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35 | The Courage to Reinvent A Journey from the Heart of Home to Healing | Phyllis Leavitt

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Nobody Wants To Work Tho


Follow the transformative journey of a woman who transitions from a stay-at-home mom to finding her independence after leaving an unfulfilling marriage. Embracing change, she embarks on a path of self-discovery, becomes a psychotherapist, and ultimately, a writer dedicated to healing from family hurt. Through her story, we explore themes of empowerment, resilience, and the profound journey of healing, offering listeners insights into overcoming personal obstacles and finding one’s true purpose.

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Alternate Titles For The Algorithm:
From Home to Horizon: A Journey of Transformation
Breaking Free: A Stay-at-Home Mom’s Escape to Empowerment
Healing Homes: The Psychotherapist Writer’s Path
Beyond the Threshold: One Woman’s Leap from Comfort to Calling
Reinvented Realities: From Domestic to Dynamic
The Unfolding: A Homemaker’s Guide to Finding Herself
Awakening Ambitions: The Journey from Stay-at-Home to Psychotherapist
Turning Tides: A Tale of Marriage, Mastery, and Moving On
Unraveling New Chapters: A Woman’s Quest Beyond Marriage
Bridges to Becoming: From Homemaker to Healer and Author
Shattered Silence: Breaking Bonds, Building Dreams
A New Leaf: The Stay-at-Home Mom’s Odyssey to Self-Discovery
Evolving Identities: From Wife to Psychotherapist and Writer
The Liberation of Letting Go: A Journey of Self-Rediscovery
Unveiling Potentials: The Transformation of a Domestic Life
From Shadows to Spotlight: A Woman’s Journey to Self-Empowerment
The Courage to Reinvent: A Journey from the Heart of Home to Healing
Breaking Boundaries: From Domesticity to Dreams Achieved
Finding My Voice: The Stay-at-Home Mom’s Path to Writing and Healing
A Leap of Faith: Beyond Marriage to a Life of Purpose and Passion

Show Notes

01 Hey y’all this is your host, Elyse Robinson with the nobody wants to work through podcast season 2. I hope the stories inspire you to switch careers. I have done all kinds of interesting things in my life and I’m a.

12 Believer, if you all live once, sit back and.

19 We are switch into the.

21 Vic Tech resources to accelerate your career in Information technology, monthly classes on tech topics we offer free or discounted exam vouchers, scholarships for you to meet courses, free events, free boot camps, and more. You can find us at www.switchintotech.

41 Dot org.

45 Hey y’all, it is Elyse Robinson with the nobody wants to work through podcast and today I have Miss Phyllis. Go ahead and give us an introduction about yourself, Phyllis.

56 Yeah, well, I’ve been a psychotherapist for over 30 years, and I just recently retired, actually, because I’m also an author. And I’m focused on writing books. And I just wrote a book called America in Therapy, which is really bringing everything I learn.

01:12 And as a psychotherapist, working with individuals and families and couples and children to look at our country and how we’re operating as a country through that lens of family therapy and what we know helps people heal what we know hurts people. What are healthy family dynamics, what aren’t healthy.

01:32 Family dynamics and how are they playing out in the family of America and with what effects are they having on people and how could we improve our human relations here in our country based on what we know helps people have good human relations in their own lives?

01:51 Yeah, as someone that have that has experienced different cultures, you know I don’t like to compare, but of course I compare all all the time. I’m pretty sure my family probably gets tired.

02:05 Of it. But I think we.

02:07 All. Yeah, we can’t help it, right?

02:11 But but yeah, no, I mean, you know it’s it’s it’s very, very different going from 11 culture to another and you you can’t help but but compare it to.

02:25 So but I’m I’m interested to hear what what you have to say about America and its its culture when it comes to psychology.

02:38 Let’s see. And where did you want to be when you grew up?

02:43 Well, you know, I always wanted to be a writer. Interestingly enough, that’s really what I wanted to be.

02:48 I I didn’t see myself though, as necessarily having like a career and making a living at being a writer. I just wanted to write what I really wanted to be was a mom. That’s really what I wanted to be. I I actually wasn’t interested in having a career. I wanted to have a family, and I wanted to have children. And I do.

03:08 I have 3 brown.

03:09 Children. But you know that was that was then and then, you know, as you grow up and and I was a full time mother for quite a while and then when my youngest was two I think I went back to school. I I I wasn’t in a good marriage I knew I wanted to.

03:29 And at that point I did want to do more than be a mother, and I had career aspirations basically because I went to therapy myself. I decided that that would be the career that I would follow. And I got a degree in psychology and.

03:46 Developed a private practice which I had for many, many years.

03:51 And then I picked writing back up somewhere along the line I always wrote. I kept journals. I wrote little pieces. I wrote poetry, but I didn’t really do much with any of it. I just sort of did it for my own personal growth and evolution. And, you know, did a few poetry readings way back in the day, but but mostly my writing was just part of my own.

