On Monday, January 8th, FMCA hosted an Ask the Expert webinar with Dr. Jade Teta to share his expertise in working with clients on making sustainable changes. The Ask the Expert series is offered to FMCA students and members of the Alumni Program.
Dr. Teta is an author, entrepreneur, and educator who combines his experience in personal training and functional medicine into a unique approach to personal development. With a specialty in weight loss and fitness, his focus is on mind, muscle, and metabolism.
This webinar discussed how health coaches can help their clients achieve the mental and physical transformation they need to reach their health and wellness goals. What patterns can coaches look out for in clients? How can coaches approach difficult conversations to identify client roadblocks or resistances? How does identity play into lifestyle changes?
As people try to make sustainable changes throughout the year, health coaches need to have plenty of resources in their toolkits. This is a great webinar to learn new techniques to assist your clients, especially those struggling to make transformations. For more information about coaching clients through resistance, check out our blog 7 Ways Health Coaches Coach Through Resistance.
Watch the Replay
Ask the Expert: The Keys to Physical and Mental Transformation with Dr. Jade Teta
Meet the Guest
Dr. Jade Teta
Naturopathic Doctor, Author, Entrepreneur
Dr. Jade Teta, a Naturopathic Doctor, Author, Educator, and Entrepreneur, he brings a unique perspective to health and personal development, combining over 30 years of experience in personal training with 20 years in functional medicine. Specializing in mindset, muscle, and metabolism, he focuses on tailored approaches to health, fitness and weight loss. Dr. Teta has authored eight books in personal development and health and contributed to key texts like the “Textbooks of Natural Medicine” and “Integrative Sexual Health.” Currently, he is deepening his expertise through a PhD in transpersonal psychology and a certificate in psychedelic-assisted therapy.
Patty: It is my great pleasure to welcome Dr. Jade Teta to the FMCA community. As you may know, Dr. Jade, is a doctor in the transformation space both mind and body, but he is also an author, teacher, podcast host, and wonderful human being whose latest work is embracing a root cause approach to behavior change that is going to be paradigm-shifting for our functional medicine health coaches.
Coaches are experts in listening, asking questions, and providing support that elicits behavior change. And after today’s webinar, you’re going to be even more skilled in facilitating change within your client. So, welcome Dr. Jade. Please tell us more about your work in your words.
Dr. Jade: Well, hi, everybody. And, Patty, thank you, and thank you to the whole team for hosting this and for all of you for being here. The thing to know about me, my training, I’m a naturopathic doctor. I actually got started in this back when I was 15 years old as a personal trainer. That’s the first time I collected money, believe it or not, for helping people with health and fitness.
And recently I’m going back to school. I’m currently getting my PhD in transpersonal psychology and doing certifications in psychedelic work. So, what you’ll get from me is a sort of natural health practitioner, throw that in a blender with a personal trainer, throw that in a blender with a psychologist, and you have an idea of who I am. And I’m very excited to present the work that I’m going to be presenting today because I think it’s really important given the new year. Everybody is wanting transformation. And from my perspective, we tend to miss aspects of this that all of us as coaches need to be aware of. So, thank you so much for having me, and I really am excited to be here.
Patty: Yeah. And as we begin, I’m going to ask you guys to think about this information in two ways, first, how it applies to yourself, and then, second, how this information can be used in your work. So, Jade, take it away. Thank you.
Dr. Jade: The first thing that I want us to acclimate to is this idea of change and what change requires. Now, I call this identity restructuring, and the reason I call it identity restructuring is because, from my perspective, that is really what we need to be doing as coaches, as practitioners for our own personal development and helping other people change.
Here’s what most people think. They think that we need to change our habits and behaviors. In truth, we need to change our identity and beliefs because habits and behaviors flow out of identity and beliefs. And by the way, just so you know what you’re going to get, yes, I’m a science guy, but I’m also a results getter and a clinician, so I’m going to focus on that aspect of things because I know you all are doing clinical work as well. So, then the question goes, okay, well, if it’s not habits and behaviors and they flow out of identity and beliefs, well, then how do we change identity and beliefs?
So, let me just give you a brief metaphor on how I think about how we form our identity. Now, when I was a kid in elementary school, I would find little pieces of yarn on the floor and pick those up, and I’d be bored in class, and I would have this long string, and I would tie a knot in it, right? You’re bored, what do you do with a string? You tie a knot, and then you tie a knot on top of that knot, and another knot on top of that knot, and another knot on top of that knot. Before you know it, you’re left with this big, knotted ball of yarn.
And this is the way I like to think about us humans as we go through our development. Things happen to us—struggles, trials, tribulations, traumas even, difficulties—and we write a knot in our psyche. We tell ourselves a story about how the world works. And of course, when we’re young children, we don’t form memories in the same way we do as adults. In fact, we form incomplete memories. It’s not until about 4 to 6 that we start to make complete memories. So, we have these fragmented memories, and these fragmented stories, things that we tell ourselves about the world, how safe we are, how secure we are, and we get into our teen years and it’s all about acceptance and belonging, right? And then we get into our early 20s, and it’s all about freedom, and autonomy, and self-determination.
And so we’re writing stories all the time. The question though is, what are these stories doing to us? Well, they’re forming our identities and our beliefs. And if we write an inaccurate story in our childhood, that story will follow us around for the rest of our lives. And we won’t even know where the first knot started. Carl Jung has a famous saying many of you may be aware of, “If you do not make the unconscious conscious, it will follow you around and you will call it fate.” So, part of what we’re doing as coaches is we are looking for those original knots, those original stories that keep people stuck and anchor them to their current identity. If we can’t find those stories, spot those stories, and help people integrate those stories in a different way, they can struggle.
