Catch Cathi Spooner on the #PirateBroadcast
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Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Russ Johns 0:20
It's another beautiful day for the #piratebroadcast. And I just want to thank you with all the gratitude in the world, for being here and joining us today. I just want to make sure that you understand that you can listen to this on YouTube, Facebook, Periscope, and LinkedIn. I would really, truly appreciate the fact that you like and Subscribe and support the channel. This is what makes us continue to grow and expand, bring pirates into the community and enjoy conversations like we're gonna have today with Cathi. Cathi's been a health care advocate in the mental health industry and going crazy herself at times and just published and received the new book. We're going to be talking about some of the trials and challenges that people go through and until you know and understand what that looks like, sometimes it's an unknown. So we're going to be talking about that today. Thank you so much for being here, Cathi, welcome. How are you doing today?
Cathi Spooner 1:25
Good. I'm excited. Very excited
Russ Johns 1:29
I'm excited for you to be here.
Cathi Spooner 1:30
My mom's 81. So tomorrow's her birthday and I was saying, mom, well she saw cuz I posted this on my Facebook page. My mom, she asked me like, what are you doing? And I'm like, well, Mom, it's kind of like a radio show on the internet. Like, oh, okay. So, mom, if you're watching, hello?
Russ Johns 1:59
Yes, sending love and hugs all over. You know, we were talking before the show and I just, I really love this, there are times where I would love to record some of the before and after show because there's times where it's really meaningful and I think that the one thing that we were talking about was the fact that a lot of entrepreneurs, when you're in a position of being an entrepreneur and having to figure everything out on your own, and all of these things that are compounding the challenges, the daily chasing after business, or hiring people or getting contractors to do work and all of these moving pictures, you know? It's like, okay, what's going on in my world? What am I painting today. Until you've actually had the experience, you really can't fully understand and appreciate what that experience feels like. know that you've had that experience, so I kind of want to talk about that as it relates to mental health and some of the things that we have to go through in order to accomplish our goal. Then I want to fold into your book at some point in time. So congratulations, by the way.
Cathi Spooner 3:16
Thank you. It showed up yesterday, when I was home for lunch.
Russ Johns 3:21
We're gonna talk about that. So let's talk about mental health the entrepreneur and how that has made an impact in the last year.
Cathi Spooner 3:33
Well, yeah, one of the things about...we got to go to graduate school and you learn all that mental health, you learn about helping people, you learn about systems. I'm a licensed clinical social worker, so we always do policy. I barely made it through my policy classes, I checked out through most of them, because they made no sense to me, but they don't teach about being a business owner. There's a big difference when you own your own mental health practice. It is a business and you have got to be business savvy. So that was a pretty big learning curve. For me. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing on the business side of things.
Russ Johns 4:22
Yeah, sometimes it's trial by fire and you just have to figure things out. That takes a lot of stress becasue if you're working for an organization that's already established, even if you're working in a leadership position, some of the decisions you have to make are... they have boundaries, they have parameters that have been established by somebody moving before you cutting brush, so they say It's one of those things that you have to understand that when you're creating the path and you're carving out your own path and what exists in marketing and media and advertisement and all these elements. That's a big undertaking. So not everybody can thrive in that environment. So have you noticed any trends on that in your practice?
Cathi Spooner 5:20
Well, I had a small group practice when we were living on the East Coast, and we're now living in Southern Nevada. So I sold that and swore I'd never do it again, ever. Never going to do it again. Never, never, ever. Never, be careful what you say. So here on the West Coast, I do have a practice. Mine is more focused now on teaching other mental health professionals how to do what I've been doing for the last 30 years. My main focus is children and families like that. Since I was little girl, I always knew I wanted to help people, which I now realize is not the norm. For me, it was just a matter of figuring out what that actually looked like. so I always knew that I wanted to work with children and families. So that's been my focus. Now what I do is I teach other mental health professionals how to utilize a specific modality, using play therapy and expressive arts. Like you can see in the background, you'll see all my figures, these are not my tchotchke collection.
