Aug. 31, 2021

How to fix attachment issues. Adam Lane Smith's story on attachment.


Adam Lane Smith is a two-time #1 Amazon bestselling novelist and a retired licensed psychotherapist specialized in trauma and attachment with experience in both clinical and correctional mental health settings. That includes his work in the California justice system where he treated inmates facing the death penalty. 

Adam's attachment treatment method detailed in his book Slaying Your Fear is used by mental health professionals across the US, and he has delivered seminars instructing a range of healthcare professionals in treating patients with attachment concerns.

Connect with Adam: https://adamlanesmith.com/
_____________________________
Thank you to our sponsors:
BetterHelp - Visit https://betterhelp.com/brightsideoflife to join the over 500,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional.

Special offer for The Bright Side of Life listeners... get 10% off your first month at https://betterhelp.com/brightsideoflife

Connect with Melissa: https://www.thebrightsideoflifepodcast.com/

 

Support the show (https://www.thebrightsideoflifepodcast.com/support/)

Transcript

Adam Lane Smith:

You can see how your needs sharing your needs with the other person and being that open is a gift to the other person. It's not a burden when you say what you clearly want, it makes the other person feel trusted makes the other person feel good about themselves, and it makes the other person feel safe and secure in the relationship.

Melissa Bright:

Welcome to the bright side of life, a podcast where people share their personal stories of struggles, pain and grief. But through all of that, they are still able to find the joys in life. Hello, everyone, and welcome to this week's episode of the bright side of life. I am your host Melissa Bright, and today I am talking to Adam lane Smith. He is an author and a retired licensed psychotherapist that specialize in trauma and attachment with experience in both clinical and correctional mental health settings. His attachment treatment method detailed in his book, slaying your fear, which we will talk more about later, is used by mental health professionals across the US. And he has delivered seminars instructing a range of health care professionals in treating patients, patients with attachments concerns. Adam, welcome to the bright side of life. How are you doing? I'm feeling pretty good. Thank you, when I hear it all like that you make me sound pretty impressive. Well, I'm already impressed by you. And I know that I told you, I was going to tell you a story on how I came to know you. But we I had to press the record button first. So my brother and he's probably going to kill me for this. He is seven years older than me. He would messaged me probably like a month and a half ago. And he said that he had listened to the Michaela Peterson podcast with you on it. And he said, Melissa, I think I figured out what's wrong with me. And I'm like, What do you mean? And he's like, there's a guy, Adam. That's that saying, talking about attachment and attachment issues. And this is exactly what I feel has been wrong with me my whole life and why I have hard times with relationships. And he like sent me He's like, listen to this podcast, and all of this stuff. So that's why you're here. And I'm like, why I got to talk to the guy because me and my brother are very much alike. Yeah, I feel you. Meaning that we both have what I now know to be attachment issues. So that's why you're here. And that's why we're gonna talk everything about attachment. So it's perfect. If you can just do a brief overview on first what attachment is, and then we'll go on to what attachment issues are? Sure,

Adam Lane Smith:

absolutely. Um, so first of all, that's not an uncommon experience at all, a lot of people in America in the Western world, have no idea what attachment is, but the moment they hear it, the light bulb goes on. And they say that's what I've been dealing with. And everything, everything gets better from there. attachment is the ability of one human being to connect to another human being with the expectation that the other human being will actually love you and care for you. And that they will not get up and abandon you if they find out who you are on the inside. Because they already know you, they'll be accepted. And they will want to meet your needs. And they'll enjoy that process with you. And that's attachment. It's the belief that other people will actually love you. That's what healthy attachment is. So when you have an attachment issue, what happens is your brain often when we're little children, if you're within the first six months of life, your brain is trying to figure out if your parents will meet your needs, if they'll feed you when you're hungry, change you. Or if they'll just abandon you in your crib. So you've drugs off on their own and believe you they're hungry, your brain is trying to figure that out. It's also trying to figure out how much time you're going to get to spend with your parents. A lot of little kids who are put into daycare within those first six months. Sometimes the brain just it doesn't understand why things are happening. If you're abused if you're neglected the brain for those little kids, I have kids and and that brain says everything that happens I caused somehow. So if my if my daughter throws a toy, and over here, her movie turns off, she thinks that throwing the toy turned off her movie. And the brain just makes that connection. They're trying to figure out gravity, the trauma, figure out everything, cause and effect. The brain for those little kids says everything that happens to me is my fault. So if mom and dad scream at me, if they hit me if they're gone all the time, if they don't spend time with me if they abandoned me with strangers that don't smell the same as our family, little kids that their sense of smell, especially for infants is very powerful. The brain says these people are not spending time with me mom's gone all day, and I'm with the strangers. And when she comes home, she's tired and irritable and doesn't want to spend time with me, this must be something wrong with me. The brain says deep down inside, these people must see something wrong with me. I don't know what it is, but they can see it. And I can never show anybody who I really on the inside, I need to keep that contained. And no one will love me if they know who I am. I have to earn love from other people by being perfect by doing everything right. That's most people. Once in a while, you'll have a kid who says I can't earn love from anybody, and I'll never get it. So screw the world. And they go the opposite direction. That's not as common. But that leads to things like Oppositional Defiant Disorder. And then later on conduct disorders and all kinds of things that you get hit with in school, a lot of ADHD is misdiagnosed attachment issues. Because those kids their little brain says, If anyone figures out who I really am, they'll abandon me, I'm a bad kid. If I was better mom and dad wouldn't have got divorced dad wouldn't have left, they would have taken me with them. The little brain says there's something wrong with me. So I have to be perfect and earn everybody's approval and love all the time. And that cranks the anxiety to max. And then every time something bad happens, the brain says, I can't trust anybody to help me. So the only thing I can do is worry more. And by worrying more, nothing bad will ever happen to me again. And it doesn't work that way. So by the time you reach 12 1314, the brain starts to say I have worried about everything. Nothing has ever helped that I'm just as miserable as ever. And then you start nosediving into depression because you get hopeless, nothing will ever get better. That's where a lot of teenage depression comes from right there. It can escalate into panic attacks, and some severe cases, especially the traumas about 16 1718. Sometimes we'll start having panic attacks that can escalate again into bipolar disorder, things like that as you get older. Just because your brain has never felt good and dopamine releases before you're chronically low in dopamine, your brain is just saying I am miserable. And during times of extreme stress, it could kick you into a seizure. But instead your brain says Nope, I'm going to click off the meal. Front according to the medial frontal cortex, jumbling my words, I'm going to click that off. And I'm just going to do things that make me feel good without regard for consequences. And that's what a lot of manic episodes hypomanic episodes are, is this deep engagement with the pure dopamine binges over and over and over, and then you come out of it, you're horrifically depressed. That's a lot of seems to be a lot of the cause for some bipolar issues. But it's a constant cycle, that and that, and that and it isn't just mental health issues with diagnoses, it's relationships, because how are you going to get in any relationship, romantic or even just friendship? If you believe that the other people will leave you the moment they find out who you really are how you feel. If you're afraid of constant abandonment, every every conversation turns into a performance. And, man, you can't even have relationships. It's every relationship is like playing a video game you're trying to win, but you think that you're going to lose. That's, that's attachment issues. And you can see how that's transformed our entire Western culture. Just from so many people having those attachment issues, we have so many problems now.

