The Balance Between Boundaries and Humanity
An interview with Jamie Marich, Ph.D, on what it means to redefine therapy and how therapists can incorporate this idea into their practice. Curt and Katie talk with Jamie about the importance of therapists being vulnerable both with clients and publicly about their own mental health struggles to reduce the mental health stigma. We also explore factors that keep therapists from being vulnerable as well as other therapeutic and cultural considerations when doing so.
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.
Click here to scroll to the podcast transcript.
Interview with Jamie Marich, Ph.D,
Dr. Jamie Marich (she/they) is a clinical trauma specialist, expressive artist, writer, yogini, performer, short filmmaker, Reiki master, TEDx speaker, and recovery advocate, she unites all of these elements in her mission to inspire healing in others. Jamie maintains a private practice and online education operations in her home base of Warren, OH. Marich is the founder of the Institute for Creative Mindfulness and the developer of the Dancing Mindfulness approach to expressive arts therapy. Marich is the author of several books, including EMDR Made Simple: 4 Approaches for Using EMDR with Every Client (2011), Trauma and the Twelve Steps: A Complete Guide for Recovery Enhancement (2012), Trauma Made Simple: Competencies in Assessment, Treatment, and Working with Survivors, and Dancing Mindfulness: A Creative Path to Healing and Transformation (2015). NALGAP: The Association of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Addiction Professionals and Their Allies awarded Jamie with their esteemed President’s Award in 2015 for her work as an LGBT advocate. The EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) granted Jamie the 2019 Advocacy in EMDR Award for her using her public platform in media and in the addiction field to advance awareness about EMDR therapy. Marich is in long-term addiction recovery and is actively living with a Dissociative Disorder.
In this episode we talk about:
- Who Jamie Marich is and what she puts out in the world.
- The story behind #RedefineTherapy.
- A look at what needs to be redefined in therapy and why.
- Discussion about balancing the art and science of therapy to allow for more flexibility within our field.
- Factors that contribute to clinicians rigidly adhering to evidenced based practices.
- How clinicians can make changes at a societal level to redefine therapy.
- The importance of clinicians being vulnerable and sharing their own struggles with mental health.
- An exploration of the balance between being authentic/vulnerable with clients and setting appropriate boundaries.
- Cultural considerations in redefining therapy.
- What keeps therapist from being vulnerable in therapy.
- Using a both/and approach to merge how therapy has been done in the past and how it will be done in the future as therapy continues to be redefined and reimagined.
Our Generous Sponsor:
Buying Time, LLC
Buying Time is a full team of Virtual Assistants, with a wide variety of skill sets to support your business. From basic admin support, customer service, and email management to marketing and bookkeeping. They’ve got you covered. Don’t know where to start? Check out the systems inventory checklist which helps business owners figure out what they don’t want to do anymore and get those delegated asap. You can find that checklist at http://buyingtimellc.com/systems-checklist/
Buying Time’s VA’s support businesses by managing email communications, CRM or automation systems, website admin and hosting, email marketing, social media, bookkeeping and much more. Their sole purpose is to create the opportunity for you to focus on supporting those you serve while ensuring that your back office runs smoothly. With a full team of VA’s it gives the opportunity to hire for one role and get multiple areas of support. There’s no reason to be overwhelmed with running your business with this solution available. Book a consultation to see where and how you can get started getting the support you need – https://buyingtimellc.com/book-consultation/
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!
Institute for Creative Mindfulness
Exploring Trauma and the 12 Steps
Being a Therapist on Both Sides of the Couch
Connect with us!
Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapists Group
Get Notified About Therapy Reimagined Conferences
Our consultation services:
Who we are:
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
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:
Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapist’s Group
Voice Over by DW McCann https://www.facebook.com/McCannDW/
Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano http://www.crystalmangano.com/
Curt Widhalm 00:00
This episode of the modern therapist travel guide is sponsored by Buying Time,
Katie Vernoy 00:04
Buying Time as a full team of virtual assistants with a wide variety of skill sets to support your business. from basic admin support customer service and email management to marketing and bookkeeping. They’ve got you covered. Don’t know where to start, check out the system’s inventory checklists which helps business owners figure out what they don’t want to do anymore and get those delegated ASAP. You can find that checklist at BuyingTimellc.com/system-checklist
Curt Widhalm 00:31
Listen at the end of the episode for more information.
