Do you want to figure out how to write a book and get it out there? Will writing a book benefit your practice and your clients? Would you like some tips from someone who has successfully written a book and implemented its key points in his own practice?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Michael Diettrich-Chastain about his new book “Changes” and moving beyond doing just regular psychotherapy.
Meet Michael Diettrich-Chastain
Michael Diettrich-Chastain is an expert on behavior change. Through his career as a professional coach, organizational consultant and psychotherapist, Michael has helped individuals navigate a wide variety of personal and professional changes. Michael is the founder of Arc Integrated, an independent Organizational Consulting and Professional Coaching firm in Asheville, NC. Through a focus on emotional intelligence, leadership, and communication, Arc Integrated aims to empower individuals and organizations to achieve optimum performance in their work and life.
Michael Diettrich-Chastain’s Story
As a consultant, Michael has helped organizational leaders and teams improve retention, productivity and sales. Michael focuses on improving employee engagement, bettering leadership and fostering stronger collaboration within systems, to improve the organization’s bottom line. He has facilitated trainings on leadership, change management, team building, communication, emotional intelligence, employee engagement, self-care and other topics.
As a Professional Coach, Michael works with clients to reduce stress, improve work/life balance or enhance leadership skills. Michaels writing can be seen on Livestrong, Time, Money, Monster, About, Entreprenuer and The Washington Post. His first book, CHANGES – The Busy Professional’s Guide to Reducing Stress, Accomplishing Goals and Mastering Adaptability is releasing on May 7th, 2019.
In This Podcast
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Michael Diettrich-Chastain about his new book “Changes” and moving beyond doing just regular psychotherapy. They discuss the seven dimensions/predictors of success and failure that Michael found to be consistent variables in all aspects of his practice regardless of client, population, or challenge being faced.
Disruptors of Success
These seven are various aspects of our lived experience that if not paid attention to or not optimized can be disruptors of the success that we’re trying to create in our lives.
C – Cognition, the way we think.
H – Heart, the way we feel.
A – Action, what we do.
N – Nourishment, our care.
G – Guts, our courage.
E – Environment, our ability to connect.
S – Spirit, our belief system.
Our mindset and thoughts directly impact our lives.
Our ability to understand and communicate our emotions.
Our habits help us maintain a status quo so if we don’t have good habits they will become disruptors.
We need to care by translating our insight into behavior.
Have the courage to act in spite of knowing that something will be a stressor. One must continually move towards a challenge even when there is fear.
The people, places, and things that we surround ourselves with drastically impact us.
What do I believe and how is it serving me?
Everyone has beliefs, not just religious beliefs, and they impact us all. Are your beliefs serving you well or becoming a disruptor in their own right?
It doesn’t really go away, it just shifts.
Assuming that you are continually pushing yourself, this feeling might not go away but you can deal with it but you can build that muscle of familiarity with where the developmental edge is.
To get a free chapter of Michael’s book click here or you can be one of the first 10 people who will get a free signed copy of the book once you sign up!
Books by Michael Diettrich-Chastain
- Brendan Kane Got a Million Followers in One Month and Works with Katie Couric, Taylor Swift, and Fortune 500 Companies | PoP 372
- Slow Down School
- Killin’it Camp
- Killin’it Camp Tickets
- Next Level Practice
- Free 28 step checklist
Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
Thanks For Listening!
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[JOE SANOK]: What’s the point of having a beautiful website that doesn’t attract the clients you want to see? As the worldwide leaders of website design for therapists, Brighter Vision sees this issue happen way too often. A nice-looking website doesn’t equate to a successful website. The truth is your current website might even be turning off potential clients. That’s where Brighter Vision comes in. Brighter Vision’s team of website designers will create you a website that is centered around attracting and retaining your ideal client so that you can have a nice-looking website as well as a successful one. For a month free, head on over to brightervision.com/Joe. Again, that’s brightervision.com/Joe
This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 373.
Well, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. I’m Joe Sanok, your host, and I ‘F’ things up sometimes. So, sorry about that. That’s just how it is. I got a lot on my mind because at the time of this recording, the early bird tickets for Killin’It Camp are going to be done. So, you missed that if you don’t have your tickets for Killin’It Camp yet. They are at the regular price now and we’re doing the Slow Down School tickets and man, my wife’s, actually at the time when you hear this, she’ll be in Sweden and so I’ll be a single dadding. So, let’s see how that’s going. Send me some tweets or some Instagrams to ask me.
