Posted on April 17, 2023
True healing occurs when we integrate our mind and body, and Soma Therapy provides the space for that integration to take place. In this episode, we have Britt Sudderth, a Systems Theory Trained Therapist and the founder of Britt Grace Therapy in Wimberley. Britt shares her inspiring journey of how she found her own path in creating a successful Soma Therapy business. She talks about her specialty in somatic therapy, emotion-focused, and cognitive-behavioral therapy, working with individuals, couples, and families to improve their health and wellbeing. Britt also discusses the therapist’s perspective on things and shares her approach to therapy, emphasizing the importance of putting oneself in the client’s shoes instead of imposing expectations. Britt also shares her insights on how she takes care of herself despite being exposed to her clients’ challenges and trauma. Join us for an engaging conversation on Soma Therapy and how it can help you on your path to healing.
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Creating A Path To Healing: How Soma Therapy Can Change Lives With Britt Sudderth
Our guest is Britt Sudderth. Britt is a Systems Theory Trained Therapist working in Wimberley at Britt Grace Therapy. Britt works with individuals, couples, and families. She utilizes emotion-focused, Cognitive Behavioral, and Somatic Therapy with clients in an effort to improve their functioning, well-being, and sense of self. Thank you so much, Britt, for joining me.
Thanks for having me.
I’ve known you for a long time, and one of my favorite memories of you was super early on when we first moved here. We were at the school at St. Stevens, and you walked up and were like, “I want to be your friend. Let’s hang out sometime.” I’m like, “I love that.” I wish I ran up to people and said, “I want to be your friend,” more often. One of the things that I love about you is you have a genuine heart that’s always out there. I want to thank you for sharing that with us.
Thank you. That’s a nice memory. What I remember about meeting you is that you were super genuine and authentic right away. It’s very real, and I love real. I can get into that.
Me, too. When it gets real, I’m like, “Let’s do this. Let’s talk for hours.” Let’s do it. Let’s start off with you telling us a little bit about where you were and how you got to this place on your journey.
I don’t think we’ve ever talked about this, but I did not start out thinking I was going to be a therapist. I went to college for Studio Art and studied to be a painter. I did large-scale abstract oil paintings and minored in Printmaking. That was what I wanted to do. I wanted to show in galleries and do commission work. When I graduated and started seeing how that would work in the real world, it was a little bit messier than anticipated and a lot harder.
I got the sense that I wasn’t on the right path. That was a passion, but I didn’t see where it was going. If I rewind and look at how it all happened in my freshman year of college, I had a super difficult time in a social context, which I hadn’t experienced at a younger age. During that time, I ended up going to see a counselor in Dallas. I went to see a counselor in Dallas and enjoyed the whole process. I started looking forward to seeing her. She helped not only validate me but tap into my strength.
One of the things that she pointed out was that I was self-aware and intuitive. She gave me a whole new language for understanding how that can serve me as opposed to making me sensitive or shy or how I had learned how to view that. Taking that forward when I was lost in my art, that came back. I remembered her saying, “It would be a great career for you.” I ended up reaching back out to her.
I ended up going to the school that she had gone to, which was Texas Women’s University in Denton. I got a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. it was a killer school and great hands-on work. For the first time in my life, I felt like a good student. That was when I felt, “I’m on the right path. This is not only something that I’m curious about, but I’m good at it. I feel like I’m going with the flow.” The flow is with me and on my side. It opened up a whole new world for me.
How long did you see that therapist since the first time you talked with her?
I probably saw her 6 to 10 times. It wasn’t a hugely long process. It was enough. It was what I needed. I’ve used the therapy on and off. I’ve gone to different therapists throughout my life. It’s a great tool to have, but that initial experience with counseling was life-changing.
