All Things Private Practice Podcast

Episode 16: Pink Hair, Who Cares? Be Authentically YOU! [Featuring Cindi Miller]

February 28, 2022 Patrick Casale Season 2 Episode 6
All Things Private Practice Podcast
Episode 16: Pink Hair, Who Cares? Be Authentically YOU! [Featuring Cindi Miller]
Show Notes Transcript

When you're able to be vulnerable, REAL, and authentic, you'll notice that life feels a HELL of a lot more energizing.

AUTHENTICITY is what draws people to us, especially those that align with our values and the way that we show up in the world.

People will want to work with you because of something you said, how BOLD you were, and how you stood out from the "play it safe, shows no personality, ruffles no feathers" types.

On this episode of the All Things Private Practice Podcast, I talk with my friend and colleague, Cindi Miller, about why it's so important to show up as YOURSELF in your private practice and in your small business.

We talk about:

  • Why it's so important to be authentically YOU in your business and personal life
  • Combatting negative beliefs that some therapists have about disclosure, authenticity, and being "real" human beings
  • Why it's OK to show off your tattoos, your pink hair, and your real personality

"We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be." - May Sarton


🎙️ Listen to more episodes of the All Things Private Practice Podcast here:
www.allthingspractice.com/all-things-private-practice-podcast

🎙️ Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/5sErokE8RKrjhR9aIkXJAv?si=ZPSv_f3fSv-vmMPauoJ6Zw&utm_source=copy-link

🎙️Apple https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/all-things-private-practice-podcast/id1596161682

🗨️ Join the All Things Private Practice FB Community:
www.facebook.com/groups/privatepracticebuilding

-------------------------------------------------------
A Thanks to Our Sponsor!


I would also like to thank Spruce Health for sponsoring this episode.

Spruce Health is a HIPAA compliant app for phone, text, fax, and telehealth.

Their customer service is fantastic, and their staff has the mission of not only making it easier on us as practitioners and practice owners but also easy for our clients to make sure that their communication is protected. I’d highly recommend them as a one-stop shop to have all your HIPAA compliant communication under one roof.

Visit sprucehealth.com and use code PODCAST 20 at checkout to get 20% OFF your entire first year!

Season 2, Episode 6 – Pink Hair, Who Cares? Be Authentically You! (Featuring Cindi Miller)

PATRICK CASALE:  Hey everyone, you are listening to the All Things Private Practice Podcast. I’m Patrick Casale, here in St. Pete, Florida. Real quick before we get started, I just want to give a shout-out to Spruce Health who's sponsoring this episode. If you're in private practice like me and you don't know what the hell you're doing when you start out, you probably don't know that you should be having a HIPAA-compliant phone system. A lot of us use Google Voice, a lot of us use our regular old phone number. Some of us even go and get a second line at our cell phone carrier. None of those are recommended. I learned that the hard way. I preach this all the time. 

HIPAA compliant phone systems are really important in private practices and medical practices. You want to protect your client's information, you want to protect yourself. I've been using Spruce Health for almost four years now. I don't ever represent or market companies and services that I don't believe in, because I believe that's my reputation as well. Spruce Health is just a wonderful resource for private practice, clinicians, group practices, medical practices, and it is just a wonderful resource to be able to have HIPAA compliant phone, text, fax, and telehealth. They provide emails as well, but those are not HIPAA compliant. 

The faxing is wonderful to have even though we hardly ever fax. The telehealth quality is fantastic. You can schedule send messages, you can save auto-responses, you can even charge clients via Stripe. It's really easy. I highly, highly recommend them. They're a wonderful little company out in San Francisco, I believe, and their customer service is fantastic. Staff have the mission of not only making it easier for us as practitioners and practice owners but easy on the clients and making sure that their communication is protected. You can use a code that we've created called podcast20, and you can get 20% off your entire first year. Go to sprucehealth.com. I highly recommend it. 

So, today I am with my friend and colleague, Cindi Miller, who is in Indiana. She is an LCMHCA in North Carolina and an LNHC in Indiana. I don't know if I got that right. But we are going to talk about authenticity with clients and client retention today. And I think it's really important topics. Cindi is a group practice therapist at my practice. And she also owns her own practice in Indiana. She has pink hair. We were just talking about how therapists tend to shame you when you're showing your tattoo, showing off your hair. I just think that we see a lot of that. So Cindi, take it away.

