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What You Will Learn in this Episode:
When is a good time to use a life coach?
When do I need a therapist?
The difference between a Psychologist & Psychiatrist.
When to know I need help with the thoughts in my head.
About Callan’s podcast: ImperfectMe – Women.
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Episode Questions for You To Consider
How do you feel about therapy vs. life coaching?
Did this episode answer questions or bring up questions for you?
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 23: When Do I Need a Therapist, and How Do I Find a Good One? … Callan Olive, the host of the ImPerfect Me – Women podcast, joined me recently to go over some basic questions on the what, when, how, of therapy. I hope you find it beneficial.
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 23: When Do I Need a Therapist, and How Do I Find a Good One? This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that has been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it is freaking you out. I’ve been there and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
Hello, my empty nest friend. We are almost mid-way through the year. Can you believe it? Time is flying, isn’t it? For those of you who are about to have your child’s high school graduation, I feel the emotions you have going on, a cross between excitement, nervousness and straight up fear. When you feel those feelings, take a deep breath, notice the feeling, and then see if you can identify the thought you were having. That thought it always optional. Remember that. If you are having a specific thought or problem that you would like me to address in an upcoming episode, I invite you to join our Green Popsicle Stick Facebook Group to make a submission, or email me at Christine@youremptynestcoach.com. You can handle what is ahead. I know you can.
This and all of my episodes are brought to by my free seven-day program, the Empty Nest: A Guide to Uncovering Future You. Hop on over to my website, and sign up today! My website? You guessed it; youremptynestcoach.com.
Let’s get into this actual episode. Callan Olive, the host of the ImPerfect Me – Women podcast, joined me recently to go over some basic questions on the what, when, how, of therapy. I hope you find it beneficial. Callan is the founder of ImPerfect Me – Women, and has a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. She gave her first public speech at the age of 3, and has embraced every speaking opportunity ever since. From the BYU Strengthening the Family Symposium, to the SWPA Conference, Callan’s presentations and speeches have made an impact and have inspired many. Today, she interviews everyday women for her podcast, ImPerfect Me – Women, because she believes that every woman, no matter how imperfect, deserves a platform to tell her story. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it?
Callan’s message is one of perseverance, ambition and hope. Through losing her father to cancer, being robbed, overcoming identity theft, and going through graduate school as a brand new mother, Callan’s life experiences add to her educational background to create a unique and important perspective. Welcome to the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast, Callan!
Callan: Thank you. I’m excited to be here.
Christine: I’m excited too! I am thrilled to have you here today. For my future empty nest moms listening today, both Callan and I are life coaches. I have mentioned this before, but life coaches do not require certification or licensure, which allows us to coach online easily. It also means we are all extremely different, even those who have sought out certification. My guest, Callan, is both a life coach and a therapist, which is great for the topic today’s episode.
Christine: Callan, if someone needs some direction in life, they’re looking for help, when is a good time for a life coach to be used in their life?
Callan: I think that’s a great question, and one that a lot of people don’t know the difference. Coaches are really, really good for when you feel like life is fairly stable, but you kind of want to make some changes. If day-to-day you feel pretty comfortable with where your life is at, but you’re saying I’d like to make some goals, I’d like somebody to keep me accountable and kind of move me forward. Coaches are great from present to forward. Right? Therapists are more about helping you work through things that have occurred in the past, and getting you to a more stable point in your life. Definitely, I would say therapists are more focused on getting you stable, getting you through whatever that hardship thing is, to where you could get to a place where you might wanna seek out coaching. I’ve actually had clients who finish in therapy with me, and then go find a life coach that continues helping them in whatever career goals, or whatever goals they wanna make.
Christine: Excellent. And, now, they can just go to you, too.
Callan: Yes. That’s true. They could switch over. Yes.
Christine: Wonderful. I feel like you’ve already answered my next question. Yes. You did.
