Finding Peaks

Finding Peaks

Education vs. Experience: What Makes A Great Counselor?

June 27, 2022

Episode 59
Education vs. Experience: What Makes A Great Counselor?

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Join us in the intriguing conversation about how education and experience can play a role in providing effective counseling and the difficult dynamics Peaks faces trying to break the glass ceiling on the standards of care.

Talking Points
  1. Does our system provide new therapists the right toolbox to start provided services right after completing their education?
  2. Compiling education and experience together
  3. The professional and personal growth in agency vs. private practice
  4. Qualities that make a great counselor
  5. CEU (continuing education unit)
  6. A melting pot of philosophies, individuals and modalities who love what they do


“If you go straight into private practice, what your missing are those opportunities to cut your teeth as a therapist and to really learn to what it means to be in the trenches of the kind of clinical world, which is where you get good out of necessity because in the end you become real, you find yourself. You learn how to bring your genuine personality into the room with you so that you don’t show up as a counselor, you show up as a human being.”

-Clinton Nicholson, MA, LPC, LAC, Chief Operations Officer

Episode Transcripts

Episode 59 Transcripts

empathy is knowing your own darkness without that connection you don’t have anything what’s the opposite of addiction just freedom
well hello again everybody welcome back to our favorite time of the week it is finding peaks episode number one million because i’m an excellent counter yeah brandon burns chief executive officer for peaks recovery centers joined today again by my faithful team and counterparts jason friesma chief clinical officer lpclac all things all the things all the things clinical clint nicholson lpclac all things kind of but more operations yeah chief operating officer absolutely welcome back to the shtick yeah yeah stick that’s what we do i think that one of these days you’re just going to forget my name yeah you look at me dead in the eye like you look like i do panic sometimes you know do i do i call you when i normally call you in passing so this guy so what we’re
what we’re going to talk about today is because we know everything about everything that’s what makes us great in our jobs yeah it’s a big statement but a true statement yeah absolutely we only live at that level of a high bar certain circles it’s very is what it takes to be a great therapist and what does that even mean because you go to every addiction treatment website every psychiatric clinical psychologist website everybody can do all the things that’s why we go to school that’s why we get master’s degree but it turns out you have say let’s let’s use it like a benign example sometimes you just get bad physicists they’re good in their academics and they step outside and they’re not great engineers i don’t know but some of them are better there’s albert einstein and then there’s other people only he would use physicists stick with me i didn’t i actually didn’t prepare for this metaphor it’s just top of mind but the way that i think we should start with this is uh because you guys know i’ve been talking about this book for like three weeks now the boy who was raised as a dog uh dr perry is the author md of that book and i think what’s really important about the book and its timeline is that dr perry starts with like i’m a doctor awesome i’m a psychiatrist and now i’m in front of my first patient and i have no idea what i’m doing like it doesn’t matter everything i’ve learned now i’m looking at this child who’s really suffering from neglect and abuse and trauma and all this stuff and i literally don’t know what i’m doing and i think that’s a good you know kind of starting point to this as well as you know we can pull in some dr yolum stuff as well too wrote i think more famously the gift of therapy he’s written a lot of things says he’s not doing philosophy but he is uh just want to get that in case you’re watching dr young in case you’re there on the the facebook watching us right now uh but in the gift of therapy in the beginning of it says i’m treating mid to high functioning individuals and what i love about that is it’s so easy for in my experience of clinicians to quote that book six ways to sunday at the same time when you read that book he spent like the first 30 years of his career in research geriatric care psych wards substance abuse he did all the things and then he arrives at this moment to meet with men to high functioning individuals and delivers these awesome therapeutic interventions the takeaway from both those books is there was an incredible time period to get into a position where they were like i think i kind of got this yet at the same time one of the universities down the road from us here in the springs releases people into the world going right into private practice and that seems like a fundamental error of the systems because what the books and all these great writers are telling us is time matters to deliver good care because the experiences matter and those experiences inform how to make right diagnoses and not to make wrong diagnoses and not to look at somebody and think of their behaviors as adhd when it might just be behaviors resulting from a traumatic episode resolve the traumatic the trauma the neglect through therapeutic interventions and maybe the adhd looking stuff kind of goes away in that regard so um i think that’s