CINDI MILLER: Okay, yeah, I just recently went to a high school and talked to an AP Psych class. And one of the first things they asked was, “Have you ever struggled getting a job?” As soon as I walked through the door that was one of their first question. And I was like, “Oh, that's a great topic.” One was like, “I'm thinking about getting tattoos.” And it was cold, so I started to pull up my sleeve a little bit. And I was like, “I have never.” One then said, anything about my tattoos or my pink hair, but actually just compliments. Nobody has really ever judged me. But I think that authenticity being the topic of today is really something I've been thinking a lot about and recently, reflecting on my retention rate of clients that I've started to see. I can vividly remember being in grad school, and of course, talking about authenticity, and being yourself. 

And I had this idea in my head that a therapist was this very soft-spoken, always said the right thing, gave positive feedback all of the time. And I can count on multiple hands. Like, how many times my direct, straightforward, F-bomb feedback is what resonates the most. And those clients always come back . We will finish a session and they're like, “See you next week.” Like, “Thanks for the realness, thanks for the straightforwardness.” And so, I think that was something that really resonates with me on just being who I am, and not fitting with cookie-cutter mold, which I think shows up for some therapists when they see things in these Facebook groups, and these therapist circles of, “What if I did this wrong?” Like, who's to say? Who's to say, who's to judge about you, and your client’s face that you're sharing, because nobody else is in there. 

And so, barring any inappropriate relationships, or weird shit like that, like, how you go about modalities that you use, the way that you communicate, I think really impacts the willingness and the trust that the client has for you.

PATRICK CASALE:  Yeah, that's really well said. And, I know you and I are close friends, and you're a part of the group practice, and I preach authenticity all the time. And I just think that we’re going to attract and repel, right? Some people are not going to like your personality or how you present. And that's okay because at the end of the day that's going to attract clients and other people to you are like, “Yeah, I really feel similarly, I like the way this person talks. I like that they don't fit the cookie-cutter mold.” Because I wouldn't see a therapist who didn't curse or I've had them shame me sometimes when I've been cursing. I'm like, “Yeah, this isn't for me.” And I think grad school and community mental health jobs really kind of reinforce the idea that we're supposed to be these like robotic blank slates and like you said, really soft-spoken, and constantly reflecting back.

And I'm like, “That's not going to work for most of the people that I work with because they need some tough love sometimes, and they need me to be direct.” And I think that being real is what attracts not only therapy clients, but just people in general in any sort of business situation or interpersonal relationship too. Like, we're selling relational work where we are helping people with their journeys, and we are allowed to be messy to you, and we're allowed to be real human beings.

CINDI MILLER: Yeah. This is the T, as the kids say, I think that a lot of therapists don't know who they are, or who they are as a therapist, and finding their either niche, or their type of clientele, or the type of people they want to engage with. They don't think they know who they are. And just like I talk to clients of mine about being a chameleon, I think a lot of therapists tend to do that, too. When they're in certain circles, they act a certain way, when they're in other circles, they talk the big talk of different modalities and certifications that they have. And when people ask me, I used to freak out. Like, interviews when I was first getting it, and community mental health, and agency work. Like, that was one of my biggest fears of answering, “What modalities do you use?” I’m like, “DBT, CBT.”  Always say CBT, everybody likes CBT. 

I was trained in act. I was like, name these. Like, okay, all of these acronyms, all these letters. And I think for so many people, eclectic feels like a cop-out, like, “I just do it a little bit of all.” But are we catering to the client if we aren't being authentic, real, and finding what they need, and what works best for them? I have clients who are really, really shy and soft-spoken. And I'm not going to throw in some sarcastic comment at the end of session, because I can recognize that, and I can feel that out. And I think, one of the questions that I got, in this talk that I gave recently was like, “How do you connect with people?” And so, I gave an example of how they could tell me what their favorite color was. And I just went on this collection train of all the different things that I could ask. And it was really powerful for her. She came up to me afterwards, she's like, “I want to be a therapist, I want to do that.” And she was, “I did not think that that was how you do therapy. The way it's portrayed in the movies and on TV, and all those, really therapists have a bad reputation in movies and TV.”  And so, it’s like there’s-

PATRICK CASALE:  They’re always banging our clients or murdering our clients. They’re like, “That woman’s [INDISCERNIBLE 00:07:14] them to do what we want them to do, and...”

