Destination Change: Episode 7 — Patrick Lockwood

Episode 7: Patrick Lockwood
  • Episode: 7
  • Guest: Dr. Patrick Lockwood
  • Date Recorded: August 18, 2023
  • Date Released: September 16, 2023
  • Length: 40 minutes, 21 seconds
  • Questions/Concerns: Contact Us

Dr. Patrick Lockwood grew up in a small southern Missouri town, enculturated with classical southern and Midwestern values like honesty, integrity, and the “neighborly” way of relating to people. He completed his B.A. in psychology at the University of Missouri, then moved to L.A. to earn his Doctorate of Psychology at TCSPP.

Dr. Lockwood has worked for non-profits, treatment centers, and has been a part of a number of startups over the past ten years. His background in community interventions began before he even graduated from the University of Missouri where he successfully co-authored a grant creating a virtual intervention to help parents on campus become more connected and develop a supportive community while working at Parentlink, a division of the university’s college of education.

Dr. Lockwood has trained with experts in the field of addiction treatment and has worked at every level of the treatment industry. He is currently an adjunct professor at California Lutheran University, teaching future clinicians about clinical skills, addiction, and research analysis. He also has a podcast on YouTube about topics related to mental health, wellness, psychology, and neuroscience called “The Psychology Checkup.” Finally, Dr. Lockwood is the author of The Fear Problem, a book integrating the neuroscience and evolutionary psychology of our fear process to explain why we get triggered by politics and other “hot topics.”

Show Notes

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Podcast Transcript (click to open for the transcript of the episode)
Episode 007 - Patrick Lockwood

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Welcome to Destination Change, a podcast where we talk recovery treatment and more. I'm your host, Angie Fiedler Sutton with the National Behavioral Health Association Providers.

This episode's guest is Dr. Patrick Lockwood. Patrick grew up in a small southern Missouri town enculturated with classic southern and Midwestern values, like honesty, integrity and the neighborly way of relating to people. He completed his BA in Psychology at the University of Missouri, then moved to Los Angeles to earn his doctorate in psychology at TCSPP. Dr. Lockwood has worked for nonprofits, treatment centers, and has been a part of a number of startups over the past 10 years. His background in community and interventions began before he even graduated from the University of Missouri, where he successfully co-authored a grant creating a virtual intervention to help parents on campus become more connected and develop a supportive community while working at parent link, a division of the University's College of Education.

Dr. Lockwood has trained with experts in the field of addiction treatment and has worked at every level of the treatment industry. He is currently an adjunct professor at California Lutheran University teaching future clinicians about clinical skills, addiction and research analysis. He also has a podcast on YouTube about topics relating to mental health, wellness, psychology and neuroscience called The Psychology Checkup. Finally, Dr. Lockwood is the author of the fear problem, a book integrating the neuroscience and evolutionary psychology of our fear process to explain why we get triggered by politics and other hot topics. Welcome to the podcast, Dr. Lockwood.

Patrick Lockwood

Angie Fiedler Sutton
We tend to start out with origin stories here on this podcast, just kind of talk a little bit how you got into the recovery space, what made you decide that as your looks like that's what you went for school for so kind of what caused you decide to go into the recovery space versus, you know, any of the other plethora of options that are available?

Patrick Lockwood
So you know, the thing about the recovery space is, I believe that it's a really complicated problem. And, you know, my graduate training, my undergraduate training as more of just a straightforward clinical psychologist, as a person interested in like neuroscience and things like that, I was under the impression that I had the ability to understand complexity, and that I can deal with really challenging patients, right, that's kind of what I thought was the real reason. And then, you know, as I grew up and matured as a person, etc, I realized that a lot of it's just because I grew up in a recovery home and my old man's been sober for a long time. And, you know, I think I was enculturated in a recovery lifestyle as a kid.

And there was a time when I was a little resentful about that, that I had principles and things 12 Step related, forced on me. And then as an adult, I've become more and more grateful for that experience. Because although I'm myself not sober, and not an addict, or anything of that nature, there's no situation in my life in which those principles are unhelpful, right? So if we look at kind of the concept of acceptance in the 12 Step sense, right? Like, there's no situation in my life, where me trying to be more accepting is worse, right? My life has not made worse by trying to be more accepting.