You’re listening to the Modern Therapist 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.
Curt Widhalm 00:50
Welcome back modern therapists. This is the Modern Therapist Survival Guide. I’m Curt Widhalm with Katie Vernoy. And this is the podcast about all things therapists. And we are once again joined by one of our audience’s favorite, one of my favorite people. Dr. Jamie Marich. She’s back with us for a third time, she has talked about dissociation before, trauma, and the 12 steps. She’s joining us as one of our keynote presenters at Therapy Reimagined 2021. And just always so pleasant to have you. And thank you for spending some of your day with us.
Jamie Marich 01:27
Well, it’s my great pleasure to be here again for the third time.
Katie Vernoy 01:32
First, third time guests first real third time guests. Sorry, Ben. I’m excited. So we’ll definitely put your other episodes in our show notes so people can find all of the wonderful knowledge that you’ve shared. But for our new listeners, who are you and what are you putting out into the world.
Jamie Marich 01:50
So I am Jamie Marich, my pronouns are she/they, I am the founder and director of the Institute for Creative Mindfulness. That’s my main professional gig. We are a training program primarily focusing on EMDR therapy. Yet, we also do training in expressive arts therapy and some of the modalities that are related. Curt was in one of our first classes of EMDR therapy training. So Curt has a special place in our heart. And EMDR therapy has been my primary trauma modality that I’ve used through my whole career. Although expressive arts trauma and forming 12 step work, clinical trauma focused yoga, meditation, I do a lot of things, because I do think that is required to be a good trauma focused therapist to have have a pretty amazing repertoire. So I also write books, I love to write mostly for other clinicians, yet some of the writing I’ve done has also ventured out into reaching the general public. And I just love hanging out and chatting with people who are doing innovative things. Because to really change this world, we don’t just need to think outside of the box. I really think we need to shatter it and a lot of ways. So I’m game to chat with people who are doing that.
Curt Widhalm 03:02
We have Therapy Reimagined. And you’ve been using hashtag redefine therapy kind of independently, we’ve kind of each come to our own conclusions in this. What’s your story behind redefine therapy?
Jamie Marich 03:18
Yeah, so the redefine therapy hashtag was birthed in 2015. Right when my book dancing, mindfulness came out. So dancing, mindfulness is a movement modality that I, I don’t like to say I created it because dance and mindfulness are two of the oldest healing mechanisms on the planet. I believe I put them together as a modality for trauma informed expressive arts therapy. And that happened pretty early on in my work. And then in 2015, I got to deal with skylight press publishing, to put out a book on Dancing Mindfulness that was more for encouraging people to develop an individualized practice and dancing mindfulness. And in the last chapter, I wrote in that book, how, yes, I’m a counselor, yes, I’m proud to be a counselor. But it’s not really what’s going on in traditional counseling offices that are exciting me so much anymore. It’s what I see happening in communities with advocacy, what’s happening in expressive modalities, what’s happening with people connecting back with indigenous roots of healing. And I really think our therapy, especially our therapeutic profession, that’s defined largely just by the talking cure needs a serious facelift. And I’m not that excited by therapy anymore, if that’s what our field is going to be. And so I wrote up this chapter and then my editor at the time Emily comes back with Why don’t you name this chapter redefining therapy? And I saw it I got chills. Everything in me said yes. And at the time, I thought was Oh, I can’t do that. Like The establishment is going to think even more ill of me than they do already. But because I felt so excited by her suggesting that chapter titled redefining therapy, I said, This is what, this is what we got to do for sure. And then Holly Spielberg, who was my social media person at the time, started the hashtag redefine therapy. And I think since then, when you package together everything I do my approach to EMDR, my approach to therapy in general doing the expressive work, the community work. redefined. Therapy really defines who I am as a person. So it’s very much a hashtag that I identify with and love to use.
Katie Vernoy 05:36
What parts of therapy needs redefining?