that’s a big deal to me uh because i think there’s this other language of gosh what does our friend michael say about this uh we with uh we’re kind of like feeding new professionals like to the wolves when they come out yeah you got a degree yeah we eat our young within this industry we say okay you’re pumped you’re 26 years old got your master’s degree your lpcc working on your hours here’s some patience there’s only five of them you’re gonna do great and then at the end of it they’re like i don’t know what i’m doing i’m getting burned out all of this sort of stuff right so we have this tendency as an industry to eat our young and i think that speaks to a couple of things right the lack of you know maybe professionals actually available to treat this so we require all of the youngins to come in and really perform this work and so you know just painting a picture of how our systems are kind of disruptive of this process and not allowing time to really arrive at what might be a dr perry md psychiatrist
um knowing what they’re doing and a doctor yalum in those sort of ways so um with that introduction long-winded thorough but thorough yeah where are we at with this like how much of that in your guys’s view matters because jason i think you’ve been doing this since like 1906 you know since 1972. absolutely absurd those numbers again great with numbers good physicists bad physicists good mathematician bad mathematician yeah i think you know i think you said i mean you said a lot brandon but uh one of the first things you talked about was dr perry going to his first session and being like i have no idea what i’m doing and to me that alone uh is fundamentally a great start to his career for sure having that awareness that like i don’t know what i’m doing um so you know when we were talking about um doing this topic uh today or after you told me this is what we were talking about um the first thing is that ability to know yourself um because if you don’t know yourself in in the therapeutic relationship then you can’t tell where the client is like you can’t see where their prop where your problems end and theirs begin or whatever like it it creates this baffling mess so at least dr perry knew that okay i don’t know what i’m doing but i in you know having read uh some of dr perry’s work like this guy’s deeply empathetic and uh very knowledgeable um about psychiatry particularly but he seems to hold tremendous space for people that are really suffering and so uh you know that that piece isn’t as trainable so i’m confident that when he sat down with his first patient and uh he at least had that piece with him like he knew how to like meet a human where they were and understand that he didn’t know what he was doing no i i think yes oh thanks well said yeah uh the nicest thing you’ve ever said on this show i’d like to market to show my empathy and display my therapeutic skills yeah good job uh thank you um i think humility is to kind of piggyback piggyback off of that like if you are not humble in uh your awareness of how little you know then you’re not gonna go very far i think that the master’s degrees and to be fair to you know all of the the universities and colleges in the springs like i i think most master’s level programs do not train counselors to go into agency work they don’t train them to go into the trenches they train them to go again into these sort of private practice like worried well kind of fields and um it’s it doesn’t do the student any favors you know like if you need to kind of be prepared to go to battle when you leave because i mean my i mean i went to a small a small college down in uh you know the san luis valley and my professors were very clear that you will leave here learning just enough to be dangerous and that was sort of the mantra so it was kind of instilled in me like you have to leave here knowing you know nothing or else you’ll never be okay you’ll never be good enough at this job and to move uh and to speak to what you’d kind of mentioned earlier brandon like if you move straight into private practice or even a small practice you’re what you’re missing are those opportunities to cut your teeth as a therapist and really learn what it means to to be in the trenches of the kind of clinical world which is where you just get you get good out of necessity yeah because in the end you would you get real you find yourself and you learn how to bring your genuine person into the room with you so that you don’t show up as a counselor you just show up as a human being yeah and the this i would i would encourage all viewers to uh with a companion i think it’s also a lot to download i spent as i’ve shared with both of you at least a half hour crying with my wife about all of the stories i felt like i was holding on to uh within the book and not being able to describe them or share them with other people it is deeply intense but the takeaway from it is like the the folks that we’re treating at peaks recovery centers at any given time are we look at it through the lens of just these people are suffering and it’s our job to figure out where that suffering comes from and deploy interventions that lead to uh you know a renewal of themselves their energy their relationships um you know their jobs their careers everything along the way uh but at the same time as well too um you know we have things that i think are like in the way of this you know and i’m curious from your guys’s perspective when people launch out how reliant you know maybe you think that individuals are on say like the dsm-5 i heard from somebody in this industry that this