Prepare for a deep, touching and wide-ranging conversation as host Rhona connects with her therapist, Ella McCrystal.

Multidisciplinary therapist Ella discusses the role of trauma in shaping the psyche from a young age. She shares insight on coping with trauma and catastrophising, talks about the shifting landscape of gender, and reveals how helping a client overcome dental phobia led to an unexpected opportunity.



In This Episode

04.53 – Trauma and EMDR

17.59 – Disclosure, forgiveness

26.59 – Free will and programming

33.06 – Therapy, leadership, and isolation

40.11 – Masculinity and toxic masculinity

54.27 – Gender roles

01.03.03 – Children and careers

01.07.12 – Tools for change

01.12.30 – Catastrophising and internalisation

01.19.25 – Dentistry, skills, and values

01.27.58 – TED 

01.29.50 – Fears and mistakes 


About Ella McCrystal

Ella McCrystal is an accredited psychotherapist, clinical hypnotherapist, and mindset coach. She is also the owner and manager of The Northampton Clinic, a private multi-disciplinary health clinic in central Northampton.

She is a published author and writer who shares insights through her Medium blog and has also created an online self-help course to help people to gain a deeper understanding of their thoughts and behaviours.

Needed someone to know because it was obviously you’re living in fear, so you just need someone to talk to. So I shared the diary page with him and a boy. His friend thought it was a love letter and took it out of his hand. We were in a math class at the time and within about 30s everybody in that class had seen this piece of paper. I ran into the toilets, locked myself in there, and then the rest of it’s a bit of a blur.

This is Mind Movers. Moving the conversation forward on mental health and optimisation for dental professionals. Your hosts, Rhona Eskander and Payman Langroudi.

Hello everybody, and welcome to another episode of The Mind Movers. Today I have an incredible guest with me. This is going to shock you all. I have literally brought my psychotherapist on a podcast. It reminds me of that film starts. Have you seen starts? Nope. So Jonah Hill literally brings her psychotherapist to do a film with him because he’d learnt so much through his therapy and he just wanted to kind of bring his audience in on his secret and how he healed from so many traumas. So today we have Ella McCrystal, who is a survivor of Intrafamilial childhood sexual abuse. She is also a psychotherapist, a clinical hypnotherapist, which I’ll tell you about, very interesting Emdr practitioner, meditation teacher and a mindset coach of 15 years. And she’s worked with a group of individuals and lots of different people. So welcome.

Ella Hello, Thank you for having me. It’s very exciting.

So amazing to have you. I’m going to kick start by telling everyone because everyone might think, Oh, Rona gets therapy. I’m sure that’s what a lot of people will be thinking. Well, they might not have been. I’ve been talking like I’m crazy person for like ages now, right? But I have to say that therapy is something that, again, was very much stigmatised. I’d be interested to know what your generation thought. Payman. You are older than me. So we’re going to we’re going to kind of touch on that. But I think importantly, I think that therapy should really be normalised because for me, it’s something I’ve been doing for a number of years now. I have been going in and out of therapy because I just never thought it was the right fit, if I’m completely honest. So for me, I’d go and they’d be like, So tell me, how are you feeling? And I’m like, I need you to tell me why I’m feeling this way. You know, I need you to tell you how I’m feeling. So it wasn’t until I got paired up with Ella, and the reason why I got paired up with Ella is because I had a lot of gut issues. I found a functional practitioner who deals with gut problems. His name is Dr. Sunny, and he said to me, I think a lot of your gut issues might be related to trauma, to some things that you’ve been through in your life. And paired me up with Ella, and it was a match made in heaven. So she has been an absolute angel. I adore it. I look forward to therapy now and I think that we’ve made some great progress.

It’s for me, everything you’ve said there is spot on because so many people, and we touched on this before we started, didn’t we? So many people think you’ve got to be in deep pain to have therapy. But there’s lots of different reasons, whether it’s, you know, something physical or you just want to be the best version of yourself. Yes, there is always something painful for everybody, but actually, there’s a lot of work that you can do in therapy, which is actually about growth. It doesn’t have to be about constantly dredging up the past, although that is, you know, we do have to do that too. So I think having that holistic view is really important and perhaps that’s why it aligns so well with you because you are a very holistic person.

Thank you very much. Take notes.

That’s very true. There’s almost like a need and want part to it because I’ve never I’ve never seen a therapist. I haven’t really never know. But I’ve been in situations which are similar. I’ve been on courses and things where people are asking coaches as well, coaches courses. And every time I’ve been in that situation I’ve felt like that was really nice, you know, like spending time thinking about me without any sort of other agenda. So I’ve come out of it feeling that was nice, like a want thing rather than a need thing. Yeah, but I think it’s a bit of both, isn’t it? Sometimes if you’re in a crisis situation, you could look that as I need to talk to someone right now. But then we were talking about optimisation. Yeah, right. And the fact that, you know, you could see it as just one long line with, you know, superhuman on one side of it and someone very, very depressed at the other. And you need a therapist in all those situations sometimes. So it’s interesting. So I’m interested to know of your patients. Do you call them patients? Clients?

A bit of both. It does actually depend on why they’re with me.

What percentage are in the sort of the optimisation area and what percentage are in the other.

I’m going to be really in the middle here and I think it is 5050. There are some people that are very, very traumatised or very, very anxious having sort of extreme panic, um, lots of anxiety, depression. But then there’s lots of people and I think it’s through word of mouth as well that will say, you know, you’ve been working with my friend for a long time. He’s gone from, you know, middle management to CEO in two years. Can I work with you? What you know, what is it that you do? And you mentioned in the bio there, it’s a very multidisciplinary approach, lots of different models of therapy. So with the trauma work, you would look at reprocessing trauma with something like. Emdr hypnotherapy is fantastic.


Eye movement desensitisation. I tried reprocessing so.

Eye movement, desensitisation.

Reprocessing. So essentially it’s based on REM, the movement of REM. When we go to sleep at night and we hit our REM sleep, we store information from the day. If you have a trauma or if you’re very, very stressed and burnt out, a lot of the time your brain actually struggles to store that information because you don’t always hit good sleep. You said as you came in, you didn’t have particularly good sleep. So if you don’t hit good REM sleep, you’re not always storing information. Also, if you drink a lot of alcohol, you won’t hit REM, which is why we forget moments when we’re drinking too much. But when there’s a trauma, your body and your brain go into hypervigilant mode. And so it’s hard to go into that deep, deep sleep. So you don’t always store information correctly. And what happens is the trauma kind of gets frozen in the brain. And so people with PTSD or complex PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder will often not realise it, but they stay stuck in the trauma. So not in every some people, you know, present very, very well at work and everything else, but they might find that in their personal lives or sleep or with panic attacks that they’re constantly traumatised.

So when we mimic REM eye movement using bilateral stimulation and I’m doing that because you wave your fingers in front of someone’s face or they can tap with Emdr buttons or clickers. Actually you can use bilateral sound as well. And with a particular protocol you’re able to reprocess the trauma without even having to talk about what it is. So I would say to someone, for example, hold the memory in your mind, have a snapshot of that memory. What are you feeling in your body? What’s the belief about yourself? What’s the emotion? And then I’ll give them cognitive interweaves, which are really suggestive ones of how they can layer in different aspects or perspectives of the trauma. Because each time you recall a trauma, say you’ve had a car accident, you generally remember it through the eyes of the person that’s had the car accident rather than through the adult or through the older self. So Emdr is very, very good at taking the traumatic memory, reprocessing it, and moving it into the part of the brain where it should sit rather than in the limbic area where it’s constantly creating the anxiety.

Is it a new thing or has there been quite a lot of relatively.

It’s about 30 years old as a psychotherapy, really. It was traditionally used for military police, you know, paramedics, that kind of service. But we can use it now for OCD or OCD spectrum, obsessive compulsive spectrum, anxiety and more complex PTSD as well, like abuse, abusive relationships, violence that kind of thing. So it’s a bit broader in its approach now. And there is a particular protocol that you do have to use, but we can blend and this is what I do. We can blend modalities of therapy together so that someone that’s really dysregulated emotionally and struggles with that we can use. If you’re multifaceted in your approach, you can perhaps use both hypnotherapy and Emdr and you can use the talk therapies and the CBT, you know, cognitive behavioural therapy. So it’s just finding what fits for that person. So like with you, you are very much somebody that kind of likes the coaching approach, the talking approach. You like to try things.

You would have guessed. But my question is I want to stick on trauma, right? Because there’s a few things that I want to cover. I’d be interested. I know what I’m going to ask Ella. I’d be interested to have your input on this too. Payman Are there such things and is there a difference between big and little traumas? And do you believe, number two, that every single person, no matter how happy they may appear, has had a degree of trauma, whether little or big in their life?

So I’m going to try and answer this without confusing anybody because it’s a very difficult question to answer. Trauma for me is the manifestation for each person of of that particular event. So, for example, I’ll try and keep it simple. You could have two people with exactly the same trauma. So let’s say a car accident, exactly the same One person will get out of the car next day, drives one person, may never drive the car again. So it’s very much based on the individual personality type. What’s happened before and how that manifests. I would say most people have a degree of at least periods of time where there’s acute stress, some in childhood, which is more impactful because the brain isn’t fully developed yet. So the way the brain. Is impacted by early childhood trauma is different, not necessarily worse or better, but certainly different. And then it’s how that personality manages those events. So when you say is there big or little trauma, I think, again, that’s perspective because what’s a little trauma to one person is a big trauma to another. Yeah. And again, that’s very much based on lots of different things, personality, cultural aspects of someone’s life. Um, you know, also if you haven’t had, let’s say, a lot of stress in your life and life’s been fairly perfect, something goes wrong, you haven’t got the skill set to deal with it. So it feels very traumatic to you. So it’s very difficult to answer that.

