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Anna Yusim works with patients in the space between medical science and spirituality. During her training at Yale Medical School, Anna experienced what she calls “a dark night of the soul.” Realizing her education and training didn’t give her the healing tools she needed to get to a healthier place, she walked away from a psychiatry residency to travel to ashrams in India and work with shamans in South America and South Africa. She was then able to initiate her own healing and integrate what she learned with the treatment protocols she was using with her own patients.
Happy Life: Spirituality Meets Psychology
Anna believes that psychological issues result from the disconnection from the soul or from our authenticity. Through hospice and addiction treatment, spiritually-based care has been shown to work in the medical world, although the “how” is still unknown.
After doing both a medical and a spiritual evaluation of her patients, Anna approaches treatment with what she refers to as a two-tiered approach to patient care. First, medication is applied where there is a need for a fast and/or thorough solution and a number of other approaches have been tried. The second tier is spirituality, when she works with the patient to find something greater than themselves and recognize they are not alone in the world.
Placebo vs Nocebo
In studies, psychological drugs have been proven to barely outperform placebo. This shows us the power of the mind to heal itself. The nocebo effect has been proven to be just as powerful, with drug after drug not working for people who believe nothing will help them.
Anna has some fascinating ideas around consciousness, where it resides and how to tap into it. Tune in to hear her techniques for harnessing personal power and her explanation of how coincidences occur in our lives.
– Hey, welcome back. Pedran Shojai, the Urban Monk, hanging out in studio before eight day vacation. Yeah this guy gets to go on vacation, that’s kinda nice, I’m gonna head off to a ranch with a friend of mine, and a few families and with the kids just like rolling around the river, and get dirty and do what kids are supposed to do. Which is be out in nature so, I’m super excited about it, I got one solid day in studio. Was working with Mark Halman and his crew this morning for his docuseries coming in and Juju Virgin was here and now I had the privilege of being on my set with my guests for a couple of stories that I want to share with you before I cut out and left town. We have a lot of conversation happening around our campfire around science and spirituality and how those things come together. We live in a very interesting era. It used to be do as I say, say as I do, I’m the master, this is how we’ve done it for years, just shut up and do it. Why, and that traditional, kind of lineage older path has worked for me, but for a lot, it has not worked out so well and we’ve kind of entered a new era. And then we’re in the era of what do belief do we know and quantum physics can answer everything and kind of went a little bit further on pendulum swing that was made to woowoo, tryna spiritualize quantum physics and somewhere in the middle is this really interesting space where medical science is really starting to find, spiritual states and really understand spirituality and really find a sweet spot for where it’s been missing in our lives. And so my guest today Anna Yusim, has been working with patients in this capacity for a long time. Doctor from Yale, knows her stuff, has been working really in a counseling setting but bringing these conversations in and really finding a science of spirituality that’s helping people and using kinda data driven stuff to make these decisions so it’s like the best of the woowoo put together in a way that can really help people. So I love this conversation and I’m happy to be here, Anna welcome to the show.
– Thank you so much Pedran, it’s a pleasure to be here.
– Okay so how did you start looking at spirituality when you were working in your clinical practice? Where did spirituality come in.
– Okay so, spirituality actually came into my life during my medical training. And it came in more as part of my personal journey. I did my training at Stanford University for Undergrad, Yale Medical School and I was doing everything that you’re supposed to do to become a doctor. And then my own life hit a little bump in the road. I encountered my own dark night at the cell and I was looking to all of my healing tools that I had under my belt and that I had accumulated over all these years. But I found them somehow lacking in some way. And that’s what started me on the quest to really look, okay here is the limitations of what I’ve learned. I am, doing my psychology residency, so why can’t I heal myself? And that took me to Ashrams in India and working with Shamen in South America and South Africa and starting to study Kabalah and starting to really understand more about the concept of soul and in there I found my own healing and eventually integrated it into my book of patients.
