Sh*t You Wish You Learned in Grad School with Jennifer Agee, LCPC

Episode 24: Understanding the Body's Role in Healing featuring Shaelene Kite

September 28, 2022 Jennifer Agee, LCPC Season 1 Episode 24
Sh*t You Wish You Learned in Grad School with Jennifer Agee, LCPC
Episode 24: Understanding the Body's Role in Healing featuring Shaelene Kite
Show Notes Transcript

We’ve all heard about treating clients as a whole person. Paying attention to mind, body and spirit makes sense at a cognitive level, but what does the work of paying attention to the body really mean in therapy? Shaelene Kite has an open and honest conversation about the importance of movement in therapy and how to start implementing what you learn from the podcast with yourself and your clients. 

Shaelene Kite, LPC, NCC, DBT-LBC certified clinician, RYT, ACS is the owner of DBT of South Jersey, LLC. Shaelene also founded Rebelmente, a consulting and coaching business that specializes in training and educating other mental health professionals, yoga teachers, educators, and business owners to take their healing work and skills to the next level. She is also the host of T-Talk, a mental health podcast about all things therapy & healing. 


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. With me today is Shaelene Kite. Shaelene is a group practice owner, yoga teacher and trainer. She specializes in DBT, yoga, and trauma, and recently started a training company called Rebelmente — what a cool name. Um, the company was started to train others in mental health work. She is the host of T-Talk Podcast where she shares mental health stories and tips. So welcome to the show, Shaelene.

Shaelene Kite: Hi, Jen. Thanks for having me. I'm super pumped. 

Jennifer Agee: Absolutely. So, tell me what is something you wish you learned in grad school? 

Shaelene Kite: Uh, so many things, but I think the thing that's been on my mind lately the most is around the importance of integrating movement. And even if it's not movement, just paying attention more to the body when it comes to clinical work. I think that there are a lot of things that clinicians learn, um, in terms of how to take their clients through a healing journey. But there are a lot of ways in which, you know, clinicians can get so focused on how to do the therapy right — and I'm really talking any modality — um, even if it does involve, um, more of a somatic approach, there's a way that just involving the body can really get lost. And so, then what happens is clients will kind of leave sessions feeling like they get why they shouldn't feel the way that they feel anymore, but they still feel that way physically in their body, so there's still more work that's left to be done. And I just think that's like a big miss, um, that unfortunately, you know, really wasn't ever taught in grad school. 

Jennifer Agee: Absolutely. I had two thoughts about what you just said. The first one is I think as most of us, as therapists, um, have grown and learned more as we've had a little more seasoning and been in the field for a little while, we start to understand the mind-body connection is way more powerful than grad school ever gave it credit for.

Shaelene Kite: Yes. 

Jennifer Agee: And the other piece is I wonder if a lot of therapists don't do the mind-body work because they simply don't know how, right? It's not, it's not often they br-, they go over somatic and different things like that, some mindfulness exercises. 

Shaelene Kite: Mm-hmm.

Jennifer Agee: But we really don't dig into it to create competency in the room with the client to feel confident really sharing with the client what to do.

Shaelene Kite: Yeah. And I think for clinicians that comes through as well in the sense of not knowing, so then they don't try. Um, and then two, I — this is just completely my own hypothesis, so I might be wrong — but I think there's a lot of people who are therapists who are struggling with perfectionism, and so they really wanna do it right, and they really wanna follow the rules, and so they think, I don't have training in that, and so, therefore, I'm not gonna try it, or I have to go through a whole- I have to become a yoga teacher to know how to use any yoga. And I mean, yeah, like there are gonna be certain things I don't think you should take your clients through without being trained in, but there's another side to that. Like, not trying anything at all also isn't helpful. And so, I just hope that clinicians will, especially coming outta grad school, right, cuz you're just so programmed to, like, follow the directions exactly how they are. But if you don't take any risks and experiment with some things, you know, that's equally as damaging, you know, to have your client with you for years and years and years, and they're really just not changing much. So, uh, I think that's probably a bigger piece as well. 

