How to Be Accessible Beyond the Sliding Scale

How to Be Accessible Beyond the Sliding Scale: An Interview with Lindsay Bryan-Podvin

An interview with Lindsay Bryan-Podvin, LMSW, about how therapy can be accessible (and not just financially). Curt and Katie chat with Lindsay about capitalism versus money exchange, the social enterprise model, and how therapists can make a good living without feeling like greedy capitalists. We also explore the many different types of accessibility and the importance of setting your fees based on your needs and values rather than as a mechanism to single-handedly fix the broken system or to meet an artificial money goal.

It’s time to reimagine therapy and what it means to be a therapist. To support you as a whole person and a therapist, your hosts, Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy talk about how to approach the role of therapist in the modern age.

Transcript

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Interview with Lindsay Bryan-Podvin, LMSW, Mind Money Balance

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin (she/her) is a biracial financial therapist, speaker, and author of the book “The Financial Anxiety Solution.” In her therapy practice, Mind Money Balance, she uses shame-free financial therapy to help people get their minds and money in balance. She’s expanded her services to help private practice therapists with their money mindset, sustainable pricing, and authentic marketing so they can include financial self-care in their work. She lives with her partner and their dog on the traditional land of the Fox, Peoria, Potawatomi, and Anishinabewaki peoples also known as Michigan.

In this episode we talk about accessibility beyond the sliding scale:

  • How therapy can be more accessible (and not just monetarily)
  • The money “shit” that gets in the way of us thinking about other options for accessibility

“There are so many things beyond sliding our scale and the fee that we charge that can bring about accessibility for our practices and in our communities.” – Lindsay Bryan-Podvin

  • Decreasing stigma and the notion that therapy is by and for white folks
  • Are we making our practices accessible for all sorts of folks?
  • ADA compliance, supporting neurodivergent and disabled folks
  • Cultural competence, the ability to apply that in sessions with clients who are different than us
  • Being embedded in our communities
  • Taking therapy out of the shadows
  • The challenges in getting out and having a larger voice
  • How accessibility is intertwined with therapist visibility
  • How to become part of your community in effective and impactful ways
  • Financial ways to make your practice more accessible beyond sliding scale
  • Social Enterprise Model: intersection of what you do well, what values you stand for, and what can you get paid well to do
  • Feeling like a greedy capitalist
  • What it means to be paid well
  • How to think about setting your fees
  • Fee-setting based on what you need to survive and thrive (not capitalist principles)
  • The problem with “know your worth”

“We don’t have a worth. So instead…reframe it as: charge the value of what your services are worth to give yourself a little bit of psychic distance.” – Lindsay Bryan-Podvin

  • The big cognitive shift required to move from community mental health pricing and work-life balance, fees
  • Tying money to quality of life, not specific monetary goals
  • Getting to “enough” not more and more
  • Capitalism versus money exchange
  • The wealth of knowledge we have as therapists (and how therapists take it for granted and/or devalue it)
  • Sharing your knowledge as a mechanism of accessibility to your whole community
  • To practice self-care, you have to be able to afford it

Our Generous Sponsor for this episode of the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide:

Trauma Therapist Network

Trauma is highly prevalent in mental health client populations and people are looking for therapists with specialized training and experience in trauma, but they often don’t know where to start.

If you’ve ever looked for a trauma therapist, you know it can be hard to discern who knows what and whether or not they’re the right fit for you. There are so many types of trauma and so many different ways to heal. That’s why Laura Reagan, LCSW-C created Trauma Therapist Network.

Trauma Therapist Network is a new resource for anyone who wants to learn about trauma and how it shows up in our lives. This new site has articles, resources and podcasts for learning about trauma and its effects, as well as a directory exclusively for trauma therapists to let people know how they work and what they specialize in, so potential clients can find them.

Trauma Therapist Network therapist profiles include the types of trauma specialized in, populations served and therapy methods used, making it easier for potential clients to find the right therapist who can help them.

