Are you a group practice owner seeking to teach your clinicians invaluable skills in social justice? How can we begin to have difficult conversations with compassion? Where does one begin to do the work?
In this podcast episode, Whitney Owens speaks with Dr. Nathalie Edmond about training practices on being antiracist.
Meet Dr. Nathalie Edmond
Dr. Nathalie Edmond is a licensed clinical psychologist and an experienced yoga teacher. She has been in the therapy world for twenty years. Dr. Edmond specializes in the treatment of trauma from a mind-body-spirit approach. Social justice is centered in her work. She has a variety of trainings on diversity and inclusion and developing an anti-racist identity.
She has been consulting with practices, yoga studios, and small groups on how to infuse anti-racism work into personal and systemic transformation. She enjoys bringing a mindful and compassionate approach to difficult conversations to help everyone awaken and be free. She is the owner of a group practice in Ewing, NJ called Mindful and Multicultural Counseling.
In This Podcast
- Tips and insights for group practices on how to encourage antiracism discussions
- How Nathalie cares for herself amongst this work
- Different resources that Nathalie provides
- Nathalie’s advice to Christian counselors
Tips and insights for group practices on how to encourage antiracism discussions
The first step is to acknowledge that people are socialized from within a society that is built on anti-blackness, that whiteness held most of the power throughout history, and that slavery and the enslavement of black people is what the United States of America was built upon.
If we move away from this binary system of ‘you’re racist you’re bad’ and ‘you’re not racist you’re good’ to racism as a continuum and that sometimes we do it on an individual basis, but even with us leading really good lives that we founded on taking care of all beings, the system is built to be unequal.
This system inherently privileges white people and oppresses black people and people of color. Through accepting this and realizing that it is not about if you yourself have racist beliefs but more about what are those beliefs from the system, and how can you challenge them and understand where they come from, in order to make conscious choices in your actions and within your community.
Acknowledging, unpacking, and then redirecting energy into a place that is truly inclusive and wholesome for everyone can only be done once you accept that you need to challenge beliefs in yourself from the system that may be lying dormant. It is a continual journey and process.
How Nathalie cares for herself amongst this work
- Nathalie spends time meditating in the early hours of the morning to center herself.
- She goes to a virtual church weekly and exercises often to keep her body in good health.
- Having regular family gatherings and discussions and getting enough rest.
These are things anyone can try to do more of, especially when dealing with antiracism work within yourself.
Different resources that Nathalie provides
A 60 – 120-minute talk on becoming an antiracist, covering mindful practices, a historical context of white supremacy, and how white supremacy impacts both black and white people. It dives into the Black Lives Matter movement and how to work on antiracism within yourself and your community on this continuum, and on how to be an ally in the fight against racism.
Nathalie also offers a 3-part series that dives deep. It includes topics from the above intro talk and on how to notice how racism is prevalent in your communities by evaluating the history of racism in areas, for example, the history of segregation in cities. It also covers how to call people into the compassionate discussion, especially people who may be misunderstanding the BLM movement and who are dealing with racist beliefs in themselves.
Then she also offers therapy and yoga courses for a different approach. She also speaks with church communities on how they can encourage antiracism in their communities, and she offers consultations for group practices and on individual levels for people of color dealing with grief and trauma.
Advice to Christian counselors
To work with the idea that truly all lives matter, and that God exists within each person. Spreading the word and truths behind antiracism around church communities in order to encourage sincere spiritual wholeness and heal the deep legacy within the church.
Books mentioned in this episode
- Rev. Percy McCray on Working with Cancer Patients | FP 47
- Group Practice Boss – sign up on Oct 6 & 7th for a discounted rate of $129 per month then open for a further two weeks at $149
- Killin’It Camp
- If you are new to Faith-Based Private Practice, click here to sign up to receive helpful emails.
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- Practice of the Practice Podcast Network
- Email Whitney: email@example.com
- Faith In Practice Facebook Group
- Apply to work with Whitney
- Consult With Whitney
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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If you haven’t already, head on over to practiceofthepractice.com to learn more about the Killin’ It Camp conference. It’s going to be a virtual event for all places of practice owners, from starting to growing and scaling your practice. October 4th through the 7th, we would love for you to join. Again, check out the website, killinitcamp.com for more information.