Jennifer Agee: Yeah. And that not really changing, I wanna, I wanna go with that for a second, because I think that's very key. Oftentimes when we notice that clients are stuck in different spots, right, it could be from old faulty belief systems or things of that nature, but sometimes it is because something is stuck or stored in the body and is not released yet. I did, actually a TikTok the other day where I — it was like my highest rate at TikTok. I was so proud of my little middle-aged self — but it talked about just holding space for even the verbally of processing trauma, of having all of those things energetically move out and through, and not having those parts of stories stay stuck in the body, and how freeing that can be for clients. And, uh, that, that stored stuck energy really is an important thing for us to start to learn. What are some things that you do with clients or teach other therapists to do to start that process of working with the body? 

Shaelene Kite: Yeah, it's cool that you're talking about those kinds of things on TikTok, and again, it doesn't have to be this like highly regimented way or protocol of, of doing it. I think the first thing is really just paying attention and bringing a lot of your own mindfulness into sessions with clients. Like, what do you feel and notice when you're sitting with these clients? What do you see? You know, there's many clients who come in, and at least for me, and I work with, um, clients who struggle with suicidality and borderline personality disorder, but the history behind that is that it's really hard to find someone who struggles with those things who does not have some sort of history of either, you know, trauma, repeated traumas, complex PTSD, or even just a long history of chronic invalidation. And so sometimes clients will come in and they appear as though all is good, but when you, you know — for my clients in DBT, they use diary cards, so I can see it on paper. Like, they'll come in and they'll look great. Like, oh yeah, my weekend was wonderful, but then it's, like, high levels of misery, high levels of shame and sadness, and you don't necessarily see that on the outside. And so, when you have that information, obviously, if you're using a diary card, that's really helpful, but you don't, you're not always tracking those things. And it really requires a strong level of attentiveness in your sessions to be able to pay attention to these very small things that might be indicating that there's something more there, even as, and especially when we're on zoom, being able to track like, oh, you just looked away when I said that. what was that about? Or what did you notice? And consistently bringing the attention back to what's going on here right now. So, the first thing is it requires my attention as the therapist to be kind of like, um, scanning for anything to come up and then just being curious about it. That in itself will really go a long way. Asking questions to the client. What just happened when you just looked away right now? Did you notice anything shift? Bring their attention back to their body. And I think, like, going back to what I said about what's missing in grad school is, again, we're taught all of these modalities, like, CBT, if you change your thoughts, then you can change your feelings. And it's like, that's fine again on this like heady logistical level, but the rest of their body is still going through that emotional experience with them. And so, because an emotional experience is something that impacts the mind and the body, we have to tend to both of them, or we're only just solving like half of the problem. So, I'd say clinicians, pay really close attention, get really curious in your sessions, and then just bring your clients' attention back to their body. Like you don't know what the answer is, and they probably don't know what the answer is, so 9 outta 10 times just bringing their attention to, did anything shift? Did anything change? Did you notice anything? And just being curious about that and, and, and maintaining that stance, that's gonna take both of you a lot further because we're really just trying to help them sift through the information that they're receiving from their body, and then make hypotheses about them in order to help them move forward. And so, you're not gonna get that part wrong because you're just taking information. 

Jennifer Agee: Mm-hmm. Yeah. And that taking in of information and, and bringing your client's awareness back to their body, one of the things that's so important and healing about that is that when you have clients who've had repeated trauma, as a part of their survival, they've learned to disassociate, right?

Shaelene Kite: Mm-hmm. 

Jennifer Agee: They've learned to disconnect body and mind, usually from a young age. And so, getting them reconnected with those, that fuller awareness of what they're feeling, is very difficult for some clients who, as a matter of survival, have learned to separate those things. I think that joke of, like, the only person in the world that asks me, where do you feel that in your body, is a therapist, right? Like that's a very therapist-y thing to ask. 

Shaelene Kite: Where do you feel it? Yeah. 

Jennifer Agee: Where do you feel that in your body? I say that all the time, and I wanna laugh at myself, but it's also a good question. 

Shaelene Kite: It's needed. 

Jennifer Agee: It's needed. You're training your clients to look at themselves as a whole being as well. 

