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Counseling for Men

Welcome to the Ascend Health Show. I’m Nick Angelis a Nurse Anesthetist and I’m the Owner of Ascend Health Center. I’m here with Rodney Long, Jr who is an LISW and runs counseling for men. Today we’re going to talk about men’s mental health, the way we see the world, the way that we perceive it as men and how sometimes we just want to get things done.

Nick Angelis: Hi, I’m Nick Angelis. I’m a Nurse Anesthetist and I’m the Owner of Ascend Health Center. And welcome to the Ascend Health Show. I’m here with Rodney Long, Jr who is an LISW and runs counseling for men. And obviously we have a few questions that we want to talk about, but I want to go back to the hilarious thing I just said a minute ago before we got on camera, which will sound terrible for audience. But I said the phrase, like, why do we have to meet again? If you’re trying to make sure I don’t stab you the second or third time we meet, like, why can’t we just meet once, figure out if we’re going to be good business partners and get along with it. We’re complaining about networking and things of that nature. But that is what we’re going to talk today about men’s mental health, the way we see the world, the way that we perceive it as men and how sometimes we just want to get things done. We don’t want to have meetings over coffee where we sit and sip, yeah, we should really work together then it doesn’t happen. We just want it to work.

Rodney Long: Yeah. Yeah, no, you’re absolutely right. Yeah.

Nick Angelis: So, how does it work for men like what is it about mental health and men that’s so different than, I don’t want to say mental health for women, but honestly, even at my clinic, it is a lot of women or men who’ve been dragged there by women?

Rodney Long: Sure. Yeah. No. When, when we first started, our pitch was actually counseling for men and the women who put up with them. And so.

Nick Angelis: That’s a good title.

Rodney Long: Thank you very much. Yeah. We know that most men come to counseling because their wives tell them to. And so, if we can just get men in the door, uh, then, then that’s where we want to be with them. So often men are looking at things and, and I’m generalizing here, but.

Nick Angelis: That’s fine.

Rodney Long: But so often, you know, it’s – we’re looking for solutions. You know, it’s, it’s what do I – just tell me what I gotta do. I just, most of the men I have that come to my clinic, say, just tell me what I gotta do, I’ll fix it and get on with my life. And I always say, okay, what if I told you all you had to do was 30 minutes of yoga every day. And they inevitably laugh and say, well, I’m never going to do that. And I say, well, that’s the problem, you know, is that until you start changing the way you look at this, you’re going to have a little bit of trouble making some progress. Because if, if we, as men are conditioned to constantly look at the fix, instead of the process, we’re going to have a little bit of trouble. So, part of this has changed in the way we look at this, I think.

Nick Angelis: No, that makes sense. And again, we’re over generalizing and we won’t bother with all that. Oh, what we really mean, like, just assume we’re terrible people and over generalizing it’ll make the show go quicker. So, if you give – if you told a woman like, okay, uh, this kale smoothie will help everything in your health then for at least a month or two, there’s going to be kale smoothies.

Rodney Long: Sure.

Nick Angelis: If it’s a guy it’s like.

Rodney Long: Yeah.

Nick Angelis: There’s no six pack.

Rodney Long: Yeah.

Nick Angelis: We’re not doing this for a second day. We’re not.

Rodney Long: Yeah. That’s, that’s it. Yeah. A lot of the instant gratification, you know, I want it now, you know, and a lot of times I tell my clients, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Just, just because you don’t feel like you’ve made or haven’t made progress in the first week, two weeks, three weeks, this takes time. We’re – a lot of times we’re working on changing behaviors that you’ve developed over a lifetime. So, thoughts, behaviors, actions, feelings those are things that you’ve developed over 30, 40 years, and now you want to change that it’s not going to happen overnight. And, and that’s what we’re looking for is men to say, hey, I don’t need an instruction manual. Let me watch a YouTube video for it. I’ll change it. And then I can fix what I need.

Nick Angelis: Does it work to actually like do you have a guy at point of like, oh, try saying this next time when your wife gets mad at you or when your mom wants you to stop playing video games and see how that works and we’ll go from there or is that like just disingenuous and doesn’t really work?