is an objective book it gives us all the objectivity so that’s great so we can resolve all things through the dsm-5 uh sarcasm to that person these are descriptors not objective views of subjective individuals but that said to bring the audience a little closer to it and move my sarcasm aside it’s like well if you have to there are there are 12 11 or 12 pieces right that would define a major depressive disorder descriptors right so you could have an individual with one through six and an individual who identifies with the descriptors of seven through twelve you could have a one two three five six and an individual with a four seven eight nine ten eleven twelve i’ve just described three individuals with a major depressive disorder who shared no symptoms um or no uh no you know one symptom equals this two three four five six or whatever and that’s what makes it not objective so it seems like we could rely on something like the dsm-5 and those descriptors and make a ton of fundamental errors when we’re looking at the individual maybe because we lack curiosity i’m curious i guess for the newbie coming out of school how reliant they end up becoming on these types of things to deliver care and if there’s a tripwire there that we should be you know kind of acknowledging within you know counselors coming out of schools in that way of things because they don’t have the experiences so they’re looking at an experience and then what informs them about that is it that or are we doing something even more harmful than just making things up i’m curious like how you were trained on the dsm when you went to school because when i went to school it was actually when we were writing this yeah when you the first esm dsm .05 yeah uh yeah when i went to school like we were actually almost encouraged to not diagnose which to me is the other end of the danger zone it was not about there wasn’t a whole lot of training on how to accurately diagnose somebody or even what that meant it was mostly um i mean that that was my experience i don’t know yeah no it didn’t i think my my diagnosis class felt pretty perfunctory like they had to do it to be careful credited or whatever but um you know like there’s this intersectionality of like you know yolum i think does a great job kind of capturing the art of therapy in so many ways of like you know just talking about these beautiful interactions with people and and and his empathy and his interventions uh are just so uniquely yalum and it’s just him being him and um and then we have kind of the medical and the science part of it and and i do think you know like the dsm i think it can be helpful to describe constellations of symptoms if you will um because it helps us make sense of things like words matter we’ve talked about that on here before um but then you know like clinically like when i’m sitting in front of everybody i’m not like thinking through like i’m just dealing with depression here anxiety like i’m dealing with a human yeah but i also think that we kind of have a tendency to jump to yalum before going through the all of the the medical stuff like you need those guidelines i think it’s i i have a victory about this yeah i do i think our field really glamorizes the whole like i’m going to bring my genuine self and i’m going to have all these cool interventions and i’m going to be really special and unique and and you miss the point where you actually have to know how to do your job like you actually have to know what the dsm is you have to know what the criteria are you know how to use them appropriately like it’s not that is not the answer i mean i could describe people that can get really nuanced in their diagnosis too absolutely it had every modifier on there and this really beautiful constellation of diagnosis that are also are very informed just nothing yeah really yeah exactly i know i i get you i think i think we talk i think we just live on the extremes of those yeah living on the extremes of either of that of that spectrum is is kind of nonsensical it’s really there’s this middle ground where everything kind of coalesces together yeah and and i think for the new therapist in particular the new counselor just making sure that there’s a solid foundation and again like that’s what you’re talking about right it’s about those years in the field those years in the trenches where you really learn how to bring all of these different pieces together so that you can be unique so that you can be creative so that you can be nuanced in a way that is really efficacious for the client in the end when i think you know i came to peaks from a private practice right i had a i mean literally four blocks from here i had an office about it yeah i don’t mean to flex but like and it worked and i saw clients and i paid my bills and it was a good gig um but really uh it even then and i was you know i was a seasoned therapist even then and but like um