Shaelene Kite: Yeah. And I think about, like, I have this, for whatever reason, I've got this thing where my hands shake, um, my left hand in particular. And I'll just hold it up sometimes, and I'll look at it, and I'll tell it, like, stop, stop shaking. Because other people notice this sometimes, and they're, like, what's wrong with you? It's embarrassing. So, I try not to, like, bring any attention to it. So, I'll look at it, and I'll hold it, and I'll try and tell myself, like, okay, ca-, there's nothing wrong. Just try and keep it there. It doesn't do it. Like, we can't tell our bodies, stop doing that thing, right? Like our bodies have automatic processes and movements for whatever reason, whether we know them or not. And so, paying attention to that in the body, I mean, especially people who have gone through trauma, they have tried to mentally tell their bodies, like, don't do that thing, don't react in that way. But the body responded in the way that it needed to in that moment out of protection and survival. And so, then what happens is somebody goes through a trauma. And then their body, whenever it's exposed to some sort of trigger or cue or stimuli, it keeps responding in that way. And so, then they're like me looking at their hand and they're like, stop shaking, stop shaking, or stop doing whatever that thing is. But it doesn't work, right? Like the body has some sort of message or task that it's trying to carry out that it wasn't able to finish. And so, that's more of where, like, yoga or any kind of movement can come in with clients. You know, even somebody who's coming in who's carrying a lot of shame. And I don't mean shame in the sense of, you know, I did this thing last night and I regret it and now I feel a lot of shame. Like, I live a life full of shame because of the things that I've been through and the ways that people have treated me. So, I get up in the morning, and without even thinking of it, I'm just enacting what it's like to be a shameful person. That person's gonna show up in your session, and they're probably gonna sit in a little ball, and they're gonna look down at the floor, and their voice is gonna get really low. There's a lot that you can do there. Number one, to get curious about, what's it like for you when you speak so low? What would it be like for you to speak a little higher? Do you notice that? Can you try it? What, what changes for you? What, what happens when you sit up a little straighter and you, instead of, um, curling down, you pull your shoulders up and together and down your back and you lift your chin a little higher? What do you notice when it feels like to take- like, what does it feel like to take up space? These are all things that we can explore through yoga, through movement, whether it's walking, running, but it can be something as small as just taking deeper breaths, um, increasing the, um, the volume in your voice, sitting up a little taller. These are all things that are undoing what trauma did to that person. And a lot of times without them even realizing it. 'Cause when somebody goes through repeated trauma, their body has a way of taking that in over and over and over, and it just becomes the default. So, then they wake up in the morning and without even thinking about it, they've got the shape of someone who is very shameful. Someone who's bad, someone who shouldn't be here, or did something wrong. And so, as clinicians, if we're paying attention to that, if we're being curious about it, if we're encouraging gradual steps from where they are, to where we would like them to be or where they'd like themselves to be, there's a lot that can be done without having any specialized training other words. I think you just have to know what to look for and then be willing to, you know, like, not get it right or know exactly what to do all of the time. 

Jennifer Agee: Yeah. I think sometimes therapists halt their instincts because they're trying to do it right. 

Shaelene Kite: Oh, a thousand percent. 

Jennifer Agee: Trying to follow a protocol. And one of the greatest things that happened to me as a therapist, is letting go of all of that crap and just fully being present with my clients, noticing what my energy's doing in the room with the client, and then trusting my instincts of where to help lead and guide them for healing. I do this exercise with clients a lot. It's an experiential exercise, um, to connect mind and body where I have them, you know, focus on whatever it is we're trying to focus on, and, uh, close their eyes and move the pen until that feeling feels fully expressed. 

Shaelene Kite: Mm. 

Jennifer Agee: And then I have them open their eyes, and then I have 'em keep rotating the paper until an image appears. Complete the image — I have colored pencils in my office; there's a lot play therapists, but a pen, whatever's around — complete the image. Then we're gonna look at that image for about 30 seconds with the question, what message do you have for me? What purpose do you serve? You know, you vary the question based on what they're trying to do. And then you say 30 seconds is up. You're gonna free write for 3 minutes. Then they free write for 3 minutes. And then usually, based on what comes out of that, we'll do something... 


Shaelene Kite: Processing. Yeah. I love that. 

Jennifer Agee: So many times, people walk away with the greatest insight, because it might have been the first time in their life where they ever paused long enough to even ask that question.

Shaelene Kite: Yeah. Yeah. That's really cool. I re I listened to your-, what did you call it? You called it like a hippie-dippy... 

