Kresta, LMFT - Overcoming shame and trauma in Misophonia

S6 E33 - 5/8/2023
In this episode, Adeel converses with Kresta, a California-based therapist, about her personal journey towards overcoming Misophonia. Kresta shares her experiences with Internal Family Systems (IFS) modality, brain spotting, and dealing with legacy burdens. She highlights the significance of recognizing and addressing trauma as a pathway to healing Misophonia, detailing how brain spotting helped her release the shame associated with the condition and gain confidence in advocating for herself. Kresta also delves into her professional work, including a workshop for therapists on Misophonia, stressing the importance of a holistic approach to therapy that incorporates the mind and body. The conversation expands on themes like the impact of sensitive parenting on children, the cycle of transgenerational trauma, and the applicability of systems theory beyond individual experiences to global issues. Adeel and Kresta explore the concept of legacy burdens further by discussing cultural impacts on parenting styles and the potential for healing and awareness through therapy.


Adeel [0:00]: Welcome to the Misophonia Podcast. This is Season 6, Episode 33. My name's Adeel Ahmad, and I have Misophonia. Today's episode is the conclusion of my interview with Cresta, a therapist in California who was telling us all about her journey to what she considers freedom from Misophonia, and went over topics relating to trauma, the internal family systems modality, and brain spotting. In Part 2, we'll dive deeper into her own personal journey expanding on what we covered in Part 1, plus legacy burdens, seeing an energy healer, getting in her car and going on rage drives , highly sensitive people , more details on brain spotting, and a lot of practical tips on doing parts work as part of internal family systems. A lot of people liked part one, and I don't think this one's going to disappoint. After the show, let me know what you think. You can reach out by email at hello at or hit me up on Instagram or Facebook at Misophonia Podcast. By the way, if you're enjoying this little series and the podcast in general, please leave a quick review or rating, if you haven't already, wherever you listen to the podcast. It really helps us go up in the algorithms and reach more misophones. Since I'm sure you want me to roll right in to the rest of this conversation, I won't go too much into announcements. There are links to those in the show notes. For now, let's continue with my conversation with Cresta. Cresta, yeah, let's continue kind of, you know, roughly where we left off. I think we were, yeah, I think we were kind of talking about brain spotting and misplaning Freedom Lab. Do you want to, yeah, do you want to talk more about that? Because this is kind of your bread and butter here.

