How to Find A Therapist Like Me with Dr. Noreal Armstrong | FP 120

On this therapist podcast, Whitney Owens talks to Dr. Noreal Armstrong about How to Find a Therapist Like Me?

Are you looking to join a directory that is inclusive, forward-thinking, and culturally vibrant? Where can you connect with clients that feel comfortable with you? How can you showcase your expertise alongside your life experience?

In this podcast episode, Whitney Owens speaks about how to find a therapist that suits your needs with Dr. Noreal Armstrong.

Podcast Sponsor: Brighter Vision

An image of Brighter Vision Web Solutions is featured as the sponsor on Faith in Practice Podcast, a therapist podcast. Brighter Vision builds all in one websites for therapists.

We made it another year and now it’s time to jumpstart your practice and gear up for a successful 2022. What are the first steps to bringing in more of your ideal clients? Having a great website and marketing your private practice online.

Whether you’re a seasoned clinician with a website in need of a refresh, or you’re fresh out of school needing your very first therapist website, Brighter Vision is the perfect solution.

And, during the entire month of January, they’re running their biggest sale of the year!

For the entire month of January, they’re completely waiving all setup fees and only charging $39/month for your entire first year of a new website – that’s a savings of $240 for your first year of website service with Brighter Vision.

All you have to do is go to brightervision.com/joe to learn more and take advantage of this great deal.

Meet Dr. Noreal Armstrong

A photo of Dr. Noreal Armstrong is captured. She is the CEO and Executive Director of A Therapist Like Me. Dr. Armstrong is featured on Faith in Practice, a therapist podcast.

Dr. Armstrong is the former Associate Professor and Clinical Mental Health Department Chair at Montreat College. She is a nationally certified counselor (NCC) and a licensed clinical mental health counselor supervisor (LCMHC-S). Dr. Armstrong has written articles, book chapters, and in August published a Lifespan Development textbook.

Currently, she is the CEO and Executive Director of the non-profit organization, A Therapist like Me, a group dedicated to connecting minority-identifying clients to minority-identifying therapists. The organization works to advance therapists of color, provides financial gifts to minority-identifying clients for psychotherapy, and strives to reduce societal stigma surrounding mental health.

Visit A Therapist Like Me, and connect with them on Facebook and Instagram.

Connect with Dr. Armstrong on Twitter and LinkedIn.

In This Podcast

  • Getting on the directory
  • Set up
  • Armstrong’s advice to Christian counselors

Getting on the directory

We are definitely looking for more therapists to join the directory. The more therapists we have, means more clients can get services and get support. (Dr. Noreal Armstrong)

It is currently free to be a directory member.

Joining the directory broadcasts the message and makes it easier for people to receive support from therapists with whom they feel comfortable.

Required information:

  • License type
  • Background information

On your profile, you can list your rates, your hours, and post information about yourself as a person and some of your stories.

Set up

Each therapist bio on the directory is laid out in a way that portrays their skills, training, and experience so that clients can easily see what each therapist’s specialty is.

When you get on that page, when you click on any of those individual squares, what you’re going to see are the therapists who either work with that population and have experience and maybe certification with that population, or they themselves identify as that population. (Dr. Noreal Armstrong)

The website can be navigated via both interests, experience, or identification by clients and therapists alike. This makes it easier for clients to find therapists who truly identify or have experience with the issue for which they are seeking assistance.

Dr. Armstrong’s advice to Christian counselors

Be authentic to bring a deeper dimension into the work that you do in people’s lives and into the solutions that you offer. Sincerity comes with authenticity, so be sure to bring that to the table. Create space for other values and accept them into the room.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Whitney Owens

Photo of Christian therapist Whitney Owens. Whitney helps other christian counselors grow faith based private practices!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.

Visit her website and listen to her podcast here. Connect on Instagram or join the Faith in Practice Facebook group. Email her at whitney@practiceofthepractice.com

Thanks For Listening!

Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media by clicking on one of the social media links below! Alternatively, leave a review on iTunes and subscribe!

Podcast Transcription

[WHITNEY OWENS] 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 practice from a faith-based perspective. I will 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.