I call these seed stories, by the way, in the same way that you take a little seed, and you plant it into the ground, and that seed then grows into a tree, the roots go deep. That’s our identity and our beliefs. The leaves, the branches, that’s our habits and behaviors. And so obviously we need to get to the roots. This is why changing habits and behaviors does not work for the vast majority of people. We know this in clinic. In fact, I’ll give you a few things with health and fitness since it’s the new year. You may not know these stats, but individuals who try to lose weight and keep it off, 90 plus percent of them either don’t lose the weight or gain it back after one year, 95 percent gain it back after two years, after three years, almost 99 percent of people are back to where they were.
Same thing happens if someone wins the lottery, 90 plus percent go back to being at the same level of finance as they were before. Why? Because of the old stories that they’re living. It’s not habits and behaviors. It’s identity and beliefs. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Russian nesting dolls, right? At Christmas, you get a present, that little small present wrapped in a bigger present, wrapped in a bigger present, wrapped in a bigger present. We have to anchor in a particular way. And from my perspective, the very first core of who we are as humans is stories, and those stories, of course, then become our identity. That identity then moves into our feelings and our beliefs, which determine our choices, which determine our actions, which finally have this outward habits and behaviors.
And so, from my perspective, part of what we are missing as coaches and practitioners is that we focus on the outward branches instead of the seeds. We focus on the outward doll instead of the inner identity. And this is part of what we’re missing. Now, I want to stop there briefly, just to see if you have any comments or questions on these ideas. Do you understand where we’re coming from here and do you have any comments or questions about this or something that is not clear for you?
Patty: Yeah, this is very clear and a great starting point. And I love all the metaphors and examples that you’re using. And I think they would be great starting points in coaching conversations with clients.
Dr. Jade: Yeah. Well, here’s the thing, right? By the way, how do we know if we’re going to change where we’re stuck in one of these seed stories? And why can’t we change? So, this is the next thing that we want to cover. The reason we have a difficult time changing is because we have psychic parts of ourselves that are very much alive in our psyche. These are aspects of our identity that we may be unconscious of: our child self, our teen self, our young adult self, the ones who went through the trials, the tribulations, the struggles, the betrayals, the difficulties.
The stories we wrote, those seed stories, follow us around almost like a ball and chain. This is why sometimes people who do even therapies like psychedelics or visualizing meditation or any of these change techniques, it’s often that they don’t stick. Why? Because we don’t actually deal with the old stories that we are dragging around. So, if we’re going to use any technology to change ourselves from my perspective, the first step is we must dismantle these old seed stories. We must dismantle our identity to a degree. Now think about that for a second because most people spend most of their time defending their identity, don’t they? Not only do we have these old stories that are holding us back and we’re pulling around like a big ball and chain on our psyche, but we have generational traumas now that we know that literally, through epigenetic changes, can determine much about how we function in the world. This also needs to be something that we look at and dismantle within ourselves and within our clients.
The idea here is that we must, as we begin to change, integrate these separate parts of ourselves. We must understand that our identity is made up of our child self, our teen self, our young adult self, and that our beliefs that we wrote way back when, these deep seated stories, these knots, these original knots tied in our psyche influence us everywhere we go. There’s an old saying that I love. If you see life as a war, you will find battles everywhere, whether those battles exist or not. If you wrote a story deep in your psyche about how the world is, how people are, whether the world is safe or secure, whether you are worthy or not, that story is going to follow you around until and unless you integrate it. That is what we need to understand. Integration is key. What are we integrating? Old dysfunctional stories that may or may not have been useful for us way back when but are not necessarily useful for us now.
So, how do we know if we have these dysfunctional seed stories? Because not all the stories we write when we’re kids are dysfunctional or holding us back or keeping us from changing. Not all of the stories, when we’re teenagers or young adults, are holding us back, just some of them. How do we know if our client or we ourselves have these? Well, repeated struggles, recurrent obstacles, things that happen again and again in our lives. Now I’m going to say something that’s going to be a little bit controversial. I’m saying it on purpose just to get you thinking. We have words that we use and our clients use that other people are toxic, toxic relationships and things like that. But think about this for a second. Voluntary exposure to toxicity, doesn’t that make you somewhat responsible for the toxin? If you voluntarily expose yourself to the toxin, then perhaps you are the toxic one. How do we know if we are the ones that are the problem? We know if it shows up in our lives again and again and again. New romantic partner? Same pattern. New job, more money? Same amount of money in our bank account. This is how we know. Repeated struggles, recurrent obstacles, and then perhaps most importantly, stuck emotions.
From my perspective, emotions are the GPS of our soul, so to speak. And so while every emotion is meant to be felt, we are not meant to live our emotions. We’re not meant to get stuck there. So, if you have repeated patterns, recurrent obstacles, stuck emotions, then you know you probably have a dysfunctional story that is influencing your identity. And in fact, as coaches, isn’t our main job to be pattern spotters? Our job is to spot the patterns that are getting in the way of people living their best lives. And one of the best ways to do that is look for these repeated struggles, recurrent obstacles, and stuck emotions.
Now, I want to give you a little bit of a hint here how I look at this. Now, in my metabolism work, I have a funny little acronym I use to teach my patients how to read the metabolism. It’s called HEC. Hunger, Energy, Cravings, HEC. And essentially what I tell people is, “Hey, look, if your HEC is in check, if your hunger, energy, and cravings are in check, then it means your metabolism is happy. It’s not under stress. But if your hunger, energy, and cravings is out of check, it means you’re doing something wrong with your diet, your exercise, etc.” Now, what about psychology? There’s also an acronym to know and to teach our clients and patients, that if they are stuck in the emotions of AFRAID, if they are afraid a lot and being stuck there, then that means they have one of these knotted seed stories.