Jennifer Agee: The hippie-dippy... 

Shaelene Kite: Woo-woo episode. Yeah. I love that you're doing that. You're paying attention to energy in your sessions and, and how that changes goes up, down, stays the same with clients, and then telling them that. And I think that's something that's really healing, especially, um, for clients that have a lot of trouble in relationships because that's happening in other areas of their life, and it's likely that people just aren't telling them that, or they're just kind of putting it on them, blaming them, um, for it. And then there's not really any helpful information as to how they can move on and change that. And it's real, you know, it's, it's happening in real-time. And so, paying attention to, oh, you know, my heart's starting to race the more that you're talking about this. What's happening for you? Yeah, my heart's racing too. I think I'm really overwhelmed about this. Okay. Let's stop and regulate and then see what happens. There's so much information that I think just gets lost because we're so, well, we're busy. Number one, as therapists, we're really busy. We have 5,000 other things going on in our lives. Um, and we're trying to pay attention to what it is that the client's going through. But I think that a big part of it, like you said, was around wanting to get it right. And like, I joke about it in DBT a lot. And I don't know, but I'm sure it's like this in other, like, modalities of therapy where we always joke that, you know, the DBT police aren't gonna come knocking on your door because they, you know, it's like, what are they doing in there? Are they following it exactly? And I just want people to really hear that there are two, there are two opposing truths in that. It, it's important to follow protocols. We need them and they're evidence-based for reason. And yet there are many, many ways in the world that people are getting better that have nothing to do with therapy, that have nothing to do with EMDR or DBT, or whatever it is that protocol is. And so, you know, learn the things, but also find what works for you and your clients and know that when you're treating somebody, it doesn't matter what kind of therapy you're doing, that whole person is coming in. And you wanna help that person feel completely healed when they leave, not just, like, well, that was good. I got, I got some helpful tips from there, but I still, I guess I just have to live with this and how it feels in my body. I did a, um, a yoga for trauma process therapy group with some, um, clients of mine. And it was really cool because, you know, it's, it's not a group that had this objective in the sense of like, by the end of this group, you will be able to do X, Y, and Z. But the things that they pulled out, like, for example, um, a survivor of sexual trauma, there's a, a shape in yoga called, um, Supta Baddha Konasana, where your feet are together and your knees are apart, kind of like a diamond shape. That's a very inaccessible position for somebody who's been through sexual trauma. So, this is someone who would really benefit from yoga and present moment awareness and things like that. But like, she couldn't go to a class, because she would go to a class, and number one, like, a teacher might touch her unexpectedly, or she might be asked to do a pose that she would be completely undone in, and then she would, like, sob and then have to leave. So, she had not touched yoga for a really long time. And so, by having that kind of awareness, like, listen, your body's trying to keep you safe. And it makes sense that when you, um, move in, in that position, that's a really vulnerable position. So, what things can we do to help bridge the gap? Because the answer isn't just come in here and let's try the splits and then that should solve everything. It'll probably terrify you. So instead, we, you know, we took that, that shape and we cut it down, like, cut it into chunks, basically. Let's just try putting your knees together and see how that feels. Let's put a blanket over you and see how that feels. Let's put pillows behind your knees and then just kind of move. And so, it was really cool because that was never a goal of mine for her, but by the end of it, for her to come and be like, I was able to take that and find rest in that. Whereas before it's something that I would've never tried, and, and actually would've been quite upsetting to me. I was able to find that. And so now you've got, at least in this group that I'm referencing, which was an amazing group. These women are able to go and then find peace in their body as opposed to fighting it all day long and trying to, you know, me telling my hand, stop shaking, stop shaking. They're actually able to find some harmony with it. And I mean, I think that's what healing's all about, especially when it comes to trauma. 

Jennifer Agee: Absolutely. And I, I love what you said. And, and the position that you talked about, I'm just thinking that's a very pelvis opening kind of... 

Shaelene Kite: Yeah. 

Jennifer Agee: …a position. [CROSSTALK]. 

Shaelene Kite: You have to be open. Yup. Mm-hmm. 

Jennifer Agee: I see why that would be so, so vulnerable. And how a part of connecting the yoga experience with trauma, being trauma-informed would allow them also to start to take ownership back of their own body. 

Shaelene Kite: Yeah. 

