Doing The Work/
- August 25, 2020
Tully is joined by her psychologist, Jane Morgan, to discuss core beliefs, attachment theory and attachment styles, and ways in which people can source their own mental health specialists.
On today’s show:
- A mental health check-in
- Seeing the psychologist
- Barriers to finding a psychologist
- Tully’s psychologist, Jane Morgan
- Core beliefs and being hard to love
- Attachment styles
- Finding a psychologist
Person Centred Psychology Melbourne: https://pcpsychology.com.au
This podcast is produced by BIG MEDIA COMPANY.
Hello, and welcome to Episode Six of too much totally I cannot believe with an episode six. We have my producer Jessie, as always hi Jess. Hello Telly. So today after last week's light and fluffy episode, I thought we'd go a little deeper. And we're going to talk about all things, mental health and working on yourself doing the work putting the work in to make us better human beings all around. We are so lucky that I have somehow managed to convince my psychologist Jane Morgan to join us on the show and give us her expert opinion which I'm super excited about. And we'll be talking about core beliefs where they come from how they shape us as human beings and how to identify them just you have you drink either. I have my bloody usual Let's kick it off. So just something that I've done now I think for a couple of years is every so often I will send my friends a message that just says mental health check. Kiss Kiss Yeah. It's a no particular reason. It doesn't have to have been because something has happened. I just randomly think of a friend. I think you know what, I'm just gonna send them a little message to say that I'm thinking about them. And I want to know how they're doing. So with that being said, and with all things that are happening down here in Victoria, we are still in stageful. lockdown. Just how are you feeling?
I'm feeling good. I think if you had asked me two weeks ago, I would have had a completely different answer. But this week, I feel fresh and motivated for the future. So feeling pretty good. I think I would be running at about an 85 because there's still that dm of you know, anxiety around COVID and having to work from home not leaving the house, that type of thing, but yeah, how are you what's happening in your life?
I haven't had the best way if I'm being completely honest. I was actually concerned jumping on here. Obviously, it is a podcast, but you can see me on the screen.
Do my eyes are puffy, no, your lighting is pretty good at the moment, but do you feel like they're puffy?
Yeah, I had a big one on Last night and not a big one in a fun way I am. I spoke to my best friend back in Sydney for the first time I've been putting it off. And I know it's so silly because it always makes me feel better. Well, it's the least cathartic, but I've been putting it off, putting it off, putting it off, finally got her on FaceTime and we spoke for three hours and I just bowled
three hours is huge. What can you dive into what you spoke about? Oh,
I'm just so overwhelmed. I think I've been I think I've really felt like I felt this pressure to keep it together all year. Like, you know, my mom passed away last last July. And then, you know, then basically basically since the start of the year, we've had a bunch of stuff go wrong. Oh, the bushfires. And then now we've got COVID. And I've just felt this pressure to just sort of like keep on trucking. And it wasn't until someone that I've known for so long who you know is such a slice of home for me. All she did was say you know how you going and I just lost it. I'm just I'm just like I'm fed up. I'm, I'm sick and tired of it. Time is dragging on. We've still got free stage for God knows how long a stage three and I'm just kind of a bit over it. I'm just a bit emotionally spent.
Yeah, it is draining something that I am obsessed with at the moment. Renee brown Oh,
my God, you've sent me that many links to that many podcast No, I'm sorry about that.
No, I adore it. I love it. So something that she practices with her partner and I feel like it's something I'd love to introduce into, you know, our work environment, my work environment outside of just doing the podcast, my family and friends is that percentage check in so when she gets home from work, for example, the first thing that her and her partner will kind of talk about is what percentage they're kind of running on. So if she's running at a 20%, and he's running at a 60, they're still quite low. They're not 400% but he will take the majority of the workload and the stress and stuff with the kids and that kind of thing.
I love that the mental workload that we all talk about we all we all struggle with is female. Yeah,
and so, and vice versa, obviously. But the interesting thing is when they're both running on say a, you know, a 10 or a 20. And they've kind of got a between them a 40%. And I just found that fascinating because that's when they take a step back and they kind of take a holistic view of what's happening in their life. And they say, right, let's order in Tonight, we're not doing anything too strenuous. We cancelling all plans.
I love this. So you said you're on 85% today? Yeah. Yeah. Do you know what I'll be honest with you? It's it's been a rough morning. I was probably on what's been pretty dark this morning. I was probably on like 20 30% before hopping on this chat with you and I instantly feel better. really, truly. Yeah. Just from seeing some seeing your face and obviously I love doing the podcast. It truly is my saving grace at the moment. So I'm already feeling good. I just from talking to you. One thing I question I had for you was obviously we've spoken a lot about me and the work that I do in myself. We've had Mikey's yellow just you know, green on the show. Have you done a lot of work on yourself? Like, what's your kind of what's your background being in terms of mental health? I mean, I don't do you have anxiety like I don't even notice about you. And
I do have anxiety. I get it really bad sometimes. But I think I'm really good at hiding it. I don't think many people maybe realise how bad I do get it because I think it's something that runs in my family.