there’s a growth process that’s just exponentially steeper in agency work even still even being in this field you know for quite a while as you pointed out over 20 years like the i’m still on a tremendous growth curve i would say because of the agency work because of my interactions with you guys and my interactions with other clinicians and other modalities and the presentation of clients and how much time we get to spend with them and you sit in private practice and you see client after client for an hour a week you know uh seeing the worried well is what i called it um it my professional growth kind of arrested for a while i would say and i mean and i went to conferences and trainings and all that but it isn’t the same as as being in this community of multi-disciplinary teams and being around our physicians and and that sort of thing so i’m i’m hitting something with you i can well no i’m yeah you guys know me i just love disrupting things and so just let that ambulance pass probably going right on time take care of the worried well the when we say worried well what are we stating like what is it about that patient demographic that is worried well in a way that we would not say that in agency work so honestly you know that it’s kind of derogatory yeah a little bit derogatory like really when i when i would have to like do medical billing or like do my billing stuff like literally sometimes there’s this diagnosis called adjustment disorder and that was oftentimes the only one i could find for them and basically that diagnosis just meant like you had some sort of change occur in your life and uh your ability to deal with that change is maybe not as uh robust as other people’s yeah and but it was kind of this throwaway diagnosis that just meant like it i mean life got a little hard you’re struggling and you haven’t been able to figure out on your own oh your husband isn’t talking to you so you you want to come talk to me for an hour a week and talk about that you’re making the same meals and you do the laundry and it’s boring and you’re not finding much meaning in life okay but you’re not going to really respond to my interventions you’re not going to do the things i ask you just want to come tell me that once a week okay yeah and you’ll pay me for that and it and um i just didn’t find it super fulfilling don’t get me wrong i had i also had great interactions with clients like there were times when it was um phenomenal but i’ll be honest with you it took a lot of like those were it i had to be pretty experienced and i pulled a ton of experience from from the other things i had done before to be able to engage people with that because i do think um i i want to circle back around our overall question i think what makes a good counselor too in in these i don’t mean these i’m going to say some words that are going to sound like platitudes but it’s real like to be genuine like i think somebody has to be genuine um i think our clients and i think even at any setting people sniff out disingenuousness uh so easily um and uh and that’s that takes time nurturing to learn and and i think it takes really good supervision um to make sure that people are being genuine i had a supervision uh meeting today with one of the clinicians where i just had to keep probing and probing until kind of i found a genuine response to this clinician’s response to one of our clients and like um but then once it was there was like oh my god yeah i was out of out of my genuineness in that moment for sure and um but like that takes time and that takes time to nurture that and and to figure out how to hold that space um i think that is so important um and obviously other things would be uh empathy is so critically important and i and i love to quote uh pema chodron who says that empathy is knowing our own darkness well enough to sit in the dark with another and i think that that that makes a great clinician that can just hold that space i know i keep saying it but like hold some sacred space with somebody as they are uh going through something um and that is difficult because it’s way easier to just say things fill their time or interrupt that process um i think that seems so key for me as well i think we have you know what comes up for me here too is that we have again every ever you guys heard me 100 times say this every addiction treatment website promises the dual diagnosis stuff we treat the major depressive disorder we do the anxiety we do the substances we do all the things
that can only be true if the team underneath actually has the capacity to do that and at the same time there are always going to be in an industry with 14 000 addiction treatment centers in it not everybody under that hood is going to be in a position to treat these things but back to the language of like this industry has a tendency to eat its young it’s because it’s exploded so quickly but we haven’t really had the assets in place to deploy this and so a couple of things right that would make a great clinician wouldn’t be just being thrown to the wolves but would be to have an infrastructure within uh agency work that can actually mold support and help grow those individuals at the same time also delivering the demands and the needs of the individual uh within programming and so out of this just want to highlight that we can be a down a stream here of many nuances and at the same time this is quite complex and you know one of the things that comes to mind is i hear families you know colin peaks and so forth it’s like oh well the last psychiatrist like didn’t get it um you guys have a psychiatrist it seems like your guys are going to get it unless we’re going to do this right we’re just going to manage but like there are limitations to what a psychiatrist can do at any given time there are limitations to what medications can do dr ilardi’s episodes uh dr ryan being on our episodes dr ashley johnson i mean we’ve been very transparent about these limiting features and clinicians themselves though master’s degrees don’t just walk out with all of the experiences in the world yet at the same time admissions teams are tasked with yes we can treat that yes we have the lpc that can challenge the mental health and you know deliver the intervention but back to the books it seems like the only way to really