I’ve had therapists and counselors at different times in my life. One thing that a lot of people who haven’t been to a therapist might miss is they see on TV these people who have lifelong therapists, and it is their therapist forever and ever. Most of the time, you have a hurdle that you want to get past. A lot of people are thinking that the reason they have this hurdle is they’re so busy, don’t have enough money, and all this stuff. They don’t have the time and the resources to see a therapist. When you think about it, insurance usually covers a lot of it sometimes, or there’s a lot that can be covered and a lot of ground taken in 4 to 8 weeks.
Counseling can seem overwhelming to people because they imagine going all the way back to the beginning, talking about every single trauma or circumstance that got them to where they are that they have to dig up a bunch of stuff about their family of origin. Who would want to do that? Not many people feel that they have the time to do that in their busy lives.
Counseling can be so different from that. It can be a tool and doesn’t always have to be a deep dive that’s years and years. The majority of my clients initially come, and maybe we get a bunch of traction in a couple of months, and then they may pop in every six months when something comes up. It’s another tool they use. It can look different for each person in what they’re looking for. I do not work from a set formula.
How did you go from graduating to where you are now?
After TWU, I had to get my hours. I had my licensure. I can get paid, but I have to have 3,000 supervised hours. At that point, you’re limited in what you can do. You can go straight into private practice, but it would take a long time to get those hours. TWU encouraged me to take a deep dive into something challenging where I would get a lot of hours, even if it wasn’t what I ultimately wanted to do.
I knew I ultimately wanted to be in private practice, but in order to get this hands-on experience and as many clients under my belt as possible, I ended up working at a state-funded rehab facility in Oak Cliff outside of Dallas. It was rough. There were two different detox floors. The one that I worked in was for clients that had a dual diagnosis. They were not only detoxing, but they also had a mental health disorder. The things that I saw were unbelievable, and I’ve never again seen most of them.
It’s not what walks in the door with private practice, but it was the best experience I could have gotten. It grew me as a human. It showed me that I was a lot stronger than I thought I was. I had to handle a lot of difficult situations, uncomfortable situations, and gross situations, and I grew a lot from that. I did that. I got a lot of experience from that. I then ended up going into private practice in Dallas. I did private practice in Dallas until we moved here. I took a big chunk of time off when the kids were little.
How long did you take off?
I took off for about eight years. I was with the boys when they were little. When my youngest was in school, I opened private practice here in Wimberley.
How hard was it to open a private practice? Also, what was that transition like? You’re a therapist, so you understand what’s going on in your head, but you still have to deal with your own emotions.
Being trained as a therapist, a lot is lost in translation when it comes to your own life. What was surprising about it is I had told myself I had this desire to go back to work, but I had no idea what that would look like. I was overwhelmed by the idea of opening a private practice in an area where I didn’t have any connections to the professional world.Being trained as a therapist, a lot is lost in translation when it comes to your own life. Click To Tweet
I had mom friends, but most of my mom friends didn’t work, and none of them were in this field. None of my mentors were here. I didn’t know what that would look like. I told myself I will start with one client. If I just have one client, that’s great. It went from there, and it grew quickly. What I did not anticipate was how supportive Wimberley would be, how supportive friends would be, and how different my private practice here would look than Dallas.
Tell us about that. How does it look different?
There are a number of factors that go into it, but I was able to make such a conscious decision in constructing this private practice. I knew that it was going to take some time away from family, but not a whole lot because in the beginning, thought I was going to have one client, but part of my resource was going to that. I wanted it to look exactly like I wanted it to look. I did not want a private practice that felt sterile. I got to create that and have it look the way I wanted it to look. Whereas in Dallas, because I was at the beginning of my career, I emulated what I had seen. I dressed the way that I thought therapists were supposed to dress.
What does that look like?
It’s very professional, which is not my nature. I purposefully dressed the way that I want to dress. I don’t like my paperwork to feel sterile. There is some of that that has to happen, but I always guide them through that. I was able to edit along the way where I didn’t feel I had that before. There’s such ownership in that, and it makes me love my little private practice in Wimberley because it’s exactly what I would have envisioned if I had known that I could envision that.
You let it organically unfold and naturally follow your own personal path instead of trying to fit into somebody else’s idea.