That's so exhausting, though, as well. I know what that's I mean, I you can read off my face how I'm feeling. Yeah, but I know there have been times when you know, be it that I've been I've had a work event or there's been a reason I've had to hold it together. And that in itself is so exhausting. Yeah. I can't even imagine being in your head when you're already feeling that anxious. And then you've got on top of that, you know, the energy that it takes to pretend that everything's fine.
Yeah, I think my anxiety comes when I lose control because I'm such a control freak, I suppose. But I like to, you know, make sure you're on my desk. in a row, I suppose sorry, that's a key trigger for me when I do get anxiety. So COVID really
talks about quite a bit. How did you figure that out? Because I've been told, I know what my triggers are too. But I found that out through speaking with a psychologist, have you ever seen a psychologist
or I haven't seen a psychologist, I've seen a counsellor and she was also a naturopath as well. So, you know, green Herbes and that kind of thing. So I'm very much into that kind of thing. As you know, psychics and whatnot, kind of feeds into each other, I suppose. But yeah, so she helped me navigate my mind when things were a little bit out of control. And we touched about touch on that, on the episode turning 30 because that's when things really started to get out of control with my personal life, my work life what I wanted to do, being single, you know, I just could not sort my mind out, I couldn't, you know, work out where I where I was going, that kind of thing. So she really helped me that, obviously friends is so great, and it's such an invaluable resource for people when you're going through something like last night. Yes, I cried for three hours, but it was so good to get it out and and to talk to my best friend. Mm hmm. What happened? Like, did it all count? Like was there a moment where you realise Okay, you know what I might need a bit of help you I think it was when I had exhausted all of my friends and they were all probably thinking, what is happening with Jeff like, what, like, what's going on? I couldn't think I couldn't think straight. I couldn't post your sentence together. I was stressing over having conversations with clients at the time. You know, just generally going to work. And I think in my role as well, I was, you know, the senior person on the team, so I had to deal with other people's issues as well. I feel like I've always been that person where I'm always helping other people. I do get a lot of help, or rescue or, yeah, I'm gonna find that but um, yeah, I feel like it I'm always putting out other people's fires as well a little bit and giving myself there. But yeah, so I think I just got to a point where I was like, sorry, I need to talk to a professional or someone that can actually navigate You know where I should be going or what I should be doing to help sort out
your ducks. Your ducks were messy. Your ducks were in a row. They were no longer in a row and everywhere and you needed someone to help you put your bloody ducks back in the road. How did you find your counsellor? How did you how did you find her?
So my girlfriend actually went to her and I know that's probably not the right thing to do say the same, you know, psychologist or counsellor or whatnot. But yeah, she passed it on because she had also gone and seen this lovely lady and yeah, she's the most beautiful human so she I've referred so many people to her as well now, so
I don't see the problem in I mean, obviously I literally recommended Janell to whoever listens too much entirely. I don't think it's a problem. Obviously. They professionals. Yeah, you know, they've got strict private, you know, client confidentiality. I think that there's no better way to find a good psychologist than word of mouth. That's definitely how I've no have found all of mine. Can you tell me about your How long have you been in seeing a psychologist for has always been Just being a psychologist so I, if I'm, I mean, looking back now and obviously hindsight is 2020 but we all of us as a family should have been seeing a psychologist when mum was diagnosed. I was obviously 14 or 15 My youngest brother was nine and that is a huge life changing moment that we probably needed some professional help with working through. And at the time, I think my dad was just doing his best to look after mom and and coming from quite traditional family and and as I said before, you know, he's quite old school. He's come from the mentality was, I should say was because he's a different man these days. He was kind of mentality of like, how can a stranger understand what we're going through? or How can a stranger understand how I'm feeling? That was always his mentality growing up. It's definitely changed now. So it wasn't until you know what I actually started saying my first psychologist right before Big Brother, right? At the time, my anxiety was Really bad. I was really. I was completely codependent on my ex parte Natalia, I struggled to be alone. You know, she'd go to work and I would just be an absolute mess until the second she got back to the house. And it was affecting our relationship. She was feeling she was feeling the anxiety was sort of by osmosis being sort of absorbed by her. And I've heard you think, Okay, then why would you apply for such a stressful situation like Big Brother, I think I knew that it was going to be hard. And I was trying to get ahead of the curve. I was trying to sort my mind out before I embarked on this crazy, life changing journey.
So I'm sorry to cut you off there. But do you think you want us to go on Big Brother so that you could kind of flip your life upside down a little bit and do something completely different so that your mind wasn't focused on whatever you were focusing on?
Absolutely. I think that when people ask, you know, why would you do a show like Big Brother I started I think anyone that applies for a show like that, I definitely know that there was nobody in my season. You don't apply for a life changing experience like that if you are happy with where you're at in your life, you don't apply for something like that if you're not wanting to flip things on their head, and I definitely was wanting to do that, to be honest, though, I'm surprised I passed the SOC test like honestly, I mean, I lied my way through it,
but maybe they saw through and they're like, the scale is gonna make for great TV.