fundamentally get this is to have these experiences in place and not just experiences but experiences that were challenged and informed in real time because you can have all the experiences in the world but if your only supervision was somebody who kept thumping your head with the 12 steps right as a model of care then you can have all the experiences but all you know how to deliver is 12-step through those experiences and you miss all the other opportunities of interventions i think it’s a great caveat right like it’s not just about being thrown to the wolves it’s about being thrown to the wolves with like a really great mentor or a really great supervisor yeah to help you navigate that because you and it’s a pretty well known kind of almost trope in our industry that clinical supervision is always uh it’s almost like a myth to some degree and i mean again this goes to the nuance like there are agencies where it is not great and you do not get good supervision and it and you will not grow and you will be stuck kind of where you even if you come out of school you’re thrown into the wolves and you’re just left there to sort of fend for yourself and you actually don’t grow in that environment either just like there are private practice organizations that i’m sure are phenomenal have great supervision have really have really passionate really dedicated people that can help help you grow in an environment that is maybe less challenging but still nonetheless will allow you to grow as a clinician i think it’s it’s about not being alone right like you have to have guidance through that process it’s nobody knows how to do this right away you know it’s um it just takes time and if you have people that can i mean it’s people helping people it’s broken helping broken it’s kind of absurd to a certain degree and i that’s my own rag on my on my actual you know like career basically but it there’s a certain sort of absurdity to it and because the the clinician has to be is still human right and we have to a lot of what we learn is a really about self-awareness like jason spoke to earlier and how do we show up in certain ways when with certain people in certain situations and how do we navigate that in a way that allows us to actually develop empathy and create emotional connection and and provide good clear feedback for that individual so that they can kind of move on in their life from wherever they are it’s to do that by yourself after two years of college or two years of a master’s program is not a thing like it just that’s not real you know you have to have help you have to have support yeah it has me thinking of uh you know here in colorado we have ceus continued education units right the whole goal behind those i i believe correct me if i’m wrong is certainly that hey you’re in a private practice maybe you don’t have supervision but so many hours out of the year you’ve got to go and be educated on a topic and then you sign off on that well the real problem with that feels like that just like reading dr yolum’s book it provides a lot of opportunities in it but if you don’t have anybody to engage with it to work on it with to be witness to your improvement and your growth as an opportunity you can walk into a ceu event take as much notes as you want to do but if you don’t have anybody to bounce those ideas off of probably not going to arrive at being successful at least in what we were being educated on and probably more to the point as well too i think clinicians probably a good amount of them are just checking ceu boxes and not actually delivering the interventions that in a in a in a real informed and meaningful way is my major statement come at me industry well the ceu is also designed for that clinician who’s been in the field for decades and to keep them fresh to keep them up to date to make sure that um we don’t get stagnant you know because this is our field has any field that isn’t dynamic isn’t a field it’s it’s a it’s a theory right you know and so um but to your point like but if i but if i’m a clinician right and i am i’m for 20 years because maybe out of self-awareness and growth i’m in recovery myself i did it through the 12-step model and 12-step is abstinence regardless and now i’m in front of somebody who’s requiring medication-assisted treatment and there’s a ceu event for medication-assisted treatment and i ignore that because it’s not sitting within my philosophy then i’m just going to the ceu events that talk about you know 12-step programming within programs or interventions around that right then i mean this i think is one of the fundamental problems of our industry we adopt this is the only industry it’s not the only it’s one of a handful of healthcare size healthcare settings in which we can develop our own philosophies about what we think the individual needs in front of us and deploy those and that seems
i mean it seems like an extraordinary liability but that is what is happening on all of our sites we have these philosophies that we take with us that we think the other individual should have because it worked for me it worked for the last 10 people i saw in this row and then that limits our potential for growth and limits us within ceu settings or where we’re going to go receive continued education whatsoever
i mean it’s a statement you know maybe it’s a statement it was a statement i don’t know what the question is i i do am i wrong some people are stupid am i wrong
