All your voyeur dreams come true in this episode! Possibly the most important episode created yet shows you exactly what is asked, discussed and where Lindsey begins with all clients upon the first session. Whether it is a therapy session or a coaching session this is exactly how sessions begin and the road to healing anxiety starts. Full transcript of episode is available below.
This mock session Lindsey created to show exactly what goes on inside sessions. It can alleviate fears and questions people may have before they dive into anxiety coaching or anxiety therapy for themselves. The unknown is an anxious person's boogey monster.
Enjoy this special episode as Lindsey pulls back the curtain on therapy!
Why do I have anxiety tool:
Full Transcript of the episode:
Hello and welcome to the unlock your therapy podcast I'm Lindsey Hutner your host I'm coming to you from my home office in Queens New York City it's a warm fall day here first week of October. It's. Much warmer than it's been and it's just beautiful sunshine so I wanted to do something a little different in today's podcast I'm going to be recording a mock session with you. So I think people are pretty interested in what therapy is like and There's usually a barrier to getting a therapist finding a therapist. There's a lot of barriers finding someone that's not booked and will call you back someone that accepts your insurance or is affordable to you someone that you connect with their personality meshes with yours. There's so many unknowns that it really prevents people from diving into finding a therapist and then I've had this experience of just wondering what is it like to go to therapy. What's the first session like and being really nervous about that so I wanted to record. What a first session is like with me I think first sessions in therapy are pretty standard across the board for whichever therapist, you're seeing I think they probably conduct their first session in a very similar fashion every time.
Especially if they're a specialized therapist. So for me I'm specialized in anxiety treatment and that's what my whole session is around everyone coming to see me is for having difficulty with their anxiety level Symptoms. So I try to. Provide Comfort normalizing their experience trying to give them information about me how I work what we're going to be doing in therapy together help them get more comfortable. Um, and also give them some things to take away and use right Away. So that they gain some traction with their symptoms. They see some improvement and they have hope because when you're desperate and feeling like you're not sure you're going to get better.. You're not sure this whole thing's going to work. It's important to have some tools in your toolkit to start using right away and some tools that are a little different and some people that come see me have been in therapy before but the type of therapy I do is usually different than what other people have experienced in Therapy. So Sometimes it takes a little bit to adjust their mindset around and sometimes it just takes some education to provide why I teach therapy the way I Do why we do therapy the way we do in our practice and my coaching for anxiety is.
Pretty much the same as to what this mock session is like so I hope it's useful I hope people listening and I'm sure that a lot of people listening will have a similar experience because most of my clients are extremely similar. And I think a lot of my audience is very similar to and similar to myself. So it's kind of nice that when I'm talking I kind of know what I would want to hear and need and what tools would be helpful and I can help create that so people feel like they're really getting. A lot of value from meeting with me so without further ado welcome to session. 1 of quote unquote therapy hi Rachel. It's so nice to virtually meet you. Um, let me tell you a little bit about myself before we dive in and get started I saw you filled out your questionnaire and all of the forms and I read everything you wrote. Thank you for taking the time to be really in depth and tell me a lot about yourself. So I'm just going. Tell you about myself my practice a little background information and then after I'm done. You can tell me about yourself and what brings you to therapy at this time Rachel. Okay, great sounds good. Nice to meet you too.
I would love to hear more about your practice and what kind of therapy you do. Okay so I'm Lindsay obviously I'm a licensed clinical social worker in the state of New York so the as a client of mine. For therapy you have to be located in the state of New York for your sessions. Um I'm the owner of butterfly effects therapy and I've owned the practice for about I think 9 years now going on 9 years and before opening my own practice I worked for the department of veteran affairs at the mental health clinic there I did different work with them in their mental health clinic I ran groups I did individual therapy and then i. Ran a women's health department at a different va hospital for a period of time and before doing all of those jobs I worked with children and families. But my specialty has become anxiety because I've had anxiety myself and I really. Wanted to help those going through it because I know when you're in it how it feels scary and unknown and you're not sure what's going to help if you're going to get better or not and I really could relate to that and I wanted to have people have a therapist that's had anxiety.