The Network is more than a directory, though. It’s a community. All members are invited to attend community meetings to connect, consult and network with colleagues around the country. Join our growing community of trauma therapists and get 20% off your first month using the promo code:  MTSG20 at http://www.traumatherapistnetwork.com.

Resources for Modern Therapists mentioned in this Podcast Episode:

We’ve pulled together resources mentioned in this episode and put together some handy-dandy links. Please note that some of the links below may be affiliate links, so if you purchase after clicking below, we may get a little bit of cash in our pockets. We thank you in advance!

http://www.mindmoneybalance.com

https://www.instagram.com/mindmoneybalance/

Lindsay’s podcast: Mind Money Balance

Relevant Episodes of MTSG Podcast:

Lindsay’s previous podcast episode: Financial Therapy

Katie Read: Therapists Shaming Therapists

Negotiating Sliding Scale

Making Access More Affordable

Asking for Money

Reimagining Therapy Reimagined

Connect with us!

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapists Group

Our consultation services:

The Fifty-Minute Hour

Who we are:

Picture of Curt Widhalm, LMFT, co-host of the Modern Therapist's Survival Guide podcast; a nice young man with a glorious beard.Curt Widhalm, LMFT

Curt Widhalm is in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is the cofounder of the Therapy Reimagined conference, an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University and CSUN, a former Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, former CFO of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and a loving husband and father. He is 1/2 great person, 1/2 provocateur, and 1/2 geek, in that order. He dabbles in the dark art of making “dad jokes” and usually has a half-empty cup of coffee somewhere nearby. Learn more at: http://www.curtwidhalm.com

Picture of Katie Vernoy, LMFT, co-host of the Modern Therapist's Survival Guide podcastKatie Vernoy, LMFT

Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, coach, and consultant supporting leaders, visionaries, executives, and helping professionals to create sustainable careers. Katie, with Curt, has developed workshops and a conference, Therapy Reimagined, to support therapists navigating through the modern challenges of this profession. Katie is also a former President of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. In her spare time, Katie is secretly siphoning off Curt’s youthful energy, so that she can take over the world. Learn more at: http://www.katievernoy.com

A Quick Note:

Our opinions are our own. We are only speaking for ourselves – except when we speak for each other, or over each other. We’re working on it.

Our guests are also only speaking for themselves and have their own opinions. We aren’t trying to take their voice, and no one speaks for us either. Mostly because they don’t want to, but hey.

Stay in Touch with Curt, Katie, and the whole Therapy Reimagined #TherapyMovement:

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Consultation services with Curt Widhalm or Katie Vernoy:

The Fifty-Minute Hour

Connect with the Modern Therapist Community:

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapists Group

Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide Creative Credits:

Voice Over by DW McCann https://www.facebook.com/McCannDW/

Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano https://groomsymusic.com/

Transcript for this episode of the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide podcast (Autogenerated):

Curt Widhalm 0:00
This episode is sponsored by Trauma Therapist Network.

Katie Vernoy 0:01
Trauma Therapist Network is a new resource for anyone who wants to learn about trauma and how it shows up in our lives. This new site has articles, resources and podcasts for learning about trauma and its effects, as well as a directory exclusively for trauma therapists to let people know how they work, and what they specialize in so potential clients can find them. Visit traumatherapistnetwork.com to learn more.

Curt Widhalm 0:12
Listen at the end of the episode for more about the Trauma Therapist Network.

Announcer 0:13
You’re listening to the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide, where therapists live, breathe and practice as human beings. To support you as a whole person and a therapist, here are your hosts, Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy.

Katie Vernoy 0:20
Welcome back modern therapists. This is The Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide. I’m Curt Widhalm, with Katie Vernoy. And this is the podcast for therapists about things that we do, things that we don’t do, things that maybe we should do. And both Katie and our guest today are looking at me like, where is this going? And honestly, this is just one of those rambling intros that we have. So rather than making this more awkward, we’re joined once again by Lindsey Bryan-Podvin. She’s been a guest to the show before, spoken at Therapy Reimagined with us, talking to us about money and ways that we could be looking at it for our practice. So thank you for joining us again.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 0:32
Oh, yeah, I’m really happy to be here. This is my favorite thing to chat about, and to be in community with you guys again, it’s fun.

