Psychiatrist Reacts to Hadith of Prophet Muhammad
Channel: The Deen Show
File Size: 51.63MB
Episode Transcript ©
Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate and at times crude. We are considering building a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system. No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever.
I was a professor at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute and joint density I was working with Masters and PhD students. What do you think when you hear when you read this, what we call Hadith, every goodness is charity, even if it is just a smile. And when a man loves his brother, he should tell him, he loves him. That's what I've observed with Muslim people that I've known. That's my own limited understanding of Islam. So another one here is a law just simply means God. The Creator is wise and prescient, as many of the things that I've heard Muhammad say are.
Show me your host, are you guys doing every week we got an exciting guest, and this week is no exception. So we have Dr. Keith Witt, who's a licensed clinical psychologist, teacher and author who has lived and worked in Santa Barbara since 1973. He has conducted over 65,000 therapy sessions and published eight books, presentations in the US and internationally. Dr. Keith has explored love therapy, interpersonal relationships and development from multiple perspectives, weaving neuroscience, integral theory, wisdom traditions, and numerous forms of psychotherapy in a coherent cosmology of love and healing. And he's also a Shotokan Karate Black Belt.
How're you doing? Dr. Keith with how are you? Doing very well. I'm happy to be here with you today. I'm happy to be with you all. So forget about all the big resume there. What about tell me about this karate? shuttlecock. You know, that was that was my introduction to spirituality when I was 15.
I had my family was going through a very difficult time.
There was a lot of emotional upset and alcoholism. And my parents committed me to a hospital in 1965. What they did with teenagers is give them electroshock therapy. They gave me electroshock therapy. And in that hospital at 15 I decided I needed to go deep and ask myself, How do I want to live in this world. And what I wanted was to be healer and a warrior. And so when I got out of the hospital, I began studying psychology and showed a con karate. And I had a black belt three and a half years later and I had my first license 10 years later, and show to Kung karate was my introduction into spirituality.
While many people I like was a warrior and a healer, wow, this is a this is deep, and many people they've kind of forgotten about, you know, some of these, you know, traditions in the martial arts, you know, developing good character integrity, and a lot of these traits that help you through life. Yes, absolutely. So would you recommend in your in your field? Would you recommend this you know, different life hacks of things that you can do with martial arts be one of those things that you recommend everybody get involved in? Not everybody I don't recommend anything for everybody because we're all different and unique. Yeah, if if someone is is delighted with the practice of a martial
art, whether it's karate or tai chi or a Keto or kendo or any of any of them, if it delights you the practice if the philosophy moves your heart, then do it and find something else that delights you and moves your heart.
A lot of my teachers are out there in California because I'm also involved in the martial arts. I've been also quite a martial. Yeah.
I teach also Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Oh, Gracie, the best jujitsu in the world. Gracie Jiu Jitsu. Yeah, so the Brazilians, many of them, which we've learned from the Gracie family, you know, many of them. They're used to the nice weather and Rio in Brazil. So
yes, and California kind of matches that. You know, I was a wrestler in high school. And the great thing about Gracie Jiu Jitsu is that you can do all the things in jujitsu that you that we weren't allowed to do when we were wrestlers in high school. It's, it's it's, it's a wonderful, it's a wonderful probably the best grappling system that's ever been developed. Why don't get me started on Wrestling, wrestling. I mean, tremendous work ethic is built. Oh, yes. And it's amazing. Some of the hardest workers out there, you know, are wrestlers. Yeah. No matter how hard I worked when I was a wrestler, I didn't feel like I was working hard enough. Yeah, and that's another thing that just can
carry you on with life. Yeah. Yeah. So now tell me with all of your you've been doing this for 4040 years, huh? Yeah, yeah, about that. Yeah, so one part of your resume there it talks about this.
Integral theory. This developed by it, was it Ken Wilber and Wilbur Yes, yeah.
What was I found interesting is this is more like it seemed like a holistic approach because putting many of the different things together, not excluding the mind, body and soul and spirit. Yes, oh, that's kind of me, kind of goes, you know, a little bit away from the the mainstream, you know, which is just kind of pushing pharmaceutical drugs, oh, God, don't get me started on pharmaceutical drugs.
No, I discovered integral in my 40s
it's a, it's a meta theory, it's a it's an understanding of the universe, it has pure science and empiricism on one side, pure spirituality on the other. And it's, it's a structure that integrates both of those into a way of being in the world, doing your work, understanding the cosmos, understanding your spiritual connection to other people and to God.
It's just was so exciting to me, it woke me up and, and every single one of my books is informed by integral theory and is, is taking some aspect of, of the world that I think is important for people to know.
