In week two of our relationship theme, Dr. Akua Boateng joins me for a conversation about healing from breakups, overcoming co-dependency, and creating intimacy with a partner, beyond the bedroom. She also gives a 3-minute masterclass on navigating difficult conversations with a partner. When I say our conversation was enlightening, that’s an understatement. 

Dr. Akua K. Boateng is a sought-after mental health and relationship expert. With over 14 years of experience in clinical practice and education, she specializes in an integrative approach to treating anxiety, trauma, relationship issues, and other emotional concerns.

We talk about:

  • Dr. Boateng offers her advice for having open and hard conversations with a partner (4:19)
  • On and off again relationships: why do people stay in them? (12:29)
  • The best way to navigate healing from a breakup (23:51)
  • Overcoming and healing from codependency (27:40)
  • The different ways to create intimacy in relationships (31:35)
  • Reparenting: what it looks like and how to get started (36:23)

“The body desires for you to heal. So what comes up to the surface is demanding your attention to heal.” – Dr. Akua Boateng

The Daring Way Retreat in September!
Dr. Boateng’s website
Dr. Boateng on Instagram


Dr. Akua K. Boateng is a sought-after mental health and relationship expert. With over 14 years experience in clinical practice and education, she specializes in an integrative approach to treating anxiety, trauma, relationship issues and other emotional concerns. She is the founder & CEO of Boateng Psychotherapy & Consultation, where she partners with organizations in the integration of emotionally aware practices and initiatives. In the media, Dr. Akua has contributed to media outlets such as CNN, The Washington Post, Huff Post, Black Enterprise, Refinery29, Philadelphia Inquirer, NBC News, Slate Magazine, Harper's Bazaar and others. Her genuine, empathic voice adds to the growing culture of mental health awareness.

Right-click to download the .mp3



Dr. Akua Boateng 00:00
Sometimes people want to jump to the oh, I need to grow from it and learn from it and, I'm never doing that again. You know, like, well, you know, sit down for a minute and just cry. Right? It's okay to cry. It's okay to feel sad about all of the things that felt good in the moment, even though at the end, you realize they weren't for your good.

Andrea 00:23
You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast episode number 448 with guest, Dr. Akua Boateng.

Welcome to Make Some Noise Podcast, your guide for strategies, tools and insight to empower yourself. I'm your host Andrea Owen, global speaker, entrepreneur, life coach since 2007, and author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries. Each week, I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable confidence, master resilience and make some noise in your life. You ready? Let's go.

Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode of the podcast. I am so glad that you're here. I'm recording this while my puppy is taking a nap. I did not realize, I mean, I think I kind of realized, but it's sort of like parenting, like, people can tell you about it but you don’t really understand until you’re in it. I didn’t realize that this is going to be so much like having a toddler. And this isn’t to, you know, be dismissive of how hard it is to have small children, but there are a lot of similarities. One of them being that I cannot take my eyes off her. And yeah, she's napping. And I feel like when I had that my when I first started my business, this was actually a couple of years before I started the podcast, I had two babies, and it was the same. I worked when they were napping and after they went to bed, and let me tell you, it wasn't easy, but I made it. And I'm we're so happy to have her. I posted on Instagram about her. Her name is Astrid. She's a German Shepherd puppy. And also, you can catch her in my highlights. She is an absolute joy.

And speaking of joys, I am super pumped because we have moved into the relationships theme of the podcast and I'm already just enamored with our guests. I somehow managed to find the smartest people. I mean, not to brag, but these people that I get to interview before we jump in, and I tell you about today's guests, if you want to get on the phone with me, because you're on the fence about The Daring Way retreat that is coming up in September in Asheville, here in North Carolina, you can do that. If you're like I don't know, I need to do a gut check. It's you know, I know it's like moving mountains when you're trying to like logistically come out and if you're not really sure about the work and if you want to talk to me about kind of what you're struggling with to see if it will help you. Again, just to do that gut check, gut check, excuse me, head on over to AndreaOwen.com/retreat and if you scroll down to the bottom in the FAQs, you'll see that they're about getting on the phone with me and there's a link in there so you can book your quick call and we'll chat about it. I'm excited to see if it is right for you.