Melissa Bright:

That was so much and you explained it so well. So question for you. Have you read the book recently that Dr. Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey came out with called What happened to you? So it, it really does kind of talk a lot of the similar things about what you're talking about in terms of, you know, a lot of the stuff like my brother said, Oh, I finally know what's wrong with me? Well, technically, it's not really that it's you when something's wrong with you, there was an actual reason. Like you not having a caregiver or a parent around when you were born six months, two years that something did happen inside you. And that is there. Basically, their whole argument in that book is nothing is wrong with you there. There are actual reasons for this. And if you grew up in such environment when you were people think that something doesn't happen when you're a baby, or things they'll forget about it. And it is like the opposite. This is when apparently the worst can happen is when you're not being taken care of from birth or six months. And it was like mind blowing when I when I read this book. So it's very long. They don't talk about attachment. And then what's crazy is my brother, like, forever, I always chalked it up to like abandonment issues and like abandonment, abandonment. You know, my brother and I kind of did live two different lives in terms of once our parents divorced when I was in first grade kindergarten, he went with my dad. I went with my mom now I, sometimes I think it would be abandonment issues. But a lot of it i think is our dad was so so hard on us like anything we did we were dumb if we didn't do it, right, stupid, couldn't do it as fast as good as anything. So everything I feel like I do now, as an adult, I second guessed myself, like, Where's my dad on my shoulder coming to yell at me that I don't, you know, so I still try to figure this out and trying to talk to my brother about it, you know, he opens up and like I said, he's probably gonna kill me that I'm talking about this. But um, it's not always easy for like a guy to open up about these things. And to say that, but once he does, I'm like, Gary, we're so on the same page with with a lot of this stuff. So it's just amazing that you, you settle that because I definitely think that it's it's attachment issues instead of maybe abandonment issues. And they're

Adam Lane Smith:

one and they are one in the same. I mean, it's the attachment that leads to believing people will abandon you at the drop of a hat. If you push the buttons, right, if you don't perform right, if you're not perfect if you don't do everything, right. And it can lead to so many weird places, I've worked with a lot of married women who are in their 30s, and have never experienced an orgasm in their marriage, because every sexual act is a performance that they're trying to win approval. Right? It can take you those attachment issues can take you so many weird places most, a lot of addictions are based on attachment issues. Because you're coping with the pain, you know, you're chronically low in dopamine. So you're doing all kinds of other addictions. And not just chemical addictions, but video game addictions, gambling addictions. So many of them are based on on that chronically low dopamine from these massive attachment issues that just are not only untreated, but people don't even know what they are. Or psychology, when we talk about attachment, you're usually looking at little children, you're not allowed to diagnose attachment. There's no diagnoses for anyone over the age of something like 12. After that, it's called it. The idea is that if a child has a bad enough attachment issue, or they have reactive attachment disorder, or something like that, if it's bad enough diagnosis that you aren't going to catch it in childhood, you're going to catch it later when they're diagnosed with a conduct disorder because they punch someone at school, or punch multiple people at school, or you're going to diagnose that later on, when they have a personality disorder. The idea is that if the attachment is bad enough, you're probably going to have to diagnose it here and then tag on a thing that says, oh, by the way, they have this attachment issue. You can take your baby in and get them tested for these attachment disorders. But you can't diagnose them for adults, you just can't. As part of my therapist training, we have to go through an apprenticeship period to get our license like mine was about three years long, when I worked under a gentleman who would just throw that rule to the wind, and say, I know the book says we can't diagnose adults with attachment issues. But let's actually look at that and say, could this person have this attachment disorder, and it's just an adult version? And that was groundbreaking? I mean, because nobody does that. You're not allowed to do that. Number one, because you're inventing a diagnosis. And number two, you're taking it completely the existing ones out of context and saying that, you know, better than the APA, as far as diagnoses, which is a different argument. But that's no, I mean, it is what it is, when you look at that attachment thing. It's at the core of so many pieces and people say if that's the case, why hasn't someone figured it out before? Well, we have what I'm saying is not groundbreaking, what I'm saying is not something I invented, it's a it's a basic function of the human brain. And it's been with us I've charted Western decline of attachment back to World War One that's been 100 years of breaking, breaking, breaking with every generation, it's just gotten worse with us. And other people have said much the same. But man, those attachment pieces, they are so crucial, you have to have them in line. And if you don't, then you have all the problems we have now with 10 billion medications to fix them that will never fix them.

Melissa Bright:

Right. And I feel like I'm just using myself in as as an example this past year. I've really like done a lot of self reflection and I have found out a lot of things. I don't want to say wrong with me. But I have found out a lot of stuff stemmed from my childhood and thankfully, thankfully my boyfriend has stuck with me for five years through a lot of issues that he was not the problem. It was everybody in my past that I was taking out my anger on him. And it took a long time for us to both kind of see that he had to get to like know me as a girlfriend even though we've known each other forever. Um, but There was a small example that it happened about three weeks ago that I can't believe I'm telling the story. But he went out with and was helping shoot for this band that he had recently, like, became friends with. And he hadn't been out for a while. And I, after a certain time of him not like calling me or getting back to me, I basically freaked out on him. And it was a really, really bad fight, one of the worst fights we had been in in years. And finally, after everything, we talked about everything I said, At the core of this, Brandon, I know what was wrong, I was scared you were going to go out with these guys. You were going to get a taste that oh, this is fun. This is single life, and you are going to leave me and he's like, Lissa, you are crazy. He's like, I am 36 years old. That is so not where I'm at in my life. And I'm like, I know. And he's like, and also deep down. I knew that that's what your issue was. But I had to admit that to him. But it took me even a little bit to figure out like, what is really going on. And it was this I was scared he was gonna leave me because everybody else has.

Adam Lane Smith:

That's attachment. I mean, that is that that's attached is it's, it's, um, it doesn't make sense, because it comes from when you're two years old. And you you believe that attachment. II believe that gravity makes things fall that water is wet. And also nobody will ever really love you. I mean, it's it's on that level of law of the universe. And you don't ever question it because it's just there in your brain. So when I when I talk about it and say this is attachment, it's mind blowing to people, because they're learning that gravity doesn't really work. They're learning the waters not really where they're they're learning, they're unlearning this law of the universe that has, has controlled every interaction that they've ever had in their life. And that learning learning as GI Joe used to say knowledge is half the battle, knowing is half the battle. But once you learn it, it helps because you start seeing and recognizing it, but to fix it, you have to experience it. And it's an experiential fix. Medication will never fix it, medication just masks the symptoms. But you have to fix it. And you fix it by having a couple of very key conversations that really repair the damage. There's, I've worked with people that they can fix it in two weeks where they the reports report greater life satisfaction than they've ever had in their life before. I've had couples come in where they have just one of them has just had an affair two weeks prior to meeting me in my office for couples therapy. That's a great experience, by the way, and they walk in and they're both angry and furious. Each Other can't even touch they say I forced them to sit on the couch. And they're like on the arms of the couches, right? To be as far away from each other as possible. And I teach them about anxiety and attachment pieces and how that connects to their relationship and light bulbs go on for both of them. And then we work for two weeks together. And after two weeks of working for weeks after the affair has been revealed. They actually report higher marital satisfaction than they've ever experienced at any time, even as newlyweds even while dating. And they they're they're more connected and more intimate and more happy together. It's it's amazing what good attachment can do. And it's amazing what awful things happen when you don't have that good attachment.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, so let's kind of talk about that. I know, I just gave an example. Kind of like of attachment issues. But what does it look like in a relationship? Whether it's dating, married? What are those issues? What do they look like? And then also, you know, is it coming from the male? Is it coming from the female? Does it depend? Is there one more than the other that you usually see? Well, that?