Hello, and thanks for listening to the Faith in Practice podcast. I’m so glad you’re here and welcome to 2022. As we get going in here in January, I hope it’s going to be a great year for all of us as we’ve gone through some more difficult years, that we’re going to head on into this one with good spirits, knowing that there’s good things to come. I thought this would be a really good time to talk a little bit about the Faith in Practice community. For people who haven’t been a part of it or just joined, welcome.

I wanted to talk about way is to get involved in ways for us to connect. So, first of all, you’ve already connected with me by listening to the podcast. So you’re doing something really good today. But some other ways that we can connect. I do have a resource for you. If you go to practiceofthepractice.com/faithinpracticeresources at that page, you can download a handout, that’s the five pitfall between counselors and churches, because I was finding there were some very common ways that we were having miscommunications and ways to reconnect with churches so that you can get referrals and that you can help them. So the handout goes through that.

At that time, you will be able to click and give me your email and it’ll put you on email list. Now I personally do the content for the emails. I have someone else write it. She’s a fantastic writer, but I do do all the content and I find it to be helpful and things that I’ve done in my practice, things that people ask me about. So I believe that if you join that email list, you will get content that will help you grow your practice with the faith-based practice.

Also that list tells you things that I have going on. So like for example, last year I spoke at a free conference down in Jacksonville. Yes, it was in Jacksonville. I’m trying to remember. There was a free conference and you got a hotel for free and food and everything. So I sent an email out for people to go to or different events things going on I shoot emails out. So if you’re wanting to get involved and things going on, please jump on the email list.

Then other ways to connect, I do have a Facebook group totally free of charge just for faith-based practice owners wanting to start and grow their business for most of our people that listen to the podcast. So that group is called Faith in Practice and you can go there and join that group. Then you can continue to listen to the podcast and be a part of the community.

There are definitely other ways if you’re wanting to step up your game and get more connection. I do host mastermind groups, I offer individual consulting, If you wanting more help and starting and growing your business. If you’re interested in any of those things, you can just shoot me an email, whitney@practiceofthepractice.com. I always love connecting with you all, getting feedback from you. So please send me an email. Let me know your feedback, how you like the show. If you haven’t already take a few minutes to rate and review the show on the podcast player you’re listening to. It will greatly help me and help other people in building their faith-based biz.

So I loved this interview that I did with Dr. Noreal. Her name is Dr. Noreal Armstrong. I was connected to her through Jane Carter. So if you don’t know Jane Carter, she is an incredible coach. Love her to death. I interviewed her on the podcast couple of months back on spirituality in your business. So if you haven’t connected with her, please go and listen to that episode because she’s fantastic. She was the one that connected me to Dr. Armstrong and Dr. Armstrong told me I could call her Dr. Noreal, which I think is super cool.

She’s a part of a company, A Therapist like Me, and she’ll kind of share the story within the episode, but a community really helping to connect therapists and clients that are more diverse, lots of different ways to connect people. So she’ll go into all the different intersections all on that. So I loved getting to hear about this company and the good work that they’re doing, how they started and we’re going to walk through the process about how you as a therapist can get involved in that.

Not would you be meeting the needs of diverse communities, but also growing your own business, helping clients. Like it’s all a win for win. They also have a really cool voucher program that you could be a part of as well as a therapist and helping the clients that may not have the financial need that they need to see you. But this way you don’t have to lower your rates, but you can offer the voucher, you can accept the vouchers, go through their program. So it’s a win-win for everybody.

