004 From Therapist to Boundary Coach with Judy Hu

October 4, 2023
Joy After Burnout Episode 4: From Therapist to Boundary Coach with Judy Hu

Judy Hu, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) turned Boundary Coach. She provides short term, intensive boundary healing and boundary coaching for adults, couples, and groups. Her clinical experience includes two decades of serving as a therapist for adults, children, couples and families; as a supervisor for clinical interns; and as a clinical director at a renowned outpatient clinic. Without being aware of it, Judy’s life was shaped by trying to fit into boxed laid out in front of her–by her immigrant family, by her peers, and by a society based on capitalism, patriarchy, and supremacy thinking. None of those boxes or expectations fit. Trying to mask feelings of being an imposter, she landed at an all time low and finally chose her Self.

In this episode, Judy shares her story of therapist burnout and how she transitioned to becoming a boundary coach. She also discusses the importance of boundary coaching for therapists and clients alike, and offers tips for preventing and healing from burnout.

Key takeaways:

How to prevent therapist burnout:

Set boundaries with your clients, your work, and your personal life.

Take care of yourself physically and emotionally.

Find a supportive community of other therapists or healers.

Seek professional help if needed.

Boundary coaching and it’s application to helpers:

Boundary coaching can help therapists to:

Set and enforce boundaries with clients, paperwork, and other demands on their time and energy.

Identify and challenge their own limiting beliefs about boundaries.

Develop a self-care routine that is sustainable and effective.

Create a work-life balance that is healthy and fulfilling.

Boundary coaching for clients:

Boundary coaching can help clients to:

Identify and understand their own boundaries.

Set and enforce boundaries with others, including family, friends, and coworkers.

Communicate their needs and expectations clearly.

Say no without guilt or shame.

Protect themselves from emotional and physical harm.

More from Judy: https://judyhucounseling.com/

My freebie: Before you Quit: A guide for therapists 

Speaker A: It’s so hard.

Speaker B: Yeah. And I think that’s the desire for me to do this podcast because I hated that I felt so alone in the depths of my burnout and feeling torn with, feeling like I’m abandoning clients, I’m abandoning this role and my mission on this earth, which I felt like it was. Today on the podcast, I have Judy, who a licensed mental health counselor turned boundary coach. She provides short term intensive boundary healing and coaching for adults, couples and groups. During this discussion today, we discussed how boundary coaching can help therapists and clients set and enforce their boundaries, which is essential for preventing and healing from burnout. So we also talk about how to prevent therapist burnout. We talk a little bit about Judy’s concept of boundary coaching and we do a little deep dive into how therapists struggle with boundaries and what we can do to help ourselves in these situations. Take a listen. This is the Finding Joy after Burnout podcast. It’s so great to have you. How are you doing?

Speaker A: I am so excited to be here. Thank you for having me.

Speaker B: Yes. And so I know you from a group with Annie Schustler, who I also interviewed will be on the podcast. It might release before now. Who knows? It’s like weird podcasting time of when actual time is.

Speaker A: I mean, time has no meaning for me anyway.

Speaker B: At the time of this recording, it’s September 2023. So there we are, right? At any rate, I’m going to kick it off to you and just have you share your story.