Adam Lane Smith:

Yeah, well, I'm with you. Um, so what does it look like in relationships, usually, it's the person who is so eager to make their partner happy, and throw themselves into it. And give them everything they've ever wanted and make their partner just so thrilled. And number one that comes from really wanting love and wanting to be loved and knowing what it's like not to be loved. So they're, they're caring, but they also create a situation where they are earning love and approval from the other person. And they can never ask for what they want and need, they have to do 10 nice things for you. And then hopefully, you'll figure out what they need and read their mind and then give it back to them. And when they don't, you're hurt and you say why aren't you doing what I need. I've done all these nice things for you six months down the line, you blow up at them, you have a bad day and unload on them for all the nice things that they've failed to do for you that you've never asked for and that you've covered your tracks on so that you can deny that you ever wanted that. Men do this when they try to get sex from their wife. They don't ask they just leave hints and they're hoping that if he does 10 nice things for her, she'll be so so enamored of him that she'll leap on top of him the moment he walks in the door. And when she doesn't, when she just smiles and says, Thank you, he feels cheated. He feels like she doesn't love him. It's that I mean, that's what it is in relationships. And that destroys relationships. Because you do that over and over and over. And it just erodes the trust, the other person starts to think that you and you're doing nice things for them, you're secretly leaving a code they're supposed to figure out, they never know when they're doing something right or when they're doing it wrong. And you just destroy the ability to have a relationship. And it's all based on not wanting to be abandoned.

Melissa Bright:

Right. And the issue is, is also like you've been saying, as you don't want to say your needs at all.

Adam Lane Smith:

You can't, you can't, your brain says that if you share your needs, the other person will abandon you. And that will feel like death. And you will die if you say what you really need.

Melissa Bright:

So the so the alternative is better. The alternative is like, Oh, I just dropped these clues, they still don't meet my needs. And yeah, that's like a vicious cycle.

Adam Lane Smith:

Yeah, but the brain of the person, that the person does not really believe there's a better way to do it, that person doesn't believe that they can just be open and the brain is fighting them tooth and nail by saying, if you do that, they will abandon you. And that will feel like death. And so you need to not do that. You never you can never share your needs. So then when they go to therapy, and the therapist says you need to just share your needs, need to tell them what you want, and their partner is at home yelling at them just telling me what you want. their brain is in there saying Don't do it. Don't they don't really want to hear it. They'll really love you. If you actually do that. It's all over. So that's the process. It's

Melissa Bright:

awful. It is. It is awful. And I'm like, I'm trying to think of my myself. I'm trying to think of like my brother, which my brother said his, his his I think a little bit maybe worse than mine. I feel like at this point in my relationship, I'm getting better about stating what I need. I've become more self aware of certain things that I do. But it's not always easy to sit here and say what I want cuz you you're scared that they're gonna look at you with two heads or say no, are you crazy? Are you dumb, and my boyfriend has proven time and time again, like I what's really bad is I always look at my boyfriend and I think he's gonna be my dad, he's gonna respond in anger, he's gonna respond and yelling at me. He's gonna respond and making me feel stupid. And he's never done that ever in his life. But every time I'm just waiting for it. I'm like, Am I ever going to learn that he is not my father. And he's never going to do that. If I ask I want tacos. Okay, let's go get tacos, Melissa. And I'm like, Really? Really? Oh, it's crazy. It's crazy. Okay, so are there certain types of attachment issues? Or is there just one overall type.

Adam Lane Smith:

You know, there are there are really good diagnoses for specific types and children. And I kind of, kind of look at that a little bit. There's reactive type, there's avoidant type, there's anxious type. Really, in practice, it really looks like a lot of anxiety. It really looks like I am afraid I really want attention, I really want approval and I'm going to make everyone around me approve of me, even the cashier at the gas station, I have to make sure she approves of me. When I work, my boss has to approve of me, my colleagues, I'll have to prove to me my desperate need for approval from everyone around you. Because the fear is that if you mess up even one relationship word will get out about how awful you really are. So you have to be perfect in every relationship. And the closer you get to people, the worse that becomes. So in a lot of couples sessions where the person the person without attachment issues tells me you know, if my partner didn't do this to me, if my partner really loved me, they wouldn't treat me like this with attachment issues and not telling me their needs. And I have to say no, it's the other way around. They treat you this badly because they love you and they're so afraid of losing you. They The only way they know how to keep you is to treat you like crap. And make you play this guessing game in a minefield. Oh, that's a really weird that's a really weird pill to swallow.

Melissa Bright:

It is a bad pill to swallow because I I'm also guilty of that, that same thing. Like it's been it's been a whole thing for like the I know it's been a whole thing for like the last like six or seven months because family members have came out and I've tried to like maybe say stuff about my boyfriend thinking he's a certain way and I'm like, you guys have it beyond wrong. Like I'm the one with the anger issues. I'm the one that yells I'm the one that does all this like You have it all wrong. And I do sometimes treat him. I mean, I don't sit here and say like, Oh, you effing asshole or anything like that, but just my reaction to anything is immediate I overreact I am sensitive immediately. And it's all from disapproval, or, or being scared, I'm going to disappoint him or something. So I'm assuming that this is where a lot of people pleasing comes into play. Right?

Adam Lane Smith:

Yes, because you have to hedge your bets with everyone around you. You have to, you have to with every person you meet, and the closer you get to them, the more desperate you become to win that approval. Like I said, there are some people in rare cases that maybe not super rare, but there are some people who go the opposite direction, they have an avoidant attachment style, where they don't want to connect to anyone, and they give everyone the middle finger. And sometimes when they open up to somebody, finally, then they become super anxious and approval seeking, but almost in an aggressive way. I've seen that not too often. But once in a while I encounter people like that, too. Usually, it's the anxious approval type. Part of the problem is that our brains, we have two different hemispheres the logical side, on the left, cameras reversed on the left and the emotional side on the right. And it should be you should be logical. And your your emotional brain just has small blips like this, when you have small emotional increases something, something happens, you're a little nervous, and then your logical brains right there. So kicks in and you bring the emotion back down. When you have these attachment issues, sometimes you're playing in a constant deficit, where the emotional brain is at a maximum height seven out of 10 anxiety every minute of every day, the moment you wake up, you're like this insomnia is where a lot of insomnia comes from, because you're like this all night running in your head. What am I going to do today? How am I how am I going to have that conversation with them tomorrow, and you're running it over and over your head, and then the mistakes you made and how you're going to fix them, and doesn't need to be done. But you're just thinking it does. So you're at seven out of 10? Well, what that does is it diminishes the energy on the logical side of the brain. So you're actually your logical processing decreases. This is why you can't logic your way out of feelings. And no, your boyfriend can't say, calm down, I'm not going to do that. That's like throwing gasoline on a fire. Because the person says you I can't calm down, I can never Calm down, you're escalated like this on the emotional brain is this high and the logical brain See, felt like if you are always operating like this, you're on a hair trigger, you are on a hair trigger, because you can only go up from seven to nine. That's the only flex room you have when something bad happens. Or you're afraid of something, instead of going from one to three, you go from seven to nine up here. And that's that massive escalation. And then you can't come down until you blow off that steam and you managed to come all the way down and then you're horrified of what you've done. So your anxiety goes right back up. And now you're trying to manage the damage from that. But your logical brain is very, very rarely engaged. And the emotional brain can only think five seconds of the future. How do I maximize my pleasure and minimize my pain for the next five seconds? So it's really hard to make long term comprehensive life decisions. And life plans at that point, too.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, and, and then Mars. That's I mean, that's you can't have a relationship that way. No, you cannot. And I'm like, Oh my God. What? Why did I this is me. He's describing me all the time. But that's okay. Because this is me getting education and becoming more self aware. So this is a lot of people. Not Yeah, and you're not telling me anything that I didn't already know. Because I had already listened to your episode on Michaela Peterson anyway, so I was like, I'm not like in tears being like, Oh my god, but it is still very good to hear. Now I do have a question in terms of and correct me if I'm wrong aren't typically most guys thinking like, logically? were girls think emotionally or is that not?