CINDI MILLER: Yeah, which is why we both love Ted Lotso because the therapist portrayal in there was one of the best I've ever seen. She had her own issues, she did a really good job and was able to kind of separate in a really healthy way and bent some boundaries that also are very argued, and in the therapist realm. So, I think that that was really, really powerful. But yeah, it's true. Authenticity is hard for people who don't know who they are. 

PATRICK CASALE:  Damn, that's a good statement. That might be the podcast title. I appreciate that. And you're so right. I mean, when you don't know who you are, right, you feel very uncomfortable stepping into authenticity and being genuine. I think it's almost like, “I've got to play it safe, I want everyone to like me, I've got to people, please almost.” And I remember going through grad school really struggling with the theory, class. And just like everyone has to pick a theoretical orientation. I'm like, I just feel like I'm person-centered. I just know how to be connected to human beings and be an empathic human being. 

And I think you're right. You match the tone, like with my clients who are struggling more and are more vulnerable. I'm not cursing, I'm not being really loud, I’m not being direct. So I am going to hold that space, I am going to just reflect back, and just support, and for my clients who are like, “Hey, this is what's going on in my life.” And we talk about sports sometimes, and they're like cursing. I'm like, “Yeah, I'm going to match the tone.” There's no one size fits all approach. And there's a lot of ethics words being thrown around, and shaming in therapist’s groups of like, “You shouldn't practice this way. This isn't what works. That's an ethical violation.” And it's like, “No, we're human beings. We're allowed to be human beings. As long as we're not self-serving by disclosing or being real, like, who fucking cares? And the outcomes are so much different when you can just show up and be an authentic version of you. 

I remember to this day, when I started my practice, I was really nervous. So I definitely was a chameleon. I definitely was like, “I've got to do CBT and all the things.” And I fucking hate CBT. And when I changed my copy around on my website, and my site today to reflect who I really am, I made a statement like, “vulnerability can be fucking scary, and it can be really painful.” And my phone just started blowing up with all of these young adult men who were like, “Finally, I can finally find a therapist who's like me.” And I'm like, that light bulb moment comes on, right? Where it's like, “Oh, this is what this is about.” It is literally just about providing a safe space for someone to be heard and to be seen. And we can't do that. If we have our own agendas, or if we feel like I have to practice a certain way for this person to heal. I think that's just such flawed thinking. 

CINDI MILLER: Yeah, and I think, aside from career, and who you show up to be as a therapist, nobody would question who I am, personally either. I show up 100% authentic in my real life too and I think that that just goes to show that you have to do work on yourself because that wasn't always the case. And that's something that I talk about with new clients. I call myself a recovering perfectionist and a recovering people pleaser. This is shit that's really hard to overcome, especially in the field that we're in. And when I'd say that, that's like, I probably self-disclose more than the average therapist. I don't really talk to other therapists about how much they self-disclose, but again, from what we learned in grad school, and like what you aren't supposed to share and being that blank slate, when something feels very much like, “I'm going to connect with them on this.” I do think about, “Am I just wanting to share them with this thing, because it's fun?”

I've currently got clients in a field right now that I have a very close connection with someone in that same field. And they come back because I get it. I'm not even going through the situation. But I understand, even the lingo and the acronyms, and all of that. I know they don't have to explain that to me, which I think feels very safe for them and comforting, something that we talked about before though. It’s like sometimes I'm like, “Yeah, I don't really jive with this client.” But I think that my frank directness brings them back week after week. It's not that I'm never going to try to get rid of a client that is showing up to do the work. But there's some out there that I'm like, “Sail off.” Like, it wouldn't be the end of the world. And they don't, and they don't. And I respect them for that because it's usually like a counter-transference of something that's showing up for me that they're actually still getting benefit if they're showing up, so I'm going to do that work on me, and they're going to still get benefit, or they would stop showing up. And they don't, because I think that being real, being authentic comes from such a place of assuredness and that you're not fucking up, that you're not doing the wrong thing. 