How do you go about unpacking? I mean, as a dentist patient comes in, we do an examination, we look, we might take an x ray occasionally you do get this situation where someone who should be in pain is and someone who shouldn’t be in pain is occasionally. Yeah, but really, it’s empirical. You look at it, you examine it and you figure out what the problem is. Yeah, of course. In Rhona’s area of cosmetic dentistry, you get that sort of difference in what people think is looks good or doesn’t look good. But what’s your process in your examination when you first meet someone, how do you figure out which one of these are they? Is is there a pathway like a normal way that all psychotherapists do that?

Or I suppose some people have strict protocols, so it would be very sort of almost a questionnaire, you know, tick a few boxes, answer these questions. I prefer to have a bit more of a laid back approach. So nine times out of ten, someone’s quite nervous when they start therapy. So I’ll often explain all the different modalities, what they’re for, how they work, how we can blend them together. And then I’ll ask questions. As I’m explaining, say, Emdr, I’d say, Does this resonate with you? Is there anything that you think you could benefit from? And they would then say, well, actually not necessarily trauma. And then they’ll tell me something and I’ll be like, Hmm, that’s really interesting that you don’t consider that to be trauma. And that’s when we start to unpack. So it’s a good it’s a good place to start, I think, to explain what the modalities are, how they work, and then ask questions as you go through rather than straight away. Tell me how you feel, because that is too big a question.

But then you know the element of trust in the therapist. I’d expect a bunch of people wouldn’t open up for a good few meetings and then you find out stuff later.

It’s interesting you say that, and I don’t know if this is just it’s Ella.

I’m going to tell you right now because.

I’m sure some people are better at it than others, right? Totally.

But I think it’s in the same way, like different dentists have different approaches, right? Like as soon as I saw her, I liked to talk things out. You know, this that I like to talk. I like to understand. I like to feel it out. So for me, very much, the therapists that I encountered, which I assume is a professional boundary, is also because they they always say things like, so just tell me they don’t want to say too much because it’s not professional to say too much because they feel like they’re leading the conversation. If they’re leading the conversation, they’re being unprofessional. And I think it’s the same thing with dentistry, right? Like lots of people are like, you shouldn’t be on social media. You shouldn’t conduct yourself this way on social media because dentists are meant to just be that person behind the chair. You know, you’ve heard that narrative before. So I think in terms of in terms of with you, it just made me feel at ease straightaway. And also what I found interesting, which I think you can explain to the audience is when it comes to, for example, the brain, she actually told me a little bit about the brain. So she was like, this is your cortex, this is the limbic. This is this is the part that does this. This is why you’re feeling this. And I thought it was quite an interesting way to understand what’s going on from a scientific point of view.

Yeah. And that’s why I like those, um, not so much niche now, but certainly when I started to practice, there were more niche the hypnotherapy, the Emdr. I like them because they’re very brain based. And I think once you start to explain what something is to someone rather than start with, Tell me about you. So this is what I’m going to do with you and it’s up to you whether you want to carry on with this because it may not float your boat. So if you want to go into this type of work, this is what we’re going to do. This is the impact on the brain. But I’m also, um, I was trained in that way. Don’t say too much about yourself. You know, keep a very sort of boundaried wall up, I suppose. And I just thought no, because for me, when I was going through what I was going through as a child, which was awful, I wanted somebody to be like me, warm, welcoming, open and say, and there was one person that did that for me and she was my social worker at the time. We didn’t really have therapists. She was a social worker. I saw a 2 or 3 times a. She disclosed to me that she’d been sexually abused as a child. And I was just like, Oh, really? I’ve not met anyone else at this point. I was I’m 44 now, so it was about well over 30 years ago. So it was not spoken about then. And then on I think on the second or third time I met her, she said, Oh, I’m moving into the probation service.

And she went and that was the only person that ever disclosed anything like that. But in that moment it made me feel safe that somebody else understood the trauma. Now, I always say to people, Look, mine is sexual abuse. It’s intrafamilial. There’s lots of different complexities within that. But it doesn’t mean that what you’re experiencing is too different, actually, because of the impact that trauma has on the brain. So I keep taking it back to the brain rather than the trauma itself, because when we talk about trauma, we start to compare. We start to think mine’s not as bad as yours. Maybe, maybe I shouldn’t be in therapy. Maybe there’s something just wrong with me because you went through this and I’ve only been through this and I seem to be more dysregulated than you are. So take it back to the brain. How the brain functions, how the brain processes, what the brain’s doing, what that does to your body. Gut health is one of those things where that’s why Sony and I align because there’s this very important nerve, the vagus nerve that runs from the brain to the gut. And it’s very, very linked brain gut. And when you look at what someone’s feeling in their body, not only are they dysregulated in their mind, they’re often struggling with pain, gut issues, fatigue, all sorts of things. And so I try to unpack the person rather than the presenting issue.

Yeah, and I think that’s what we’re all guilty of as a society, especially within the medical world. We want to treat the symptom and not the cause. You feel depressed, take some antidepressants, you got a headache, take a pill, you know, and we don’t want to actually understand the cause, which is why I think it’s so important that we apply integrative medicine within our profession, which is, again, why I connected to her, because I’ve been going to gastroenterologists, do a colonoscopy, do this, do that. But they didn’t really understand that there were other issues going on within my body that were causing these gut issues, you know, and I’ve got awareness of that now. So.

I mean, would you say you got into this line of work because of what you’ve been through as a child?

I mean, I.

Because of your own healing. Yeah.

And by the way, if you’re going to disclose your own story as a therapist, you have to be healed. You can’t talk about this stuff if you’re triggered. You can’t work with people. If you’re triggered, you have to have done the work. It was a difficult path because, like I say, when I actually disclosed what was going on at home for me, there really wasn’t much of a service of anything. In fact, I’ve got to be careful to say this, but the counsellor, I saw 2 or 3 counsellors through the GP and they all were quite aggressive, very cold, no warmth. How old were you? I disclosed sexual abuse. It was my dad that sexually abused me. I disclosed that when I was 11 and then probably didn’t get much of anything. Social services were involved for a very short period of time.

Did you disclose it to.

Well, it was I say I disclosed it was actually accidental disclosure because I never intended it to go to the police. I kept a diary of what was going on. And I had a really good friend. It was a boy, but we were just friends. We used to play computer games together and I just thought actually it was the second time I tried to tell someone. The first time I told somebody and they told their mum and I just sort of went, Oh, it was just a joke. And actually the mum told me off and so I was like, Oh, okay, people aren’t going to believe me. So I thought, I’ll just tell my friend he’s not going to tell his mum. All he cares about is computer games. But it just I needed someone to know because it was obviously you’re living in fear, so you just need someone to talk to. So I shared the diary page with him and a boy. His friend thought it was a love letter and took it out of his hand. We were in a math class at the time and within about 30s everybody in that class had seen this piece of paper. I ran into the toilets, locked myself in there, and then the rest of is a bit of a blur. Before I knew it was lunchtime dinner, ladies were like, Get out the toilets telling us off because we were all in there. And then someone must have told her what had happened. And the next thing I know, I’m in the Headteacher’s office stuffing envelopes, if you can believe it. They didn’t know what to do with me because back then you didn’t have a protocol for this sort of stuff. So stuffing envelopes. But the window overlooked the field where all the kids were playing. And there I was. My heart genuinely felt like concrete. I just could barely move, breathe. It was hours and hours and hours before the police came because they had to arrest my dad got home. Mum’s in the window. Dough crying. Did your.

Mom know?

No, she said she didn’t. But the first thing she said to me, the first thing was, I don’t know if I’m I don’t know if I’m going to be able to stay married to your dad. And I was like, what do you mean you don’t know? Obviously, you’re going to leave him. And she never did. They’re together to this day.

So how long had it been going on?

Over. It spanned several years. Several years? Yeah. Um, so, yeah, she. My mom was an actress, so she was often out, um, amateur stuff, but she was out a lot. She’d had three kids, I think, you know, she just wanted to go off and do her own thing. And, you know, my dad had been sexually abused himself as a child that had not been dealt with that, you know, he was brought up in in Paisley in Glasgow. And back then, those things were literally swept under the carpet. I think it just stayed and dealt with. And unfortunately, these things affect people. They the part of him that I think was sexually abused went into this. I’m going to I’m going to be in control. I’m not going to be the victim. I’m going to be the powerful one. It’s obviously very subconscious, which is why I’m so interested in the subconscious mind, because I think the only way that we can heal these types of things is to really understand why people do the things they do instead of being angry, which of course you’re allowed to feel angry. But instead of staying angry, let’s learn about what the brain’s doing. Let’s learn about why people become sex offenders. Let’s learn about how the impact of sexual abuse affects certain people at a certain age in a different way. So if you’re younger or older or female, let’s look at those statistics and really try to understand what the brain’s doing and understand that these are impulsive, compulsive behaviours. No one wakes up in the morning and decides to be a sex offender.

Or an alcoholic or a drug addict. Correct. Do you know what it just reminds me as well, and I’m sure both of you, it might have crossed your mind, but also with Michael Jackson, right? Dare I be controversial? There was so much abuse in his family and actually came across a video really randomly on TikTok where his sister was talking about the abuse that she had endured. Latoya. And you know, what’s really mad is that she had stated this in the 80s on a talk show, and she almost got cancelled and people labelled her as having psychiatric issues. They blamed her. Yeah, They didn’t want to acknowledge that this sort of thing was going on. And whether the allegations about Michael Jackson were true or not, if it was going on in their family, you can understand. Absolutely. And then I think it was LaToya. She then goes on to basically say that they ended up resenting their mom because their mom knew. And then then there’s that whole issue as well. And I think that’s why like human behaviour is so complex. Yes, we want to make it so simple and I think that’s definitely the case in dentistry as well, when people just fail to have compassion. Number one for patients behaviours, patients reactions, you know, we often say that dentistry becomes very defensive. We do defensive dentistry because we always assume the patient is out to attack us. So I think in a way there’s been some kind of like trauma instilled in us. And actually even if I get a complaint now, which isn’t big, I think of the worst and I become this mess. You’ve been there as well, I know, in your career, which made you almost walk away and did make you walk away from your career because you go through something like that. And I think it’s instilled right into you. So it’s just a lot.