And the other concept in the 12 Step community, which I think is a big deal, is the idea of like, looking at your part in things, right like that is seems to be a pretty ubiquitous and helpful approach to being a sane person, right? Whether or not you're in recovery. And so for me, growing up in a recovery home, and growing up in a place where I saw a lot of people suffering, especially because of addiction, I thought that this was kind of like the best place for me to be. And so I've worked in, you know, various types of situations and non recovery spaces are just kind of uninteresting, and boring, and they don't feel like home, right, where it's like every recovery space I've worked in, has felt more and more like home to me. So that's kind of what it comes down to. I could give you some academic answers about the challenge of it and all that. But the truth is, it feels like home.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
That's a great answer. One of the things we talked about with Destination Change, the reason we named it Destination Change is that, you know, recovery is a journey. Let's talk a little bit about, you know, the journey of recovery and kind of how you, yourself, help others and especially let's talk a little bit about the community and interventions and the fact that you've been training with experts and stuff like that. So talk a little bit about that.

Patrick Lockwood
The thing about my trajectory as a professional at least is it's been an ongoing lesson in letting people show up and be whatever their strengths are. And so like I think of probably the most formative experience in my career is when I was working in a place called Recovery Happens up in Northern California. And so I know Pete Nielsen, because I know John Daly and John Daly was a big name in the adolescent recovery world for a long time in California. He was kind of like the guy for, you know, teams and drugs. And unfortunately, John is not with us anymore. But you know, as my mentor, he and his wife, Angela, did something that I don't think I could buy, right? Like, you could go like a Tony Robbins kind of seminar and like, get pumped up or whatever, and you know, all that kind of stuff. But like, the experiences I've had, with people like John Daly and Angela Chanter people that have allowed me to just be myself and see my strength and allow me to use kind of use Angela's word like shine, right? Like these people who cared only about me, shining, right? Those experiences are the experiences that have shaped me the most.

There is nothing academic, or textbook, so to speak, that has really shaped me because I'm naturally a very like, studious and curious person, right. So like, you'll catch me reading scientific papers, even if I don't have something to do for school, right as a professor. So like, no one ever needed to encourage me to read. No one ever needed to encourage me to be curious in that way. But what I needed as a person, which shaped me both as a person, in a non professional sense, and also as a professional, is that there are people who are interested in me shining in whatever way my specific skills would allow me -- my strengths, whatever they were to shine, right. That's all that really matters to me as a professional anymore anyways, because I see the impact and what it's done for me. Like, I've seen people not try to force me to fit me into some training model that's like, overly rote, right? Where they really did have what a lot of people call like a strengths based approach to supervision and a strengths based approach to like therapy and things like that.

And so because of that, because of like, my foundational experiences with like John Daly and Angela Chanter, and many other people in my life, I mean, many of my colleagues, right, so I've had so many relationships with peers, where I've had the experience of people just wanting me to shine, right? Just a quick anecdote, like, I was at an intervention training with Dr. Judith Landau, Judith Landau is I think a big deal in the intervention space, she kind of came up with this Invitational intervention style, which kind of went against the whole Johnson intervention style for a long time. And so she's got like a name, right. But like, I was just going to her intervention training, just to kind of see, you know, what I might not know, and just connect with her more. And unbeknownst to me, with zero forethought ahead, she actually asked me on one of the training days to get up and give a talk on motivational interviewing, right, because she knows I'm a professor, and you know, many of the people that she's colleagues with have actually heard me give talks on MI in the community before.

And so like, that's just another one of those magical experiences that basically money couldn't buy, you know, where, like, people just see whatever my strengths are, according to them, right? And they just like, go do it. See, see how it goes. And it actually I think, went pretty well, everyone really appreciated, you know, the talk I gave on EMI and how to work with people and like the contemplation stage of change, right? And so like, these experiences of people that basically only nothing in the world, I don't have some kind of financial deal with them. I don't have some kind of like, personal deal with them. They're just like good people, I would say, who just like, listen, I see that you're this kind of person, and you've got these kinds of skills. Why don't you go do them? Why don't you go do them as much as you can and see if you can help people with them, right? That experience in my life, whether it's with John and Angela, or Judith, or any of my other supervisors at different placements and trainings, or even my colleagues who are just like, go talk to Dr. Lockwood because this is his specialty, right?