Alright, let's jump into today's show. And let me tell you a little bit about our guest. Dr. Akua Boateng is a sought-after mental health and relationship expert. With over 14 yea’s experience in clinical practice and education. She specializes in an integrative approach to treating anxiety, trauma, relationship issues and other emotional concerns. She is the founder and CEO of Boateng Psychotherapy and Consultation where she partners with organizations in the integration of emotionally aware practices and initiatives in the media. Dr. Akua has contributed to media outlets such as CNN, The Washington Post HuffPost, Black Enterprise, Refinery 29, Philadelphia Inquirer, NBC News, Slate Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, and others. Her genuine empathetic voice as to the growing culture of mental health awareness. So without further ado, here is Dr. Boateng.

Dr. Boateng, thank you so much for being on the show.

Dr. Akua Boateng 04:17
Thank you for having me. I'm excited to talk.

Andrea 04:19
I was mentioning before we got started that I have too many questions because it's a good thing for the interview. So I am going to jump right in and we're doing themes this year on my show, and we are in the relationships theme and we in the past have had a lot of experts on talking about difficult conversations and from a relationship perspective, wat would be your advice when it comes to having open and hard conversations with a partner?

Dr. Akua Boateng 04:55
Well, this is an important part of any relationship right? Because typically You know, a couple of therapists I hear and see people that come to me, because of the absence of the ability to do this, right? Safety is required for active and healthy communication. If a person doesn't feel safe, there's actually a part of their brain that does not allow for them to have this space of vulnerability that's required for authentic communication. And so establishing safety is the first order of business. How do I make the person that I'm talking to feel safe, not in a way that I feel safe, but in the way that they feel safe. And so having conversations about the conversation, typically, is what helps you to feel safe?

Andrea 05:45
When you say safe? Do you mean all aspects of it like physically safe, emotionally safe? Am I leaving anything out?

Dr. Akua Boateng 05:53
Yes, psychologically safe, right? All of those things are really important, right? Mind, body, spirit. How do I make you feel open and safe enough to speak. Right? So physically are there things are there prosthetics that feel good? Does it help if we are sitting face to face Indian style, does it help if you know we're having a conversation in the middle of the day or the nighttime, or does it help you to feel safe? If we talk about if I tell you ahead of time, or no, don't tell me too far ahead of time, because that gives me anxiety, right? So let's have a conversation about how to have a safe conversation, to set the foundation for that too, to work well.

And then secondly, talking to the person about your needs, typically disarms a person, right? Talking to them about this is what I'm learning about myself and the things that I need. I need to feel supported and the way that I best feel supported is blank, blank, blank, right. Also talking to them about what your concerns or fears are are really important. I'm really fearing that without that level of support, our connection is going to fizzle. I don't feel as connected to you, I don't feel like you're my person and that's scary to me. And so what I'd like to see happen is write some action items, I would love to feel supported in these three ways.

And so specifically telling your partner what it is that you need, disclosing your emotion behind and underneath what you need, so that they can see the significance of it and then the action items. This is specifically in detail, I need to see happen. And so whatever conversation you need to have that's difficult, laying that that foundation, and then structural vehicle is typically helpful.

Andrea 07:50
Okay, you just gave like a masterclass in three minutes. So I want everyone… If you have not gotten out your pen and paper to take notes back up and take those notes. A couple of things I want to sort of underscore that you said, that it sounds like when you talk about, you know, say it's a it's you and I are having a hard conversation, if I came to you and talk to you about my experience, then it takes the pressure, I don't know, there's probably a better word, off of you. And what I'm thinking of is I think in many conversations, we've when we come to somebody with a problem, we tend to tell them how they're wrong. How we make up that they're wrong. And the other person, it largely probably wants to shut down or does shut down. It's like no one wants to listen, when they're being told all the ways that they're wrong, or that they're, you know, being a bad partner in their partner's eyes, etc.