You know what’s interesting is I think that sometimes you assume that people that listen know everything that you know, and that’s just absolutely not true. And I forget to tell you about things like if you are brand new to private practice, do you know that I have a free 28-step checklist to help you with starting your practice? So, just head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/start. You get that totally free and that’s going to help you at that very beginning stage of private practice. And I forget to tell you that stuff sometimes because we dive right into the show.
Well today I’m really excited. We have Michael on the show and he’s someone I’ve known for a while. I first met him back at the most awesome conference, but we had kind of connected before that and he has written a book and he’s doing all sorts of other things and the level of consulting that he’s able to do as a mental health clinician with great companies — it’s just really cool to meet people that are doing things other than just having a private practice. Not that a private practice is bad or it’s a just type thing. But a lot of us have these big ideas, these things that we’d like to go after outside of our typical sit in the chair and do counseling.
And so, Michael’s done that and he’s going to share that journey with you today of how he kind of got into consulting and why that interests him and all those kind of behind the scenes things. And he’s also written a book that was just released that he’s going to talk about that process and what was easy and what was hard and how to figure out how to write a book and get a book out there. So, without any further ado, I give you Michael Diettrich Chastain.
Well, today in the Practice of the Practice podcast, we have Michael Diettrich Chastain. Michael is an expert on behavior change. Through his career as a professional coach, organizational consultant, and psychotherapist, Michael has helped individuals navigate a wide variety of personal and professional changes. Michael is the founder of Arc Integrated, an independent organizational consulting and professional coaching firm in Asheville, North Carolina. Michael, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast.
Like, “Oh, that sounds pretty awesome.” And then I’ll throw out other things like eating sushi. And some people, it’s totally fine for them. Other people are like, “Oh my gosh, I would flip a lid if I tried that.” And it’s just interesting to watch as I throw out these different scenarios, the things that would take courage, what you’re talking about that would stretch themselves. And I do think that that’s a muscle that; it seems like with Gen Xers and millennials. We haven’t been pushed to really be uncomfortable. I mean, you think about what we’ve been through compared to like, I don’t know, the Great Depression or the Civil War or things like that. Like we haven’t had to stretch ourselves. And so, then what’s popped up while we’ve had, you know, cutting has popped up as something that is huge for these generations in a way because we haven’t had to hurt ourselves.
And so, it still comes out where we want to stretch ourselves. And obviously there’s a lot of dimensions to that and I’m sure therapists that work with, you know, cutters are going to, you know, send me emails about why I’m wrong. But I think that idea of pushing yourself to something new and say this kind of terrifies me, but it’s really good for me. I mean that’s, I love that you bring that up because it’s part of my journey for this year. I just turned 40 at the end of last year and I’m deciding on specific things this year that terrified the crap out of me, but I’m still going to try to do them anyway to make myself just like see if I can do them. [MICHAEL]: Yes. I love that. I mean, I really believe that too, that we, you know, if we’re not pushing ourselves past what’s comfortable, we’re not really learning optimally. And so, I love that example of doing like the physical exercise with training and I might use that to — Yes, I do a lot of training too in the way we’ll frame that idea as kind of drawing a picture on a whiteboard that has three concentric circles. So, the in circle is panic and the out circle is comfort and then the middle circle is learning the learning zone. And so, it’s that same idea of, you know, we don’t want to be in panic mode where we’re so terrified, we’re frozen, but then we also don’t want to be comfortable. And so that in between is where we really effectively learn and develop as human beings. [JOE]: Yes, absolutely. Well, take us through the last ones with Bill. [MICHAEL]: Yes. So, the last one was spirit. And so, I think in this story example, this individual has some delusions. And so, thankfully that’s not something we have to wrestle with most of us, but you know, really understanding that this belief that I have about a certain reality might not be serving me. And so, he has both the courage and the frame to really look at that belief and say, “Well, this belief isn’t maybe real or isn’t really serving me.” And so, through that perception shift, he was able to make some successful change. And so, you know, and I think Joe, that that applies to all of us; that, we all have belief systems.
And I’m not just talking religious, although they could certainly apply it to that. But any belief system that we have about what we think is possible what we think is real or not, you know, those belief systems impact us and the ability that we have to create what we want. And so, I think taking that really analytical look at, “What do I believe in? How is it serving me?” can be really beneficial. [JOE]: Yes. You know, that idea, I’m really glad you bring that up of like, is this serving me? I’ve been putting together some book proposals for potential agents and you know, we can talk about that if we want to but one thing that I really address is given mindsets and so it’s very similar. And you know, you even think about what are the given mindsets that are just kind of standard taught in grad school for counselors. It’s, you have to be on insurance. You know you can’t make it if you’re not on insurance, you have to first work in a nonprofit then CMH and then maybe you can double in private practice. And it’s like, you know, you have to follow this very linear path and it’s just not true.
