Therapy for Women

Therapy for women often focuses on a unique set of challenges experienced by women in their lives and in society. Some mental health issues are much more common in women than in men, some only appear in women, or some mental health issues may affect all genders but impact women differently.

The US Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health reported that more than 1 in 5 women in the United States experienced a mental health condition in the past year, such as depression or anxiety. And the Mayo Clinic has found that women are nearly twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression

Women also struggle with eating disorders, such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder much more often than men.

Women seek out therapy for a number of reasons. 

  • Women experience anxiety and depression at higher rates than men.  
  • They might be suffering from postpartum depression or or be struggling with parenting children.
  • If women feel unsatisfied with their life in some capacity, whether it be their jobs or relationships, they may find therapy helpful to determine the cause of their feelings and next steps.
  • Women also struggle with issues related to alcohol and substance use or misuse and body image or eating disorders. 

In therapy, women are able to work through how to set healthy boundaries, make a shift in their lives, resolve marital issues, move through divorce or infidelity or change limiting beliefs with confidential support from a trained professional. 

I asked Amanda E. White, founder of Therapy For Women and the popular @therapyforwomen  Instagram account to talk about all things women, mental health, disordered eating, alcohol abuse, sobriety and so much more. 

She’s the author of one of my very favorite books in the Quit Lit space, Not Drinking Tonight: A Guide to Creating a Sober Life You Love

Tune in to hear how therapy for women can support you on your recovery journey and in creating a life you love.

Tune in to hear Casey and Amanda discuss:

  • Why women seek out therapy for support 
  • The most important factor in determining positive outcomes from therapy
  • Red flags to watch for when a therapist is not right for you and how to break up with a therapist
  • Why women are often not taught the foundational skills they need to process difficult emotions
  • Why many women self medicate with alcohol for an undiagnosed or unresolved mental health condition
  • The two types of problems women encounter and can solve for when they stop drinking
  • Why it’s important for women to develop distress tolerance, even if it is uncomfortable
  • Why Amanda’s frustration with the lack of modern approaches to therapy led her to found the Therapy for Women practice
  • How Amanda’s own recovery from trauma, substance abuse, and an eating disorder led to passion for making therapy different and teaming up with authentic, compassionate therapists to provide women with tools to heal effectively.

Resources and Statistics Mentioned in the Episode:

Amanda was previously on episode 91: Not Drinking Tonight | Create A Sober Life You Love Listen now!

Mental Health | Office on Women’s Health 

Understanding Mental Health Over a Woman’s Lifetime | McLean Hospital 

Eating disorders | Office on Women’s Health 

Women’s Issues Therapy – TherapyTribe

More About Amanda E. White

Amanda E. White is a licensed therapist and the creator of the popular Instagram account @therapyforwomen. She’s also the founder of the group practice Therapy For Women’s Center located in Philadelphia with therapists across the country. Amanda is also the author of Not Drinking Tonight: A Guide to Creating a Sober Life You Love.

To learn more about Amanda and find out more about her therapy services, head over to

Purchase her new book Not Drinking Tonight: A Guide to Creating a Sober Life You Love

Follow Amanda on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram

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The Hello Someday Podcast helps busy and successful women build a life they love without alcohol. Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life coach and creator of The 30-Day Guide to Quitting Drinking, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement. 

Whether you know you want to stop drinking and live an alcohol free life, are sober curious, or are in recovery this podcast is for you.

In each episode Casey will share the tried and true secrets of how to drink less and live more. 

Learn how to let go of alcohol as a coping mechanism, how to shift your mindset about sobriety and change your drinking habits, how to create healthy routines to cope with anxiety, people pleasing and perfectionism, the importance of self-care in early sobriety, and why you don’t need to be an alcoholic to live an alcohol free life. 

Be sure to grab the Free 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking right here.

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Therapy for Women


therapist, people, women, drinking, therapy, feel, alcohol, struggle, problem, life, taught, mindfulness, recommendation, emotions, book, important, learn, deal, happy, parents

SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Amanda E. White


Welcome to the Hello Someday Podcast, the podcast for busy women who are ready to drink less and live more. I’m Casey McGuire Davidson, ex-red wine girl turned life coach helping women create lives they love without alcohol. But it wasn’t that long ago that I was anxious, overwhelmed, and drinking a bottle of wine and night to unwind. I thought that wine was the glue, holding my life together, helping me cope with my kids, my stressful job and my busy life. I didn’t realize that my love affair with drinking was making me more anxious and less able to manage my responsibilities.

In this podcast, my goal is to teach you the tried and true secrets of creating and living a life you don’t want to escape from.

Each week, I’ll bring you tools, lessons and conversations to help you drink less and live more. I’ll teach you how to navigate our drinking obsessed culture without a buzz, how to sit with your emotions, when you’re lonely or angry, frustrated or overwhelmed, how to self soothe without a drink, and how to turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.

I am so glad you’re here. Now let’s get started.


Hi there. I am really excited for this episode because we are talking about therapy for women. And Amanda E. White is my guest. You might remember her because she was on Episode 91 and I loved our conversation about her book, Not Drinking Tonight. So if you haven’t heard that episode, I highly recommend going back to it. I absolutely loved her book and I think you will get a lot out of it. 


Amanda is a licensed therapist and the creator of the popular Instagram account @therapyforwomen. She’s also the founder of the group Practice Therapy for Women’s Center located in Philadelphia, with therapists across the country. She’s the author of the book, Not Drinking Tonight: A Guide to Creating A Sober Life You, and her work has been featured in dozens of popular publications, including Forbes, The Washington Post, Shape, Women’s Health Magazine, and more. So Amanda, I’m so excited to have you on again.



Yeah, thank you so much for having me, Casey. I loved our conversation so I’m excited to chat with you again.



I am too and I follow your Instagram account and I know so many people do. Your, the number of people following you is huge. So anyone not following @therapyforwomen, I highly recommend you do on Instagram. But I wanted to bring you on again because everything you post about all the different topics that women struggle with, and you’re really practical and approachable and real advice for that. And you know, relating to what women go through, I think, is so helpful.



Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that’s really why I started the account is I feel like I have all of this knowledge as a therapist that’s very basic to me, and seems very just, this is what you do. But to a lot of other people it’s not if you haven’t been to therapy before. So I really love that. I really love practical tips that people can use in their life.



Yeah. And I know that you stopped drinking, and you said it was the best thing you ever did for yourself. And what I love about the things you talk about is sobriety. But it’s not just sobriety. It’s about boundaries, and self care and anxiety and friendships and all the things women deal with every day.



Yeah, cuz I think what’s interesting too, is once you stop drinking, and you’ve gotten through that hump, and you have learned how to adjust your life, a lot of times what happens is all these other things you start to recognize are going on, and it’s not really always just the alcohol. It’s alcohol was how you were dealing with lack of support or anxiety or depression or, you know, any other thing that’s going on. So it’s, I think it’s really important because it also helps us understand that even if you don’t have a problem with drinking, you may have something else going on. But a lot of times what we’re dealing with underneath the surface, we have a lot more in common than we think.



Yeah, absolutely. And I’ve heard it described as sort of two types of problems that you saw when you stop drinking. The first being the aftermath problems, meaning like your hangovers, you’re not remembering shit, you know? 