Callan: I have a little bit more to say, actually. I was just looking at my notes. One really good thing about coaches, as opposed to therapists, is that they’re a lot more flexible because they’re not held to the same licensure laws. Often coaches will be open to calling or texting or meeting for lunch. There’s still that professional boundary there, but it’s a lot more flexible in how it looks. Whereas a therapist, you’re most of the time going to be meeting in an office for an hour, and that’s all the communication you have that week, unless there’s some other kind of therapy situation figured out. That’s a really nice thing about a coach. If you want somebody that can really keep you accountable throughout the week, a lot of coaches offer services like that.
Christine: That’s a really good point, ‘cause you can’t really do that with your therapist.
Callan: Right. And, that was always a hard thing for me as therapist.
Callan: Because I knew that some clients could really benefit from just a quick text, or I’d have clients text during the week, and have a quick question, and I always find answering stuff like that, but I didn’t feel like I could give them advice or direction and I would just refer like, let’s wait until we get into the therapy room and make sure we’re in a good place to talk about that.
Christine: Yes. This is a question I always wonder, because I’m not a therapist, who are the professionals that are able to prescribe medicine, and then, is there a time where I definitely need to seek that profession?
Callan: That is a very common question. One of the common questions I get is can you prescribe medication, and the answer is no. No therapist, counselor, social worker, any of those are going to be able to prescribe medication. The only people that can prescribe you medication are psychiatrists, and other doctors like your family doctor, obgyn, that kind of thing. When I have clients who need medication, let’s say they come in and they have severe depression, and we talk through it and say, yeah, probably you want to try medication. I would refer them out to a psychiatrist that I work with, either formally or informally, in the community. They would start meeting, and then we would just kind of collaborate their care. The psychiatrist would meet with them, they would get info on what we had already been working on and that way, you can get on the best medication for you. I would also add to that, more times than not, I’m suggest that you go to a psychiatrist, especially if you need specific medication. If it’s general anxiety or depression medication, family docs are gonna be fairly well versed in that, and if you’re not that worried about an actual diagnosis there, you’re more just worried about trying to try a few things and seeing how it works. If you’re not in a super intense place where it needs to work right away, and you’re in crisis mode, then family docs can be great for that kind of thing.
Callan: But if it’s something like bipolar or schizophrenia, stuff that’s more intense, like you’re in major crisis, then you’re gonna wanna go to someone who specifically had training in this area, and psychiatrists are gonna be best for that.
Christine: Awesome. This is like a non-therapist question, who’s the person you’re sitting on the couch with, like not with, but you’re laying down and talking, that everybody has the visualization, is that more the psychiatrist, or more the psychologist, or is it both?
Callan: Typically, when you go to meet with a psychiatrist, often it will be at a doctor’s office. They meet in a very clinical kind of setting, most often. It’s going to feel a lot like a normal examination. ‘Cause they’re gonna assess you physically. They’re gonna assess normal things that doctors would look at, and then, they’re gonna also give you some quick mental assessments, just to see where you’re at just as far as your disorder. But psychiatrists, typically, the average amount of time they’re gonna spend is between 10 to 15 minutes with their patients. This is why I always suggest that people have both a therapist and also a psychiatrist, because you can just go straight to a psychiatrist. You don’t have to have a referral unless your insurance requires that, most insurances don’t. But one, studies have shown that being in therapy and also having medication hand-in-hand, work best when those things go together. If you’re on medication on its own, it’s not gonna be as effective as it would be, if you were in therapy. That’s a major benefit. The other benefit is because a psychiatrist is only going to meet with you maybe every three months, for 15 minutes, they don’t get a ton of time to really get a big picture of what your situation really looks like. It’s important to have a therapist collaborating with them, so the therapist can say, this is the impression that I’ve gotten, and then, they can kind of work together for those things. To answer your actual question though, because I feel like I got off on a tangent.
Christine: No. You actually answered the next one, too. You did great.