Jennifer Agee: Own vulnerability and, um, not have to sit in that space of, of victimhood when their body is open, which sometimes they may want it to be open, you know?

Shaelene Kite: Right. Exactly. And that's a really cool secondary gain from it is like feeling empowered to take control of your body and befriend it and welcome what it wants to welcome without feeling like it's turned against you. And for a lot of people, at least like my, the clients that I keep thinking as we're having this conversation, have come to me and said, like, I just, I get it, and I feel, I, I do feel better in a lot of ways, but my body is, like, stuck on it. And we've all heard those, all the quotes, you know, the body remembers the body keeps score all of those things. I mean, how could it not? How could it not when emotions are something that are — you know, we know we're having them, not just because of a thought that comes up. We generally know we have them because of the, the physical sensation that comes with it. So, just targeting the mind part of it is really missing a lot. And, um, yeah, I think in grad school that was like never really a conversation that we had at all. 

Jennifer Agee: No, and it's such a disservice because when you even think from a practical standpoint, right, if you're listening to this and you're like, Jen and Shaelene, they're just woo-woo chicks, like fine, cool, whatever. But it, if you think of it from a very practical standpoint, as human beings, a part of us is wired for our own survival and protection, which means every part of us will engage when it feels threatened, right? 

Shaelene Kite: Mm-hmm. 

Jennifer Agee: So how could our body not remember what was once a threat to be able to protect us in the future? 

Shaelene Kite: Mm-hmm. 

Jennifer Agee: And I think that's where a lot of CBT and different things maybe fall short is clients will get relief for a while 'cause thinking changes. They start doing some different things, which is good. But how many times have you seen a client that then comes back and thought, I thought this shit was healed. 

Shaelene Kite: Yeah. 

Jennifer Agee: I thought... And I think it's because we short circuit understanding that as a whole person, mind, body, and spirit, we have to pay attention to the effect of the trauma to all of those parts. 

Shaelene Kite: Mm-hmm. 

Jennifer Agee: In order for them to heal together and be released.

Shaelene Kite: Yeah. I mean, our bodies, the job is for the, our body and our system, our nervous system to respond quicker than our mind does. And so, it's like, okay, well, just from that alone, I can tell myself, okay, hand, stop shaking. There's no reason to shake. But that doesn't necessarily mean that my body thinks that it's okay. I mean, if anything, you know, the fire department, the police station, all of those people that are like running to the scene first, they're the ones who are gonna then like tell everyone, okay, you back up, you need to go here. This is where it's safe. Here's where it's not safe. And so, we have to be willing to listen to those messages. It is really easy for people to write it off as woo-woo. And yet at the same time, I'm like, okay, but when someone is going through a stress response, their heart rate is increased. Like, there's data, you can wear a heart monitor or something to track that. That's not, you know, woo, woo stuff. Like that's real. It's a part of their body. And so, yeah. That's okay. Not for everyone. Probably their clients will stay with them forever and they won't change at all. 

Jennifer Agee: I will say though, um, I feel, I feel great that science is really catching up to what a lot of us were- 

Shaelene Kite: Finally. 

Jennifer Agee: Experiencing in the room with people and experiencing intuitively with our clients. We are now able to quantify a lot of energy and different things. 

Shaelene Kite: Mm-hmm. 

Jennifer Agee: Um, in amazing, spectacular ways. Somehow, I got on this plant TikTok that like where they hook these little electrodes up to different plants, and each plant plays a different sound. It's amazing. 

Shaelene Kite: That's really cool. 

Jennifer Agee: It's just a- Totally.

