Phyllis E. Leavitt, MA

41: Phyllis Leavitt, MA – Author and Retired Psychotherapist Shares Her Journey and Brings a Message of Urgency, Hope, and Healing in her New Book

Phyllis Leavitt originally majored in English at Simmons College in Boston, MA before transferring to The New School College in New York, NY. In this podcast, Phyllis shares her academic and professional journey leading us through her decision to return to school for her master’s degree in psychology and counseling to practicing as a psychotherapist for over 32 years to running her own private practice for 25 years. She has recently retired and though she has already authored multiple books, she is currently working on a new book that brings a message of urgency, hope, and healing to America.

By the time Phyllis wanted to go back to school for her graduate degree, she had three children and was considering being a teacher or a therapist. During our discussion, she states “I chose psychology and therapy and I’m so glad I did.” Although there were other graduate programs in psychology in New Mexico, Phyllis recalls meeting a field representative from Antioch University who, at the time, was putting together a program that she really liked as it included a small teaching venue, a lot of independent study opportunities, and it “brought together a lot of local professionals to teach classes in different areas, and then we could design some of the program ourselves.” She admits the customization of the Antioch program and that it was in Santa Fe, where she lived, were the two most appealing reasons she attended Antioch University.

After earning her Master of Arts in Psychology and Counseling, Phyllis Co-Directed a sexual abuse treatment program before going into private practice. She states that working in the sexual abuse treatment program “was a fantastic experience” and would recommend anyone interested in working in a clinical setting get as much experience and peer supervision as possible as it helps tremendously, especially if you want to open your own private practice. Phyllis recalls that they did mostly group therapy and had groups of all ages of children, non-offending parents, adults who survived sexual abuse, and groups for offenders. She states, “I felt like it gave me a very solid foundation for moving into private practice.”

Now retired, Phyllis is following her passion…writing. Though she had the idea for her current book almost 20 years ago, she is glad that she waited to write the book as her understanding and scope for the book has grown. She explains that there are multiple themes in her book. One stems from her own abuse in her childhood and once she started therapy and realized this, then all of the puzzle pieces began to fall into place. She also realized that there are “millions of people like me out there, and they’re not only the victims of child abuse, but they’re victims of war and, and you know, discrimination and poverty and sexism” and there are “so many people in the world who don’t know why they are the way they are.” Phyllis then discusses another theme of her book which is a belief that ”our government operates very much, in many ways, like an abusive parent” and that “there are many people in positions of great power who pick their scapegoats, target certain populations and make them the enemy, which is exactly what abusive adults do in their own families.” She says that her book is designed to bring this understanding to the way we see our country and the way we treat people.

She then discusses the term “identified patient” and explains the underlying thesis in her book “is that the most symptomatic among us are calling for help for the American family, for our country’s family.” She continues “If we could move beyond domination and submission and really experience ourselves as equals and find the balance of the male and female within ourselves as well as honor that in others, we wouldn’t have war. We wouldn’t have rape. We wouldn’t have greed.” Phyllis also discusses hope in therapy and states, as therapists, “we have hope for our clients, we wouldn’t do this work if we didn’t think there was hope for healing and transforming pain into purpose and meaning and fulfillment.” She emphasizes the urgency to bring America to therapy and mentions “an incredible psychiatrist, name Dr. Bandy Lee, who’s written a lot about the current mental state of some of our leaders and she calls it ‘Battered Nation Syndrome.’”

When asked about her favorite term, principle, or theory she states “it probably all comes down to love” and explains that “we’re here to learn how to love ourselves and that love is the greatest healer.” She relates this to her book and summarizes by saying “I think it comes down to we want to be seen, we want to be valued, we want to belong, and those are all aspects of love.”

Connect with Phyllis Leavitt: Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin | Website
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Interests and Specializations

Phyllis Leavitt is a recently retired psychotherapist of 32 years who is now following one of her passions…writing. She has written “The Road Home: A Light In The Darkness” and “Into the Fire” and is currently writing a book on what it would mean to bring America therapy. In it, she brings a message of urgency, hope, and healing in language the layperson can easily relate to and understand.


