Welcome to the Dr. Sylvia case show. It’s where mindfulness meets brain health with a dash of spirituality. This podcast is all about igniting the fire of possibility and self-awareness so that true change and healing can happen. I’m your host, Dr. Sylvia Kay, and I’m a Ph.D. level therapist with a zest for well-being and discovering your inner spark.
I’ve worked with all kinds of clients from celebrities to your next-door neighbor, women, men, and teens, who have spent a lot of time feeling anxious, lonely, and stuck. My mission is to show each listener what’s truly possible. If you’re ready to move past self-limiting beliefs, and live a better life, with more meaning, more connection, and confidence. This podcast is for you.
I am super excited today to interview therapist Jessica balm, owner and founder of relationship Institute of Palm Beach. She grew up in New York City and decided in her 20s To leave city life behind and move to Palm Beach. She has an undergraduate degree from Fordham University and holds a master’s degree in mental health counseling from South University. As a certified substance abuse specialist. Her focus is chemical abuse, codependency, and anxiety. Jessica is also a certified Imago therapist.
Using the Amago approach, Jessica helps treat family systems and couples issues with extensive knowledge of relationships. Jessica also uses this approach in family programs, she runs treatment centers. She also has extensive training in psychodrama and experiential therapy. She’s also skilled in cognitive therapy and dialectical behavior therapy. She’s trained in EMDR therapy and post-induction therapy and has done a copious amount of work with trauma. Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome, Jessica. Bob.
Hi, thank you for having me. My name is Jessica Baum, I’m a licensed clinical mental health counselor and a psychotherapist here in Palm Beach. And I specialize a lot in relationship issues, trauma, addiction, codependency, you know, any, any kind of trauma-related into how you adapted and how you show up in your relationships. Now, even your relationship with money, your relationships with work your relationships with your love life, or parents, whatever that is, it’s usually like there’s a deep root within yourself that’s kind of dictating that. So I really help clients unpack that, in my practice.
So much, they’re like, Oh, yes, check, check, check, I need help in the attachment style theory, I need help in looking at my relationship with money, I need further tools in my personal relationships with others and husband, if we were going to use the attachment style frame, just to better understand our relationships, what exactly is the attachment style theory or the styles that people talk about, especially for those who’ve never even heard that term used before?
Sure. So attachment style is basically the studying or the science of how we stay in connection, and how we adapted to survive as a child. And what we really want as a secure base within our secure attachment style, and that there are so many factors, but learning to trust that our needs are going to be met by our primary caregivers develops a secure base within. However, no parent is perfect, and they’re usually doing the best they can and different types of styles could come if your parent is either inconsistent or unavailable, or they’re going through stress.
So we develop ways of coping or staying in connection or dealing with the lack of connection as babies that become embedded patterns in our nervous system that actually show up in our romantic life later, which I know sounds a little bit crazy, but really, truly we connect and we attach as a baby. And we also attach as an adult. And there are the ways in which we learned to survive as a child or the ways we adapted as a child which often show up in our romantic relationships, as well. And there’s a lot of science and research behind this.
Wow. Especially when you say the word nervous system, my ears perk up and I’m like, Whoa, I never thought about how some of those earlier experiences in my childhood, and even some of the trauma that I experienced might still be stored in my nervous system and still showing up even in my marriage today. How does one start to pay more attention to their nervous system? In how it shows up in dating or in a committed relationship?
Sure. Yeah. So your automatic nervous system, for example, runs throughout your whole body. And, and you know, we’re connected in the gut and in the heart and in our brain. And so when we’re in a relationship with someone, and we’re feeling something in our body that feels off or scary, or you sometimes can get butterflies in your stomach, or you can get a feeling in your gut or in your heart, usually, there’s a connection there that’s a little bit deeper.
And everyone’s heard of fight, flight freeze. Those are automatic nervous system responses that happen in the here and now that are often not always connected to the hearing now, and I’m not saying that your partner hasn’t caused you pain right now I’m saying if you’re having an extreme response, chances are that feeling that felt sense is something you’re familiar with, also from your past.