Shaelene Kite: There's all kinds of stuff. I'm telling you there's all kinds of stuff out there. And like, I think, you know, me — and I'm somebody who's a big supporter of evidence-based practices. I mean, I have a DBT clinic, so, like, it's very important to me. And I just have to remember, like, there are ways in which people are healing all around the world that really don't have anything to do with therapy or DBT or evidence-based practices or whatever, you know. You and I were, um, in Hawaii in, uh, August and having a conversation out by the pool, and we're talking about burnout and then some other friends came by. And I remember leaving that conversation feeling like, ugh, like nothing, there was no new information, but like my body felt a bit more settled. And what was that from? That was from hanging out with friends who get it and having meaningful conversation. Like, there's healing in that, you know? I didn't have to go to a therapy session for that, but that doesn't mean that like, it wasn't beneficial in the sense of healing. And so, I think, you know, we want, collectively, like, as humans, we want everyone to just get better and be better and be happier. And so, we've gotta be willing to step outside of the box sometimes just because what if there's something out there that's gonna be helpful for your clients? So I just, I hope if anything, people listening to this are willing to take some chances and take the, the things that they know are gonna work, the evidence-based protocols, but also put their own stuff into it that they feel like is important and, obviously, not leave the body out of therapy because it's, it's coming along for the ride and it's gonna go along for the healing journey as well. But I think, um, coming outta grad school, you just wanna get it right. And you wanna do it right. And if you just follow the steps, you feel like you're gonna, you're gonna, you're gonna heal all your clients. And there are, there's a lot of healing in that. But there's also, you know, this is a hard career to sustain. And if you think that, like, it has to be this certain way from the beginning, that's already one more factor you have to work against. And, like, we just don't have time for that when it comes to our profession, you know? 

Jennifer Agee: I also, yeah, I completely agree. And I also think that it very much shortchanges the natural gifting and abilities that a lot of us as therapists have that got us into this field in the first place, right? 

Shaelene Kite: Mm-hmm. 

Jennifer Agee: A lot of us are fairly intuitive. We connect well with others. We can see things in a way others maybe don't see. 

Shaelene Kite: Mm-hmm. 

Jennifer Agee: We can see patterns that other people don't have. And when we get ourselves stuck in these boxes, we're shortchanging our clients because we're not using all of us, either. And so, if you're listening to this, one of the challenges I would love for you to make this week is if you're a therapist who feels a little nervous about getting out of the box, just notice this week, when you're with clients, how you feel and what instincts come up, and I want you to trust your instincts. You can always back up afterwards and go, well, I tried it and it, that one wasn't helpful. 

Shaelene Kite: That backfired. 

Jennifer Agee: So, we're gonna keep trying. I mean, everybody [INAUDIBLE] there. All had misfires, right? Well, that's fine. But what I tell my clients is, I'm gonna help pad your tool belt with lots of different tools so that if this works this time, you've got it. If it's not working because something else is firing up for you, you have other places to go. 

Shaelene Kite: Mm-hmm. 

Jennifer Agee: So, the same thing for us as therapists, we wanna pad our tool belt and get comfortable enough, uh, that we can pull out different things based on the client's personality, their energy, what's coming up. And them, in us, the transference, counter transfer, you know, all the things, all the things. 

Shaelene Kite: Yeah, I love that you said that about, like, trusting, looking for and then trusting your intuition because it does feel like that's what gets forgotten. Like, you're not supposed to trust yourself because you have to follow all of the rules. And, you know, it's just a little sad for past therapist, Shaelene, that, like, she spent so much time trying to do it right. Where now I'm like, I'm gonna do whatever I want. It doesn't matter. 'Cause I know what I'm doing, and I trust that, and my clients trust that. But, you know, I probably, I wasted a lot of energy trying to make myself fit into a certain way and look a certain way and get it right. And it all came from a good place, but I just hope new therapists — there's this joke at my own practice. So, um, a lot of us used to work at the same community agency, and there was one therapist, we were talking in a meeting once and, um, she was saying that she was running group, and she took her shoes off in the group. And she took her shoes off, and she like crept her feet up, and she tucked her feet in, and she automatically thought about our boss who works for me now, her name's Lisa. She's like, and then I thought to myself, Lisa would never take her shoes off, and I put my shoes right back on, and then I put them back up. And I was talking to her in consultation, and I was like, well, you know, there's like space for that. Like, don't take your shirt off in group, but take your shoes off, you know, like... 

Jennifer Agee: Yeah. 

Shaelene Kite: Don't go so far off track that you're doing something like damaging or just has no basis in any, like, you're not even following intuition. You just saw this somewhere and you're throwing it out there and see if it like, don't do that. But be yourself, and be comfortable, and trust that you do have gifts and that you, that you are here for a reason to help these clients work through things. So, I really love that. And I try to use that with my staff when I'm supervising clinicians. Like, no, don't take your shirt off in session, but take your shoes off if you need to.