But let me tell you a little bit about Dr. Noreal before we get going. She is the CEO and executive director of a nonprofit organization, A Therapist like Me and former associate professor in clinical mental health department chair at Montreat College. She is a nationally certified counselor in NCC and licensed clinical mental health counselor supervisor. She has several presentations at all levels, published articles and book chapters, and August published a book, The Lifespan Development Textbook. She was a real pleasure to talk to. So I know you’re going to enjoy this episode. So this is Faith in Practice podcast, episode 120, how to find A Therapist like Me.
[WHITNEY] Well, welcome everyone to the Faith in Practice podcast. I have Dr. Noreal Armstrong with me today, also known as Dr. No. So happy to have you on the show today.
[DR. NOREAL ARMSTRONG] Happy to be here. Glad to have this conversation with you.
[WHITNEY] One of the things I love about having a podcast is when I hear about really cool people doing cool things. I can reach out and say, “Hey, I want to connect with you.” It’s an easy way to get to know some amazing people. So I really appreciate you. We got connected through a mutual friend, Jane Carter, who I adore. She’s was on the show just a few months ago. I appreciate you taking the time to be here.
[DR. ARMSTRONG] Of course. I as well love those connections and when one connection leads to another connection, because that’s how we get support and help and find resources that we didn’t know were available.
[WHITNEY] Yes, definitely. Well, why don’t you start just by sharing a little bit about yourself and how you got into the therapy world.
[DR. ARMSTRONG] Sure. So I am 13 years in the counseling therapy world. I am a licensed clinical mental health therapist supervisor here in North Carolina. I’m also dual licensed in Texas. I’m originally from Texas. That’s really where my start for counseling and therapy started. I always was that friend that everyone came to with questions and advice and support and was always a shoulder to lean on. I started to realize that I myself was like, I wonder why people do what they do and human behavior.

My parents divorced when I was in the sixth grade and it was a amicable divorce. They’re still friends to this day. They just didn’t work as a married couple. So being able to kind of witness that in the home and seeing how they handled it, how they approached it just kind of helped me see that side of humanity. Then I also saw some other sides that weren’t as amicable and was like, I’m really curious, why do people murder? Why do people hate? Why do people, so I took psychology as soon as I could, which is during my undergrad. But my desire to help people, my desire to learn more about the human psyche really started in the eighth grade and just kind of grew from there.

So by the time I got to college, I knew I want to be a therapist. I want to be a counselor. I want to be famous to be on TV and be interviewed by Oprah. That was literally my eighth grade dream. So that’s what got me started. Then it just kind of built up from there with getting my degree in psychology from CF Austin State University, getting my master’s in counseling psychology. So a little bit of both worlds from Texas and Texarkana, which is in my hometown of Texarkana, Texas, and then finally ending up in San Antonio getting my doctorate in counseling education and supervision. So along the way, I have gotten a good foundation of psychology, of counseling and then of counseling education. So I’m able to teach and prepare other people to become counselors, along with doing therapy myself. So it’s kind of, I get the best of both worlds.
[WHITNEY] Definitely. Wow, I love hearing your story and it’s who we are that makes us who we are. It’s our story that leads us into the kind of fields we go into. So tell us more about what you’re doing now.
[DR. ARMSTRONG] So now, currently I am the CEO and executive director of A Therapist like Me, which is a nonprofit organization here in Asheville. We’re two years old. We opened officially in June of 2019. A Therapist like Me was founded by Katie Belo and she started it because she was noticing that in her private practice referrals that she was getting, information that was being sent to her, clients were wanting to come because they saw something in her that seemed familiar or that seems similar.

So it was like, oh, she’s a transracial adoptee or, oh, she’s from the Philippines or there was just something that they felt automatically connected to. So she was like, well, wouldn’t that be awesome if there was an organization out there that could help connect clients to therapists that have similar backgrounds or similar identities or similar intersections? So from that A Therapist like Me was born. She got together with other therapists, had some meeting sessions, did the legal information she needed to do and found the way to go about it.

We started in 2019 and the goal is to help put minoritized or minority identified clients connecting with minority identified therapists. So it could be based on religion, sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender, race, ethnicity, disability, all those different intersections that a lot of us as human beings fit into one of those categories. Sometimes it’s better or the ability to connect quicker and build that rapport to help the relationship is a little bit smoother when you’re with someone who maybe you can identify with some of the struggles that you experience or identify with some of the discrimination or identify with some of the fear or the worry or all those things that come along with some of those intersections.

So we have been really excited about being able to do that and offer a directory for therapists who identify by one of those intersections to list their information. So there’s two parts, there’s a directory where we have therapists who are there with their private practice, they’re their own independent therapists, but people in the community can go to the directory, find them, look up their services, their prices, and attend or set up sessions. Then the second part is the voucher program. We’re really excited about the voucher program because we have been able to help people cover the cost of therapy. So once they find a therapist, then the next issue is, oh, I have to be able to pay for therapy.

