In this episode of the Plan Simple Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Dr. Valerie, the author of Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Inner Barrier to Women’s Happiness and Fulfillment. She named Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) and describes it as everything that you thought was wrong with you and tried to fix it with personal development and therapy and medication and self-medication. And she talks about recognizing this as something that we carry in our system, something that we can heal and interrupt that cycle of transmission of trauma and fully liberate ourselves.
We start by defining patriarchy as a system of oppression that has been in existence for a very long time. In this system of inequality and oppression, all power—political, financial, and moral—has been in the hands of men. The only way for women to have access to any resource was through a man, which created a whole lot of trauma and trauma adaptations that still play out very strongly in our relationships, even in the most conscious and loving relationships.
Dr. Valerie’s exploration of this area started with a question many women ask: What’s wrong with me? After a stroke-like incident that doctors attributed to stress, she began examining her life more deeply. It all looked good, but she started to connect the dots and realized she was responding to unseen trauma.
We talk about:
- Recognizing experiences of trauma that may not seem like a big deal and that unprocessed and repressed joy are a kind of trauma
- It is not easy to minimize our own trauma, but that doing the work to heal ourselves opens us to participate more fully in the world
- How the ripple effects of your own healing can affect others and that healing is passed through DNA, so change can affect the transmission of trauma
- Shifting from What’s wrong with me? to How good can it get?
- How the patriarchy lays claim to women’s time and how to reclaim your time
- The deep-seated fear of our own power
Dr. Valerie Rein has discovered Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) and created the only science-backed system for helping women achieve their ultimate success, happiness, and fulfillment by healing the intergenerational trauma of oppression. She holds an EdM in Psychological Counseling from Columbia University and a PhD in Psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. Her bestselling book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Inner Barrier to Women’s Happiness and Fulfillment has been heralded by Amazon reviewers as “the most important body of literary work of our modern times” and “perhaps the most important book of the century for women.” Her cutting-edge programs have helped thousands of women shift from survival to thriving and master the game of “How good can it get?” in their work and personal lives.
- Virtal Retreat—The Thriving Experience
- The first chapter of Dr. Valerie’s book + resources
Doable Changes from this episode:
- STOP COMPARING. So often we get stuck in a game of comparison. We notice something traumatic in our own lives, but minimize it because there are so many worse things in the world. When you find yourself doing that, stop and acknowledge what is challenging you in the moment.
- GET MORE RESOURCED. Learning is a doable change you can take to help you take the next step. Read Dr. Valerie’s book you can order it off Amazon on through a local bookstore directly or via bookshop.org. And you can get the first chapter and additional resources from her website (see links below—where you’ll also find a link to her retreat).
- RECLAIM YOUR TIME. One of the things many of my listeners struggle with is time. We don’t have enough of it. We’re busy all the time and yet can’t seem to get done the things we want to do. Reclaim your time. Start by simply asking: Who does my time belong to? Does my time belong to me? Do I own my time?
REALLY getting healthy as a family can be a big lifestyle change. But no matter how insurmountable it may feel, focusing on one doable change at a time can help you take small steps toward your big goal.
A healthy lifestyle is really made of lots of little things that when repeated regularly and added together over time make a huge impact on your life.
Choose one Doable Change every Sunday night — one thing that you are willing to play with for the week. The key is to keep it doable and fun! Write that thing on a sticky note or your phone so you remember it. Then put 3 things on your calendar that support it.