And expanding it through the integral system, and offering it to people in ways that hopefully help them live in love better and grow better. So we have some prophetic traditions that I just wanted to get you, you know, to comment on certain key words that from these quotations, how you see them, you know, through your eyes, as a clinical psychologist, you know, somebody because you talk about love, you know, this is, you know, a guiding force during much of your therapy, and some of these other
quotations and teachings probably, maybe, maybe you have maybe you haven't ever been exposed to. So I just want to get your honest feedback. And since you're more of an open minded, you know, therapist and see what you think. Sure, sounds great. Every ad is goodness is charity, even if it is just a smile. This is a quotation by Prophet Muhammad. So what is your, you know, this is emphasizing, you know, charity is something that's so important in Islam. But now, even the point of smiling in someone's face, you know, how important is this smile? So I'm focusing on smile, you know, if people read that, then what's his name from How to Win Friends and Influence People? And
many other great thinkers, you know, what do you think when you hear when you read this, what we call Hadith,
we have tremendous effects on each other as human beings, every single one of us. And so when you pass someone, there's a, there's an a relationship. If you meet someone's eyes, there's a relationship that's instantaneously formed. And if you offer them love, through your smile, then they're enlivened. They're healed a little bit. And we all have the power to do that. And I think that the more that we grow, the more we feel a sense of responsibility to give that gift all the time.
And I think that that's what is wise and prescient, as many of the things that I've heard Muhammad said, are also you've heard a Prophet Muhammad, of course, say, you know, I don't know much about Islam, I studied all the religions.
They all have so much to offer. It's, it's a lot like the martial arts. You know, when you get to the highest practitioners of the martial arts, they sit around together, the different martial arts artists will agree to agree with each other
of the wisdom teachers that I've known. If you get them all together, they say, well, we agree, we agree that there's one race, the human race, and that there's one injunction let's, let's do our best to serve God through our life.
And so that's something that it seems to me that the wise people have known have all agreed agreed about.
Moving on to the next one, a statement when a man loves his brother, he should tell him, he loves him. Now this can be for the also doesn't mean necessarily for just a man, this is also for both man and woman.
And you talk a lot about love, I say do and what I mean by love is feeling at one with
and this particular one, many of us for a variety of reasons, grew up feeling separate from other people.
And so, and we feel inhibited sometimes letting other people know how we feel.
If you feel love for someone at any point, I think that it's wonderful and healing to share that.
How do you balance that? I'm guilty of both, like not doing both
because I'm usually in a
Deep State of thinking reflection. So sometimes people will comment, like, you know, I'm the program, I'm just doing what I love. So I'm smiling, I'm happy with something, you know, I'm on off, I'm just really in a, in a deep state of just a lot of times reflecting I'm very, you know, my mind is thinking a lot and whatnot. So sometimes I'll get criticized, like, we're, you know, we're just smiling a lot. So I got to remind myself,
what do you how do you balance that now, because I don't want to be fake, you know, I just feel like if I'm just putting a smile, I don't want to feel like I'm being fake. Well, of course, that it's,
you know, we go back and forth between being connected with other people and being more inward, connected with our own selves. And we have so much that we're having to deal with every moment as human beings, there's material of material flowing up from our unconscious, what I call shadow, or adaptive unconscious, all the time, feelings, stories, impulses, memories, years. And so how we deal with that determines how we move through the world. I write a lot about that in my book, Shadow light.
And so sometimes when you're caught up inside yourself, you're you're not really connecting to the outside world. Now, if other people see you like that, and they're used to having to be engaged in smiling, they might worry, they might go, oh, no, he's mad at me.
He's, he's, he doesn't like me.
And so they'll, they'll interrupt, you know? And they'll say, Well, are you are you having a problem, and, and then again, you respond, no, I was having a word moment. And as you look at them and connect with them, then that connection, that energetic connection that we all have, gets re established, and then your warmth is communicated again. And you know, people were insecure, it's very difficult to grow up and be a human being. And so we, we often will feel insecure with other people. And when that happens, if we talk about it with each other, with open hearts, we can resolve it.
Beautiful, thank you for sharing that with us. Here's the next one. And I want just to relate like how these work kindness. So the one here is about kindness. So we went from the first one to smile, you know, talking about the importance of that. And this being mentioned in the prophetic traditions. And then we had the the second one, about, you know, being open to love, you know, sharing your love for someone. Let me just touch upon going back to that, because as men, you know, we kind of more reserved, right, so your therapy session, do you? Do you tell, like, let's say the brother to tell his brother or, you know, how do you how do you relate that in actual in your
therapy sessions, like being open about your love towards your family member or someone close to you,
your wife, or
I'm generally quite transparent about Yeah, about that.
whatever is going on inside of me, it will be shared with someone else. I think kindness is huge. You know, I've probably done somewhere, I don't know, 25 35,000 sessions with couples. Okay. And, inevitably, if there's a problem with a couple, I mean, almost every single time is because someone is forgotten to be calm.
And when couples start trying to be kind to each other, good things happen. When parents start trying to be kind to their children, good things happen when children start trying to be kind to their parents. Good things. So another one here is Allah just simply means God, the Creator, is kind and he loves kindness in all matters.
