PoP 160 | Trauma Counseling with Guy Macpherson

Trauma counseling with Guy Macpherson

Today we’re talking about trauma counseling with Guy Macpherson.

Mentioned in this podcast:

The Trauma Therapist Podcast.

Meet Guy Macpherson

GUY PHOTO copy 2

Guy Macpherson, PhD, is a husband, a father of two, and holds a doctorate in clinical psychology. His focus is on the study of trauma and early psychosis.


In 2014, Guy founded The Trauma Therapist Project with the goals of raising the awareness of trauma and creating an educational, supportive and inspiring community for new trauma workers.


The Trauma Therapist Project has now grown to include The Trauma Therapist | Podcast, now being listened to in more than 160 countries around the world, as well as Trauma Therapist | 2.0, an online membership community dedicated to educating and inspiring new trauma workers of all kinds.

Meet Joe Sanok

consultant headshot JoeJoe Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC is one of the world’s leading private practice consultants. He is the owner of the Traverse City counseling practice, Mental Wellness Counseling. Joe helps counselors to start private practices and grow them.



Podcast Transcription

Pop 160 | Trauma Counseling With Guy Macpherson

[0:00] Music.

[0:23] When i was twelve years old i a decided i wanted to slam dunk a basketball.
Well i had to say well before that because we had an adjustable rim and those were the days of larry bird michael jordan.
Scarry pin isaiah thomas you know the early nineties when basketball was really good i mean best basket now but there the super heroes of my day.
And having an adjustable basketball hoop meant that i could pretend to be michael jordan.

[0:53] And i never down to seven foot seven inches and i put the rim up to seven foot seven inches and i ran towards that ram without a basketball seeing if i could first touch the rim.

[1:04] And up in the air i was going so fast that when i hit the rim my feet kept going and i flipped backwards.
Put my arm down to the left and broke my shoulder and wrist.

[1:17] My stove is going to left shoulder was able to play tackle football as a result of that and i went to friday night lights take the school wasn’t good at football but.

[1:27] You know the ridicule not playing football was worse than playing sport they didn’t even want to play anyway.

[1:35] We all have these trauma was in their life and today we’re exploring trauma.

[1:41] Psychologically those traumas inside of your body you know it could be scar tissue could be emotional scar tissue.

[1:49] We all have different trauma we’ve been through and today guy macpherson who is an amazing counselor.

[1:57] He’s a husband father of two and a psychologist who specializes in the treatment of trauma in early psychosis is joining us.
In two thousand fourteen guy found the trauma therapists project for the goals of raising the awareness of trauma and creating educational and supportive and inspiring community.
The new trauma therapists.

[2:18] I have to warn you that the sound is a little off it was a while ago i record this before i really got a handle on the difference in my own recording level.
And the guys recording level.
But the trauma therapists project which is so awesome has grown to include the trauma therapist podcast is luke being listens to you and more than hundred thirty countries.
I know this is totally worth it for you so thanks in advance for your grace around the sound.

[2:45] Music.

[2:55] Welcome to the practice the practice podcast awesome thanks joe thanks so much for having me i’m just really excited to,
two to be here so thank you yeah yeah you do so much great work around trauma you got your trauma therapist podcast you got west coast trauma project that time,
you got so much going on around trauma let’s just stay with the why do you care about tiramisu much that is a question i think i’m asking myself,
continually you not as i am interviewing all these,
trauma therapist people have been doing this for many years i’m asking myself that question all the time you know any think for me the easy answer,
for me and them the most honest answer is i love connecting with people and i love connecting,
with people on this site sound weird but i love hoping people in,
those moments when they need it the most innocent and i feel that i’m.

[3:56] Able or willing and willing to do that and that’s my answer to that you know which is.

[4:04] Trauma work with people have been traumatized is.
Really challenging and often times they their whole perspective the whole paradigm of what is safety what the world is and could be to them has been shifted and broken and i feel to be able to,
be there for them is a privilege,
yeah you know it’s interesting that you say just yesterday i was in interviewing internal candidates for jennifer joining a practice and helping out here and i asked cheryl why social work white was going to this field.
And she said that one of her professors had say you could be the best part of people’s worst days and i just love how can i can say she captured that sense customer for you when people in the midst of this trauma.
You get to be one of the few lights that are kinda going on a life of its true and you know i think would,
he is listening to you say that it brings to mind something an interview he said to me which was that we do we get to be the hope in the room and that to me.
Give me a lot hoping it gives me a lot of inspiration and aisha preface this by saying at the all my responses are probably gonna be you or,
we nuggets of wisdom that people told me he is gonna be hot christian of that’s learning from people yeah for a while back a little bit before you start working in trauma doing counseling and all the podcasting,
tickets backward what’s your story of education of life they kinda brought you to this moment yeah that’s a really good question and you know it.

