During this episode, I talk with Dr. Jenna Renfroe (she/her) about the importance of business ownership, neuropsychology and how to optimizing brain health.
Jenna is board-certified in clinical neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. She received her doctoral training at the University of Florida (Go Gators!) in Clinical and Health Psychology with a specialization in Clinical Neuropsychology and then completed an internship in Clinical Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation Psychology at the VA Boston Healthcare System, through Harvard Medical School and the Boston University School of Medicine.
Jenna completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship with the Movement Disorders Center of Excellence at the Medical University of South Carolina, Department of Neurology, Division of Neurosciences. She has specialized training in the neuroscience of emotion, anxiety, and mindfulness.
Jenna has a heart for veterans and works extensively with active duty and veteran members of the United States Armed Forces. One of the highlights of her career is ongoing work with an interdisciplinary team of experts that teaches resiliency and leadership skills to active duty military leaders through the 360 Program.
Above all, Jenna has a passion for helping others and connecting to the human spirit. She is determined to help people care for themselves better in early to middle adulthood, to stave off the negative effects of emotional and physical illness and continue to thrive throughout their lifespan.
TOPICS IN THIS EPISODE:
OFFERS & HELPFUL LINKS:
· Jenna’s website
· Jennifer Agee coaching page
· Counseling Community Facebook community
· Counseling Community Instagram
· Alaskan Cruise: Experiential Therapeutic Intervention Training for Therapists June 3-10, 2023
· Cabo, Mexico: Dreamer’s Retreat for Entrepreneurial Therapists October 6-8, 2022
Jennifer Agee: Hello. Hello and welcome to Sh*t You Wish You Learned in Grad School. I'm your host, Jennifer Agee, licensed clinical professional counselor. And today I'm with Dr. Jenna Renfroe. She's a clinical neuropsychologist, and the owner and founder of Tailored Brain Health, and an all-around awesome human being. I got to spend some time with her in Ireland to get to know her, and I think you're gonna really enjoy today. So welcome, Jenna.
Jenna Renfroe: Thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure to be here.
Jennifer Agee: Great. So, Jenna, what is one thing that you wish you would've learned in grad school?
Jenna Renfroe: Oh man. I mean, I, I think the low-hanging fruit here is I wish that they had taught me more about how to be a business owner and what the business world of neuropsychology really is and what it means. And you know what our earning capacity is, how to meet that earning capacity, how to properly bill, like all the logistics, you know? You don't get any of that. And then all of a sudden, you graduate, you're done, you're out in the real world, and you know nothing about what it actually means to be in the real world with a job as a clinician or an academic researcher, really either. But the real world is just far different than, you know, the ivory tower. And I wish I had learned more about that and had more preparation for it, if that makes sense.
Jennifer Agee: That makes a hundred percent sense. And honestly, that's a huge reason that I started the podcast is because as a clinical supervisor, um, I'm with people who are new to the field all the time.
Jenna Renfroe: Yeah.
Jennifer Agee: And it is shocking what people don't know, and it's not because of anything they didn't do or any fault of their own. They just ignore this complete, this part of our training completely when you're in school, like, we're just magically all gonna get out and work for an agency or something, I guess. I don't know.
Jenna Renfroe: Yeah. And in my program, I was in, um, a clinical program for, um, it was a Ph.D. program. So even to talk about going into private practice was almost like taboo. It was like, like the, the secret, you know, stepsister that nobody talks about. If you actually want to go into private practice, like you kind of kept it a secret. Because in graduate school, they're really grooming and cultivating people to become an academic. And there's, you know, no shame in that. And I did that for a while and, but it's a whole different world. So I mean, you truly couldn't even really ask for the help, I don't think. I don't think it was a safe environment to do so. Um, so that...
Jennifer Agee: Yeah, and a lot of the academics don't have a business background or have not been in private practice themselves, so they don't know how to guide you.
Jenna Renfroe: No, not at all. I mean, I, we, we talk about that a lot too. And again, the, the complicated dynamics of being in the professional world, um, in a hospital setting, for example, like oftentimes it's either business people running the hospital. And so they don't necessarily understand the boots-on-the-ground experience of the clinicians doing the work and the problems that arise there. Or it's mental health folks trying to run the administrative side but don't have any proper business management training. And it's all kinda a shit show. Like, I'm allowed to say that. I think I'm allowed.
