Full Show Notes
The biggest elephant in the room is… my voice. I’ve caught a cold and it has affected my voice, but the show must go on. Please excuse the lower quality sound.
You may have also noticed a slight update to the name of the show. I’ve changed it from Trauma Healing for Latter-day Saints to Trauma Coaching for Latter-day Saints. I want to make it abundantly clear that I am NOT a therapist or counselor in any capacity. I am a life coach. As such, you should not take anything I discuss here on the podcast as medical advice.
What is the difference between life coaching and therapy? Well, it’s not super clear. But there are a few things that are clear:
- I cannot pretend to be a therapist. I cannot add any kind of letters behind my name that would lead a person to believe I am a mental health professional. Some letters you might see for therapists or counselors are LCSW (licensed clinical social worker), LMFT (licensed marriage and family therapist), LFT (licensed family therapist), MSW (masters of social work, like Brené Brown), or CMFT (certified marriage and family therapist) and so many more. You can google a more comprehensive list of abbreviations like this one.
- I cannot diagnose or prescribe. Most therapists can diagnose, but very few can prescribe. That’s why you usually have to seek out a psychiatrist if you need medications.
- According to a google search (how valid are those anyway?) life coaches are not supposed to work “within the scope” of therapy. What does it mean to work within the scope of therapy? Couldn’t find a clear answer to that.
- Most people would say that therapy is past focused and coaching is future focused. Therapy takes you from non-functional to baseline, and coaching takes you from baseline to thriving. Of course, plenty of therapists would take you beyond baseline, and some coaches help you get to normal too.
I chose to focus my efforts on those with depression because my life has been touched in multiple ways by depression. I’m 99% sure my mom would have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, if it was affordable and without stigma to seek out a diagnosis for someone like my mom. In fact, I’m pretty sure my dad would also receive a diagnosis of depression or maybe bipolar disorder. My oldest daughter has received a diagnosis of depression and she went to therapy for over 2 years until moving away to college. (She’s doing amazingly well right now.) I even think that I could be diagnosed with depression, according to listening to the questions my daughter’s psychiatrist asked and my answers to those questions. I came to coaching because I thought I had depression in the first place. My husband’s family is rampant with bipolar disorder and his biological grandmother was diagnosed with schizophrenia before she died by suicide.
So mental health challenges are something that I am no stranger to. And, I feel like if I focus my efforts on the most vulnerable and forsaken members of society (at least they feel they are forsaken), we all benefit. A rising tide lifts all boats, not just the ones in the harbor for repair. But just like requiring elevators for the physically challenged in society also benefits those without challenges, helping those with depression will help all of society.
When talking with someone with depression, often the first thing they will admit is that they don’t like it, they don’t want it, they want to get away from it. In this episode, I want to discuss how that is not helpful, and perhaps even makes depression worse.
It’s ok to be here now (in the depression) because you ARE here.
Remember in upper elementary school when you were learning how to read a map? We would get a worksheet with some cartoon buildings representing a town: there would be a city library, a school, a grocery store, etc. There might be a grid, with every square representing 20 steps, say. Imagine the question is How many steps does it take to get to the city library? There would be missing information, right? You would need to know where you are now. It would have to read, “You are standing in front of the elementary school. How many steps would it take to get to the city library?” You would find the elementary school and the city library and count the squares between them and multiply by 20 for the number of steps. You can’t solve that problem without knowing where you currently are
And you can’t heal without accepting where you are now.
In contrast, we rarely try to get away from our positive (i.e. comfortable) emotions. When we feel joy or peace or love, we allow it in and try to hang onto it as long as possible. What if we were to do that with emotions like depression? It would drastically reduce, if not eliminate, the resistance– which is half the battle!
Resistance equals exhaustion.
I often think that depression is a running away from oneself. It doesn’t work so well to try to run from something that is always with you. It’s exhausting because it’s an impossible task. And what happens when we face an impossible task? We feel helpless. We feel overwhelmed. We shut down. That shut down is depression.
If resistance equals exhaustion, surrender is healing. When we surrender, we admit we need help. There is no shame in seeking help. You aren’t supposed to do this alone, and I believe in a vast majority of cases, you CAN’T get out of the depression without help. That’s what so many of us wounded healers are here for. And I promise you– none of us healed without help. Not a single one.
I have a somatic exercise to help you. Often for those struggling with depression, they describe feeling like they are in a deep, dark hole, or floating in outer space. One problem is that we can’t sense where the bottom or the sides of the hole are. You can hold yourself in a hug to feel where you are. Set a timer for one minute and hold yourself in a hug. What does it feel like to hold yourself? You can take this a step forward by “petting” yourself. Take your hands and feel your opposite arm. Say to yourself “This is my arm. This is where I start and stop.” Do this on your head, your neck, your chest (if it feels ok to you), your low back, your hips and bottom, your thighs, and legs all the way down to your feet. “This is me. This is where I start and stop.” It seems like a silly thing, but it is a perfect place to start.
Here are your journaling questions for this episode. You can also download them here.
- How does it feel to be me here now?
- How do I currently talk to myself?
- How do I want to talk to myself? What would it sound like?
- Why haven’t I started talking to myself kindly?
- (With the somatic exercise) How does it feel to physically hold myself?
Next week there will be no drop in coaching, because I will be traveling. But on the remaining Mondays in November– the 14th, 21st, and 28th, at 12:30 pm MST– there will be Drop-in Pay-What-You-Want (even if it’s nothing) Coaching. Sign up here to get reminders and Zoom links.
You can also download my It Might Be Trauma If… pdf to learn more about trauma, here.
And if you’d like to explore coaching with me, schedule a totally free session here.
In the meantime, be yourself and follow the Spirit.