Adam Lane Smith:

You know, it kind of depends. I've heard for example, autism is maximum logic and very little emotion intuition. Intuitive emotion. So and they sometimes referred to as a hyper masculinization of the brain, the masculine brain can be shifted that way or so we the men focus a little bit sometimes more on the logical aspects. spatial reasoning, construction engineering and stuff is over on the logical side of the brain, versus the emotional intuitiveness relationship connections and stuff is on the right and creativity is on the right side of the brain. There is a little bit of that and every individual is different. So some there's plenty of women that are logical and no emotion plenty men are maximum emotion, and no logic. Attachment issues really skew that no matter where you defaulted. And where you started at. Attachment issues default that to maximum emotional side of the brain very often, at the very minimum. If for example, someone has really bad autism features, I say really As in, I mean, autism is a different kind of brain, it's not a bad thing. But we're where they don't understand the emotional intuition and those those connections intuitively with other people. They might have a logical brain most of the time when they're by themselves. But the moment there's a social piece introduced, their emotional brains start spiking really hard, because they're really nervous about what's going to happen. They don't understand why these attachment pieces are there at all. I can lead to a lot of pain and frustration for people with autism. But yeah, that emotional brain, it really makes a difference. So as far as men and women, men and women, what I typically see is, women in relationships with attachment issues, often not always, but often when they have, they connect with someone, and the man has an attachment issue. And they both get married, they're able to make it work, sometimes until they have kids. And then she recognizes that her kids are developing bad attachment also, because the parents aren't able to show them good attachment. And she may not recognize what attachment is, but she recognizes her children aren't happy, and that there's something in their relationship with their father that isn't working. So she'll put pressure on him to be bit different than he's ever been. And he has no idea where she's coming from or why she's demanding he start changing the relationship. And she gets angrier and angrier and begins to see him as a threat. So she will fix some of her attachment issues, while perceiving the father of the children to be an absolute threat to them. And then we'll end up divorcing him, he will have no idea why this is happening. And she ends up turning the kids against him and destroying the whole family. I've seen that a number of times. And sometimes it's warranted, because he's really angry and awful. And because he reacts really badly, sometimes the man has absolutely no idea what's happening, or why is the relationship dynamic hasn't changed on his side, it's just changed in her brain. Right? I've seen that a lot. And that, of course, creates a whole new generation with really severe attachment issues, which is where you get our generation of the baby boomers did that over and over and over. And now there's our generation who says Why get married? There's no point there's no point to anything, it's all gonna just get set on fire anyway. Right? So

Melissa Bright:

Oh, my goodness, this it? This is all crazy. In terms of how do you, I don't want to ask yet how do you solve these these issues, per se? But is it usually does the individual have to become aware of these things if they want if, if it needs to get better? Or sale of a sudden my boyfriend, Brandon notices these issues and me and he's like, Hey, I think you have attachment issues. Is there like a certain success rate in terms of if somebody else makes you aware? Or if you become aware? And then where do you go from there? Thank you to better help for sponsoring this podcast. I have been using better help for almost a year now. And the progress that I have made in my mental health has been incredible. I just want to tell you, my listeners a little bit about better help to see if it might be a great fit for you. Their mission is making professional counseling accessible, affordable and convenient. So anyone who struggles with life challenges can get help anywhere, anytime. They offer four ways to get counseling, from video sessions, phone calls to live chat and messaging. It's also available worldwide, you will be matched with your counselor and 24 hours or less better help offers a broad expertise in their network. So it provides users with access to specialists, they might not be able to find locally. Financial Aid is also available for those who qualify. So visit better help.com slash bright side of life, that's better help.com slash bright side of life, join over 500,000 people taking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. And for your first month you're going to receive 10% off by being a listener of the bright side of life. So let them know that I sent you by using the link better help.com forward slash bright side of life. That's better help.com forward slash b r i g h t side of life. The link will also be in the description section of this episode.

Adam Lane Smith:

It's recognizing that there's something wrong and that there is a better way to do it is key, you have to recognize Hey, what I'm doing is wrong. Whether someone uses the word attachment or not is point helps but it doesn't really matter. They just have to know there's something wrong. What I'm doing is based on we call it a systemic problem. It's based on a system I grew up in and I adapted to, but I'm not in that system anymore. And that system was wrong compared to the rest of the world. So I need to fix it. And I want to get better and there is a way to get better and there's hope They have to at least have that. Yeah, doesn't matter if you find that on your own in a book, or if someone tells you that it's helpful if someone tells you that sometimes because they can walk you through it, but right? It's crucial that you understand that step one, and then you have to experience it. And you have to do that on purpose, you have to choose to overcome the anxiety that you're experiencing that says, If you try to make it better, you will die. You have to overcome that anxiety. And there's a couple key ways to do that. Like I said, people who are absolutely dedicated making it work, I've seen it work in two weeks, sometimes a month, if the person has a chemical addiction, they also have to overcome I've seen people overcome, like opiate addictions and attachment issues at the same time, in a matter of five weeks. I've seen that happen. Oh, my goodness, it really depends. It really depends how much you actually want to get better. Right? More than that, it depends how much you actually believe it's possible to get better, even just a little bit.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. So kind of going in totally different direction. Did you yourself grow up with any kind of attachment issues? or How did you get what inspired you or motivated you to get? Because I know that this is kind of like your main thing when you're a psycho therapist. So where did this all come from?