[5:41] Is there kind of to meet your point of inspiration that i would say cow launch me into this field on it,
you know what high school and went to art school for year this was like many years ago and dropped out of art school.
And then just got into music and got into writing and i have been out of school public like.
Teen years when i got this phone call from a friend of mine and this is the girl that i worked with previously and i haven’t heard from her in a long time.
I am sitting down in this apartment in los angeles and get this phone call and it’s her and she was.
Calling each other friends to tell them that he had a needs and she been living with it for ten years and under dust lot a lot of friends but she’s busy calling everyone to say goodbye,
damn excuse me listening to this and all these different emotions are going through my head is you can imagine.
And when i hung up the phone with her and it was his,
overwrought with sadness and simultaneously blown away joe by the courage that this woman had and the strength in her voice and.
And with what she was dealing with,
what was about to happen or what’s going to happened and i said to myself there is no way that.

[7:18] I’m not courageous or there’s no way that i have that strength and that realization became this pit of fear and anger in,
inside and it drove me to really find out.
We’re that courage was without strength was and.

[7:41] At present around that time to my brother had come back from iraq as a navy seal and hit p t s d.
When he came back i was so excited to tell to.
Justin and find out everything you done you know what do what was it like in and i was asking him pestering him honestly and this is way before i knew anything about,
trouble light on pc but i was doing everything the wrong way and he was like.

[8:12] Guy you know what i just want to talk about let’s talk about something else what why you wanna talk about this and mike will be the one to one talk because i’m,
what did you do what was it like and it wasn’t until.

[8:24] Yeah i went back and these kind of these kind of to experienced is joe just kind of crystallized and inspire me to,
help people and you know i was always talk about that friend and finally occurred in and one of the,
things i did after that was to come going this journey of exploration for myself and can attest myself and it went on the survival course.

[8:53] Out in the middle of nowhere and this was like crazy for me did you and now i was kind of on a c scared to do this but i did it,
and one of the one of our members on the survival course was hurting really badly and needed to be helped need to be carried and or the guides during this course we’re just,
phenomenal day kinda step back and waited for other members to help and i was one of the,
the people that help this one guy to the next couple of days and as i was hoping this guy’s like this is it.
This is what i wanted to with my life and so.
You know with all those does this for expenses in the back kind of unconscious you know bubbling burning i went back to school and back up maybe a,
no i want to get into trouble and went to grad school and went to the whole shebang no and how i got.

[9:53] You know developed what goes from project in park as it is,
kind of an understatement account and now but i have so we have a lot of grad students that listen to this kind of preparing for their rear for people that know that he i wanted to try are there specific an area that they wanna focus on.
That’s a little different in grad school then when you’re like i’m still kinda figuring it out and see us and knowing okay i wanted you trauma,
within your grad programs like what did that look like within your schooling how many of that kind of focus,
well that’s a really good question in it brought a lot of frustration to me because trauma isn’t,
something that’s really did a lot of time in graduate school programs and that’s something that a lot of the new season therapists mass of therapists i talk to.
Bring up often but for me it meant.
I am seeking out at every opportunity what would it mean for me to learn more about trauma you know and,
when is your next is kind of one of my big mistakes if you will and i think it spoke speaks to mine i have to pay when i was in school with that,
i felt that the answer was,
outside like i need to find the book i need to find a workshop i need to find a or speak to someone over there who’s gonna help me,
mom be the next or learn more about trauma but in reality what was missing was that the work has to start from inside.

[11:31] No yes you do education and going to conferences and reading books or.
Necessary but who we are as a therapist you know our level of self-awareness are ability to be present that to work that we have to do you and i was kind of like will,
i’m already present i’m already authentic you know but no i needed to do you.
I need to really focus on myself and mice and do the work on myself so hungry sitting at a step further and often as we hear from like our supervisors the year the hope in the section or that idea,
do you think then.

[12:12] Damn that’s kind of external from the client if we took of last years ago and put on the client do you think that when we say things like where the hole for where the light that helps that client through that takes away your makes external that client then.
Well to a certain degree i think it does because it depends on what kind of.
What a client bringing to us in a sense but if i’m you know who is speaking about someone who’s been traumatized again someone.
Open time to get it depend on what type of trouble were talking about but often times is people who experience trauma they have no hope the coming from a place that is.
Is it safe and we have to provide one of our jobs,
and as far as i look at it is to provide cycle education for our clients to model for a client with what hope is what resiliency is in to be able to point that out so in terms of that we are,
am using it every opportunity.
Up to news to reveal to our clients their string that is a common adage in the trauma field which is the fact that your client is sitting in front of you right now,
is an example of their strength,
yeah they don’t see that often times we have to reveal that to them so i think it’s a back and forth if you will i’m not saying that you know.