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. Each week, through 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.
As a group practice owner, it can be lonely in our field as we try to figure out what is best for our practice. And so, Alison Pidgeon and I are business consultants who specifically help people start, grow, and scale their practices. We are offering a Facebook membership community just for you called Group Practice Boss. Within this community, not only will you get feedback from other practice owners and from us as your consultants, but there’ll be other additions as well. You’ll have a Teachable platform to access courses on lots of different things on growing and scaling your group practice, how to market your practice, how to delegate out in your practice… We will also have live webinars at least once a week, sometimes more often than that, to help you and your practice. Every month, we’re going to take a deep dive into relevant topics of group practice owning, such as how do you delegate out? How do you hire? How do you create a culture for your practice? How do you know your numbers? And how do you design a business that helps you live the lifestyle that you want? These are just a few of the many topics that we’re going to do deep dives into every single month. We’re also going to have contests, experts that we invite into the group, it’s going to be awesome. So, that membership community is going to be launched on October 6th for two weeks only. On October 6th and 7th, we’re going to offer a special discount for those that register early, and you’re stuck with that rate as long as you’re in the group. So, that rate will not increase, and that rate is $129 per month. After those first two days, the rate will go up to $149. So, I want you to go on over to practiceofthepractice.com/grouppracticeboss and join our email list. That way, you get the first information about what we’re doing. We’re going to be launching this during Killin’ It Camp. I’m excited to be doing that with Alison, where we’re all together, doing this together, at Killin’ It Camp. It’ll be wonderful. So, anyway, head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/grouppracticeboss, or reach out to me, I’ll tell you more about it. Looking forward to it and would love for you to join that community. And, just to preface, this community is for higher level group practice owners. So, if you have yourself and two other clinicians, then this is for you. For those that are in the beginning stages of growing their group practice, we’ll have other things for you as you’re getting your first few clinicians, and so you can reach out to me for other ways that can help you grow your practice at that point.
So, for the podcast today, though, I have Nathalie Edmond who I’ve been doing consulting with for a time and have loved getting to know her over the past months, and she has really killed it in her practice. And the big idea she’s going to share with you today on anti-racism is amazing, and it was something that was within her at the beginning of consulting, but honestly, it wasn’t really something that she was putting a lot of time and energy into. But, as we worked on her practice and got her group in a good spot, then she was able to launch this big idea. So I’m pumped about the work that she’s doing, glad to be able to share it with you guys, and obviously in the show notes, you’ll have everything that you need to get in touch with her, because I think she’s doing really good work that’ll really help group practice owners. So let’s go ahead and jump right into the episode.
Today on the Faith in Practice podcast, I have Nathalie Edmond. She’s a licensed clinical psychologist and experienced yoga teacher. She’s been in therapy for about 20 years. Dr. Edmond specializes in the treatment of trauma from a mind-body-spirit approach. Social justice is centered in her work. She has a variety of trainings on diversity and inclusion and developing an anti-racist identity. She has been consulting with practices, yoga studios, and small groups on how to infuse anti-racism work into personal and systemic transformation. She enjoys bringing a mindful and compassionate approach to difficult conversations to help people awaken and be free. She’s the owner of a group practice in Ealing, New Jersey called Mindful and Multicultural Counseling. Welcome to the podcast today, how are you?[NATHALIE]:
Thanks, Whitney. It’s so great to be here with you, I’m doing well. [WHITNEY]:
Yes. Good, good. Well, I’m glad to have you. Well, the first thing I ask people is to just kind of share your story of your counseling journey, why you started a private practice, and kind of where you’re at with that? [NATHALIE]:
Sure. So, I originally went to graduate school to really dive deep into how to treat multicultural families. I’m the daughter of immigrant parents, so they were both born and raised in Haiti, and I saw what it felt like to be in that first generation of being born in the United States and some of the tensions that arose from that. I always had a strong spiritual component, because my mother was a very devout Catholic person, so that was a central part and I wanted to see the ways in which I could weave mental health across cultural differences and spirituality in an integrated perspective. And then, since graduating, I’ve really devoted my time to looking at trauma and how trauma lives in the body, and I just want to make therapy accessible to people. I know that as a kid growing up, and in much of my extended family, that there’s a lot of stigma to therapy and mental health issues, and I think that that’s part of being a Black person in the United States, and so, I want to make it accessible, I want to make yoga accessible, and I just want everybody to have access to these things just so that they can feel well. [WHITNEY]:
Yeah, that’s great. And you’ve really made your practice all about those components, and so can you kind of share a little bit about your group practice? How many clinicians? What is some of the work that you do, and how you set it up in such a way to be able to reach the Black community and to be able to teach yoga and all those types of things? [NATHALIE]:
Sure. So, I was a solo practitioner for probably about four years, part-time, after I left an administrative position, and then last summer decided to expand to a group practice, because I felt there was such a need for services. So now, there are eight other clinicians in the practice, and the name Mindful and Multicultural is really meant to explicitly center those core values. So, the clinicians range in various different identities and that’s really great because it’s this idea that everyone is welcome and that we each have identities that we feel more comfortable with, less comfortable with, and identities that are privileged and identities that are oppressed, and we just want to say that out loud, so if you look on our website, it clearly identifies the identities that tend to be marginalized. And so, it’s so great to have clinicians who also value that and we continue our learning together through books and groups of revisions and training because we really know that this work is always changing and there are blind spots that we have that we have to continue to grow. And so, I have this YouTube channel where I try to offer different educations, because I think most of us don’t learn how to have this kind of anti-racist lens and anti-oppressive lens, and so there’s no shame in that, right? That what you don’t know, you don’t know. And so, I want people to learn that and most people have not been exposed to, like, what meditation really is, what mindfulness really is, how can that deepen your spirituality and not conflict with that? So, I offer a lot of different things online, so people can access it in the middle of the night, if that’s what they need, or I offer in-person or virtual sessions as well so people can see what it’s like to have a Black identifying person teach yoga, teach meditation, because I think when you see people who look like you, it makes you think, like, “Oh, maybe I can do this, too”. [WHITNEY]:
Yes, I mean, this is something I’ve always really admired about you, is that you offer a variety of different services to meet a variety of different needs but it’s all still within the same passion and concept. So, you kind of have that same drive… Too often, you know, I see practice owners that are investing in a lot of different things, but it’s not all related. But you’re investing in something all related in different ways, and I think that’s a really good way to run a practice because clients are in so many different places when they come to you and, like you just said, in the middle of the night, sometimes in the middle of night, we need something, and it’s really great to be able to have that. [NATHALIE]:
Yeah, absolutely. [WHITNEY]:
That’s wonderful. Well, let’s talk a little bit about kind of where you were at about four or five months ago. Nathalie reached out looking for some consulting on her business and we were able to start working together and she’s just made these awesome strides forward, as far as where her practice was, where her practice is now… And so, I want you to kind of share with the audience about that, because I think that those transformations you made have really allowed you to invest in this big idea that I want to talk about next. [NATHALIE]:
Yeah, I laugh to myself when I think about where I was back in March when I reached out to you. So, one of the intentions I had had going into 2020 was that I wanted to imagine something different, like, a way that I could have much more space in my life, a way that I could delegate more, a way that I could reach more people and affect more change, not only on an individual therapy level, but also systemically. So, in March, the practice had grown tremendously, the group practice, in the first six or seven months, and I really felt like I was at this turning point where I was working part-time at a University Counseling Center, which I had been working at the last five years while I was growing my private practice, and I felt like I was just hustling all the time and busy all the time. And I have kids aged 10 and 12 and a spouse and I wanted to spend more quality time with them. I wanted to run my business, instead it felt like my business was running me. And even the years that I was an administrator, I was an administrator for probably like 10 years at a major hospital, and delegation was always something I struggled with, so I realized I can’t do this change on my own if I want to see changes this year.