Speaker A: So when you first approached me about my burnout story, I was like, which one? Because I have many and so I’m going to give it as context. So I did a talk to my kids fifth grade class about my career as a therapist. But what I first started saying was, hey, I’m here because I am a failure. Which then totally sparked all this interest. All the eyes are on me from the classroom. And I’m like, I grew up thinking I was going to be a high school English teacher. And I did that and I failed miserably because I had no idea that I had ADHD. So I was staying up all night and I couldn’t figure out lesson plans and I was berating myself about being incompetent. And then I landed in marketing and I did that really well. And I did it so well that I also stopped taking care of myself. So then I landed in being a therapist because there was a calling for me to help people. That’s why I wanted to teach, because I wanted it to help younger folks feel less lonely because that’s how I felt when I was growing up. So therapy felt like the right thing. And just like teaching, I burnt out because the way that I was taught to do therapy and the way that my nervous system was making me do therapy was to save people, and that’s not my job. And embedded in the medical model is this way of stigmatizing folks and symptom management that I was really focused on. So if my clients did well, then I felt good about myself. And if my clients didn’t do well, I felt lousy about myself. So that really led me to work in a way that burned out my body and I was not joyful. I felt really obligated and burdened. And now what’s my fourth iteration? So back to the story. I tell the kids this story because I’m like, you know, the average times that people will change careers is three, three times. And they’re like, what? And I’m like, yes. So when people ask you what you’re going to do when you grow up, they’re just asking because that’s what they learn to ask. I’m going to bet you money that those grown ups who ask you that question don’t even know what they enjoy doing. And so I told those kids, and I tell my clients, still don’t figure out how to succeed in certain things, figure out who you are and then follow the breadcrumbs. And so now my fourth iteration is I’m a boundary coach. I invented the name because it resonated for me, but basically I’m a life coach for folks who have not learned how to set boundaries with themselves and with other people because their boundaries were crossed in childhood. And so I focus on their boundary healing and I do not look at them, nor do I allow them to look at themselves as broken in any way. We look at what happened to them, the truth of it, how they internalized it, and then put it in the context of society. And so that’s what I’m doing now. And it’s so much more fun because I’m sitting in the seat of kind of like a sounding board with a lens of historian and trauma therapist right, to understand like, oh, this is maybe how you perceived what happened as about you. What about this? And so we collaborate and just correct their history, their narrative about themselves because they’re the expert in their lives. And so I just remind them that they’re driving their bus, where do they want to go? And that’s what I’m doing now. And it’s so much more rewarding.

Speaker B: Yeah, say more about maybe your shift between moving from therapist to boundary coach and maybe why that’s rewarding or what’s happening now that wasn’t happening before.

Speaker A: Well, I think it coincides with me also being a mom. So mothers in our society are taught to be selfless and martyrs and do everything and do everything perfectly, including writing the note and the sandwich box that has like a well rounded meal that the kids eat, all of it, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Right. You’re nodding, so I know you understand.

Speaker B: It’s a knowing nod and sigh and laugh.

Speaker A: Exactly right. Because it’s impossible. Yes, it’s impossible. And so how I took on the therapist hat was to heal people as if, I’m some guru, I can’t even keep my kitchen clean. And so it started to feel inauthentic of me sitting and doing therapy with people when I was struggling so deeply myself. And so the shift to boundary coaching was really joining them where they’re at normalizing. The struggle is part of life because I am in it, too. And I’m also having the wide range of emotions because for me, living an authentic life means feeling all of the feelings. It’s not happiness all the time.

Speaker B: Right.

Speaker A: It’s about just feeling resonance and presence wherever I am at and whoever I’m with. And so it just feels a lot lighter because I’m not carrying their burdens for them because they’re not capable. That’s kind of how I learned therapy was I have to help them with their healing. I have to do it for them. And that’s actually not the case. How I learned about therapy and this could be different for other folks. Is it’s a codependent model as, like, therapist is savior? Kind of like, oh, I’m not going to really work on I’m not going to process this until I get to my therapist. Right. As if the therapist is the expert on what actually happened to you. I’m like, no, your body is the expert on what’s happened to you. It’s about learning how to be in tune to your body and just be aligned to that.

Speaker B: Yeah, that’s good. Yeah. I’m thinking of where along the way do we internalize that we need to save our clients? Because I feel the same way. I don’t feel like anyone ever in school told me, save your clients.

Speaker A: Right?

Speaker B: But I felt this pressure for them to be healed. And so then I took that pressure on as well. When I would sit in front of a client who had just horrific developmental trauma and felt like, what technique or what thing am I doing wrong? Why can’t this person get better? And I think I took that on us as a personal failure as well, when I couldn’t help that client get better, and sometimes they got worse, and then I’m trying harder and trying harder, right. And spinning my wheels, right.

