Noel Neu – How to Manage Narcissists and Limit Their Chaos

Below is the transcription of this interview with therapist, Noel Neu For more information about Noel Neu please click here. To contact him directly please call 561-845-9488 .

Transcript from Interview

Christopher Bruce: Hi everyone. My name is Christopher Bruce. I’m a divorce and family law attorney in Palm Beach County, Florida. My firm, the Bruce Law Firm, helps clients really at this point, all across the state. And today I had the pleasure of being joined by Noel Neu. He is a licensed mental health counselor. His office is in Lake Park, but really his practice is kind of like mine, but more global in reach. He pretty much helps people both as a licensed therapist and a conscious awareness coach, here personally, face-to-face in Palm Beach, County, Florida, in the North Palm Beach area, but also statewide, and we were talking before, worldwide.

What Noel and I are going to be talking about today is something that I think is passionate to both of us and a real issue with our clients, and that’s how to deal with narcissists, how to deal with the chaos that they can create, and how to best manage it. Really whether you might be a client of mine, to where you’re going through the divorce process or a client of Noel’s to where you’re trying to explore every possibility to try to make the relationship better and something that you’re happy with. Noel, thanks for joining us today and maybe just talk a little bit about who you are and your background, and we’ll get into this.

Noel Neu: I appreciate it, Chris. I’m really grateful to be here. I’ve been in private practice for 13 and a half years, almost 14 years, in the field for over 20, so I’ve got 20 years’ experience. Basically, over the years, I’ve worked with all kinds of people, but one of the similar effects that I’ve had is people that are affected by narcissistic behaviors, either happening from their parents or families and kids, adult children, or significant others. And here’s the good news, I’m personally affected by that myself. So now, I’ve got almost 50 years experience working with that kind of personality.

Christopher Bruce: I guess just from your view, maybe where we could start with this is having you tell everyone from your clinical experience, what is a narcissist? Because I think in the past day, just between network news and I think even a Marvel movie, I saw three or four references to narcissists. I think that even me, before I understood this more, I didn’t really even know what it was. I mean, what’s a narcissist? What are we talking about here?

Noel Neu: I mean, I’m glad you brought up Marvel because the character that does, that’s Tony Stark, Iron Man.

Christopher Bruce: Yeah, that was the one. It was Iron Man, I think Iron Man It’s a woman and man, I think Iron Man 1 or 2.

Noel Neu: That’s right, Robert Downey, Jr. Right, he actually does play it. Now, the interesting thing is he is playing the character of a narcissist, but with a heart. To me, a narcissist is just like anything else, it’s got a spectrum. You know what I mean?

Christopher Bruce: Yeah.

Noel Neu: So there’s a spectrum of the intensity of how much the person is really self-absorbed. So that’s really the characteristics of a narcissistic personality is somebody that not only are they just self-absorbed, talking about themselves, but it’s also everything that goes in their lives is about them. Like I said, so they might even be less on the spectrum, just narcissistic, where they still are able to interact with other people and care about them, but it’s still how it’s impacting them. And then all the way on the deepest part of the spectrum is they don’t really care about anybody. They just care about themselves, and that almost borderlines to a sociopath.

But the big difference I want to state between a sociopath and a narcissist, a sociopath has no concept of right or wrong, it doesn’t matter, they don’t care anymore about right or wrong, no sense of guilt. The narcissist will still feel like that, even on the highest end, they will still feel a sense of guilt. And it just will be pointed, “It’s not my fault.” So the narcissist will say, “It’s not my fault. Anything happens that I did, it’s not my fault. You did this. You did that.” Sociopath doesn’t even consider fault. “It’s not my fault.” There is no fault. There is a delineation I want people to see, even in the most narcissistic personality, that they’re not necessarily a sociopath.

Christopher Bruce: Okay. And I guess just from your experience and having clients, in the chair across the room, so to speak, or now on the other side of the screen, as we’ve been moving to all this virtual stuff, what are the types of problems, some might call chaos, or pain points really, that you see coming up when somebody has a close relationship with a narcissist, be it as spouse or partner or, parent or other loved one?

