Dr. Sarah Rattray - Episode 33

Regain Your Energy with Healthy Relationship Communication

In this episode, Dr. Sarah Rattray talks about how to Regain Your Energy with Healthy Relationship Communication.



Dr. Sarah Rattray, leading Couples Psychologist, is founder and CEO of the Couples Communication Institute, which is dedicated to helping couples achieve lasting closeness and intimacy through effective communication. For over 30 years she’s helped couples get closer and more connected by strengthening their communication. She’s known for her wise, grounded, caring energy, and for providing clear, practical steps couples can take right away to improve the way they talk with each other. She now makes her proven methods easily accessible online to assist couples get on the same page with parenting, health goals, asking for what they need, and discussing areas of disagreement.


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Evan H. Hirsch, MD  0:00  
Hello and welcome to the fix your fatigue podcast. Whether you can't get out of bed in the morning, your energy crashes throughout the day, or you're a bio hacker looking to optimize your energy, productivity and focus. This podcast is for you. I am Dr. Evan Hirsch. And I will be your host on your journey to resolving fatigue and optimizing your energy. And we'll be interviewing some of the top leaders in the world on the team resolution. Welcome.


Evan H. Hirsch, MD  0:33  
Hey, everybody, welcome back to another episode of the fixture fatigue podcast. I'm so glad that you're joining me here today, because today we're going to be talking about relationships and stress with my friend, Dr. Sarah. So Dr. Sara Rattray leading couples psychologist is founder and CEO of the couples communication Institute, which is dedicated to helping couples achieve lasting closeness and intimacy through effective communication. For over 30 years, she's helped couples get closer and more connected by strengthening their communication. She is known for her wise grounded caring energy. And for providing clear practical steps couples can take right away to improve the way they talk with her talk with each other. She now makes her proven methods easily accessible online. And I'm excited to talk about that as well, to assist couples getting on to get on the same page with parenting health goals, asking for what they need, and discussing areas of disagreement. Dr. Sarah, thanks so much for joining me today.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  1:39  
Thanks for having me, Evan, I'm looking forward to this.


Evan H. Hirsch, MD  1:42  
Me too. So such an important part of healing for all the people who are listening who have chronic fatigue and other issues is to get into a parasympathetic state to get into a state that is more healing, more relaxing, that affects every single aspect of the body. And so one of the things that's incredibly stressful for people I know, myself included, can be relationships. So I'm really excited that we're gonna be talking about this today. So let's kind of start off with stress and relationships. What What is the relationship between stress and relationships? Or how does stress play a role?


Dr. Sarah Rattray  2:20  
Yeah, well, I am thrilled that what you teach all the time is getting into the parasympathetic state. Because in a relationship, when we're in the sympathetic state, when we're in fight or flight, we perceive our partner as a danger to us, we perceive our partner as threatening. And as you and your audience, I'm sure I'm sure you teach about this all the time. You know, in fight or flight in the sympathetic state, you have to protect yourself, your body is telling you, the world is dangerous right now. So it's, it's, you know, an ongoing interaction between stress and your relationship. So if you're stressed and your partner comes and talks to you, you're likely to feel threatened or startled or surprised on edge, you're more likely to, you know, want to defend yourself out of the blue, or perhaps kind of attack in one way or another. So that leads to relationship stress when your body is stressed. But also, when you're unable to communicate in your relationship, when your relationship just trying to talk with each other. When that's a struggle, and when that's draining your energy that can push you back into the sympathetic state. If you were, you know, perhaps Luckily, you know, with a lot of hard work in, in that resting parasympathetic state.


Evan H. Hirsch, MD  4:00  
Mm hmm. So then how do we get into that correct state? Like let's say we have a contentious relationship, or we're not, we're not communicating? Well, what, what do we need to do in order to move back into a healthy? And I know, that's probably a big question. So you can tackle just a little bit of that if you want, but how do we get back into that, that that appropriate state?