Probably. I definitely should have been on some kind of medication back then. And then obviously after the show, that was when it became more dire. I was going through a lot of stuff with trolls online trolls, I pepper it following me around. I was also dealing with my own indiscretion, you know, it was it was a huge, I often described my actions and big brother and the colossal fuckup that was made cheating on my partner national television. I describe it as like this cancerous growth on my back. It just like won't go away and it was just getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. I could just feel this like weight on my shoulder. So that was kind of when I got sort of more serious about finding a good psychologist. And she helped me deal with that sort of initial couple of months after I left Big Brother house. Yeah. And then most recently, obviously, after I'd moved to Melbourne, as we discussed in turning 30, the episode on too much Telly, when I had that mini meltdown, and then sort of that's when I most recently found a good psychologist here in Melbourne,
she has enlightened you on something that I found fascinating. I had no idea about them. So I'm intrigued to hear what you have to say.
It's funny you go I think you often with these things you go into see a psychologist with an idea in your head about what the problem is, like you think you know, like, okay, so I'm feeling x y, Zed, then you often get in there and end up talking about something completely different. So I went in there talking about my anxiety and you know, this sort of ridiculous notion that I was convinced as I was already showing up. early signs of onset dementia, but obviously, you know, life sort into, you know, interconnected and I end up talking about other things as well, including at the time, you know, my most recent failed relationship and how devastated I was about that. And I was truly heartbroken. And and Jane beautiful Jane Wogan my psychologist. She said, I think that you have to first of all, she said, you know what a cool belief is? And I was like, nope, have no idea. I mean, I'm I can put two two together. You know, I know what the word core means. I know what the word belief means. I can put them together. Yeah. He said, Have you ever heard of the concept of a core belief? And I was like, No, I you know, no idea. No idea what you're talking about. And she went on to explain them. And then she said, I think you have I think one of your core beliefs is that you are hard to love or unlovable. And I said, Wait, what do you mean and and she's like, you don't believe that you are worthy of love. And so you seek out these men that confirm that because it is safe and warm. It sounds silly. You think hang on Wait, that doesn't make any sense. But because it's one of my core beliefs that I've had, since I was very, very little, I seek out these men that confirm that core belief because that's where I'm most comfortable. And that that moment when I realised that it resonated with me, I was there wasn't a I was like, Oh my god, she's right. She's so right. This makes so much sense so many things in my life suddenly all lined up and made sense. And I just like, I just remember being I felt so sad for myself. I was like, that is such an awful core belief to have. And I'm, I'm sad. I'm sad for a little Tally. That felt that way. And I'm sad that that's carried on through to my adult life, and it's still affecting me now. And it's, it's still, you know, part of the reason why I'm struggling to find or to let myself be loved. It was a really, really big moment. In Myself journey and in my, in my work and it's it's definitely paved the way forward in terms of my own research into my psyche and wanting to sort of
shake that. So before we get Jane on, I'd love to know what's been the biggest barrier for you in you know, getting that professional help.
Yeah, I think that's a really good question, Jess, I think that I have so many people that come to me and they're like, I don't even know where to begin, like, where do I start? Like, where do you you know, they've sort of, it takes so much courage to even get to the point where you've admitted that you need help, you know, you go Okay, you're right. As you said, I've exhausted my friends. You know, maybe mom and dad don't really get it or aren't really helping. What I do now, I think I need to find a psychologist or a counsellor or a psychiatrist. There are so many perceived barriers that I want to stress to everyone listening on actually, that monumental, it's not as hard as you might think it is. It's not as expensive as you might think he is I think everybody has in their head that you know, every session is going to cost a million trillion dollars. And it's really as simple as you go to your GP. This is in Australia, by the way, I don't know how many overseas nurses we have to metalli go to your GP you ask to put a mental health care plan. Previously, you've had 10 subsidised visits a year. I think now we get extra because of COVID they will then refer you to a psychologist, the government will pay for a large chunk of that.
Yeah. And I think it's, it'd be remiss to say, people spend money on the gym. You were saying this before the show, you know, the gym here, that kind of thing. It blows
my mind. It annoys me so much that was so willing and able to spend money on Netflix accounts, spend money on their hair, spend money on 45 spend money on whatever else, you know, go out and have a blowout but they're so reluctant to spend that money on their own mental health like which, you know, arguably is the most important thing in the world. Like if you don't have if you like Feeling mentally happy. If you're not in a good space mentally, you're not going to want to get up and go to a 45 you're going to want to get up and go out and see your friends for a drink. So in my in terms of the hierarchy of needs, in my opinion, your mental health is should be number one party. I agree.
Sorry. on that. Let's go fill off my glasses and let's get you a psychologist on
let's do it. Okay, so we are very lucky. I'm so grateful to have my psychologist. Hey, Jane Morgan. Hi, Jane. How are you? Telly? I'm good long time. No, see,
I know it's lovely to be here. Thank you for freaking
out. Thank you for agreeing. I know you're a little bit nervous. But I'm finished. I've promised you that we are going to cause you no harm. So I was excited to get you to come on the episode because you were the one who kind of opened my eyes up to this whole concept of a core belief. I'd never heard of it before. I had no idea what you were talking about. And it was a bit of a sort of light bulb moment for me in terms of how I haven't moved my relationship. How I am just in general day to day life. Obviously, yes, and I are not psychologists by any sense of the term. So we're so grateful to have you the expert here to talk about it. Can you just sort of explain to us, I guess, from your point of view, what exactly is a cool belief for those that maybe haven't heard about the concept before?
