Host: Welcome to the Lifelong Wellness podcast where we talk to wellness professionals from many different walks of life from around the world and get their insight into living healthier. I’m your host, Wes Malik. In the past many podcasts that we have produced, we've been focusing on a lot of physical health, a lot of mental health and a lot of spiritual health as well from time to time. Today, we’re going to focus on something different because our guest is Philip Deluca who is a licensed clinical social worker, but he prefers to be called the “Untalk Therapist”. He's a psychotherapy disruptor, he’s a relationship healer, he’s an author, speaker, and he calls himself a guinea pig. He’s a psychotherapy disruptor because he developed an alternative to conventional relationship counseling that is the opposite of what is conventionally accepted. And he’s a relationship healer because he heals relationships that express yourself communication approaches damage and he describes himself as a guinea pig because he's used his own struggles to help develop this approach. So today to talk about relationship conflict and communication and relationships between family and loved ones, here is Philip Deluca. Let's welcome him to the show. Philip, welcome to the Lifelong Wellness podcast, how are you today?
Philip: Doing good, thank you. Wellbeing here, thank you for inviting me.
Host: Fantastic. Now, I’m looking forward to talking to you about what your expertise is and the subject that you have been working in for so many years. But first, I like to start off our conversation by asking you a staple question of the show and that is, what does wellness mean to you?
Philip: Well, wellness is proactive rather than reactive. So, my specialty is couples in relationships. Life has gotten so complicated that unless people get proactive in relationships and life, they’re not going to be on a wellness path. They’re not going to be on a, I don’t know, an anti-wellness ill-health path in both their physical health and also in their relationships. It’s kind of like I see like relationships like and live like a stream flowing downhill and there’s a…the bridge is out or there’s a cliff at the end. And if you just get in and flow along you’re going to be sucked down by the current. If you get in, and you swim to the other side, the current’s going to take you, you may make it or you may not. So, if you don’t get proactive and swim against the current, that’s really the only way you could possibly navigate to the other side safely. So, that’s what I see wellness is, getting proactive. There’s just so much going on that’s pushing us to ill-health in all aspects of our life.
Host: Do you think those things are internal or external that is pushing us towards ill-health?
Philip: Well, both certainly. The external part is we have the video.
Philip: People don’t talk, the text which is really impersonal. Especially when they’re upset, if you a text when you’re upset, you’re going to read the message, a message into that since texting only gets 3% of a message, you lose 97%. You don't know if the person is kidding, laughing, didn’t intend that because you're not getting any non-verbals or inflictions and say otherwise so we can tend to read our negative emotions into that.
Philip: You know, it’s the pornography, the digwoods which is just drowning people. People are expecting to at least, before this Coronavirus, to work 80 hours a week almost so they didn’t have time for each other. They have health-wise, you know, American health is just imploding. If you look at the statistics it’s absolutely horrible, 2/3 of the Americans are sick. They have an autoimmune disease, pre-hypertension, Diabetes or pre-Diabetic, pre-Diabetes, Alzheimer’s has grown in an exponential rate, oral immune, Diabetes. By the year 2030, they’re saying half of the population will have Diabetes.
Philip: So, health-wise unless we get proactive, the system Is going to suck us into ill-health. Relationship wise, if we don’t get proactive the system is going to take us down to where we don’t have time for each other anymore. We’re too busy with other stuff. We’re sitting at a restaurant eating dinner and one of us is watching TV on a screen, a sports event, the other person is texting or getting on their Facebook account. So, there’s no personal contact with each other, there’s no connection. Anyway, there’s a lot of things pushing people apart on all aspects of their life. Financial, you know, it’s tough to just make ends meet anymore. With the expenses with the healthcare system…
Philip: …mortgages, it’s just…Unless you get on top of it the system is going to suck you in, it’s going to spit you out, and you’re just going to be a casualty. That’s my experience with it, at least.
Host: 90% of the episodes we record we talk about physical health, we talk about spiritual health as well. But relationships, we haven’t talked about being healthy in terms of relationships with the people in our lives. And whoever that maybe our family, our friends, or nuclear family, our partners, our girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, wives, children, we haven't talked about that. And we haven’t talked about all these external pressures that we face as well. So that means that I’ll have a lot of questions so I hope you’re ready.
Philip: Yes sir.
Host: (laughing) So, what's the first step in having a good relationship, you know, with our family and our friends, taking into consideration all these external pressures?
