Therapy Talks

Exploring Therapy, Self-Care and Emotional Literacy Through Guided Journaling with Bethany MacGillivray

March 28, 2023 Switch Research Season 1 Episode 59
Therapy Talks
Exploring Therapy, Self-Care and Emotional Literacy Through Guided Journaling with Bethany MacGillivray
Show Notes Transcript

This week, we have the pleasure of having Bethany MacGillivray join us on the podcast! We discuss the Switch Guided Journaling Masterclass, how journaling can be directive and provide tangible strategies, the importance of self-love and self-care, and setting intentions over resolutions.

Bethany also discusses her approach to therapy, the importance of having a support system in place for clinicians, virtual and in-person collectives, art therapy, somatic therapy, and having ethical boundaries as a therapist.

Tune in to learn tangible strategies, explore different formats and facilitators, and understand the importance of emotional literacy. It will be an exciting and informative session, so don’t miss out!

Bethany is an experienced therapist who provides a holistic approach through interweaving talk therapy, art therapy, and somatic mindfulness-based practices to help people reconnect their mind-body connection. She also believes in creating a calm, warm, and empathetic space to support individuals on their journey to deeper healing and a life with meaning and purpose.

Find Out More About Bethany:
Instagram: @soulflowtherapy

Learn More About Switch Research:
Instagram: @switchresearch

Disclaimer: Therapy Talks does NOT provide medical services or professional counseling, and it is NOT a substitute for professional medical care.

Hello everyone. Welcome back for another episode of Therapy Talks to Haley here Today. On the episode we have Bethany McGuill and we together talk about our guided journaling experiences on the Switch Live platform. If you're interested in our journals, feel free to click on the links in our description below.

Hello Bethany. It's great to actually formally meet you as a fellow Switch Live person and being on the podcast and things. So I'd love if you could just share a little bit about yourself and your practice so I could have a chance to get to know you. Oh, absolutely. Yeah. It's lovely to meet you as well.

It's yeah, it's fun watching like everything pop up with the switch live and seeing your face being like, oh, I haven't met Hailey yet, so I feel like I know you already. So this is wonderful to have this time together. . And so for those that are listening switch Live is a great platform that is part of the Switch Company and brand where we host different mental health guided journaling experiences or informational videos or meditations.

It's a variety of opportunities for clients to connect in a video platform with a catalog of courses perhaps. Yeah. Yeah. It's a very cool platform. I'm really excited to be a part. . , it's been such a wonderful opportunity to connect virtually because that's such a big part of our community now as well as therapists.

And so it's nice to have that platform as a therapist and having that accessible for clients. Both you and I have gone through recently. I'm not sure if you're finished yet, but in terms of offering the guided journals on the switch live how is that experience? Is it still ongoing for you?

Currently? You know what, yesterday was my last day. Oh, wonderful. So this is perfect timing. Yeah. Oh my gosh. I was, that was one of the, that was a experience I'll definitely cherish for myself. I really enjoyed that time being able to set aside and to do that guided journaling and to be able to just look at the individual journal entries and the individual experiences for the day, the daily intention and having everything set out in front of me.

when you're doing the journal on your own, you can sit in there and you could just get caught up in the details or maybe you're just really can be focused and honing in on one nugget of what's written there. And sometimes things can get a little bit, not necessarily a lot in transition, but you can get a little stuck.

And so it's nice. I really enjoyed being able to do, a little bit more research and pulling it back for each day and just having this platform to be able to support others and talk about, what. One paragraph meant and elaborating on it, and I like to think of it as ideas could percolate a little bit more, where you know there would be a whole week where we were talking about mindfulness.

And if you're doing it yourself, you might just be thinking, wait. We just talked about this yesterday, but there's so many more ways to elaborate on it. And then also pulling back from past past weeks that we've had the experience or past days that we talked about and being able of pull it all together and just summarize it and each time it was.

Such a great experience for me to be able to do that and because I'm learning as I'm doing it as well. Like I was journaling along with everyone by just verbally doing all those things as well and setting them up and seeing how things change and seeing how I was able to bring that out into my day-to-day life as well, and being able to as well pass on the knowledge to clients and it was.