Yeah, sure. So there's a field of psychology called cognitive behaviour therapy, which looks very much at the link between the way we think about things the way we interpret situations in our life, that affects how we perceive them, and therefore how we will respond both emotionally and behaviorally. And core beliefs are sort of an extension of the immediate automatic thoughts that we have moment to moment, some of which we might be consciously aware of, some of which we're less aware of, and unless we actually really stop and think about it, but core beliefs is sort of those underlying if you think about a an iceberg core beliefs are the part of the iceberg that can't be seen, but it's much bigger, you know, much goes much deeper, it's been there for much longer whereas our, our everyday thoughts, automatic thoughts and in response to situations on the spot that's the top of the the iceberg and they're much easier to access. So core beliefs start developing from even before we speak our first word,
really low. Yeah. So based on
our experiences with our caregivers, based on any kind of unusual or traumatic events, but also supportive, insecure events, and they start to help us to develop. Another word for core belief is a schema, which is sort of a roadmap or just a general idea of how the world works. So a child who has a fairly predictable upbringing where their needs are met, fairly consistently, we tend to develop a core belief that says people as safe, you know, I'm safe, I'm bonded, I'm connected. And I can trust people around me now sort of then feel as if they can, when they're reaching particular developmental milestones, they'll start to think or I can start to distance myself a little bit because I know my secure base is still going to be there. And I know that if I doing get even getting to trouble, it's everything's going to be okay. I'm not going to get reprimanded. There's not going to be any kind of overly you know, over punishment. So you say that they developed before we've even said our first words, does that mean that all our core beliefs are made in that sort of timeframe? Or can we still have an adult develop new core beliefs? No great question. So they start to develop before we even develop our first word, but then other key childhood experiences across you know, childhood and adolescence will contribute to the development of our core beliefs. The tricky part is if someone has had to develop a sort of a less adaptive or maladaptive core belief because of unfortunate or traumatic or abusive childhood experiences or neglectful childhood experiences. So they develop a core belief that makes helps them make sense of that situation at that time, and helps him to stay safe. In terms of well, if I've got an parent who's not paying any attention to me being neglectful, it's really important for me to develop a core belief that says, I need to learn to look after myself. Okay, I need to rely on myself and not necessarily rely on other people, which, in at a particular time of their life was probably incredibly adaptive because it helped them to find other kinds of relationships outside perhaps the parental relationship or the family home and to develop other things about themselves that gave them a sense of worth. But there's still this underlying belief is called belief that but don't get too close. To anyone, because you just don't know if you can rely on them, but you can rely on yourself, it then becomes a bit difficult for that person. If, as they do grow and mature, they're confronted with a situation or a related relationship that starts to contradict that core belief because they'll develop something called cognitive dissonance that's makes them feel really uncomfortable that they've got this belief about people in general being unreliable. And yet, they've got this new relationship or group of people even in their life who seem really reliable, and that's difficult. It's a little bit like having that idea as you grow up that when you're learning to drive, you get in on the right hand side of the car, drive on the left hand side of the road, everybody's going to be safe and secure, unless something really untoward happens. And that core belief is going to hold you in really good stead keep you very, very safe. Unless you take a trip to America to visit the in laws. In which guys you need to change Change that whole belief or that schema really quickly, in order to keep you and the people around you safe. You've got to have the cognitive flexibility to say, whoops, I need to get in on the left hand side of the car, drive on the right hand side of the road, and I will be okay. That is obviously a very reductionistic example. But it's a good example.
It's a clear example. So you were the one which we touched on. We touched on a little bit earlier, but you were the one who made me realise that I have this core belief that I am unlovable or hard to love. It was really, I remember bursting into tears, because it just sounded so sad to me that I would truly believe that, obviously, I mean, I had a great childhood. I was very loved and looked after we you know, my mom did get sick, quite quite young. I was 15. But what do you think? Like what do you think? considering my childhood in that I think I think I always felt loved. Why do you think I might have that core belief still, it's interesting.
Sometimes it's hard to actually identify exactly where core beliefs come from. And they could spend hours sort of sitting down, figuring out where it comes from.
And you'd have to Bill me for that right? Trying to get a free session out of you, hey, Jane, come on, go for it.
Sometimes it can be with other relationships, you know, if you have an experience of rejection, even from a sibling or in a friendship that can start to make you doubt, your love ability. And I guess with the very unusual experience and traumatic experience that you went through, you would have had to learn to be quite independent very quickly. You had other people you needed to look out for. And so that might have made you put your lovability on hold a little bit as well. Do you think that it could have come from the fact that I may be felt abandoned by my mom, even though obviously it wasn't her fault that she got sick, but I definitely felt left not left behind. But
Yeah, I mean, I was I felt, yeah, I felt abandoned cannot play. Do you think that played a role in my core belief? Absolutely, because also as teenagers,
that's a very important developmental stage for anyone to go through. And a huge part of the developmental stage of adolescence is feeling connected, but also being allowed to have enough independence and experiencing risky situations. And that's why it's so important for teenagers to have a secure base to come back to, so that they can talk through those risky experiences or sort of try out the less dangerous, risky experiences and having creativity in your life. And when a significant event such as humans diagnosis comes along, a lot of that's going to get disrupted. And so that also contributes to the development of adaptive core beliefs.