– Good for you. One of the biggest challenges I saw with the medical model when I was pre-med at UCLA was, it was one of those meat grinders where it’s just like, you take these well intentioned people that wanna help the world and you put em through one of the most obnoxious routines known to humanity and keep em up for days on end and then basically take away the one thing that they’re supposed to represent which is health and then have them resent their patients when their patients come in and talk about their vacations and stuff. And so you actually were able to press pause on that and go learn how to take care of yourself which is actually kind of rare in the medical profession because most people just suck it up and work through it and then basically are, somewhat broken on the other side and then hopefully on the other side of retirement, golf it off. But that obviously, we know that doesn’t work.
– Absolutely, and I guess I got lucky, I broke early and I was forced to have to find this, I didn’t get to the point where I burned out or, you know, physician burnout is such an issue. And it happened earlier on in my life where I wasn’t forced to, okay, this isn’t working so what is? You know, you both can fall or you have to find another way that works so, but absolutely.
– Yes so psychiatry, I mean that’s a whole thing right. Psychiatry uses pharmacological agents predominantly, most psychiatrists I know are dispensing drugs, not spending as much time in counseling or you know are just kind of, in the rat race of the medical model. So how do you bring Shamanistic qualities and Kabalah and all these things into a psychiatric practice? Is it a lot of counseling, is it a lot of homework, how does it work?
– Yeah, absolutely and so if you know, the first thing that we talked about is the role of medications in all this. Because medications is a part of the psychiatric profession and there are indeed psychiatrists who prescribe predominantly medications. In my practice, about 50% of the patients I treat are on medications. Which is a fairly low percentage for a psychiatrist. And the rest of my patients, it’s only therapy. And it’s really interesting because for some people medications I feel are a lifeline without which sure they could have gotten to where they needed to get to, but it would have been much much more difficult and it would have taken much longer time and in order to avoid pain and suffering in some ways, the medications help them. But they’re only the first step because the things that medication is, they just treat the symptoms, they don’t treat the root cause of the problem. And that’s why I think my approach is unique in that I believe in general that the majority of symptoms that people come to me with are being disconnected from your soul in some way and it’s in that disconnection that the void is created and that the problems lie. And part of our work is to help people reconnect.
– Holy shit, that’s like medical blasphemy right there, you’re talking about souls.
– Yeah, you’re talking about souls, that’s like you’re a witch. Well like, that is such like a departure from more traditional psychology and it’s kind of mechanistic, psychiatry and it’s mechanistic understanding of certain types of disorders and obviously this is a seratonine issue and there’s re-uptake this and all that. When you start talking about this other dimension of soul, do you get like a deer in headlights reaction at first from people and or are they just like oh, how refreshing please. Like how does that work in your practice?
– Honestly and it’s very much There are some people with the idea of soul, they’re not interested, it’s not the way they think about things, but even often that is semantics because soul is really about connecting to your authenticity and if the word soul doesn’t resonate, the word authenticity general does. And it’s actually interesting, a lot of patients they come in, even though it was never advertised that I had this spiritual interest or approach. They really really wanted and needed that spiritual dimension which I only followed as I was working with them for some time.
– Hmmm, so what is the science is this. So, anyone can say, go to a Shaman and get yourself buried and extract your so and so or whatever and these are all tried, I’m not trying to be flippant, these are all tried and true lineages. As long as you’re not working with a monkey right, that have been working for thousands of years. How does this get incorporated into a psychiatric practice.
– Right, and what’s the evidence base for this. And this is something that’s interesting. Like where is virtually base scale, where’s the majority of the evidence. It’s in two parts of medicine or it’s number one addiction and number two hospice care. Those are two parts of medicine, where the standard medical treatment is primarily a spiritual based approach. Hospice care incorporating the spiritual dimension as people pass on and transition and then AA and other models being really spiritually based models even though there are now more agnostic AA and things like that as well. The rest of medicine is really catching up but more and more studies are being done to validate and incorporate the importance of spirituality in healing.
– So AA and this 12 step program is using a foundation of a higher power and all the narrative that AA has worked with and all the spinoffs of AA. So we have learned from this that basically, we don’t know what it’s doing but we’ve learned from this that it’s efficacious, is that what I’m hearing.
