Shannon Curry: Johnny Depp & Amber Heard Trial, Marriage, Dating & Love | Lex Fridman Podcast #366

So contempt is criticism on steroids This is what John gottman calls sulfuric Acid for love nothing will erode a Relationship quicker than contempt Contempt is when you are looking at your Partner from a superior position so you Are eye rolling you are name calling Um there's a mockery mocking even Physical mockery imitating them Imitating their voice contempt is meant To just take the legs out from your Partner make them feel pathetic Ridiculous Um and it can be abusive but Um most people have engaged in contempt At some point in their relationship Lower level would be sort of the eye Rolling but that is the biggest Predictor of a split The following is a conversation with Shannon Curry a clinical and forensic Psychologist who conducts research Therapy and psychological evaluations Pertaining to trauma violence and Relationships she received worldwide Attention in April of last year by Giving a lengthy televised testimony on Her psychological evaluation of Amber Heard during the Johnny Depp Amber Heard Trial I found her testimony to be an Eloquent description of complex Psychological Concepts and evaluations Procedures so I reached out for a chat In person she was brilliant funny

Thoughtful and truly kind I really Really enjoyed this conversation this is The Lex Friedman podcast to support it Please check out our sponsors in the Description and now dear friends here's Shannon Curry Charles Bukowski said that love is a fog That burns away with the first daylight Of reality I love that quote uh do you Think romantic love Fades away in this Way Makowski uh does it does it have to Fade the truth is that you have all of These chemicals pumping through your Body you're essentially high on heroin In the beginning of a romance and you're Going to have these rose-colored glasses On everything your partner does is Magical and but really it's the novelty It's just like going on a vacation You're fully present you're just attuned To the magic of another human being Moment to moment and then on top of that You have you're just flooded with Dopamine so you're high on drugs and we Can't go on like that you will die if You are using these kinds of chemicals All the time all day long so eventually Our bodies are sort of made to dial it Down we've made it I mean we're Evolutionary beings we are doing the Same thing we did 200 000 years ago to Find a mate procreate spend enough time With each other that we have sex with Whole bunch of times and make babies

Now we've changed the rules of the game We're living you know almost until we're 100 years old in some cases we're making These marriage commitments that last Half a century and uh we're expecting it To be all because of love and we're Signing these contracts based on how we Feel when we're high on these drugs so The reality is we know based on the re And and I'm also talking about certain Western civilizations here because as You know there are arranged marriages And a lot of times those marriages if We're looking at longevity are actually Way more satisfied than people who are Marrying for love which logically makes Sense if you're making a decision based On a feeling that is basically based on Endorphins and dopamine and oxytocin I wouldn't sign a contract just because Of a feeling necessary you know for 50 Years whereas an arranged marriage if You have your elders kind of deciding For you that this partner has a bunch of Traits that you're going to appreciate More and more over time I think there's some wisdom there so you Don't think that feeling could be a Foundation for a 50-year relationship Well I don't think that specific feeling You're having based on drugs is going to Be the same feeling you have 20 30 40 Years down the line if you're going to Wake up and turn to your partner when

You're 70 and think oh my God I'm so Glad you're hot you are so hot yeah then Sure marry for hotness but if you've Been through life a little bit and I Think most people who are on a second Marriage know happens in life it is Hard you're gonna have you know maybe a Kid with special needs or your dad gets Dementia or you get diagnosed with Cancer who are you going to want to come Home to who is going to hold you when You are sobbing on the floor and tell You we're going to get through it Together who's going to know the names Of your kids special ed teacher and the Process for getting a 504 plan or is it Going to be you on your own I think Those things matter but doesn't that Hotness don't those drugs kind of Solidify into a deeper appreciation of The other person Into something you could call Beauty yes Uh they can but but isn't that the same Isn't that the same thing when you know When you notice the beauty of another Human being aren't you aren't you high On drugs still you're making it sound Like there's like a a brief rock star Period of going on heroin and then it's Over but like can't you be on heroin Your whole life I have some good news That was something I think one of the Reasons I got into studying Relationships was because I wanted that

Right so I'm a scientist but I also love Art and I love writing and I love Literature I wanted to know that true Love could be real but as a scientist I Am cynical I just need some data and When so I practice the type of therapy Called the gottman method and I love That because it tends to be well it is One of the most evidence-based therapies We have based on John and Julie gottman Two psychologists who have been Researching relationships for now about 50 years and this therapy happens to be For couples they found that you Absolutely can make longevity work in a Relationship you can build you are not Just settling for companionship but you Can have passion and intimacy and Growing love and appreciation but there Is a blueprint a set of skills that we Were never given we're not taught in School we changed the rules of the game And we haven't learned the rules yet And uh the government method for couples Therapy kind of gives you a few Guidelines the rules for longevity in a Relationship yeah they did a beautiful Job at taking these findings they had Through you know Decades of research Quantifying it and then codifying it Into a therapy method it's really skills Based I tell couples when they're Starting out with me that they're Essentially going to be starting a class

So what's the five to one Golden Rule What I read is there's the kind of Balance you can achieve of Uh how many interactions you have in a Relationships that are positive versus Negative and I think that's what the Five to one means but basically there Should be a kind of an empirical Like if you just look back over over a Month how many of the interactions were Positive for the day or the day Right so the the idea of this ratio Um well it's not an idea it was a Finding it is uh research finding that The gottman's got after looking at Thousands of couples Um and codifying these interactions that They were observing couples that tend to Be satisfied in their relationships that Are happier they have better health Etc They are having approximately five Positive interactions to each negative And I want to be clear about what I'm Defining as positive and negative here So this doesn't necessarily mean that You're these don't need to be big Sweeping romantic gestures buying Flowers having sex these are things like Paying attention to what we call your Partner's bids we make these bids for Affection for connection all the time in Our relationships not just with our Partners but with our friends our Co-workers and we may not even know what

Our style of bid is but if you see them On a sheet you can pretty quickly Identify them bids could be wanting to Show your partner tell your partner Something and have them be proud of you It could be wanting to go buy groceries With your partner doing things together Hey you want to come with me it could be Telling a joke and hoping that your wife Looks up from her email on the computer And acknowledges it if she laughs then You've got a positive but if I don't Even look up that's a negative right so It's not necessarily that I'm calling my Husband an it's just am I Connecting with him am I meeting those Bids for connection and vice versa but Do those also give you a guide of how You should behave Well I think what's really important is Actually asking your partner or paying Attention to what your partner's bids Are because what matters to Ty my Husband may not matter to you for Instance I mean Ty's bar is so low with Me I thank God what defines the positive Interaction right like he just wants me Once become if if he wants a water when I get up to get myself one just be a Basic decent considerate person is all He asks of me whereas mine might be sort Of like stay up later with me watch a Show Um go to bed at the same time as me or

Um know about the people in my life that Sort of a thing I should highlight this And I hope hopefully it's okay that you Were running a little bit late and you Sent me this text which is which people Do really rarely and there's a subtle Act of kindness within that text so the The you the text you sent was that Um I just decreased the amount of stress In your life or something like this by Saying it's cool but that means that you Were you're you're signaling that you Were stressed Because you care enough to be there on Time and that was like that made me feel Really special I was like oh you know People don't know people don't often Don't always do that because that puts You also that makes you vulnerable Vulnerable and I actually thought that After I sent it but I feel that most of The day any interaction like oh God I Just expose myself but absolutely I was Excited to be here and I didn't want you To think that I didn't care I think being a therapist has shown me That it really it's so lucky to be in That position because you meet people That you would have thought are cooler Than you or smarter than you or just Somehow impervious to life and you Realize that we are all in it together We all want to be cared about and liked We all would want to be liked as a

Baseline I some people will say they Don't care but everybody does it's human And I have gotten much better being a Therapist much more comfortable showing Caring showing love and genuineness and Vulnerability than I think I ever would Have been otherwise and that kind of Vulnerability is what's required to do a Positive interaction in a relationship I Think so and and people have different Levels of comfort right so Um but as long as it's working for both Partners and typically you have to Communicate to figure out what your Partner what makes your partner feel Cared about however you might be working For instance with an older couple and I Have a couple that's perfectly happy and They sort of have a system it works for Them if there's some sort of a rupture If they get in some sort of a Disagreement they don't talk it out she Might go to the store run an errand Doing do a little shopping he'll work in The wood shop and then they'll come back And there is a repair attempt though but It's maybe she'll say hey do you want to Have dinner or come you know I made your Favorite dinner and or he'll say hey I Recorded your favorite show you want to Watch it tonight so they don't need to Process it but there is an understanding Between them that we're still in this Together we care about each other and

