How do you respond to your child when they get angry at you?  Is your answer or reaction also one of anger?  Wouldn’t it be great if we understood what emotions get triggered in us that make us respond the way we do?

This podcast with Hilary Jacobs Hendel will help you answer these questions.  Hilary has written a book called “It’s Not Always Depression: Working the Change Triangle to Listen to the Body, Discover Core Emotions, and Connect to Your Authentic Self.”  While the title might lead you to think this book is about therapy or psychoanalysis, there is a lot in it to help parents understand where our emotions come from and how we can respond differently to our kids when they are upset; we can also teach them how to deal with their emotions, rather than throwing up defenses to avoid them.

You can find Hilary at www.Hilaryjacobshendel.com and her book will be released tomorrow – February 6th.  It’s available now at Amazon

United States


00:00:00welcome to the biggest jobs parenting teens podcast exceptional parenting is hard it's doable and it's never too late or too early is your host Pam hardy our time cast today is with an author Hillary Jacobs handle in the first part of the interview Hillary describes a particular model
00:00:22of therapy called eight T. D. P. it's an in depth explanation but I encourage you to stay with it as it takes us to an understanding of the premise of her new book called it's not always depression hope you enjoy Hillary Jacobs handle welcome back thank you Pamela
00:00:42delighted to be back I in my intro I will remind the listeners know about our previous interview which was I think two years ago but we're delighted to have you back and you've written a new book tell us about it title the title is it's not always depression
00:01:02and in a nutshell I had the great fortune in my life to discover that the practice of psychotherapy that was based and current neuroscience and how emotions work in the mind and the body and this was an education despite my extensive education in the biological sciences I was
00:01:25a dentist and my former career and I had two years of medical education with Columbia medical students and I went to a psychoanalytic for your certification and I had stumbled on this education in how to help people using emotions and it changed my life I felt it was
00:01:43a gold mine of information that the public needed to know and so basically the book I I translate everything that I think it is important for a regular person not a therapist to understand about emotions without any jargon using stories so it's really accessible and not boring and
00:02:07%HESITATION so that people can feel better about their motions be less frightened of them and then I present a tool that I stolen from the academic literature I nicknamed it the the change triangle and this is a tool to be able to understand and work with your emotions
00:02:25to get you to a place of more peace and calm and inner peace of mind is something we all want very much so internet show this was a tool that help me personally in my you know in my personal life and let's you know thousands of patients and
00:02:40clients of my colleagues who practice this type of therapy called the eighteen eighteen which stands for accelerated Experian chill dynamic psychotherapy okay and that sounds like a you know a big chunk of words Heller about having read the book we now understand what it is to give us
00:03:03a brief explanation of that please of ADP yes yeah ATP is a psychotherapy that was developed by Diana for OSHA it comes from the tradition of a psychoanalytic thinking and then sort of the next generation of people that wanted to do psychoanalysis faster that they felt that there
00:03:25is a way to help people more quickly and these became the short term dynamic psychotherapy is and then Diana kosher really took bad idea of of using emotions and and two turbo charged change because they are catalysts for healing and she integrated the current thinking of attachment theory
00:03:48which is how people can react and feel safe with each other and feel good with each other and also help people feel bad with each other and actually we want to foster positive connection because it does a whole host of good things for the mind and body so
00:04:03was grounded in attachment theory it was grounded in current neuroscience of the way the brain changes and the brain does change there's hope for healing throughout our lifespan it was grounded in a motion theory which is how emotions work in the body their physical sensations their biological forces
00:04:24that when they get blocked with defenses and emotions like guilt and shame and anxiety which block our core emotions the core motions being sadness anger fear discussed joy excitement and sexual excitement these are the vital life forces that we have and then and then growing up and surviving
00:04:50our childhoods and trying to stay in the good graces of our groups and families we have to modify our our core emotions kind of core motions are about being selfish what's good for me and these other emotions that I call inhibitory emotions anxiety guilt and shame help us
00:05:08fit in with groups and the conflicts arise and %HESITATION we have to negotiate these in our lives and often because of our culture and all the culture of should somehow we're supposed to be and how productive we're supposed to be they they create conflicts we end up blocking
00:05:26a lot of our emotions and that's what causes anxiety and depression and really every symptoms and diagnosis you see in the DSM four as far as I'm concerned that we can heal a lot of this with emotions and that's what ADP does it has this motion focused the