Dr. Sarah Rattray  4:26  
So there's at least a couple of really important parts. One is, if you're actively in an escalating conflict, you know, if right now, in a moment, you and your partner are going at it, the very best thing to do, if you at all can find the words is to say, I need to take a break and leave the conversation leave the escalating conflict, go in the other room and do a relaxation activity for 15 or 20 minutes. So I'm not going to go into that any further. Because I'm assuming, you know, since this is your specialty that people know, the relaxing activities that work best for them, what I want to highlight is that research shows it takes about 20 minutes for all the metabolites of those sympathetic hormones to get cleared out enough, all the way from your system, so that you aren't going to bounce right back into fight or flight into that escalating conflict. So it doesn't mean go away and have a five minute, you know, calm down period. take more time than that to relax. So that's if you're in a conflict at the moment. But I want to put that aside and spend a little more time talking about how you can take the lead in creating a safer environment with you and your partner. So I want to go into that. Unless you have any other questions so far.


Evan H. Hirsch, MD  6:06  
No, that's perfect.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  6:09  
So, you know, as we've already said, If you or your partner are in that sympathetic state, you will be perceiving the other person as a threat. And that's what you want to take the lead in avoiding from the very outset. So when I say the very outset, um, you know, I'm sure that you've experienced this, if I'm sitting here, and I'm working away on my computer, maybe I'm working on my courses. And, you know, someone says, you know, maybe my daughter says, Mom, or, you know, someone comes in the room, and they just start talking to me, likely. I'm going to be startled, right? So I'm working, I'm focusing someone interrupts me. I'm startled. What does that mean? I'm probably a little bit irritated.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  7:03  
Do I feel calm? Do I feel open? Probably not. So from the very first moment, if you want to talk to your partner, anything, if you want to say, Hey, did you see what's on the news? Or if you want to say, you know, can we talk? I recommend you take a moment and think to yourself, okay, what is it that I want to say, and you think through beforehand, what you want to say what you want to ask for when you get it ready in your head. And I go into that a lot more with couples. But now, here's what I really want to share with your audience. When you want to talk to your partner, your family member, your colleague, your loved one, if you're in the same physical space, go to where they are, in your house, go to the room that they're in, don't call to them from the other room, because you don't know what they're doing. So you go in the room and look at them, and see, what are they doing?


Dr. Sarah Rattray  8:12  
Does it look like it's possible that you might be able to say something and interrupt them, you know, so if I'm sitting there like this, and you can see that my forehead is doing this, and my fingers are doing this? You know, I'm busy. You know, I'm focused, you can see that. So this is not a good moment. You know, but if I'm, if I'm sitting there or, you know, maybe I'm, you can see, I'm reading the New York Times, or I don't know what you might think I think there's a good chance that you could say something. So that's the first thing go in the room, where they are, look at them. And assess, do I think this is a good moment to say something? If not come back later. If it is a good moment, I recommend very, very simply saying their name. So if I go in the room and I look at you, I might say, hey, Evan, and I'm gonna wait. Do you look up at me and smile? Do you say, yeah, Sarah, you know, what happens if I say, hey, Evan, and there's no change? Maybe you're doing what you're doing? Or you're looking away? I don't know. Do you have you know, your bugs in that? I can't see. I don't know. Maybe you're, you know, planning your next way to help more people fix their fatigue? I don't know.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  9:34  
But if I say hey, Evan, maybe you'll say yes, Sarah. Yay. Now I'm gonna say, do you have a moment? So what I'm outlining so far, these things are safe. These things help us both feel calm. We're both in control. Neither of us is feeling startled or threatened. So but and you know, as I think I said, hopefully I said, I'm going to say your name gently. I'm not going to say, hey, Evan. So if you say, yes, Sarah, or you look up and smile, I'm going to say, do you have a moment? Now, if you don't have a moment, here's something to do for you to help things stay in that calm, parasympathetic, open place. say to me something like, I would love to talk with you, Sarah. But at the moment, I'm in the middle of something. How about, can we talk in 10 minutes? Or how about after dinner, or something like that. But if you do have time, then say, yes. So that, even that very simple. That very simple tip is a way to start out and take the lead to create a feeling of safety and calm between us. There's no startling, there's nothing threatening. We're not irritated or annoyed from the outset. Excuse me a sec.