Such a ripple effect, and it was just something that I wasn't expecting to be as therapeutic for myself in some ways, and it really was. And I really loved that. How is it for you? Yeah. Oh, like just hearing you talk about it, I can like, resonate with the emotions that are, I can sense that are coming up for you and so for me to go through the Emotions Journal was such a beautiful moment for me. And when I think about my life overall having the opportunity to write the Emotions Journal and then present it in that format was just, it's honestly been such a bright light for me since it's released in September.

And . I just really was inspired by a lot of my clients previous to writing the journal in their difficulty of emotional regulation. So I'm gonna give you a long answer, but , so back in time my practicum, I worked a lot with substance use clients and their inability to emotionally regulate and just seeing in my heart aching for their life and how things were going.

and I thought things would maybe be a lot different in terms of private practice because I was working with the Health Authority at that time, and I noticed that again, there was just this immense inability to feel our feelings and then to regulate them. And the lack of emotional literacy as well for the For like the way that we would conceptualize emotions, like it was just such a huge gap.

And so by chance, which seems to happen in my life, I feel like I'm a very lucky person and I just feel so grateful for that. But by chance, I've had the opportunities to take that noticing and place it into a format how I would take a lot of clients through their emotion regulation journey. And especially once completing my basic training in E M D R and noticing that.

Francine Shapiro, her first couple phases were all about regulation and stability, stabilizing, and so I thought, how could I put this into a journal format that would give someone the ability to walk away being able to complete this sentence with confidence, I feel right, and then being able to go, I feel this, and then I did this, and I felt more.

right? And so that was my goal. And being able to see some of the wonderful reviews that people are leaving and how they've been helping them, it's honestly, I could bring tears to my eyes seeing that this is giving the people the opportunity and empowerment to feel and regulate their emotions effectively.

But then to be able to go into this journey of then going through each day. So from November, December, all the way into January. So it was quite like a bit of a journey in terms of consistency, right? In terms of doing that as a daily practice, but to be able to bring people along and have my own personal examples and always joking about myself or things that I noticed or things that cause irritation for me was quite fun.

Because in our clinical practice, of course, self-disclosure can be a tricky experience and so it was good opportunity to give some personal examples and relatability and have me be seen as a person, not just a clinician in many ways. . That's my long about answer. Overall, it was just office, obviously.

Very wonderful. And I also learned that I sent, said wonderful a lot, but I'm not giving it up. wonderful. I'm not giving it up anytime soon. I can't help. But it's a habit. But it's just was such a great opportunity. And how wonderful is it that we cannot only provide one-to-one therapy, but we can provide and enhance resources that many people that can access outside of just the community that we.

Yeah. And that's like you summarized it so well, like just the journey that you went on from okay, from school undergrad to creating this platform of how to be or structure within your sessions, to expanding upon it, to creating the journal and then being able to walk through the journal one day at a time.

And it really does create such a, . , the holistic space, right? Where you actually come full circle in that moment. And, feelings is such a big experience and we don't learn how to talk about them the same way, so it's just such an important fa fact for everyone to be able to utilize, we don't know How to talk about them.

We have our high level ones. We don't know what that feels like and we just are always unsure of that tangibility. And so having that structure there is great. And I really love how you were sharing about how using humor and personal stories. Yeah. When you're on the switch live, you're able to of connect it a different way.

You don't have to be. As guarded. You're really just pouring out your experience and being able to share that and being able to really provide that knowledge and insight. So it's a nice shift slightly away from the therapist's chair and being able to be a little bit more this is what I feel like, this is how it is for me as well.

It makes you a real person. . . Totally. And again, like that diversification of practice, right? Like how wonderful it is that we can be brave. Like I have talked to many colleagues, I'm like, join us with Switch. And they're like, Ooh, I'm so nervous to speak and things. And I go, you know what? What a wonderful community that Switch has.

And everyone's been so kind and accepting. And if they maybe don't like what we have to say, then that's okay, but there isn't that negativity because everyone that's part of the Switch team or the Switch community, Are all aiming for the same thing. They're trying to find a, like a space of peace, right?

