Today's Episode


Hi, my name is Jessica Cook and welcome to my podcast.

My mission is to empower women over 40 to transform their lives through fitness.

I've made this podcast so I can share with you my tips, tools and strategies I use on myself and my clients to get you feeling fit and healthy, feeling great in your clothes with so much energy and positivity back in your life, no matter what, your age head over to Jessica Cook dot IE and you'll find lots of free stuff to get you started on your journey.

Hi, everybody and welcome to today's podcast episode where I am super excited to invite back the wonderful Trisha Mchale and Trisha is a regular guest on our podcast and I know her episodes are extremely popular with you guys because they are some of the most listened to, which I think is just terrific.

Um A little bit about Trisha for those of you that um haven't heard from her before.

Haven't heard about her.

Trisha is a psychotherapist supervisor working in private practice in Galway since 2006.

And in 2019, she went into partnership with mind and body works who operate three psychotherapy and counseling centers in Dublin Wood Quay in Galway and Dominic Street in Galway.

They have a team of over 50 psychotherapists and psychologists who offer counseling to adults, couples, adolescents and Children.

They offer a wide range of therapies including C BT E MD R and art therapy.

They also operate a low cost counseling service which is provided by mature trainee therapists in their final degree or masters.

Year of training.

They are supervised by accredited and experienced therapists to ensure they work ethically and professionally.

You can contact Trisha at 091725750 or email galway at mind and body works dot com.


You're really welcome to the show.

How are you doing?

Thank you so much as always, Jessica.

It's lovely to see you.

It's lovely to be here.

Thanks a million for having me.

I'm really excited to get stuck in and before we do, is there anything that I'm missing um about what you do now or the practice or, or, or our wonderful women listening to this episode and they are thinking about therapy.

Is there anything that I'm missing that you want to share?

No, but I, you've covered everything around the business, uh Jessica.

But what I would want to say to anybody who is thinking about embarking on the journey of therapy and it's not as scary as people think it is.

It's uh it's a wonderful uh journey that enables people to have personal growth.

You don't need to come to therapy with any huge crisis.

Uh You know, it can just be for space support and personal development.

And also I'm always on the phone available if anybody ever wants to come on the phone to me and chat through where they're at or chat through what I think might be suitable for them.

Um Because I interview all the therapists that work in our service and I know how they work and, uh, I have a good idea of what kind of therapy, uh, generally suitss people for, for different issues.

Um, and again with no onus on starting therapy, but just if it's something you're ever thinking about, if it's something you just like to chat through or get any more information about, um, please don't hesitate to give me a call.

I love to chat.

I love that so much because it's a nice small step forward.

I think some people get so scared and they think, oh, my God, six months, three months when actually it's just a phone call.


And I, and I just know from my own personal experience when I started out therapy, you know, years and years ago and for anybody it takes a long time to make the phone call.

It can be in your head for so long and you can put it out and life can kind of go on or something might happen and then you kind of get over it.

And I think that, you know, a lot of people that ring just say I have been, this is the hardest part, making the phone call is the hardest part.

And what I'm saying, always to people is there's no onus, it's just kind of fact finding information gathering for yourself.

Um, and really therapy is around a therapeutic relationship with the person you go and see it's about getting a good fit of a person that you really feel that you can open up to and trust, like regardless of kind of qualifications or regardless of the modality that they work with.

It's really about connection.

That's what we're all looking for, connection with other people and connection with another human being that you feel gets you and understands you.

Thank you, Trisha.

That's brilliant.

So let's get stuck into what we're going to chat about today and what we're going to chat about is the steps before the healthy action steps that so many of us want to embed and myself included for years and years found us a real struggle to continue on with any new healthy action steps that I wanted to and being in the, the the job that I'm in, I hear this all the time, um from many women that they find it extremely difficult to overcome the barriers that initially are at the start of um achieving healthy habits.

So what I want to kick this off with um is the mindset, health connection and the relationship between mind set and physical emotional well-being and the barriers that we come up against at the beginning of our journey from becoming unhealthy to becoming healthy.

And why do we find it so difficult to follow action steps in the 1st 30 days?


So what I'd say about mindset, um Jessica would be, you know, mindset is about the, I guess is around the beliefs that we have that shape how we make sense of the world.