00:05:42other distinguishing factor about ADP versus traditional talk therapy psychoanalytic therapy DDT CBT those type of things if it works it's set it's an eight it's an experimental therapy so that were working in the here and now of the moment so the patient isn't just coming in to talk
00:06:03about how they felt last week he would be sharing the story and then to give an example of an intervention I might say you know as you're telling me about how your husband %HESITATION was criticizing you if we really slow down right here right now you and me
00:06:25just to notice not only what you're sharing but what you're feeling as you're sharing it what emotions it's evoking in you and then when someone can start to identify and I help them do this you know that they felt angry or that they felt hurt we begin to
00:06:42work with that in the moments in the session to that they have an experience and that this experience is positive and good and they feel better at the end and it's the same with working with positive emotions ATP is a lot about noticing what's going right as opposed
00:06:59to notice what noticing what's going on okay I'm you mentioned an hour early in this explanation that change triangle where Tim what can you how can people understand this yes well %HESITATION the change triangle again like I said I I took from the academic literature %HESITATION David Malon
00:07:24first wrote about it in the nineteen seventies it was called the triangle of conflict and then Diana kosher dad did it for her model and renamed it the triangle of experience and I'm calling it the change triangle for the public it's a map that diagram is the relationship
00:07:41it's almost like if you can envision a large triangle with the point of it facing down superimposed on your body and the point is is kind of in your core between your your abdomen in your heart and then that the corners of the triangle it cut a triangle
00:07:58rises out of your body maybe and sits above your head others there's actually on my website I have diagrams of the triangle explanations of the triangle because it's really the core of what I'm wanting to share because it's a really helpful model of understanding art ourselves so at
00:08:17the bottom of the triangle are these core emotions which said in our body and at the top of the triangle on both corners is the is anxiety and also guilt and shame that sun on the top right corner and on the top left corner or the defense's we
00:08:36use to avoid all our feelings because they are so darn hurtful and scary sometimes and mysterious at times and what we want to do is work our way around the triangle so that when we're on the top of the triangle when we're feeling anxious and we can notice
00:08:56it or were feeling like were blocked from our emotions or in tense and rigid the states or when we're reaching for a drink to deal with something where feelings or for lashing out at someone to deal with what we're feeling maybe some fear underneath or some sadness that
00:09:14we can become aware of this and really begin to have a choice if we want to stay in the defense of state which ultimately is hurtful it it affects our connection with herself which affects our vitality and it affects our connection with others or we can use the
00:09:31map of the triangle to try to get more in touch with what we're really feeling and to honor those feelings and to validate those feelings anti even as little as putting a word of language on a core motion helps the brain feel better calm down kind of has
00:09:52this feeling of dropping us down into our bodies and our selves and feeling just a little better and this is it's it's a it's a it's a you know this is not it's simple in concept when when your listeners go to the website which is either the change
00:10:11triangle dot com or my name Hillary Jacobs handle dot com there's tons of free resources there and a big explanation of the triangle and if it interests you then the book is the best way because I I share stories so you can see how I work the change
00:10:29triangle with myself and with my patience from different degrees of of of defenses from treating trauma to treating just a little bit of depression to treating a little bit of anxiety %HESITATION and I also intermix the stories with some practical exercises to give you a taste of what
00:10:51this is because you can't think your way through a feeling have to experience it and because we we live in a motion phobic culture for whatever reason you know there's evolutionary psychologists that right about this but it's a huge problem %HESITATION that we don't deal with our motions
00:11:09that puts a sort of out of balance were to up in our heads and if we can you know bring a little bit of a motion knowledge %HESITATION to the picture it just all sorts of good things happened and the book %HESITATION just tries to give a holes
00:11:30are accessible relatable just kind of I've shared everything that I've learned in it in a way that between the stories and between the exercises and between the scientific explanations that are also story driven and don't have any jargon you will begin to get a taste of how to
00:11:53be different held to be and feel differently in the world in a way that practiced over days weeks months years over a lifetime like a meditation practice or like going to the gym builds resilience and confidence and clarity of thought %HESITATION and just really good things yeah you
