#119 - Terry Real: Breaking the cycle of shame, anger, and depression
By Peter Attia, MD
Terry Real, a renowned family therapist and best-selling author, helps people create the connections they desire in their relationships. In this episode, Terry describes how his upbringing with an abusive father forged his path to become a therapist, develop his Relational Life Therapy (RLT) framework, and write I Don't Want to Talk About It—a book that reveals the hidden legacy of male depression. Terry discusses the link between childhood trauma and the deep-rooted shame, anger, and depression, which can result in feeling disconnected. Using real-life examples, Terry explains how he implements RLT to confront trauma, discover its origin, and teach the skills to break the cycle of pain, in order to live a satisfying life. We discuss: Terry’s upbringing with a depressed and abusive father [3:15]; The importance of the repair process, after relational disharmony, to break the trauma cycle [15:15]; The impact of a patriarchal society, and relational growth as the next step for feminism [19:00]; Origins of deep-rooted shame, and the difference between feeling ashamed and feeling guilty [27:15]; Preventing the propagation of trauma without over-coddling kids [35:30]; The one-up/one-down cycle from grandiosity to shame [37:30]; Covert depression—Steps to fixing the secret legacy of male depression [40:00]; Three forms of false self-esteem [50:00]; Narcissism—A misunderstood concept [51:45]; The interplay of shame, anger, and grandiosity, and how to break the cycle [54:15]; The Relational Life Therapy framework [1:06:30]; How the adaptive child becomes the maladaptive adult [1:15:30]; Speaking the language of social relationships [1:21:45]; When does it make sense for a couple to separate? [1:26:30]; Witness abuse—Consequences of screaming at your partner in the presence of children [1:28:15]; Cases of instantaneous change, and other behavioral changes that may take more time [1:30:45]; Reconciling with his father—Terry’s final conversation with his dad [1:33:45]; and More. Learn more: https://peterattiamd.com/ Show notes page for this episode: https://peterattiamd.com/terryreal Subscribe to receive exclusive subscriber-only content: https://peterattiamd.com/subscribe/ Sign up to receive Peter's email newsletter: https://peterattiamd.com/newsletter/ Connect with Peter on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.