So, I decided, I’m going to invest in me and I’m going to get a business coach, I’m gonna get a consultant. And I remember that first session, that kind of intro session with you, and I loved how you were so direct, like, you just were able to, like, hear what I was saying and what I wasn’t saying. And the thing that stood out to me is, I didn’t have an intention of leaving my part-time job this year, because I liked that stability, and I remember one of the things you said near the end of our initial consult was, “At some point, we should probably figure out, like, how you can leave this part-time counseling center, because I imagine you’re pulled in different directions”. And I had never said anything about it, but you just knew it, and it’s so funny… So, I loved your direct approach. But like, literally, like, I think the next week, I decided I was gonna quit the counseling center. It was like you planted the seed, but the truth was already within me, it was just, like, you were affirming it out loud which allowed me to think, like, why am I not leaving this counseling center? Like, how can I possibly grow and still be doing all of the stuff, because I was basically doing, like, more than part-time in my practice. So, that was really powerful for me.[WHITNEY]:
Oh, I love hearing that. It’s always hard on the other side, and we even see this as clinicians, you know, when we’re with our clients too, you know, “Hey, this is something I’m seeing, but how do we say this in a way that, like, we don’t disrespect someone, but we challenge someone” and you received it well. Gosh, since you left, you’ve had so much more time and freedom in your life, and you’re enjoying your job more. So, could you talk a little bit about how you’ve rearranged your time and delegated so that you’ve had more time to do things that you actually enjoy doing? [NATHALIE]:
Yeah, so one of the exercises you had me do pretty early on was to do a time study. So I took one week to actually, like, jot down every single thing I did and track how much time, and I think it turned out to be 38 hours I was working, so that part-time job was 38 hours. I was just tracking the time I spent in my practice, not the 20 hours I was working at the University on top of that. And so, I decided that I was going to change that. So, I decided that I was gonna delegate more to my intake coordinator, versus before, what I had been doing was, like, she was doing intake stuff, but I was also kind of looking over her shoulder at times, and so, I was like, “I’m just gonna let it be and if she makes mistakes, I’m just gonna have supervision with her, we’ll address that, it’s just part of the process”. And so I let that happen, and I decided to just do billing, like, I was going to carve out time and I was going to build a system so that I could delegate the billing. I created design time, so time in the week where I, just, I’m not scheduled to be with anybody and I just think big ideas and where do I see the practice going in a couple of months. I carved out some time to do networking and build relationships, which I had never had time for, and I really said, okay, I’m not going to work these times, I’m not going to check my email these times, and, partly because of COVID, things really slowed down in some areas of my life which, I think, gave me time, kind of like that perfect storm of, like, COVID probably also accelerated change, just because we were moved into stillness, and so, it’s been amazing. So then, my anti-racism consultation kind of boomed in early June, right around the time I was leaving the university, and I actually had the time and the space to dive really into it, which was really amazing, and I’m spending half of my week doing a lot of the anti-racism workshops and consultations now. [WHITNEY]:
Oh, thank you for sharing all that. And I’m just sitting here smiling and thinking about, gosh, this is where so many practice owners get to, like, they get so bogged down in the business, and then making those changes. And I mean, you can probably attest to this, like, when you started delegating and changing your schedule, it was really hard, right? [NATHALIE]:
Oh, my gosh, yeah. It was. [WHITNEY]:
Really hard. But you’re never going to be able to do the work that God is calling you to if you keep getting, like, bogged down in the other work, you know what I mean? Like, if you hadn’t put all that aside, you would have never been ready for when the anti-racism movement boomed, you know, just recently, but because of that, you were ready for it. And so, I love that. God had something else for you to do and you listened and you’re doing it. [NATHALIE]:
Yeah, absolutely. And I think it really empowered my intake coordinator, like, I was trusting her, I was not, you know, we would meet regularly for supervision, she would check in with me, and so, I think it also empowered her and it probably improved her job satisfaction, because she wasn’t like, “Oh, Nathalie returned that call, oh, Nathalie responded to that email…”, I was just, like, I’m just not gonna put that stuff on it. So, even if I wasn’t ready to not have some emails come to me, I changed the settings so that it went to both of us, so at least I knew she had it. And so, if I didn’t look at an email for a whole day, the world wasn’t going to end, business wasn’t going to go down, because she was on top of it. [WHITNEY]:
And now, do you still get the emails too? [NATHALIE]:
I still get them, but that’s because too many things are linked together and I have to carve out some time to separate out, because I’m also getting a lot of consultation stuff through that too. So, I have to figure it out because I’m, I think, a month into my anti-racism consultation, like, formalized business, and so I’m still setting up the processes in the background. It’s less about like, oh, I don’t want to miss it, and more about, I haven’t set the systems in place. And I have a new intake coordinator starting in two weeks who will share the responsibilities, so my goal is to just have the two of them get those emails and create a separate email for other stuff for me. [WHITNEY]:
Yeah, that’ll be really good. Oh, awesome. All right. So, let’s kind of talk about how your big idea of the anti-racism movement work that you’re doing, kind of talk about a month or two ago how that started, and kind of what’s happening with it now, and how you set that up? [NATHALIE]:
Yeah, it’s so fascinating. So, I think about how the church community that I’m part of, they are very committed to racial justice and social justice. And so, actually, like, my, what I would call it, I call racial justice a spiritual practice for myself, is that, when that started, was probably about seven or eight years ago, that it like, really, like, I felt like I was really committed to it, and it was through my church. And so, we were doing a lot of education there, we were doing a lot of discernment there, and so then that got integrated into, like, my professional life, and so I started doing workshops for people, like I would do it at local libraries and for different, like, community agencies, I would work with some local churches around, like, how do they talk about white privilege and white supremacy? And, like, and the ways in which, you know, it’s built into our institutions and our laws? And then, when I created the group practice last summer, I was like, “Well, I think more people need this education beyond what we learned in graduate school”.