Okay, so how do we then how do I mean I know we've kind of we started working with together and I've been working on it myself seeing an amazing job. If I'm being totally honest, I still don't think I'm I still don't think that I've gotten over that hurdle. I still, I think at the core of me if I'm being completely Frank and brutally honest with myself, I still think that I'm hard to love.
So how do we try least to change those negative core beliefs? It is a process exactly what as you said, and you've started that process and you continue the process on your own, which is fantastic. And we encourage a lot of people to do that. Sometimes, though, there is a very strong role for seeking out a psychologist, because as you've experienced, unless you do that, I would never have known, even been aware of this, you know, this iceberg. That is called a core belief system and how that impacts on your everyday perceptions and interpretations of experiences, particularly around relationships. So think that way This isn't a crucial first step because then you start to view your relationships through a different lens. Start to acknowledge those instincts and those feelings that you get in relationships in terms of all look, I'm really feeling like I want to withdraw from this relationship right now. This is making me feel uncomfortable, I'm having a sense of distrust. And you can start to rather than saying, yep, I have to absolutely 100% believe what my beliefs are telling me you can start to say, well hang on a minute. What is it about this situation that's triggering this instinct in me. And in a really healthy relationship, the key is to develop really good communication, to be able to talk about that. So it is a process and I think it's good to have a combination of some good sort of evidence based self help in terms of books and podcasts and that sort of thing. But occasionally, if someone starts to feel a little bit stuck, even after a period of having therapy such as you to go back and see a psychologist or even see a psychologist who might sort of be more suitable to the process where you are, you know, we always sort of talked about how psychology, a particular psychologist isn't always going to be the right fit for everybody. And so someone feels Okay, I think I've got everything I could get out of that particular psychology relationship. I think I need something more. That's fine. I think
that's such an important, such an important thing to remember. And it's something that I've been really passionate about, because it did take me a while to find a good psychologist that I felt understood me that I felt was on my wavelength. You know, I saw a few back in Sydney, sort of right after Big Brother. And I'd go in there and it's always so overwhelming at first because you feel like you've got to tell your whole life story. And you know, my life story, especially there are a lot of chapters to it. I have to stop like, why do I start my mommy issues? You know, where do I go? Where do I begin? And so, you know, I'd spent You know, I go into psychologists room and I'd spend the first two, maybe two, three appointments, I felt like getting my story out, only then find out that I just didn't click with them. I'd say something and then throw a suggestion back at me. And it was just way off and not exactly not at all what I was thinking or feeling. I mean, I am a huge advocate for psychologists having you changed my life in more ways than one. You know, we did speak about the fact that you were the one to push me to get the cognitive therapy testing when I was absolutely convinced I was showing signs of early onset dementia. I would never have done that if it wasn't for you. So again, thank you for that truly changed my life. But I think that's such a great point to make is that, you know, absolutely therapy is I think so important, I think was so quick and we're so happy to blow money and time on like gym memberships and getting our hair done and wearing the right clothes and yet we're so sort of loaded or embarrassed to invest the time in our mental health which just is crazy to me. salutely particularly
if you've got a core belief that says I'm not worthy, yeah,
which I apparently do. I then as you said, sort of you touched on briefly I, you know, did spend some time looking inwards, getting a bunch of self help books. And I kind of came across this whole concept of the adult attachment theory and styles. I found that really interesting as well. Can you talk us through a little bit through adult attachment and sort of the different types? I know there's a couple different types
there. So attachment theory, you know, was previously applied to children in terms of their attachment with their parent, and improving relationships in that perspective. But john Bowlby then started proposing this idea about attachments and adult attachments do our attachment style will start from childhood and from key relationships and attachments from childhood but again, they can be quite significantly impacted by relationships through early childhood, adolescence and even early, early adulthood. And they're even sort of evolutionarily based if you think about evolution from when we were primitive men.
I shouldn't be gendered today for when we were primitive humans
or whatever you prefer.
It was having a sense of connection and safety was crucial to survival. And yet, we believe that even then there were people who went no being attached to people, that's a burden because there is a good chance they're going to die. You know, we're living in very insecure, unsafe, unsafe environments. So it's kind of like Wow, really? Yeah, indeed. I mean, this is unprecedented. But, you know, we believe that probably around 20 to 25% of people still would have had an avoidant attachment and just go on. Nope, don't want to be in this secure attachment stuff because I know what That's going to be really hard for me, so that I would sort of stay on the periphery. And the risk of that is that, then you may not have people there in order to be able to support you and keep you safe. Then there's another group of people who believe that they can't be safe unless they've got a strong attachment with someone that they need us that being independent is less in their interests. And, you know, it's important that nobody feels ashamed of an attachment style. Again, it comes back to understanding and understanding what your individual attachment style, whether it's avoidant, or anxious, or what 50% of people have as a secure attachment. We've just got to understand that and recognise that. Other people may have different attachment styles from our own. And it's almost like learning to speak or at least understand the other person's language.