Philip: Well, I see a lot of people that don’t spend time with each other anymore. They don’t eat together, kids are scattered all over, everybody eating in their own little place in their own little time. So one, spend time with each other. That would be the main thing, connect. People don’t do that much anymore. I was talking to one of a fellow peer, we’re talking about couples, that’s both our specialties and areas of interest, and I was saying, you know, people now are, because of this quarantine, couples are actually going for walks together now, cooking dinner, eating together, families are eating together. I said, “I haven’t in ten years been able to get one couple to go for a walk together and spend some time together and start recharging because they’ve been so busy with so many “more important things” that they don’t even have time to go for a little walk”. And if you’re trying to reconnect, rekindle your relationship but you won’t have time except maybe Sunday afternoon for few hours, you’re not going to get it. So, I said that’s a statement right there. I had more people, because of the quarantine, just going for a walk together and spend a little time and say, “Man, this is so nice. We should have been doing this all along” and I haven’t had one, not one success in ten years getting people to do that because of the external pressures of job. (laughing) Planning on trips, activities for the kids, I don’t have time, I’m spending all my time on Facebook, playing video games, and on and on. I mean if you want to recharge your relationship, you got to spend time with each other and preferably quality time. So, that to pause your relationship and family is one connecting and two, arguing or lack of resolving arguments because disagreements are going to come up and if you can’t develop a skill to get around them and communicate about stuff then you’re in a bad place as a couple and as a family and in any relationship. Because arguments put so many negative stuff in a relationship. You can have a week of vacation plan and held up and argument and disagreements at the beginning of that week and it ruins the whole week. It overlays for the whole week.
Philip: you can have a great week and have an argument at the end and then it ruins the whole week.
Host: Yes, that’s true. Yes.
Philip: Yes. Arguing is a conflict and conflict resolution is really important. But one of the areas I specialized in over the last thirty years is trying to get couples to resolve conflict because the conventional communication approach is to talk it through, never go to bed mad at each other or you’re running away from the problem, tell them what you’re feeling, get your anger out, they never worked very well in my experience. In a matter of fact, they made the situation worse. So, I spent the last thirty-plus years figuring out why that’s true. Basically integrating the latest mind, body science about how we operate and coming up with an alternative that resolves that conflict. So basically to get back to the point we were discussing, even the way people are approaching, communicating, talking to your kid, talking it through, conflict resolution skills, even those are highly problematic. So, it’s just clear, if you use the current communication approaches which we just talked about that will increase your conflict for most couples, not decrease it.
Philip: So, they’re leftover from the 60s. You know and think about this, the 60s was the talk-it-through, they let it all hang out even sex drugs, free sex drugs and rock ‘n roll. I won’t worry about tomorrow if I’m alive. They were streaking, I hope you remember streaking but streaking people run the neighborhood naked. You know and it was the big thing. Skinny dipping where they jump in the community pool naked.
Philip: And that was sociably excitable so it was just like to hang out, let it all hang out. And the current talk-it-through express yourself communication, it all came out of that. Let it all hang out approach. There was never any science to it, there was never any backing to it. It got accepted as settled science, that got absorbed into the culture. And then pretty much every system after that has just built on that defective system, rules of do’s and don’ts, active listening. All these techniques that we now know from the latest of mind-body science that when we get upset we cannot access those list of do’s and don’ts because our front thinking self-control judgment brain switches off and the blood actually reroutes to our back amygdala, survival, conflict seeking brain and it’s called an amygdala hijack. So, if you’ve ever seen somebody where they’re calm one minute and then they get upset. It’s like an alien takes over and you’re like, “What is this creature?”
Host: Yes, they’re like a completely different person. Yes.
Philip: Yes! And then they get calmer. They laugh about something and the alien leaves and the person’s back to their real self.
Philip: That’s actually the two parts of the brain in control of the person. And that alien is this amygdala back brain hijacking the body and it changes our moods, our attitudes, our goals, we’re now in conflict. If you notice the alien person never wants to resolve anything. All they want to do is get into an argument or fight because that’s what it’s made for. Our survival brain is perceiving a threat and you coming at me, meaning you’re out to hurt me so I have to hurt you back or get you first before you hurt me. So, the conventional communication approach is actually encouraged, this interaction with this brain, and that’s why when people use it they fail at it and it just generates more conflict. So they go back to their therapist, they read the latest book, they get on the internet and they look for good communication skills and it all say the same thing. When you’re upset, try not to make eye contact with them, don’t use toxic words, stay relevant, stay loving, and listening. And we can’t do that because the front brain clicks off, the back brain hijacks us, the alien is in control first one. And then two, so you can’t do it. Now then people fail so they conclude it must be us because we’re going back to our therapist, we read the latest book and says, “No, you’re just not doing it right. Do it again”. So, here are some rules, we can’t access, the alien can’t access the information and the sciences are real clear. When we are upset we lose up to 75% of the blood flow in the front thinking part in our brain and that gets rerouted to the back amygdala survival brain. I call that a crocodile brain because that’s what we turn into.