Russ Johns 6:51
Those are your tool, right?
Cathi Spooner 6:55
The kids would be, oh my God, I've died and gone to heaven. Why does she have so many little tchotchkes? What's wrong with her. Those are sandtray therapy figures. Basically, I always tell people the way I explained it is it's like three dimensional art, artist objective, modality, which I love art. You're an artist too. Healing aspects of music,
Russ Johns 7:24
I have to create something every day, something has to be created every day.
Cathi Spooner 7:30
Yeah and I look at those modalities as they saved my soul. So that's what I've been doing. I teach people how to do that. I would say a lot has changed in mental health, since COVID hit. A lot of mental health professionals are conducting their sessions, by video, or by telephone, because...I live in Nevada and the only thing populated in Nevada is Las Vegas. This is a big state, so outside of Las Vegas, there's a whole lot of nothing.
Russ Johns 8:21
There's a whole large desert.
Cathi Spooner 8:24
I didn't know there are this many versions of brown. So, some areas in the rural areas, they don't even have enough bandwidth to do video. So that's of one of the things in some of the rural areas, is trying to figure out how to get mental health to people. I always look at there's always positives and negatives. So those are kind of the negatives in terms of do people have access, live in areas where there's not a lot of internet connection, or they may not even have enough money to get enough internet connection to be able to do the video sessions because while they're doing the video, their kids are also doing video by school. So I got to share all of that. The positive out of that is more people I think are getting access then maybe would have been before especially in the rural areas. I think we're beginning to look at teletherapy a different way. Maybe before it was seen as kind of the little stepchild off to the side that nobody really pays that much attention to. Yeah, really terrible analogy for stepchildren, but now I think they're looking more and more about how to use it effectively. The downside of that...
Russ Johns 10:04
It's become more mainstream is terms of being seen as something that is more in alignment with what's going on around us, whether it's business transactions, and mental health is no different, because we all need to reach out and touch someone and kind of be that person that you have a resource to tap into. I think it's really important for people to have an opportunity to get assistance from whatever means or method is available.
Cathi Spooner 10:41
Yeah, there's so many different things like privacy, and HIPAA and how to navigate that on an internet platform, as opposed to face to face, that therapy sessions look different. I've taught some of the mental health professionals that I talked to and you're in their home, they're not in your office, you're in their home, so you get a better idea of their day to day life, which gives you, I think, more insights into how to help them. And it's not that person to person connection. So I think that's hard for mental health professionals who are trying to figure out how to take care of themselves via video, because it's a much different way of interacting, especially if you're doing play therapy, or expressive arts. Normally, my office was always stocked with toys, and my tchotchkes in the back, and you can't do that over video so that...
Russ Johns 11:52
That's a little more challenging. I would have to believe that the kids, though, have some sort of attachment that they have in place or a toy or an activity that they enjoy and appreciate that can bring out some playfulness in the conversation. You have to kind of go out to discover that, I would imagine. That's a big piece of the equation.
Cathi Spooner 12:19
Yeah and I'm a huge, huge, huge proponent of family involvement. So the family therapy. To me, this usually freaks people out when I say this, what you should do, they're like, you want me to do what? You should do it. It'll be good. I know it well. Is conduct family play therapy sessions. Get the whole family involved.
Russ Johns 12:45
Yeah, things make them out. I'm thinking I could probably use that with my son. The last time I went to play with my son, I broke my hip.
Cathi Spooner 12:56
I know, I saw that. When you broke your hip, I had just had hip replacement.
Russ Johns 13:03
Oh my gosh.
Cathi Spooner 13:04
I think I was I was two months into the healing, not much more and I remember thinking, oh, man, I feel your pain. That's painful.
Russ Johns 13:18
I didn't even miss a show.
Cathi Spooner 13:19
I know, I was impressed. I was barely functioning when I got home.
