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Does Your Therapist Call You Out On Your BS? HFH Podcast Ep #4 – Amy Chandler –


Dawn Fable: Amy Chandler, it is so good to see you, my friends this is a really humbling and sort of full circle experience for me. , Amy has been my therapist for, gosh, over 15 years. Both my husband and I have seen her. , Amy. Has worked in therapy for over 30 years, worked with a number of clients, a number of couples, , a number of families, and I have so much respect for you, Amy, not only as a therapist, but as a person, and I invited Amy today to be on the Hot Flash Health podcast because there’s so much of what you do.

What you’ve taught me and what you have built fundamentally within your practice That [00:01:00] applies to what we’re talking about. So thank you first and foremost for being here you mean the world to me and it’s really exciting to be able to talk to you

Amy Chandler: Cool. I’m happy to be here. This is exciting.

Dawn Fable: Well, amongst being an incredible therapist and having a very, very different approach, Amy is also the mother of three beautiful and extremely intelligent boys. I know that you’ve had a lot of experience in facilitating love and logic classes, which we’ll talk about that, , more so because you’ve certainly helped in my journey with my children.

And you’ve used a lot of your life experiences with your own depression, your own childhood trauma. Your own addiction, abuse, divorce, really to the practicalities of how you, approach your clients. So tell us a little bit about, your practice, your approach, and what you’re seeing when people come to you.

Amy Chandler: Perfect. So I really kind of started out in the addiction field. I worked probably 15 years with domestic violence, both women and men. I went through a lot of my own therapy and my own stuff in my twenties and all of those things combined working in the court order field. Seeing how addiction and families and all those things kind of came together, I’ve come up with a, system that gets people out of their patterns. I went to therapy. I had an amazing therapist. I also think that a lot of my therapy eventually started attaching me to the trauma instead of detaching me from the trauma or traumas or made traumas, traumas that weren’t traumas made it a lot more crisis y than it actually was

Dawn Fable: Yeah, you know, you’ve said, you’ve said in a lot of our experience over the years that you have not necessarily [00:03:00] believed all the time in traditional therapy and certainly when I’m sitting on your couch, you have a very, very different approach, which I can only imagine is an acquired taste for some, it works for some, and it doesn’t work for others, but I have really respected and frankly your approach works.

It is very in your face, so It is very direct communication, , get your shit together, and you hold people accountable. It has been so effective because unlike other therapy sessions, you know, where you’re going once a week and how does this make you feel and blah blah blah blah blah and all the bullshit, you dig deep and you go fast and you’re effective.

, in your experience, talk about how you approach therapy. in terms of people coming to you and really being in that victim cycle and switching them over to the accountability cycle because that is something, Amy, that’s been life changing for me. I  can’t tell you how many people I’ve shared this with, but literally it has overlap in every single area of your life.

So can you talk about that a little bit? Because it is so effective.

Amy Chandler: Well, what I started noticing is that really what people do is they come to therapy to talk about how they’re the victim of something. Victim of their past, victim of their partner, of their husband, their wife, their job, their boss, when you’re just working with one person, people tend to come to therapy to talk about how they feel victimized, which makes sense. And I think because I worked in domestic violence, I was like, well, you’re accountable for what you’re accountable for. You can’t keep on justifying shitty behavior as an adult you, there’s no justification for it. Eventually you have to own that you’re participating in your own cycle and you have been victimized.

I’ve been victimized. , and I also participated in either getting stuck in [00:05:00] it learning how to manipulate that.

People have been victimized. I was, I’ve been horribly victimized and I still have a responsibility for how I was in the situation, how I reacted to the situation. What I do with the situation today, I, you know, trauma doesn’t have a timeline. So it feels like trauma happened yesterday and, and it happened 50 years ago.

It can feel like it’s happening right now. Like it happened yesterday and I compassion and empathy for that. And if it’s, I’m being held hostage by what’s up, something that happened to me 50 years ago. There’s some part of my story that I’ve got to shift and change so that I can get out of the pattern and release and not be hostage to something that I didn’t actually do, right?

I really shift people from being the victim to accountability. And I watch people’s lives change in a week. I

Dawn Fable: And

Amy Chandler: For your behavior. Like you can’t just keep acting out and act like that. You are justified in [00:06:00] doing that. You have to kind of see why you’re doing that and whether or not you want to change it.

Dawn Fable: I was very fortunate, both my husband and I, to take one of Amy’s six week classes, boot camps, that we’re going to talk about a little bit later, but just understanding that victim cycle and really those learned behaviors that stem from childhood trauma, pointing that out and acknowledging it.

And of learning that accountability cycle has completely shifted my thought process in so many things in my life. I feel like I have this tattooed on my ass, but will you share the victim cycle and accountability cycle in sort of a high level overview?