It's really not about money. It's not about status. It's always been about I see who you are, and I see what you're good at. I want you to shine. That attitude, which is not a you know, I'm a very scientifically interested person, right? I'm a professor, right. And so like, that's not a scientific thing to say. It's not an academic thing to say, it's just a very personal lived experience thing. And so because of those experiences, I'm where I'm at. And I'm very clear, like, none of my intellect none of my reading just academic paper after academic paper, textbook after textbook has made me the excellent person that I'm trying to be, right? It is these people for no reason other than they saw something in me and believed in me. Allow me to be here. Right.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Now, I'm gonna have to ask you to tell a joke.

Patrick Lockwood
I think it's really the reason I'm on this podcast with you is because like John and Angela believed me so much that I was able to go do a bunch of talks repeat at different like conferences. I think I've done a talk for BHAP with you once upon a time, right? And so like, it's because of all these people who just believed in me somewhat, knowing nothing about me. And just let me try to shine somehow that I'm here. And so because of that as an attitude, like, let's find what helps a person shine that I think is the most formative thing in my life. It's not something technical, I'm not going to brag about like a thing that I've done, or I can't say there's this book that I read that changed my life, I read a bunch of cool books that definitely changed the way I see psychopathology and mental illness and addiction. But like, the technical, the academic is not what changes people, in my experience, even as a professor, right, the most powerful thing I do as a professor is tell jokes, honestly.

I don't know that I could on the spot. I don't think I wish I were that quick. I'm good at self deprecating stuff. But that's usually more of like an ongoing experience.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Now, that's, that's my favorite joke is a priest, a minister, and a Rabbi walk into a bar. Bartender says, What do you think this is a joke?

Patrick Lockwood
That's funny. I like it a lot.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
As a trainer, yourself, just kind of, you know, what are some of the tips and tricks and some of the things the resources that you go to on a regular basis when training new people?

Patrick Lockwood
So I'm really fortunate and lucky to be a professor at Cal Lutheran, because all I do is teach future masters and doctoral level clinicians, right. So I teach only in graduate school, I don't really do any undergrad teaching, I've been offered, but I just have never had the time, right. And so I just kind of stick with my people basically. And so one of the things I always say to my my kids is I call them but they're actually adults. But like, one of the things I say to them is that, you know, there's what you know, and then there's what you can do.

One of the resources I try to give people is just a basic amount of insight about what they're actually good at, like I was just talking about, right? Like, I have certain strengths that allow me to function very well in different settings. Whereas like, there's many settings where I'm not very good. And I would just not be of service to people. And so I try to offer them that insight. The other resource that I think is really important for people who are trying to get better at being trainers, or professors, or whatever they're good at, is to have colleagues who really know you, and really know how to support you. I think that without us, like a handful of people in my life, I wouldn't be sitting here, like I said, and I mean that really sincerely like there's no amount of me knowing things that could get me in this chair. Right. And I think that, that helps I know a bunch and I'm very like book wormy as a person, but it doesn't, it doesn't help me interpersonally. It doesn't help me become a better business person doesn't help me become a better person. Right.

And so the character of who I am is what matters the most. And so what I encourage graduate students in particular to do a lot is to refine their character, to figure out what their real strengths are, and figure out how to use them to compensate for their deficits, right, because we all have weaknesses, we're not perfect, and there's no expectation that we should be. But if we have a real honest assessment of like, well, I'm super extroverted, and I can use that to be good at connecting to people, or I'm pretty introverted. So that's a deficit many of these situations, but because I'm really good at negotiating, or whatever, I can get out there, and I can, you know, talk to parents or whatever it is, right? Like, figuring out those skills, and having people who can remind you of who you are is a really big deal.

The other thing is, like, if you're really not clear on what your skills are, or even what your interests are, if you're kind of like brand new, right? And you're just starting out, you're thinking, Should I go get a CADAC? Or should I go, you know, should I go get a master's degree or whatever it is. Try to talk to other people who've already been there, done that.