Yeah, lethargy, all that kind of stuff. 


And then you have the underlying problems, which is what you didn’t have to deal with when you were drinking or the reason you were drinking.



Yes, I think that is like the exact way to put it. And it was. It’s interesting too, because when I got sober, and I was in grad school, still, I was like, I only want to work with people who are sober. I only understand sober people, you know, I only understand people who struggled with addiction. And the longer I got into recovery, and then also just the more people I worked with, a lot of what I felt like was a sober problem or a problem when we have addiction is like a problem with the human condition. It’s just like, a lot of us struggle with boundaries and feeling good about ourselves, and perfectionism and all of these things. So it’s not even as much about what we do to numb.



Yeah, you know, what’s so funny is I kind of went a different way with my coaching practice, like the exact opposite way. And it wasn’t because I don’t think all women struggle with the same thing. But, you know, I mostly work with pretty high achieving women who also struggle with alcohol, or, you know, like me, I drank a bottle of wine each night, and yet was, you know, pretty successful in my career and had two kids and a good marriage and friends and all that stuff. Yet. I was doing it all with a hangover every day sort of working at 50% capacity at this. And so I started coaching sort of, basically, every woman I knew in corporate America, which was I followed all the rules, I did all the things, I climb the ladder, I got my pats on the head, and like, why am I unhappy? 


And I figured out that, like, when women drink too much, and they’re still holding all that shit together, it’s two things I love. One, you have to get real really quick about all the things that aren’t working in their lives, because they’re all the triggers to drink, right? So when you talk to women, just in coaching, particularly, they think that x is the problem, and they want to be coached on x. And they also like somehow want to posture and like not tell you like, Oh, my life’s great, my kid is great, marriage is good. It’s just, I have anxiety about my boss. So one you get, you get real right away. And then two, once you remove the alcohol, it’s like they’ve been running a marathon with, you know, a ball and chain around their ankle. And then they have the clarity and energy to like, deal with all the other shit in their lives.



Yes, yes, absolutely. And I think it’s so interesting, too, because that’s a common thing that happens in therapy also is, you know, we kind of come in with an identified problem. And then sometimes as you dig through, you kind of, there’s a moment sometimes that happens, where people are like, Oh, I have so many more things to work on than I thought I did. Which can be overwhelming. But it also is, like, good, because it helps a lot of these things are connected. So when you start pulling at one thread, you start to see all the places where they connect.



Yeah. Well, so what are the common things or the most common things that you see women coming to therapy for, or women who would benefit from therapy dealing with?



Yeah, so and what I would say too, is I think it’s interesting to compare, because a lot of times, I see women who don’t identify necessarily as having a problem with alcohol, or even having the goal of cutting back. But as we dig into things, we realize that that actually may be a problem. So women often come to me because they feel unsatisfied with their life in some capacity. They’re like unfulfilled in their relationships and their job and you know, maybe with their kids or something like that, I see a lot of women with anxiety and depression, who kind of just feel like, they don’t know how to cope with day to day life stressors and how to cope with all of the demands and the pressure of being a woman working being a mom, you know, and all of the things that they have to hold together. 


And I also see a lot of women who come in that are struggling with eating and sub capacity, they are insecure about their bodies, or they’re, you know, just struggling with some eating habits and eating disordered habits and feel like it’s, you know, I think a lot of times we can feel like if I just solve this thing, you know, like if I change my body or if I get my anxiety under control, you know, or I get a new job, everything will be fixed. And once we start poking around, we really find that it’s deeper than that.



Yeah. Oh, I totally relate to that. Because, you know, I went to therapy like many women, I think, at different times in my adult life, when things would sort of get to a breaking point, right? When I was like, Oh, my God, I can’t deal with my anxiety at work, or my father just died, or, you know, I’m struggling with my marriage. And you know, I have a young kid, and I don’t know what’s up with that. And then I would like go in, do a little therapy, get some meds and be like, okay, I’m good. I’m good. 




So I’m going to stop doing therapy. And maybe a couple years go by, and I go back. And it wasn’t until I was about four months sober. And I had sort of a major, I felt so much better for a while and so proud of myself and confident, all the good stuff, and then sort of real life seat back in and I had, you know, a ton of very valid stressful events in my work and felt totally overwhelmed. And I went to my doctor and said, like, I can’t go back to drinking, which was my go to coping mechanism. And I can’t feel this way anymore. So you have to help me. And that’s when I got in with a really great therapist, and, you know, some medication that I wasn’t fucking up with drinking. Let me take anti anxiety and drink a bottle of wine seven nights a week, and why isn’t it working? You know?



Yes, yes, exactly. I mean, and I think that’s really common to do that. That we go for a short period of time and then we stop. And I think that that makes sense, and is normal. And, but sometimes it is the times where everything on paper, right, is good, or looks good. We can’t point to something as the problem, that we’re ready to be really real with ourselves, and really dig deeper, because we kind of have to in those moments. Yeah.



And so it sounds like a lot of women are like, you know, they self identified the problem. And I totally get that. I went to my therapist, I was like, I think I am insecure. Yeah, you don’t? Yeah, buddy, because I’ve been seeing her for a long time. And she was like, I know, you read this at Google. Yeah.



Right. And now it’s like TikTok and Instagram and all that.



So it sounds like they’re all these like presenting problems. So women are like, it’s my weight, it’s my eating, it’s my boss, my job, my anxiety, you know, and I’m scared to leave. So my big issue is x. What’s underneath that? For a lot of women, I assume some of it’s, like, personal family, but also this society we were raised in?



Yep, I would say that’s, that’s a good way to sum it up. I think to dig more specifically, I think a lot of us aren’t taught basic, like, I think a lot of us didn’t grow up learning some of, like, the basic life skills, for lack of a better word, that really will equip us to deal with life. I think a lot of us grew up with parents that were just like, as long as things are okay. And as long as you’re achieving, and you’re doing the right things, everything will be great. And a lot of us never learned how to process our own emotions, or sit with our emotions, because our parents didn’t model that. And they didn’t learn that a lot of us never learned how to set boundaries, or what a boundary really is. Because our parents didn’t model it, they didn’t teach it. 


So when you don’t have foundational skills, like emotional regulation, boundaries, you know, the ability to, to be self compassionate towards yourself, but also hold yourself accountable, which kind of I talk about is self care, it’s hard to exist in our society. I mean, it’s hard in general. But that stuff is really missing. Because we don’t, we don’t know how to deal with our emotions. And we search for something externally, and especially when it comes to, you know, what we’re sold in the media, we’re sold that adults when, you know, life is hard, you drink to deal with it. If you look at any TV show, they show that and when life is happy, we also drink to celebrate that. 


So I think a lot of us just don’t know what to do when we’re feeling. I mean, and I think we’re also sold this idea sometimes that we should be happy 24/7. That, you know, in the media, it’s kind of talked about, it’s just like happiness is your baseline. So a lot of what I also talk about and teach women about is you know, your brain doesn’t actually care whether you’re happy. Your brain and body care most about keeping you alive. Even if you’re miserable, yeah. And it’s like normal, it’s like you’re a human being, you’re gonna feel different things, you’re gonna have ups and downs in your emotions throughout the day throughout the week. And so many women, I think, hold themselves to such high standards and beat themselves up and think that they need to be perfect. And there’s no, there’s they don’t give themselves grace, or compassion, or any type of self care because of that.