Amy Chandler: People say they’re triggered all the time, actually, people can’t tell me what’s actually been triggered. Clients, people, individuals don’t actually know what got triggered. And so you get triggered basically by [00:07:00] some event, right? You then start telling yourself a story that you’ve been telling yourself your whole life. Like it’s been, it’s a very attached story. No one listens to me. Everyone’s this Harry, here we go again.

I’m not good enough. No one cares. Like you have a victim story. You have a default story that sort of just instantly plays, which then gives you permission and justification for then I call it a temper tantrum. So like either freeze or shut down or go into depression or get anxiety or hit somebody or drink more alcohol you do that sabotages you.

So. You get triggered to tell yourself a story and now you have justification for really just sort of fucking losing it right at the end of the day, like, and then you have a hangover from doing that because you have to recover from that. Sometimes you apologize.

Sometimes you’re just trying to recover.

You get triggered, you tell yourself a story, you go into a temper tantrum, [00:08:00] you know, it’s actually a trauma response, but people don’t understand that. And then people go to therapy to talk about all those behaviors, the drinking, the drugs, the marriage, the communication, the. I don’t like my body.

I don’t like this. This is the problem. And, and, you know, eventually I was like, it’s just a waste of time to talk about that because you actually have a belief system that supports it. if you don’t understand your belief system, that that’s been downloaded in the first place, and you’re functioning from a place. That doesn’t serve you talking about the , you go to therapy and spend years talking about behaviors instead of talking about the beliefs that are, that you need to actually detach from.

Dawn Fable: It’s interesting and being vulnerable and speaking from my personal experience, you know, Amy really taught me that as a 46 year old woman, I was downloaded a core belief system. In my life, learned from behaviors and patterns and things of that [00:09:00] nature from from my parents and whether it was healthy or not, that core belief system that I sat in was where I felt safe.

Anytime my core belief system was challenged, in this case, my husband showing up for me, right, which challenged my core belief system, that really triggered me. And

Amy Chandler: because you believe men wouldn’t show up for you. And that’s what you needed to happen.

Dawn Fable: that’s correct. And so, with that being said, I was then triggered. Which puts my husband in a very difficult situation because he’s showing up for our family and for me trying to be supportive, but I didn’t know what to do with that. I didn’t feel safe because that didn’t meet my core belief system. So once I’m triggered, then of course I go into the cycle.

for me personally is very much anxiety and not being able to control that situation. So catastrophization, anxiety, and then I have the hangover, which in a lot [00:10:00] of cases is retreating or not speaking . So it’s a really, really interesting cycle. And I asked you at one point in time, I’ll never forget.

I was sitting in your chair and I said, You’re fucking crazy woman. How in God’s green earth do you want me to literally change my core belief system that that is the only thing that I have known and felt safe in for 46 years? And your answer to me was I just need to teach you the accountability cycle versus the victim cycle and the story that you’ve been telling yourself for 46 years.

And once I’m able to do that, then you can start to sort of translate that accountability cycle in your life. And that was very, very, very powerful for me. Your quick You’re witty, you’re in your face, and you are very, very open and willing to call someone out [00:11:00] on their bullshit. And I think that a lot of therapists do not do that, for better or for worse.

But for a lot of people, including myself and my husband and the tens and fifteen and twenty people that I’ve sent you, they’re like, holy shit, I’ve been going to therapy for ten years. I learned more in this than I’ve learned in 10 years in one session. So I really, really appreciate your approach, , in speaking about the core belief system and how your core belief system that you’ve been downloaded in your life shows up everywhere.

And oftentimes it relates to childhood trauma. Now, as we explore of hot flash health and a lot of our topics around, menopause and hormonal health you also do a really great job of sort of recognizing and identifying what women are going through in their middle, [00:12:00] middle age, because there’s so much childhood trauma that presents itself.

And there’s so many areas of your life that it’s impacted. Talk to me a little bit about sort of those life shifts and how with your clients and me, and things like that, you’re seeing our middle age life shifting as it pertains to, you know, sexuality or your sex drive or your relationship or your friendships or your identity.

Amy Chandler: There’s a lot of things going on between like, let’s say 45 and up. about to turn 59. And so what’s going on for me at 59 is not the same thing that’s going on for someone that’s 45. So, so there’s a lot of shifting and changing. I think, I think in my practice, I see a lot of marriages coming in because in conflict, in crisis, because the expectation of marriage that they downloaded, it’s kind of bullshit.

It’s not actually what marriage looks like. It’s not what motherhood looked [00:13:00] like. It’s not what you thought it was going to look like. I think there’s a lot of things happening. You’re starting to see your kids grow up and leave home. You’re dealing with elderly parents. You’re dealing with your marriage because your marriage has been on the back burner since you had kids generally, it’s not really the priority, the Kids needs become the priority, priority.