You know, when I realized that, you know, everything I had been taught, it could be challenged and could be tested and we could see if that actually is true. Those given mindsets may be true for some people, but it’s not universal that you can’t be successful without insurance. It’s not universal that you have to start at a nonprofit and work your way up in 20 years later, you might be able to have a successful practice. You know, it’s not true that in order to charge over $200 an hour, you have to have a PhD. You know, like, so these things that though, if I went into a grad school class, like the professor might kick me out and say, “You’re just wrong.” But it’s just, the given mindset of our field often is so off from the reality of even just how business and marketing is done. [MICHAEL]: Absolutely. Yes. And I think that’s what I invite most clients to do too, is really evaluate what are the belief structures that I have and how are they serving me or not? And where did they come from? You know, I think oftentimes like this is a great example. Like, you know, we get beliefs that maybe were given to us in grad school that may or may not be accurate, but the challenge for us is to really challenge those beliefs and really determine, “Is this something that I want to carry with me or was this something that was just given to me? So, I think having that really analytical and semi-critical mindset can be super valuable. [JOE]: Absolutely. You know, when people write books, it’s interesting how it’s rarely just like, “I’m going to make a lot of money off writing a book.” It’s usually that, you know, it opens doors in a lot of ways, whether that’s through speaking or finding more consulting clients. And a struggle I often see, and you’ve been really good at this in overcoming it, is that, you know, counselors and private practitioners will say, “I want to get into consulting. I want to get into kind of corporate team building or C level coaching or helping systemized teams.” But then they have no idea how to do that. So, I’d love to hear how the book is going to help you with that kind of business work that you’re doing but also the leadership and teams that you work with. That’s just something that so few people have been able to kind of unlock that door. Like what did you do to get into that and how do you think this book is going to help you in that area? [MICHAEL]: Yes, those are great questions. So, I’ll give you a few answers. So, to back up a little bit, prior to being a therapist, I had a lot of interest in industrial organizational psychology, which I’m sure a lot of folks are familiar with. And so, in undergrad that was my emphasis. And immediately out of undergrad I worked as a consultant for a company out of Milwaukee for a little while. And then through that experience of being in the corporate world, wanted to take a deeper dive into the human development. So, I got a master’s in counseling and then licensed and, but still had this interest in team development, corporate development. And so, after I decided to kind of move away from therapy and get back into that, that was about five years ago or so.
So, I say that because there was a little bit of background in, you know, how to do training and coaching prior to being a therapist. So, I think that that definitely is an element to be considered, but as far as what people might do, you know, I think there are so many excellent trainings out there for coaching specific skillsets. And so, looking at services like the International Coach Federation is a great resource that lists training. I’m also a big believer in assessment tools and so myself and associates at Arc Integrated, which is our firm, are all certified in various assessment tools. So, things like, you know, communication style and leadership style and emotional intelligence. So, I think for therapists, that’s hugely opportunistic because most assessment tools have a nature of psychology in them. And so, it’s, I would think a very easy transition. So that’s another opportunity; to get certified in tools and then use those as marketing platforms when you approach businesses or organizations. [JOE]: Yes. So, it’s like you already kind of were in that world and then you went into getting your degree to enhance those skills and then you kind of came back into it. [MICHAEL]: Yes. [JOE]: For someone that’s never been in that world and is like, “I feel like I have skills that could really help teams and corporations, but where do I start?” What advice would you give them? [MICHAEL]: Yes, that’s a great question. I really believe that as therapists we have excellent skillsets to help leaders and teams be more effective. I see this in the work that I do because so much of it is relevant to therapy. You know, things like boundary setting and effective communication and conflict resolution and you know, these are all issues that we deal with as therapists and so hugely applicable to corporations. As far as how to bridge that gap, I’m a big believer in like looking at our personal networks and really dissecting who’s in them and who are maybe two or three degrees connected to them.
