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Next Level Guy

Mar 7, 2023

Today's guest is Charisse Cooke!  

Charisse Cooke is a psychotherapist with over nineteen years of professional experience. She works in private practice in London and is also an online educator through social media. Specialising in relationships, Charisse offers challenging, hard-hitting advice to anyone wanting more honest and authentic relationships.

She wants to bring all the lessons learnt in the counselling room to a wider online audience, so as many people as possible can benefit.

Having started her career working in rehabs, Charisse loves working directly with people, challenging unhealthy beliefs and implementing healthy behaviours that bring about long-lasting change. She started her own treatment centre in 2006, and has been in private practice for over a decade. She works with individuals, couples and families on how to have truly loving relationships and understand each other better.

Follow her on Instagram @charissecooke or TikTok @charissecookeofficial or access her key teachings for free at


Here are some key points that I would advise you to concentrate on

  • You should interview your therapist, just because you have been referred, doesn't mean you need to accept them as your therapist if it isn't working out. Interview your health professionals and find those that work best for you. 
  • If one method of support doesn't work for you, please don't give up. 
  • Humans learn through stories, so unfortunately we assign stories to behaviors and try to justify them with a story rather than realizing they are patterns and you can change. 
  • We are shaped by our upbringing, our family culture, our religious beliefs, cultural attitudes to what is accepted etc, these factors can pressure us to act in a certain way.
  • Look at your behaviors and decide, is it helping me, is it keeping me safe, is it holding me back etc - question your behaviors and see what needs to be addressed etc.
  • You need to be able to hold yourself accountable as much as you hold your partner accountable. It is hard to be introspective and see what our behaviors, patterns and actions are causing and stemming from, which can help us grow as people and connect better to the other person. 
  • Find you scare people off by coming on too strong with the emotion, connections etc - The other person on a date should show you they want you to give more, save it for someone that has earned your love. We can be more comfortable giving what we would want to receive. Dial back your wish to give to others to 30-40% until you see the other person asking for more.
  • We have three options in life, try to change the situation or ourselves, we can accept it without changing it and learn to deal with it, or let go and move on. It is the same in a relationship, we have an obligation to ourselves to be happy and emotionally healthy, and you can use the above three options to decide how to proceed. 
  • Going to therapy isn't a bad thing, it is a sign of strength to see something you want to work on and get it fixed before things get worse.
  • Needing therapy is not a reflection on you as a person, we all need help at some point.
  • We are unconscious acting in most cases, we do not always realize why we act the way we do, it is built into us cellular level. 
  • The typical 'socially accepted' relationship dynamic is no longer the must follow, you can decide how you want to date, connect etc. 
  • You who were in a relationship back then is not who you are now, we grow in life, and as we get more experience, growth and maturity in life, we can find what we want and need in life changes. 
  • A key thing to learn in a relationship communication is to learn how to respond rather than react by emotional regulation work. 
  • Sometimes it is better to come back and discuss something then discuss it when emotional, angry etc. It can be better to discuss things when the emotions and feelings have passed, and you can discuss things when calm and in the moment, not wrapped up in the feelings. 
  • There are normally a lot of emotions, feelings and thoughts behind someones true reason for cheating. 
  • We can be defensive in our relationships due to the vulnerability that opening ourselves up to another being in a relationship can bring us. 
  • Use therapy like you'd use the gym, therapy gives you mental and emotional fitness and strength for life, like the gym gives you physical fitness for life. 
  • Journaling can help you by looking at your dates, looking for the stories we tell ourselves, actions we continually do etc. You need to notice patterns first before you can start working to remove them. 
  • The best relationship you should have is the one that you have with yourself. You should love yourself, all of you, before you go and try and love someone else.
  • Use breakups to look at what you want in life, what you liked and didn't and use it as a place to grow and learn about yourself. 
  • It is healthy for us to feel our emotions, accept our emotions and let them pass, control your breathing, and then respond from a controlled place, rather than reacting emotionally. 
  • Charisse suggests a relationship meeting, where you can share positive things you did and noted about them, discuss issues, look at how things are etc, without being emotional, wrapped up in feelings etc. It is a safe place, that lets you discuss, be constructive and grow and most importantly learn about one another, and learn to love each other healthier and be happier. 
  • Thinking about a previous relationship, one that had many emotional highs and lows, can give you the same sort of feedback as an addict scoring a fix. A lot of times we do not see it for what it actually was, we actually treat the other person like a drug, someone to help us feel better, someone to numb the pain etc, and miss the highs and roller-coaster chemistry journey it put us on. 
  • You can not always see what is happening in your life, or identify the patterns that you are making. Therapy is a great tool, as a trained therapist can help you identify problems and behaviors that you want to eliminate. 
  • It takes robustness and self-esteem to truly look at ourselves and see where we are working well and where we are going wrong.
  • "We are all playing out our past in different ways!". You need to analyse your behavior and work out what you are continually doing and figure out what helps you grow and what helps you slip back, and work towards changing the habits you no longer wish to do. 
  • You can find an identity by building  tribe of people you want to connect with, through social groups, activities, sports, volunteering. 
  • Emotional regulation is key to our happiness. It is personable to you how you do this, some need to walk around, some need physical touch, some need to breath to relax etc, by acting to control your emotions, have humility, and look at our actions and see see where they are coming from and not just acting in old patterns of behaviors. 
  • You need to treat your partner like a friend, as much as a lover. 
  • Different situations require different actions and types of communication, to connect, learn and grow from their. It is not healthy to try and impose your will on someone and win every argument. 
  • When you break-up, regret is great to do, as it lets you come to terms with things, but you need to let the grief out, to let it out, to stop clinging on to it or trying to hold onto the partner through out. Grieve for the lost relationship etc and come back stronger, open and ready for another relationship.