And is there like a fear underneath wanting to be perfect? Or wanting to keep up this great front or wanting to be happy that, like, if they aren’t that way, if they aren’t perfect, and therefore, they’re not, they won’t be loved? And therefore they’re not safe? Like, is that kind of…



Exactly, exactly. I think one of the big things, often that parents do inadvertently, is kids are often praised for what they do for their accomplishments, right? You’re, you know, you’re praised for how well you do in school, or what you do in, you know, with sports, and it’s always a conversation about what you’re doing, which can create this idea for kids that my value is tied to what I produce, what I do, and a lot of kids don’t get the message because parents didn’t get the message that, you know, you’re worthy just for being who you are. And you don’t have to prove it to me or anyone else. So I think that is under, I think a lot of women specifically feel like if they stopped doing things, if they aren’t accomplishing something, if they don’t have something to show for what they did at the end of the day, they’re not worthy, or they’re not lovable.



Yeah, and not worthy for downtime or self care. I mean, I know, I feel that way, even with my husband, and I’ve gotten a lot better, but like, to the point where like, alright, I don’t want to listen to this, like I’m coaching. And then like, I take little breaks, and I like watch bad TV on my phone between stuff. But like, I will wait until he gets home to pop up and start like moving the laundry and doing the dishes. Yeah, like, I’m like, why the fuck am I doing this? That’s ridiculous. And yeah, you know, I don’t know. 



Well, yeah, I think we’re taught that we’re supposed to be at all, we’re supposed to do all of the things, all the household chores, work, you know, be a super parent, just do all of the things. And I think that that’s what’s really, really, it’s like that, you know, it’s the double bind with women.



Well, so how do you work in therapy to help women sort of feel okay, confident, worthy enough, just by being, not based on what they produce? Or their job? Or, you know, all of those things?



Yeah. So I mean, one of the first foundational things that I think is really important is helping someone understand mindfulness a little bit. When we’re not aware, so many people think that they are their thoughts. And that is a phrase known as cognitive fusion. It essentially means that you don’t have space between your thoughts, you can’t observe your thoughts, because you’re so stuck in your thoughts. And this causes a lot of shame for women specifically, because we can have all sorts of random thoughts during the day, you know, we can have a thought that we don’t want to do something, or we can have a thought that someone’s annoying us, and we want to like punch them in the face, right. And that doesn’t mean that we’re a bad person. But a lot of people and women don’t know that. So they literally feel bad for any of their intrusive random thoughts that they have during the day. 


So that’s one thing that I do kind of as a foundation of, it’s hard to regulate your emotions, engage in like compassionate self care set boundaries, if you’re not aware of just what the thoughts are that are going on in your head, and what you’re thinking about kind of on a daily basis. So I do that a lot. Learning how to teach them kind of how to regulate their emotions. I go over a lot of this in my book, too. But a lot of us, right, if we don’t engage in mindfulness, we don’t even actually know how we feel. Like, they’ve done studies and most adults are right, I think it’s three out of four adults, I’m potentially butchering the statistic, only can name 10 feeling words. And it’s really important actually, one of the best things you can do for your mental health is learn more feeling words and learn how to identify them. Because if you think about it, your language really shapes how you understand the world. So if you only know, let’s say for ease three emotions, like mad, sad and happy, you are going to be mad, sad or happy 1/3 of your life, because that’s all you can identify. But if you learn the word frustrated or anxious or irritated, that can then shape how you understand yourself and the world to and it can help actually bring down your emotions, when you can identify correctly, a different feeling word. So that’s a really foundational skill that I think is really important too.

Casey McGuire Davidson 

Hi there. If you’re listening to this episode, and have been trying to take a break from drinking, but keep starting and stopping and starting again, I want to invite you to take a look at my on demand coaching course, the sobriety starter kit.


The sobriety starter kit is an online self study sober coaching course that will help you quit drinking and build a life you love without alcohol without white knuckling it or hating the process. The course includes the exact step by step coaching framework I work through with my private coaching clients, but at a much more affordable price than one on one coaching. And the sobriety starter kit is ready, waiting and available to support you anytime you need it. And when it fits into your schedule. You don’t need to work your life around group meetings or classes at a specific day or time.

This course is not a 30 day challenge, or a one day at a time approach. Instead, it’s a step by step formula for changing your relationship with alcohol. The course will help you turn the decision to stop drinking, from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.

You will sleep better and have more energy, you’ll look better and feel better. You’ll have more patience and less anxiety. And with my approach, you won’t feel deprived or isolated in the process. So if you’re interested in learning more about all the details, please go to You can start at any time and I would love to see you in the course 



Yeah, and I’ve even seen, and it’s helpful to have those emotions lists, you know, have you seen those? So, obviously, you have like, yeah, the wheel 40 different options you might be feeling?



Yep, exactly. 


So from there, right, you can learn how to identify how you feel. It takes that mindfulness of noticing a lot of us don’t even slow down enough to notice what is happening in our bodies, because emotions do exist. Physiologically, first, there are sensations that starts in our body. So starting to recognize how that impacts us, will allow us to then be able to identify the right coping skill, when I’m feeling sad, this helps me you know, when I’m feeling frustrated, why helps me, so we kind of work from there. And then some of it is also if someone feels like they’re, they can’t stop moving. And their only worth is really tied to productivity. It’s like challenging that. And it’s where can you cut back and practicing sitting in that sometimes, before we can change our mindset about something we actually have to, a lot of times people are like, Well, I’m not ready to do it, they want their mind to be ready before they take the action. And a lot of times, it’s actually you have to take the action first. And then your brain can catch up later. So it’s like, you know, drop a class or do one less thing or ask your husband to do this or whatever, right? And practice sitting in the discomfort of not doing everything and how it feels. Yeah, and gain the you know, you learn distress tolerance, essentially that way. 



Oh, I love that you use the word distress tolerance, because a lot of people are, you know, and I used to do this to beat people. You know, my therapist actually was like, I was getting a million emails a day from my boss and feeling completely stressed and like, setting my alarm at midnight, so that I could check the steps for the day. So I’d be on top of knowing whatever number and she was like, what if you just didn’t check your email at night? What if you just didn’t do it? And I said, Well, that would stress me out more, you know, like, I would be more uncomfortable. And the truth is that is so much healthier, but I didn’t have that, like, distress tolerance of going through being uncomfortable. You know, it was almost like I have to be unguarded every minute so that yeah, I’ll never be caught by surprise, which is just like stressing your entire nervous system constantly.



Yes, yeah. So we call that kind of like, it’s like being hyper vigilant, you’re really stressed and looking and assessing? And what is interesting about that, right, and anxiety specifically, is you do feel like, it’s better you feel like, well, if I check more, it’ll be easier to do. And I won’t be caught off guard, like you said, but what happens is, your brain actually starts to learn that the checking helps regulate your anxiety. So then you want to check more, rather than if you actually make yourself weights and you don’t check as much your brain learns that your anxiety will naturally go down. If you give time in between and you do something else.



