Meet Valerie Marsh, the owner of Positive Power Psychology and a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in individual, couples, and family therapy, as well as relationship and life coaching. Marsh discusses her work and how she helps people, her journey, and the changing dynamics of a relationship. As a person who works with individuals coping with trauma, Marsh also talks about trauma and its importance in depth. Learn about the Triple P Effect and the holistic approach that she uses. To learn more and schedule an appointment, visit PositivePowerPsychology.com.
Using Positive Psychology to Move Ahead with Valerie Marsh
[00:00:04.170] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Good morning and welcome to Green Tea Conversations, the radio show that delves into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine to bring you the local experts who share progressive ideas in the latest information and insights needed so you can lead your best life. I'm your host Candi Broeffle, publisher of the Twin Cities edition of Natural Awakenings magazine, and I am honored to bring these experts to you. So today in our studio, we welcome Valerie Marsh, a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in individual, couples, and family therapy, as well as relationship and life coaching. Valerie is the owner of Positive Power Psychology, which is conveniently located in Wayzata. So glad you're with us today, Valerie.
[00:00:47.640] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Thank you, Candi. It's great to be here.
[00:00:49.740] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So glad that you're coming in. We have so many interesting topics that we're going to get into today. And you have such a diverse background that I'm really excited to kind of delve into that with you. But before we get started, I just want to give you the opportunity to kind of share with people about your business what it is that you do and the clients who you serve.
[00:01:12.510] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Well, I've actually had a private practice originally, and when I moved back to Minnesota, I started positive psychology. And I am a licensed marriage and family therapist. But I see more than just families and couples. I see quite a few individuals for anxiety, depression, PTSD, as well as dealing with ADHD symptoms.
[00:01:45.470] - Candi Broeffle, Host
OK, now you have been a therapist for over 20 years.
[00:01:49.320] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Yes, I have.
[00:01:50.340] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And you got your education here in Minnesota. But then you went out to California.
[00:01:57.300] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Yes, I did. Yes. And I started a coaching business out there for a while. And that was Positive Power Psychology. The business I owned before that was Marsh Family Therapy Center. So, I just kind of learned more things out in California that really expanded everything I did into a more holistic approach. And that's what I really have found is so much more beneficial for my clients. It helps them in a much faster way.
[00:02:27.000] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so. You're utilizing, tell us a little bit about like kind of how you got into that. So, you said, you were telling me before that you worked in H.R.
[00:02:37.590] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Yes, I did. I was in H.R. Director in Rochester, Minnesota, for quite a few years, actually. And I worked with people, you know, with our employees that were having difficulties. You know, a lot of people ended up in my office sharing their experiences, what they were having problems with. And I was the person to direct them to the appropriate resources to help them. But what I also found was that a lot of the problems that they were having, you know, were coming from fears, anxieties, depression, and they were utilizing alcohol and drugs and maybe other addictions in order to cope. And that's why they were having, you know, problems and at home as well as work. And because I just, I don't know, I was so... I just felt so amazing when I was able to, you know, help in some way that I thought maybe I should continue this. And, you know, I went further and I got my Master's degree in Science. And it was a lot of it was in Neuroscience, brain, and behavior. And the degree that came with it was psych counseling. And then from there, I went on to get my postgraduate certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy.
[00:04:04.590] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So you were just on a mission to learn as much as you could?
[00:04:08.490] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
I was. But I also realized, too, from my own experiences, you know, as a child, you know, that experience many different traumas that, a lot of that, you know, carried through to my adulthood as well. And I really wanted to help people. And so that was kind of my mission.
[00:04:30.480] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And it really sounds like, you know, I find when I talk to people and there are issues, especially in the workplace, issues that come up, conflicts between people so many times, it's not really that conflict. It's not really between that person. It's, they're triggering each other, triggering something within each other.
[00:04:54.870] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
[00:04:55.500] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And it can often go back all the way back to the childhood experiences.
[00:05:01.500] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Exactly, and that's what I found when, you know, I did my work in H.R. and I just wanted to do more research and that's what I continue to do to this day, is trying to find things that are more helpful. And that's how I came up with my own process.
[00:05:19.680] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so, you were doing, you went to school, you got some certifications and was starting to do some therapy.