Jamie Marich 05:39
All of it? It’s my gut answer. Well, oh, well, you know, where do I begin? I want to be very careful here. Because when I answer this question, I know it could come across like I am disparaging science, like I am disparaging research. And let me be very clear, I am not anti-science, especially around medical issues, as evidenced by what’s going on in our modern climate. I do think, however, that when it comes to human services, when it comes to therapy, when it comes to the human condition, we actually do us a disservice by looking at it just as a science, because the human experience cannot be fully quantified. And I know a lot of people try, in order to legitimize us what we do as therapists to legitimize conditions like dissociative identity disorder, we have to scale it to prove that it exists. And as a result, a lot of the lived experience which really defined the building of healing professions gets neglected. So I trained in my doctoral work as a phenomenologist, which is a big fancy word saying the study of lived experience. And one of the core tenants of phenomenology as defined by Edmund Husserl is that the human experience cannot be quantified. That by its definition, phenomenology rejects any kind of Galilean scientific notions that the human experience can be quantified. And unfortunately, what what tends to happen is in in more modern times, when there’s been more of this push to manualize, to go so medical model in order to legitimize what we’re doing, a lot of the soul gets missing. And that’s a idea that I have been emphasizing in a lot of my more recent writing. So I think if we’re looking at overall, what needs to be redefined, it’s that that therapists need to go back to listen, really listening to their clients. And I’m working on a new book right now. the working title is dissociation made simple, but we’re still kind of playing around with that a little bit. Because I have other Made Simple books. But it’s really giving me a platform to say everything I’ve ever really wanted to say about dissociation and in written form, I had the good chance, the good fortune for my interviews to interview Curt Rounds, and who’s an EMDR legend and has been a mentor to me and was one of the true voices that I think really gets dissociation and the EMDR world and I asked him just like helped me understand your evolution, 40 years as a therapist, and he said something that really stuck with me that if you want to be a good therapist, work with a DID client and really listen to them, really listen to them. And so many of the other interviews that I’m doing for this book, which I’m in process of writing right now, are people revealing, I went to see a helper, whether that be a psychiatrist, whether that be a clinician, and it’s like they were just throwing their fixes on me. And we’re not really listening to what I needed.
Curt Widhalm 08:48
One of the things that I’ve really learned in my trainings under the Institute for Creative Mindfulness is really this embracing of providing a space for healing, that it’s not just about treatment, as you just kind of defined in all of this kind of looking at the traditional therapeutic establishment, what is keeping them so rigid even as we do incorporate more and more different cultural ideals. We listen to more people with lived experience, we do take on more of this healing aspect. What’s keeping the Fuddy duddies so rigid
Jamie Marich 09:32
I think it’s a fear of them looking at their own trauma, a fear of them doing a lot of their own work. Even Curt and Katie amongst EMDR therapists who are, in theory supposed to be more trauma informed, right? I have observed such an us versus them mentality, with the people with complex trauma and dissociation. People with so called personality disorders and I find that once clinicians are willing to really drop that us versus them and do their own work, and I don’t mean just like the 24 prerequisite hours, you may have to do in your graduate program, or just do a little spot check CBT here and there when you need it, but really do have yourself what you’re asking your clients to do. And I think until the field embraces that more widespread, we are going to stay very stuck, we are going to stay very manualized we are going to stay very much in this, like expert pion type of role, which I don’t think healing was ever intended to be in the first place. I mean, part of my work has taken me really into looking at indigenous roots of healing. And so many things from those indigenous cultures and their lessons of healing teaches us things like if you can go outside with people go outside with people – be in nature, it doesn’t have to be so office bound, right? The importance of singing, silence, the expressive arts, dancing, drumming, getting actually experiential, with your healing, having a feeling experience, instead of just a thinking experience, is all very important. And I think so much of our modern culture has brought us to and I don’t think there’s necessarily anything unique about this last century that’s done it, I think this has always been the human condition. And intense commercialization has just made it worse is this idea that feelings are bad. If you have feelings are weak. And I think as a society, we suffer long term and widespread from something I call feelings phobia. And I would wish that would not be an issue amongst clinical professionals. But the more and more clinical professionals I train, the more and more clinical professionals I interact with, there could still be this idea of I don’t know what to do with their feelings, meaning my clients because I don’t know what to do with my own. And that’s where more of your cognitive manualized interventions just become safer.
