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

Episode 30: Authenticity in the Therapy Room featuring Katie May

November 09, 2022 Jennifer Agee, LCPC Season 1 Episode 30
Sh*t You Wish You Learned in Grad School with Jennifer Agee, LCPC
Episode 30: Authenticity in the Therapy Room featuring Katie May
Show Notes Transcript

Katie May is an entrepreneur and CEO of Creative Healing. She is known in our industry as a visionary therapist. In this episode, Katie and I explore authenticity in the therapy room. Gone are the days where therapists are seen as blank slates and we discuss how embracing our flawed authenticity attracts rather than repels both clients and others. 

Katie is a licensed therapist, group practice owner and online course creator.  She helps therapists grow groups and build teams so they can scale their impact and increase their income, without adding more hours in the office.  To learn more and gain access to free training and resources, visit 


Portugal Marketing Retreat October 2-7, 2023

Jennifer Agee: Hello, hello and welcome to Sh*t You Wish You Learned in Grad School. I am your host, Jennifer Agee, licensed clinical professional counselor, and with me today is Katie May. You all are in a hu-, for a huge treat with Katie. She is an entrepreneur, a CEO of Creative Healing, and she's also a visionary therapist. You are gonna hear more about that today. But Katie's not only a licensed therapist, she's a group practice owner and an online course creator, like 10 outta 10 entrepreneurial skills. We're gonna learn a lot today, I think. She helps therapists grow their groups and also build teams so they can scale their impact and increase their income without adding more hours to the office. I like to say without more time with your butt in the seat. I think for a lot of us that have been doing this a while, that's really the goal. Like, there's only so many years we can spend 20, 22, 30 hours with our butt in the seat a week without needing to shake it up. So welcome, Katie.

Katie May: Thank you. Always humbled by introductions like that, so I appreciate it, and I'm happy to be here.

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

Katie May: Yeah, so the first thing that comes to mind when people ask that question is my internship class. When I was in grad school, I remember the professor saying things like, you never wanna have a picture of your family on your desk or on your shelf, and you never wanna let anyone know anything about you, and you need to be this blank slate so that the only thing showing up in the room is whatever the client is bringing in. And I don't know how much I processed that at that time, but what I can say is that, as I became a therapist and came into my own as a therapist, that idea never really resonated with me. And so, what I wish that I learned in grad school was that the ability to be authentic and show up as yourself in your sessions is one of the most powerful catalysts for change that you have in the therapy room.

Jennifer Agee: Absolutely. I could not agree with you more. When I started, it was this idea of, you know, men wore suits or were more buttoned up. Women, you know, were like wearing high heels, and there was a certain look of what professional looks like. And I was also taught the whole blank slate, like, there's none of your personality in the room. It's a hundred percent what the client brings into the room. And the reality is that's not the way our society works anymore. And it's certainly not gonna translate into a therapeutic relationship. 

Katie May: Totally. I'm thinking about my first profile picture for my first online directory, and it was actually from my wedding day, and I had on like a button-down collared shirt because I didn't wanna mess up my hair and my makeup, but I never in real life wore a button-down collared shirt. But I was like, oh, I'm made up, and I have this professional shirt on. So, that was the image on my, you know, Psychology Today directory when I used that way back when. And I remember one of my first clients coming in and seeing me, and for those that are not seeing me on a podcast, like, I have purple hair, I typically wear like — well now it's green — but usually purple hair and, you know, ripped jeans and whatever, my Doc Marten boots. And she was, like, you looked weird online, but you don't look weird in person. And that made me laugh, but it was also this moment of like, why am I not more accurately representing myself, you know, in, in attracting new clients because the right ones are coming to me and connecting with me in the office? So, it, it felt weird. We can call it that. 

Jennifer Agee: Yeah. It's weird and it, it not only feels inauthentic, but I think people's BS-o-meter in terms of when they're looking at things, it, something feels off, you know. I mean I think humans are incredibly intuitive, and sometimes we know something is off even if we don't exactly know what that is. And so that client saying, like, it looked a little weird or I wasn't quite sure. Like, some part of her probably knew, like, I don't know that this is exactly what I'm gonna be getting, but trusted enough and the other things to go, like, let's just go ahead with this anyway. 

Katie May: Exactly. Thankfully moved along in the process. And I love working with teens because they say things, like, that, you looked weird, or I don't like the color of your walls, or any of those other very authentic things that show up in our office. 

Jennifer Agee: Mm-hmm. Well, I think also, gone are the days where you can assume that, that you can be a blank slate, right? 

Katie May: Mm-hmm. 