Depression, insecurity, anxiety, resistance, frustration, anger. If people are stuck in any of these emotions, it is a sign that they are dealing with these unconscious seed stories negatively influencing their identity and belief. This is where they are stuck. And each of these I think about as pointing us as coaches to a particular issue that this person might have. Depression, the inability to find hope or trust. Insecurity, the inability to believe in self. Anxiety, the inability to make a choice or own a choice once it is made. Resistance, the inability to accept or act. Frustration, the inability to process or finish. Anger, the inability to move on and let go. And notice how these emotions move from very low energy to very high energy. Why is that important? Because if we have somebody who’s in depression, we can tell how deep these emotions go, how deep this story is. However, if someone is in anger, this has a lot of charge. It’s much easier to alchemize anger into drive and motivation than it is depression. And so we can use this to our advantage.
And really what we’re trying to do as coaches is we are trying to help our clients become emotional alchemists. Not only do we need to be in our emotional integrity, but we need to help them be emotional alchemist and move past these stuck emotions. But each of these emotions provide clues of what these deep seed stories may actually be. So, hopefully this is useful for you. Anyone who is stuck and afraid is likely stuck in a negative identity that is not serving them. Now, I’m going to stop right there again, because I want to make sure that this is making sense. I know I’m moving fast, and we want to get to the meat of this, the “How do you do this?” But does this make sense for you all? And is this helpful? And are there any questions thus far?
Patty: Yeah. And just as a reminder, if you guys have questions, go ahead and put those in the Q&A box. I just want to reiterate what you said. So, what coaches can listen for within a coaching conversation are repeated struggles, stuck emotions, and see if the client is open to moving in and exploring that to help them move on. I think seed stories as well in different versions of ourselves is like parts work, and there’s a lot of research around the benefits of doing this work. Do you recommend any particular resources in that area if coaches want to learn more?
Dr. Jade: Absolutely. In fact, parts work is critical. It’s really interesting too, because parts work, those of you who are familiar with that and those who aren’t, really comes out of shamanism, which is interesting, because this is a lot of the work that shamans do. And also internal family systems, IFS, are another way to work with this. It’s basically to help people dissociate, in a sense, from their identity by understanding that there are particular parts of themselves that are still psychologically active: their child part, their teen part, their young adult part. And then each of these parts has a whole symphony of emotions that need to be controlled and looked at and analyzed as also a part of ourselves.
And so parts work really deals with the child, the teen, the young adult. Internal family systems deals with the emotions that those parts have as part of their symphony of action psychologically. And so both of these are very useful for coaches if you’re not familiar with that.
Patty: And lastly, I just want to bring up the work that you talked about around defending identity. So, we may have some people that go there. Is there a coaching conversation that you recommended in particular that moves somebody out of defending identity and moving into more curiosity around these different parts?
Dr. Jade: Yeah. In fact, there’s a global way to approach this in my mind and rather than… Sometimes when we’re dealing with a coach, right, coming right at things directly can cause them to put their defenses up. But one of the things that I like to do in my work is just point people, drop little breadcrumbs about duality and how duality is everywhere, the need to create dualities—male/female, black/white, democrat/republican, hot/cold, left/right, people get stuck in these dualities. And so one of the best ways to open people up to stop defending their identity is to get them to look and find dualities everywhere in the world. And also, it’s a great way for you as a coach to spot and see, look how they do dualities all the time.
People who defend and go to dualities and extremes, these are the people who are most entrenched in their old identity. So, one of the things we can do is be dropping breadcrumbs on how dualities often trap us. Once people begin to escape duality and binary thinking, they become much more open minded and now their identity attachment becomes much looser. And so this is one of the tools I often use and begin talking about dualities with people right from the beginning and helping them spot where they’re doing binary dual thinking and where everyone else in the world is doing that. from my perspective, this is the matrix that we are all stuck in. And pointing this out to our clients is a really useful way to get them unstuck.
Patty: Yeah, thank you so much. I know that you guys have some questions about the difference between a coaching conversation and therapy and scope. So, I think we’re going to parse this out as we go on, so we’ll make sure to come back to that.
And, again, if you hear your clients with certain words within a session that bring this up, the question is to lead them in a direction to have them start exploring this area. And at a certain point, you may be referring on. But, Jade, we can talk a little bit more about that towards the end and really dive into that.
Dr. Jade: Yeah, and I’ll just give a brief of this whole thing on therapy versus coaching. The way I like to think about it is, like, think of Michael Jordan, right? Great basketball player. He’s got a coach who’s also really good at basketball but doesn’t play basketball as well as him, and the job of a coach is to be objective and simply to spot patterns. So, Michael Jordan might be a great basketball player, but he can’t see himself dissociate and objectify himself and see how he might be missing a step or missing a beat here or there. A coach’s job is simply to deal with those patterns.
A therapist’s job is more to essentially go deep into the dysfunction of this and process a bunch of stuff. A coach is essentially just saying, “Hey, here’s a pattern, no you process it.” And so there really is sort of a fenagling there and a slight parsing where a coach is not going in to this therapeutic place. It’s just basically pointing out patterns subtly so that other people can do the work themselves. And that’s kind of how I see this. Now, as we move forward with this discussion, one of the first things that I think we need to be aware of is that ultimately we don’t know how to deal with suffering. So, before I can give you some of the tools that you can use in your coaching practice, I think we need to be aware of what our clients do and how these seed stories form.