[00:05:26.160] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
[00:05:26.730] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And then you went to California. And you get certified as a life coach.
[00:05:31.260] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
I was, actually, I was certified as an advanced theta practitioner first. Actually, before that, I studied with Louise Hay and that was part of the life coach experience many, many years ago. But I realized that there was some kind of a disconnect that some people could utilize those positive affirmations and that would help to an extent, but it wasn't enough. And so, that kind of made me look elsewhere. And then I discovered Theta, which, you know, is a totally different thing. And the reason why I decided to go to L.A. and go through all of the training, which they're quite extensive, was because I realized that 95 percent of our behavior and the decisions we make stem from our subconscious mind and not the conscious mind. So, the strong emotional mind, which comprises about 90 percent of our total brain, is not the 10 percent of our consciousness which is in control. So that's why I went to L.A. to learn about theta techniques, the theta healing technique is a meditation technique. And it's a spiritual philosophy. It's not specific to one religion but accepting of all. So, it has this purpose of us getting closer to our creator, the universe, God, whatever, you know, higher power, whatever we want to call it. And for me, I realized that you had to look at the whole person, mind, body, and spirit, and you have to be able to clear limiting beliefs which are negative to self-talk that we do. And if you clear those limiting beliefs in your subconscious mind, then you're able to change it to more positive thoughts. So that was, I was just on a mission to find like a practice that people could use specific techniques in order to feel better, faster, you know, how to be more in control, how to be more empowered in your life, you know, make conscious choices, conscious decisions.
[00:07:58.770] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so, for you, it was really taking a look at that solution-based. So, you utilized several different techniques within your practice. And I don't want people to get frustrated with me and think, oh, no, she said she studied with Louise Hay and now she isn't even asking her about that. We will. Trust me, we'll talk about that in the coming segment. That's a pretty good thing.
[00:08:20.310] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
[00:08:21.210] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And also, you know, kind of delving into a little bit more about the Theta technique as well. But you utilize several different things. So, it's not just sometimes when we go into therapy, we can really kind of delve in deep about past situations. But it's really kind of hard to get past that. And so for you, you really wanted to make sure that people were, yes, exploring that and facing it. But then also, what can you do moving forward?
[00:08:51.450] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
And move forward? Yes, because if we spend too much time delving into the past and digging it up, sometimes that can be quite painful. And what I realized was there were clients that didn't want to do that. So, when I was using strictly traditional therapy, you know, there were some that could go past that and some that got, you know, very scared after two or three sessions that I thought, well, there must be something we can do that's better than us.
[00:09:24.600] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Well, and so often people have spent their entire life trying to protect themselves from it. So, trying to numb that pain or to keep from having to actually face that. So, when you're asking them to do it on an ongoing basis,
[00:09:39.420] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
it's very painful. Yeah.
[00:09:40.920] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And it can also be re-traumatizing, don't you think?
[00:09:43.260] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Yes, absolutely. I found that over and over again. So, that's why I wanted to learn something different that I could share with my clients so that they could feel more empowered, feel better, feel more centered in their bodies, and feel like, oh, you know, I'm feeling joy again. And to me, that's the most incredible thing.
[00:10:07.760] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yeah, feeling all those emotions, getting back to that space. So, you came, you studied in California and you were in California for how long?
[00:10:18.090] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Well, before I moved there back in at the end of 2016, I was actually going back and forth from California for training. So, you know, I would stay one or two weeks when I did the Louise Hay workshop. That was a whole week's workshop in San Diego. And Louise Hay was there for only one of those days. It was Patricia Crain. Louise Hay at the time was going into retirement. But I did get to work with her at a few different seminars after that. So, I feel totally blessed because she was like one of my mentors.
[00:10:57.660] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yes, yes. As she is for many people. So, you then came back to Minneapolis and set up shop. This was just last year?
[00:11:08.940] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
I came back. I think it was the beginning of 2018. And it was just because I had been in the North Bay and we had the fires, you know, in the North Bay that October. And it was just a lot worse than I thought it would be.
