EP329 Tracy Matthews With Jennifer Tippet
6:22AM Dec 14, 2021
I don't have a definition of trauma. I think it's more about functioning and how you started to learn to function in the world. And certainly their effects, right a sexual assault currents and things like that, that we get like that was traumatic. But there's also these ways in which we are in the world or other people are to us in the world that impacts our neurobiology and our nervous system in ways that it wouldn't have no otherwise development. And that gets to be just as
Welcome to Thrive by Design, the podcast for ambitious independent jewelry brands, looking to profit from their products, get ready to make more and sell more doing what you love, without spending every single waking minute doing it. Hey, and if you're a creative fashion or product based business, I want to welcome you to the show. I'll be dropping big tips on launching, growing and scaling your business. So you can spend more of your precious time using your creativity to make money. You ready? Alright, let's do this.
Welcome to the Thrive by Design Podcast, Episode 329. Hey there, it's Tracy Matthews, Chief Visionary Officer of Flourish and Thrive Academy, host of the Thrive by Design podcast and the author of the Desired Brand Effect, you can pick up your copy right now on Amazon. It is getting five star reviews, I am super pumped for it. And I want to thank all of you who have read the book and have reached out to me telling sharing your story and how it's impacted you already that makes me so so happy. And people who have like, awesome businesses, I'm super impressed. In fact, my girl, Jules Kim is traveling the world and I sent her a book. And she started posting about it. And she's like, Oh, my gosh, this is so good and so needed for our industry. So I hope that you'll pick up a copy whether you have a jewelry or a product business. And I hope that it supports you and helps you and if you don't and you know a jewelry designer or product business owner in your life, I would love for you to share that with them. Well, today's episode is a very special topic. We were getting a lot of requests from people in our audience to talk about artists and mental health. And I know during the holidays, sometimes it's like a sensitive time for people because people, maybe they've lost their parents, or they're struggling with depression, or for whatever reason. It's just a hard time because there's a lot of stress, you know, wrapping up the New Year and getting all the orders done and all the things and it takes a lot of conscientious effort to take care of yourself. And so I wanted to bring on a friend of mine, Jennifer Tippet to talk a little bit more about healing your trauma. Now this is a big conversation, I hope that you save this podcast episode because it's a good one. I have another one coming out later in the week to about mental wealth and artists, which is a similar conversation about reframing your conversation about wealth, health, mental health as an artist, so keep an eye out for that as well. But today's episode, we really talked about how trauma can frame your experience in everyday life and how that might shape the way you're approaching your business. And so this is a really sensitive topic, I want to also give you a trigger warning because we do talk about things like alternative therapies and plant medicine and stuff like that. So fair warning, if you're not into that stuff, and you're not interested in learning about that stuff. We are going to dig deep into some of those things. With that being said, I am before I do my intro for Jennifer, I wanted to just say like we're wrapping up the end of the year, and we are about to start a brand new cohort of our Momentum Program. And last week, I hosted a masterclass called 'An Inside Look at a 7 Figure Jewelry Company'. You can check out the show notes if you want to watch the on demand version of that masterclass. So this kind of breaks this down for you. But we I shared that masterclass for a very specific reason, because people were reaching out to me, who have very established businesses who are trying to stop driving themselves crazy start making more money in their business because they even though their sales are good, their profit margins are not. I think a lot of times that happens there is a variety of reasons why that happens. But a lot of times it happens because your business isn't very efficient. And you have some opportunities inside the business to create more efficiency. And so, in that on during that masterclass, I talked a lot about the structures and the systems in the protocols for building a team for training your team for keeping your team accountable, and a lot more. And these are all frameworks and conversations that we support our designers with in our Momentum Program. So if you're someone who has actually built a fairly successful business, maybe you're in you've gotten to where you are to six figures or something by yourself or you're kind of crossing that multiple six figure marker and you're trying to figure out how to scale your company. But you're