Rodney Long: No. Yeah. I think a lot of my clients are looking for that exactly. So, I never tell a client what to do. You know, that that doesn’t work. You know, we know that, uh, and so what I do oftentimes is somebody might come in and they say, hey, my wife, I’m, I’m always going off on my wife you know, when she wants something. And I’ll say, have you considered, that’s kind of how I like to approach this. Have you considered trying A, B, or C. And they like having that, those options, because I’ll say let’s get real about this. One of the things I don’t like sometimes about counseling is that we get a little too philosophical with it. You know, we say, well, it’s all, it’s all kind of psychological and Freudian and all that. And I say, let’s just get real, right. Your, your wife makes you mad and you make her mad sometimes. Let’s figure out how to avoid that. So maybe you could try this. Maybe you could try that. And we just get real about what that looks like.

Nick Angelis: So instead of being like, well, this is Freudian. And when you were five years old, you wanted your mother. No that makes sense.

Rodney Long: Yeah, sometimes that does happen. You know, believe me, sometimes we get some guys that we got to dig in with, but, but for the most part, we know men aren’t going to spend a lot of time in counseling.

Nick Angelis: Right.

Rodney Long: They’re going to spend that couple of months that they feel. And if they don’t see that progress right away. So, we want to always, always work on that low-hanging fruit of I always ask what is something you could change right now that would help you feel like you’re making progress. And if it’s, hey, I could blow up on my wife less, well then what does that look like.

Nick Angelis: Right. Because that puts the responsibility of surely can think of one thing you can do better.

Rodney Long: Sure.

Nick Angelis: So, for people who’ve watched this show before they realize that these – this is just my personal therapy. That’s all that happens here. I tend to be philosophical and abstract, and I really like being that, but there’s always that component of, am I doing this to shy away from honest truth, because I can say something that sounds really good, but doesn’t mean actually have to go and change my actions.

Rodney Long: Sure.

Nick Angelis: So, that is the challenge of, okay, how do I actually apply this in a practical way instead of just say really nice things, because it’s also true that when I’ve gone to therapy, because you know, owning a business and figuring all that out is quite a stressful thing. I’ve often been like, well, listen, I’m paying you money. Why don’t we just have you tell me what to do. I’m here because I think you have some wisdom so just tell me what to do and I’ll do it. And we can forget this whole, self-empowerment. Just tell me the thing and I’ll do it and it’s fine.

Rodney Long: Yeah, no, you’re absolutely right. A lot of us are looking for that, uh, you know, hey, just tell me what to do. And I think it goes back too, to, to ownership and personal responsibility about the way you want to live. One thing I tell all my clients is this is totally up to you. Uh, you know, at the end of the day, I, I can’t – I’m not going to live your life. So, whatever you want to do is on you. If you come in here and you say, I just want to complain for an hour, that’s, that’s totally up to you.

Nick Angelis: But that makes it easier for you too, you just, mhm, mhm, yeah. That must be tough.

Rodney Long: That’s it. Yep. How does that make you feel? You know, that’s I won’t say that.

Nick Angelis: Solid.

Rodney Long: Yeah. Yeah, but you know, part of that is the personal responsibility about what do you want to happen from here.

Nick Angelis: Okay.

Rodney Long: Because I, I really shy away from letting clients walk out the door without having the opportunity to make change on their behalf. So, so, when you walk out every session, I’m saying, what are you going to work on that at this point because the personal responsibility is yours to say, hey, here’s what I want to do by the next time I’m, I’m out of here. And I think too often in counseling we spend, and that’s the reason I don’t get super philosophical because we have a lot of good counselors who do that, you know, who are very, um, who are very good at looking at how the past connects it and believe me, we do all that. But, but, uh, realistically, what we’re trying to do is say, what do you want, you know, and, and how are we going to get there because oftentimes the, the best solution is the most simple, and that doesn’t mean easy, but it often is the most simple.

Nick Angelis: Does that mean that men don’t want to ruminate about the past as much that they’re almost looking for a life coach of, hey right now, life sucks, how can it be better as opposed to like, I’d really like to talk about my mom for a couple of months, if that’s okay with you and then maybe we’ll move on to me being a better person.