Yeah, no, completely. And I finally, you know, after talking to my group, this really helped me, my husband always is like, how come I can say things to you like 20 times and your therapist will say it once and you’ll be like, my therapist set out x and z. Are you fucking kidding me? I’ve had that for years. I’m like, Yeah, but she’s legit or whatever context matters. And so I finally like, told my boss, hey, I’m not going to be checking email at nights and weekends. But if you, if something, you know, outside of office hours comes up that you absolutely need me to jump on just text me. And so my responding to every email that came in on Saturday went down to like, maybe once every two weeks, she texts me and I’d be like, Yeah, you know.



Yeah, absolutely. And it takes, yeah, it’s like uncomfortable to do that and to practice and it feels sometimes like, the world is going to collapse. But then you learn from doing that, that, like things are going to be okay. And you start to trust yourself more.



Yeah. And that distress was like all about like, oh my god, if I say this, she’ll think I’m not dedicated. She’ll think I am not on it. And therefore, you know, you’re like, and then and then and then she’ll fire.



Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And I think a lot of women have that in a lot of different areas is we kind of jumped to conclusions of if this, if this, if this, if this. And sometimes, like reality testing can also be helpful to to kind of be like, what is the actual evidence for this? Where did I come up with the uncomfortable and then figure out that the world didn’t end? You know that?



Yeah, exactly. Because I think the thing with perfectionism too, right, is we have this belief that if we’re perfect enough, if we’re honored enough, if we do enough, we won’t fail, and we can control all the potential problems happening. But the reality is what’s actually a much more powerful frame is being like, I’m not going to be perfect, I’m human, I will make mistakes, I cannot prevent myself from making my mistakes, it’s impossible. But when I can do is learn how to repair things when I do make mistakes, and that it builds self trust that is so much more stable than someone whose self worth is based on external things that you’re holding up and spinning all the plates and nothing can drop, because I don’t know how to pick up the pieces. Rather than being like, I’m going to drop something. But I trust myself, and I know that I’ll be able to pick up the pieces.



Yeah. And you know what’s interesting, so my husband is a principal of a middle school to private school, meaning the parents are like, extraordinarily. Yeah. And a lot of times, it feels like they will do everything possible to not let their kids either face consequences or fail, even if they’ve like, truly fucked up just because they’re stupid, right? And like, yep, sixth graders are stupid at times. Yeah, it just is true.



But yeah, that’s exactly it. I think that that stems a lot of times in childhood is the helicopter parent, right? Believing that the kids that fail, them failing will destroy their confidence and be the worst thing in the world. And a lot of parents, I think, believe their job as a parent is to prevent their kid from failing or making mistakes, which is actually like the opposite. You know the, the goal of the parent is, the kid can make mistakes and fail and you love them and support them. And no matter what, and you, you know, you provide that stable base. But yeah, when you grow up never failing, without that experience, you don’t have any confidence in your ability to get through things. And I think that ability to get back up when you fall in is the most important skill.



Yeah. So a big change is saying, I’m not perfect, I’m not going to be perfect. I’m human. So how do I deal with that? Or can I fix it when I do eventually screw up?



I think it’s like, I’m gonna make mistakes, but I trust myself to be able to fix things when I mess up. Like, I think it’s important to remember that almost anything we do can be, I mean, especially relationships can be repaired, they can be repaired in conversation, they can be repaired through, you know, like, if a parent messes up and does something to their kid or says something wrong, they can repair that relationship through apologizing, if you make a mistake at work, you can repair it by taking accountability and fixing you know what you messed up and, and that is even more important of a skill in my opinion. That’s how we not only build trust with ourselves, but so in therapy, we call it there’s a term with a therapist and a client called rupture and repair. And it’s essentially this idea that there will be disagreements sometimes between the therapist and the client or the therapist will say something that the client won’t like or agree with. 


But when there is a rupture like that, the most important thing is that it’s repaired. And it’s like the same right? I think a lot of us grew up afraid of conflict because we didn’t learn about how to repair how to apologize or take accountability. Because we never learned how to deal with conflict. So it’s, it’s also really helpful because a lot of times like you are actually in the relationship gets stronger after the repair. It’s kind of like if you’ve dated someone and you never fight ever, it’s a little scary because you don’t know how you’ll fight. If you don’t know if you know you have this, it matters, right? They’ve done studies and it matters with couples, less how much they fight and way more about what their repair process looks like when they do fight.



You know, it’s interesting when you said that, I was thinking about, so, for example, women who are perfectionists and don’t want their partner to know they struggle with alcohol. So they’re like super defensive about it. They’re like, what, I do everything, I’m busy, I deserve this. And then once they stop drinking, they have to get more vulnerable and honest with their spouse about both. You know, why it’s difficult, why they drank what’s hard for them, what’s not what help they need. And some of my clients have said, yeah, it was really uncomfortable. But I feel so much more seen and understood by my spouse than I felt in the previous 15 years of marriage when I was young to be perfect, and therefore loved by them.



Right, because they weren’t actually showing up in that relationship authentically and vulnerably as who they were, so there was a fear there that they were loved because of what they were doing, right, for the family instead of who they are. When we can take down that armor, when we can be vulnerable with someone, when we trust someone, that’s when we show them, you know, our ugliest parts or the parts we’re insecure about that they’re not going to leave. That is a much deeper knowing and a deeper foundation than when we think that the reason we’re loved is because of everything we do.



Yeah, I assume that you see some relationships that, you know, say they do all that, and then it doesn’t turn out well. You know what I mean? Like the foul? Yes. And isn’t there? Like what, you know, at what point do you realize that that’s true?



Yeah, I mean, it’s definitely a hard thing. I much prefer dealing with, and supporting women, where their significant others are supportive and understanding. And it’s hard, right? When you’re, when your worst fear is then confirmed, it can really shake your confidence and your sense of self. And I think it’s important, you know, one of my favorite things about being a therapist is it’s not my job to decide, right? Whether someone stays or goes, or it’s really up to them to figure that out. And I help them. 


You know, one of the big things I love helping people with is having them talk to me about what their values are, what’s important to them, what do they care about most? And we kind of then compare with anything, whether it’s, you know, their significant other, do they have those qualities with their third job with friends, you know, whatever, and kind of giving them the tools to make that choice for themselves? Is this something that is workable is, you know, is there a partner willing to go to couples therapy, that can be a big thing that can repair a lot, but it doesn’t work out for everyone. If the foundation, it really is, I think if that person has that, you know, if the foundation is really based on what this person does for me, or if the spouse isn’t willing to be vulnerable back, and they kind of have a belief, they struggle with perfectionism in a different way, I think that can be really challenging to work through. 


When I think, and this happened to me more with work, meaning jobs and stuff like that, you know, it was just okay, not great, whatever it was, for a while, despite looking good on paper, and I’m sort of comparing this to some relationships, that I felt like, yeah, if I change job, it’s just going to be the same shit different day, right? Like this reversal. And, therefore, at least here, you know, I like these five people I hang out with and I can walk to Starbucks, and I get to go to San Francisco. You know what I mean? Or it’s so low. But it’s not bad, right? It’s not bad enough, you know? Yeah.