Speaker A: And so for me, the push to heal, quote unquote, my client was the push to be loved by my mother. So I did therapy as either my wounded child or my adaptive teen. So this is the lens that I use. It’s like a modified internal family systems that I use with my clients. Now is there was this drive for me that if I could make my client happy, then I was good and lovable. And so for me, that drive started in a very young childhood of if I could make my mom happy, then I would be lovable to her, I would not be a burden to her. So that was my drive of saving. I think it coincided pretty well to society’s. Just say grooming because I’m in this like phase right now. Yeah, I think it is grooming of young girls to be people pleasers and to just be quiet and be helpful and just do what they’re supposed to and smile and be pretty. It really fit with how I felt in my family where I was just supposed to be helpful and not have any demands or wants from myself.

Speaker B: Yeah, I mean, that human giver syndrome comes up for me and I sometimes think back, I like to watch these 18 hundreds like dramas and things like that. And I think about historically the role of women and how we’ve come so far, but there’s still those internalized messages that still remain and even those stories from our grandparents. Well, I always had dinner on the table and I always did X, Y and Z. So then we internalized that.

Speaker A: So here’s the context. Right? So the historian and trauma informed therapist part is like, okay, so they had to do that because if they didn’t, then they wouldn’t have a husband who would then be able to provide for them. So it was that pick me. Like the requirement of being serving in that way was to secure their financial and physical safety. Decontextualized property. We couldn’t have bank accounts.

Speaker B: Bank accounts, exactly. Yeah. It makes sense that that has internalized that intergenerational kind of perspective for women, which most therapists tend to be women. So I think thinking of that has been one of my thoughts of why we come into these roles and that these roles tend to be also underpaid and undervalued in our society, which is a whole nother conversation.

Speaker A: Well, see, I’m constantly looking at it like what’s the decontextualized trauma here? Right? So I just gave the example of my decontextualized trauma that pushed me into this wanting to help people so they didn’t feel lonely role. My decontextualized trauma was my trauma history with my mother. Right. And then we just talked about getting food on the table at a certain time. Well, that decontextualized trauma is patriarchy. So the decontextualized trauma for why are so many women in this? Why are so many women burning out? Why is it such a low paid job? The context of that is capitalism.

Speaker B: Yeah.

Speaker A: Okay. The push for productivity versus the push of humanity. Right. It was really hard for me to stop taking insurance. I felt so much guilt.

Speaker B: Yes.

Speaker A: But what I realized was basically I was trying to write my notes to convince the insurance to reimburse me for my services with my client until they were well enough to go back to work. So it wasn’t for their wholeness and their healing. It was so they could be productive was kind of the ethics part of it for me. I’m like, actually this doesn’t serve me because I had to work so many hours to try to make ends meet. It didn’t work for my clients because I had to justify their treatment, which is basically justify their diagnosis and disorder.

Speaker B: Yeah. And then, like, labeling and the whole stigma that comes along with that as well.

Speaker A: And can I just jump in here because I’m in. Why is it so low paid? I think there are male clinicians who don’t have such an issue with maybe charging more or I don’t know. So that’s an aside. Let me go back to what I was actually trying to say, which is I grew up thinking that you weren’t supposed to talk about money, right. Especially when I was trying to negotiate new salaries or all this other stuff. I think that was taught to us by the upper echelons who make an obscene amount of money so that they can maintain power and privilege by us not communicating with each other and going, Wait, you’re a clinician. You work 20 hours, you see 20 clients a week, and you’re only making what because of insurance? Right. Like, if we started to talk to each other, including with our clients, to understand that this labor is killing us, too. Right. I think there would be a lot more change happening, including for clients who also are trying to make ends meet and subtly mad at us because we’re no longer accepting insurance. I had to do a lot of work with my clients around that.