Philip: And that becomes like a hulk hijacks the front brain and it takes over. If you’re upset and heard yourself having this internal dialogue, “Stay Calm”, “No, I don’t want to stay calm. This is a bunch of crap!”, that’s the two parts of the brain actually dialoguing with each other and you’re hearing the dialogues.
Host: So, that actually happens?
Philip: Yes. Yes, that’s actually going on in your brain. And at that point, the front brain is 51% in control and blood flow in them, the back brain is 49%. Well, as stress keeps rising and the hypothalamus then switches more blood from the front to the back brain because that’s what it works. It just switches the blood from the front to the back brain. Now, it clicks off. The front brain goes to 49 and the back brain goes to 51 and potentially up to 75, 25%. So basically the front brain is like a limb that falls asleep and you cannot use it and the back brain takes over. And people will say, “I know when I get to this place because it’s like words coming out of my mouth but I can’t stop it. It’s like I’m seeing a film of my life unfold but I’m a participant and I can’t change its direction”. Have you ever been to that place?
Host: Yes. Absolutely.
Philip: Yes, that’s just the physiology hypothalamus that’s going on. So, why are we encouraging…And the other thing is now we know through the science of neuroplasticity that the brain, we train our brain with our thoughts. The brain is like a muscle. So the more we use it grows, the less we use it the neurons actually shrink and it becomes flabby. So over time, when we’re in a chronic, negative, argumentative, stressful situation the brain adapts by shrinking front brain neurons and expanding back brain neurons.
Host: So, it keeps doing that automatically as a response.
Philip: Yes. And we generate, in our own negative thoughts now, ruminating resentments, holding on to stuff, generate more back brain growth and shrink more front brain carrying love, understanding perspective neuron shrink up because I haven’t used them in a while and why am I wasting energy keeping these alive when I need to reroute that energy to the back brain because I never know when the next attacks going to come. So, over time we get more defensive. I call it amygdala brain, crocodile brain hijacks, a lock wards stay on all the time, defensive all the time, attacking, reading negative messages into the other party, always having these negative thoughts, ruminating constant state of anxiety, you can’t turn it off and how that translates into a relationship. And arguing is that everything expands what it ticks us off, we get into arguments quicker, they’re worse, they were intense, they end more frequent, recoveries increasingly incomplete, we haven’t gotten over argument number 28 and we get it with 29. And over time it sucks personal pieces and respects out of people, carrying in love out of our relationship and also affects our health. So, we’re actually increasing inflammation in our body and inflammation is the gateway to all diseases. So, we’re actually by staying in touch with our anger and not resolving our conflict in which this approach, the conventional approach is encouraged, we’re actually increasing inflammation in our bodies toward destroying our health. So, it’s killing our love, our personal peace, our sanity, and even our health.
Philip: I call it the gift that keeps on, giving it takes no prisoners and it has its finger in everything.
Host: It’s kind of like a vicious circle or a spiral that you go down into and hard to recover from. So what do we do? Do we repress our feelings? Not talk about them? Do we not engage in conflict or, you know, with our partners or within relationships in our family? What do you suggest people do in lieu of, you know, these old antiquated things that we've been taught to do since the 50s and 60s?
Philip: Yes. Actually it’s the 60s and the 70s because in the 50s they didn’t believe this. And then this, when I was in graduate school in the 70s, there was this revolutionary shift and now we know how to handle it and get in touch with your feelings and we pressed anger kills so get it out. We now know that episodic anger outbursts for two hours after its release increases heart attack and stroke risks 500%.
Philip: Yes, and chronic stress and argument breaths, a ton of stress increase that same heart attack and stroke risks 2000% and cancer risk 3000%. Raises our blood sugar level-so it increases our Diabetes risk, raises hypertension, cause micro-fractures in our arteries as they expand when this fight or flight response kicks in and we have this huge expansion and lung capacity and blood flow. So it causes micro-fractures in our arteries and the body repairs that by spackling on cholesterol so it increases heart disease, plaque deposits. Stress causes front brain cerebral cortex brain cells to die off so we’re actually on the road to dementia if they continue. That’s why under stress people forget so much. We’re actually killing front brain cells. So, autoimmune disease, you name it. It’s on everything.