Jennifer Agee: I know my clients Google me before they come in, and I would probably Google my therapist too, right? I mean, it's just a normal thing. And the likelihood, most of my clients have probably seen me in a bathing suit because someone didn't untag me or had their thing as private or whatever. So, this, this vision that we're just, you know, these professional robots who get turned on when you come to the office and then we turn off, um, is an illusion. Do you remember when you were a kid, you saw a teacher for the first time out, out in the wild, like out the grocery store or something like that? 

Katie May: Yeah. 

Jennifer Agee: Your brain itches, right? I mean, I remember it kind of like, um, what are they doing at the store? Like, don't they live at the school? But gone, gone are those days, I think, uh, for sure.

Katie May: Well, and we're real people. And I think that's an important part of the process is, like, you know, therapy is transactional and relational, but, like, we're, we're a whole person too, and we're not bringing our stuff into the session 'cause that's not what it's intended for, but I don't think we're required to be blank slates in order to be helping professionals. And I think that there's an element of connection that's important about. So, like, you know, I own a consulting business. You own a consulting business. We're public in the social media sphere in ways that maybe other people aren't that change their name or, you know, use a fake name on the internet, which, in my judgment lens, rubs me the wrong way a bit because it feels uncomfortable for me. But I have clients that will say, like, oh, I saw you talking about your other business, or I saw this picture that you posted. And, like, I just feel so proud. Like, you're, they'll say, like, you're a boss lady, or, like, you're so cool. Like, not that I need to be cool, but you know what I mean, like, they, they resonate with the, the person and not just the help that they're getting in the room.

Jennifer Agee: Absolutely, the fullness of who you are. You know what's interesting is, um, you know, this, this concept of, like, the whole, the fullness of who you are is a part of what can actually make you a really spectacular therapist or a really great coach or whatever it is. Um, the posts that I get the most DMs about — and I'm a plus size lady, like, I ain't no size two, right — but the post I get the most DMs about are the ones where I am doing really fun or athletic things or jumping off a cliff or whatever in my full plus size self. Like, those are the ones my clients or former clients will find on TikTok or whatever and will DM me about, like- And that is not me pretending to be anyone, because if I were to pretend to be someone, it would probably not be me showing up in a full plus size body on the internet. However, that is what I look like in real life, and that's, you know, the fullness of who I am. And it's that, that flawed authenticity that actually draws people in. It doesn't repel people. 

Katie May: I think that's a perfect way of putting it, that flawed... what did you say? Flawed authenticity. 

Jennifer Agee: Yes. Mm-hmm. 

Katie May: Yeah. So, I like to say, like, when we can see the imperfections in others that we see within ourselves, that's when we connect with them, or we feel like they're the right person to help us. And I think like you, like, when you're showing up as your real full self on the internet, when I'm being my most vulnerable self, when I'm sharing like my family history, and my story, and my trauma, and all of those things, that's when I get the most influx of things in my inbox and people connecting with me. And that's, that's what I do in the therapy room, right? It's, I dig into those stories, and that trauma, and that history of invalidation that makes the work so rich. And I think that there is that direct correlation for us between, like, what we're bringing to the world and what we're bringing into the therapy room.

Jennifer Agee: Yeah, and I think it's also on us a little bit as therapists who have been therapists for a little while or leaders in our industry, to model that for newer therapists. Because I think it can be extremely intimidating to become a therapist with all the imposter syndrome that kind of comes along with that. And to see people that you respect that are showing up as themselves, they're being vulnerable online, and they are still successful... 

Katie May: Right. 

Jennifer Agee: I think really empowering. 

Katie May: But it's a fucking learning curve. Can I say fucking learning curve? 

Jennifer Agee: Yup. [INDISCERNIBLE] First word in the title of my podcast. Go for it. 

Katie May: Um, like, I have, right now, five new therapists on my team and that, I don't even wanna call it imposter syndrome, but that worry about checking the boxes and doing it right, like pulls them out of being themselves in the therapy room. And I just had this conversation yesterday where like your urge and intention to do everything quote unquote right, is actually leading to you getting it more wrong because you're not yourself in the therapy room, and clients wanna transfer because they're not connecting with you. And I had this experience of, you know, one of my, my employees saying a client asked me about my sexuality in session, and I wasn't comfortable answering that. And I get, like, everyone is where they are in their experience. But my first like gut reaction that I did not say out loud is, like, why would you not feel comfortable talking about that with your clients? They're gonna feel comfortable talking about that with you. And I, I think it's just me. Like, there's no holds barred. Like, I'll say whatever. Um, but I just, I don't know. There's some level of hesitation, especially with newer therapists, in being willing to share, and I think it is because they're afraid of getting it wrong in some way. 