So the marriage gets really lost. I think women get really lost in being mothers. Women get really lost in who they are. And so I think there’s a bit, there’s a lot of shifts from kids growing up and not needing the same things. it’s the same for, for women. You grow up and you don’t need the same things and really trying to identify what that is and what those shifts are and trying to communicate those and figure that out for yourself, sexually, emotionally, spiritually, in your marriage for yourself, like all of that is changing, it’s like a renegotiation of your contract with yourself it’s unsettling because there’s a lot of loss. potentially a lot of conflict because [00:14:00] you wake up and you’re like, this isn’t what I wanted or needed. Um, your body is changing, your sex life, but I will tell you, I think it still comes down to sort of what you were downloaded about getting older, about marriage, about kids, about your body, about menopause. About sex, like all those things creep up. , I can’t do a session without somebody’s actual download, conscious and unconscious. You have to like spend some time figuring out what you actually believed about what your world was going to look like. Mentally, there’s a lot of, loss. There’s potentially depression. There’s a shift, there’s I mean, just, you know, if you have a diagnosis, I think that gets kicked up for different reasons. Cause it’s getting triggered over and over and over.

And you don’t have control. So your sense of control is different. Your identity is starting to change because you’re not just a mother anymore. You’re not just a wife anymore, or, [00:15:00] you never got married and had kids and now you’re looking at, you know, there’s all kinds of things depending on everyone’s situation that you’re really facing.

I think we’re triggered on a regular basis and really don’t know what to do with it.

Dawn Fable: That’s why you’re so valuable, you know and speaking of middle age You’ve done a really great job of teaching me and frankly my husband as well how to set boundaries and Oftentimes as I’m having these conversations with so many girlfriends. They’re Really having this awakening in their own lives of wanting to invest in themselves and wanting to Take care of of themselves and and dig deep into some of these wounds And in doing so that requires setting boundaries, which is a very difficult thing And I know from my experience setting boundaries has caused conflict in my marriage has caused conflict in friendships has conflict Cause conflict in [00:16:00] relationships.

, you talk a lot about, setting boundaries and how to protect yourself versus the demands that you’re placing on others.

Amy Chandler: Because as soon as you said that, I was like, okay, be quiet. I have like a whole lot to say. Enough time.

Dawn Fable: It’s not the first time you’ve told me to be quiet, by the way. It’s usually, it’s usually shut the fuck up, like, I need to say something.

Amy Chandler: I don’t love to use boundaries. , I think it’s an overused word and it’s lost a lot of its meaning. People need to look at boundaries are how you protect and respect yourself. Boundaries are your contract with yourself. They have nothing to do with other people. You are only upset because somebody crossed your contract, but then we blame them for crossing the contract. So if, if you are not protecting and respecting yourself, the only person who crossed your boundaries is you. It’s not other people, it’s literally sitting down and going, well, what is my contract with myself emotionally?

It’s your agreement. It’s your, how [00:17:00] you protect and respect yourself. That’s what a contract is. should be. how do I emotionally, physically, sexually, socially, in my marriage with myself, figure out who I am, first of all, what I need. Do my own words and behavior match up? Because if they don’t, you are out of line, not other people. You either respect or you disrespect yourself. when you don’t sit down and actually figure out what that means, then you really are kind of floating out there, mad that everyone’s crossing your boundaries. No one’s crossing your boundaries.


Dawn Fable: And then you fall into that victim cycle, right? It’s back to the victim cycle.

Amy Chandler: Because somebody did something to you. I’m like, well, no, you’re, you are not protecting and respecting yourself, which means you have to get out of that cycle and actually advocate for yourself. And you have to be okay with or without whatever the fallout is.

Like I have a non negotiable then it’s my non negotiable to follow. It’s not yours. [00:18:00] You don’t have to agree to my non negotiables. You don’t have to agree to my boundaries. have to agree to my boundaries. You don’t, it’s pro me, not anti you. I think there is loss and there’s definitely shifting when people start to get more of an advocate for themselves or their family or their marriage.

Like this is what we do to protect and respect ourself. I, you already know this, but I, I raised my kids with attitude, gratitude, respect, and no secrets. That was the rule. was it. And if you want to disrespect yourself, I’ll stand aside, but you need to understand and take responsibility for respecting yourself. And I’m not picking up the pieces. Those are your choices to make. And it applies to me too. If I want to go disrespect myself, that’s fine. I can’t whine about the consequences of what I’m doing.

Amy Chandler: . I don’t even have an agenda about people getting so accountable. I, I just have a, I have an agenda [00:19:00] about actually knowing what you’re choosing, consciously accepting that you’re doing it and, and be okay with the benefits and the consequences of what you’re doing.

And stop complaining ultimately that somebody else is doing something to you because you’re really participating in it.

Dawn Fable: You have all of these amyisms that,

Amy Chandler: I’ve learned and everything that I’ve been teaching, there are probably 90 percent of the stuff I would have had conversations with before are unnecessary.