Jennifer Agee: Yeah, because you're role modeling for clients to pay attention to what their body needs in the moment. 

Shaelene Kite: Mm-hmm. 

Jennifer Agee: And attending to that need. How many therapists — and if you could see me raise my hand, I am raising my hand right now, including me, okay? I've done this — we don't pee. Like... 

Shaelene Kite: Oh my God, I always talk about the pee. 

Jennifer Agee: You have to pee so bad before session, and you're like, I don't wanna be late. 

Shaelene Kite: Go pee. Drink water. 

Jennifer Agee: Yes. 

Shaelene Kite: It's kind of like a dry SpongeBob in all your sessions. Like pee, drink water, feed yourself. Yeah, we do it. We, we, like, totally neglect our needs. And then we're in the sessions telling, telling our clients like trust your intuition though, you know, drink some water. And when you [CROSSTALK] 

Jennifer Agee: Listen to your body. 

Shaelene Kite: Meanwhile, I'm gonna get a UTI, but, um, you know, you should drink water.

Jennifer Agee: That's a hundred percent right. Yeah. And I'm also a clinical supervisor. And one of the things that I'll usually tell anyone when they first start is, yes, what you do affects my license, but here's the deal. And I'll put, make my arms in a big circle, and I'll say these are the boundaries really of our profession, right? As long as you don't zap yourself on the fence, ...

Shaelene Kite: Yeah. 

Jennifer Agee: ...we're cool. Like, experiment, try new things. 

Shaelene Kite: That's a good way to put it. 

Jennifer Agee: Try a different modality. 

Shaelene Kite: You have all this room to play. 

Jennifer Agee: Yes. Play, you know, play around. You know, as long as you don't zap yourself on the side... 

Shaelene Kite: Yeah. 

Jennifer Agee: ...and get either of us in trouble, you're behaving in the best interest of the client, we're good to go, man. We're fine. 

Shaelene Kite: I wanna use that. That's helpful. Like, don't show up. I don't wanna hear from the board about you, but, like, try some things out, you know, do it your way. Because if you come in trying to do it my way, it's not gonna work and it's not gonna feel good for you. So yeah, I think, you know, a lot of the message here. One is, you know, remember that you have a whole person in your sessions, but the other is to remember that within you, and that comes with paying attention to the body, right? Like, like sinking in with our intuition, and what we feel to be right, and know to be true in that inherent wisdom. We want that for clients, but we can't access that when we're not in touch with doing this motion of like, when we're head up operating with clients, we miss all of that, because all of those sparks and signals and, and messages, um, I don't know. I think, I think our society also is trained to ignore that a lot of time for whatever the greater good is. Hence not peeing for hours because it makes sense to be hustling and seeing as many clients as you can and all of that other stuff. But that's like a whole other podcast I could go into. It's a whole- [INAUDIBLE] Girl, we could [INDISCERNIBLE] on that. 

Jennifer Agee: Um, thank you so much for being on today. I have completely enjoyed our conversation. And I really hope for those that are listening, if you are a therapist who struggles yourself to really get out of the box and get comfortable with mind-body connection, start with yourself. Start doing the work yourself. As you know yourself, you will learn to trust your instincts better in the room, and you will also start to discern and in- and intuitively understand what's happening with your clients a little better as well. So, I hope that you will join Shaelene and I as we go to the hippy-dippy side of therapy, 

Shaelene Kite: Yeah, Come to the side. 

Jennifer Agee: We're, we're very nice over here. Like, come on. 

Shaelene Kite: We are. 

Jennifer Agee: Shaelene, how can people connect with you? 

Shaelene Kite: So, you can find me on Facebook, Shaelene Kite, and you can find me on Instagram @rebelmente, and you can check out the T-Talk Podcast where I share my therapy tea, which basically is like stories, tips, and talks around other ways of healing. Um, because I just think it's, I think that people heal a lot just from sharing stories and having conversation. And so, I hope to, um, make it seem less intimidating for people. And so that's why I created T-Talk, so find me there in the pod. 

Jennifer Agee: I love that. If you wanna connect more with me or the podcast, Jennifer Agee. Look me up. is the website. It's got links to literally everything. I'll have my socials down below, so feel free to contact us and get out there and live your best dang life.