Bachelor of Arts (BA), Liberal Arts (1969); The New School College, New York, NY.
Master of Arts (MA), Psychology and Counseling (1989); Antioch University, Santa Fe, NM.

Other Sources and Links of Interest

Phyllis E. Leavitt: Amazon
Phyllis E. Leavitt: Youtube

Podcast Transcript

00:15 Bradley
Welcome to the Master’s in Psychology Podcast where psychology students can learn from psychologists, educators, and practitioners to better understand what they do, how they got there, and hear the advice they have for those interested in getting a graduate degree in psychology. I’m your host, Brad Schumacher, and today we welcome Phyllis Leavitt to the show. Phyllis has a master’s degree in psychology and has worked as a psychotherapist for over 32 years. She has had her own private practice for almost 25 years, and she has written multiple books and is currently writing a book on what it would mean to bring America therapy. Today we will learn more about our academic and professional journey, learn more about her upcoming book, and hear her advice for those interested in the field of psychology. Phyllis, welcome to our podcast.

01:04 Phyllis
Thank you so much, Bradley, and I just really appreciate you having me here today.

01:08 Bradley
Well, I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk with us. You have a very interesting background and, before we get started, just tell us a little bit more about your undergraduate studies and what originally sparked your interest in psychology.

01:22 Phyllis
Well, what originally sparked my interest in psychology was going to therapy, actually. So, my first experience of therapy, I was in my 30s, and my life was kind of a mystery to me. I had no idea why I was drawn to what I was drawn to, and some of the things in my life that really weren’t working. And at that time, you know psychology was not a big thing in the world that I lived in. And so, it was a, a departure from the norm for me to go to therapy. And it was really eye opening and awakening. I actually had no idea that my childhood influenced my adulthood, and you know, and I and again, that was a long time ago, so it may be not the same for people who are entering a master’s program now, but it was, it was very eye opening and I had I had three children at the time and I really wanted to go back to Graduate School and I was considering either being a teacher or a therapist and I chose psychology and therapy and I’m so glad I did.

02:26 Bradley
Well, it sounds like it because we’ll, we’ll get into what you did with your degrees in a second but tell us a little bit more. Where did you receive your bachelor’s degree and what was your major?

02:37 Phyllis
My major was originally English. I started at Simmons and then I transferred, at the time, the New School College in New York City had a program just for juniors and seniors and I transferred there, and I was just a, a liberal arts major so I didn’t have really any psychological training early on.

02:57 Bradley
So, at what point did you know that you wanted to continue your education and major in psychology for a graduate degree?

03:05 Phyllis
Right, and that really came when I went to therapy…

03:08 Bradley

03:11 Phyllis
… and went to school and that was that was really clear. Like I really want to do this and, and I was living in Santa Fe, NM at the time and I, I researched a couple of programs. There was a program at U&M and there was a program at Highlands University for master’s in psychology and counseling and I settled on, uhm, there was a field representative from Antioch University in Santa Fe at the time who was putting together a program and I, I really like a lot of independent study as well as small, you know, small teaching venue and that’s really what I got with the Antioch program. And so there were a lot of, she brought together a lot of local professionals to teach classes in different areas, and then we could design some of the program ourselves. And it was really good. I thought it was really good.

04:00 Bradley
So, I know I did some research on your background. Antioch University has four or five campuses and you just mentioned that they were putting something together for Santa Fe and you talked to that Rep there. So, did you end up kind of creating your own program and then taking most of the courses online or did you? Did they have a location?

04:17 Phyllis
There was no online. There was no online and I…

04:20 Bradley

04:20 Phyllis
I don’t know if that program exists anymore in Santa Fe. Yeah, no, the, the Rep there put together a group of professionals that we met with in person for classes and, and the rest we could design ourselves. So, I signed up for a family therapy training in Albuquerque at the Family Therapy Institute, and I, that was a yearlong program, and I did a yearlong program in hypnotherapy and so we could design some of it ourselves and some of it was offered.

04:49 Bradley
Well, it sounds like it. I know you mentioned you were considering some other schools and programs, but Antioch kind of stood out for you. There are a lot of schools in New Mexico that you could have gone to and attended. So, what really stood out? Was it the customization of Antioch or what was it?