Themselves because when I had anxiety I really felt like I only wanted to talk to a therapist that had it too at some point in their life so that they can understand how uncomfortable I was feeling and what I was dealing with and I just like to share that because coming to therapy can be scary and I've been in that place and. I just want you to know that you know I can relate to having anxiety too. So these are tools then strategies. We're going to go over that I've used myself and I learned in my training as a therapist so that's my. You know, clinical background and history and how I got into anxiety therapy when I opened this practice. We had a physical office in Forest Hills it was beautiful I painted the walls myself. We fully renovated the office and I really miss. Sitting on the couch and having a cup of tea with people or offering them a tissue if they start crying and I'd have chocolates and it was nice but the pandemic changed all of that and it's for the better in our case because we see a lot of Ah, young moms. We see a lot of people who live farther away from our office now where it was so it just works that it's more convenient online and in this video therapy format even though it's different and sometimes I miss sitting with people in person. Um, so that's a bit about.
Me professionally and then I have two kids I have a 4 year old son and a one and a half year old son they're not here. Otherwise you would hear a lot of yelling and screaming. They're at school. Um, and mean my husband live in eastern queens um I live all the way on the edge of queens close to Long Island and I have a dog who hopefully you won't hear barking and a cat and we have a bunch of lizards which is not my doing That's my husband's hobby. So that's a little bit about me. Can you tell me a bit about yourself Rachel. Yes, thanks so much for sharing that with me. Really helps to feel like you're personable and you understand what I'm going through I've never really had a therapist share that with me. So thank you for sharing that I've been in therapy before um I would say I've always been. An anxious person. But it's been really intense the last few months I have a lot of work stress I have a lot of stress with my mom and family stuff. My job is really intense. Um I'd say it's like my number 1 stress right now. So i've. Had anxiety my whole life. But yeah, the last month or 2 has just been really bad like I'm having trouble sleeping I feel like I can't relax when I'm not at work I think about work. Um, at night I'm just like ruminating about it about my boss about.
Ah, coworkers that I don't really get along with that. Well and um, it's just consuming a lot of my life and I don't know what to do about that? Okay, great. Well thanks for telling me about that. Um, how many hours a week would you say you work like what is your schedule look like with work. Rachel. Well I'd I'd say about 50 to 60 hours a week probably okay and so about maybe 60 hours a week yeah probably 60 hours a week and when I'm not working you know I am on slack in the evenings and I do answer emails and I don't know how to not do that. It seems like it's an expectation at my job and my company. Um, everyone does it. So I feel like if I didn't I'd be behind or I would just be looked down on um one of my co-workers is really just toxic and I can't get along with them. We've tried to have conversations and mediation and um. My supervisor at work is really disorganized and it's just really stressful to deal with um I feel like she expects a lot. She'll send me things that I feel like I have to drop everything and do for her. Um, yeah and I just have a lot of trouble relaxing like I can't.
Relax like I feel like I always have to be doing something. Um and it's just it's really hard. Okay, thanks for sharing that with me so your work is your number 1 stress and then you also mentioned your mom can you tell me a little bit about that. Yeah. My mom has her own anxiety. She doesn't deal with it or acknowledge it. Um, you know she would benefit from therapy speaking if anyone that needs therapy. It's definitely my mom. She expects me to come over and help her with things all the time. Um her and my dad are divorced when I was young. So she's alone and I feel guilty. And I live the closest to her out of all my siblings. So I feel like it falls on me which stresses me out like I worry about when she gets olds that I'm gonna be the one that has to take care of her. Oh she's gonna have to like move in with me and expects me to care for her. Have a fiance and you know he's supportive but he doesn't understand like the guilt. That's there and the expectation on me. He doesn't have that pressure. Um, you know we argue over holidays and plans and whose house we're going to go to and things like that. Um. So yeah I would say that's my biggest stress with my mom is just and she calls me all the time and just expects me to pick up and um, really doesn't like think I have anything else going on except to like help her with stuff. Oh wow. Okay I hear that that's definitely a lot.