Katie Vernoy 1:43
Oh, we’re so glad to have you back. And we’ll definitely link to your previous episode in our show notes. But for folks who haven’t heard from you for a while, or for our new listeners, tell us who you are and what you’re putting out into the world.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 1:57
Yeah, so as Curt mentioned, my name is Lindsay Bryan-Podvin. I’m a social worker, and financial therapist, and I have kind of two arms of what I’m putting out there into the world, I have my clinical arm, and then I have my consulting arm. So in my clinical world, I’m doing financial therapy, which is helping clients with the emotional and psychological side of money, which spoiler alert is all of it, I think. And then, on the consulting side, I know you all know that therapists have money shit, and we have a lot of hang ups about it. And so in my consulting arm, I help mostly other therapists, though, over the past year, I’ll say that other kind of helping professionals have woven their way in, whether it’s dietitians, acupuncturists, Reiki healers, because I think a lot of us get similar messaging about what money is and what it isn’t. And so I help them work on their emotional and psychological relationship with money so they can have sustainable and profitable businesses. And I do, like outside of the the hands on work, or the zoom work, I suppose I have a podcast and Instagram, a pretty active blog and an email list that keeps me using my creative side of my brain.

Katie Vernoy 3:13
Nice. I love it.

Curt Widhalm 3:15
One of the big discussions that’s been in the social justice aspects of our field, especially for private practitioners, and admittedly also here on our show, is talking about things like accessibility and being able to make our services go beyond just those top paying cash pay clients. Can you walk us through kind of what you hear in these discussions about accessibility for practices, and especially as it relates to some of these monetary issues?

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 3:50
Yeah, I think as therapists we get really stuck on accessibility being only a monetary issue. So we think about solving for that problem by sliding our scale or by offering pro bono spaces. But we forget about all the other ways in which we can and should be accessible if that works in alignment with us. So as I think you guys were talking with Katie Read about like the the the money talk that comes up on therapists forums and how there’s so much guilt and shame and, and judgment about what people do or don’t do, whether they do or don’t take insurance, whether they do or don’t slide their scale, but that’s where most of us get stuck. And there are so many things beyond sliding our scale and the fee that we charge that can bring about accessibility for our practices and in our communities.

Katie Vernoy 4:45
What are some of the things that we can think about beyond sliding scale because I think I get stuck there as well with and maybe this is just our focus is that we’re so focused on the monetary aspects and our own money shit as you described it, and so we aren’t thinking about what else isn’t making us accessible.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 5:03
Yeah, I think taking a few steps back before a client even finds our website or finds us on a therapist directory, really thinking about how can we make our field more accessible by talking about what is therapy, I think in a lot of communities, we still have these stigmas that therapy is buy in for white people. And it’s done on a couch with, you know, a person who’s got reinforced elbows and they’re smoking a pipe, right? You know, like, we have that imagery. And if we are not talking to our communities about what therapy is and who it is for, and how it can be helpful by not just talking about what it is, but also the stigma reduction, we don’t even get people landing on our websites or knocking on our, you know, figurative door, right. So being in our communities and talking about what it is and who it’s for, and how it can be helpful. And also talking about just the ins and outs of therapy, that it is confidential. I think in a lot of communities, there’s a fear that if I go to a therapist, then you know, my mom’s cousin is going to find out about it, or that my employer will be told about it, or that my partner will be told about it. So I think there’s some education that has to happen on the backend before people even get to our doors. And then in terms of other measures of accessibility outside of the scale. Let’s get really granular on on what is accessibility? Do our clients see themselves reflected in the way that we practice therapy? Can clients who have disabilities, either neurodiversity or physical limitations, do they have actual access to our offices? Are they ADA compliant? Do we offer you know, nowadays, so many of us offer basically zoom therapy? Which makes it so much more accessible. Are we operating on bus routes and public transportation? Is there easy parking, like the literal accessibility piece? And then the cultural competency piece. Can they speak my language if I don’t speak English? Do I have somebody sitting across from me in the therapy room who gets what I’m talking about? When we talk about cultural competence, not just thinking about, you know, whether or not you took a class on Southeast Asian Studies. But what does that mean? And how does that show up in our spaces? And being embedded in our community beyond just like, hiding in this little bubble, where we’re kind of shrouded in mystery, I think, taking therapy out of the shadows and making it more commonplace in our communities, like we are healers in our communities. And we shouldn’t be hiding behind the walls of like mystery what when there are community events, I would love to see more therapists out and they’re out and about, as sponsors, as networkers and things like that, like, we also have to take ourselves out of the shadow. So there’s, there’s a lot of different ways we can talk about accessibility.