really stressed out and it's hard. It feels overwhelming a lot of the time because you're wearing all the hats and you feel like it's hard because it's easier to just do it yourself. And so that keeps you playing small or selling less than you, then you normally would. And I promise you that if you structure the inside of your company the right way that will change, there is basically a ramp up period. And you will always have to revisit this. I'm not saying it's like a set it and forget it situation. But it can definitely help. If you're interested in learning more about how we can support you with some of those things, building a team, growing your sales, scaling your revenue, and removing yourself from basically the day to day of your operation so that you can actually be more strategic with what you're doing in your business, I'd love to invite you to apply to our momentum program. It's an incredible program, we have some Rockstar designers in there who have been in for many years who keep renewing because of the value that they're getting. So if this is something you're interested in learning more about, you can head on over to Flourishthriveacademy.com/momentum, we will also have this in the show notes. And check out the program fill out an application today. And if you want to just go straight to the application, because you don't want to be bothered with all the other stuff. We'll also have a link for that as well in the show notes. So I wanted to dive in to this conversation with Jennifer Tippet. She is a professor at the University of Denver and the Director of Substance and Use Disorder Secialty units in the Doctoral program. She specializes in research and trauma and addiction and the use of psychedelic medicine in a therapeutic setting. And she specifically focuses on severe and persistent mental illness like schizophrenia, long term depression, and bipolar disorder. So this conversation is really interesting. But as I mentioned before, some of the protocols that they recommend for healing are are not recommended that they're basically doing research on for healing are actually doing incredible things for people with PTSD and trauma. So if you feel like you could use some additional support, or you're just curious about how this might look for you, we aren't condoning the use of any substances or anything like that. But at the end of the day, there are a lot of alternative therapies that are working extremely well for people who have experienced severe trauma, or are suffering with other types of mental illness. So we're about to dive in. But before I do, if you are suffering from any sort of mental illness, and you need help, please look up the mentalhealthhotline.org and call someone talk to a counselor or someone who can get you some support as needed. We are not mental health, I am not excuse me, I should say, a mental health expert or someone who is, you know, psychologist or anything like that. So please do your research and get support from people who can actually who have the background and the skills to support you.
So let's dive in. Alright, today I am here with my friend, Jennifer Tippet. Jen, thank you so much for being here today.
Thanks for having me.
Jen is an expert in psychedelics and trauma. And today we're going to be talking about how to handle mental disorders, depression and other trauma that might affect your creativity and how to kind of overcome it with alternative methods. Maybe she'll say, and just a different way about thinking about it. So Jen, thank you so much for being here. Yeah, I'm excited. It's awesome to have you here. So I met Jen actually through, I guess the best way to put it is like what we call the journey space, or trauma healing space, or you go and you kind of work on yourself. And from the moment I met Jen, I thought she was an amazing person in general, but also just an awesome, she has an awesome talent for integration and helping people kind of integrate the parts of themselves that they might want to dismiss. Jen and I are also in a business group. So we've got to hang out a lot. And I'm just really excited to chat a little bit more about you and your journey. So thanks for being here. And let's start with that. Like, tell us a little bit about your journey and what you do. Yeah,
So, I'm a licensed clinical psychologist and I professor I teach my my areas of expertise are sort of varied as a forensic psychologist and kind of my early professional life but I'm also the Director of the Substance Use Disorder Specialty at the University of Denver. So I trained doctoral students in Boise I teach psychologists, but they're gonna be psychologists, they're learning v. And then you know, also, I have a private practice. They do a lot of integration work. Folks who have a psychedelic experience or want to do some setting setting and some integration. And a lot of what I talk about both in practice and teaching and my job and everywhere is trauma and the ways of that manifests for people. So a little bit about what I do I do a lot of couples work and do a lot of little, this little of that a lot of a lot of things.