Sometimes we know that it’s just not able to be afforded the way we would hope. So it ends up happening a lot of times, therapists of color or therapists who maybe have one of those intersections, those minority identified intersections, oftentimes we offer sliding scales or we offer discounts. So we’re not being paid at the rate that we should at market value or at the rate that other therapists are getting paid because we’re trying to serve a community who really can’t afford it. So with the vouchers, this allows for the therapist to actually get paid their rate, but it also allows the client to receive some services.

So clients are able to apply for vouchers. There’s an application process. It opens the second month of every quarter and it goes from the fifth to the 12th and there’s the application process. They fill that, out provide financial information, other background information and then the committee, we have a review team, they review the application and if everything goes well and well, I shouldn’t say it goes well, if the requirements are met for them to receive funding, then they can receive up to 16 sessions and up to a hundred dollars per session.

So that way, if they only, if they can afford the co-pay and they just need $50 a session, they request that. If the money is there, then we’re able to provide it. So to date, we’ve done, I want to say eight reviews and for each review, for every person who met the requirements we were able to give 100 hundred percent of the funds out. So donations help, grant funding helps. So anyone listening, if you want to help out and help people continue to get those services, they can always visit our website and make a donation or spread the word because it really does, it makes us feel really, really good when we’re able to see someone who is really needing help and support get that support. But the therapists also get paid with their worth as well.
[WHITNEY] I love that. You’ve brought up so many great points. I first want to just highlight this idea of the different intersections you talked about and that diversity, sometimes we kind of even limit our so helps when we talk about diversity, that diversity means so much more. So I love that you kind of gave some examples of that and brought that up because I think everyone listening probably knows someone who meets one of those categories and is looking for something, or maybe even therapists that are listening right now are looking for their own therapist within their own diversity.

So I love that. It’s not limited to just like, because one of the organizations we work closely with is Therapy for Black Girls and it’s been wonderful. The Love One Foundation, they do a similar, they do the voucher. So we’ve had some clients come, but that’s one population. So I love that you’re really looking at all the different kinds of populations and diversity that can come to the table there. Another thing that I love that you said, and that’s, I’ve been thinking about even personally is it’s kind of like when I’m running my business. It’s hard for me to do sliding scale because I also need to pay my bills and like, where’s that fine line there.

So one of the things that I really love doing is giving to organizations that do give money to clients because sometimes I feel uncertain and it gets icky. So I just keep my rates what they are, but then I give to something like the Loveland Foundation or your organization to be able to pay for services for people who can’t afford services. So that way I’m still able to kind of do that for the community, if that makes sense.
[DR. ARMSTRONG] That makes perfect sense. It’s a very back and forth, kind of battle that therapists are in, who and it doesn’t necessarily have to be bipo therapists, anyone who is serving bipo communities or those minority identified intersections, a lot of those members that make up those communities just due to life experiences, their intersections, their life happenstance. And to be honest, and I was telling somebody the other day, I was like, even with all of the different job that I have and different streams of income, I said it wouldn’t be difficult, but it would definitely be a process for me to basically take another $400 a month if I were seeing a therapist every week and they were charging a hundred dollars.

That’s like, because that adds up. Sometimes you think, oh, it’s a hundred dollars, but if they’re seeing a therapist regularly that’s $400. I don’t know many people right now in our current economy, especially middle class, the lower middle class poverty and below poverty that can find the extra $400 to see a therapist. So if they can find 20 and we can cover that at other 80, then we’re excited that we’re able to do that so that the therapist, like you said, can pay their bills and do what they need to do. But then the client can get the help that they need.
[WHITNEY] Definitely. Well, let’s talk about first for therapists that are listening, some are solo practice owners, some have group practices, what’s the best way for them to get on the directory, who would be the best type of therapist to get on the directory to serve? What is it that you’re needing?
[DR. ARMSTRONG] So we are definitely looking for more therapists to join the directory. The more therapists we have means more clients can get services and get support. If they visit www.atherapistlikeme.org/directory, they will be able to see how they can join the directory. It’s an application process. They’re able to, right now it’s free to be a directory member, but there’s an application process to fill out asking questions, their licensure process. I mean their license, their social worker, LMT or LCMHC. That information is required. Just some background information and then once they fill that out, they will probably receive an email from our director of finance and marketing who will confirm that they’ve added to the directory.