05:07 Phyllis
Yeah, it was the customization and also it was in Santa Fe, and I lived there so, and I had three young kids, so it was, it that was just, you know, sort of practical but, but yes, the, the customization really has always appealed to me.

05:22 Bradley
And I don’t think I mentioned this yet, but you graduated with your master’s degree in psychology and counseling, and so was that a program that they kind of developed for you? Or did that already exist? And why the combination?

05:36 Phyllis
You know, I actually don’t know the answer to that question. That’s just what they called the program, and we certainly did, you know, I had to do a lot of internship practicum to get the degree and so we did a lot of hands on for, for the degree in, you know, one-on-one counseling or family counseling. So that’s probably why.

05:57 Bradley
What were some of the fondest memories when you look back?

06:01 Phyllis
You know, I just met wonderful people, the, the professionals that came on board to teach the classes were really, you know, experienced, fine-tuned therapists. I ended up doing a personal supervision or a supervision in child therapy class with one of the instructors who really became a lifelong mentor for me in my work, and so it was the connections and, and the experience. You know, being able to pick the experiences that I really wanted to have.

06:35 Bradley
And it was so convenient that it was right in Santa Fe as you mentioned.

06:39 Phyllis

06:40 Bradley
So, any advice that you’d have for anybody seeking a graduate degree in psychology?

06:47 Phyllis
You know, I, I wouldn’t be a good person to say like what? Because I don’t know what programs are offering today because it was quite a while ago that I did my program. But I think what I would say from my experience as a therapist over many years, one of the things I didn’t get in the graduate work that I did, which I would look for now if, if I knew and if I were entering a program now is I would really want to make sure that my program offered some good training in transference and counter transference. Because it’s really a big thing. You know, it’s really a big thing what our clients triggering us and what we trigger in them. And some of the most, some of the most profound therapy that I’ve done with people. And there’s, you know, there’s a wide range of different things that I’ve done with people over the years, has been actually exploring that transference countertransference realm of the, of the relationship because it’s a relationship, no matter what skills you have, and I think that there are some fantastic skills out there that I’ve used myself and have really esteem like EMDR and hypnotherapy and guided, guided visualization and inner child work. And, you know, I could name a lot of things that I think are invaluable. Part of the bottom line is the relationship with the therapist and the therapist’s relationship with the client, and so I just, I would, I would have wanted training in that. I kind of learned on the ground with a lot of supervision, let’s, let’s say.

08:23 Bradley
Well before we started recording for this we were talking about the website a little bit and you just mentioned some of these that are out there and all the different types of therapy that are out there and you know it’s interesting to me that whenever I have guests on the program, they talk about specific types of therapy that they have found very, very impactful for their clients as well. So, I just wanted to point out to the audience that you know there isn’t one specific therapy or method that you need to use, and it really depends on the type of client and the type of indications that you are uncovering and what you want to practice and, and help with your clients as well. Any other thoughts on types of therapy for people who are listening.

09:10 Phyllis
Yeah, absolutely. The two big ones that I forgot to mention were family systems and family therapy. Absolutely critical. No matter what kind of therapy you’re doing, I think, and couple’s therapy. You know, I just, I think the family systems approach is sort of a, a, an umbrella over everything and even if you’re just working with one person and you never see anybody else in the family that, that conceptual base is, I think, critical.

09:38 Bradley
And the dynamics that come in involved with anything more than just a one-on-one type of client patient, yeah.

09:46 Phyllis

09:47 Bradley
I read somewhere that you initially Co directed a sexual abuse program or treatment program before going into private practice. Training, you know, anywhere from children, families, adults, at what point did you know that you wanted to become a psychotherapist?

10:03 Phyllis
Well, I, I think I started out wanting to become a psychotherapist, you know, before I even enrolled in the program just because of my experience with this first psychotherapist that I had. So that was, that was just pretty clear. It’s like, oh, this is, this is really helpful. I want to be able to offer this.

10:22 Bradley
You mentioned that you were kind of deciding between that route and going the teacher route.

10:27 Phyllis

10:29 Bradley
So, a logical question for me is, I was in the academic field for a long time and as a teacher and so couldn’t you have combined your, your passion for teaching with psychology and gone the academic route as well? Or why did you decide to go into private practice?