Jennifer Agee: Yeah. And, and I do think one of the things that grad school kind of beats into you is, like, the "e" word, like ethics, ethics, ethics. But, like, everything you do, can and will be used against you, right? And so that fear factor of getting it wrong– and one of the things when I do clinical supervision, I try and tell them, like, actually the boundaries for our profession are pretty large. There's a lot of wiggle room for personality and different techniques and styles. And as long as you don't zap yourself on the, on the fence... 

Katie May: Right. 

Jennifer Agee: You're, you're good to explore within that and figure out your identity as a therapist or who it is for this season of your career.

Katie May: And can we say that sometimes people say, like, it's an ethical breach or it's a, it's a conflict of information when what they're really saying is, like, I feel uncomfortable and I'm not sure how to navigate this, so I'm gonna put an end label on it so I don't have to look at it. Like, that's what I see. 

Jennifer Agee: One hundred percent. Because a lot of times when people will make those comments to me, I'll say, totally cool if you think that way. I'd like for you to show me where in the code of ethics it says that. 

Katie May: Right. 

Jennifer Agee: Right. Because it usually doesn't when people are throwing that, you know, that word around, and I think it's so empowering for you to actually read the code of ethics yourself so that you're not believing what other people say it says, you know?

Katie May: Right. 

Jennifer Agee: Or what your professor's interpretation of what their comfort level was. But what does it actually say? And do I have space — yes, you do — to be exploratory and playful with figuring out what your own style is, what fits your personality, what's congruent or incongruent for you at this stage of your career?

Katie May: Yeah. I mean it reminds me a lot of, like, activating wise mind in DBT. It's tapping into your inner intuition. And what I'm hearing from you and what I'm seeing in my own, like, very green therapists on my team is this almost, like, permission-based model of reassurance seeking and double checking. Am I doing it right? Am I being perfect? Am I the good little therapist that I set out to be in grad school? 

Jennifer Agee: Yeah, absolutely. And I think, you know, there's something valid in wanting some assurance from people that you respect, you know, to, when you are trying new things, to kind of get a little feedback of, like, yeah, you're on the right course. Encouraging them I think is okay, but that, that over checking is gonna bite you in the butt because you're not being yourself, 'cause you're running through a filter of what someone, you think someone thinks you should be. 

Katie May: Exactly. That's what I'm talking about, the extreme. Like, obviously, you wanna make sure you're doing things, you know, on point and moving along, but when that's paralyzing you, that's, it's working against you.

Jennifer Agee: Mm-hmm. So, what are some of the other pitfalls? 'Cause you and I talked a little bit before. There are some things like circling in the therapy world that were not around when I first started out as a therapist that I think are, are honestly traps that newer therapists can easily fall into because they just don't know what they don't know yet.

Katie May: Yeah, so one of the big ones — and I see this all over the social media — is this, the idea of venture capitalists and these big like tech companies and corporations taking over the therapy world, like, buying out and beating out these small solo practices and even group practices. And I think, you know, well, I have lots of thoughts about it, but one of them is the fear that I see from therapists on the internet. You know, the, the blame of these big companies and what they're doing. And on one hand I see like, yeah, companies are gonna do what companies are gonna do, and they're gonna, they're gonna go to the places where there's money to be made, and they're gonna infiltrate, and they're gonna do it, and I get that. And on the other hand, like, when we stay stuck in this fear of somebody else is gonna take over or somebody else is gonna, you know, steal my clients, I think that place of lack and scarcity really does do us a disservice in, in being able to sit back and really think about like, where is my competitive edge? What can I offer to the world? What is my gift? What am I the best at? Or what am, what can I aspire to be the best at in my community? And what can I offer? And instead of building ourselves up, we, we focus on tearing something else down. And it's ineffective. 

Jennifer Agee: A hundred percent. It is ineffective. And the other thing that kind of comes to me — and this might be my entrepreneurial self or my competitive self — but I think, if these M-F*ers can go out there and they can get more, more for their insurance rates then my small practice can, why are we not banning together and coming together and saying, no, you will not pay them more than you pay us because we are providing the same level of work? And, um, no, we're just not gonna stand for that.

Katie May: Right. And that, what you just said, I think is perfect and beautiful. It's like identifying what the real root of the problem is, and then, like, you know, taking action and advocating for our profession from that standpoint, rather than just, like, being mad about something else that's happening, and then, you know, complaining, I don't know, and not taking the actions necessary or that would be helpful in moving us in that direction of really strengthening our industry so that we can stand on our own two feet.