Speaker B: Yeah. Before I closed my practice. I actually closed my practice this year. I went off panels slowly due to a lot of this. I kind of finally actually looked at my numbers. So I came into private practice out of desperation and burnout from more caregiving. So having a baby who had heart surgery, and I couldn’t go back to working 30 hours a week at my agency job, there’s no way I could do it. Coming into private practice, I was like, I don’t know. I just have to make it work because I have to be there for my baby, too. So those dual caregiving roles that we often straddle. But anyway, closing the practice this time, I think that tension for me was that guilt I felt for those clients who had stayed with me for years. And then I’m telling them, I can’t do this. Because when I actually looked at those numbers, which took me several years into practice, and I added it up, and I took home maybe 40 or 50K, that’s what I made on postdoc.

Speaker A: Yes.

Speaker B: And before I was licensed, even. And it just struck me like, I could do so many things for this amount of money. And so the idea between the emotional nature of my labor, which was causing me mental health, symptoms causing me physical health, ailments 100%.

Speaker A: Yes.

Speaker B: I just did not see how that summed up in my life, because let.

Speaker A: Me just jump in, if I may, Jen. The 45 doesn’t include sick time, doesn’t include vacation pay. Doesn’t include health insurance, doesn’t include disability, doesn’t include right.

Speaker B: No. And thank God, I will state my privilege that I did have a partner that was there and had some of those things, but I did not get my vacation paid most, so exactly.

Speaker A: So going back to the trauma of patriarchy decontextualize, that’s what kept me in my very miserable marriage for so long. Right. Because I could not figure out how I could do this work and support my children and myself on just my salary.

Speaker B: Right.

Speaker A: I felt I could do it when I was married and partnered with someone who thankfully had a really well paying job right. And didn’t have the burdens of childcare either.

Speaker B: Right.

Speaker A: Because he was very traditional patriarchal figure. And so it took me a long time to try to figure out, how am I going to make this work so that I can be free and live the life that I want to versus learn to tolerate, which is our societal adaptation to collective trauma. It’s just learning to just adapt around it.

Speaker B: Yeah. So well stated. It’s like a mic drop right there.

Speaker A: It’s through a lot of tears and a lot of grief that I came to this and a lot of shedding of relationships to get to this place, too.

Speaker B: Yeah.

Speaker A: It’s so hard.

Speaker B: Yeah. And I think that’s the desire for me to do this podcast, because I hated that I felt so alone in the depths of my burnout and feeling torn with feeling like I’m abandoning clients, I’m abandoning this role and my mission on this earth, which I felt like it was even from my kind of religious tradition. I almost saw it as like, oh, this was my mission in some ways. Or faith, belief, I would say not religious tradition. And then to have that kind of reckon together and think like, so if this isn’t my mission, what is this? So it was like a big existential crisis in the midst of the pandemic, which many of us had, right.

Speaker A: That.

Speaker B: We have to get to the ends of the rope to make these realizations and make this change for us. Because I know what that felt like for me. And it sounds like for you, it was a similar very end and extension of yourself to get there to make some of these conclusions.

Speaker A: Yes, absolutely. And to be 100% honest, I would have it no other way. There’s no other way that I would have made the change that I needed to without being completely at the end of my rope and desperate.

Speaker B: Yeah, same.

Speaker A: And I think that’s a lot of the case for a lot of our clients. Right. And so I want to go back to a word that you used. Abandon your clients. You can’t abandon your clients because they’re adults. Yeah, right. So right there, there’s a misalignment in roles. That’s literally how I stayed in my agency job for so long. Because I worked with folks who were post adoption counseling. So it was, like, serious abandonment issues, and I was, like, not sleeping. I was waking up suicidal. It was really stressful. It was like, is it my life that I try to take care of or theirs? And so now, weaving in the faith your mission is to help people, I want to just go, I think your mission might be to live your life right. And however iteration that is.

Speaker B: Yeah. And I think I definitely came to that with the frustration and anger that was sitting at home because I didn’t have space for me anymore, especially in the pandemic. It was caring for someone online through Zoom or when we went back in person and then caring for my children at home with little support. Yeah.

Speaker A: And so the anger, rather than about you, is looking at it into the context of our societal structures do not provide enough support for parents.

Speaker B: No.

Speaker A: Right. But we take it on, especially women. Right?

Speaker B: Yeah.