It is really just me getting back in line with myself. And that usually just takes care of whatever the situation is. And there’s not a lot I have to do or say to people. than keep my, keep my own shit together.

Dawn Fable: You know, are certainly constant, uh, constant in our households that you’ve taught us. Um, you talked about attitude, gratitude, respect and no secrets, which has been something that we have instilled in our Children. And I’m thankful for that lesson. So thank you. Um, you talked earlier [00:20:00] about 90 percent of what you think needs to be said doesn’t need to be said.

And you have taught both my husband and I. When you’re trying to communicate something, really say what you are intending to say in eight words or less. Talk, talk to me about why that has been so fundamental in your practice and how that helps people. I can speak from my experience, but

Amy Chandler: Um, I think if you can’t say it in eight words or less, this is my speech. If you can’t say it in eight words or less, you don’t know what you need. Cause you don’t have clarity. And if you can’t say it in eight words or less, you actually don’t know what you did to somebody. So I could spend weeks in my head, having a temper tantrum or calling friends and complaining.

And, and, and I guess I, I process like that. I process out loud and I and scream and kick and scream in my own way. Right. [00:21:00] But that process should get you to some clarity eventually. And in that clarity, you should be able to say it in eight words or less. So I need a hug is not a four hour conversation and I don’t need to manipulate you to give me a hug.

I need to start asking for a hug. I need to say I need space. I need to, I actually am responsible to know what I need, ask for what I need and then get what I need. And so if I can’t figure out what I need, I can’t be mad because no one else is meeting my expectations. So that’s another like big sort of rip off because no one else is responsible.

No one’s coming. Like you have to figure out your own. That’s another one of my things. Like no one’s coming. You have to figure out your own shit and then you’re responsible for it. And then you have to say it. And then you have to live your life by it. Your words and behavior need to match up. And you know, I’ve, I’ve joked because I, you know, I’ve been out of a relationship.

I’d like to be in a [00:22:00] relationship. And those are my words. My behavior would tell you and anybody else. She has no intention of ever getting into another fucking relationship. Like I don’t date. If I wanted a boyfriend, I’d have a boyfriend. a way to do that. There’s a behavior that does that. My behavior doesn’t leave room for it.

Dawn Fable: so that’s, that’s the next amyism that I’ve learned is your comparison to relationships or conflict in a sandbox. Tell everyone about this sandbox behavior because it’s so simple.

Amy Chandler: so the victim and the bully are the same people sitting in a sandbox. Ultimately, you can’t have a victim without a bully. It’s a very codependent relationship. It doesn’t exist unless both people participate basically. And I think that the big lie that people think is you’re one or the other, you’re actually both. I am, I am a perpetrator and I’m a victim. I [00:23:00] have my own shit. I’ve been victimized. Both are true. And in a marriage, in conflict, you bounce between the two of them. You, just a victim and you’re not just a bully.

You actually participate in both. So you’re sitting in the same sandbox and literally arguing over who threw the sand first with, with not understanding that you can get up and leave the sandbox. You can just leave the sandbox and then there’s no more conflict. And so if you’re in the sandbox, it’s not going to ever get resolved there’s no accountability.

It’s the victim’s fault or it’s the, or it’s the bully’s fault. There’s no ownership in it. So you have to own your behavior to get out of the sandbox. You have to own that you are also And it’s really funny because every couple comes in and tells me how much they’re doing. I do everything. I do everything.

I’m like, well, if you’re both doing everything, I’m not sure why you’re sitting here.

and there’s no compassion or empathy for like, we’re all just doing a lot. [00:24:00] It’s just a scorekeeping problem. So that’s, that’s sitting in the sandbox, having temper tantrums, fighting about why you’re in the sandbox or that you are, and you’re trying to prove you’re in the sandbox. And I’m like, need to go to the swings and play. And if someone wants to come over there and hang out, that’s great. But you are responsible for being in the sandbox when you’re in it, and you’re responsible to get yourself out of the sandbox because really done. Nobody’s coming. No one can do your work for you, and no one’s required to do your work for you.

And I think. marriages, I think in our life, we’re sort of taught that somebody else is going to like fix that wound or help us out and they’re not obligated to do it. I can’t, I can’t make you happy.

Dawn Fable: I’ll never forget a conversation that we were having, you know, we’re in the process, as many people know, and certainly, you know, of building a home and, and the home hasn’t been built. Yeah. Um, completed on time and my poor husband is, is the contractor. And so [00:25:00] I placed a lot of blame on, on him that the home wasn’t done.

And you were so quick in the most kind, direct way to hold me accountable and say, you know, Don, you have a part in this too, why do you feel? And I do believe you called me entitled, which admittedly I was and can be. You are entitled in that you feel like this home should be built within a certain period of time for you.