So, imagine you’re in the kitchen cutting vegetables, and that knife slips and cuts your thumb. You’ve just physically injured yourself. Physical pain. Now, we know instinctively how to deal with this, right? First thing we’re going to do is we’re going to feel what happened. And because we feel what happened, we are going to grab that finger. Oh, my gosh. You’re going to squeeze tight. You’re going to squeeze it, right, and you’re going to stop and pay attention to it. No one cuts their finger and just keeps going on bleeding all over the place. They stop and they feel it. And after that, we have to deal with it. How deep is this wound? How deep does it go? Am I going to need stitches? Let me bandage it up. What do I need to do here? And then finally we begin to heal from this physical injury. What does this mean? This means changing out the bandages. This means getting the stitches out. This means putting antibiotic ointment on it perhaps.
But the most important aspect of healing from a physical injury is learning from the mistake. You twist your ankle, you go, “Hey, I’m not going to run through a field full of potholes anymore.” You cut your finger, you say, “Next time you cut the vegetables, I’m going to be more careful. Maybe I’ll go on YouTube and learn how to cut better and learn the proper cutting skills and this kind of thing.” We learn from this. This is not what people do though with mental and emotional suffering. In fact, they are much more dysfunctional.
Many people blame and complain. They cut their finger, their metaphorical emotional finger, and they run up to the nearest person, stick their finger in their face and start screaming, “Ow, ow, ow, ow,” screaming and yelling at everyone else, shoving their finger in their face as if it’s everyone else’s job to deal with this mental, emotional wound. So, we all do this, by the way. No judgment. No judgment here, but is it helpful? Blame and complain is one way we deal with it. Another way we deal with it is we whimper and whine. We just sit there staring at the metaphorical emotional thumb, crying, “Oh, woe is me. I hurt my thumb. I’m bleeding all over the place.” Now, again, no judgment, but is this helpful or hurtful for that person?
And another way we deal with it is we distract and deny. We just put our hand behind our back, “Oop, I didn’t cut myself. Nothing happened. I’m good. I don’t need this hand. Matter of fact, I don’t even need this arm anymore. I’m all good. I’ll just go around with one arm for the rest of my life.” Now, again, once again, no judgment, but is this useful for ourselves and our clients? And this is what we do.
And of course, at its worst, we attack. We hurt people. We hurt others. We had our finger cut, so we’re going to go cut someone else’s finger. And this is the idea of hurting people. And this is because we do not know how to feel, deal, and heal when we have a mental, emotional wound. We have to look back at all the times that we were hurt, and we have to essentially say, “I never actually felt it, I never actually dealt with it, and I certainly didn’t heal it. I know how to do that with physical pain, but no one has ever taught me how to do that with mental emotional suffering.” We must feel, and deal, and heal.
And how do we do this? Well, this is what I’m going to teach you now in terms of how we as coaches can help people make this turnaround. Now, before I do, I want to stop one more time and ask you if you have any questions about this idea that is bothering you or you want any clarification on. The next step is going to go through and say how can we feel, deal, and heal our emotional suffering and how can we feel, deal, and heal teach our clients how to do this in a very easy way as a coach.
Patty: I think this information, again, even the feel, deal, and heal is a great conversation to have with a client and also listening for those feelings around wounds from current life, past life. So, I think that’s really helpful. Thank you.
Dr. Jade: Okay. So, now we get into the meat of this. So, you might say, “Okay, Jade, well, I’m following you. I get it. I, kind of, see what’s happening here. I have a client in front of me or me myself. I want to be a better human. I want to grow and enrich myself. I want to become my next level human self, my superhero self. What is the process then to feel, deal, and heal? How do I move forward with this?”
Well, the first step is to change those deep-seated stories, those thoughts. And we do this by uncovering, and examining, and integrating these hidden seed stories, these things silently influence the way the world is going to show up for us, and they also determine how we’re going to show up in the world. And there is a very simple way that we can begin to process this. We can use things like written exposure therapy, parks, work, honor code work. Most of this is journaling, and I’m going to teach you in this talk the most powerful one that I have found in my version, which is written exposure therapy. That’s the first step. We must untether ourselves from these old seed stories if we’re going to help ourselves grow past this. That’s the feel part.
Now, the deal part is to realize that we’re used to particular feelings. We’re stuck in the emotions of AFRAID. We must learn to be in more elevated emotions like empathy, and love, and engagement, and vitality, and gratitude and appreciation, and trust, and enjoyment. We need to practice feeling these new feelings. We don’t always know how these things feel and nor do our clients. And so this is where meditative practices come in where we can meditate into different feelings or visualize our life and feel and imagine what that might feel like. This is the deal phase. This is the rewriting of the story that is generating the negative emotions that our clients walk around in every single day.
And the final one is to act. They have to go out in the world and act. And as coaches, one of the great things about being a coach is it’s much more proactive. We can actually give homework. We can actually say, “Maybe try this on, try acting as if you are this thing,” something I call “be it until you see it,” which we’ll talk about here in just a minute. But this, to me, is the three-step process. This is how this works.
Now, how do we rewrite the story? Written exposure therapy. First of all, I love the acronym for this, WET. It’s like you get in the shower and you rinse off these old dysfunctional stories that are keeping you stuck. Now, I’m not going to get into a whole bunch of research, but I did want to show you this. In terms of this work with PTSD, which all of us know is one of the most difficult things to deal with, there’s the gold standard in PTSD, which is cognitive processing therapy in this work. Well, this particular study looked at written exposure therapy, which we’re going to get into how to do it in just a minute, next to cognitive processing therapy and found it was just as effective, but it took 5 sessions versus 12. It was 40 minutes versus 90 minutes There was no homework involved and look at the dropout rate, 6% versus 40%. In fact, this was as good as the gold standard in PTSD with less dropout and easier to do. So, if it works for PTSD, it’s going to work for us.