More living in fear, however that happens, be it professionally, personally, your body, your whole body and your brain adapts to that. Yeah, you become hypervigilant. And because it could happen, say if you’re a dentist, that could happen over 5 to 10 years. And you know, by the time you’ve been doing this for a while and you know you’ve become jaded, I guess, by what feels like a constant attack that becomes your norm. Yeah. So you don’t even know you can’t remember a time when you didn’t feel like this. And it’s not until you go to a therapy or coaching or invest that time in yourself that you start to realise, Oh well. So not everybody stays up till 4:00 in the morning worrying about work. You know, it’s those things that you just don’t realise because if you’re always with dentists, they’re all going through the same thing. You don’t necessarily know that it’s not normal.

With your dad, was there an element of, dare I say, forgiveness now?

Oh, massively. Because if you understand again, it doesn’t matter how you look at anything, your profession, your personal experiences, if you can understand the drivers behind behaviour, if you can understand the subconscious, how that massively impacts behaviour. If you can understand for me as well that why my mum. Would stay with my dad and look at the links. You start to realise it’s not personal and if it’s not personal, there’s no point in staying angry if it’s not actually about you. And it’s a broader picture. You then go, okay, it’s my time to heal me now. I don’t need to be angry. I don’t need to question why all the time. I’ve got enough of an answer to understand that this is not something you chose to do. This isn’t something someone wakes up in the morning and chooses to do. So I’m going to work on healing me. I don’t have a relationship with them now, but it took until I was about 37 before I realised that it was too toxic for me. And actually, um, it’s a strange situation because they’re obviously both still here. They’re still together. I have a brother and sister that are still in touch with them, but I’m probably the happiest, most successful I’ve ever been. And I’m not saying that’s for everybody, by the way. Not everybody can cut people out of their lives. Not everybody can just leave a profession if they’re super stressed. Not everybody can make that big break. But sometimes it’s the scariest choices that you make that bring you the most success, happiness and peace. So it’s always about working towards optimisation of self as we speak.

What’s your position on free will then? I mean, do you believe there is free will or do you believe that we’re all a product of our past and our experience and our reaction to that?

And I think if people and this goes back to something you said, if people are more educated, then there’s a lot more free will. If you are somebody that has been through a trauma and you don’t talk about it and you don’t share it and you don’t understand it and you adapt to that trauma and you are angry or you are suppressed or repressed, the subconscious is 95% of our thinking. So it’s always in control. And if you’re not willing to take the time to understand yourself and to sift through some of these things, then I would say largely those compulsions take over those impulsive behaviours. Again, if you look at addictions, you mentioned addictions there, alcoholism, you know, heroin. Yeah. You I don’t believe someone sets out to be an addict. It’s self-soothing. And when you’re in that mode of wanting to self-soothe, everything else is less important because you’re trying to soothe that pain. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s sexual abuse or addiction, someone who sexually abuses a child is self-soothing on some level. I mean, that’s a massive subject. But, you know, one of the things that we spoke about before we started was suicidal rates within dentistry. Yeah, it just shows that there’s not good education around mental health. In dentistry, there’s none coping mechanisms, conversation. And those things give us more a sense of control and free will. I think rather than being completely in the faulty programming.

The thing is, is that it’s the tools, right? And we don’t have tools. And I think one of the main reasons we wanted to have this conversation was to give people tools to help them. And I think that it’s been years of understanding that and having the tools under my belt. You know, you and I always talk about society as well. I think society is something that I really get angry about because I always say I’m happy this way, but then someone comes along or ten people come along and tell me I shouldn’t be happy because of my the way I look or my way or the fact that I’m not married or something like that. I’m like and I’m annoyed. I’m angry. Like, why does society telling me to judge myself when I never judge myself for those things? But one thing that I do want to ask you is, is that you talked about people aren’t just born with this urge to have addictions, etcetera. A subject that I’m really interested in. I talk about trauma a lot is as well. Gabor Matei, which we’ve talked about, and he’s a trauma expert. I’ve brought him up lots in this podcast and with Gabor he’ll actually say that some people are more programmed to have addiction tendencies from as young as being in the womb. Yeah, so what makes somebody more susceptible, for example, to have addictive tendencies? And if they’re someone that, you know, as Payman would put it, are programmed a certain way, how do they cope with that? How do they find out if they’re that kind of person?

Yeah, so that’s interesting because you do see, for example, addiction, suicide, depression, anxiety running through families. But if you look at trauma, trauma has an impact. So if if you’re pregnant and you’re really, really stressed and you have unresolved trauma and I spoke about this actually before, I thought I had resolved trauma. And when I was pregnant, I became concerned that I would be a terrible parent because of. Widely experienced. And very early on in the pregnancy I was bleaching all the surfaces in the house. I started to pick up litter outside my house. It was like on another level, although I felt like it was completely normal and everybody else was odd for not doing this too. Then when my daughter was born, I had OCD around germs or OCD type. Thinking around germs didn’t really do much for a year, didn’t go out, didn’t really want people to come in. And then I realised I don’t know what it was. I think it was someone that said something to me and I felt very, very angry and I realised this isn’t normal. And essentially all that stress that I had carried, all that fear of wanting to protect the baby, all the experiences of wanting everything to be super clean and passing all of that down through to the baby. She’s growing in this environment where there’s all this stress, where there’s all these sort of OCD type thing thoughts and her first few months as well, Molly coddling her.

So those things create behaviours in the baby because they only have you to look at they only have you to be guided by. So if you’re anxious or if you’re overprotective or if you’re stressed, those things will have an impact on the baby’s behaviour. Now it doesn’t mean it wasn’t, you know, happy and all those things, but there was some behaviours that I can see now relate to past experiences and traumas. And then I wonder if you think about what my dad did, okay, he was sexually abused, but there’s some quite complex issues within his family. So how much of this is just trauma handed down again and again? And that’s where I think we see the genetic predispositions because we know DNA molecules change and can be handed down through generations. So actually, if someone’s had a lot of stress, you know, the grandparents will pass that down to their grandchildren. There’s some theories around that now. So I think that’s where you see addiction. I think that’s where you see patterns of behaviours and mental health issues within families rather than it being you are just predisposed to this full stop. So I think there is the nature plus nurture situation.

How often do you see each other?

Well, we actually see each other once every two weeks. And again, that was great because all the therapists that I tried before were like, you have to come at this time every single week. And I was like, But I don’t feel like talking this week. I’m all right. And I felt like I was coming and just trying to create conversations. Whereas Ali’s approach is a lot more relaxed because again, I felt like it was another pressure, you know, like dentistry’s so precious. I felt it was pressure to turn up somewhere and perform again, you know? So it works really well for me. And I think that, you know, now it’s what I call sort of like maintenance and tweaking where there’s certain times where I’m like Ella. And because I’ve done so much work on myself, I’m very aware of what’s missing. And I say to like, Oh, I’ve just I felt a certain way and I’m really annoyed with myself for feeling a certain way, and we unpack it and so forth, and we know what works for me. And as as you both know, I’m a massive talker. So a lot of talking works really well for me. Whereas we tried Emdr and I liked it, but I find it really hard to focus on something for a certain period of time. Yeah. So and also there’s some people that love a lot of written information, right? You know, the ones that really want to understand, like you said, the brain and like coping mechanisms.

But I’m much better at learning audio. So she sends me audio information. She’ll send me hypnotherapy sessions to help me sort of relax. That works really well because I like to do stuff on the go as well. So I want to make sure, whereas if I read, I have to be like really isolated. It kind of reminds me of university in school, which I didn’t love. You know, just being like with a textbook and going over things again. And that adds added stress. So I think it’s been one of the best things that I’ve ever done, and it’s created such awareness around my own habits, behaviours and thinking and as I said, like providing coping tools because within work, you know, especially now being a practice owner, I’ll call Ella and I’ll be like, Oh my God, this associate’s doing this, or they’re doing this. And I don’t know how to behave like a leader. But also all this anxiety is coming out because if a colleague speaks me a certain way, I feel like a failure. I feel like this. And we unpack all of that because the way that I feel is not the fault of everyone else. It’s reflective, as you said, of my subconscious mind, and that’s what needs to be tackled, not everyone else’s behaviour. It’s my response to their behaviour.

I think we talk about this, I talk about this with Prav quite a lot really. As a business owner, it’s very lonely being a business owner. No, I haven’t got the I’ve got three partners. Yeah. And he always says that to me. He says okay you only get a. Quarter of the pie. Yeah, but. But you’re never in the same lonely situation as I’m in where it’s almost like you against the world, because at some points, it can be you against your own team. Yeah. Or, like you said, an associate. Or you’ve got all the stress of patients coming in every day. And so that interaction where you’re using it to get out of the loneliness of that decision making.