Katie Vernoy 12:04
When there’s so much of a competent space of like, I hear – this is what I do I do this to the clients I am able to, it’s very controlled. And I think the messiness of real life is lost when we get so manualized I’m I was just as you were talking, I was thinking about how, in community mental health, I was taught how to write a behavioral note, and how to get the clients to say the things that I needed for my behavioral treatment plan, like it became this puzzle that oftentimes had nothing to do with the client at all. And so to me, this idea of being able to embrace the the lived experience, the messiness, I love getting outside, I love all of the things that you’re talking about, it seems so important for us to make these moves, but you’re saying it’s societal, like as a society, we’re not going to be able to do what we need to do. How do we address it at a, at a societal level? I mean, as therapists if that’s what we’re doing, we need to address it at a societal level, what are the what are the moves to make here?
Jamie Marich 13:14
So first thing I don’t know when exactly this is going to air, we’re recording it here, kind of middle-ish of August. I look at what just happened with Simone Biles and the Olympics. And the decision that she made to take care of herself physically because mentally she was not in the best place. And as anybody who follows current events knows there tended to be a split opinion online on Twitter, a lot of us applauding her for taking care of herself and then people disparaging her as weak. And I mean, I applaud Michael Phelps who not just in response to what happened with Simone Biles, but for the last several years has really been drawing attention to, to the plight of mental health. Well, I don’t think celebrity holds all the answers, because there’s certainly a lot of issue with celebrity culture, too. I really feel that people coming out is more of the answer. And I’ll speak to what that means for us as therapists too, because I do think it can have a lot of impact when people have celebrity who are admired especially and I know, this is gonna sound a little weird, but especially someone like Michael Phelps, who is the greatest of all time and swimming and somebody who’s seen as like this behemoth, who had good mental strength and all of this and I just applaud his willingness in recent years to show his vulnerability. If you haven’t seen the weight of gold on HBO, it’s fantastic. It’s a deep dive into what a lot of athletes go through. But even at a non celebrity level, more of us just need to come out about our struggles. And that needs to include professionals like us, who on the surface allegedly have our shit together, because we have podcasts and accompany and run conference and yeah, and all of this. And as both of you know, I have progressively come out more and more with my struggles with every year of my life here and more and more about my background. And I get so many messages of people saying things like, Thank you Dr Marich for your vulnerability, and I’m so grateful for it, etc, etc. And I told my friend once I live for the day, when that’s not such an oddity, and I get those kind of messages, because I think everybody has a right and could make an impact if they learned to, or were inspired to embrace vulnerability to or got what they needed, that might be the better way to say it got what they needed to feel safe enough to come out and be more vulnerable about struggles,
Curt Widhalm 15:44
In that sense. And with all of the social change that has been happening here over the last couple of years, whether it’s regard to COVID, whether it’s in regard to Black Lives Matter. Or we as a field, actually embracing these ideals. I mean, I know, people like you, and Katie and myself are but are we seeing these echoes really come out that is creating the space, because it does feel like we’re potentially at a tipping point in our field to, embrace this.
Jamie Marich 16:18
And I think like a lot of places have tipping points, you’re naturally going to have people who want to embrace it, you’re going to have people who want to resist it. And you’ll have people in that middle ground who know that change is inevitable, know that it’s probably going to be best for them and their folks they work with if they embrace change, but they’re dealing with the cobwebs, the sticking points. What What is keeping me from doing this? and Curt, I’m glad you mentioned, so much of what has been brought to the surface in the last year or COVID and Black Lives Matter, of course, being the obvious examples, although both represents struggles that are nothing new, as far as I’m concerned, right. And, you know, questions come up all the time. Is it the space of the therapist to be an advocate? Is it the space of the therapist to be political? Or do we need to be this blank slate as much as possible for our clients? And the answer for me has always been both/and because I know, as a clinician, I need to be able to bracket my biases enough if I’m working with somebody who sees the world differently than me. But I also know that with my public face, I think the more and more we have a public face like us, the more that we’re established in our therapeutic community, we have to speak up. We have to really be be an advocate for these kinds of changes. And for me, my main platform, I’ve mounted as being vulnerable about your struggles, because that’s the only way we’ll break this divide because I think so much of what ails the world, the human condition is this excessive tendency we have the other and one of my books I cite pastor Nadia Weber has a super awesome progressive preacher. And she says, “I think our drug of choice in this society is thinking we’re better than other people.”