04:10 Growth process until I I don’t know. I don’t remember what year I think it was 2000.

04:17 14 perhaps I wrote my first book, and that was about my own journey of healing and and I wrote two books that way, and then I really had this idea for writing the book America and therapy quite a long time ago. But I only and I wrote tons on it, but I never actually made it into a book.

04:38 Until a couple of years ago I I started working on it for real and finished it last year and it’s being published now.

04:47 What is the like? Is it synopsis, the synopsis of the book, and what is your conclusion on what needs for therapy? Well, I wrote a.

04:53 Yeah.

04:55 Yeah.

04:58 Whole book on it. So to put it in in three sentences is going to be really hard but, but basically what the book is is really looking, I call it the family of America.

05:09 You know, because one of the things that we learned from family therapy in our, in our office is working with people and studying family dynamics is.

05:18 That we tend to take our family dynamics out into the world with us when we grow up in this. And so you know, if I learn to be a people pleaser in my house, I’m probably going to be a people pleaser in the world as an adult. If I learn to be really aggressive, to get my way, I’m probably going to take that with me into the world. Or if I learn to just hide.

05:38 Or, you know, numb out. Whatever I learned to do to cope in my family, healthy or unhealthy. And so, you know, if I learn to be a a cooperative sharing member of my family, I’ll probably take that out into the.

05:52 World. But what I what I learned as a therapist is that many people in America today don’t grow up in very healthy families that were really suffering that a lot of parents aren’t available. They’ve been hurt themselves. They’ve never gotten help for the harm that was done to them. There’s a lot of intergenerational.

06:12 Use and. There’s a lot of societal abuse and neglect, and when you put those two things together and I think we have to put those two things together to really understand what’s happening to people, part of what’s happening to us in our homes is a result of not good and not good family environment in the family of America.

06:34 And to the extent that we are hurt in our own families, we bring that to the family of America. So my book is really looking at the intersection of individual family dynamics and cultural and political and national family dynamics with an eye to.

06:53 We’re looking at so much escalating divisiveness and violence and so much discrimination and injustice in America today. That’s certainly not all of what’s going on. But there are a lot of people really suffering from these things and looking at that through the lens of family therapy, like diagnosing that by.

07:14 You know, talking about the dynamics that are going on in our country, that mirror abuse, family or neglect family dynamics in the individual.

07:22 Go home and then what helps heal. How do we break the cycle? How do we restore ourselves to connection to safety, to caring to peace? And so I I just sort of take everything out of the office and I put it into a national conversation which I think is really the big missing piece in our national conversation.

07:43 Which is our mental health.

07:46 Collectively.

07:47 I’m I’m curious though, because America, as they say, is supposedly a melting pot, right. And going back to what I’m saying about compare, you know, with different cultures, it’s like, you know, did you choose one subset of a culture in America or, you know, because there’s a difference between?

07:58 Right.

08:07 Black American culture, white American culture, Asian American culture, you know, and the family dynamics that go between it and a perfect example of when I lived in Mexico would be someone I know. She lived in a smaller town than me.

08:23 Because I always.

08:23 Always pretty much lived in a much, much bigger city than her.

08:27 And, you know, she said that people would tease her and because she she came with her daughter.

08:34 And they would tease her because she was alone, right? And, you know, they have these big, huge families that live in these these houses and things like that. And it’s multi generational usually.

08:48 And it could be.

08:49 That’s the culture. It could be that they’re they’re just poor and they couldn’t, you know, move, you know, move away from each other.

08:54 Yes.

08:56 And I told her, you know what? They’re they’re jealous because you are able to live by yourself and you don’t have your, your mom and your great grandma mom and your grandma. You know, basically all in your business and telling you what to do and judging you. And I told her, if you look at American history, when you start up north.

09:18 They have multi families, you know, and people lived on top of each other.

09:22 And and still.

09:22 Do and then when you started moving out towards W, what do you get? You get these big mansion houses, but they’re usually only one family in these houses right there. It’s not multi generational. A lot of times.

09:36 And I told her there’s a reason for that because people got tired of living with their family and living on.

09:42 Top of each other.

09:43 You know, and I told her there’s a lot of abuse that goes on in these multi generational families. You know, that’s not talked about and you know, everybody’s like, why doesn’t America do that? And all this other kind of stuff. And I’m like because.

09:57 We learned that that’s not necessarily a good thing due to the abuse that goes on. So I told her, don’t don’t feel bad about these people teasing you because a lot of times they’re jealous. So going back to my question, you know.

10:12 Well, how did you focus on one part of American culture because of the melting pot miss, I guess of America.

10:22 I didn’t really focus on one culture. What I really focused on is that is is based just it could happen in any family, whether it’s a single family that moved away and lived on its.

10:32 Own and isn’t part of that multi generational conclave or abuse or neglect or dysfunctional family dynamics that happen in an extended family. I’m really just talking about those dynamics. It doesn’t matter what family we’re talking about. I’m just talking about is it a healthy family dynamic? Do people listen to each other? Do they care about?