And I can understand that as well because I’m a clinic owner myself. Yeah. So I have those I have that experience of what it’s like if you feel like, you know, everyone’s against me and you know no one understands me because they don’t understand the pressure of keeping this all going and keeping it running smoothly. So having that again, those different perspectives is really important. And as you talk about there with coping mechanisms, I think this is so important. A lot of therapists are trained in one modality, so they will give you, you know, it might be CBT, cognitive behavioural therapy tools, evidence based thinking, which is important, but if you’re not much of a reader, if you’re if you haven’t got time to do that, then I would always look at what works for this person. Because if I give you one thing that I’ve given to everybody else and say it’s worked for two people, what about the other eight people that it doesn’t work for? You can’t have that linear approach. I believe with therapy you have to deal with the person and that very somatic approach because if you’re not looking at what’s going on in their body, you’re missing a huge part of what’s going on for them overall. I mean, if someone says to me, I’m anxious, I’m like, Right, okay, so how do you feel? Anxious, Not okay. So tell me about, you know, what’s gone on for you. How do you feel? Anxious. How does it present? Because every body is unique and what looks like anxiety to one person. It’s a bit like trauma, doesn’t look like anxiety to another. And everyone’s so good at masking it. So we have to get down to do you even know what’s going on in your body when you feel anxious? Are you slowing down? Are you taking the pause to pay attention to your body or are you just carrying on regardless?

You know what, though? I think that’s a really interesting point because when I look at generational reactions as well, I know that some of your colleagues recently described when I say your colleagues, I mean people that are kind of in the older generation, they were like pandemic hit. I’m really healthy, but all of a sudden had a heart attack or all of a sudden like something went on with my body and they act like it came out of the blue. But for me, I’m thinking with all the knowledge that I have, Did it come out of the blue? Were you just masking all your stress? Were you just like trying to keep calm and carry on sort of attitude? Because that’s definitely my parents generation and the kind of trauma they experienced, which was war, you know, literally war in the Middle East. They’re like, why are you anxious? You have everything. You know what I mean? So it was very much like, you have to keep going. And it wasn’t until my body started getting physical symptoms that I realised that I had all this unprocessed stuff that was going on. And I see that a lot in the older age group, particularly the older dentists, and I think they find it hard to empathise with the younger generations because they were like, We never had mental health, we never had anxiety, we just got on with it. But then it will manifest as a heart attack. Do you see what I mean? But they don’t say think. They think it’s completely separate things. But more and more I’m understanding you’re having I think.

What you’ll find it’s a very interesting point. It’s a very interesting point you’re making. And I’ve been that older dentist who thinks like, why are they all complaining so much? I’ve certainly been there. But what will happen is you’ll be that dentist too very soon because you’ll have someone complaining about their own tick tock, not not not getting enough views or something and get into a depressive state because of it. And then you’ll say, wait a minute, You know.

I don’t think she will, though, because Rona would say, What’s happening in your life that makes you hyper focus on your tick tock? Why is that so important to you?

And you have to you do know you have said this to me Payman that and I know Prav has said this. It’s my empathy. Where’s my empathy come from? My empathy is the recognition that no matter how somebody reacts, whether that’s anger, whether that’s sadness, whether that’s disgust, whether that’s bullying, something’s going on. And I understand that now that people’s reactions I actually got trolled the other day by a bunch of like Andrew Tate hating 18 year olds online, basically telling me that I wasn’t a high value woman. Okay. Let me tell you the story, because.

Hate loving.

Andrew Tate loving. So listen to this because this is an interesting point of discussion, right? I know a lot of people that love Andrew Tate, by the way, as well, like within the dental arena, a lot of my male friends. And it shocks me because for me.

It didn’t shock you. You should be the same. You should empathise and say they need they need some male male love and attention.

Well, this is the thing. And I do actually, because one of my male friends, he’s absolutely wonderful. He’s a great dentist and he loves Andrew Tate and he’s like massive conspiracy theorist. And it’s like, who is it who is not saying? We’re not telling you. Not telling you. So he massively believes the Matrix has gone out after him. And this this whole conspiracy. And Romania has just done this to do him in. And it’s because he’s trying to make the world a better place and we’re trying to stop that. Like one of those. He’s like trying to keep a straight face. It’s not Payman. Anyway, basically I was like, This is so toxic. I said, I don’t care if the 1% of things that he says makes sense. I said, I genuinely believe what he’s saying about women is so gravely dangerous. Because if he is, if he’s just saying and just that beating up a woman is okay and that video goes viral. And if he’s just saying it to go viral, that video gets in the hands of a 12 year old boy that’s being bullied at school in America. He’s the kind of guy that’s going to pick up a gun and start shooting down kids. Right. This is this is dangerous. Anyway, the point is, there was this meme that was out one of these meme accounts and it said the problems with dating women nowadays and it had all these issues tiktokkers only fans trying to make fun of what the dating pool’s like. But then it said 34. So I obviously piped up and was like, What’s wrong with being 34? Because I just didn’t really understand what the issue was. So I had some Karen come along and this Karen comes along and she’s like, she’s like, Um, because your fertility rates are low, you become less desirable as you get older and then you, you’re run through rate becomes higher.

Had to Google that. What’s wrong with through rate and she what is it. It’s that you slept with more people. She’s obviously generalising and then she said and men don’t want women women that are older. And I just said, well, I totally disagree because actually I’m a lot more confident in my 30s than my 20s. And it was that, again, societal toxic narrative that really got me to places where I felt so low because I was suddenly 30 and not married. And I was like, There’s something wrong with me. Oh my God, I’m going to be like, chucked away by society. But as I got older, I actually got gained more confidence. I think I felt more attractive. I got more attention. You know, there were things in life that I was like, Actually, life gets better in your 30s. Anyway, try to describe that. And then these bunch of kind of like 19 year olds from America were like 34 year old women are disgusting like all this. But the thing is, they were using a lot of terms that Andrew Tate uses. So they were using things like high value women, high value man, and he very much uses that word. That’s his dialogue. And I was like, okay, wow. And I always took a step back and I’m like, I’m deleting my comment. I can’t engage with these trolls. But the point is, I was like, again, like you said, there was a degree of empathy because I was like, the fact that you think this way is a reflection of you and a reflection of what you’re going through, and that’s quite sad. So that was it.

There’s been no vent for the male problem.

No, you’re absolutely right.

Meaning that’s the conversation around minorities, women. There’s been loads of conversations around these, but men’s issues have.

Men’s mental health issues specifically or.

Issues issues haven’t been discussed. And Andrew Tate’s become the lightning rod for that because.

Yeah, because, you know, it’s a very vulnerable area. If someone’s willing to talk about male issues. And so you would be able to listen to that and go, okay, some of that makes sense. But that’s a little bit too off the Richter scale for me. Like you say, a 12 year old boy that perhaps doesn’t have good role models, you know, for whatever reason, isn’t surrounded by strong, positive men. It sees this guy lots of money doing cars and goes what he said. And then they just take that on board because they haven’t got the ability to analyse that information, to make sense of that information, to really see the nuances in those larger topics. So it can be very toxic.

So what do you think is the solution, though, for men? Do you think we’ve moved forward and do you think Payman as well? Following on from that, when Ella answers, do you think that there is still a massive stigma with men speaking out about their mental health?


I mean, I would say I’ve got 5050 male female clients, so I don’t know, again, if that’s just because it’s a different way of being a therapist, which makes people feel a bit more comfortable. Although Rona and I, we are online actually, so I do both online and in person. The clinic that I have, it’s a basement. It’s quite cool. You know, you come in, it’s not like a clinical room at all. It feels very I mean, some people walk in and go, Whoa, because there’s just lights everywhere. It’s beautiful. It’s a beautiful it’s like walking into a different planet. So it’s a very different vibe. So I think that’s how I’ve been able to cultivate this comfortable space for men. And actually I can tap into again a bit like you, I think being the empath, but not taking problems on board. For myself, I can tap into masculine energy quite well and I can tap into feminine energy quite well so I can understand the complexities of both sides of the coin, if you like, and all sorts of gender issues in between. So but with. Generally, I don’t think people are talking about mental health. They are talking about this surface confidence mindset, which is great, but there’s not many men that are publicly saying, let me just tell you, you know, about this thing that’s going on for me. And it’s you know, sometimes I don’t feel very masculine. Sometimes I feel like my wife doesn’t really listen to me, You know, she doesn’t really fancy me anymore. I look forward to sex on a Friday and she never gives me it. And I just feel completely undervalued because they don’t want to say that to their friends because their friends are going, Yeah, I’m having sex, you know, five times a week, different women every night. And so the guy that’s not getting that, not feeling loved, not feeling.

I think it’s a bit of a generalisation. I mean, I know what you mean, but you know, the Andrew Tate thing to start with. Yeah, there’s always been a character like that. It hasn’t been online saying crazy stuff to get clicks, but there’s always been a character like Hugh Hefner or someone from the 80s from the Or.

He’s been in the pub.

Yeah. And then this thing about men talking about men talk to their friends.

About the emotional level, about.

Those, about those things. I do. I do, but maybe some don’t. I get that. But there’s no doubt it’s the suicide is the number one killer of under 30 men. Yes, correct. More than car crashes, cancers, all of this. It’s the number one killer. Yeah. Yeah, it’s certainly. Men are going through something now, isn’t it?

Isn’t it? Did you say 30% there?

The number one killer of under 30?

Yes, that’s.

Right. Yeah, under 30.

So what do you think that is then? Because I think.

The conversation hasn’t been there for men and it’s been there for everyone else, but not for men.

When you say the conversation, what do you mean the narrative? The narrative? Because I think the narrative is is certainly over the last ten years, they’re more on mindset, confidence, how to be successful and all of that, but those more vulnerable topics.

So I think I think Harry Prince Harry was maybe someone who talked about it.

And he’s absolutely getting annihilated. Yeah. And you know what? I hate the.

Thing he’s getting.

