Today's Episode


Hi, everybody and welcome to this latest podcast episode where I have the wonderful Trisha McHale from Trisha is a psychotherapist and supervisor, working a private practice in Galway since 2006. In 2019, she went into partnership with Mind and Body Works who operate three psychotherapy and counseling centers in Dublin, a center in Wood Quay in Galway and a new center opened on Dominic Street in Galway. They have a team of over 50 psychotherapists and psychologists who offer counseling to adults, couples, adolescents and Children. They also offer a wide range of therapies including CBT and EMDR and art therapy. They also operate a cost-effective counseling service which is provided by mature trainee therapists in their final degree or masters year of training and they are supervised by accredited and experienced therapist to ensure they work ethically and professionally to contact Trisha at mind to body works.

You can use the number 091725750 or email galway at mind and body works dot com. Trisha. It's brilliant to have you on the show. Um Everybody at this point is so familiar with you. Now, you're a regular guest, always terrific to have you on and today you're going to chat with us about how to break old identity, old identities and to be able to break free from that and to go and do the things that might be terrifying you the thought of them at the minute.

How to go about start living your best life if you feel like you're holding yourself back. So welcome. Great to see you. Thank you. Thank you, Jessica as ever. Um And you know, this is another kind of, I guess subject close to my own heart. Um in terms of, uh you know, looking at my own life, you know, whenever you're reflecting on yourself, I guess, and, and looking at your own way of being and I guess your own beliefs, your core beliefs, that kind of hold you back. So really, if, if you're looking at just psychologically, really, um you know, we all have, we all have, I guess great intentions.

We all have things we would really love to do. We might have fantasies about what we would really do if we were able to live our best life and do all of the things in every single area of our lives that we want to do. Um And I guess psychologically, we would be saying that it would essentially be our core beliefs um that are intrinsic to us mostly unconscious. Some of them conscious that I guess shape our view of ourselves and the world and affect, I guess how we behave, affect our behaviors going forward. Um And I guess core beliefs start very, very young. They start in childhood and they can, they can kind of, I guess get very stuck in us because we may have a negative experience and start to believe something about ourselves out of that.

Or it may be from what we would call an interject. So family or teachers or somebody telling you something about yourself that you really take on as a core belief or it can come from society and what girls can do what boys can do what people should or shouldn't be doing or your peers, the people that you, you know, your social circle, I guess what's acceptable, what's not acceptable, what people like us do or don't do or how people like us are and, you know, I guess core beliefs are at the very kind of bottom of the chain of beliefs as in, um, they would manifest in things like, you know, in areas around self worth or competency. Um, you know, that your core belief underneath everything, maybe I'm not worthy. I am unlovable.

I am not even, even down to, I'm not good, I'm a bad person and, and often, you know, particularly with the women, you hear them talking about being bad. I was very bad last night. You know, if they're talking about eating or drinking or not exercising, I'm bad. So bad seems to be a very, um a very entrenched core belief in people. And when you have those core beliefs about yourself from a very, very young age, like unconsciously, they can really inhibit you. Um because you build up a lot of, of thoughts about yourself from your core beliefs. So, from my core belief of kind of whether I'm good or bad.

If I feel intrinsically that I'm a bad person, I may spend my life trying to prove that I'm quite a good person. So I may act in a particular way that may be very limiting to me. Um So I don't challenge people. I don't push myself um in work, I'm a good person. I'm a good worker. I don't argue with the boss. I stay late when everybody's gone home because intrinsically, I feel that I'm bad. I give everything selflessly to other people. I give everything selflessly to my family to prove that I am a good person in the world or to prove that I'm lovable. And I may feel that I'm not competent that I'm not good at, you know, academically.

So I won't push myself. I'll stay in this job, even though I'd like to try another job. I would like to try something different, but I'm not competent, which means I'm a failure. And if I fail, what happens. Um, so I guess we have the core belief which leads to all these thoughts, a lot of which are not based in any reality. They're not based in reality. We haven't really tested them. So, and we use them, their defense mechanism and they keep us safe and they protect us from times, maybe when we had very bad experiences or interactions with people and for some people listening in. And that's so fascinating for some people listening in that. And I know a lot of people listening to this podcast really struggle with getting fit and healthy. Um, so that can be that too. That can be why they are going around in circles and they think, oh, it's because I'm lazy. Oh, it's because I can't seem to eat food and it's not that at all it can be down to this core belief. Yeah.