Jennifer Agee: Mm-hmm. And, and I think, uh, I know you do this, and I try and do this too, I want people who are in, you know, launching into private practice, I want them to be wildly successful. I want them to go beyond feeding their families. I want them to, to build a great retirement. I want them to have, be comfortable in their life, and take kick-ass vacations, and, and all of these things. And some of it I think is, uh, a part of my responsibility that I feel is making sure newer therapists even know what, what's possible, right? 

Katie May: Yeah. 

Jennifer Agee: Like, a lot of people don't even know that you can ask for raises from your insurance company. They don't, they don't know what you don't know, because again, this is not talked about in grad school, the business side of business, at all. I know I feel like a moral imperative to, to help newer therapists like that. Is that a part of, of what you feel as well? Or maybe it's just my, my core values. 

Katie May: So, no, I mean, my values are completely aligned with what you're sharing right now. I tend to help the more far along therapists. So, I will defer all new therapists to you, and then send them to me when they've hit the ceiling, and they're, you know, stuck in their growth process, and they need to move forward towards a bigger goal. But I agree with you. Like, I remember my very first client. I charged $50 out of pocket, and I sat in the therapy room, like, doing I think good work — I will stand by that — and thinking, I can't believe someone is paying me to do this. And so, like, and that's like our starting point. And then moving into a partial hospital job where all of those statements, like, "well, we're not in this to make money; we're just in this to help people," were really the norm, um, before finding all the Facebook groups, and breaking into private practice, and recognizing that the work that we do is of high service, and it's worthy of high compensation, and that you can totally, you know, help a ton of people and make a ton of money at the same time. They're not mutually exclusive.

Jennifer Agee: Mm-hmm. Yeah. I think a lot of us who, our helpers and healers have this mi- this sacrificial mindset that we have to get over when we start really pursuing this as a career, right? Um, the, the good girl doesn't do this, or the, um, you're, you're supposed to be the sacrificial lamb for the community, kind of a thing or whatever. Like, we have our own shit we gotta get over in order to be able to set and walk into an abundance and a growth mindset. 

Katie May: Mm, totally agree. I may, I think it, you know, we even see that when we raise rates at my center, that there are certain people that will, um, certain therapists, not even clients that will be really uncomfortable with that process and will be worried that all of their clients are gonna leave them and that they're charging too much. And then I have to really break down, like, look, Simple Practice raised their rates. We have to raise our rates so that we can keep having Simple Practice. Like, you know, we're, as much as we are helping professionals, we are also a business. And if we can't keep our business doors open, we can't help people. And so, like, having to balance both of those sides is so important. And paying attention to the stories that we have around money and accepting money and being able to help and accept money is really important too so that we're not acting either outta fear or defensively. Um, 'cause I know a lot of my therapists also struggle with charging cancellation rates, or we bill for phone calls if it's over X amount of time. And sometimes they get pushback, and that's okay. You can get pushback, and it doesn't mean that you're doing it wrong. 

Jennifer Agee: Absolutely. Yeah. I love that. You can get pushback, and that doesn't mean that you're doing it wrong. Because look, the other person has the right to question that, but you, then it's your responsibility to stand firm in the boundaries that you set when you were in your wise mind making these decisions for yourself and for your business. Hundred percent agree with that. 

Katie May: And I think, like, if I were to summarize a theme around a lot of these things, it is that new therapists look to the environment for feedback about how they're doing rather than trusting themselves and developing, you know, values, ideas, goals about what they want, and then acting in alignment with that to reach their goals.

Jennifer Agee: Yeah. Again, going back to, kind of, the theme of being in alignment by being authentic. I remember when I first started out, the idea of visible tattoos was just “shh.” I mean, uh, it was like prisoners and whatever who had 'em, you know. I mean, I became a therapist in 1999, so that — you know, I'm open about the fact that I'm middle aged, but it's true — like, there's now, like, therapists who are out and visible with their tattoos and fully out there. Like, it flocks the younger generations to them because they don't feel like they're gonna be judged or anything. Like, I absolutely love what's coming up.

Katie May: Yeah. So, I, wait, I have two parts of a story that I think are relevant here. So, I do have visible tattoos, and when I got my professional brand photos, I have, like, I had a sweater on that, like, had my shoulders showing 'cause showing that was a part of like attracting my, um, you know, my right-fit clients, and part of my brand of, we, we serve like a very artsy alternative, kind of, you know, goth-girl client, that was me when I was 14, basically. 