[00:11:35.670] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So, when we come back, we're going to continue our conversation with Valerie. To read an online version of Natural Awakenings magazine, visit NaturalTwinCities.com. You're listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM950, the Progressive Voice of Minnesota, and we will be right back.
[00:12:02.950] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations, where we delve into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine and talk to the professionals who share their expertise on natural health with you, I'm your host, Candi Broeffle. And today we are visiting with Valerie Marsh, who owns Positive Power Psychology in Wayzata. And just before the break, Valerie, you were explaining to us your process, your holistic approach that you take with individuals and families when it comes to dealing with issues such as PTSD or anxiety or stress. There's so many different reasons why people come to you. I'm sure. And it can be a multitude of whatever people are facing. One of the things that I notice that people are facing, especially in my friend group, you could say is, you know, we're at the age where we are, our kids have gone off to college, have started their own lives, and now they're starting, they're in this relationship that they've been in for many years. And sometimes things change in the relationships or perhaps it's the way we look at things that change within the relationship.
[00:13:17.050] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Yes, it's the focus that changes.
[00:13:20.710] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So, the focus goes from kids and growing. And also, I think our career, you know, so a lot of people have focused so much on their career to build their career. And then we get into our 40s and 50s and it's like, wow, is this it?
[00:13:37.780] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Yeah. Do we still even know each other?
[00:13:40.540] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Right. And so you work with couples who come in and who might be facing some issues. And I imagine some of those big issues are, let me guess, communication?
[00:13:53.830] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
[00:13:54.640] - Candi Broeffle, Host
In the way that we look at things.
[00:13:56.530] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
And intimacy. Because, you know, a lot of times when we get stressed out or we're losing contact with our significant other, the intimacy level changes totally. And we feel like we're at opposite ends of the spectrum. So, I see a lot of couples for that as well.
[00:14:17.680] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And really, we are at opposite ends in that perspective because there is something about the male brain and the female brain.
[00:14:24.440] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
[00:14:25.390] - Candi Broeffle, Host
When it comes to intimacy if you're not feeling connected...
[00:14:29.500] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
We all connect differently.
[00:14:30.940] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Right. So, males tend to think intimacy will help in this situation.
[00:14:37.180] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
[00:14:37.660] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And females tend to think, I don't want to be near you.
[00:14:42.160] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Right, because I'm so mad.
[00:14:43.330] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Because I'm so mad and I don't feel intimate now. I don't feel like we've connected on an intimate level.
[00:14:48.720] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
They don't feel heard.
[00:14:50.110] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Right. And so, that can really be a huge problem with couples. Right. So, we're trying to fix.
[00:14:58.900] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Right. We're trying to help them to see each other, in a different perspective. Again, you know, first of all, I feel like it's my job to kind of normalize some of this. So they don't feel like it's just us because it's not. We all go through these things in our relationships. It can be up and down, you know, all the time. It's just the way life is. You know, sometimes we're super-connected, sometimes we're not. How do we get back on the same page? So, that's what I help couples work on and help them understand each other and how each other thinks. But, you know, once again, I when I'm working with couples, I also work with them at least one session individually to kind of touch base on how they're taking care of themselves, you know, like the whole mind, body, spirit thing, you know, what are we doing? And, because I also find that if you're taking really good care of yourself, I think you're more open to trying to understand your mate a little bit more, are trying to understand your differences and not look at it as like a negative.
[00:16:06.970] - Candi Broeffle, Host
But especially if you've been in a relationship, it doesn't really matter how long you've been in, but longer relationships, we tend to think that they know how to push every button that we have. Right? And really, are they really doing that, or is that our perspective of what's happening?
[00:16:24.340] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
I know and I run into that a lot. And you know, I try to do is to help them see the positives in it and to maybe not take everything so personally all the time. You know, that a lot of times it's not personal. It's just what that other person is experiencing at the moment and it's like how they react. So, once again, it's like understanding, normalizing everything, and then helping people do things together again and enjoy each other's company.
[00:16:57.190] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And that's so important. It's so important to be able to connect on that level when we; when our kids are gone, we have other stresses that come in, perhaps that's caring for aging parents or other things that are happening as well. And so, to be able to have someone who we can come to, who we can come with our partner to and really be able to help heal that relationship a bit.