Kresta [1:52]: Yeah, this is so, yeah, we've covered a lot, right? We talked about trauma, we've talked about heart's work and the nervous system and brain spotting. And like, we haven't really talked about what the heck does this happen? So if it's okay, I think it's, you know, I'd like to share my own story, like briefly, because I really recognize that everyone's journey is going to be different. And so I don't expect my journey to be some sort of exact roadmap for healing um but i think there are themes um along my healing journey that i think could be helpful for others um and then i'd love to we haven't actually talked on the topic of legacy burdens which is also a concept in ifs which i think really goes a long way for us to understand this sort of question of um you know is misophonia an inherited condition right um so i definitely want to be able to touch on that but so anyway so after learning about these modalities ifs and brain spotting um i was really blown away by brain spotting particularly so i i went to a training my first training i actually picked misophonia as my topic to process so you actually pick something to process while you're in training so you experience brain spotting for yourself And I picked Misophonia and found a spot for it. And almost immediately, I just had this huge release of emotions. And there was sadness, there was anger, but the main emotion I felt coming through was the shame. And I just felt the weight of the shame I had been carrying for so long around living with Misophonia. All the... misunderstandings, all the cruel comments or being dismissed or not taken seriously or people not believing me and all the sort of energy I had to hold in my body trying to manage the rage emotion. And all of that just came rushing out of me. I was crying, sobbing. My body was shaking. This is not uncommon for a really deep brain spotting session. And what's interesting is afterwards, I still had misophonia. But what was different was previously when I would try to advocate for myself and like tell people about misophonia, I would have this very kind of like my shoulders would slump and I'd be like. Well, you know, I have this processing disorder called misophonia, and it just means that could you please not eat crackers in front of me? You know, it was very kind of small and filled with shame. And afterwards, after processing with the brain spotting, there was that the shame was gone. And so it was like, now I could walk up to someone. So I have this sound processing disorder. It's called misophonia. This is what it means. So basically, if you won't stop eating that carrot in front of me, I'm going to have to leave. There's just this confidence that I had. The shame wasn't there anymore. And it's like, I don't really care what you think about me. This is what it is. It was just so bad in itself was so there was so much freedom in that. And so, OK, this is this is good. So let's keep following this path. The next sort of step was I was doing a training that involved watching 46 hours of a woman who was doing the training talk. And she happened to have this particular mouth sound that became a trigger for me. And I really loved her training. And I really wanted to get the information. But the more I listened to it, the more the trigger was bothering me. And, you know, I turned down the volume. take breaks or whatever. Anyway, at one point it just got too much and I had to stop. And my therapist had said, you know, when you find yourself triggered, take a moment and try doing some self brain spotting, which is once you know how to do it, you can do it yourself and see what comes up. And so I did that. I took a pause and I found a spot for what was coming up in me physically and emotionally. And I found this part and this part said very distinctly that Ouch, it hurts. It hurts so much. And I just sat with that part and like, I know, I know it hurts. And I know she doesn't mean to hurt you. If she knew what she was doing, I'm sure she would try to like not make that sound anymore. You know, she's not doing it on purpose. And I'm so sorry it hurts. And that really helped that part calm down. But when I brought that to my therapist in our next session, she says, Oh, okay. Well, what part was getting hurt? like oh that's a good question so we did more brain spotting and what i what i found in the brain i kind of when you brain spot you can kind of go into this almost like fourth dimension you can sometimes a very physical sensation or or experience or an emotional experience with this particular uh brain spot was i got a lot of visuals And the visuals I got involved seeing almost like brain structures that were throwing up like a, hard to describe, but my understanding of it was, as I was looking at it, it was almost like scar tissue trying to protect against the pain. And in the visual, I saw this scalpel, this sharp scalpel coming out of a stormy sky and it was punching down into something that was in the middle. of this like scar tissue. And I remember looking at it and going, okay, here's my body throwing up these reactions and it's not working. It's not protecting against this pain. And I was actually stuck there for a bit. I was like, oh, there's, you know, there's nothing to do. I can't stop it. But my therapist, thank goodness, was like really held the space and the hope for me. And she said, you know, the psyche isn't stagnant. So let's see if we can find out more about this. And so I was able to eventually make my way around and find out what was in the middle of it. And what I saw was initially was this big mound. It was kind of sore. Like if you're poking a sore and it's never allowed to heal, right? It's just always sore because you keep poking at it. And I stayed with that for a while. And then it turned into this sort of like glowing mound and then like a humanoid kind of form that was in a fetal position. And then it unfurled and she looked so best. She kind of looked not like Tinkerbell, but she was like a light fairy. So she's glowing from within. She had wings and she was flitting around my mind space. And I kind of got the sense that she wasn't really supposed to be there. This wasn't where she's supposed to be. But she flitted around for a while and then she looked right at me and she said, your light is important. And then she flew off. I was like, okay, I don't really know what that means right now. But I did get a sense because at the time I was working in a really toxic work environment where I felt like um my sort of authenticity and ability to heal was really being thwarted and um it helped me get clear on i was in the wrong place at the work i was at the time um and so that continued my journey and just this healing journey and my journey as a therapist So that helped with that. And eventually, I came to work for Pasadena Trauma Therapy, which is where I am now. It's a group practice. And it's so loving and so supportive. I just really blossomed there. But part of what I learned there in working with the complex trauma population was this idea of energy being trapped in the body, like the body keeps the score. And part of my sort of self-care as a trauma therapist, because I'm exposed to a lot of this negative energy, was I actually ended up going to see an energy healer. And we talked about a couple of things, but I did specifically ask about misophonia just to see what she would say. And what she said was, you need to find a way to release the rage energy. like oh okay so she recommended um you know screaming whatever rage so what i do actually now is a rage drive and i can talk more about that later but basically it's just whenever i feel that rage energy coming up in me instead of stuffing it down which is what i've done for so long i need to find a healthy way to get it out of my system and That really helps. And even if it's not a misophonia rage, any time I'm feeling rage come up, my body is tensing up and I want to be tempted to stuff it back down again when I can. And it's safe. My husband's at home with my son and I get in the car and I drive around and call my my rage drives and I just yell and I scream and I curse at whatever's coming up into my brain. And I've only had to do those about three times, but every time I do them, it takes about 20 minutes to go through the full sort of curve of that. But at the end, I just come out of it with this clarity and this groundedness of what I'm really taking a stand for. And I'm just rock solid in what's important to me. um it's really magical and so um this is definitely a piece i think everyone can take something from um and i work with a lot of clients who have a lot of anger that has not been allowed to be expressed And one client in particular did this same thing and had the same experience where they just got a lot more clarity and grounding. So there really is something to this healthy release of rage energy that's very different from venting. I've been hearing, I don't know if you, Adeel, I was reading something along the lines of Misophonia and someone was saying like, don't vent about it. Like it's, venting isn't good. Have you been hearing about that at all?

Adeel [12:16]: No, I haven't heard that. That seems like an odd thing to hear. well well the i um well i the only thing i've i've mentioned on the podcast is like sometimes like if you go on social media it seems to be a lot of venting but um but that's not that's not real venting that's not like going on a rage drive um right and yeah no it's not really releasing anything

Kresta [12:39]: Exactly. And that is the difference between like releasing energy, like the rage energy or negative energy versus venting. Venting actually is contaminating because I'm usually venting to a person. So I'm just transferring my rage or anger onto, even if they're just in the vicinity, there's that, you know, contamination factor. And a rage drive and releasing rage energy is I'm releasing it to transform it, not to transfer it. I think that's important. I'm not looking to transfer it to someone else. So someone else experiences my pain. I'm looking to release it. to whatever. There was one way drive in particular where someone had attacked us while we were verbally attacked us while we were looking at Christmas lights. It was a whole thing and we're driving away. And I was like, I think I don't ever want to look at Christmas lights again. My body was shaking. I was so activated by this attack. And I realize, okay, this isn't my energy. This person, I guess, has had a really bad day or experience and she definitely projected it onto us. I need to get this out of my system. And I went on my usual rage drive, but I ended up actually feeling really caught. There's this park nearby that has these really big native trees. And I just asked the trees to take the energy. I'm like, this isn't mine. Please take it. Please recycle it. So whatever works for you, but it's releasing it and having it transform as opposed to, putting it on someone else.