Now, how is it done? I’m going to go slowly here so you can essentially look and see how this is. Now, this is my version of written exposure therapy. It’s not exactly the way that it is done in the studies, but it comes from my clinical experience, and you’re welcome to use this directly. The first part of this is to write about what happened. And as a coach, you can be looking at the childhood period, zero to 10, the teenage period, 10 to 20, the young adult period. But the point is something has happened—a struggle, a trial, a tribulation, something that is on this person’s mind that is following them around like those weighted chains. The idea here is it’s simply to get them feeling this once again. This is the feel phase, having them go back and write about the feeling. So, you write about what happened, but you focus on the feeling.
Now, here’s something that most people will do. What they’ll do is you say, “Write about what happened,” and they’ll say, “Well, first of all, I was heading to my mom’s house, and I got in the car, and I forgot my keys, and then I made a right, then I made a left, then this happened, then that happened, and they never focus on the feeling.” In order for this to work, you need to have them drop right into the feeling. I went to my mom’s house. This thing happened and here’s what it felt like. I had this feeling in my gut. It felt like hot viscous tar. I can still feel it, kind of, stuck in my throat, right? And so what you do with feelings, because feelings are so metaphorical and symbolic and it’s an experience. It is hard to put it into language and logic. You want to language and logic the feeling. How do you language and logic a feeling? Well, you give it a personality. You tell them to write about where is it in the body. You tell them to write about what temperature it is, what texture was it, what personality is it. They write about how their mother wound…they have a mother wound, and that mother wound feels like it’s from the throat all the way down to the solar plexus, and it feels like hot viscous tar with spikes on it, and it’s angry. This is what they write about in a very metaphorical way so they can get in touch with this feeling. This is the feel phase. And by the way, if they get emotional, if they cry during this process, this is fine and it’s good, but one hint here as you do this, have them rank this on a scale of 1 to 10 in intensity—1 meaning this thing that happened has very little charge and very little intensity, 10 meaning it’s almost unbearable. You want this to be somewhere between 6 and 8. If it’s at 9 or 10, you probably want to be referring out to somebody for this. If it’s between 6 and 8, then it’s probably something you can deal with. If it’s below 6, it probably doesn’t have enough charge to be the actual seed story that we want to be dealing with. That’s part one.
Now part two is writing about the deal phase. Basically, after this happened, getting them in touch with what was the seed story, what was the original knot, what was the story they told themselves about the world. Men are untrustworthy. Women are untrustworthy. People are bad. Life’s not fair. Whatever the story is, I’m not worthy. You get them to make sure that they realize that that belief is not a truth, it’s a decision that they made. And this is very important for them to write about how they dealt with this when it happened.
And then the final step here is the heal phase, which is now to have them right into the future and give this story plot and purpose, so that they can turn their hurt into a way to help so that they can draw out and say, “As a result of this, I learned this, this, and this. It made me more powerful in this way and that way, and I will use these lessons to help others.” And a hint here in helping people heal, a shortcut to finding purpose through pain is simply to allow people to see that the shortcut is to find other people who have suffered the same pain and seek to help those people. This is how this works, and you do this over and over and over again. In fact, in the research, five times or so. And you start out with Part 1, the feel phase, being the longest part. And then slowly but surely, one after the next, the feel phase gets shorter and shorter while the heal phase gets longer and longer. And what you will find is that intensity, that 8, that 7 on that scale from 1 to 10, each time begins to dissipate with one exception. Sometimes the first time someone does this, their intensity will go up a little bit, because it’s the first time they’re revisiting the wound. Instead of blaming, complaining, whimper, whining, distracting, and denying, they’re finally feeling it. And that’s what we want to have happen.
So, I’m going to pause here real quick. We got two more phases to go through, but I want to make sure you understand this process and how powerful it can be. By the way, this is done right in office or right on the phone with someone or as homework. And it is extremely powerful to do in this way. Any questions about this? Any comments?
Patty: Yeah, thanks for checking in with us. I like how you gave guidelines around when to refer out. And let me just give you an example of coaching conversation around exposure therapy. So, you have a client, they’re talking about an event. The question is, have you heard about written exposure therapy? And they will say yes or no. The next question is, would you be interested in learning about it? And from there, if they are, you know, is that an exercise you would like to complete? I think either way, in session or as homework, is really great.
And then what you’re going to ask them to do is share their takeaways from that and ask them to take a look at how this may help in their healing journey. And I think that’s a really great way to stay in scope with this work.
Dr. Jade: Absolutely. Absolutely. Any other questions or comments that anyone might have?
Patty: Let me take a look. So, someone’s asking, is written exposure therapy done over and over for the same seed story?
Dr. Jade: Really great question. Yes, until and unless that seed story gets below three on that scale. And what will oftentimes happen is, as people begin to dive down into those knotted stories, think about this big ball of yarn. This is why it’s a good metaphor for ourselves and to teach our clients. As you start to untie this ball of yarn, you have to, kind of, loosen it up a little bit, don’t you? And it’s rare that we’ll get down to the original knot. We have to untie several different knots before we get down to the deep one. And so what will happen is, once we get below a three on intensity for the seed story, now it’s time to go deeper into another knot. And this will oftentimes happen, I’ve done this enough to know, that people will automatically oftentimes hear them say, “It’s interesting. This has lost its charge, but it reminded me of this.” And what I would say is you stay with the original story until it is below a 3 on intensity, and then you can begin to move to another one. Is that helpful?