10:54 Each other’s welfare or is one person in charge and everybody else just has to submit and be quiet because they’re afraid of getting hurt or being afraid of kick being kicked out, or something else terrible happening to them so it can. It’s it’s really any family configuration.

11:13 How? How healthy are we? And then if we don’t get a chance to escape difficult, dysfunctional or abusive family dynamics, what happens to us? What are the symptoms that people carry out into the world with them and replay? And what does? What does intervention look like? What does intervention provide?

11:35 Because we know in the field of psychotherapy that when people have the opportunity to be safe and get.

11:41 Help and get some kind of treatment or other kind of healing for the worst effects of what happened to them with other people that they can break that cycle of abuse. They don’t have to carry it on. So yeah, I’m not really talking about any particular culture and of course, different cultures, you know, Asian Americans.

12:01 Or black people, or Native Americans, or people like myself. My family was all immigrants that came over from eastern Russia.

12:10 Yeah, we all have our different backgrounds. We all have our different stories, but many of us have a history of trauma and that kind of cuts across racial, racial, religious, gender, economic and other lines. And so I’m kind of talking in those broad strokes.

12:28 Got you. OK. That makes more sense because yeah, I was, I was wondering and you know, because I, like I said, I live in different cultures, so I always try to, you know, back away from one and not compare it. But you know it happens.

12:42 I think comparing is actually a healthy thing in some ways to do as.

12:46 As long as comparison doesn’t just make you put somebody down or yourself down, because we can learn from comparing ourselves to other people, what are other people doing that’s working better, you know.

12:58 No, definitely. And that you know and that’s why I try to explain to her. I’m like, it’s it’s perfectly fine to live in multigenerational households when it works. But you know, obviously in America, we figured out that it doesn’t. That’s why we don’t necessarily do it as much anymore. So, you know, there’s there’s that. But let’s see.

13:18 You kind of talked about what the callous was a change of.

13:20 Rear what? What made you interested in becoming like a a psychotherapist? Cause I mean, you could have.

13:29 Became a social worker or, you know, something else?

13:31 Right.

13:32 Right. I think it was really that my experience of therapy for myself was life changing. I grew up, you know, I’m quite a bit older than you. I grew up in a time where people weren’t talking about our.

13:46 Edgy. Nobody I knew went to therapy, and the association with going to see a shrink, which is what they called, you know, back then, was that there was something really wrong with you. And you know, you were a failure in some way or you were weak and couldn’t take care of your own problems yourself. And so.

14:06 It wasn’t until I, like I said after my third child, when a lot of the people that I knew were starting to talk about psychology and going to therapy and having different kind of experiences than, you know, 40 analysis on a.

14:20 Ouch, that I decided to try that for myself and and it opened up a whole new world of understanding that our conditioning really makes an impact on what we believe about ourselves. What we feel about ourselves, the behaviors that have been role modeled for us that we adopt or that we rebel against.

14:43 What the expectations are for us, what what is considered success, what’s considered failure? What do we expect as rewards and consequences for what we do? We learn these things unconsciously in our families of origin and in our communities of origin.

15:00 And to the extent that they’re healthy, great and to the extent that they’re not, we carry a lot of that internalized negative messaging inside ourselves that we could, you know.

15:11 If you’ve ever.

15:12 I don’t know if you’ve done this, but sometimes I’ll hear myself saying Ohh God, you’re so stupid and I’m talking to myself, you know.

15:20 But and and sometimes we just channel the things that we learned from our parents. You know, like there were certain ways that my mother was that I would never have wanted to be but be. But I still see some of that coming out of my mouth, you know? You know, it’s embedded in us, and it’s only with the opportunity to really safely self reflect.

15:40 Where did that come from in me? Does it serve me? What do I need to heal if I want to change that? And these are some of the things that really good therapy provides. And I’m not saying it’s the only access to healing, but it’s a.

15:52 The one that gives people the opportunity to change and reflect on their conditioning and come to terms with it and preserve the great things. If there were great things and work to change, the things that aren’t serving them in their life now.

16:13 All things come at a cost. You said after your youngest was two, you know you. You started thinking about what? You know what your next journey is in your life.

16:23 What did it cost you along the way, and did you have support from people because, you know, you talked about people saying shrinks or you know it wasn’t a thing, you know, back in back in your day. So what did people say to you when you said, oh, I’m going back to school to get, you know, my masters in clinical psychology?

16:42 Well, nobody in my family you know disapproved of that because it was considered to be, you know, an appropriate career for a woman, I guess. But. But I would say what it cost me and the first thing that I’m going to say, it cost me, really, actually wasn’t a really bad cost because it was a benefit, but it did cost me my marriage.

17:03 In the sense that once I began to see and really study psychology and heal some of what was going on in me, I knew that my marriage wasn’t tenable anymore. But you know, and so that was a painful thing. It’s not what I wanted. I never wanted to be a single mom, and I never wanted to be divorced. That was not my dream of family.