And the other thing was, I love that you said about the details, because I think so many times, we just make up that okay, we need to ask our partner to be more romantic. We need to ask them to show up for us emotionally without telling them exactly what that looks like for us. Because they might have a completely different version of what that is and can get it quote unquote, wrong. So all of that.

Dr. Akua Boateng 09:09
Oh, yes, yes, it's so powerful. And recognizing that that awareness of the human that you're seeking to connect with is more important than the information that you want to give them.

Andrea 09:19
Say that part again, that's so important.

Dr. Akua Boateng 09:25
Yes, your awareness of who is this person that I'm trying to convey this information to. Your awareness of that needs to be the focus, not exactly what it is that you're trying to relate to them. And so if this person is a better receiver of concise and direct communication, you need to be able to package your information that way. If this person is largely connected to an emotive experience, right, and so they need to understand the emotionality around the need, and so you need to package what you're saying in that way. So your awareness of who this person is, how they best digest information is typically what I am working with people on that they overlook, right? It's just really, really pivotal, so…

Andrea 10:17
What you just said made me think of, I think it was actually a couple of years ago, my husband was really transparent with me. And he said to me, you know, to be honest, when we have big conversations, like, like a heart to heart, if you will, I only take in about a third of what you're telling me. And at first, I was a little hurt, you know, they took it personally, like, oh, you just don't want to listen? I know him well enough, where I was so grateful that he told me that. And because I can tell a lot of times by his body language by, you know, like, what are the expressions on his face or lack of expressions on his face. So that allowed me to ask him, okay, how can I be a better communicator for you that, like you said, makes you feel safer, makes you hear me and you know, I don't want him to go to that place of elevated heart rate or feeling like he's wrong or wanting to leave the room, etc.

Dr. Akua Boateng 11:16
Exactly. These things are so important, because oftentimes, we are trying to get information through and we're working with the physiology. We're working with the physiology, right? If the amygdala just fires, right, and, and this person is defending based on the fact that you use you are wrong, or you should do this, or why don't you right? That terminology just fires the system within the body that automatically defends itself. Muscle fibers get tighter, breath gets shallow, body language gets defended, right? And so from that moment on, they're actually not taking in the information. And so you understanding their physiology, not to a tee, but some general knowledge of that is really important. And especially like with your partner, if your partner is typically withdrawing, right, that means that they take in information and digest it underneath the surface, that type of physiology is typically flooded easily. Too much information just stalls the system out.

Andrea 12:29
That's exactly what's happening. It took us a long time to learn that about each other. How it's different for us, but therapy has helped. Okay, I'm going to switch gears slightly. And this question came from, I was watching one of your one of your Instagram videos, and you were you were talking about on again off again, relationships. So can you I know, this is like a big giant question. So if you could kind of distill it down to bite size. Why, in your experience and your professional opinion, why do people stay in on again, and off again, relationships?

Dr. Akua Boateng 13:05
Oftentimes, that relationship represents something for the person, right, presents a time period in life that was familiar and safe, comfortable or nostalgic. It could be that this person is connected to a part of yourself that you don't typically tap into that they can unlock in you. It can be a safety space, meaning not necessarily with the person, but it is, it feels safe to have a person, right. That the void feels activating, and they fill the void. As long as I have this person, I won't be alone or you know, I always have so and so. It can be feeling valued or feeling wanted, that that person provides you. So it's typically representation, that this person is holding a place value in your life that sometimes you might not be aware of but you feel that you need desperately internally.

Andrea 14:18
And it sounds like if you can identify what that is, it might be a giant step of self-awareness to hopefully either heal the relationship, which I'm assuming could happen, or walk away from the relationship.