[00:17:21.840] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
And I always feel like I have a very nonjudgmental approach. I don't take sides, you know, and I'm there to really listen and to help each of them listen to each other and what their needs are.
[00:20:51.710] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations, where we delve into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine and talk to the professionals who share their expertise on natural health with you, I'm your host, Candi Broeffle. And today we are talking with Valerie Marsh, a licensed marriage and family therapist who owns Positive Power Psychology in Wayzata and I don't want people to get the wrong impression, but you also work with individuals on numerous topics.
[00:21:19.250] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Yes, I do.
[00:21:20.090] - Candi Broeffle, Host
One of the things that you have focused some of your practice on is actually working with people with trauma. And so, tell us a little bit about that. When you talk about trauma, what what does that mean?
[00:21:35.870] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Well, I've worked with people that have had different experiences with trauma, sexual assault victims, people that were molested as children, people that had gotten into unhealthy relationships where there may be an abuser. Whether that was emotional, verbal, physical abuse could be all of the above. And what happens from that trauma is the PTSD symptoms, which, of course, you know, anxiety, flashbacks, not being able to even leave the house because of huge fear about what could happen, because they're constantly, you know, replaying what has happened in their past. And it creates huge anxiety and also depression.
[00:22:37.790] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Well, and it must be so isolating as well.
[00:22:40.340] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
[00:22:40.880] - Candi Broeffle, Host
I mean, to just not be able to get out of that. So you use your technique that you call the Triple P Effect. I was going to say three P, but it's the Triple P Effect. And so, you utilize and take a look again and a holistic approach.
[00:22:59.300] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Very holistic approach. And just like what we were talking about before, you know, looking at different ways that they could change some of what they're doing to feel the change in their behavior and the change in their response. It's more of a, you know, learning how to self-calm and not to look at things about themselves so negatively, but to normalize what they're going through so that they don't feel so alone.
[00:23:30.470] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so I don't want people to think. In the last segment, we were talking about all the different things that you look at. And it's not that you're looking at things to say what people are doing wrong, but what they can utilize in order to feel better, in order to help themselves. So, for instance, taking a look at when you explored the trauma and what had happened, that's I'm sure can be a process. I mean, it's not like a one time you come in, you talk about it, and then it's over.
[00:24:01.320] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
[00:24:02.060] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So, it's really helping people to process what it is that happened. And then be able to make that shift in the thinking. And so, one of the things that you use is something called cognitive behavioral therapy.
[00:24:17.720] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
[00:24:18.270] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so, for people, you know, it's a pretty popular approach. But for people who don't know what that is, what is cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT?
[00:24:28.220] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
It's actually looking at what their thought process is like. What are the negative thoughts that they're repeating to themselves on a daily basis? And it's taking that and it's reframing the thoughts. And a lot of times what I found is that clients get stuck at the reframes. They don't know how to change it to a more positive way to look at it. So we kind of, we practice that. We practice with the writing, you know, how can you change this thought and make it look more positive? And I may do that reframe for them so they can see how it works.
[00:25:08.060] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And you're not trying to reframe or make positive what happened.
[00:25:11.900] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
[00:25:12.440] - Candi Broeffle, Host
But their response.
[00:25:14.120] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
[00:25:14.810] - Candi Broeffle, Host
What they're telling themselves about themselves...
[00:25:18.110] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Which is can be very negative. And so that's what I want to look at, is like, what are you saying to yourself on a daily basis? How can we look at that in a different way?
[00:25:28.250] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Right. Because that's really the only thing that you can change in it.
[00:25:32.870] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Right. And that's exactly. And, you know, again, that's kind of like a Segway into Louise Hay and you can heal your life. She was very cognitive behavioral-based, I feel. But she was using affirmations to change the thoughts and to change the response.
[00:25:53.440] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so you are a certified Heal Your Life...
[00:25:57.340] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Workshop leader, yes.
[00:25:58.300] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Workshop leader. And so, Heal Your Life is a book in a practice that Louise Hay created. And I, practiced it or read it and used it a lot probably 20 years ago when I first started. And I was always so intrigued and one of the books that she has and I think it's the Heal Your Life book. It actually in the back has an index of all the things that happened to you physically, because what she looks at is that whatever is happening to you physically is an indication of what your thoughts are.