Jennifer Agee: You can.
Jenna Renfroe: It's like in the title.
Jennifer Agee: It's in the title of the podcast. You can say it if you want to.
Jenna Renfroe: Yeah.
Jennifer Agee: Um, you are ab- you are absolutely right. And that's one of the things I found is, uh, although I've been a therapist for 22 years, actually 23 this year. Goal. Um, I spent the first part of my career as the executive director of two different nonprofit organizations. And so, although it was all therapy-related, so I kept up on my clinical skills. It was mostly running a business to be quite honest, you know, it's the day in day out of running a business. And so, I found when I went into private practice and I was talking to other clinicians, things that came very naturally to me, other people just flat did not know or had a really hard time figuring out how to put the infrastructure behind the scenes...
Jenna Renfroe: Yeah.
Jennifer Agee: In place in order to run a really effective practice.
Jenna Renfroe: Gosh, totally. Totally. Yeah. I'm, I'm super lucky to be the daughter of a business owner. Um, so that, that's been kind of in the background. Like, I feel like that's been subliminally, like infiltrated my mind since like I was, you know, a pre-teen because that was what my dad was always set out to do. And he did, totally different industry, but I think that that's, honestly, the only way I sort of had that entrepreneur, like, business-minded background to even go at this and like have the guts to take a swing at it.
Jennifer Agee: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Oh, for sure. If you are gonna be a business owner, there's this giant gulp that takes place before you step up to the plate and you take a swing, and you're just hoping and praying that everything you put in place works and that people will show up and come. And yeah, there's a lot of vulnerability in that.
Jenna Renfroe: A huge amount. And I think there's almost like a misconception that for people that successfully do that and like pass that hump that they didn't necessarily like have that experience. But I think like that's the, the falsehood, right, is like, no, everybody has that same, like, horrific anxiety and uncertainty. And it's a matter of like, do you push through or not? You know, do you swing?
Jennifer Agee: Mm-hmm. So, what are some of the things as a business owner that you have now found that you wish younger, you knew?
Jenna Renfroe: Well, I mean, I can't say I'm an expert by any stretch, right? Cause I've only been, I've only had my own practice for about a year and a half, so I'm like a baby business owner. Um, but I'm still really proud of that. And I just opened and started my second business. I'm kinda like, yay, go me. Um, but I mean, I'm learning so much, I'm like a sponge, I feel like. Um, and I feel like some of the main things that jump out that I've learned that have just proved to be true time and time again is like, we were just talking about it shortly before we got started, right, like outsourcing and, um, the benefits of doing that when it's something that either doesn't bring you joy, doesn't bring you peace, something you don't wanna be doing. Um, like how kinda savvy you need to be when it comes to your time as a business owner, and you have to really make those decisions and you have to make them somewhat quickly and definitely efficiently. Um, and that's hard to do in the startup phase because you're still working towards building, you know, a business that has revenue potential and the ability to even do that. Um, so I just wanna acknowledge that. It's like at first that seems like kind of pie in the sky, but especially as you start kind of seeing the success of your business, that becomes more and more important if you're gonna grow or scale, like, um, at all. So that's been an important lesson to learn and it's something I feel like I'm like actively working through now, um, as I kind of look towards growing. And then, like, the importance of just relationships and networking, like, you know, they say it's cliche, it's all about who you know, and like, I don't, that kind of gives me like a, like a grimy feeling. I don't really like that. But I am definitely like an authentically relationship-driven person. And so, when I kind of look at it through that lens, I'm more comfortable with the idea of like networking as a means of building my business and helping others build theirs. And actually, that's been like a really great, um, opportunity for community in the world of being like a solo business owner, because it can also be isolating. So, I think those two things, like, outsourcing and networking as like broad themes have been big lessons that I've picked up pretty quickly.
Jennifer Agee: Uh, I would agree. I would concur with that com completely. Um, the two pieces of advice I consistently give either therapists I coach or supervisees is number one, hire a VA. Yeah. Someone that answers your phones, cuz in this business who answers the phone typically gets the booking.
Jenna Renfroe: Mm-hmm.
Jennifer Agee: Because people will shotgun blast a thousand different phone calls out and hope and pray somebody answers them. And if you have someone answer the phone, you're more likely to fill up faster. You only pay a VA when they work. So, and like my VA bills by the minute. So, if I'm not getting calls, I'm not paying anything, I'm not losing anything.