Speaker A: Oh, it’s me. I’m not working hard enough. Oh, it’s me. I’m not organized enough. Oh, it’s me. I’m not driven enough. Oh, it’s me. I’m not patient enough. Right. And it’s not that it’s never we are the problem. It’s these symptoms that are coming up are breadcrumbs to something bigger.

Speaker B: Yeah. I like your term of breadcrumbs, like, figuring out who you were, who you are, rather, and then following the breadcrumbs. And I never listened to that for myself either. That I probably wasn’t even my temperament doesn’t really fit with therapy very well. Hey, therapist. I wanted to let you know about a free resource that I’ve developed for you, introducing the Before You Quit guide. This is a free resource I wish I had when I was in the throes of burnout. So it’s going to include focused journal props on areas of struggle and burnout in clinical practice, identification of depleting experiences in your practice and in your life, and then we’ll hopefully identify some actionable items for change. If you’re feeling depleted in your role, please give yourself the gift of slowing down and assessing what’s really going on with your career turmoil. As a therapist, I know it can be confusing, isolating, and totally overwhelming. So grab your freebie the link for that is in the show notes. Thanks. I like to talk. Yeah. Because in the roles so I kind of dissected, like, looking at my favorite roles as a professional, had been in training, had been in working in groups and systems and having more of a collaborative role. So me being in a room with one client at a time really did not fit who I was, which I really saw more as a collaborator and someone who comes alongside or a trainer, someone who helps support the person who’s doing the service delivery or the work or whatever it is, to help them in their role. That was one of the realizations I came to that. It’s like I just kind of was like, okay, I’ve gone down this path for so long. It’s more that sun cost. Like, I have this dark soul degree in psychology. I can make the most money doing therapy. That’s what I’m going to do.

Speaker A: But that collaborative model sounds like it can be like coaching. Yeah, right. And I think me shifting the name of what I do to coaching shifted also the expectation of my clients. Right. So it’s like both of us are rolling up our sleeves and leaning forward. Both of us are not one person leaning back on their chair and me leaning forward to try to get it out of them. It was like, we’re both in on this. I’m here to kind of coach and guide and mentor, but I’m not here to fix anything. You need to want that. I want to go back to a little bit. You were saying, like, you didn’t look at the characteristics. So back to what I was saying to the fifth graders. Right? I started that in the interview. I told them, and I hear this, too, in your story of what they need to do is figure out what they’re good at and that they like. Not figure out what the end goal is to make a certain amount of money or to be in this profession and fit into that box and go, oh, I like talking with kids. I like doing this thing, I like social media, I like technology, and then figure out who they are and then from there create a profession where that can happen. I look back at all of my failures, quote unquote. I’m doing all of those things, my marketing career, my teaching career. I’m now coaching, which is basically teaching and my clinical role. And I figured out a way to actually marry and merge all of my gifts that I just naturally have in me being Judy to my created career. And I think if we were to teach our kids to listen to their bodies and to figure out what gifts they bring to the world and allow them to focus on that rather than teach to the test, we wouldn’t have as many needs for therapy. Right. Because people would actually be doing something they enjoy versus something that they’re miserable at, but need to because it pays the bill.

Speaker B: Yeah, and I think it makes a lot of sense. There’s some therapists I meet that are they are just therapists. They talk about it and they just embody. It not that you can’t have that skill as a therapist, but they need to stay in that role because it suits them. But I feel like it’s so hard for them because our structures and society don’t reward it. So also, how do we help those people that are aligned to be like a grade school teacher, like the English teacher or the therapist who wants to stay in therapy. That wasn’t me. But who wants to stay in that? Because I feel like there’s another layer of burnout that comes with the organizational institutional burnout that no matter what we do, that might happen. But I think if we align the temperament first, like you’re saying, that is best so that they aren’t jumping into something that really it doesn’t fit in their life. Does that make sense?

Speaker A: And so what I’m hearing is for those who want to be a therapist, but the way that they’re working is burning them out, what can we do to support them? Is that what I heard?

Speaker B: Yeah.