Evan H. Hirsch, MD  11:20  
I love that. That's, that's so good. And it's and it's, it's something that that I work on in my relationships. With my wife, I actually come to her office. And if she has the door closed, she's got a sliding door, it's right off of our bedroom, we just got to if the door is open, then I just stand there. And so if she responds, you know, I can see if she's, she's on the phone or something like that. If she responds, then I can engage her. And then likewise, they'll open the door. And because and they won't know whether or not I mean, I've got something hanging on the door now that says, you know, do not interrupt or be mindful where they can open the door a little bit and see if I'm engaged. And if I am, then they know that they can, they can just close the door. But it seems like you have to have an agreement around this where it has to be okay. For the person who is being asked to say that they're not available. Because I know for me just thinking about that. I'm like, I know that I feel guilty. If I've got a loved one who's coming to me who wants my attention? And I'm not available. So I have there's some psychology there that I'm working on. But so so it seems like you got to set the ground rules, and it doesn't mean that you're bad. It doesn't mean that like, like, take us through that. Is there something there around that?


Dr. Sarah Rattray  12:39  
Yes, well, you just brought up so many little subjects in there. So I do want to say, you know that tip where I said if you can't talk, if you start out by saying, you know, if you're talking to me, Sarah, I would love to talk to you. But I can't right now that makes me feel cared for by you. That makes me feel like you welcome me. So I totally get the guilt part. But that's a really nice way to start out by saying, You are a priority. I like you, I welcome you. I'm not running away from this. I just can't at this moment. So when you're asking, you know, this take some kind of agreement or buy and yes, and we have to get to a conversation about that buy in. So even in order, that's why I'm really yeah, that's why I'm really emphasizing taking the lead in the beginning, that if I want to come to you, if we haven't done this yet, you know, before you and your wife established the open door or the sign, someone had to bring it up.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  13:53  
So to start out any conversation, this is how I'm recommending we start, you know, just getting someone's attention in a safe way. And then what you do is you've already thought about it. Okay, so let me say, ever knew you said to me, don't you need buy in? So every time we have a conversation or think about having a conversation, we're going to have a thought like that. Yeah, but we don't have buy in. Okay, so why don't we move by in to an earlier conversation, whatever I wanted to talk about, I guess we're not ready yet. Let's talk about buy in first. And then if I said, Okay, let's have a conversation about buying and if you said yeah, but what about this other piece? Okay, well then let's do that first.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  14:46  
So you really want to think about it. And let's say you want to have a conversation about getting buy in about you know how to let each other know when you're available to talk, you know, Remember I said a few minutes ago? before you ever say anything, think to yourself, what do I want to talk about? So let's say that's it, I want to talk about how to get each other's attention how to get by in about, we're both doing it this way. It's fine to say we're busy, because we're going to follow up that type of thing. So that's the topic. And I recommend you make it very narrow. Just pick one thing. So we don't want to say, let's have a conversation about how we talk in our relationship. That's huge. Let's talk about how to ask to have a conversation and what to do if we're busy.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  15:44  
Okay, that's one thing. You think about how you feel about it. You think about this is really important. What you appreciate about your partner that's related to it. You think about times and places that are good to have this conversation. So I've thought about all of this, I'm taking the lead, I go find you I look at you, you seem like I could probably get your attention. I say, hey, Evan, you say yes, Sarah, yay. And then I said, you have a minute. Sure. And then I'm going to tell you, I'm going to start listen to this, I'm going to start with my appreciation for you. Because that's going to keep us in that parasympathetic state. That's going to help you feel open and connected with me. It's going to make you feel more relaxed, and I'll feel more relaxed. So I'm going to start with, you know, something I appreciate, hey, Evan, remember, last month when we were talking about our business plans, you were such a great listener, I really appreciate that. I really loved talking to you, because you really listened to me. So openly. So you know, even right now inside yourself, Evan, how did that feel? To hear me say that?


