In Session with “Ted Lasso”

Grab your biscuits and join Dr. Sam & Dr. Fran as they travel across the pond and put Ted Lasso on the couch!
Dr. Sam & Dr. Fran introduce and discuss another new (to the pod) type of psychology — sports psychology. What exactly do sports psychologists do? Can they cure the yips? And can Dr. Sharon help AFC Richmond have a winning season and get promoted? We examine all of that and even briefly move beyond Richmond to discuss real-life examples of athletes working with sports psychologists. 
Perhaps most importantly, we dive into Ted’s therapy with Dr. Sharon. Can Dr. Sharon help decrease Ted’s panic symptoms? The doctors also analyze what they think could be going on with Ted as we learn more about him and his childhood. We also delve into why Ted may be hesitant about therapy and his unexpected avoidance when it comes to certain emotions.
Can any psychologist fix Nate’s problems? Unlikely, but as Ted once said there is nothing worse than being sad and alone. Listen to this week’s session so you don’t have to face those negative feelings alone. 

Glossary of Terms

Sport psychology subfield of psychology that focuses on applying psychological knowledge and skills to address optimal performance and well-being of athletes

Precipitating factor a specific event or trigger to the onset of the current problem

Yipsdocumented condition observed in pro athletes where some mental shift impacts a performer’s ability to execute relatively basic motor skills

Panic attack – not technically an anxiety disorder, an intense, brief period of anxiety characterized by physiological arousal including increased heart rate, sweating, trembling, and sometimes fainting

Avoidancecommon strategy used to deal with psychological pain or trauma in which people either do not enter a situation (avoidance) or leave situations after they have entered (escape). 

Resistanceconscious or unconscious behaviors that obstruct or prevent therapeutic change 

Perspective-taking – trying to put yourself in someone else’s shoes

Dual (or multiple) relationshipswhere multiple roles exist between a therapist and a client (e.g., professional and personal roles)

Termination the ending of the psychotherapy relationship


If you or someone you know is struggling with or at risk for suicidal ideation and/or self-harm, you can get help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish) 1-800-273-8255.

We highlight a subfield of psychology that is new to the podcast- Sport Psychology! Learn more about this field here.

Though the depiction of Danny experiencing the “yips” in Ted Lasso is fictional, this condition has been described in modern day athletic performance. Learn more about the condition here and check out this article discussing Simone Biles’ reports of the “twisties” during the Tokyo Olympics.

In discussing Ted’s experience of parental loss, we briefly touch on how children cope with parental suicide. See additional resources here and here.