Russ Johns 13:24
Oh my gosh, I want to say hi to a couple of people that are in the room. Liz lawless, creative catalyst in the room, Cathi and Russ. Thank you so much for being here. Gabriel's in the room. Good morning, fellow pirates. Cathi is now a pirate everyone. So give her a pirate congratulations. It's fantastic. I love it. Go mom. Happy birthday, she said. Hiett Ives says, I have to prep for a 930 meeting but we'll have to catch up on the replay, good morning pirates. Gabriel says love the vibes this morning. Cathi's bringing the truth here. It's like bringing the love to the pirate community. So Liz says, hold it up so we can see the book. We want to talk about the book.
Cathi Spooner 14:17
Yes, yes. It's got my name on it!
Russ Johns 14:20
Yes, Cathi Spooner. Nick, who was on yesterday says, good morning pirates. he's launched the program yesterday.
Cathi Spooner 14:31
Oh my God, I was watching that one yesterday, Nick. I've been thinking of my things I could do my game every day.
Russ Johns 14:38
Yeah, me too, Russ, creative pirates rock! I love the conversations guys. Gabriel. Thank you so much. Liz creative. Hello, Liz. Going back and forth. This is what I love about the community, Cathi, and you've been involved in the conversation in the side bar here. Good morning pirates. Sheri Lally, Slaptagz. Michael Baker, Good morning pirate fans, Russ and Cathi. Brian's here in the house. Ha! finally caught the #piratebroadcast live. Welcome to the party, Brian, appreciate that you're here and joining us today. So Russ, oh, there's Russ. Hey, good morning Russ' pirates. Thank you so much for being here and Kenyatta is here. Hello pirate peeps in the house. So then Kenyatta saying Hi, Kenyatta saying hi to everybody. Yes, yes. Gabriel? working fast. Brian says working fast. I want to say, yeah, Nick, gave a good conversation on the #piratebroadcast yesterday. I want to ask the community, have you or have you considered writing a book? Because Cathi just got her book published and I am a published author. I guess I don't bring it up that often, but I am a published author of Amazon bestsellers. It's one of the the promo books and I think we all have a book in us. I think one of the challenges is that we don't necessarily know or understand what the process looks like, or what it needs to be in order to accomplish. You went through the traditional publishing process, not Amazon...
Cathi Spooner 16:38
the self publishing
Russ Johns 16:40
...the self publishing route. So I know it's an extended period and I have friends that are authors that they said the the book proposal is more painful than the book itself. So walk us through what your experience was, and kind of share a few of those things and how it may have been driving you crazy at times, because you sold your practice moved across the country, everything went on.
Cathi Spooner 17:08
To me, the biggest struggle was imposter syndrome, imposter syndrome and fear that I put it on paper and everyone would know that I'm a fraud. You cannot hide when you put it out there for all the world to see. So struggling with imposter syndrome was huge, it would shut me down at times. And I had no idea how to write a book. Finally I found a book coach, and a mental health professional. I looked, there's like one mental health professional whose a book coach, and I happen to have found her. There might be more, but I only found one. That actually made all the difference for me, because then I had another person in the mental health field who would look at it and if it was really terrible, she'd say, Cathi, you shouldn't do this. But she didn't say any of that. In fact, she was really encouraging. She's like, oh, that was good. That's really good. I was like, it was?
Russ Johns 18:26
You're always shocked at that stuff.
Cathi Spooner 18:31
And you know what? I think, for me, I've been doing this for so long and I'm a nerd. I own that proudly. I am a proud psych therapy nerd. I love learning about neurobiology, and relationships and attachment and trauma and working with children and families. That is my thing. So you forget, like, in my mind, because I've been doing it so long. everybody knows this.
Russ Johns 19:04
Yeah. It's interesting, you would say that because I think everybody that really acquires a level of competency in any kind of practice, you get to the point where you believe that everybody knows exactly what you know.
Cathi Spooner 19:23
Yeah. And then they look at you like, I...no, I don't know that.
Russ Johns 19:31
How did that help you in the book itself? How did that come across in the book where it was kind of balancing the imposter syndrome with the expertise with 30 years experience?
Cathi Spooner 19:44
Well, what I ended up doing, and this is how it worked for me, I've done quite a few trainings. I did a lot on the East Coast for other people and here on the west coast, I've started my own, that's my business...