Dr. Akua Boateng 14:33
Yes, yes. That is important because there are other sources that you can receive that level of support that you need or representation. For this person, this person brings me alive, for this person always understand to me and to be known in this way feels rare and important. And it just, it tells you the desire that you have. It gives you insight and education around what you need, so that you can pursue it and other sources if that relationship is not healthy or helpful to you.

Andrea 15:09
That struck me to hear you talk about that on your Instagram and just now, I was I've been writing a memoir, finally, and a lot of the memoir is based around the story of a former relationship. I was married previously, we didn't have any children together. So it was a clean break in that way. But we were together for 13 years from the ages of 17 to 31. And as I'm as you know, I've thought about it a lot. I'm 15 years out of that relationship. So I've had a lot of time that I needed to gain some insight and look back. And one of the things you know, as I'm writing out the story, and I have a writing coach, her name is Candace Davis, by the way, everyone should hire a writing coach. And she said, in reading the story, she said, I need you to put more in there of why you stayed for so long and it was so dysfunctional, and so toxic, at times abusive, and it was on again off again, a handful of times. One of the things is exactly what you said and I did not know this until probably, I don't know, 13 or 14 years out. I was talking to a dear friend of mine and I was telling her about how I get triggered when I watch movies or TV shows that are depicting certain scenes that are reminiscent of this relationship that I had. I could not bear to watch, I read the books, but couldn't watch the movies of 50 Shades of Grey. And it wasn't the sex. Sex was just a means to an end in my relationship, but it was more so like that obsession that intensity.

And I was asking my friend, I'm like, I don't know why I still after all these years gets so physiologically just triggered when I watch either a super intense arguments, especially super intense arguments on TV or movies. And she said, knocked me over, she said, oh, honey, that sounds like that made you feel alive. And I was like, oh my God. Yes. And it wasn't necessarily him. It was what exactly what you said. What he represented and what he did, what his behavior and our behavior together created in my life that I was so starving for that I did not, subconsciously, did not believe I could create that on my own. That's one of the main reasons I stayed. There were a lot of other reasons. But that was a big one.

Dr. Akua Boateng 17:24
Such a good awareness of that too, for you.

Andrea 17:26
Thank you. And I hope that people listening to this, whether you're in one of those right now, or you have one in the past, because I think that's fairly common, when people get to a certain age, when you reach midlife, you might have had one of those relationships, that you give yourself some grace.

Dr. Akua Boateng 17:42
Yes, yes, that right there is so important. Self-compassion, is a vehicle right towards safety and actualization and so being able to give yourself self-compassion, and or grace is pivotal. There's something that you said that really, really struck me and really is typically what people are facing. We are often in relationships facing unfinished developmental tasks. That's a psychological term that really just describes something that I wasn't able to do at one stage of my life I'm trying to do right now, this relationship gives me the context or gives me the incubator to be able to do that. So if it was early in life, I was never able to fight, I was never able to, like, say a thing, I was never able to have the environment where I could speak my mind. I'm in a relationship that calls that out in me, or that seeks to finish that task for me. Or it could be, I never have seen in my development, this space where people stay. People typically leave and I want to be the one that stays, I want to be the one that works it out, I want to be the one that changes the dynamic. And so sometimes we are doing things to overcome in a way that is extremely pivotal and important to us historically, not presently.

Andrea 19:31
Wow. I'm over here taking notes. Which doesn't happen all that often with my guests. This is a very immense compliment to you. But you just named that two more things I think that, for me resonates so much the belief that people typically leave me and I won't, you know, I won't have that happen again. Therefore, I'm going to stay in this relationship. I'm gonna stick it out and I'm going to fix it that was mine because I was I was largely codependent in that relationship. And I never got, I would word it as I never got the voice to fight in my in my family of origin and in this relationship, I get that.

Dr. Akua Boateng 20:18
Yes, Right, right. We are fragile beings and have the best intentions.

Andrea 20:24
Wow. Okay, I'm going to need a second to recover from that.