Because early in my career, I've very much thought that a lot, very worried, every section people would leave. And I'd be like, “Did I just mess them up? Did I say something wrong? Did I convince them to do something that's toxic, bad?” And now it feels very good like ending a call, and being,” Damn, that was really good.” 

PATRICK CASALE:  That's pretty powerful. And that sounds like such a transformation process as not only a clinician but as a person, and working through your own stuff. And I always believe that we can't go deeper than we've gone in session, right? If we don't do the work, how do I show up authentically for someone else and really hold that space? And you and I have talked a lot about the fact that I used to see only male clients struggling with addiction, I used to have an addiction. They want to know that I get it, right?  They really want to know that I know the hell that they're going through or have gone through. And I feel like every client I've ever worked with that has addiction or some substance use always asks in every single first session, “Hey, do you know what it's like to struggle with addiction?” And I'm like, “Yes, I do. And this was my experience.” 

And I'm not saying that to heal myself. I'm saying that to highlight that there is a light at the end of the tunnel because I get a lot of the, “Oh shit, so you worked through this, you got your masters, you own your own business. This stuff is possible. Healing and recovery are possible.” And if we can talk about that, I think we can destigmatize the shame and stigma around mental health and addiction struggle. And it just feels so powerful. I think we struggle with this, like you said, if we're not doing the work we're kind of showing up and people-pleasing. And I'm a recovering, if not active, trying to recover people-pleasing and perfectionistic human being, and I think that shit is real. And if we try to please everyone, and if we try to have everything be perfect and tied together really nicely, I think we're both doing the client and ourselves a disservice. 

And you're right. Even the clients that you may not necessarily jive with are going to come back because they’re like, “At least she's consistent. At least if she's going to be bold, and if she's going to talk like this, she's going to do it consistently, and she's not going to change who she is.” And that can be really good modeling for people who don't have a good sense of self too to say, “I can show up and take up space. I can highlight my personality.” I think that's so fucking powerful.

CINDI MILLER: Yeah, I can recall too my experience of my own most recent therapist when I was going through a breakup, if you will, we’ll name it that. It was something that she probably, and I'm putting quotes around this, I know it's audio, but that she shouldn't have said according to the textbooks, and in such. But at one point she was like, “Cindi, he's a fucking asshole.” And that was profound for me because I was trying to find every excuse in the book to make it my fault, make it my issue, make it about me. And that's just another thing. She was authentic as hell. And that gave me almost permission to then take that into my work, right? Because she was a thriving clinician in private practice and like, “Damn, she gets to do whatever she wants, she could say whatever she wants.” And, it was helpful, and so, I think that yeah, there's some times where we have to step outside of the lines, and that's something that I push on a lot now that… I definitely border therapy and coaching sometimes. If clients are doing really well and want to like, which is solution-focused therapy, we can name it all we want to make it ethical, but it is definitely in my personality. 

I'm a coach at heart. I coach volleyball, I coach, I coach, I coach all these things, and so, I definitely think a lot of people are actually seeking that out too, kind of what you talked about like looking for that mirror, looking for that person that's assured, and sure of themselves, and giving them the feedback that they're not getting elsewhere, either.

PATRICK CASALE:  Yeah, that's really well said. I think some clients also even just want mentorship in a way of like, “I just want to process this and I want to see what you think about it. And I want to kind of play around with it.” And I'm okay with that. Now that I've moved away from therapy and more into the coaching world in general, I get a lot of texts from former clinicians out there, not personal texts, but to my private practice phone number, HIPAA compliant, they're like, “I listened to your podcast, man. And it was really fucking inspiring. And now I'm going to go start this business that I've wanted to start for five years.” And normalizing fear, failure, and struggle, we are human beings, even if we're therapists. And I think helpers get this rap of words that we’re very well put together all the time, we don't struggle with anything. 