He is he is talking about. He is. He is. And this is the thing that I find so depressing and actually gabol who I keep talking about. I’m going to send you his book, Gabor got Annihilated by the Daily Mail for giving Harry a platform to talk about his trauma. So Gamble was obviously a trauma expert. He was a survivor of the Holocaust. You know, he’s amazing. He gave Harry a platform, and the Daily Mail was suddenly like, Who’s this wacky psychiatrist who believes in psychedelic drug taking and, you know, completely sort of like character assassination. Now, with regards to Prince Harry, whether or not you like him, whether or not you like Meghan, for me, it’s abundantly clear that he has gone through so much and on some level, fine, he shouldn’t have cashed out or whatever it is, those reasons. But on some level, he’s actually just needs to talk. And although he’s doing it publicly, he just needs to talk. And I think that if he’s seeking refuge and finding support in public figures, that’s just what he needs to do right now. And that’s what I believe. And I’m.



I’ve got no problem with that. But, you know, the question of, you know, he shouldn’t be more special than the next man who’s super stressed and about to commit suicide. And and, you know, we we come down to it. Okay. He lost his mother at age nine. How you how you feel that and how you translate that is the actual key. So, you know, Ella was saying it’s not it’s not the event. It’s how you how you translate the event and.

How the people around you allow you to allow.

That’s the they’re not allowed like.

Please Prince Harry. So of course that’s the way it’s not allowed. That’s the way it goes if you’re the prince of England. Britain.

Yeah, but he was born into that title, so he has the right now to break free from that. And that’s what I believe.

Look, you shouldn’t obsess on Prince Harry.

I’m not obsessing.

We should. We shouldn’t because. Because. Because it’s a totally different situation than anyone else is in. Yeah, It’s the third in line to the throne or whatever it is. Yeah.

But I think what’s important about him is that.

He brought it up.

He brought it up. Yeah. And I think what’s important about him is it just goes to show it doesn’t matter whether you’re royal, whether you’re a bin man, whether you’re a dentist, whether you’re, you know, everyone’s going to have a different perspective. It’s what we were saying earlier about little trauma, big trauma. Everyone’s going to have a different perspective. And if the more vulnerable narratives aren’t available or if the right therapists and coaches aren’t available that are willing to be vulnerable with you or with you and just say, look, I have been crazy at times, so whatever you’re saying here is definitely not going to be judged. I’ve been that crazy person who’s been full of anger, full of pain, does some stupid things. Whatever you say in here, I get it. You need someone that will go. You can be whoever you need to be. You can tell me whatever you need to tell me it’s safe. And I think when you’re not hearing that narrative and when you don’t know that’s available to you, if you’re talking to your friends about this stuff, that’s really, really good. I think a lot of people do struggle, even women. We think this is a male problem with vulnerability. Women do struggle to be truly vulnerable, too, because they are being judged 100% right.

I look at women sometimes in a in a cafe. Let’s imagine five women sitting together and all five are showing I am very happy faces. Yeah. Throughout the interaction. And you know, I always think to myself, you’re not all happy, you’re not, but you’re not allowed to show yourself as not happy in this situation. Now, I know one on one or, you know, in a smaller, more intimate environment, women may may talk to each other in a different way. But, you know, out there in public, everyone being so super happy, it’s like that’s the pressure, right? I think it’s a.


Pressure, though. It’s happiness, but it’s me.

Living my best life. And there’s something called toxic positivity, which Ella would know about. Do you know about this? That’s toxic positivity, right? No, but it’s like, hashtag be happy, hashtag positive vibes only. So I’ve got a few friends that are psychotherapists, and obviously I work with Ella and they’re like, It’s so toxic. It is not normal to be happy 24 over seven. And creating that narrative actually makes people even more depressed. It’s like we’re not robots and be like everything is cookies and everything is wonderful and great. I actually want to ask you about another thing as well. What’s your thoughts on toxic masculinity? Do you know what I mean by that?

Pei Andrew Tate.

Lol Well, I’m saying I want a more definitive.

Did you just say LOL Yes.

Oh I always say that he’s used to it now. Literally.

She says it when she’s not smiling. Yeah.

Oh. You know what’s even funnier is that sometimes my friends will text me on Instagram like Louis. He goes lol babe lol that’s all he’ll say because it’s like, But it’s between me and my best friend Nino. And what we do is we don’t. No one knows, but we’ll look at each other and we’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. Lol babe blob could be lol not lol but it could be like lol lol. Anyway. So toxic masculinity for people that don’t understand it. What does it mean?

Essentially the way I see toxic masculinity is feeling like you have to be a certain type of male feeling like you have to promote that. You have to share that with everybody else. You can’t just be, you know, you can’t just break down and cry and then go and speak to your friend about it because that would be seen as too girly. You know, you’re not being a man man up. You’re not you’re not putting your woman in her place, man up. It’s those kinds of phrases. What do you mean? What do you mean? You’ve got a Hoover that’s a pink job, not a blue job. It’s those kinds of things. But then that can be very, very broad as well. Like, you know, not considering other people’s feelings, thinking this whole. This alpha male thing. But actually it’s a bit of a facade for most people because I think everybody’s multifaceted, everybody’s got different sides to them. Everyone needs to often.

Often it’s confidence to cover up. Lack of confidence as well, right?

Yes. However, and I’m going to be a bit controversial because I never know whether I’m one or the other. You can help me with this. With regards to toxic masculinity, do you also think that first of all, do you believe in gender roles? Second of all, do you think that women that are displaying displaying more alpha qualities and I’ve been told that tend to show then more masculine traits, which also then create a different type of dynamic within society, which actually makes it more difficult for men and women to interact.

So do I believe in gender roles? It’s very difficult because I will speak from personal experience, but also professional experience. I think there is a definitive feeling if you know you are female and if you know you are male, there are certain things that are very, very different within the genders. Now, for people that don’t necessarily feel either female or male, for people that are perhaps trans, they’ve got a slightly different experience. So I’m going to be really careful here because there is that middle ground. But on the whole, I do believe that people naturally, females, males feel certain things that the other gender doesn’t. So within that, I think it can be very, very difficult. I would say that I’ve got quite a masculine energy and I tend to get on very, very well with men. I don’t get easily offended. I’m quite open to hearing a conversation, even if I don’t agree with it. I don’t take it personally. Whereas there and actually I think, um, I’ve been called aggressive at times. Certainly when I was younger, not so much now I don’t have the energy to be aggressive anymore, but I certainly would have been labelled. Is aggressive, but I was just a go getter. I was determined. I was very, very dedicated to my purpose. So I think I was very much about not that I don’t need friends, but, you know, I was very much masculine in that sense that I was following my path. And the other stuff, the fluffy stuff, if you like, didn’t really matter. And I think a lot of people struggled with that 15, 20 years ago because it wasn’t necessarily the norm.

In the corporate world. You often see women acting like men a little bit. Yeah.

I think now, I mean, would you say that I have masculine energy? Tell me the truth. Really? Not at all. Even with the kind of boss sort of like energy.

No, you’re not. You’re not that kind of boss at all. You’re hugging your staff the whole time, buying them flowers. But. But look, look. In fact, I would say you’re quite the opposite. I’d say you’re one of the rare breed who carries off being a strong woman in a feminine way, which is. Which is rare. It’s rare in the corporate world. You can’t set up the the environment like you can. Chelsea Dental can be exactly as you want it to be. The vibe can be exactly as you want it to be. The people, the environment. You’re in full control of the atmosphere. Whereas if you work at Procter and Gamble and you’re an ambitious woman in a way, you’ve got to feel in line with that male culture. And then you have to say the things that men say. And then for me, that’s a bit of a shame because it would be really lovely if there were more women who were feminine but strong.

So it reminds me of the 90s and in the 90s I was in my 20s and there was a show and I can’t remember what it was called, but the the term at the time you remember is and you may even remember, I don’t know, was ladettes, wasn’t it? And there was a show and that was Sarah Cox and Sarah Cawood. And they did this segment. What was it called?

Um, I can’t remember, but they did.

A segment which was called Wanker of the Week. Yeah. Yeah. Do you remember it?


I’m clearly too young for this.

Yeah, it was a great show. It was a brilliant show. It was a brilliant show. I forget the name. Go on.

But it was then it was kind of like you could again, you could look very feminine, but you were you were going to be drinking beer and you were going to be, you know, football fan, football fan. So yeah, so that so I wouldn’t if we’re thinking about masculine energy in that sense, I don’t feel like I have that energy, but I feel like I suppose I’m, I can relate to masculine energy. Maybe that’s maybe how you feel as well.

I genuinely speaking, like, look at my clinic. As you said, it’s sort of 90% males I think, you know, out of the clinicians we have one female dentist and I haven’t done that on purpose. It’s just generally who I’ve sort of meshed with. However, having said that, there are times that I have found it difficult to assert my authority as a female, not because anyone’s made me feel a certain way, but I definitely think if I was an older guy, I don’t think this boundary would have been crossed. As in like sometimes I’m maybe that’s because I’m a bit relaxed. Do you see what I mean in terms of like my approach? And then I become a little bit more resentful.

But I think, look, we all have that. Yeah, we all have something that if we weren’t this way.

X, y, and z.

X way, then it wouldn’t be so.

So, so do you think but do you think the way that female roles have adapted over the last sort of 5 to 10 years have also somewhat made males feel a certain way? Does that make sense? Because they are taking on particularly I know look, in the dating pool. We hear it all the time, right? People are like women now can fund for themselves. It’s not like my parents generation. You know, people got married much earlier for financial reasons, you know, for example. But now women can pretty much do everything in the provider role. Do you think that that is healthy, unhealthy? I’m asking as a general conversation.