Of enjoyment of empowerment. Endless, wonderful adjectives I could add there. But we're all on that same path. And so I think it's like a good development, even for myself in terms of being more confident to be able to speak freely to be able to just. Say what comes to mind, and in that regard.

And yeah, that daily practice was huge, right? In being able to share like more information around it to enrich it. And so that if someone is completing that journal independently, they don't have to feel alone in that process. They can rely on some of these videos and connection.

. Yeah, exactly. And that was been such a great thing that I noticed as well about the Switch community. Like I was very hesitant at first as well. I was like, how am I gonna talk that long? What do you, it just felt it's just felt so intimidating and. Once just getting into it and doing it, it was just, everyone's been so wonderful.

It's just such a different context than I've experienced in any work environment, in any community. It is a wonderful, supportive place and, seeing the comments that people are making on all of the different different master classes and journals and, doing the self-love journal that I had done was, it was such a great experience for myself too.

I definitely, as I said, I cherish it. It's very special to me and it's stuff that I already talk about. It was just perfectly in line with what I would wanna be able to experience and share and continue to have other people utilize. And the space I always said as well, like in the sessions that it was, or in the lives where it's like this dedicated time afterwards where you're writing in community.

And you don't have that. Maybe you don't know that someone's writing at the same time as you. Maybe they wrote it an hour ago, but they're still writing in that dedicated time. And so it's this really beautiful way of just having it all come together in a format that is just really global. It can be very universal and global.

Yeah. It makes me think of this exercise that I sometimes do with clients called the We Wheel of Awareness, where we go through the different parts of awareness as a mindfulness strategy. So for example, your own body senses, your internal awareness of noticing your heartbeat inside your body. But then one of those other parts of awareness is noticing that there are other human beings that you can conceptualize that are in the world.

So picturing like your partner or a good family member or friend and what they might be doing right now today. On this afternoon. And what their experience may be like. And so that's why I'm bringing it up cuz you said maybe someone is journaling along with you and that sense of connection, even if they're not presently physically with you, there's that energy flow that's happening.

Yeah. And that somebody has journaled during that time. You know that when they press play on that exact experience. And it's that idea of common humanity, which was such a big part of that, the song journal we came back to where it's just they have that connection. It's a different aspect of it, but it's just that idea that other people are doing things or experiencing things that can be challenging, that can be beautiful as well.

When we're really reaching for support during that time and trying to find. It can also be when we're experiencing some of the more uplifting emotions too, where it's like other people can be experiencing those at the same time as you as well, and it's such a great aspect of it all.

Yeah. And it's of almost humorous because sometimes in the winter month some people would be like, oh, I'm doing like a 30 day hit challenge. And I'm like, I'm doing a daily journaling challenge for 64 days. . Like kinda that camaraderie as well. Yeah. Experiences. Cause it. I have a place of privilege where my day, every day in terms of my schedule is different and I that.

So it was interesting to have such a regimented every day at the same time to do this piece, right? Yes. And that commitment to show up for myself for a switch and for the community that was joining us and all of the wonderful people that are probably going to listen to them in the future that like, I'm like, I gotta show up and I gotta put energy into.

Yeah. Yeah. I can relate to that. Yeah. It was having that consistent everyday thing was, it was, it's something that we talk about when we're talking about journaling or when people wanna bring those things in. And it was really great to be able to experience be on the ride, we're real on it as well.

 And it's. I really like the idea that you had shared about how people with, going through New Year's time where a lot of people will set, resolutions and I always like to set intentions, where it's just a little bit less judgment on it in those moments. And also just the idea of.

yeah. We talk about hit, doing these challenges, but why not be a mental health challenge like journaling for 30 days? That's just something that is such a different way of looking at things, of being able to incorporate and to continue with self-care and really just self-growth of being able to learn more about yourself and being able to support yourself in different ways.

Yeah, and my competitive. Me was very much like eager to demystify or de-stigmatize journaling as a mental health practice. Cause I don't know if you've ever been there where you suggest journaling to a client and they're like, no thank you. And you're like have you ever heard of this type of journaling that is more guided?