Host: I’m scared to get angry now. (laughing)
Philip: Yes, you should be. (laughing) So, what I did was over the last 30 years, I focused on getting people out of that pattern because that is a killer pattern that poisons everything. And the most bang for the buck I found is if I could get people out of that negative interaction that it has the quickest and most profound benefit on multilevel of the person’s life. Their health, their self-respect, their love and it even effects the kids. So, I develop a five-step approach. One, be aware…So I’ll walk you through this, okay?
Host: Okay. Right.
Philip: What’s the sign that indicates your, the physical change occurring when you’re getting upset? People tell me I can feel my heart pumping harder, my sinuses flush, blood flowing through my veins. What might it be with you?
Host: My temperature rises. I get hot.
Philip: Okay. Yes, that’s because the body is shooting up, it’s flooding our body with more blood flow because it’s getting ready the fight or flight response only made to be activated if there’s a physical, imminent physical death encounter that’s right there.
Host: My ears will turn red. My ears will, you know, be the first part of my body to start heating up and burning up.
Philip: Yes. So what happens is that the whole body is configuring and you’re going into…The alien is starting to take over and that’s really important because if you’re about to be eaten by a raptor you want that alien in control. But not if somebody put the spoon in the wrong way in the dish rack.
Host: Right. Exactly. (laughing)
Philip: What took this spot is fine we’re patiently waiting for.
Philip: You’re not about to be eaten by a bear so there’s no reason to harness this super strength and these changes going on in the body.
Host: It seems like overkill, yes.
Philip: That’s right. Exactly right and kill it does. It kills caring, love, and us. So this may be for the acute situation not a chronic and high-stress situation. So, the first step, be aware of and you’re going in there, alright? And you’re reconfiguring on every level on your body, your mind, your emotions, physical, everything. And also when your partner is going there, you can tell when the other party is in that mindset, they have a certain look, a certain tone, they’re not saying something, they’re saying something they shouldn’t be saying. Any idea with somebody you’re involved with. Can you tell when they’re in that state?
Host: They go very silent and quiet
Philip: Yes. Okay. So that indicates that they’re also the alien is taking over them and now’s not the time to be talking. If you’re in that state, now’s not the time to be talking to them nor talking through them in that state.
Host: Okay. Right.
Philip: So, step one is to be aware because conflicts start two ways, we go in and provoke it or they go into this state and pull us in. Alright? So step one is that. Step two is a pause and you need a pause switch. Before you say that word, shoot them that look, bomb it all over them in a more intense way, disengage. Getaway. Go into the other room, close the door, go for a walk. That’s step three, now is calm down. You got to get these chemicals out of your system, reroute the blood from the back of your brain to the front of the brain, not sit there and ferment and let this stuff just recycle over and over.
Philip: And that’s what a lot of people would do. They will just get away and they just keep thinking about this over and over. And basically they’re keeping, they’re cooking their insights that’s what they’re doing and emotionally they’re getting ready so when they reengage is at the next negative level. So, I call it to detox. Physically if you can walk, go for some physical encounter that will drain off those chemicals. That’s why your blood pressure was rising and your muscles were tensing and your legs were getting antsy because you were getting ready for an intense fight or flight encounter. It’s fight-flight, it does not sit and stew, it’s not in the equation. But we sit and stew, go out to your car, turn it on, put your foot on the brake all the way down and on the accelerator all the way down, and just leave it there. See what happens. Why you got to need new engines.
Host: Right. (laughing)
Philip: That’s what we do when we don’t drain this off.
Philip: It kills our body. And also mentally. Get the blood flowing to the front. Humor is shown to be really effective, calming music, involved in some activity that requires thought process, that forces the blood flow into the front of your head, any spiritual exercises or walk you have. Do that. Meditation, yoga, get proactive. Here we are again, proactive towards wellness. In this case, get out of that state you’re not in spite of what’s being told by convention. You’re not necessarily entitled to those thoughts, they may be wrong. A researcher by the name of Stephen Porges, a Ph.D. researcher who said that his research is called the Polyvagal theory. His research shows that when we get upset everything from the torso on upturns aggressive, we stop making eye contact with the other party and we look away or it becomes cold and reptilian because the reptilian, raises and control of us, and our “social engagement system” turns off. What does that mean? We lose the expressive and responsive system and “we lose the ability to accurately appraise and evaluate the situation and moderate our words and actions accordingly”. And this happens regardless of our intelligence level. So basically when we get upset we all be turning into foolish idiots.