– That’s exactly it. Like what’s the mechanism through which spirituality works? It’s interesting, what’s the mechanism through which a lot of medicines work. Even though maybe there is a little bit more known, a lot of it really is unknown. It’s just seemed that cause and effect that often may work. And so would spirituality. It’s actually quite controversial, there’s a lot of studies going back and forth. Thestudies et cetera but certainly there’s something that seems to really be there and people who have a spiritual connection, it helps them to heal. Some people even have miraculous recoveries. And we know then there’s the placebo effect, the power of the mind in creating treatment. So much of the medicinal effect truly is the placebo effect, it’s a very real effect.
– So a lot of the research on pharmacological agents that I’d seen showed them barely eeking over placebo and that’s when they factored out poor placebo responders. Basically they want someone who basically confirms that, they don’t believe in anything, they don’t believe anything is going to help them and they put those people into the studies and still placebo and some of these drugs are kinda almost on par, the drugs barely out perform placebo. So everyone talks about where, about placebo, let’s talk about placebo. How does one leverage that for their own personal gain in a way that’s actually going to move the needle.
– Yeah, I mean, for my patients they often ask is this a real effect, is this placebo and I say you know what, placebo is ar real effect. It actually leads to healing. People get better. Placebo effect is a part of every single medication mechanism and so it’s not something that we discount but what it actually shows us is the power of our mind to heal ourselves and then there’s placebo’s evil twin the nocebo effect. Which is the opposite, which manifests in a practice where, no matter what medication you’re giving the patient, nothing ever works, and often that patient will come in with side effects that are, the strangest side effects that really aren’t written on any other labels. And often just like the placebo effect is this belief that you’re being given something and then there’s an intention of healing, you’re intending to heal. The nocebo effect is often from a deeper held unconscious belief that somehow, nothing’s ever gonna heal you or the world is gonna hurt you, you’re gonna be hurt by the world. And so that’s projected onto a medication and these are the people for whom no medication ever works or it will work for a little bit and then stop working, or it will work but then suddenly the side effects. Over and over and over, no matter what medication will become too much.
– So where is the research on capacitating placebo and flattening nocebo. I mean is it the hypnotherapist, who the hell is working on these kind of core belief systems and how to manage them in a way. I guess there’s a whole personal development industry that’s spun out of this right. But in the medical world, is there anyone really looking at how to use evidence based approaches to gaining placebo and bringing down nocebo.
– I think again, that that’s a great question and I think one of the people who’s really devoted a lot of her career to this is Lissa Rankin who wrote Mind Over Medicine, which really was about placebo and nocebo and looked at the way in which our minds and other parts of healing, that weren’t just medicinal and hospital based are involved.
– Yeah, yeah, she’s done some great work in that space. It just seems like that is a challenging space because there is nothing to patent, there is nothing to refill bottles on and so the financial model around placebo is really, it’s too free. It just doesn’t work.
– [Anna] The problem, exactly, right. If there’s nothing to market, what’s the point right, if the answer is too simple, it often gets overlooked but often some of the solutions to our biggest problems actually are quite simple.
– Yep, yeah and what’s funny is when you go in with complicated problems expecting complicated solution sets, never really thinking that maybe the solution set to a complicated problem is simplicity. It’s like I need the right cocktail of these 19 drugs to undo my mommy issues and maybe you just need to spend some more time with yourself and your daughter or whatever that is. So now if people come in, you’re in the New York Area, is your practice in the New York Area?
– [Anna] Exactly, Upper East Side Manhattan.
– Alright. So you’re in the belly of the beast. So you’ve got Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Atheists and all sorts of people coming at you. Do you have a roadmap for different trails up the mountain so that you can ride in on current belief systems and leverage what you’ve got with someone who has a kind of historical religious background.
– Absolutely right and so the very first thing whenever a patient comes is, in taking my full history with all their medical and psychological background and also taking a spiritual history. And that’s different for everybody. And I have plenty of patients who are atheists but it’s interesting, atheism does not make you a non-spiritual person. I have plenty of patients who are atheists but very very spiritual. And their spirituality comes from being connected to something greater, being out in nature, being at a state of flow, doing what they find meaningful, all those things that connect them to the deepest part of themselves and to the greater whole and so that’s very much a part of every valuation.