So that’s kind of part one. You can be on the directory and not be a voucher member. So we don’t require that you have to take vouchers if you’re a directory member so if you just want to be on our directory so that clients can find you and locate you and get services. The cool thing about our directory is we leave spaces for the therapists to really kind of show their personality and talk about their background. They can list what services they provide. They can list if they take insurance or not, their hours, their rate. But then we also have a section where they can just kind of talk about themselves and share a little bit about their experience, their history, so that the client kind of goes in knowing a little bit about the therapist before they even reach out. I like that we do that and we offer that kind of flexibility to be a little jovial and be yourself, let your personality shine through on your directory page.

The second part is being a voucher member. So anyone who is interested in becoming a voucher member and taking vouchers through A Therapist like Me, they would have to attend a training. It’s a three-hour training. We just did one. I don’t even know what today’s date is, today’s the 9th. So we just did one on the 3rd. So we probably will not do another one until the new year but I think the goal is we’re going to try to do one each quarter so that anyone who wants to join and become will be able to do that before our next voucher opening to the public.

So there’s a three hour training, there’s a $25 background check, we would require that we get a copy of your licensure, your liability insurance, all those types of things. Then once you attend the training then you would be able to become a voucher member and accept vouchers from any potential clients that reach out. Again, we don’t require people to become voucher members, but we love those who want to be voucher members, because we do have clients with different needs that are reaching out and need support.

So Spanish speaking therapists are really a need right now. Those therapists who are trained in EMDR, we’ve been getting a lot of requests for that. Therapists who are comfortable working with LGBTQ+ community, specifically with transgender, we’re getting requests for that as well, people reaching out. So if you’re a therapist out there and you have that background or those skills, we would love to have you join our directory.
[WHITNEY] Wonderful. I appreciate you giving real specifics. So hopefully somebody listening’s like, “Wait, that’s me. I need to do this.”
[BRIGHTER VISION] We made it another year and now it’s time to jumpstart your practice, this and gear up for a successful 2022. What are the first steps to bringing in more of your ideal clients? Having a great website and marketing your private practice online? Whether you are a seasoned clinician with a website in need of a refresh or you’re fresh out of school needing your very first therapist website, Brighter Vision is the perfect solution. During the entire month of January, they’re running their biggest sale of the year.

For the entire month of January, they’re completely waving all set fees and only charging $39 a month for your entire first year of a new website. That’s a savings of $240 for your first year of website service with Brighter Vision. All you have to do is go to brightervision.com/joe to learn more and take advantage of this great deal. That’s brightervision.com/joe.
[WHITNEY] Great. I saw you have a lot of social media platforms. So I’m assuming when you kind of launch these trainings, you kind of let people know about it if they want to join. So I encourage you all, if you’re interested definitely follow A Therapist like Me on Instagram, Facebook, so that you can kind of know what they’re doing there. Then let’s talk for a few minutes about clients. What’s the way to direct them to getting a therapist through the network?
[DR. ARMSTRONG] So the best way is to direct them to the website, www.atherapistlikeme.org. One of the things that we really tried to work on was making it user friendly. So when you first land on the page at the very top they’ll see “find a therapist,” they’ll see the, so each tab, so find a therapist tab, there is a voucher application tab. So if they want to find a therapist, they can click there. The cool thing, and sometimes the confusing thing is that when they click on find a therapist, they’ll see these window pains that’ll come up. So you might see my picture and you see spirituality. You might see another therapist picture and it says ethnicity. You’ll see another therapist picture says race.

So sometimes people are a little confused by that. If you click on spirituality, what you’ll then see are all the things therapists who feel that they meet that intersection of spirituality, whether they’re Wicken, whether they are Muslim, whether they are Shinto, whatever they practice. For whatever reason, why they feel like that is an intersection that they want to highlight, they’ll be there. Same thing if you click on LGBTQ+ or gender you’ll see, you might see some of the same therapists. You’ll be like, “Well, I just saw this therapist on the spiritual page.” So, but they also click that they can work clients that meet that intersection or they themselves meet that intersection.