Well, first of all, it reminds me of the last line, one of my favorite books, a book of five rings by Miyamoto Musashi that was written in 1645. About the way the warrior, an idiot, he said, in in the void is virtue and no.
Wisdom has resistance. Principle has existence, the way it has existence, and spirit is nothingness. In other words, in the void, there's no evil.
That, that if we're open to the infinite, that will come through us as kindness become an understanding.
I want to I want to just also kind of you were talking about what's in your mind and you being transparent, I want to be transparent with you also is because one of the main reasons that we do the deen show is to dispel many of the myths and misconceptions and help to bridge you know, the gap of misunderstanding because the media really hasn't done a good job of doing that. And most people when you do surveys, they know nothing about Islam or Muslims. And a lot of times their opinions are formed by the misinformation that's put out there by the media and this creates division in humanity, fear and then fear
Here leads people to doing reasonable things and they end up a lot of times it can lead to violence. I agree. So, yeah, so by doing many of these programs, we tried to bridge that gap of misunderstanding and to really show what Islam is about and connecting, you know, with our fellow humans and humanity. Right. So this is kind of just to see the other side, because you don't see the media talking about some of these beautiful core teachings that were brought by Prophet Muhammad by God Almighty. Oh, yeah. You know, I have an an aunt and uncle Dorothy Nelson, and James Nelson, who's recently died, he died several years ago, who are very, very central figures in the Baha'i
Faith. And they're the ones that showed me the Quran for the first time. In the behind face, the Quran is the sacred text.
And they said, it's beautiful Keith, and they were right.
You know, that people grow through stages. And, and, and also traditions grow through stages. at a particular stage of development. When people have a self and other orientation and sense of threat, then that sense of threat and that self or another could lead to violence, that's true for every tradition. But if people grow, they grow towards a sense of unity with everyone in a sense of, of experiencing God as a fountain of love and kindness. And that's what I've observed with Muslim people that I've known. That's my own limited understanding of Islam. And, and that's, that's been my experience. Yeah. So the Islam has two main sources that goes by the Quran, which we say is the
verbatim Word of God Almighty, Allah, the Creator. And then you have the authentic statements, prophetic statements of the last and final measure we say was sent to mankind Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. Which by the way, Muslims believe in all the preceding the messengers that came before him, Jesus, Moses, Abraham, and we believe that they all came with the same message Where should one only one God and be morally upright? Yeah, so here's another one behind, whenever kindness becomes a part of something, it beautifies it, whenever it is taken away from something, it leaves a tarnish, this is another
unkindness. So in your therapy sessions. Do you see one party or the other? Or both? Sometimes, like you said, lacking, you know, this essential quality of kindness? Well, yeah, when you know, when we're frightened when people are threatened, feel threatened. Okay, now, feeling threatened isn't the same as being threatened, just feeling threatened.
If somebody appears in a way that scares you, or says something that triggers a memory or something, what happens is your nervous system starts protecting you. And what it does is it creates a state of consciousness that separates you from the other person, and gives you impulses to fight or run from that other person. Those are called defensive states. And they happen often. And if you're aware of that, you can go I'm in a defensive state, and you can go so what's, what's compassionate understanding of me and this other person. But if you're not aware of that, then you'll end up instinctively telling yourself stories that, that that support fighting with this other person or
running from this other person, and you lose kindness when you do that. And so one good book for some people is to notice when they're not feeling kindness, and go, Wait a minute, let me anchor myself in kindness again.
Sometimes that works, but like I said earlier, nothing works for everybody. Everybody has their own path forward.
I believe earlier, I don't know if he said something about race. And I just thought about this prophetic tradition that talks about the white has no superiority over the black and black has no superiority over the white, except in piety and good action. You know, this is something in today's day and age where you have a lot of still racism, that's.
And yes, yeah, I remember, and also men and women, masculine and feminine. My aunt Dorothy, when she was teaching, she would, she would always use the metaphor, the two wings of the Dove, she said, the masculine is one being the feminine is the other and you know, you need both wings to fly. And I think that's true for the whole human race, too.
You know, it's just, we're one we're one. But again, when people are threatened, they tend to see yourself in an other and that's within an individual or even with a group. And when those threats happen, that's when the bad things happen in the world. That's when the bad things happen in relationships and to the extent we can catch those things and adjust to compassion, I think.
I want to focus on this next one self control self restraint, it seems that it was once a forgotten place in the center of psychology, a turning point was triggered in a now famous study by Walter Misko.
Yeah, it was the the, the famous marshmallow experiment. Yes. The marshmallow study where they offered one marshmallow now or two later to go ahead and test the ability of delayed gratification. You know, Dr. Ellen Galinsky also, she concluded from so many reviews of 1000s of studies, that's the seven essential life skills for children to reach the full potential. And the number one was that self control threat, then you have the world's most prolific psychologist, Dr. Roy boy, Mr. From Florida State University.