There's a repair attempt Most people need to be able to process It verbally and talk about what happened Not all so for most people if there's a Conflict you should talk about and Resolve it and repair it versus like Just put it behind you I I don't want to Say should I guess it depends on the Couple yeah everybody processes emotions Differently everybody handles emotional Expression differently I mean I have Couples where I have one person in the Partnership who has autism and the other Doesn't and so they're obviously going To have different ways of communicating Or processing what happened we all have Different perspectives it really depends On what makes a person feel like it's Been repaired what makes a person feel Understood does that need to be verbal Or in the case of that older couple I Have where they know they understand one Another because there's a gentleness Toward one another after What are some common ways relationships Fail that you've observed and all the Therapy you've done well the governments Identified what they call the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse so okay I mean I could just keep it simple and Go off their research so they're those Are four different behaviors that they Identify in couples or that you can Identify in couples that are really

Highly predictive of a divorce some more Than others but I'll start with the Lower ones So one thing that we by the way actually We all do these things these would be in That five to one ratio you'd want to Stay away from some of these these are The ones so as they pile up now that Ratio is going to get imbalanced and Then you are headed for a split okay so The first is criticism So criticism is when we have a complaint Complaints are normal but instead of Owning our own problems our own feelings We assume that our perspective is com The only valid accurate perspective and So we uh take it upon ourselves to tell Our partner what is wrong with them okay So there there's essentially no real Belief that they might have a valid Perspective too so This could look like you never helped me Out in that with the house or even Um you're so lazy like can't I just get You for five seconds to help with the Kids or something like that Um and then what happens is Horsemen Number two defensiveness so uh not Everybody is defensive just because they Were criticized some people just are More prone to defensiveness than others None of us really like admitting our Faults so it's pretty natural But defensiveness is essentially making

Excuses or Worse turning it around on Your partner Not accepting any responsibility and Definitely not validating what they're Feeling Now if you get criticized enough or if You get really flooded that flooding is What happens when our heart rate goes up Kind of around 100 beats per minute our Frontal lobe shuts down that's our Thoughtful brain our logical brain and Our reptilian kind of hindbrain takes Over our thinking And we just go into fight or flight in a White week we just want to annihilate Our partner instead instead of say Anything that would be helpful to the Relationship So if you're getting flooded you could Do a couple things you could get super Critical you could get contemptuous Which I'll talk about in a second it's The last Horseman or you do the third Horseman which is stonewalling and in Their research the gottman's found that Men are actually more likely to Stonewall I also am someone who Stonewalls but it's where you just sort Of Disconnect from the conversation you Shut down you turn away you can Physically even turn away kind of arms Cross but you're just you're shut off And stonewalling happens usually because You get flooded you feel like you can't

Win you don't know what to do to make The situation better it feels pretty Hopeless and talking feels unproductive So you can see how in a typical Heterosexual relationship the gender Dynamic we know that women tend to use Criticism more often because they're the Ones that typically raise issues Verbally and then if men are feeling More criticized that they tend to Stonewall and it becomes this vicious Cycle of then more criticism but the Criticism is really just a plea to be Loved and get your partner to show you They care and then the man tends to feel Like he can't do anything right this Isn't even productive if I say anything I'm just going to make it worse and they Don't have any real you haven't given Them a specific need a solution Something they can do to shine for you So they turn away and where's the uh Contempt all right so contempt is Criticism on steroids this is what John Gottman calls sulfuric acid for love Nothing will erode a relationship Quicker than contempt contempt is when You are looking at your partner from a Superior position so you are eye rolling You are name calling Um there's a mockery mocking even Physical mockery imitating them Imitating their voice contempt is meant To just take the legs out from your

Partner make them feel pathetic Ridiculous Um and it can be abusive but Um most people have engaged in contempt At some point in their relationship Lower level would be sort of the eye Rolling but that is the biggest Predictor of a split if you allow Yourself to think yeah that mockery or Contempt just a little bit It's like this weird slippery slope sure Is and the opposite is true Where I just look at a person think wow Isn't that the most like wonderful Creature I've ever seen in my life like Just think that and you notice the Little details about who they are and so I just observe them the way you observe Like a weird like peacock at a zoo or Something like that attention is Powerful isn't it yeah and it changes it Change you start to notice beautiful Things and then let Uh the things that annoy you yes like Just you're exactly right you're Touching on some really important things So in relationships we actually know That wearing rose-colored glasses is Important it's healthy we need it and It's a choice you're baking right so There is a saying that uh getting Married is just choosing one person's Faults over another and the reality is That we may become infatuated with

Somebody else as human beings love is an Emotion attraction is emotion an emotion And as you go through life even if You're in a committed relationship you Might see Beauty in another and that Person who is novel might seem Attractive to you but if you can Remember that they too have a set of Problems that you would be marrying it Really helps you to See the beauty in your partner again and Recognize all of their incredible Strengths and all the ways we meld with The person and become our own family Almost become I mean our lives Intertwine and we grow those oak trees So she by the way this is a line I read Somewhere that uh when you're wearing Rose-colored glasses all the Red Flags Looks just like Flags I think it's a good it's a good line uh So you so you think that humans are Fundamentally all of us have Fundamentally flawed or have flaws They're unique flaws and they're Basically relationships is just the way To um They figure out how the two can fit Together right and we're different so no Matter what we're going to have Differences we are raised differently Than our partner we have different Stories different experiences that Shaped our value systems especially when

It comes to the big ones like parenting Love money Um these principles that are based in Our history We're going to have differences so are Is this a set of differences you can Accept from somebody and work with do The benefits and their strengths Um do they make it worth it or is it are They deal breaker differences uh tricky Question but uh in the in the couples You've worked with is there Like the feminine and the masculine is There different dynamics that come into Play like dominant submissive is there Is it like a dance where it just changes From minute to minute is there is there Dynamics that you observe that both Limit and enable Uh successful relationships yes so there Are if we're talking about masculine Feminine Then now also art we could get into are We talking about actual gender Identified gender or are we just talking About these traits because like I said Ice Stonewall which is typically in Couples something that is more Associated with straight men Um But that's my style of coping when I get Overwhelmed uh that is not tied to any Sort of success or non-success of a Relationship but what we do know is that

Gay couples so lesbians and gay men tend To be gentler with one another when they Are having conflict discussions I so That's actually been identified in the Research and it's something I've Witnessed and it's just fascinating so With my Straight couples I'll be going Through one of these if we're processing A conflict that occurred I'll be going Through the sheet and it's very very Structured because you don't want Couples doing more damage when they're There with you you want them practicing Skills that protect them from criticism That protect them from contempt And when I'm working with a straight Couple I am like a referee or sometimes I'll relate it to being like a ski coach And keeping people on a bunny Hill and You tell them you let them make like two Turns and then you stop them and you Meet up again because you don't want Them to Veer off with straight couples You are doing very short turns before You need to kind of intervene and Rescaffold I had a lesbian couple recently and they Were so lovely with each other they Skipped like seven steps to the advanced Final portion where they were already Coming up with Solutions and suggesting Things that they might be able to do Differently next time to make it better For their partner they were asking each

Other questions about how their partner Felt with no agenda no attempt to sort Of be like well do you think you're Feeling that way because which straight Couples do all the time you just see This humility and openness it's lovely Yeah it's lovely but I wonder if uh Maybe watching too many Hollywood films Is some of the drama some of the tension Is required for a passionate lifelong Romance no it's not and that's great News So we actually know yes that The Closer You Feel to your partner so if I mean You've talked a lot about beauty and You can ignite that beauty that interest Right so when you're falling in love It's usually that a person is sort of a Mystery to you and you're uncovering These layers that you find really Appealing There are continual layers that you can Uncover with your partner over time I Don't think we realize that I think we Get complacent and we think we've had Every conversation imaginable what what Else are they going to do to surprise me But we don't know the questions to be Asking One of my favorite questions Um I like turning these conversations kind Of into a quiz because I get bored Easily so you rather than just asking an

Open-ended question Um there's a way you can do this with Your partner where it's sort of like the Dating game like what is my as of yet Fondest but unrealized life dream and See if your partner knows you might not Even know they might know you better Than you know yourself that in and of Itself is a beautiful reminder Of the relationship and how special it Is but then also Um When they say it or when you realize or Have to think critically like what is my Husband's as of yet unrealized but Fondest life dream and then you can talk About it You just I don't know you just kind of Transcend into this new area and you Feel tight again you feel like you feel Close well you really Talk to each other like I I've recorded And without Intending to publish uh podcasts like This with microphones with with friends With people close to me because it's Literally that you get to ask questions Like as if it's an interview right and We don't do that exactly it the way You're talking with me yeah sit down With your partner have that conversation Like years later right show interest Actually be curious see see what they Surprise you with and actually when you

Learn is you don't know the answers to Most these questions 100 Exactly like like what what's your Favorite movie from the 80s you might Not know the answer to that it's like Those first date questions or whatever Or what's your favorite movie this year And why and why yeah it's fascinating it Is it's hard to do that because I think That you'll probably be offended at First how little the other person knows So I think you have to work through that You know I actually find that there's This rekindling because partners are Shocked that their partner does know so Much about them especially if they've Been feeling dissatisfied or Disconnected it's a reminder of all the Good that's still there What uh I know we said some of those Things but what's on the opposite side What's the key to a successful Relationship what's like what are the Things you see Time and time again that do you Designate that they're in a good path Yeah there's a real Attunement honestly Just it's Um sort of an us against the world Feeling nobody neither partner is going To talk on them the other uh There's a loyalty they handle each other In the relationship with care You can tell that they've worked some