[13:40] Weird with the light and the ask you are on the right not all but at times we have to realize,
and track what is that our clients may be could benefit from seeing and be able to provide that so yet so tell me what are some things that you’re discovering about or,
whether it’s research and methods of things that you’re finding maybe fascinating and that’s kind of peeking your curiosity.
Yeah and that’s another big question and it’s just you know yesterday i was talking to someone who,
brings a lot of humor to her session judge writing a book about it and you know some of us it would be humor in trauma but.
Set it up what i’m finding joe is that being who you are being authentic is.
The crucial component.
Yeah i know it’s not beat your being your idea of what you think therapists should be and that’s it that’s where i was coming from well i need to you know sit like this and out and shit and nod my head and not say anything but will you not,
that i was coming for a second and admit point of view but i had this idea of,
maybe what a terrible should be put but it’s all you say this to myself am i able to be myself and not able to communicate and relate to this person as a human being and that’s gonna look different.

[15:15] For everyone but that new clients can you know that and what trouble with some controller ties they won’t know.
If you’re able to handle with.
Don’t they have to know you know and i think that is such a powerful lesson for in a people just getting into the field of their p two to take to heart.
I think it’s when your first starting become a therapist and you’re going to your schooling,
your starting from such a blank slate that its like you kinda do need to have that like okay like the kindness and of,
how much you cross your legs are moving and its like it just to learn those basics but then,
there really is like a pointy have to just like start to let yourself come out now actually remember being early in my counseling career.
And thinking so much about my posture my talking too much talking too little at the very the,
a method of counseling that like the joe didn’t come out much i even had a,
client once that play three years and counting they’re really long-term therapy client they sent how you funny i didn’t realize how funny you are you is because i had really let that come out in the sessions where’s.
Now i think as more of who i am comes out and probably even more effective because i’m not just a therapist to see more as a human being too and,
who is in the that guy with a trauma that the more of you coming out that would play foster that journey together even more oh yes it so does and you know.

[16:47] I’ve read the back to the this types always talk about who brings you intercession she says sometimes it falls flat.
But that.
And and sometimes goes for their even down to continue onward made it is a rupture or if there’s of the clinical mistake,
but and this is also can’t get back what i’m when i’m finally learning is that those mistakes or ruptures or in themselves,
opportunities for further the relationship no okay so it seems like you know,
gotten really work or i mean mistake how do we get back on track here you that this,
ability as a therapist to engage your client in along the path along the work and not to be this kind of omniscient being the other the other component that i think is so useful for me.
What are the things that has been coming back and again and again in the work that the reason i’m doing is disability to,
be a witness to what’s going on with your client and that’s,
shift in perspective from being this person this step is coming into the room who knows everything who’s got,
there metaphorical textbook under their arm and you really wants to implement you know intervention that’s on page three sixty five workbook that which i did i was there you know and you’re like what.

[18:19] I can do this intervention but do not letting me do it and what are we doing brightness for them to write why are they know that is looking and sometimes,
still you know and i believe i’m not a master therapist by any stretch of the imagination but,
you know with often times eight the initial talk to all our and for them to continue wall up to different level but it’s a continual,
yearning and the ongoing process to be present again you know,
yes someone one thing that i get some perspective people on is when i suggest that they find a specialty and you have a very clear specialty trauma,
i mean is your podcast its okay what you do when you see the people that say will i don’t limit myself to just do tram rd just do whatever their specialty is,
well there couple ways i would answer that and the first thing i would say is.
You know that’s fine do it do it do whatever you’re comfortable with you know,
and i would also say you speak speaking personally,
i find that if i am able to learn to dive deep into this particular topic i’m able to help someone more so than if that i’m kind of a jack of all trades so quickly that that’s my response,
from a professional like a marketing standpoint i would say well great.

[19:55] Penal how is someone going to why is someone going to choose you if on your website you list you know depression anxiety ADHD bipolar disease different things how are you going to stand out,
yeah sure so that’s kinda my response in that sense but.
Yo purse personally clinically.

[20:21] I think that people have to find their own way and if i was going to therapist for a particular,
topic i would why would want to find someone who you know is really focuses on depression really focus on anxiety that particular,
issue but again oftentimes people going to therapy right the they don’t really know why the order going for a particular thing but actually it is other thing that’s yell so.
Gotcha so from like a marketing perspective what other things you think have worked for your for your practice well marketing.