Rodney Long: Yeah, that’s what I find actually. Um, my, uh, counseling has ended up being a lot more motivational than I would’ve ever expected it to be in terms of, uh, one thing I’ve found is that a lot of men are, we’re, we’re tough on the outside, you know, but really soft on the inside. And, and we really do probably need to talk about your childhood and the stuff with mom. But they don’t want.

Nick Angelis: Good, let’s start right now.

Rodney Long: Yeah. And they don’t want to get into that right away though. Right. We got to build some rapport. We got to get to know each other. I got to let you know, I can hear you and that we’re – I’m a guy’s guy, I’m, I’m a man’s man truth be told. And I even me, I have trouble talking about my feelings sometimes, right. But so, what I’m trying to get guys to do is to say, what is it that you want to do right now first because we are inevitably going to have to talk about this stuff in the past, it, it all connects. There’s no way we can avoid it, but, but right now, what is it that’s going to help you make you feel like you can make some progress. What steps can you take that you feel like, okay, this is what I want to address right now, but I’m going to have to incorporate, incorporate the other stuff that’s just going to come at a later time when you feel better about it.

Nick Angelis: Sure. So, is it partly that with men, we have to earn their trust that it’s not like, hey, come in and you’ve paid your money, let’s talk about your deepest, darkest secrets, it’s more like once they realize, oh, this guy has some good ideas of how we can move forward, maybe now I can also trust them with my past and what led me to this current present?

Rodney Long: Yeah. I, I think that’s a big part of it. And I’d say counseling in general, is that building trust with people. I’ve always said there’s lot better counselors out there than me. I’m not the world’s best counselor, but I am really good at helping people because I can do things like connect with people and get to know them really well and, and figure out what they’re saying when they’re not really saying something.

Nick Angelis: Right.

Rodney Long: And, and that is so much a part of it just as it is, is knowing the psychological concepts. And so, when you and I can just sit down and I can say, hey man, I’m just one guy trying to help another guy. Here’s what I see helps people for the most part, you might want to try that and they can say, you know what, you’re right. That, that seems to work for people.

Nick Angelis: No, that makes sense. I find the same thing that, um, I’ll have a patient say, well, my pain management doctor told me this and you’re a nurse anesthetist and you’re telling me that. And I say, well, no, my goal is not to take the place of your pain management in fact for pain patients, we often tell them like, no, we’re not doing this alone. You bring pain management with you. Like this is a collaborative effort. This isn’t just our clinic doing its thing by itself. It’s because no, I don’t think I’m the best in all this. This it’s simply that we have to take a holistic approach that looks at every part of that. And a lot of times that really beats a narrow specialty with that can only look at one issue.

Rodney Long: Yeah, I think so much of, of what we try to do is incorporate all parts of life. One of the things I try to explain to, to guys a lot of times is it’s not just a mental process that that’s going on here, we need to really connect. Are you eating correctly? Do you work out at all? Do you have energy? Do you have good support system? Do you like work, not like work? Do you have debt you’re dealing with? There’s so many parts of life that, that affect your mental health outside of just feeling like I get anxious sometimes, or I get depressed sometimes and I need to fix that and then everything else will be good. It’s probably all the other things that are going on in your life too, that contribute to that and that holistic approach really matters I think. Because guys miss that, sometimes just want to focus on that.

Nick Angelis: Right, that one. Although I feel you can’t really start with that. So, when I first started my clinic, I would tell patients, oh, you should take this supplement and it will really help you. And they’re like, uh-huh, uh-huh, I was like, well, why can’t they get that supplement? Like I didn’t try to sell to them. I said, here’s the cheapest one on Amazon. Start out cheap. And if it works, then we can talk about higher quality options. Then I realized that no one’s going to do anything until they first start feeling better then they can trust, oh, you know, the ketamine infusion helped or the talk therapy or the TMS, and because I’m starting to feel better now, I’m willing to take the steps to make me feel even better. But if you start out with listen, I know you tried to kill yourself but avocados, they have some healthy fats. Have you considered? They are not going to eat any avocados?