Jenna Renfroe: Exactly.
Jennifer Agee: She's creating potential for me, where I can build income or she can, um, you know, sell, sell my interns for booking them or different things like that, which then create, um, additional streams of revenue for me, where my- I don't have to be tied to my phone because, at the end of the day after we're with people all day, that's very draining.
Jenna Renfroe: Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. That's huge. It's huge.
Jennifer Agee: Mm-hmm. Well, and the relationship part of it, the who-you-know part, it's not necessarily that who, you know, gets you ahead. But being genuine in relationships, allows people to have that know, like, and trust factor with you.
Jenna Renfroe: Yes.
Jennifer Agee: That says I trust giving you a referral. I wanna see you win. Oh wow. You also wanna see me win. So, we're not in competition. I can be great with these clients, and you could be great with these. And it creates these great, um, little tribes of therapists who are genuinely supportive of one another. And I had an old missionary once tell me nothing good ever comes unless it's in the context of relationship. And I have found that to be true time and time again. It's building those authentic relationships with people that brings you enjoyment in this career and also build your practices.
Jenna Renfroe: Mm-hmm. Absolutely. Yeah. It's, it's, it's something that also like brings the, um, the joy and like the mutual experience, right? Shared experience is so important, at least for me, but I think it's like a human instinct. And so that, um, like I said, the, the isolation and kind of like loneliness of private practice is kind of offset by those relationships that you build. And I really like, um, someone once said to me like, you know, another thing that has stuck when you think about things I've learned is like, don't like, if you have a competitive spirit, like drop it. It is not necessary in this work. Like there is enough of this work to go around. That's how someone said it to me. And I, I just really took that to heart and was like, yeah. Cause I'm like naturally — I played sports and stuff, like growing up — like, I have a natural, competitive spirit, which is partly what drives me. But logistically speaking, there's no reason to have that in this world. You know what I mean? And so, we are actually going to accomplish more if we like link up, hold hands, and do it together, as opposed to, like, putting ourselves up against one another.
Jennifer Agee: Completely agree. So, in your specific field, what are, what are some ways that, um, you come alongside... cuz you, do you do butts in the seat therapy as well as the testing and everything? Like, tell me, tell me what all you do.
Jenna Renfroe: I do. I'm kind of a weird neuropsychologist in that way because, um, a lot of, and I don't wanna generalize, but a lot of folks, like in my graduate program, we had several special specialties within the clinical program. Like, some were, um, child-focused, some were health-focused, um, and others were neuropsych-focused, but we all of course had to earn a certain number of assessment hours and therapy hours to earn an internship placement and all that jazz. And it was always hardest for the neuropsych kids, like, to, like, do the therapy. Because we were there to like do assessment and just like, we just wanna test memory all day. And, and I was totally that person until I had a lot of great therapy supervisors and started to realize that I really had a heart for intervention and service, um, which we can do as clinical neuropsychologists, as well, but it's really like a consultation-liaison model. So you don't really get the opportunity to build lasting relationships. Um, and so I really started to find myself really loving doing therapy, and I fell in love with ACT, um, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. It's just like, was just an outlet for me. It was a way to, like, practice the art of therapy that really resonated with me on like an emotional, spiritual level. So that kind of led me to, um, seek more opportunities to do both, which is actually really hard in the professional, like, the clinical neuropsychology industry. Like, if I were to go get a job as a clinical neuropsychologist, you like, you can't really do both. You might be able to carry like a very small caseload of therapy patients, but you are hired to do full-time assessment. And again, it's the business behind it. Otherwise, like you're not earning your keep, basically. Um, so starting my business has been this wonderful freedom to be able to, like, build the job that I want, which is a hybrid. And it's been beautiful. I can do, like, all of the activities that excite me. I have a lot of specialty in anxiety disorders, and emotion neuroscience, and OCD. And I like love that stuff too. And I always felt like I was boxed in when I was in training or in, you know, established jobs. And now it's like, I don't have to be boxed in anymore. I can do whatever I want. So, I kind of do it all, and I'm trying to avoid the cursing again. I've got a little bit of a sailor mouth. I was gonna drop an F-bomb.