Callan: To answer the one about who people picture as laying on the couch, it wouldn’t be psychiatrists. It would be therapists, counselors, social workers and even a psychologist. All of those are going to be people who do the one-on-one 50 minute long sessions with people. I’ve actually had people come into my office and just lay down on the couch, ‘cause they just assumed that that was what — they’d seen it in the movies.
Christine: Yes. True that.
Callan: You know what? If that’s what makes you comfortable, you go for it, no problem at all.
Christine: After your description of it, I now picture in the Peanut’s cartoons, Lucy with her five cents. I picture that as the psychiatrist, like, here’s your answer, and you’re on your way, and I’ll give you medicine, too. Long-term couch is I don’t know who in the Peanuts, but that was just the visualization I got when you were talking.
Callan: Yes. It is hard to know the difference between all of them, which is why I created a blog post that basically outlines all of the differences between all the different helping professionals. Because, like I said, there’s five off the top of my head that I could think of, that are the major ones. If you search counselor in my area, these are gonna pop up. You’ve got social workers, counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychiatrists and psychologists. They all serve different functions, but they all are able to kind of overlap and do things that other professionals can do. It gets confusing to know if I need marriage therapy, what kind of therapist should I go to, or if I need drug counseling, like addiction counseling, where should I go. That’s one of the reasons I wrote that article, ‘cause I think that gets so complicated and that’s the last thing that you need when you’re finally ready to seek therapy, the last thing you need is just to be so confused about who do I even go to.
Christine: Yes. It’s a great blog post. I will link it in my show notes, because, yes, I like that blog post. Let’s say, I now know I need to seek out the help of a therapist, one of the above. How do you recommend that I go about finding one?
Callan: Yes. That’s a really good question. There’s a lot of different ways you can do it. First, I would say you need to decide whether you want to use insurance or not. Especially with therapists, some can accept insurance, that’s the other side of downside of coaching is that, coaches are not ever going to be on insurance, but with therapy, some of them are and some of them aren’t. Insurance has become increasingly difficult for therapists and a lot more complicated than it should be. That’s an area they are trying to reform right now, because it is a very difficult process that makes it not very worthwhile for therapists to do. A lot of people have been switching to cash pay only, which is so unfortunate for people who do have insurance and want to use it. But that’s where you’d want to start. If you’re going to do insurance, then often insurances will have a list of therapists that are on their panels, in your area, so you could start there. I wouldn’t just cold call off the insurance list. I would do some Googling and see if you can find the therapist website, just because you kind of want to know who they are, what they specialize in, because even though every therapist can treat individuals, couples, groups and that kind of thing, it doesn’t mean that they are good at it. Just like coaches, therapists are very varied and there are some good ones and some not so good ones. It’s important that you figure out what they specialize in, and look for somebody who specializes in something that you’re struggling with. If you are struggling with depression, and you’re a woman, I would Google counselors who help women who are struggling with depression in my area. Get pretty specific about it.
Callan: See what websites pop up. See what counselors pop up that fall in line with that. I also would say “Psychology Today” is a really good resource. That’s what’s gonna pop up as the first link, any time you Google counselors in my area.
Callan: It’s a great directory. Therapists can pay a monthly fee to be in the directory, and they have to verify their license, so you know that every single therapist on there has verified their license through the system, which is nice. It gives you peace of mind. Then you can go and click through each profile and see if they take insurance, what insurance they take, if they do a sliding scale, what their specialties are. You can also search anxiety or depression, or a specific type of therapy like EMDR, or other things like that. It’s a great resource for that kind of thing. Once again, though, even if you find a therapist on the “Psychology Today” website, I would recommend seeing if they have their own website, and clicking through to their own website. I feel like that gives you even a better picture of who they are and whether or not you feel like they’re gonna speak to you, because therapy is 100 percent about fit. Somebody who might be a great therapist for your best friend, may not be a great therapist for you, and that’s totally okay. It’s just being able to find somebody that really speaks to you and that can make you feel very safe and okay with where you’re at.