Noel Neu: Well, so the one thing that occurred to me… Again, like I said, I’ve had them in my family and growing up as a child, and then I’ve attracted them in my life in the significant others over the years. The one thing that I realized that I was experiencing was that a narcissist, doesn’t say, “I care about you as a human being, your wants and needs and who you are.” They say, and they intimate, “I care about what you mean to me.”

When you’re on the other end of that, that still feels like love or care or concern, but there’s a hook to it. It’s not, “I just care about you. I care about what you mean to me.” So if you mean good to me, I care about you like it was everything. But if you are being bad to me or not good to me, you’re not giving me what I need or want, I don’t care about you at all, because you don’t care about me, so I don’t care about you. And that little hook on the other end of that creates a codependency or some need to always make sure that person’s okay. That’s what that person on the other end of the relationship will tend to do, make sure he or she’s okay. Make sure they’re always okay, so that they could feel like they’re loved.

Christopher Bruce: Gotcha. And you and I were talking about this concept a little bit before I pressed the record button here. But I think with both of us and what we do, you as a therapist and coach and myself as a divorce lawyer, we can help clients through what we’ve learned, but to a certain degree. Maybe I say this because I happen to like boats and I’m not wearing this tie and sitting in front of these screens. But if somebody is in the water, you throw them a life raft. For the life raft to mean anything to them, they have to grab it and at least a little bit, hold on, for us to be able to help them make their lives better.

And I think something you and I spoke about a little today and when we really first talked about this concept was sometimes people without really knowing it, are engaging in behavior that’s really enabling the undesired effects of the narcissist to maybe be more than they might otherwise be so I’m just curious from your experience in dealing with this from more of the psychology side of everything than I see it. What are the types of behaviors that you often see people regularly doing that further exacerbates the negative qualities of their narcissistic partner or close relationship person?

Noel Neu: Yeah, no, that’s an excellent question. So in my experiences what I’ve seen people do, and the standard form is the husband is the narcissist, the wife is the empath codependent, but it can be switched, and I’ve had plenty of experience where the wife is the narcissist and the husband is the empath or the codependent. I’m going to do a quick thing on that because that’s been a new thing is the narcissist and the empath. So an empath is somebody that’s very feeling and connected and can feel into somebody else’s experience.

There’s a difference between empathy and sympathy. Sympathy is I feel sad for you. Empathy is I feel sad because you’re sad. You know what I mean? It’s that real human connection. So somebody who’s more empathic and empathetic will feel that with the other person. So like I said before, the narcissist can feel that but only based on his or her information, not really yours, just what it, what it’s doing to them. So the empathy, it feels like empathy, but the empathy is only towards self. So somebody who is empathic or empathetic will connect with that and feel like, “Oh, we got to that he cares, she cares.” But then when they start pulling it away, the empath, if they’re not grounded in who they are, they will start being codependent.

Codependent is now I need to make sure you feel good so I feel good. And it’s just a little twist, but that whole twist changes the whole dynamic. And once that person starts acting like that, the other person codependently, then the narcissist just, that person helps me teach people how to treat us. The codependent tells the narcissist, “Whatever you need, whatever you need.” And then he or she doesn’t give her that, and then the narcissism, “Ah, you’re hurting me. You’re terrible. You don’t care.”

And then he or she goes, “No, I’ll give you more. I’ll give you more. I’ll give you more.” “Ah, you’re terrible.” And it’s never enough. And that’s when the codependent person, who’s really just an empath but lost their way by trying to please this person so that they could feel loved, really starts to get their own level of unmanageability. You know what I mean? And their behaviors, their thoughts, their feelings, and just starts getting stressed out and not feeling fulfilled and things like that will start happening.

Christopher Bruce: So you’re one of those people, and I see it. If somebody would have me these situations exist in modern society before I started doing what I do for a living, I wouldn’t believe it. But you know, a lot of at least my clients, have probably been at stages of time clients of yours, so to speak, over the years. But a lot of my clients come to me, and they’re in, in their mid-50s, sometimes early 60s, or at least to them, their engagement in that cycle you just talked about, it’s almost like a withdrawal and rejection cycle has been at least for them all they can remember in their life or most of their adult life.

For somebody like that, do you have any particular advice on if they at least want to feel healthier about themselves or maybe trying to stop what I guess I might label as emotional abuse in their relationship, things that they might try to consciously stop doing to minimize the way the cycle you’re talking about makes them feel?