– Yeah, yeah. And that’s interesting because that’s not a conversation that’s welcome in most medical practices. It’s like you know what, don’t talk to me about this stuff, I can’t touch it. It’s too woowoo. And it’s the core of who we are, it’s the core of our identities, culturally for thousands of years. It’s how society was kind of held together and now that things have come unraveled, it’s like, I think it’s a baby bath water scenario so I’m glad you’re retrieving a lot of it and bringing it back. How do you leverage it now? So if someone comes in, let’s just say they have some bipolar disorder and they have some history of abuse and all these kinds of things, they probably started on medication, what would be the algorithm to really start shifting and turning this thing around into a methodology.
– Right and so it’s a two tier approach just like we said. The first is medical valuation where you employ all the traditional medical techniques. And if it is indeed something that requires medication then we help the patient, we choose the medication and sometimes it’s really a choice whether the patient wants to do medication or not. The only time I say to a patient you need a higher level of care being medication or to be hospitalized is with chronic suicidality or a suicidality that really, they have some intent or plan or their therapy alone is insufficient. But oftentimes, people have a choice, medication could be a faster solution for some people, perhaps a more thorough solution, if they’ve already tried so many things. But then there’s this other tier and that’s looking at all the psychological and spiritual factors. And part of looking also at the spiritual factors is recognizing that they’re not in this alone. Recognizing that there is something greater that could be a very important part of their healing if properly leveraged. And that’s what I also do with patients often in my own practice.
– But that’s the part that has really gone unspoken which is sad right. Is that kind of wholistic piece that needs to be leveraged. You know, grandma might have had spirituality, grandpa had a bad experience, there’s so many histories and narratives that have driven people away from religion and alienated them from spirituality and those two are not the same predominantly. Do you have a trans religious doctrine of spirituality that you kinda abide by that you could kinda pass muster with, with most people.
– Yeah, yeah. Rather thank god, and some people believe in god, you can say the universe. And the universe is god, the interconnectedness about things. Rather than saying god, you can say the light. It’s something that everyone can connect to and understand. But god for some people has a bad rep, it doesn’t work.
– Yep, yep. Yeah, god’s got a bad name out there with a lot of the noise that’s happening, there’s been a lot of people killing in the name of god which really crowds this space but look, the space in the heart, I mean, I was feeling a little dosy a while back at some thing in new Mexico and really pioneered the way the power of prayer work and really looking at what prayer does physiologically and it was compelling. Like there is a lot of very interesting results coming out of just using prayer for health. I mean is that part of the body at work that you’re drawing on here?
– Absolutely, right and I often will pray together with my patients. I’ll have patients pray for the people in their lives who they want to change, especially with couples. Like for instance, how that could be leveraged is often if a couple comes with issues, they want the other person to change in some way and vice versa. And first we could help them create an intention of what they see their greatest, their partner’s greatest potential as being. And really kind of open that space for them and helping to pray for the partner’s highest build to become, be able to be the biggest version of themselves. And this is not as a form of control, I want you to be this way. It’s actually being able to help their partner harness their own personal power and grow as a person and that also could be used for one’s own healing and one’s own growth.
– So how does that work for one’s, I mean look, it’s nice to be prayed for, which is great. Please everyone pray, pray for me, that’s just so wonderful, I’ll tell you, I’ll take it, I’ll take it.
– I will pray. No.
– Yes, thank you. But like the act of praying, that’s a really interesting kind of quantum space if you will. And you allowing yourself to bridge across and care for another and not doing something for you. So it’s like a selfless selfish act in a way.
– Right. And it’s an act that often with a patient, if a patient’s open to that ’cause certainly not everyone wants the doctor praying for them but sometimes, if it’s a part of a patient’s own lexicon, it’s something we do together. And it has intentionality, it has interconnectedness, it has something greater than both of us involved and it really leverages a healing capacity that I feel neither of us could tap into on our own. I feel like there is something greater which is why there’s miracles about healings all the time. People call it miracles but actually if you look around, they’re happening all the time to a lot of people.