Things I to me It usually indicates that these are some People who figured they've had to work Some things out they know that this is Delicate they know Um you know that you're on thin ice you Take a wrong step and you can be back in A tough place in your relationship or You treat it with care and it can be Amazing So they're careful with one another they Give each other compliments they are Considerate so you'll see Um you know he'll bring the car around For her because it's raining or Um She'll bring him home some takeout you Know she'll order for him to at the Restaurant there's just they keep each Other in each other's minds but that us Against the world thing That definitely is there like 100 you've Seen that right yeah you've seen it and You've seen it like um I like it when Couples have been together for a long Time and when one is talking the other One looks at them if you don't do that That's not a bad sound but it's a good Sign when you do that yes because uh and I think it's actually a really good Um exercise to do because I because I Enjoy when I see in others so it's it's A It's a way to show that you don't take

Him for granted and then you still find Them like this mysterious wonderful Creature to observe like I think too Often we have that with our parents we Have that with um people close to us you Think yeah I've heard what they're about To say I know I know you can complete That sentence take them for granted and Then if you if you just look at them and Say wow this is the most brilliant Person I've ever seen in my life most I can't You know you just appreciate every war That comes out of them and look at them In that way you actually begin to Believe it yeah and you actually begin To see the beauty of what they're saying You are exactly right it's a Self-fulfilling prophecy and caring yeah Yeah it's very caring so that's I mean That's I think the beauty of what the Gottman research showed us taught us Provided us is that we can do these Things that become cyclic and just keep Growing this relationship making it Stronger more powerful more loving you Would never want to cut it down well we You were talking about the sheet for Conflict processing what are we talking About so like a couple will come and say Like there was this conflict and you put On the table and then what does it mean To process it so in that gottman method Of therapy there are all these different

I mean hundreds of different Interventions and based on what the Issue is in that session you can decide The most appropriate intervention and so This is a specific intervention for if It is a conflict that occurred and there Are different types of conflicts so this Would be more like an incident it's not A Perpetual recurring problem Um which has actually a different Intervention where you kind of look at The underlying belief systems values and There's the goal is not to solve that Problem the goal in that situation is to Actually just get a better understanding Of each other and your positions and Just you stop seeing your partner as the Adverse area and you start seeing them As a person who makes sense But if there's been a specific event a Specific fight that's just sort of Situational But it's left Bad Blood things were said Or you didn't feel understood this Intervention I was talking about is one That you would go through a series of Steps where first you identify the Emotions that you were feeling Then you describe play by play your Movie your perspective if your partner We're looking through your eyes this is What they heard saw thought then they Saw this then they heard this so you're Not saying yeah then you came in were

Yelling and acting crazy you're saying So then I saw you come in I heard you say and I thought to myself Well great now everything's ruined right So you're showing them your movie then They have to summarize the movie for you And then vice versa And then there's this um Step where each Person validates some part that they can Understand like based on what you saw Heard I can't actually understand how You felt one of those feelings that you Said then my favorite part is you rewind Sort of the movie From that day back through into Childhood and you land on a time a Memory when you felt a similar set of Feelings And this is like the most beautiful part Ever because let's say the feeling was I Felt misunderstood I felt Um misjudged uncared about unloved like You didn't even like me and I'll say When did you feel that way you know land On a time and they're like my whole Childhood you know my parents were my Mom was always accusing me of doing Things I wasn't doing and it would set Me up and my dad would come home he'd Hear about it he would just believe her And then you have like a partner Climbing up on the couch like give their Partner a hug while they're sharing the Story it's beautiful and it changes the

Way you interact in future disagreements So you have those moments yeah you can't Unlearn now you know this about your Partner you know what they're sensitive To Yeah and again you kind of see the the Beauty and the flaws then right It all makes sense yeah it all kind of Makes sense yeah so you maybe were in This dumpster dive in your head of how Your partner sucks and all the things That are wrong with them and it's so Hopeless and then you get this light Shining through and you realize oh my God of course they would be sensitive to That and suddenly it's not about all the Ways your partner is wrong and proving That they're wrong it's just how can I In the future make sure they do not feel This again I would never want this Person I love to misunderstand me and Feel so unloved what are you uh the Early days of that what do you think About the whole dating Modern dating process how do you find a Partner That you can um Stay with for the rest of your life so We are absolutely doing it wrong and um But there is a way you can do it and I Am such a fan of the psychologist Thai Tashiro I adore him he is brilliant he's Lovely he's also very humble Just a wonderful salt of the earth guy

I'm gonna tell you a very true story Here okay let's go I was in a bad Relationship and I was Um at a psychology conference with my Partner at the time Um we were both at this conference and We were sitting in a lecture hall uh There for Tai tashiro to do his talk That day on his phenomenal research on Relationship satisfaction and dating Um and I was sitting next to him and We'd been you know it was just always Unpleasant on trips there were always Fights we're sitting there and Thai Tashiro starts talking about his Research and how he found that most People are you know signing this Agreement getting married and doing it Based on the love endorphins and really Only about 35 percent of anybody who's Married is actually happy Um and he said so then You know and exactly but here's what I Love about Tai tashiro is he didn't stop There he wanted to know what those People who were happy Um had in common And then same thing with the people who Were unhappy he found a couple Fascinating patterns So the couples who were happy Tended to rate their Partners higher in Three different traits and I love Talking about this because if you are

Somebody who can follow instructions you Can find this I mean very easily those Three traits tend to be Conscientiousness Okay and I love the word Conscientiousness because it's not just Kindness kindness is a good way to think Of it but You can be kind and kind of be a Pushover and that's not attractive Conscientiousness is smart attentive It's somebody who reads into a text Message and thinks wow she was making Herself very vulnerable there That's conscientiousness I like how you Just do an accomplishment it's true it's A certain intelligence awareness and Attunement And then on top of that Conscientiousness is motivated so you Can't be on your ass all day and be Conscientious because then you can't Meet the needs that you anticipate about The person so conscientious is that guy Who drives the car around in the Rainstorm so his wife's hair doesn't get Met it's my husband who checks my alarm For me every morning because he knows I'm terrible at time management and he Makes sure that I set it a reasonable Amount of time before my first meeting And not let 20 minutes I think I need And then he'll come wake me up with a Cup of coffee that is Ultimate

Conscientiousness And it is true I mean I will tell you as Somebody who's with a conscientious Partner Your Love increases over time as You continue to feel grateful and Admiring of that person The second one You want somebody who is low in a Big Five personality trait called Neuroticism Um you want somebody emotionally stable In a way now this doesn't mean you can't Have somebody who doesn't get the blues Or struggle with mental health issues Trust me Ty is with somebody who you Know I get I'm all over the place but You want somebody who kind of owns their and isn't going to just Be emotionally unstable all over you Know you want somebody who is generally Happy and has some life satisfaction Um having a partner who has serious not Mental health issues but unmitigated Emotional distress and instability is Really hard on the partner and it's Really hard on other family members Including children if you have children So it's just a predictor of Happiness so There's a certain threshold of chaos That if you exceed it it's going to be Destructive to a long-term relationship A perfect description chaos Not the mystery chaos you love as your With your little Pro poet brain yeah I'm

Talking more like just somebody who There's just no peace there's no peace There's a problem with everything Everything becomes more difficult going To a party is a chore a you don't know If they're gonna have a meltdown at the Party or how many complaints about your Friends or Um everything is a problem so you want Somebody who has just some resiliency I Think is a good term for it some Flexibility some spice is okay but not Too much like right flexibility Resiliency easy going yeah Okay the Third is Um really interesting I think so he Found that Having a partner with sort of moderate Adventurousness not high adventurousness Actually leads to greater greater Satisfaction and the reason for that is High adventurousness equals novelty Seeking shiny new things and so if You're in a monogamous relationship if That is what's important to you it's Going to be very hard for a partner who Is novelty seeking to be faithful Um so that will cause a lot of pain but Also Um novelty seeking people tend to always Have new projects new interesting things And so their attention is drawn away From the relationship and so you can Just feel pretty neglected or

Unimportant By a little bit but you want a little Bit of adventurousness so you want your Person to be uh sort of self-motivated Uh individuated have their own interests Not completely dependent on you but also I mean low adventurousness is not a bad Thing ultimately what you're getting With low to moderate adventurousness is That rock that feeling of stability that Home and I made some references earlier Like when you're 70 and you turn to your Partner do you want them to be hot or You know for instance my dad has Dementia right now and my husband turned To me on the plane we were all coming Back from a trip and where we really saw How severe it's getting And he just turned to me he knew how Much pain I was in even though I might Wasn't showing it and he said I want you To know that if it comes to a point Where we need to take care of your dad He needs to live with us you don't even Need to ask it is I am 100 on board and Will help and uh those are the things That matter that home feeling and Technically that's a trait that's Usually that's sort of a My husband caring so much about family And home and taking care of things that Matter those are things that tend to be Associated with that low to moderate Adventurousness somebody who really

