Psychotherapist & PTSD Specialist, former NHL Hopeful Mike Boyle, Even Tough Guys Get the Blues
Mike Boyle is not your typical psychotherapist. He's not your typical guy either, but he kinda used to be. A standout hockey player with aspirations to play in the NHL, Mike became critically depressed as a college athlete after suffering multiple head injuries. He has since dedicated his life to healing and helping others thrive. He has worked extensively with people suffering from symptoms often designated as depression, anxiety, panic, bipolar, substance abuse and more. He has two masters degrees in psychology, he has studied in numerous spiritual work and holistic health systems. He keeps diligently abreast of cutting edge of neuroscience, and incorporates the best evidence-based methods into his work from both inside and outside the box, such as Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).
While this all sounds fancy - which it is - what I really love about Mike is that, as evolved and well-read as he is, underneath it all he's still that kid from Boston that I knew as my college roommate's younger brother and a "wicked badass hockey playa": He's a guy who, when he was teaching yoga, considered creating a course for men called “get your balls back yoga”, but he thought better of it.
Still, his saltiness and blue collar roots frame and ground his message in a way that makes it really accessible to "normal people"... particularly "Dudes" - if you've got a typical guy in your life, maybe your Dad, a brother, a boyfriend - the kind of guy that doesn't like talking about his feelings and you just can't get in there and crack him open - you're gonna want to send this episode to them. He also works with couples who are seeking to try a new, more effective approach at achieving harmony at home in addition to his extensive work with Veterans.
Diving into what Mike does on a daily basis as a psychotherapist, (8:55). Growing up in New England with dreams of playing in the NHL, (11:55). “I have a distinct memory of a time when I was 5 years old sitting on my mom’s lap watching the news. I couldn’t deal with how much suffering I was seeing.”, (13:40). Learning that children can make decisions unconsciously, (13:52). Implications of numbing out the suffering with a macho attitude, (14:55). Smoking marijuana starting in middle school, (15:45). Falling into a depression in college, (17:00). Major catalysts to his spiral down, (20:10). Having arrogance as a college hockey player, (22:05). “They got into bed with me. 13 lacrosse, football, hockey players gave me a group hug.”, (23:45). Entering therapy and being introduced to meditation, (24:35). Catalyzing a process to alleviate suffering, (25:45). Balancing out being nurturing and tough, (27:25). Studying various sciences around emotions, (29:10). Taking time off from college and volunteering, (30:25). His Uncle Ed, a Jesuit Priest, as his biggest inspiration on spirituality, (31:40). Volunteering for the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and moving to a Native American Reserve, (32:10). “Why am I teaching these Native kids Christianity when they have this perfectly intact spiritual tradition.”, (33:47). Returning to the U.S. from Thailand without any savings, (39:20). Working tons of hours in the Union while studying in graduate school and supporting his own family, (41:05). “A 6-inch metal suspended from the ceiling of the Oakland Coliseum got unhooked and swung like a pendulum across the room. I had no idea that it was coming, and this thing hits me completely in the forehead.”, (42:05). “Now, I needed with conscious confidence to heal myself again with all the knowledge I had.”, (44:35). Explaining what reaching into a continuum is, (47:10). “With any trauma and when your nervous system is overwhelmed, there’s guilt and shame. We beat ourselves up.”, (48:48). “We can’t wait for the outer circumstances in our life to be what we want them to be in order to be who we are to be who we need to be.”, (53:02). Encouraging his wife, who is a musician, to remember to love of music, (55:15). Being grateful for encountering obstacles, (57:05). “If we are growing in psychological and spiritual maturity, we realize we can already surrender and let go without 10 years of struggle and 10,000 hits on the head.”, (1:00:28). Choosing to be your dominant influence of your life, (1:05:34). “Often times, therapy makes things worst because when we talk about problems even in the interest of trying to fix them, we actually light up all this neurology, biology and chemistry as the problem. So, we really have to spend time focusing on creating solutions rather than fixing problems.”, (1:10:08). Turning suffering into radiant virtues, (1:010:35). Advising to his 5-year old self to not shut down and be the compassionate human being he was born to be,(1:17:25).
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