You're so right. That's it. That's how I felt. I mean, I've read this book called attached. I don't know if you've heard of it. It is literally my Bible. Literally my Bible it is saying like if you could see how many pages have been dug, tagged or notes in the borders, like I honestly read this book, and I and I wanted to cry, because I just felt I wouldn't. First of all, I wanted to call all my exes and be like, see? So what happened? He was I was feeling x y Zed, and you were doing this and we fell apart.
Like this question in exactly.
No, I make all my dates. That's why I can't keep a date because I make all my dates and make them fill out the attached question and then I find out their love language. No. I obviously didn't have to. I had to read the back to know which I was like, which one I was obviously, to me. It was blindingly obvious. I did the quiz. But I made it tonight. Quickly. I just knew I mean, I read it. I was like, Well, I'm clearly anxious. But what I found have found really interesting from when I first read this book, maybe two three years ago, when I was probably just when I met you and I was in that really, you know, bad, bad mental place with my anxiety. I just turned 30 I read this book then. And I was like, I am anxious hands down. I'm anxious and I gravitate towards avoidant people because they basically just confirm what I already believe, which is that I'm hard to love. But what I found interesting is that I've read it again recently. And I feel like I've changed in attachment style, which I'd never thought was possible because it just anxious just felt so right. It just didn't really rang true in my head. Yeah, I've read it since and I feel like I might have switched. Is that is that possible?
Tell me a little bit more about why you think you're sweet. Okay, well,
so I was anxious. You know, we because we touched on the fact that first of all, I've had generalised anxiety my entire life. I've always been quiet. I love being relationships. I love you know, I jumped from them from one to the next. Growing up. I was never alone. And so I thought that I couldn't be alone. I didn't know how to be alone. It took me a long time. In fact, it wasn't till I moved to Melbourne and I was physically single for the first time in my entire life and also away from my friends and family back in Sydney that I was kind of forced to figure out okay kid you're on your own now. But I think over the years being single growing up getting older being in my 30s now i i think i was avoidant for a bit because I was so hurt by someone I was saying and I couldn't possibly imagine risking being like that again. And so I think for a while there I was, I was avoidant, but now I feel secure which I know is the sweet spot like I know we all want to strive to be a secure attachment type because that is the sweet spot and you said you said 50% of the population a secure attachment time I'm gonna call bullshit on that because Okay, I can find or avoidance that's all I can say everywhere I go all my exes are avoidance. Just what do you think you while you did did the quiz,
right? I did a test and it says that I'm fearful avoidant,
fearful avoidant, he's one of these new sub characters. I've heard other people talk about attachment types and they they were like other characters sub character like sub
that others is like extremes of avoidance and maybe less so is that right?
It's sort of a little bit like having a spectrum spectrum of avoidant a spectrum of anxious and you know, some people will live within a spectrum on on the secure band, and I think it depends on if a secure person is in a relationship with someone who's anxious or avoidant, they can start to feel a little bit less comfortable. And I think it's important totally to bring up that I think maybe anxiety is different from having an anxious attachment to cooking. So attachment style is different from your your anxious state. So it is possible for someone to be avoidant and still have anxiety.
I just saw the word anxious and thought, yeah, that's a bit of me. I relate to that. Right. So yes, you're fearful avoidant Yeah, like, I mean that makes sense I had to basically force you to get hinge.
I think it's also it comes down to my relationships with people that I first made as well. I'm very much like got the hard exterior but then once you crack me open I'm you know, lovable and I love you know everyone wholeheartedly but I think it I make people work to kind of crack me open before I allow them to get in there. It sounds
like you're describing may do nothing I'm quite similar. I
do I find you and I to be very similar in a lot of ways.
I feel I feel like I've known her for years I've been called the ice queen. I've had guys tell me that I'm intimidating, I'm unapproachable. And it's like if you spend five minutes talking to me, you would realise that I'm like, always on the verge of tears. Like, you know, I'm the one sending cupcakes to people because they're feeling unwell. Like I'm not at all scary or it's like it's just the way we can't try and defend ourselves like protect ourselves from being hurt.
That's absolutely A feature of avoidance, and being avoided doesn't mean you can't be an amazingly kind and compassionate person. It's just how you feel in an intimate relationship. And that can bring up a lot of fear. And it's when the level of intimacy increases that you can sort of develop these deactivating strategies or instincts to get out, get yourself out, focus on all the negatives of the person even though you thought they were amazing and initially, and just needing to have that time and I think the fact that you're noticing this progression is really positive because we don't have to be defined forever by our attachment style. The key is to learn that ability to communicate and get your needs met, which can be hard,
what you said earlier about, like the minute I looked into all of this stuff, and I read about all the different attachment types, it made me realise what you just said. Like I say my ex boyfriend who I thought was a piece of shit because Cuz he didn't you know he didn't want to commit to me or whatever. I now go Okay, so you did love me you were just trying to protect yourself in your own way in a wonderful way because you're avoidant and that could be because you know you died left up and left you when you were three or whatever the reason was, it really gave me some I mean I'm already pretty empathetic but it really made me empathetic for everybody else it kind of like I feel like this book has like made me feel like I have a secret like a secret guide to every every person God me and like I can't even I now sit at dinner parties I do this all the time. If I meet someone new I can I just instantly can category I mean it's probably not bang on every time. But even in my you know my Friendship Circle, I can tell you what all my best friends are, what their attachment type is just because of how well I know them.