I thought if I’m going to do this now and while the kids are at school, I’m going to make it fit what I want it to look like. That has integrated into every part of it. From the modalities I use to the way that I go through paperwork, the way that a client finds me and what I do with that before we see each other to the way that we go through the process of therapy together, the way that I schedule, everything is touched through this lens of, “I get to create this to look a certain way that benefits not only me but ultimately the clients because then it’s this individualized practice.”
Have you been able to balance your time in the way that you hope to when you were transitioning from being a stay-at-home mama?
I don’t think that it has been without its bumps. In the beginning, I thought that it was going to be difficult to get clients. When I started getting a lot of clients, I was so excited that I didn’t say no to certain times that weren’t convenient for anybody in my family or me. I learned early on that if I wanted to keep this practice looking the way I wanted it to look, I needed it to fit within a certain context. I needed to have some parameters. Once I came to that conclusion and I have set times that I work within that, it has gone so much more smoothly.
Too many business owners start off with their own idea but quickly conform to either what is expected, what they think is expected, or what the client asks for as opposed to maintaining their own structure, thus creating the unique thing that people know them for. I commend you for grabbing the reins again and bringing them back. For those who don’t know, what are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Somatic Therapy? What are any of the other modalities that you use that might be a little different than what people who aren’t in the industry are familiar with?
All therapists work differently, and some therapists are all in on one modality. For me, all the modalities are like a language. If one language I feel is going to speak to a specific client better, then that’s what I pull in. I also have weaved these three together. Somatic experiencing is the belief that the body and mind influence each other.
The arousal of emotions is often felt and experienced in our body, but we’re not a society that pays a whole lot of attention to that. It’s a whole landscape that we get to explore together. Sometimes I think of our sessions as almost physical therapy sessions where we are building that muscle of awareness in the body. I will encourage the client to pinpoint where they’re feeling the sensation.
It may not even be tied to a feeling or an emotion at the time, but when we spend time with it, it gives us so much information and data, and then we can understand what our thoughts about that feeling or that sensation are. If the thought has to do with getting away from it, I work within a window of tolerance to stay with that, to hold with it, and to hold space for it.
Sometimes I describe it as when you’re a kid and you’re afraid at night. You’re afraid of what’s in the closet. Staying with that sensation is a lot like putting a light in the closet, shining the light, and turning the light on. I like to be with them as we do that. It’s turning the light on, pulling out the things in the closet, and going through them.
That doesn’t necessarily mean going all the way to their past and pulling everything, but it may be tying what this sensation in their body feels like, why it’s so uncomfortable, and what their thoughts about that are. That gives us a real roadmap of where to go from there and building that tolerance. That’s where that physical therapy analogy comes in. It is building that muscle and that tolerance. All of a sudden, the client is a lot less confined to staying away from that sensation.
A lot of times, we’re on autopilot where we are avoiding a sensation. We don’t even realize that there’s this physical sensation we’re trying to get away from, but maybe we notice that in the afternoons, we find ourselves eating a lot, drinking, or whatever we’re doing to avoid a sensation. Building that tolerance in the office is building that muscle when they’re out of the office as well.
I love the concept of exploring the energy body with the mind body and not treating them as two completely separate things. A lot of our Western medicine will put a pill on something to cover it up when it’s a physical pain. Most of the time, a lot of people will walk around with pain for years and decades and get so used to it that they feel it’s a part of themselves.
We treat our bodies and minds separately. We go and work out for our bodies, and we go to counseling for our minds. When we’re at work, we’re in our head and don’t even notice that our body is not comfortable leaning over the computer in the chair all day. Being able to bring the body component into counseling has been incredibly useful and effective in my therapy.Being able to bring the body component into counseling can be an incredibly useful and effective therapy. Click To Tweet
I feel that my body is probably my biggest tool in counseling. It feels like almost tuning in to my client when they walk in. It’s important that my body is super grounded before each session so that there isn’t interference in what I hear their body saying. I’m able to listen and tune in, and I feel strongly that nervous systems talk to each other.