The other thing you can do is go to some trainings, right? So like I mentioned, Judith Landau, if you really think you're going to be an interventionist, go to a Judith's trainings, see what it's like, see what it's like to sit and listen to her stories, or go talk to people like Nanette Zumwalt, if you want to do like interventions, right? Or if you want to be a podcast or talk to you, right? Figure out what it's like to sit across from people and ask them questions and try to corral them when they go off topic or whatever, right? Like, talking to people is the biggest takeaway of all of my trainings. It is not a specific fact or database, because like, there's so many databases, like you can go to PubMed and find peer reviewed papers. You can even go to Google Scholar, right. So like if you don't know where to find things, that's a more mechanical, logistical problem.

But the thing that I see every young person, especially graduate students, right, like people in their early 20s, who are just lost, but like really want to do some good in the world, the thing that they don't really get, which I try to tell them is that people are your best resource, right? People who've been there done that people who are on the same page as you, people who are just like at the same level as you, everyone, people are the thing. People are the keys to your success. Your strengths are great, but your strengths are useless if you don't know how to leverage people and trust people and let people support you, right? That I can't say enough about that, because like, I can say go to these five people who are good at interventions and go get training with them. That's fine. I can say, I trust these treatment professionals. I trust these therapists that I know, I trust these academics that I know.

But like, you probably have people right in your environment right now that can support you that can show up for you. That's way bigger of a deal than like meeting some famous academic or going to talk to some well known interventionist or whatever, like all that's great. And I hope that you do meet those people. I am definitely the kind of guy that's like, let me go meet whoever I can, because maybe they know something I don't know. Right? That's one of my attitude has been profoundly helpful. That's how I've met people like Judith Landau. That's how I've met people like Lynette and Poppy. And that's how I met all these people in my life like John and Angela, right. And Pete, right. These are people I met, because there's something they know that I don't know. There's something they're good at, that I'm not good at. And there's something that I can do to probably be of service to these people. And if that's, that's possible, great. If I can't awesome. If you've already got like a nerd in your corner, then you don't need me. You're good, right? And so, for me, it's like, the people side of it. I could talk all day and rant and rave about the importance of the people side of it.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Well, you mentioned your podcast, let's talk a little bit about that. Kind of, you know, how that got started, your elevator pitch, just kind of a little bit of what caused you to do your own podcast?

Patrick Lockwood
Yeah, that's an interesting question. So my podcast is kind of in a moratorium of sorts right now, I haven't really added any content recently. So like, the reason I started it years ago, is because I wanted to see, first and foremost, I just kind of wanted to see what the response would be to someone like me getting out and putting out content or, you know, in many of the first two years of my podcast, I did mostly like live YouTube videos. And so I wanted to see like, who would show up and what kind of questions I would get, because I would typically like prepare an outline for like, some psychology topic like attachment or defense mechanisms, or whatever it is just see, because, you know, just a backup, like the name of the podcast is The Psychology Checkup.

So the idea is kind of like, if there was some professional who sort of knew what they were doing, who could give you some very basic understanding of basic psychology concepts, right, like attachment or defense mechanisms, or whatever it is, right? That was not just like neuroscience, and like, you know, the fluff, you see on like a Wikipedia page, but also wasn't so dense, that it was just an academic lecture, right, somewhere in between, would people respond to it? And so I had, I had a fair of following for probably a year or two. And then I kind of got really wrapped up in my professional life with regard to both teaching, as well as running treatment centers, such that I didn't really have the energy and the time and the mental free space to keep doing it in the same way. So it's kind of sat there for a couple of years.

But, you know, the spirit of it was, could I actually educate people because I'm, I love to educate people. I'm a talker, I love to kind of clarify. And I also really love to cut through like myths. And the BS, that's like, the propaganda or pop psychology stuff. So I really do like to, you know, shoot down pseudoscience. So that stuff matters to me. So those are kind of the two reasons I did it. Could I actually build an audience number one? And then number two, because I like to educate but number two, can I really, like create a detailed enough but not so dense video or live video that I would challenge the way people understood a lot of pop psychology? Because I think pop psychology hurts people, I think a lot of the self healthy stuff hurts people, right?