Noel Neu: No, that’s beautiful. Yeah. I mean, really. So the key is, and this goes to an Al-Anon slogan, which Al-Anon kind of fits the bill a lot. Al-Anon is the beside program to Alcoholics Anonymous, so it’s the families of alcoholics or addicts. And a lot of times it’s the spouse, but it can be the adult children and so on, the parents to adult children.

But the families, what they’ll experience is the slogan that works for them, and let it begin with me. So even if he or she is acting like the way they are and you can’t control that. And so we’ll go back to the narcissist there, making it all about them, the gaslighting. Whereas even if they make a mistake, they blame the other person and then make the other person start to believe that they’re the ones who did it, all this kind of stuff.

We can’t control what he or she’s going to do, but I can absolutely control what I’m doing. And by means of control I’m saying start to inventory and look at where am I contributing to this? You know what I mean? Because we teach people how to treat us. So if I am constantly arguing with the person in a losing battle, I need to stop the arguments, not out of winning or losing, but so then I can look at what do I really want in literally this scenario right now and then gauge with what I want.

Now, more than likely I’m going to need some support. I’m going to need some people to bounce what’s happening because I feel like losing my mind here, and he or she’s doing on and on and on. And so I’ll need to download it somewhere, supports friends, whatever kind of coach, therapist, helpful guide that I can have.

And then I need to let it begin with me. What do I want? I say what I mean, mean what I say. Don’t say it mean. So it gets to the point of what I need in that scenario. So if it’s an argument about, “I told you, I don’t like you to do this anymore.” Meaning coming from the narcissist, and he would say, “Well, I didn’t mean to do that.” “Well, you better do.” “No, I didn’t mean to and I didn’t do it. And that’s all we’re saying.”

It’s cutting it short. What’ll happen is is that personality will not like that because it’s very familiar to where it is. So if they don’t get more boisterous, they’ll start acting like a little boy or a little girl and start getting sad.

Now the empath or the codependent person doesn’t like that. And the person knows that, so they’ll start trying to take care, take care. And if I’m taking care of them when they’re acting sad, I’m going to get bit back. So I have to hold my boundary, state my boundaries, let it go. I have empathy but not try to take care of his or her feelings, the narcissist’s feelings. Once I engage with trying to take care of their feelings, I lose me. I lose me, and then they just grabbed that, and then I’m in that spiral.

Christopher Bruce: I think that’s, to me, just in how I tell my clients to deal with something, usually in the context of a divorce, that’s great advice. And I think it’s such a unique situation when you have a relationship with somebody that might be on this… It’s like the rainbow from hell, but kind of like a spectrum.

There are people that have mild qualities of this and people who have more exacerbated qualities that are maybe just really on that sociopathic boundary. But no, I think what you’re saying probably makes a lot of sense because I think people can have a relationship that meets their needs with somebody who’s somewhere on the spectrum, especially the lower end. I guess I’m curious, and maybe it’s not a whole lot you’d have to add to the last answer, but if somebody is at the point of where they determine what’s best for them and themselves. Their sense of self is to end the relationship with somebody who is on this narcissistic type spectrum, maybe in the context of a divorce or maybe it’s just an abusive family member, really.

Do you have any particular advice with them in how they deal with that? I know I always tell people, look, unless there’s children, which makes it hard in family court, you’ve just got to stop communications and really find another way. I guess that empath boundary is the tricky balance because they derive their sense of self from how others feel. You’ve pretty much got to cut them off or the cycle’s never going to end. You’re a therapist. I’m a lawyer.
How do you see it?

Noel Neu: No, that’s beautiful, Chris. What they do, once a narcissist is now engaged in battle, and unfortunately a lot of divorces are in that context, especially with a narcissist that’s now a batterer. If you’re not with me, you’re against me. You’re now the enemy. As a matter of fact, you could be the worst enemy I’ve ever had.

The reason why they do that is because you’ve hurt me so bad. Once they’re in that, engaged in that, you’ve hurt me and I have full right to destroy you and destroy you harder. On the other end of that, usually the person’s like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe he’s doing this. I can’t believe she’s doing that.” Well, believe it, because they are so wounded, you’ve hit their narcissistic wound. You’re either with me or against me.