A lot of times, I like to drop in to my client, meet them in the space that they are, and feel those sensations that they’re experiencing so that I can be there with them. We can put words to it. We can talk about what temperature it is, what color it might be, pinpoint where it is, talk about it, and untangle it from the thought. That is something that was not a part of my Master’s program or even discussed. It comes naturally to me, and it’s part of therapy that I enjoy the most.
That’s what I find so interesting. There’ve been all these modalities of healing for centuries that in the West, we didn’t have a place or a name for. It’s been happening forever. It’s gotten a lot more popular in the last several years where you’re seeing people integrate all sorts of different healing techniques and modalities into traditional therapy or even Western medicine, integrating holistic, or people diving into energy healing and breath work. It’s all the different things that bring the mind, body, and spirit together. I love that you have found that organically and are finding your own way to connect. What do you do to ground yourself before the client comes in or as you go about your own life?
There are a couple of ways that I ground myself. I always ground myself in the morning before sessions. I have three boys. Our mornings are not always smooth and peaceful. After that morning and before I start with my clients, I always leave myself enough time to get into my own body, drop in, and quiet my body. I’ll do that in lots of different ways. I can listen to a guided meditation or get back to breathwork. I sometimes walk outside my office so I’m outside for a little bit. That’s important for me to start my day prior to my session starting. It is almost that blank slate.
Outside of the office, I try to balance myself. Yoga is my biggest tool. Not only do I think it’s great physically for a workout, but it serves a dual purpose because it helps me ground myself mentally. I love meditation. I have been doing some meditations at the school, so I’ll go and do some meditations with the middle school. I’ve enjoyed that work as well and spending time doing things that make me feel at peace and quiet. Anything that involves the whole family like hiking or doing something that is grounding for me. That can’t happen all the time, so it’s something that I work on, too, balancing all of that, but in the office, it’s creating that space.
That makes a lot of sense. I’m glad you mentioned yoga, too, because we have changed a lot of the different tools that we’ve brought over from the East in a lot of ways here in the West. I remember my first introduction to yoga was power yoga. I was like, “I’m going to work out and stretch at the same time.” A lot of people do think of it as a fitness tool until you do it, breathe, and realize that you are letting go and connecting to yourself and to something else at the same time.
The connection of movement to breath is powerful. You mentioned meditation and all these different things, but hiking, kayaking, and running are forms of active meditation as well. If you can’t quite sit yourself down for a little bit, that doesn’t mean that you can’t meditate in some way. Concentrating on your breath or one mantra as you’re going through a task will help settle down, ground, and settle into the body that you’re walking in.
A lot of people hear meditation and are automatically overwhelmed or feel that it has to look a certain way. I personally never do a meditation that’s longer than five minutes. I took a course on mindfulness, and it was a comprehensive mindfulness course. One of the things that I learned in that was that meditation is not about not getting to a point where you don’t have thoughts or other thoughts.
Meditation is the act of noticing that you’re having a thought and coming back to the breath. Again, that’s building that muscle. I feel little spurts of that throughout the day. Even if it’s a 3-second spurt of coming back to the breath and coming back to the body, I feel that’s as effective as sitting somewhere for an hour on a meditation pillow with Buddha chants in the background. That’s not what meditation looks like for me in this chapter of my life.
I’m glad you mentioned the concept of coming back. That’s something that a lot of people don’t realize. There are many different benefits of meditation, even short meditation. Part of it is the training of slowing down and noticing but pushing away. It’s similar to therapy in my mind in that going through talking therapy, you learn a process for asking yourself questions, “My therapist would’ve asked me this in this situation.”
You can start healing yourself in life by knowing the patterns of questions to ask yourself. Learning how to meditate is similar to that. Bringing the habit of meditation or mindfulness into your life is to slow it down so that when you have those bad thoughts, those, “You’re not good enough, smart enough, or pretty enough,” and all the things that happen to pop in, you can go, “I see you right there. I’m going to push you away. You’re not real.”