It's not just painless, it's directive, it's teaching you. Good tangible strategies that you can take away and utilize. Did it als, did you also know it came with a whole community who also supports you as well? And what I mean by the community is for example, like on the Switch live platform, there's obviously an opportunity to comment or to engage with the live, , the live presentations and, but there's also the wonderful Facebook group.

People can comment and share, and I often see people saying, oh, I purchased the journal and I'm starting. How should I start? Like looking for suggestions and there's that camaraderie available. Oh, nice. Yeah, I actually wasn't aware of the Facebook group, so that's really great to see that. And it's true because journaling, and even for myself where I haven't been the most dedicated, it hasn't been my platform.

So this has been such a great thing for me. But it's that idea where we go back into our childhood where we think it's Dear diary, it's this idea of what journaling is, and it doesn't have to be anything, it's just that idea. Taking a dedicated time and having the guided part, even without the guided of you and myself in the switch line.

But just the actual journal is guided where it just gives you steps, it gives you specific things to think about and it's wonderful to have that context and then being able to go from there, cuz. The self-love journal was 91 days, and so going from there, like you've got three months in practice, so it's okay, can you keep going?

You've created this habit, this pattern. You can go back to the beginning. You could try a different journal, maybe you wanna journal on your own. And there's so many different ways to be able to utilize it and to be able to move forward from there. And the community part, having. Camaraderie in that space of, yeah, I did it too.

This is the one I did next. And being able to just have that support as opposed to just a blank page. , which can be so daunting and intimidating, and the idea of where to go from there. But even just having. Start with that and having someone else to be able to support and being able to go from there.

Yeah. And even a client earlier said to me that she was talking about this idea around mindfulness, and she's oh yeah, like we can always talk about mindfulness and I know what that is, but it's actually that surrendering to the practice, the surrendering to the journaling, for example, of actually engaging with it fully and not just.

Feeling. Oh yeah. And sloughing it off. It's actually what that engagement looks like for you. And one of my key phrases, I think I said 64 times was there's no right or wrong way to journal . I did too. . Yeah. And like I just I could not help but not say that because I think then again, . We don't wanna perpetrate more negative self-talk or being harm on ourselves.

Yeah. And even if you aren't journaling every day, that's okay. And a lot of clients, as you probably have heard, were like, yeah, I was doing so well. I'm feeling so great. But then I just stopped doing that and now I'm stuck again. It's okay, you stopped. So it's okay to like restart and continue.

Like it would be very unrealistic for you to be like, okay, I'm gonna journal and now I'm gonna journal every day till the day I leave this earth. Yeah, it's just like really breaking down a lot of that. And I'm assuming also with the self-love journal, it's like very much aimed at that inner relationship.

Yeah, it's, it was such a big part of it, and the self-compassion being such a big piece and a lot of stuff from Kristen Neff, Mely being pushed through to there and. We, yeah, we can get really hooked up on this momentum, right of anything when we're like, okay, I'm doing this thing every day, but it doesn't, if you miss a day, it's still gonna say day four, whether it's, whether that's Monday or Friday, it's still day four, and it's just being able to really take away some of that.

Control that we have as well of it has to be a certain way. And yeah, I too was like, especially at the beginning, I was like, there's no right or wrong way to journal and you might just be listening today and that's okay cuz you're present. You're here, you're listening, you're thinking about it.

So maybe you're not writing it today. Or you're writing it later, there's a lot of different ways to be able to do it and without it having to be so structured, which can just create more barriers. And so then it's, especially with it being about self-love, being that part of it, it's like, how can I compassionately do this for myself?

Am I gonna listen today and maybe write tomorrow? What is some way to be able to do that? And just taking away so much of the, those preconceived notions of what it's supposed to look like. . Definitely, and I think, yeah, again, as we both spoke about, like this journey of providing this resource in an audio format was also really wonderful because we allowed a more accessible way.

Like I know for myself, , I won't sit and listen to a podcast. I like to be walking, cooking, doing something. Yes. And so even if someone wasn't journaling along with us, there's still that reflection happening as we, they listen to us. So we offered not an opportunity. And for individuals that maybe aren't able to have that writing opportunity or that visual piece, they can still have the auditory piece to listen along.