I’m interrupting this conversation to bring you a few words from some of our sponsors. If you really really know me, you know, I love a beautiful serving bowl and serving dish. My mom had this big serving dish since I was a kid and it has a crack in it that's been repaired. And a few years ago, when I was at her house for Thanksgiving, I asked her if I could have it. And she gave it to me. I don't know dishes, especially serving dishes create so much meaning and I can't wait to hand down to my kids special dinnerware that we use now. Because your table is where you nourish yourself, your friendships and your family. And that's why Year & Day believes it's worth it to set a table you love. Year & Day gives you everything you need, and nothing you don't to set the perfect table. I love love love the simplicity and beauty of Year & Day’s designs. This isn't your grandma's China. It's a beautifully curated assortment of high-quality dishes, flatware, and glass designed to enhance your modern life at home. And if you're not sure what you want, you can answer a few questions about how you live how you entertain, and Year & Day will customize a complete set for you in just a few clicks. And this is very important. Everything is dishwasher safe. I think they're gorgeous. Please go check them out and support the show. Your day is giving Make Some Noise listeners a special offer. Visit YearandDay.com/noise and use code noise to get $25 off your first order of $150 or more and receive free shipping on orders of $150 or more. That is YearandDay.com/noise and use code noise. All their things are beautiful. Go check them out. I especially love all of their bowls. So again YearandDay.com/noise and use code noise.

For those of you that read my last book, you know that I dedicated an entire chapter to pleasure and how making time for it is so important. That's why I want to invite you to escape into a world where pleasure is your only priority. Because on Dipsea you can find stories that match your mood. So Dipsea is an app I have it on my phone and my iPad. It's full of hundreds of short, sexy audio stories designed by women for women. You can find stories about that intriguing coworker that has a British accent. I personally like the one with the Irish accent you can filter and find it, or hooking up with your yoga instructor. They bring scenarios to life with immersive characters no matter what you're into, or what turns you on. It's your go to place to spice up your meantime explore your fantasies or heat things up with your partner. So for listeners to the show, Dipsea is offering an extended 30 day free trial when you go to DipseaStories.com/noise It's 30 days of full access for free when you go to D-I-P-S-E-AStories.com/noise. DipseaStories.com/noise.

People who maybe don't have an acute breakup in their life and who have had one in the past where they still you know, it stings maybe a little bit, or maybe it doesn't sting, and it might be unconscious under the surface. But what is the best way to navigate healing from a breakup and if you can expand on that to be you know, like, even if it's in the near past that happened, or even if it was years before.,

Dr. Akua Boateng 23:51
The first thing is to grieve, mourn, sit in it. Give yourself time your body or your soul to calibrate to the reality of what's happening. And that's really what grief is. Your mind is trying to catch up to the natural experience that you're having. And that takes time. Right? Sometimes people want to jump to the oh, I need to grow from it and learn from it and I'm never doing that again. You know, like, well, you know, sit down for a minute and just cry. Right? Yeah, it's okay to cry. It's okay to feel sad about all of the things that felt good in the moment even though at the end you realize they weren't for your good and giving yourself the compassion to grieve the connection that you did have, even though there were parts of it that were not great. That's a really hard thing for people to do sometimes. So that takes time. That's the first thing.

I think there's wisdom on the other side of grief in mourning, give yourself. The minute to do it. The time to do it, there is a wisdom that comes in the grief, a realization and awareness, an education about what is this person in my life to teach me about me? What did I learn about me? What did I learn about what I need, what I don't need, what I value, what I don't value what I thought I valued now I don't. How do I clarify the wisdom and education that this moment is trying to bring to the surface for me? And then moving with that education and wisdom towards healing. What does that look? Like that looks like tangible healing, that looks like a lot of embodiment, that feels like finding techniques that really help you self soothe, if it is moments of crying in the moments of journaling. If it's meditation to really keep the rumination and cycling of your mind, steel, if it's we yoga, and movement in order for you to reconnect with your body, because you have disconnected. Whatever that wisdom is telling you. It will tell you the truth about your healing and what's needed.