Yeah, absolutely. And I think, I think that is a common thing. And I think it’s even more complicated. Like you said, if you have kids with this person, or if you’ve been with them for a really long time. I mean, it’s really hard to disentangle your life. So the first step is to do the work right. Most people never actually address what they’re unhappy with. Is it because they don’t even know what would make them happy?



I think it’s sad and I think it’s fear. I think so many people are terrified of even asking the questions or looking, because they don’t want to know we’re in therapy. A lot of times people are afraid sometimes to talk about things because they fear their therapist will, you know, become biased or say that they should leave or should do something else. I mean, a good therapist isn’t going to do that. But it’s, it’s hard to lie to yourself, you know, you can’t unknow something that you learn, which is scary.



Yeah. I love that. You said that, because you had posted on your Instagram, which I thought was really interesting. How to know if you’ve got a good therapist, or what are red flags? Or what are green flags? About that? Can you say a little bit more about that here?



Yeah, absolutely. So the first and most important quality in a good therapist fit is how comfortable you feel with them. Because if you are not comfortable with them, even if they are the best therapist in the world, it is going to be really difficult to make progress. Because your comfort level with them impacts what you share, how vulnerable you are, and a therapist can’t work on anything that you don’t bring up, essentially. So I’m really clear with people, it doesn’t matter why it doesn’t matter. If it’s just a feeling about someone you don’t like, find a new therapist until you feel like you can be honest with that person. So that is the foundation. And they’ve actually done research, that is the most important quality. It matters way more the connection you have with your therapist than their modality or style of treatment, or anything else. So that’s really important. 


I also think other important things to look for are just, essentially, does that therapist have experience in what, in what you’re dealing with, you know? Especially if it’s something with substance use, eating disorders, OCD, things like that, it’s important that your therapist has understanding and knows how to work with, you know, I often encourage people to, you know, do a call with your therapist before the initial appointment, you can ask them questions about themselves, they can cross reference their website, if they have social media, if they, you know, have a blog posts or things like that on their website. So I think that can be really important. And just like getting a feel for if the person is a good fit. 


And some red flags really are kind of like, I think if obviously, if you feel like you can’t be honest with the therapist, you feel judged by them, you feel like they aren’t supportive, or they just kind of like are judgmental about your circumstances, if the therapist seems to not be neutral, and kind of seems like they have a bias towards doing one thing or another, you know, one thing I do unfortunately see a lot in therapists who work with substance use sometimes is because there’s this cultural belief, and even in grad school as a therapist, you learn, you know, people who have substance use disorders are, you know, they have severe substance use disorders, if not, they don’t need to stop drinking. And one unfortunate thing that does happen, and I’ve worked with a lot of women who say this, is they’ve gone to therapy before and the therapist has kind of been like, No, you’re being dramatic, you don’t need to stop drinking, or I drink that much. And I don’t have a problem. They use themselves as a reference point, rather than being clear with the client about is this right? Like, it’s the question about is alcohol, you know, it doesn’t matter how much you’re drinking, it’s how is it impacting your life?



Yeah. No, I totally agree with that. And I’ve talked to a number of clients who’ve gone and talked to therapists or doctors, and they have this black and white idea, like a lot of society that either you’re, quote unquote, an alcoholic, which isn’t even a medical term, right? 




Or, and therefore, you need to go to AA, because that’s the only, you know, program that they particularly know, or you don’t have a problem. And so everybody drinks or just cut back, not realizing how different I mean, anyone who expresses they’re worried about their drinking to a doctor or a therapist. It’s not like they haven’t tried right, cut back, right. 


Yes, exactly. 


You know, and I’ve even heard of therapists saying, Well, you’re not an alcoholic. No, and it’s just yeah, I hate that. So you said you actually get taught that in school?



Yeah, so things have changed a little bit since I was in school. Well, because the DSM has changed, but I mean, I minored in grad school and addiction studies, and a huge part of our addiction classes were someone’s an alcoholic or they’re not, someone’s an addict or they’re not. I mean, people still debated in my addiction classes. Whether it was like we were still taught the idea that some people believe it’s a moral, you know, like issue, which is insane, but they would even give that any merit in bringing it up as an idea. Yeah. I mean, it’s helped a little right. With the new DSM, it’s now mild, moderate, severe, which has helped compared to, you know, substance use disorder or not, or substance, I guess, back then it was abuse. But yeah, it’s crazy how in college, in grad school, we were still taught that. It is still, 12 steps is just so integrated in, in the American Medical Association, the American Counseling Association, because AA was created before it was even considered a disease or a problem. It was created before the APA existed. So that’s what’s really interesting is like, if you look at Hazleton, which is one of it was one of the first inpatient programs that existed. It was created before doctors acknowledged addiction medicine or therapists even existed. So that’s what’s so interesting is it’s shaped it so much that that is I mean, it’s why doctors, typically, and even therapists, a lot of times only will recommend AA because it’s all they know. And it’s all that they were taught.



Yeah. And I would hope that’s changing, because I can’t imagine, you know, I just saw yesterday, I think a whole bunch of articles came out that for the first time doctors were recommending that the warning labels on alcohol be changed in the 40 years since the 19, late 80s, that they were instituted. Despite all this research about, like, alcohol increases your risk of cancer, causes cancer, whatever you want to say about it. And it’s crazy to me that that has changed. And yet the recommendation, you know, barely starting to change. And yet the recommendation is 12 steps and if it works for you, that’s fabulous, right? But that is the recommendation, a program that was created 80 years ago. Yeah.



Yeah. It’s absolutely crazy. Yeah, it’s crazy, just how I think it’s just so embedded in, I mean, I am not a doctor. So I don’t know what they teach in, you know, addiction, medicine rotations and stuff like that. But I mean, I used to work at a rehab before I started my private practice. And I was completely taught that it was black and white. Anyone who didn’t want to do step work, or wasn’t interested in going to meetings, was not compliant. They were resistant to treatment, they weren’t going to fail. It was their denial. And it’s really why..


Oh, right.


Yeah. Yeah, I was told it was my ego that I didn’t. I said, I actually don’t think I have a lot of ego, like as a woman, like, I don’t feel like ego is my problem. I feel like it’s not feeling like I’m good enough. And my sponsor was like, that’s your ego talking. And I was like, Well, it’s, it’s a very slippery slope, when any question you have is just denial when any, you know, and I think for some people, depending on where they are, like, I, I understand why AA is the way it is. I think for some people, it is like, you know, black and white rules are easier to follow for sure. The nuance, especially in a program that isn’t led by or supervised by professionals. But yeah, I think it’s a, I think it’s definitely, there are so many other ways, and I think it really prevents a lot of people from getting the help that they need, or you have to be bad enough.



It’s out there. And it’s so well known, but what I have a problem with is medical professionals and, you know, counselors and therapists and psychologists only advising for that, you know, most I would say, Yeah, I’ve heard of, I have a problem with that.



Yep, I totally agree. I mean, yeah, part of my program in school was I had to go to AA and NA meetings, and they didn’t have us go to any other type of meeting. They didn’t have us learn about anything else. So I, my guess is still very much that way. And, you know, doctors, I’m sure do a similar thing, which is crazy.