So, for instance, you know, if someone were to sit down with a piece of paper and in an hour of their time and really kind of map out, mind map who is in their network, they might determine that, “Oh my. My aunt Susie’s cousin is actually a CEO of a manufacturing company in Oklahoma and she could offer a warm introduction.” So, I think starting there with relationships and then using that as a way to kind of build familiarity and connectivity, can be super helpful. And you know, as we know, people do business with those that they know, like, and trust. And I think that that really applies when it comes to coming in and working with teams and leaders on some potentially really challenging interpersonal dynamics. [JOE]: And I think that as people do that, it kind of reinforces itself. I mean you just about basic customer service. How do you handle a volatile client and how do you handle when someone’s really pissed off on the phone? Like who needs to learn that? Well just like about every business. [MICHAEL]: Exactly. [JOE]: It’s like, actually the front desk person at a real estate organization needs to know how to show empathy, how to show concern, how to reflect back, what someone’s feeling, know how to kind of deescalate a situation. I’m sure it’s a bank employee, front desk teller, probably needs to learn that too. And you think about it, the skills that we have that are just natural, maybe even not natural-taught because of our, our schooling or our experiences. They’re applicable in so many other arenas than just the counseling space. [MICHAEL]: Absolutely. I really think I’ve started to see this already. The book hasn’t even come out yet, but I’ve already seen it be really effective in kind of leveraging opportunity. And so, I’ve been able to book a number of speaking events and a couple of keynote speaking events at a couple of conferences in the coming months. And so, I think that that’s another opportunity for folks to be thinking about, you know, what are areas that they’re really passionate about and then considering doing some writing around them. I think that, you know, again, my book hasn’t launched yet, but I’ve already seen it to be really, really helpful in that way. [JOE]: Yes. When do you expect it to launch?
[JOE]: It launches on May 7th.
[JOE]: All right. So, this podcast will come out right around that time. So, you all can go pick it up then and we’ll talk at the end about kind of how people can get it. So, Michael, how did you overcome the whole imposter syndrome? I think a lot of people think, “Well, like there’s already people that are out there,” and “Oh, what do I have to add that’s new?” Like, how did you overcome that in writing the book, but even in doing the work you do with corporations? [MICHAEL]: Yes. So, I have a theory about this, which is that it doesn’t really go away. It just shifts. And so, what I mean by that is like when I think about where I felt imposter syndrome a couple of years ago might’ve been a little bit different than where I feel it today. So, I still feel it completely. It’s just a matter of, you know, how it transforms and so, and that makes sense to me that it would always continue to do that. You know, assuming we’re pushing ourselves, like we talked about earlier, you know, continually pushing our comfort zone and our edge.
I would think that for most of us that imposter syndrome might not go away, but just change a little bit. To answer how to deal with it, you know, I think building that muscle of familiarity with where is the developmental edge and just knowing that, you know, I’m the kind of person that wants to push and wants to figure out what’s next and how to grow and develop and like you said, I think that that’s a muscle that we can all build and continue to build. And so, that’s I think as far as dealing with it. It’s just a matter of getting used to it rather than it going away. [JOE]: Are there moments that stand out to you when you were either writing this book or that you’ve been in situations where you’re like, “What am I doing here?” Like that really kind of crept in. [MICHAEL]: Oh yes, absolutely. This book is still in the kind of final editing versions. And so, I think, even right now there’s a couple of tweaks that need to happen in regards to interior design and cover design. But it hasn’t actually launched yet. And so I definitely have, you know, a certain amount of anxiety and fear about it because even though it’s been read by a number of people and it’s gotten me a ton of feedback and made a lot of changes to it, it still hasn’t been exposed to the general public yet. So yes, there’s a ton of anxiety about that. [JOE]: Yes. That fear of failure and all of that. [MICHAEL]: Yes, absolutely. [JOE]: Public humiliation. Let me think of all the things that really worry, yes, “All these podcasts and like you’re never coming back to my show, what else? I should never have interviewed this.” [crosstalk]. [MICHAEL]: Yes, there you go. Send me a bulleted list. [JOE]: Here’s all the things that Michael, if this happens, I’m deleting this podcast interview. But I think, yes, one thing that I often say, and I said this in my keynote, one kind of thing I do in the keynote is I talk about kind of big ideas and the three myths that are kind of part of like kind of get in the way of big ideas. And one of them is that imposter syndrome. And even, so when we actually just look at the stats and I love kind of having that push and pull between kind of the arts and what I feel and creativity, but then also what’s the like hard stats and science and all of that say?
So, we know that 8% of the U.S. Has a master’s degree or higher. We know that 32% of the U.S. Has a bachelor’s degree. I actually thought it was much higher than that, but I just recently was looking at that. And so, if we look at 8% of the U.S., if you’re a master’s level counselor or you know, chiropractor, psychiatrist, all of our kind of listeners that have private practices. In a room of a hundred U.S. Citizens, there are eight of you that have master’s degrees. Of those eight, what are the odds that one of them has specialized in mental health, either a social worker, counselor, psychologist? Probably one of those eight or maybe two. And if there’s two of you, what are the odds that, you know, they’ve specialized in Gottman Level 2 or whatever your specialties or your experiences. So, in almost any room, you are the smartest person around a handful of topics.