You know, he talks about in his book,
willpower, success, intelligent and success. I'm sorry, self control being at the top. So can we talk a little bit about that self restraint, so self control, there's one here prophetic tradition and talks about the strong person is not the person overcome or powers one with adversities or takes him to the ground, or cannot wrestle him and some other narrations talks about but a strong person is the one who contains themselves when they're angry. Yes.
So this is more complicated than it sounds. And the reason for that is that we're all born with different temperamental capacities and types. Um, for instance,
self control is highly correlated correlated with conscientiousness, some people are born with more capacity for consciousness, some people are born with less capacity for conscientiousness. And so I don't want people to judge themselves, if they have more difficulty with self control.
Or go, Yeah, I have, I have, it's easy for me to do self control, and it should be easy for everyone. What we can agree about is that self control that that self observation, and then that ability to pause before action,
and then make a good choice is a good thing. It's a healthy thing. And so what you do with children, and what you do with people is you start where they are, wherever they are, in their capacity to self regulate, whether it's their emotions or their behaviors. And you go, Okay, we start where you are, fully accept where you are. And now let's move towards better effect regulation, better willpower, self control, you know, Bob master, in his book on willpower, quoted a number of studies, not just the Michelle studies, but other studies that have been done over the years on how we can learn self control how we can learn effect regulation. And all of them are based on an understanding
there's a directionality to this. In other words,
when we're talking about willpower, we're talking about being able to make healthy choices, we're talking about regulating emotion, affect regulation, we're talking about being able to keep ourselves in a certain level of arousal and with a certain compassionate attitude towards other people. So that we can have good relationships, and we can function optimally as individuals. And so some of us we have to work harder at it, some of us don't have to work so hard. That's just the way humans are. And so that's psychotherapy, coaching, spiritual work. All of it involves accepting who you are at this moment, and then as fast as you can, whatever your rate of growth is growing towards
these qualities of kindness, ethic, regulation, self control, that we know are good for human beings capacity to love to express love, all those things.
You write about
something to the effect of we all go crazy, or we lose it. At times, everybody goes crazy. Sometimes. Everybody goes crazy sometimes. So how do you like, can you articulate a little bit more into that? Like, what what do you mean?
I know what you mean, but for our audience, like I understand that, I think I know what you mean. Yeah, I think you do. Know and I talked earlier about those defensive states.
Those defensive states when we feel threatened by another, and that our unconscious, sets that state that state up, that's a powerful
state, you have amplified or numbed emotions, you have a distorted story, you're you have the diminished capacity for self reflection and empathy. You have destruction, destructive impulses. This happens to us when we feel threatened. So when that happens, and if I indulge those destructive impulses. If I elaborate on that negative story you're you're bad because of this oh no me remember another reason why your bed if I stay disconnected from you, and don't reach for understanding of your heart, if I stay disconnected from myself and don't go keep doing it, you're in a
defensive state, if I don't do those things, and I'm going to basically do damage. I'm going crazy. Now there's little bits of going crazy. But I call normal crazy. And then there's big bets going crazy, which I call extra crazy. And extra crazy is particularly dangerous. Okay? Normal crazy is honking your horn at somebody because they're not going fast enough extra craziest, stopping your current punching. Okay, normal, crazy, extra crazy. And, you know, are doing jumping out doing some shuttle con yo, God, you know, you know, you know, one thing they discovered with martial arts, which I love, is, you know, guys that used to get in fights a lot when they start studying martial
arts to get in fewer fights. What that's true. So true, people don't understand martial arts is way more about control, self awareness and self control than it is about violence and aggression.
So if you've got, like so many kids, and you know, it's driving the mother crazy, she loses it, you know, don't hold that against their court. So, or if the, or if the husband comes home, and he's had a long day at work, whatever the case, obviously, he's not being violent physical. But you know, sometimes, like I said, we make excuses for each other, I say, you know, but don't The thing is where sometimes a person will lose it. And I'm not talking about going to an extreme, violent, crazy, but someone might, you know, who's normally doesn't utter profanities or normally is in line with good moral character, but then they just lose it. And then you want to hope that you forget
about there's a statement from from a very prestigious scholar in Islam, he talks about, you know, when a man does something a man can do 99 Good things, and he does one bad thing, and you want to hold him to that one bad thing? Well, I've said similar things, and I said it to men often. Yeah, and never mind that 99 100 You can do, you can do 909,999 minutes of good X, and you do one minute of emotional or physical violence, and you will be defined by that minute of emotional and physical violence by other people. Now there's reason for that. We're wired to be aware of threats and to avoid them. This is this is deep in the human genome.
And so knowing knowing that makes us
can teach us that as we get distressed, angry or frightened. Instead of surrendering to our impulses, we can slow down and question our impulses, I have less instead of being more certain of our hostile beliefs, we can become suspicious of our house to beliefs. I don't really trust what I think if I'm super anxious, if I'm frightened, or if I'm angry, I don't believe that the thoughts that I have, the stories that I have, are true stories, I think they're distorted. I don't trust them until I can have compassion and understanding of those stories. And then I tend to have, and then I'll have more fit. And when I'm working with couples, and when I'm working with individuals,
or I'm working with kids or working with families, I teach them this. And so you make a mistake, Fine, let's limit the amount of damage that's heal from it. But also let's learn from it.