– And quantifying it is the hard part. Trying to understand it is the hard part and because we can’t quantify the methodology or all these kind of stuff, it’s like well that mahamblag, like that just doesn’t work. But it’s been working for all of human history. And it’s kind of a core of how, it’s kept us like, for me, I always had a comfort in knowing that my crazy old grandma was always just sitting there praying for us. Right even when she had Alzheimer’s, she was just sitting there praying. Right and we’re like, oh it’s cool, someone’s got my back. Like thank you.
– Exactly and I actually know some atheists who say they’re atheists but they find comfort in the fact that some of their patients pray for them. Kind of their belief system is one way but there’s something just in case and that’s kind of this idea of Pascal’s wager right. So Blaise Pascal the 17th century mathematician basically said, the idea of belief is, if you believe and you’re right, you gain the world, you gain so much. If you believe and you’re wrong, nothing really changes so. It kind of rationally pays to believe so why not believe.
– So there are parts of the brain that are being triggered by some of these belief system. There seems to be some really interesting research coming out. Can we jump into some of that because it’s really interesting that people who believe are now accessing different parts of consciousness that are actually useful, and crossing that bridge is, it’s a leap of faith in a lot of ways but it works for us.
– Yeah oh absolutely and it’s really just amazing, I mean in my books have a chapter really on consciousness and what is consciousness and how does belief play into that. Some people believe it resides in the brain but actually new ideas about consciousness having to do more with quantum physics as opposed to Newtonian physics is that consciousness doesn’t reside in our brain. Our brain is just a filter for a much greater reality. Consciousness isn’t in here, it’s actually everywhere. And so, in a way what you’re talking about is actually using belief as a way of connecting to everything that is. Leveraging our consciousness to be connected to everybody and everything.
– What’s interesting is the conversation around metaphor and technology has always been fascinating to me. It’s like at Newton’s time everything worked like a clock. Everything waws gears and mechanical clocks and then, all of a sudden these metaphors came around like steam engines, and like the flow of all that and seems like our narrative around metaphor with technology has shifted to a point where you can now say, well think of it as like cloud computing. It’s in the cloud, it’s not located here, it’s located everywhere and we’ve created a technology kind of back drop to then be able to have a conversation about the internal state which wasn’t there before as now we’re starting to understand it.
– Yeah, absolutely this is, one of my chapters, on the chapter on consciousness built this idea of the field and then theway of playing and title the field and it’s this idea that consciousness doesn’t just reside in the brain just like I said but actually it’s something much greater and we as human beings can tap into that field, for creativity, for access to universal consciousness and often for healing. And there are some amazing examples of people throughout history. Like there was a mathematician, Roman Reugan who was a mathematician from India who only lived 33 years. But he was a self taught math prodigy and in his 33 years, having no formal education, he was able to deduce and write 3900 mathematical formulas and he saw this information come to him as scrolls which he thought were, the thoughts of God. And he eventually was discovered by British Mathematician GH Hardy, taken to Great Britain and given a formal education but this is something he’s considered the most innately brilliant mathematician that ever lived. And how did this man with no formal education have this, what was he tapping into, what was he getting and other forms of this have this idea of multiple discovery where oftentimes people on multiple sides of the world will discover the same thing at the same time. Certainly you can say, is this pure coincidence because people are exposed to the same information that exists, could come to the same conclusions or is it actually something more. Are people tapping into something. I mean there’s always this idea, even in business, that the next big idea is out there, you gotta find it first. Almost like this greater consciousness that we’re tapping into for creativity, bright ideas and it’s very interesting.
– So this is, it’s really refreshing because there are certain places where conversations like this are very normal and like sanctioned and really kind of leveraged to create five day retreat and all sorts of things where you really tap into this and then you go back and you’re better at work or whatever it is, but you’ve really leveraged it but you did your thing and now you’re back in your real world. And I feel like we’ve all just been kind of spiritual apologists in the real world because your storefront can’t talk about this stuff because it’s not serious enough and the fact that those walls are crumbling down and this type of conversation is coming through like a psychiatric office and it’s coming through people who have now started to break ranks with that traditional model and realize that there are better ways to help people. I think it’s really refreshing and so you’re just doing your job better by leveraging tools that have been available to us for a long time.