i just want to slip into like reflect back what you said and have you keep talking that’s just like my counselor and me who wants to do that i think that you know even peaks though to a certain degree like we have our own philosophy right like we’re one of those agencies our philosophy just happens to be that our philosophy is flux you know like we’ll take as many different philosophies as we possibly can and learn from all of them we’re not gonna just pick one and hold on to it for dear life we’re gonna we’re gonna take the best of everything that we’ve found and try to come come up with something cohesive but in the end like you said just like when you’re diagnosing uh major depressive disorder you know you’ve got 12 criteria but no two individuals have meet this the same criteria in the same way right so to have to try to have one philosophy to to to treat this um what is a very dynamic diagnosis makes no sense you know unless your philosophy is to have i will use whatever philosophy is necessary that that’s probably the best philosophy i have right yeah well and for us our vision has been to disrupt an industry through quality of care and so you know in that regards we are big at peaks of like and we’ve talked about it with i’ve talked about it with joanna conte and vista research and outcome data for the last 30 years our industry is 30 or lower or just flat as regards to outcomes in that regard so our philosophy at peaks is like just throw everything out with the kitchen sink in that regard and let’s pull anything and everything in as possible to make this as big as possible for the individual that we’re in front of to move outcomes in a direction that you know is viable and i think the power behind that is that it feels like the old philosophies the ingrained things we’re gonna do six hours of group one individual session and we’re gonna sprinkle meds on them and somehow that’s gonna lead to the outcome at the bottom of every algorithmic page that we treat depression if you get to the bottom of it it’ll say something about depression like we throw them at it and we do some counseling along the way and we’re hopeful at that point that is an old way of doing things going back to dr ilardy’s model that is not a spiderweb concept you know let’s throw the tms ketamine if it’s necessary you know let’s throw the calcium let’s get some exercises get probiotics let’s get nutrition in there let’s do all of those things and see if something sticks if not multiple things but we what we know for the outcomes is not sticking is a med and therapy delivered with one individual session a week and six hours of group per day in a room where people are also not there for major depression but therefore substance use disorder primaries and out of that philosophy i think our industry has gotten really hopeful about a co-occurring disorder and a guessing game that okay you say you have depression but you smoke two pot two days ago i think the pot is causing the depression right and i think that is where i just want to acknowledge what i mean when i talk about these select philosophies versus just having this all sort of in approach because at this point we know we can always do one individual session and six hours group you know a day and we know what those outcomes are and so it feels like we have nothing to lose by adding more absolutely yeah well i guess i don’t this only feels like it loosely ties to what you’re saying like i do feel like fundamentally so much of our philosophy is so intangible because it is about building community with our clients and having our clients build community and that connection and it’s hard to measure that and so it’s hard to standardize it right like we could try to take this philosophy and drop it into a different program but like you have to have the right people doing it because like that’s a genuine thing like i think people being genuine that extends beyond our clinical team i think i think our best employees are those that are truly showing up doing what they love and if you talk to our medical and housing and admissions in all of our departments they’re doing what they love from their being genuinely themselves in their role that’s hard to measure and it’s hard to to to i don’t know put out there yeah it’s hard to put in the book it’s hard to put in a book it’s hard to step by step and science needs it to be replicable right like they need to say this is how you plug this in and go do this and maybe we need to figure out how to write that down but like that’s difficult to do because it’s so intangible yeah well and we work in a managed care setting yeah absolutely clear we have all these downward pressures and requirements from insurance companies some of them are good because they protect against things like liabilities and ensure that there’s actually services being rendered and it’s not just all hocus pocus for the individual you know but at the same time i feel like the defeating aspect of agency work is the schooling systems are doing a terrible job at conveying the value of the dsm-5 there’s no documentation standard requirements for most schools uh throughout the country i’ve rarely except out of like the hazelton network i think they’re big on documentation but as an example to be charitable to institutions but you know at the same time so you pull these people out who you guys are describing to me come out of school with this like authenticity and i need to meet the client where they’re at i need to build rapport and those things have an incredible amount of value okay now i need you to document all that well how do i document those intangibles because that’s really what we’re experiencing in the room and they get defeated real quick in the process because it’s like well