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Can I Laugh On Your Shoulder?

Jun 29, 2022

My guest today is Terra Mattson, a licensed marriage and family therapist who has helped thousands of women, couples, and families at every stage of their journeys over the past two decades. She is also the visionary leader of a one-of-a-kind trauma-informed women’s conference that addresses issues women face in the church today.

Terra and her husband, Jeff, are the founders of Courageous Girls and the counseling and organizational development firm Living Wholehearted. Making their home just outside Portland, Ore., they are raising their two daughters to live courageously, rooted in grace.

5:09 – Terra 101

  • Terra wears a lot of hats, and it can sound overwhelming, but she doesn’t do it all of it at the same time.
  • Trauma informed counseling has been a passion of hers.

7:06 – Relationships

  • Terra loves people and relationships, and people suggested she be a counselor.
  • She loves helping leadership and doing ministry.

8:52 – Trauma impacts leadership

  • There is a core issue with leaders not doing the work. Most high capacity leaders have past trauma.
  • Trauma can impact the brain and shape leadership.

15:20 – Leaders in the home

  • Terra worked with her daughters to teach them about the world and their bodies. She wanted to be their mentor and teacher.
  • She now coaches other moms to help their daughters.

24:28 – Being tough

  • Terra’s father taught her to be tough and not cry.
  • She grew up with a mental toughness, but she had no clue how to operate as a human with normal emotions. That caused problems as she got older.

31:15 – Helping children regulate emotions

  • To help your children regulate their emotions, use a play therapy technique called ACT – Acknowledge the emotions, Communicate the limit and Target the alternative.
  • Teach your kids healthy ways to deal with emotions, not to ignore their emotions.

46:50 – Pursue your daughter’s heart

  • Take time to intentionally pursue your daughter’s heart.
  • Let your daughters know you are a trusted and safe source.

51:12 – Get to know you

  • Favorite TV show growing up? The Cosby Show
  • Other career? Flip houses and interior design


Teach your kids – someone sees my emotions, and they’re OK.

We define leaders as – if you have a following, you are a leader. And those kids are following us. So how we lead really matters.

I grew up with a mental toughness, but I had no clue how to operate as a human with my normal emotions.

Teach your kids healthy ways to deal with emotions, not to ignore their emotions.


Thank you to our partner of the show!

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