So I just like to make one caveat about this book. A lot of people we recommend it to and we we do have it at the practice to pick people to purchase some people as you did did tele, find it live. Changing and they do come back and refer to it and recommend it. As do we, some people do find it a bit confronting because they, they they can they concern that that's it that's I'm stuck with this attachment style and never going to have a healthy secure relationship and so they find it a little bit. Black and White are a bit fatalistic. So we'll just put that caveat out that it's not for everyone. And so someone does start to read it, and they find it confronting I would recommend to stop and that might be a good time to reach out to a psychologist who's got some experience with attachment.
That is great advice.
While we're on the topic of the three categories, are you able to give us just a quick overview of the three different ones and kind of what they involve? I feel like you kind of covered anxious but to get a better overview of the other two as well. Yeah, so so anxious just recapping.
They feel as though they need intimacy and they need someone in their life enabled to in order to be safe and safe. To cure, they will tend to be quite needy and of course Western society says that needy is bad. Whereas evolution says we've got to be a little bit needy. You know, we need to have connectedness but they they become very uncomfortable if they haven't heard from their intimate partner for a while, so they might be inclined to text text, text, text text, or set up a little tests to see how long is it going to take you to answer me and they'd like to know where they are all day. And when they're feeling really secure in their relationship, they'll feel feel better, but it can, it can be sort of ebbs and flows. Those who have avoidant attachments tend to really need space to themselves. They become quite they can find a really strong attachment intimate attachment can be a little bit of a burden and then their instinct is to withdraw. They tend to leave relationships when they are feeling like the the intimacy is building because they find that really confronting they feel like they've got it give up their independence. Whereas the secure attachment is able to see that we need both we need intimacy, intimacy, but we also need space to be on our own. And the key to finding that is to have that sort of cognitive flexibility to recognise the two and this is where there is similarities between attachment theory and schema and and core beliefs of cognitive behaviour therapy, is having that flexibility to recognise it and to to act in different ways. But that first step is understanding. So the secure type is the ideal type. And the reason that we can't find those necessarily is because they are without the secure people. So they're not necessarily available.
I suddenly just had this genius idea where we start our own dating app, Jess only apply for it if you've, if you've done the test and you've proven you're secure.
This is great, but we're not going to be we have to change ourselves first.
Okay, adapt, be flexible,
and the key is communication.
So would you say that my quote is core beliefs that I have that I'm unlovable, hard to love? Does that directly feed into my adult attachment type?
I would together? Yeah.
So if I managed to, if I manage to shake that stupid, cool belief that I'm trying to shake, would that then push me more towards secure?
Yes, yeah. And we'll the work that you would do managing either of those things would be reasonably similar. And it would be all about helping you to realise that when that core belief of I'm unlovable gets triggered, it's sort of the same as your avoidant attachment being triggered. It would be Oh, hang on. I'm starting to feel loved. I'm starting to feel secure and I'm very intimate and, and that's, that's making me feel quite fearful that's making me feel uncomfortable. So you start to withdraw.
So, just quickly and I am definitely milking you here for a free session. But is that why, in last couple years, I have tended to date emotionally unavailable men, I can call them Narcissus but let's be kind, emotionally unavailable men who perhaps aren't looking for a serious relationship.
Why do I
Why am I so drawn to them? And why do I end up trying to you know, fall madly in love with them and trying to not change them but trying to like, I had this theory in my head where if I just love them hot enough, like you know, if I just love them to death and they'll realise that they love me too. When I'm and then I go on these dates with these lovely kind guys who are probably secure, who were very upfront and they're like, Hey, I think you're cool. I want to date you and I'm like, Oh, fuck no, like that is no thank you. Like, why do I do that? Because you've probably
gotten are the guys that probably also avoided and so when you're trying to love them, that's triggering them. So but why
am I Why can I like the nice boys? Why can I like the boys? Why can I like the nice secure boys that are like Hey, I'll put a baby in you and I'm like, oh fuck no. She's like why do I I'm sitting here saying I want I want to find a relationship I want to get married I want kids and then I made a lovely man who's like Yeah, cool. I'm down. I'm like, Oh, no, no, no, no, no, absolutely not like what why am I so self sabotage you have me
because you are assuming that they are securely attached and in actual fact, they may be anxious attached. And they might go overboard in terms of Yes, I wanted all let's let's do it all really quickly. And that might be too much for you. So too anxious people don't work together. Generally. It's very needy and codependent. Yes. And an avoidant person will sort of be repelled it's an awful word, but that was There'll be made uncomfortable by an anxious person because they'll feel that neediness and and trigger the neediness because their instinct will be to withdraw and the anxious attachment style individual will have this need to well just Just let me love you and it'll be fine
absolutely like on my last relationship you laughing just cuz you sound it's sounding bad
I mean I feel like it's probably may as well but it's funny
it's it's we're human just being human
I your attachment styles, can they be different? So your friendship groups can you have a different attachment style for friends versus family versus
romantic partners? Yeah,