17:23 At all.

17:25 But it did provide me with, you know, with some with the freedom to actually heal and not repeat some of the wounds that I had already suffered. So it it, it turned out to be a benefit. And so if you understand what I mean and but I would say that the the bigger cost, if there was one.

17:45 Was that it did alienate me from some of the people in my family. Not. Not totally, but significantly. Because as I began to uncover some of the things that had happened in my family of origin that weren’t good.

18:02 Some of the people in my family just really did not want to hear that and so and that happens a lot for people. You know that some, some people just really don’t want to see their families as anything but OK or it’s too painful to look at it or they feel like you’re rocking the boat or something.

18:22 And that is a big cost for many people. Sometimes the healing journey really does mean you have to find, you know, your chosen family.

18:32 No, definitely. You know, when I lost my mother, I tell people I didn’t. I didn’t feel right for about 2 1/2 years. So I I fully understand. You know, I I kind of I don’t wanna say isolated myself because I didn’t. I I you know I would go out and and do things with people and.

18:53 Friends and like I said, I got adopted by a Mexican family and all that stuff, but I definitely had to take time to myself and you know.

19:05 Process what was going on so.

19:08 So no, I I fully understand that.

19:13 Let’s see what was your process on switching careers? Did you already have your bachelors degree?

19:25 Thank you.

19:26 Which careers? Because because I kept my practice while I started writing. But my focus became more and more on writing and and also I’m getting older. So I decided to retire. But so it was an easy process for me. And I know it’s not an easy process.

19:27 Uh-huh.

19:46 For some people, I mean I I would say that probably the switch from being a full time mother to going back to school and developing a career was probably a much.

19:59 Bigger process for me than sort of easing out of being a psychotherapist and focusing solely on writing because I really wanted to be a stay at home Mom. I wanted to be with my kids. You know, a lot and.

20:17 And it meant going into the work world, which, you know, I hadn’t been in. I had, I had was a, you know, did babysitting jobs when I was a teen.

20:26 Major and before I met my first husband, I, you know, just had a lot of little kind of rinky **** jobs. You know, I worked in somebody’s store. I did pottery in somebody’s pottery for a little while, but they weren’t. They weren’t careers. They were just jobs. To make a little bit of money to pay my rent. So taking on a real career.

20:47 Where I would earn money and be hired by somebody. I did work in an agency for a little while before I had a private practice.

20:58 But I guess for me, I think I was fortunate it was a good experience. It was a really good experience and it helped set the stage for me to just go out on my own so.

21:09 You know, and I probably a lot of the people that you interview, it was a much more challenging thing to switch a career. I didn’t really switch. I just sort of eased out of something.

21:21 Did you take any like extra writing classes or go to seminars? Or you know you just sat down one day and was like, hey, let me get on Microsoft Word and just start typing and researching.

21:35 I did both. I did that for a really long time. I just wrote on my own and I was fortunate to have a a small group of friends that we formed a writing group and we all shared our writing and gave each other feedback and that was, and I’m still in that group and that was invaluable. Just super invaluable.

21:53 But when I got really serious about that, I want to publish this book and I, you know, really want to market this book. And I really want to share this message. Then I I I guess you would say I hired or I got involved with a writing coach and a publishing program and it was.

22:13 Very intense and very intensive and the best thing I I ever did. You know that I learned things that I could not not have learned on my own.

22:24 I’ve always wanted to do one of those writer retreats like in right, they have them all over the world, but maybe one day I I want to do that, but not that I you know, I write or do anything special like that, but well, I guess I do write. I have a blog or whatever, but which is where I post my my podcasts and things like that and I have.

22:31 Right.

22:47 Subscribers but.

22:50 Yeah.

22:51 I would love to do one of those rider retreats. I don’t know, like in the mountains somewhere I don’t know because I love mountains. I’m. I’m from California, so I’m a mountain girl. But.

23:01 Up in the mountains of New Mexico, and I can tell you I love it. It’s really beautiful. And and the thing I would add to that is you know, we have so much to learn from other people and I think there’s a there’s somewhat of, you know, an undercurrent of a belief in America that we should be a self-made man, you know, like I did this all.

23:20 On my own, but I I think we really need each other and that’s part of what I talk about in my book. We really need each other. We need support, we need safety, we need nurturance. We need to have people that we can talk to on an intimate level and not always have to have it all together with and share our vulnerability or get new ideas or.

23:40 Collaborate with.

23:43 And I think you know that some of that movement, you’re calling it a movement West, but the movement away from, you know, our tribal kind of past has been a little bit maybe too far of a pendulum swing toward an ideal of independence. That actually doesn’t serve anyone.

24:03 No, I so agree. And you know, comparing cultures. When I moved to Mexico, you know, I was mourning, of course. And that’s one reason why I went. But, you know, I went from one of the largest cities on Earth, Mexico City, to a smaller town married, which is about four hours from Cancun. It’s on the Caribbean Sea.