Let me let me tell you something controversial that one of my friends said to me that a woman should never earn more than her partner. And I thought it was very misogynistic thing to say. I thought, you know, why not? But then he pointed out amongst our friends, where any time where that’s happened.

The man felt emasculated.

The relationships failed. Not every time there’s there’s 1 or 2 where it’s worked. And so in a way, I had to sort of change my mind on it because I thought that was a really, really wrong thing to say and wrong thing to feel. But you’re right, the man does feel emasculated by that. And so the woman in that situation has to do something to make up for that. Yeah, it’s.

What do you think, Ella?

For now.

I so I remember again being slightly. The older, the sort of early 80s. And I remember the communities were very, very different because if women worked, it was part time and they would be at home with the children, doing the shopping, doing the cleaning. On the whole, generally, and the husband was the main provider and the women had a community of women and the husband would go to the pub or go and play snooker or go to the football. And it was a very clearly defined role. And there’s nothing wrong, in my opinion, of women. I am one of those women that is a go getter, wants to earn my own money, wants to provide for myself. I think that’s partly a survival thing as well, needing to feel in control. But you are right. There are men that would feel emasculated by that because primitively going back to the primitive brain, men are designed to be the hunter gatherers, women.

Were the hunters. The man, the gatherer is the woman. The woman, Yes. Sort of that predisposition.

And there’s a really good book which is called and I can’t remember the author’s name, which is really awful, but it’s called Sex at Dawn.

Yeah. Yeah. Chris Ryan. Yes. Great book. Yeah, it’s.

A very good book. And it talks about how, you know, sex has changed over the years. So it goes from hunter time, primitive times, and then it looks at how agriculture changed things because money was coming into play. And then it looked at Victorian times and polyamory, you know, monogamy now and all the different aspects of sex. And actually reading that book, it’s really interesting because it reminds you of the biological differences between men and women. Again, we’re talking about men and women, not non-binary and trans, but the gender difference is there. And the drives there’s about 100 men, I think at least 100 gender differences in the brain between a man and a woman. On average, men have seven times more grey matter, which makes them very, very focussed and tunnel visioned. Women have generally ten times more white matter in the brain, which then links to all the other processing areas, which means we’re better at multitasking.

Although millennials don’t accept that men and women are different. I mean, we had.

Millennials as Gen Z, mainly Gen Z, we.

Had Shivani here, and Shivani is a very ambitious podcast. And if you’ve come across. Yes. The I asked the question, I said, Look, both of you are very ambitious women. How do you think having kids is going to affect that? And her answer was, Well, why are you asking me? Why isn’t it why isn’t it the man that that is going to get affected by it? And my my initial thought was clearly someone who’s never had a child. Yeah. So it does change things because it changes it for the woman more than it changes it for the man.

If it depends on which point actually.

On the radar, I know it.

Depends on which point. So I’ve got a daughter, she’s 15, and at the time that I had her, I was in the beginnings of, you know, building my practice and, you know, doing all sorts of things and becoming solely self-employed. And, you know, it was definitely a different experience for me than it would have been for a guy who wanted to do that, because I wanted wanted to spend as much time with her as possible. And and I don’t know if I would have known that until I had her. But that didn’t stop my ambition. It just gave me more obstacles, I guess, to work around. So I think the reason that it’s still important to have that conversation is because there are clear biological, physiological brain differences. And if we ignore that and we don’t have the conversation, then I think men actually feel a little bit uncomfortable and confused about what they can and can’t say. And I think actually it’s really important.

I think society, I think we’re all uncomfortable, but we can and can’t say and we’re ignoring that we are dealing with like physiology. It’s like you can be in, say, and do whatever you please. But we’re biological beings and we’re all different from person to person. I think people are just trying to ignore that completely. Yeah.

I think that people want to have it all these days, and for a woman to have it all these days means I want to have children and have a career and this and yeah, and maybe we have to have this conversation about you can’t have it all. Well, I will. Well, listen, if I was doing it, I want to I want to backpack across South East Asia and I want to have a business here. Yeah. That the two things can’t happen at the same time. Yeah. Oh, I want to have it all. I want to. I’ll figure it out. I’ll get zoom in Thailand and all that. Oh, but I also want to be in Vegas partying with my buddies, and I want to.

Of course, 12.

Year old children. You can’t have everything. But you know what?

You know, I’ve also on top of LR, I had a fantastic life coach and she said to me that acceptance is a really great way to heal. Because what you’re saying is, is that when you commit to a long term relationship, you can grieve not being single, you can grieve, not being able to be with other partners or have those desires that you can’t fulfil and grieving it is okay. And it’s that’s part of letting go. So instead of trying to sort of suppress it or fulfil it, you just grieve it and it’s okay because everything life is nuanced and because you can’t achieve all those things in conjunction with each other. When you let go of one part, you’re like, And that’s with anything. Because when I do have a child, if I do, my career is going to be on the back burner for a bit. Naturally it will, like you said, biologically time, etcetera. And that’s okay. And I can grieve that for a little bit, but I can accept that something new has come into my life, you know, and like you said, people want to have it all. And that’s why as well, I believe that, you know, people want to be in a relationship, but they want to cheat at the same time because they want to have both of those experiences, you know, And it’s like, well, you got to make choices. Essentially. We have been speaking for ages, but I’ve still got some kind of more Dental stuff to go through with you. So as you know, as we said, dentistry has one of the highest suicide rates. We’ve got very ambitious professionals that put a lot of pressure on themselves and feel extremely isolated. What do you think? Some of the simple things they can do, some simple tools they can do on a daily or weekly basis to help themselves, particularly if they’re suffering in silence?

So I always talk about tiny chunks of change. We can’t be we have to manage expectations not only of ourselves, but each other as well. So if you’re looking at some coping mechanisms or ways that you can implement change in your life, you almost need to apply habits within habits because it’s too much for someone who’s a dentist that’s very, very busy, that’s got family, that’s got, you know, whatever going on to do too much all at once. The first thing is always seek out a support system, even if it’s not people that are within your family or your friendship group. There’s loads of different ways. You’ve mentioned that you’ve had a coach. You’ve also got psychotherapist. You’ve reached out to Sunny. I think really making the choice to prioritise yourself is the first important choice. Now, no one thinks twice about getting a pet or a gym membership and looking after their fitness. It’s normal. Everyone does it. There’s no shame in it. And most people will at some point do some exercise. So we need to just look at exercise as broad as we can and look at exercise in the brain as well. So habits and habits are really good. So, for example, if you feel burnt out, it’s about planning. You can’t if you if you’re burnt out now, you’re burnt out now what are we going to do about it? How are we going to manage that? We can’t do too much to change it now except for take some time out, you know, go for mindful walks, do those kind of things.

But actually it’s just planning ahead. Sure, you have to be reflective. That’s a really important tool. If you’re going through something and you feel constantly anxious, constantly stressed, angry, tired, fatigued, aches and pains, you have to be reflective and write down all those symptoms. I’ve got headaches. I’ve got gut issues. I’m tired. I’m getting angry at the kids, write them down. And then you need to say, Well, what can I do about each one of these? This is where we talk about habits and habits. So for a lot of people that are angry or anxious, they are probably in dysregulation a lot of the time. Their vagus nerve, which I mentioned earlier, which is that main cranial nerve out of the 12 that links to the gut, is probably lacking in tone because it’s been overused, because you’ve been stressed for so long. So vagal toning exercise is really important and there are lots of little ways that you can tone. One is breathing exercises. So breath work, even if it’s five minutes a day, it’s about creating a routine.

So five minutes a day of breathwork, but also cold showers. Everyone shudders, plunges the plunges. But you know what? It’s not realistic to do that for most people every day. So I always say at the end of your shower for the last two minutes of the shower, turn the temperature down by 30s and then 30s a bit colder. 30s a bit colder. Finish on cold water for 30s Then you build that 30s up to a minute to two minutes and eventually maybe five. You can do that every day if you want to. Most people will say No, thank you, but it’s very, very good for toning the vagus nerve, which means that your body is able to get back into balance quicker when you are dysregulated. Breathwork is the same thing. The vagal nerve runs. On the side of your throat. So breathwork humming anything like gargling water strengthens the vagal nerve. So after you’ve brushed your teeth. Glass of water, gargle for a couple of minutes. You know, breathwork at the end of the cold shower for five minutes. Box breathing is the easiest one to start with. Breathe in through the nose for four seconds. Hold for four seconds. Breathe out for four seconds. So you could basically do 3 or 4.

Out through the mouth or out through the nose as well.

If you can do it through the nose and out through the nose, that’s probably better. But if you can’t do that yet because you’re a bit congested, you’ve got hay fever or whatever through the nose, just start somewhere. And this is something I say to a lot of people. They’ll go, But actually I’ve been told that you should do 15 minutes of breathwork. You should go for a run every day. You should go into the cold plunge, four minutes for four minutes and actually people won’t do it. It’s not realistic. So when we’re setting habits or goals, they have to be smart goals, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed. And we have to start off with bite size chunks. You know, if you don’t have a lot of green space, get plants in your office or in your house so that you are surrounded by the nice oxygen that the plants provide and that you’re getting that visual of the green space. Try and stand outside for five minutes a day and just get the fresh air. There’s so many tiny chunks that you can bring into your day that once you start, you might find that two of those work brilliantly for you. The rest are a load of rubbish, but they’re the ones that you then focus on to start really practising exercising the brain and exercising the nervous system in the best way so that you can strengthen the vagus nerve and you can bring yourself back into homeostasis.