10:45 Phyllis
Yeah, that’s a good question. You know, I think I’m just a one-on-one person. Yeah, I think that I think that the, I really like to go deep with people and I really, really value the one-on-one and I’m fed by that. And I think other people, I think there’s many people in the world who are desperate for that deep dive into their own mystery of themselves, you know? So yeah, it was, it was just a, it was a foregone conclusion for me.

11:15 Bradley
OK, well it sounds like it. Some people have an experience, or they have multiple experiences where they decide. Oh, you know what? I never considered this route before, and I want to go that route. It sounds like you knew well in advance that you wanted to go down that road, so tell, tell me more about being a co-director of that sexual abuse treatment program. I know of people who have, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Domestic Abuse Project or DAP.

11:44 Phyllis

11:45 Bradley
OK, so it’s similar to what you, what I read about you, being a co-director of that sexual abuse treatment program. Domestic Abuse Project is DAP and, and I have some people that have worked in the DAP program, and I think it’s similar to what you experienced when you were Co director, so I, I guess I’ll just rephrase it. Tell us a little bit more about your experiences being that Co-director of that sexual abuse treatment program.

12:10 Phyllis
It was a fantastic experience, and I would recommend, for anybody who it’s possible, that once you get your degree, I would work somewhere in some kind of agency or you know, social service agency, or clinical setting because I got so much experience so fast, and I had amazing peer supervision. You know, I, I was really fortunate, I worked with a wonderful group of people. And we, we did mostly group therapy. We had groups for all ages of children who had been molested. We had groups for non-offending parents. We had groups for offenders, and we had groups for adults who were survivors of sexual abuse. So, we saw the whole gamut. We interfaced with the community, with social services, with the Police Department and it just really, I felt like it gave me a very solid foundation for moving into private practice.

13:08 Bradley
And, and that leads us into, I know that you had your own private practice for about 25 years, and I believe you retired about a year ago to pursue another passion of yours, which we’re going to talk about in a second. But one question that I have for you in all those years of doing private practice, you know, there’s burnout. And I know that psychologists and psychotherapists have to have that, that line and, and have a good balance. So, tell me a little bit about the burnout. Some of our audience members who do go that private practice route are curious how do I avoid burnout and, and anything that you can share about that is really, really beneficial.

13:50 Phyllis
Yeah, I think a couple of things. One of them is I had to teach myself to leave my practice in my office. I, I really had to, like, psychologically reorient myself when I left my office. And I didn’t, you know, that was another thing I didn’t learn in Graduate School, so I had to teach myself that. And that’s really important. But the other things that I think are really important are because I think the one downside of a private practice, if I can say and I’m super happy that that’s what I did, and I wouldn’t change a thing, but the one downside is it’s isolating you’re not working with other people unless you have a group private practice, which I didn’t. So, part of the way that I worked with that was I, I was for most, most of the time that I was a therapist, I was in a peer in a supervision group with other therapists and we had a therapist who was our supervisor and so we would meet periodically and that that really helped for, and I did reach a place of burnout. I think at some point you know not, not crippling burnout, but just like Oh my God, this is like I really need something else here. And, and part of that is just feeding yourself in your own personal life. You know for sure with your own, you know, make, making sure you get fed and you’re not just you know there for other people. But, but I think the other, the other thing that I did that was really helpful for me was a couple I, I for a couple of years, I was a consultant. I did EMDR at an inpatient treatment program in town, and I did that just like one afternoon a week, but that gave me another community and another sense of connectedness, so I think it’s, it’s just important to find a way to stay connected.

15:36 Bradley
Yeah, and, and have that good balance and it, it is difficult, at the beginning, I would imagine to separate it because you’re going home, and you just had a nice. Well, I shouldn’t say nice or very heated discussion or revealing you know and, and it’s hard to set that aside because you have to get that out of your mind and then focus on your own family life so.

16:00 Phyllis
Yeah, and I really. It was a conscious training. I would say that I myself even between sessions. OK, I, I’m turning something off and I’m turning it on for the next person.