The reason I bring that up is you’re right. You have to look in the mirror, Have those hard conversations with yourself. And really take a look at your contributions.

Dawn Fable: And for that, I’m, I’m really, really grateful for you. And, and it is, it’s so effective. I can’t tell you how many people I’m literally sitting in a bar with on a napkin, drawing But moving on, I want to talk about, a [00:26:00] couple other things that have been so valuable to me and I think would be very valuable to the Hot Flash Health audience. You have a lot of experience in love and logic, and you have raised these three beautiful boys as a single mother.

And I’m constantly in awe of what you share with me about your family and how independent they are and how grounded they are. You talked a lot about in my sessions and boot camp with you that each one of us take on a archetype, I believe is what it’s called. And you shared with me, um, several archetypes that are children.

are actually taking on as a result of our behavior and what they’re being downloaded. That was very powerful for me because having three children, I recognize that each one of them are very different. And it was very clear to me as to Each one of those archetypes or behaviors or personas that [00:27:00] they are taking on and I have no doubt that part of that Is as a result of what both my husband and I are downloading in their lives.

So can you talk about? um your approach to Raising children some of the love and logic and the archetypes and personas that our children are taking on

Amy Chandler: Sure. So the archetypes aren’t mine. Like I didn’t create the scapegoat, the perfectionist, the mascot, the, um, lost child, the pleaser. It’s a dysfunctional family and we all have bits and parts of all of them.

I have a, I love my scapegoat. wish I had more perfectionists in me. I vacillate between a lost child and a scapegoat. I can see. what they are really your coping skills to deal with conflict. They’re, they are the positive and negative, but there are negative coping skills that you develop. To deal with what is or isn’t happening in [00:28:00] your home when you’re growing up. So, um, it’s, it’s how you react to conflict at the end of the day. It’s how you deal with anxiety. So a lost child shuts down and goes in the back room and closes the door. Um, Scapegoat, you know, the more you try to control a scapegoat, the more the scapegoat tells you to fuck off and they go do what they’re going to go do.

It’s a battle for control in the house. Really. Um, a perfectionist just does more bees in, you know, straight A’s, joins everything, and they’re there. I love perfectionist. Perfectionist can only be bad secretly. they have like a secret scapegoat, a secret, fuck you. But they show up, man, and they look good and right and in order and their house is good and that’s all not true.

Everyone’s got struggles. Everyone’s, you know, all over the place. The pleaser is somebody who just, [00:29:00] they don’t really know how to say no. Um, they will sort of compromise themselves, their expense to make you happy. they’re all really codependent. They’re all sitting in the sandbox. They have positive characteristics too, but the negative ones are what sends you into. Counseling the negative ones sabotage you.

And so really what I’ve learned how to do, maybe out of my own frustration is just, let me tell you the information. Let me, me, Explain family dynamics to you. Let me explain where your trauma is coming from. Let me explain that this is your shit. Like, let’s get there because you can’t come to therapy to fix what somebody else did to you.

You can only come to therapy to deal with how you’re going to react to what’s happened to you.

I’m very, I’m big on love and logic because what love and logic does is undo codependency. It doesn’t teach you codependency, like your parenting. It’s not coming from a codependent place. don’t know what my kids need to wear for the day. I know what [00:30:00] I need to know. I know what I need to wear that day. So it was like sending them outside do a weather check figure out what they needed for the day. So they’re figuring out love and logic teaches you everything I’m trying to teach adults in therapy. Like, I don’t know what you need. You have to figure out what you need. I’m sorry you did that to yourself. There’s consequences. Do you want the, you want to be married or divorced? Do you want the blue coat or red coat? What do you want to be married or divorced? Because there’s a way to be married and there’s a way to be divorced. And lots of people are working harder on their divorce saying they want to be married than actually working on a marriage, trying to be married. So,

Dawn Fable: isn’t that crazy? I mean, gosh,

Amy Chandler: well, I don’t want to be depressed anymore. Okay. Well, okay. Well, what do you want to be like? How, what is it? Let’s a different way. There’s different thinking. There’s different. And I like, I want to be real clear. I believe in mental health. I believe in diagnoses. I believe in anxiety. I believe in depression.

[00:31:00] I also believe they can also be used as your new identity. And I don’t think that’s healthy. I think they become people’s biggest excuse when they’re not actually addressing their depression, anxiety, or mental health issues. it can’t just be your go to. It can’t be your anchor in your life. You still, no one’s coming.

You still have to get up and function in your life the best way you can,

Dawn Fable: As a middle aged woman and, and having conversations with so many of my friends and I’m shifting gears a bit, we find ourselves in this sandwich generation, right? Right. Right. Between our children, aging children and aging parents, where we’re taking care of both of them, or in some cases, our children are leaving the household and we’re struggling with identities as human beings or as mothers because we don’t have that anymore.