So, um you know, we, we, everybody has mindset and each individual has a different mindset generally around how they feel about themselves, how they view the world and out of that, I guess then patterns of behavior that we adapt in terms of how we manage ourselves, we manage our interactions, we manage our lives.

Um And really, you know, mindset is about belief that we have.

Um and a lot of times belief around what determines success or failure in our lives and nobody thinks about this at the start, don't they?

I mean, so many women that say to me at the start, why am I finding it so difficult?

I must just be so lazy.

I must find this.

It must just be me.

Why can I not just show up to my workouts three times a week?

And they have no idea in a nice way that it's, it's almost in a sense, not their fault 100% like you're carrying your mindset.

You know, and again, it's like going on the journey of therapy, getting the journey to starting any fitness program is the same thing.

People may have thought about it and thought about it and thought about it and put it off and then they finally make that step and they're kind of convinced that this is where I am now, I've made the step.

So it's all going to be plain sailing.

We don't uh kind of take into account or don't factor in, I guess how we are generally in our everyday lives.

What has shaped me to bring me up to this midlife?

You know, what are the patterns of behavior that I normally engage in around, work around relationships around uh my diet, my, my fitness plans, the things that I picked up previously and didn't work for me and I continue on to look for something maybe new that is going to work for me, but we don't factor in actually our mindset around these things.

And I guess in psychological terms, we'd be talking about fixed or growth, growth mindset.

So, and in different areas of our lives, we may have very much either a fixed or growth mindset.

Now, in business, I guess you're looking at kind of, you look at that in a different way, but psychologically, we're looking at it in terms of the beliefs, the core beliefs and the unconscious beliefs that we are carrying about ourselves throughout our lives.

And those unconscious beliefs start so early.

Um You know, and this is not something that we're carrying around in full awareness, this is who I am.

This is how I act in different situations.

This is what I believe about myself.

These are very, very core and central to our sense of self.

And these beliefs kind of come in from very early childhood.

They start in the home, they start in the family system where I guess you're, you know, you grow up in a family, your family have a certain set of core beliefs and those beliefs are embedded the beliefs and values of your family system.

You take on board and you also take on beliefs about yourself in terms of, you know, if you grow up in a family, you know, you'll often see this is the good child, this is the bad child, this is the brainy child, this is the pretty child, this is, and we take those things on unconsciously, whether it's from your granny or your mother or the next door neighbor or that kind of sense of, you know, we go to school, you're either brainy or you're not, you're, you're good at writing or you're good at Irish.

You're good at maths like these aren't things that we were kind of deciding ourselves.

These are what we would call interjects that are coming in from outside people.

Have you know, say things, we could hear an innocuous comment, you know, that your granny is saying to your mother and we hold these things as a very strong belief about ourselves.

We don't challenge it.

We're small Children.

We don't challenge these things.

So we go through life in that way.

You know, we go to school.

We've already decided by the end of school, whether we're fat or skinny, whether we're clever or not, whether we're popular or we're not popular, whether we make friends, we, we're carrying all these things unconsciously.

And I'm guessing that um, it's only really and correct me if I'm wrong.

Um, when we start something new, do we get to go?

Oh God.

Like as in a lot of us are on groundhog day in the sense that we're really busy.

So we're doing a lot of stuff on autopilot every day.

So we don't really get to observe this and go oh my God.

That's absolutely, that, that's my mindset.

And it's only maybe when we start something new and then it's so we don't get to practice at all.

Absolutely not.

And a lot of this is so internalized that we might not even, you know, you know, your friend might look at you and think you're an amazing person.

You so full of life.

Your internal thinking could be, I'm not popular and I don't have many friends.

I'm not good at this.

Somebody might say, oh my God, you're amazing at that.

And you might think, I absolutely am not.

But that's it.

That's, that's our internalized beliefs.

You know, we talk a lot about impostor syndrome, what we carry around.

So, you know, somebody may be head of a company.

They may look to other people like they have their life in order and they may be, um, you know, just plagued with imposter syndrome.

I'm going to get found out.

How did I get to this position in my life?

How did I get here?

But they're not carrying that along consciously.

So I guess for people setting out of a health journey, there's part of it.

That's saying I absolutely want to do this, right.

And that's my growth mindset.

I want to get into a position where I'm going to get fitter.

But I carry along with me all the beliefs from childhood.

I was never sporty in school.

I was useless.

I was never picked for a team.

I'm not good.

