In this podcast (episode #537) and blog, I talk to holistic psychologist and best-selling author Dr. Nicole LePera about her amazing new book, How to Be the Love You Seek, how to heal your relationship with yourself and others, how to break traumatic relationship cycles, and so much more!
Dr. Nicole was trained in clinical psychology at Cornell University and The New School for Social Research and also studied at the Philadelphia School of Psychoanalysis. As a clinical psychologist in private practice, Dr. Nicole found herself frustrated by the limitations of traditional psychotherapy. Wanting more for her patients—and for herself—she began a journey to create a unified philosophy of mental, physical and spiritual health that equips people with the tools to heal themselves. Offering a true paradigm shift in mental wellbeing, Dr. Nicole’s teachings empower the individual to break free from inherited beliefs and uncover their authentic selves.
As Dr. Nicole notes in her amazing new book, How to Be the Love You Seek, relationships have always been essential to human survival. Our bodies and brains are programmed to seek out connection, whether familial, romantic, or platonic. And yet, these vital bonds are often at the root of our deepest suffering. While our hearts are primed for compassionate connection, our nervous systems—which store all our past hurts and disappointments—are wired for threat and negativity.
For decades, leading relationship advice has maintained that successful relationships require a specific compromise—that we must change our authentic expression to better meet the needs of others, and vice versa. It may sound reasonable in theory, but as Dr. Nicole explains, this approach is nothing less than a recipe for a lifetime of resentment.
Instead, she offers a new path to healing our relationships. Harnessing the latest scientific research, Dr. Nicole teaches us to recognize how unmet needs from our earliest relationships create our current, dysfunctional relationship patterns, and leave us in a state of constant internal threat, even with those closest to us. We detached in the past to cope, and this cycle becomes increasingly harder to break free of until we have new mental and emotional resources and choices on hand when we feel stressed and overwhelmed. If these new resources are not in place, we will continue to rely on old patterns and coping mechanisms, which keeps us stuck in traumatic relationship cycles and further impacts our wellbeing.
Thankfully, there is hope! We do not have to remain in these negative cycles. In her new book, Dr. Nicole illuminates the way out of these kinds of trauma bonds and into relationships rooted in mutual respect and compassion. She teaches us how to create safety in our own body and mind, identify our unmet needs, develop emotional resilience, cultivate heart coherence to build deep emotional connections with others, and maintain healthy interdependence in our communities.
This includes developing a healthy relationship with ourselves. Having a good relationship does not mean we must be selfless or neglect our own desires and needs. Rather, it requires us to be present with ourselves: what we think, want, need and desire in any given moment. Until we pay attention to what we need physically, mentally and emotionally, we can’t be in true service to another person, which will impact the kind of relationship we will have with them.
For more on improving your relationships and breaking past cycles, listen to my podcast with Dr. Nicole (episode #537) and check out her amazing work. If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing. And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).
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2:40 Dr. Nicole’s work
3:15 Dr. Nicole’s incredible new book How to Be the Love You Seek
4:35 How our past traumas can affect our relationships & how to break these cycles
7:40 The power of understanding your own story
11:00, 15:30 How our childhood experiences can impact our relationships
29:00 The importance of having a healthy relationship with ourselves
46:00 How our family relationships affect our ability to connect with others
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