Do you know why you’re doing what you’re doing? Do you truly understand yourself? As a therapist, what are the best ways for you to practice self-care?
In this podcast episode, Whitney speaks to Briana Leach about self-care and why it’s important to understand ourselves.
Meet Briana Leach
Briana is a licensed professional counselor, adjunct professor at Evangel University, and host of the Grace in Progress podcast. She is passionate about mental health education and creating opportunities for people to have “aha moments” about the way they were uniquely created.
Briana’s favorite job titles are wife to Ben and mom of three hilarious kiddos. She loves the Tennessee Titans and is a “Parks & Rec” superfan.
In This Podcast
- Briana’s private practice
- What therapists can do to practice self-care
- Understanding ourselves
- Grace in Progress
- Listening to the Holy Spirit
Briana’s private practice
Briana started out with an agency and then worked for a psychiatric hospital. When the time came for her to have children, she decided that she wanted to work for herself to have more flexibility. Briana has what she calls an “umbrella degree”, choosing to help as many different populations as she can. She has worked with children, adolescents, and has done a lot of family counseling. More recently she is doing a lot of parenting, marriage, premarital, and newborn family coaching which is her favorite right now.
What therapists can do to practice self-care
There are 100 different ways that you can practice self-care but Briana has whittled it down to three specific, simplified ways:
1. Know your why
Knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing, or why you were drawn to your field, is foundational to self-care and can help you recenter. Keep it at the forefront, add it to your mission statement.
2. Identify your triggers
There are things your clients will say or situations that will arise that really resonate with you, make your blood boil, or make you internally feel hesitant and you don’t know why. Those are so important to know ahead of time.
3. Implement daily self-care
What are the things that you’re doing on a daily basis that make you feel fully yourself? Not just yourself as a counselor or a parent, but yourself before you took on those titles.
We can’t fulfill our potential if we don’t know what tools we’re working with. We need to know how we were uniquely created, what tools, talents, and passions God gave us, and it’s going to look different for everybody. It’s important to have these conversations with other caregivers, to let them know that we’re all in this together and we all need to take care of ourselves. You need to figure out what works for you, what resonates with you and brings you alive.
Self-care is not something that is forced. So, maybe after you’ve done something and you feel energized and fully alive or fully yourself afterward, that’s typically you using your strengths and using your natural self.
Grace in Progress
A few years ago Briana started listening to podcasts on a daily basis and through three different conversations with friends telling her to start her own podcasts, she felt that God was really tugging her heart and telling her to do this. Briana’s personality wanted it to be done in 30 days but it took a year and a half to get to her launch date because God really worked on her heart and totally changed what the message was going to be.
Briana just wanted to create a safe space for people to learn more about themselves, take small steps to become who they were created to be and learn to give themselves grace along the way. Every episode is less than 20 minutes and is kind of like a little dose of therapy every Wednesday.
Listening to the Holy Spirit
The world tells you to promote yourself, promote yourself, and really, Jesus is my brand, but my packaging will look different depending on who the person is. And the goal is hope, the goal is, you know, finding your identity in Christ, but there’s going to be different packaging for that.
Sometimes we feel the Holy Spirit isn’t tugging our hearts to do something. As business owners, as we run our practices, we’re going to have dreams and thoughts, and question if it’s God or you. It’s important that we listen, and that we do things. It’s really important that we are in tune with the Holy Spirit and what we feel led to, but also having the capacity to be wise in a business sense at the same time. As Christians, we feel the need to stay humble and give God the glory for any success or platform we’re given, but we also need to take ownership of the talents that God’s given us and the work we’ve put in.
- Veronica Cisneros shares How to Not Lose Yourself in Your Practice | FP 33
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Meet Whitney Owens
Whitney is a licensed professional counselor and owns a growing group practice in Savannah, Georgia. Along with a wealth of experience managing a practice, she also has an extensive history working in a variety of clinical and religious settings, allowing her to specialize in consulting for faith-based practices and those wanting to connect with religious organizations.
Knowing the pains and difficulties surrounding building a private practice, she started this podcast to help clinicians start, grow, and scale a faith-based practice. She has learned how to start and grow a successful practice that adheres to her own faith and values. And as a private practice consultant, she has helped many clinicians do the same.