Curt Widhalm 7:58
So I love what you’re saying, I completely agree with getting out there. There’s some stumbling steps that can happen in putting ourselves out there, because so much of our history is in being shrouded to the, you know, the shadows. And sometimes the responses that I hear from clinicians is, oh, that person went out and was talking about this, but didn’t represent themselves well, or it isn’t representing the field well. Do you have any advice as far as taking some of these steps? You know, look at you, and all of the things that you post in your newsletters and social media and this kind of stuff, money seems to be kind of like a fairly neutral ground as far as being able to talk about relationships with money. For those who are looking to maybe take some other steps as far as making this accessibility happen, that might be around more unique issues to communities. Do you have any suggestions on how people might find the confidence to be able to make those steps?

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 9:03
Yeah, I really like this question because I think that accessibility and visibility are are intertwined and visibility isn’t just social media. So let’s say you do want to be more accessible in your community and you do want to be more visible in your community, but you’re talking about something that is more sensitive, like you know, sexual trauma, then yeah, maybe going on in doing an Instagram live about it isn’t probably the most appropriate way because you don’t know who’s on the other side of it, you really can’t create a container of people to make sure that it’s safe or at least safer. So maybe in that instance, it’s going to, you know, a high school and pulling, you know, having a group of 30 kids that you are talking to about this in like a speaking engagement setting or maybe it is going to the healthcare system and sitting down and talking to the medical social workers about what you know, or to the nurse midwives about what you know, right. There are different ways to get out and become a part of the community that don’t involve these kind of one way one sided communication methods. Does that make sense?

Katie Vernoy 10:11
It does, I think this idea of making the whole profession more accessible to folks and all folks, and not just the kind of historical white people and the, the, the patches and the pipes. I think that to me is, it’s really, really important. And I think it also is only a first step. Because when they get to our doors there still is I think, you know, financial accessibility concerns for a lot of folks. And so are there financial ways to be accessible that don’t involve sliding your scale?

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 10:48
Yeah, of course. So, undoubtedly, money is a real accessibility issue. I’m not just saying like, Oh, you know…

Katie Vernoy 10:56
Just get out there. That’s it solves it all.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 10:58
Right, exactly. Exactly. An email newsletter is not going to fix accessibility. But as you guys have also talked about on this podcast, it’s not the responsibility of an individual therapist to fix the broken medical system here. And at the same time, there are more creative ways to provide services to people in your community that are might be easier on their pocketbooks. So group therapy is also a really great option, because you as the clinician are still generating the revenue that you need to, and the people on the other side are usually paying you less dollars per session. Insurance, I know there’s a big, again, it’s not your job to accept insurance if they don’t reimburse you well, but accepting insurance is a measure of accessibility. And even if you aren’t accepting insurance, helping your clients out, walking them through what a super bill is, you know, spending a little bit of time in session, making sure that they know what that means and how to actually get it done. That, to me is incredibly helpful. So providing a bit of space in the in the session to talk through how you can do that, particularly if they have anxiety, or they’ve got some ADHD, you know, they might need a little extra hand holding to get those things done. There are depending on your licensing board, I’ve seen some people do sponsored therapy spots. So it’s a little bit different than a pro bono. It’s think of it like a scholarship for therapy. So the way that I’ve seen this work is for clients who pay a full fee, you essentially tell them look by you paying a full fee, a portion of your fee goes towards sponsoring somebody who would not be able to afford therapy with me. So you’re still getting income, but you’re also having the clients who are able to pay your fee, kind of some buy in that they are also kind of helping out other people in the community. So those are some different ways to be accessible, that don’t involve sliding your scale doesn’t mean you have to do all or any of them. It’s just different ways to think about it.