– Absolutely, absolutely and that’s what I say that part of my goal is to put the idea of soul back into the medical literature and to help people really reconnect with who they really are and to use these ideas which have been around since the age of time and are used just like you said, by so many other traditions all over the world for healing to bring them into western medicine and eventually create the evidence base necessary to really use that in the healing of patients.
– Yeah. You know what’s funny is, when I started getting intel on my kind of training. One of the things that really upset me when people would come up and come and try to talk to me about stuff it was like oh you’re a new age guy. And I’d stop em right there and be like, oh hell no. Not, do not, I come from a 5000 year old Kong Fu tradition where everything has withstood the test of time and has been pressure tested in the consciousness of every adult that’s been passing on through and through and this has been handed on in a lineage and so this is evidence based through generations of humans that has now worked its way into this body of knowledge that I’m sitting on, don’t you fucking call that new age, right. And so I think that there’s a lot there and going back to what we know works and then using the research and the methodology we have now to study the efficacy. And I think that that has been really rewarding whereas some of this new age stuff, it’s not, I had a guy tell me he came up with this methodology in the shower one day and just like made it up and started selling it to people. I’m like, that’s new age. That’s new age, that’s bullshit right. You can’t pull stuff out of your ass, what is it? And so going back to Kabalah, going back to meditation. Going back to forms of prayer, these things have been around forever right. They won’t last the test of time if they don’t work.
– Absolutely. And that’s why I think doctors are increasingly using them, and it’s so interesting how you said that someone was in the shower and they pulled this thing out. I feel like that actually happens to people more and more and especially people in my profession because so much of the work, since we’re talking to people constantly, what comes into our mind isn’t just rational things, there’s so much intuition involved. And I’ve had and I write about this in my book, in the chapter on interconnectedness. Times when something has come out of my mouth which made absolutely no sense to me at all, like why did I just say that. And then it led to a huge breakthrough for the patient. It was almost like something came through me as opposed to, it was a premeditated response. And it turns out, when I started reviewing the literature about this, a number of my colleagues have had similar experiences and a, Genine Dakayer here in New York City put together a article for, I think it’s for, Psychoanalytic Dialogs, it was called Uncanny Communications in the First Mind of 22 cited studies of this, of things coming through people as opposed to being premeditated said things.
– [Pedran] So how do you explain that off in the psychiatric kind of lingo, I mean we’re talking about like Hungean, like collective unconscious, how do you turn that into science.
– Absolutely so Freud, actually Sigmund Freud experienced this a lot with patients. He considered it, he called it thought transference or telepathy and it’s something that, when you’re sitting with someone and you’re very close to them and you see them every week or more, you get very embedded in the nuances of their inner world and they get embedded into the nuances of your inner world. So there’s a kind of communication that happens outside the normal channels. Outside the regular communication, body language et cetera. Something else gets passed. And I’ve also had in my practice, numerous experiences where patients have had dreams about things that happened to me that they could have either not known at all or I’ve had a dream about patients, of things that happened to them, that I had no way of knowing. It’s like we’re somehow connected in deeper ways and actually the opening case in my book is about that. That’s actually what motivated me to really write this book. I was on a trip in Ukraine, 5000 miles away from my practice and I woke up in the middle of the night in a start. Not one for panic attacks, never had panic attacks, but this was like a midnight panic attack and patients had described it before. I’ve never had this but something definitely was wrong and I had no idea what was going on and I was compelled to check my email and I realized that one second prior, a patient contacted me that he was suicidal and because I had gotten up at that exact time, I was able to call my patient from 5000 miles away, intervene and we were able to kind of talk things through and work things out. And I describe it in much more detail in my book but, that to me was really a shocking thing. How in the world, what happened, was that purely coincidence? How did I wake up knowing something was so wrong and then by virtue of being awoken, then I was able to intervene and what if I hadn’t awoken?
