Motley Magazine’s Ava Sommers sits down with bassist, psychologist and all-round badass Louize Carroll.
The first time I came across Louize Carroll, I was about fifteen. I was beginning to play bass in a band with my friends, but had only ever heard of male bassists before that. I began looking into iconic female bassists such as Suzi Quattro, and then someone mentioned to me “Don’t the Blizzards have a girl bassist?” I have followed Louize’s work ever since. But what amazes me about Louize far more than breaking gender norms in her choice of instrument, is how she challenges the assumption that we, as people, must be one thing. Louize is not only a musician, she is a consultant psychologist, she writes for the Huffington Business Post, she works in a psychological capacity in the cases of child protection issues, and she is the director and co-founder of an online platform called Prism, which links consultant psychologists registered in Ireland with people who are in need of their expertise. Regardless of which side you stand on the #GirlBoss debate, Louize’s accomplishments and successes make her an inspiration to young women in Ireland, and in my opinion, the perfect interviewee for this month’s Motley.
Prism was formed when Louize began publicly speaking about psychology, and began to receive messages from people wishing to see a therapist, but were overwhelmed by the sheer amount of answers provided when searching it on the internet. Louize still gets these messages to this day. She saw people who needed this help and decided to create a platform which can help these people. Prism also works to help people to link with a vetted therapist, to make sure that the people who wish to seek help are linked to someone who matches the platform ethos and approach, to ensure that people no longer have experiences where they are linked to a therapist with whom they have a bad experience. Prism has now been running for a year, and the team has been working to “consciously grow, and not just populate” the platform.
I mentioned how the ideal woman online is always on our tails. “I find it really troubling, in a way that is not spoken about because that is a little intangible. The first time the ‘like’ button appeared in Facebook, that was when everything changed. We began posting through the eyes of other people. That significantly changed our psyches. That was when we changed how we present ourselves to the world and why. There was always image management, but now our lives are geared around that, and not that fulcrum point in our gut. Value and recognition and reward is placed on people who present themselves in such ways.” I ask you, the reader, this: How often do you post something on social media, simply because you like it, and how often do you post something for “likes”, to make sure people see, or because it would make your life appear to be what you want people to believe it is? Or how often have you been discouraged because you did not get as many hits as you thought you would? How often have you opened a social media platform and left it in a slum or feeling like you are not enough? These are the side effects of social media. Louize explained that we, as young people, begin to assemble ourselves externally, for the validation of others, in a way that generally comes from a trauma response, and results in trauma. She calls it “the undiscovery of the true self”, where your life exists to make other people happy, by suppressing yourself to meet the needs of others. “Social Media is a gallery of a curated life.” She praised her work with child protection for reminding her of what matters, when she sees that these children are not receiving the bare essentials.
I had to ask Louize about #GirlBoss and #Hustle culture which we see online. If you somehow have managed to avoid this, ‘Hustle Culture’ consists of so-called gurus, teaching us how to “Make Rest Productive in These Simple Steps” or “How I Got Rich Overnight #GirlBoss”. This is a culture which companies are now feeding into, needing their employees to be available at all times; this is a culture which wags its finger at rest and rehabilitation, and built itself around an obsessive need to always be productive. Louize’s advice was “Do it if you want to do it, and you enjoy it, but understand the difference between being confident, taking risks and believing in yourself, and entitlement.” There is an overlap between
However, her first thought was about how we have flipped the traditional roles of relationships. “I am seeing a complete flip of roles in relationships. These young men are really looking for intimacy, but all of the women that they are meeting are playing the old, traditional, masculine role, and they cannot navigate this. I wonder if these are overcorrections.” Louize’s advice was that nobody owes you anything, that people do not own one another; in relationships it is a choice for each person to show up every day.
“This ‘sticking it to the man thing’ feels like empowerment, but using the same tactics that were used on you to make a point, is not making a point.” This immediately cast my mind to the child who suffers bullying, but later becomes a bully as a way of overcorrection; for the people who hurt us to feel the pain, we must act in the same way and inflict the same pain, although we know that this is wrong.
Louize commented on the lack of humility which seems to be taking over at the moment. “It is important to know when it is time to voice your opinions, and when it really is not. Everybody feels that their opinion is fact, and this causes a lack of a shared reality.” Louize spent some time in LA over the past few weeks, and she was staggered by the reactions of people there. “Whatever has happened in Ireland in the past few years has not happened in LA.” We spoke for a while on how Irish people have closed themselves off from each other, Irish people are no longer playful, or curious. We seem to have lost our kindness in favour of being entitled and closed off. We do not seem to connect to other people as we once were.
I found speaking to Louize made me want to be a better person, and not simply to prove to the world that just because I am a woman and I want to break the stereotype, but she made me want to be a better person, because if each person took the time to be a little kinder, be a little more open, be a little bit more authentic – we can truly build a better society by simply working towards it individually. So be a little kinder, to yourself and to others.
If you feel that you or someone you know may benefit from Prism’s platform, do not hesitate to visit https://prismtherapyonline.com.