Well, okay, good trauma really has it a range, I guess it's so weird to say because like, we've all had trauma in our lives, but like the interpretation of trauma can go anything from like, you know, being told something by your parents, and like having a belief system all the way through to like being abused, or abandoned, and whatever. So what is your definition of trauma? And how do you kind of help? Or not help people with that, but how do you define it?
Yeah, that's such a great point. And something that we as a field really missed for a long time, I think our early kind of definition of PTSD or trauma was very much like event phase, like something bad had to happen to you. And then these four things were the result, otherwise, you didn't have PTSD. And we've kind of expanded that a little bit to include things like emotional dysregulation or avoidance, dissociation, stuff like that. But I still mostly have people come in and say, Well, I don't have any trauma. I've nothing bad has ever happened to me. And then we start talking about their childhood. And it's like, oh, yeah, well, my dad called me names all the time. But like, it wasn't trauma that like, that's not really abuse. And it's like, well, to a tiny human, that's pretty hard to integrate, right? There's no one to turn to you. There's no dysphoria. So this like, sometimes low level, what I call like Ambien trauma, so maybe one of your parents was an alcoholic, and was really not emotionally available. And you then had to pick up the slack and be the adult when you were supposed to be a child, that's really hard on a developing human. And so that could be trauma. So I don't have a definition of trauma. I think it's more about functioning and how you started to learn to function in the world. And certainly there are events, right, a sexual assault, car accident, things like that, that we know, like, that was traumatic. But there's also these ways in which we are in the world or other people are to us in the world, that impacts our neurobiology and our nervous system in ways that it wouldn't have, you know, otherwise developed. And that that gets to be just as relevant
is interesting. Yeah, because like I working on my trauma for so long, but nothing ever really bad happened to me, it's just about how I'm showing up in the world and how my childhood effect affected me as an adult. And it's been an interesting process. And this work is so powerful when you let it and I think that it's what you're doing is so amazing. So I wanted to kind of ask a follow up question on this, like, how do you know if you have PTSD? Or if you're experiencing trauma? And like, does everyone have it? Or some sort of it or No,
Yeah, I mean, PTSD is just the thing we made up right, post traumatic stress disorder, is just a thing. The field of psychology was like, well, here's this cluster of symptoms, we're gonna call it something. And the more we learned about trauma, it's sort of expanded to include a few more symptoms, maybe that's PTSD. There's a lot of argument within the psychological community that that doesn't actually do a great job of encompassing trauma. So as people say, Well, I don't have PTSD that might be true, you're not might not meet, like the DSM criteria for trauma, or for PTSD, sorry, but that doesn't mean. So often, you know, what I find is, it's more about functioning and how you are in the world, I talk a lot about nervous system regulation. That really destabilizes a person, I keep wanting saying or getting something because that's how I teach we are organism. That trauma really destabilizes a person's ability to regulate correctly, and to interact with the world around them, including other humans in a way that is functional and helpful. So often, people will find themselves kind of stuck in these patterns that are leftover from childhood and what we might call trauma informed. So trauma responses.
Like, how does this affect creativity and mental health? Like how does it manifest in the real world? Because I'm curious, like, what are some of the manifestations of trauma on mental health?
Well, interestingly, I mean, trauma impacts all sorts of the math, or like, managing your own emotions, self soothing, avoidance, but you know, even with creativity, one of the things that we know that trauma often shuts down is creativity. So it can, it can really blunt one's ability to be creative, to experience joy to have play, like those things kind of fall into a bucket for me. So folks who have trauma can sometimes be very rigid, very prescriptive, like things are not safe unless you do them a certain way. And that really impedes your ability to be creative. For sure.
Yeah, all that structure, which is good. Maybe that's why my desk is so messy.