If you’re against me and I love you and you’ve got put in quotes because true love is I love you unconditionally. I love just everything about you. Narcissistic love is I love you because of what you do for me, what you mean to me. If you’re not doing anything for me and you don’t mean anything to me, I do not love you. I hate you. That’s where they come from.

They’re going to come to them. Obviously, if they’re on a major level, they’re going to come to that with just strict avarice. They’re just going to be attacking. If they’re on the middle or the minor, they might be a little bit more understanding, but they’re still going to be like, “I hate your guts.” That’s a lose/lose, as you know, Chris, and we’ve talked a little bit about that. Your firm’s not looking to be like let’s make $3 billion, because it’s terrible to lose/lose.

Christopher Bruce: Definitely.

Noel Neu: There is value in helping people to consciously uncouple. You know what I mean? Especially if there’s children, because they’re both still the parents of their kids. A narcissist is going to come from the state of, “Now we’re in battle. You’ve damaged me. I’m going to damage you more than you’ve damaged me.” The empath is going to be like, “I don’t want to do that. I’m sorry that you feel I damaged you. You’ve been damaging me.” The result is more likely he or she has been getting abused verbally or mentally or emotionally, so “I don’t want that. I just want it to end.” Now you can’t just try to squirrelly away because then they get more, “I’m going to get you.”

Christopher Bruce: Oh, yeah.

Noel Neu: If you try to fire back, they love it because now they’re the victim. How dare she or he? You know what I mean? It’s stand your ground of who you are, what you need, what you want and find that support network that tells you this is the right time for you to end this relationship. You tried everything and it’s only pain now. There’s only pain and suffering and life’s too short to go through that, especially if you have kids, because you want to teach your kids how to take care of themselves, hold their own.

Yeah, you will need to, and again, I use this term. I didn’t make this up, but I love it. It comes from codependent recovery, “Say what you mean, mean what you say. Don’t say it mean.” That third part is missed a lot of times. If I say what I mean and I mean what I say, I have integrity and there’s nothing you can hold against me. You can try to, but I’m not hiding from it.

If I don’t say it mean, that person might take offense and a narcissist generally will because it’s against them. I don’t have any guilt. Remember the codependent empath feels bad, feels guilty. Once my guilt is a wash and I don’t feel guilty because I’m not trying to hurt him or her, I’m not trying to destroy them, I’m not trying to take anything from them, I’m actually trying to ask the best way I can give love at this point. I hold my boundary, set my boundary. Then whatever they do, it’s like a whirling dervish. They’ll keep doing that. Eventually, if there’s no energy to feed it, both negative or positive, both running away or fighting, then they’ll just slow it down. They’ll find somewhere else to go with it.

It’s just a natural human way to deal with it. It’ll take a while because that’s on their radar night and day, how do I get back at this person? The other person, if they don’t engage in that the best they can, they need a place where they can download because it hurts, and it’s sad there. They’re angry. An empath can be very angry, too. It hurts.

Whenever they say can you believe what he or she did? I say yes, 100%, I believe it. You need to believe it, and now you need to release that. You stand for what you need to stand for, get what you need, let go of the rest and then move forward. Don’t add to the storm. If it doesn’t peter out, it’ll go somewhere else. He’ll get bored or she’ll get bored and they’ll take it somewhere else.

That’s the best information I can give somebody in that state of conflict, even better if they’re afraid to get into that state of conflict, because they’re afraid of what he or she is going to do, then they need to know that they can do it. If it’s hurting them, it’s hurting their kids. If there’s no way out, there is a way out. You know what I mean? That’s where they need to at least start to connect with people that can give them the life outside of that.

I love what you said, Chris, and I just went throw this out. Not everybody has to divorce. Not everybody has to break up, but if you can’t stay as the empath of the codependent, and again, I use the codependent as just a broken empath, just a little bit. It’s their own sense of addiction. If they’re healing that, they’re not that.

You might still be able to stay married to this person or stay connected or whatever. For instance, I have a parent, that is my dad, and I can still stay connected with him. I just have my boundaries. I love him. Sometimes I don’t like him. He’s still my dad. You know what I mean? I don’t talk to him every [crosstalk]. I’ve set these boundaries. I help people to set that. It’s not always a breakup; you’re done. It’s just that if it does get to that, you can actually still hold your own and feel free in your life.