Russ Johns 20:01
Before 2020, you probably were doing events and activities and conferences and things like that.
Cathi Spooner 20:10
Yeah, doing some trainings. I've done a lot of supervision. So part of the mental health process, when you're getting licensed, you have to meet with a supervisor, and they have to oversee your clinical work. So I've done a lot of supervising. So what I did in my book, I wrote like I was talking to them. That was the only way I could do it. I thought, well, my nerdiness is going to come out.
Russ Johns 20:39
Is this a book more for professionals in the industry than parents?
Cathi Spooner 20:46
Russ Johns 20:47
Is this a book more focused on people in the industry versus parents?
Cathi Spooner 20:52
Yeah, yeah, this is more for mental health professionals because in the book, I talk about trauma and attachment from a neurobiology lens.Then the book is about a model that I came up with to work with children and families using play therapy from an attachment framework. Because I would get frustrated. If you do family therapy, it's a specific focus and I like attachment. If you do the attachment models, it's only parent/child, and I'm a huge proponent of getting everybody in the room. If you're in the family, you need to be in this session as much as possible, as long as that is useful. Now, there wasn't anything, so I thought, well, I'm just gonna make my own, because I'm not really good at following other people's things. Anyway. I usually end up doing my own thing.
Russ Johns 21:57
It's kind of an entrepreneurial tendency. #justsayin.
Cathi Spooner 22:01
Turns out, actually, yeah, so the book is mostly about teaching other people how to work with the families, and heal the whole family that's been traumatized. If one person in the family has been traumatized, everybody in the family is going to feel the effects, especially if it's generational. So being able to change generational patterns and promote resiliency, that's how I look at it, we're provoked promoting resiliency for future generations. And to me, that's the exciting part.
Russ Johns 22:43
It's so important. I've had some tragedy, you know, losing my son to suicide, and some of the things that surround that. The pain involved in the rest of the family and the pain involved with so many other people that are impacted. It's a tragedy that I don't want to wish on anyone, ever.
Cathi Spooner 23:13
Yeah, grief. Honestly, here's how I feel about grief or my thoughts on it. It just cuts through your being and feels like it rips you apart. Then the healing process is figuring out how to live life on the other side abundantly. What exactly does that mean? Because in the moment, it doesn't feel that way. In the moment, it it seems unbearable.
Russ Johns 23:43
Yeah and some days I feel like, as if, I don't even know if I've actually fully processed everything yet. You know?
Cathi Spooner 23:53
Yeah, I don't know how you can, really, you know what I mean? That goes beyond what we can even fathom, I think. I feel that way about a lot of things in life.
Russ Johns 24:08
I think overall, though, I'm a very positive person, for the most part. Some days I have, if you watch my 10 tips for 10 days, day six, you'll find out it's not always unicorns and rainbows. However, I think that that's part of the equation though, even though I'm positive, and I'm positive offline and positive wherever I go. When I get up, it's like, hey, today's a great day and I love the opportunity and activity around talking with people like yourself, because I don't feel alone. I feel like there's someone out there that has feelings like I feel and there's ambitions and catastrophes and bad choices and things that make you go, ouch! I can relate to that. At the same time, you have empathy for someone else that's going through that because you know what you have to get through in order to get to the next step. So yeah, it's really a process.
Cathi Spooner 25:16
So that's one of the things I like watching about your show in the morning. Because I think when you're an entrepreneur, it's a lonely place. Yeah. Nobody gets that except other entrepreneurs. So I think we need each other to support each other and keep us moving and keep us positive and focused on the next thing because you don't have time. Like right now I got stuff I gotta get done.