Speaker A: So I’m going to use a story. I worked with a client who was like, I got this microaggression from my supervisor and should I leave my job? And I was like, do you like your job? She’s like, yeah, I love it. I’m like, does it pay the bills? She’s like, yes, it’s great compensation. And I’m like, then no. Then you just got to figure out how to strategize to deal with this other person. Right. So the same thing for these therapists who love being a therapist but are just incredibly burnt out. Let’s figure out why you’re putting 100% of yourself into this job. What are you avoiding looking at?

Speaker B: Yeah.

Speaker A: Are you over identifying with your clients and their struggle? Which, from my story, I burned out of three jobs. If I didn’t have that struggle, I would not be in this joyful place right now. Right.

Speaker B: Yeah.

Speaker A: We cannot remove the struggle from some of these clients because it’s the fire that they need to forge something different. Right. And so I think for clinicians who want to stay in this field, it’s understanding what is the drive, what are they doing, and better understand ways that they can protect themselves emotionally and psychologically and work with clients in a way that is best for everybody.

Speaker B: Yeah. And I think the support I didn’t realize how much of a silo I would be in in private practice.

Speaker A: Whereas.

Speaker B: Before on internship and postdoc, I had a lot of I talk to people about my work every day. And that’s a huge difference that I don’t think we can fully know what that’s going to be like until we’re in it. And we can be pretty deliberate if we make that choice in private practice to be alone and isolated, even if you have people that rent other space in your space, have to be really intentional about creating that community.

Speaker A: Absolutely. Like peer supervision groups or I mean, it’s tricky because we have to keep all of the information confidential so we can’t come back and vent about work or process anything because it’s private information. So that is part of the tricky piece. Yeah, but I mean, we’re wired to be social. We’re social creatures. We’re wired for connection. So it makes total sense that if we’re in private practice and not connecting to our peers that we’re going to be burnt out because we’re not having that cycle of filling each other’s cups, hearing someone go, Jen, that was what you just shared. That sounds amazing, what you did with your client. And that would fill your cup versus just kind of thinking about all the things that you wish you had done differently. That’s what I do.

Speaker B: Yeah. And I think the nature of therapy too, because in other fields, like when I go, I think of physical therapy sometimes because I go to physical therapy often. I’m a tennis player for 30 years, and when I go there, they’re often in the same space, like treating their patients together. So they’re in the gym and they’re working out together and they’re seeing each other and they’re seeing their patients get better or not get better. And they can say like, oh, I really saw you struggle with I’m just imagining what they talk about, like, hey, I saw you struggling with Billy over here. Can you maybe have you tried this or that or X, Y and Z or like, oh, they’re really stressed out today. That seemed like that was a hard session or something. So there’s more space to be seen, potentially. Whereas we were licensed, we’re in a closed door, so we’re not often seen unless we’re doing co therapy.

Speaker A: Right. And I think that’s one of the pulls for me to start my group coaching practice is that I noticed my niche is folks of color, so black, indigenous people of color and LGBTQ. And so my groups are healing boundaries for people who are marginalized generationally to kind of heal that. And so what I noticed in a lot of my one on ones was that they felt like they were all alone, like no one else was struggling as much as them. So when I led the groups where it was mostly BIPOC, all BIPOC, and now I’m opening it up for LGBTQ who are non BIPOC, but deep on their antiracist journey is they get to be in community with people who are also struggling. Right. And there’s this amazing alchemy of sharing space with someone else who’s 100% responsible for their own life and their decisions. And then we’re just journeying alongside of each other. It’s amazing. I feel so energized after those groups. It’s so fun.

Speaker B: Yeah, that’s great. And the wonderful work you’re doing. And I love seeing you on video, by the way, on Instagram. Your videos are the best.

Speaker A: Thank you. It took a while. Oh, my gosh, I hated it at first, but I’m glad I got here anytime.

Speaker B: I think if you’ve been in therapy before, we’re kind of socialized to not share anything on social media. So there is a shift if you start to do that in some context, like I’ve been doing with my podcast, it’s hard to be visible.