Adam Lane Smith:

So yes, I did grow up with attachment issues, and my own family generational attachment issues, you know, my grandparents had attachment issues, it comes down to us. Whether you're abused or not, whether you go to daycare or not, whatever it might be, you end up with some variation often have attachment issues, and that's come down in the last for the last 100 years. So it's I don't want to say it's tough to find people who don't have attachment issues. But it seems like there's a lot of us around the attachment issues. And odds are good that if you have an attachment issue, you probably are going to gravitate toward other people with attachment issues. Because Healthy People will see what you're doing and will most likely run the other direction. Unless you're really good at making other people happy for a short period of time and then getting your hooks into them. So it's a you probably are gonna find yourself around a lot of people have attachment issues, probably your own family has attachment issues. That's mostly often where it comes from. So you grew up thinking all of these things are normal, you don't see them as attachment issues, you say that's just how the world works. For example, at the very beginning of this conversation, I gave an example of what it looks like to have a healthy attachment of people love you, they care for you, they'll stick by you. If you have needs ultra, they won't treat it like a burden, they'll be happy to help you. And people say that sounds like a hallmark movie, that doesn't happen in real life. They can't even imagine real healthy attachment. Because to them, it doesn't exist. So yeah, I grew up with some attachment issues. But also, when I when I started into therapy, I wanted to find a way that everything else fit together. I like solving puzzles, I like seeing the way that things work and then pulling them apart again and putting them back in a way that makes better sense. When someone comes in and starts working with him. I do coaching now. I like hearing their story, I like seeing all the pieces that aren't fit properly, I like showing them those pieces and helping them put those pieces back in the way they should fit. And then there's this wonderful picture that they've been trying to put together. And we're both so happy because now the picture makes sense. And it's the way they want it to be. And then my job is done. Attachment, I was trying to figure out where does attachment where all these problems coming from, we can't have, you know, 500 different disorders that each need their own medication that doesn't make sense for one species to function that way no species functions. That way, every animal has a limited number of problems that can go wrong with its body, its brain, whatever it is, look at dogs, they have a limited number of problems that can go wrong with their behaviors. Humans must be the same. We can't be that complicated. So I started trying to figure out what it could be. I did a lot of work on PTSD and trauma, and the way that alters the brain and create some of these states. But a lot of people came in who had attachment, posttraumatic stress disorder, features and symptoms, but did not meet a diagnosis of having a life threatening the criteria of having a life threatening incident. They just perceived things to be like a life threatening incident, even if it's in a relationship. And from there, I started thinking, Man, there must be something here that's causing this What could it be? And I read a fantastic book from Dr. Robert Glover named no more Mr. Nice Guy, which is something like 250 300 pages on is targeted toward men, sometimes older men who have gone through a divorce or two. I'm paraphrasing here, but it's targeted towards a very specific population of men only, and provides something like 47 different ways you can fix it and tactics to approach it. It's a brilliant groundbreaking work. Something like 20 years ago, 1520 years ago, he came out with it. It's amazing and that, for me was the final piece of Okay, this is how all of this fits in This is why people are acting like they have PTSD. When they don't really have PTSD, they have these other issues. It's attachment. And that hit that hit the nail on the head for me. So I took his book and said, Nobody is going to read this because I bought like five copies and tried to hand them out and nobody would read them in my office. Nope, none of my clients would read the 300 page book. And the female clients were saying, well, this doesn't make sense. For me, it doesn't square with my experience. young male clients weren't quite getting it because I hadn't had the experiences yet. So I said, Okay, I gotta write something that's different. I wrote a 100 page, book on attachment included, something like seven or eight specific targeted fixes that people can do, and made it 100 pages, I write a lot of fiction books myself as a side hobby that I've had. So I made the book punchy and interesting to read for people who hate reading. It's got a two hour audio book on on Amazon, for when you really hate reading, you can listen to it. And I adapted it, so every audience could understand it male and female, young and old. So I I borrowed heavily from some of Dr. Robert Glover's work, and he is he's a genius. He knows what he's talking about. But this I tried to make it easily portable for the more majority of people. And I pulled in a lot of my work with PTSD. I pulled in a lot of my work with anxiety and depression, I pulled in a lot of other pieces that I built. My first book was for was an attachment book just for couples just for married couples, like I described, but the woman who has kitschy kids and suddenly the unattached marriage is no longer good enough. And from there, I got so much feedback from individuals saying, I'm not married, I need a book for me that I'm not when I'm not married. And I'd send them Dr. Robert Glover's book, and they say, this is too big. And I'm not a guy, or this is too big. And I don't relate to some of these things. So I said, Alright, fine, I'll write an individual's book. And I wrote, so let's there's two books out there. Now you can read either one of them. But it's, it's not hard to fix. It's terrifying. It's, it's not hard. But it is the most terrifying thing you will probably ever do in your life. Because you're fighting your brain, you're fighting the limbic system, which has been hardwired to believe if people abandon me, I'm going to die. You're fighting your own fight or flight response, you're you're fighting that innate piece of the human brain that says, I will die if I do this, the brain prioritizes social pain over physical pain, you would rather someone stab you with a knife, than have to share your emotional needs with the other person and tell them what you need. Yeah, that you're that's why it's so hard to overcome this, because it's not just will just tell me what you want it's deal with your massive anxiety spike, deal with your limbic system screaming at you and overcome millions of years of evolution teaching you that if you do something, you're going to die, so you shouldn't do it. Just disregard all of that right now, at this moment when you're already tense and upset, and just tell me what you need. That's really what that conversation sounds like. And when you say it that way, when you say it that way, it makes it a little easier, because people who've dealt with attachment issues, suddenly don't feel as guilty for not just on the spot sharing their needs, because you hear the stack the deck has been stacked against you. Right? But there is a there is a really simple method that I use takes about three, four minutes. To demonstrate exactly why and how you need to overcome those. Those relationship bases. I can do it if you want.

Melissa Bright:

Four minutes. Let's fucking do it. Four minutes. Can you give me a minute?

Adam Lane Smith:

So what I said what I when I said that the key, the key catalyst to start all of this is understanding that things can be better and that they need to get better. There's a way to do that in about four minutes. You can tie me it's about four minutes. It's I have

Melissa Bright:

my time. We're at 39 minutes right now. Yeah, want

Adam Lane Smith:

me to do it? If you want to do it. Go ahead and close your eyes. I'm going to walk you through a hypothetical and I'm going to ask you three questions. Okay, and then we'll talk about it. And then we'll do it again. Either hypothetical, and three caught three questions. So start start, start your watches everyone at home time exactly for how fast we go. I want you to imagine that you have the perfect partner that you're with. It's a wonderful relationship, when he hopefully is your boyfriend. If it's not, don't tell me when he wants something from you. He just very calmly says, Hey, you know what, I really like this. Could you do this for me? Or could could we buy this or could we do this? I really just want this he just very calmly tells you doesn't stomp his foot. He doesn't demand it from you. He's just very calmly asks for it. When you do something he doesn't know He very quickly tells you on the first time, and not in a bad way, he just assumed you know what? I don't really like that. Instead of that, could you do this for me because I really like this instead, it's very clear. It's the first time there's no guilt, there's no anger, because you had no idea that you could never could have known. But he makes it very clear very quickly. And when you do something he does, like, he's thankful he's not treating it like a debt. He's not freaking out about it and saying, Oh, no, how can I pay you back? He just says, Thank you so much. This was so wonderful. Let me tell you why this meant something to me. In this case, you know what he wants, you know what he doesn't want? And you know, when you're doing right, and you get praised for it. Now, open your eyes. And answer me these three questions. Do you think that person trusts you?

Melissa Bright:

Yes.

Adam Lane Smith:

Yes. Good. A lot of people with severe attachment issues will say no, there, they must be hiding something. Why would they be that open with me? But most people are able to say, yeah, that person trust me, why wouldn't they? If you were getting constant feedback about what isn't right, and how to fix it. And then you were being praised when you do fix it. And everything is very clear. And you knew you were doing a good job? Would you feel pretty good self esteem and yourself as partner?