Cares about simple things and family I Wonder if those things those those three Things that something you can work on You know Consciousness you can probably You can Proactively observe yourself And you know do it more regularly right Neuroticism might be the hardest one Probably I think so well I mean I I was pretty neurotic in my early 20s And when you wake up to it maybe you if You're self-aware about it maybe you'll Be able to control it yeah I think Self-awareness is key I think I think That's why I love therapy so much I Think life is about growth and our Potential for growth and to make our own Lives better to make the lives of others Better to serve others to heal all of us Through this Collective healing and I Think we're all capable of growth and The same with adventurousness you can I'm somebody that's pretty pretty low on Adventure but I keep throwing myself out There just for the extra adventures and You can grow in that way yes and I am High in adventurousness and I was not Really ready to settle down I was Married earlier in my 20s but I would Say that I am much more prepared to be In a committed long-term relationship Now in my 40s than I was when I was Younger but in that same way for me I Like to connect myself to high adventure

People so that it like brings me brings Me out it's like uh they're a horse and I'm get to ride them and that's the Thing so high adventure people are Attractive they're interesting exciting But it can be a world of heartbreak Because you know you're only under that Spotlight for a few minutes and then They're on to the next shiny thing yeah But heartbreak is part of love But that might be the drug thing that You were talking about speaking of Adventurousness what about sex it's Important sex playing a successful Relationship well it okay so I'm saying It's important but I want to qualify That everybody has different levels of Sex that are satisfying to them sex can Definitely Bond you to your partner Orgasms are amazing they de-stress us They're healthy they I mean you can have An orgasm and have a lower level of Stress for 48 hours I think that's Pretty incredible Um If you have I mean just that kind of Physical contact with your partner even A 20 second hug with your partner has Similar benefits to an orgasm you're Going to have a lower stress level You're going to feel immediately close To your partner you're going to get a Rush of oxytocin which is going to make You feel happier more grounded

Throughout the day so that's a 20 second Hug you extrapolate that to sex and Things are going to be great So it's just physiological but I wonder There's probably metrics about how often You have sex how that correlates to Successful relationships and so on well There are but it really has more to do It's sort of like remember I was talking About processing conflict and what Matters is Do people feel like it's been resolved Do they feel like there's been a repair Not necessarily how they go about doing It same with sex do does each partner Feel sexually satisfied Um so that could be once a month for one Couple it could be five times a week for Another couple it could be never for Other couples truly Um I mean so sex has a ton of benefits But its absence isn't necessarily Detrimental I guess would be the Qualifier depending on who you are and I Know couples they use sex to as part of The conflict resolution process it's Huge Not just both all that's true Um what do you think about infidelity Um you know what's the cause of Infidelity why do men and women cheat It's different for everybody but I I Mean even earlier I was saying with Adventurousness like if monogamy is

Something you're doing Uh I I I've seen in my own practice I've Seen the entire range of couples who are Open about having sexual relationships With other people Um and fine with it couples who want to Be fine with it but find out they're not Um uh couples who aren't just couples Couples with multiple people you know Multiple romantic relationships Um I've had couples where Affairs are Are tolerated and not talked about Um they're not enjoyed but they are not The type of betrayal that will destroy The relationship sort of a understanding And keep it out of my face and then also We won't talk about it so in the fair That happened without getting permission First and as long as you don't talk About it it's not going to do a damage To the relationship right but we can't Even talk about it like that right so Nobody's going to admit that the fair is Happening Um there can't be any evidence of it It's sort of a just look the other way Type of a situation but uh the partner Who is not having the affair right they Typically know Um they certainly know that their Partner is capable of that Um they just kind of know but they don't Want it in their face it would become a

Problem if it was in their face Um As long as certain needs are met and Everything else is okay at home it's Just one of those things where don't ask Don't tell but that that's an Interesting point because I've I had a Bunch of arguments with people I tend to Hang out with especially in the tech Sector uh people who really value like Honesty and radical honesty and I keep Arguing with people about this because To me It's not that simple okay that that's an Example right there uh that Honesty can Be really destructive like honesty is Also a really complicated thing to get To the bottom of because what is really Honest yes and you know like how do I Look in this dress like There's a million ways yeah a lot it can Be accessible in my mind if I'm in a bad Place or my partner and I am like if Taya and I haven't been connected lately My honesty of what I actually think About him would be horrifically damaging And completely unfounded also and but And it can change on a dime but that's Also not actual honesty to the big Picture of how you feel about him I have Interacted with a few folks who talk About their previous sexual partners for Example on the numbers of sexual Partners they've had and they feel like

That's That that kind of honesty is actually Empowering enriching to the relationship Because all they've experienced sexual Experiences you've had in the past make You a better sexual partner better Partner in in the present and to me from The culture I've come from that's like Anti-romantic yep yep like I you kind of Throw the past kind of away right you Don't really talk about it it's kind of There in this amorphous shape but it's Almost as if you've met together for the First time and this is a beautiful new Thing like your creatures that have Woken up from a long Slumber right You're starting Anew it's starting in New right so and then you want some Mystery there right I think the mystery And like you have to figure that out About each other so I'm not exactly sure That honesty is always for everyone and Then also is honesty harmful or helpful At certain points too yeah I.E so you're Talking about sort of like disclosing Prior sexual history I thought you were Going to go to so if you've had an Affair do you hold could you keep that Under your head oh yeah that's a really Tough question or are you obligated to Disclose it it's a really it is a very Tough question very tough well what do You think is the I have my own personal Beliefs I also then like I have my

Therapeutic beliefs I think frankly And this is just me as a human being not Shannon the psychologist Um I believe that if you have up And and I again I'm coming from a Framework right now of monogamy Um if you are committed to somebody you Love and you have up you don't Get to shed your guilt onto them You need to carry that burden it's not Necessarily I think it's simplistic and Unsophisticated to be like but then You're being dishonest I think it's Actually selfish to unload it on Somebody else and give them the trauma Of imagining what we do know about Infidelity is that it can create An actual post-traumatic stress like Experience for the Betrayed partner Where they are having intrusive thoughts About it Um those are unwanted thoughts and it's Uncontrolled it comes in it multiple Times a day they'll have depressed mood They'll have nightmares about it their Entire sense of security safety Self-esteem gets shattered because of Your actions I think it's uh kind of yeah moralistic And naive to think well they deserve to Know the truth if you actually know the Harm that that sort of betrayal does Um Especially if you truly mean to stop it

Right so if it is if it was a one and Done or if it happened and you've Stopped it and you do not intend to do It again frankly I think you live with That burden you live with that Discomfort thank you for saying that Because I I totally agree but it's it's Like logically It's doesn't quite make sense to give That advice but psychologically makes Complete sense because you really are Destroying another person's mind uh Their faith in in love in relationships Their their their trust everything and Then you're imprisoning them to be stuck With you for months or years if you're Trying to work through it through that Torture so you should be carrying that Burden and working through it I think Why why do you say that that's your Personal opinion University or Therapeutic like what well I think Everybody has different values right so I think that's a value-based decision Because to me the hierarchy is kindness And do no like do no further harm yeah Um over that's in that case over truth Right Um whereas other people you know my Husband for instance he is like truth Above all else you don't get to decide What I know or you know you don't get to Decide whether or not I can handle that Knowledge so he would even see my

Determination of you know that I should Carry the burden sort of arrogant like Well why don't you let your partner Decide whether or not they you know why Do you get to choose I don't know I I Think there's value to both arguments I Absolutely see this point is I Absolutely see his point and his I think Is like a very humble sort of option Like You don't get to choose what's better You you just need to give them the Information and they can choose but I Think I don't know I think it's kinder To hold I think it's going to cause your Conscience more discomfort to hold it And I think there's sort of a cleansing We do when we share that information I Think in real life most people disclose It because they can't stand the secret Anymore themselves that to me is a Selfish act I have a unemployment Applications and so on and just with Friends would ask people what do you Care more about truth or loyalty just to Get to see how they think about those Different questions And uh yeah the I was surprised how much variance there Is on that and also conceptually I bet I conceptually I don't think we actually Know where we stand until we're faced With a situation like that yeah I think People a lot of people especially when

They're younger say especially if They're kind of intellectual they'll say Truth Above All Else A second all right you're exactly right All right Until you get to hear a truth that truly Breaks you truly hurts you or causes Suffering to you and then you realize or A truth you give to somebody else will Cause them suffering right and they get To see that suffering destroy their life And maybe your relationship and so on And then you're like oh yeah like should I sit my dad down right now and be like Dad your dementia like you have dementia Again today I'm going to tell you Dad You're not making sense no we're good It's not going to be discussed we're Going to make them comfortable and I Mean yeah I think it truth can be a Little bit of a platitude Sometimes some Of those complexities are all the things Involved in in the challenges of what Makes a relationship work right uh what Do you think about open relationships in General My world view is such that I see the Beauty and value in monogamous Relationships just for me but I don't I'm also open to The possibility of what worked for other People have you done any kind of work With the people in open relationships as Clients or research as clients oh yeah