24:23 And since it was much smaller, you know, everyone was like, you know, in my business and stuff. So, you know, being a black woman and there’s not many black people there, you know, everyone knew me like, no.

24:38 You know, I I had to. I had to, you know, come to terms with that because, you know, in America, you know, black people are everywhere. Right. So it’s like, OK and yeah, like you said, I I agree that that, you know, it’s it’s flung a little bit too far because everything is just so individualistic.

24:58 Now and.

25:01 It it needs to swing back to a certain balance being now and one thing that I learned in Mexico is once I I started speaking more Spanish, the world opened. That’s number one, right, because I was able to communicate and then #2.

25:04 Yeah.

25:16 You have to ask and open your mouth for everything and I might have to talk to about 20-30 people before I get to the point too, right of what I’m trying to do. So yeah. No, that was that was also difficult because in America you can just Google something really quick.

25:36 And it just really comes up when Mexico.

25:40 It’s still kind of untouched to a certain extent, right? So if you don’t talk to somebody’s uncle, that’s 10 miles down the road, you’re not going to be.

25:50 Able to get it done right, right.

25:53 OK.

25:55 So, you know not to say that still doesn’t happen in in America, but it’s it’s much, much.

26:00 Boyfriend in in Mexico because that that that connection hasn’t severed yet, right?

26:08 When in America, if you wanted to talk to somebody’s uncle that send that miles down the road, you can just Google that information and call them up on the phone like that. That doesn’t necessarily happen in Mexico, so.

26:21 So yeah, I.

26:21 I agree that America has gotten too. I don’t know, too far gone away from you know, that the connections and the relationships that’s necessary to to do certain things and get certain things done and not have.

26:38 Psych. Psychiatric problems. Psychology problem. Problem.

26:42 I think you’re. I think you’re right on because what I see as a psychotherapist over so many years is that no matter what people have, how many cars a new house, you know, whatever. That’s not why they come to therapy.

26:58 They come to therapy because they’re hurting in their relations.

27:01 Lips. They want more love. They want to feel like their love is received. They want to get along better with their partner or their boss or their colleagues or their children. They want to have more friends. I mean, the thing, the bottom line for us is that love and connection and a feeling of belonging and safety with other people.

27:21 Is really what we all want in our own lives. And so this whole illusion about independence and I have my own this and I can do this myself and I’ve done it myself and I don’t need you is a myth that hurts us.

27:37 No, I I totally agree. And I’ll I’ll tell people all the time. Like when I was in Mexico, like man, if I didn’t, I didn’t talk to a whole bunch of different people and get the.

27:47 Information and piece.

27:48 It together I would have been so lost.

27:52 But a lot of the things that I that I did and I have like I did.

27:57 I did it alone, you know? So not to say it’s a bad or a good thing, but you know, a lot of that.

28:06 Stuff.

28:07 I don’t want to say I’m necessarily self-made, but because I I definitely got some cuts and bruises along the way, but it’s like.

28:16 Well, there’s a place for independence.

28:18 Not that independence is a bad thing. There’s a place for it. But I think what we want to realize is that we’re interdependent.

28:32 What are some positives and negatives of of being a writer and then also bringing your your background of being a psychotherapist into it?

28:43 Let’s see. I guess I don’t really see any big negatives. I think probably if there is one, writing is something you do by yourself. You know it’s it’s not unless you’re writing a book with someone, it’s not a collaborative enterprise except for, you know, I had lots of coaching. So in that way it wasn’t totally solo.

29:04 But there there are hours that you just spend by yourself. However, I’m an introvert, so that didn’t bother me at all. But I think for some people that could be hard, you know, especially if you’re a more outgoing or a more a more extroverted person that that alone hours alone can be challenging. But for me it.

29:24 It was OK, and also because I’m, you know, I’m married to a wonderful partner. I wasn’t totally alone. But I have spent before before I got remarried. I spent lots and lots and lots of hours writing alone.

29:39 I can’t think of really any any negative. I think there’s a potential and I will say this, there’s a potential if you have anything to say that is challenging to some of the powers that be or some of the cultural norms or some of the things that people really don’t want to.

29:58 Of questioned, then there’s a potential for backlash and and I understand that and I understand that if you want to have a voice in the world, you know, everyone’s not going to agree with you so.

30:12 I imagine there’ll be people who really don’t like my book. You know, I’m really talking about bringing a a whole level of equality and sharing and honoring of one another and love and safety to a political conversation that is now.

30:32 Fraught with divisiveness and violence, and you know, this extreme competition for winning something that is hurting so many people so.

30:43 To talk about bringing mental health into a political environment that in many ways not always, but in many ways is not mentally healthy, may be a challenging thing for me to do.

30:58 He said political and my brain is insane and so we jumped to Biden and Trump. Oh my God. I’m ready for it to be over.

31:05 With already and we.

31:07 Haven’t even started yet, you know.

31:12 I mean.