Yeah. It's just really, again, utilizing all our different sense senses, but different learning styles. Some people are more kinetic, some people are audio auditory learners, I'm just being visual learners so they could see us. There's so many different ways to be able to help incorporate through that writing, and then being able to actually write it out or type it out or whatever format is there.

And. , it was just such a great way of being able to just try to cap capture so many different learning styles into one. . And as we talk about this, I appreciate all these things you're saying because it's reinvigorated me because I'm starting to now record for the boundaries journal.

Yeah. And it's really nice as we did some. Changes and things, but I am really feeling excited about getting back into that recording space and like really trying to go I'm gonna give it my all again. And I think I've had a little break now and so I'm ready to get it going again. . Yeah.

It's, yeah, it's definitely, and you're shifting into, a different journal, so like a little bit of a different format and a different aspect for it. And that's so great too. And it's, when people are going into switch so they can check out the different formats and the different journals and the different.

Facilitators, you know that there'll be different things to be able to go there. And Yeah, it's, it's, I had like with yesterday being last night, I was like, I was sad . I was like, like this has been five months almost and we've been doing this and it's . Yeah, it was, I had a lot of feelings.

I've definitely been processing a lot of my own feelings with it, of, being able to go through this and share that. And, I think if I was doing it on my own and just writing it, you of get to the end and you're like, you close the book and you're like, oh, no one's here. now.

Now what? But it was being able to do that with us, been like, we did this together. Other people are listening. Other people know you did this. And it's just, again, creating that other part of that community, of it being okay, like we did something special and we actually finished it. And being able to start with another one.

What a gift. Yeah, totally. I often feel like in session that I am doing my best in terms of being a clinician, but I feel like sometimes I do have to leave at a portion of personality, and rightfully so because I'm trying to follow an EMDR protocol or I'm following the ethics or in counseling and that's how it should be.

But sometimes I feel like clients don't understand like who I am. I don't know about you, but I've had a really great opportunity from this podcast and Twilight that individuals have reached out, like all over North America to want to work with me in terms of a counseling arrangement. And obviously it has been disappointing to say no to people outside of my ethical jurisdiction.

But I think, like you're saying, it's been a great opportunity to have this podcast space time today, so that people wanna know a little bit more about us, which makes it more real for that journey. Experie. Yeah. Yeah. And that's why even why, and I've been on the consult call, when I meet new clients, I go, you know what?

If applicable and appropriate, I will let it out a joke, I will let out a joke and I just wanna let you know. How does that feel for you? Is that what you're looking for in your therapist? And so I appreciate that we've had an opportunity for us to get to know each other as part of the Switch team because we're in different areas of our province.

, and coming together and sharing about our journeys from the journal. Yeah. Yeah. I just, I think it's, yeah. It's, it has been like such a special journal here. Yeah. I wanna go back to the beginning and start all over. Yeah. , it's, yeah. I think. I think that was one of the I'm really glad that you also had mentioned about how when you had shared with other people and they were like I couldn't do it.

It feels intimidating. And that was, I think my biggest, that was my biggest hurdle at the very beginning for all of it. AMT has seen me through my beginning. Panics of day one and being like I don't know. How am I gonna talk for this long? And or whatever it is. But it's just the idea I think, of being able to get over different things.

 And the live stuff is such an interesting piece because you're going through it. and your brain is going, you're trying to read your notes to make sure you're like covering certain things. But a lot of it is just, off the cuff in a lot of ways. And, if you make a mistake or so, the words get blended together and just being able to, continue with them without getting flustered is like such a cool skill that I feel like was being able to really Cultivate more and more for sure. And even as I speak to you, I'm noticing LA there's a lot of sense of calm in my body and I was actually looking at LinkedIn yesterday and it was like, congrats on your work anniversary.

Cuz I remembered that in March of 2022 is when I first started hosting some podcasts. And so a full year later. And I remember going into those podcasts, Oh my goodness, I'm so nervous. Like I felt a lot of dysregulation in my body and now I speak to you, I'm like, oh, it's fine. Because I think I have learned over this ability to speak off the cuff that if I say something that isn't helpful that or isn't the best worded, I'm gotten a lot better at just saying to myself, you know what?