Because I think that it gives people the false impression that there's a simple solution to their complicated, socially encapsulated problems, right? Like one of the problems with most pop psychology stuff is that assumes that you as an individual can just do like five things to fix your life. And I understand that there's like the individualist perspective. And that's true, like everyone should probably be eating better. Everyone should be exercising better, everyone should be sleeping better. I think that's a universal thing for like, 99% of people on the planet. Everyone should be eating better, sleeping better, exercising better, we should all be more active, myself included.

That being said, that doesn't happen in a vacuum. We also live in a system and so not acknowledging the system we live in, society, your family units, your whatever, right romantic partner, your cats, whatever. My cats are a big hindrance to my social life, right? So like, there's all these things that don't get considered very well and so a lot of the pop psychology nonsense that's published and famous books, you know, is just completely devoid of a systemic approach to life, right. And so a lot of what I tried to do in that podcast is talk about the complicated psychosocial circumstances that we find ourselves in. Some of that's through kind of like the culture war lens. And some of that's just through, like my clinical experience.

And my hope was just to make something that would allow people a basic understanding, that could get them to the point in their life where they could do the more complicated things and start to look at the more complicated things on their own. So it wasn't to give people a simple solution, it was to give them a simple understanding that would lead them towards a more complicated problem, to deal with things. That's why it's a checkup, like when you go to your doctor for a checkup, that's not the end of it. Usually, it's like, well, your blood pressure is duh duh duh duh. So like, now we have this complicated problem, right, which is like, we probably need to put you on blood pressure meds, but you probably need to exercise you probably need to eat differently, right? So it starts a checkup as a simple thing, but then it becomes a complicated thing. Right? And that's kind of the spirit of the podcast is to do a simple thing, but then lead it into a complicated, here's the complicated world, we have to like sift through to manage our attachment stuff, or whatever it is.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Well, yeah. And speaking of another simple but complicated thing, your book, The Fear Problem, talk a little bit now about that, and kind of where that came from? Why What made you decide you're gonna write a book and the little what it's about and that kind of stuff?

Patrick Lockwood
Yeah, I mean, the problem, the problem that I think, drove me to write a book called The Fear Problem, is, this was like before 2016. So in the United States, right, you know, this is kind of a big, I think, historical shift, right? I think that 2015, when I first started writing the book, even though it's published in 2018, but it took some time to edit, finish writing. But, you know, when I was writing in 2015, what I was experiencing personally and professionally, but also seeing, like in the world on social media, in different circles I travel and I saw that a lot of people were very reactionary, and starting to have a great deal of essentially what we could call distress, right?

So I think 2015, 2016 is kind of the rise of people like Donald Trump in the United States, and kind of a big shift in how this country in particular, but also the world starts to deal with cultural topics, right? I think that Donald Trump was the bull in the china shop that allowed everyone to start being openly extremely critical of each other, the government, and things of that nature, whether you like him or dislike him is immaterial to me, I don't really care one way or the other about him, I'm just not interested. I think politics is a giant scam we shouldn't pay attention to but that's my personal belief, right. But for me, I think that the fact that this guy captivated the country and the world is a sign that something is up, right.

And because I was experiencing that, because I was experiencing almost like, nonsensical fighting about political topics. I couldn't understand personally, why so many people have principles, people that have, I think, a character that is admirable, were doing things that ran contrary to their principles in my personal life. And in my professional life, I think that there was this big kind of fight in the culture war between the people who call themselves woke, or that were pejoratively labeled, woke, and the people who were labeled anti woke.

These kinds of things I was watching and observing. And I noticed that there was just like, the humans that didn't exist. There was a nastiness, and aggression, a concern, paranoia in some people's cases, that made almost no sense to me. Right? And so I'm like, Well, what possibly is the driving force of this experience? And so for me, I believe that fear, and, you know, to tie this back to the very beginning of this conversation, you know, if you look at the 12 Step approach to life, one of the biggest things that's addressed using the steps and principles is fear. Right? So I think it's completely unsurprising that I wrote a book about fear, given how I grew up in recovery, right?