[00:26:33.690] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
[00:26:34.750] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And I kept having, anything that would happen to me, I would go back to my book and it's kind of embarrassing. But I mean, I'm an open book, I'll tell you everything. But I kept going back to, I stub my toe and my toenail fell off. And what does that mean? Oh! Resentment. (26:54) I'd had a lot of resentment and I had to work on that issue. But she really did help you to understand that what our thoughts are; create or really manifest themselves in our physical being.
[00:27:14.050] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Yes, our thoughts create our life. So, you know, we have to watch what we're thinking.
[00:27:21.280] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And that's why that's part of what you use in your practice. How can you reframe that?
[00:27:29.110] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
And a lot of times those positive affirmations are really helpful because we're not used to talking to ourselves in that positive way.
[00:27:37.670] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And I think sometimes people get kind of like positive affirmations, you know, it sounds so fluffy, but the truth be told, we are constantly thinking we have a loop that goes in our mind constantly in about, what is it, 80 to 85 percent of our thoughts are negative.
[00:27:57.070] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
I know. And it was really surprising, they've done the research. And so, if we're constantly doing that, you know, how are we going to train ourselves to get out of that process? And that's why I think these affirmations are so helpful.
[00:28:15.130] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Because we are so inclined to go to the negative. Our brain is actually functioned to do that, to see the negative, to see the danger, to see that. So that's where we go. But I always think back to like, Stuart... I can't remember his last name, but he was on Saturday Night Live and, I'm good enough.
[00:28:39.190] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
I actually, I just got a big kick out of that. Really, that was really cool. But they have done research. They took like two hundred subjects and they showed them each a pie that had one piece missing. And what was the focus? 99.9 percent said they focused on the piece that was missing. So, you know, it takes a lot of work.
[00:29:04.840] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so, that's why affirmations, positive affirmations are so important.
[00:29:09.310] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
[00:29:10.510] - Candi Broeffle, Host
It's retraining our brain. It's retraining our thought processes and to do it and also be able to tie it to the emotion. So, you have to feel happy, excited, you know, you have to have that feeling behind it as well.
[00:29:28.720] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
And affirmations can change the emotion. Yeah. It's really, it's an amazing work that she did. And I love utilizing the tools, you know, and I think it's really, really, really good. And that's part of what I do in this process is like put a lot of things together, but also according to the individual and what the individual needs, because we're all unique. Some people respond really well to one breathing technique and another person maybe will like a different one. You know, so there are three or four different ones that I, you know, have taught people and like what works for you.
[00:30:10.810] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
So it's individual.
[00:30:12.130] - Candi Broeffle, Host
(30:11) different times, too. So, they might start with one and then be able to kind of go to another one or find another one helps later.
[00:30:19.330] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Exactly. And what I have found, too, is that a lot of people that have had anxiety say, oh my gosh, it's so hard to do a deep breath when I'm feeling this anxious. And so, what I say is to do a mindfulness technique, which is, just concentrate on your breathing at first. Don't even go there. Don't even go with the deep breath. Just think about I'm breathing. In through the nose, out through the mouth. And just then they're able to take the deep breath.
[00:30:49.560] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Isn't that interesting! So, again, that's a part of your approach, is to take a look at the therapy part, the reframing, the mindfulness. And then you can also take a look at maybe what are some things that nutritional supplements, things that they might be able to utilize as well.
[00:31:07.370] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Exactly what I found, too, is that a lot of people that were having anxiety were very much helped by extra B12, which, you know, and it's that also has been studied and researched. So, you know, I might suggest that if they're able to do that or even want to do that, you know, I don't know.
[00:31:29.690] - Candi Broeffle, Host
As somebody who tends to be low on B12, I can always tell when I'm starting to get low on it. Because you start to feel the unease more. I find that I get quicker to temper and different things.
[00:31:46.030] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
B12 is definitely beneficial, especially for women. They find that women, you know, have a deficit of B12 a lot of times. So, I definitely talk about that. Vitamin D for people that live in Minnesota, who are not getting enough sunshine. And I've actually I take that myself and I find it quite beneficial.