Katie Vernoy 18:05
Jamie Marich 18:07
Yes. And, and I think a lot of the changes that dominant culture members are being asked to make requires them to look at release any implicit lessons they’ve gotten that they’re somehow better than others. So there’s that there’s there’s a lot of work to do. But I think it is important for therapists, especially therapists who are more public facing meaning who have podcasts or run conferences or run training organizations to take these stands. I mean, that’s something that we as ICM looked at very deeply last year where I, I took bolder stances with some of the political stances that we took, knowing I might alienate some customers. Right now, the Institute for Creative Mindfulness is sponsoring an EMDR therapy training program specifically for BIPOC. Clinicians. ICM is fortunate enough to have enough staff members, team members who are persons of color where they can run the training and the rest of us can stay out of the way. We’ve gotten hate mail about that from other therapists from other therapists, because they see it as separatists and divisive and ignoring the fact that there’s literature and research and lived experience to show how people of color can benefit from having their own spaces without the white gaze, and how so many folks who are coming into the BIPOC training now are saying they were hesitant to do EMDR training before because they weren’t sure how they were going to be met.
Katie Vernoy 19:44
It’s a very different stance that you’re describing. Then obviously the blank slate and curtain I’ve obviously talked about this a number of times that that the blank slate is bullshit but like how you know only only white men can be blank slates, right? I mean, there’s, there’s something we’re bringing into the room. But even in that regard, I don’t think that’s true, either. It’s just anyway, I won’t go down that rabbit hole. But I think it’s something where, when you’ve been talking about this vulnerability in public spaces, and an even this, us/them and getting rid of the stem, for me, I just have been really reflecting on conversations I’ve had with my own therapist, when I start relating to the stories that my clients have been telling and recognizing I’m like them, when I thought I wasn’t, and, and it’s, this is older work, but I felt like that was so monumental to me. And I hadn’t realized how, like, the way you described, it really helped me put it into into kind of a frame is that in separating myself, it was very much for my safety and not for the benefit of the client. And I think oftentimes, the way when I was trained a million years ago, it was that we must kind of hold this safe frame, we have to kind of keep ourselves out of the room, we have to keep ourselves out of that. And we can’t be vulnerable with our clients. And, and to me, I think it lacks an authenticity and it lacks connection. And it completely stifles creativity if we have to be so in this box of this protected space of I am the expert. So I don’t know if I have a question there. But yeah,
Jamie Marich 21:40
I do have a response. Because to that, I would say and I’m really getting this lesson from doing the research on the new book. It’s not to say we as therapists can’t have boundaries with our clients. It’s not to say we as therapists can’t have boundaries about what we share publicly, because I think, and this is right from Brene Brown, how Yes, vulnerabilities, obviously, radically paraphrasing her. But basically, vulnerability is a good thing as she emphasizes in her work, but it does come with boundaries. So I think we could definitely have those boundaries. But a word that’s been coming up a lot in the new interviews with for the book is the word transparency. So even for folks who have like profound DID, profound attachment trauma, who can get skittish, who can get very reactionary, when a boundary is set, have shared with me, we know that we value transparency, like saying upfront, this is what I can or can’t do as a therapist, this is what I am or am not willing to do as a therapist. And if you can be transparent about that and get that established upfront. I think it does open the path to more vulnerability and authentic sharing in a way where it becomes safe enough for you and the client both because yeah, that’s a whole other issue we can look at to right is what is appropriate to disclose of ourselves to clients, because I do think it has to be navigated on a case by case basis. I wrote an article on that once where you never wants to be making it all about you. But I also think a good part of therapy is getting feedback from your clients. And I’m not talking about like the survey feedback, because there’s a whole school of therapy that promotes that. And yeah, I think that’s for the more quantitatively minded, but for those of us who are more qualitatively minded, it’s asking your clients questions like, how is this working for you? Is there any adjustments we feel we need to make here in order for you to get the most out of what you need here to reach your goals? And I’ve done right, ask clients before, do you find it helpful when I share about myself or not? And I, I will honor that.
Curt Widhalm 23:44
I think it’s something that, you know, I serve on an ethics committee, I teach law and ethics. And this is a an area of the field that I see us embracing more of that we should share what our values are, and how we make our approaches because that does help make our clients better able to choose from an informed place better able to choose who their providers are. Right. And I think what this will do is help us to embrace you know, from from a client end and minimize the number of just like bad matches with therapists in order to create better opportunities for healing rather than pretending that we’re this homogenous field.