And so, the new clinicians I hired, you know, there was some mandatory reading that they had to read, like Waking Up White by Debby Irving and Mindful of Race by Ruth King, two very different perspectives, one from a white cis woman, one from a Black queer woman, and then, when George Floyd was murdered, during the COVID-19 period, I saw this kind of uprising happening, and I know that the first few days, I felt so much sadness over just another Black life murdered just simply because of the color of his skin and I was trying to figure out, like, well, what can I do to make myself feel better? What can I do to contribute? And how can I, you know, help the systems and the culture change? And so, I started creating videos. It was just random, it was, like, a Sunday afternoon, I was like, “Let me create a video”. And so, I created a video and it went viral, and the video was ‘The Untold Story of Racism and White Supremacy and Privilege’, and I got lots of positive feedback, and I started to get offers to do some talks. And so, I did it for, like, one group practice, and so it went really well and then she told somebody, and then, before you know it, I was creating a separate website for this anti-racism consultation, and I was really fleshing it out. Like, this is stuff I was already interested in, I would do continuing education seminars on it, but it wasn’t focused, like, I’m gonna commit to, like, this is gonna be, like, what my consultation business is going to be. So, it felt like it couldn’t be any other way. Like, it was just, like, all forces were saying, “It’s time, you have this gift, you can talk about it from this really compassionate lens, and it’s easier for people to digest it and start to change”.
And so, it’s been great to make it more concrete in terms of, there’s so many group practices, there’s so many yoga studios, there are so many church communities that want to and are ready to learn more about the ways in which they’ve been indoctrinated into an anti-Blackness culture, into racism, into the history of the United States, to better understand how intentional and unintentional racism impacts the mental health of Black, Indigenous and People of Color, and how can they have practices and communities that are sensitive to that and are truly inclusive? So, I’m excited that I get to do something I love, that I’m passionate about, and I feel like I’m giving back in a way while also, like, financially supporting myself and my family. So, it feels great that it’s all integrated together. And it’s part of my spiritual practice, so it feels like that ability to have harmony with, like, the professional with the personal, feels so powerful to me.[WHITNEY]:
It is powerful. That’s amazing. I love how you called it a spiritual discipline. I had not thought about social justice, you know, in that capacity, but it’s totally what it is, and the Bible talks about that so much. We could have a whole podcast, just a lot of podcasts, really, just about that. So, do you have, maybe, some tips or insights that you want to give for maybe group, even solo practice owners, but group practice owners, on how can they do a better job fighting anti-racism as a group practice owner or in their community? [NATHALIE]:
I think the first step is even just to acknowledge that we are all so socialized into a society that was built on anti-Blackness, and so that racism is a by-product of whiteness being the foundation of our history, and slavery and the enslavement of Black people being part of what builds the wealth of this country. So, if we move away from this binary system of you’re racist and you’re bad, and you’re not racist and you’re good, to racism as a continuum, and that sometimes we do it on an individual basis. But even with us leading really good lives that are founded on taking good care of all beings, the system is built to be unequal, so that it privileges some identities and bodies and oppresses others, just the system by itself. So, if we accept that as a fundamental principle, that it’s more about not whether or not I have any racist beliefs, but more about what are they? And how do I start to challenge them or understand where they came from so that I can actually make different decisions? It’s a whole paradigm shift, and I think that’s why some of the anti-racism series’ I’m doing is helping people to acknowledge, unpack, and then redirect their energy in a way that’s truly inclusive for everyone and creates the spiritual wholeness of our entire communities. [WHITNEY]:
Yeah, totally agree with you on that. And, you know, we’ve talked even on a personal level, and I did a podcast episode just on how I felt like I didn’t realize how uneducated I was until I started learning more, you know, and started reading more books on it. And I was like, “Man, where have I been?” Like, you just get taught things as a kid and, unfortunately, I live in the South and that’s just how you were raised and you don’t know any differently, and then finally you figure out how ignorant you are and you’re embarrassed, but it’s making those changes, getting that insight, and, honestly, the humility of it, too. I like how you said a continuum, it’s not fully one way or another. I mean, we talk about that as therapists, too, but Black and white thinking, like, it’s that continuous, that gray area, and finding where you’re at, and sometimes we’re in one place on it, and sometimes we’re in another place on it, and being humble enough to acknowledge where you’re at and to make those changes. Yeah. And so, I’m just sitting here thinking, how do you take care of yourself with all this? I mean, do you find, even though there’s an amount of energy you get out of it, do you feel exhausted at the end of the day, because you’re doing really important, deep work? And so, how do you take care of yourself when you’re doing that? [NATHALIE]:
Yeah, that’s a great question. I know you and I have kind of talked about that at times. And so, I think for myself, I mean, I think spirituality nourishes me, in many ways. So, you know, I go to church on a weekly basis, virtually now, I’m president of my church board and so that helps me, like, be engaged in a different way, so I’m not all devoted to, like, my practice, I feel like I’m giving in a different way, like, the business side of me is giving in a different way, which feels really lovely. I meditate every morning around 4:30am, because I’m an early riser, so I feel like that quiet time of being able to just be in the stillness and be with myself and connect to some power bigger than myself helps to center me in the day. I try to exercise a couple of times a week, just so I’m taking care of my physical health, and I’ve been trying a lot more to have regular things that I do with my family, so, like, we’ve been watching, like, a TV show together every night, an episode or two, and that feels really great to be engaged in that activity with them, but then also making sure I spend time with friends and catching up. I’m part of a book club which helps, I think, to support me, and I started that book club three years ago, which was an anti-racist book club, and that was the center; authors who were Black, Indigenous, People of Color or who really talked about this, because I wanted to learn more of the history, because even as a Black person, I didn’t learn much of this history until the last decade because it’s not taught in most of our schools. So, I feel like, just making sure that I get enough rest and that I’m doing all these other parts of my life so I’m playing a bit and restoring myself. I think some of the yogic practices helped me with that, as well, and just reading, like, sacred texts that help me remember some of our universal truths, I think that those are really helpful to ground me as well. [WHITNEY]:
Those are all such great points and I love how you allow spirituality to be much more than, ‘I sit in my little room and I pray’, or ‘I read the Scripture every day’, like, spirituality is the way that we live our lives, and so, you’re experiencing God when you watch TV with your family, when you do yoga practices, when you’re with your clients, when you’re with your friends, when you’re on the church board having a meeting, like, you’re experiencing God in that moment, and I love that you’re bringing that here with us today to challenge us. It’s something I’ve actually been thinking about a little recently, so I appreciate that. [NATHALIE]:
I love talking to clients just about spiritual practices and just this idea of, God cannot be contained, right? And so we can find God and awe in just about anything, and the moment that we shift into that awe or that wonder or this as an offering… Like, even if someone says something to me that I find quite hurtful and it has a racist tone to it, I can see that that is not all of who that person is, right? That language comes from a place of pain or a place of not knowing, and I can choose to meet them from a place of compassion, from a place of ease, even if I’m communicating that I didn’t like what they just said, and so, like, that’s the spiritual practice to me in this anti-racism work is, how do I meet you where you’re at, believing that there’s somewhere else you could evolve to? Because I didn’t know the things I know now five years ago, and I think people change more when they’re called into conversation and compassion versus shamed and excluded. [WHITNEY]:
That is so beautiful. Yeah, and it really comes from doing our own work, too, like, figuring out where we’re at before we can offer that compassion to others. [NATHALIE]:
Yeah, absolutely. [WHITNEY]:
Well, can you talk about some of the things that you do with yoga studios, practices, your packages, what you offer and, like, how people can get to your website and learn more about you? [NATHALIE]:
Sure, yeah. So, my website is drnatedmond.com, and, so, I offer a couple of different things. So, there’s kind of, like, the 60 minutes to 120 minutes intro talk on becoming an anti-racist, and so that covers… there’s kind of a mindfulness practice in the beginning and then then it’s kind of just really diving into, like, some of the historical context of what white supremacy is as a network, as a system, and the ways in which we’re indoctrinated into it and how white privilege comes from that. And looking at it not only from the ways that it costs Black, Indigenous, People of Color, but also how it costs white people. And then, kind of diving into a little bit about this phrase Black Lives Matter that people are using and what’s the historical context from that movement? And then how can we become an anti-racist? And becoming an anti-racist is simply the commitment to continue on this journey. We never fully arrive and are finished, we’re always evolving, and if people want to become allies, how is that possible?
