The Lens of a Family System: Contribute to Society by Healing Yourself and Your Relationships with Phyllis Leavitt

Date: June 6,2024 Duration: 37 min

We are wired to be dependent, to connect, to love, and to feel a sense of belonging.

Phyllis Leavitt is a podcaster, author, and psychotherapist for over three decades. In her book, America in Therapy: A New Approach to Hope and Healing for a Nation in Crisis, she discusses in-depth how abusive family dynamics are playing out in America, especially in politics, and how we can use the best of what we have learned from psychology, Family Systems, and Family Therapy to interrupt the escalating cycle of hatred, divisiveness, and violence, and begin to heal the family of America.

Phyllis Leavitt shares her experience and focuses on healing relationships, both with ourselves and with others. She advocates for applying this within larger institutions to bridge divides, build empathy, and foster understanding. Her approach involves taking personal responsibility, making necessary changes within ourselves, and building deep connections rather than blaming others, which we usually do.

To reconnect with that beautiful person that we were born to be, that innocent baby, people need to heal. When people heal and find that inner essence, and connect to it, they have a source of love and understanding that they bring into the world around them. Healing on an individual level is deeply connected to the broader societal context and the only way to make this world a better place is to start from ourselves.


🤔 Healing her trauma helped Phyllis realize that people don’t understand what is going on with them. 05:19

⭐ The more we heal individually, the more we bring love and attention to the people around us and to society. 10:41

2️⃣ Learned helplessness and identifying with the aggressors are two patterns that we are experiencing as a society. 12:42

⚠️ The stigma around needing another human being for help is specifically tied to mental health: we all need love and support. 18:18

🤯 Adopting trauma to survive and not knowing how to move from the behavioral patterns.  22:03

🔁 Attraction to the familiar: abuse creates a feeling of disliking dependency. 25:32

🌺 Allow yourself to get help and depend on help to heal: the power of random kindness and the ripple effect of our behavior. 28:18

What Listeners Are Saying


Every month, I look forward to a new episode of Therapy Deconstructed. The way Bonnie weaves her own story through the episodes is captivating. She has a calm and nurturing voice, like the trusted friend you always turn to when you need solid advice. I always finish an episode feeling like she was talking directly to me.

Thomas MacInnes

As someone who had never gone to therapy, I found myself in a situation last year that was very sad, confusing and overwhelming for me and I was really unable to figure my way through it. I turned to Bonnie and she so graciously and effortlessly (seemingly) had so much empathy and compassion for my feelings and she truly helped me navigate getting my emotions and really my life back on track. I am very grateful for Bonnie and her wisdom, honesty, humor, candor but mostly for her compassion. I’m excited to listen to her podcast but would highly encourage anyone who is reading this to reach out to her. She really helped me and I am very thankful to have her in my corner.


Dr. Wims makes therapy digestible and even fun to learn about. Sometime therapy feels like a big mystery and something super intimidating, but she breaks it down make it feel more personal and helpful.


I’m pretty particular about what podcasts I’ll tune into, but this one was recommended so I decided to check it out. Bonnie is a natural at this – she offers thoughtful insights into our thoughts and emotions and why we humans fall into unhelpful patterns, then provides simple wisdom on how to reframe them. Big fan.

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