you have to put the medical intervention in there like nobody realistically i think call me out if i’m wrong is sitting in an individual therapy session like oh i’m about to smash this person with some dbt some dialectical behavioral therapy here comes like fast pitch right you would be surprised yeah we some of but like to your point though it isn’t 60 minutes of it right right like here’s how you do wise binding let’s practice that like i think or like taking it out of the tool belt like i got a dbt here i got some cbt i got some of this and like okay here we go okay you’re talking i’m thinking i’m gonna use this tool like yeah you know i think at the beginning yes actually there’s some very if there’s like a sort of attachment to your your favorite intervention and people like oh i’m a cbt therapist it’s like no you’re not if you are then you should stop like you don’t do that anymore it’s i think this is the i mean this is the thing about our field right like it is we live in a world of gray like it is a messy thing that we do and if you can’t get comfortable being messy then you’re probably not going to be very successful we want things to be very clean and very organized and very easy to sort of encapsulate and replicate and this is mental health like this is behavioral health this is people people are not those things like we are very very dynamic and it’s um it’s why our philosophy has to be dynamic right like and that’s really as a company what we are like we we recognize the importance of allowing ourselves to to explore as many options as are as absolutely necessary because no two treatments that no two patients that come to our uh that come to our facility while they will have a standard level of care like a fundamental level of care that ensures that they’re again not getting the hocus pocus they will individually have their own experience in their own treatment trajectory but we have to create an environment in which that happens which is again another intangible space like how do you you have to create a culture in which that allows that to happen how do you encapsulate a culture you know like how do you do that how do you replicate that there are um it’s once you you the smaller you try to get the bigger the picture becomes and um i don’t know i just think it’s one of those if you can embrace the messy then you’re okay you know then i i think that you’re going to be fine but if you’re looking for something very clear and very clean it’s it’s not going to happen then you should probably go to private practice
treat the world worried yeah well i i know that i’ve got like a hundred different things to say like you know how do you find for example right the right clinician in a geographically limited location like vale colorado what do you think the population of vale colorado is like like four like four or five people living in million dollar homes yeah there’s 110 bed you know facility out there somewhere uh in colorado and like how do you get talent in such a small town that is so unaffordable to live in to treat the individuals that you say you can serve at the end of the day yes i’m coming at you industry uh in this regard but at the same time i always dedicated to giving families the information to challenge this industry so that we shape up and we show up in the way that we say we do on each and every one of our websites at the end of the day so tangent aside take us out gentlemen maybe like top five bullet points what do you think how do we arrive at becoming the best possible therapist and maybe it is your journey that describes those bullet points rather than you know pointing at others
i man that’s off the top of my head i i’ve listed a fair amount of them and and having my own genuineness feels like such a key part like you’re asking about my personal journey to be here like i think uh and i think it’s all these it’s all these things that we yeah embrace yourself it’s all these words that we say like this holding space and and creating a culture and a community it’s all these intangible things and i even like to say that like you know like uh the people who wrote came up with cognitive therapy ellis i think and and fritz pearls with gestalt and all these guys created um these theories of counseling but it was them being themselves and yalum and all of his work that’s truly just y’all and being himself and then we try to like figure out how to incorporate it in and so to your point like i don’t think our job is to create little lyolums or little friesmas as we have liked to say is to empower our clinicians at peaks to find like to be genuinely themselves because you know and this is something that i did appreciate about the grad school i went to we talked about how like the clinician is actually the agent of change like all these interventions are really important and helpful but like we have to be the ones that can figure out the intervention and also just hold the space and find the problem yeah uh we can have all the best interventions in the world but if we can’t sit with a person and really begin to track down what the issue is it doesn’t matter what our interventions are um that’s my first thought would there wasn’t five bullet points but that’s my thought clinton uh i think sense of humor too by the way let’s throw that in yeah lob that in there yeah you gotta be able to tell jokes yeah really funny ones really funny jokes do you know me yeah i got a joke uh um i think 90 of being a good therapist is just being a decent person yeah like being able to sit down and listen and just like you said hold space like just be