Just makes me want to take a deep breath. So for a listener that is starting to feel something in their body as they’re listening to this podcast like I just had that big exhale. And they are ready to start doing the healing and looking deeper into their own layers of relationship and how they’re showing up. Where do they even start the healing process? Or where do they even go? Because that’s a question I hear a lot. Where do I start?
Well, awareness, and kindness. And I think that you know, starting to recognize how you’re responding in your relationship, what’s going on in your body and being open to that it. There’s history there, and being gentle is already creating new neuroplasticity by just having a different framework in terms of I’m not crazy right now, or this behavior isn’t insane. This is incredibly painful.
When my partner disconnects, it brings up an incredible amount of pain. Well, guess what, that’s really normal. We’re biologically hardwired to be in connection. So if you’re experiencing disconnection, likely as a baby, you felt pain. And as an adult, you might still feel pain, even when it doesn’t seem rational, it lives inside your body. So the first step is to become more aware that this is complicated and layered, and something that you have to unpack, but you’re not consciously doing or unconsciously responding to things and have been conditioned a certain way.
One of the things that you mentioned in our IG live was when you’re doing the healing process, don’t do it alone. What are you? What are your suggestions for the listener who’s ready to start the healing? But they yet don’t feel like they have the proper support? How can they build that to actually do the work?
Yeah, so you know that that’s a great question, I can answer it, answer that like 15 different ways. So if they’re not ready to go in person, even though that’s the best is to go to a therapist or a coach that really knows what they’re doing. You can pull on positive experiences in the past, so we internalize positive people into our internal world. And usually, when you have an external person being kind and loving, as you walk through the healing, you’re supposed to internalize them.
So if you’re not ready for that, you start to think about the positive secure attachments you might have had, this could be a dog, it could be an ad, it could be a teacher, but that warm felt of connection that you had, they can become part of your inner community, part of your inner Council, when you’re starting to go into conflict, and maybe your critical self comes up, or these parts of shame come up, you need to pull on the people who are loving and kindness in your past, and then hopefully reach out for them in the present. So you can mirror in many different ways. The flip usually happens if you have it in like, so if you go to a therapist, the goal isn’t to go to a therapist forever.
The goal is that you build enough trust in that therapist that they become part of you that you can access that wisdom when you’re not around them, you internalize another healthy person inside of you. So it’s the lack of internalizing, nurturing healthy people that we have to redo as adults. So where you can get it from a book, and you can get it from, you know, other experiences. But it’s the easiest if you can get it from a person in here. And now if you’re open and it doesn’t have to be a therapist, it can be a friend, but that friend can’t want to fix you.
They really have to hold space for you and validate you and not fix you and allow things to come up because most of the time, it’s totally normal for friends to want to fix each other or help each other. We’re gonna come up with solutions for each other. I do that all the time. Totally. You just need kind, nurturing, consistent support. And so wherever you can get however you can get that that starts to facilitate healing.
So powerful in terms of someone who is ready to either work with a therapist or open up to that friend who in quotation or we guess in parentheses, doesn’t want to fix them, but is scared to be codependent. Or maybe they’re feeling that they are becoming codependent or they need to work on they want to work on a codependent issue. How do you find it? How do you define codependency? And what’s your reframe for it?
Yeah, and I even have a hard time with that. Because I think the more we depend on the right people, the less dependent we are. And what I mean by that is, if I can trust that you’re going to be there all the time, I’m actually going to need you less. Right. And the same is true when you’re a baby, if you can trust in that connection, you’re not gonna need it as much. So if you’re really anxious, or quote-unquote, needy a word I don’t like, if you depend on the right people, that part actually, like, like comes and you don’t actually need it as much.
So it’s a paradox. If you pick the right people, you develop internal security from having those right experiences. If you pick the wrong people, like on available people, you’re only gonna increase the quote-unquote codependent behavior, but it’s really because you’re not picking the right people to help build inner stability. Again, it ties into the internalization process, if you pick the right people, and you’re around them enough, eventually, you can access them and their warmth and their guidance even when you’re not around them. And that’s the ultimate goal.