Well, I mean, and so I think it’s good that more people and more therapists are learning about this and talking about this and realize that it’s not the only way to deal with things. So I hope some of that is changing, or even that people listening to this podcast following you reading your books, reading, some other ones are sort of informing. You know, like, they know, sometimes they know better than the medical community, if the medical community hasn’t dealt with that before, you know what I mean?



Yeah, absolutely. And that’s, I mean, that’s, I think the importance again, of like educating people on you can pick a different therapist, you can go get a different doctor, you know, if they’re telling you that you shouldn’t worry about your drinking, and you are you have a feeling that you’re drinking is a problem, like, it doesn’t mean that you have to listen to them. And that’s a huge belief I have, and just with therapy, and the, you know, the importance of the client knows themselves best, like my job is to provide tools and help them, you know, guide them and help them uncover things about themselves that they may not realize. But it is their life and their choice at the end of the day. And I think it’s really sad how much that’s like a radical idea. Yeah.



And goes back to, you know, you don’t want people to fail, and therefore you believe this is the best way and that sometimes it’s better to let them make mistakes and realize that they can be resilient. And it’s not the end of the world and all that kind of 100%.



And that’s where I mean, I and I talked about this in my book, and I do a lot of this work. And my practice is if someone is feeling like I want to try cutting back, and I want to try moderating, like I don’t tell them, you know, there’s no way it’s important. You know, sometimes people need to learn, and maybe some people are able to moderate, sometimes people can’t, but sometimes people also need to experiment for themselves and see what it’s like and see what happens. And I’m just such a big believer, and this happens in the medical community. And in 12 Step programs, like shame is not effective in trying to have people change, and we cannot shame people into changing their behavior.



Yeah, I completely and totally agree with that. I mean, it’s just one, you know, sometimes the whole shame idea, I think, also goes with the black and white, of either you’re a good person or perfect or not, as if you’re not a human being having a human experience. And, you know, just because no one else is talking about the things they’re worried about, or what they’ve done does not mean that you’re the only person experiencing this or having done this. 


Absolutely. So what about breaking up with a therapist? Because I’ve always related it and heard this, and in my mind is so true that it’s like breaking up with a hairdresser, like people will switch salons? Yeah, yeah, rather than, you know, go to a different person where your hairdresser can see.



Yeah, what I can say as a therapist is, therapists are good, therapists are trained to understand that things aren’t personal, that if someone needs something else, it’s not about, it’s not about us, it’s not something that we’re going to try to, you know, we may ask what’s going on, we may ask for more understanding of what you know, what’s going on, so that we can help make recommendations or things like that. So to me, one of the biggest things is, if your therapist is upset, or tries to, like, force you to stay with them, you should definitely switch there. Because that, to me, is a red flag of, they’re caring more about you seeing them than what’s best for you, necessarily. 


So I mean, if you haven’t seen your therapist that long, you could send them an email, you could also, at the beginning of the session, kind of be like, I’ve decided that this is my last session. You know, I’d like to say a lot of times the last session can be helpful in processing, what you’ve been through, what you guys discover, the therapist can make clinical recommendations. You know, my recommendation is to do that instead of sometimes people just ghost and respond to us, right, which I get. But I do think hopefully, if people have a good therapist, and they know maybe that we’re trained to care about you first compared to a hairdresser, that they may feel a little more comfortable and telling us so that we can provide referrals or recommendations or things like that, when I know is like sort of I describe myself as a recovering people pleaser. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, right. So people will keep going back to a therapist, maybe that they don’t feel like they’re getting as much out yet because they don’t want to hurt their feelings.



Yes, yes. And you’re just hurting yourself when you’re doing that, and the therapist probably has some idea that’s going on. Like we can tell when people are just kind of phoning it in and stuff like that. And you know, when I have clients like that I try to be proactive about checking in and, you know, being like, Are you, do you still feel like therapy is effective? Do you feel like we’re making progress? You know, is there anything you would change? So, I would tell someone also that their therapist may already have an idea, and they may not be that surprised, and they may feel like, it is what, like, they could definitely feel like this is the right decision, and they want to help you find a better fit.



Yeah. And I have a question for you in terms of, you said that the most important thing is, do you feel like you can be open and vulnerable with your therapist, and that they, you can share with them freely? So one thing that I’ve, I’ve seen and I don’t know if it’s all therapists, or just some is that sometimes they’re very unresponsive, right? Like they tell you anything about them? Sometimes I’m like, so do you have kids? Yeah. You know, like, you just like to know what their frame of references are you guys taught not to share about yourself?



We are. It is a very old school way of doing things. But yes, I was taught in school, you don’t share about yourself at all. You If someone asks you a question about yourself, you are supposed to say why is that important to you? 


Oh, yikes.


Which is really dismissive. So I yeah, I just listened and didn’t take any of it in because I didn’t agree because personally, I saw so many therapists that were, it’s called a blank slate, that were blank slates. And I did not connect to any of them. And it wasn’t until after I graduated college, I had a therapist who was honest about being in recovery, that I was able to make progress. So it’s part of why I started my own private practice. I was like, I’m gonna disclose on my website. You know, I’m not gonna spend time in session talking about myself. Obviously, if someone has questions, I’ll answer them. But that was kind of my whole reason really for, it’s why my practice is the way it is, like all my therapists share about themselves on their on our website, they have bios and answer like fun facts, because that’s really what I believe is you have to, it makes a difference in trusting someone and feeling comfortable.



Well, and some people have told me when I coach women, they were like, one of the reasons I, you know, want to work with you is because you’ve been so honest, like you, I know, you’re not going to judge me or that you’ve dealt with this too. And I find that, you know, people, at least with coaching, which I know is very different than therapy, if they are divorced and struggling with that a lot of times they might want to coach who’s gone through divorce, or, you know, someone with kids who doesn’t, which doesn’t mean that someone else can’t help them. But like, we feel unique shame depending, I mean, you know, people who drink with small children, yada, yada. I like that. Right, people young. Yeah. You know what I mean? Yeah. So if you know, someone else is there, you feel like they’re not going to think you’re the worst human being in the world.



Yes. Totally agree. Yeah. And that’s yeah, I mean, and that’s why, you know, some people do like to not know anything about their therapist, and that is fine. But if you want to know a bit about your therapist, like, that’s where I recommend, like, do your research, check them out on social media, if they have a social media page, see if they’ve written any blogs, like, get to, you know, get to know them and make sure that you feel like, you know, your comments.



A lot of therapists, like, don’t have any social media, right? They feel like they..



Yeah. Yes, we are also taught that and that’s kind of been something that I’ve been grateful for. You know, my generation essentially has kind of been like, you know, Bachelor contestants are giving advice about dating, why shouldn’t license there? Gosh, yeah.



I’m here. Right? So yeah, you’re a millennial, right? Yeah. Yeah, that and so one question I wanted to have for you. So I’m Gen X. I’m like one of the younger Gen X’s. And you know, I’ve always heard that, like, Gen X is sort of the most quote unquote, neglected generation of children like lots of divorce, lots of working moms for the first time, sort of like the latchkey kids. Yeah. Of everything. And then millennials, you know, the stereotype is they want, they got trophies for everything. And where the parents were incredibly helicopter barons. Yep. Right. So do you see that or not really, is that like a stereotype?