and really not. It's just that the level of intimacy is different. You know, with an intimate partner, it's it's different intimacy because there's also the sexual element there. With friends, it's and different kinds of friends. You'll have friends who you are intimate with on different levels in terms of the information you should share with them the amount of time that you share with them even the level of affection that you share with them. And so you've got a little bit more control over that because you can sort of have an exit strategy as to how often you spend time with those people. And you can you can schedule things and also have spontaneous interactions if that's what you feel you needed in the moment. But it tends to be that there will be an overarching attachment style that we will more fit into particularly around those those intimate relationships
don't you just feel like this just makes me and I this is the way I felt a when I when I sat down with uj and and he said to me, look, I think I have a feeling I have a strong and I have a strong feeling that you may have a core belief that you think you're hard to love. I felt the same way when I sort of started looking into attachment theory and read this book attached. It kind of just I don't know if you're now I don't know how much you've looked into it until this episode. But it gave me it's kind of like comforting feeling. It's like okay, I'm not alone. I'm not Broken I think a lot of the time I've felt growing up and with my mental health and stuff like this, I felt like I'm right something's wrong with me. And that I'm not you know, I'm something's something's, I don't know, I'm missing something or something's broken. And I think the more I look into this, the more I look inward, the more work I do on myself, the more work I do with a psychologist and my kinesiologist I sort of it makes me feel confident in the fact that
kind of the same, you know, we all have these fears. We all just because my core belief is one thing doesn't mean that Jessica hasn't got a different negative belief to work on. And I think it's kind of, I don't know, it makes me feel kind of like, it's like, Okay, we've got this, we can manage this, like we can work on this and we can work to be a better version or a happier version of ourselves. Until we you mentioned before, obviously, it's it's hard some for some people to find psychologists that they kind of fit in with so it'd be great to hear from you, Jane on how People can find a suitable psychologist and where to look for it. Sometimes word of mouth can be a really good way if someone's had a good experience. The Australian Psychological Society also has a service called find a psychologist where you can
type in, you know, your geographical area, although, thanks to COVID we now have telehealth. So that's made that geographical barrier a little bit less restricting. And then you can also sort of choose some details about a psychologist you're looking for. You can sort of say I'd like to talk to someone about attachment or about anxiety or trauma. And it can then bring up a number of recommendations and then it's great to read those people's profiles because they those profiles are written to give you a sense of who that psychologist is, what their approach is, and as much as you can in terms of of a bio Yeah, I think that two good ways obviously GPS, we have amazing relationships with GPS. So getting a recommendation from them as well in terms of saying this is the sort of thing that I'm looking for. And they get to know us not just from speaking to us on the phone, but from the correspondence that we send back to them the kind of psychologists, we, you know, we, you know, have an amazing team at our practice, we could go years without recruiting anyone because we don't recruit until we feel this is someone who not only complements the practice but complements the needs of our clients and our referrals.
That's so important. That's why I love coming to see you Janet was like it's like walking to just, just even just your voice is just i said before off air that you just you sound like one of my meditation tapes at night. It's certainly loving. It's like a soft little cuddle and you know, you I'd sit there and I just remember I remember one session with you I was literally slowly being buried in a sea of scratched up tissue. Like could not have had more snotty tissues around me. And you just made what was a really really traumatic time for me. Again, feel manageable and I can't thank you enough for being my psychologist but also for coming to talk to us today on too much Telly. Where can we find you? Are you taking new clients like I'm happy you guys if you grant like I'm happy to recommend you as my psychologist, she's great. Are you taking new clients you?
Yes, we are. So where person centred psychology and allied health we've actually moved since I last Oh really? Oh yeah, we know smelvin amazing new digs. So when we're not in under lockdown, we are surrounded by amazing coffee and eateries which is lovely for people before and after their sessions and for us.
used to have Mac is right next door. I know I personally enjoyed that better. That sounds like a good a good spot. We'll include all those links and contact details for you in the show notes for this episode, but Jane thank you once again for coming to chat with us. It's been so nice to see your face and good luck with COVID and telehealth and everything moving forward for 2020 so I'm not cheating. I told you she was a sweetheart how soothing is have voice?
Sorry, soothing. You know I love everyone that has helped you with your in mental health so far, right? Are you just jealous?
Like do you sort of go out and just like just book both of them to be your mental healthcare team?
I do. But now they're all booked out because you keep sharing it on the podcast.
You know, I'm here to serve guys. We're here to serve. Thank you so much, everybody for listening. Obviously, it's been a bit of a different episode. But it's really, really important, especially during these times of COVID that you check in on each other. Check it in your friends, checking your family, and just be kind to each other.
Mm hmm. I'd also like to mention here that if you are having feelings of anxiety or depression or you would like to go see a psychologist, you should visit the beyond blue website. They have heaps of information there. And if you are feeling like you need to speak to someone you should call 1300 At 2246 36.
Guys, I hope this episode has made you feel less anxious and overwhelmed about finding professional help. I promise I promise I promise it will change your life. It really will. And this doesn't have to be this hard. I think that's something that I really want to, you know, reinforce is that life doesn't have to be this hot all the time. There is help out there and I employ you to seek it out. And on that note, I will see you next Tuesday.