Christopher Bruce: That’s great to hear. I think just people again, sometimes it just, if you do little tweaks along with what you’re talking about, it might still be a healthy relationship for you. I think only you or the person knows that. I always recommend to people, “Look, if you’re not getting the chance for an outside perspective on this and working with a therapist or coach or somebody that really has experience dealing with this, you’re probably doing yourself and also the people who depend on you an incredible disservice. Talk to a professional about it. If this is a relationship that’s going to stay in place, probably have a continuing conversation, at least with some regularity, to make sure you’re monitoring it. I tell you, I drive a truck. I take my truck and get the oil changed.

Same deal. You brought up something I wanted to just to ask you on it, it doesn’t have to be all of our focus, but you made a comment about children and how just in your experience of seeing this play out, are children affected by having an empath or codependent type parent stay in a relationship with somebody that’s maybe on the medium to strong, bad, or at least intense end of this, narcissistic spectrum. And the reason I ask is we have a lot of people who end up getting divorced after the children have all left the home. Sometimes now, as I’ve been doing this longer, I’ve met those people 10 years ago, when the kids were six or seven, or eight or nine.

I’m just curious, my, my own personal thought is the children are ultimately going to be better off if it’s not the senior year of high school when this is happening. Probably better off if there’s an unhealthy relationship for there to be a separation, then they would be if they had a combined family and a toxic relationship. But I mean, what comes to mind is you’re hearing that from your end of this Zoom call here?

Noel Neu: That’s beautiful. So if we go back to the forties and fifties and even sixties, families stayed together no matter what. And so even if they hated each other’s guts, they stayed together no matter what. So their children in their twenties and thirties in the seventies and eighties and nineties, started getting divorced no matter what, you know what I mean?

Christopher Bruce: Yeah.

Noel Neu: Just [crosstalk] doing what our parents did, divorce no matter what. And so now into the 2000s, 2010s, now we’re in the 2020s, there’s much more consciousness and awareness about you don’t stay together no matter what, you don’t get divorced no matter what. You know what I mean? There really needs to be an awareness of consciousness. And that’s why I like the term uncoupling, if that’s what needs to happen rather than this trauma, and especially with children of splitting the family.

So it’s going to be a trauma, but yet it’s also a trauma if you stay together and you just are … Because they’ll see that. So the child of the narcissist and the empath codependent that stay together that aren’t working on it, that aren’t doing anything to shift, the child more than likely … Now children are very resilient, but if they don’t have any direction or anything like that, and more than likely, they’ll become one of two ways. Either they’ll become their own narcissist, based on their own experiences-

Christopher Bruce: Yeah.

Noel Neu: … and their own traumas that they’re not getting their needs met. By the way, every narcissist, you’re not born that way. They didn’t have their needs met at a young age and so they created … And they actually had a very strong personality that created this thing to try and get them, but they stay stuck in it. And then with no awareness, and it’s very hard to be aware of that.

But so the child will either become a narcissist or they become the codependent that marries, you know what I mean, or looks for the person that will do that. So by being the person that … And again, very rarely the narcissist goes … And I always tell people, if you’re saying, “I’m a narcissist,” more than likely, you’re not one. You know what I mean? I mean, it takes a lot for a true narcissist to say, “I’m a narcissist? That’s why I’m going back to your original Tony Stark, the Ironman.

Christopher Bruce: Yeah.

Noel Neu: He was narcissistic, but by him saying, “Yeah, I’m a narcissist.” And obviously throughout the movie he had compassion for … You know what I mean?

Christopher Bruce: Oh, yeah.

Noel Neu: So, it’s more than likely he’s narcissistic, but not a narcissist. So a true narcissist will never say, “I’m a narcissist.” I mean, they’ll be like, “What are you talking about? You’re crazy, it’s not me.” So I mean, so more than likely the other person has to look at, “Okay, I’m being codependent. What am I doing? Let it begin with me.” And they start working on themselves.