So I guess in therapy, what we look at is we have these thoughts. I'm lazy, I'm lazy. Um, I can't do it. I can't. Ok. So that is just the thought, but there has to be something underneath the thought that is much, much more entrenched than the thought. Somebody has to have told you you're lazy. It has to come from somewhere that, that there's a belief in yourself that I'm a lazy person. And if I'm lazy, what does it mean about me? It means I'm kind of helpless. It means I'm weak, it means I can't and people don't love me and I'm not likable so we can bring the thought right back down. Now. It mightn't be that core belief. But I guess, you know, if you're, if you're looking at it from a kind of cognitive behavioral therapy kind of point of view, we're kind of bringing it all. Always down lazy is up here at the top. It's a defense mechanism.

It stops us from trying. It just is like, well, that's just who I am. Ok? Core belief will be down, down, down underneath that. And what we do in cognitive behavioral therapy, I guess is try and break it down to the core belief because if I'm lazy and if I try, you know, and I'm still lazy and everybody else is not as lazy as me. Ok, then what does it mean about me? I don't try anything and that makes me lazy. But really, it's because I feel I'm a failure and I wouldn't be able to do it anyway. And so core belief, you know, means I will fail it if I try. So I bring in all these defenses, thoughts about myself that allow me not to have to do it. Because I guess, you know, my feeling is anybody who's joined this program, your fitness program has always struggled with those kind of core beliefs about themselves, you know, this age of our lives. Um, if anybody knew how hard the workouts are, they would never start them in the beginning, right?

So you would never say to somebody try my workouts, they're really, really difficult. They're really going to challenge you. You would say to people always you're very capable of doing this. So they're going from mindset of, I would never be able to do that because I'm too lazy. I'm too unfit. I'm too unworthy to take care of myself. Ok. And then they come on and they do the workout and it's very challenging and then it gets easier and easier and easier. And then people start to feel pride in themselves and start to feel, oh my God. I never ever thought that I could do this, that I could at this stage of my life.

Get down on the floor, do press ups, you know. So it's like, it's, it's the, it's, it's, it's already, you've already developed something where people are saying I'm going to try it. I'm gonna try it and if I try it and I can do 10 minutes of it, then I'm trying it. Um, so they're already challenging that core belief. But you probably know, you know, much better than I, how long it probably takes people to contact you for the time that they decide that they want to. You know, and, and that's why I love this so much because I hear all the time, all the time, like so many people asking me about the program or being in the program that they're so hard on themselves and what I love about this so much is it actually makes it easier in a way for people. Like, for some people, I think it's because they don't know this, that they're super hard on themselves.

They're like, I'm fat, I'm lazy, I'm demotivated. I can never get this right. But you telling them this makes them go, oh, hang on a second. Actually, this may be down to a core belief that I have. So it's not actually my fault. It's not that it was ever their fault. But you know what I mean? Because core beliefs are there. They, they, the, I guess the consequence of the thoughts around our core beliefs are it keeps me safe. I will never put myself in a challenging situation again where I may may feel shamed or humiliated by somebody. Like if I, you know, working with clients, it usually goes right back to school or your granny says something to you or a neighbor says something about you or your mother might say something to you.

Um, like, you know, you're clumsy or thinking of all the ones in my own life beliefs that I really felt I can't do this because I'm too clumsy. I'm not coordinated. So I started off with feeling, don't try anything Trisha because you will be shamed. And that means that you're not a good person. So I can't do it because I'm clumsy and I'm not coordinated. So it stopped me from playing a lot of sports, like tennis and things like that that I might have liked to play because I feel I have no hand eye coordination or doing exercises where I feel I have to follow somebody and I can't really know my left and my right. So you carry all these things with you and you just say it's safer for me not to try. Um, from that belief that you're not really good enough, like we won't put Trisha doing this because she's not good enough at doing that.

So don't take a job here because you wouldn't be able to do that. Uh, it would be the same around, uh, feeling that I wasn't academic. Don't try, don't try because you're not going to, you're going to fail and everybody else is more clever than you are. So, anything that I wanted to do later in life, the, the fear you know, that's holding me back to be, to prove to myself yes, you actually are a failure. But they were all the thoughts rather than actually, actually. Ok. I tried it and I may not be brilliant, but I'm ok or I may not be able to, to do everything perfectly, but I'm good enough.

I guess it's like we, we feel the gap between I'm a failure and I can do it to be such a huge leap that we never say I can start with 10 minutes exercise or I could do a, a little evening course in the evening just to see if I could get back into education or, you know, I could join a club, just go down one evening because the gap seems so wide between, you know, I'm a failure and I'm that I'm really enjoying this and I'm actually able for it. So how can we like, crush the fear and uh stop another year going by where we're letting our fears hold us back so that we can actually just go and do the things that we want to do. How, how, how do we go about that? Well, even if you broke it down to somebody really simply. Absolutely, I think, and it has to be very simple and it has to be something because everything, everything in this is around reflection and, and a lot of times we just don't give space for reflection. Um So in terms of what you do around the journaling and, and giving people space to start reflecting. So giving people space to, to reflect on and giving yourself space to reflect on what the area in your life you want to change is.