16:10 Bradley
Right, right. The other aspect of owning your own private practice is the business side of it, and so talk to us for a few minutes about how difficult was it for you to start your own private practice and did you do everything yourself (the marketing, the books, accounting, insurance)? Or did you bring somebody else in? Tell us a little bit about your experience with that.

16:34 Phyllis
I did everything myself in terms of like the books. But and I would just say, like you know, one of the reasons why I would stress for people that if I if I were to do it again, I would do what I did, which is to work in a clinical setting to begin with. For one thing, it I, it gave me a lot of connections to referrals which I wouldn’t have had if I had just walked out and said here I am and so, for me, and for me that actually worked. I never marketed myself I, my whole practice was built on referrals, and I was very fortunate, I have to say, and this isn’t everybody’s story. But one of my first clients was in a preschool and I was focused on running on working with children in the very beginning of my practice and I got so many referrals from her that just mushroomed out. And but it’s it is making connections. I think it’s really important. I think I know there’s a big networking group in Santa Fe of Therapists, and it’s probably still going on and I think, you know, finding the people who are going to refer to you for the specialties that you have. Yeah, that’s and so. So, for me, I was fortunate I didn’t advertise, but I think some people need to and give workshops. Or, you know, give talks on what they specialize in and, and make themselves known. I have my son is a psychotherapist in Colorado and, and he’s become very known as a couple’s therapist where he does, and he gives talks and he gives trainings and you know, there’s, there’s many different ways to build your, your imprint on your community.

18:18 Bradley
Are there any other suggestions or advice for those who are thinking of opening up their own private practice? You already mentioned a couple. Anything else for those who are considering opening their private practice for the first time?

18:32 Phyllis
Well, I can’t think of anything else at the moment. But if it comes to me, I’ll tell you.

18:36 Bradley
OK, no problem. We appreciate your, your thoughts and suggestions. Let’s move a little bit now. Now we’re kind of caught up. You, as I said, you retired about a year ago to pursue another passion of yours which is writing, and I’m going to go ahead and share your website here. And I know that you’ve already written a couple of books and you’re working on a third one as I mentioned in the introduction, and so when we look at your website here, give some information in your background a little bit, and then down below you have some links as well as up above. And when you go to your books section, you have a couple of books here that have been out for a little while. “A Light in the Darkness” and then “Into the Fire” and, of course, you can search online and, and see some more of these online as well. But the one thing that, I’ll hide my controls here so I can get to the Amazon page. And here’s the Amazon page and you can click on see all the details for a little bit more information on these as well. But tell us a little bit more about the current book that you’re writing and, and what’s the goal behind the book and, and tell us a little bit more so we have a better understanding. I started searching for the book, but it isn’t out yet, so I wanted to pick your pick your brain a little bit. You, you mentioned that you wanted to bring America to therapy, so tell us a little bit more about the book you are writing.