“I’m noticing this. I’m becoming aware of this.” I can take a tiny timeout, pay attention to it, shine a light on it, ask questions about it, get curious about it, and use evidence to debunk it. That is that act that we were talking about of shining a light on it and not moving away from it.
Notice and appreciate it. Maybe it served you well at some point.
You had mentioned before to go through the modalities, and I had talked about somatic experiencing, but this brings us to some of the parts of CBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that I use. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has a real formula, and I do not use the full CBT formula. I weave in parts of it, but because it’s so formulaic, it does not jive with the way that I connect with my clients.
One of the ways that it does serve me is that it has some useful information. The main component of CBT that I use is the basic CBT model. When there is a situation and we have a reaction, we often think that we are reacting to the situation when, in fact, we are reacting to this space in between the situation and reaction, which is our beliefs or thoughts about that situation.
If we can freeze time and pay more attention to those automatic beliefs and thoughts that are coming up that we didn’t even realize we were reacting to, we have way more control over our reaction and the distress that we might experience because of those thoughts. It’s rarely about a situation. It’s a thought or belief about that situation. It’s getting in there and understanding my client’s worldview and how they got to that worldview. Understanding the foundation of those automatic beliefs and thoughts gives us a lot of data to move forward and how we can intervene in that little window of time. That is something that I utilize a lot.
I’m thinking of 100 different examples of how this plays. It’s how we live. We feel an emotion, and we are reacting based on our emotions is what you said. It could be as simple as this. I remember my ex-husband asking me. He thought for years that I purposefully made a lot of noise when I put the dishes away so that he couldn’t hear the television show that he was watching. I was like, “Are you kidding? I would never do that.” I was so silent for all the years that the boys were babies and they were sleeping. I didn’t want to wake them up. When they stopped napping, I’m like, “Woo-hoo.” I’m going to do this thing. He was like, “She is mad at me.”
There’s so much there that was lost as far as what the understanding was between each person and the automatic thoughts and beliefs you guys had about the same situation.
Also, the emotions that build up with that assumption. That was a funny example, but it happens all the time. I was with a friend who was dating. She was talking about how she got this text. He was being so rude. She read the text to a friend and me, and we were like, “He is trying to be sexy.” She was like, “What?” We read the same words back to her with a completely different tone. This is the problem with text, but it happens constantly. You show up to the conversation and the situation with your energy and you translate.
It’s in your context and your worldview and how you understand yourself in the world. If someone understands themself in the world, in one way, they’re going to read something from that perspective. It’s empowering to be able to create this space where you have time to change or choose that reaction. That’s hugely empowering.
Slow things down. As parents or even as a couple, we are often told a lot of times, “When you’re angry, take a deep breath. Walk out of the room.” We don’t take that breath opportunity in life often enough. That’s what you’re saying, to do. When people get in a car wreck or something traumatic, our brain works so quickly that it slows things down. The whole life is flashing before your eyes. If we can get in the habit of playing that movie and seeing those pictures, when we have an immediate reaction, we’re like, “Let me pause for a minute. Let me ask a question instead of reacting.” Is that what you get people to explore?
For sure. A lot of people don’t even realize that we all have these automatic beliefs, thoughts, and worldviews that are generally created by the time we’re about six. At that time, the way our brain works, we’re egocentric. As we get older, counseling is the place where we get to take that time out, look at those automatic thoughts, beliefs, and worldviews, and get to edit them. It gives us such a sense of control moving forward in how we want to react and how we want to see ourselves navigating the world. We get some choice in agency over that.
To me, that is by far the best part of counseling. We get to edit. We get some agency. We get some control. Whereas maybe in other times in our life, we haven’t felt control. We’ve felt like a tumbleweed or being lost in the waves of the ocean, and things just happen. We find ourselves in situations. Being able to have that moment to take a breath, reexamine, understand, and decide what we want to edit about our thought process is empowering.