Um, and you know people that struggle with anxiety often have a parent that struggles with anxiety. It's hard to tease apart which it is some people have a biological predisposition to being more anxious and there's also a nature component to that. So it's nurture versus nature. Of witnessing a parent that has anxiety and it kind of getting absorbed through you as a child because children don't understand that and they might think certain things are dangerous or certain things. They shouldn't do because there's a parent acting like things are dangerous or. Hovering over them or worrying about things or just have an intense energy that you feel kids feel that type of stressful tension. Um, so it's it's hard to tease apart. But you know just to give some background about where anxiety can come from for you possibly. Um, oh Rachel yeah, my mom. Yeah, she definitely has passed along some things like she's afraid to drive and I feel like I picked that from her I'm afraid to drive. Makes me really mad at times and you know she doesn't acknowledge that my anxiety is from harsh doesn't even acknowledge that she's anxious at all. Yeah I know it can really be challenging when someone doesn't have that insight into their anxiety and you know we can work on kind of.
Accepting her the way she is because we can't change her but we can change how we respond to that and the relationship you have and healthy boundaries with her so that you're left feeling better even though you might have to be around her. Maybe she's anxious at times. But you'll be in a better place because you'll feel that you're protecting your energy and your immediate family which is you and your fiancee now. So you know from from emotions that she's not in touch with we can talk about ways to get your needs met more effectively. Rachel I feel guilty talking bad about her. We have a really good relationship and I love her so much. It's really weird talking about this and I feel bad talking about people who like aren't here. Yes, no, that's a common thing I hear actually um so something that. I tell people it's helpful to think about I often hear this regarding a parent It's really helpful to think of something called the dialectic which is a way of thinking where 2 things that seem like opposites are true at the same time. So for example. You love your mom. You have a great relationship with her you enjoy hanging out with her and she's anxious and she has really high expectations of you to help her at all times puts a lot of guilt on you and pressure doesn't have insight into her anxiety and that affects you and makes you have worse symptoms.
So both of those things are true at the same time and usually we have turmoil when we try to choose one and not allow the negative feelings to exist too and the positive feelings. It's it's both often. Relationships are both so you know trying to keep that in mind. And it's not talking badly about them. You're talking about yourself and how to get your emotional needs met and then just have healthy boundaries with family members. So we could think of it that way. We're not gossiping here. It's not my job to Gossip. We're here to set up different. Skills and communication that's healthy and that you'll feel good about Rachel. Okay I've never heard of that dialectic but that makes sense. Okay, great. So you know later on we'll talk more about those skills I have different communication skills. We're going to go over. Have some worksheets that go with them so you can really read through and use them as an outline of a way to talk to someone confront somebody and then we have different I have different ideas too just about creating healthier boundaries. Just getting a little bit of space there in a way that the other person feels good and you feel good with it too. So you know today is just the first session but I want to give you some ideas to manage your work stress and the rumination you're having and the separation.
Um, anxious thoughts about your mom I know you're having a lot of racing thoughts at nighttime. So some ways we help shifting thinking. So The first step I Just want to explain a little bit about what anxiety is and where it comes from in the body. So anxiety is really from. The fight or flight response in our bodies.
So the flight or fight reaction came about from when we were cave people and a bear would be coming at us we would need a lot of adrenalines to be released into our bodies. We could fight the bear or run away from the bear. So it worked great back then. Um, but now we might be relaxing watching Netflix and just the tension from our day things weighing on us different stress from work. Our body interprets that as a life or death situation and floods our body with adrenaline when we don't need adrenaline. It creates uncomfortable physical symptoms to be happening in our body like our heart racing feeling tightness in our chest, our muscles getting tighter. We might have stomach problems. We might get a headache. You can get dizzy tunnel vision. Brain fog a number of symptoms the adrenaline causes to happen so nowadays that we don't need adrenaline to fight bears off every day we need to retrain the brain and it's difficult because it's not a 2 wo-way street. But we're going to train the amygdala. To turn the spicet of adrenaline off and the way we do that is in a few different ways. The amygdala doesn't respond to language like we can't just talk to it and like hey we're good. Thanks no more adrenaline so we have to show it that we're safe.
