The Emotionally Constipated Control Freak

How important is it for you to be in control?

Do you ever feel like your life is out of alignment with your values?

And what does it take to forgive someone who has hurt you deeply?

Today my wife, Alyson Lanier, gets curious about the emotionally constipated guy I used to be back in my early 20’s. We talk about why I went to therapy, why I hated the idea of personal growth, and how my life looked amazing from the outside but was a fragmented mess on the inside.

In this interview:

  • Does Alyson have a fart fetish?
  • Being a control freak
  • Trying to outrun my emotional world
  • Being afraid of women
  • Navigating an emotional minefield


  • Why I went to therapy
  • Dealing with loss
  • Considering suicide
  • The difference between relief and peace of mind
  • “The peace I was deeply wanting was on the other side of that thing I was avoiding.”


  • Ken Wilber’s The Marriage of Sense and Soul
  • Being out of alignment with inner values
  • “They’re going to think I’m weird.”
  • Playing it safe professionally
  • “Is this it? What now? Why can’t I just be happy here?”

Click here for Tripp Lanier’s book This Book Will Make You Dangerous: The Irreverent Guide for Men Who Refuse to Settle.

About Alyson Lanier

Alyson Lanier is a guide, coach, mentor, asskicker, counselor, and teacher. She received her BA, MA, and LPC in psychology, and has extensive training and certification in attachment work and Gestalt therapy, Transpersonal psychology, and Shambhala Buddhism. She has over 50,000 hours of therapeutic experience with individuals, couples, families, children, and adolescents in clinical and private settings. Halfway through her second decade of working in clinical and trauma informed therapeutic settings, Alyson realized psychotherapy alone was incomplete. In order to better serve her clients, Alyson broadened her professional toolbox with trainings and certifications in somatic sex education, energy work and consciousness development, and Ancestral Medicine work, a lineage repair approach to healing personal, family, and cultural burdens.

Adding alternative and spiritual practices to her therapeutic offerings made sense for Alyson because her experience with animist traditions and supernatural encounters began at a very young age, and set the foundation for her life’s study and practice. Her encounters with other-than-human beings, Old World traditions, Shambhala Buddhist practice, and subtle energy work over the years have given her a unique and layered perspective that plants her feet firmly in seemingly antithetical worlds: clinical and transpersonal psychology; Eastern and Western philosophy; clinical diagnosis and energetic and spiritual traditions of healing. Alyson has learned to fully embrace this duality, and to use it to understand the lenses her clients are seeing through, how they’re metabolizing what’s coming through for them, and to lovingly stir shit up to help them level-up.

Alyson delights in supporting her clients as they navigate their growth processes on psychological, physical, energetic, and spiritual levels. Her knowledge of psychology, development, and integral, energetic, and somatic studies give her a centered gravity, and her formative experiences and practices give her a rare wisdom. Her passion and humor spring from a desire to make the sacred profane and the profane sacred. Alyson approaches her transformative work with creative and dynamic interventions, serving her clients and groups as if the world depends on the fulfillment they are seeking, because it most assuredly does.
For over a decade, Alyson has been married to Tripp Lanier (who is also a coach and the host of The New Man Podcast which has been downloaded millions of times by men and women all around the world). Together they have a daughter and live on the coast of North Carolina.