I mean, I do see that a lot, I think, especially what you’re talking about with millennials and Gen X and stuff like that. I think Gen X and millennials are very unique in that just how much 9/11, at least in America, impacted us because we remember 9/11 as like young adults or as kids and stuff like that. And I think the divorce is very true, what you’re talking about too, and the helicopter parents with millennials, I think is very true as well. So yeah, I do see it a lot. Obviously, not all the stereotypes are true and stuff like that. And every person’s situation is unique. But yeah, I definitely see that, especially with parenting styles and how they changed when your parents were, you know, depending on your parents’ generation, and how old they were. That’s, it’s really shaped, to me, parenting styles, because if you think about therapy wasn’t even a concept invented until the 1950s. So that really changed. You know, like, we like Gen X, and millennials are kind of the first ones to be interested in therapy. Kind of that’s created this change.



Yeah, yeah, that makes a lot of sense to me. And, you know, just the old jokes of like, Reality Bites movie, which I’m sure many people listening to this may not may not know, but, you know, it was the typical, like, Gen Xers just sort of laying on their couch watching them TV. On their own, their parents were very, like, you’re on your own, cut you off, you know, yeah, suck it up. And it was sort of interesting to me, because I was like, Yep, that sounds that’s you know, I very much remember being 11 years old and walking, you know, home and then putting in my code on the garage door to get inside. And my mom coming up, Devon, which is totally fine. But you know, they were not coming to every field hockey game or a game or anything like that.



Yeah, absolutely.



So one thing that you’ve written about as well, that I thought was really interesting was, you said that our brains are not very good at predicting what will make us happy.



Yeah, there’s a really interesting phenomenon where a lot of times our brains overly emphasize the future and overly think about, we tend to overly prioritize what the impact of what will happen to us in the future, whether that’s something we’re dreading or something we’re excited for, we overly prioritize that, which is why often I talk about I talked about in that post, it’s not even always about what’s happening to you currently, that impacts your current mood, a lot of times, it’s what you’re doing next. And the phenomenon can be kind of explained where I say, you know, if you think about on a Sunday night, so a lot of times people are more miserable on Sunday night, when they’re at home, right, then Friday afternoon, when they’re at work, right? It should be if it’s, if it’s your current state, you should be happier at home, then you are at work. But it’s the opposite. Because it’s about what you’re anticipating in the future. And because of that kind of over emphasis on what’s going to happen in the future, we often are living kind of into the future and not present in what’s currently going on. And that’s where it can be really important to, that’s where kind of that mindfulness comes in of trying to be present and what you’re currently going through. And also I share that, because if people understand their brain overly prioritizes their future, they can kind of remember that that might not actually be accurate, right? A lot of times, vacation is not as amazing as we thought it would be. But also, right, having to, you know, do that work project is also not as horrible as we imagined it to be.



Yeah. And then, of course, my mind immediately went to Oh, yeah, be happy where you are on Sundays, and, you know, et cetera, versus looking ahead to Monday. And then I also remembered that a new conversation is all about toxic positivity. And I want to get your take on that.



Yes, I am a very big believer that toxic positivity is kind of everywhere. I think it goes back to what we were saying with, like, this idea that we should be happy all the time, that our baseline should be just being happy and content. And I think there’s a difference with mindfulness. Mindfulness doesn’t mean being happy or trying to force yourself to think about something in a day. current way, it’s about mindfully noticing what’s happening in the current in your current reality in the current moment. So, when we’re talking about that example, for example, I think it’s not trying to force yourself to feel happy on Sunday if you’re nervous. But it can also be recognizing, right, that you may, because of the way your brain works, you may be overly prioritizing how you’re thinking about the future. Monday, May 8, probably isn’t as bad as you think it’s going to be. And trying to be mindful of how you feel in the current moment. And I think really remembering we can feel multiple things at the same time. 


Yeah. And you know, when you say mindfulness, my mind immediately goes to meditation for some reason, because that’s like something everybody talks about. I have to admit that, like, I am not a meditator, despite. 


I am not either, okay. Y


eah, I mean, for six and a half years since I quit drinking, and probably before everybody’s like, Oh, you’ve gotta meditate. I’m like, you know, I’ve tried it. Yeah. So how are you mindful? Without like, you should sit? Are you?



Yeah, I think there are a lot of simple ways to practice mindfulness. I mean, one of my most important mindfulness practices is like exercising, or movement. So it’s like, it’s even stretching. Sometimes it can be taking breaks during the day. A big part of my mindfulness practice is going for a walk at the end of the day. So it’s really just trying to notice what’s happening in your surroundings, like not being on your phone or watching TV or doing like 50 things at once that can distraction can have its place to, but even it’s can be as simple as if you’re washing the dishes like getting really curious about, what is the soap smell like? What is the point of the suds feel like on your fingers? Can you take a breath while you’re doing that versus just rushing through it? Yeah. And trying to just, you know, they, I think one of the biggest things is people think it needs to be meditation, it needs to be sitting down. And you can do a, you know, you can, or it needs to be a certain amount of time and even a small amount of time. Practicing mindfulness can be really, really helpful for your brain.



Yeah. Yeah. No, I totally hear that. And during the summer, my favorite thing to do is just to, like, eat lunch on the stairs on my front porch. And then I kind of, yeah, put my feet up. And like, you know, when you close your eyelids and the sun’s shining, and you can sort of see things moving across your eyes. Yeah. That’s pretty cool. That’s mindfulness. Yeah. And I play with my daughter. I’m like the breathing, right that I learned ages go like, smell the roses. Blow out the candles.



Yeah. Yeah, exactly.



So question for you. I know, a big thing that comes up now is that people just can’t find a therapist, like, word on the street is. I mean, I’ve actually had clients ask me because I love my therapist. And they’re like, Oh, can you recommend her? And you know, she’s maxed out, right? She can’t take any more clients. And so what’s your best recommendation for what to do in that situation?



It’s definitely hard. I mean, with the pandemic, and everything like that, I think it has just created, you know, even more demand. So it is really difficult. My recommendation is I mean, you can look at different therapy websites, I think asking friends for referrals is a really great option. So there are different referral sites. There’s like Psychology Today, there’s Therapy Done for people who are struggling with finances. I love a website called Open Path Collective, which matches people who don’t have health insurance with therapists who are just starting their private practices. So they’re looking to kind of fill their caseload so yeah, it’s really hard, but I think you know, you can use Google, just start asking around and see if people can make referrals.



One part of me is like, get on waitlist, right? It’s what I say like yes, you haven’t had a therapist in three years. Obviously if you need help right away, you know, do what you can to get it right away, but is four months really gonna make or break you while you’re working with other tools?



And it may be less than that. I think that’s a huge thing. I think a lot of people don’t want to be on a waitlist, but a lot of times like waitlists work. Therapists have, like a lot of people on the waitlist don’t like waiting so they may have openings earlier than they expect. And the other recommendation I have is find a group practice like some, something like I have other group practices. It’s hard when you’re looking for an individual therapist who works for themselves because they’re full easily. But when you have a network, you know, when you have 10, or 20 therapists that work in a group setting together, they’re much more likely to have, you know, even if this person isn’t taking clients, someone else’s, and they’re more flexible, too.