Patty: Yes, very. Thank you.
Dr. Jade: Okay, so let’s go into Stage 2 now. Now, let me just give you a reminder. The first stage from my perspective is the most critical. It’s the reason why even advanced therapeutics like psychedelics and manifestation meditation and all these things often don’t work for people because they go back out into the real world and they’re carrying this big ball of chain, this big ball that they can’t get rid of, and it just pulls them back into their old identity. So, this has utility before things like psychedelic therapies, before things like manifestation meditation and things like that. But meditation, from my perspective, is the next step, and I do see this as a stepwise process. Now, we do need to go through just a brief on meditation because there’s different types. If you look down here in the lower left, this is what I’m depicting as, sort of, mindfulness meditation. You’re sort of sitting there and watching your breath or you’re watching your thoughts go by like watching clouds pass through the sky. This is what is most popular in meditation. This is not the most powerful meditation that you would want your clients to be practicing. You either want them to do what I’m depicting up here in the left-hand top side, which is visualization meditation. You get into a relaxing state. You can start out with mindfulness meditation, but then very quickly you start to visualize the new life that you want in vivid detail, visualizing this new life. And then most importantly, practicing feeling what this would feel like. The whole point of meditation is to get people out of those stuck emotions of AFRAID and help them practice the elevated emotions.
By the way, I have an acronym for that too, if you want. So, elevation. Elevate. Empathy/compassion. Love. Engagement, right? And vitality and appreciation/ gratitude and trust and enjoyment in life. These are the elevated emotions, and you want them practicing this in their meditation. Perhaps the most powerful type of meditation is something that we could probably refer to as void meditation or nothingness meditation where essentially we meditate, we do some mindfulness, and we get into a place where we can dissociate from ourselves. One of the best ways to do this is just to, when you have a thought, like me, Jade, if I’m having a thought, I essentially go, “Oh, isn’t this interesting? This person, Jade, this identity, Jade, is having a thought.” So, with void meditation, you practice becoming the watcher. You practice having a God perspective. I’m looking at this other identity that is not me. I’m just the watcher. And from that place, you just then say, “I’m going to give this other identity this elevated emotion of love.” And you wrap yourself in that, projecting that to your dissociated identity. And this begins to be a daily practice that people then can immerse themselves in these feelings. And this is basically a mental emotional dress rehearsal for the psyche, because once we sever the old wounds and seed stories, we then have to give the psychology, the mental emotional space, something else to anchor to. If it no longer is going to anchor to the emotions of AFRAID, we have to give it something else to anchor to. And so meditation serves this purpose.
Now, are there any questions about meditation in this regard and how it is done? And is that helpful, that distinction between those three types and why certain types of meditation might not have the same power as other types of meditation?
Patty: Absolutely. And if you are discussing meditation as a strategy with a client, knowing those different prompts are helpful because not all of them work for every person at every particular time. So, thank you. We do have one question, and I guess it’s probably within a session. Would you spend time with someone doing a guided meditation for visualization?
Dr. Jade: I certainly would if that’s in my skill set, but there are many different ways. If it’s not in your skill set, there are many, many different places that you can go to help people get this help online. Many different people are doing this type. You can even find these meditations, these guided meditations online. Find a practitioner who does these kinds of things and/or learn to do them yourselves. But, yes, I certainly spend time with clients and patients, teaching them these things because it is within my skill set, but I don’t want you to think that you can’t use this tool and that you have to be able to guide it because there are many, any different places where you can get guided meditations for people to do.
Patty: Absolutely. And we’re just having a request to go through the ELEVATE emotions acronym one more time.
Dr. Jade: Okay. So, you know, there’s emotions of AFRAID, right? Anger, frustration, resistance, anxiety, insecurity, depression. There’s also what I call the ELEVATE emotions, so empathy, love, engagement, vitality, and then appreciation/gratitude, trust and enjoyment for life These to me are the ELEVATE emotions that we can wrap someone in and get them out of the stuck emotions of AFRAID.
Patty: Thank you so much.
Dr. Jade: All right. So, now we’re down to about the last five minutes here and then we can go into any discussions and things like that but arguably the most important aspect of this is action And now here’s a very common saying that I think is absolutely wrong and let me explain why. Fake it until you make it. Once we get In this place where we disconnect from those old seed stories and we practice this new feeling, our brain is not going to believe us until it sees us acting in the real world. Our brain is watching us and judging us all of the time the same way we watch and judge other people, only more harshly. And so when we fake, fake means pretend. Fake means when people are watching, you’re doing the thing. And when people aren’t watching, you go right back to doing and being how you were before.
Faking is not what we want because the brain is going to call [beep] when you fake. What we want is we want to be it until you see it. What’s the difference between faking and being? Well, faking means, “I’m pretending. It’s not really me. I’m not in alignment with my thinking, and my feeling, and my choosing, and my acting.” Being means I am in complete authentic alignment in thinking, feeling, choosing, and acting. When we are being something, it is who we are in the present and our brain gets on board. This is also known in the research as the as if principle. In other words, we want to get our brain in alignment in all of these areas. And I’ll give you a hint here based on the research. If you want a shortcut, what would you want to do first? Would you want someone thinking a particular way and hoping that permeates into action or would you want someone acting a particular way and hoping that permeates into thinking? Well, research has actually answered this for us. It’s not like the law of attraction says where we just think the thing and that automatically translates into feeling, choosing, and acting. That can happen, but it’s much easier to just be the thing by acting. And then when we’re acting, well, we’ve already made the choice. And when we’re acting, it’s far easier to feel and think in alignment.