Evan H. Hirsch, MD  17:09  
Whatever you want to talk about? I'm open.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  17:12  
There you go. Right. Right. Yeah. Like that's just like, oh, oh, okay. Then I'm gonna say, and I'd like to have more great conversations with you. So I was thinking, I'd like to talk about how to set up conversations together. And I'm feeling what am I feeling about it? I'm feeling hopeful. I'm feeling nervous. Like, whatever I'm feeling. And I'm kind of thinking that after dinner tonight might be a good time to talk maybe in the living room. How about you, Evan? What's a good time for you? When is your energy going to be the best for a conversation like this?


Dr. Sarah Rattray  17:59  
So I might, my energy might peak after dinner. But you might be like, well, could we do it? Tomorrow after breakfast, that's when my energy is good. And we'll you know, we'll find a good time where our energy is best, and where we won't be interrupted. We were not rushing around, because all those things are stressful. So that's how we're continuing to set things up in a safer way as possible. So you know, if you came back and said, Well, how about tonight, before we go to bed, I'm going to say, that doesn't work for me. Before I go to bed, I need a long line down and I'm too tired. And I'm not open anymore. You know, so we really want to find, when is our both of our energies most likely to be at a good place for having a conversation?


Evan H. Hirsch, MD  18:53  
I would imagine that it probably Oh, go ahead. No, please. It probably depends on the type of conference, the how heavy the conversation is, determines kind of like, how much time is needed and how much space is needed? Is it a quick little, Hey, can you do this on this day, is going to be different than want to talk about the relationship?


Dr. Sarah Rattray  19:14  
Absolutely true. So that's why I recommend, you know, the first thing that you talk about is your appreciation. But then the second thing is what do we want to talk about? So I want to have, I want to really have a conversation, but how we set up talking with each other. So it safe and coming to an understanding about what we mean. That could take maybe half an hour, maybe 40 minutes, maybe I don't know.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  19:36  
But if I say like, like, just like you said, or even simpler. Hey, Evan, I want to show you something I saw on the news today. You know, I just don't want to interrupt your flow. Maybe that's two minutes, you know. So you might say, Tell me, you know, tell me in five minutes, but if we're setting up an hour long thing, then we know but even so, if you want to share with me something that's in the news, I still want to have The right energy for that, you know, I don't want to be too distracted if it's the middle of my workday, for example.


Evan H. Hirsch, MD  20:06  
Right? I love this. And I loved how you said, take the lead. Because I think that one of the major issues and you can correct me, of course, you're the expert in relationships is blame. And I know that I've kind of fallen into that as well. But if you, if you start acting the way, oh, this will be a good question too. But if you start acting the way that you want to be treated, or you start, you start putting your best foot forward and you know, then it's, it's on you, you're taking complete responsibility for how this relationship is going to be. And then I would imagine the, the partner is more likely to mirror that.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  20:47  
Ideally, your partner is going to mirror it. And, you know, just as you brilliantly said, Can we set it up together? Can we get on the same page with our expectations? But I don't want that to be the first conversation we have. Hey, Evan, I want to have a conversation about you not coming to me. And, you know, interrupting me all the time, like, now you're feeling attacked. But yes, yes, if I set the stage for, for a calm way to approach you, hopefully, you'll feel better around me. And but at some point, we do want to address it explicitly. And see, you know, how we can both agree to do it this way.


Evan H. Hirsch, MD  21:32  
That's excellent. And so then, in terms of, I've heard that treating somebody else may treating somebody else, the way that you want to be treated may not be necessarily the best way to, to go about it in your relationship, because they may have a different way that they want to be loved. Like in things like the five love languages, which I'd be interested in your opinion. But like, is that is how do you? You know, I'm still learning about my partner. We've been married for 15 years. And there's still things where I'm like, you know, I really want to support her in this moment. But I don't know how to do it. I know what what I would want, but I'm not sure how to best serve her. So is there any guidance around that is love languages have? Is that a real thing? Is that something to study? What do you think? Okay, what a rich question. So