I’m gonna ask you a funny question. So is it possible to actually be needy in a healthy way?
We all Yes, absolutely. And I think even under a circuit, sir, I think it’s something you should never judge. But I think that it’s something if you’re feeling needy, it’s about who you’re choosing to lean on, you can’t just lean on one person, we need an inner community, we need an external community. Sometimes it might be too much on one person, but it’s absolutely okay to have neediness show up or needs show up. It’s when we’re shamed, or when we pick unavailable people, or we don’t have enough people to support us that that word gets that it becomes a challenge.
But I, you know, I just I think that you know, as Americans, our culture tends to think that being Mrs. Independent is the way we’re supposed to be. And we’re really supposed to be interdependent, which means I can depend on you and you can trust that you depend on me, and we can have boundaries and other support systems. But I can trust that and because I can trust that I thrive with more security, which usually leads to less neediness. Right. So it’s really important to honor your needs. And yeah, I think if neediness or your feeling needy shows up, it’s about really leaning into the right people, because the right people will help soothe that and you will grow and develop more security within, and then that need the whole lesson, essentially.
Speaking of growing, tell us about your cell phone method, and the sorry, the six-week course that you’re launching in October.
So excited about this course. As I talked about in the IG live, I’ve done a lot of courses like evergreen courses, but this course I’m going to be there. And I think that’s probably why I think it’s so potent is that we need each other. And so it’s going to be a container of 12 women unpacking some of their childhood stuff, but also their adaptations, learning about their nervous system and codependency. And I’m going to be walking through the process with everyone and we’re going to be going into their details of how they adapted and learned to survive and you’ll walk away from the course hopefully, my goal is having like an inner GPS system.
So you’re going to understand like, okay, even if you have a quote-unquote codependent behavior come up, you’re going to be like, Oh, I could feel why I understand what fear is driving this behavior, I can pause and possibly take a different action, or you’ll be more in touch with what’s authentically right for yourself from the inside. So, yeah, I’m going to be live two hours a week with a group of 12 women in a container, hopefully, a very, very safe container and we’re going to be unpacking the nervous system and the experiences in the body and you should be left with a really clear sense of self and more compassion for yourself and a better way to navigate through your relationships.
Speaking of compassion, and learning how to better navigate our relationships, tell us about your full method and what inspired you to create it?
Yeah, so it was saying before I was working with quote-unquote codependent people. I don’t even like the word codependency because we co-regulate and CO regulation is so important. So I think they should come up with a new word. But that’s another story in itself, actually titled The course, deconstructing codependency. But the question you asked me was, well, yes, I have people have these kinds of people-pleasing behavior show up in my office. And I would say you need to learn how to be more selfish. And they would look at me like they had 12 heads, and they’re right, and I wasn’t asking them to be more selfish, I was asking them to, like, take care of themselves better, but I didn’t know how to kind of express that.
So I just started using the word self full, which meant, you’re gonna fill yourself up and then give from that place. And in a relationship, it’s a given take, you know, but often, one person is a giver a little bit more, and the other person is the receiver and some of the relationships are not that balanced. So I kind of noticed that the polar opposites, opposites are the people who adapted by giving, giving, giving, giving, giving, and the people who adapted by being a little more on the selfish side by receiving receiving receiving, they tend to attract each other. And when we hear about an anxious-avoidant dance, the narcissist and the empath, and there’s like a really deep reason why I kind of unpack that a little bit in the course and in my book, but learning to be self full is really learning about your needs, and learning about your adaptations and changing, eventually changing your behaviors.
But your behaviors are just a reflection of what’s going on inside your body. So it’s really helping you really understand on a deeper level. So you can make big changes in your life and have more fulfilling relationships, and most, most importantly, one with yourself too.
Sign me up, please. And I want that book, anything that you’re allowed to tell us or share with us already.
I put you on the early list already this morning. Yes, I have a book being launched. June 14, 2022, haven’t really been promoted yet with the torture division of penguin. It’s called anxiously attached, becoming more secure in life and love. And it’s like the modern Woman’s Guide. But it does talk about polyvagal. And really complicated things in a very layman-like way. So I want the average woman to have this information. It shouldn’t just be that psychotherapist who studied trauma and Cymatics. Understand this, every woman should understand why her behavior is that way to develop compassion and a path to healing. I’ll also have recorded meditation.