Ok? So it could be um, fit and healthy. Somebody wants to be fit and healthy, right? And then you write down all your beliefs about yourself. So I'm lazy and I'm unmotivated. I'm too old. I'm too unfit. I, I'm, um, I haven't got the time. I have all the beliefs that you believe around yourself. Right? And it's really about dropping down to the core belief around that. So, because they, those beliefs are the thoughts that have come, I'm too lazy. I'm too fat. I'm too blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I'm to this, I'm too, that I'm to the other. They're, they're, they're, they're never positives, they're always negatives. And then it's like, what, what is the core belief? I'm not worthy maybe. And it's quite a common belief. I am not worthy of doing this for myself. I'm not worthy of being taken care of. I'm not worthy of looking, being looked after.

There's nobody looking after me and I'm not worthy of looking after myself. Ok? And if we get down to the core belief, then it's, it's from that place that you can start to look at. Is that really true? What is the evidence? What's the evidence that you're not worthy. You've got people in your life, you've got people around you that love you. You've got, you've got people who care about you. You've got a very supportive mentor. If you're joining a course, you've got a community of women around you. So what is the evidence for that? So, because, because we're, we're constantly taking thoughts to be truths. In fact, there's very little evidence around our thoughts usually, you know, uh very, very little evidence and then you're putting down the pros and cons of what, what, what would be the benefits or the drawbacks of pushing yourself out of this comfort zone. And you usually find there's more, much more pros than cons.

But when you, because when you're breaking it down, you're, you're thinking, oh my God. So I can't get fit and healthy because I'm, I, I feel unworthy in my life. That doesn't make sense. Do you know what I mean? It doesn't, doesn't actually make sense. That's so fascinating. And I love what you said there. I find it would really help people with anxiety um about your thoughts. Uh Aren't they very, very few times evidence based? Um But they're not, they're not, they're not facts. It's a really relaxing sentence for people that can get really anxious. Uh I find that super relaxing. Yeah, but it is because, because there's no evidence to our thoughts, our brains and usually, you know, our brains run at how many, how many thoughts we have how many thoughts are flitting in and out. Like, you know, you're in traffic and, you know, some guy cuts you off and you're like, like automatic thought. That person is a jerk.

That person is just like, maybe they just didn't see you so we can have all these limiting beliefs about ourselves and the world people are bad or good people are, you know, out to get me. I won't challenge myself because I might do the course. And Jessica might think you're not good enough, you're not fit enough. So it's not easy to push at yourself. It's not easy to push yourself. It does take reflection. But starting with the smallest steps, I want to get fit and healthy. And then what's my core belief? What are the pros and cons and what small step could I take to challenge that belief? What could I put in instead? So we're down to, I'm not worthy. I am worthy. Now. I may have to say that to myself. I am worthy of looking after myself. And I may have to say it to myself, you know, and I may have to keep saying it to myself, almost like a mantra.

I am worthy. I am worthy. I am worthy. And then can I say, or I'm not a failure? I'm not a failure. And then can I try something for 10 minutes and see, I think again, it's the gap thing that we feel we have to go from here to, you know, running a marathon. And I guess what we're saying is we go from here to, you know, a walk. I love that so much. I love that three step approach. And could you even use it in your language when you talk to yourself? Like, oh, I'll just go for a little walk. I'll just do a little thing like, absolutely. Yes. And self compassion is really, really key to how you speak to yourself when you start to write things down. And when you really start to look at, where is this coming from? Where has it come from?

You know, I have a block in math all my life because when I was seven, the maths teacher, the teacher asked me for a sum and I couldn't do it. And she said you're a stupid girl and that was it. That, that has been my block, you know, 55 years of age. And I still, I won't even challenge myself to try. So I know there's some areas in my life that aren't important to me now to try. I'm not going to try and be good at maths. But if I want to play tennis, I'm going to just go and try it and do it and, and challenge those beliefs that you're not worthy or you're not able or you're a failure and you're not good enough, you know, and, but starting small only with the things that are very important. There's loads of stuff in our lives, you know, we're not going to end up in movies or whatever, you know what I mean? Or being a famous soccer player or something.