And so I started to think about to what primary emotion what primary driving affective state might be driving this. And so I came to conclude that fear is probably the most under managed and underestimated affective and emotional process in our lives. And so that's kind of what drove me. I thought that fear was kind of destroying our ability to have reasonable conversations about things, right? Like I think, just to bring a modern topic up that was just becoming a problem. Back in the day was like, what's so called gender affirming health care for persons that have gender dysphoria, right? That's a very complicated, very, very, very complicated problem. And trans people, unfortunately, are caught in the middle of warring factions between people who think there's only the medical approach. And that there's only so called gender affirming care. And there's like different versions of gender affirming care, but they're all like, there's like a religious element around that. And there's the people who can't stand trans people and hate them. And then there's like a middle group of people who are usually professionals who are like, I want to just try and meet people where they're at, and figure out what kind of care they actually need. Right.

And so, there is a space that currently exists, but kind of started, you know, about a decade ago, 2015, 2014, where it's like, we have to hate each other. If we want to have a complicated conversation around gender affirming medical care, for persons that have gender dysphoria, and to have a nuanced approach to it means you're a bigot, or to not have a nuanced approach to it means you're a bigot. You're a bigot, no matter what you think, if you're anything but one of the two warring sides, if you're anti trans or these people, then you know you're the good guy. Or if you're only gender affirming care, do whatever you want to kids, it doesn't matter, take people at there words, affirm everything, which is I guess, I know, that's a caricature, right. But like, if you're on that side, you're the good guy. So there's a good guy and a bad guy. And it's definitively clear that there's a good guy and a bad guy, no matter what the topic, it could be the law, of abortion, there's a perfect opinion that it must exist.

And there's a side that has that perfect opinion, which is ludicrous if you're a thinking person, right, but because when we get fearful, we do not want to look at the nuance of things, we want to find our tribe, and stick with our tribe. And we want to demonize the quote unquote, other side or other sides, because those are the bad guys, those are the ones that are kind of hurt us, they're going to kill the trans kids, they're going to whatever it is, right. And so for me, I just experienced so much of that. And some of that might have to do with like the fact that I saw some stuff on Twitter, some of that has to do with being in Los Angeles, it can do so many reasons why, but I just saw so much, basically hate and fear and aggression, that I was like, this must be the source of it. Because I just know from the people I know in recovery, when they're in fear, they do aggressive things, when they're in fear, they operate against their principles, they they forego their principles as a person when they let fear run their lives. And so that was the spirit of why I wrote the book.

Now the actual content of the book is kind of like I said earlier, like this attempts to go from the micro to the macro. So I talked about the micro of fear. But I talked about society, I talk about social institutions, I talk about, you know, the problems of social media, right, I talk about all these like systemic forces that influence us to dehumanize each other, and live in teams that make no sense. Like, if you really care, in my opinion, if you really care about people with gender dysphoria, you're going to try and understand everything about them before you make a medical or psychological decision, about their care, that you care about people, you're an ethical clinician, you care, right, you do everything you can to really understand somebody. So you give them the best possible case. And me saying that is enough to quote Go get me cancelled, because that might mean like, I don't want people to have health care, like, that's not what I mean at all. Right? I want them to have health care if and only if they're psychiatrically stable enough to do that, because like adding hormones to someone who's wildly psychiatrically unstable is a terrible idea. Right.

And so I'm interested in people getting the best quality care. And that's become my reputation. And that has me not liked by both kind of the political left and the political right, because both of them would like for me to join their team, and say certain things and say the right prayers, like a Catholic mass kind of prayer, that like, allows them to feel like I'm on their side. And I hate to break it to everybody, but I'm not on your side, I'm on the side of what's actually going to help the person. And that's really radically complex, because people are radically complex. And the people that I think are hacks and are hurting people are the ones who just have a side. And they're comfortable in their side. And I wish they were more uncomfortable. I wish they had more self doubt. Because I think if we care about people, we see how wrong we can be. I believe that I'm capable of being wrong about people. Right.