So when you get on that page if you click on any one of those individual squares, what you’re going to see are the therapists who either A work with that population and have experience and maybe search certification with that population, or they themselves identify as that population. So I know sometimes somebody might click on race and they might see white cisgender females and like wait a minute, but then when they read the information, they realize that maybe that person has had certifications working with a particular race or particular ethnic group or has extra skill and knowledge.

So we, I love that we’re kind of fighting against stereotypes in a sense of who can work with who and who can serve whom. But I know in the past we’ve had people a little confused. So to clear that up, when you go to the, the directory members, it’s divided out by what areas they feel that they either intersect with or areas that they serve. So you’ll will see duplicate people on duplicate on other intersections. As far as getting the voucher support if they click on “apply for voucher program,” it will take them to a Google Doc where they are able to fill out the information.

We’ve edited it recently, because every time we kind of do a review, we check to see, is this clear, are clients understanding it? Is it easy enough? So every time we kind of tweak it and I think this last tweak maybe cleared up any last confusion. So it takes you step by step paragraphs before the question so you know what is required. We try to keep it very simple, very clear and use clear language. We have the form both in English and in Spanish. So for Spanish speaking clients, they’re able to fill that application as well.

Then we also tell the therapists who are voucher members to remind their clients of when it’s time to go on and apply and to remind them of the steps and to remind them, make sure you double check that you filled in everything. Make sure that you provide the financial documentation. That will be probably the biggest error that we’ve run into across these two years, is that they’ll fill out the application and they’ll forget to upload their financial documentation. We really need that financial documentation to verify that you have the need that you say you have. And if you do have the need, we definitely want to help, but we need that financial documentation. So the one tip I would say is just make sure before you hit submit that you have uploaded everything that needs to be uploaded.
[WHITNEY] What’s the turnaround process, because I’m thinking about people that call our practice. I’m a cash pay practice. So maybe they’re not able to afford it or maybe I can get some of my therapists on the voucher program at some point. What’s the turnaround if I was to send somebody there to be able to apply or to find get to get the voucher program?
[DR. ARMSTRONG] So right now, the way that we have it structured is every second month of the quarter, so February, May, I think August, if I’m correcting my mind and November, we will open up the voucher program or we’ll open up the voucher window. It will open from the 5th of the month and close on the 12th. So they have seven days to get the application in, get the information. We normally, the art team or whoever makes up the art team will try to review within the next week to a week and a half and inform both the client and the therapist if they were approved by the end of the month.

So if it’s February, by the end of February, you would know, okay, I’ve been approved for 10 vouchers or I’ve been approved for all 16. Right now we currently are doing vouchers, 16 for the whole year. So if you apply, so November, this, I was like, what month is this, this is November, our next voucher opening will be in December though because of the holiday, all that. So on December 5th, when it opens, if someone applies for all 16 vouchers, that’s all they can get until July of 2022 when our fiscal year starts over.

Now, how they use those 16 between December and July is up to the client and the therapist. But you can only get 16 per the whole fiscal year. So if you wanted to apply for vouchers every quarter, then you could do four, four and four, if you wanted to do it that way. But if you wanted to apply for all 16 at once, you can and then just figure out what the therapist, how you want to come in and see. One of my hopes, one of my efforts as the executive director is applying for funding via grants and donations, so that we can increase the amount of funds we have in our account so that we can allow people to get 16 per quarter.

I would love to be able to do that because essentially if we are able to do that, then essentially you are able to get a year’s worth of services. That would be amazing. So that’s a big dream, that’s a big goal, that’s kind of the direction that I’m wanting to take A Therapist like Me in; is more outreach, more community outreach, even doing popup clinics, doing some more trainings. A lot of the trainings that we do is a part of our outreach programs, but that’s a big part of the voucher part, is if we could get to the front where they can at least apply for 16 every quarter.