Andrea 26:20
Mine was primal screaming, yeah. I was part of it. Not all the time, that would have definitely hurt my throat.

Dr. Akua Boateng 26:30
Yes, yeah, getting that energy out of your body, right? And manifesting that in the natural, not just letting it fester in the internal. So all of those things are really important. It's really specific to your situation and that's why grief and mourning is so important. It's not for the you know, sheer sadness of it, it is for the wisdom that comes out of it. After you've clarified some of that stuff, it's really important that you come together with yourself to write down, what is my path forward. What is my path forward plan? As a result of what I'm learning, therefore, now this is what I seek to do. This is what I seek to partner with. This is what I seek to understand in the relationship. These are things that I need to watch out for in me. Right? These are sources that I need to fill the space with. Who's your tribe, the people that are around you that are going to help in that healing process? Yeah, so all of those things are really valuable.

Andrea 27:40
I love that it's sort of like a plethora of all the things and ‘m assuming also, it's not linear and it's a bit of a long game for many people. I love I love choices too. And I love a good plan. So thank you for adding that in there. I want to talk to you and have you tell us about codependency. It’s something that we've talked about here on the show. I don't think you need to go into like too much what it is, I'm confident that my listeners are, are clear on what it is. But can you can you talk to us about overcoming and healing from it? Like what does that look like? Where does someone start? And is it even possible, or is it something that you just learn to live with on a lesser level. What is your what is your opinion on that?

Dr. Akua Boateng 28:26
There, there's a way to change that dynamic. But it goes through your awareness. Right. And so remember, codependency really describes the behaviors and the dynamic of the relationship, not necessarily the relationship. You know, if we are healing, it's really at the center of the dynamic. What position are you playing in the dynamic? Are you the giver? Are you the one that sacrifices are your own needs, or you're in your kind of well-being and things like that to, to validate your self-worth that way? If I help, if I help others, that is my identity, right? And so for you, if you're a part of that side of the dynamic, how do you begin to give yourself the same things that you are pouring into others is what you begin to pour into yourself. That you refuse to now sacrifice your own needs for others. You put yourself at the top of the list. Yes, it's going to feel selfish at first, right? Because you've learned otherwise. Right? But it's not selfish. It's really self full. It is healing, it is helpful. Understanding that your identity is not external. Its internal.

Andrea 29:45
Right, say more about that.

Dr. Akua Boateng 29:46
Yeah. And so oftentimes in a codependent dynamic, your identity and your worth comes in what you do for others. How you minimize in order to increase the other. And so your identity is not in what you do for others, your identity is really connected to who you are. Internally, who you are, in spite of others who you are trying to be in the world. And so there needs to be a process of you learning that. Oftentimes, when you take away the source of what my self-worth is, I don't know who I am if I'm not connected to helping people. And so there's a discovery process and exploration, what do I like? What kind of ice cream do I like? I typically just go with what everybody likes, right? Like, do I like chocolate or was that just my ex partners favorite? You know, so really learning about the self and exploring things that you might, that you might feel connected to, in order to have this identity formation.

And so the other side of that would be if you were the manipulative one, if you're the one that's kind of kind of using the power dynamic for your force, why have you learned to do that? What is it that taught you that manipulation, control and power is the only way for you to connect. Go back to that space, understand it, process it, grieve it, heal it and move forward in a different way. Right? It's so it's the dynamic, it's the epicenter of how I learned to be this, how did I learn that this is what connection looks like in order to explore a new form of that?

Andrea 31:35
Whew, that's some big work right there. I can relate to some of those identities that you described. Well, you mentioned something interesting towards the end there about connection and, and I wanted to ask you about intimacy. And I feel like the word intimacy, many times gets collapsed with, you know, sex and physical intimacy. But can you talk to us about the different ways we can create intimacy between ourselves and our partners?