Jennifer Agee: You don't have to apologize. I mark this, this as explicit because I also, like, I would say, I love Jesus, but I also cuss. Sorry.
Jenna Renfroe: Me too. Amen sister. Amen. It's a form of expression and Jesus still loves me. Yes, I was gonna say it's fucking awesome. Like there is nothing more fulfilling so that in and of itself has been, like, worth the pains of like entering into this ownership and private practice. Cause you get to build the life you want. Quite literally.
Jennifer Agee: Absolutely.
Jenna Renfroe: It's wonderful.
Jennifer Agee: And I, I say this a lot, but you have to be willing to Etch-A-Sketch the life that you think you should have had or what you should be doing as, as a therapist, as a neuropsychologist, as a, whatever you think it should be, you have to Etch-A-Sketch it and go, what is it that I want and I get to build it? I get to build the life I want, I get to build the schedule I want, I get to build, um, the type of business that I want. And at the end of the day, you're only beholden to yourself in terms of your income potential and all those kinds of things. Like you owe it to no one to be anyone else's should.
Jenna Renfroe: Mm-hmm. Amen. Amen. Preach. That's, it's, it's such a huge lesson. And you have to have like a certain amount of like self-love and self-trust, um, and like value yourself enough to like go after that.
Jennifer Agee: Mm-hmm. Yeah, that doesn't mean there aren't embrace-the-suck moments along the way.
Jenna Renfroe: Oh, hundred percent.
Jennifer Agee: Because they're definitely, as you're on the road to getting where you want wanna go, there's a lot of embraces — I use a ton of special forces slang because I love those shows. Yeah. And if you, if anyone sees me like on YouTube or you've met me in real life, I'm five-foot-one. I'm like the least special force, forces-y kind of looking woman you'd ever meet — but, um...
Jenna Renfroe: I don't know. I could see you on a green beret, Jennifer. I, I could see it.
Jennifer Agee: I could verbally tear you down with my neurolinguistic jojo, juju, I guess. But anyway, um, so I know you also — I'm pivoting because my brain just pinged with an interesting factoid I know about you — you have experience working with the military.
Jenna Renfroe: I do. Yeah. So, I was thinking that same thing. I'm, I'm in a course right now. I, um, I work with this wonderful program called the 360 Program. Um, and I, I can't take credit for the business. That is all, um, I don't know if I can, I won't name names, but it's a wonderful program that is started by, um, a woman-owned woman veteran. Um, and it came out around, like, 2011. She started it, um, sort of with, during the peak of the OEFOF conflict. Um, and it was inspired by the, the drastically heightened rate of, of military suicides. And so, it's, its whole mission is essentially to prevent, um, Military suicides. And so, it, it does that by targeting the non-commissioned officers, um, and teaching them resiliency skills and basically emotional intelligence skills, um, to members of the arms like current active-duty folks across numerous bases across the country. Um, it's wonderful. It's been, it's a highlight of what I do. We're in the middle of a class right now out of Texas [INAUDIBLE] Bay, San Antonio. Yeah, it's been huge. Again, like the opportunity to just do the things that I'm passionate about. I work for the VA and have been touched by, you know, several, you know, family members and such in the military. So, it's kind of near and dear to my heart. And it's a great way to kind of, um, integrate all the things that I feel passionate about. And it's a wonderful program. Yeah. Thanks for...
Jennifer Agee: If it's a program you support, you're welcome to name-drop on here. Because if it's someplace you back and you support, that's totally fine. Also, I wanna know, how did you get into that? Like how did that door open?
Jenna Renfroe: Such a good question. I swear I got lucky at like, I think it came across a list serve, um... Another neuropsychologist who has worked for the 360 program for a number of years, and he's been the only psychologist with the team for a number of years — it's a, it's a multidisciplinary team, so there's psychologists, there's spiritual leaders, um, financial planners, uh, physical therapists, um, and then a couple of, you know, former, you know- Brigadier general is like, you know, one of the head, head haunches of the team — and, uh, the psychologist, I think, emailed out over a list serve and just said like, hey, if anyone's interested, they're, they're looking to add another psychologist and this is kind of the mission. And I happened to see it. And I was like, ah, yes. And I just, it all worked out so. Yeah, so like I got lucky by seeing that email. You know, I miss a lot of emails that come out across lots of list serves, and I happen to see that one, so I feel like it was definitely in the plan.