Philip: Ever we think we’re the last smart person on earth and we’re speaking the Truth, capital “T”.
Philip: But current research by human others says that’s totally false. We’re making false assumptions to enforce conclusions from that and then devising false solutions and pushing it home. Basically, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot. So, get calm and then reevaluate the situation. Let me ask you. Have you ever been upset and were totally convinced about the intent of what the other party said? What was actually happened and being said and then you got calmer. You were like, “Wait a minute here, I may have misheard that. I didn’t take context into play. It wasn’t really a big deal after all so why am I such making a big deal out of it?” Have you been to that place?
Host: Many times. You misjudged the situation and after a while you think, “Well, you know, I could’ve done things differently” or “I could’ve thought differently”. It’s kind of, it comes with a feeling and emotion of ashamedness as well because you think, “Oh man, why didn’t I think of this earlier, too?”
Philip: That’s your front brain then reactivating. Do you see the difference? You’re reevaluating the situation. You’re looking at all factors, not just the impulse, short term at the moment. And then you have the front brain is love, caring, understanding, empathy, guilt, intelligence, abstract thought. When we get upset that all shut-off. Our executive decision making shuts off and we’re nothing but a primal reptile at the moment ready to rip a loved one to shreds because they took the garbage out in the wrong way.
Host: Right. (laughing)
Philip: That’s all. We’re getting divorced over for sure.
Host: It’s usually the smallest of the things that get people riled up sometimes.
Philip: So, why are we encouraging people to get in touch with this. Here is. I’m sure you’ve heard of this. Never go to bed mad. Here’s one of those layovers in the 60s. Never go to bed mad at each other or you’re running from the problem, right?
Philip: So, that one actually does work because what happens is people don’t go to bed mad. They argue about it all night. And the next day they have this text rage wars. First pages of text and then maybe the fourth or fifth day they call a truce out of sheer exhaustion then go to sleep. So, that one actually does work. It just takes five days to kick in and there’s so much debris left from that, that it might take twenty years to get over.
Host: Yes. You’re absolutely right. Did I miss the fourth step?
Philip: Okay, so step one is to be aware of what’s going on. Two…
Host: Pause, switch, disengage. Yes.
Philip: Ideally you want to get to a place where you can be around the other party but you’re in control enough that you don’t get hijacked from the back brain. Okay, that takes work and skill, that’s all. And then step three, you’re detoxing. Right now I’m calmer. So, let me ask you. What’s the sign that you’re calmer again?
Host: You’re thinking a little more clearly, of course. You’re probably breathing better, your physical state is probably altered, you’re…Like for example, if I get hot or flustered or red in the cheeks, that’ll probably dissipate.
Philip: That’s exactly right. So now, that you’re actually calmer, now we engage with the other party, step four. Now, talk about it because the front brain is evaluative, conflict resolution mindset, back brain conflict seeking mindset. If you’re both in that mindset, now’s the time to talk it through. Yes, now that really does work very well but you have to be in a place where you’re both receptive to that. So now, step five, wait and navigate through the other attempts to…I call it navigating provocation, navigating through provocation. How do you navigate through the other party’s attempts to argue with you even though you don’t want to argue because you know it’s not going to end in a good place. So, that’s my five-step program.
Host: Could you elaborate a little bit on the last step, navigating provocation? What is that? How does that work? How do you accomplish that?
Philip: Yes, that’s going to take a little, a little work to explain because that’s a two-step maneuver.
Philip: Basically, the research, the latest mind-body science research is really clear. Talking through…When somebody is an argumentative state, talking you through is the worst possible way to do it. So, when we’re upset, the fight or flight response is activated and as inflammation. Inflammation, think of it as a fire in the body, the body is on fire. And what calms fires down or kills it is water. So, you put water to put fire and it’ll kill the fire. Now, endorphins, feel-good chemicals act like that fire, like that water. That’s why if you've ever been upset and then you laughed about something, hahaha, and you felt immediate relief.
Philip: Laughter releases a lot of endorphins and that crushed the stress and the inflammation you were feeling. Do you see how that works?