We all come to life with our own built-up cultural habits and expectations of the world. They do change, but they become pretty solid and stay there from the age of 6 or 7. One of the benefits of having a therapist is the honesty of seeing and pulling out your thoughts and experiences from a different perspective.
A lot of people will know that and be like, “I need to get someone who’s not my friend to hear this story.” From a therapist’s perspective, especially when you’re coming at it energetically to feel through a whole situation, slow it down, watch the whole thing unfold, feel the whole thing unfold, and then come back and pick it apart in a healthy way that’s going to move you into the next chapter or through the next experience with light shining. It is so cool. Every time that I’ve gone through therapy, I go in going, “I’m so broken. I have no idea where to go from here.” Usually, when you start therapy, you’re like, “I’m at the end.”
You’re usually not at your highest point.
You go in, and for me, it was a couple of times where I’m like, “I’m healed.” I’m not, but it feels so much better to have them ask a couple of questions, even to get it out sometimes. A lot of women are good at talking to their friends about their problems, but not all. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to know how and what they’re going to want to fix and tell you he’s a loser and all the different things. Is there a particular process that you start with when someone comes into your office?
Even though each client is going to be a totally different experience with me in some ways, the beginning is generally the same, and then we go from there. A client will reach out via email. Almost all the clients that I have are word of mouth. That’s been the main way that I get new clients, so they will reach out. I never book a session with someone that I haven’t spent time with on the phone.
It’s important for them to hear my voice, for me to get to know them a little bit, and make sure that it’s a good fit. The last thing I want someone to do is to come in, feel vulnerable, and then say that I’m not a good fit. I try to discern that from the beginning. We will have a phone conversation to find out what they’re looking for, and then they fill out some basic paperwork online and come in.
The first session is about building our North Star together. I get some background information from them, but mainly I start right where they are that day. We will immediately start on bodywork and tuning in, and I’ll know right away from them whether that’s something that they have a big window of tolerance for or if that’s uncomfortable.
There are a lot of people that are uncomfortable in their bodies. That immediately goes on the list of something that we want to work on. We want them to feel safe in their body. We will initially discuss why they’re seeking counseling. My most helpful question on the first session is, “When you’re ready to not come in and see me, or when you feel satisfied with what you’ve gotten out of counseling, what will you notice in your life that’s different?”
We’ll untangle that in every way, “How will your body feel different? What will look different? What will your friends notice? What will be different about your job? What will be different when you open your eyes in the morning?” Get every way possible to put some meat on that North Star. What are their goals for counseling?
If you ask someone, “What are your goals for counseling?” it may feel different than when we start looking at it from that perspective of, “What will feel different? How will your relationships look different? What will your kids notice?” Once we have that North Star, that is that roadmap that we create together. I never go into a therapy session feeling where I know it should go or what their goals are and they don’t. I am meeting them right where they are, and their goals are my goals.
One of the things I have found to be so addictive about counseling or being a therapist is the sensation of connection. That’s what I value the most about my practice. I don’t think I have any clients that I don’t feel extremely connected to. It’s hard not to completely fall in love with every client because they’re vulnerable. I get to be in that space with them, and that feels so sacred.
I feel grateful that I get to be in that space with them. What is most effective about counseling is when we are seen fully. If I’m able to drop in to where they are in that moment with those sensations that are coming up, process that with them, accept what they’re experiencing, and stay there with them, I feel that’s where the magic happens.What is most effective about counseling is when we are seen fully; that's where the magic happens. Click To Tweet
That’s beautiful. What a great opportunity to be able to connect with people. How do you keep yourself healthy when you are talking to so many different types of people about their challenges?
Part of how I keep myself healthy is that this comes naturally to me. My husband, for sure, cannot handle other people’s stuff. He doesn’t have tolerance for that. He doesn’t enjoy it. Whereas for me, I don’t feel affected in a way that is negative. I feel comfortable holding that space for people and being in that space. It does not wear on me the way that it might other people. Part of it is my nature. It’s where I feel the most comfortable.