Unknown:

repeat that again? Sorry?

Adam Lane Smith:

Yeah. All good. All good. If you were getting constant feedback about how you were doing, and it was honest feedback. And you knew you were doing well. Would you feel pretty good about yourself as a partner? Yes. Makes you feel pretty good. Right? Yeah. Would you feel like that relationship was going to last a long time? Yeah. Because you'd see problems coming a mile and advance. Yeah, very, very good security, very safe, very calm, you know, low anxiety. So let's do this. Again, close your eyes, we're gonna do it the opposite. Okay. I want you to imagine you have the worst boyfriend in the world. When he wants something from you. He does not ask he doesn't make it clear. He drops hints. He does nice things for you. And then maybe jokingly mentions that he Hey, you know, this would be funny haha. And that's him asking for it. And you have to stay on guard for hints all the time. And if you catch him and say, Well, do you want me to do that? He'll say, Oh, no, no, I was just joking. Then you have to figure it out. And when you don't figure it out, or when you do something wrong, he does not tell you right away. He waits. And he waits, and he might even act like he really likes it. You cook him a meal that you think he loves? And he'll say, Oh, yeah, no, this is great. And six months later, as you cook the 10 times, he has a bad day, and he blows up at you and tells you, I've always hated this, why do you keep making this for me? or Why do you keep doing that? I've always hated it and you never meet my needs. You never listened to what I want, and you don't do anything for me. And then he'll feel sorry. And he'll say, Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you cry. And then he'll hold all inside for another six months over and over and over. You never know when you're doing something wrong. And you never know when the next blow up is coming. And when you do something, right. When you do something time for him. He treats it like a debt. He says, Oh man, how am I gonna pay you back for this? Or he sweeps it under the rug and says, Oh, yeah, thanks. No, that's great. And just lets it go. Sometimes you might even get angry at you for doing nice things for him. And you have no idea why because all you tried to do is be kind. You never know when the next bloke was coming, and you never know how you're doing in the relationship or what he wants from you. Now go ahead and open your eyes. Do you feel like that person trusts? You? know, do you feel if that relationship like you would feel like a good partner at all?

Melissa Bright:

No.

Adam Lane Smith:

Do you think that relationship would last longer than five minutes?

Melissa Bright:

No.

Adam Lane Smith:

Now the good news is that from that you can see how your needs sharing your needs with the other person and being that open is a gift to the other person. It's not a burden when you say what you clearly want, it makes the other person feel trusted, makes the other person feel good about themselves. And it makes the other person feels safe and secure in the relationship. The bad news is that most of us with attachment issues are the bad partner in that relationship making the other person feel like crap. And we find other people who have attachment issues and we make each other feel like crap. That's the bad news. The good news is that you don't have to be that way anymore. Not one does. Everyone can fix this by sharing those needs just clearly, that openly being that open is a gift because it makes the other person feel very low anxiety, feel great self esteem and feel trusted and loved. And that's what love is. I mean Love is a transactional relationship. Everything is a transactional relationship. It's just one is based on exploiting each other and maximizing what you can get out of each other and earning love and approval. And then there's loving transaction which is based on I'm going to give you everything because I love you. And I trust that you will meet my needs in return. But it's not based on me getting what I want. It's based on us doing well together. Yeah, well, loving transaction. I don't that mess maybe a little bit more than four minutes. But no, that is that's the stage. I mean, that all of a sudden, all of a sudden, you can say, Oh, wait, my needs are a gift. And that, that is the point where most people say, Oh, crap, okay, I've been doing it wrong, I need to go talk to my boyfriend. That's usually what I get at this point is Oh, man, go home and talk to my boyfriend.

Melissa Bright:

That's where I was when you when you did the last one. I was I was the boyfriend in that situation, I usually don't say my needs, I will freak out six months later. And he's like, what the hell at this point, he's known me five years. But I feel that him and I work. And, you know, I would have to think about if I think that he has attachment issues, but I have been blessed to have a very mentally stable guy in my life, like, I am always looking for, I think chaos, because that's what I grew up in. And he is the least chaotic person, he's very calm, he does not get angry. And I'm like, Who is this man, that is normal.

Adam Lane Smith:

Chaos creates a lot of situations where you can step in and earn love from other people. Chaos creates a lot of chances to earn Endless Love and approval. When I work with couples who do have this issue, the female sex drive in a marriage. And a long term relationship is based on emotional intimacy. And everything we're talking about here creates emotional intimacy where you know, you're the person who's gonna stick around, he's not going to get up and leave you for the next 19 year old blonde who wanders by, and you know that you're doing well, you know, that he trusts you, you know, he respects you. That's what actually inspires feelings of sexuality from the female partner. The female brain says, If I'm not safe and secure, why would I have sex because I could get pregnant, so I'm gonna wait until I am. And then I, this person makes me feel safe and secure. So I will have sex with that person. That's on average, that's the most regular female sex drive there. At the beginning of the relationship, it's a little different, because some women try to use that sex as attachment of he's going to attach to me because I'm having sex with him. But as the relationship drags on, the female sex drive will often decrease pretty sharply, because she's not getting much enjoyment out of it. And it's this constant game to try to make him happy. And when he isn't making her happy, and there's no emotional intimacy there, her sex drive dries up completely. That's why I've worked on a lot of couples, they have sex once a year. And it's not great. No one's happy, the woman isn't happy, because she feels terrible. She's like, no, he should be having sex more than this, I should be having sex. It shouldn't be. But she just can't find a way to make herself want to have sex. And he's not doing the things that make her feel safe and secure. And even if he's trying, she's resisting it. Oftentimes he has his own issues, which are making him do things that make her like, I want to be around this guy. And that leads to this complete, cold dead bedroom. For a lot of couples where they only do it once a month, when she's ovulating, our hormones change, where she feels really guilty and says, Alright, fine, I'll do it. thing and he's dropping hints the whole time, which just makes her feel even worse about it. So that rather than a lot of women are looking for, or I should say a lot of men are looking for a drug to make their woman sex drive increase. This, I teach couples, this is this is the natural female Viagra is emotional intimacy. When you build this in me you have sex, like every day, it's, it's really that much of a change. It's not just that your anxiety goes down, then all of a sudden, your relationships get get better than you feel warm and comfortable and you feel overjoyed to be with these people, then your life really gets better. And then the sex increases in your relationships and fighting decreases to zero. And then if you have kids, your kids get healthier, and everything in your entire life gets better. It's not just that, hey, my romantic relationship will get better if I do this. It's everything right?

Melissa Bright:

Wow. So simple.

Adam Lane Smith:

So something is once you understand it, it's incredibly simple. But it's also the most terrifying thing in the world. And most people are afraid to face it, because they don't think it'll ever get better. I will exercise that four minute exercise. Yeah, that helps them understand Wait a minute, maybe there is a better way to do this. Right. Usually the clicking point.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. So when you first talk to, you know, it doesn't matter if it's couples or individuals because I know you do coaching now what? What is one of the first two or three questions that you might ask somebody to See, because I know that you strongly feel that this is probably going to be an attachment issue. What are some first couple things that you ask people that they're to find out if this is exact, in fact, attachment issues.