Rodney Long: No, you’re, you’re absolutely right. Yeah, the, the, I like what you said there about kind of not, um, feeling better and then doing more. I always say it’s a catch 22.You’re not going to feel better until you start doing more to feel better, but you’re not going to do more, to feel better until you feel better. So, it really is a catch 22. Do you feel better first or do you do stuff first? And so, we always try to start small and say like, what is that one type that could literally be just getting out of bed in the morning sometimes for guys, you know, that that could be when your wife talks to you, trying to listen more. It could be a book recommendation. Did you read three pages from that book today? And, and so often we’re just trying to get guys to take that first step. I always say we’re not here to be the end point. For most guys, we’re not going to be with you your entire life. We’re just here to help you start your plan and get on the right track. So, we don’t want you to – we know we’re not going to get guys to change their diet and exercise and find a support system and all that kind of stuff right away. That – we want to build a plan for you that says, hey, I might only be with you for three months, six months, whatever. But when you go forward, you can do this. And that’s what we are looking for.

Nick Angelis: Right. That makes sense. In anesthesia, I often ask patients, can you walk up a flight of steps without getting short of breath or chest pain and it is sort of like a baseline, like, do I need to really radically change the drugs I’ll give you while you’re asleep or do we at least have this baseline that I can work on and figure it out from there.

Rodney Long: Yeah, that’s a word we use a lot of times is baseline. And so, because I think what a lot of guys miss about mental health, uh, is that it can be preventative, you know, in the same way that you guys in, in, uh, the medical side of things say, uh, we’d like you to be preventative that we don’t have to do some things on the back end. I look at mental health the same way and say that if you put these things in place having good buddies to talk to, you know, when do you like working out at work, you spend 40-50 hours a week sometimes there, and you don’t like it. You’re probably going to have a hard time outside of work. So, there’s all these little things that we say be preventative about, you know, if you eat terrible, you’re going to feel more lethargic. If you get bad sleep, you’re not going to have energy during the day. So, there’s all these little nuances that if we’re preventative about it, guys can, can make more progress because then their baseline raises. Sometimes it’s not about getting them to a higher level, it’s just about increasing the baseline. And so, I, I think that if guys can do that and focus on, hey, my baseline is here, but let me get to here I think that some guys will benefit from that.

Nick Angelis: Yeah. Yeah. And it makes sense too first start with raising that baseline because otherwise things that are helpful may not be helpful like people who do cross fit every day and you can’t look at their face without, okay, fine, show me a workout of the day I’ve been waiting for it’s like 5:00 am, I’m sure you’ve done two of them. So, because sometimes, something helps and people are like, oh, this helps. This helps a lot. And then with my previous analogy, it’s like, you can’t have avocados for every meal.

Rodney Long: No, that, that’s realistic.

Nick Angelis: Because half of them are bad anyway. I mean, that’s a lot of money if you are only eating avocadoes.

Rodney Long: That’s true. That’s true. Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s a part of it. It’s just being realistic about what your options are, what you want to do. You know, I think part of where we fail sometimes in, in mental health is that we tend to pathologize normal emotions, you know. And I always say there’s a spectrum, you know, just because you have anxious moments doesn’t mean you have general anxiety disorder.

Nick Angelis: Right.

Rodney Long: Just because you feel depressed and something terrible may have happened, it doesn’t mean you have major depressive disorder. And I think that if we can get people to understand that there’s a spectrum and it’s okay to wax and wane through that spectrum at times, it doesn’t mean it’s a disorder that you necessarily need medicated for, and maybe you do, but maybe you don’t. And I think that if we can help guys understand that spectrum, that, that sometimes life stinks and we just are working on how to maintain. I think if we can understand that spectrum a little better, we can make a little more progress too.

Nick Angelis: Right. No, that’s true. I, I often talk about with a lot of our treatments and say, tend to almost immediately improve mental health, but it’s like, well, this isn’t the goal to make you happy all the time. It’s to make you resilient, because if we changed your brain chemicals, you’re going to do great until something bad happens again so.

Rodney Long: Yeah, yeah. No, I, I love that word resilience, you know, and that’s what I’m always talking to guys about because at the end of the day, so much of, of men’s work is we’re tough guys. We, you know, we can get through anything we need to get through, you know, and, and I say, hey, you’re resilient, you’re strong. And that’s great. That’s what we want. But how do we do that in a way that helps you work through things rather than just get past things.

Nick Angelis: Right.