Dr. Sarah Rattray  22:31  
I think love languages, is really pretty narrowly about expressing love, and it's not so much about communicating. So how do I feel love from you, if I am a gift, I don't remember that gift type what the name is for in the love languages framework. But if receiving a gift makes me feel loved by you, that's how I feel loved by you. But that doesn't have anything to do with communication. And that's a really important thing. Even for people who don't like to talk all that much, in my opinion, after more than 30 years working with couples, you have to talk at least some. So if I want to receive a gift from you, to feel loved by you, I have to use words to tell that to you. There's no getting around it, you can't read my mind.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  23:33  
And if I give you a gift, that doesn't mean that you know that I want a gift to feel loved by you. So I need to say, you know, I'll cut out the all of the pre steps, but I thought if I would say I need to say to you, Evan, I want to have a conversation about the way I feel loved. And then we set it up. And then we sit down and I need to tell you, I feel loved when you give me gifts. That's how I feel loved. There's not a way without words. So that's how I see the love languages. You know, or the acts of service. Like if you take my car in to be washed and detailed. I'm going to just think you're the greatest person and that you must really cherish me. But you're not going to know that until I tell you.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  24:27  
But now here's an example that came up with me just just very recently. So my middle son, he's 26. And he moved in with me for a few months to launch his own entrepreneurial endeavor. I'm so proud of him. And I wanted to talk with him about something. So I followed my steps and I and I, you know, found a time he looked like I could talk to him and I started launching into me into it. To me, I started launching into saying, you know, I want to talk about whatever. And he interrupted me. And he said, I want you to text me. If you want to talk, send me a text and tell me what you want to talk about. So I needed to know that, you know, I think that my method of going in the room and looking at you, or looking at my son, does he seem approachable? To me, that's ideal.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  25:25  
But when he said to me, I need a text, I can do that. So now I think carefully about the text, you know, and when is a good time to send the text, I'm not going to send him the text, when he's probably still asleep in the morning, you know, he probably doesn't want to see that first thing when he wakes up. So even so, when am I going to send the text? And how do I frame it? And then I say, I'd like to talk about, you know, do we want to have dinner together this weekend? Or something like that? Whatever it is. So he shared with me how he wanted it. But there's still words, it's still communication. So I teach this this out loud method. But yes, you and your partner can sit down and tailor it to the two of you, maybe it's texts, maybe it's post it notes, maybe it's emails, but it's still, you're thinking it through, you're taking the lead and creating safety. Mm hmm.


Evan H. Hirsch, MD  26:26  
I love how respectful that is, you know, where your mode of communication is not necessarily the right mode. Right? And especially, it's hard with our children. You know, where our children are, you know, putting up boundaries or saying, Hey, this is what I want, this is what I don't want. And there's a lot of parents and grandparents who say all but you know, like they're dismissing, unfortunately, these, these boundaries that these little people are not so little anymore, are putting up. And so it seems like that's that sort of back and forth respect whether it's with a partner, or whether it's with a child or a parent, or whatever it is, that seems to be an important part of this.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  27:15  
Completely, Evan, and I'm glad you brought that up. You know, what I teach is geared toward couples, but it's, it's any person that you are in relationship enough to speak to, you know, do you want the other person to be receptive to you, then you have to keep it safe. You both have to be in a parasympathetic state. You can't start out by attacking them or blaming them or startling them or interrupting them, it's not going to go well, whoever they are.