Adeel [14:14]: Is there a term for that? Uh, other than, you know, well, yeah, the act of releasing that energy through releasing that rage, like a, I don't know, more scientific kind of term or, or therapy term.

Kresta [14:25]: I don't know. Okay. Yeah.

Adeel [14:27]: I'm just curious in case people want to Google for it or something or ask chat GPT or something.

Kresta [14:32]: Yeah. I don't think this is something that people are talking enough about. Maybe we can find our own sort of verbiage for it, but there is definitely, I now looking back on my experience, there is definitely a connection between this and misophonia. And I will definitely be getting to that more, but this releasing the rage energy was huge for me.

Adeel [14:55]: um so i want to put that out there and yeah and you said so okay so this also came right so you did you were doing the brain spotting and the the uh got that message from um the fairy i think you called it um and obviously yeah you know that being kind of transformative

Kresta [15:16]: you you didn't saw somebody right the energy healer who told you to release the energy um then i guess i'm sure you'll get to this but was this starting to affect your misophonia at all then yeah let's see so it was interesting because at this point it was turning into a deeper journey than just misophonia like finding the light fairy really helped me like reflect on my own sort of inner light and my purpose and um where i was meant to be what i was feeling called to and my journey to become a therapist is very much aligned with that and finding ifs just things were just clicking into place And so while misophonia, and this is what's interesting about misophonia that, and I think that IFS has, IFS has this term called trailheads. So whatever we come to therapy with as we identify, okay, this is the thing I want to work on. It's a trailhead to what is underneath. And so I really, and this is being confirmed now by several other therapists who are working with misophones in the IFS concepts, which is you focus on, you know, pick misophonia and then what you find are the parts affected by it. So I have yet to have someone find, it's like misophonia isn't a part. Yeah, but when we target it we find the parts of us that are affected by it So when I targeted misophonia with my brain spotting I found the parts of me that were carrying shame And the negative emotions and effects that came from that and holding on to that um, I So does that answer your question?

Adeel [17:11]: Yeah, well, no, I mean, this is also very much in line with my thinking where misophonia isn't, there's something deeper. It just doesn't, it doesn't end with like misophonia, the symptom, and that's kind of the root cause in itself. There's the fact that it's led you to kind of a deeper understanding of yourself. I think it leads to, you know, the... the the real healing which is uh i think we'll get we'll get to but yeah i just want i don't want people listening and thinking oh you know she's talking about brain spawning and fairies and stuff and it's not related it is definitely you know i definitely feel like this is this is all related because you're getting to a deeper thing which is which is resulting in that which had resulted in the in the symptom of misophonia

Kresta [17:54]: Yes. Yes. And I think that's where, you know, we have this sort of fix it mentality, not just about misophonia, but about a lot of other things. And, you know, and I'm 23 years sober. So this is part of the history of treating alcoholism. You know, let's find the solution. Let's find the magic pill. Let's find the gene that says, you know, this is why you're an alcoholic. And there still hasn't been a magic pill. I'm glad there isn't a magic pill. You know, alcoholism and even eating disorders, which I have experienced with both, they both share that they're very complex and that there is no magic pill for them. But it's so it's not so much how do we fix it, but what can we learn from it? I think that's the question we're not really asking enough. It goes much deeper.

Adeel [18:44]: And private insurance doesn't want you to ask those questions. It just wants to give you something to take, whether it's a therapist for a set number of sessions, then get out, or a pill.

Kresta [18:57]: Yeah. And, you know, I know there's always a place for, you know... solutions like solution focused therapy is is a therapy that for certain things is very helpful but it's the learn to live with it mentality versus what can we learn from it what deeper healing might be needed um again i think you know misophonia in my experience is a trailhead Um, and I can, I'll be sharing more about that later because, um, you know, sort of the next step in this journey for me was, you know, and this, this whole journey took me over two years and there was even periods where I'd kind of lost faith and I'm never going to find a solution. I just to live with this. I don't want to talk about it. I lost faith and my therapist brought it up. She's like, we haven't talked about your misophonia in a while. I'm like, I know I'm just kind of discouraged. But we did start exploring it a bit more. And we both kind of had the same realization. We were in session. We both had kind of the realization at the same time. She's like, you know, we keep talking about the parts of you that are affected by the misophonia, but we're not talking about it. Like, what is it? Meaning the misophonia. What is it? I was like, you're right, we're not. And so because I had done so much brain spotting work, I just felt into that. What is it? And it was very elusive. It didn't want to be seen, but I did find it. And I won't go into great detail about what I saw because I think personally my visuals are mine and I think other people are going to have different experiences, whether that be visuals or whatever. They're metaphorical or imaginative, however you want to conceive that. But I did find it and it was feeding off my negative energy. It was feeding off the negative energy that the misophonia was creating. And what I learned from that was, firstly, there is a way to release these things. And so I was eventually able to do that. But what came of it afterwards was, so it took a while to like, you know, finding it and then trying to get curious about it. Like, why are you here? What, you know, what is your purpose? I honestly didn't get a whole lot of answers from it. It's more what I'm learning afterwards that I think is so significant. And I think we actually can learn more from the sort of after story. But when it was gone, when I kind of released it, whatever it is, the first thing that happened was I was really emotional. And there's about three days where I was just very emotional. And I checked inside with my parts. I was like, okay, I'm feeling your emotions. What's going on? And my parts were like, is it really over? Because that was horrible. Like, that was torture.