In other words, getting people to do the thing may be the shortest route to having them be the thing. This is important. And if you want an analogy or metaphor to give your clients, you can think of it like acting. On the left here, this is a traditional actor. He gets a role. And when the director says action, he plays the role. And when the director says cut, he stops playing the role. Now, this actor is a method actor. This actor gets the role, decides on the role, becomes the role, starts being the role. He hasn’t even gone yet to one dress rehearsal, and he’s already playing the part. So, when the director says action, he’s already playing the part. And when the director says cut, he keeps playing the part. This is what we want to do. We want to teach our clients to be method actors, to act as if they’re playing a role so that they can be in alignment with thinking, feeling, and acting.
And one of the ways that I do this is through exposure therapy, something I call a Fear PR. We know this works in the research. It is incredibly powerful, and I’m going to teach you a very quick way to do it based on something that I use called a Fear PR. Now we know what fear is, but what does PR mean? Well, PR means personal record, and I stole this from the world of strength and conditioning. I’m a bodybuilder guy. I like to lift weights. And so a personal record for me on deadlift, let’s say, let’s say I can deadlift 500 pounds, and I want to get stronger on my deadlift. I need to go for a personal record, a PR of 510. And then I’ll go for a PR of 520 slowly, progressively getting stronger.
So, with our fears, with our changes, changing our identity, what we want to do is have our clients start with something very easy and simple and then slowly increase in difficulty each week. Then we attack the next fear. Let me give you an example, a very simple example. Let’s say someone is afraid of being alone. Well, a Fear PR Level 1 would be, “Hey, I want you to go out to a movie, get your ticket. I want you to go alone.” Now this is relatively easy because it’s going to be a little anxiety producing when you walk up to get the ticket. But then you’re going to sit down, watch the movie, you’re going to be distracted during that movie, and then it’ll be a little anxiety producing walking out alone. That’s pretty easy. That’s a Fear PR Level 1. Now a Fear PR Level 2 would be like, “Go to dinner by yourself.” A Fear PR Level 3 would be, “Go to dinner by yourself without your cell phone.” A Fear PR Level 4 would be, “Go to a hotel. Spend the night in your town a night alone.” A Fear PR Level 20 would be, “Go to France. You don’t speak the language. Stay there a week by yourself.” Can you see that if we progressed someone from that Fear PR Level 1 all the way up to Fear PR level 20, they will be a completely different identity by the end of that, especially if we’ve also taken care of Part 1 and Part 2.
And the final one here would be an example of fear of sharks. And by the way, you can choose any fear because this will have crossover. If you take on your fear of sharks, it’s going to have crossover into many other areas of your life. How would we do this? Well, first thing is go and get in a swimming pool. That’s Fear PR Level 1. Next Fear PR would be go walk in the surf at the beach up to your hips. Fear PR Level 3 might be go deep sea fishing. Fear PR Level 6 might be learn to scuba dive. Fear PR Level 20 would be go cage diving in the Bahamas with sharks swimming around. This is going to profoundly change this client, once again, especially if their old wounds have been felt, dealt, and healed, and they are now feeling into this meditative new them. And now they see themselves acting in a way that is compliant and cohesive with who they are trying to be. From my perspective, this is how change is done, and I wanted to give you a very simple three-part model that you all could use in your coaching practice.
So, that’s all I have for you now. If there’s any questions, I’m happy to take them, and I really appreciate your time.
Patty: Yeah. We appreciate all of this information, and you being here with us today. Let’s take that model and look at weight loss, right? If we’re coaching a client in weight loss and their identity is, “I’m not somebody who loses weight,” how do we change that for that process of, “I am someone who takes care of my…” or, “I’m someone who shows up every day at the gym. I’m someone who puts an effort into my…” You know, whatever the conditions are that they feel will help them lose weight. Can we go through that example?
Dr. Jade: 100%. Well, the first thing is, let’s go Step 1, right? And let’s look at their identity and the stories that they’ve been telling themselves. Oftentimes, people who fail at weight loss and health are doing several different things. There’s insecurity issues there. There’s safety and security concerns. And there’s this idea of self-soothing with particular things. By the way, we talk about repeated patterns, stuck emotions, recurrent obstacles. In this particular case, we’re often going to see the repeated pattern is going to be around food. We humans are pretty easy to look at self-soothing. In other words, what do I mean by self-soothing? When we’re infants, we rock ourselves to sleep. We suck our thumb. We do that kind of thing. We don’t do that when we’re adults. As adults, we eat too much food. We seek out sex and masturbation. We have situations where we are in a position where we’re using drugs and alcohol. We’re drinking too much. We are doing dysfunctional things that are not serving us. So, we look for those self-soothing behaviors, and then we look at those negative seed stories and where this started. And it’s almost always going to be, in my mind, with health and fitness and weight loss in the insecurity, self-worth, safety and security zone. Almost always in the child and/or teen years we spot those stories, and we began the exact process that we talked about before, written exposure therapy. We’re not even talking yet about health and fitness.
Now, in the meditative state, we began helping them visualize the practices of eating good, the practices of working out and feeling what it feels like to be self-assured, to be worthy, to be going through these processes. And, of course, the most important part is then having them act that out. But what will happen is if we don’t do Part 1 and Part 2, and we just say go do the action, that’s going to last two weeks and they’re going to stop. And so that’s why we do have to go back to the child, the teen, look at these self-soothing behaviors, get them feeling into worthiness, courage, these elevated emotions out of the AFRAID emotions. That’s when the actions began to stick. So, it’s do what you normally do, which is Phase 3. It’s just also adding on Phase 1 and Phase 2 ahead of that, so it will actually stick. Is that helpful an explain?