Speaker A: What’s your natural response when you share your vulnerability or show up in that. Way on the podcast.

Speaker B: I think it’s fine. I think I have more of an issue with video if it’s just me on video, but if I’m talking with like I’m talking with you, it doesn’t seem like that hard of a space to journey for me. But I think because this podcast is new and it’s been a while that I’ve been marketing it, feeling that familiar, like, am I going to be rejected? Am I going to be seen as, Why is she doing this? I mean, all the things, all the insecurities, all the things come up for me, but it tends to as I get going, I know it gets easier and I start to care less and less about those things and those voices and those worries get smaller.

Speaker A: Yeah. I hired a social media team to just teach me how to just upload, because before, when I was doing it, I would put something up and then I’d drop into my like, oh, is anyone going to like my video? Whereas because they didn’t have this personal investment in it, they were able to upload and push me to make content. And so I basically used their nervous system until I could get regulated enough to do it on my own.

Speaker B: It’s like co regulation for social media. I love it.

Speaker A: But wouldn’t that be the same thing for your example with the PT work?

Speaker B: Right.

Speaker A: It’s like because you’re in this room together doing similar things, struggling in similar ways, there’s this co regulation that happens because you’re not doing it alone in a silo. It’s a lot less lonely.

Speaker B: Definitely. I think when we were in that Mastermind together, a lot of us were doing these visible, vulnerable things we hadn’t done before, and it was the opposite of what we’d think to do in many ways. But it was easier together because we’re all doing those things.

Speaker A: Yeah. And then seeing someone, like, doing it that way and going, oh, my God, I would never do it that way. But because we’re seeing them do it, it’s like a possibility now for us.

Speaker B: Right. Heidi saval or saval. Yeah, very vulnerable. I mean, with her own story. And so this is part of my own story. This is a lot of me. More so than my last podcast, which was on TBI. So it’s a lot more of me. And so it’s not like, oh, and it’s easier now that I’m not doing therapy, I’d have to say.

Speaker A: Well, that’s interesting because I’ve been sharing so much more vulnerable content around my childhood and the struggles of parenting and all this other stuff. And I feel like it’s really allowed a lot of trust with my clients because I don’t know, I think there’s like this like I mean, of course I know there’s the power differential of putting a therapist on a pedestal, right. And I’m like, do you want to go see my kitchen? And I’ll bring my clients to my kitchen and be like, my **** stinks, too. Come on, we’re all human here. And there’s this softening and this ability to be like, oh, Judy’s, just like me. I’m a human being just trying to do this human experience. Right. And so that’s one of the reasons why I’m sharing more. And also, I think that is also a missed opportunity for therapists, too. I understand the need for confidentiality and allowing them to project onto us, but I think there’s an opportunity for us to relook at the models in which we were trained to see if it’s still helpful, because those models are based on white supremacy, patriarchy capitalism. So it’s good to relook at everything.

Speaker B: Yeah. And fear. I mean, so much fear. I think even the ethics training know a lot of it is a CYA. Oh, you want a CYA? Which most of us know what that is. Cover your ***. Because someone’s going to get us, we’re going to do something wrong, we’re going to hurt our clients, and our board is going to come for our license and all those things that people have actually said those things to me. So it’s no wonder we are often very fearful as therapists to do things, to change just anything.

Speaker A: Absolutely. Yeah.

Speaker B: So I think I give therapists who are starting this journey of changing whatever it is either changing their practice, going to a private practice, leaving therapy, doing all the whatever it is that you need to do, I just give them so much credit and just commend their courage.

Speaker A: Absolutely. Because it’s absolutely courage. Right. Making that leap of faith and not knowing how it’s going to end up. Part of the reason why I changed from being a therapist, taking insurance, to being a boundary coach and paying out of pocket is I decided to leave my husband, which required me to really make some look at my finances really carefully. But in doing that, I had so much more space for myself that I was able to write a book. I was able to rebrand myself. I was able to be present to my kids now because I had the space. And I got a puppy. She’s in the background. I mean, it was like, oh, my God, I had no idea I would have that much energy after something that felt like such a hard decision to make. And so courage. Absolutely.