I can only imagine you’re seeing a lot of women and men, of course, who are going through that.

Amy Chandler: [00:32:00] So I’m old for, I mean, I have a 16 year old who’s leaving home quicker. My lap, my youngest is 16. He’s leaving home much faster than the other two did. And so I’m bracing myself, right. And I’m catching myself going into a lot of like, did I teach him everything? Oh my God. Like I screwed up all this stuff.

I, if this happens and what’s our relationship going to look like longer later and, and, and a warning to them, your wives will not replace me. Like you will have a life with me with like, whether we like the in laws or not. Like. Like a lot of fear is actually coming up. It’s my job to out my identity outside of my kids. It’s my job to figure out my entertainment outside of my children

Dawn Fable: Might have to find a boyfriend.

Amy Chandler: might have to find a boyfriend.

Dawn Fable: You know, we could use this as a shameless plug. Beautiful, smart, [00:33:00] funny,

Amy Chandler: You

Dawn Fable: no, no bullshit.

Amy Chandler: no bullshit, right? I could, and you need a retirement plan. Got to have some, uh, security. like just struggling with my own, like going into my own cycle about what a failure I’ve been as a mom. if you look at my kids, nobody would say, oh, she really fucked this up. Nobody would say that. They’re, they’re very, I feel like I under parented and I used a lot of love and logic I don’t even know if my kids would say that I under parented, I will tell you under parenting and over parenting will both cause problems for your kids.

It’s just acknowledging and listening to my own thinking and realizing I’m in my own self loathing and my own self doubt, my own, you know, fears around what this looks like next, like, I was not prepared for my 16 year old to leave home as quick as he’s leaving home. [00:34:00] And I mean, emotionally, physically, like he’s, he’s just, going fast.

Dawn Fable: Yeah.

Amy Chandler: that’s not what your only identity is. And your marriage isn’t either, by the way, like you are your identity. And so who do you really want to be? I also think there’s a lot of shifting into realizing who you thought you were versus who you think you might be today. some of the lies you might’ve been telling yourself for a long time and realizing, Oh, I don’t even really like this or that, or I really do want to do this and I never thought I would do that. So I think there’s a renegotiation of, um, what your life is going to look like. And I think it gets kicked up because of menopause gets kicked up because you’re getting older. It gets kicked up because things are changing.

Dawn Fable: Yeah. So you’ve shifted your practice a little bit to a really interesting and powerful model and one that I’ve taken advantage of. And I know many of my friends have taken advantage of. That’s very [00:35:00] effective. Can you share what you are doing now? Um, your approach to things and sort of give an umbrella pitch, if you will, of where you’re shifting.

Amy Chandler: so it’s, it’s a company called Just Amy and it has, there’s a book in the work, but it’s not quite there yet. But I’ve got a workbook and it’s a class right now, it’s a six week class. gonna try to do it in a two day class. full like weekend and just like really sock it to people in two days.

Dawn Fable: you better brace yourself. You’re going to learn more in that two days than you might have learned your entire life.

Amy Chandler: yeah, it’s a six week class. It sort of teaches you the cycle and then dives deep into the cycle. So you can work out some of your own stuff. 18 hours, it’s a three hour, a night class for six weeks.

Dawn Fable: So, so if someone [00:36:00] signs up for a six week course, and I know this cause I’ve done it and it is very effective. What do they expect? What can they get from this course?

Amy Chandler: Well, they will get feedback if I, all therapists are, but I’m really fast to figure it out and I’ll tell you really quickly what I see. I’ll tell you what to look at. I’ll tell you where I think you’re really out of line with yourself. I’ll tell you where your words and behavior don’t match up at all. call you out. You will have a, you will have a system that works with or without a therapist. You’ll, you’ll have a tool, uh, and a, and a book, but you’ll have a, an actual tool, the circle, the cycle I was talking about, um, that you can process on your own. And it doesn’t, you know, every I get triggered, I, I use it.

It takes like 30 seconds after you practice it for a minute, or you know, you’re having a temper tantrum and you need to figure yourself out. [00:37:00] Um, I think the thing that happens is once people recognize that their behavior is, is It’s their own behavior is destructive and their temper tantrums are not justified. Pretty much the first week people stop having their temper tantrums or at least recognize, recognize them quicker and pull back. So that’s a huge shift that takes years in therapy for someone to be like, Oh, I stopped acting like that. I’m like, well, so that happens probably the first week. You will also notice everybody else’s temper tantrums and you learn how to get out of them and not take them personally.

Dawn Fable: You identify what your core belief system is and what you’ve been downloaded your entire life. Um, Which is very powerful.

your approach from understanding the core belief system, your victim cycle, and recognizing what that is, and then teaching the accountability cycle applies to all aspects [00:38:00] of your life. It applies to relationships. It applies to marriages. It applies to family dynamics. It applies to parenting.

