Empathi with Figs
Feel more connected in your relationship. Stop fighting. Communicate better. Snuggle more.
info_outline How to get your partner to couples counseling 07/23/2017
How to get your partner to couples counseling “Be persistent, but skillful.” - Wise and simple words from this week’s episode on broaching the subject of couples counseling with a hesitant or resistant partner. Clients often ask Figs this important question when initially reaching out. With their signature humor, honesty, and insight, Teale and Figs together provide actionable and realistic ways to gently work with reluctant partners. The three important “sales” tips highlighted: Don’t try and sell your partner on the idea of going through a big process. Just get yes to one session! Don’t buy it back. Find someone your partner will resonate with. Match personalities. It’s important to feel safe in the room. There are many false notions about therapy and reservations about seeking out help in our society. “Help” can even be a really tough and triggering word for some people. Teale even admits using going to therapy as a “threat.” She goes on to explain that couples in conflict are experiencing an “us problem” not a “you vs me” problem. She empathizes that people might even get scared or feel shameful at the idea of seeing a therapist. This is totally normal. Tune in this week hear about the record Figs is most proud of to date!! (Hint: it might involve sweating bullets) and the three things to pay attention to in a fight. And a final caution for listeners: No couples therapy is better than bad couples therapy!
info_outline Ben and Jen in Love 06/27/2017
Ben and Jen in Love Figs returns with his third installment of the “Who Are You in Love Series”. This time, he is joined by couple “Ben and Jen” and their 4 week old baby in arms. Together they vulnerably open up to the deep and important questions about love. “Is there a moment that stands out for you when you felt really connected and in love?” Figs reminds all of us that each one of those moments is a “strengthening and increasing of togetherness” and that “even the best relationships have moments of disconnection.” In love, Figs urges his listeners and guests to try to understand the realities of what’s happening deep down inside of us, instead of trying not to hurt each other’s feelings. Because when it comes to love, we’re still little babies. And we have to recognize that little child in all of us. “Who Are You in Love” is a recurring interview series in the Empathi with Figs podcast that features a variety of real people sharing their stories of love, conflict, and repair. With humor, compassion and authenticity, Figs and his guests dive deeply together into the struggles and joys of navigating relationship and conflict all while highlighting our universal need for love and connection. If you’d like to be interviewed, or have someone you think would be great for the show please email Figs.
info_outline Waiting For Ramen 06/20/2017
Waiting For Ramen Figs and Teale are 10 days past their due date, anxiously awaiting the home birth of their second child, Kian. Together they share their vulnerabilities and experiences during this time while also waiting for their favorite San Francisco Friday night treat- Ramen! As couples therapists, they recognize that during times of stress or conflict, people in relationship have to trust the process. Figs often reminds himself and clients alike that “you can relax now because you’re held by a process.” Of course this is always easier said than done. Teale admits: “I wish I was immersed in the trust the process sauna.” This short, impromptu podcast filmed on the San Francisco sidewalk is full of honesty, humor and openness. Listen for important reminders of connection, Figs’ Irish accent, and find out what sexy time at 41 weeks looks like for the loving couple. Stay tuned for next week’s episodes where Figs and Teale will both share their birthing story.
info_outline Figs & Teale PreBirth Part 2 06/13/2017
Figs & Teale PreBirth Part 2 Today’s episode highlights the important and final pre-birth check in with Figs and his pregnant wife Teale. As a follow up to their first pre-birth episode (released 5/23/2017), the two sit down together one last time to share and understand each other’s most vulnerable, lovable parts related to this important event. This time, Figs is in the hot seat answering the questions! What are the feelings and thoughts that come up for you (around labor and birth)? What is it that you can do for yourself? What can I as your partner do for you to be there for you? Remember, these questions can be used in any major relationship issue or event.
info_outline Emotional Bonding Styles 06/06/2017
Emotional Bonding Styles “In short, love is an emotional bond. It’s not optional; it’s part of our biology,” affirms Figs in today’s episode about Attachment Styles. Have you ever thought about how we’re “useless” when we’re born? We can’t do anything for ourselves. Our ability to be emotionally bonded is an essential evolutionary solution to our need for relationship and connection for survival from our first day to our last. Our body is built to react if it seems like the person we’re bonded with is not available - Don’t fight your biology! Usually people try to pathologize and find what’s wrong with themselves, or their partner in relationship. But the whole point is to learn how to love yourself...and to love your partner as you are. “You make sense. Your partner make sense. And all the people around you make sense.” Figs explains one can divide most wounding in love into two sides of the same coin: Ability to feel abandoned Ability to feel rejected If you didn’t have the ability to feel these two things, there would be something wrong! He also covers the different emotional bonding styles which are a direct result of our biology. Ultimately, we’re all yearning for and deserve a “yummy, scrumptious, snuggly securely attached connection.” Curious to learn who you are in love? Check out Figs’ free relationship quiz at Empathi.com. And remember: don’t use this information to beat yourself up! Listen and enjoy to find out what Figs means when he describes his own relationship with Teale as the “Dueling Geminis” and his thoughts on the phrase “happy wife, happy life.”