If you're not learning from our mistakes, then that eventually erodes your relationships with other people. And so it's, it's, it's not just forgive yourself for your mistakes, we need to learn from them and grow from them. And if we're doing that in relationships, that makes us safe and makes it easier to forgive each other. If we're not learning from from our mistakes, then eventually, the people that are close to us will leave us
because it'll be too frightening for them for us not learning.
It's psychology, I don't know how long this term, there's some new terms that have been developed and coined. And one of them that comes to mind is narcissism, narcissist. So can you help define these terms, this word? And what are some of the signs of that? And also someone if they have one? Or is it? Are you classified a narcissist, if you have one, or three of those signs, or is this something kind of, you know, open to interpretation, and at the end and the essence of trying to avoid, you know, falling into being one of these? Well, first of all, there's lots of different
definitions of narcissism.
The definition in the diagnostic manual of psychology has there's a series of characteristics of being manipulative, being self absorbed, feeling grandiose, alien entitled, to the extent that it interferes with your relationships in your life and then that according to the diagnostic manual,
That's pathological narcissism. Now you got to remember that that diagnostic manual was created the first time in the early 50s. Just so that psychiatrists, could bill insurance companies. I mean, that's why it's there, you know, all those carrying those, those characteristics are just descriptions of characteristics that people have said, Okay, this makes this this means something. Yeah, we hope it helped me help us. So I'm understanding that correctly. So this term was coined in the 1950s. Yeah, yeah. Well, earlier than that, earlier than that. It was coined by Sigmund Freud, when he was coming up with his understanding of the unconscious, encountered people that were
chronically self absorbed, selfish and entitled.
And he said that, that he saw that interfering with them. And he said, that was narcissism. Now, also, later on
some of his students, Melanie Klein among them, when they were looking at kids, they realized when a child is about 10, or 11 months old, that child feels like they're the greatest thing in the whole world, everybody's been just loving them for nine or 10 months, anything they do has been wonderful. And so that's called primary narcissism. And that's really healthy. In it, we want 10 and 11 month old kids to feel like they're God's gift to the world. Now, now, in the next year, those kids will learn that they have to adapt to culture, but you want them to keep that sense of I am a good person, and I am an instrument of God in, in the world. And that's, that's healthy narcissism.
That's a healthy sense of myself, as somebody who has the power to to help or to hurt, and I want to help.
And so that's part of the complexity. Here's another thing, that's part of the complexity. In the last 100 years, one of the things that has happened, the world is it's become more and more acceptable to be unique person, people get much less
attacked, or hurt for being different in today's world, and this has happened rapidly, particularly over the last 70 years. So part of that has been instead of learning how to primarily conform to the culture surrounds you, we see it particularly Western parenting, we want to find out who you are as a child, and we want you to be the best version of yourself. Now, this is mostly a healthy thing. But also when you start having a culture that says whether we need to have less conformity to cultural standards, and more personal like being the best version of yourself, it tends to create a lot more narcissism at certain stages of development. And we've seen that with college with
teenagers, the levels of narcissism at that stage of development have gone up going up a lot. Now, if those kids keep growing, they become less entitled and less less, feeling less superior and special. And they start feeling more of a sense of everyone has something to offer, including me, they become more honest, they become more humble, if they keep growing. But some people don't keep growing, some people get stuck. And then they're stuck in that narcissistic place. In the personality research, this is called the age factor, the honest and humble factor. Some people are born with with a lot of capacity for that some people are born with less capacity for that. And if
you're born with less capacity for that, if you're born more egocentric and entitled them and it's that is actually a personality trait, then you have to work harder to become humble, you have to work harder to become honest. And you can, we can all grow. For some people, it's easier, some people is harder. And some people they get caught in, and I'm special, you don't count. And this is the most pathological form of narcissism, when you see other people as objects give you supply into it and to to worship you, essentially, and to serve you and you don't feel any responsibility to care for them. And that is pathological narcissism. And that causes an awful lot of problems.
And we see it, unfortunately, we see it a lot in leaders, because people that are low on that honesty and humility, frame and higher narcissism, those people tend to want to be in charge of other people. And so there's a lot of them in politics. Unfortunately. I'll just go back real quick. You mentioned something about billing the insurance company. What was that about? So they had they had to make some kind of diagnosis. Yeah. So if you fit any of those qualities, then how did that work with the with the billing the insurance company? Well, you know, that there's there's this whole business of, of health care in this country.
Which, unfortunately is a mess. And that's all there is to it.
And it is, it is corrupt pharmaceutical industry, from my perspective, the insurance industry, the healthcare industry is full of well meaning people doing their best to do right. And yet when you get to the money side of it, it's corrupt.