Curt Widhalm 13:04
On of the things that you talked about in your presentation at the Therapy Reimagined Conference, this social enterprise.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 13:12
Yes.

Curt Widhalm 13:14
Can you tell us more about that, what it means for people who maybe didn’t attend the conference and what the social enterprise model is and how this might fit in for therapists?

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 13:25
Yeah, I think so many therapists struggle with this idea of charging for services because we’ve internalized so many things about what money is or what it isn’t. And the social enterprise model essentially says, look, there are three things to provide something that you can feel good about doing. And also know that you are being compensated fairly for it. And it exists at the intersection of these three things. One, what do you do well, what values do you stand for? And what can you be paid well to do? And as therapists I think, if we can think about ourselves at the intersection of that, of existing, and I do this really well, these are in alignment with my values, this type of therapeutic intervention is in alignment with my values, and I can be paid well to do that. You know, that you are contributing to the greater good of the community by making sure that you’re not just wringing out your clients for the most dollars you can get right? I think so many of us think that if I charge money, then I’m a greedy capitalist, but it’s also about am I being compensated for the skills that I offer and the transformations that I’m able to help facilitate in a meaningful way?

Katie Vernoy 14:41
I know that there are a lot of different perspectives on how you decide how much money to wring out of your client. And, and you mentioned the episode with Katie Read and we’ve had other conversations as well, just about the shoulds and you know, how I should set my fees and those types of things.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 14:59
Yeah.

Katie Vernoy 15:00
And to me, it feels like there’s so much nuance. It’s it’s a wide open space, there’s a lot of shit so people feel like it’s not wide open, but I feel like it really is. What advice do you have on on setting those fees? Because when we’re in that space where I can be paid well for it, it’s aligned with my values, and I can do it well, like, it can be hard to figure out like, and what does being paid well mean, that I can feel good about?

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 15:30
Yeah. And I think that’s such a good question. Because this idea of what does it mean to be paid well, is so skewed in our field, my first job, I was making $32,000, you know, with a master’s degree, and I don’t think that’s an unfamiliar number or story for people to hear. And so when a lot of people go into private practice, they hold themselves to that standard, oh, well, I was making 40k or 50k. I think that’s a reasonable salary. I think that’s what I’ll try to make. So we haven’t thought beyond what do we actually need to survive and thrive. And that’s where doing things in alignment with your values can be really beneficial. So when it comes to fee setting, you’re not just thinking about what are you charging your clients? You’re also thinking about does that fee sustain me and allow me to practice financial self care? Which means Can I take care of my financial needs? Yes, but do Am I also able to support my mental, my emotional and my spiritual self with that? I know, I was, I was loving your episode on burnout. And I love the modeling that the two of you did by saying, Look, we’re going to hit pause on the Therapy Reimagined Conference, we also have to build in time off and time for restoration, there is a study that says we need, I think, oh, shoot, I’m going to botch it now. I think it’s eight or 10 consecutive days off in a row to actually unplug from work. So making sure that you have that built in to your time off. So making sure it covers your time off, making sure it covers your health insurance. Unfortunately, we live in a society where your healthcare is tied with your employment. So when you’re self employed, you have to make sure that you can cover your health insurance, you have to also make sure that you’re thinking about your future self in traditional employment, we often have access to retirement plans or programs. And when we move into entrepreneurship, we are our own 401k or 403b plan. So we have to make sure that all of those things are taken into account. And we don’t want to be overworking ourselves. When we show up exhausted and burnt out and watching the clock, we are not being good clinicians. We just aren’t. And just taking stock of our own energy, my full pre-pandemic was 18, I could comfortably see 18 clients a week. That felt like a good fit for me, I wasn’t burnt out, I wasn’t presenting my clients, I had downtime to get the things done I needed to do and I charged accordingly. Now, my max is 12. I have found that doing zoom therapy, while there are so many advantages of it, like I genuinely really like it, I find that literally the physicality of sitting still and staring at my screen and just what really watching so much harder for nuances through the screen takes so much more energy out of me and I can no longer comfortably and competently feel like I’m a good practitioner when I’m seeing 18 clients. So now I’ve had to scale that back to 12. And then what do I have to do to make up for that income? So that was a long answer of saying it depends. You have to figure out what money you need to be bringing in and you need to make sure that you’re not just thinking about comparing it to what you use to earn an agency job because you were likely being underpaid there.