Adeel [21:53]: Like living with that. Not just finding it, but living with it.

Kresta [21:57]: Yeah. Once it was gone, it reminded me of my... know sexual abuse clients who it's hard for your it's hard to acknowledge how awful something is until you're actually out of it like you're away from it okay this is really over now i can finally admit how horrible it was that's what it felt like and i really felt my parts just there was this morning and like that was torture it was just oh the emotion behind it and so i just took a lot of time to take care of them and to see what they needed and um it just i was like yeah that was horrible um and i really think that the the pain and the torture of misophonia gets gets I don't think it's fully acknowledged. You know, I have often said that I would never wish misophonia on my worst enemy. And I still, I still believe that I wouldn't wish misophonia on anyone.

Adeel [22:59]: Yeah. I remember society thinks misophonia is just an idiosyncrasy or a personality trait that we're just a little bit more, I don't know, fussy about. And so that's something that's going to take a while to,

Kresta [23:11]: to um to change but yeah you know you and i and everyone listening i think agrees with that yeah and i think because it's a hard it's a hard experience to explain and a lot of us say well i'm just really uncomfortable and i've had a lot of other therapists ask me well what's the difference between ocd and misophonia And I recently learned about OCD a little more in depth because I don't specialize in OCD. But the therapist I talked to who specialized in OCD, she defines it as a doubt disorder. So OCD is like, there's intrusive thoughts and such, but the uncomfortable feeling in OCD is more of around doubt. And I reflected, I was like, oh, that's different because misophonia, it's actual pain. It's not just an emotional discomfort. It is actual physical pain. Which is by expecting someone to just sit through it.

Adeel [24:11]: Right.

Kresta [24:13]: You know, I hear stories and my parts get really, they're like, they're like, what the heck are they doing? It's so upsetting. So I really want to validate people's experience. This is, this is a physical pain. We may not have the words to describe it, but... It is physically painful. So now it took, I recognized, so once that was gone, my parts were grieving and healing and coming to terms and checking in. And it was about two weeks and I realized that my body was still holding the memory of tensing up when I heard sounds. So I eased myself into it. I didn't like test this theory that, OK, I got rid of this, whatever it was. Now I must not have misophonia anymore. Right. Did I? Eureka. I found this. I got the sense that I really need to ease myself into it. And that was that was true because I would like my husband would make a noise that previously would trigger me. And I had to, like, hear it. I didn't feel the sting anymore, but my body was still tensing up and I had to just kind of tune into my body and go like, it's okay, it doesn't hurt anymore, you can relax. And that took a while for my body to release that and to trust that that sting of the misophonia wasn't gonna hit me anymore. But it was a few weeks after that, I was actually at a Costco and I heard a trigger noise that usually would have meant I'd be running in the other direction. and i heard it i looked over at it and i was like huh yeah that noise used to make me run for the hills and i can i can be with it now you know it's still a little annoying but the sting wasn't there um and i was like okay this is this is real um so cut to a few weeks after that i was like okay this is you know maybe i have found the answer i don't know is this permanent i had no i didn't know yeah kind of like feeling testing the waters is too good to be true and and and also like how do i even how do we even share this with people yeah yeah i'm sure your mind's like in your head you know yeah right So that's what I mean by, you know, I haven't found the magic pill, but I hope that my journey can help, like, create a roadmap for others to explore their own inner experience. So cut to a few weeks after that, and I went and got a massage, a deep tissue massage. So it was about two hours long. They used salt stone and CBD oil and all that, you know, sort of good stuff. and i came home and i was taking a shower it was about an hour afterwards and i suddenly had all this nausea come up in my stomach i was like whoa it's okay this is energy coming up for me and i just i was like okay this needs to come up and out so i let it out and what came up from my stomach up through my chest out my mouth was just I mean, oh my gosh, it's such a mix. There is anger, there is grief, there was sadness, there is emoting and yelling. And sometimes it was like moans of sadness or angry yells and screaming. And it was just, and that went on for about 10 minutes.

Unknown Speaker [27:43]: Wow.

Kresta [27:44]: And it was just this energy just coming up, and it was like an energy vomit.

Adeel [27:50]: Very different than, well, I was going to ask if it was literally a vomit, but is this different than the rage drives, like another level or similar?

Kresta [28:03]: Yes. So the rage drives helped me release the rage energy that was coming up in the current moment.

Adeel [28:11]: Mm-hmm.