– That’s amazing, that’s amazing. And that’s not a standalone story. I think everyone I know has had some experience of that at some point in their lives. With different magnitude or whatever. But you know someone’s there, you know you gotta call somebody. These things that kind of, these transpersonal things that can’t be explained. One of the hallmarks of good science is to say, okay well, if I have a hypothesis and now there’s evidence to suggest that that no longer fits, I need to formulate a new hypothesis. And so well this obviously doesn’t make sense, you’re crazy, you’re a witch or woah, this thing is way fucking bigger than we thought and it’s way more interesting and we have a very very kind of compartmentalized understanding of reality that we’re just starting to kind of break out of and so it’s like, the new science is about looking at all this and being like, wow, that is cool and that happens, so now we need to understand why.
– Absolutely, completely agreed and I feel like this is uh, these sorts of things that when you think about someone and they call or you haven’t heard from someone in ages and they come into your mind and then you bump into them on the street. These are little synchronicities and Karl Joung actually wrote about them and he wrote that synchronicities are indicative of a greater order of the universe and it’s not just this random coincidence, it’s really about this subjective meaning that we attribute to that coincidence and by virtue of it being meaningful it’s there’s these two events that we give meaning to, that are synchronicity and really could help to be a source of guidance in one’s life.
– Amazing. I’m running out of time but I really want to get into this last bit. One of the really interesting bits that Kabalah really touches in on, a lot of spiritual traditions once you kind of get in, touch in on, is the kind of linguistics and the kind of confinement to language in understanding of like experience through language which is six or seven times removed from the feeling and the raw emotion and just the reality of what the experience is. How do you work through that in your psychiatric practice when you just, you wanna get elemental and get out of the head and get out of the words which just can’t do things justice.
– Well I think that’s such an important question because my work ultimately is talking to people all day long. My whole world is language. Everything is language. The way that we interchange with patients is all about language. But sometimes, if someone happens to intellectualize or is somebody who already is very cerebral, for them the best thing is actually to go into their hearts as opposed to into their head. Or into their gut or into their body in some way. And so part of my practice is really to teach people to do that too. And in my book I give a lot of exercises of how people could reconnect to their heart, of meditation techniques, of being able to connect to your senses and use that as a way of harnessing your personal power. For others language is a powerful way of self expression in releasing emotions. So it really depends on the person but it can very much differ.
– Yeah yeah, some people can do with language what an artist can do with clay or with paint. Some people are very good at conveying through language and others just drop the ball. Especially if English is your second language. It just depends on your ability to be able to get out of the way and let, let the language not be kind of a dampener or create inertia in what you’re doing. So yeah, I mean for a person whose career is kinda oriented around talking, it’s such a weird thing when you’re talking about spiritual principles, that really the undercurrent of what’s happening below that kind of, lingual level is where the healing is happening, the word room is filling in space and so you gotta kinda honor the silence and all these things that we’ve learned from spiritual traditions, in order to kind of encapsulate that in a lesson that they’ll get. So it’s not easy, I mean people come to you to talk.
– Why, right people come to heal and sometimes it’s refined after talking. But it’s been too much talking, that there’s something much deeper. And then other people it’s not about talking or feeling, it’s about action, taking action in this world. There are some people I could talk, talk, talk, but if they don’t take action specifically to change their life, nothing’s gonna change.
– So the book is called Fulfilled by Doctor Anna Yusim and I am a big fan of the work that you’re doing. I think that this is the bleeding edge of where medicine is going to be able to become a lot more helpful for real people. It’s interesting to talk about people as cases but real people come with spiritual traditions. Real people come with all kinds of things that need to kind of be unpacked and decoded in books through a language that has been with us, in this kind of transpersonal communication style that’s been with us since tribal days, right. So I’m really happy to see this conversation happening and I commend you on doing the work. The book is available, very shortly so please go check it out and if this is the subject matter that is interesting to you, get in the book, read the book, share the book. This is how we get better, it’s by understanding more and being able to help people in our lives with this so. I wish you the best with all of it. I really enjoy your energy and I think that your patients are very privileged to ever to see someone like you. So keep up the good work and I hope you inspire your psychiatrist to kind of take this turn and start waking up to this.
– Thank you so much Pedran it’s been a pleasure.
– Yeah, thank you. And let me know what you think, I’ll see you in the next show.