I'm human. I tried, I have the best of intentions, and I think I'm able to let things go a lot easier and not hold onto them. So I appreciate that opportunity for my own self-development in that. . Yeah, that's a really cool point too, because it's a different, it's a similar skill to a therapist, but it's different because it's, you are doing more of the talking with those ways and the questions that you're asking and being able to share those and still as the host.

Yeah. You're still asking these really pointed questions, but it's slightly different. So it's like you're bridging between really authentic you, but still. Therapist you ask in like these probing questions and being able to really drive that back and forth. So it's like a very different skill and being able to go through those things.

And I was on the podcast here the first time was I think last May or June too. So it's coming almost a year for me as well. , which has, that was, my first time I'm like, I have no idea what to expect. And it's just these ideas where sometimes the questions that get asked are simple.

but they're not what you think about, and they're just like, wow. Like why didn't I contemplate that one? And it's really wonderful to realize how human we can be and where we can just expect things to be a certain way. And I still get surprised by these really great questions that really get to the heart of the matter.

and that's really what the whole point is. . And I love challenging people and especially in a place that they have agreed to be challenged. I'm like, wow, this is great. , let's get down to it. . Yeah, that's very true. That's very true. It's definitely yeah, pushing comfort zones and being able to Expand and grow.

And then yeah, in turn, being able to share knowledge with yeah. People from all over and being able to be seen in a way too, from a very different place. Yeah. Other than the static image on your website, , it's like being able to be heard, and having both. Both ways of connecting, cuz I'm based out of port Moody bc which is just outside of the Vancouver BC in the lower mainland.

So I know you're in BC as well, so we still get to have these connections there and yeah, I'm a registered clinical counselor there, professional art therapist as well. So I get to incorporate art into a lot of my. Workings as well with clients and having that aspect can be a really cool way to just have a different tool in the toolbox to be able to utilize regularly.

And so I work both online and I have a pr in-person private practice right in Port Moody. And yeah, it's been really neat to be able to move through as we've transitioned out of Covid and have this bridge between online and in-person. . . And so within your art therapy practice, is there a specific demographic or niche within the art therapy that you.

Yeah, so within both art therapy and with counseling practice, I work a lot with women struggling with body image and and eating behavioral challenges as well. But mostly it is in that body image realm, self-esteem self-compassion, and really just being able to connect with our bodies in a different way.

So much of our experience Through words, . So it's nice to just be able to have communication from the neck down and connect with our bodies and have that experience and work through and go on that journey through body image from that platform as well. . , definitely. So I'm just kinda curious cuz I've actually never done any art therapy and I've actually never seen an art therapy session.

And so what would be like the strategies or the things that you would do for someone specifically, maybe a woman who's struggling with some body dysmorphia or bodily body image issues. What kind of things would you do in those types of session? . They're really, I think the thing with art therapy and especially in sessions, like everything is so unique and every individual is unique.

There's really different things that can come up that you can follow through on that nugget of wisdom to be able to glean back internally because we have so much knowledge there. And so from a regular session that we have, a lot of it is just connecting with your feelings as a starting.

That's such a big thing for me, is just identifying what those feelings are. Being able to label them what they feel like in the body where they feel, and being able to experiment and explore that way. And using art as a way of doing that can be really helpful because it can be anything from, what is it, what color would represent that feeling, or a symbol or a shape or whatever it could be in that moment, cuz art.

P is not about the finished product, it's about the experience. So it's not about creating beautiful art, it's about really being able to express yourself. And so that's something that is a really great way of connecting. As well looking a lot at inner critic and that voice that often is a big part of our experience when it comes to body image and with self-image and self-esteem.

It's such a big part of our experience, that voice that we often have, and being able to experiment a little with that and explore a little bit with that creatively. And that could be using all sorts of different mediums or tools artistically as well as verbal. . . Yeah. That sounds really interesting because again, it's like that creation and expression and being able to put onto paper like an expression or a representation of what we're feeling, right?

