How many years you’ve been in practice? 5 years (3 years part-time private practice, 2 years full-time private practice in a group practice; and 1 month as of 2/28 on my own as a business owner!!!)
Location: Washington DC metro (Arlington, VA)
What your biggest obstacle about money was before taking the program? Dude, it’s so hard to narrow it down to one, so let me bullet point this shit:
- I was playing too small. I knew I wanted to be making more money, and I definitely had a sense of “well, I’ve already raised my fee, and already worked out some of my money shit, I’m not sure what exactly I’ll learn here, but I probably should do this, just to be safe.” (#truestory, LIMB is not a safe endeavor–it shakes up your world, in an amazingly awesome, but also, kind of painful way.)
- I gave away my power, on the regular. My work / life balance was shit. I was struggling to do what seemed generous and loving (e.g., way too many sliding scale slots, volunteering to engage in a lot of activities for my group practice, going over my stated session time with clients, not consistently charging for cancellations / no shows) and found myself instead feeling resentful, judgmental, and shameful for doing all this extra and not being acknowledged or compensated for it. Realigning my priorities as well as implementing some specific systems, allows me to focus more clearly on distinguishing clean generosity vs. playing out unconscious desires to be praised for being so self-sacrificing and such a ‘good person.’ I discovered you can both make bank AND be an amazing, generous, kind person–aka, I found some new boundaries to implement in my practice and in my life.
- I was scared to be “rich”. Which feels super bizarre to say. Who is scared to be rich? Me. (Maybe you too?) Being rich has all these connotations that turned me off, even while I jealously wanted to approach life with that ease. My approach seems, in retrospect, super black and white. You could be poor and generous, or rich and greedy. You could make a lot of money and live in idle pleasure, or you could constantly be sacrificing and fearfully living paycheck to paycheck. In LIMB, that there’s a lot of gray. I began to explore how when I am meeting my needs (and some wants too!), I am actually freed up to more fully engage my generosity (without feeling resentful). Being rich has less to do with money, and more to do with the values we embrace as we invest our wealth.
What was your biggest Lean In. MAKE BANK. win? It’s hard to drill it down into just one. In concrete changes, it’s definitely been leaving my group practice and setting up shop on my own (I will take home an additional $600 this month WITHOUT having added any clients; plus, in my personal finances I’ll save $389 in what I would have spent on the things that help me run my business; total net gain to me at $989–and dude! It’s totally just the beginning).
I’m a depth oriented therapist though, so I’m all about figuring out what it is we don’t know about ourselves. In that realm, my biggest gain was a more fleshed out understanding of how my own patterns (from childhood, from early adulthood, from the various communities I’ve been a part of) have impacted how and why I’ve made specific decisions in my career, and specifically my business. Understanding where that stuff comes from has helped me in rewriting that blueprint, and playing with a new way of doing things (even when it scares the hell out of me).
What is your weirdest trait? While I have many of them, in the DC area it definitely has to be that I make eye contact and smile at strangers on public transportation. It does not go over well.
What do you do for fun? Jigsaw puzzles on my phone; begin and get halfway through knitting sweaters; spend an outrageous amount of time in the kitchen (cooking, baking, organizing); go shopping in the fancy AF grocery store like a chef (no plan, no recipe, just going around looking at what looks good and planning a meal around it); reading TV show recaps, and never actually watching the TV shows. I’m learning to push myself to play big, to own my power, and rule my fear.
What would someone be surprised to learn about you? I didn’t own a pair of sweatpants until three years ago. I honestly didn’t know they made them for adults. They are the most glorious pair of pants I own. I save them for special occasions / every Friday and Saturday night, and Thanksgiving.
Your favorite animal? Elephant, for sure. But also sheep. And giraffes. GOD what am I thinking? I have three cats. I should probably pick cats. Cats are my favorite. And also elephants.
Favorite Color? Okay, this might actually be the weirdest thing about me. My favorite color is gray (though I do genuinely love ALL the colors, preferably worn all at once). I love the inbetweenness of it, the sense that there is potential for there to be a torrential rainstorm OR for it all to clear and there will be a brilliant blue sky that hurts your eyes to look at it. And you can’t know until it happens. Gray reminds me to stay open and curious about what the future holds.
Favorite Dessert? DUDE! How can I narrow it down to just one? This is an insane question. For today (and I absolutely reserve my right to change my mind at any and all times in the future) would be: David Leite’s Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies warm from the oven with a tall glass of whole milk. Ideally, you should be snuggled in somewhere, reading a novel that you’ve read a million times, and will read a million more because it feels like home.
Why do you think it’s essential that therapists work out their money shit? Two reasons. First, I think we all gotta do it for us. Money shit sucks. It gets us stuck, prevents us from living the life we want to live, and it cuts us off from the flow and ease that can exist in life. How we think, feel, and act with and around money is often representative of other major areas in our relationships and life.
Second, it opens up this beautiful, rich space for us to explore with clients. As I’ve done this work in my own life, the more I see how we all struggle with money shit. Having a real sense of what is my stuff, I am able to be grounded as I explore this area with my clients (who often get really anxious, depressed, self-loathing–the whole gambit) about their relationship with money.
What are you most excited about when it comes to coaching the next cohort of LIMB? You guys! I’m most excited to go on this journey with you. I firmly believe that doing this work, makes us better therapists, and richer (in all the senses of that word) people. I’m pumped to get to know each of you and support you as you do this amazing, hard work.