Yeah Is there some interesting differences in Between uh open relationships and Monogamous relationships you know I Think that may have been actually what Was behind my question about Um the satisfaction with them being on The extremes my hypothesis essentially Was is it because they if you are really All and you've worked out some of the Kinks I think I've seen Um The couples who are trying it out like For the first time it tends to get a Little Haywire there's some excitement In the beginning everybody's really Excited about it Um I think the philosophy makes sense to A lot of people uh the science of it Makes sense to a lot of people and but We have been raised in a society that is Pretty monogamous so there isn't a lot Of scaffolding around it Um and and there's a lot of inner Conflict I think for people to go away From the values that they've been taught Since they were kids Um and so jealousy arises a lot and uh And also I it's very difficult to be I Think as truthful and direct as you need To be which you're describing in these Polyamorous situations where everybody Is laid out on the table Um so I think that's something that may

Be practiced in my own work with clients I've just noticed that um the the Partners who are Happier in these situations who I've Worked with they are more experienced at It Yeah they seem to have it down You testified in the Johnny Depp Amber Heard trial uh based on your role as a Clinical and forensic psychologist it Was watched by I don't know how many People maybe tens maybe hundreds of Millions of people what was that Experience like thank God I didn't know That at the time Um were you scared Oh yeah given the size of the platform How many people are watching and not Scared typically isn't the word when I Testify I'm always Um Excited and a little trepidatious before I testify Um because the stakes are so high for Everybody's life in that room Um this was different I I anxiety isn't Usually my brand Um and I just skipped anxiety that Maureen went straight to Terror and he Was mad I was mad at the legal it was Funny like I was having all these strong Emotions I couldn't find my bobby pins I Almost started crying because I couldn't Find them uh I was pretty unhinged that

Morning and in a way that was really Unfamiliar to me Um and it was right when I cried because I couldn't find my bobby pins that I Realized I needed to get a grip and that I was a professional and that my hair Didn't matter even though it ended up Mattering people noticed that it was Crazy Um but I got a grip and I went in and I Just did my job So the terror in the end helped you Focus and do your job well I think it Does and it's a little scary though Because I know what fear does Cognitively and there is a sweet spot Where you want some stress and then you Can be really acutely focused and Attuned but then if you go over this Threshold you get sort of that frontal Lobe shutdown where you're not thinking Clearly and everybody knows that Experience from taking a really Stressful test at some point like in High school and then they're going over The answers with the teacher in class Later and they're like how did I miss That question I know that they you're Just in a different state that's when You have too much stress I think this Day I actually was bordering on too much Stress if not clearly in that threshold But um Once you're sitting there for a little

Bit and you're asked the questions you Can kind of go into a routine of just Wanting to talk about your work So what is the work the job of a Forensic psychologist in that context In the depth herd trial I was Um Serving as an expert witness based on a Psychological evaluation of one of the Parties so forensic psychologists can Serve the court or in legal matters in a Number of ways they can act as a Confidential consultant for an attorney On a case Or they can even assist with jury Selection they might testify without Doing an evaluation if they're just Coming to testify about sort of a Subject matter And then they wouldn't be answering Specific questions to either the parties But just talking more hypothetically About an a field area in this case Because I was ordered to conduct an Evaluation I evaluated one of the parties and then You provide a report to the court with Your findings and then you testify as to What your findings were but from my Perspective just watching you seem to Have held it together really well so What do you attribute that to so you Said like it calmed down after you were Able to ask the question so to me if I

Were just to put myself in your place It seems like the internet and the world Would be very nitpicky about individual Words you're speaking from a place Of um a scientific rigor so you have to Be very precise with the awarding Precise I would feel like so much Pressure about each single word I choose Did you feel that pressure that you had To be extremely precise with the words Always the pressure is so high going in To testifying I think that's where I Feel the most pressure is preparing and Literally the moment until I start Having to answer and then I don't even Have the luxury of thinking about myself Because it is so important that that Answer be Clarified and understandable to the Court that that becomes my focus and That's the godsend is that I can stop Thinking about how scary it all is Because I need to pay attention to Explaining something So I if it's okay I would love to talk To you about the the personality Assessment test because I think it's Actually super fascinating uh but Personality assessment inventory or the Mmpi too you're probably referring to The mmpi too which is one I talked a lot About mmpi too yeah so maybe can you Explain the mmpi to seems fascinating it Is it has like its output the results

Has some basic skills as code types and Just reading through the different Complex it's the thing of beauty because The human mind is really complicated Even you know depression schizophrenia Uh bipolar disorder like all of these Things are really complicated there's Like we many of them we don't understand Well this seems to be a huge amount of Variance and yet you have to be able to Stitch together a bunch of Characteristics that give you intuition About The unique aspects of each person you Want to be able to have tests that get You closer to identifying The Peculiar Flaws or uh beauties of a particular Mind so this seems to do a good job just Reading through the different Descriptions of the code testify that Was the best description I don't know I'm being poetic I apologize beautiful Description you have to be in part Poetic about the human mind it's not It's not math it's it's psychology okay So what is the mmpi to like what what What are we talking about here like uh It's a questionnaire Yes that's a great start so it it is a Questionnaire uh yet 567 yes no Questions I'm going to tell you what's most Beautiful about this test so they used An empirical keying method to develop it

What that means is that they didn't have A bunch of psychologists get together And say let's ask them Um let's make sure that we identify People who have somatic complaints or Physical complaints by asking them Questions about like numbness in their Hands nothing like that what they did Instead was they threw you know like Take a thousand questions at a group of People who they know at a certain mental Illness and a group of people who didn't Have that mental illness and then they Looked for patterns in what the people With the mental illness Endorsed as yes and no of those random Questions so it would be for instance There's a bronze light fixture right There one of the questions out of the Thousand might be I like light fixtures That are bronze true or false and they Looked for correlations in the way People would answer to these completely Innocuous just boring questions so there Was no real way that a test taker could Foresee the point of answering And so because they can't foresee it's Very difficult to cheat to get to a Conclusion very difficult and not only That but you can imagine using that Approach you can then look for patterns For almost any type of Response style for any type of Personality trait any type of mental

Illness you just get a comparison group And then a group who's using that Specific strategy or has that specific Mental illness or has that personality Trait Um and you just look for patterns And there's a scale output of different Kinds So types yep so we've got you've got Validity scales and those are just Fascinating and often one of the most Useful parts of this test in forensic Contexts because they show you how a Person is approaching the test how They're answering questions about Themselves so for instance you can see If they are tired you can see if they're Kind of respect responding randomly you Can see if they are in an Unsophisticated manner trying to make Themselves look perfect but not very Nuanced you can see if they may be Deceiving themselves and truly believe That they are perfect whereas others Don't see it that way you can see if They're exaggerating you can see if They're exaggerating because they're Truly Um it's a cry for help they are in Extreme distress but they feel as though They need to really punctuate it to get People to notice or you can see if They're exaggerating in a way that is Um you know driven for a specific

Outcome or gain it's just fascinating And it's the most well-developed Assessment we have for a person's Approach to Answering questions about themselves so It gives you the context of how honest They're being the state of the person is Their answer to them yeah yeah their Honesty their how forthcoming they're Being and how accurate they're being and Then the the result of the Classification based on the test is are These code types right well so you have These clinical skills as well you have 10 clinical skills that look for Different Um kind of primary Clinical Pathology Issues this test doesn't tell you Anything good about yourself at best it Just tells you that you're not Responding in a way that is uh dishonest And that you are uh kind not hugely Problematic but there's you know it's Not looking for strength so you have These 10 clinical scales that look for Variations above the mean of the Population Um in certain areas anywhere from you Know depressive symptoms manic symptoms Physical complaints anxiety nervousness Aggression social engagement whole scope Of human experience and then there are Much more nuanced scales from those so Little sub scales and then the real

Power though of the mmpi2 is in as you Said these code types and these code Types are additional patterns that have Been detected that really can be more Defining of a personality so you look For Peaks there can be either two Extreme Peaks or three typically that Make a code type and those Peaks are Higher scores on these personality Traits and specific code types can give You a very nuanced picture of a person's General approach to life and their Personal relationships just their Personality so you can build on top of Those code types and understanding yeah How that person is going to deal with Different kinds of situations and then There's by the way a lot of code types There are a lot of questions pretty Interesting it is I was I wanted to see which one I would I have given it to some people in my Life it's just phenomenal how hard is it On your side of the table to give the Test oh it's easy you just Proctor you Just make sure that somebody there's no Distraction that they're well rested They are sitting there and they can just Take it in front of you so I guess the Question is because the questions are Well designed in that it's hard to mess With them you just give the it's very Hard to beat it you just hand it to them And it's yes and no it's yes and no