Katie Vernoy 18:47
It’s hard not to feel like a greedy capitalist. Cause with that it means you have to charge a premium fee mostly likely.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 18:56
Yeah, yeah.

Curt Widhalm 18:59
Do you have any advice for people making that jump to those premium price because I’m sure that there’s a lot of our listeners who might be considering leaving an agency job and being like, you know, I know you know my session value in this agency and this aligns maybe with my values but in going out and charging somebody three four or five times that fee in order to meet my money goals seems like it has a lot of opportunity to bring up some that imposter syndrome and really being able to balance that for those individuals you have any guidance on what to really look at hopefully beyond just kind of know your worth.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 19:43
Yeah. Oh my god. Thank you for saying that because also the know your worth thing. That’s a trope I used to find myself repeating. And then a friend of mine who’s a behavioral economist, she shared with me Jaquette Timmons and she’s goes Lindsay you have to stop saying that because we as humans We don’t have a worth. So instead, she invited me to reframe it as charge the value of what your services are worth to give yourself a little bit of psychic distance there between like, I’m worth $300 an hour. It’s like No, the value of my services are worth $300 an hour. So anyway, tangent aside, how can you come into charging fees for your services? I think there is a pendulum swing that I see happen when people try to get out of the mentality of sliding their scale as low as possible to charging premium fees. And so they go from being in spaces where being a good therapist means charging very little into spaces that are like, you need to be a six, seven figure business owner, and you need to be charging premium fees. Which can be as we know, a big jump cognitively. And so I always invite people to come back to your values, your lifestyle needs, your unique financial goals. And I’m not about bashing the people who are saying, Oh, you need to make six figures or seven figures. My practice does generate six figures. But I don’t think that is a magical goalposts where all your problems are suddenly solved. I think this chase this money, charge the premium fees, you have to work more can backfire in that it forces us to work more. Meaning when you have that mentality of I have to work harder, I have to chase this x figure goal or this premium fee number. What happens often is you get into this space where I’ll just use myself for an example that that 12 clients Oh, I saw 12 clients a week, I made enough money to hit my goals. I started to cultivate work life balance. But now what if I saw twice as many people, I could make twice as much money? What could I do it twice as much money? And then all of a sudden you forget about why you did it in the first place. So coming back to how much do I need? How much do I desire and is the money that I’m charging, allowing me to do things in alignment with my values? Let’s say family is like the most important value to me and I want my 10 consecutive days off in a row with my family and I want to go somewhere where I don’t have to worry about you know, finding activities for us to do or cooking a bunch of food. I want to make sure that I have enough money to pay for that Airbnb to pay for takeout and that Airbnb is conveniently located to a lot of like outdoor activities. That’s a goal that I can kind of reverse engineer my way. And to me, it’s also modeling for your clients. You don’t necessarily have to say to your client, like, Oh, my financial goal was this, this and this, and I was able to achieve it. But you’re also modeling for your clients the importance of taking time off, of adhering to your boundaries and practicing self care. So again, that’s a tangent of an answer. But I guess the long and short of it is as you move towards charging premium fees come back to like, what your WHY is, and when you feel that anxiety to work more and charge more and go harder, you actually may already have enough.