It applies to friendships. It applies to professional life. Um, really, I have fundamentally used what you have taught me in every area of my life.

Amy Chandler: I want to, you know, compliment you and also talk about, you know, the, the menopause and, it also has a lot to do with how you’re going to face. Aging, how you’re going to deal with menopause, how you’re going to deal with the shifts and changes in your life. Like it’s, it’s also a topic because we have a, we have downloaded whatever our parent, our mothers taught us or our friends are saying that may or may not be true for you, like may or may not be your experience.

And so. How do I really want to be in charge of this instead of it? It’s the end of my life. It’s the beginning of something like, what do you want to [00:39:00] attach to? What do you need to detach from while all these things are happening in your life and changing in your life? And, and what all that means emotionally, physically, spiritually, sexually, socially, but that’s consciously thinking about those things and diving in and taking a look and like, you can’t just, well, you can, but Just sort of blindly go through it, but you’ll be frustrated.

You’ll be in a lot of resentment. When you do that, you can only heal things from accountability. You cannot heal anything from being the victim.

Dawn Fable: and that’s really what we’re all about at Hot Flash Health is recognizing that 100 percent of women are going to go through menopause, whether they struggle with symptomatically what menopause brings or how their lives might be disrupted in terms of the five pillars, mentally, spiritually, physically, hormonally, sexually, but really at Hot Flash Health, we’re here [00:40:00] to.

Empower women to embrace their sort of inner queen ager, do the work to understand and to own it, invest in their health, invest in their mental health, and be vulnerable, transparent, and share with others what they’re going through, because for so long, it’s been a very taboo and stigmatized topic, people don’t necessarily want to talk about going through menopause, and you have a dry vagina, Or, you know, you’d rather sit in the corner and braid your pubic hairs than you would put out for your husband or partner, or you’re very quick to snap at your children, or you are changing physically and you are very vain.

And that is impacting your self confidence, or you are setting boundaries, and, um, it is disrupting your relationships, or you are doing the work to really figure out you and this awakening that [00:41:00] you’re having as a middle aged woman, and it’s causing conflict in your life. So there’s so much crossover of mental health and doing the work that you’re suggesting, and aging as a middle aged woman, and experiencing A sum or all of the things that we all are going to go through at some point in their life in our lives.

So I appreciate you so much, Amy. You’ve been life changing for me. You’ve been life changing for certainly Shane and I’s marriage. You have helped a number of my friends and people who I care about deeply. Um, I want to help elevate what you’re doing In these boot camps in these very quick and efficient sessions.

How does someone who’s listening to this and something that you’ve said has really resonated with them? How does someone learn more about you? your [00:42:00] approach, your webinars, your bootcamp. Tell us.

Amy Chandler: and then go to my website. It’s just Amy. org.

Dawn Fable: Yeah. I mean, you’re, you are a unicorn. Like you spend 10 minutes with someone and you’re like, boom, nailed it. I mean, I’m a pretty complicated person. Um, and you nailed me in, I think less than 30 minutes. And I was like, holy shit, this woman knows what she’s talking about. And you weren’t afraid to call me out on my bullshit, which I appreciated and have grown to love and respect you as, as difficult as it was to hear sometimes.

Amy Chandler: I’m also very compassionate and know when to zing somebody and know when not to zing somebody,

good, I don’t know, it could have gone a lot of directions, you and

Dawn Fable: Yeah. You and I, you and I could have duped it out a couple of times for sure. Um, I’m not, that would be like, if I were a betting man, I’m not sure who I’d put my money on.

So, Amy, something that’s been so powerful in my experience, and I know is really a [00:43:00] fundamental in these boot camps and sessions that you’re doing with your clients, is the victim cycle and the accountability cycle. And there’s an element of visuals here that I would love for you to share with people because it is so powerful in once you recognize both of those cycles.


Amy Chandler: You have beliefs and needs. This is really important. This is when they’re met, you feel safe when you’re triggered. It is your unresolved issue. Always. You cannot get triggered unless it’s something that’s brewing for you. It’s your stuff. I’m okay. I get triggered. I go into a story. It’s a default story and it’s ultimately a victim story. [00:44:00] So when someone, when you’re triggered, you feel like somebody is doing something to you. So it’s happening to me, which then makes it a victim story. You’re doing this to me. And now I’m in this story that’s, that I, I have rehearsed and I know it and it just runs. You don’t even consciously always know it’s running, but it’s running.

It just goes right to that story. And now I have justification to be an entitled brat and have a temper tantrum. Timber tantrums are passive or aggressive and they’re very sophisticated ways that we learned how to Avoid or or not deal with conflict. They’re very manipulative ways to actually deal with what’s going on And so we’ve learned them young or from those [00:45:00] characters But you can go into like shutting down and people shut down a lot of ways Smoking pot getting depressed blocking people, their social media shutting down, like, um, that’s sort of a really passive fuck you. Um, uh, like ways people shut, silent treatment in relationships, freezing, um, walking out of rooms, making yourself invisible, like those are more passive ways that people would have a temper tantrum. In all fairness, they’re actually trauma responses, but the word temper tantrum tends to get you out of your shit.