[00:32:10.580] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And I'm really happy to find how many traditional doctors are now recommending vitamin D for patients.
[00:32:19.610] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
[00:32:20.780] - Candi Broeffle, Host
I mean, it's almost like every day they, every time you go in, you're getting talked to about vitamin D, how important it is. And then also with the exercise, you know, when we have these events happen, so whether it's the PTSD or anxiety or some kind of stressor, sometimes we kind of go into ourselves and you don't really want to move.
[00:32:44.510] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
[00:32:45.470] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so whatever the movement is...
[00:32:48.530] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Yes, I know. And so there's another piece of you know, what I like to talk about. I studied a lot of Donna Eden's techniques with energy work, and she does this very, very fast, five-minute energy exercise program. And you can even see it on YouTube and it just gets people going and it's just five minutes and it just really helps you feel centered and grounded again.
[00:33:17.120] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And again that helps you with your breathing, getting in those breaths, releasing the endorphins.
[00:33:22.880] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Yes, it's really incredible.
[00:33:25.070] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Well, Valerie, we just really appreciate your being with us today. And I want to let people know that if you'd like to learn more about what Valerie does or to make an appointment, you can visit PositivePowerPsychology.com, or call 612-772-2808 again that's 612-772-2808. To read an online version of Natural Awakenings magazine, visit NaturalTwinCities.com. You can find a podcast of this show on AM950Radio.com, on Apple and Google Podcasts, and anywhere you get your podcasts. You're listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM950, the Progressive Voice of Minnesota. We will be right back.
[00:34:21.040] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations, where we delve into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine and talk to the professionals who share their expertise on natural health with you. I'm your host, Candi Broeffle. And today we're talking with Valerie Marsh, a licensed marriage and family therapist and also an individual therapist who owns Positive Power Psychology in Wayzata. Welcome back to the show, Valerie.
[00:34:46.870] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
[00:34:47.650] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So, before the break, you were kind of giving us an idea of your background and where you've studied. And through all of this, through all of the studying that you've done, you've actually created your own technique that you use with clients. I have. And it is called?
[00:35:05.050] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
It's called the Triple P effect. Hence, you know, Positive Power Psychology, the PPP and it's, you know, putting together all of these things that I've learned with the holistic approach of mind, body, spirit, and that, yes, you know, I do use some of the traditional therapy in my practice, but that I've added on to that with things like, you know, theta work, energy, connecting with, you know, feeling the energy that's all around us.
[00:35:37.120] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Okay, so give us an idea, I have several friends and family members who really have a tough time with anxiety. They have anxiety attacks, that type of thing. If somebody had come to you for help therapy with anxiety, what approach might you take, and understanding that each approach is individualized, but to just give people an idea, what types of things will you look at when it comes to anxiety?
[00:36:09.160] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Well, you know, number one would be when did it start. You know, what was happening at the time? What kinds of things led up to that? Because, you know, we could have had many different traumatic experiences and then been perfectly fine for five years and then all of a sudden had a panic attack. So, I want to, you know, get some history. I want to know what kinds of medication the client is on, what they...
[00:36:36.920] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Before you go on, I just have a quick question.
[00:36:38.600] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
[00:36:38.740] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So, do you find that sometimes it can be difficult for people to pinpoint when it started?
[00:36:43.780] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Yes, I do. Because it'll come right out of the blue like, they'll say, you know, I had all these things happen years before and then all of a sudden I went to work one day and I ended up in the ladies' room and couldn't come out. You know, and they really can't understand why they're having heart palpitations, they can't breathe. And then from there, it spirals. Because then they're starting to think, oh, my gosh, this could happen to me any time, anywhere. What am I going to do? Are people going to think I'm strange? You know and...
[00:37:17.050] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So, then the worry and concern. And that causes even more.
[00:37:20.980] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
More stress. More anxiety. Yeah. And then the thoughts start to become very negative and then they start to ruminate on it. So, you know, we've got to, you know, kind of start from there, like, where are we going to, you know, start to begin with; to calm the mind, calm the body so that they feel like they have more control.