Evan H. Hirsch, MD  27:46  
Hmm. And then holding space. So when you're in that conversation, so you get into that conversation, you both have agreed upon the time and the place and all that other certain things that can allow for you to stay in that parasympathetic, especially if it's some sort of contentious subject.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  28:05  
Okay, so if you're talking about something that is contentious, I recommend so. So yeah, we've set it up. Let's say it's you and I, and we agree, we're going to talk tonight, after dinner, let's say that seven o'clock, at 27, or quarter seven, I'm going to go either meditate, or take a hot shower, or, you know, whatever, I'm going to do pet the cat, pet the dog to get myself as relaxed as possible. So if we know, the plan is to talk about something that's challenging, let's get as calm as possible going into it. And, you know, talking about agreements, let's have an agreement that if it starts to escalate, we'll take a break. And we'll come down. And we'll reschedule, we don't take a break in order to avoid it and cut off conversation and never deal with it. We're taking a break in order to calm down.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  29:07  
So while we're talking, I teach and I really do recommend the kind of speaker listener pattern and the speaker listener pattern isn't how we normally talk. When we're just chatting, we tend to kind of interrupt each other, we talk over each other or, you know, you'll start to tell me something that happened and I'm like, Yeah, the same thing happened to me. But when we are setting up a conversation, that's, you know, it's important, we really want to have it go well, and I'm an introvert myself, let's come right back to this, Evan. When you're talking with somebody, I recommend that the first goal is that you to develop an understanding of where each other is coming from, and that the first goal is not problem solving.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  30:08  
So this is really important, most of the conversations we have, I think, are just either conveying information or solving a problem. You know, if it's as simple as, where should we go for dinner tonight, you know, it's solving a problem, I recommend that the goal is to understand each other. So, back to what I was saying, the speaker and listener rules, I want to understand you, and how you see this and what your values are, what your thoughts and beliefs are, what your feelings are, I want to be able to have a picture in my mind as clear as can be, this is how Evan sees that. And, you know, in my experience, the best way to do that is if I settle in to a listener role, and you're the speaker, and my role is to maybe ask some gentle clarifying questions, but I'm not going to debate or be a devil's advocate, or, you know, ask that kind of question. Like, I don't remember what this is called. But don't you think that this other thing is better? You know, shouldn't you do it this way? instead?


Dr. Sarah Rattray  31:23  
No, I want to, you know, let's say we're talking about dinner. We know, where do you want to go to dinner tonight, and tell me about that, like, so I want to know, if you say the name of this restaurant, it's because they have this soup, and my throat hurts. And I want a really nice soup like that. So my throat feels better. Oh, my gosh, I have a clear idea of why it's not just, I want to go there. Well, I barely know anything. But now like, because they have this soup, My throat hurts. You know, now I understand more about like, where you're coming from and who you are. So within that speaker listener format, there's a couple of pieces that are very valuable. The first is repeating back what you hear from time to time. So this tiny example I just made up out of the blue, if I say, Okay, I just want to make sure I got this right, you want to go to that place on the corner, because you're in the mood for their soup, because it'll help your throat feel better. Did I get that right?


Dr. Sarah Rattray  32:40  
And there's several functions we're doing that one is it makes sure we are on the same page, that what you thought came out of your mouth is what I think I heard. But also, it's going to help you feel seen and heard and understood by me, it's going to help you feel that open. That openness to this conversation, just going to help you feel like I'm interested in you, I want to know you and I'm knowing you. So that part, repeat back every now and again what you think you're hearing and don't fill in the blanks, you want to go to that place in the corner, cuz your mother used to make that suit, you didn't say that. It might have nothing to do with that. What you said is it's going to make your throat feel better.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  33:29  
So and then the other thing that a listener does is to validate and validating. The other person is essentially saying either word for word or some form of this. It makes sense to me, if I were in your shoes, if I was literally Evan, and I was seeing the world through your eyes, given that you have a sore throat. And given that you've always wanted soup, when you have a sore throat, it sure makes sense to me that you want to go to the place on the corner and get their soup tonight. So what I'm not doing is I'm not agreeing with you. I'm not disagreeing with you.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  34:14  
I'm not telling you anything about what I think about soup or colds or restaurants or anything. I'm saying you make sense. You make sense for who you are, and I get it. So those two pieces repeating back and validating. Again, this helps us so stay in the parasympathetic state if someone was tracking me, so well, they're repeating what I said accurately, and then they validate that what I said makes sense for who I am. You will literally see you'll be able to see the relief. You know, pour down the person you're talking to you'll be able to see it though. Be like, yes, you get it. Thank you.