So one thing that happened in 1950, is the psychiatrists were upset that they were treating people and they weren't able to bill insurance companies who weren't paying them because it wasn't like, like fixing a broken arm when somebody's depressed, and you talk to us. So they created the diagnostic manual. The first one, we're on the fifth version now, where it describes psychological issues, use medical terms, so that the insurance companies eventually would be forced to have to reimburse psychiatrist and then psychologist later on, for doing treatment. And these every for every subsequent level, you know, that it's called the Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual, it wasn't supposed to be used originally for treatment. It was supposed to be used for research, but you know, that part of it got lost very quickly. And so every time that it comes out, there's more problems that people have that are, that are framed as pathologies, you know, depression, anxiety, OCD, personality disorders, and so on. So that psycho psycho therapists can put those on insurance forms in the bill, which insurance companies have been forced to reimburse for some of that.
And that's just the way but that's the way healthcare works pretty much with everything in this country.
It is just not a healthy environment, when you have people who are not doctors who are getting medical treatments for people that need attention. And the people that need attention, sometimes have to wait weeks or months to get attention.
You know, it's just a problem. And that's one of the reasons why the United States has eight times as much depression now as they did three generations ago. And why we're like 17th, or 18th, healthiest of all the first world countries, and we pay twice as much for health care, as all the other countries, it's because it's it's a system that is an a corrupt system. And that eventually will I assume he'll you know, because evolution is inevitable. But right now, there's a lot of problems with it.
Now, just a few more questions. Before we conclude. So we talked about narcissism would the antidote to that be, you said humbleness, and one of those ways there is brought back to the statement here, the best among you are those who have the best manners and character? Yeah, you know,
what do you think about this statement? Well, first of all, I always remember, you know, Muhammad was a leader.
You know, he he was a soldier, he was a leader, he was in the real world having to deal with with real problems, Geopolitical Problems, management problems. I mean, I think that that shaped him to be very, very practical, in terms of who are the people that have the best impact? Who are the people that are the best leaders? Who who what are the were the the ways of being as a culture that makes you the most secure culture. And so as that, um, he would notice that people that had good character, and they had good men and good manners, those are the people that were the good leaders, the good managers, the people that could and then as they were in charge, the people under them
would feel okay. The world is fair. And this is what we all want. We want fairness and care. The people are the people in charge are interested in us being cared for and us and being fair with us. And I think that relaxes people and makes them more generous.
From a psychological standpoint. Now study, we know that, you know, there's through a lot of hardship. A lot of times when a person is going through a trial hardship, they don't see like the good, but can you tell us like some of the greatest people, you know, Oprah Winfrey, she talks about her book, you know, all the different trials that she went through and everything that made her so many people to suffering at the end, a person persevered, and it made them who they are. So this is just one quote, quotation that talks about when God wants good for someone, he flicks them with trials.
When you have someone coming to you and they just trial upon trial, you know, tests of life, they're going crazy. There's like, how do you deal with this turn on trials, the tests of life?
First of all, or however you however you call it in psychological terms. So first of all, we all have them. We all have challenges. We all have trials.
And one thing that my aunt used to tell me, she said
God never gives you trials that you cannot deal with. Wow, this, wow, this is powerful. You know this, I'm sorry to interject. But there's a statement in the Quran where God Almighty is saying that God does not burden a soul more than it can bear. Well, yeah, you know, I, you know, yeah, obviously, you know, but she was the behind, right. You know, obviously the Bob, who revered the Qur'an got a lot of his stuff and Behala got a lot of their stuff in the career, I'm sure that there's an awful lot of behind quotes like that come directly from from the Krenn. We all have trials, being a human is not an easy thing.
We have some unnecessary, it's unnecessary initiation from childhood into adolescence into adulthood. That is difficult. That's a trial. And that's why all cultures have had initiation ceremonies that they've created to help guide young people into discovering who they are, and being themselves virtuously in the context of their various communities and assemblages. So what's difficult though, is when someone feels overwhelmed by a trial, and crushed to the extent that they don't feel like they have power to grow, or to learn or to understand. And so in therapy, part of your job is to validate the fact that a trial is is is painful, and it's difficult and sometimes, so
names are brought to us from the cruelty of other people or by the priests of nature by bad luck, sometimes, it doesn't matter how it comes to us, once we experience it. Now it's our responsibility, to understand to accept and to grow, and learn from that. And as we have that orientation, we become happier. Now, our unconscious and our bodies will vote. If we're trying to do right. We're trying to be kind and compassionate. If we want to learn from our trials and mistakes, we become happier, we become more loving people. Yeah. So you mentioned was this you mentioned by a couple times was this? Did you say your mother? By ad by AD? Dorothy? All your and your your aunt? Yeah. Okay. So this is
your aunt that you picked up a couple of these statements from that you mentioned earlier, and then one right now? Oh, yeah, we had. We used to have many ad, Jim Nelson, Dorothy Nelson. And I used to have many, many conversations like this. Yeah, they they I got to sit by my uncle really didn't like it that I got some of my spiritual orientation from martial arts, particularly Miyamoto Musashi, the Book of Five Rings, he was quite just, yeah, we would have arguments about that. And you know, that those kinds of arguments that dialectic is is part is a tradition that I find it in all the wisdom traditions. And that's how that sound knowledge goes forward. You know, we look for look for better
understandings, there's always a better understanding, there's a deeper understanding ahead. And it's useful to know that my understand now is just the best that I have right now. Yeah, if someone will ask you, like, you know, for you, just for your information. So this is like, where you have more the Orthodox where you have, like Muslims, and simply just to define these terms, a Muslim is any person who peacefully submits to the Creator of the heavens and earth and that's how you get peace in life. And Islam simply means submission to the Creator, not the creation in simple layman terms, and then adhering to the verbatim Word of God. And then you have this authentic tradition.