Jamie Marich 24:32
Right. Yes, yes, yes. And you know, Curt, I touched on this in the EMDR training, where when we speak on complex trauma, we are in a newer world, where if a client asks you what you believe about something, you have to be able to answer it transparently. And it’s not to say that, well, if you’re a Trump supporter, and I’m a Biden supporter, we can’t do therapy together because I know a lot of my folks do therapy across party lines. etc, etc. But I think the key is, sometimes when these conversations are had a person, a client decides they need to go elsewhere. I know when I chose my last therapist, and I was interviewing her, I wanted to know what she believed I needed to know what she believed. And her candidness, her transparency above that has really helped. Yet, I mean, I’ve also spent most of my career practicing in an area where a lot of people here believe differently than I do. And often times those roadblocks can provide an opportunity for building communication or working through a breach who I know, however, you may look at it. So I think part of redefining therapy is also recognizing a lot of the conversations we may have had back in grad school are not the real conversations we need to be having about how we handle doing therapy in the modern climate. So there’s, there’s that facet of it as well. Talking about law and ethics. Curt, you might find this interesting, I just did a really cool interview this week for the book with my state board here in Ohio. Because when I talk about coming out and radical transparency at a public level of therapists, a lot of the concern I get is, what if somebody turns me into my state board? What if a client sees something I’ve done publicly and turns me in, etc, etc. And, and there’s a lot of this fear that by coming out, you’re somehow going to be discredited. And that’s a fear that I’ve worked through personally, because I’ve long stopped caring what people say about me. But I think there can be that sense of scariness with, you know, well, my livelihood be taken away, if it comes out what a hot mess I really am. And you had a very delightful conversation with the board about how things are handled, at least in our state, where I know it definitely put me at ease about being someone who’s out. And I don’t know if that would have been the case many, many years ago. So I think some of this, this advocacy about ending the stigma and people in the field are human, too, has has taken us in a good direction. But I really think and I know, I’ve talked about therapists coming out, and we’ve talked about celebrities coming out. But I think it can also be super amazingly powerful when someone like a lawyer comes out, or a finance manager, or just people in all walks of life, all walks of professions, it’s been delightful having conversations with my legal team about mental health, opening the door for that. It’s also I just think, so many people think they’re the only one who go through things. And that’s not an unusual thing. We’ve talked about that before. But I think people in professional positions who are afraid of getting discredited, they often feel they’re the only ones going through something. And there’s just a lot of power in admitting that we’re not realizing that we can have connection and community together.
Katie Vernoy 28:06
It’s an interesting idea to have community around mental health concerns, because I think that that idea of I’m not the only one. And all of those things, I guess the the place that my mind keeps going to is this fear that they that folks have around laws and ethics and, and that there’s this movement of folks, whether it’s decolonizing, therapy, reimagining therapy, redefining therapy, you know, blowing up therapy like that there’s there’s this idea that if we were to actually take therapy where it needs to go, all of the current law and ethics laws and ethics wouldn’t actually apply. I think the three of us here, I don’t think believe that. But I I think that the question I have is, is there room to truly move into these healing spaces as licensed clinicians, in ways that still still tie back to what we originally learned? Because it seems like there’s, there’s a spectrum of beliefs around the usefulness of therapy as it has been practiced.