, I really love that it's not really about the outcome. It's that opportunity to feel your feelings and express that on that paper. Yeah. And it's also an interesting way of just being able to think of things in a different way, which can be so helpful and it can be the really beautiful experience of being able to visualize it because so much that we have in our head and being able to see it in front of you can also really be able to connect in a different way.

It's such a beautiful thing to be able to use our different senses cuz especially when we have everything in our head, being able to see it in front of us can be a right way to be able to move through it as. . And so where are you at, like in your practice? What are your goals? What are you working on?

Are you in a good place that you're really content where you're at? I'd love to hear about your business side of things or your visions and goals. Ooh, business side. Oh, that's so interesting. So for myself still a fairly newer practitioner, but really getting into that space of learning more somatic is a really big part, somatic therapy.

So dealing. The body isn't a big aspect of our experience and I've been a yoga teacher for almost 18 years now, so it's something that I've always gravitated towards and that's another reason why with body image and I talk about, connecting to the body has been so important. And so I had done a lot of experience with mindfulness-based thematic therapy.

Training my, my undergrad and in my supervision, but I'm also switching as well to adding in somatic experiencing. So I'm adding in some new trainings, which I'm excited about, just to continue to learn more there. And, being able to just be able tos and have this support for people around around my community.

It's been really neat to be a part of a community in general and having that system in place and having colleagues that are around me has been really helpful as well. That we don't have the same practice, but we're looking to collaborate a little bit more and create some resources even to be able to support other counselors as well which has been a pretty neat place to be able to move forward from and to be ex able to expand into some more.

Group offerings and some more places to be able to create community and yeah, again, community's so big for me. I just love seeing that. I love being able to do that. I think there's a lot of healing and a lot of connection that can really be had from there, which a lot of us didn't have during Covid and during this time.

So being able to set things up in a way is really important to me and something that I'm really happy to be able to do with some co. . Yeah. And that's what brought us here today to our discussion is an opportunity for us both being part of the Switch team to connect and collaborate in that way and learn more about each individual practices.

And I think it was interesting for, maybe I pres, I'm making an assumption, but it might be interesting for a client or someone listening to this to understand like what goes on behind the scenes in terms of the work that we do and what we do to be well and to collaborate with other colleagues.

I'd be interested to hear more about like the resources and things that you're doing aimed more at clinicians. , yeah. Oh, absolutely. I think, yeah. Yeah, that's a really great point where we have this idea as to what it is like to be a therapist, but there is a lot of background stuff that does happen.

It's important to be able to have our own support system in place including, our own counseling and therapy sessions so that we're still able to maintain and support ourselves. And those collaborative sessions are important. Including supervision, work with, someone that has more experience, but that you're able to bounce ideas off of and have this support system still in place.

And then in turn with colleagues, being able to do that is, really a valuable experience. I have had a very fortunate experience of having some really great colleagues that I had gone to school with that we've just transitioned into. Continuing with peer support and helping each other out in that aspect has been so great.

We've seen each other through the whole, our whole journey together. So we have this knowledge base of each other and being able to have individuals that you can reach out to, to just pick each other's brains for whether it be, for art specific directives on how to support and come up with new ways to be able to support clients and turn to being able to just find ways to stay motivated and stay present as ourselves in our practice as well is really important.

And. For myself, I have regular weekly sessions that I've getting back on board with my friends where we just do coworking where we're just on a zoom call together. Sometimes we're all muted, but it's like you have this dedicated space because it can be really isolating when you're in private practice.

And so it's just having people that you can rely upon and count on that are there to do. things that are not necessarily counseling related, business related that you don't learn in school. And just having a coworker in those environments can be so valuable. , because we as private practice therapists, we wear many hats.

We are a therapist first. A counselor first. . But we also are business owner. We're also our own secretaries or administrative staff. We are also our own cheerleader in terms of our own mental health and wellbeing, and , we are doing so many different things in facilitating. And so I love when you say having that coworking space to like work with other colleagues, and that's why I'm a huge fan of like collectives in terms of like you're maybe all working together but not working for someone.

But you get all those perks of the colleague relationships and then there isn't that messiness of the finances. You're still independent financially, but , you're maybe just like in a roommate kind of situation. Yeah. And it's, whether it's a virtual collective or an in-person one.