And so that's the stuff that drove me to write the book is I was trying to have basic scientific skepticism about various mental health and political topics. And I was getting beaten up for verbally I'm like, What is this what is happening here? This is insane. So that's what drove me to write the book. And I think I'm going to keep on this, this drumbeat as long as I can until I either get cancelled or, or something like that. You know,

Angie Fiedler Sutton
One of the things about the podcast like I mentioned, the title is destination change. We talk about the treatment and the addiction journey. He kind of touched us with the fear, but what are some of the other barriers that people find to come across to move forward in addicts journey.

Patrick Lockwood
I think there's a lot of good data actually on the barriers for people, you know, getting into a recovery lifestyle, right? I think that, you know, in many cases, just access to quality treatment is still a huge problem. I mean, it's interesting to say that here in Los Angeles, right, because like, there's a treatment center, every half block, you could split and hit a treatment center, if you wanted to here in LA, there's like 700 treatment centers in LA county. And that's a wild mount of treatment centers.

That being said, How many people can afford them? If there's a place in Malibu, that's actually pretty good, and it costs 85 grand a month, who can afford that very few people can afford that. Whereas like many of the MediCal or Medicaid funded places, or just the free places, you know, sometimes they're really good. And there's a lot of good people who just care. But like, sometimes it's hard to be there. Sometimes there's rough people there. And so you might not fit in there culturally, right? How many treatment centers are there for people of color, right? Like, I think that, although the segregation is mindsets, not very healthy, I think it's often safer, right, for people of various ethnic or cultural backgrounds to have their own space.

I very proudly ran Lafuente Hollywood treatment centers for a couple of years, and still very friendly with everyone there. And the great thing about an LGBT only treatment center versus what Lafuente is, is that there's no threat of people who don't understand your lived experiences being there. Right, the fact that all of us were in the queer community, and almost everyone there is sober, meant that everyone's gonna get why it's hard, everyone's gonna get internalized homophobia, everyone's gonna get internalized transphobia, none of us are going to be confused about the importance of like, the crippling shame associated with being queer, that many people experience just because we grew up in a society that said, You're wrong, you're bad, you're broken, you're immoral, you're going to hell, so on and so forth. Like, we all got that, right, we all get that. And so I think spaces for people who have different cultural experiences are important. I think there aren't very many of them, unfortunately.

One of my good friends is Christina Seamos, she runs a brilliant organization called The Friendly House, the first women's treatment program in the country. And like, how many women's only spaces are there? They're very few. Miriam's House is the one of the very few places that you can have a kid if you're a mom, right?There's so few spaces that fit the people that have specific needs, because like a lot of people can't just like go to rehab for 90 days and, you know, drop their kids off, or maybe they don't have a spouse or a partner or family that can take their kids, right. It's like, so there's so many different types of treatment centers that need to exist. There's so many funding problems that exist, that it's so hard for a lot of people to get treatment, that's probably the biggest barrier.

The second biggest barrier I see is that a lot of people that are running treatment centers, a lot of people that are clinicians and treatment centers shouldn't be there. And this is probably going to be the most maybe the most controversial thing I say in this interview, maybe not, who knows. But there's a lot of really unwell people that are in the treatment space.

Just to give a simple example. And I'm not trying to be a hypocrite, I used to have a nicotine problem. I used to smoke cigarettes, I've stopped. I've been off cigarettes for over five years at this point. So obviously, I could easily relapse. But like, I had no other drug problems in my life. Right? I'm a normie in technical sense, but I did smoke. I started in graduate school. And at the end of graduate school, interestingly enough, right before I graduated, but anyways, one problem I see one giant hypocrisy that exists in the recovery community, which is an obstacle, I think, to people actually getting well is a bunch of people who are so called sober are really not sober because they're still using nicotine. They're still doing very pathological, addictive, compulsive, unmanageable things with nicotine. And so they say they're sober and they are in their abstinent, right, but they're working a program around alcohol or whatever it is, right. But I think they're still not spiritually as well as they could be. Right?

I'm not in recovery. So I know that I sound like a hypocrite or an outsider who's judging people. And I'm happy for all that criticism. But I will stick by my opinion, because I think that nicotine is allowing people to stay sick, right? I don't think anyone's life is better because of it. I understand it. And I understand why it's great in the sense that like, it helped me cope in a very pathological way. But like, it's not good for anybody. So there's a lot of hypocrites that are in the treatment industry, and they're not really actively addressing it. It's one thing to be a hypocrite and actively address it and work on it. It's another thing to just like, pretend like you're, you know, you're doing great, you're 35 years clean, but you're still smoking a pack a day. You know, that's a that's a different person. Right.