Adam Lane Smith:

So I'm no longer a psychotherapist, I can't diagnose anybody. But I can still ask about anxiety symptoms that people experience. So I go down the list of anxiety symptoms, and I just gauge where somebody's anxiety level is at. And I asked them, and then after that, I'll go through all the symptoms that we've looked up there online, a lot of them are available, but especially the mental ones ruminating, getting stuck on something and turning it over and over your brain can't let it go. Worrying a lot being nervous, fidgeting and restlessness, you got to get up and go. A lot of these pieces of anxiety, you can look up the anxiety symptoms online, but I don't need to someone has when someone has the anxiety symptoms, that usually means there's something underneath causing it. People don't just have anxiety for no reason. There's usually something that has caused it that can be trauma, it can be attachment issues, often it's attachment issues paired with trauma sometimes. And so then from there, I say, Okay, let's, let's look at your depression levels where your depression symptoms right now. Because that tells me how hopeless you believe the situation is and how much you actually think things can change. And then from the depression, we go into PTSD, have you had major traumas that are really affecting that brain imbalance, a logical and emotional spikes? And then from there, I start asking questions about attachment as it's usually do you have a hard time telling people? No? Do you have a hard time sharing your needs with people? Do you believe that people will love you for who you are? Or do you think you have to earn love from other people? Do you feel like you have to constantly be perfect? Are you afraid that one bad mistake will ruin your closest relationships without a chance to fix them? Some basic, let's say five things right there. And if you say yes to all five of those things, then odds are good, you probably have some attachment issue, Wonder leaf. And then from there, I start talking about attachment. And it's okay. It changes lives when people hear about it. And then it changes lives when people know that they can actually fix it. And then fixing it is experiential, you got to go out and do a couple of things. And the faster you do those things faster, you start getting better.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. Wow. So I do have another question. Because I've told you that hands down, I know that I have attachment issues. This is where things kind of get tricky. So our dad wasn't really, okay, I'll say my dad wasn't really in my life a lot. My brother did live with them. So he was. But then at the age of 25, I lost my mom. And then in January, I just lost my dad. So now I don't have either one of my parents. So not only was it attachment issues, probably at some point in my life. Now literally, they're not here at all, ever. Can that change things? Because in ways it kind of sounds bad, but like, I know, my mom didn't choose to die, nor did my dad, but like, I do feel abandoned. Um, is that possible to feel those issues from losing parents to death?

Adam Lane Smith:

Oh, gosh, yes. Yeah, death, losing someone to death is is a traumatic incident in itself. And that creates very complicated grief when they die, and you have attachment issues with them. It's incredibly complicated grief. Usually, because the door is closed for you to ever repair that relationship, you're not only mourning them, you're also mourning the relationship that you ever could have had. And you're mourning in a relationship you wish you had had. And it feels like you will never get better now. Because you can never resolve that core relationship that caused those issues in the first place. And now you're doomed for the rest of your life to be alone. And even if you get better, you can never share that with those people. Yeah, very, very common for that to happen. Yeah, the good news is you don't have to fix things with your parents to fix your attachment issues. But it can help but keep in mind, they often have attachment issues of their own. So sometimes they resist fixing.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. And and I figured that was kind of like an obvious question. But thankfully, I am glad now like because my dad was the one that I didn't have, like repair our relationship. And so when he did first die, I was so upset because I knew that was the end of us ever having that relationship. But thankfully, like I was in therapy at that time, so I didn't go down the route of Oh my god, poor me. My life is over. I can't ever get better, because I simply don't think that's true anymore. I just am trying to get better. But um, yeah, just was something to think about. And I figured I would ask that question.

Adam Lane Smith:

No, definitely. Yeah. Yep. No, you don't need them to get better. But it feels like you do.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, it definitely does. So I know you told me about your book, slaying your fear. I definitely want to, I definitely want to check out that book for sure. And Um, I know you had kind of explained earlier that a lot of people, you are one of the very few people that are actually teaching or whatever, however you want to say a teaching are still talking about attachment. And and is that because of what you said before because it can't be diagnosed and adults now or is that why? Yeah,

Adam Lane Smith:

I think the science number one hasn't caught up. We're not looking at it. It's one of those things we're just sort of really learning about. And it's also not profitable for research money and pharmaceuticals. It is really profitable to treat the symptoms, and the outgrowth of it is not really profitable to fix someone in two weeks, and then they're good for the rest of their life. So it kind of is what it is. But as the word spreads, people start helping each other. So that's one reason I do these podcasts is just a word out. I've got three kids have a fourth one on the way they're going to have to live in this world. So hopefully, everyone in the world hears this message. And everyone fixes their attachment. And by the time my kids are adults, there are no more attachment problems in the world. That would be great. But it's just not profitable. Okay, Dr. Robert Glover, his book no more Mr. Nice Guy was groundbreaking, because it talked about these things. And there had been other people that had talked about it. And there's always been a background piece of it here and there in psychology, began with Dr. Freud. As messed up as he was as a person. And as messed up as some of his ideas are. He talked about a lot of these early stages, stages in childhood and how they form you for the rest of your life and how you go through various crises. But the piece he was missing with some of that attachment, Karl yune, investigate a lot more there and did a lot more work about love. And then the love component necessary. There's been pieces, there's been pieces, I'm running through my head, and my head sits here, I think did a lot of work on the need for love. If I'm remembering right, going back to my grad school, my teachers would be appalled that I don't remember some of these names. I think sit here did a lot of work with that love and that desperate need for love. uncon Carl, Carl Rogers unconditional positive regard. But all of this, it's been underlying pieces, Dr. Robert Glover really put a lot of them together. And then the rest of us are piggybacking off of his work. I think someday he will be one of those greats that we study in the field and say this man wrote this groundbreaking piece of attachment and put all these pieces together. And then all of these other people branched off from him. Hopefully, I'm a satellite off of him.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, his

Adam Lane Smith:

fame, which would be fantastic. But But no, I, I credit him for a lot of that piece. But if the more people that can learn about this, the better. That'd be great. If we can, yes, it fantastic. There's nothing stopping people, though, from fixing it themselves. And then working with the people in their lives, who are willing to get better. Also get better. And that's really where a lot of the healing takes place is fixing it in your relationships. You don't fix it in yourself, you fix it in your relationships, and that in turn heals.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, absolutely. A couple notes. My brother is actually reading no more Mr. Nice Guy right now, like I was, I was just in Montana. The last two weeks. That's where my brother lives. And I told him, I'm like, I'm interviewing him today. And he just picked up his book, like two days ago. He's reading it. He's like, I was like, I've already applied some of his principles. And it's amazing. And I'm like, good for you, Gary. I'm so happy for you. That's awesome. So I wanted to ask you when you were talking about your book, slaying your fear, what what was people's reaction when it when it came out? And you laid out kind of the the methods for getting better and healing attachment issues?