20:04 Phyllis
Yeah, you know I had the idea for this book probably almost 20 years ago, and I didn’t write it then. And I’m actually glad because I think the understanding and the scope of what I want to say has grown since then. But the, the original idea came from a couple of two different places, really. One was that I had abuse in my own childhood, and so I was a really a mystery to myself for a lot of my life. Really, it wasn’t until right before I went to therapy that I began to realize something happened to me. I’m not just, I’m not just weird, you know, there’s not just something wrong with me, something happened and it, it began very slowly to come up from my unconscious and, but I was really a mystery to myself for so many years and, uhm, and I, I, I a lot of my life didn’t feel like totally in control of what I was attracted to or what I couldn’t manifest or that kind of thing. And, and then I realized once I realized that there was abuse in my childhood, and I had some very explicit memories and like all the puzzle pieces began to fall into place. And, and then the next thought was, well, there’s millions of people like me out there and we feel so alone and so you know, alone in our misfit-ness or our, in our, you know, in our pain. But really, there’s millions of people like me out there, and they’re not only the victims of child abuse, but they’re victims of war and, and you know, discrimination and poverty and sexism, and you know, and, and that there’s so many people in the world who don’t know why they are the way they are. Don’t feel control over what they do and are a mystery to themselves and don’t get the help that they need. Don’t even know, perhaps that that’s the cause of what’s going on in them, or one of the big contributing causes, and then the next leap, the big Leap from there for me, which is really kind of the crux of my book in, and there’s several, so it’s hard to say them all, is that our government operates very much, in many ways, like an abusive parent. That our government, you know, and it’s not everyone in the government and it’s not all government, but there are many people in positions of great power who pick their scapegoats, target certain populations and make them the enemy, which is exactly what abusive adults do in their own families. They pick their scapegoats and it might be everybody, but it also might just be one child. And then their victims become symptomatic, and then they blame them for their symptoms. So, you know the most typical one is don’t cry. If you cry, I’ll, I’ll hit you more because you’re not allowed to cry even if I hit you. And that’s you know that’s the tip of a very big iceberg. And I see that in our country that people are kept in positions of discrimination and poverty and withheld resources from and then they’re symptomatic. You know they can’t find a job or there’s spousal abuse or they’re, they end up being a protester and rather than our reading their symptoms the way we do in psychology, we read people’s symptoms as we’re looking for a cause. We’re looking for the pain, we’re looking for the wound and we’re trying to heal that we’re not looking at people like you’re a horrible person because you have the symptom or you’re deficient or what’s the matter with you. It’s like, oh, there’s a good reason why you are the way you are. And so, my whole book is designed to try to bring that understanding to the way we see our country and the way we treat people. Like and, you know, one of the one of the big things that I learned in family therapy is that you, and I’m sure you’re familiar with the term the identified patient, that you know the, the most symptomatic person in the family is the one that usually brings the family to therapy. The kid who is wetting the bed or acting out at school or won’t you know has no friends or is you know whatever and they get the family to therapy and then you find out that they’re really the tip of the iceberg of maybe addiction in the family or fighting between the parents or a conflictual divorce. Or you know, and they’re really calling for help for the family. So, my underlying thesis is that the most symptomatic among us are calling for help for the American family for our country’s family. And really you could generalize that to the whole world. The most symptomatic people in the, in the entire world are calling for help for our global human family, but I’m focused on America because I live here, and I know this country.

25:08 Bradley
Well, let me let me give you a break from talking and, and chiming in here I, I noticed your first two books had a spiritual bent to it, or a spiritual aspect to it, and even on your website you have said “Many years ago I wrote a poem entitled ‘My God is this Empty Sheet of Paper’” and “Writing has always been my path and my practice.” And so, in this new book, are you still bringing in some spirituality to it? Or tell us that aspect? I’d noticed that when. I read a little bit about the book. It seems like there are multiple themes throughout this book as well, and so you already talked about one.

25:43 Phyllis
Right, and I’m not really combining them in this book, except that I would say that this what I experienced and that’s all about in my first two books, and I actually plan to write more books in that vein, because I have more that I want to share in that vein, but really, when I was at the worst place in my own process of recovering memories of, of what happened to me, I had a remarkable experience of a divine consciousness beginning to speak to me as I wrote in my journal, because like every I wrote everything in my journal. And it, it was like the great big picture that I got like it’s not an accident. There is a plan, there is a purpose, and there is a way to transform the consciousness that I was living in, which was a lot, a lot of pain and a lot of, a lot of isolation, like, you know, feeling very alone. Uhm, there’s a way to transform all of that, and you know, and that is what psychology does in its own way. And I would say the messages that I got were in, kind of, in a different not language, but a different angle of looking at it, but really a lot of what I got had to do with working with your projections and the projections that you take on from other people, and a lot about healing the masculine and feminine divide which kind of when it escalates, and it certainly is has escalated in our country and all over the world, and maybe it always has, it, it, it becomes domination and submission. And, and, and that the healing of that alone, which you could say that’s, that’s a very big part of psychotherapy is finding ourselves, you know, healing the masculine and feminine within us as well as healing the relationship between men and women. Uhm, that that one issue which was really brought to my awareness through this consciousness that wrote to me in a very specific way, that alone would heal this Earth. If we could move beyond domination and submission and really experience ourselves as equals and find the balance of the male and female within ourselves as well as honor that in others, we wouldn’t have war. We wouldn’t have rape. We wouldn’t have greed; you know we wouldn’t have so many things. And so, in that way I would say that what I received from a spiritual source really is completely integrated into the world of psychology, and I and my experience as a therapist and as a client. And so, while I don’t speak that particular language in this book, it’s very, it informs all of my experience. Does that make sense?