Christine: That’s great advice. Great advice. I feel like I’m learning.
Callan: Thank you.
Christine: Yes. No problem. A specific question I have for you, so in my coaching I talk a lot about noticing the thoughts that enter your mind. To observe them, and just notice them and question them, in a good way. Just be calm about it. But what if a client’s having a really difficult time changing a thought that they know they don’t want. At what point is it a sign that they might need to seek the help of a therapist versus you’re just not changing your thoughts, like it’s a harder thing for them?
Callan: I think that’s kind of a tricky question because something I work with in therapy is the fact that maybe sometimes we won’t be able to change our thoughts. If I had a client that came to me and said I’m having a really difficult time changing this thought, I would kind of challenge that and say well, maybe changing the thought isn’t the end goal in that. Maybe the end goal is being able to change the struggle that you’re having with that thought. Does that make sense? I would focus on what does that struggle look like. Does that struggle come out as anxiety? Does the struggle come out as depression? Is that struggle making it difficult for you to function in your life? That’s where I feel like I would draw the line. If I was coaching somebody, and for whatever reason, the circumstances in their life became pretty unmanageable, and they started to just not be able to function the way they used to, then it’s probably about time to do therapy rather than coaching with them, because they’re not at a place where they can really do goal setting and be moving forward. They’re more in that, kind of what I was mentioning earlier, where you just need to get them stable and focus on what’s causing chaos in their life right now. That would be kind of what I would look for, is are you able to move forward right now, or are we just kind of stuck, and if we’re stuck, how unmanageable is it? If it feels pretty unmanageable, then it’s probably time for you to go to therapy.
Christine: It makes sense. Totally. I’m a subscriber of your podcast, ImPerfect Me – Women. I love it. So good.
Callan: Thank you.
Christine: Can you tell my audience a bit about your podcast?
Callan: Yes. I’d love to. Simply put, the podcast is a safe space for everyday women to share their imperfect stories. Each episode I interview one woman about an imperfect story that she has from her life, and it’s just amazing. What’s a privilege to me, is that these women are coming to me, and asking to share their stories. It’s not something that I’m even really soliciting from people at this point. I just love that everyday women, I mean, there’s women who have careers, there’s single women, there’s moms, and kind of all across the board, and they all just want to be able to put their story out there to help other women not feel so alone. If they’re struggling with something similar, then they can find some commonality, and I just love that. I get to be part of that. It’s such a cool experience for me.
Christine: It’s a gift. It’s a gift you’re giving, not only to your listeners, but to the women, that you’re able to give them a bigger audience. It’s so nice.
Callan: Yes. Thank you so much.
Christine: Great show. I really like it. Is there anything else you’d like to share with my amazing lady listeners?
Callan: The only thing I had thought about was the blog post, but I had already mentioned that, so if you wanted to know more information about how to find a good mental health professional that’s a really good one to look at. They’re welcome to follow my page or follow my podcast.
Christine: Yes. I recommend that, Ladies! I will have all of her social media and everything at the end of this episode, and in our show notes. Definitely follow her and subscribe to her podcast, ‘cause it’s awesome!
Callan: Thank you.
Christine: Before you go, Callan, I wanna ask you four questions that I ask every guest of mine. They’re super important. Number one is waffles or pancakes?
Callan: Definitely waffles on that one. It’s a texture thing for me.
Christine: Is it?
Callan: I like the texture of waffles.
Christine: That makes sense. Got it. What is one item you couldn’t live without and why?
Callan: My initial answer to this question was my phone, but I feel like that was pretty boring, ‘cause everybody can’t live without their phone these days. My second answer would be earplugs because I am a crazy light sleeper, like crazy bad, and my husband is the noisiest sleeper on the planet, and so we would not still be married, I swear, if it weren’t for earplugs. Earplugs have saved my marriage and it’s a really good thing.