And then another option is a three-part series which a lot of people take, which is more of ‘Let’s dive deep’. So, it’s part of the intro talk, but then it’s also. okay, how does it show up in our communities, in our spaces, depending on different geographical areas? Like, what’s the history of racism in your area? Because I think it’s important to understand that. So many cities are segregated and so, that was really intentional, and so, how do we learn about that? And then, how do we call people into conversations in really compassionate ways? And how do you do it from a place of humility? And then, depending on, like, so, if it’s a yoga community, we dive a little bit more into some of the yogic stuff, if it’s a therapy community, then we’re gonna talk a little bit more about mental health stuff and how racism intersects with other identities and how can we, as clinicians, have more of an anti-racist lens to treatment and how powerful that is for our clients? And not only how can white identifying people talk to Black identifying people, but how can white identifying people talk to other white identifying people who might be saying things like All Lives Matter? And how do we do it from a really compassionate mental health perspective? And when do we address it, when don’t we?
And then also, you know, I’m also doing stuff with some church communities about looking at different things related to some of the dynamics happening in their church communities, as well. So, I usually will start with some sort of initial phone consultation with whoever’s interested, so that we can identify what are the needs of their team, what are they wanting to do, what’s their budget, and then what I can offer them. And then I also encourage communities that have, like, a high percentage of Black, Indigenous, People of Color, that they also need support as well. And so, I offer specific consultations for those groups as well because we can easily, as a person of color, internalize some of the racism that’s in the system, and also, we’re holding a lot of stuff related to grief, as we’re seeing the stuff play out in the media and in our communities, as well.[WHITNEY]:
Well, thank you, you have so many great resources, you know, Nathalie was just talking about her website, and so, I want to encourage you guys, it’s gonna be in the show notes. She’s got videos, other resources that are free on there. So, please get on there, even if it’s the middle of the night, and you need to do it then, like, make sure that you’re checking out her stuff. I think that she has a very valuable resource, as far as practices and the way that our practices are functioning, so I encourage you, if you’ve been thinking about wanting to do something with anti-racism in your practice, to also check her out and do the pre-consult call to kind of figure out if it’s a good fit for you and your practice. So, Nathalie, we ask every person that comes on the podcast, what do you believe every Christian counselor needs to know? [NATHALIE]:
I think that this idea that, really, it is true that All Lives Matter, right, and that I think that all of us embodies God within us, and that part of spiritual wholeness for all individuals in the world is this idea of anti-oppression work, specifically anti-racism work, right, and that if each of us does our part in spreading the word around anti-racism and learning how that shows up in our Christian communities, in our places of worship, because there is a deep legacy there, and so, if we all do our part then we can truly achieve the spiritual wholeness that I think we’re all looking for. [WHITNEY]:
That’s so wonderful. Well, thank you so much for coming on the show today. We really appreciate it. [NATHALIE]:
Thank you so much, Whitney. It’s been a pleasure. [WHITNEY]:
Thank you for listening to the Faith in Practice podcast. If you love this podcast, please rate and review on iTunes or your favorite podcast player. If you liked this episode and want to know more, check out the Practice of the Practice website. Also, there, you can learn more about me, options for working together, such as individual and group consulting, or just shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Would love to hear from you.
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