28:42 Bradley
It does and I, I you know I have a few resources in front of me that I uncovered when you were talking about this book and you, you’ve been on other podcast shows and other things on your website allude to this. Another theme that I see in there is this idea of hope. There is hope out there and you have to grasp that and, and understand that and embrace that and then you already mentioned the other one that I was going to bring up is the healing and I, I think I can kind of summarize this paragraph by saying the best psychotherapy is healing everyone as possible or healing as many people as possible, not blaming, scapegoating, or punishment. The most powerful way to interrupt the cycle of violence is the road to prevention and it helps change your beliefs in how you actually interact with each other and the community. So, it’s not only in interaction, it’s with the community and you already mentioned the government as well, so.

29:44 Phyllis
Yeah, I mean absolutely. I’m so glad you brought that back up. The idea of hope because, because one of the things that really struck me when I was first sitting down to gather my thoughts for this book was, you know, we bring hope to our clients. We have hope for our clients, we wouldn’t do this work if we didn’t think there was hope for healing and transforming pain into purpose and meaning and fulfillment. And the tools that we’ve learned and, and I know that psychology and psychotherapy are ever evolving sciences and practices. But even what we have evolved to this point isn’t being used on a national level. And it could be, and that’s where the hope is like, you know? Uhm, and, and again, this goes back to the early therapy that I did, I wish someone had said to me there’s light at the end of the tunnel and I’m going to be here with you until you get there. I say that to my clients, if that’s, if it’s appropriate for what they’re dealing with. I didn’t know there was light at the end of the tunnel, that’s why I called my book Light in the Darkness. You know, I didn’t know that. And so, I sort of stumbled my way through the darkness, and I feel like there’s so much hope and there’s other realms that offer hope besides psychotherapy and psychology. But this is my field and so this is the hope that I want to offer, and I think there’s great hope. And it wasn’t until the last two elections, in all the years that I’ve been a therapist, it wasn’t until the last two elections that I had ever had one client come in and talk to me about how traumatized they felt by what was going on in our country. So, there’s a, there’s an incredible psychiatrist, named Dr. Bandy Lee, who’s written a lot about the current mental state of some of our leaders and she calls it Battered Nation Syndrome. And so, you know, so I’m sort of looking at the micro, the macrocosm through the microcosm of my experience. Does that make sense to you?

31:57 Bradley
It does, and I’m actually typing up Bandy Lee and is it Bandy X. Lee?

32:03 Phyllis
Yes, right amazing.

32:04 Bradley
OK, yeah, so there are. Yeah, so there are some resources out there for you to look into this. I’ll include this link when we go live with your podcast so people can look up Bandy Lee as well. The website is basically, I’m, I’m going to share my screen real quick because I wanted to go back to your website in a second and highlight a couple things if people are more interested in what’s going on. So, here’s that website. I’ll go back to yours and I wanted to highlight that you have some stuff about your books here. You have reviews and, and a blog. You have some divine meditations and then some other services, but you are now retired, I should remind everybody, and so but you before we started recording you said you’re going to revamp this website as well. So, what are some of the changes that you’re going to put on the website versus what we see now?

33:02 Phyllis
Well, everything that’s on the website will be there. But uhm, the, the home page. The top of the whole top of the home page is going to be devoted to the book that I’m writing now. And as I, you know, when I get it published and I have can actually offer the book, then I’ll update it again. But and then the blogs that I’m writing now, the blogs that are on the website now are the blogs that I wrote, probably through 2020, maybe 2021, and I will be writing new blogs that have more to do with what I’m focused on now that will be uploaded, you know, at some point soon.

33:42 Bradley
OK, well that sounds good. I should point out that you, you do have social media out there. Here is your Facebook page as well as your Twitter. And then you have your LinkedIn page that has some information as well.