And it's like, that is not true. We know very well that the helping professions struggles immensely with either overextending, burnout, substance use, our own mental health struggles. I think we have to name the fact that human experience is human experience, regardless of what we have at the end of our name. 

CINDI MILLER: Yeah, I think that person-centered therapy experience is very much what you spoke on earlier that, yes, there is clinical expertise going on of how you word things, or reasons that you bring up what you do, and very intentional. But at the end of the day, there is still that comfort level of knowing that this person isn't here to just make money off of me, which I think is a lot of people's fear of going to therapy is like, “Holy shit, this much money. What am I going to get out of it?” And I think that from the get-go I'm very, very clear about therapy is not quick, a lot of the time. And I think that's another thing that keeps a lot of my clients. I am so straightforward, and then, intake, this is what it looks like, this is my cancellation policy, this is why I have a cancellation policy. This is what it looks like if you're struggling. Sometimes you're going to feel like shit after sessions, sometimes you're going to feel great. I put it all out there. I work with a lot of teenagers and I do the same thing with their parents.

Your kid might start pushing back because we're working on assertive communication. Be prepared for that. And I don't have a lot of parental influence, contact, or issues, because I think like that straightforwardness. I'm not afraid to say this is going to happen, this is why it's going to happen. Don't be shocked. And a lot of parents are like, “Wow, I never really thought of that before.” Or some of them get really frustrated, but see that their kid… I had had zero communication with parents recently from another client, because they didn't want to. They just were like, “It's her thing.” And we had a check-in recently, and they were like, “Everything is so much better.” And I had this sigh of relief because I had no idea what was going on at home because they wanted it to be her thing. So, I think that that's another thing too of that, like being sure of what you're doing, is putting it all out there and naming it from the beginning all of the thing, like sometimes you're going to feel like shit after session, maybe for a while, because we're uncovering a lot of stuff that you've put down for a long time, that you’ve hidden in hopes of kind of uncovering things that are holding you back and like roadblocks that are holding you back.

PATRICK CASALE:  Yeah, all of that makes me feel really proud to know you as a friend. And also, have you as a therapist in my practice, because it's like, transparency is so key, right? And I talk about transparency in the informed consent process all the time, because you have to really put it out there and let clients know these are kind of the expectations for what therapy is, right? And these are the ways that therapy can go, and I talk about even like, this is how much vacation time I'm going to take this year. And if you don't feel like you need a therapist who's not available as often, I want to make sure you land in the right spot. 

But if I'm fearful of putting that information out there, then I'm almost blindsiding them at the end of the day by saying, “Oh, surprise. I'm going away for three weeks.” And they’re like, “What the fuck?” And more important, it's just like, these are the rates, right? This is the expectation. This might come up for you, and this might hurt a lot, and this might feel a lot more painful before it gets better. And that's normal. It's okay for that to happen. And a lot of my clients, when I was seeing clients, they were first-time therapy clients who were like, “I've never done this before.” And this is really vulnerable, and this is really scary. And just being able to say, “Yeah, it is. It is really vulnerable and scary to show up and talk to a stranger.”

 I want to circle back to something you said because it stood out to me. We are getting paid to help people and I've had clients, and I don't know if you have who have literally point blank said, “I struggle in therapy, because I know I'm paying you to listen to me.” And that can feel like the only reason you care is because I'm paying you, and I will have very direct and transparent conversation of, “You can do both. I can get paid because this is what I'm trained in. And I can hold space and care about you and your well-being.” And I think that gets lost a lot of the time where clients truly think the only reason you're here is because I'm paying you out of pocket, or because my insurance is paying you. And it's like, “No, I actually enjoy helping you. I'm here for you. I only see a certain amount of people a week, right? And you're one of them. And if I didn't care about your well-being you wouldn't be on my caseload.”

CINDI MILLER Yeah, I think that does come up. A lot of the time I'd have people who feel, because again, I'm going back to the teenagers. I have a lot of teenagers who feel guilt if they're not actively working on homework, because they get it from their parents or “Remember, I'm paying for this.” And so, we do have to have that conversation a lot about money, and my purpose, and for them. And I think, again, from the transparency standpoint, then if you haven't picked up on it at this point, I'm very confident in myself, and my ability to connect with other people that I often tell them. When they say something like that, I'm like, “There is so much other ways that I could make money. I could go get a job at Starbucks tomorrow if I didn't want to listen to…” Like, those sorts of things, I'm very like clear with, “No, I choose to do this every day, because I want to, and because I'm here to help you get better, or to help you uncover something or whatever it is, whatever their goals are.”