00:12:17say you try to I've read the book and you more than try to you actually do that mean as I read it Hillary you know I will read it over several weeks and of course things come up in my life and I would immediately think okay this is
00:12:31a core motion that I'm avoiding feeling so it is a very practical book I thought and you name it %HESITATION it's not always depression tad why did you choose that title that the reason for that title is so many of my patients and so many people that I
00:12:54know when they when they say they feel depressed or they've been told by a psychiatrist they're depressed or anxious for that matter they think that's the end of the story that that's that's my problem that defines me I'm a depressed person I have depression then they look towards
00:13:11medication for a fix and they look for CBT which is sort of you know is in the is in the forefront of of of treatment right now ice which is which is great it's a tool it works but there's a whole piece missing because it's not always depression
00:13:34is meant to say that's that's not the end of the story that is the beginning of the story there is a reason for your depression there's a reason for your anxiety there's a reason for all your symptoms intact symptoms are brilliant communications that something is not right and
00:13:51needs healing just the way we get a bruise and we banged ourselves and it's telling us we hurt ourselves and we wait for the body to heal itself and when it's not always depression means that there's more there's more there there's childhood adversity there's a life stressors there
00:14:12is things that have happened to us in every day life that hurt us and they look these core motions because that's what core motions of Bob to do which is to tell us about how the environment is affecting us the one thing that I just want everybody to
00:14:31know you know just from listening to this talk wanted but I didn't know until I was thirty nine years old and I went to this conference is that emotions the core motions are universal we all have them men and women every gender in between every culture across the
00:14:47world and that you cannot stop emotions from happening were taught in our culture that you're supposed to control your emotions and in fact what we are supposed to do is control our behaviors are destructive behaviors that we can do but we can't stop the lotions from being triggered
00:15:05in the body they get triggered in that the limbic system of the brain it's not under conscious control and it shouldn't be because these are fast reactions to keep us safe in the world if you're in danger of somebody's running at you with a weapon you better be
00:15:21running before your a year before your your cerebral cortex can assess the situation and say oh this looks a little bit dangerous and I better start running there's no cost control your run and then afterwards when you're safe band the brain scans for is the danger over and
00:15:36what not so these emotions are triggered in the body they're creating all sorts of physiological changes reading us for a physical action to fight to flight to reach for comfort to expand out into the world they're energetic experiences and if we block them like we're taught to do
00:15:57by tilting us by told by you know the messages of our culture that say get over it and just pick yourself up by your bootstraps and step upper lip you know we learn to block emotions that's what we're taught to do and die it's harmful to us and
00:16:10that's why I believe the rates of anxiety and depression and other symptoms are rising %HESITATION you know not only in doubt in adults but so sadly in in children and teenagers a great great segue because some I want to turn to how this book can help parents and
00:16:27you and I've talked about how important it is for parents to understand emotions and how they can work to create stress or they can work to create resilience so %HESITATION and and as usual when I read a book about parenting now that my kids are out of the
00:16:43house I go only I'd known this when my kids were living at home or when my kids were younger so %HESITATION you need to examine the second home to yeah there so I think it's worth mentioning that parents don't typically mean to cause harm to their children you
00:17:00say that and you say that it's not about blame %HESITATION it's just emotions make us as parents anxious and %HESITATION we we won at the defense is to help their children disconnect from their own emotions as you've just so aptly described %HESITATION but you also write that a
00:17:18child with the rector defense against the motion if he or she learns that the emotion is on wanted so I think I'm I'm thinking about you know if I have an uncomfortable emotions that I haven't dealt with for instance anger anger was not %HESITATION real it wasn't welcome
00:17:36in the house I grew up in and I know why you know I've explored up the chain up the ropes so to speak because of you know how my both my parents were taught to deal with anger so %HESITATION supposing my child is anger shows displays anger and
00:17:51I'm uncomfortable with anger what happens how especially in teenagers I mean they get angry so what happens can you help us with that yeah well first of all the first thing that I want to just do is validate validate myself all the time or ability you Pam and
00:18:09the parents out there that you know having at the teenager express anger is really hard you know even with all the skills in the world %HESITATION but be that as it may there are many things we can do to make the experience less hard so the first thing