33:55 Phyllis

33:56 Bradley
So, I wanted to share those. The last thing that I should point out is you do have a YouTube channel and so you do have some videos on here that some of them are more recent and then you, you had kind of a I think a series here it looks like Play of human consciousness 1, 2, and 3. And then the original one was on Mother Earth and then Immortality as well. So, feel free to visit that. Anything else that you’d like to say about your upcoming book?

34:25 Phyllis
Well, just about the, about this YouTube really quick. The, all the ones that have a picture on them are material from my first two books and then this last video where my face is, is kind of sort of setting the stage to make a bridge into what I’m writing now.

34:41 Bradley
OK, well good. I will go ahead and stop sharing. I’ll make sure that we include those links. At the end of most of our podcast interviews, we like asking some fun questions, so if you don’t mind, I have a few fun questions for you.

34:55 Phyllis
Sure, not at all.

34:56 Bradley
So first of all, Phyllis, tell us something unique about yourself. You’ve already talked about some unique stuff, but anything else comes to mind that’s unique about yourself?

35:05 Phyllis
Oh, you know I don’t know. I think probably I have talked about it. I just think that I’ve been gifted and blessed to, in my own experience, to bring the, what I call, the world of spirit or connection to a consciousness higher than ourselves to you know what’s on the ground. The world of psychology. How we actually interact with each other. How we get to be imperfect and be on a journey and still be loved and be the vehicles for love for one another the very best we can. So, I feel blessed that’s, that’s probably my most unique feature.

35:43 Bradley
Well, it sounds good. I know that you’ve already alluded to some of those and why you feel blessed as well. One other question that I usually ask my guests, is what is your favorite term, principle, or theory, and why?

35:58 Phyllis
Well, it probably all comes down to love. I think that’s my favorite. I think that uhm, that we’re here to love each other. We’re here to learn how to love ourselves and that love is the greatest healer. It is the greatest healer and I think you know one of the things that I became so aware of when I was writing this book too is that you know I have not worked with one person ever. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t just want love in their life, or more love, or heal the wounds to love. And I think that’s true for all human beings underneath whatever the defenses are and the destructive coping mechanisms, or the hopelessness, or whatever. I think it comes down to we want to be seen, we want to be valued, we want to belong, and those are all aspects of love and cared for.

36:52 Bradley
Do you have any other advice for those who are interested in the field of psychology?

36:58 Phyllis
Yeah, I mean, and probably this isn’t any new news, but I would say a couple of things, like, really do your own work. Do, you know, go to therapy. Do whatever or whatever avenues of personal growth, do it and do it and do it because I feel like you know, I learned EMDR and I learned all these wonderful things in psychology, and I use them, and I’ve used them and they’re fantastic. Uhm, but we’re a vehicle for something and so our own work is what comes through, you know, and, and enables us to go to the places that are so hard for other people you know. We go there with you. I so, you know, I needed somebody to go there with me. I couldn’t have done it alone. So that would be, that would be a big one.

37:49 Bradley
Well, it sounds like that, that’s heartfelt and it could be applied to those who are interested in the field of psychology or any field. It’s just life advice. One other fun last question that I ask everybody is think about this for a second. If you had the time and money to complete one project, or go on one trip, what would you do?

38:16 Phyllis
Well, it would be a project and I would, uhm, I, I guess there’s two, two forks to it. One is I would finish this book and have it, have it published and out in the world and do everything in my power to have it be read and make a difference. And I would finish all the other books that I want to write that come from more of the, the download that I got from another consciousness. And then I also, you know, I’m interested if, if I had the time and the money and I live long enough I, I think it would be really curious to put together a book of other people’s observations on what I’m writing in this book, because I think it’s a big conversation and other people have things to add that I’ve probably left out.

39:02 Bradley
Is there anything else that you would like to discuss and bring up in this podcast?

39:07 Phyllis
No, I think, I think this is wonderful and I just so appreciate you and, you know, giving me the space and the time to share and asking thoughtful questions and having this forum to contribute to other people. I just think that’s wonderful.

39:23 Bradley
You’re very welcome. I do appreciate you taking the time out of your schedule to be on the podcast as well and share your thoughts and experiences while writing this book. I, I wish you luck in finishing this book and your other projects as well. Phyllis, thanks again for being with us today.

39:39 Phyllis
Thank you, thank you so much.

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