[21:00] I mean for the box from a project in the park is certainly ie you know that the park is in of itself is you gets no,
what i’m doing out there but if i use facebook i use twitter i use linked in italian how use those to help get clients for your practice well i mean,
what is the back i work in the clinic and clinically the work i do is in a clinic so i am part of a team and that the marketing i do is for a kind of different component,
of that so it did the marker and you for facebook is really for the podcast in the west coast trauma project and the,
products of course is developing for new trauma therapist share so within those what seems to be working on facebook.

[21:55] Mom i think just posting photos of,
along with quotes from the interview ease get,
so for example if i’m going back to one of the interviews i had on the podcast,
tina bryant to she said we have to be the hoping that room soap opera together a graphic with that quote print that on my facebook page,
and also have a membership site trauma therapist elite so having,
a private facebook group for those members that also is very helpful for working standpoint what tool you use to make those images.
What is canada ow i love him yeah easy,
it’s awesome and that’s gonna be my best friend usage all them were like,
text hello discovered can like,
what are my whole life awesome okay and then what about like twitter and linked and how are you using those.

[22:59] Wait till you know i developed a,
what i think is a pretty robust profile you know i got some inspiration from luis house who’s gonna win marketer and he’s been linked in and you have to listen to him he’s like you get your,
profile to get out there and i did that i got some videos up and again when i publish a podcast the it automatically kinda goes out to linked in twitter and facebook so,
that that works incense and twitter again a,
kind of the post you know so right now got her didn’t twenty what would happen then hundred twenty podcasts all that kind of the purpose that content just well let people,
beware of your podcast have done yet so tell me what re purpose things i think that’s one area lots of people create content blog posts or whatever but then it’s like that one shot they don’t think about how else can i use it exactly how you re purpose and,
well for example you know i have of use buffer.
And i have a va kind of line up you know if i forget it was six seven eight maybe it’s,
um tweets per day of different podcast i’ve done and i also,
your favorite certain tweets of that other people have done retreats certain tweets so continually just,
going back into the archives innocence and making people aware of the fact that you know dinner was podcast number to this great podcast this great interview we to rather than just.

[24:42] Doing the podcast that i.
Posting deposited last week and that’s it what about the other ninety nine park instead of done people should hear about those two,
yeah absolutely and go to much transcriptions of your podcasts,
I don’t what I’ve done is no it’s the short answer,
the long answer is that i have gone back and created a kind of pocket so.

[25:17] What what is gonna sing for me and in doing this podcast is learning that the many ways that people work with trauma for example.
I’d really didn’t know that was a whole subset of people practicing yoga who work with trauma,
yes so so i got this,
yogurt and trauma series and then of course there’s this whole subset of clinicians who are veterans you know who been in the field to be in combat veterans who’ve come back and become therapists and work,
with better into been traumatized so what i’ve done is created this,
military series and that’s your yogi yoga trauma series and in the process of getting those transcribing creating kind of e books,
transcript transcribed cell,
group that your membership community sending a lot of people that are counselors they don’t understand the power of your building multiple income streams and they don’t think about the courses they think about membership communities,
take us back to before you had your membership community how you launch that may be where you’re at with it up that’s a really good question and.
You know i am certainly in if i if i have a categorize myself kind of in the eye once a beginning stage but its a kind of,
at the end of the beginning stage into the that the middle lol middle stitch but you know it when i.

[26:50] Started was try to project i want to create a business i wanted to do something that i was passionate about and yeah that i could support,
myself with an supplant the work that i’m doing in the clinic and one of the.
First row blocks if you will go that encounter was will on-line.

[27:14] And mental health is there something about that,
can i have not shit to me with that i thought people would think was would be your online in your psychologist in your out your online and you doing trauma work i don’t know i kinda had to get over that hurdle,
and what are the things i did was i got into this mastermind group of people who are.
Kind of more gas for the lawn guy with an is just really help me and they just really encourage me to kind of look at myself and,
maybe realize wasn’t hack it wasn’t a sham wasn’t a quack and to be able to translate that and put that on-line.
And so what i did was i you got website up i started creating content and start creating these pdf resources which are the people can download for free on my on my.
Are you a real which is okay if i yeah yes westcoasttraumaproject.com and they can go there and just have the resources tab and download the pdf about trial offer free.
you know when the other things i wanted to do was create another revenue stream so i created this membership site and i called a trauma therapist elite and,
i what i do is i get a lot of the,
people on my podcast in my pocket cuz i should specify really my job is to squeeze as much inspiration out of these trauma clinicians you people been in this field for decades as i can and that’s.

