnerable and disclosing when appropriate. And remember, he said, you have to define what appropriate means to you. He said, for him, if my desire to share is driven by ego or coming from an attention seeking place, then the impulse is probably not appropriate. But if that desire is coming from a place where you think your story will help someone, then it’s appropriate. And he said, An easy way to determine if sharing is appropriate is to ask yourself if you were. Disclosure is an act of giving in some way. By contrast, if sharing comes from a place of wanting validation, the impulse is a gesture of taking. And that is so well said. If I feel like I have something to offer in a class and to my family and by way of a story that if that is something I really feel like, oh, I feel like I can contribute to this conversation. I feel like I can add some additional insight. But my goal is not to change that person’s mind or my goal is not for somebody to say, Oh, my gosh, you’re amazing. How did you do that? Those are the places that you’re coming from, a place of immaturity. So he said, We learn more from other people’s stories than we do our own.

[00:32:36] Nobody shared their stories. Where would we be? What lessons would we learn? How alone would we feel? He said, We are a million walking stories. Your story is what makes you your pseudo self will want you to close your book, he said. Your solid self will want you to open it and he signs off as angry. It was funny when I read through this the first time I thought it signed off as angry. Who is this guy? And lo and behold, it is the guy who goes by the name the angry therapist. And I really I highly encourage this article. I’ll put that in the show notes. And if you can afford therapy and you are just waiting to pull the trigger or needing somebody to tell you it’s okay, it is okay, give it a shot and know that as is somebody close to me, just start it up with a new therapist. And they said they said, hey, the therapist said the thing that you’ve said before where the therapist will say, hey, this isn’t about me, this is about you. And so if you do not feel a connection with your therapist, then let them know. And if they are, if they if they’re good at what they do, they will say, thank you so much for sharing that. And maybe we can talk about what is it that you don’t feel a connection around or about, because that might be part of the therapy itself.

[00:33:36] But in reality, that is what we’re supposed to do is therapists say, hey, no problem, let me give you some referrals, because ultimately you need to find a fit because the relationship with your therapist can be even more important than the modality that they choose, because you have to feel a connection or you have to feel safe in order to open up to people. So I highly encourage you to go seek out therapy, look for low cost therapy around you. Look, if your insurance covers therapy and if you cannot afford that right now or you are not ready to. I applaud you for listening to podcasts like mine, The Virtual Couch and find there are a lot of articles like the one that we went over today. So just continue on this journey, this path. It’s your individualized treatment plan is what it is. And you are on a path of health, of recovery, of becoming a better version of you. And that’s really all that counts right now. So keep that up. Whatever you’re doing, feel free to email me if you have questions or comments or if you just want to hear a variety of snorts. Maybe I’ll have to put that together. And taking us out for usual is the wonderful, the talented Aurora Forest with her song, It’s Wonderful and I will see you next time on the virtual couch.

[00:34:40] Compressed emotions flying past our heads and out the other end. The pressures of the daily grind. It’s wonderful. And that’s the question, Rob. A ghost isle floating past the midnight hour. They push aside the things that matter.

[00:35:00] Most to the world. Takes up all my time. But. It was.

[00:35:41] News. A discount price. A million opportunities. The chance is yours to take or lose. It’s worth. Phones are always on the back burner until the opportune time. You’re always pushed to go fight or shut up.

[00:36:08] My. And so I’ll take. To. Two rounds of.

[00:36:40] Develop distance don’t explode. Allow the understanding through to heal the legs and hearts. You broke the pain. She just might. My mental strength and paths. I’m trying hard to shut them out.

[00:37:01] It’s one. The bomb is dropped due to. One. Screen. Oh, my. Fancie’s. Our dreams.

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