Rodney Long: And so, use that strength as a tool to say hey, I’m struggling here and use that strength to talk to people that way it doesn’t get worse before, before we have to address it.

Nick Angelis: Otherwise, you can’t live a full life. So, I’m a pastor’s kid. And one example would be if someone gets homeschooled all their life and then goes to Christian college and goes works for a church, it’s like at some point, like life outside of your Christian bubble will occur and you can extend that 20-30 years into the future. But all of us at some point deal with loss and heartache and grief in real life. And, um, I’m not saying like, hey, why don’t you just take your kids and put them in the worst school district that you can. They’re going to be so hardy and resilient.

Rodney Long: Yeah, no, I’m, I’m with you on that one. Yeah. I, I went to a Christian college Millennia University go pioneers. So, so I, I know exactly what you mean. We had a lot of PKS. But, uh, but you’re, you’re absolutely right. So, some of this is about building resilience and it’s finding that balance, you know. And, and that’s what I really like about what we’re trying to do here we’re trying to find that balance. There’s so, so often men are defined by what we do instead of who we are, you know, it’s, uh, David Brooks, he’s a New York Times columnist. He wrote a book called the Road to Character and in it, he describes Adam one and Adam two. Adam one is your resume self and he says, that’s how you present yourself to the world for the most part. And then he has your Adam two self, which is your eulogy self. And that’s how would you be described at your funeral if people were to be honest about it and that one always stuck with me. And I talked to every guy I know about that because I says if we spent half as much time working on our character, as we did our business or our resume self, we’d be making a lot or progress would look a lot different. And I think men would really benefit from seeing that.

Nick Angelis: We’re going to need an altar call after this. I’m feeling very convicted right now. Thanks Rodney.

Rodney Long: You and me, both man, believe me, that’s it. But you know that, that’s what I tell guys too, you know, it’s about the process, not the end point, you know, I, I believe a hallmark of guys who are making progress and, um, marriages too. I told my guys who are struggling in the marriage, the, the hallmarks of, of a good one is, are you working on it and are you committed to working on it? Not the end point, because it’s never going to be perfect. That’s life. Life just stinks sometimes, you know, I mean. I’m a counselor, I see a counselor, right. You know and so and, you, you just said you do too. So, it’s something we all go through. And I think if we can just learn that life is what we make it and, and we can decide what we want to be happy with, uh, I think that that will make a lot more progress that way.

Nick Angelis: Right. No, that makes sense. But I was thinking of this when I mentioned the, just put your kid in Akron city schools and they’ll be fine. Like where’s that line because, because I mean, I would want tough kids.

Rodney Long: Sure.

Nick Angelis: Like how can as a man, we want our boys to be tough and not cry at things, but at the same time we don’t want like some broken down 40-year-old, like I was never allowed to cry. So, how can you build resilience not toughness, but at the same time, not overdo it where it’s like, dad, that I already did all these pushups at basketball practice or whatever.

Rodney Long: Yeah, no, that’s such a great question.

Nick Angelis: Because we need tough men. Like, let’s be honest. Society needs like masculinity like a true type of masculinity.

Rodney Long: I agree with you. And I, I wholeheartedly support men being men, right. That’s, that’s part of why, what we do is we say making good men better, you know, we, we believe in that. Um, and it’s funny, you mentioned that because we actually did move my daughter to Akron public schools for that reason.

Nick Angelis: Is she resilient?

Rodney Long: Yeah, super resilient.

Nick Angelis: Great. Good to hear. Good to hear.

Rodney Long: Yeah. It worked out for her, but, um, and that was a part of it truth be told and, and, and I just had a boy, you know, and, and we’ll probably raise him the same way in that, uh, we want them to be exposed to things. And, but the, the important part about that is be exposed, but have support.

Nick Angelis: Right.

Rodney Long: There’s nothing wrong with being exposed to, to certain aspects of life. Now, bullying.

Nick Angelis: So, you are saying this isn’t Sparta like. You didn’t expose them to the hillside for the first month is like just the tough one.

Rodney Long: No, I promise. It’s not like that.

Nick Angelis: Okay.

Rodney Long: I know that some people have the wrong idea, but it’s not like that I promise. You know, and, and she shine, you know, she’s at the Honors College in Akron, you know. So, I don’t know if you know this, my oldest daughter is 18. My youngest baby I just had a three week, I have a three week old too. So, we, we split the difference.