Philip: That’s why when you look at something awe, it took my breath away because awe releases endorphins and it calms us down. If you ever been upset, you said when you came home, “Honey, don’t talk. I just want you to hold me, just hold me”.
Philip: Then I held you and afterward you say, “Thank you. That helps so much. I felt so much better”, but I didn’t say anything, just holding did it. Oxytocin is released through touch. That’s what’s going on. You see, you released an endorphin, it calmed me down without any word because if they have talked it would have just made me more aggravated, but the touch calmed me down. So, what happens is when the person is in…Think about this, the person is, you walk in the door, he hears your doorman and you’re having a great day and you walk in and you’re like, “Oh-oh, Houston. We got a problem”. Because the party is in that alien mode, you know, they’re looking at you with double…
Host: You can tell, yes.
Philip: Yes. Well, you can all tell. (laughing) And now, I got a problem. And here’s how conventional approaches get people trapped into a no-win situation. If I talk about it, they don’t want to talk it through. But I know they don’t want to talk it through to resolve it. They want to talk it through to get into an argument, right? We’ve been there a zillion times before. Then they keep pushing and pushing until we get into anyway. So, I appear to be in a lose-lose situation no matter what I do, right? If I talk it through, we get into it. And if I don’t I feel guilty because I’m running from the problem and we get into an argument anyway. So I lose-lose no matter what. So, let me ask you this. If you try to disengage and let’s say you go into the other room if you close the door…If you go into the door, they will follow you, almost all people. If you close the door, most people will come in, 95% of people will come in. If you lock the door, most people bang through the door, scream through the door, be waiting for you until you get out.
Philip: You try then say, “This isn’t working. They’re yelling through the door, banging on it. Let me go out”. So, you come out the door and you try to leave the house. So, what are you trying to do? You’re trying to avoid a situation that we’re both going to regret potentially a long time. So, why won’t they let you escape from that? You know, if you leave they’ll say, “If you go through that door, the doors will be locked”, you’ll be divorced like that ten times, lulla that mother of yours. If you leave they may follow you, they may jog. When you go in your car sometimes they’ll jog next to it to get into an argument, they’ll get in the car, they’ll follow you. I’ve had women, when the man tries to escape, jump on the windshield and hold on to the windshield as he’s driving through the neighborhood, finish the argument because we can’t go to bed mad at each other. But men, you know, we’re more macho than that, that’s too feminine. We wouldn’t do that, we’ll just smash and break the windows and put dents in the car that we’re paying on to show how macho we are.
Host: Punch the walls, you know, break the gyprock. Yes.
Philip: That’s much more macho thing but now I got to pay for a repair, pay on the deductibles for repair for the car that I just destroyed in a fit of anger. Anyway, we sure act stupid when we get mad, don’t we? (laughing)
Host: That’s true. (laughing)
Philip: But that’s what Stephen Porges said. He said that we, you know, we act like foolish idiots. So, here’s more proof of it.
Host: It’s a fantastic insight into relationships and what we should be aware of. The five-step, it’s very easy to follow. Now, that I understand the last portion, navigating provocation, it’s very very clear, and thank you so much for that. Is this why you prefer to be called the “Untalk Therapist”?
Philip: Yes, but you know I have a gift. If people go to my website, gobeyondtalktherapy.com, I have a free 50-minute webinar, Stop Your Fighting Tonight!, and which they can see over a hundred power points, it’s 50 minutes and I will show them exactly the science and how…When they get down with that they would know immediately how to stop a conflict that may have been going on for decades.
Host: Would you mind repeating that website, please?
Host: And this 50-minute is free?
Philip: Yes, it’s free. You’ll click right on as soon as it says, do you want this webinar, and just click on it and follow the prompts.
Host: That’s brilliant. That is fantastic.
Philip: It’s the full information of forty years of research and 50,000 research couples.
Host: Wow! Wow! (laughing)
Philip: It definitely works. It works better than I imagined.
Host: That is wonderful. You’re a psychotherapy disruptor, you’re a relationship healer, you’ve written a book called The Solo Partner, you’re also speaker, you identified yourself as a guinea pig for your own work, I believe, but tell me a little bit about your book, The Solo Partner. What’s it about?