There are a few cases that stick with me. I have noticed that in this chapter of my life, those clients that stick with me that I take home with me and worry about are more of my younger clients. I’ve been mindful to keep those clients at a small number. I’m mainly seeing adults and couples because I feel that if I keep those numbers down on the younger clients, it’s a better mix for me.
Whereas earlier in my career, I was completely full of adolescents. That was my thing. I’m not sure if it’s because of the age that my kids are coming up on adolescence or being a mom now, but it’s important for me to be aware of what I’m experiencing. I want to be the healthiest therapist I can be for my clients and myself. Having a few adolescents at a time has been a much better balance for me.
What else have you learned as you’ve gone through the process? You learned that therapy was your thing, not art as much, and you learned the shift and change of the age. What else have you learned along the way?
I’ve learned that listening to what’s going on with myself and learning how to go back to the basics. Going back to the basics means going back to breath, to body, to outside, and to my senses. It has been the most effective way for me to stay balanced so that I can come into my office, feel settled, and have my nervous system settled so that I can create that safe space for my clients.
You’ve done such a good job of creating this business that is exactly everything so far that you’ve wanted it to be and continue to shift it as your needs shift. What advice would you have for somebody out there who was thinking about starting their own business or taking a leap and following a big passion?
I would encourage them to go for it. I did not think that I was going to be able to have a private practice with the three boys. I didn’t know what that would look like, but I’m so glad that I did it. It’s grown me as a person and as a mom. I’ve enjoyed getting feedback from my kids. They’re proud of me. They ask a lot of questions about it, and I don’t think they saw me before as a full person.
I feel much richer. I’m a richer wife. I’m a richer mom. I’m a richer individual and friend because I’ve been able to play out my passion. That makes me a more whole person. I would encourage anyone that’s thinking about taking that leap to do it. At the time, for me, what pushed me able to do it was that I made it a doable step, which was to get one client. Rather than expecting it to look a certain way, that made it a lot easier to step into when I envisioned it being one client.
I love that. I was talking with Dillon Forte here in Wimberley, and he broke it down the same way. Everything is one little tiny step at a time, one little goal. You may have this huge, great, grand dream to take over something, but you can’t do it without doing one little thing, and you don’t have to jump all the way to overtaking the world in one day.
If I had thought about what I wanted, I don’t think that I could have envisioned it because I didn’t know Wimberley yet. I didn’t know what it was like to be a therapist and a mom at the same time. Doing it in little chunks and having it unfold has presented a whole different picture than I would have imagined. I now don’t feel that it’s about getting as many clients.
Before it was, “I can’t wait to have a full caseload,” and now it’s, “I so enjoy having a caseload that I can give all my attention to each client.” Going back to the beginning when we talked about how I wanted this to look different and not just emulate what I had seen, in my training, it was important that we learned never to work harder than our clients.
I do feel that that’s important not to be the workhorse of what’s happening in the therapy session but be a co-creator of it. I also feel that I get to make this look my way, and it doesn’t have to be sterile and professional. I want to be accessible. I want to communicate with my clients. I want to be relatable. I don’t want to be only available at office times or otherwise call a crisis line.
If they need to call a crisis line, call a crisis line, but I want to be accessible and oftentimes, will offer my clients homework. They email it to me and we communicate that way so they get a lot of bang for their buck in between sessions. I want it to look like that, even though that is not what I had seen before. I’m sure there are tons of therapists doing it that way. It’s not what I had seen in Dallas, but it feels so much more me, and when I’m more me, I’m much better at what I do.
Letting that all unfold organically makes a lot more sense than having to make sure that you follow the business plan precisely.
Also, look super “professional.” My professional is my professional. That’s how it looks.
Those are the clients who refer to you and find you. I love that. Is there anything else you want to say? I want to mention again that your practice is called Britt Grace Therapy. If anybody wants to look her up, find her and meet her beautiful energy.
My website is BrittGraceTherapy.com. That’s where you can find my info.
Thank you so much for joining me.
Thanks for having me.
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