So there’ll be a felt sense experience along with the book. So you can choose to read the book, change your narrative, get the insight, and then you can choose to do the meditations. And I’m hoping that many people do where you’ll be guided more introspectively. So you’ll be guided into different parts of your body to allow kind of embedded trauma to come up or feeling wholeness or sadness, or unlocking your heart there, I will work a lot with Heart Math, you know, HeartMath, kind of just releasing a lot of pain and just you’re opening up your channel. And the book is really, it’s divided into three parts. So the first part is about how we lost ourselves. So it’s about the adaptation, and I have the unconscious pack and how we get into relationships. And the anxious-avoidant dance is a big chapter. And I talk a little bit about narcissism, but from a very compassionate lens and love addiction.
And then the second part of the book is more somatic in nature. So it’s how from selfless to self full. So that’s the part where you do more of the inner journey and you kind of go inward and we introduce different parts of ourselves, we have the inner protectors, inner nurtures, so we’re really working within. And then the third part of the book is about a new way to love. So it’s taking what you’ve learned and reapplying it to your relationship. So I covered boundaries, but I really work on why you develop the boundaries. Everyone focuses on the external boundaries I talk about like, the lack of internal boundaries or awareness is how we got here.
I talk about how to show up in your relationship when you get activated differently. And then I kind of bring it out into the universe and how to co-regulate with nature and feeling more support from every community and kind of that missing link. So it’s a three-part book and it’s intentionally broken up into those parts.
I can’t wait to read it. So for anyone who’s just new to discovering your work, how can they follow you on social media, and what is your website?
Social is Jessica Baum B, A, U M. And then it’s L M H C stands for Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor. So you can find me on social media that way and then beselffull.com It’s B, E, S E, L, F, F, dot com. Is it As my coaching platform, and I also have a relationship Institute of Palm Beach, which is another website, but that’s for psychotherapy, just here in Florida. So I have a platform to help people worldwide and then a platform, for people that I can treat within the state because the laws and limitations are very different.
Well we actually have listeners all over the globe, I was looking at my stats, and I have seen people from Kazakhstan, Italy, Switzerland, Mexico, Canada, Australia, so there are listeners globally that I know will benefit from your method and from your book if you could leave the Met. Sorry, if you could leave the listener with just one takeaway. What would that be today?
I mean, one takeaway from what we shared or one takeaway from life…
One takeaway from what we shared, and what your work is all about.
My work, okay, so, I guess my one takeaway is your inner world can be repaired and your inner world is often a reflection of also what’s happening in your outer world. And both need change both need attention, both need to be repaired, and the mirroring of the two symbiotic like they often the more you work on your inner world the more you see the change in your outer world, the more you invite healthy change in your outer world, the more inner world changes and so that it’s not about one or the other, but it’s about working on both sides for whatever that’s worth.
It is worth so much and that is so helpful. And as you said it I just felt everything kind of opening up and truly a sense of hope and connection just surrounded me so thank you for all the hard work that you’ve been pouring into your book.
We’re also connected you know if you’re open to that kind of thing and yeah, thank you for having me and I, you know, on your journey I can tell you have an important message to share. So I’m sure it’s on its path already. Sounds like you’re getting there hopefully.
Yep, we’re one podcast at a time and hopefully one book, and I think there are so many similarities in the book that I’m working on and the three-part series on working so much for listening to us if you’ve enjoyed this episode, and you’d like to help support the Dr. Sylvia K podcast really about please share it with other tools and just post about it on social media or leave a rating and it is to your voice that really matters we can in the meantime really stay in touch with that you can follow me on Instagram Dr. Sylvia K mo or check out my it’s not just using this really well on my website www.drsylviak.com.
That is Dr. S, Y, L, K, I A, K.com please thanks again. And I’ll see you next time benefit from your full method and feel into the change that is happening and the change that is collective. So thank you.
Thank you for having me.
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