Just, it's my creativity. Oh, Bill. Oh, just kidding. Okay, cool. So there have been so many studies, about psychedelics and healing trauma and years and years and years ago before I was with Jason, I dated a former Navy SEAL. And he would go like, off the grid for days, sometimes months. And I'd be like, What the heck happened, we were just having a great time. And like, I thought things were moving along. And now he disappeared. And he came to me one day and tried to explain what's going on with him. And it's like, sometimes for people who have severe trauma or PTSD, it can be overwhelming. So I'd love to hear kind of your experience with that, and how psychedelics like all the research on psychedelics, and what that really means and how it's helping people who have severe everything from severe PTSD to more mild trauma, like the average person might have. Yeah,
Yeah, a lot of those early studies that you're referring to are looking at MDMA, which some people think is Ecstasy, there's MDMA, in Ecstasy, it's not the same thing as Ecstasy. Um, there's a whole lot of other things in Ecstasy, and that's another podcast does really early studies, we're looking at MDMA and trauma, especially in the veteran population, primarily done by maps, which is a large, nonprofit organization. And they really pioneer these clinical trials to start to look at what happens for folks, when you do trauma treatment concurrent with a psychedelic like MDMA. And your point is a really good one. For for people who have experienced like war, a sexual assault or continued sexual assault, there is this large manifestation, these big clusters of symptoms, like, my guess is your navy seal sometimes just couldn't deal and really could be around people or whatever it can really manifest in ways that are like, I got to be alone by myself in my room, I can't handle the outside world. And what they found is that with MDMA, when they're when it was paired, folk started to show not just symptom reduction, which is what we usually see with like SSRIs, or antidepressants, but symptom remittance, it's gone. Oh, and so in psychology, we never say anything is cured, because it's a human, and we're very complex organisms. But there seems to be a real change in the way that the person functions after exposure to psychedelics. And we're starting to see that replicated, not just your the maps, studies, which are now in phase three, but also some psilocybin studies are also very promising to look at. So the the research really does suggest that this is not just a dampening down of feeling or emotion, but more a grappling and a reprocessing of the thing that happens for folks.
Wow. And it's allowing people I feel like to have more functioning lives in a lot of ways.
Yes,even if you have like that ambient trauma, you can still be very avoidant, which makes it hard to deal with people or like, you know, like, it doesn't have to be you're in the corner shaking all the time. Although certainly if you are, that makes it really hard to hold down a job. So I'm gonna just impacts every realm that you can think of for people.
Yeah, and I don't want to get too dark here. But we I had a a friend from high school, who happens to be like one of my best friends, cousins who committed suicide, he was a Army Veteran, and he just had lost his purpose. And I feel like when this stuff is not dealt with, you can fall into such great depression. And it's important to figure out some sort of way and I really love how psychedelics can help people literally transform their lives and become different people and pull themselves out of that depression out of those, like mental SLUBs that like cause them to do something terrible like that.
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And even like ketamine is great for suicidal depression, that's really showing promise for depression, anxiety. So it's been it's been a great discovery, I use that word lightly, because indigenous cultures have no long time, but in our western world to say, like, Oh, these things have purpose. It's been great for the mental health field.
So tell us about how you would use psychedelics in a in a clinical setting, like when you're working with patients, like how does it work?
Yeah, so it's illegal to give or be around, you know, provide any substance or be there for somebody when they're on substance outside of a research setting. And the way that my practice typically works is someone will, you know, call and say I want to do a psychedelic, and we'll do a sentence setting meeting so that's really just talking about it. intention setting and like, where are you going to? Where are you gonna do this? What are your expectations, that sort of thing, and then the person goes and does whatever it is that they're going to do. Um, and then, you know, we do some integration sessions afterwards and talk about the experience. And it really is kind of about what happened in the experience, how does that then translate your life in a way that's meaningful and can change the way that you function in the world is as bigger a small, you know, it doesn't matter. But whatever was was profound for them. So that's kind of the work that I do.
I love that. And so let's talk about the integration a little bit more like what is part like, why is that so powerful necessary for this kind of work, or trauma, healing, because even without psychedelics, or doing any of those things, I think that that's really important.