Patty: That’s very helpful. And I hope what coaches are hearing is this added tool where obviously we want to always remain within scope. And if you ever get to the point where you feel like this is not something for me, you refer out, but don’t lose the force of the truth in terms of having a tool. You are working with them on behavior change for situations like weight loss, eating differently, a number of different things in the health and wellness sphere. And in order to exact change, some of these activities will need to happen.
Dr. Jade: Yeah, let me if I could, if you don’t mind, Patty, really quickly. So, everyone knows what Patty said, right? We’re working on them with behavior change, but then you’ll realize what I said. Identity and beliefs come before behavior change. That’s all you need to remember. Even if you’re not doing the parts integration work, the written exposure therapy, make sure they have a resource for that. even if you’re not doing the meditation and the feeling into this new way of being, even if you’re not doing that, make sure they have a resource for that, because teaching them behavior change without changing their underlying beliefs and identity is going to fail for the vast majority of people, which is why it’s depressing, I know. None of us like that, but this is why, if we’re honest in my mind, and forgive me, this is why most people fail most of the time even when they’re working with very capable coaches, because the model that we’re using is incomplete. So, it’s not just behavior change. We have to go back to Step 1 and Step 2 so that Step 3 actually works, and we can refer out to that stuff if we need to. But we need to know what the process is. And I can tell you from my work, it changes dramatically the results that you get when you take care of and understand there are three steps to this, not just one.
Patty: Excellent. Thank you. It seems like too, based on the questions, that we need to go back to duality and binary thinking. And I know we’re also asked for an example of a scenario of how to address duality in a coaching session, that we see this in this field a lot. So, maybe going back to duality and binary thinking and then you go to an example. Thank you.
Dr. Jade: Yeah, it’s very easy when you hear someone start talking in dualities. They’ll say, “Oh, my God, I did that so wrong, right?” And the way by the way to meet duality is with compassion. Compassion always dissolves duality, right? As soon as you bring in compassion to somebody who’s struggling and say, “I did it all wrong.” And you essentially go like this, “You know what? You’re only human. We all struggle and learn. And really, it’s not about right or wrong. It’s just about getting the lessons.” That’s compassion. And you’re doing really, really well.
So, the idea is it’s very simple to deal with duality. We get caught up because you’re like, “Oh, my god, Jade talked about duality and binaries, and that was a little bit weird, and I didn’t quite follow that conversation.” The only thing you need to do is just meet duality, this black and white thinking, “I’m right, I’m wrong,” “I did the wrong thing, what’s the right thing?” is to essentially come back with compassion and say, “This is about learning. It’s about learning to be a new you. Everything matters.” And in fact, when you mess up, those are some of the most important lessons.
As coaches, I think one of the most powerful things we do is we drop breadcrumbs. So, whenever you hear these extreme dualities, “I did it wrong, what’s the right way? How come it’s not working?” all we have to do is step in and say, “You know what? You’re only human.” I love this law because the law of humanity. If you just tell someone, “Hey, look, you’re not crazy. You’re fine. You’re only human.” And also you tell someone, “Hey, we all deal with this. I do it too, right?” All of a sudden, that’s compassion. That begins to dissolve this duality thinking. And then you just drop the crumb, “Hey, all it is is about learning. We’re just here to learn. I struggle, you struggle. The whole thing is about learning.” That dissolves duality right away.
Think about that. You know, think about it in politics. Think about it in religion. Think about it in your nutrition camps. The first step is not to say, “No, you’re wrong.” The first step is to say, “You know, you’re only human. It’s all good. You know, both things can be true, but we just want to learn. Is it working for you?” And that dissolves this duality thinking and slowly but surely, they stop thinking in dualities and binaries and they just go, “I’m just here to learn.” And you know it starts happening when they start repeating that to you, “You know what I learned is? You know, I’m just here to learn. You know, I’m doing the best I can. And I learned this and that.” And that’s when, you know, dualities and binaries are falling apart. Compassion is always the way to deal with dualities and binaries.
Patty: Well, I love ending anything on with compassion. So, I think everybody in this field loves to use that. And I agree it really does break a lot of barriers down. So, thank you so much, everybody. I hope this was helpful. Is everybody clear? Is everybody good with this topic? Let me know.
Dr. Jade: And if I could just say one more thing, Patty, that I think just needs to be said. This has to do with this discussion a little bit about victim mentality—blaming, complaining, whimpering, and whining. I know that can be a little triggering for some people, this idea of victims, and we go duality with that. Some people go, “You should never be a victim,” and other people go, “You have to be a victim.” And I look at it like this. In the feel, deal, and heal phase, being a victim is required for healing for a time. It is part of the feel phase. You must be able to be in victim mode and grieve. And any good human needs to allow people to be victims. However, at some point, if we want to deal and heal, we have to come out of victim mode. We have to get out of those stuck emotions. And it’s hard and we meet that with compassion, and we can’t rush people in that process, but we need to help them see that being stuck in victim is a problem. Being a victim is a requirement. Being stuck in victim is a problem.
Patty: Thank you so much. I’ll take a look. We’re definitely getting… People are very thankful for the talk and so are we at FMCA. Dr. Jade Teta, a round of applause. Thank you very much. This is so helpful.
Dr. Jade: Thank you so much, everybody, for having me. I appreciate you.
Patty: Take care. Bye, everybody.
Dr. Jade: Take care. Bye.
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