[28:52] So very different than just saying to them okay mr but mr vessel then o’clock how do you work with trauma,
a client’s innocent it’s not that it’s what got you here what inspired you what influenced you and that’s a whole different thing because.
There’s a lot of inspiration and that and you know when i was in grad school and commuting to my internships i needed that you know and so in the membership site what i’ve done.
Kind of on the up side of the interview podcast is to have video interviews of a lot of the people of having the podcast but now it,
get down and really specifically ask them how do you,
do what you do break it down for the people on this membership site.
Take us in income actionable step by step process he’s of what you do what you do how you do what you do so that there,
is the opportunity where we get to learn about you how these different people do what they do you still have created that membership site and also that’s one component that component is a private facebook group,
we’re members to interact get support,
you could come are we could ask questions etc etc i’m gearing up a mastermind groups and that’s okay group,
process as part of your community cuz.

[30:22] As i’ve launched a consultant school like it’s the same sort of thing where there’s a mastermind group q and a call individual consulting with me and i think it.
Counselors don’t really understand even like what a mastermind group is so,
we just tell us what was your master and group like and then it suddenly there’s people beyond just counselors that were in that their father along than you.
It just takes three like what’s mastermind group wanna one,
yeah so mastermind group one as far as i understand it and my experience is a group of people who may or may not be in the same field as you but have,
at least a few common interests the common denominator is the group that i got in was people who were creating an online who had online businesses,
okay so these were people who were further along that i have had more experience in the different online tools that different online resources so forth but they were.
People who could save me could hold me accountable and i think that’s one of the crucial things of a mastermind someone who’s gonna say joke you know last week you said you gonna do this you didn’t do it should be,
what’s up,
what more do you can do this you know you use have this great ways you can do a podcast you know and it’s that because people were telling me when you waiting for,
who saying what the hell’s hack are you waiting for two weeks ago you said you wouldn’t start your pocket you didn’t.

[31:55] Why what is going on what else like no-no and yeah needs to that accountability is so strong and i’ll give you an example.
In other i check in with a friend of mine once a month and he’s starting his own kind of online business and i was kind of complaining to him about where i was in a particular in a membership site,
at least you what guide up three months ago you would’ve killed to be at the level you’re at right now and i was like.
Yeah you’re right i just be able to get the perspective you know that outside perspective is crucial.
Absolutely what that’s such a great point so if every counselor in the world were listening right now guy what would you want them to now.
I want them to know that as much as they want to learn.
As much as i want to pick up that book as much as i want to take the next course in a tenant next conference do it but.

[33:00] Simultaneously work,
on yourself value who you are you authenticity cultivate that developed that developed at present in self-awareness because that ability,
to order and trust yourself is gonna go so much further is going to allow you to go so much further with your clients.
That’s awesome in guy you have a special free download for the audience to learn a little bit more about trying to attack little bit about that and then maybe give the link for that, sure one of the first,
interviews i did was with a master therapist and her name is linda curran and she is just so inspiring and she just like tells it like it is and i found it just,
show real you know that she and one of the great things now that i that i pulled from her interview was.
Was that she said the scariest person in the room in the in the session in a sense is the therapist who hasn’t done work on themselves so that’s always kind of encouraged me so what i’ve what i’ve,
would like to do it off for you your listeners this free download of the transcript,
podcast in that can be had for free at westcoasttraumaproject.com/joe so it’s west coast all spelled out west coast trauma project.

[34:31] Dot com slash joe and they can download that transcript for free.
Awesome in we links to that show notes as well in case you’re out walking or driving or.

[34:41] Parasailing flipping around and things you could be doing other things of get right actually would love to like see just like people on instagram or something,
post really ran pictures what they do all they listen to the podcast be a lot of fun lol awesome will guy with is that what’s the best place for people get ahold of you.
It is westcoasttraumaproject.com there’s no contact form their inbox you can email and i’d love to hear from me by.

[35:11] Music.

[35:32] We will have links to all those resources over in the show notes practiceofthepractice.com/session160 thanks again for listening and no that sounds little bit off but i just love what i had to say they are on the podcast.
Thanks for letting me in two years and into your brain have an amazing.

[35:50] Yeah he yeah he is the most of the,
special thanks in advance ounces sexy and devin elizabeth be like music in this podcast is designed right after thirty two in,
mission and got the subject matter covered is good with the understanding that neither to host a publisher or the gas surrendering legal accounting clerical or other information.

[36:11] If you need a professional you should find one.

[36:15] Music.

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