Kresta [28:12]: Instead of stuffing it down, I was trying to find a healthy way to release it, to get clarity, which the Rachelites helped me do. But this energy had history to it. I could feel it was deep inside of me and coming up and out. And again, it was this realization like, oh my gosh, this is like everything I've been stuffing down for years around the... I got the sense it was definitely misophonia related. And there was just this sense of lightness afterwards. I was a little shaky. I mean, this... And that, yeah, it could very well have been a physical vomit that's actually not unheard of in the work I do that can happen. But this was definitely an emotional vomit. But there was just I felt even lighter after that. But what it really highlighted for me was how much trapped energy we store and hold on to and it really made me sympathetic for Anyone suffering with me to phonia who is trying to control that rage energy as it comes up Yeah, you know, what do we do with it? We can't express it in the moment and And we don't really feel like we have anyone to talk to about it. Like, what do we do with it? We stuff it down. And it's so intense and rage energy particular is just so toxic and destructive. And so that's what I learned from that experience, for sure.

Adeel [29:46]: yeah wow okay okay yeah quite a journey here um and then it's okay and then after that was there um i guess yeah what happened after that was there another period of just kind of like processing that and uh just kind of being in a, I don't know, uh, more sensitive state or did it, was that kind of a light light switch to kind of not really not, did you realize at that point that, that, uh, it was kind of permanent, maybe this, this, the losing of the misophonia?

Kresta [30:18]: Um, you know, I got, I went back to that energy healer and I told her my story about what I found.

Adeel [30:28]: This is the one who originally told you to do the rage drives and whatnot?

Kresta [30:31]: Yes. Yes. And I told her about what happened and how I released it. And she basically said, good job. I'm glad you were able to do that yourself.

Adeel [30:41]: Yeah. Cause she didn't tell you about going to, well, did she warn you that, you know, go to the massage and this will happen or what was it? Yeah. Yeah.

Kresta [30:51]: Okay. Yeah. She had just, that was, I think in her wisdom, she just, this is what she needs to do next.

Adeel [30:56]: You know, she puts you on a path and you kind of were able to find it.

Kresta [31:00]: Yep. Yep. Um, and I asked her, I was like, is this going to, could this come back? And she said, well, yeah, it could. So, you know, keep doing what you're doing. And if you happen to notice something, you should basically, you know, call me back and we'll figure out what's going on. But what I've, so actually recently, this happened recently. So what I've been paying, trying to pay attention to more and is when I feel something in my body that feels familiar. Um, so recently, uh, like again, the sting is gone, which is such a freedom in itself. I love it. Um, and I still notice the sounds like, let's face it. A lot of these sounds that we have triggers around, they are annoying. They are annoying. I want to validate that. And now I have this freedom to like, honey, you're making a really annoying sound. Can you knock it off, please?

Adeel [32:03]: You don't have the fight or flight where it turns into Jekyll and Hyde kind of thing, though. Wow.

Kresta [32:09]: Previously, I couldn't say anything because I would be yelling at him because the energy coming up in me would be so overpowering. He would just get defensive. But now I can say it from a very calm place. I'm like, dude, that's annoying. Knock it off.

Adeel [32:25]: And do you feel like when you, you're not just calm, but you have, going back to something you said earlier, do you have the confidence to say it and not feel ashamed to say it, it sounds like, right? Yeah. Which is what a lot of people, why a lot of people, you know, might bottle it up and not say anything is because... We feel like it's going to, we know it's going to cause that defensiveness because we think it's going to come out in a bad way. But if you've kind of like worked through it, you probably, if you know you're going to say it in a calm way, you can probably say it more confidently. Is that also part of your new way of communicating it to your husband?

Kresta [32:57]: Yes, yes. And this kind of goes back to, I think, so I'm really passionate about boundary work. I always have been. And I would always tell people when we talk about boundaries, if you think of like the Target logo, you know, with the red circle and the white line and the dot in the middle. So if you're going to set a boundary, you know, the outside biggest circle is when you're in a good mood, you're in a good place, you know, your nervous system is calm, we're in our window of tolerance. you get into the white circles when you're starting to feel activated or annoyed by what you know might be bothering you that you want to set a boundary around but the middle dot is when you're like stop doing that um and i always would tell people you have to set your boundary when you're in the outer circle when you're in a good place when the person you're talking to is in a good place because if you try to set it even if you're on the white circle People are going to pick up on the energy behind it and there may not respond positively or they might respond with some resentment. Right. So and so what's so interesting about the misophonia response is it almost robs us of our ability to set healthy boundaries because we immediately jump to the center dot. When we're in rage, we're like out of our window of tolerance and we can't we're not effective communicators. People get defensive when they get it, when they get faced with that energy. It doesn't work. And furthermore, what's interesting, and I actually learned this from a client of mine, I have a group for sexual abuse survivors and we were wrapping up our group and the topics we'd been talking about were pretty activating. And so we did a little group brain spotting where we focused on grounded, neutral, or calm. And so finding a part in your body that feels grounded, neutral, or calm, and then feeling into that and then finding a spot where you feel most closely, like feel that most closely. And you stay on that spot, and it can be a very grounding experience. And everyone was reporting, you know, fine, okay, I found it, and yes, I'm feeling better now. But one client in particular piped up, she's like, you know, I thought I found calm, but actually what I'm noticing now is shame. And so we got to process that. And this can happen a lot where we confuse our emotions. So I might be thinking I'm feeling calm, but actually what I'm feeling is shame. I had another client who said, I'm feeling numb, but I thought this was what peaceful felt like. So we can inflate these emotions and I was driving home after that session. I was thinking about him like oh That's why I had so much shame around misophonia. It was helping something all my rage It's helping me control my rage because to control my I can't express my rage So what do I do? I take on shame because it's it's like the counterpoint to the rage