info_outline Ben Reebs In Love 05/30/2017
Ben Reebs In Love “Shame really biologically is this momentary message that you have to stop paying attention to what you’re paying attention to.” - Fiachra ‘Figs’ O’Sullivan Portland based naturopathic doctor, Ben Reebs, joins Figs as the second guest in the “Who Are you in Love” series. As a fellow healer, Ben helps his patients restore their bodies, awakening them to the “innate healing mechanism that we all have.” In this episode, Ben shares his most vulnerable moments and mistakes in love, from the “trail of wreckage” behind him, to the “beautiful sky” that awaits ahead. The conversion runs deep, acknowledging the dark and light of intimacy in all relationships. Figs asks a couple of key questions that are worth exploring in your own relationship: “Is there an image or place that captures love for you?” “Do you have a sense of your go-to judgements in relationship?” Ben answers with an honesty and authenticity that all listeners can relate to and encourages everyone to share by admitting that “expressing vulnerability inspires.” Reminder from Figs: No one said it would be easy to be someone’s primary attachment figure. So have some empathy for yourself. Curious to learn more about Who You are in Love? Take the free quiz at Empathi.com. Everyone needs help and guidance. In Fig’s words, “empathi.com is my attempt to get that out there to everybody not just people that are willing to access psychotherapy.” Access to help is our birthright and should not be “limited by location or money or stigma.” “Who Are You in Love” is a recurring interview series in the Empathi with Figs podcast that features a variety of real people sharing their stories of love, conflict, and repair. With humor, compassion and authenticity, Figs and his guests dive deeply together into the struggles and joys of navigating relationship and conflict all while highlighting our universal need for love and connection. If you’d like to be interviewed, or have someone you think would be great for the show please email Figs.
info_outline Birth Prep with Figs & Teale 05/23/2017
Birth Prep with Figs & Teale Figs sits down with his pregnant wife, Teale (due in 3-5 weeks!) and together they share a special, intimate chat to prepare for the birth of their second child, Kian! Figs asks Teale three questions. These can be applied to any major relationship debate, thought, fear, or issue: What are your longings fears, thoughts, excitements? What can you do to support yourself if any of the fears or thoughts that are difficult come up? What can I do to support you? The task is: Can you take 30 minutes with your partner, take turns and answer these questions and really listen to each other? Just as Teale experienced in her emotional and beautiful sharing, you might notice that your vulnerable parts show up. Take this as an opportunity to really show some empathy for yourself and your partner. Figs provides an important reminder: that everybody has an outrageous place, where they don’t feel so loveable. So give yourself permission to have impulses and reactions and recognize the resource you have inside and outside yourself. Together these places are you and your partner's medicine. Maybe you too can discover your partner as a resource you can turn to when you are most in need of support. Check out Fig’s article, A Father’s Grace, which he wrote about the experience of the birth of their daughter, Grace.
info_outline Built For Love 05/16/2017
Built For Love Today, Figs goes back to the basics and answers the question what is love? Certified in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (a clinical approach founded by Dr. Sue Johnson), Figs shares the Attachment Theory perspective on this big question. Love is an emotional bond that we all need. Simply put, we are biologically wired for connection. Figs also references John Bowlby the father of attachment theory to emphasize this very important fact: “When it comes to love, you’re still a baby and your partner is still a baby because this need for emotional bonding with a primary other is a ‘cradle to the grave’ experience.” Figs kindly cautions us from confusing the idea of being childlike in love with being childish. “Don’t use the information to judge yourself or your partner.” Fighting in relationships is really just protest behavior against feeling disconnected from the one we love. Parking tickets, sex, money….these aren’t the real problems in relationship. We fight because our connection matters. Find out who you are in love by taking the free Empathi quiz.
info_outline Marisa Goudy in Love 05/08/2017
Marisa Goudy in Love As a couples and relationship therapist, this question is foremost in my mind much of the time. It's a question I've found great value in answering for myself, and it's a pivotal question for each of us to answer in order to understand what is most important to us. Answering it also reveals what frightens us, what worries us, what makes us tick in moments of vulnerability. In this episode of Empathi with Figs, Figs debuts his new series "Who are you in Love," in which he explore his guest's story of love -- including feelings, thoughts, magical moments, and tough moments of disconnect. Today he speaks with storyteller and magic-maker, Marisa Goudy, to find out who is Marisa in Love.
info_outline The Magic is in the Repair 05/08/2017
The Magic is in the Repair Relationships are hard work -- love and connection matters so much that you are guaranteed to have conflict in your relationship. In this episode of Empathi with Figs, psychotherapist and couples counselor, Figs O’Sullivan invites Teale, his wife and fellow therapist, to discuss their daily conflict triggers and walk you through why the magic in relationships lies in the repair of these everyday moments of disconnection.
info_outline Be The One You've Been Waiting For 05/08/2017
Be The One You've Been Waiting For Relationship expert and couples therapist Figs O'Sullivan gives husbands and wives a resource to feel more connected in their marriage on Empathi with Figs. No matter how strong we are, when it comes to love there is a part of all of us that can feel rejected or ashamed. Figs teaches you how you can be the one you've been waiting for.