Like you are acting out and you need to stop acting out and process it. So there’s passive temper tantrums. There’s aggressive temper tantrums. Those can be like real, like yelling, screaming. It could be an addiction problem. Actually, there could be a million addiction problems up here because [00:46:00] a marijuana problem looks more like this, a heroin problem looks more like that. you can have a shopping problem. You can go overspend. can, um, do more, start five more businesses. Um, like their, their reactions to those characters, like a perfectionist will go get a better, a plus be better at what they’re doing. Add more to their plate. then they’re, they have a hangover from doing that because you emotionally have to recover or physically have to recover, or you’re sitting in a lot of resentment because you’re doing those things. overload. There is no self care. So there’s a big hangover here. This is when people go to therapy. This is when people leave. They cancel their appointment. So when you’re in your hangover, it’s the best time it’s when people reach out, like when their marriage is in crisis, they reach out when they kiss and make up, they canceled [00:47:00] the appointment. So we’re really stuck in this cycle and we go to therapy to talk about all this stuff up here, all these behaviors. I think it’s important to understand what’s going on. I think it can take time to understand that in therapy. And eventually, my whole thing is, is you have to understand the belief systems that support your behavior. So this is what you work on. The triggers are your unresolved issues. So that’s important in the storytelling yourself. are way more important to spend time on figuring out. Understanding then you coming in and telling me what somebody did to you or what your husband did or what your wife did or how you’re stuck.

So have four emotions, happy, mad, sad, and afraid. When you are stuck in an emotion, it is not going to be [00:48:00] beneficial. If you’re stuck in sadness, you’re stuck in depression. If you’re stuck in fear, you’re stuck in anxiety. you’re stuck in, um, mad, you’re, you’re imploding and that’s affecting your life.

You’re in anger all the time. frankly, if you’re stuck in happiness, that’s bullshit too. That’s not real. It’s not healthy. It’s not normal. You have, we have to flow in and out of all of our emotions. And when you know how to do that, you’re okay. Getting stuck in one of them is not. Most families or most people learn that they are, they have permission to do two of those. Like Italians are taught. They can be happy and pissed. That’s it. Maybe we call it passion, right? Or a family may learn that sadness and depression is okay, but nothing else is okay. Another family may be a culture of just happy and don’t have to have trauma, but if you grow up in a house, it’s only happy.

You actually aren’t allowed to be mad. So that causes problems in, [00:49:00] you know, now I’ve just, just making sure everybody’s happy. Well, you can’t make sure everybody’s happy. It doesn’t work like that. People have more emotions than that one happy thing. So you don’t have to have a lot of abuse or dramatic things or. Childhood trauma, your family dynamic downloaded what it downloaded and some of that is in your way.

Dawn Fable: Yeah, so once you recognize this victim cycle, which you do a fantastic job of really breaking this down for individuals or couples or whatever it may be, you then switch over and you teach the accountability cycle, which is separate.

Amy Chandler: well, that’s week four and you need to know this first because if you jump over this and you just do the accountability thing, you’re going to skip over all your own accountability. You can’t there unless you understand this first.

Dawn Fable: what Amy does throughout these boot camps and webinars and six weeks, [00:50:00] six weeks. So what Amy does through these webinars and through her program that is so very effective is she identifies this victim cycle for you. She teaches you to go through this process and really dig deep to understand where your victim cycle is.

Once you recognize the victim cycle, not only of yourself, but perhaps of your spouse or someone else or your children or your parent or your friendships. It is literally life changing in what you teach in this program.

I am so very thankful. You’ve made a profound difference in my life. You’ve made a profound difference in my husband’s life and certainly many friends whom I’ve sent to you. I would highly, highly encourage each and every one of you to check out Amy Chandler, tell me your website again.

Amy Chandler: JustAmy. org.

Dawn Fable: JustAmy. org. She has a Facebook. She has a very powerful video on JustAmy. org that [00:51:00] literally sums you up in two minutes. And, um, feel free to reach out to me if you need any introduction. Um, Amy is located here in Denver, but can do virtual sessions. So caters to people all over the United States and frankly, all over the world.

I am thankful for you, my beautiful friend. Um, And thanks for taking the time out of your busy day today to join us and, um, talk about how your fundamentals and foundation can apply to really women in middle aged health as well. So don’t forget, uh, subscribe, uh, follow us on hot flash health. com.

Listen to us on YouTube or anywhere that you get your podcasts and I appreciate you. Thank you, Amy. And thank you

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