Evan H. Hirsch, MD  35:06  
That's brilliant. Yeah, I can see how this would help to decrease a lot of stress. I'm gonna, I'm gonna try these techniques with my own partner, my own family. So thank you. So let's, let's transition a little bit as we come to the end here. I'd love to hear more about your course. So I know that it is, it's coming up, right? It hasn't launched yet. It's very close to being launched. And I'd love for you to share what that's about with our audience.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  35:37  
Yes. So this first course that I've made, I designed this to be the fundamental building blocks for good communication. So everything that I'm going to offer after this is going to build on these essential building blocks. So I go into much greater depth what we've talked about today. So you know, I really explain about, you know, how the parasympathetic state is so important, I talk about how to get your partner's attention. And I go into each piece, step by step, very clearly, it's the course is presented with many very short bite sized videos. So you can if you need to refresher, you can go just back to that one part and hear that part again. And it builds on itself. And it's a resource so that you can go back and refresh your memory. You know, like, I don't remember the validating thing. What's that all about? And you can go back and watch that.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  36:45  
You know, ever where this came from, is telling couples in my private practice teaching, not only teaching the same thing over and over and over and over to different couples, but having to do teach it to the same couple, many times, you know, to say, Okay, guys, let's circle back around. Remember, when I was teaching you about this two months ago? Well, they'll remember, right? And so I really want wanted and am, I developed this resource, where you can refresh your memory, over and over again. So it's, it's of course that you can take, you can take it by yourself, you can take it with your romantic partner, you can take it with any other person, as I said earlier, with whom you're in a relationship that you need to communicate with.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  37:39  
If you're in a relationship, you can take it by yourself to get the skills to ask your partner, would you like to take this with me? You know, so if you're, if you're unsure, like, I think my partner will say, No, I don't want to do that thing. And I don't know how to bring it up. Start the course by yourself, and learn how to ask for what you need. And actually, you get a sign in. And then if you in the beginning, you let me know, in a little questionnaire if you want your partner to take it to, and then they get their own sign in as well. that's included in the course. So, you know, it's just, here's how to have a safe, focused, calm, connected conversation, start to finish.


Evan H. Hirsch, MD  38:30  
Excellent. That's very exciting. And so when is that launching, or has it already launched?


Dr. Sarah Rattray  38:36  
Well, it's live and ready to go. But you know, Evan, you and I are in the same business community, building our health businesses. You know, my big formal launch hasn't stopped hasn't happened yet. But the course is ready. It's, you know, it's ready to go. So it's available, and I will give you all the links you need for your people.


Evan H. Hirsch, MD  38:59  
Wonderful. Yeah. And we'll drop them below in the description. And then you also have a free gift for our audience, which is the quiz. And the quiz is called what's the quiz called?


Dr. Sarah Rattray  39:12  
It's called the couple's communication quiz. And, you know, having heard this podcast, when you take the questions of the quiz, you'll already recognize what are some of the things I'm asking right there in the quiz, you'll be like, Oh, she mentioned this, she mentioned this. And then your score will be from like, five different which have five doors? Are is your communication, is it closed? Is it guarded all the way to is it open, and then you learn a little bit more about your score. And the gift that I give you is a wonderful eight page ebook that goes into what we've talked about today. And you know, into what I do in the course but it's just a PDF ebook. And it's super helpful.


Evan H. Hirsch, MD  40:05  
Excellent. And I took the quiz. And I was very impressed with the information that I learned. So I definitely recommend that people go ahead and click on that link below and take the quiz. Awesome. So great. Anything else that you want to share with us? I guess, people can find you at couples communication Institute calm. We'll put that below. Any last words before we adjourn? Yes.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  40:29  
So I was talking about appreciation in the context of approaching your partner. But I want to encourage everyone, every day to be watching your partner for something that you appreciate about them or thinking in the past about something from the past that you appreciate about them. And then let them know, either say it out loud, or send them a text or you know, however it is, but every day you have to look for and let them know something that you appreciate about them. This is such a gift to feel seen, to feel known to feel cherished. And, you know, if you're a little bit distant from each other, this just really starts to bring you closer to each other.


Evan H. Hirsch, MD  41:20  
Mm hmm. And it sounds like that's probably a great tip for all of our relationships. Right? Not just with our partners, I was thinking about, gosh, I should be doing that with my daughter.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  41:29  
Right? Yes, absolutely.


Evan H. Hirsch, MD  41:34  
Well, thank you so much for joining me today, Sarah. It's been a pleasure hanging out with you. And thanks so much for sharing all this great information with our tribe.


Dr. Sarah Rattray  41:42  
It's been my pleasure. Thanks so much, Evan.


Evan H. Hirsch, MD  41:48  
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