If they’re working on themselves and the person isn’t a full-blown narcissist, they’re more narcissistic, then yes, they can work on it. I call it a workable narcissists. They can work on themselves. You know what I mean? And then we can … But something has to change. If it doesn’t change, they work on themselves and with each other, then it will need to split. But even that will show the children, “I’m doing all that I can for me, for you, for our family.” And it really is. And then the child won’t just be hooked on black and white, right and wrong. They’ll be looking at what is …

Okay, we’ll keep it with mom and dad. “Mom really needs to end this, but I love dad,” or, “And I love dad, but they really are fighting too much.” So, I guess, there’s a possibility that even though this is so painful, and I’m talking from the child’s perspective and I’m really talking from a teenager at this point.

Christopher Bruce: Yeah.

Noel Neu: But even a young kid will at least see that, “It’s not working. I need to move forward. And now I’ve got options as an adult.” And they will. But like I said, it’s not so black and white and it does take two to tango. But if the individual working on themselves and then they work on the relationship, whether they decide to uncouple or stay together, the children will benefit.

I mean, I literally could say that. I use this word with my clients very rarely, but I say when I use it, I promise, I use … I can promise that the children will benefit if at least one is working on him or herself. If the other is working on him or herself and their work on it together, they will benefit, absolute guarantee. And even if they break up, they will benefit. You know what I mean?

So, it’s not all black and white, right and wrong. What I do know is let begin with me, so with the more then … And like you said, Chris, to have a place to download the … You know what I mean, to get the feedback, whether it’s with a coach or a therapist, clergy, just best friends that are giving an objective point of view.

Christopher Bruce: Yeah.

Noel Neu: I mean, because they’re going to be subjective. They’re going to be subjective, but really you want the most objective you can get because you don’t want just [inaudible]. You know what I mean? You need that, “You’re supporting me,” but you also want an objective look at, “Okay, what am I doing? What do I need to look at so I can set my boundaries, heal and shift and that’ll be good for me and my children, no matter what happens here.”

Christopher Bruce: And I think that what you’re talking about in terms of how to deal with your child in this situation with a narcissistic parent, is really the same way you almost have to deal with friends in common, loved ones. The other people out there, if the narcissistic partner at the end of a relationship is going out and poisoning those people a little bit. So, it sounds like great advice to me.

Maybe just briefly, just for the people that do have kids and think they might be uncoupling or getting divorced. Do you have any quick tips for, okay, if the other parent is the narcissist and you have children and you have to basically raise these kids together. And at least in Florida and in most situations, the the narcissist is going to see the children, whether it’s two days a week, half the week, whatever, it’s going to happen to some degree.

Do you have any advice for parents on the other side of that relationship on how to deal with raising children with one of these people?

Noel Neu: That’s beautiful.

Christopher Bruce: We could talk an hour on that, I know, but [crosstalk]-

Noel Neu: Yeah, we could. We could.

Christopher Bruce: Have some idea.

Noel Neu: I’ll be on it as quick as possible. I will say this though. It does. The children still need both parents, unless the other parent is not just a narcissist, and I’m going to call sociopathic where they’re abusive, majorly abuse, then no. But if they’re just a jerk, I could use other terms, but if they’re just a jerk, the child still needs that parent in their life. The co-parenting is still important. It really is important, because it’s his or her father, his or her mother. That’s important.

What’ll happen though, especially if he’s a jerk, a narcissist, he or she will start talking about you, as the other parent, to the children. I know that’s a big thing that happens. Back 20, 30 years ago, even just 10, 15, 20 years ago, it was like, “Never talk about the other parent.” I would get people coming into my office and like, “I never say a word about him or her. And they’re always talking about me and they’ve got the kids involved” and this and that. “It’s a nightmare. It doesn’t feel good.” So I would tell you this, I’d be like, “Why aren’t you saying something? Tell your kids the truth.” It’s not about jogging their parents. It’s just giving them the information, especially if the other parent’s doing that. Again, that needs a certain level of gauging of it. Do you know what I mean?

Christopher Bruce: Yeah.