Jamie Marich 29:19
That’s a great question. I think my short answer is I don’t know, it’s, it’s an evolving, it’s an evolving answer. It’s an evolving answer. And, and I think I’m at my own career crossroads right now, where I look at going forward. Will I do more good as an advocate than a therapist, and I was an advocate who was a therapist, you know, or has therapeutic insight because I think about what’s the definition of clinical work at least in Ohio, it’s the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders, right. And even though I’m you know, up in the air about the utility of dialects, even something like diagnosis, let’s start there. I have a both and feeling about diagnosis, because on one hand, I think we can get too caught up in labeling people, we can get too caught up in defining people by their diagnosis. But I’ve also seen cases of where people read a diagnosis. And they feel completely empowered, because something actually describes me. Like, oh my gosh, never, nobody’s ever shared this diagnosis, like the PTSD diagnosis, or we see it with with a dissociative diagnosis. And I’ve even seen some people get moved when they read the borderline personality disorder diagnosis, because it’s while these, this describes what I struggled with, so I mean, that’s an example of a both and where I’m not at the place where I’m totally anti diagnosis. But there’s some clients I’ll work with where it’s like, I don’t think really, we need to worry about the label. Like we know, trauma is an issue. We know trauma healing is an issue. What do we need to put down to play the game? You know, so to speak. But then if you look at the second part of that, in our definition, treatment of mental and emotional disorders now part of the conversation now is, okay, what’s a disorder. And we know the correct definition here, where there’s functional impairment at cetera, et cetera. But even a lot of us in the dissociation community, like I technically have a dissociative disorder by diagnosis, at least how I was diagnosed. But I’ve embraced the identifier that one of my colleagues uses right now, which is dissociative mind, or she’ll say I have a dissociative experience of life. Because for me, it’s no longer a disorder. But it is still something that I live with. I think a big part of being trauma informed is a willingness to be flexible with language, a willingness to be flexible with concepts. And I’m always the kind of person who’s lived in the both/and where I and I think, you know, that with my trauma and 12 step work, like I’m a vicious 12 step critic, but I don’t think we have to throw it all out either. And at least for now, as I tried to negotiate this question of up, does the therapeutic system need to have blown up? I like that you said that, Katie, because there are some days, I feel that there are some days, I feel like I’m working in the service of the therapy industrial complex. And the real good work I do is when I still talk to 12 step sponsors, and it’s a relationship or no money is exchanged. It’s just the human experience. But you know, do we have a right to make? So all of these questions, they can keep me up at night? I’m not gonna lie. Unfortunately, I’ve tools to deal with a lot of that. But I think for now, even answering your question here, I think a lot of it is the both/and I think we need quantitative and qualitative, for example, with research and something I’m going to talk about in the conference presentation, is how quantitative empirical research can be viewed as the language of white supremacy. Whereas qualitative research encompasses more of the indigenous lived experience of healing. We’re living in a world right now where we’re navigating both. So let’s bring in both
Curt Widhalm 33:06
Where can people find out more about you? And I would just say, the projects that you’re working on, because I know that your resume of books and presentations and everything else, where can people find out more about you?
Jamie Marich 33:23
Well, they could come hang out with us at the Therapy Reimagined. Coming up here in September, I’m so delighted to be keynoting. A couple different places to find me online Instituteforcreative mindfulness.com is my main website for the company that I run, JamieMarich.com is the easiest way you can get all my books cataloged in one place. And then traumamadesimple.com is the free resources site that I keep, that’s where all of my videos, articles, things I’ve done for free, are collected in one place on Twitter, I’m at Jamie Marich, Instagram, Dr. Jamie M. And just type in my name on Facebook, you’ll find me in a couple different professional contexts.
Curt Widhalm 34:06
Yeah. And we will include links to all of that in our show notes over at MTSGpodcast calm. And as Jamie mentioned, she’ll be therapy reimagined. And for all of our latest updates on that, get your tickets and all of our latest COVID precautions. Check out therapy reimagined conference calm and our social media will also include links to those in the show notes as well for all of the updates and they’re just changing every single day. So we will do our best to keep things updated as well as we can on our social media and on our websites. So until next time, I’m Curt Widhalm with Katie Vernoy and Dr. Jamie Marich.
Katie Vernoy 34:55
Thanks again to our sponsor Buying Time
Curt Widhalm 34:57
Buying Times VA support businesses. by managing email communications, CRM or automation systems, website admin and hosting, email marketing, social media, bookkeeping and much more, their sole purpose is to create the opportunity for you to focus on supporting those you serve, while ensuring that your back office runs smoothly for the full team of vas gives the opportunity to hire for one role and get multiple areas of support. There’s no reason to be overwhelmed with running your business with this solution available.
Katie Vernoy 35:26
Book a consultation to see where and how you can get started getting the support you need. That’s buyingtimellc.com/book-consultation.com once again, buyingtimellc.com/book-consultation.com.
Thank you for listening to the modern therapist Survival Guide. Learn more about who we are and what we do at MTSGpodcast.com. You can also join us on Facebook and Twitter. And please don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss any of our episodes.
SPEAK YOUR MIND