Katie Vernoy 23:01
I like that. I think the piece that resonates for me is this, the letting go of I must get to this number, I must make more money. And I think for me, there’s also this big push of like we must leverage, we must, we must continue to grow and expand. And I think there’s a point at which we have enough. I mean, there, there may still be challenges that we need to do. But there’s this, this freedomin not having to constantly grow and, and make my business bigger and make my business more successful. Like there’s each person has to decide where they land or where they land for a time and you know, different seasons of what I need and what I want and what’s most important to me. But it feels like it, and this is kind of circling back to the the social enterprise model and kind of this idea of capitalism versus money exchange and, you know, clarifying all of that, but it seems like when it’s completely tied to values, what you’re positing is that feels better than just making money for money’s sake. And so, so tell us a little bit more about this. Because to me, I feel like I’m just starting to grasp the idea. I was I was too caught up in the greedy capitalism, to understand kind of what we were what we were starting to talk about with a social enterprise model.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 24:24
Yeah. So to bounce off of this idea of what is the difference between capitalism and money exchange? I think it’s important to note that capitalism is a is a political economic system that we know the dangers of, right. It is propped up by the unpaid and underpaid labor. So the person or people who are in charge, get the greatest amount of profit available. And as such, as we kind of touched on earlier, it’s a system where we give all the praise to the people who make a lot of money because they must have worked hard and simultaneously shamed the people who didn’t make a lot of money because they must have not been hard workers. And we’ve we bought into that idea as a society so much so that you know, at the time that we’re recording this, if you’re on Twitter right now, you can see people rallying around Elon Musk saying like, yeah, he shouldn’t have to pay taxes, he worked really hard. So we’ve got all these people saying, like, yeah, we save the billionaires instead of let’s make sure we have a safety net that people can’t fall through for the greater good of our society. So that’s capitalism. And there’s a lot of problems with it. And even if you disagree with it, unfortunately, we live in that society.

Katie Vernoy 25:42
Yeah.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 25:42
And money exchange, on the other hand has been around since the dawn of time. Whether it was literal dollars or coins, there has always been an exchange of things for other things, or things for other services. And when we think about small business owners, which is most private practice owners, if we can think about ourselves as kind of the community farmstand, it helps to shift that mentality. So for example, if I go down to the farmers market, and I purchased a half a dozen eggs, I’m helping to support sustainable agriculture in my community, I get to know the person who grew my grew, my eggs, I don’t think we’re growing eggs, but you don’t I mean, maybe if you’re vegan, actually, you’re growing your eggs. So you’re growing your eggs substitutes?

Katie Vernoy 26:32
Got it. Got it.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 26:33
So we want to think about, as therapists, how can we kind of fit into that model? Where what we do in charging for services, and helping people in our community is a win win. Because when we have a healthier person in our community, because we are helping them with their mental health, what is that ripple effect on the community? And how can that be beneficial?

Curt Widhalm 26:57
It sounds like, you know, this is what a lot of practitioners do by going out into the community and sharing even some of the things that you were talking about at the top of the episode of just going and talking about mental health and about their practices and doing some, I guess, pro bono work and in the way of psychoeducation, or community education that helps to make that Win Win happen.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 27:25
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s so so powerful. I think when we are in our spaces where we’re surrounded by other mental health folks, we forget what the baseline is of mental health knowledge.

Curt Widhalm 27:40
Oh, yeah.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 27:40
We forget, just like what a wealth of information we have. Like the other day, I did a presentation for non mental health care providers about what financial anxiety is, and tips to cope with it, right. And for anybody in the therapy field, they’d be like, that’s like, entry level CBT, maybe if you’re lucky. But for this group of people, it wasn’t that they don’t, it’s just we forget how much knowledge we have, and how valuable explaining some basics of how our minds and bodies and thoughts are connected, can be of huge value for other people in our community. So just don’t take what your knowledge is for granted. Get out of your academic kind of echo chambers and go talk to people who aren’t in the mental health care field. And that is really where you can offer a lot of wisdom and value in your community.