And I think that's something too that a lot of therapists might take a step back, like, “Oh, shit, how am I supposed to answer that question?” When they say like, “You're just here to listen, like, you're just getting paid.” And at the end of the day, yeah, so is everyone, so is the people who clean your teeth, and check your heart rate, and they're getting paid too. So, the only reason that they're helping you is to get paid? Like, no, they want you to get better or whatever. They want to make sure you're okay, right? So, I think that there is this because therapy has such a stigma still. And on the front of stigma, I recently posted something like, if you tell people they can go to therapy, but it’s just not for you, or you're too good for it, your problems aren't big enough, right? It's not something worth paying for, then you're still kind of feeding into the stigma that mental health is for the too fucked up, or the people who are too far gone, or whatever it may be. 

And so, I think that another thing for therapists to talk about their own journeys, their own experiences in therapy is so important, because if a therapist doesn't believe in therapy or hasn't been in therapy, and I don’t think therapists talks [INDISCERNIBLE 00:21:42] therapy all of the time, forever and ever. But if you haven't had that experience, it's really, really hard for you to be like, “You should come see me.” I think that, why? Why would I come see you? You don't even think that your mental health is, “bad enough” again, to see somebody and talk about it. I think that there is something there too, that a lot of therapists kind of are hesitant to seek out their own work for fear of the stigma, but in turn, that is perpetuating the stigma.

PATRICK CASALE: I want everyone to just pause and hear that maybe rewind if you have to because that's 100% accurate. And I was just thinking about therapists who don't believe therapy works or have never gone to therapy. And that really scares me in a lot of ways. And I can't understand how you could expect someone to pick up the phone or sit across from you in office or a Zoom session, and you don't even know what it's like to do the same. That just really feels uncomfortable for me. There is such a shame and stigma around this. And when you said that about people cleaning your teeth, I was thinking, “I didn't tell the person who did my throat surgery, ‘You're only doing this because I pay.’” I was just like, “Please do my throat surgery and fix this struggle that I'm having.” And I think we create our own shame and stigma within the profession.  We perpetuate this by the fact that we feel that we have to get into this field to help other people, and then, heal ourselves through our helping work. That's just really unhealthy and really codependent in a lot of ways. 

And I just think that talking about your own struggle, working through it, being honest about it, like, you don't have to give every little detail. But it's just so powerful. I share a lot of stuff that I go through on a daily basis on my personal page and my Facebook page. And I can't tell you how many people DM me or email me and they're like, “Thank you because I can't say that out loud.” And like, why? We're humans. What are the odds that what you're struggling with is only unique to you? The odds are almost non-existent. So, it's just one of those things that I think we have to continue to do and have to continue to combat as human beings, therapists and helping professionals. And even in my coaching, I'm thinking about, I just did this small little crash course over the weekend, and I had like 25 therapists from all over the country. And what we work on is not as much private practice startup, but more like mindset shift of like, you have permission to be you, and so many of them were just open, honest, and vulnerable. 

Like, “This feels so uncomfortable for me, but at the same time, it feels so exciting and powerful.” And I just think that's what we need to step into, is the power of, “This is who I am, this is my personality, and it doesn't have to be inside this box.” You can break the fucking mold, you really can, and you can still help people and be yourself.

CINDI MILLER: I think there's a flip side to the stigma as well that came up when you're talking about what we perpetuate as therapists, but also, like HIPAA and confidentiality, very important, very important. And I am constantly being bombarded with ethical dilemmas of, “Should I go to this event that my client invited me to, because it's something that we've been working on for years for them to get up the courage.” Fucking go. What would hold you back other than this fear of being turned in by probably another clinician to be completely honest? But I think about that all the time, and again, because I work with adults and teenagers that as far as HIPAA and confidentiality, again, from the transparent, we will let into each other. I live in a small town. I see clients who are also in the same circles as other things that I do in my life. I will run into clients. And so, I'd have that conversation right away too, that they are absolutely more than welcome to come up and talk to me.

