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  • Haley McGee

Season 1: Episode 8 - The Cost of Love and Therapy (Part 1) with Mary Ellen Mahoney

Updated: Jul 2, 2021

"It's the relationship that heals." Haley and her real-life therapist, Mary Ellen Mahoney, show us the value of therapeutic relationships.

Asking the tough, vulnerable questions about therapy when you're single, we explore: How can therapy help us break the patterns holding us back? What's the key to creating secure a base for ourselves so we can bravely walk into the unknown? How do our parents' relationships shape our love lives?

Episode Summary

This is the eighth episode of The Cost of Love with Haley McGee. Welcome.

Haley McGee is a love idiot. She’s also an actor and the author of the forthcoming book, The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale. On The Cost of Love Podcast she’s talking to a wide range of experts to try to figure out if the cost of love is worth it.

Each episode features a conversation between Haley and someone in the know, and they dig into that strange juicy place where love and money collide.

This episode is all about the cost of love and therapy with Haley's therapist, Mary Ellen Mahoney, a psychotherapist and specialist in the mental health, ongoing creativity and life changes of performing artists and their families. The interview is split into two episodes, this is the first part -- focussing on therapy when you're single.

In part one, ‘Everyone’s a Love Idiot’, Haley grills Mary Ellen with a series of questions that attempt to quantify her romantic history. From how many times she’s been in love, to the number of breakups she's had versus the number of heartbreaks, to long-term pining in high school and being gifted a red six steel-string guitar by her college boyfriend. Listen close to hear her sing along to the song she listened to on repeat when going through her biggest heart break.

In part two, ‘Brains Over Braun’, we apply Mary Ellen's expertise to the concept of the cost of love. We cover:

  • The parameters Haley and Mary Ellen agreed to for this interview, in order to keep their relationship and each other safe

  • Why this interview feels much harder than any other one for Haley!

  • What psychotherapy is, and how this relates to Mary Ellen's mission as a therapist

  • Attachment theory, how we identify attachment injury, and how this relates to mirror-neurons

  • The uniqueness of a therapeutic relationship and what the goal of this is

  • How and why Haley came to therapy off the back of a break-up a decade ago

  • The ways we experience, witness and form attachments to relationships before we're even verbal

  • How we're programmed, imprinted on and subconsciously taught patterns by our primary caregivers

  • How therapy can offer us an ideal parent-child relationship that allows us to be inquisitive and supported in our impulses

  • How our destructive patterns are "treatment plans" we've created to compensate for our pain

  • The difference between making decisions unconsciously versus consciously

  • How making strides in your relationship with a therapist can reform your relationships with the people in your life

  • Mary Ellen shares thoughts on the "hell" of modern dating, UTIs and the need for connection in a rapidly moving society

  • What to do with feelings of “WHY can’t I find it!?”

  • Anxious attachment versus Avoidant attachment styles and how they can co-exist

  • The purpose of therapy in constructing a secure base -- in order to make decisions determined not by attachment styles, but by our best interest

  • What might be underneath knowing you need to break up with someone, but feeling that you. Just. Can't.

The discussion ends with a note on how being on our own can help us to come home to ourselves, to love more freely, and to hold onto integrity when afraid we're of running out of time. The value of being able to walk into the unknown.

We're played out by 'Shout To The Top' by Style Council, the song Mary Ellen listened to on repeat when going through her biggest heartbreak. Click the link to listen to the whole song.

We're saving this episode's ‘Free Hugs’, for Part 2 so keep your ears tuned for the drop in two weeks!

About Mary Ellen Mahoney

Mary Ellen Mahoney, RP, is a Registered Psychotherapist in private practice in Toronto.

An award-winning former professional stage actor, she is the founder of "The Actor's Sanity Studio", a centre devoted to supporting the mental health, ongoing creativity and life changes of performing artists and their families.

Over the years her clinical experience has broadened to include patients from all walks of life. She has found that the unifying theme, revealed again and again in the work with clients, is the search for meaningful intimate relationships. The witnessing of this universal longing has led her to begin the development of a forthcoming book: "Bring Me a Higher Love: Emotional Intelligence for Dating, Mating and Marriage."

Books & Some of the Other Things Mentioned

  • Definitions and key figures:

  • Psychotherapy

  • Attachment theory

  • Donald Winnicott

  • Carl Jung

  • Books

  • Getting The Love You Want, by Harville Hendricks

  • A General Theory of Love, by Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini and Richard Lannon

  • The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning in Midlife, by James Hollis

  • The Undiscovered Self, by Carl Jung

  • The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale, by Haley McGee (available for pre-order it in the UK)

Join us for Haley's Book Launch

On Thursday, 27th May at 7:30pm BST (2:30pm EDT), join Haley on Zoom where you'll hear her read a bit from the book, chat with her editor about the writing process, answer your questions and give away prizes!

Book your FREE TICKET here.

Support the Podcast

Use our the following links when you buy your books or stationary supplies and we get a small percentage of your order.

Stay in Touch

Follow The Cost of Love on Instagram @thecostof_love, Twitter @thecostof_love and Facebook

Follow Haley McGee on Instagram @yeshaleymcgee, Twitter @yeshaleymcgee and Facebook

Submit a Question about Love & Money

Email and give us some context while you're at it! We'll try to answer it on a future episode.


Writer and Host - Haley McGee

Producer and Editor - Maddie Haynes

Editor - Eva Lunny

Assistant Producer - Eliza Cass

Music and Audio Production - Robert Moutrey

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