The other thing that I wanted to ask you is and I know Payman would agree, is that as dentists, we tend to catastrophize things a lot. So as we said, if there’s a disgruntled patient because I think it’s what under the wrath of so many governing bodies, it’s the same in your profession. Yeah. So because of that, we go into catastrophe. We’re like, I can’t my life is over. My career is over. And I think that’s what often makes people lead to those decisions like suicide. So when someone’s experiencing what they consider to be a catastrophic event, but they can’t share it with the public or even their colleagues because there’s so much shame. A patient’s suing me. A patient’s this, a patient’s that. There’s a lot of shame, I think are still around that they don’t want to talk about it. They don’t have a support system, so they’re internalising it. What would be your advice?

I mean, always reach out to a professional in that situation. If you know your catastrophizing and you think this is really, really grabbing a hold of me, I’m really struggling every single day. I’m nervous. I can feel like my chest is tight, My stomach’s whirring all the time. Really. It’s reaching out to a professional. That’s the first step. But if you’re not ready to do that, I know everyone’s going to go, Oh, boring. But writing it down on a piece of paper and actually applying evidence to those thoughts, what’s the evidence that this worst case scenario is going to happen? Because nine times out of ten, what you worry about does not happen. You know, I mean, that’s not actually a statistic, by the way. Nine times out of ten, that’s just a turn of phrase. But most often what you worry about won’t happen. And when it does, you actually cope with it far better than what you thought you would, because the catastrophizing is just that it’s blowing it out of proportion. So first of all, recognising, oh, I am catastrophizing, okay, I should reach out for professional help. I’m perhaps not ready yet. I’m a bit nervous. I don’t know how I’m even going to begin to do that. How do I find the right person? Write it down and actually online. If you wrote in free worksheets PDFs for catastrophizing, Google will show you loads of free PDFs. You can just download, you know, and you could save them to a little digital folder and you could easily start using those templates. It’s a good place to start, but after that, if you really still feel very dysregulated, if you can’t sleep at night, I do think reaching out for professional help in a real crisis, obviously someone like the Samaritans or other crisis lines, if you really don’t have that ability to wait and you’re in a complete crisis, you know, in terms of suicide, the problem is with suicide.

When people plan to take their own lives, they actually feel relieved and quite happy because they they know they’re getting out of something that feels impossible. So they’re often not in crisis at the time they’ve decided they’re going to take their life. It’s before that. So I think as dentists, what you’re doing here is quite phenomenal because it’s about opening up the conversation with your team members. You know, if you have a clinic, I think dentists that do run clinics need to be much more forward thinking in being role models, which is why I love what you do. Being a role model for the people that work in your clinic and for other people in the industry. Because like CEOs and leaders, if you’re not being the role model, how do you expect anybody else to look after themselves? You have to model that behaviour that’s so important. If you were at the top in any business, you have to be the role model. That’s where it starts. And then I say to people all the time when I’m helping them with business or whatever, if you don’t know what to do beyond that, get a consultant in that. Someone who’s specialises in wellbeing, wellness and bring some structures into the business. But if you’re not modelling it, it’s pointless. It’s a waste of time. You have to be the role model.

And sometimes anxiety and depression manifests as those physical symptoms that you’re talking about. But sometimes am I right in saying sometimes it manifests a sort of numbness?

Yes, flight. That’s fight. Flight, freeze. Yeah. So when you’re in freeze, the feeling of numbness can be almost deafening, you know, if nothing matters.

And I’ve been I’ve certainly been in times of that, you know, weeks of that in my life. But in a dental practice, the thing that does your head in sometimes is, you know, is this all there is? You know, you’re in this room and your impact is on, you know, you can count impact however you like it, right? You can count your impact on one human If you if you changed one person’s outlook, you can say, well, that’s amazing. Or you can you can count it in a sort of negative way. You can say that my impact is on Kensington. Yeah, Yeah. You’re aware of your practices within a three mile radius of your practice, and almost this feeling of, you know, is that all I’ve did? Because a lot of times dentistry, especially in rowena’s generation, they they to get in is a nightmare. Yes. In my day wasn’t so hard. But as the younger the youngest dentists are, it’s super hard to get in. And so there are these super ambitious people who from when they were 12 years old or 13 years old, started studying and doing the right sciences, getting into the dental school. Dental school itself is a massive trauma for most people because the first time you’re treating a patient, but they.

Do this thing as well. And I think this is where education needs to change.

Like education is all wrong.

Yeah, but the thing is, is that you remember in dental school, so what they do is they say you have to be so academic to get in. So you get this pool of people at 50 really academic people and they make the assignments so hard and they’re like, No, no, no, but you just need to get a C and you just need to pass. You’ve got it’s really it’s quite traumatic. Again, another little, little trauma. You’ve gone from being an A student doing really well and they’re telling you that even though you’re working even harder in dental school, you’re just going to get by because that’s what you’ve got to aim to do. Do you know what I mean? It was just a weird psychology.

I was a C grade guy generally. Oh, were you? Yeah. So but then but then. Okay, you’ve been through all of that. You’ve been through dental school, now you’ve become a dentist. You know nothing now then you start practising and learning going on courses. You might even own a practice. Then you’re sitting there in this room thinking, Well, is this all it was?

So it’s the anti-climax.

Well, some people like Rhona, she’s fed by relationships, so a patient will come in and just the conversation will feed her. But there’s loads of dentists who aren’t that way inclined, you know.

And they’re very scientific.

Very scientific.

Actually. They love. They love the stuff that’s like, tell me about like the molecules.

You know, almost the patient interaction for them. Hate it in the way, you know, they’re just fitting stuff on teeth.

So if that’s the case, I suppose everyone’s got a purpose. What would be the purpose, do you think, as dentists of the more scientific dentists, what’s their purpose? What gets them problem solving?

Right. That that’s one side of it and the other side of teaching. But the other side of it is the actual work, you know, the actual DIY. They want to take.

That like they want to take the patient is in like the personality, the head. They literally just want to take the teeth out of the body and just deal with the teeth. Do you see what I mean? So like the operative side without dealing with anything else, do you see what I mean?

Yeah, that’s interesting. So that again, that’s quite varied because of all the different personalities that you find within the industry. And does that do you find that that causes problems because it’s.

Not each one of them has its own kind of problems, you know. So I haven’t practised for 12 years now, but, but the thing I miss is the people. Yeah, I don’t miss the teeth, but I’m sure someone else I know plenty of dentists who love the drilling part, but. But this issue of is this all there is? You know, that did my head in the most about being a dentist.

What back then?

Back then. That’s why I started Enlighten. You know, the idea of this was this what it was all about?

You know, I think it’s so fulfilling and I think there’s such job satisfaction. It’s really interesting because I’m going back to the refugee camp. So every. Every year. Festivals back to Lesvos for the Greek and I’m working with the refugees. I’m going with my friend Chrissy. And it was really interesting because recently I found myself putting myself down thinking like, Is this all you are? A dentist? Particularly because I’ve had to fight really hard for media space and convince journalists in the media that we are worthy. Because you have to remember Payman you saw my journey. I was one of the first dentists that really pushed positivity in media for dentistry, you know, because I think, again, remember like ten, 15 years ago, it was like this dentist did this, this dentist botched. And again, it was society against us. And I really changed the narrative. That’s what really I mean, I literally knocked on the door of the Daily Mail until they would hear me out anyway, compare and despair space. I started comparing myself, as, you know, to my friends online that had social media success that was much more than mine. So I felt somewhat like a failure because I was like, Well, they’ve created these amazing companies and non dentists. Sorry, non dentist, non dentists, Correct. And the interesting thing is when I went to when we were talking to the guy at Lesvos who I’d met before, I was bringing on to the Lesvos camp, non dentists. And then it was like he doesn’t have social media. So he was like, But what skills, what’s their skills, but what’s the skill? And he was like, Well, you’re going to be treating this patient. I’m bringing Doctor Aaron, my colleague, You’re going to do this, you’re going to do this. And he’s like, But what’s the skill? And then I suddenly thought about it and I thought, We have a skill. Yeah, like, that’s quite incredible. All of us have worked seven years and more with CPD and we have a skill and that’s something not everybody has. And people have created an incredible online presence. Instagram dies, their business dies.

Yes, that’s so true.

Businesses don’t die, Do you know what I mean? Of course.

Plenty of dentists love their job. Plenty. Do you know? Plenty do. Of course.

So? So, with all that being said, because it is a skill and we all need dentists. Is that simple? Not everybody goes to the dentist because people don’t prioritise dental health, but we do need it. And and you talked about that sort of very clinical space and sort of sitting in the room going, what is is this all there is? So we mentioned before we started recording as well the perfectionism within dentistry and how that could possibly be a bit of an impact as well as some of the litigation stuff and complaints and people not being particularly happy about having to go to the dentist. But yeah, I mean, how does that impact from from your personal experience, those things? How does that impact perfectionism?

I mean, yeah, people will stress about things that.

I stress about it all the time. And the thing is, is that naturally I’ve employed in my own clinic because I want my patients kept to be the best. I have employed some ridiculously incredible dentists and actually I get fear of judgement from them because I almost feel like I’m not as good as some of the clinicians. And the funny thing is, I have a different skill. I bring the patients into the clinic, the patients come to the clinic because of me, and those dentists rely on me for the internal referrals and they love working in my practice because as Payman knows, not everyone builds a multi specialist cosmetic practice. Yeah, without Google ads, without any of that, literally just through my social media. But then I get that imposter syndrome because I’m like, Oh, but I’m not as good clinically as them. And you know, my clinical works. It’s okay, it’s good, but it’s not like that level. If you have a trained.

Always someone better.

Totally. But I think yeah.

And you know, talking about perfection Dipesh. Yeah.

He’s ridiculous. He’s like the 1%.

He’s very, very good. But he gets depressed about some, some dentist in Brazil who did something. He does. He does. He wants to be the best in the world, you know, So for him, one guy on the other side of the planet is better than him.