Dr. Akua Boateng 32:08
Yes, there are different forms of intimacy right? You know, intimacy is really just access, right, giving someone access and connecting on a deeper level, and so you can do that physically do that emotionally, you can do that intellectually, experientially, spiritually, creatively. Like, there's so many ways for you to give access and connect in a deeper way. And so physically, obviously, we talk about intimacy, being related to sex, but intimacy physically is really just about experiencing something physically with a person that is a form of communication. So it could be a person walks by you and puts their hand on your shoulder and they're communicating something to you at a deeper level. It could be the way that you sit next to a person is physical intimacy. Emotional intimacy is really exposing the emotion. Having times where you sit down and really just give one give one access to your process that's undone and not complete. So I'm not sure how I feel about this, I'm going to just now process externally, I'm going to say the thing before I know it, and I'm going to give you access to sit behind the scenes as I do that. So you can know me, so you can understand my process.

Andrea 33:33
And based on that I'm intimate with all of my listeners, because… You're welcome, everybody. Please continue.

Dr. Akua Boateng 33:43
Right, right, right. So these things are really important because you're able to really be heard and seeing all of your human myths. And there's power and being able to do that. So having times where you do that, and you disclose what you feel your emotion as you are processing it intellectually, right? There are things that really stimulate our minds that give us thrill or challenge or pause, right? Talking to your partner about your views, talking to your partner about what you think on matters that might be happening in the news or things that are happening with the children or how you how you are managing the type of parenting that you're doing, and really being heard for your opinions and thoughts, right? It could be reading books together, and really kind of going through information that's challenging your mind and talking about those things, is really a way of building intellectual intimacy. Experiences are always something that bond's us. If you think about it, most of your if you have a girlfriend most of the moments that bond, you can go back to a moment, right? Like, yes, we were in school, and that we went through that program together and we're in that gym class and it's crazy. So having experiences where you have to overcome and work through with your partner to build imtimacy.

Andrea 35:23
And so you made me think of, even at dinner parties, or even… I'm thinking of a child's birthday party, when you get together with other parents of small children. What I have noticed happens more often than not, is that people will share stories of their kids kind of around the same topic or something and that is, I think that's an example of like what you just said. It's creating intimacy through relatable connections and stories. And I never thought of it that way. I just thought like, oh, here we go, again, like telling stories about our kids. You know, but I love all those different examples of intimacy, and it's largely things that we don't think about, but you're absolutely right. Like these everyday experiences, and there's ways of doing it that go so far beyond just the bedroom.

Dr. Akua Boateng 36:14
Yes, yes. It's doing life together, right?

Andrea 36:18
Doing life together.

Dr. Akua Boateng 36:20
Exploring the world together.

Andrea 36:23
I love that. Absolutely. Love that. Well, I want to ask you one more question before I, before I close this up, and we you talk about re parenting in your work. And so for those new to the term, can you explain sort of what it looks like and where someone would get started with that?

Dr. Akua Boateng 36:41
Yes, so re parenting is really giving yourself what you needed in the time where you recall the most challenge or pain in growing up, right? And so, you know, given to yourself, whether that be the sacrifice of time, prioritization, prioritizing yourself, putting yourself in scenarios where you're not harmed, where in childhood, you may have been in an experiences where a parent did not remove you from harmful place. And so a re parenting process for you and adulthood would be, I no longer will place myself in scenarios or with people that harm me. As the new surrogate parental figure for this being, I now will do the things and give to myself what I really did not receive. We often are replaying what happened to us often. For instance, people that overwork, right that and don't really listen to their emotion. It could be in childhood, what you felt really didn't matter, in light of the things that needed to happen with the family. And so re parenting could look like, no, when something is wrong with me, we stop, we listen, we prioritize, we heal, space is given to talk about it. We comfort, right? And so all of those things, even down to sensation and self-soothing, right, that if you know, sometimes we didn't receive that physical comfort of like someone rubbing your back or hugging you when you're in pain or things like that. And you now do those things. You just become a surrogate parental figure and you give yourself the love care and consideration that you needed.