Thanks For Listening!
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Faith in Practice is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts that are changing the world. To hear other podcasts like Empowered and Unapologetic, Bomb Mom, Imperfect Thriving, Marketing a Practice or Beta Male Revolution, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.
The Faith in Practice podcast is part of the Practice of the Practice podcast network. A network of podcasts seeking to help you start, grow, and scale your practice. To hear other episodes like the Imperfect Thriving podcast, Bomb Mom podcast, Beta Male Revolution, or Empowered and Unapologetic, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.
Welcome to the Faith in Practice podcast. I’m your host, Whitney Owens, recording live from Savannah, Georgia. I’m a licensed professional counselor, group practice owner and private practice consultant. In each week, through a personal story or amazing interviews, I will help you learn how to start, grow, and scale your private practice from a faith-based perspective. I’m going to show you how to have an awesome, faith-based practice without being cheesy or fake. You too can have a successful practice, make lots of money, and be true to yourself.
Even as I sit and I read that intro, it makes me think about our guest today and that’s Briana Leach. She has an amazing practice where she does make money, and she’s true to herself, and she’s not fake. And she makes her faith a part of everything she does. And not only does she have an amazing practice, but she also does a podcast. And podcasting is so much fun, and I get to meet so many cool people. And so if you’re finding that you listen to this podcast on a regular basis, and for other podcasts that you listen to, go in and rate and review those podcasts, so that people can find out what are the podcasts they need to be listening to, right?
And so, I met Briana at Podfest – that was early March – and it is kind of a funny thing to think back on. I’m recording this intro in April, and I had interviewed her about a month or so ago, and so we’re still in the thick of this quarantining time and Podfest was the last weekend I had away before the quarantine. And so now I think of all that good socializing I got to do. And so hopefully by the time you’re actually hearing this recording, things have improved, I hope. So anyway, but I met Brianna at Podfest. It was an awesome conference all about podcasting. And so, if you’re interested in podcasting, check out that conference for next year; we really had a great time and got some good content. They had different tracks for different things that you’re interested in but more than anything, I made some really cool connections, and she was one of them. And so, I’m excited for you to hear her talk today because her thing that she shares with people is self-care. She’s all about the therapist taking care of themselves, that they can take care of their families and take care of others. And she beautifully brings this together, not only for me on this interview, but also on her own podcast, so you have to check that out as well. So, let’s go ahead and jump right into episode number 31, which is Briana Leach giving us three tips for self-care.
On today’s episode of Faith in Practice podcast, I have Briana Leach here. Briana is a licensed professional counselor, adjunct professor at Evangel University, and host of the Grace in Progress podcast. She is passionate about mental health education and creating opportunities for people to have ‘Aha’ moments about the way they were uniquely created. Briana’s favorite job titles are wife to Ben and mom of three hilarious kiddos; she loves the Tennessee Titans, and is a Parks and Recs super fan. Welcome to the show.[BRIANA]:
Thank you so much, Whitney. I’m so glad I get to be here. [WHITNEY]:
Yeah, I’m like stumbling over all my words, when I get a lot of Ps in there… [BRIANA]:
Hey, it makes me feel better because I do it all the time. [WHITNEY]:
Yeah. So, we have lots of great things to talk about. But I’m gonna first talk about one of my biggest passions, which is the NFL. So, you’re a Tennessee Titans fan? [BRIANA]:
Oh, yeah. I am. I lived in Nashville. I was born and raised in Nashville and I was there in… I don’t want to date myself, but I was in high school-ish when they moved to Nashville, so they’re like my hometown team. We went to pep rallies, all that. I love them. [WHITNEY]:
That’s awesome. There needs to be more women out there who love the NFL and talk NFL. I love Nashville too; I have a great friend that went [unclear]. So, I love that but [unclear]… [BRIANA]:
Okay, that’s okay. I support other people who are really into their team. I just don’t like when people put down other teams. So, we can all be true fans to our team and just let everybody play. It’s okay. [WHITNEY]:
Well, the Falcons need some fans because they need to eventually win a Super Bowl. So, anyway. [BRIANA]:
I feel ya. We got so close, but maybe next year. [WHITNEY]:
Yes, we could talk about that all day. But anyway, glad you’re an NFL fan. And you’re an amazing therapist, and you’re faith-based, and you have a podcast. So, all these awesome, awesome things. So, let’s go ahead and talk about your private practice, how did you get that started and tell us where you’re at with that? [BRIANA]:
Sure. I am located in southwest Missouri. And I started years ago with an agency and then I worked for a psychiatric hospital. And when it came time to have my children, I decided that I wanted to work for myself to have a little bit more flexibility. And I’ve been a private practice self-contractor, basically. I call it an umbrella degree as far as being a counselor, there’s a lot of different directions you can go as you know, and I chose to dip my toe in as many different populations as I could, that would work for the schedule that I was wanting. So I’ve worked with, you know, children, adolescents, a lot of family counseling; more recently I’m doing a lot of parenting, marriage, premarital, and my favorite right now is… it’s called newborn family coaching and it’s working with families. It’s kind of a package deal, but you have three sessions before the baby is born, and then two sessions after. And a lot of it is like, premarital. I mean, you’re talking about, you know, communication, expectations, family of origin, all that stuff. But basically, as far as my practice overall, it is whatever the wind blows my way that I’m fully capable and able to help. I mainly deal with self-pay clients at this point, because of that. I miss the office, the watercooler talk, but I also love the flexibility of it. [WHITNEY]:
Yes, it is so nice to have your own practice and be able to revolve it around your family instead of you know, working for somebody else. So how many hours do you typically work a week? [BRIANA]:
Well, I also consider the podcast part of my practice because I started it less than a year ago now, but I put time and effort into that as well. So, I would say between that, and clients, and I’ve been able to do some Skype sessions with the way the world has changed suddenly, probably 10 to 15 hours a week. [WHITNEY]:
Okay, great. Yeah, we’re recording this right at the very beginning of all this outbreak and everyone’s in their homes. So, it’s gonna be funny, I’ve been thinking about this, and Briana, you’ve probably been thinking about this too, what it’s gonna be like when you listen to podcasts that you recorded while you were quarantined. [BRIANA]:
Yeah, right. Like, it’s a whole different world. [WHITNEY]:
Yeah, we’ll come out in June or July. So, I’m like, hoping and praying it’s a whole different world. But yeah, so it is kind of interesting. So, we are recording that while we’re sitting in our homes and our children are probably running around, at least mine are and I can hear them in the background. So, there you go. [BRIANA]:
I can hear them. Upstairs, mine. [WHITNEY]:
Yeah, yeah. So how long have you had your practice? [BRIANA]:
So, I have been on my own for about eight years now. Really, it started when my oldest was… really, his first year. I finished up with the other practice I was with and they were fantastic and worked with my schedule. But when I wanted to move more on my own, I would say it started back in 2012 probably; so yeah, right around eight years. And then under that as well, I’ve been doing speaking engagements to mom groups, to church groups. I enjoy helping the helpers. So being able to use my clinical training, and experience, and knowledge, but also specifically helping a subset of people who are helping others, so people in ministry, counselors, moms, parenting. So yeah, right around eight years. [WHITNEY]:
Great. You dip your toes in lots of different things there. I like it. [BRIANA]:
I do. I get – I don’t like to say bored, but I like new challenges all the time. [WHITNEY]:
Yeah. Okay. So, you’ve had your practice for about eight years. And how did you when you were first kind of starting your practice? How did you go about kind of defining it or making faith a part of that? Or did you want to make faith a part of that? How did you kind of wrestle with that? [BRIANA]:
Sure. No, that’s a great question because the agency I worked with, initially, Christian counseling was in the name. And I had worked before that in a psychiatric hospital where it was the opposite; it was state run, publicly funded and talking about your faith was not something that you could do openly. So, to jump from one to the other was just kind of whiplash. You know, all of a sudden you were rocking in the door known as Christian counseling, and some people like that, some people don’t, and so I felt kind of stuck in the middle because I don’t necessarily title myself on my website or my business cards as Christian counselor because I firmly believe everything I do is Christian because it’s just who I am. And it was interesting just as myself, I would just put Briana Leach LPC, they need to see those letters to know that I am licensed. I’m not just, you know, I clicked a few buttons and got a certificate or anything. [WHITNEY]:
I did the hours; I did the work. But I didn’t put that in my title or anything as far as the way I marketed myself, mainly because I wanted it to be a case by case basis. I have a heart for people who’ve maybe been burned by the church, or the word Christian might, I don’t know, evoke a certain response to them. And I wouldn’t want to close the door before it even gets open. And so, I was hoping that any relationship I would build… my referrals mainly were from other professionals, the community, personal friend, family referrals. And then of course, through my connection at Evangel University, I had former students and other professors who would refer to me. So pretty much everyone knew I was Christian; I just didn’t market that maybe. And as I’ve seen clients come about and everything, pretty much everyone, especially being in the bible belt, they’re very open to faith-based practice. And I’m seeing that the further along I get, especially now being in the podcasting world, the more I don’t want to shy away from it. So, I would say it’s evolved over time because at first, I was a little, I don’t know what the word would be, but maybe a little nervous to put that out there. But now the further I get, I realize how important that is, to market yourself as faith based even with my podcast, having the word grace in it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re Christian, but you’re familiar with that term if you’re in the Christian world, and you know that that’s kind of what envelops our whole life, but… I don’t know if that answered your question. [WHITNEY]:
No, it does, it does. I tell the people I’m consulting all the time, like, at the very beginning, when you’re thinking about your practice, you’ve got to think about, how do I feel about faith being a part of that? What do I want to convey to clients, new clients, existing clients? What are we trying to say? How do I want to market? So, it’s great, you kind of shared how you really had to think about that and what you wanted to be portraying. And it does for some people, change over time, as they get to know themselves as a therapist, and as they see the culture and community they’re in, that they might want to market in different types of ways. And boy, private practice is all about like throwing darts and figuring out what works. [BRIANA]:
It is. The flexibility can be really fun, but it’s also, yeah, it stresses you out sometimes. Because sometimes it’s easier to work within very specific guidelines. Oh, my boss says I have to do this; when I am my own boss, I can’t blame somebody else for why things have changed. [WHITNEY]:
For all my mistakes. That’s right. All right. So, you speak to moms and other business owners, you speak to podcasters. So why don’t you share a little bit about some ways that therapists can do self-care? Because that sounds like your niche – you’re passionate about that. [BRIANA]:
Absolutely. Yeah, there’s 100 different ways you can practice self-care, but I kind of whittle it down to three specific ways. The first one would be knowing your why. And, in particular, for helpers or caregivers, I say helpers because, you know, working with counselors, working with therapists and pastors, and you know, anyone in the helping role, knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing, or why you were drawn to that field in the first place is foundational to self-care. Because before you start diving into yourself personally, knowing why you even went through that door in the first place can help you somewhat re-center, I guess. And keeping it forefront, not just writing it down, putting it on a shelf somewhere. But if you have a mission statement, something that either is with your organization or for yourself, knowing why I’m doing it, or maybe it’s a scripture. I love the scripture, God has [unclear] given us the spirit of fear, love, power, and a sound mind. And to me, helping others get to that point, moving past fear and getting to a sound mind, is my why. And being able to keep that forefront before I start to dive into anything else is really important. So that’s the first one.
And the second one I would say, is identifying triggers. Again, we’re still kind of on the external part, but now we’re moving a little bit more inward. So, identifying triggers as a part of your self-care, is… I mean, if you’ve been in counseling for more than a day, you know that it can be very difficult, and there are things your clients will say or situations that will arise that really resonate with you, or you feel your blood start to boil, or you somewhat internally feel hesitant and you don’t know why; I think those are so important to know ahead of time, which is part of our training as counselors. You go through, what are areas that you need to work on before you try to help other people with that. And so, identifying those is huge. And again, we’re just talking about laying the foundation for that. But being able to know that this certain population, I have a really hard time with, or this brings up something from my past and knowing that it’s all a part of taking care of yourself as a helper as a caregiver. And I know there’s situations where I can’t be therapeutic if I’m working on my own stuff. And I think that that’s something too, that even just admitting that we have triggers, that we have struggles as caregivers, can be so helpful and caring for yourself as a whole person, not just as a job title. or letters behind your name, that kind of thing.