Philip: Well, it was an early offshoot to this. This came out in 1996. It is what do you do if you have a partner who won’t cooperate? You find yourself repairing your relationship on your own. You know, in this field the belief is, which I was never happy with because it eliminates 2/3 of relationship problems, couples actually, if both party don’t want to work on it then there’s nothing that you can do. Well, that’s pretty rare. Usually, you only have one party willing to work on it, the one most uncomfortable. We can’t offer them anything. So, I was really never happy with that. So, my book came out. It was my first stab at that and then I just, you know, tweaked a lot of those things that I said especially in Chapter Three there and expanded it out to…Actually, I came up with this step five, navigating through provocation. There are no other therapists that I know of that integrated the lay of science and has come up with clinically tested approach on how to get through somebody ho is uncooperative. They’re looking for a fight. One of the things now we know of through neuroplasticity was that I was reading through Times magazine a number of years ago and one of the chemicals released when we go through this fight or flight response is adrenaline. And when it stays turned on through chronic stress or ovulating we get addicted to it. So that’s why people will say, “You know, we can’t get along well before someone provokes an argument”. Because they’re going through this withdrawal and they need a fix of adrenaline rush. That’s why that happens.
Host: So, what do you suggest to people in that situation then?
Philip: Well, that’s what I tried to do with this webinar and as part of my five-part course which is only $169 for five hours’ worth of…
Host: Is that available on the same website?
Philip: Yes. You can link with that, it’s not necessary but, you know, when people want something more, I just walk them through the whole process as if they were in therapy for fraction of the cost. And it’s revolutionary new stuff and I’ve got a whole step on how to navigate through provocation, the science that says how you release the endorphins, how you bypass the other party, why doesn’t the party want you to escape, why they’re blocking the door. Well, because the key issue is escaping. They don’t want you to escape because this crocodile brain that has kicked on and dominating the alien sees you as nothing but prey as a meal. And so if the meal is escaping you’re just a snack that’s escaping. So, all the efforts to talk it through when someone is upset is just smoke and mirror to get a conflict that they’re seeking, the reciprocity. Because when we‘re on this brain, the conflict seeking brain is like fire, we’re inflamed, and we need oxygen back to continue on and that oxygen is conflict. So, I show people how to steer through that, the traps, and what to do. In exchange for that, there is no other system out there. Most therapists will send you home. Your partner won’t cooperate, well go home and give me a call when he comes back. I’m seeing a ton of people that have to sort me out for this very problem and we’ve got both people working on it. Some people just looking at this free webinar.
Host: Wonderful. That’s wonderful. I’d like to rewind our conversation because when we started our podcast, you mentioned two things and I picked up on them and I kind of latched onto them because this morning when I woke up I thought to myself, and it's what you said about our screens and our phones and that we’re kind of attached to them. You know, kids are attached to them, we do have dinner together, they’re always going to be looking at their screens but, you know, as adults as well. Just this morning I said to myself, I can’t stop looking at my phone and searching for news all the time. I got these two apps, the news app, and the flip board app and I'm going through the news all the time, 24/7. I'm kind of like addicted to it, I can’t put my phone down. And usually, I look at my kids around the house and they’ll be walking around with their phones in their hands and I'll be like, “Oh, you can’t get rid of your phones”. But now there’s this new technology on our phones that calculates your screen time.
Philip: Oh, yes.
Host: My kids were comparing that screen time with me the other day and mine was higher than theirs. So I turned out to be a real hypocrite for my kids. (laughing) You’re worse than we are. And I said to myself, “You know what?”, I got up, “I got to get rid of this”. So, today's my first couple of hours. It’s still, you know, the afternoon, it’s still noontime here Eastern Standard Time.
Philip: Why you need some more information…
Host: Yes, but you just said this and it’s kind of uncanny that I was thinking about this and now you said this so I was hoping we could talk about it.
Philip: Yes, a little coma moment, that’s exactly right.
Philip: Yes. So, these devices are made to keep us addicted. They’re actually made that. They studied the science behind it and I was listening to a podcast about Alzheimer’s by Doctor A. Mend whose foremost brain scan person in the world and he said that this short burst on these electronic messages is hard-wiring our brain for Alzheimer’s. So, we’re actually preparing, remember I said you got to be proactive for it to work and if you don’t the river is going to, the fast-flowing river is going to suck you downstream over the cliff. This is another area where it’s doing it. If we don’t limit the electronic short-circuiting of our brain, Alzheimer’s which is already growing exponentially, especially for women, it affects 3 out of 4 women over men in the last 20 years, which is grown at 700% increase rate. Women, just absolutely incredible. It’s wiring us for that and especially our kids who start at a younger age so there’s another area. You see, you can’t separate anything now with life-related to relationships and health. They’re all tied together. You know, another example would be comfort foods. When you’re under stress you seek comfort foods. Why? Because stress changes the bacteria, the microbiome in our stomach. It used to have 15% bad and 85% good. By the way, 80% of serotonin is produced in our stomach by the good bacteria.