Okay but I should also add to this that This test as much as I love it and um it Is the most researched and widely used Personality assessment in the world Um It is not in and of itself definitive so You use it like you already have sort of A hypothesis and you use this for Clarification okay Um and it has a ton of value for showing Somebody's response or their approach Um how forthcoming they're being but Other than that you really need to Consider it as a piece of the puzzle you Had said stitched together earlier and That was just one of those points you Made that was perfect for describing This There's probably no one perfect test Right for personality no I wonder especially with advancements of Um AI There could be more More and more sophisticated ways of Measuring of collecting data about your Behavior absolutely there could be and Being able to measure some kind of more Productive kind of Especially not in a forensic context but More in uh trying to figure out like how To improve your lifestyle improve your Relationships all that kind of stuff so The the results of the test with um Would then be heard if you can speak to

The public stuff He said that the results of misheard's Evaluation supported two diagnoses Borderline personality disorder and Hysterionic personality disorder Can you speak to each one of those what Are they what are the basic Characteristics of borderline Personality disorder sure well so right Now are the DSM-5 which is sort of the Bible for mental disorders it's what we Go to our diagnostic manual it Classifies personality disorders According to clusters And cluster B is one that involves the Emotionally erratic interpersonally Erratic emotional disorders and those Include histrionic personality disorder Borderline personality disorder uh Narcissistic personality disorder and Anti-social personality disorder Eventually there's been some research on This and a lot of support for us Eventually moving into a more Spectrum Type approach to considering personality Disorders where you'd essentially be Looking at dysfunction in different Domains of somebody's functioning that Has persisted over time and again the Really important part is this it seems To be a stable trait part of their Personality that person you know it's in Their interpersonal relationships it's In how they handle their own life their

Own functioning their mood and it's not Just situation based it seems to be all Areas Um I don't love The title histrionic personality Disorder I think its history is um It's pretty controversial and there's Some misogyny in it but that all being Said as a servant to the court and Somebody who is there to just provide The science as it exists today My job is to relay and in this specific Case I was ordered to provide my Diagnostic Impressions Um a diagnosis and I don't get to decide Which diagnosis uh whether I like a Certain diagnosis or not ultimately if The criteria are met that diagnosis is Given so as we have it right now with The current personality disorder Categories histrionic personality Disorder is probably the most Controversial some people believe that It is narcissistic personality disorder Light so sort of a less obvious less Malicious version of narcissistic Personality disorder And I think that will probably get Sussed out if we do move to a more Spectrum based approach because then you Would be describing sort of a Personality disorder and then you would Add the traits to it so you know with Issues and interpersonal functioning and

And Etc so you could be a little bit More Specific rather than have to just put Somebody in a category so that's where Things are moving you're saying that's Where things are moving from a cluster's Based view of NPD anti-social Personality disorder to more of a Spectrum with personality dysfunction Then you you list the traits that are There and I think that'll be more Accurate um especially there's so much Overlap between these personality Disorders right now especially cluster B It is not uncommon for people to have Two or three personality disorders to Meet criteria for two or three at the Same time so speaking about borderline Personality disorder and histrionic Personality disorder Borderline personality disorder can best Be thought of as a disorder of Instability and impulsiveness emotional Instability instability in a person's Self-identity sense of self instability In a person's relationships and then Underlying all of this is an intense Fear of Abandonment histrionic Personality just order Is more of a disorder of emotionality Dramatics and attention seeking This you know histrionic disorder Typically is known for The Dramatics and People who are observing or interacting

With somebody with this disorder may Even feel themselves almost kind of Wanting to turn away there's a sense of Play acting as the person is speaking or Engaging with you Um Something just feels a little bit Disingenuous And a lot of attention seeking similar To borderline personality disorder you Might see with histrionic personality Disorder attempts to manipulate however The motivation with histrionic Personality disorder is that attention Whereas with borderline personality Disorder the underlying motivation for Almost everything is to avoid Abandonment so you'll see frantic Attempts to avoid abandonment frantic Attempts to keep people close and those Frantic attempts can be really harmful To the person and to others To the person themselves So the fear of Abandonment can Result in the very thing you're afraid Of right And and I there has been some research Also to suggest that there that Borderline personality disorder has Different types as well Um And I think this is really important Because in my own work I have Encountered many people with borderline

Personality disorder in my own life Right Um And there are different types right I I'm thinking specifically of a girl I Really love who I've worked with for Years who is so self-aware about this And endearing and uh she she owns her I can forgive almost anything if Somebody just owns their Um she is she might lose her temper she Might lash out she can be erratic but She will come back and apologize own it And accept full responsibility and not Only that but identify it and make Changes She doesn't want to be harmful I adore That about her I think it's an admirable Quality more of us could have Um that's very different than When you think about it there are nine Different symptoms and you only need Five to meet criteria so depending on Which symptoms you have you might be far More calculated conniving manipulative Or you may just be more of the impulsive Kind of messy emotionally erratic type And so there's some new research also Coming out that's even suggested that Among women Those that score higher in some of these More calculated traits of the disorder May actually be it may be a certain Presentation of female psychopathy

Yeah are are some of these personality Disorders again probably impossible Question to answer but How much of it is nature how much of it Is nurture or how much of it is in the Genetics and you just can't do much with Uh maybe another question a different Way to ask that is how much can you help That how how much can you become better That is a tough question so there's been A ton of change in the way we've thought About the etiology of these personality Disorders specific to borderline Personality disorder I think in general The view is that most people believe That it was associated with neglect or Trauma and childhood While there is a correlation there There's a correlation between that and Many mental health issues not just Borderline personality disorder we also There is evidence to support a genetic Basis for this personality disorder and There are people who have borderline Personality disorders that report no Childhood trauma or difficulty Um and I've and I have seen I you know Sometimes things just happen so I think it's a mix I think we need to Think of it as biopsychosocial which is Generally the answer to most things when You're talking about how a mental health Issue comes to be Um I certainly think that in most cases

And here's just me speaking personally Again I think in my own work in most Cases what I see is that somebody may Have some sort of predisposition then They go through certain life events and Learn patterns of Behaving that may Serve them well as a child in a Dysfunctional situation but end up being Very problematic later on or they just Have enough hardship that that Gene Whatever it was lying dormant that Little borderline personality disorder Gene expresses itself and you'll see That with things like schizophrenia Depression anxiety disorders there tend To be certain ages where you'll just see That expression happen All right for the record it got cold in Here so we upgraded with a blanket You look cozy uh just as a question for Me just observing the trial it was Interesting That first of all is a really Raw and honest exploration of Intimate relationship between two people Oh yeah it was interesting to watch I Suppose I haven't watched that kind of Thing It made me think about what makes for a Good relationship All the all the many things we've Already talked about in this Conversation It was useful for that but also there

Was raw recordings of two humans Interaction what do you think about that That there's recordings it's kind of Interesting the act of recording your Partner yeah and not not the ethics of That or so on but the fact that you have This data made me wonder like if I Recorded myself how would I sound like When you record yourself no but here With microphones but when you're in Private yeah you wonder Like I had a a bit of a fight with a Friend uh last week And I wondered which one of us was the I would love to hear the Recording because we were a little bit I Think we're a little bit rude to each Other and I wonder how it went wrong I Love that you asked yourself that Question that's so useful we made up the Next day and we I think both agreed to Not ever talk about it but I want this To bury it deep yeah you know I record My couple sessions and one of the Primary purposes of that is so that After if they start to get nasty with Each other in the session I can stop it And I can say what was that right and Most of the time that what you're Describing is so useful because we don't See ourselves we have no idea that we Just came off as critical we think we're Being completely reasonable and Thoughtful you know whenever somebody's

Sort of retelling an argument they got And they said and then you know I was Just caring and just asked I mean why is There a reason you did you know Something like that if they can actually See themselves they realize no their jaw Was clenched their voice was raised they Actually called a name sometimes they're Shocked Uh so just a quick just to linger on it The you labeled Amber Heard as a three six code Type Going back to our discussion which can Mean that quote she's heavily concerned With image prone to treating others with Cruelty unable to admit responsibility For wrongdoing and prone to Externalizing blame and then I also went Into the the mmpi2 list three six Includes anxiety tension rigidity fear Of criticism Suppress hostility merging and passive Or episodic aggression Suspiciousness egocentricity what else Projection What can you say about that code that is Not captured in the different Personality disorders Um what are we supposed to do that from A forensic psychology perspective and What what what are we supposed to do That in general forget the 3-6 in General these kinds of code types in That context in the context of a trial