And then the third one… again, I’m whittling down a bunch of different ones into just three simplified ones, but the third one would be implementing daily self-care. So, you’ve done the exploratory of what works for me; what are things that make me feel fully myself? That’s how I define self-care, so not necessarily bubble baths, massages, you know, that kind of stuff. But what are the things I’m doing on a daily basis that make me feel fully myself? Not just as myself as a counselor, myself as a mom, you know, but yourself before you took on any of those other job titles. I think back to like, childhood me, and what are things that made me come alive and what are things that made me feel connected to God or made me feel like I’m using what I was created to do? I’m using my talents that I was given. Doing something daily to bring that up. So, whether it be… for me, laughter is a big one. Anything I can do to help myself laugh, and decompress, maybe from some stress that I’ve had with clients or my family, exercising for a lot of people, it’s, I’d like to say it’s my top one, but it’s not. As much as I know how great it is, it’s hard. But different things, you know, little daily practices, little… I call them micro practices, just something you can do in five minutes or less that you’re implementing on a daily basis to just reconnect with yourself. And re-center before you go out, and pour yourself out again, in the caregiver role that you have. So those are the three: know your why, identify triggers, and implement daily self-care.[WHITNEY]:
Those are all great and I love that you didn’t just say, oh, you read, you journal, you know, like, you actually went into like, the depth of it, because that’s how we care for ourselves – when we understand ourselves. [BRIANA]:
Right. Especially from a faith perspective, and really just from a human perspective, we can’t fulfill our potential if you don’t even know what tools you’re working with. I mean, you need to know how you were uniquely created, what tools and talents and passions that God gave you, and it’s gonna look different for everybody. I am not a fan of these are the three steps to feeling like yourself, because I don’t know you. I don’t know you as well as you know you. And I think having these conversations, having these discussions with other caregivers… I love that your entire podcast is about helping other caregivers. It’s not trying to reach people who are looking for counselors. It’s the people doing the counseling and I love that because you need to have these specific group conversations of hey, we’re all in this together. We’re all needing to take care of ourselves; what I do might work for you, but you need to figure out what works for you and what resonates and brings you alive. So, yeah, it’s hard to have a formula, when really, you’re just kind of trial and error. What works in one season may not work in the next season, especially when you add kids or a life change into the mix, and kind of reinventing the wheel as you go. But just having that open mindset of, okay, I’m doing this because this is my why, or this is what triggers me. So, here’s how I’m going to adapt as I go. [WHITNEY]:
Yes, I love all that. I’m thinking about a couple of quotes, which is funny because I’m not normally a quote kind of person. But I think it was… this was like way back, like college, high school times. But I think the guy’s name was David Eldridge. He came out with a book and he said, the glory of the Lord is a man fully alive. [BRIANA]:
Oh, that’s great. I kind of remember that too, yeah. [WHITNEY]:
Yeah. So, it’s making me think about that idea. That the Lord is happy, you know, when we are fully who we are like, we don’t need to keep trying to be somebody else. And then, as for me, for my self-care, I love running, like… [BRIANA]:
Yeah, good for you. [WHITNEY]:
If I’m not running like, I’m a basket case. So, I need to run to like, get my mind focused, and I can come away from a run with so many thoughts and just feel really good on the inside. And it makes me come alive to be who I am. And I was thinking of Chariots of Fire, which I’ve never really seen the full movie, but I know there’s a quote that he says, when I run, I feel His pleasure. [BRIANA]:
Yeah, yeah. [WHITNEY]:
You know, so what are the things that we do, not only that bring us life, but we experience God and we experience God’s pleasure. [BRIANA]:
Sure. And how did you find out that running was your thing, that that was your self-care? [WHITNEY]:
That’s funny, and it does change. You were talking about different seasons. I don’t know. One day I was in Colorado and it was snowing outside, and I was in an apartment complex, so I got on a treadmill. And I was like, I guess I’ll do this, I gotta do something, you know, not really wanting to do it. And so, I ran. And some reason it was like going well, and I was listening to music. And I was like, okay, this ain’t so bad. And I got to three miles. And I was thinking, okay, I’ve never run past a 5k. I’d done one 5k before, so I ran a little bit further and I was like, oh, my gosh, I’ve run the furthest I’ve ever run in my entire life and that was really cool. And I thought, I’m gonna do a half marathon. Like, I don’t know why, I just thought it’d be a cool thing to do. I grabbed a friend, and we started running. And I just started finding that I loved it, the more and the more I did it, the more I could pray and think straight. So, I guess it just came with doing it. But yeah. [BRIANA]:
Yeah, [unclear]. You tried something new. And that’s, I think, even just hearing you say that, that it’s something that came naturally to you. I feel like self-care isn’t something that’s forced. If someone told me I had to go get a massage for self-care, I would be very uncomfortable because I’m super ticklish. So, I don’t like massages because I’m tense the entire time. So, when you have left something, or maybe… I’m just speaking in generalities, but maybe you’ve done something and afterwards you’re like, man, I feel energized, I feel fully alive or fully myself, then that’s typically… you’re using your strengths, you’re using your natural self. And if you’re leaving something feeling drained, obviously, it’s the opposite. And that’s really cool, though to hear. You’re like, I ran three miles. I mean, I have never had those words come out of my mouth. But I think that’s wonderful for people who can do that. [WHITNEY]:
Yeah, well, it’s fun. For me, it is. So, let’s talk about your podcast though. So, Grace in Progress. Tell us about how you started the podcast and what the purpose of it is. [BRIANA]:
Sure, I wanted to do a podcast for a while. I was new to podcasts just a few years ago. They kind of exploded and it’s been an evolving field. But I started listening to some on a regular basis – at least once or twice a day while I was unloading or loading dishes, or driving, or doing something, but I just found how life giving they were. And so through some conversation with friends, and I find that God always works in threes, somehow, like, I’ve had three different friends contact me or over coffee, they’re like, man, you should start a podcast, because we were having conversations about things dealing with mental health, about things dealing with self-care, knowing yourself. And they were telling me, not everybody talks like this. These are not normal conversations. And as counselors and as caregivers, you think, isn’t everyone talking like this? Doesn’t everyone know that this is the kind of, you know, you meet someone and within five minutes you’re learning about their childhood or something? [WHITNEY]:
That’s right. [BRIANA]:
Because we’re just we’re just wired differently. So, after I’d heard that from the third friend, I really felt like God was tugging on my heart. Yes, you need to do this. But my personality wanted it to be done, you know, in 30 days, great, do it, put it up on the internet, whatever. But it took a year and a half to get to my launch date because God really worked on my heart and totally changed what the message was going to be. And it’s funny, going back to your earlier question of having Christian or faith being integrated professionally, like, as my title, I thought I would water it down a lot more. And through the Holy Spirit, I really felt like I needed to be bolder in what I was speaking about and what God wanted me to do in women’s lives. Really my podcast is for anyone, but it is a lot geared towards women, but just an encouragement, you know, just to be able to do that.