Nick Angelis: Yeah, and that’s why you need therapy.

Rodney Long: That’s exactly right. Yeah.

Nick Angelis: That’s why you need therapy.

Rodney Long: You’re right. So, so yeah, so that resilient part was, hey, we want her to be – she grew up in a, in a tiny town Rootstown actually first. And we said, hey, we need to move her out. We, quite frankly, it was, if you’re going to have a black step dad, you need to be know some black people, right. You can’t, you can’t grow up in a town with no black people when I have a black stepdad. So, we said, hey, let’s move out to Akron where I’m from, I’m from Akron.

Nick Angelis: This conversation is amazing by the way.

Rodney Long: I’m glad, I’m glad. We said, hey, you know, we want you to be introduced to a more diverse group of people.

Nick Angelis: Right.

Rodney Long: And that, that will be hard for her, right, because you’re not used to that. You’re not used to a lot that would go on there. But we also want you to have the support that you need to thrive because resilience without support does just create that, that toughness. You know, my, my daughter teases me sometimes. She’ll say, you’re, you’re Mr. Hostile. You know, she says, I say everything like, er, you know, and sometimes I do, but you know, I was raised on that toughness, you know, just that, that brash toughness of like, dad saying, like, go do what you got to do, no crying, just go do what you got to do, right.

Nick Angelis: Right.

Rodney Long: And if you’re a man of a certain age, that’s what you’re used to. So, if your dad raised you that way, you’re probably going to raise your kids that way most likely because that’s, that’s what we do. We repeat our cycles. So, what we’re looking for is how do I – how do I get my kid or how do I get even myself to embrace the resilience and say that things can be tough, but I also need the proper support.

Nick Angelis: Right.

Rodney Long: So, like when I’m going through that difficult thing, I need to call Nick and say, hey, Nick, I’m struggling, man. How do, you know, how can I get through this? You know, or dad or mom or whoever. It might be a church group for some people.

Nick Angelis: Right.

Rodney Long: Whatever it is. There’s nothing wrong with resilience in and of itself. It’s resilience without the support that breaks people and that’s not what we want to do.

Nick Angelis: So, what you’re saying is for men, we have to think of it as we need tools. Just like you’re not going to sit there with a screwdriver when you have a drill.

Rodney Long: Oh yeah.

Nick Angelis: Just think of it as like, look, I’ve got a toolbox for the right situation. I use the right tool. It’s actually manly to know what tool to use for what situation, because that’s, that would be a stereotype like, oh, here I am like, I use a flathead instead of a Philips.

Rodney Long: Yeah.

Nick Angelis: That way it is part of being a man that if you’re going to be logical, if you’re going to get things done, then you need the correct tools for the job. And that’s the way to do it.

Rodney Long: Absolutely. We use that word. Actually, we call it your mental health toolbox and, and we have a workshop coming up for that actually called the mental health workshop for men. And it’s that exactly, uh, believe me, there were times where I was trying to pull an alternator out with the wrong tools and it lasts all day, you know. And, and you don’t want to do that. And so, the same thing with your mental health, we say, you know, we might teach you something like, let’s say walking away, simply just walking away as a tool.

Nick Angelis: Right.

Rodney Long: If that tool doesn’t work, what’s the second tool you could use. Would it be controlled breathing? Would it be grounding exercises? Would it be preventative coping skills like I, I exercise or eat right in the morning and that, your journal even that way, I’m getting my thoughts out sometimes.

Nick Angelis: Right.

Rodney Long: And so, we’re saying we want you to have 10 tools available for the job because you don’t know which one you’re going to need at that time. So, the mental toolbox is what we call it, because we want you to have as many at your disposal as you can. And

Nick Angelis: Yeah, and that makes a lot more sense than, than when I started with. Do you just give them homework like, okay, she says this, you say that, and you don’t have to sleep on the couch, right. It makes more sense of let’s just get 10 or 12 tools and we don’t know exactly when they’ll be used and it’s okay if you don’t know use the optimal tool. Like you can still use a screwdriver instead of a drill.

Rodney Long: Yeah.

Nick Angelis: You just don’t want to use a hammer instead of a jigsaw or something.