Adeel [36:05]: So I noticed in a lot of these kinds of therapies, you're asked to kind of... find the part of your body that holds that that holds some something um how do you have any tips on how to do that because you know i've tried that for various modalities and that's actually part of my homework for my current therapist is um but i'm sure a lot of other people are interested in it's not just about me but do you have any tips for like yeah how do how to sit and look for these the parts of your body that kind of um that are holding these these feelings

Kresta [36:37]: yes so um i think actually sarah mentioned this but the body scan exercise i think is a great way to start and that's simply starting at the top of your head and just slowly scanning down your body and looking for where there's tension so you know and you can do a whole body scan and you don't have to go really deep with it especially if you're working, you know, on your own. But you can take what you find and at least that practice and take it to your therapy to explore more. But yeah, so it's just a gentle body scan. You scan down your body. You just notice where the tension is. Yeah. And I'll often use that with my clients who come into session. They're like, I don't really know what I what I should work on today. And I'm like, OK, well, let's take a minute. Let's do a gentle body scan and just see where there's the most tension. And so they'll locate wherever in their body the most tension is, and we'll just, let's see what's there. Can we get curious about that tension? And that's when they generally connect to a part, and then that part shares what they're struggling with.

Adeel [37:45]: And that tension kind of feels like a tightness or is it like physical pain usually? Just, you know, just curious kind of what people might want to, just try to help people kind of recognize these things.

Kresta [38:00]: Yeah, and I think there's almost like a spectrum of that. So it's very common to feel tension and that can have a range of intensity like, oh my gosh, yeah, I'm noticing a little bit of tension here. Or it could be like, oh man, my shoulders are just completely in knots. It can go to actual physical pain. And then it can even go when it's really bad actually is when it's numb. So whenever a client says to me, like, wow, this part of my body, I just can't even feel it. It's just completely numb.

Adeel [38:32]: Wow.

Kresta [38:33]: OK. That's when I like, oh, can we can we go to that and get curious about that? That to me is like. Yeah, that's that's the worst.

Adeel [38:45]: Yeah. And from my understanding, it's okay to maybe you kind of misrecognize something and then maybe there's another part that you can kind of get to. You don't have to nail it the first time, it sounds like.

Kresta [39:01]: No, no. Yeah.

Adeel [39:02]: Okay.

Kresta [39:02]: Well, yeah. And the other thing to know about both, I mean, really any therapy, but specifically IFS and brain spotting, we might target, let's say, something like misophonia. And we'll find a part that's affected by it. But then we'll also, when we try to go to the deeper trauma or the deeper hurt, we'll find what's in the way. So in IFS, we call those protectors or managers. And they'll have reasons for why they're like, nope, you can't go to that. Okay, well, I hear you. Well, why don't you want us to go to that pain? Well, she can't handle it. You won't be able to handle what you find there. Or she'll fall apart. You can't let her go there. And so we work with those protectors. We let them know they're the boss. and you know if they give us a chance we can do the healing like can you i don't know if i trust you yet you know there's a whole befriending process that happens with protectors but also with um with brain spotting we may target something and we you know we call it following the tail of the comet we may target something and The client will just go in a completely different direction, but we just trust it. Like, okay, there's a reason it's coming up. Trust it. Your brain knows what it needs. Follow that. So, yeah.

Adeel [40:21]: Okay. So I guess maybe, yeah, we've been talking a little bit about Misophonia Freedom Lab. So the journey that you took, is that the kind of journey that you are taking your clients through or? Is it a more abbreviated version or a longer version? I'm just kind of curious how you've put this into practice for other people.

Kresta [40:43]: Yeah. So, well, this is where you come in, Adeel, because it was actually finding your podcast on Misophonia and listening to stories that really helped me put all the puzzle pieces together. Because previously I considered Misophonia as like my side hustle, right? It's like my sub-specialty. And I, you know, work... as part of a group practice for trauma. But after listening to some of the stories that you've recorded and posted, all the puzzle pieces started to fit together around the connection between trauma and what I know from working with trauma and misophonia. And so what I've started to do is reach out to other professionals who work with mind-body modalities. um and talking about my experience like this is what i noticed with my journey and i want to see like has this come up with your clients have you explored this and so i'm now in this conversation with several other professionals who who work in similar ways and there's themes that are starting to come up so one of the directions i'm encouraging um my colleagues to explore is uh okay so if your client i have one one colleague in particular has a client she's been working with with her trauma for years and she was actually ready to let her go um and then misophonia suddenly come up oh and by the way i have misophonia and my colleague was like i've been working with this person for years she's never mentioned it Um, and so I consulted with her and I said, okay, well, who was her main trigger person? And she said, well, her mom who's, who's passed now, but her mom was her major trigger figure or person. I said, have you explored any unexpressed anger that she may be holding onto towards her mom? And she said, oh. that makes a lot of sense. And because my colleague had worked with this client, she knew more of her history. I didn't know the details, but knew this person's history. It made sense to her. I was like, and we haven't really explored that yet. So thank you. That helps. I'm going to work with that. She did get back to me recently and said that there's a lot coming up on just that topic. So I am following these themes of the the two and this is the thing it's almost like the answer is hiding in plain sight the two main emotions that come up around misophonia are rage and disgust and you if you think about i actually just published an article on my website about this like more about rage and disgust is they're both boundary setting emotions anger and rage anger specifically lets us know when our boundaries are being violated and that we need to do something about it rage is the you know is the extreme version of that. And it can become toxic if it gets to that level or destructive when it gets to that level. But disgust does the same thing. Disgust specifically keeps us from eating something poisonous. So it keeps us from being poisoned. And that could be either physically like eating something poisonous or contaminated, but it can also keep us away from toxic thought. So from a group that may have a belief system that is harmful or toxic, right? So we can also feel disgust towards people's sort of mental state. And so I'm really encouraging people working with misophones to sort of explore these two areas in particular. And I'm getting some good feedback.