I get like, “You do not have to.” And I give them all of the HIPAA and the confidentiality restraints, that they should not feel hesitant to come see me, just like I might say hi to my eye doctor, and I might say hi to my… shit, my lady doctor came up to me a few years ago, and brought her twins to volleyball camp. She was like, “Hey, Cindi, see you next week.” That was so normal and she knows way more about me than most of my clients, or I know about most of my clients. And I think that that's another thing that we have that barrier of, you can't come up to me, you can't talk to me, you can't… No, I won't acknowledge you. I say hi to everyone. I have friends who tell me, “You are the most-friendly stranger I've ever met in my life.” Because if I'm walking past someone, I say hi, ask how they're doing, just being friendly. I like to talk to people. 

And so, it's very normal for me to just say hi to a stranger that could very well be a client parent. And I've just started conversation with a stranger that I know of. And if I wasn't that way, I’d be put on hyper-vigilance of constantly looking out for clients, like a void, instead of noticing, acknowledging with a smile. I would do that anyway. So, I think that's something that therapists often give a lot of fear and thought to. And I think I went away from my original topic of adults and teens. My teen clients will see me out, and they're like, “I used to do that to my therapist.” They tell all their friends, “We talked about you the other day.” It's a lot more accepted. And I think we're moving in the right direction. But adults, in particular, tend to still have a very stigmatized view. And I think therapists tend to perpetuate that a lot in the way we interact with people. 

PATRICK CASALE: Couldn't have said it better myself. I was just thinking about as you were talking, my dentist. Where I sign HIPAA and confidentiality forums is a Liverpool soccer fan and there's a soccer pub where I live. And I see him at the pub all the time for this fucking Liverpool games. And he comes up to me, he's like, “Hey, man, how's it going?” And I'm like, “Hey, I hope you guys lose today.” And we have a conversation. And that's acceptable. But because there's so much shame and stigma around mental health, it's like, “Well, this isn't something that we can actually have conversations about.” So, I love that you named that. Yeah, this has been a great conversation. And I think that you and I could have many more of these about similar topics. So, I really hope everyone can embrace this at home, and even if it makes you a little uncomfortable, check in with why? Why are you feeling the way that you feel if you're listening to what we're talking about, and all of a sudden these ethical red flags go up in your mind, and just challenge yourself to be you. I think that will make your practice better. I think it will help your clients more. And I think it will help you feel like you move through the world more authentically, and really congruently. 

So, Cindi, I just want to say I appreciate having you on and having you as a friend and a colleague and tell everyone where they can find more of you if they want to do some coaching or see you in Indiana, or whatever the case may be.

CINDI MILLER: Yeah, so I have two separate niches, as one would say. So, I work with athletes, and you can find me on Instagram at Sports, Food, and Mental Health. And then, my other Instagram is @thecindiproject. And that is focused a lot on what we talked about today, a lot of authenticity, showing up and being a single woman in the world that says fuck to failure, so that is an area I'm currently creating a course with that realm of igniting the person within you. So, for women and focusing a lot on purity culture, and things that we've been taught since very, very young, and the way that it shaped our expectations of ourselves, and what we're meant to be. So, I am currently working on that. So you can also find me on Patrick's group practice website, I am on there, and that can get you started. My email’s listed and my phone number’s listed there.

PATRICK CASALE: Very, very cool. And we will put all of that in the show notes, so you have access to that. That course sounds amazing. I didn't even know you were doing that. I hope this podcast holds you accountable to doing that and making it happen because you're someone who's just a force and you're a coach naturally. And I think people need that to really embrace who they are and just feel more confident in the world. So, I think that's really, really important. I just want to thank everyone for listening. New episodes every Monday. Like, download, subscribe, share, and if you want to find more of me you can join my Facebook group All Things Private Practice. If you want to find more information about coaching, or retreats, or whatever other idea pops into my mind that I make my VA create, allthingspractice.com, and we will see you next Monday. Thanks for being on Cindi.