Rodney Long: Oh yeah. No, that’s exactly.

Nick Angelis: I am feeling very manly by the way balancing all these tools.

Rodney Long: Oh yeah, man. Believe me. That’s the only thing I ask for any more and more tools, you know, Christmas, birthday, whatever more tools, just bring them my way, you know, but I think you’re right. It’s about finding that right tool. It’s not always going to be optimal, you know, it’s – we’re looking for the best solution at the time. If you’ve – speaking of being mainly if you’ve ever repaired anything, sometimes, you know, that thing just won’t fit. So, you just got to use brute force and fit it in there and say, well, that’s the best it’s going to get sometimes.

Nick Angelis: That’s every time for me.

Rodney Long: Yeah. Well, that’s the best it’s going to get sometimes, you know.

Nick Angelis: Right.

Rodney Long: And so, we say that, and that’s what we say to clients. We say, hey, sometimes that’s the best it’s going to get. And we’re not looking for you to handle every situation with your wife perfect because there’s going to be friction sometimes.

Nick Angelis: Right.

Rodney Long: What we are looking to do is for you to be able to say, I’m happy with the resolution here. So, if you can walk away and say, look, I said less mean things than I did last time that’s progress.

Nick Angelis: Right.

Rodney Long: You know, and it might not be, you can do A and B just because I tell you to, it might be that we really got to change the way you look at how you relate to your wife. What are your roles? What are her roles?

Nick Angelis: Right.

Rodney Long: And having those discussions.

Nick Angelis: That makes sense. So, so we’re not looking for perfection and we can tune in our maleness for that. Like these, uh, leaves here. I’m like they are leaves. They’re pretty. They’re decoration for the studio. I’m cool with that, but like you, know, I think we need to try leaf pattern here, hey, could, could some get some different leaves here. And it’s the same thing like.

Rodney Long: Same thing.

Nick Angelis: We’re not looking for this is a precise tool that I need. This is, hey, my life is going better. I can actually, uh, engage in some of these conversations where before I knew I would end up walking away. So, it’s almost like a snowball effect for debt. Like, uh, again being guy, I always thought, well, that’s dumb why won’t we just pay off the 18% one instead of this little tiny 5%.

Rodney Long: Sure. Sure.

Nick Angelis: But until you actually see, oh, I can actually do the thing. And instead of buying more foliage, I pay down a credit card. So, it can be, uh, an avalanche of actually doing the right thing.

Rodney Long: Yeah, no, you’re, you’re absolutely right. It’s all about momentum is what we’re looking for. And, and, NA, Narcotics Anonymous, they have a saying, uh, progress over perfection.

Nick Angelis: Right.

Rodney Long: And I think that’s exactly what we’re doing here. We’re saying, what does progress look like to you? And when we can get people to recognize that it is about personal responsibility, I can’t fix your problems for you. At the end of the day like I, I just can’t. Um, but what we’re looking for you to do is say, how can I help you resolve what you’re looking to do because that’s my job. I’m here to help you resolve that stuff. And I can give you suggestions and advice and a plan and the best way. But ultimately you have to take that up and say, hey, I want to change this. And an example of that would be on the physical health side, uh, losing weight, right.

Nick Angelis: Right.

Rodney Long: We, we know that the concept of losing weight is simple. Obviously, it’s hard to implement because most of America is overweight, but eat right, workout that is the plan for most people barring a health condition. We said the same thing in mental health, very easy and simple to understand do A, B, C and D and you’ll feel better, but ultimately, it’s – it can be difficult to implement.

Nick Angelis: Okay, great. Well, we only have a few seconds left. So, uh, my practice is in Fairlawn. We do a lot of tele-health psychiatry. I’m a nurse anesthetist, so there’s some pain management, especially for fibromyalgia, migraines. Some of those nerve conditions, um, and where’s your practice at?

Rodney Long: Uh, we’re in Kenmore, uh, over in Akron. And, uh, we offer also tele-health. you can find us online at, at counseling, uh, or visit us in Kenmore, anytime you are in the neighborhood.

Nick Angelis: Sounds great. And we’re at Ascend Health Center. So, thank you all for watching this episode. Now, go get more tools for your toolbox.

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