Jennifer Agee: Yeah. The very hippie part of me says, um, you know, you're not lucky; maybe the universe just knew that you were the right person for this position to be able to help specific people that were coming along the journey.
Jenna Renfroe: Yeah, totally. I, I definitely feel that. That resonates with my heart for sure. And it's been a big blessing.
Jennifer Agee: Mm-hmm. Um, so what are some of the things — you, you work alongside therapists who do not do testing, I'm sure, you know, or people refer to you — um, what are some of the things that you wish the therapists that were referring knew, or what tests or things that they should know to be able to inform clients about? Like we're listening. My ears are open.
Jenna Renfroe: Yeah.
Jennifer Agee: Tell me what you want us to know.
Jenna Renfroe: Yeah. I mean, I, I would love to just like, make a plug for neuropsychology in general. Um, I think it's so much more than what people know about it or think it is. Um, a lot of people don't even know what it is. So, it's a lot more than just like, um, psychoeducational testing for one thing. I think that that's a very, um, familiarized aspect of like, you know, testing, but there's a whole world outside of just doing like IQ and achievement testing that is about when people- You know, if you have a client, thinking about like the application, right? You're working with a client, but you notice that they're not really retaining information from one session to a next, or they're not implementing, but you think it's like for maybe something deeper going on, something potentially neurological. Uh, they can't pay attention. They can't maintain a train of thought. They're highly circumstantial, tangential in their sessions. And you're just like, I can't get a handle on this, right? Like that is a great reason to refer to a neuropsychologist because we can do this in-depth cognitive assessment, where we look at processing speed, attention, memory, executive functioning, you know, is it a frontal lo problem or is a memory problem? Like there are different sources for these issues, you know? Or maybe you're seeing a person that has a history of a head injury, and you're trying to understand like how much that might have a bearing on their functioning. Like that's a perfect referral question. Um, so we have a lot of additional training beyond like, um, the basic kind of psychology curriculum in, um, medical neuroscience, neuroanatomy, cognitive assessment, psychoed assessment, personality testing.
There's just, it's a huge, um, area of expertise. And, and we have to do two years of post-doctoral residency to be even really fully kind of credentialed as a, a true neuropsychologist and kind of meet the standards of the field. So, um, I think there's just so much that goes into it that like we're actually underutilized, which is crazy because a lot of neuropsychologists are totally swamped right now. And there's lengthy wait times and everything, but we're still underutilized. And it's just, you know, we've got this pandemic of dementia happening because people are living longer and longer. And the baby boomer generation is living longest right now, and there's all these health comorbidities before being healthy was cool, right? Like people weren't the advent of McDonald's in the 1950s. And it wasn't, you know, people were grinding and working. They weren't exercising at 6:00 AM. Like those are the things that are protective to brain health, and at this point we're seeing this pandemic of dementia that a lot of it is related to health and lifestyle factors. Um, and that's another thing I'm, I'm super passionate about kind of promoting is how to optimize brain health, how to get ahead of this thing. So that's kinda a winded answer. Obviously, he likes, you know, triggered my, my passion speech, but...
Jennifer Agee: I love it.
Jenna Renfroe: Yeah.
Jennifer Agee: Um, well, part of what you're tapping into is something that, um, I am, I'm totally in agreement with. I actually think the more we start to understand the brain and the body's connection, the way we're fully integrated, the more we're gonna see that many psychological issues that we see may have physiological roots in there, um, or mineral and vitamin deficiencies and food processing issues and different things like that. If I'm really stuck with a client and we've knocked on all the doors, I will often send them to a functional medicine, and I'll say...
Jenna Renfroe: Heck yeah.
Jennifer Agee: Let's, let's test your poop. Like, let's do all the things that haven't been done.
Jenna Renfroe: Exactly. Exactly.
Jennifer Agee: Figure out what's going on.
Jenna Renfroe: No, that's legit. There's a huge connection between the brain and the gut. That is again, like, rarely talked about, but half neurotransmitters are synthesized in your gut. Like what that's crazy.
Jennifer Agee: Nobody said, nobody said that in grad school.
Jenna Renfroe: Nobody said that in grad school, right? Or that they're directly connected by the vagus nerve. It's like a telephone line from your brain to your gut. Like, what? So, the health of your gut is directly connected to the health of your brain and vice versa. So, there's so much that we could do a whole other episode on that.