Andrea 38:52
I am having another moment. This. This is a record, Dr. Boateng. Two big moments in one in one episode, I realized that I… Well, Dr. Shaymala was on my podcast a few a few weeks ago and we were talking similarly about when we when we have children ourselves. And then when we realize that we are giving our children what we didn't have, can bring up our stuff. And so when you were saying that I was thinking, it sort of dawned on me it's sort of like a well, of course moment, but I hadn't really put it together until just now. So in my life, my kind of seismic shift happened with my parents when I became a teenager and things really started to change in our dynamic. And you know, there was no outward physical abuse or anything like that but it was more of like a, I was I was loved and parented and lots of attention, and then suddenly we became when I became like, 13 14. It's like, okay, have fun with your social life. You're on your own. And I was given a tremendous amount of freedom, too much freedom, no boundaries, and I needed my parents a lot of time. And so now my son is 14 and my daughter is 12. And I'm parenting them differently and trying not to be codependent. That pendulum can swing too far the other way. But I have noticed that as things come up in my parenting journey with the two of them, that are different from how I was parented, is it stings. Tt stings a little. And I have to self-manage enough to remove my stuff, my inner team stuff from my adult mother, per person identity. I don't know if I explained that very well, but it's been mostly okay but I know it will continue to be a little tricky at times,

Dr. Akua Boateng 40:46
Right. No, that that's a really powerful and challenging thing to do. I like to believe that the body desires for you to heal and so what comes up to the surface is demanding a space to be healed. So even in your adulthood, if that teen version of your experience is bugging you…

Andrea 41:09
She's really mad, like to be honest. She’s really pissed.

Dr. Akua Boateng 41:14
Yeah. And she said, listen to me now, right? For years and years and years, and you have the opportunity to listen, and to whatever, sometimes you feel like it's reductive and repress regressive. And in some way, it's fine. It's like, I'm jealous, or I'm upset, or I didn't get that, or that's, I mean, they're just, they're spoiled or like, how do they feel?

Andrea 41:44
You don’t know how good you have it.

Dr. Akua Boateng 41:46
Right. Right. You don't know you're good have it. So just all of the thing. Give her the space to say all the things and validate her. You're right. You're right. It's not fair. It's not okay. It never was. I hear you, I see you, I understand. What can I do now that honors the woman that you've become, that honors the person that you are, so that you feel heard, seen, valued in this time of your life, so that you don't have to demand it any longer.

Andrea 42:29
I hope everyone enjoyed this therapy session from Dr. Boateng, your $500 check is in the mail. Thank you so much. And I'm I am very well aware that there are people listening who, you know, whether they can relate to my circumstances or not, or are deeply touched by your words. And thank you so much for being here. I am so incredibly grateful for your time and your wisdom.

Dr. Akua Boateng 42:56
My pleasure, my pleasure. It was a great conversation.

Andrea 43:00
Where would you like people to go to learn more about you? Is it your website, or social media or all of those places?

Dr. Akua Boateng 43:08
Instagram is probably heavily populated. So uh, @AkuaKBoatengKuya on Instagram, and then my website is a AkuaKBoateng.com.

Andrea 43:19
Awesome, we will link up to that in the show notes. And everyone if you are listening, you know, within a day or two that this episode comes out, check out my stories and we'll link directly over to your Instagram account. And thank you again so much for being here. Thank you listeners for being here. Your time is so important and I'm so grateful that you choose it to spend some time here. And remember, it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye for now, everybody.

Hey, everyone. Thanks again for listening to the show. And just a quick reminder that if your company needs a speaker or a trainer, I might be the right person for you. I speak and do keynotes on confidence and resilience for mixed audiences as well as do trainings on the daring way which is the methodology based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown. So if you think it might be a good fit, hit me up at support@AndreaOwen.com or head over to my speaking page AndreaOwen.com/speaking.