Some of the things I do, number one, I start out with deep diaphragmatic breathing techniques which, you know, you're going to say, oh, my gosh, we all breathe. Right? Well, guess what? When we're nervous, depressed, anxious, we're breathing very shallowly. And what most people don't realize is that they're only getting about 80 percent of the oxygen that their brain requires to, you know, fully be optimal and functioning. And what I mean by that is that if you're not getting enough oxygen, the neurochemicals are not going to be working properly in your brain. And those are things like serotonin, endorphins and pretty soon we're shutting down because we're not breathing and it can happen to anyone of us.
[00:38:43.930] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And what is the importance of endorphins?
[00:38:47.170] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Oh, that's like the feel-good chemicals and so is serotonin and, you know, we have to...
[00:38:53.680] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Serotonin is kind of calming?
[00:38:54.820] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Yes, it is.
[00:38:55.870] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And the endorphins are kind of the...
[00:38:58.750] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
[00:38:59.650] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Energizing and feeling. And so when we're in that basically kind of a fight or flight situation because we're so scared that we're thinking we're under threat. So, our breathing shallows. And then all of those good hormones that are there for us are depleting.
[00:39:20.530] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Are shutting down, yes, exactly, on a daily basis. I was so surprised when I started teaching, just breathing, and to be able to do these techniques like three times a day, I've had so many people come back and I cannot believe that this has made me feel better already. And then the other thing is I'm teaching it also in my office. And as they're doing it, they're like, oh, you know, sometimes they feel really dizzy afterwards.
[00:39:51.160] - Candi Broeffle, Host
I was guessing.
[00:39:52.450] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
And it's because and then I say, look, it's because you haven't been breathing, you know, and they're just really surprised by that.
[00:39:59.440] - Candi Broeffle, Host
When I'm under a lot of stress, I know I don't breathe properly. And then when I start to breathe deeply, I get really dizzy, like, oh this is a lot to take in. It's good. And I know that it's helping me. But yeah, it is true. You do sometimes kind of get dizzy from it.
[00:40:16.810] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
And you have to create it as being a habit as part of your life. And yes, people that exercise are getting that oxygen at that time, but they're not doing it the rest of the day. So that's, you know, not good for how we're going to function.
[00:40:34.360] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so, you have them take a look at... When when the anxiety has started, you're looking at breathing. What other things are you looking at with your approach?
[00:40:45.850] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
I also look at what kinds of things are they eating on a regular basis. You know, if they're eating junk food, maybe too many carbs, maybe too many, you know, processed things.
[00:40:59.140] - Candi Broeffle, Host
[00:41:00.160] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
And if there's too much caffeine, you know maybe there's too much alcohol even. And so, those are all those things that we have to look at. The other thing is how often are they exercising, getting outside in nature. You know, even if it's taking a walk, even if it's, you know, cold out and you're only out for five minutes to be able to get that fresh air and to, you know, just feel the outside again. It's really, really important, especially for people like us here in Minnesota we should really concentrate on trying to get out a little bit more.
[00:41:35.050] - Candi Broeffle, Host
In the wintertime, it can be really hard to get out. But, you know, we still need the sunshine. We still need the fresh air. We still need to be out there.
[00:41:42.920] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Exactly. And the other thing that I look at is supplements. What are they taking? You know, I always suggest organic supplements because they're pure and they don't have all those fillers and the chemicals that, you know...
[00:41:58.690] - Candi Broeffle, Host
(41:58) more of like a food-based organic.
[00:42:00.700] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
Yes, exactly. You know, so, I want to look at the whole picture. Do they have a meditation practice? Are they spiritual? You know, what do they do to connect?
[00:42:12.400] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And I assume this all takes time. I mean you're going through this process and really kind of honing in on each individual, what they need, and then creating a plan to help them get there.
[00:42:21.790] - Valerie Marsh, Guest
[00:42:23.020] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So, for people who want to get in touch with you, Valerie, they can reach out to you at your website, which is PositivePowerPsychology.com. Or they can call 612-772-2808 again that is 612-772-2808. To read an online version of Natural Awakenings magazine, visit NaturalTwinCities.com. You can find a podcast of this show on AM950Radio.com, on Apple and Google Podcast and anywhere you get your podcasts. You're listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM950, the Progressive Voice of Minnesota, and we will be back in just a bit.