I can't get any fitter.

This is my build.

I'm never going to be able to change this.

I'm never going to, you know.



And you come out with, with many women at the start saying I'll try, I'll give it a go.

You can feel the failure already 100%.

So what happens to us unconsciously is that self sabotage part comes in and goes, you know, you're not really going to be able for this.

So, yes, you kind of know, but give it a go.

But really, you know, you're not going to stick to it 100%.

Yeah, that's not gonna be something that they're going to be saying to you on a coaching call or none of us say that to you on a coaching call.

We're all trying to say yes, yes, I can do it.

But underneath that internal voice, you know, of that fixed mindset is kind of saying, I know I'm not going to be able to carry on with this and look at that lady there, she did it three times a week and of course, I can't do it three times a week.

And so we start to question ourselves, doubt ourselves.

And we go back to what is comfortable, which is a fixed mindset because if change were easy, we'd all be doing it all the time, 100% ourselves out into all sorts of possibilities.

So the limiting beliefs that we set on ourselves, keep us safe and comfortable, we don't have to really challenge ourselves.

We don't have to think about, you know, God, if I did this, then I could do that and if I could overcome this, then I could do this.

And it is far more comfortable to say, look, I gave it a go like I tried it, I signed up.

It just wasn't, for me, it was too difficult, it was too hard and it doesn't mean that people don't want to do it.

It just means that, that my beliefs around myself really start to limit what I feel I'm capable of.

But they've also kept me safe in a lot of ways, you know, they, they've kept me safe throughout my life from putting myself in risky situations, maybe from, you know, taking a job that, you know, might have had less money, even though it was something I wanted to do because I had to weigh it up with paying for my mortgage or whatever.

Like, you know, we, we, we have to weigh up all the time, things that work for us.

So some beliefs definitely do work.

But I do think that we're taking in so much from the outside world all the time about ourselves and our own beliefs that it is very, very hard to move into awareness of what is limiting us and then change.

It just is, it's extremely difficult and somebody listening to you now and they're thinking, oh, I wonder, am I like that?

What are some classic symptoms?

Like, I think I might have one because I recognize it myself and I actually, I'm working on this with myself that I start something new and rather than feel like shit at being new and shit at something I will clean the house or do anything under the sun other than feel that feeling of being shit 100%.

So, would that be an example?


But I guess examples, sorry, like, sorry Jess in terms of fitness, I guess the examples of our, um, yeah, procrastination comes in.

I'll do that later.

I will, I will do my exercise routine later.

Even though I know I just need to get out of bed and just go and do it.

I will, I'm too busy today and I'm actually going to do it later and I'm actually going to, and I feel better when I do it in the evening and the mornings are too early for me to start bringing in all of this stuff.

I'm not a morning person.

I am a night owl.

I'm not a morning person.

So there's no way that I could get up at seven o'clock in the morning and do my exercise.

So you're, you're completely 100% already in a limiting belief around yourself.

I'm not a morning person.

I don't do well in the morning.

And so those kind of, kind of, uh, beliefs, you're already setting yourself up for failure.

You get to the evening and you say I've had an extremely hard day at work and I deserve to sit down and just relax because that's what I do to unwind and mind myself.

Ok, because that's the only thing that works for me and I deserved.

So we're constantly putting in these little beliefs around how I act in the world and what works for me.

Do you know what I mean?

Rather than saying, actually this could work for me.

I could just try and get up at seven o'clock in the morning.

I could decide that I'm actually a morning person, rip the bandage off and face the thing, the bandage off and face the thing, head on, feel the discomfort and do it anyway.

You know.

So, so we're already at that place of looking at the schedule and saying, well, I don't do exercise in the morning so I won't be doing that.

Maybe I'll fit it in this evening.

No, II, I, I've actually had a terrible day.

I deserve not to do it.

And I'm much better when I, I am the kind of person who and these are all unconscious thoughts that come in.

So how do we call ourselves out on our own bullshit?

How do we, how do we know?

And how are we able to go hang on a second?

That's not true.

Just go and do your bloody work out?

I mean, is it as simple as listening to yourself?

Well, there, there's a, I guess if you were, if you were looking at it therapeutically, you'd be talking about C BT, which is C BT therapist would work along with you, but we can do this work.

So C BT is very much around looking at the belief, looking at where, what triggers the belief, challenging the belief, challenging it.