Speaker B: Yeah. Do you want to talk about the book and share a little bit about it?

Speaker A: Sure. It was such a painful birthing of this book. It’s called the boundary revolution. Decolonize your relationships and discover a new path to joy. And it’s basically identifying how I work with my clients. And embedded in that is my own story, along with my client stories, and just talking about the framework that I use in therapy, because I just want more and more people to understand a different way of looking at themselves and their struggles to build some compassion in there along with accountability. And so it just identifies how I work and then folks can try to practice that at home too. That’s great.

Speaker B: Is that wherever books are sold?

Speaker A: I’m guessing it’s on Amazon.

Speaker B: Awesome. Yeah. And I can link that up in the show notes.

Speaker A: That would be great. Thank you.

Speaker B: Yeah. So what else are you putting out in the world that you might want to share with people? Therapists or anyone?

Speaker A: I’m running my next group starting this October. I’m not sure when this is going to be live, but it’s going to be October 5. So every other Thursday night through the beginning of January, holidays are often hard. I alluded to a challenging relationship with my mother and so holidays are hard for me. And so the group is for folks of color and those who are in the LGBTQ community. And so we’ll be journeying together that way. I’m doing a hybrid model of my group coaching now. So it’s like as I’m doing the live cohort, I’m recording it and then uploading it on Kajabi or my teaching site. And so folks can do that as self guided. So it’ll just be a course that folks can do alongside or at a different time. So I’m just trying to be super creative and try to use my energy for more joyful things too.

Speaker B: Yeah. What’s giving you energy?

Speaker A: I have never been a pet owner and my Luna is just like, I don’t know, she’s just so joyful. It’s just so nice to come home. And she’s like, do you have a pet?

Speaker B: I do, yeah. I have a 14 year old boy. Well, he’ll be 14 at the end of the month. Oh, God, he made me a mom. This animal. I think he’s straight from heaven. I really do. He just has like the soulful eyes of a cow. He used to be my therapy dog, so he would come into the office with me when I was practicing and my clients just loved him. He’s just so emotionally intelligent. Yeah. It’ll be hard whenever we do have to say goodbye, but he’s just been a gift. So I love pets and how they help our lives. I just think they add so much.

Speaker A: Oh, absolutely. I mean, the co regulation in and of she’s. It’s so interesting because I was writing my book when I decided to adopt Luna and it was just like this whisper in my ear of like, you should adopt a dog. And I’m like, I’m in the middle of my first draft, like, what the heck? And I heard about this puppy that needed a home who was calm and confident. And I was like, okay, why not? In the first three weeks, I was like, that was my ADHD doing this. I can’t do this book. And now she absolutely helped me finish the book. I mean, she was just this constant well of joy and love. Yeah, that’s great.

Speaker B: We also have a bunny. He’s the softest little thing. So you’re hanging with your dog. You got your group coming out. Maybe we can get this live for the launch. I will try my best. So it might launch October 4.

Speaker A: Oh, yeah.

Speaker B: So if that’s the case, it actually happened. I did it.

Speaker A: And don’t push yourself. Like I tell all my clients and myself every day, perfection is not the goal. Just do what is good. Don’t do too much.

Speaker B: Yeah, I steal from the program. Progress. Progress, not perfection. Progress over perfection. Now I mess it up anyways. Well, great. Well, I hope people will connect with you. Where is the best place to connect with you?

Speaker A: So, Judyhuboundarycoach.com. So it’s J-U-D-Y-H-U boundarycoach. And that will get you to all my different spots.

Speaker B: Wonderful. Thank you so much for spending time with me. This was a fabulous conversation, and I think people are going to get so much out of it and want to reach out to you.

Speaker A: Thank you so much, Jen. I really appreciate it. Take care.

Speaker B: Thank you for listening to the Joy After Burnout podcast. Be the first to hear new episodes by following the podcast and your podcast player. This is an informational podcast only. Any information expressed by the host or guest is not a substitute for legal, medical or financial advice.


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