Noel Neu: You want to have a valve on that. You don’t want to be just like, “Oh my God, your father, I can’t believe he did this and that.” Or your mother. Especially if he or she’s doing that to your kids about you. So you don’t do that. You don’t go like, “What did he do?” Or she do. It’s not that. It’s just like, “Okay, I hear what you’re saying. It sounds like your dad or your mom has told you all that.” Or they’re just reporting. Kids are reporting. “Well, dad said, you never do…” And you can say like, “It’s not true. I appreciate you telling me that. I will tell you that this is where I’m coming from. And this is none of your business, because it’s between me and your father or your mother, and they ought not be talking to you about it. I’m not going to talk to you about it, but I’m going to tell you that what they’re saying is not true and that’s it.” Or whatever.

It’s not about defending yourself and it’s not about bad mouthing the other parent, but it is about standing up and telling them that that’s not… Because the kids will take the information, especially if they’re getting clogged with it. I know that’s probably something you see, and it’s something that happens, especially in the narcissistic divorce, because he or she is going, “How dare you? And now I’m going to hurt you where it really hurts, which is your children”, and all this kind of stuff.

So it’s not like, never talk about the other person, and it’s not about bad mouthing the other person, it’s about standing your case and helping the child feel like a child. Even if they’re 16, it’s like, “That’s between me and your dad or me and your mom. It’s not about you. We both love you. Thank you for telling me that information. It’s wrong. It’s not right. And here’s the thing.” And then we’re done with that conversation. So again, it’s going to come down to boundaries and healthy boundaries. It’s simple, but not easy. That’s where you need that support.

Christopher Bruce: Yes. For the people that are sitting here and listening to this, this is I think excellent advice, just from my experience in dealing with this stuff, and I don’t have your credentials coming at it from the therapy and the psychology angle. But I tend to think this is really helpful for a lot of people. If they’re hearing this and this is resonating with them, and they think that they might need help with anything within the realm of what we’ve been talking about, maybe talk a little bit more about the exact people you help and the services that you offer, both as a therapist and a coach, and just help people understand how they might get in touch with you here.

Noel Neu: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks Chris. My website is, it’s N O E L N E You can see what I do there. I built my practice 13 and a half years ago on working with a lot of adolescent boys and the deals that they’ve had with their mother and absent father, even when the father’s there, and substance abuse and codependency and all that. Even though I still serve that, I’ve honed it down to communication. Obviously you can see a lot of what I answered by was how to communicate, how to clear my energy and where I’m coming from, and to hold my own in setting boundaries in communicating. That can be with the parents and the kids, the adult kids with their parents, husbands and wives and marital. I would say I don’t do couples counseling necessarily, but I do couples communication. I call myself an emotional mediator, to help people to really connect with their emotions with each other.

You can find me online. You can call or text online. You can find my numbers. 5618459488. So I’ve got my number, I’ve got texts. Also with my partner, Caroline Rena, we’ve started something called Indivinity Productions. A lot of what I do, healing, is also… This is the active healing, when I interact with people. I also do a passive healing, and what I mean by that is, I have healing medicine music, our music. We play the music and the music helps to strengthen the person. Download the songs… It’s like 70s, 80s folk rock type stuff. We’re coming out with a new album soon.

The whole point of the music is not just, “Hey, this is good listening to.” It’s in 432 Hertz. It helps align the cells. The information, the words are about people going through hard times, coming through it and finding themselves and connecting with themselves, and then being able to face whatever triggers or demons or suffering or challenges they have. So I come at it a bunch of different ways. Yeah,, I N D I V I N I T Y Productions. However I may be able to serve and add value to people’s lives, that’s what I’m looking to do.

Christopher Bruce: Right. I think I made a little bit of an introduction, or part of your introduction. I was saying, in addition to being a licensed therapist in Florida, you do the conscious awareness coaching. I think that ties into the music you were talking about there. But is there anything more to that, in case somebody is wondering, “Hey, what is that? And might that help me?”

Noel Neu: Thank you, because I’m not used to explaining that, so I appreciate it, Chris. Conscious awareness coaching is the in between, from the therapy of going back into the past and healing it. That’s what we do. That’s what I do for clients in therapy. Healing what happened in childhood, not to rehash it, but to be able to bring it up, to let it go, so that they can be fully aware in themselves now. Then the music and the passive end of it, of healing on the energetic level as well. The conscious awareness is in between. It’s about the here and now, and it’s about making choices. That’s why I don’t call it therapy. I call it coaching, because everything we do is a choice.