Curt Widhalm 28:34
So once again, echoing stop hanging out with therapists.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 28:41
That might be a theme. Yeah.

Katie Vernoy 28:44
Maybe it’s stopped just hanging out with therapists

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 28:47
That’s a good reframe Katie.

Katie Vernoy 28:49
I know, I just it’s really hard. I know, for me, and we’ve all spoken for therapists, we’ve all kind of done that thing. And I’m sure, just from the way you described it, Lindsay, you’ve got the thing, like, that was a really nice reminder. And like, it is so dismissive. When a therapist comes up and says that to you, you’re like, Yeah, but why did you need that reminder? You know, so I think it’s that piece of when you start talking to folks who are not therapists, you recognize this is really important information. And it’s not going to be discarded as Oh, I already knew that because it is this new piece that’s coming in, that then allows, and this is, I guess, going to do accessibility thing, it allows this information to be disseminated more widely widely. It’s something where they then are able to implement it, and maybe some people wouldn’t need therapy if this information was readily available and was there first. And so I think I’m putting the pieces together, Lindsay, I’m starting to see but it’s it’s really sharing the knowledge. It’s making sure that you’re available and that you’ve set up a fee system that makes sense for the folks that you’re working with. But it’s, it’s this additional piece of you know, maybe you get creative and you do sponsorships or I mean there’s people that have whole mechanisms for nonprofits to donate for, for scholarships for therapy. So I, there’s, there’s so much creativity that doesn’t require an individual to slide their scale to an unsustainable fee. But this notion of just be accessible for all with all of these other pieces, I think is is hard to do. If you’re not making enough money to survive, and you’re seeing 40 clients a week.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 28:55
Ding ding ding that is exactly it. We cannot care for other people in our community when we don’t take care of ourselves. And it’s, you know, we hammer on this message as therapists but we forget that in order to practice self care, we need to be able to fucking afford it. Like we just do.

Katie Vernoy 30:48
Yeah, exactly.

Curt Widhalm 30:52
And it’s not just kind of the big luxurious, affording things. Like yeah, you know, that eight to 10 days, go and do a vacation if that’s your jam, but it’s also being able to afford the consistent little things of and you know, it’s going home at a decent time of night. It’s being you know, not spending your your off hours catching up on notes, or it’s having all of the other systems and everything else that we’ve talked about on this podcast of being able to have the convenience of being able to afford shutting off at each and every day.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 31:30
Yeah, absolutely and those are the things that we know, make. The biggest difference is that consistency and that predictability, that predictability that you can power down, the predictability that you can pay your bills. That helps to give us that mental space to rest and to be safe.

Katie Vernoy 31:51
Where can people find you?

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 31:53
My website is called mind money balance. It’s the same name as my practice. My podcast is of the same name. My Instagram handle is of the same name. So people can find me on any of those places.

Curt Widhalm 32:08
And we’ll include links to Lindsay’s stuff in our show notes. You can find those over at mtsgpodcast.com and also follow us on our social media and join our Facebook group, the Modern Therapist Group. And until next time, I’m Curt Widhalm with Katie Vernoy And Lindsey Bryan-Podvin.

Katie Vernoy 32:26
Thanks again to our sponsor, Trauma Therapist Network.

Curt Widhalm 32:29
If you’ve ever looked for a trauma therapist, you can know it can be hard to discern who knows what and whether or not they’re the right fit for you. There’s so many types of trauma and so many different ways to heal. That’s why Laura Reagan, LCSW-C created Trauma Therapist Network. Trauma Therapist Network therapist profiles include the types of traumas specialized in, population served, therapy methods used, making it easier for potential clients to find the right therapist who can help them. Network is more than a directory though it’s a community. All members are invited to attend community meetings to connect, consult, and network with colleagues around the country.

Katie Vernoy 33:07
Join the growing community of trauma therapists and get 20% off your first month using the promo code MTSG20 at traumatherapistnetwork.com Once again that’s capital MTSG the number 20 at traumatherapistnetwork.com

Announcer 33:24
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