Yeah, I totally agree. And I think in psychedelic work and kind of pop culture piece, this really gets lost psychedelics are not the treatment, they're a tool for treatment, right. So you can't just eat an eighth of mushrooms, and then like, be cured, and you're done. It'd be awesome if that were true. But it really is that tail end of the work, and you got to do the work. And so um, it's, it's, it's the most important thing, it sets in stone, kind of those revelations you had while you were on the psychedelic, but you can also then take that flexibility, we think that that's, especially with psilocybin flexibility of thought turning off the default network, really creating new pathways and new possibilities, that's where you start to practice that. So just like your brain created a default network, because you kept doing the same thing over and over again, if you don't practice this new way of doing, it'll lose that too. So integration work really is starting to kind of cement these new ways of thinking or new ways of being, you can't just like have a one off and then call it good. And with any trauma treatment, I would fully agree with you, if you are going to practice exposure therapy, if you're going to do mindfulness, any of these things that we know really help with trauma, it is a practice, you have to keep doing it so that your brain starts learning that new pathway.
So that's like really reprogramming the neural pathways in your brain to operate differently. So it's not That's why if you meditate for like a month, and then you stop, like, the benefits of meditation, like, subside, you need to continue meditating in order to get the benefits and like, you know, it's so being consistent is really the key to this. Yeah. Yeah. So I'd love to talk a little bit more about like traditional pharmaceuticals that are used for mental health and depression, versus psychedelics, and like, how, like the difference between the two? And like, where is the I'm gonna say the industry going? Or where's the science going with this?
Yeah, that's gonna be quite a showdown. All right, I believe are firing pharmaceutical industry is got a good, good thing going. Um, so you know, traditionally, we we recommend or psychiatrist or primary care doctor, whoever prescribes what are called SSRIs, or antidepressants, shorthand. And, you know, they work for kind of about half the population. So if you look at studies, they're in from, like, 30%, to, like, 56% of folks actually find relief when they're taking an antidepressant. And if you go to your doctor, and you say, hey, this didn't work, Prozac is doing it for me, what they'll do is take you out that and put you on a different one. And if that doesn't work, they'll take you out that work, they'll pair it with an atypical antipsychotic to see if that helps. If that doesn't work, maybe we'll try a mood stabilizer. And it all stems from this, this theory that depression and anxiety were caused by a lack of serotonin in the brain. And we now know that that's not exactly correct, there probably isn't a big imbalance of serotonin. Most of your serotonin receptors, by the way, are got they're not even in your brain. And there's a whole host of other things that are involved. And so this idea that you can take a pill and it's going to regulate the neuro chemicals in your brain and you're going to feel fine. It works for some folks, and I don't knock it for those that it works for if you can take Lexapro and feel great do that. That's a great idea. If you are finding that you are trying these things and nothing is working, or it's not working well or you're feeling numb, you're feeling shut down, then maybe it's it's time to look at something else. And so I think the hope, at least in the psychedelic field, is that psychedelics will provide an alternative for folks who are not finding relief in other ways.
Okay, yeah. It's that's interesting. You brought up like something from the past and my ex husband was like struck really struggling with depression. Kind of like at the end of our marriage and I still deals with it, I think I really think that is more bipolar disorder. But it was hard because like, I didn't know what to expect. And then he went on antidepressants or SSRIs. And then he would be jumping around. And then he had this other bout, and I don't want to say too much where he almost like, tried to kill himself. And it was. It's a lot, you know, it's like, it's a lot to deal with as someone in a relationship with someone like that, or even like not even in the relationship, but still caring about them to to watch happen. And so it's so exciting to me that there's these other types of therapies that could potentially help in different ways. Now, I know a lot of times with mental illness, like one of the I don't know if this is a side effect, I'm probably saying this wrong is like drug addiction, or alcoholism and some of these other things. Do you want to talk a little bit about that? And how this helps people maybe heal their addictions? Or how does how does maybe better question is how does psychedelics kind of play in the role of like, overcoming addiction?