Prophetic reports that say a said D said, See said as a as a person B as a person, see as a person where you know, their whole biography, their history, if their memory was weak, if they were known for lying or anything, we don't accept any of that. So then they would we would narrate from that individual. And this is how we stick within the boundaries of Islam. So this is the orthodox view following the Sunnah, the way of Prophet Muhammad. So this is what we say the Quran and the Sunnah. So, just a couple more questions sibling rivalry, because you also write a lot about you also, you write a lot about the children and whatnot. How do you stop this? Is this something that for let's
say, give me let's say a 14 year old you know, with his younger brothers and sisters and what you just can't figure out your mind you're scratching your head? Why is there so much fighting with the younger ones? Is this something they outgrow? How do you deal with this? Professor? You know, if you have kids under nine, um, you know, children are not they are you on an average if you just studied a bunch of them, they argue with their siblings on an average of once every 20 minutes. Okay.
Wow, I know. drew it was your three minutes so you know, all for all those parents out there who are worried about their kids arguing too much. Hey, look, you know, you're right at the top
With the bell curve, when your kids argue a lot,
you know, families or cultures,
you know, when a family comes to me, they come to me with whatever their culture is, at that moment, we start working with it.
Usually what happens with children, and this is for teenagers to is when there's distress, it comes out and how they behave and what they say and what they think it'll come out and in a form of emotional violence, or sometimes physical violence, mostly emotional.
And so one thing that you do is you stop violence, you know, if kids are screaming, you interrupt them, if if kids are fighting, you know, you separate them.
And then and then what you do is, is you wait until their, their their arousal goes down enough so that they can relate. And then you go, okay, so you, you just were very angry at your brother or your sister. Yeah, I was. And you know, so what were you angry about? So you, you validate that the emotion but not the behavior? You look for? Is there. Is there a problem that needs attention? Yeah, you took my my truck? And I didn't say yes, well, okay, that's not fair. So let's now set a boundary, this Go tell your brother, you can't take the truck without permission, you get the truck back now, you know, apologize for taking the truck without, yeah, you do that. And then you move on.
Okay. This is called Emotional coaching. It's been studied extensively, particularly by John Gottman up in Seattle, if you do this form of emotional coaching with your children, and it needs to involve setting boundaries, I mean, you can't let a kid do damage to you or to another kid get screaming out of control, put them in their room, let him calm down. But if you do this emotional coaching, that includes these firm behind boundaries, kids are doing better. By the time they're eight or nine, and they're 14. They're doing better with other kids, they're more social, they're doing better at school, they have more willpower, they have more ability to do effect regulation. So with with
issues that come up with kids, you just keep leaning into that system, again and again, again, patiently. And you don't just do it, once you do it. 1000s of times, some kids need it only a little bit. I have two children. I have a son and a daughter,
my son, what he he embraced this. And so he it was easy for him to get into the flow of us. My daughter didn't, she resisted more, she had, you know, I had OCD in my family obsessive compulsive, and she had some of that that makes changes. So I had to do it more, we had to put more energy and helping her than we did with him during certain stages. Kids are different, some of them need more attention, some, some need less, both of them are doing great. Now they're 33 and 36 at this point.
So that's how you deal with it. It's you take you start where you are and then you can add and you find a way to create a little insight and a little healthy behavior a little more understanding. And then you declare victory and move on to the next thing.