Why does he want to be the best? That’s really interesting. And because that seems to be a common theme.

Well, yeah, because it all fails is the thing. You know, the sort of the dirty secret of dentistry is that when when when you get something.

Done, it doesn’t last a lifetime, which patients don’t get.

It doesn’t last. And sometimes it’s a millimetre thing. I mean, one millimetre is a long a big thing in dentistry. It’s huge. It’s got to be your margins are much smaller than one millimetre. Yeah. And so, you know, you’ve got to constantly worry that that thing you did is never perfect. It’s always some form of compromise. And when is it going to fail and and how is it going to fail?

So you’re always expecting the complaint.

Not necessarily complaint.

Complaint, but a.

Failure. A failure. It’s going to it’s going to stop working at some point. And you’re doing everything you can to make it last as long as possible.

But isn’t that a bit like a mechanic as well? You know, because obviously with cars you can fix it and then six months later, but the.

Car doesn’t matter as much as someone’s, you know, someone’s.

Well, I disagree with you. I think it’s all about value. Right. It’s about value again, because you say a car doesn’t matter. And, you know, like famously like coachman and Miguel Stanley will be like, well, actually, I am going to charge this amount for teeth in the mouth because if people are willing to pay that much for a Tesla, they can pay that much for their mouth because their mouth is that it’s the value, right. And I was having, again, a discussion online, as you know, I post a lot of stuff about treatments abroad and everything like that. I keep stipulating that there’s dentists like amazing dentists all over the world. Gallup Gazelle is a Turkish dentist who is incredible. And someone said online, Oh, my sister is a technician. And she said that the UK can charge as much as Turkey, but they just don’t want to. As little as Huh.

As little as.

Turkey. Yeah, she said sorry, as little as she goes because they just don’t want to. They just the dentists are just greedy. And this was in response to a case that my patient had posted. So you saw she went abroad. She got a life threatening infection because of the work that was done. It took us 60 hours of clinical time to fix it. Five specialists, lab work, which was over £10,000, etcetera. And I turned to her and I said, Well, it’s all about value because she was and she was like she said, the materials themselves don’t cost that much because her sister’s a technician. I said, Yeah, well you can buy a dress from Primark and you can buy a dress from John Lewis. Same material. But you’re not just paying for the material, you’re paying for all the other stuff. And it’s the value around that. Yeah. So I think that’s the thing to, to realise. And sometimes dentists feel the value sort of issue. Should I be charging this much? Do you see what I mean? I think that’s it.

It’s a UK thing too. I mean you must, you must have it in your field too, right? Yeah.

In the in the US they’ll happily pay for psychotherapy. Yeah.

I’ve got, I’ve got a cousin in the US who drives a helicopter, he’s a dentist. He’s like and, and his patients are really happy.

That he’s driving, that.

He’s driving a helicopter. Yes. Yeah. Whereas here it’s, it would be seen as a sort of greedy. Greedy. Yeah.

Yeah. And would you say with the mental health issues within dentistry, is it more within the NHS or more within or is there no real.

I’d say it’s both.

I’d say it’s both. I’d say because actually when people pay, they feel like they’ve got almost sort of more leeway to say to say something, let’s say. Right.

I’ve got one final question for you, though. I’m really interested in your Ted experience. Yes. How did it come about? And then do you do they make you, you know, like is it that flawless performances that you see on Ted? Is that something that ends up like do they make.


Not? I didn’t watch it all.

It’s funny. I mean, I, I try not to be flawless, actually, because I always try to promote Let’s be real about this. You know, you go on to do a Ted Talk and it feels like a big deal, so you’re going to be nervous. And I think I referenced at some point that my heart was jumping out of my chest, you know, because it was it was. And as I was talking about fear and phobias, I thought it was an appropriate time to say, by the way, I feel like I’m having a heart attack. But also on the night, there were some people that weren’t particularly prepared and they were using scripts, so they weren’t even talking to the audience. So I was where was it? It was in Northampton. So I was surprised that there wasn’t more preparation because I was prepared, but I wasn’t flawless. And it came about actually, I think I said to you off camera the I’d worked with a guy, no jokes, who had had a dental phobia. And he came to me many, many years ago. And then I continued to work with him in a business role, actually, in terms of leadership to help him get to CEO. And he knew the person that was organising the Ted Talk and he was just like, You have to have this girl. She. And he said, I never I won’t say his name. He said, I never tell anybody this, but she cured me of this dental phobia. I hate the word cure, but he used that word. But she’s phenomenal. She knows so much about the brain. She does this and she’s done all the leadership stuff with me.

I concur.

And so thank you so much. And so he put the good word in for me. So if it wasn’t for dental phobias, it would never have happened.

There we go. We’ve done a full circle.

I actually want to end on something else. I always ask my guests the question that’s going to throw them off a little bit. So with all the work that you’ve done now, what is still your greatest fear, if you’ve had any?

That’s a very good question. I think the greatest fear is probably a bit like you were saying, there’s a little bit of imposter syndrome. Is am I actually doing this properly? You know what? If I’m not doing this properly, what if I’m not actually doing what I set out to do? Because I said to you at the beginning of this, I always wanted to be the person that I needed. And what if I’m failing at that? And I’ve got to be I’ve got to be that person. So it’s.


It is a massive responsibility. So the fear is, is am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing here? Now people give you lovely. Feedback. And I don’t know about you and I don’t know about you, but when someone says something nice to me, a little part of me still goes. Yeah, but you’re just saying that.

Yeah, 100% all the time.


But it keeps me grounded and humble and driven to be the best version of myself.

I’m quite interested in, you know, the thank you, the really proper from the heart. Thank you. That a patient sometimes gives you as a dentist. I missed that one so much. That’s one of the things I miss so much about being a dentist. Well, that’s the thing that makes no sense at all. That one. Thank you can make your day, but it’s about. It’s actually makes your day.

It’s about that job satisfaction, you know, It is about that job satisfaction. It’s about knowing that you and that’s, again, a proven thing. You know, it has been proven that if you do something and your professional life, which makes a difference to someone else’s life, it makes you happier as a human being. That is why people in finance, no matter how much money they earn, sure there’s exceptions. Find those jobs so soul destroying because there’s not that one on one help. You do not feel like you’re making a difference in the world.


I mean, dentists do help massively with pain. How confidence, how you feel about yourself when you smile. And also if you if you’ve got a good relationship with the dentist. I think that’s like a good relationship with anybody. It makes a difference to your day if you look forward to going to the dentist because the dentist is a friendly, smiley person, that does make a difference and that can be the purpose, isn’t it? Is making a difference. Doesn’t matter what your profession is, you can be a binman and actually make a big.

Difference hundred percent.

If you’re passionate about.

Your job. Yeah.

I have the best cleaner. He just comes in smiling and I just think like, I’d hate to clean that clinic, you know, just because it was the loveliest person and it makes.

Oh, you know, billionaires who are sad and you must have patience. Yeah. And then people, people in debt who are happy, it’s.

Like, Yeah, exactly.

Yeah. I’m going to ask you one more question you don’t need to answer If you don’t want to, I’ll answer anything. Oh, on our other podcast, we try and do a version of Blackbox thinking, Okay, do you know? Yeah. So? So mistakes. Yeah. And often dentists don’t don’t discuss their mistakes and we don’t learn from each other’s mistakes because everyone hides them. Because. Yeah. When have you made a mistake with a patient? What comes to mind?

Hmm. That’s a very good question. When have I made a mistake? I think sometimes it’s boundaries, actually. Um. Not so much now. I went through a transition, actually, of. Of trying to become the therapist that I am today. With all the fear of not being too open, you know, being that blank canvas for the patient, the client. And so there was times where when you’re practising like being warm and open and vulnerable, where perhaps you give the wrong signals. And there was this one time this was a mistake, and I didn’t know it was a mistake at the time, but I was wearing a shirt. It wasn’t low cut or anything, but I had an itch on my shoulder and I so I was rubbing my shoulder and I must have stayed with my hand inside the shirt for some time, just on my shoulder. I wasn’t picking up on the signals from this guy that he obviously thought it was flirtatious. And he messaged me to say, you know, I’m reading the signals here. And, you know, I could see that you were sort of flirting with me. And I was like, what? I was scratching my shoulder and I just left it there. But. Okay. And I had to explain. No, no, no. I’ve obviously completely misread the room here because I was literally just scratching my shoulder. But, you know, that was very uncomfortable. So making sure that you’re really aware of boundaries and even those body language things is really important. So reading people, but you learn that as you you go through any profession and as you’re trying to transition from this type of therapist to this warm, open, vulnerable therapist that tells their story, that becomes more of a not a friend because it’s not friends, but it’s more of a friendly therapist than it is a clinical therapist approach. There’s the mistakes mainly there with boundaries, never anything too serious, but it can have serious ramifications if someone doesn’t understand boundaries. So that’s something that takes a lot of practice.

Business people are feeling so vulnerable that the smallest thing can become gigantic.

Yeah, Yeah. And you do have to be aware.

It is the same with people. Feel vulnerable down there.

100%. Yeah.

Oh my. I mean, if I want for another podcast, I will have to go on to some of my social media stalkers. They’ve rocked up to the clinic as well. And yeah. Wow, that’s another story. Anyways, thank you so much, Ella. It’s been incredible. Absolutely loved having you. I think this has been our longest podcast to date. You know, we’ve been chatting so much, but you are wonderful and I’m sure lots of people find this so insightful. You can find Ella online. She has loads of publications, a website, and of course, her own channels. So thank you again.

Thank you so much.

To find you.

I would say if you’re looking at social media, it’s at Ella McCrystal on Instagram and then Ella on my website.

Thank you.

Thank you so much. Thank you.

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