there with an individual and actually not try to do anything just allow people to be themselves we don’t do that enough for each other in this world yeah we don’t sit and just be with each other there’s always an agenda and if you can go into even though there is like an actual literal purpose and um place you’re trying to go from point a to point b when as soon as you walk into a counseling session if you can walk in there without an agenda you’re in a great space because it’s gonna become organic and it’s gonna um and then you’re gonna allow you will start to show up in a way that is very real and that and will start to develop that therapeutic bond in relationship um and if you can make that connection man like all of this i think when you talked about interventions and like you don’t go in there think i’m going to use this i’m going to use that i’m going to use that and the truth is you i think in the beginning you do but after a while you what ends up happening is you just sort of organically use these intervention strategies they just become a part of your they become a part of the way in which you communicate with people and it’s in upon reflection that you’re like you think back you’re like oh yeah i used some cbt there when i was talking to him about that oh yeah that was i threw in a dbt skill just kind of a little underhand right there just kind of in the middle when they started to disregulate a little bit you know all of these little things become very organic and they become very much a part of the process so there’s this very difficult act of letting go of being a counselor and i think once you let go of this idea that i’m a counselor you’ve become one kind of weird that’s paradox that was good yeah so the answer is a paradox and i think what these uh guys in my experience are illuminating here today as well too is that the world has been hard on the individuals that we serve at peak’s recovery center sometimes that’s not obvious to the family systems right it’s like oh we gave them everything i don’t understand what the problem is here but in some way shape or form it could be and that’s the i think when you for the viewers out there they’re going to go download audiobook whatever the boy was raised as a dog when you read that book there’s a couple really uh sensitive pieces of you know material in there that convey like real physical abuse um in a profound way but also at the same time what’s challenging about the book is the abuses are just these moments of neglect these missed opportunities to be a human with a baby human you know an individual is two to four years old and it creates all of these problems for the individual and so the individuals that come to peaks i think are used to being on their heels used to be in defensive use to feeling like the world is throwing everything at them and then they’re they’re depleted so they come in with a sense of distrust and so showing up in that way that you guys are describing those intangibles like the first thing i’m going to do in this room with you here’s my tool belt i’m going to put on so i’m just going to be a human with you because if we can’t be relational together you’re never going to give me any insights you’re never going to tell me where you’ve come from i’m going to be just like the world is as you came into peaks fair absolutely all right well played well said and experience matters for sure meaningful experience meaningful experiences right being on a team knowing you know being able to pat you get better in team environments right i think overall that’s true in sports it’s true in professional settings as well too the idea to bounce ideas off each other um and i know like our team is probably you know going to watch this in the background and be like there brandon is hitting on the private practices again but private practices are of absolute value but there is greater value in them when individuals i think who arrive at them go through these experiences and get all of these individuals with different backgrounds diagnoses and so forth in front of them and it gives them an opportunity to better serve future individuals through this collaborative effort so um i guess i’ll just take us out here because maybe that was a mic drop moment i don’t know you tell us was it a mic drop moment finding peaks at coover that’s for you to do the the digital stuff we’ll see if we can make it happen otherwise thank you all so much for being a part of this to gate with us again today it’s always a pleasure to bring these things forward hopefully you can hear our passion hopefully we’re not trying to discourage people from pursuing these things but give insights into what you might be thinking about as a family system when you go to find an addiction treatment setting a behavioral hosting of any sort like what is the actual capacity for a treatment program to deliver these services that their website says they can do um and just to be equipped with those tools at the end of the day because you your loved one friend of spouse otherwise life is in a state of suffering in that moment and it’s just so important that the services are real and that we have the capacity to deliver on those promises that we make to you all each and every day when you call our admissions line so thank you for being here with us again today uh find us on the facebook the tick tocks chris burns doing the heart pounding stuff all that sort of stuff a lot of energy love him uh grateful for him i believe jason friesma is host next week i am finding peaks so tune in next week for the freeze and we will see you all then