Dec 7, 2020
This week on The Practice of Therapy, we revisit some of our favorite conversations about self-care. As COVID continues and therapists are needed more than ever, it's a great time to rethink your self-care routine. Enjoy the episode as we hear from Kati Morton, LaTonya Shelton, LaRonda Starling, and Veronica Cisneros. Tune in as we explore planning self-care time, spiritual self-care, and practicing self-care unapologetically.
Kati Morton, LMFT holds a Master’s in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University and is a licensed marriage and family therapist. In addition, she is a certified dialectical and behavior therapist and grief counselor and a member of The California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. She runs a private practice in Santa Monica, CA.
Over the past seven years, Kati has leveraged social media to share mental health information worldwide through video. Her specialties include working with individuals experiencing eating disorders and self-harming behaviors, although she addresses all things related to mental health.
Kati is well known for her YouTube channel which now has over 820 thousand subscribers and over 50 million views. In addition to her YouTube channel and strong presence on social media, she has appeared on the CBS The Doctors, HLN/CNN “Dr. Drew On Call,” E! News, KTLA, Fox News. She also has been featured in CNN, VICE, Glamour UK, Huffington Post, Yahoo, VOX, and many more. Kati released her first book, Are u ok?: A Guide to Caring for Your Mental Health in December 2018.
Kati’s passion is to increase awareness about mental health. Her online community has expanded to all major internet platforms, allowing her to answer mental health questions from her followers around the world. She hopes by doing this, the global community can push for better services worldwide and remove the stigma associated with getting help.
Kati’s husband pushed her to take the leap into social media. Kati’s colleagues have been supportive; however, they don’t always understand it. Eight years ago, her peers didn’t realize how confidentiality would work over social media. Other clinicians give her pushback on the way she thinks about things. The most significant pushback Kati got was when she said therapy should be working toward a goal. Kati says we should be learning new tools that we can utilize in life. We shouldn’t be using our therapist as a crutch.
Kati started scheduling self-care in her calendar – it cannot be rescheduled. Kati isn’t afraid to outsource the things she can’t do. Kati has a team of people behind the scenes which lets her do creative work in her free time. Initially, she was nervous to bring people to her team. However, scheduling doesn’t need to be done by herself. If you don’t have time to clean your house, you should have someone come and clean it for you.
LaTonya is a self-starter. It is so easy to get overwhelmed and inundated with all of the information that’s out there. There are a lot of opportunities for mastermind groups and business coaching. With all the information, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed. You need to start somewhere. Plus, you’re not going to get it right and perfect in the beginning. However, that’s the beauty of starting and moving forward on a journey. Make it your own!
Self-care is such a buzzword these days. Some of the self-care that LaTonya engages in is very simple. She enjoys a cup of coffee most mornings with her dog walking in the park, and that works well for LaTonya. Do the things that get you out in nature. Reading, talking, and being around people that support you will also be essential. These things have been the crux of LaTonya’s self-care.
Throw your limiting beliefs out the window. Show up and do the work that you want to do. LaTonya is a dreamer, but also a planner. Being organized, balanced, and flexible will assist in your private practice journey. Are you wondering if you should take the leap into private practice? It’s going to be scary, and there’s going to be peaks and valleys, but start, and you’ll find your way. You’ll meet great people like Gordon. Plus, LaTonya met people in mastermind and focus groups.
Dr. LaRonda Starling is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a Licensed Professional Counselor in Texas, a National Certified Counselor, an adjunct professor at a Christian university, and the author of Be Still: Spiritual Self-Care for Mental Health Professionals. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, a Master of Science degree in Counseling, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Psychology with a specialization in Clinical Psychology. As a clinician, Dr. Starling provides therapeutic services (psychological assessment and counseling) in a private practice setting. Along with her clinical experience as a mental health professional, Dr. Starling has over fifteen years of experience working in academic environments; first as a staff member and then as adjunct faculty in both classroom and online settings. In all that she does (working or volunteering), she hopes that God receives the glory as she uses the gifts He has so graciously given her.
Private practice owners need to take time for themselves. When you work for yourself, you have so many roles to take on. There is always a time where you could be doing some work. One of the things that LaRonda suggests is to be still. Sometimes that means to physically be still – stop being so busy during the day. Also, you need to spiritually be still.
Who is God as a person? If you know that God is everywhere, then we can lean on God. Also, be intentional about prayer. Sometimes we only pray when something terrible happens. We need to take the time throughout the day to pray. Throughout the day, think about what is good. What’s the silver-lining of quarantine? Maybe you learned how to use teletherapy, that’s a fantastic silver-lining during this time.
Veronica is a licensed marriage and family therapist, motivational speaker, mother of three, and wife of her beloved husband of 20 years. Through personal experience, she has defeated life’s challenges by leaning into fear unapologetically. She’s taught hundreds of women how to take ownership of their lives, lean into fear, and let go of judgment. However, this is not a big enough impact and she learned to empower the millions of women worldwide who suffer. She focuses on creating true change, encouraging women to no longer compromise themselves in order to meet the needs of others.
A lot of therapists’ lack vulnerability – Veronica sees this frequently. There’s a fear of being exposed. If a therapist exposes their true self, then what are other people going to think? If someone knew their reality, then what would people say? Veronica says that therapists are wrapped up in their identity as a therapist. When you take away your therapist role, then who are you? When is the last time you engaged in one of your hobbies? It’s time that therapists start thinking about themselves and give themselves permission to be real humans and show their vulnerabilities.
Veronica thought about the life she wanted to live. She wants to be a connected and exceptional mom and wife. Then, Veronica thought about what was standing in her way. She looked at herself and examined what she was doing. Eventually, Veronica realized that she didn’t think she was deserving. Her house was at a higher ranking than herself. She looked at her life and how she wanted to change it. Instead of thinking she wasn’t worth it, she decided to create her perfect day. For instance, when Veronica sleeps in, she gives herself grace. She permits herself to do the things that she wants to do.
Veronica used to wake up to a checklist and would yell at her kids because they were late for school. She found herself irritated the moment she woke up. Veronica realized it was her fault – she needed to ask her husband for help. What boundaries have you set, and how have you asserted yourself? Veronica never asked her husband for help. Instead, she felt resentful. Plus, she felt guilt and shame for screaming first thing in the morning. Veronica knew something needed to change. She could have blamed her kids and her husband. Instead, Veronica decided to take action. She asked for help and let go of perfection.
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Gordon is the person behind The Practice of Therapy Podcast & Blog. He is also President and Founder of Kingsport Counseling Associates, PLLC. He is a therapist, consultant, business mentor, trainer, and writer. PLEASE Subscribe to The Practice of Therapy Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. Follow us on Twitter @therapistlearn and Pinterest “Like” us on Facebook