31:13 Let’s see what are some traits. I mean, you kind of mentioned some already because I’m an introvert. People don’t believe that I’m an introvert, but I am. I rather be in the House by myself and in my room chilling.

31:25 There are some traits that would make someone successful in being.

31:31 I’m saying psychotherapist writer.

31:35 01 that was something that would set you up to wanna be a psychotherapist.

31:38 No. What are some some traits that would make someone you know successful in the in the in, in the and can’t talk in this career.

31:44 So.

31:49 Well, you know, like, like most careers, you need to get a degree and you know, I studied a lot in Graduate School and part of my training was to be an intern. And I was an intern in a sexual abuse treatment program. And that was very valuable. I learned a lot there.

32:09 And there’s, I would just say there’s a certain amount that you can learn in school and a certain amount that you can learn through like job opportunities. But I think that the and and those things all serve you as a psychotherapist. We need those things. You know, there’s basic things that you just need to learn and experiment with and have.

32:30 Feedback from teachers around but.

32:34 I also think that it’s just part of. It’s like who you are is part of the experience.

32:40 Of of a.

32:40 Part of the experience of having a good therapist is having someone who genuinely cares about people who wants to see you heal someone who really wants to see you succeed in life, who believes that no matter what pain.

32:55 Or abuse or feelings of being less than or a failure or whatever you bring to therapy to try to heal that your therapist sees you as more than.

33:06 That.

33:07 Because we are all more than that, we are all we’re not. We’re not in our essence, what happened to us, or even what we’ve done, we are all born a beautiful, innocent, perfect human being that gets written on, you know, and part of therapy is like taking some of the negative writing off. And it’s really important as a therapist.

33:29 I think to be really successful that you have to believe that about other people, that there’s some, some part of them in there that is whole and can be healed and.

33:40 And shift, you know, whatever needs to be shifted in their life. And I know that I’ve had clients who were so abused in their childhood that they really didn’t believe that, and yet something brought them to therapy. And so I I would know because they walked in my door.

34:01 That there was a part of them that did have hope that wasn’t totally identified with the worst that had happened to them and they didn’t 100% believe it was their fault or they deserved it. And we speak to that, whether it’s overtly in words or it’s just the way we treat another human being.

34:22 And that we just, you know, I’ve even said that like you may not see the light at the end of the tunnel, I’ve been there. I know what that’s like. I was at a place in my life where I didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel either. But something brought me to get help. And I believe that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

34:41 For you or I wouldn’t be sitting here with you. So there’s there’s a lot of things that I think you need as a therapist besides your actual training in psychology, if that makes sense.

34:55 No, definitely I agree that.

34:59 You probably shouldn’t go into.

35:00 A profession and you don’t believe that you know you can be helpful.

35:07 Right, right. Let’s see.

35:14 What are some tips and tricks that I can’t talk? What tips and tricks would you give to someone wanting to be you know whether a writer or or a psychotherapist? And what did you wish you knew before starting? You know either career.

35:33 Yeah, well, one of the things I would say, and you probably hear this a lot since it’s the focus of a lot of what you talk about is you know, choose something that really excites you that lights you up, that calls to you. I mean, I think a lot of people today or even in my generation and maybe before that you know chose careers because they thought that was the right thing to do or it would make them a lot of money.

35:56 Or their family would be proud of them, or was what their mother or father expected, or something like that, rather than what really calls to me. What am I really interested?

36:05 Then what? What if I look back on my life when I say ohh? I’m really happy I did that. So I think that’s that’s a really important thing. And I feel fortunate in my life that I had the opportunity to do that. You know, I had the opportunity to go back to school and get a Masters degree and a lot of people don’t have that.

36:25 And that’s part of what you know when we’re talking about the family of America, how are we treating people? How are we making education possible for everybody?

36:35 So that that, that everyone has that choice to follow, what really calls to them and they don’t have to take a job just to pay their rent that they hate and that they can’t wait to leave every day. These are huge issues, just like you wouldn’t want a family member to have to do that, you would want to help them.

36:54 Get the resources together to go to school, to train for whatever they wanted to do, or if it wasn’t school, to support them in starting their own business or career or whatever. But anyway, I think I went a little off track there.

37:10 You said. What other were the tips that I would give people about a career? Yeah, the tips and tricks, you know, whether it be becoming a psychotherapist writer and you know, what did you wish you knew before starting either career?

37:22 Yeah.

37:25 I think it would have been good to I I had good mentors when I was becoming a a psychotherapist, and I I guess I would say that if you want to go into any kind of a healing profession, I think it’s really important to have mentors for a long time. I had people that I could run individual cases.

37:45 Buy for.

37:47 Back and again not to feel like you have to do it all alone, collaborate with, with colleagues and get input. Nobody told me that, so I if I was telling that to somebody else, I would say make sure you have mentors. Make sure you have colleagues that you can download with and collaborate with in terms of just getting input and ideas.

38:09 I was just fortunate that I I I found that, but nobody told me that. And then in terms of being a writer, well, and I guess what I would also say about being a psychotherapist, you’re going to hear stories.