Jennifer Agee: Well, we'll, we'll just have to do that then.
Jenna Renfroe: Yeah.
Jennifer Agee: Yeah, because that is going into, what are some of the practical things that, um, I- You said you're passionate about optimizing brain health. What are some tips or tricks that you like to share with the people that you work with about optimizing brain health?
Jenna Renfroe: Um, so, I mean, we're kind of hinting at it with nutrition, right? And like the health of your gut, which is very, very intimately linked to nutrition. Um, you know, the kind of whole food, plant-based diet. You know, I wouldn't call it even a diet. It's just a lifestyle of eating, but, um, to the extent that you can eat whole foods that are, um, with clean ingredients. You're going to have less of that like bad bacteria in your gut, um, which is part of what creates like the leaky gut syndrome and then creates inflammation in the body, which then leads back and causes inflammation in the brain, and it goes like in this circle. Um, and there's a lot of like jazz about neuroinflammation these days. It's kind of a hot topic cuz it's relevant in, like, across the spectrum of neurological disorders. Um, and it's intimately linked to diet and then of course exercise. So, I always like, when people ask me that question, I'm like, okay, if there's like one thing you should be doing to optimize your brain health, it's exercise, hands down. Hands down, what can you do to get more active starting yesterday? Like it doesn't have to be running a marathon, but what's the first step? Like there is, there's a pretty decent cushion of literature at this point that shows substantial benefits of just walking as an intervention for changing the brain. Quite literally, they've, they've linked, um, intervention, like walking as an intervention for like a minimum of eight weeks or so you can see changes in the brain in like eight-to-twelve weeks of just walking, like 30 minutes a day.
Jennifer Agee: There's also bilateral stimulation that's happening when you're walking too, that...
Jenna Renfroe: Mm-hmm.
Jennifer Agee: Left brain, right brain, left, you know, going back and forth, which is what we do in EMDR. Um, I read a research article a few years back that said that they're finding more and more research that's linking inflammation in the brain to depression.
Jenna Renfroe: Mm-hmm.
Jennifer Agee: Which is why they think suicide rates spike around the spring because it increases inflammation in the body, which exacerbates symptoms that are there. And again, I don't know all the answers to this. I just read research from time to time. I get very nerdy about stuff like that, cuz I find human beings fascinating. Um, but it's interesting all the things that we're figuring out. The other thing someone, uh, um, a functional medicine doctor told me is that a lot of people with insomnia have an overgrowth of yeast in their gut because the yeast is active at night.
Jenna Renfroe: Yes. There's so many connect. You just, you are like chain linking in my brain because the, those are the pillars of, of optimizing brain health. Like you asked, right? I've mentioned diet, exercise, sleep, and mental health. And then basically like stimulation, broadly speaking in like the intellectual and social sense. So, sleep is huge. Your body and your brain do tons of stuff at night while you sleep — God bless it — to, uh, to restore your, your, your muscles, to consolidate your memory, to clear out the junk in your neurons. Like, you know, the, the stuff that basically, you know, adds to the tangles and such that that are related to Alzheimer's disease, that stuff gets cleaned up and kicked outta your cells while you sleep at night. So, if you're not sleeping well, you're not going through the normal stages of sleep, that's a problem. It is legitimately a risk for Dementia and for mental illness, like you said. Like it's, it's all connected. Just like mental illness is also a risk for Dementia and vice versa. It's crazy. It's all related.
Jennifer Agee: It's all connected.
Jenna Renfroe: It's crazy. And that's not surprising cause it's all connected, right?
Jennifer Agee: That's right. But be with the medical model, like just how it's evolved, we have kept parts of ourselves so separate for so long.
Jenna Renfroe: Exactly, exactly.
Jennifer Agee: That now, really what Eastern medicine has been saying forever, we're just like, well, look at us figuring things out and discovering stuff. And they're like, we've been doing this for thousands of years.
Jenna Renfroe: Yeah, exactly, exactly. But it's so much is rooted in, like you said, like Western culture, westernized medicine, capitalism. I mean, we could riff on that for a while. I won't, I won't make anything like political or any of that sort, but it's our culture and our society, you know? We have kind of like adapted to the model, um, in a way. And like, that's not like how we were built.