You call it a more emotional coaching. It's called Emotional coaching as opposed to emotionally dismissing emotionally dismissing is you guys all shut up and get over it. Okay, you know, Johnny hurt me, that's too bad. You know, go back, you know, go on. Now, you know, that's okay. Once in a while you fall down when you're playing soccer. And you go, Oh, God, I got hurt, you know, yeah, I understand. But get back into the game. Okay. There's, sometimes that's necessary. But mostly when it comes to things that feels strongly emotionally coaching, emotional coaching is better for children. It's not just better for children and teenagers, it's better for all of us. It's, it's a
better way for us to be as human beings. It's respectful. It's self reflective, and it keeps, keeps us understanding. We're all emotional. People who have emotions come up all the time, like you and I right now, as we relate with each other. We have emotions that are coming up that have to do with how we feel about each other, as well as how we feel about these topics. And so it's important to be aware of the sacred quality of that. I think that's sacred. To me, that's sacred. The last thing and I'm sure you can talk about this for a long time, but just in short, maybe when we have you back on again, God willing, we can talk more in depth on this. But how much what I like about your approach
is that you're just not because the majority of psychiatrists when you think a psychiatrist, you go there and they make you numb, meaning that they give you a pill. And now that pill leads to another pill and then you're on a cocktail medications. And then you're just like a walking zombie, right? How much how much does food play a role in mental health, in good health, and in your type of psychiatry? Well, first of all,
and also a second
He is changing. There's a there's a lot of psychiatrists now that are reluctant to prescribe the drugs, and we'll go to other things first. But you're right, there's this whole pharmaceutical model, you know, like depression is about chemical imbalance. That actually was a narrative that was that was created by the drug companies. And it's a false narrative. And it's, it's caused a lot of damage, and continues to cause a lot of damage.
Diet, if to address emotional distress. But you deal with what we're dealing with is, is is is itself culture and nature. So it's body, mind and spirit itself, culture and nature and an integral, we call that an integral life practice. And what that means is, all these things fit together. So sleep is important. Diet is important. Don't eat too much sugar, intoxicants.
If you have an emotion, there's ways of growing through that emotion, if you try to suppress it, or deny it or make it go away, generally, you will amplify it and cause problems. Um, food is very important, and not just what foods you eat, when you eat those foods, and how you eat those foods, and with whom you eat those foods, because we're eating is social. And so if we, if we eat in a way that that is pro social,
we digest better, and also we, our mood is elevated. And so just
contact with other people having purpose in our life, having a sense of connectedness to spirit, and a sense of, of, of,
of unity with God, all these things, as you cultivate them, change your mood, and elevated. And these are the things that that I encourage people to go to, first, with anxiety with depression with obsession, those kinds of things, you adjust those things. Now, there's also a lot of other stuff that you do, because again, we're very complex beings.
But diet is super important. And there's way too much sugar, way too much processed food. And also there's a lot of toxins in food, frankly, a lot process, chemicals in them that are just not good for us. That's why you know, eat organic food, why glyphosate is a universal toxin is put on non organic food and you don't want to get that in your body. It's a carcinogen and it also infects your mood. You know, that stuff? Don't eat that stuff. Don't eat and that that model you said was created by the model was created by the pharmaceutical company, the one what is it called? Oh, yeah, the Prozac that the serotonin hypothesis, they found this drug that increased the amount of serotonin
that they still don't know if that's what did it and some people felt better about a quarter of the people felt better when they took it. And pharmaceutical company created this narrative that hired people hacks to write studies suppressed the studies that said it wasn't good for you suppressed, the side effects marketed the hell out of this stuff. And now 10% of the people in this country are on drugs, mostly those and you can just if you look in the fish in the Pacific in the Atlantic, they have measurable dose they have measurable levels of of these serotonin drugs in the fish, so much of it has been washed out to sea from United States and the major medical organizations, the American
Psychiatric Journal, the New England Journal of Medicine, have dedicated issues saying We apologize for publishing studies that insurance, the pharmaceutical companies foisted on us as good research and we apologize for for foisting the serotonin hypothesis, when the data really didn't support it. I mean, this is this is a big deal. And it's still happening. And it just, you can now reduce depression to a biochemical balance. It's way too complex Plex for that there's all kinds of things including diet, including relationship including spirituality, that are necessary for feel less anxious, less depressed, more engaged in the world.
And this is coming from clinical psychologist Dr. Keith wit, over 40 years experience also as a professor at Stanford University No no no, no, I'm not professors ever. I was you taught you taught at what Univer your professor I want you to read the Santa Barbara graduate Santa Barbara, that's what it saw. Sorry. I got him confused. Yeah. Now the SEP IRA Graduate Institute many years ago was sold and then you know, it's so doesn't exist, but while it existed, I was a professor at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute and joint density I was working with
Master's and PhD students and they were wonderful in the the Institute. I'm sorry, that's still around. It was a wonderful institution. Thank you for spending some time with us professor. Well, I really got this and you know, keep doing your good work.
Thank you very much. God bless you. Thank you so much people can find you on
the was a Dr. Keith witt.com. Dr. Keith with Dr. Kei, th wi t t.com. You can I have classes, I have many blogs, I have videos, you can find my books, Shadow light on Shadow loving, completely unrelated friendships, the gift of shame about development and shame and be attuned family about attunement in a central thing. In the two minute if you're a therapist, I wrote two of the first books on integrally informed psychotherapy waking up and sessions. And you can do all those books on Amazon Prime. Thank you very much. God bless you. Thank you. Hopefully we could do this again sometime in the future. Hopefully we can do it again. Bye bye.