How true is this actually?

And what happens?

What's the fear a lot of how we operate is out of unconscious fear.

Um And I always feel the fear of being so powerful that you could do anything you want and then you have no more excuses.

So I think, I think that that's underlying all of our sense of self really.

I thought it was the opposite that we're so afraid of being so bad.

You mean?

It's actually the, yes, it's actually the fear that imagine what we could do if we stepped into our power.

So we block and block and block and block and block and block.

I can't do it unless I can do it perfectly.

So, therefore I won't do it at all.

So what's underneath that?

It's like, but I could do it and I could practice and I could get perfect at it and then I could actually be so good at it that I could, you know, run a fitness center like you, like what made you any different than the person that you trained besides when you were doing your training to do this, work, a belief in yourself that actually this is something that I could do and you pushed yourself forth in the belief and maybe other people that you trained with said that was a nice course.

But it would be take too, you know, I wouldn't be able to set up a place I wouldn't be able to do.

You know what I mean?

So, it's that challenging of those beliefs.

Look at the power, look what I could create, I could create my own business.

I could actually teach other women.

I could then develop podcasts.

I could, that the possibilities are infinite for what you could do if you allow yourself to step into yourself.


So really what we do in terms of that is we stop ourselves at the start.

We don't challenge how we think.

We just say I am not, I'm not able to, I'm not healthy enough.

I'm not fit enough.

I'm not good enough.

I'm not this, I'm not that I can't do that unless I'm perfect.

That is another self limiting belief that we have, I can't do it unless I do it perfectly.

So I'm not just going to do it at all.


I never think that there are steps to getting to where we want to go.

We want to go from A to Z without going anywhere in between.

Yeah, I hear women all the time and myself so guilty of a two saying like labeling themselves.

And I've done a 20, I'm just, I'm all or nothing.



I want to be, I want to be here and I want to be at Z, I want to be, you know, lifting these, this, these weights and I want to be doing buries and I want to do 20,000 press ups and I want to be able to do it and if I can't do it tomorrow.

It's like losing weight.

If I don't lose two stone by next week, there's no point in even starting on the journey.

So we don't want to take the hard, hard steps to get there.

And I guess in therapy when you're using C BT, we can also use it on ourselves.

So we, we call it Socratic questioning, around questioning ourselves, like just using a series, I guess of open ended questions to, to yourself.

One of is what if I'm wrong?

What if I'm wrong that I can't get up in the morning at seven o'clock and do my exercises at seven o'clock.

What if I just try it out and then other questions like, and how, how does this serve me?

How is this serving me if I don't get up and do the exercises or if I decide that I'm a morning person or I'm an evening person or I'm this kind of person and usually it's serving us by limiting us, by stopping us by saying, well, I just can't do it.

And that's the way.

So it's, it's challenging your own thinking and writing down other options.

Well, the other option is to just get up one morning at seven o'clock and see how that feels.

So if you awareness brings choice, that's any kind of therapy, we move into awareness.

We say I am aware now of how I, what I'm saying about myself, to myself and out of that.

I have choices.

It's a really exciting way of looking at it and it's such an exciting way and an inspiring way to change compared to the usual crap out there.

Or if you want to work out, just show up or if I want to be healthy, I have to calorie count and you're never getting to the root causes of any problems and you don't get to grow.

You're just constantly trying to diet and just force yourself and not think about why you might be struggling.

Well, I think yes, and a big part of therapy is about saying have compassion on yourself.

If you don't want to do it, you don't want to do it.

It doesn't have to be another failure or another.

If it, if it is something that is so core to your sense of self and you really believe it and you're aware of that, then that's ok.

Also, I'm, you know, it's, it's only around people who are really feeling.

I, I, I'm not able to do it and then I get so down on myself and so hard on myself for not being able to do it that I'm just gonna give up.

I'm just going to give up and not do anything.

So really just looking at open ended questions, you know, how, how has this served me all my life?

I mean, it's certainly brought me this far.

I mean, I'm here, I'm operating, I'm moving around day to day.

I'm operating in all parts of my life.

So how has this served me?

And could there be other options that might serve me better at this stage?


Um How, how much of a timeline do you recommend?

I know that's probably a bit of a, when do you, when can you start seeing results?

I mean, do you have a bit of a, does it start straight away?