Adeel [44:25]: That's great. Yeah. So, yeah, interesting. So, yeah, you're kind of working with colleagues and getting feedback, whether it's through your own clients or other people's clients, like in the case of that person who's got issues with their mom and are kind of, we'll probably put a program together and test it out some more. Yeah, that's really interesting. Well, I think we will be keeping in touch and learning more. And that's great. I mean, that's great that it's the podcast and more importantly, the guests on the podcast have kind of helped you shape your thinking and your path forward. Because it seems like you're definitely onto something here. I mean, you are. You've obviously helped yourself. And yeah, I mean, a lot of the things you're talking about, as you know, we've been talking to other folks about as well. yeah this is this is really interesting um and i guess um yeah that's so any um yeah i guess how about um do you feel like so you'd say oh right so i was going to follow on my last question with like you've done a bunch of modalities do you have a sense for are there one or two that you would end up focusing on that it looks like that you know you'd focus on more um to try to treat people or do you feel like it's take a combination of everything that you've kind of experienced yourself, or is it going to be very individualized? Like some people respond more and maybe only to things like brain spotting versus other modalities.

Kresta [46:04]: So I think this is really hopeful because it's really whatever works for someone. Some people really resonate with something like somatic experiencing, which is more about the felt body. And IFS is very flexible in that way. There's somatic experiencing with IFS. There's brain spotting with parts. There's a lot of crossover, and it's a lot that we can take from each modality, specifically the brain-body modalities. I think EMDR, so my colleague who is working with that client is also trained in EMDR. So I'm hoping I start to get some feedback about how EMDR can help process some of this stuff. I'm really feeling into the importance of, you know, if we're looking at this idea of misophonias, what can we learn from it? The takeaways are for me that, you know, and this is the piece you helped with, like everyone reporting that are highly sensitive people, right? There's this line of being highly sensitive people. And I thought about my own experience and the hypervigilance in my household. And I was like, oh, yeah, I was really. So so my stepdad was a really big guy. And when he walked through the house, the whole house shook. And I remember being able to tell what kind of mood he was in based on his footsteps. And so what it made me reflect on is that as highly sensitive people, we're like emotional sponges, we're energy sponges. We take on other people's energy. And I think when we're little and highly sensitive, it's a totally automatic thing that we do. And so if we're around people who have a lot of negative energy, we'll take that on. We might even feel responsible for alleviating some of that. Right. And if we don't have good boundaries or know how to protect ourselves, we're just going to become these emotional sponges. And I really think that that is the piece here around... highly sensitive people in misophonia, but kind of stepping into the idea of legacy burden, which I think is really important. So a legacy burden is burdens that we inherit through our caregivers, through our culture, or through our environment. So it's not so we can inherit burdens that isn't something that we necessarily experience, but because our family of origin experienced it, it gets passed down through the generations. So this speaks to that transgenerational, you know, trauma piece, the epigenetics that we're seeing and, you know, the gene work. This is that phenomenon. And, you know. I'm starting to really see how framing it in this way for parents of someone with misophonia is important. Because while you may not have caused misophonia, I do believe that misophonia is the result of a collection of negative energy. I think that's how at least I'm conceptualizing it now. How you respond is either going to make it worse or make it better. There is an inherited piece that every parent has taken on. We all walk in the shadows of our ancestors. Whether we like it or not, we all walk in their shadows. And some of those shadows loom larger and longer than others. And if we're not looking to the past to examine those, to heal those, we will cast those same shadows on future generations. And so while parents may not have caused the misophonia, we all have work to do to stop the cycle of transgenerational trauma. And if you think of it at an energetic level, none of my trauma clients have reported, whenever I asked about their parents and their parents' background, there's always a trauma history behind it. There's never a trauma survivor who's like, oh, yeah, I had a wonderful, loving family. It was wonderful. No, there's always something. There's always something to be healed. And it's worth it. um you know my son who's five i already can tell is very sensitive but both my husband and i are very sensitive people and my son absolutely has that and so i'm feeling very protective about his nervous system what he's absorbing um and i i just think you know there's actually i just watched a workshop that frank anderson who's a high-level ifs trainer he has a workshop on parenting and he talks about the dynamics of parts of parents you know what part of us is parenting in any given moment are we parenting from a part or are we parenting from self-energy And I work with all my clients who are parents to get them in self-energy. You're really upset about your son or daughter doing A, B, and C. What part of you is upset about that? And then we explore the part. And then we say, OK, let's get you into self-energy. What does self-energy have to say about this? So I think that IFS and PartsWork has a lot to offer parents as well.