If I'm understanding you correctly it's Sort of what's the point of these code Types yeah Um thank you for asking the question Better but I don't know what I'm doing I just I Just actually honestly really find mmpi Too fast I love that you do yeah I love That you get it because I just to me It's such a uh it's almost unbelievable That humans created it Um but I think that goes back to that Empirical key method of creating Something that enabled it to be as Robust as it is and something that is Very difficult to beat if not impossible Um but the code types really so it Depends on in any forensic case what Really matters is the legal psycho legal Questions so what is the legal question And then what is the psychologist's Responsibility in assisting with Whatever question they're being asked And there are some questions we can't Answer some that we can Um you don't always need to provide a Diagnosis when you're asked to provide a Report it depends on the jurisdiction it Depends on the statute some Jurisdictions actually require a Diagnosis in this case I was asked to Provide a diagnosis so when I'm Considering a diagnosis you're Integrating multiple different sources

Of information you're integrating and Examining self-report you are adding Collateral data usually I wasn't able to Obtain collateral interviews in this Case and that was the decision of the Court they said no collateral interviews But typically that would be something That you would add you're looking at Records ideally from birth up until the Day that the alleged injury occurred and I'm speaking now specifically to a Personal injury evaluation or something Where somebody is claiming that they Were harmed psychologically Um but you want as many records as Possible to show how a person functioned Before that event occurred and how they Functioned after and you want it to show Financial functioning physical Functioning academic functioning Basically where is there evidence that Something in their life changed Um where is there evidence that harm Occurred other than from what they're Telling you and uh in addition to all of Those records that you're reviewing in Addition to their self-report then You're also going to give some of these Tests like the mmpi so the code types Are really that that strength of the Mmpi2 it gives you really nuanced Information about a person's personality Now again you're not going to use the Mmpi2 or any other test by itself to

Diagnose someone or you know decide that The person is telling the truth not Telling the truth it is just another Piece of data and when it's working the Way it's supposed to It lines up really Nicely with all of the other data you're Getting including what you've observed From the person during your interview With them the information they're giving You or inconsistencies with information They're giving you the consistency or Inconsistency of their self-report from The records what the records themselves Say etc etc so it's adding it's helping You clarify and clarify and clarify the Picture yeah just dialing it down more And more you're just making sure that it Is as accurate as possible Okay so given how huge this trial was Given how eloquent you were you were I Know you don't think of it that way but From a public perspective you were like The star Because of how well you've been it's I Mean you know uh I'm pretty sure Camille's the star Camille is also Incredible I've got a chance to interact With her she's somebody that uh Really inspires me by how good she is at Her job how much she loves her job and How much the fame the money whatever has Not affected the basic core Integrity of Who she is as a human being so she's Also uh she's also incredible okay uh

How what's the what's the takeaway for You personally from The Trial uh how's It made you a better person how is it Changing changed or solidified who you Are as a psychologist as a forensic Psychologist clinical psychologist and So on Wow uh I mean a lot happened in my life Around that trial leading up to the Trial after the trial Um So let's tackle forensic psychologists First sure okay so in terms of forensic Psychology Um I am grateful to that trial for Really strengthening my abilities Um these Stakes were so high that I took You know I was retained about two years Prior to the trial so I really delved Deep into the academic side of forensic Psychology and making sure that Um I was adhering as closely as possible To standard practices best practice Recommendations for this specific type Of an examination it was intellectually Awesome and challenging I feel like my Brain was on fire for a full year Leading up to the trial and that can be Really really fun it was just Challenging but I am really proud of the Work I did I think the stakes were Really high it's serious work it's Important that it's done well and Accurately and

I felt really good about it so I have Some of those lessons carried through to Your practice now to both research and Uh some of the things you're doing in Terms of helping couples Uh no I mean I just You know my practice hasn't changed that Much uh this was more uh just something That was more it demanded so much more Of my time than my typical forensic work Does and personal injury cases are in Cases where there is an allegation of Trauma or psychological harm tend to be Super labor intensive this given um the Magnitude and how long it had been going On in the back and forth required a ton Of work before the trial as well so it Pulled me away from the practice I think It's been nice to go back a bit if okay So now personally Um I've learned some things I've learned That I need to slow down a little bit So this took a lot from you it took a Lot but it was really the culmination I Feel like there are these hoops we jump Through again and again you know Academic challenges that we continue to Meet and then there's a next one and a Next one and a next one and in the Beginning like when you're getting into College or applying to grad schools you Don't really realize this is going to be A never-ending thing especially if I Continue with research or forensic work

I love it because it is so academic you Know you're writing these 75-page Reports and with citations and Um you have to be accurate it feels like I'm doing giant board exams again and Again and again Um it never ends but that feeling I Think you and I were talking about how It's fun to doubt yourself because it Pushes you to do better work Um but so if you keep having high stakes You're going to work all the time work Yourself in the ground constantly be Thinking I'm about oh this question I'm Not sure if I fully know the answer and All the research behind that so I should Go there And again super fun But I don't just do forensic psychology all Day I also have own a clinic I provide Therapy I've been providing therapy for 15 years so what happens is you have Clients who maybe you've stopped seeing But when they have a crisis in their Lives they reach out to you again even If it's seven years later so you've Accumulated hundreds of clients who at Any given time are going to reach out When they're in crisis whether or not You're working on a federal case or in Virginia for this and That is never going to be something easy To Grapple with because I feel that I am

Letting somebody down I know I am Because these are people I genuinely Care about and they care about me and They trust me And I want to be able to be there for Them I know that it's disappointing if I Can't be and it's also very difficult To separate out the Professional Therapy Relationship from loving someone who You've seen through some of the most Difficult parts of their lives and I can Explain that to people all day long but It doesn't necessarily mean that it's Going to be easy for someone to accept When I can't talk to them And they just found out you know their Husband was leading a double life or you Know their sister just died and I can't Even get on a call because I'm getting Maybe 15 messages like that a day And have to testify and have to run my Practice Um so I think that was why I need to Slow down this case I was doing all of That Um And then like the academic load or the Work involved was just tremendous Um and some stuff happened like my dad He started having his cognitive decline I got a medical diagnosis that is stress Induced Um I really thought I was getting away With it I I really believed that people

Who talk like a lot about self-care were Kind of full of and just didn't Know how to push themselves I still Believe in pushing ourselves But I think I I Kind of traversed into an area and Without realizing it where I was no Longer pushing myself to challenge Myself or see what I was capable of I Was almost pushing myself like as a Necessity because I didn't know what Else to do anymore Just an obligation Um it wasn't even I wasn't pushing Myself to do The debt herd case reminded me of that Feeling of pushing myself to do Something I wasn't sure I was capable of And overcoming that challenge that was Rewarding but when you're piling that on With like running a business and all These other things and trying to be Perfect at all of them Um that just starts to become like a Feeling of necessity and it's not Healthy That said you somehow managed to hold it All together to put forward a mask for Performance and like you said still take Care of all these clients because you're The most important person in their lives For many of them Um is there is there a secret to that

Was there any hacks Is there uh I don't get no and honestly I it's not 100 it's not how I It's a work in progress right I I don't Have an answer for I wouldn't want my life to be any other Way I you know I wouldn't have had the Opportunity to work on this case if I Hadn't established my practice and had Outreach and um So I I can't figure out like which piece You take it out without it all crumbling Yeah but I would love to have a little More down time so it all kind of works Together and there's Passion is the fuel that Uh that's behind all of it probably That's probably the reason you haven't Lost your mind quite yet maybe yeah Maybe unless I mean it depends who you Ask what about the stress of just being In the public eye has that been Difficult for you That's a lovely question thank you for Asking it because I'm It is nice to talk to you about this Because I feel like you probably Understand it a little bit Um that was something I was absolutely Unprepared for uh like I said I had no Idea how many people were watching when I testified I I had no idea and I got off the stand I Kind of staggered to the back room and

Truly thought about lying down on the Floor because I was so exhausted and uh You know I'd been up studying on my Stuff terrified that I was gonna forget Some statistic about the mmpi too it's Gonna be so great it's great for me it's Gonna be great for people to hear this That you're human you're too flaws That you're that's extremely stressful For many many hours I wondered how you Could sit there for so many hours and Stay so focused and listen so well it's So difficult well I mean I could talk About that too at the moment I came to Almost like came back to my body and Realized where I was and just wanted it To stop and felt like I was burning Alive I just was thinking I don't want To do this anymore I don't want to do This anymore is this going to stop and Then another question came and I just Had to get back to it uh but uh so after I testified the first time I went in That back room I I might have laid down On the ground it's kind of a blur I mean I might have I do remember that Wayne Dennison uh one of the senior managing Partners at Brown redneck who is a Phenomenal guy and absolutely brilliant I will be indebted in for life because Um I trusted him I trusted him and that Made all the difference in probably how I testified but he came in the back and He was looking at his phone and he said

You're on the cover of time something on You know like Apple news And I thought I mean I really I thought He was messing with me Um I thought it was it was his joke way Of saying like I did great You've worked with uh veterans Um what is PTSD in that context what What's the landscape of psychological Sufferings that Veteran soldiers go through Um Well if we're talking about combat Exposure You're seeing Things you're not meant to see you're Seeing the worst of humanity people Harming other people it's not natural For Um others to intend to harm us it's not Natural for us to harm others and This dehumanization can occur that's so Troubling and disturbing that people Have a hard time living with it later or They just feel this ongoing anger Um Yeah it's it depends it depends on the Trauma they're exposed to it depends on You know whether their Convoy was Ambushed by weapons that were purchased From money that was given to this Village from the US government Um it depends on whether Um