It is so valuable cuz there's so small little things that you don't realize when you're first going and becoming a therapist, or that people might not realize that aren't that. Okay. You can't just talk about your day the same way. You can talk very high level about how you, your experiences, but you don't have that same camaraderie that you get with working in an office or in another environment where you can have these shared experiences.

And so if you're in a collective, there are some joints. Spaces where you could still have the structure of what you would have in a more traditional work environment where yeah, you could have conversations over the water cooler or something like that, or shared lunches in the lunchroom, which you would have and mimic in a more traditional workplace setting.

And it's not necessarily your job that you're talking about, but it's the experience cuz that's where you're spending your day-to-day time as opposed to, being alone. Spending that time on your own they can really help to feel that supportive environment and being able to have, different referrals for different resources as well on top of that.

But I think just from being in a corporate environment, myself and my past life, being here, I can really see how valuable that is. The small things, and I even noticed it with Switch. I was, chatting with, With Amed and Chase about that, where it's yeah, this is I come here every day, so it's like work, you're my colleagues, you're my coworkers.

Like it's really nice to be able to still have that where it's someone you can rely upon something that you have that's set in place. And those consistencies can be so important that you don't really realize until they're gone and then until you get them back. For sure. Definitely. And that's what's so great.

Platform and stuff is being able to connect with their therapists and learn more and have some colleagues and have that networking. Because I often say to individuals that are not working in the caring profession, or specifically as a therapist, I say oh, I spoke to like several clients today, but I'm extremely lonely like today or example, because I'm not showing up as my full authentic self because I.

And rightfully ethical boundaries and I, attention is supported towards and directed towards that client. And so it's nice to have that colleague that also is a therapist so they can understand your experience and you can speak about a modality or a client challenge and obviously still maintaining confidentiality, but have that support and the understanding.

So it's been really great having that opportunity. . And even for myself one of my goals lately has been to network with a new therapist once a week for a Zoom call. And so just as a little challenge and just to know more of the therapists in the area better. And so it's been really wonderful because I have my specific demographics and niches that I like to work in, and I have the ability to confidently say no to a client referral.

More adequately because I know where to direct that client more appropriately. And I saw this once on a quote here somewhere. It said sometimes saying no to a client referral is actually the best case scenario for that client and for yourself in terms of being successful and being the best helper that you can be.

Because that client will then be directed at the appropriate therapist who has that skillset. . Yeah. And that's a really great point. Being able to connect with other individuals in your area. Like I love that idea of, once a week with a Zoom call and that's something I'd like to take Yeah.

Take on for, from you from there. And it does make a big difference because when you're, it can feel so isolated. So when you're getting these experiences and you're getting these referral. Yeah, it's the idea that you wanna be able to help, like we are in that helping and caring profession. So that is that need.

You wanna be able to support people as much as you can, but if you also notice that, okay, this is not something that I specialize in, but I know the perfect person for it. Then it's being able to really help get the best care for the client, and that really does support everyone ultimately, in the end.

So I wanna say to anyone that listens to this podcast or has participated by purchasing or using a journal or participating on Switch Live, I wanna say on behalf of both of us, that we feel you, we acknowledge you. We may not see your face, but we see and feel your energy out there, and we appreciate all the hard work that you do for yourself, your wellbeing and that positive rippling effect that you do.

Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Thank you. Really put there Hailey. Cuz it is, it does all, you can feel it, you can feel the vibration from it all and the importance from it. And it's been such a beautiful place and yeah, being able to actually have that feedback to somebody else really just mirroring that and being like, yeah, you've, Done amazing work.

Yeah. I really appreciate you meeting me today, taking your time to chat with me and share about your experience. And I feel so validated in many of the comments that you have shared in terms of our jour, our experience of offering the guided journaling. And I have a good feeling we'll chat again soon.

Yeah, likewise. Thank you so much. It's been such a pleasure getting to know you a little bit more and really just connect over this and bond in a way that validated is perfect. It's oh yeah, someone else that understands that's. Yeah. Thank you so much. Thank you.