00:18:27is for parents to understand again how emotions work and %HESITATION you know that's again not to keep bringing up the book but that's why I wrote the book is to help give an education to detoxify emotions to make them less less scary and little more predictable so the
00:18:49first thing a parent can do is understand that and that anger is just a normal core motion and that it's actually %HESITATION meant to be a catalyst for change right anger tells us that we have been hurt or that we've been violated or that we need to put
00:19:05up %HESITATION boundaries and limits to how somebody can treat us it does so many wonderful things is one of my favorite emotions to help people with the other thing that I really try you know it's part of basic anger education is to make %HESITATION to make to distinguish
00:19:25and I I have a blog on this cold wire people means on my website and that sort of the most concise explanation but if we went when we talk about experiencing an emotion and we do need to experience our core motion so that the energy can be slow
00:19:42and we come back to a state of calm experiencing an emotion has nothing to do with expressing it out in the world it has nothing to do with it's the very last act as I tell my patients we first want to experience the emotion inside ourselves and what
00:19:59that means is to merely know when we're angry and to be able to say to say to ourselves comfortably okay I've just been triggered to anger it makes sense because my teenager you know just called me a name to be able to be comfortable enough to experience that
00:20:15anger physically so for me you know I feel a tightness when I get angry I sometimes feel like a fire in my belly like an energy that wants to come out that's the impulse when we're experiencing anger we want to be able to notice the impulse but not
00:20:31have it burst out of us in a physical action you know they're hitting a kid %HESITATION beating a kid of course doing anything damaging or saying anything meeting and humiliating for this is anger wants to be mean it's not all of us but it can overtake us and
00:20:49so what we want to do is is to try to work and sometimes again this takes %HESITATION this is a practice over years we have to be kind to ourselves but to get used to experience the ang experiencing the anger with not automatically discharging it into blame into
00:21:07%HESITATION unkind words once we can do that then we can take the the wisdom that our anger is telling us and kind of metaphorically putting it in our backbone and then asserting with kindness but firmness what we want to tell our kids for example so for example if
00:21:28the advocate is calling names you would feel the anger in and it would tell you don't like this and he'd say you know Hey Charlie I hear that you are angry I can see that you are very angry but I don't like it when you call me names
00:21:46let's to help you know tell me what's upsetting you what's wrong and to try to listen a simple statement like that when a kid is behaving badly instead of taking the bait to sort of ratchet up the fight to say what's wrong are you okay it's very disarming
00:22:07and of course the kid will likely say you know I'm fine little are you know go to the room but the idea is just to have a little more skill bonus and a little more empathy that nobody wants to be angry it's painful and get to just because
00:22:25I I think to hang on to the empathy and on to the empathy for yourself as a parent that it's very very hard so there's no magic here it's a little bit easier I think with little kids who are behaving %HESITATION angrily so let's say a sibling you
00:22:44know a six year old hits their three year old because they're jealous of their three year old sibling the mom instead of saying stop being such a terrible brat your terrible to your kid over for kids as I hate my little brother and instead of the parent kind
00:23:00of distant disavowing matter dismissing it saying you don't hate your brother to have a different approach which is again understanding that there's something underneath the anger that there's tender feelings underneath their jealousy or the kid needs attention and instead to say something like I see you are so
00:23:18angry at your brother but we don't hit people so here you could take this pillow or the style and pretended your brother and you could beat the crap out of it and make it fun and play and that way you take something that's toxic and painful and and
00:23:34dis regulating for the nervous system that's jargon for like setting and the potential of creating anxiety and guilt and shame and a kid and you transform it into something where they can release the anger safely by hitting a doll instead of their brother and %HESITATION than the kid
00:23:51laughs and feels connected to the parent and feels understood what if he isn't it yeah it is and if it's a challenge it really is but what makes it so much worse as our culture tells us especially for women that anger is bad or anger is unattractive and
00:24:10anger just is an anger is a core motion that's it what's destructive is when people don't have a grip on their anger and they acted out all over the place and you don't deliver it responsibly that's exactly right so we can't stop ourselves from feeling anger but we
00:24:29have a choice of whether we squash it down which causes anxiety and depression or whether we we release it in a destructive way which hurts our relationships one of the best option is to work with it in a constructive way validating it being with it and then bringing