They did something that they have a hard Time reconciling outside of War now that They're back home in Civilization Um depends on whether they lost a lot of Their comrades and feel that guilt of Being a Survivor and again not everybody Develops PTSD it really it's a mental Disorder it's serious we talk so much About trauma and PTSD gets thrown around Lightly when actually it's very Difficult to meet the full criteria for That diagnosis and many people Experience severe trauma in their lives And only about 14 percent are likely to Actually develop PTSD it's an exception Not the norm Traumatic stress is absolutely normal After something traumatic happens you'll Likely have nightmares you'll likely Have anxiety you'll feel depressed Because you're a human being and Something abnormal happened but PTSD is A longer standing condition that is Significantly impairing in a person's Life and I think we've lost that in some Of the sort of narrative in society it Just everybody has PTSD but no you can Have traumatic stress you can be Distressed you can be affected by trauma And not have that particular diagnosis PTSD Significantly impairs people's lives How do veterans how do soldiers who Suffer from PTSD or close to that kind

Of diagnosis begin to heal What's the path for healing well I will Hand it to the military because I think In terms of working with their active Duty service members they really invest Heavily in mental health the U.S Department of Defense was one of the First to bring animal assisted therapy Into any type of treatment in the early 1900s with uh bringing you know farming Into certain hospitals and letting Veterans help with the farms and brush The horses and which is so Advanced Because now we have all this research on Animal assisted therapy and Um how beneficial it is and just looking In the eyes of a dog can increase your Pain threshold and speed healing after a Cardiac arrest help people with dementia And ambulate more freely it's incredible Stuff simple Uh and the military was ahead of the Game on that and I don't think that's Changed I did my training at a military Hospital in Hawaii tripler Army Medical Center it was phenomenal training and You know our psych Department there was So much interesting research going on we Had and it was so integrated so you Might not imagine that the military Would be doing this but we had an Acupuncture Department we had a Chiropractic Department we had a yoga Section we were doing yoga sessions

There Um I mean they anything that has Evidence to support its efficacy was Being utilized and I think that's pretty Cool about our government they have a Lot of funding so I'm glad they're using It on that the real challenge I think Comes with the large-scale need of the Veteran population Um and they slipped through the cracks I Know that the dod had a campaign going Where they were doing outreached anybody Who served for instance in the Vietnam War the problem is they were trying to Get all of these people assessed for PTSD and it was great like they were Getting phone calls mail it was sort of Saying hey we know that you served come On in or let's schedule you an exam with A psychologist and just see if your owed Benefits the idea of it's great the Problem is that they Outsource to this Third party company they're paying Really low rates for a one hour meeting With a vet and you don't need to be Specifically trained in assessing PTSD Um And so you're getting these variations And opinions that are coming through and I've had clients who to me who I've Worked with for years who have clear Combat related PTSD according to Gold Standard measures according to my Knowing them and observing their

Symptoms and how impaired they are and It is clearly associated with combat the Content of their intrusive thoughts Their nightmares Etc And they are having a one-hour meeting Sometimes by phone with one of these Psychologists who's been contracted by This third party organization that's not Even enough for me to get through the First three few symptom questions on the Caps five assessment for PTSD but in That hour the psychology psychologist is Saying definitively no PTSD And it's been a travesty for some people Especially for those who need an Advocate the most it tends to happen to My veterans who are maybe a little bit Less sophisticated and presenting or Advocating for themselves more humble Less Um you know the guys who need deserve it The most right they're just getting Passed over and um and it's a maze I'm Not quite sure what the solution is Though before I mean I've worked for Government agencies they're dealing it's A massive population I love that the Outreach is even happening and trying to Get these guys in for assessment I think We can criticize any system Um I'm glad that system is even Happening but it still needs to be Better so I've I've got a chance to Interact with a lot of soldiers from uh

That served in Iraq and Afghanistan and Now a lot of soldiers from all different Kinds of nations in Ukraine went to the Front There's a there's a bond between Soldiers unlike any other I don't know If you can speak to why do you think That is on the opposite side of PTSD There's a there's a deep human Connection there's like a love for each Other what is that what what is that About war and combat that creates that Kind of well you're seeing a We talked earlier about that Vulnerability right so I I believe that combat I believe that Most survival situations strip away all Ego and Um Real in I mean there are a couple Different layers to this but I have not Served in war so I um I want to be Cautious here but From what I know uh just about Psychology and also from my own Experience of survival survival type Experiences when you're with a group of People and uh All the ego Stripped Away Nothing Else Matters the focus is on the here and now And a specific Mission Um or your day to day You can get really close you're very Very vulnerable and

Um and also In my experience the guys I work with Who have served there aren't a lot of People who understand what they've been Through not only some of the Unspeakable Things they've been through in combat But some of the things that they feel Are unspeakable about returning Especially if they are experiencing Trauma a lot of them you know some of The things that service members with PTSD are the most reluctant to disclose Is the feeling like they may not know if They love their children anymore or Their wife That they don't even know if they can Love anymore that they feel emotionally Numb Um That they want to kill someone that they Have a whole lot of racist beliefs and Thoughts Um there are a lot of things that can be Associated with PTSD that aren't as Clear or expected and these guys Don't have many people who understand it Or they don't think they would But a lot of their fellow service Members do And so I'm going back to Ukraine and um Boy nothing makes Nothing makes uh reveals a human Condition In a more pure form than War

Especially the kind of War you get in That in that part of the world Especially the war in Ukraine which is a Very 20th century kind of War Um brutal Laughs Well uh like I mentioned in a few Different ways you're exceptionally Successful by I think the best Definition of success you you you're Doing what you love and you're one of The uh best people in the world of doing It and so whatever advice would you give To young people that look up to you that Sorry for the TR in the trial which is Your most public-facing thing Um and are just looking young people That are looking to find what they want To do with their life career-wise or I Love that question what would you tell Them I'm gonna tell them something my Dad told me he said to me Shannon just Pick anything Pick anything If you like it at all studying it just Pick it He was like look Don't worry about the job you don't even Know all the jobs that exist Pick something you like you will make it Your own and that is exactly what Happened I like psychology I was reading somehow Self-help books it's not like I had this

Calling where I you know looking back I Can actually create that story because I Think now it makes a lot of sense that I Do what I do but I was lost and scared I Started studying psychology I met a Professor who was really inspiring who Wasn't even a psychology professor at You but he was public policy I stayed in touch with that Professor he Is a dear friend still to this day that Was 20 years ago we do research together In Mexico integrative research with uh You know public policy officials and Environmental engineers and I get to be The psychologist on the trip I never Ever dreamed that that sort of stuff Could happen I didn't know about Forensic psychology I also want to warn Anybody who's interested in forensic Psychology that's not like you're like Solving crimes all day and getting Called by the FBI you are going to be Sitting alone in your home office with Your husband bringing you like bowls of Cereal and reminding you to go to the Bathroom because you haven't gotten up In like 24 hours from the computer and Uh you're gonna have papers all around You and you're just gonna write 75 dense Pages with citations of like science It's brutal it's academic Um but you're good but it's fulfilling My friend my friend Franny posted a meme Of one of the girls from glears that

They crying and saying like I'm the Happiest I've ever been and she said It Reminds her when I try to convince her To do forensic psych because I think her Mind is perfect for it you have to be Strategic and throw but it it's a slug But it's wonderful it's wonderful the Image of your husband bringing you Cereal while you work on the 75 pages is Maybe the most romantic thing I've ever Heard so we started on love let me ask One last question about the same topic What's the role of love in this whole Thing In The Human Condition and this whole Experiment we've got going on on Earth I think it's all there is like that Jewel song How does that go I don't don't sing it Don't sing it don't get it in my head Please don't so Uh there have been some profound moments In my life where I feel like I uh am Closest to kind of the truth of life or What it's all about and usually there's This resonating sense of love and ease And love for myself love for other People sort of like it's all okay we're All okay we're gonna get through this Um I liked what you said about the harm Caused by Like the misinformation or negative Things being said about you

Because you're right it it harms that Bigger picture I think it holds us back Takes us back from that truth that There's a love that connects all of us And that uh if you remember about that Love it's all going to be okay I really Hope it's going to be okay me too I Believe it would be thank you so much For talking today Shannon you're an Incredible person thank you for Everything you do and for everything you Stand for and uh from everything from Your text message to just who you are And for this amazing conversation thank You Thanks for listening to this Conversation with Shannon Curry to Support this podcast please check out Our sponsors in the description and now Let me leave you some more words from Charles Bukowski Sometimes you climb out of bed in the Morning and you think I'm not going to make it But you laugh inside remembering all the Times you felt that way Thank you for listening I hope to see You next time

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