Do you know what I mean? Like you keep saying to your kids. But I do love when you see those videos where people, where people are saying Children are able to say. Now I am brave. I'm kind, I'm strong, I'm good and they believe it about themselves because this generation of parents are, are, you know, filling their Children up with something that I guess in our generation, we just didn't really get. Yeah, I actually wanted to ask you actually, it's a bit of a random question. Do you know, is there statistics out there? Like is anybody well rounded or like is there, are there people out there that actually I think um you know, I was going to say the Dalai Lama, but I don't think that there's been great news about the Dalai Lama recently. So I, I kind of feel transcendence is what people are always saying when I get to transcendence.

And my hope is that we would never get to transcendence. We will never stop learning about ourselves. We will never stop trying to improve. We will never stop trying to challenge ourselves. Who wants to get to a place where you're all rounded and never, never cut your edges off. OK, welcome. In your negatives, the bad, welcome, the anger, welcome, the you know, the ability to, to have kind of an edge to us. That's our shadow. Welcome in your shadow. Always welcome. I love that. We never, we never want to get into this kind of puritanical, you know that there's a nirvana. We're getting to where we are, we are light and shade and, and we have to welcome the shade in as much as the light. That's what leads to self acceptance and self compassion. Ok. OK. I love that. Thanks Trisha. And before you go, I want to ask you about mind and body works. Um mind and body body works. Does C BT, is that right? As well as all the other stuff.

So what is C BT C BT is cognitive behavioral therapy? So it's really um a form of therapy that can be very effective for challenging exactly this, these negative self thoughts and core beliefs, therapy can be feel very daunting for people. They feel they may have to go in, they'll be turned upside down and inside out and back and forth. They actually it doesn't therapy. You know, there are some kind of talking therapies and they may be long term therapies and people want to look back on their childhood to their life or relationships, whatever C BT is very much for um particularly particularly useful for anxiety, panic attacks and all the somatic stuff that happens to us when we're very, very anxious and also around challenging our thought systems. So ac bt practitioner may give you some homework to do. So they may give you kind of worksheets in terms of looking at the what triggered the thought, looking at the, you know, how you felt when you had the thought and looking at the evidence around the thought.

So stopping us from going from the thought straight into catastrophe, which you know, most of us do and automatic. We're like literally from the thought to catastrophe without even we don't even have to take the 10 steps to get to catastrophe. It's just going to be the worst possible outcome. And like C BT is about breaking down the thought to challenge that. And again, it's, it's life just doesn't allow us to challenge our thoughts. Our heads are so busy. We're constantly going, going, going with all these thoughts. We never take time to say is this really real or true? It feels very real because I'm experiencing it. But feelings are very different from thoughts, feelings, I feel angry, I feel sad, I feel happy, I feel excited. They're very different from thoughts. So thoughts are not essentially real. Feelings are real.

So I guess what you're doing is the trigger, the thought, the trigger, the feeling, the thought and then what, what's the worst that would happen? And you're trying to bring it out to the worst thing that could possibly happen and say do you really feel that you will die because of that or something horrendous is gonna, you know what I mean? Usually it's always death. Usually at the end of it, we're always afraid of death somewhere. So C BT can be very useful and it can be short term, can be very short term. People don't have to be in therapy forever with C BT. OK. And people listening in that want to go to mind and body works. How do they know what therapy to pick? Can you help them with that or? Absolutely. So um I, I am semi-retired. Um I don't see clients myself anymore. I do a little bit of supervision. Mostly what my job is. If somebody rings the center, they get, they, they look at the website, they get bamboozled. I interview all the therapists that work in the center and I know how they work. I know who they work with.

I know what, you know, people see all these kind of different kinds of trainings, different modalities and I will, I, I have a good idea um what may be useful for somebody and I can chat through with them, what may be useful for them and what kind of therapy might be best for them and all the, all the steps around it to, to, to try and bring it from something that may feel very, very daunting into something that somebody again, my challenge, their thought and go God you know, because 90% of the time people that ring me say I have been wanting to do this for so long. So. Ok. Challenging that thought in yourself. Am I worthy? Can I do this? You know what I mean? Ok. Terrific, so there's two centers in Galway, one center in Dublin. You also do the therapist also do online as well. Isn't that great?

We have three centers in Dublin, two in Galway online therapy um as well. If people are not able to come in or would rather do online. Ok. Fantastic. Trisha. Thank you so much. And the number it is 091725750, that's 091725750, you can contact Trisha on that number. Um or you can email Galway at mind and body works dot com. That's Galway and mind at body works dot com. And we will also have it in the show notes, Trisha as always. Thank you so much. That has been such an interesting chat. Have a wonderful day.

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