Christine: That’s great. That’s what I need to get my husband, ‘cause I’m the noisy one and he’s the one that lights, sound, anything, and he’s awake, and I feel bad.
Callan: Every night I just pop them in and we’re good. We’re good to go.
Christine: That’s great. Your all time favorite movie, and any particular reason why?
Callan: I am terrible at favorites because I’m the type of person that it just depends on my mood. But if I had to choose a favoritesc kind of stuff, I would choose pretty much anything with Sandra Bullock, is gonna be on the top my list. All of her classics.
Christine: Oh, my gosh.
Callan: She’s just like —
Christine: I know.
Callan: I just love her. She’s awesome.
Christine: She is one of my favorites, actually. It started with “Speed,” and then —
Callan: Right? It just kept getting better from there.
Christine: Why am I blanking on the one where she’s the beauty pageant, which is like my favorite?
Callan: “Miss Congeniality.”
Christine: Thank you.
Callan: And, “While You Were Sleeping,” and “Two Weeks’ Notice.”
Christine: “While You Were Sleeping” is phenom.
Callan: I know. They’re so good.
Christine: I know. I’m with you on that. I also have a hard time picking favorites, so I understand that. Last question, you have an hour of alone time, no one will bother you, what is your go to thing to do?
Callan: It actually took me a while to think of the answer to this, because I have three small children, and that just is such a rare thing that never happens, so I was like, what would I do?
Callan: But I think I would probably go get a pedicure and listen to a really good audiobook, ‘cause I really, really love audiobooks.
Christine: That sounds lovely.
Callan: Just very relaxing.
Christine: Yes. Nice. You need to get an hour to do that.
Callan: Yes. I know. I should plan that sometime. Just thinking about that is relaxing me, so that’s nice.
Christine: I’m giving you an action item today.
Callan: Thank you. Yes. I need that in my life.
Christine: Tell your husband I said you need —
Christine: It’s been fantastic having you join me today. Thanks for being here.
Callan: Yes. Thank you so much.
Christine: Yay! Thanks for all that you do to share the imperfect stories of women that let’s all of us know that we aren’t alone.
Callan: Thank you. I really enjoyed it.
Christine: That was so much fun. My future empty nest friend, I have the many ways to connect with Callan listed in my detailed show notes on my website, youremptynestcoach.com/p23. That is P for podcast and 23. But do a quick Google search on ImPerfectMeWomen, all one word, and you’ll find her website, Facebook page and podcast. I personally enjoy following her stories on Instagram. If you are on Insta, she’s ImPerfectMeWomen, all one word.
If you are ready to begin the journey to find future you, and use her, future you, as your GPS, definitely sign up for my free program, The Empty Nest, a Guide to Discovering Future You. Episode 13 covers the high-level work and the program provides you with videos and worksheets to help you along the way. The questions I have for you in this episode are: number one, how do you feel about therapy versus life coaching? Number two, did this episode answer questions or bring up questions for you?
Fly on over to our Facebook group. Our name is Green Popsicle Sticks. Want to know why? Listen to episode number 17, or head to my website, youremptynestcoach.com/community for links to join our flock. Why should you join our group? Well, the adjustment to not having your kiddos at home full-time, isn’t always easy, but it sure can be a ton more fun with a flock of friends. We look forward to seeing you there. As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend. My hope is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life. You’ll also find show notes for this and every episode on my website.
My next episode’s title is: With My Child Heading to College, Are the Thoughts I’m Having Normal? If my show has helped in any way, please share it with one other person you think it will help, too. You’ll be giving them a free gift. Thanks for your time and energy with that, and thanks so much for listening, my empty nest friend. Remember, you are amazing! Have a great day!
You are preparing for the empty nest ahead as your child(ren) prepares, heads off to, and experiences college.