38:23 That are really hard to hear. Many people have suffered horrible trauma, sexual violation rape, terrible physical violence, being thrown out of their families, being homeless, being addicts or having addicted parents. People have a lot of suffering and a lot of very hard stories that they need to.

38:44 Reprocess and heal from.

38:46 And so it’s really important to take good care of yourself because your gas tank can get empty really fast when you’re giving out a lot of emotional support and and help to people who are really hurting. So it’s really important to take care of yourself. It’s really important to have to be able to turn that off at the end of the day.

39:07 And find nurturance and support in your own life. And that’s that’s just really critical, I think for any help helping profession and maybe most professions that are stressful.

39:17 Is just really taking care of yourself and and the other part of it is, you know, one of the confronting things about being a therapist that’s also really a good thing is that you you tend to hear yourself and your clients. Oh, I know that one am. I am I doing that in my life? How could I be better at that with the people that I love.

39:38 You know, so it’s that it’s like being willing to reflect on yourself. And am I living what I’m talking about? And that’s an ongoing journey for the rest of our lives.

39:48 UM.

39:50 Do you want me?

39:50 To say a little bit about the writing thing.

39:53 Yeah, definitely.

39:54 Yeah, I think I think.

39:58 What would I have wanted to know about being a writer?

40:04 You kind of mentioned it a little bit about, you know, people not agreeing with what you say.

40:04 Well.

40:08 Right, that that is definitely for sure. And that goes along with what came to mind, which is that for me anyway, and I think it it may be true for many, many people, you’d probably have to talk to a lot of authors to see if they would agree.

40:24 But even if you’re writing fiction, and it’s not you, well, I I never wrote fiction. But even if you’re writing fiction, I think there’s a piece of yourself in your writing. You’re you’re picking a story. You’re picking characters that in some way reflect something that’s meaningful to you, or you probably wouldn’t pick them. So what I’m saying is.

40:46 It’s very possible that a lot of our writing actually reveals more about ourselves than we thought. Starting out and and so it’s a very you it’s a, it’s a very vulnerable thing to do in a certain way because you’re exposing the inner workings of your mind, your beliefs.

41:07 Maybe things that you’ve experienced that are coming out through your work, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, and you kind of have to be ready for that, but some people are going to love it, and that’s wonderful. And some people aren’t.

41:24 No. Yeah, that’s a good one. Cause. Yeah, I mean, just just in general in life. I mean, you know, as a psychotherapist, you know, I’m pretty sure you have clients that come to you and say, hey, you know, I’m trying to do this, but, you know, my mom, my dad or my cousin or my friend is saying, no, don’t, don’t, don’t do it.

41:43 No, no, no. Here. No. Like for example, I I went to China before I went to Mexico and so.

41:54 Like it was the year that my my nephew was was going to be born, and so my mother was like, no, no, you’re not going to China like I had got my work permit and everything is I was going to go teach business classes because of course I’m an accountant. Right? So like, she literally grabbed it out of my hand and was like.

42:14 I hope you’re not going, so I’m like, OK, well, my mother knows best, right? So, like, I’m not going.

42:20 I’m happy that I didn’t. It wasn’t. It wasn’t the right time. But then I ended up going anyways, and I and I ended up coming right on back.

42:30 It was, it was. It was too much. It was just too much. So my mother was right. Just all the way around. But you know, of course I had to be, you know, the defiant child and an adult and, you know, go against what? What my mother told me to do so. And my father was ****** cuz I took so much clothes.

42:50 With me, it was. It was just a mess.

42:53 I can say this, and maybe it’s not true.

42:56 So.

42:57 Maybe what there is to salvage out of that is that you’re a really adventurous person like you. You can really just leave the known and plop yourself down in the unknown. You learned a new language in Mexico. So I think that’s a strength and a gift you have. Even if China wasn’t the right thing at that time.

43:19 And I just want to reflect that back because you may not have gotten that reflection.

43:25 I mean I I mean, not Mexico, but China is you either like it or you don’t. And there were certain things I just did not like. And I I came back.

43:37 But I’m just saying your adventures to even contemplate going there in the 1st place, I think.

43:43 Well.

43:44 So it was more so I heard about people making a lot of money and I was like, well, I don’t make that money too.

43:48 Oh, I see. OK.

43:51 OK, like and you know, I I I talked to a whole bunch of people that have been and you know and their experiences and they were like, yeah, come on come on and stuff like I had even I hadn’t even started talking to someone that was there and you know we were going to meet up but I never got a chance to even meet up with them.

44:12 So but.

44:14 I mean, yeah, I mean the the positive is is that that that’s that of course of me being fearless as I as I like to say and you know, putting myself in situations where most people aren’t capable, you know, but my whole thing is you also have to remember I lost my mother very young.

44:23 Yeah, yeah.

44:31 That’s that’s one.

