Oct 26, 2020
In this episode, Danielle Branche joins the show. She talks about navigating perfectionistic beliefs when it came time to create her private practice. After loads of therapy, Danielle finally came to terms with the idea that a perfect private practice simply isn’t possible. Also, Danielle speaks about the transition from private practice to group practice. Plus, we talk about overcoming shame, the black lives matter movement, and the importance of boundaries.
If you ask any therapist why they were drawn to this profession, most of them would answer with, "I wanted to help people". While this is true, it is much deeper. Danielle wanted to help people navigate through life in more fulfilling ways. She aspired to teach people how to be in a relationship with their mothers and fathers. Danielle wanted to give couples the tools they need to be the husbands and wives they want to be, not the ones their parents were. Her commitment is to do just that. *Danielle is no longer working out of the Largo area*
Danielle's main focus is working with couples around issues of trust, communication, forgiveness after infidelity, intimacy, sex, and decision making (finances, children, etc.). She does pre-marital therapy and marital/relational enrichment. Danielle mainly uses Emotion-Focused Therapy & Solution-Focused Therapy. Danielle also sees individuals and does group therapy.
As a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist, Danielle is trained in understanding how to see things relationally, not just individually. She is versed in locating where behaviors, beliefs, ideas, and feelings originate, how they affect our lives and relationships, and how to effectively manage and/or change them.
Danielle found herself chasing the high of what it felt like to get praise. There was a high associated with being successful and getting straight A’s. When she started a private practice, part of her was terrified to fail. Every time a client comes in and says something negative about the décor, Danielle would take it personally because she wanted everything to be perfect. Which, of course, perfectionism is unrealistic and impossible. It has been a real struggle to overcome these challenges. Danielle has embarked on her own therapy journey so she can accept the imperfections.
Danielle felt many self-doubt thoughts after her first couple broke up after coming to her for couple’s therapy. She felt shame and loads of crappy emotions. Danielle needed to process it deeply and take it to therapy before she was able to accept it. She figured out that it wasn’t her job to fix relationships. That was the pivotal moment that she had as a private practice owner. The perfectionist part of us will take over, and an internal critic will take over – we compare ourselves to others, and we are harder on ourselves than others. The best thing we can do is just dismiss it and move forward.
Private practice allows for a flexible schedule. It’s essential to find a practice that works around your lifestyle. Some therapists like high caseloads. Whereas other therapists thrive with a lower caseload. In private practice, you can choose how many clients you see. Make sure you are able to understand where your boundaries are.
Danielle says a group practice wasn’t her version. Danielle thought she would stay in private practice forever with self-doubt – she didn’t want to be responsible for anyone else. However, it felt lonely and isolating. She thrives on community and connection. So, her first independent contractor came from an agency that Danielle used to work for. Actually, the independent contractor came to her – she wanted to join the practice. Danielle didn’t realize that people would like to be part of her practice. After a few conversations, Danielle decided to bring her on as an independent contractor.
Danielle says that she has to do a lot of self-care. In staff meetings, they do vision boards. Sometimes, they also vent during staff meetings and chat about the different impacts. Danielle encourages her therapists to be in therapy themselves. As a Black clinician who sees a lot of African American clients, it can be cumbersome. Her clients are feeling hopeless. While on the other hand, some are feeling more hopeful about the changes happening in the country. Overall, Danielle says it's critical to take care of yourself so you can take care of others.
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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 wherever you listen to it. Follow us on Twitter @therapistlearn, and Pinterest, “Like” us on Facebook.