Adam Lane Smith:

Yeah, um, so like I said, I had a bunch of copies of no more Mr. Nice Guy, and I would try to hand them out in my office. And people would promise to read it. And I think maybe one person read it, and all my copies disappeared, because people would take it, and then they'd feel bad for not reading it. So they quit coming. And then come back six months later and say, Oh, yeah, no, I still haven't read that book. And I don't know where the book is. So when I when I produced a 100 page pamphlet, basically, that condenses all of it down into a no fluff, here's what it is, here's how it happens. Here's how to fix it. I had people coming in, like, sometimes they'd be crying and they'd have this book and they'd have like, all these highlights and notes in it. And I'm thinking like, wow, this really resonated for people. I think I cranked that book out in about a week, I just needed to knock it out. I was just trying to create a pamphlet for people that I worked with. So I could throw it at them as a primer and say read this. We have our initial diagnostic, you're diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, but it's probably attachment. Here's a 100 page book out of my drawer. Read this before you come back again, and then we'll have a conversation about it and then come back the next week, like shell shock saying I had no idea and then we'd start working on it and that was a primer for all the work We would do together. And when I did that, it boosted their success rate and the healing speed for people through the roof when people would read it and then apply it. It was like, they'd be in my office. And I'd say, All right, I'm gonna have you out of here in about six weeks. And they'd say, No, I've had this problem all my life. I'm 45. But I've always been anxious and depressed, I'm suicidal. I say, yeah, give it about six weeks, and six weeks and roll around. And they're like, Yeah, I don't know, I think I'm ready. all my problems are done, I fixed them, my relationships, great. I'm happier than I've ever been. I'll come back if I need your help. And maybe six months later, they'd come back and say, Okay, I got I've gotten a really serious relationship now. And I need to make sure I don't screw this up. So we'd have two or three sessions about here's how you set it up. Now that you've got attachment, here's that actually set it up, and then I've never seen him again. And, and it just boosted their success rates through the roof. It's not that my book fixes everything in your life. It's that it sets you up to fix everything in your life yourself. That's really about that's almost two hours long. I think it's I don't even know how many chapters My book is, like 12 chapters, it's two hours long. So it's about 10 minutes, a chapter. A lot of I get this question a lot. A lot of women read my book, and then email me and say, How can I make my husband read your book, like I'm supposed to go to the house and hold him at gunpoint for her and force him to, and I say, number one, it's written for people who hate reading, but some guys really hate reading. And what you can do is buy the audio book and listen to it in 10 minutes segments on the couch together, listen to a chapter and then stop the tape Stop, stop the tape, stop the recording, and say, Alright, let's talk about what we just learned. And then go through it together that way. And over the space of 12 nights, less than two weeks, you will have an understanding of what the issues are in your relationship, why they are there, how it's not either of your faults, but you both need to fix it and how to fix it together. And if you just do that, it's less than two weeks, it's less than two weeks. I think the audio book is 599 on Audible. So there you go. There's my commercial.

Melissa Bright:

Yes. And I cannot wait to get it. I have to get the actual physical copy because I mark up everything. As much as I love listening to stuff if it's something that I actually want to learn. I have to see it in like physical form. I can't just like hear it usually. So I'm definitely getting that book. Okay, Adam, how can people connect with you?

Adam Lane Smith:

So I am online. I have a website Adam lane smith.com. Yes, that is my real name. Some people demanded to see my driver's license because it's just too generic of a name. Adam lane Smith, la en E. I'm on Twitter as I where I'm Adam lane Smith, if you just look Adam lane Smith. The reason I use my middle name is because I write books. And you do not want to be Adam Smith on Amazon because there's about 3000 hits for an old Scottish dead guy who wrote about economy economics. So I'm Adam lane Smith. Adam Smith, calm is the best place I got all kinds of stuff on there. I've got free courses people can take I'm probably gonna have to build more stuff for people on there just so they they see even more. Awesome.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. What is I have two more questions for you. What is this going to be the most generalized statement? What is Adam lane Smith want people to know about attachment and attachment issues in one in one sense? One or two cents, one

Adam Lane Smith:

sentence, one or two sentences. Okay, say the sentence is really fast. Pain is nothing but information, telling you that something is wrong with what you're experiencing. If you are in emotional pain, that tells you that there is this natural state where you are no longer in pain. And you can reach that state.

Melissa Bright:

Wow. That was a good one. And I didn't even ask you that. I heard that.

Adam Lane Smith:

I heard that that quote from someone smarter than me pain is just information. Someone told me that one time and it hit me because it is if you're in pain that it means something's wrong. And that means that there's a state where something isn't wrong, you just have to figure out how to reach that state. It's not normal to be in emotional pain all the time. It's just your brain saying hey, something's not right, we fix it. Right. And if you don't fix it, the pain will get worse and worse and worse. Until you do fix it. And that's really what depression is. That's why our species is capable of feeling depression is to make us miserable enough that the pain against fixing it is bigger than the pain to actually fix it.

Melissa Bright:

Wow. That's amazing. All right, last question for you, Adam. in your own words, what does the bright side of life mean to you?

Adam Lane Smith:

bright side of life means living the life you actually want to live instead of living the life that everybody told you. You have to live

Melissa Bright:

That's probably one of my favorite answers I've ever I've ever gotten. That was so good. Adam, thank you so, so much for coming on here. I can't wait for everybody to hear this episode. I can't wait for my brother to hear this episode. Thank you for being here to share all of your knowledge. Thank you for having me. Thank you guys for listening to this week's episode. Do we have attachment issues? Did this episode answer any questions about attachment issues? Yeah, this this, like I told the story at the very beginning. This was something someone that my brother had heard heard about on another podcast, and something that was really eye opening for him. And since Of course, we've lived similar lives in terms of our childhood. I just wanted to listen to that episode that he told me about, and I listened to it. And I'm like, I need to talk to this guy, not only for myself, but also for my brother and to also ask some of the questions. And it was just really eye opening. And the great news is, is that it can be fixed and that we can fix these attachment issues with a little bit of work. And I think that everything does take work if you know we want to be healed. So I hope you guys got something out of this episode. I know that I most certainly did. If you guys have any, you know, questions for Adam, as as he stated, you guys can go to his website Adam lane Smith comm if you guys want to comment on this episode, please feel free to shoot me an email that's on my website. Or you can find me on social media. I just thought this episode was so great and so enlightening. As you know, I am all about education and just becoming aware and the more you know, the better that you have a chance of actually healing some of the stuff that might be going on with you. So yeah, I just want to thank you guys again for listening to this episode. Also, as I just recorded this episode, I have now ordered Adam's book on Amazon slaying your fear guys go get it I'm sure is going to be amazing 100 pages or listen to it on Audible. Like he said two hours but I got to order mine to mark up all that stuff because I'm sure I'm gonna learn lots. You guys can get that on Amazon. And as always, if you guys know anyone that may need to hear Adams story, please share it with them because you never know if this is the one that puts hope back in their heart.

Adam Lane Smith

Author, attachment coach, retired psychotherapist

Adam Lane Smith is a two-time #1 Amazon bestselling novelist and a retired licensed psychotherapist specialized in trauma and attachment with experience in both clinical and correctional mental health settings. That includes his work in the California justice system where he treated inmates facing the death penalty. He has appeared on over 20 podcasts discussing generational attachment styles, recovering from trauma, and storytelling techniques.

Adam has written 20 books and coached over 500 aspiring novelists through his program Write Like a Beast. His attachment treatment method detailed in his book Slaying Your Fear is used by mental health professionals across the US, and he has delivered seminars instructing a range of healthcare professionals in treating patients with attachment concerns. He is also the co-creator of The 80/20 Fiction Author System with Joshua Lisec. Download Adam’s book Brothers To The End for free at www.AdamLaneSmith.com.