And we might not be 16 every quarter. We might have to drop it down to 10 every quarter. But if every quarter you could get the sessions you need to kind of stay in therapy consistently, that would just be over the moon for me. I’d be like, yes, we did it. But again, the way we’re doing it now what’s working now, we’re proud of what we’ve done. We’re proud of the people that we’ve been able to help and we’re trying to help as many people as we can. So send people our way, pop in yourself, all those types of things. This is the website, our social media pages, all that good stuff.
[WHITNEY] Well, gosh, I just love having you on the show and hearing about what you’re doing. It’s such a good thing for therapists and clients. Is there anything about A Therapist like Me that we didn’t touch on that you wanted to make sure people knew?
[DR. ARMSTRONG] Right now we are mostly web-based, I should say, as far as our services. We do have a office right now. We’re located at 441 North Louisiana Avenue. We’re in collaboration with [inaudible 00:31:11], as far as sharing a space with them. So we really appreciate them for allowing us to be there. We are looking to get our own brick and mortar space so that we can have training and we can do more popup clinics and we can do more outreach in the community. So please be on the lookout for that.

Coming in the new year will be more outreach programs. Hopefully we want to start at like community centers and churches and then build out from there with some of the different communities, the Hispanic and Latin X community, the LGBTQ+ community. And our big goal, I think for the next two years is just collaborating with other organizations and helping spread the word about mental health and get people talking, get people into therapy and get people getting the help that they need. So our big next push beyond the vouchers and the directory is getting the community outreach side of our organization going. So hopefully you’ll please check us out on Instagram, Facebook, our website for any upcoming trainings, any upcoming popup clinics. We just did a popup clinic in October for Latin X and Hispanic Heritage month. It was a success. So we want to do more things along those lines.
[WHITNEY] Wonderful. Well, I plan on jumping on Instagram when we get off and following you so that I can stay updated. Well, this has been so helpful. So Dr. Noreal, we come to the end of the show. I have a question that I ask everyone, what do you believe every Christian counselor needs to know?
[DR. ARMSTRONG] Awesome. Great question. Before taking on A Therapist like Me, I worked at Montreat College, which is a Christ centered liberal arts institution. I loved being there and being able to speak about faith openly, pray with students, talk about faith in the email. But we did have some students in the counseling program who, when it came to talking about ethics and not imposing your values and figuring out how to navigate my faith, but also my profession. I had some students who would struggle sometimes with the thought of, well, I need to set my values aside or I can’t be who I am. I was like, that’s not what that means. You need to be fully who you are and your faith is a part of you.

So take that into the room. It’s not about setting your values aside or leaving them outside of the room, but it’s about making space for other values to be in the room with you and with your client. So it’s not about right or wrong. It’s not about enforcing a judgment. It’s about, this is who I am, and this is what I’m bringing to the table. This is who you are, and this is what you’re bringing to the table and this is a safe space for us to both be authentically and genuinely who we are and in that, and being authentic and being genuine, figuring out how best to navigate life based off of who you are. Because that’s all counseling really is.

I can’t give you advice. I’m not there to give you advice. I’m not there to tell you what to do and how to do it. I’m there to listen and help you decide, the client decide what they want to do with their life or with whatever decision they’re trying to a make or work through or issue they’re trying to resolve based off of who they are. If I can do that by being authentically me, then you’re doing your job. I think that’s good for any counselor, but specifically for Christian counselors who may be working with clients who have a different faith or are non-believers. They’re still human and they still have value and have values that need to have space.
[WHITNEY] I love how you said that. I’m going to be taking it with me. The wording of creating space, it’s not letting go of our values, but we create space for other values and we accept them in the room. I appreciate the way you spoke to that and totally agree with you on the way that we should integrate faith in counseling. So, well, thank you so much for sharing with us, educating us. I hope that the listeners today will check out the show notes, hit the link, go to your website and learn more about A Therapist like Me and get involved in the program. So thanks again for coming on the show.
[DR. ARMSTRONG] Thank you so much for having me. I enjoyed this. Yes, please check out all those places, social media, Facebook, our website, if they have any questions, how to contact us are on all of those places as well.
[WHITNEY] Again, we want to thank our sponsor, Brighter Vision today. If you would like to get a new website or refresh your website, head on over to brightervision.com/joe. They’re doing a new deal for $39 a month off your first entire year. That’s brightervision.com/joe.

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 in group consulting, or just shoot me an email, whitney@practiceofthepractice.com. We’d love to hear from you.

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guests are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.

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