Host: Oh, really. Okay.
Philip: Most people don’t know that. And so when we get under stress it changes our body from alcohol which is good for the good bacteria to acidic which causes the bad bacteria to thrive. They get hungry and send the chemical message to our brain that says, “Feed me all up sugary, starchy, crap food, greasy food”.
Philip: Now, we take that food, good bacteria’s knocked off, so serotonin shrinks up that’s why we got Sarah depressed, we get a spike, we get a rush and then we crash, we have brain fog, we feel bad, have a headache. How to fix that? More sugar, junk food, or alcohol and that affect our mood, our sleep, our health and now that feeds this whole cycle. Now, I’m testier, I’m going to get into an argument more, this is going to make us get along more poorly, I’m going to need some more, I’m asleep, I got more headache, I need some more junk food to nurse my wounded ego. And now, I’m going to tell you how I feel, to get it off my chest, just provokes an argument, I reach for more junk food. And now, we’re in this integrated spiral downward where the state of our relationships affects our mood which affects the food, which affects the health, which affects our mood, which affects how we get along. You know, so I’ve developed this holistic approach that says you can’t separate this. Like for instance, when I lose a night’s sleep, I don’t know about you, especially 2 or 3 nights, I don’t like being around me, let alone my wife being around me. (laughing) So, that will affect how we get along plus sleep affects, you know, there are two hormones that affect. One is our hunger hormone and the other one’s our satiation hormone. While we lose sleep that gets thrown off. So. Now we have re desire for food, we get hungrier and satiation doesn’t cut off. And now we’re eating more which then is causing us to gain weight, raise our blood sugar levels…
Host: Just a plethora of problems, you know, arise from this.
Philip: Yes, yes. And let’s introduce, since we’re into wellness, let’s introduce medication into this. Now, from all the stress and everything. Now, I’m not sleeping so I need a sleep med. Well, sleep has huge side effects from sleep medication. You get dependent on it, it can raise your cholesterol level, it doesn’t mix well with alcohol, there’s a whole bunch of stuff. Stress increases cholesterol, you’re taking cholesterol medicines, a cholesterol medicine causes muscular problems, it increases memory loss significantly so now you’re on a quicker road to Alzheimer’s, you get sad so now you’re on an anti-depressant and anti-depressant affects libido, sexual interest, and performance, you can get dependent on it, it downs your emotion by 40% so now that I don’t feel the same way from you, towards you anymore, we’re not having sex so now we got more marital problems so I’m getting more depressed. The whole thing that causes memory loss is tremendous. Now you have this called prescription pill syndrome where now the side effects of the pills require more pills which has more side effects. They also deplete nutrients in the body which causes more illness down the road. I mean, this thing is a disaster on every level. So, in current communication approaches are a big part of the problem. They’re just feeding this whole negative multi-systemic problem. So, that’s bad news. The good news is the program that I developed cuts all those off at the base. And all people have to do is listen to that 50-minute webinar and you got it all right there as a start.
Host: That’s awesome. Do you consult with people who are not in your local area?
Philip: Yes, telehealth is big, yes.
Host: Yes? And how do people get in touch with you? Again with the website or do you have like a media?
Philip: Yes, just contact me on the website, yes. That's all.
Host: Okay, wonderful. Wonderful. that is fantastic. I was going to ask you, you know if you would leave us with one relationship advice or one piece of advice that you would generally give to everyone, but I think you've already answered that question throughout the podcast and I think you already answered that question on your website as well. Philip Deluca, thank you so much for talking about relationships and, you know, how we go through stages of anger, talking when to not talk, you know, breaking down the conventional communication model, and the association with health. It’s been a very informative one hour already.
Philip: Well, yes. Yes.
Host: (laughing) I didn’t even realize the time already. It's fantastic. So, thank you so much for that.
Philip: Oh, my pleasure. I enjoyed a lot, yes. If any of your audience, there wants me to come out and do a retreat or something as s group, I’ll be glad to so we can have a lot of fun and learn a lot about something like this.
Host: Oh, you do that as well. Once again, please for our audience, what is your website and how can we get in touch with you?
Host: gobeyondtalktherapy.com. Philip Deluca, thank you so much for being on the Lifelong Wellness podcast today.
Philip: My pleasure. Thank you.