Yeah, we don't quite know yet. There's some really promising studies, looking at specifically alcohol use disorder and nicotine use disorder. saizen, there are, there's a long standing history of Ibogaine helping folks get off of opioids. And that's one that, you know, doesn't get talked at, or looked at as much in our country, but they're out of country clinics. So I think the hope really is that this can offer some some, some help for those folks. So it's not uncommon to find a substance use disorder hand in hand with a mental illness like depression, like bipolar, like trauma, tons and tons all the time. And it's really, people are just trying to figure out ways to regulate their internal state, we just want to feel better. And if you find something that makes you feel better, you kind of keep doing it, especially if you get a wash in your brain and your brains like, oh, this thing, this is good. Let's keep doing that. Right. And then you've got an addiction down the road. So they definitely interact. And the hope is that through substances, you can help people get off the substances. I always tell my students, there's no such thing as a bad substance there. We did this weird thing in the 70s. Nixon was like, there's good. There's good drugs and backdrops. It's not true. It's all just substances, it depends on how you use them, why you're using them, how it's, you know, interacting together. And so finding the ways in which we can help people regulate themselves more consistently and internally without reaching for something external, like, heroin is a great idea.
I'm not sure about that.
But seems like a yes.
Oh, my God, that's hilarious. Yeah, I mean, it just goes back to like, a glass of wine with dinner. Nothing wrong with that whole bottle of wine or two, probably not good for one person to drink, right?
Yeah. And definitely not every day, right, that's gonna really impact your sleep.
Exactly. So what are some words of advice that you have for people who are struggling with mental disorders, or they feel like their state of mind or whatever is affecting their creativity? What are some actual things that they can do, to kind of, I don't know, snap themselves out of it, or just move towards a more healthier life, and style.
Great question, and of course, I'm biased towards therapy, if you can find a good therapist, I think that's always a great idea. Things like meditation, which we mentioned is really nice movement. So yoga, or any sort of movement can be really useful for kind of lifting the mood watching diet, we actually know that diet is super connected to mood and mood regulation, which we used to kind of poopoo a bit. So all of these things, it's like a general wellness piece can really impact impact your mood and the artists that I know can sometimes struggle with this right like you're up eating all night or you're you know, you're on a you're painting and you inspired you're going to do it so you don't sleep you don't need you don't get outside that can really impact your mood. So having an idea of your general wellness and sticking to a schedule and making sure those things are regulated can really help.
Okay, awesome. Awesome. Is there anything else or any other words of advice that you'd like to share with the audience today?
I think, you know, overall, just just being mindful of, of what you mean, right and giving yourself that whether it's therapy, whether it's medication, whether it's trying a psychedelic experience, which legally I can't tell you to do, or whatever calls you'd like you. You there is innate wisdom in each of us that knows what we need. And if you can tap into that. That's not a bad place to start.
Exactly. And there's always places you can go outside of the country where it's legal to have those experiences if you want to. Anyway, Jen, thank you so much for being here today. Where can people find you?
I have a website. It's DrJenniferTippett .com. And that's the easiest place.
Thank you so much for being here today.
That was awesome. Yeah, thanks for having me.
Well, thank you so much for listening to this episode. Today. I am so grateful for you. Once again, if you need some other mental support, and you are struggling right now, make sure that you get the support that you need. And there's a lot of free resources out there you can head on over to mental health hotline.org and get some help and support for yourself and call up an expert or specialist. And with that being said, this is Tracy wrapping up today's episode. Once again, we are about to start our January cohort of the Momentum Program. Applications close this week. So if you're interested in learning more about that, head on over to Flourishthriveacademy.com/momentum now. Thank you so much for listening to today's episode. It's my mission to help 1000s of creative businesses inside and outside the jewelry space use their creativity to make money. Make sure that you're subscribed to Thrive by Design on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and wherever podcasts are played. And we'd love to hear what you think. Please rate and review the show and if you're inspired, please share this with your friends. Cheers to seeing you flourish and thrive.