00:24:47the thinking brain hunt board and the very last step to say what is the best way for me to deal with this anger do I need to communicate something to someone or do I need to just process it on my own and for example of that I have
00:25:03another blog on my website that's called on how five minutes in a car transformed my angry tightness and this shows step by step and experience I share and %HESITATION I was having a repetitive argument with my husband and I just decided to practice what I preach and focus
00:25:20in on my anger silently in %HESITATION unbeknownst to him and really tried to you know get to know what it was telling me and what this wasn't about and it really had to do with a younger part of me from childhood and I knew I knew that because
00:25:36I did you know that feeling when you have a recurrence fight over current feeling and you click on my god I've been here so many times asks yes less then you know that's so great when you recognize that because then you could say okay this has meaning you
00:25:51know if I bridge back in time how old was I the first time I had this feeling and then you can start to I tend to rather get curious about that again and be compassionate to yourself that this is something struggled with for awhile and to work on
00:26:07it either on your own reading a book with a colleague or friend or you know going to some sort of therapists that understands emotions and I can help you look through them yeah Hilary there's so much here and there before we started recording you and I talked about
00:26:24you know shorter podcasts are better podcast or grab the listener more so I'm wondering if if we stop here would you be willing to come back and continue this discussion absolutely I would be honored to as much as you want to talk about emotions and how they help
00:26:42people I want to talk about because I really it's my passion I think the staff has the capacity to really change the culture and so many positive ways to make it just a more loving and accepting my shaming on and again to emphasize this is not like touchy
00:27:01feely BBS it's not about wearing a motion on one screen it's about adding in some emotion education to a culture that is heavily weighted on thoughts and that god has left us feeling disconnected as a as a group of people rate and there's so much here that's good
00:27:20for parents I mean we didn't even get through half of you know what we had discussed that we would talk about and of course being a podcast for parenting that's what I want to get to so %HESITATION wrapping up tell us when the books coming out and how
00:27:35our listeners can find it thank you so much for asking that the book comes out in the United States and on February sixth think that side just about two weeks it's available now on Amazon and Barnes and noble %HESITATION and I don't know if you have listeners around
00:27:55the world do you yeah I guess so because we have international families at the school yes so fantastic so that I just would like to mention that the book comes out in the United Kingdom and South Africa and Australia and New Zealand in India %HESITATION also like a
00:28:13February seventh and then soon in the coming months it's being translated and was bought by publishers in mainland China and Taiwan and South Korea and so for Poland and in Europe but I think more come we know which says it's a big deal there's a there's a change
00:28:31coming in is like iced and we need to add emotions you know become a little more on motion only savvy in the culture not even necessarily to to practice didn't even feel them with one but just to understand that they are not shameful and that they're not bad
00:28:47and they're just a natural part of being human the other end of the aisle you're yeah go ahead no had %HESITATION I just wanted to also invite people to go to my website I have so many free re resources there including my blog and and you can sign
00:29:02up and join my my mailing list and I sent a new article once a month I never spam or sell the list I really this is just a labor of love of wanting to help people and I take requests for for articles to write and %HESITATION I would
00:29:17just love for people to learn to come take a look at Hillary Jacobs handle dot com okay great I can't wait till the next one I hope it's soon you and I'll set that up %HESITATION by email and thank you so much and I just wanna say the
00:29:32listers this is a really practical book as much as you know the discussion tended on psychotherapy and ADP and so on it's a very practical book believe me so I hope you pick it up what I found in reading this book and what Hillary was saying today is
00:29:50that my increased understanding of my emotions and defense is to avoid those emotions affect the way that I parent and the effect on the relationships in my life secondly she mentioned the importance of understanding what emotions come up for us as there is no way to avoid emotions
00:30:08and that how we handle those emotions as a model for our kids which can be positive or negative and she talked about how we can avoid taking the bait when our kids challenge us if we are in touch with our reactions to emotions so a lot about emotions
00:30:24for sure but we all have them and our kids do too especially are teenagers the book it's not always depression is available tomorrow February sixth and Hillary has a website Hillary Jacobs handle dot com and that's Hillary with one els you can sign up for her blog and
00:30:43view the actual change triangle on her website thanks for listening thank you for tuning in to the biggest jobs parenting teens podcast we hope to connect with you again

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