Psychotherapist & PTSD Specialist, former NHL Hopeful Mike Boyle, Even Tough Guys Get the Blues


Oct 11, 2019

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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