Russ Johns 25:44
Well 30 minutes in the morning, you know, it's a good shot in the arm. It's like an injection of a little smile therapy. Yeah, keep going. Hey, I want to come back to the book here for a minute because Sheri Lally says, after I create six more products, I'll have enough content to document and write that book. It will be it will be a writer, a ghostwriter, but I'll be telling this story. So that's another option. Fear keeps so many people from moving forward, from Liz lawless. And Liz also says, We are always more brilliant than we think. It is so easy for us thinking everyone else knows what we know. It's so true and it's like, okay, I've been teaching this stuff for years and it's like, oh, yeah, it's just so easy. But it's not so easy and if you're not into it, you're not into it. Best way, be yourself. People recognize authenticity. I can't be anyone else. I've lived too long to not be myself.
Cathi Spooner 26:48
I know You get to that point in your life where you're like, you know what, it's too exhausting. Like me or don't like me.
Russ Johns 26:55
What's the saying? When I was in my 20, I used to go into a room and, and hope somebody likes me and now I'm at a place where I hope I like someone.
Cathi Spooner 27:07
Russ Johns 27:08
it's so wonderful to have you here, Cathi. I just really appreciate the fact that we have this community. It's not a huge community; however, it means a lot to make a difference in people's lives. Every family that you help and every tragedy...there's so many challenges we're living through right now. Are there any quick thoughts that you could leave with us? Legacy thoughts that might help someone that's going through challenging time, or might be struggling with their kids that are maybe...I have a friend that has a relative that was cutting and that's a sign, that's a symptom of a much deeper challenge and I'm just thinking to myself, what can we do to observe or pay attention and help others along their journey to get healthy, or get back on track, at least, from a point of no return?
Cathi Spooner 28:17
To me, it's trying to stay connected, people become more depressed and anxious the more they get isolated. The hard part is, the more depressed and anxious you get, the more you want to isolate. However, the more you isolate, the more depressed and anxious you'll get. So figuring out how to stay connected, I'm a big proponent, also getting out and exercising, getting outside, move around. We're in the fall season, it gets a little harder and this, in the wintertime, is typically a higher rate of depression, because for people who have seasonal affective disorder, lack of light, being connected, checking in with people, relationship, people are going to take your support, if they know you care about them.
Russ Johns 29:23
Cathi Spooner 29:23
Russ Johns 29:25
So just pay attention to those around you. When I lived in the Northwes, not having the sunshine for weeks at a time is a real thing. Something that is out there and not being able to connect and there's a lot of people that are community focused, they're really suffering right now in isolation. So if all of us could reach out to one person today, and just check in and say hi, how you doing? I think it would make a difference in somebody's life and you might make the difference that means something for a longer term process than just today.
Cathi Spooner 30:06
Yeah, and I think people are getting more used to being on video. That's one way to just keep in touch by video. Yeah, because more people are getting comfortable doing it.
Russ Johns 30:21
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Sheri Lally says, I'm more MacGyver than Poe. I love that. I love that. I'm with you, there. Liz says, best way...be yourself. People recognize authenticity. Paolo says, hello pirates. So Cathi, this has been an amazing adventure. A couple of highlights is thank you for writing the book. I know, it's gonna generate a lot of new ideas for people in the field of mental health and in healthcare. I just really appreciate the fact that you're here, sharing the information and making sure that people understand that. We got to get out of this stigma that it's something that has to be shoved in the back room and closet. We've got to talk about this thing, because it's really important for us to talk about it, understand it, appreciate where people are coming from, and it's not something, you can just say, hey, suck it up, buttercup, you really have to understand that there are people in need, and need help out there. So an outreach, you know, paying attention to what's going on around them. So thank you so much for being here with us today.
Cathi Spooner 31:49
Thank you for having me.
Russ Johns 31:51
And now you're officially a pirate.
Cathi Spooner 31:52
Russ Johns 31:57
Everyone, thank you so much for being here today and joining us on the #piratebroadcast. If you're still listening and watching, I would love your support and appreciate whether it's on the podcast, broadcast, YouTube, Twitter, anything where we can be found, please support the channel because this is going out to a lot of people that can use it. It's valuable, and I want to continue to share this and make an impact in the world. So with your help, we can do it. Thank you so much Cathi for being here. As you know, #kindnessiscool, #smilesarefree, so you #enjoytheday. Take care.
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