The other thing I see that's really problematic that's keeping patients from getting into a recovery lifestyle is the fact that many of their therapists, their drug counselors, etc. psychiatrists are radically unwell themselves. They have trauma and pain and they have other personal issues, attachment issues, whatever it is that they're just they might be aware of, or they might be not very aware of, or they're completely unaware of. They're somewhere in a spectrum of awareness. And they're on a spectrum of action. They're going next to nothing about the vast majority of people that I see in the professional. And maybe this is just Los Angeles, I don't know. But like the vast majority people that say they're like trauma specialists, or whatever, which is all the rage nowadays, have so much unmanaged stuff on their own, that I couldn't imagine referring somebody to them. Because they're just not very well.

I think there's a lot of unwell professionals, right. So I think if I were to say there's like two categories of problems that keep people from getting into recovery lifestyle, it is the systemic barriers, right, like the finances, the lack of quality spaces, the lack of culturally responsive spaces, right. But also, I just think there's so many unwell people that really do care. These are not malicious, Machiavellian people. These are good people who are just sick, and somehow, don't either see it or don't take it seriously enough. And I understand that, like, I am not perfect, I have my own stuff to work on. And I'm happy to have a coffee and talk about all the ways in which I need to grow as a person, and what I need to be doing and what I'm currently trying to do to grow as a person, so I can kind of put my money where my mouth is. But like, I'm acutely aware of the fact that there are things I should be working on, and I'm gonna keep trying to work on them. And I have people around me that helped me stay accountable.

And so like, that is the attitude, which I see is like not existing in many spaces, which is wild, to me. And so that those are the two categories of problems: the systemic and in the fact that clinicians are sick, people in recovery are sick, and not dealing, doing enough about it. That I think keeps people from getting well I think if we can take more personal accountability, as like providers and people who help people, then we're gonna be better, and more people are gonna get sober and stay sober, in my opinion.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Now we're getting close to the end of time, before we get into how people can get a hold of you. Was there something that you wanted to talk about that we haven't or thought that I was gonna ask, but I didn't

Patrick Lockwood
The Thing I just want to reiterate, from what I said earlier is people good people, people who understand you, people who care about you, people who see your strengths, people who are okay with your flaws, right? People who accept you and who are willing to hold you not only accountable and help you grow and progress, but people who really do believe in you not just like networking, Oh, he's so great. I love him. I love her. Blah, blah, blah, like that, that BS stuff that happens when therapists go to like continuing education events, or trainings or conferences. That's all crap, in my opinion.

What really matters is people who actually get you. And if I could just convince everyone who's in like the treatment industry, the sober living industry, the therapy industry, the psychiatric industry, to just like, focus on shining and figuring out what they're really good at, and figuring out ways to have accountability around the stuff that they're struggling with. I think we'd have such a cooler, more successful, healthier country. I think one of the reasons our country is so unhealthy is because of us. And I just wish that like, to the extent that I can role model it for people, great. To the extent that I'm a hypocrite, I need to be called out on it, you know, but I really wish that was the message that was talked about at every conference at every networking thing. Because I feel like the healthier we are as the people trying to help people get well, it actually just helps everybody get better.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Great. If people want to learn more about you or contact you, how is the best way to get a hold of you?

Patrick Lockwood
The simplest way to interact with me is to do the risky thing of checking me out on Twitter. My handle on Twitter is at Dr. Lockwood, D. O C T. O R Lockwood. Other than that, I mean, I have an email Lockwood You can contact me there if you have questions or concerns about something I've said here or if you want to write me some hate mail or some love mail or whatever it is, but you can email me or you can find me on Twitter and I would just love to talk especially if you are new in your career and trying to find your path. I'd love to be able to support you if I can.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Awesome. You've been listening to Destination Change. Our guest today was Dr. Patrick Lockwood. Thanks for being here.

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