Just by the way, the questioning is C BT is, is a really, really effective short term um focus solution therapy.

So it's not a long, long term talking therapy.

And the same way that E MD R is a short term solution focused rather than focused solution, solution focused therapy.

They, you, you're working on something specific and sometimes the therapist might give you homework just to be aware of your thoughts, write down where the thoughts are.

But C BT is also something, you know, it's the question we can do of ourselves.

What, what triggered that thought?

How do I feel when I have that thought?

What do I feel could be the worst that's going to happen out of that thought?

And could I challenge that thinking a little bit, you know, could I externalize the thought and challenge it often?

We don't externalize any of this.

It's all internal, we just keep it to ourselves and we don't, you know, and we, we're not even aware of the chatter in our head.

We don't even take space to reflect on all this chatter, all this constant chatter about.

You know, we never have really, really positive chatter about ourselves.

We always have negative chatter.


You know, I'm amazing and I woke up today and I'm just amazing and I just did that.

I'm fantastic and I'm just fabulous.

It's always, there you go again.

You just didn't do it.

You just didn't get up, you just didn't get out of bed.

You're useless.

You, you might as well give up.

You know, chatter is always negative, always.

And it's challenging our own chatter and saying, how would I speak to my friend?

How would I speak to my kids?

Would I actually be this mean to anybody else apart from myself?

I love that so much and it brings in excitement into the journey.


It opens up possibilities for women going into new chapters in their lives.

It's exciting rather than, oh, here I go again.

It's exciting.

The idea of change.

It's totally exciting.

But we're, we're very good at getting to midlife and kind of saying that's me done.

I've done it all now.

I've brought up the kids and it's time for me to rest.

We need to start recognizing the power of women in midlife, how much wisdom and energy women at this stage of their lives have for around themselves and to share with other people and the constant possibilities that are in front of us when we, we don't have all small kids and we don't have, you know, you know, some of us might be heading towards retirement.

Some of us, like, you know, we won't be sitting by the fire and knitting, you know, like our granny was in her fifties.

We actually have so much energy left.

We, you know, most of us have practically half our lives left and that excitement is something that, that can make you feel really powerful, but it's scary.

Infinite possibilities are scary.

You know, um I, I just think that the, the, the scariness of actually stepping into your own power, not somebody's wife, not somebody's mother, not some job, me as a person.

And what could I do?

Look at everything I could do?

You know, I have, I have limitless possibilities.

I just need to challenge my, my thinking around it a little bit, you know?



So for somebody listening in, considering going to therapy to specifically mind and body works, what would, what would the therapies you would recommend the most or will that just depend on when they, when they call?

Um or is there a therapy you recommend for what we're discussing today?

Like C BT is a very effective quick, quick fix therapy around challenging thinking.

Personally speaking, I trained as a Pym therapist.

I'm, you know, I'm into the fascination of people and I, I'm not into sticking plasters.

So C BT is really effective and it's a really good therapy if you have something particular.

But if you're trying to sort out kind of where is this icky stuff coming from?

And where did it come in?

And we can be very traumatized by earlier events in our lives.

You know, I'm always an advocate of talking therapy.

I just think a therapist who can help you guide, guide you not direct, you guide you around where these interjects have come.

And I guess it is about learning more self compassion.

Somebody who will guide you around.

How can you be more compassionate on yourself?

How can you give yourself a break?

How can you move into yourself in a more peaceful way rather than an all or nothing way?

How can you allow yourself to not be perfect, to not reach these high, high standards, to be at the middle ground?

So somebody else can exercise five times a week and I can do it twice.

And that would be a massive achievement for me.

You know, how can I celebrate the small achievements?

How can I loosen up on myself and get rid of some of those internal voices or those interjects, you know, the criticisms of other people and how they, how I've taken them on and how can I, how can I find out who I really am in the world now at this stage of my life, those are very exciting things, you know, Trisha.

Thank you.

So much for coming on the show today.

I appreciate it so much.

And um, dear listeners, you can contact Trisha on 091725750, that's 091725750.

Or email galway at mind and body works dot com.

That's Galway at mind and body works dot com.

Have a wonderful, wonderful day, Trisha.

Thank you.

Bye bye.

I hope you enjoyed this podcast episode and you must let me know by getting in touch.

Don't forget you can head on over to Jessica Cook dot IE where you'll find lots of free stuff to get you started on your journey.

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