Adeel [51:45]: in in helping and learning from this phenomenon of misophonia yeah absolutely uh but but cresta i'll play devil's advocate aren't you um being an american aren't you supposed to um toughen up your child but and not protect them from from everything You don't have to answer that as a rhetorical question.

Kresta [52:09]: No, no, no. That is a good question. It's interesting they say as an American. What legacy burden as an American are you noticing in that comment?

Adeel [52:21]: Right, right. There are many. Dropping bombs on countries or dropping nuclear bombs on countries or slavery. There's many things.

Kresta [52:31]: Yeah. Well, and that's what I also why I love IFS is it gives us the concepts a way to, I think, make the world a better place because it's systems. It's based on systems theory. So you can you can scale that up. It's not just personal system. It is the family system. It is a town system. It's a country system. It was actually really interesting when the war in Ukraine broke out. There were three therapists. One was from Russia, one was from Poland, and one was from the Ukraine. And they all got together and discussed their own country's legacy burden and how they were affecting not only their countrymen, but also their interactions with the other countries. And it was really interesting to explore. And, you know, America has their own their own legacy burdens. Individualism is one of them. And I think you identify like, oh, right, right. Toughen up our kid. That's that's individualism. Right. You got to pull yourself up by your bootstraps.

Adeel [53:35]: Right.

Kresta [53:36]: Right. Yeah.

Adeel [53:39]: well yeah interesting um yeah we're coming up coming up again to the uh to another hour uh here um i'm as you know we can keep keep going i'm sure but um yeah we should probably you know wind down uh you've you know you want to talk about legacy burns is there anything else you want to kind of share now i'm sure we'll be in touch and i'd love to have you on again but um yeah anything you want else you want to share now with the audience

Kresta [54:04]: Yeah, so as of this recording, I am currently pulling together, I'm going to be doing a workshop on misophonia and I am targeting specifically the mind-body therapist community. So my IFS community, my brain spotting community, I'm like calling in the troops to educate more mind-body therapists on what misophonia is and is not. and to present some of my ideas around what's worth exploring and why. So I'm really hoping to get more therapists aware of misophonia. And then after that, I'm hoping to start a consultation group for same therapists who want to consult about what they're finding with their clients, what themes are coming up, and really just start focusing on the wins. Where are we getting wins? Where are we noticing growth? And just start really focusing on that and similarities versus differences and just really start moving towards a more holistic picture of healing that I think Misophonia really has to offer us.

Adeel [55:17]: Yeah, that sounds exciting. I love that you're sharing your knowledge or wanting to share your knowledge with other therapists because a lot of these ideas, you definitely need to get out into the world. Yeah, I think this is going to... help a lot of people and um yeah thank you for doing that thank you for sharing all these ideas here i think they're probably new to a lot of people but um i think definitely in yeah definitely in the right direction and more people should be listening to this and trying these modalities um Cause it's not going to be solved purely with a, we're not going to wait for a pill or, or, or it's not going to be a traditional kind of therapy. So, um, yeah.

Kresta [55:59]: I don't think we really want a pill. I think we already dispense way too many pills.

Adeel [56:04]: These are, yeah. And I think like, like you said, like it, it's a phony as part of something that's just trying to teach us something. It's trying to tell us something that's happening. deeper and so it could affect you know more deeper change so i was gonna um share like if people want to learn more about um

Kresta [56:25]: IFS and parts work. The IFS Institute has a lot of videos on their websites. And if you're a professional, there's a lot of information on trainings and prerecorded trainings. There's also a book that I really like that I think is appropriate for teens and tweens. It's called We All Have Parts. It's by Colleen Atwood, available on Amazon. I think it's a really great introduction to the concepts of IFS. Well worth it. and there's also a the workshop that i did which might be more geared toward therapists but i i really i'm going to be encouraging almost all my parent clients to watch this when they're worried about kids but frank anderson has a workshop available on life architect on parts and parenting and both my husband and I have watched it and it's really helped with our framework for how to parent our son and how to parent together as a team it's just been really amazing so I encourage everyone to check those yeah I definitely need to check those out amazing well um yeah Krista thank you thank you again for coming on this has been wonderful Thank you for having me. And thank you so much, Adeel, for this magical healing space you've created. It's amazing.

Adeel [57:44]: Oh, it's mutual. I mean, this is helping me. So, yeah. Thank you, Cresta. Again, a fascinating conversation that goes far beyond killing misophonia and looking forward to chatting in the future. If you liked this episode, don't forget to leave a quick review or just hit the five stars wherever you listen to this podcast. You can hit me up by email at or go to the website It's usually easiest just to send me a quick message on Instagram. That Missing Money Podcast, you can follow there. Or Facebook at Missing Money Podcast. And on Twitter, it's actually Missing Money Show. Support the show financially by visiting Patreon at slash missingmoneypodcast. Theme music, as always, is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace.

Unknown Speaker [58:53]: Thank you.