Jennifer Agee: Mm-hmm. Yeah. I think one of the biggest takeaways I'd really love for therapists listening to this to really hear is that when we're with our clients, that we are also always a part of greater community and bringing people around your client is often the best way to help them heal,
right? We, we bring in a neuro, a neuropsychologist. We bring in maybe someone that works with them on, um, diet and exercise plans. Like we, we put a tribe around them that builds support.
Jenna Renfroe: Yeah.
Jennifer Agee: We're not alone in this. We're not competitive with each other. Just because we're not the one that gets them to cross the finish line, like we're all kind of, hopefully, walking together with them to get them to meet their goals and to live their best life. So, you're not alone in this. It's okay to reach out, ask for help. And if you don't know something, that's no bad on you. We all cannot know everything. It is perfectly fine. Build a tribe of people that you trust. Go have coffee with them. Get to know them so that you're comfortable doing cross referrals. And that way, because a client already has trust with you, if you say, I know Jenna, Jenna is kind and compassionate, she's gonna listen to what you have to say, she's gonna do testing if it's necessary, but she's gonna hear you out before she goes straight into testing mode and diagnosing all, like you can trust your time with her. They're far more likely to follow up because we're extending our trust of you with them, and they'll follow through. Whereas if we're just like find somebody on psychology today or the yellow pages.
Jenna Renfroe: Right.
Jennifer Agee: Boy, howdy, did I date myself? But anyway, they're not as [INAUDIBLE] phonebook, but yeah.
Jenna Renfroe: People are like, what's a phone book?
Jennifer Agee: Ignore that last part. But you know what I mean? It's, it's better than picking, you know, just random people.
Jenna Renfroe: Yeah.
Jennifer Agee: Build a tribe of people that you trust that can be a part of your internal network that you truly feel comfortable and safe referring to.
Jenna Renfroe: Yeah. And I mean, the point about the phone book is kind of not moot because that can get lost in this like digital age where we are, we are kind of like physically isolated and have been, not just with the digital age, but with the last, you know, the pandemic the last couple years. Um, just kind of like a reminder, I guess, for me to like plug back into your community, like, in person, out of the house, like, you know, is there a local business group? Um, things like that actually connect you to people, three-dimensional people. It's making a comeback people.
Jennifer Agee: That's right. Human-to-human contact, also super good for the brain. Physical touch...
Jenna Renfroe: I know. Exactly.
Jennifer Agee: All those things. Yeah. And I honestly, I have two different pods of tribes. I have my professional tribe in my local area that I refer to that I invest in relationship with.
Jenna Renfroe: Yeah.
Jennifer Agee: And then I have a business tribe. Most, actually, none of them are in my geographical area. Um, but we get together regularly, we push each other, we help support each other. And having, having that support in both camps is very helpful.
Jenna Renfroe: Totally. Yeah. Yeah. I think you have to like be conscious of that to cultivate both, right? Because they both have their pros and cons in a way or like their limitations. So, it's, it's best balance to kind of have all of that.
Jennifer Agee: Mm-hmm. If you're gonna stay in this career for any length of time, you had better be building into relationships because a lot of therapists do not stay in private practice for a long period of time. And I think that the, the level of isolation that can come with this job is a part of that.
Jenna Renfroe: Mm-hmm. I can totally see that. Yeah.
Jennifer Agee: But, oh, I could go on and on about also how people don't think that they should be making a ton of money and all this other stuff, but we'll save that for another episode. Jenna, thank you for coming on today. How can people connect with you?
Jenna Renfroe: Oh, yes, of course you can find me. Um, my website is tailoredbrainhealth.com. Um, you can email me directly at email@example.com. So, it's D R like doctor and then Renfroe is my last name, um, at tailoredbrainhealth.com. And I'm on, uh, Facebook with Tailored Brain Health, Instagram, um, handle is Tailored Brain Health, and you will find me there. So, feel free to reach out.
Jennifer Agee: Well, thank you again for coming on today. And for those that wanna connect more with me or with the podcast or future retreats, I do destination retreats for therapists, um, counselingcommunity.com. You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram, and the TikTok. I'm doing the TikTok people. Anyway.
Jenna Renfroe: She's on TikTok. Oh boy. Oh boy.
Jennifer Agee: I ain't dancing. All right, you guys get out there and live your best dang life. Have a great day.