And is it easier now that a lot of therapists are doing remote settings, I know it used to be you drive into the office, you wait in the weight room, you come into the room, all that kind of stuff.



I think it is easier if people are open to it. I think a lot of people also and will always love in person, which I totally understand. But especially if you live in a remote area, or a state that has like a smaller population, I think, I think being able to see a virtual therapist can be so helpful, because they you know, they may live hours away from you. But you could see them virtually, when I also know women who are in small towns or small populations, and they don’t want to go to one of the three therapists because they see them at the soccer games or whatever. So it is nice that that’s opened up a little bit to have more options there. 


I know that I’ve read that women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety as men. And also, you know, compared I read that nearly one in four women have received mental health treatment versus, you know, 25% versus 13% of men, do you feel like that’s cultural meaning men are experiencing the same things and less likely to seek help? Or truly men don’t experience anxiety in the same way women do?



I think it is a tough question to answer. I think it’s probably both. Yeah, I do think men are very much under diagnosed. It’s under talked about, I think anxiety and depression manifests differently in men. I think they’re less likely, you know, even if you think about depression, and then a lot of times, it looks different in that it looks more like anger, compared to, you know, sadness and struggling to do things. And yeah, I mean, it’s a huge stigma issue with men of, you know, women have really broken through and been way more open about therapy, but a lot of men aren’t and still feel the need to have this facade and this, you know, manly, or they feel like it’ll hurt them in their careers if anyone found out kind of thing.



Yes. So I think it’s a bit of both, I think. I think it manifests differently. I think. I think women are more honest about it. But I also think women have different struggles with it. I think, like, eating disorders, stuff really impacts tons of women. Diet, culture is a huge thing. Alcohol is a huge thing.



Okay, I wanted to ask you, I’d actually pulled up eating, disordered eating as my neck thing, because I don’t want to short it. And I feel like I don’t know, almost any woman at any age who isn’t dealing with some sort of diet culture, self esteem. Yep. You know, control stuff. So will you talk about what you see in therapy with women, what they’re dealing with, and some of the things that you think might help?



Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I totally agree, especially with the like, especially with alcohol, I think the crossover is huge. Some studies estimate up to 50% of women who have substance use, also struggle with an eating disorder. And I think that’s, like, actually, like, underreported. And that’s just people who meet all the criteria. But I think they’re, I think they go hand in hand so much. And really, my whole thought about it, too, is that the problem is, is that diet, culture and alcohol culture, sell us the same thing. They’re a different product. But diet culture tells us if we change our bodies, and we look this way, we will be happy and outgoing and have friends and you know, have the life that we want. And then alcohol tells us that if we drink this, we will be happy and outgoing and have friends and have the life we want. 


And they’re this. They’re selling us the same message. It’s just a different, a different product. And I think that’s what’s so insidious about it right is then it’s complicated with drinking because women will sometimes starve themselves to make up for the calories or they stop you know, once they get sober, they experienced sugar cravings or they haven’t had proper nutrition for years so they may gain weight and Um, one of the most heartbreaking things when I worked in treatment is they is a lot of women used to talk about, well, I would rather be skinny and high than fat and sober. And that was just, I think that sums that up.



Yeah. Well, and so what is the work to decondition? You because, you know, in the same way as with alcohol, like there is quote unquote, fat phobia or privilege? Or, you know what I mean? Like, yeah, people do associate way more with some sort of like, you have less discipline or something. Yeah.



Yeah, I mean, I think that that’s exactly right. It’s, it’s a lot of issues with that, for sure. And people in different body types do face more discrimination and more challenges, it’s more difficult for them for sure. In terms of how I work on it, clinically, I kind of approach it from the place of whatever is the most harmful. Yeah, what we tackle first, and then we, we kind of go from there. But a lot of times people do need to learn how to eat again, they need to learn, they need to work on their relationship with food, they may need to accept that they have a different body type than they thought when they were only really drinking alcohol and, and not eating. And it’s, it’s really challenging.



Yeah, yeah. Well, tell us a little bit about your book, Not Drinking Tonight, because one of the reasons I absolutely loved it, and I told you this when I interviewed you, but I read a lot of, obviously, I interview a lot of authors, I think every book is useful. But your book in particular was one that I found the most helpful and insightful. And both because it was real and practical and approachable, and included your own experience, but also, because of the therapy aspect, which a lot of you know, I certainly don’t have a background in. So I love that you had sort of the therapy, the process, what people can do, in addition to the alcohol part of it, because they’re so interlinked. Will you tell us about, sort of the structure? Why you, why you wrote it?



Yeah, absolutely. So to be honest, I wrote it because a lot of therapy books actually are, there’s something called we case conceptualizations, which is just like a page or two about a potential client. And you have many throughout the whole book. And when I read books like that, I tend to skip over them or not be interested, because there’s so many different case conceptualizations that I don’t get interested in the character. And I really wanted to write a book where people were interested in like the character development, and you got to see how they change throughout the sessions throughout the year. And see, like, you know, the progress they made and the challenges that they faced, I think that was a lot more interesting than just reading a page about someone’s background. So that’s why I did that. It’s so, it’s three stories inner woven, through research and tools. But you also kind of get a peek into the therapy room. And part of my goal also in doing that is sometimes it’s easier to identify when someone else is struggling with something or maybe should, you know, quit drinking than ourselves. So I really thought that it could be helpful for someone to see a different perspective, but also relate to the character tale.



Yeah, absolutely. I thought it was so useful and interesting. So I highly recommend that people listening, if you relate to this, that you pick up the book Not Drinking Tonight. And also follow Amanda on Instagram @therapyforwomen. I know I could talk to you about all these subjects, you know, we touch on, you know, trauma, and you know, some of the mental health stuff and relationships too deeply. But how can people find you to learn more?



Yeah, absolutely. And I will also say I actually have a workbook coming out. That’s the companion guide to Not Drinking Tonight. So if you liked the book, the workbook is available for preorder on Amazon. It’s coming out January 2023. And it is like all new information. There is not very much overlap at all. So if you liked the questions at the end of the book, and the practicality, it has tons of worksheets in it, so I’m excited about that. But you can also check me out like you said on Instagram @therapyforwomen, and if you’re interested in therapy, I have therapists licensed in 20 states across the country. So you can check us out at



And do they have similar coaches to what you’ve talked about, like what do you search for in therapists? Because I know that a lot of women who have struggled to find one are going to be like, Awesome. Cool.



Yeah. Um, I really look for someone who’s relatable, and like open and honest. And I only hire therapists actually who’ve been through a mental health struggle themselves and who have been to therapy and know what it’s like. So we really combine the best of therapists with really great training and education, but also have that personal experience. And I think that’s really what makes us different.



I think that’s so important. Because, you know, I’ve found before, like, it’s hard to talk with someone about struggling with alcohol, if they haven’t gone through it themselves, either a therapist or a friend, a mom, a spouse, they, they just don’t get it, you know. That’s cool. Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.



Casey McGuire Davidson  1:16:02


Thank you for listening to this episode of The Hello Someday Podcast. If you’re interested in learning more about me or the work I do or accessing free resources and guides to help you build a life you love without alcohol, please visit And I would be so grateful if you would take a few minutes to rate and review this podcast so that more women can find it and join the conversation about drinking less and living more. 


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