And I think that when you frame it that way it’s a lot easier than when you say, “Well, yes, when I’m at ACA Holy cow, there’s all these people that are smarter than me and doing these things well.” It’s like, yes. It’s all of the experts around mental health in one place, of course. Like it feels that way. But when you think about the general population and what they need, it’s way more simple than we make it out to be. I’ve been writing an article for our local newspaper once a month for probably three or four years. It’s like 500 words, three main points, super simple. Like, “Here’s how to not have your kids hate you when you’re older.” And it’s just like, you talk to them regularly. Don’t like, if you raise your voice, say you’re sorry. Like super simple stuff. And people are just, when they see me, they’re like, “It’s such practical good advice.” I’m like, “It is so fricking simple.” But that’s what the general public often needs. And so, I think for me that’s been really helpful to just kind of remind myself of those stats. [MICHAEL]: Yes. And it reminds me of another person that I follow who you may know. Do you know Don Miller, StoryBrand? [JOE]: Yes, I was just listening to that while I was working out this morning. [MICHAEL]: Oh, nice. Yes. I think he does such a great job of framing really simple ideas for sales and marketing, but he talks about this curse of knowledge, which I think is what you’re speaking to, that we often get lost in what we know and because we know it on a scale of one to 10, we know it at a 10. You know, we think we need to dumb it down to an eight or a seven. But in reality, people need it and framed in such a way that it’s like a two or three. And so, we’ve got all this room to play with our expertise and really explain it out because like you said, that the general public doesn’t have an understanding at the level that we do, which is a great advantage. And so, we’ve all got so much great information to share because of it. [JOE]: Yes, totally. Well, Michael, if every private practice owner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to take away from this conversation? [MICHAEL]: Yes. I have thought about this question a bit because I’ve listened to so many of your podcasts. [JOE]: You know what’s coming? [MICHAEL]: Yes. So two things come to mind that I want to say; one is not to discount the skills that we have as therapists and know that understanding human behavior and human development and the interpersonal dynamics of people is so applicable and I think so needed and maybe even, especially now in this time that we’re in. And so, I just encourage people to be considering if they have a passion for something outside of therapy to know that their skills apply. I think we’ve got a lot of great information to give and we should be giving it and in every way we can. [JOE]: Absolutely. So, if people want to connect with your book, if they want to connect with you, keep learning from you, where should they go? [MICHAEL]: Yes, so I created a kind of a cool little giveaway for folks and this is special for Practice of the Practice listeners. So, if they go to www.thechangesbook.com/joe, they can sign up for a couple of things there. So, they can get on the launch team if they’re interested, they can read about the book or they can sign up for a free chapter. But whatever they sign up for, once they sign up, they just send me an email with their names saying, “Hey, I heard about you at Practice of the Practice.” What I’m going to do is send them a free signed print copy of the book and that’s for the first 10 people that do this. And so, all they have to do is sign up and then just send me a note and we can coordinate addresses and contact info and then I will mail them a free book. [JOE]: So that’s the changesbook.com/joe. You should say that only nine people get it because I’m going to do it before this podcast goes. [MICHAEL]: I’ll be sending you a free copy. [JOE]: Awesome. Well, Michael, this is so awesome. Thanks so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast. [MICHAEL]: Yes, it was really great. Thanks so much Joe. [JOE]: What did you learn from Michael? You can tell me or maybe not tell me, but I want you to really kind of take some time to solidify what you learned. Don’t just binge listen to all of these podcasts. Actually, take some action, have some thoughtful reflection on what you learned, what you’re going to implement, and what you can take away. You know, we all have these skills and these things that we talk about in our sessions and Michael’s done a great job of taking what he was kind of saying over and over and now putting it into a book and putting it into a new form. When you do that, it allows you to level up, but it also gives more value to your clients. I mean, if you give a book away for free as a, “Hey, I wrote this book. It’s going to save us a lot of time in therapy.” That makes the value of your sessions go up. So, think through what are you going to take action on from this interview? And I would love to know. Tag me on any of the social media.
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We’ve got more great episodes coming up this month. Looking forward to sharing those with you soon, and we’ll just keep on keeping them rolling. So, thanks so much for letting me into your ears and brain and have a great day.
Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy. We like your intro music. This podcast is designed to provide accurate, authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host or the publisher or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.