Obviously we need to some of our choices, and a lot of them actually, most of them are unconscious. And so we need help to make those conscious that the therapy or the coaching could do that too, but it really focuses on what do I want out of this right now? What am I doing? What am I contributing? And how can I become aware, conscious, aware, make it aware in my consciousness, to change it no matter what happens out here. And so that’s something I’m really excited about helping people with in any modality. And I’ve been doing that. I’ve been using it in my therapy and helping them. Anything from teenagers up to people in their seventies and everywhere in between, and in any kind of situation. So, I’m excited about bringing that to people now.

Christopher Bruce: Well, I think that’s cool stuff and it’s also pretty useful. I mean, you’re helping walk people through making really important decisions, which I think just the people I deal with professionally, they have a lot of important decisions to make. But you just look at everything you do in a day and major decisions in life, and it’s a lot of important things there too. And I think that’s a great service. And just so I understand it, I know right now, if we were sitting in the same room, we’d have these masks on our face with what’s going on with the coronavirus as we’re doing this, which hopefully is not other the forever state of affairs here in South Florida, but I guess might be for the foreseeable future. But maybe just talk a little bit in terms of do you work with clients in your office? Is it, do what some of the therapists do with basically video coaching or therapy? Just, how’s that work just in case people are wondering how they can work with you?

Noel Neu: Absolutely. So when this started, I was 99% office and 1% doing it video, and I always was like, no, we need to be in person and connected. Obviously this happened, it went to video, all video, and I started realizing I can still make the impact. If you’re my client, I can work with you, I can see you, you can see me and feel my energy and my intention. And we can work on everything just as well. And like I said, I’ve had clients all over the world at this point.

I have opened my office one day a week because the people still want to be face to face and in the energy and if I said, I don’t do that anymore, I feel like I wouldn’t be serving people in that need. So what happens is on Wednesdays, I do the face to face with people. Yes, mask and all that, which is also a challenge. I think that’s more of a challenge than-

Christopher Bruce: Yeah, [crosstalk] how do you work harder than this?

Noel Neu: Yeah, right. I’m smiling, you don’t know, you know what I mean? I’m saying so. But I do that still, but I didn’t want to open it all the time because I really want the freedom of being able to do this. And what I found is people doing it from their home, in their bedroom or their office, or sometimes in their car or wherever, it still makes that connection. I mean, my office is set up to be peaceful and connecting, and so people like that, but it’s also nice to be where they’re at and meet them where they’re at.

Christopher Bruce: Yeah.

Noel Neu: So most of it is still Zoom or FaceTime or, under that confidentiality and I don’t record anything. It’s all gone. And you know what I mean?

Christopher Bruce: Oh yeah.

Noel Neu: And all that. Unless they wanted me to, but I don’t look to that. I just do that or one day a week individual. And some people just still want to just do it on the phone and I’m okay with that, too. But so I would say for the foreseeable future, I’m going to be honest with you, Chris, I don’t see myself just going to the office all day, every day anymore.

Christopher Bruce: Oh yeah?

Noel Neu: Because I feel like I can serve more people, I can fit in clients better doing it like this. So I’ll still keep office hours, but for the most part, I want to help people, right where they’re at and that’s what this, the telehealth, really helps.

Christopher Bruce: Well, I think as professionals, we want to help people in the way they want to be helped. And sometimes that deals with meeting them where they’re at, so to speak, and with the way we can do it on the screen now, it really adds to it. And having the ability to supplement that with a meeting face to face when requested or the best use, that’s great too.

So I guess, thank you so much for making the time to talk through all of this here today. And for anybody that may have forgotten the names and contact information, we’re going to have this up on the website and it should be on the screen here when the edited version of this has done, but I’m Christopher Bruce. I’m a family law attorney in Palm beach County. Our firm does divorce and family law throughout the state, especially South Florida. And I’ve been joined by Noe Neu He’s a licensed mental health counselor with his physical office in Lake Park, and he also does conscious awareness coaching throughout the state of Florida, along with his therapy practice. And Noel, thank you so much.

Noel Neu: Yeah. Thank you, Chris. Really, it’s a pleasure doing this. I really appreciate being here with you.

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