So we can do that using a few techniques the first being mindfulness the second thought diffusion and the third is to relax our bodies as much as possible and we'll talk about specific things. We're going to do with each of those so that's just. But of background about anxiety how it works how it shows up in modern times and then our path out of anxiety which we're going to work on together and another tip I want to give you to leave with today. We're almost out of time is to use. Mindfulness mindfulness is just the idea of being in the present moment on purpose non-judgmentally and I just want you to start in small ways start with the 5 senses so use the 5 senses to describe 3 things you see. 3 things you hear 3 things you taste if it's applicable 3 things you feel and so on so you're just going to walk yourself through that you can just sit with your eyes open look out the window describe the colors you might be seeing people walking by. So this is a good one. You can use anywhere and it's just to help. Tether you back to the present moment and you're going to use this as you're noticing thoughts coming in your mind. So when you have these racing thoughts you have thoughts about what you should do what happened today replaying a.
Conversation you had with a toxic co-worker and should you have said this or that things you need to do tomorrow should you respond to slack and an email should you go visit your mom all these thoughts coming in when you notice these thoughts coming in I want you to say to yourself I noticed. Thoughts about x y z coming in right now that's okay, these thoughts are just visiting me and I'm going to let them go on their way. So I'm going to let them flow in like clouds and I'm going to let them flow out like clouds do I'm not going to block them. Or try not to have them because I don't believe we can choose the thoughts we have if we could I would love to have thoughts all day about just winning the lotto right? But I don't get to choose which thoughts visit me but I can choose if I'm going to hold on to those thoughts and go down a rabbit hole with them which we don't want to do. So we want to create more flow with the thoughts. You could think of clouds you could think of waves let the wave come in let the wave go out. We're not blocking the waves that doesn't work and we're not holding on to waves that doesn't work either. So we're creating more flow of thoughts. And then when you let the thoughts flow out or a cloud go by with your thoughts I want you to use the little mindfulness technique of the 5 senses to bring yourself back to the present moment you're in right now. So those are the 2 things I just want you to work on this week and we're gonna talk about.
How to get into that more but those are just the 2 things to start with noticing the thoughts coming in put it on a cloud I'm having a thought about x y z that's okay, that's just a thought that's visiting me let the thought go out a nice mantra I like to use is I am not my thoughts and thoughts are not facts. I am not my thoughts thoughts are not facts I am Lindsay I have these thoughts about Xyz visiting me thoughts are not facts I am not my thoughts so try that this week see how it goes let's meet again in one week and see where we're at. I hope this has been helpful. It was so nice to meet you and I'll see you again soon.
Ok everybody I hope you enjoyed the mock session. It was my test of acting skills today and I think it's just useful at kind of pulling back the veil of what does therapy look like what is this therapist going to tell me. Are they going to judge me is this scary. Are they going to blame my parents for everything wrong with me. Are they going to ask me really uncomfortable questions. Are they some scary person staring at me and analyzing me right? It's very nerve wracking it really is. And it's not a common experience. Not everyone goes to a therapist. Not everyone has been to a therapist in the same way. We've all been to the dentist. We've all been to the doctor. So there's a layer of unfamiliarity. We're not comfortable. So I just want to kind of let people see what it's like and. Even if you listen to this podcast and you ever have a coaching session with me for anxiety you're going to get that whole session play back to you just kind of plugging in your specific life details. But that's literally how I start every process with people. That's the path I guide you down and I describe in more detail after that session I go into why? Why do we use these certain techniques. Why do they help? Why is it different than other types of therapies. This is a specific type of therapy I use I also apply that.
Type of therapy to all of my coaching sessions and my therapy sessions and my coaching sessions are very similar. Um, there's not a lot of difference because it's the same core skills the same core rewiring we're doing the same processes that you're going to go through. To get the results of having less anxiety symptoms feeling better getting relief having a whole different perspective on anxiety a whole different relationship with anxiety and retraining your whole brain I can attest to that. My brain is definitely. Totally different than what it used to be back when I was riddled with anxiety my thinking is like a one eighty in terms of my perspective on life problems. How I think about things so I hope that you get a little taste of that. And if you're ever interested in coaching with me for anxiety please reach out. You can just email me. It's Lindsay at unlock yourtherapy.com. I'm also on Instagram at unlock your therapy. I'm gonna be doing a live coaching program in this near future. So if you're interested in a group experience look out for that if you're interested in 1 on one coaching I offer that as well. So let's chat if you.
Want to learn more information have a conversation and I will talk to you all next week take care