So, I went through a bunch of different names and finally came back to, we’re all a work in progress, but the word work makes me want to take a nap. You know, it sounds like a lot, especially if you’re operating from an empty cup perspective anyways. So, the word ‘grace’ just kind of makes your soul take a deep breath. And so, putting that together, grace in progress, is when I looked at all the different elements of counseling, you know, in our marriages, we’re taking small steps and we have to give ourselves grace. We’re all trying to make progress in parenting and just knowing ourselves and even in our Christian walk. And so that was just kind of what I put it all together. So then when I launched last year, you know, and you probably felt the same way; you kind of see it evolve over time, you learn as you go, and I was living out my title of giving myself grace as I just wanted to create a safe space for people to learn more about themselves, take small steps to become who they were created to be, and learn to give themselves grace along the way. And that’s all it is. Every episode is less than 20 minutes, usually less than 15 minutes, and it’s kind of like a little dose of therapy every Wednesday.[WHITNEY]:
I love it. I love it. And a couple of things… even before we went on live, we talked about this idea of vulnerability in our faith and how sometimes we feel the Holy Spirit isn’t tugging our hearts to do something, so I love that you are listening to that and doing it. And I think as business owners, as we run our practices, we’re going to have dreams, we’re gonna have thoughts, we’re going to question, is that God? Is that me? What is that? But it’s so important that we listen, and that we do those things like, what if you hadn’t listened to that? You would have really missed out on this ideal audience of faith-based people that really need to hear your message. And they may not have heard it because they wouldn’t have been, you know, up their alley or faith based enough, or maybe something specifically faith based that you said spoke to their hearts, and it’s just really important that we are being in tune with the Holy Spirit and what we feel lead to do, but also being wise in business sense at the same time, having that capacity to do both. [BRIANA]:
Sure, well, and I think too, my own personal struggle, and I’ve heard others, even in the counseling field kind of feel like this, that you want to stay humble, we feel like we need to stay humble as Christians and obviously give God the glory for any success or any kind of platform we’re given, but we also need to take ownership of the talents that God’s given us and the work we’ve put in. I mean, to become a licensed counselor or to become a therapist, you know how much work it goes into it and even anyone listening to this, you’ve put in hours and hours of work and helping others, and your own personal cost of sleepless nights and caring about people far after the hour is up or the group work is up. I’ve found that in the podcasts, it’s really interesting to have the Holy Spirit lead you, and then also know that you were given this platform for a reason. Or you were given this… even if I put it out there, God’s gonna amplify it and glorify it. And having that mix of, I think it’s just only faith based people can understand that because the world tells you to promote yourself, promote yourself and really, Jesus is my brand, but my packaging will look different depending on who the person is. And the goal is hope, the goal is finding your identity in Christ, but there’s going to be different packaging for that. Does that make sense? [WHITNEY]:
It is spot on, because even within the work that I do with different businesses that… I mean, I work with businesses that aren’t necessarily faith based, but a lot of people that come to me are wanting direction on building a faith based private practice. There are some practices that know their thing, and they are fully faith based. They’re praying all the time, reading the Bible all the time. I have other practices, like, kind of a little bit of your story. I’m trying to figure out how do I want to integrate my faith – I don’t want it to be everything I do. But we need all that, like we need the array, because there are different clients that are going to be met and served by that. [BRIANA]:
Absolutely, yeah. [WHITNEY]:
Yeah. So, Briana has a free download for us on her website, which her website’s brianaleach.com. And it’s a free download on self-care, so you can check that out. And also, by going to her website, she has her podcast on there, and there’s information on that as well. So, Briana, I ask everyone at the end of the podcast, could you tell me what you think every Christian counselor needs to know? [BRIANA]:
Yes, I love that question. And if you’ve listened at all in this episode, you know, I’m not going to give you a direct answer. No, I’m just kidding. I think every Christian counselor needs to know themselves. And that is foundational to any of the work you’re going to be doing. Because knowing who you are in Christ, knowing the talents that only you have, and the capacity that you have to care for others, is so dependent on how you take care of yourself, how you invest in yourself, and particularly as Christians, to model and follow what Jesus modeled for us in self-care. Jesus was the ultimate example of self-care; he took naps, he withdrew from the twelve as much as he could to refresh and yet still poured himself out day after day. And to follow that model, to take care of yourself and to know what you uniquely have to offer the world, with the hope of Christ, is so important as a Christian counselor. [WHITNEY]:
Thank you so much. You’ve given us such great information and we’ll definitely be following you on your website and your podcast. I just love this world of podcasting because even when we’re not together – we met at a conference – we get to follow each other’s podcasts and still be in touch and hear what’s going on. It’s such a cool thing. [BRIANA]:
Absolutely, I love… it’s community, not competition. And the same for Christians. We’re all on the same team. We want to cheer each other. I really appreciate the work you’re doing, Whitney. [WHITNEY]:
Well, thank you. Well, it’s been a joy to have you on the podcast. [BRIANA]:
Thank you so much. [WHITNEY]:
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