44:35 So my whole thing is you only live once and nothing is promised. So you know I’m going to do it scared I’m going to do it with anxiety and my heart pumping and all that stuff cause at the end of the day, you know.

44:51 Most likely nothing’s going to happen to you. So. So yeah, you know, I went over there. I had some of the the best soup of my life. And you know, I I got on the the fast train and you know that’s that’s my my best memories and stay this phenomenal hotel but.

45:12 You know things that I could never get in America, and I wanted to go see those things too. So, you know, it’s not like I was in.

45:22 Syria or something like that. And I even know people that have been to Syria and came out just fine, you know? So you know it, it is what it is. And I tell people this all the time. It’s like, you know, you can set up tours if you’re scared and you know all this other kind of stuff. They have that. So, you know, go, go, go do it.

45:42 Because you might not be here tomorrow, right?

45:47 Well, I think that speaks a lot to what you’re talking about, about people having the courage to make a transition if they really want one like, you know, take.

45:54 Definitely.

45:56 Yeah.

45:57 Yeah. And that’s that’s kind of the other reason why I started the podcast. And like, you know, I’ve I’ve lived this life, you know.

46:04 Whether it was.

46:05 Voluntary or involuntarily right, but I’ve. I’ve done so many different things and I’m not even 40 yet, so you know, there’s there’s many more.

46:17 Years for me to ohh well, you know, maybe I want to be a psychotherapist or a writer or, you know, whatever else.

46:24 So yeah, now for people not to be scared to go out and do it. And it’s a different time period where you don’t even have to leave the house to do so. You know, going back to what you were saying about, you know, getting your masters in clinical psychology, you know, you probably had to go to classes five times.

46:35 No.

46:44 Week, right? Like you don’t necessarily.

46:47 Yeah, yeah. We don’t have to do that anymore.

46:51 So you know it’s it’s not as hard as as it used to be, but now the money is a whole nother thing. So.

46:59 But very last question kind of cutting it off is what would you tell someone that wanted to, you know, switch their career?

47:12 You know, I think I would just say like really like, dive deep into yourself because, you know, a lot of us will ask a lot of people for advice. Should I do this? Should I not do this? What do you think is the best thing to do, blah, blah, blah. And there’s nothing wrong with asking for other people’s opinions. But I think at the end of the.

47:32 Day you just really want to trust your deepest intuitive sense about what’s right for you, because sometimes people want to do something that nobody approves of and and. And they’re just magnificent at it because it’s their calling.

47:51 No, definitely like before the podcast started, I shared with you that you know, my mother came to me and told me to bring bring my black ass.

47:59 Back home to states.

48:03 And so that’s, that’s what I did. So you know, when you talk about being intuitive and you know the universe work.

48:09 Seeing, you know in your favor and, you know, listening to your your inner voice and things like that, I mean, you know, that’s that’s what that was. But and I’m. I’m.

48:19 A firm believer.

48:20 Of you know, listening to that little voice and having the universe work for you.

48:27 So.

48:29 How many times have people not listened and then they regretted it, you know?

48:33 Ohh yeah. Oh yeah. Oh.

48:34 Yeah, all the time. No, I tell people. No. You know that little that little feeling that you have in your, in your chest or you know, that little, that little voice within reason, cuz you know they’re there but but you know.

48:48 Yeah.

48:49 You have to listen to it and pay attention to the to the signs and the symbols because.

48:54 They’re they’re there.

48:58 Any last words, Phyllis?

49:03 Oh, if you don’t mind, I would just like to present the the book that I just wrote. It’s called America and therapy, a new approach to hope and healing for a nation in crisis. And you can get it on any at any books.

49:16 Color and it’s really it’s really a passion for me to try to share what we’ve learned about healing with our country because I think we’re in desperate need of that. And please visit my website, it’s and I’m have lots of talks on YouTube and I’m on LinkedIn and.

49:36 You know Facebook and all the social media, but but really the last message isn’t even about me or my book. The last message is let’s just be kind to each other. Let’s just treat each other the way we want to be treated. We can all make a difference. Every single person here can make a difference.

49:56 All right, you guys, you heard it straight from Phyllis, the psychotherapist turned writer. I really enjoyed this conversation. Go out and get her book because it seems to be extraordinary. And again, my name is Elyse Robinson with the nobody wants to work through podcast and until next time.

50:16 Thank you.

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Elyse Y. Robinson Elyse Y. Robinson, an enterprising entrepreneur, is the mastermind behind Taxes and Services, a multifaceted holding company that doubles as her accounting firm. Her ventures encompass an array of innovative projects. One of her key initiatives is Switch Into Tech, a dynamic weekly newsletter that doubles as a platform for advertising monthly career seminars, offering weekly tech-related freebies, and promoting her latest podcast episodes of Nobody Wants To Work Tho. Additionally, Elyse shares her insights through her blog at, where she delves into various data-related topics. Elyse’s passions extend beyond her businesses; she is deeply enamored with Mexico, has an insatiable appetite for research, and is dedicated to assisting others in transitioning into technology careers.

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