Jennifer Agee: Sure. 

Katie May: Um, but I remember, again, like, one of my first– In my first year of private practice, I met with a parent before I met with a teen, and the parent was like, "Like, she's resistant to therapy. All she wants to do is go to South Street and get a tattoo." And so, I'm, like, embarrassed by this, but I wanna share it. So, this is what I felt like was my like ra- rapport building trick is when the client came in the room and I was wearing a cardigan over a tank top, I was like, "Oh, it's really hot in here," and I took my tank top out so that she could see my tattoos. And I was like, this is the thing that's gonna connect this client to me. But in that moment, I think it was inauthentic. It was, like, it was like a party trick, right? It wasn't just me living my life with the tattoos that I have. It was me trying to force something, and it didn't work. And that's why it didn't work. But I think, you know, circling back to what you said, being ourselves and being comfortable with ourselves, it is so important, and I do love the new paradigm of authenticity that's coming into our profession.

Jennifer Agee: Yeah. I'll tell, when therapists are writing, like, their online, uh, profiles or doing copy for their website, I'll say, if I took your name and photo out of it, if people in your life would not immediately be able to identify that it's you who wrote that, then we need, we've got to keep working here because it should represent you.

Katie May: I love that. I never thought of that. What a great tip to really refine, like, is this you, or is this boiler plate a therapist like you? 

Jennifer Agee: Absolutely. Yeah. And my husband is like the best at that. He, whenever I write stuff, I have him read it, and he'll be like, you need to quit talking like that, you know? Like quit talk, you know? Quit using your big words, Talk, talk, you know, just say what you always say. I'm like, okay, okay, okay. Because that, that, there's like that old professor that's still somewhere back there sometimes with my professional writing that wants to come out and like lead, and he's my good like checker on that. Like, Jen, what are you b-? What are you doing over? That's not what you sound like. 

Katie May: Which is a good reminder. And I keep going back to thinking about my new therapists, 'cause I think they're, they're relevant to this conversation, but that's a similar conversation I have with them is like, stop using your clinical jargony words in session. Like, use your regular words. How would you describe this to a sixth grader? Because you're losing them when you say, like, we're gonna implement the blah, blah, blah, whatever. Like the, it's not connecting for them. So, I think that that's a level of insecurity and trying to have the professional front. It's like when I used to be insecure in working with parents, so I would put on a blazer before I met with parents 'cause it made me feel like I was an adult, which, like, am I, am I an adult? I'm not sure, but like...

Jennifer Agee: I mean, you're running a whole ass company. I'd say, yeah, you're, you're adulting the crap outta life. Yeah. 

Katie May: On the business side of things, I'll, I'll agree with that, but... But I think we all have little tricks that make us feel more comfortable, but some of them, again, work against us and our authenticity.

Jennifer Agee: Mm-hmm. Um, I wanna pivot for a second 'cause you are one of the better marketers that I know. 

Katie May: Well, thank you. 

Jennifer Agee: You're welcome. Um, it's a genuine compliment because I, I see, uh, what you do in your marketing– 

Katie May: Mm-hmm. 

Jennifer Agee: And, of course, you show up as authentically yourself. You're telling your real stories, but there are also little things that I notice that you do that I really respect, which is you do not let the, you know, you don't let the grass grow under your feet when an opportunity is there. So, for example, I noticed that, you know, you had something recorded from when you spoke, and then you immediately took that recording, you were able to monetize it. So, like, you have that great entrepreneurial brain that sees opportunity everywhere, and I just wanted to give you a big fat compliment because you're doing that beautifully.

Katie May: Thank you. I appreciate that. I think that it comes naturally to me. I'm from a family of entrepreneurs. My dad's a business owner, um, an ADHD business owner, as am I. And so, I think there's this level of, like, I have a thought, I act on it, and then sometimes I'm underwater trying to execute it after I've, you know, promised something. But it always works out in the end. And I really, I work from the standpoint of I'm doing what I love, and the money always follows that. Um, it doesn't mean I don't set goals for, you know, income and impact and things like that. But I'm just acting from a place of flow for what I love every day and trusting that the right people need to hear what I have to say.

Jennifer Agee: Yeah. Well, they definitely, definitely are. And you've built, um, a really beautiful audience. You also do some phenomenal work with helping therapists who have group, um, not just group practice, but running groups in mind, because I know your, um, your company, your, your private practice, you do a ton of groups in what you do, and you teach other therapists how to run groups effectively, efficiently, and how to fill them. Because that's the other thing, I've seen a lot of great group ideas, you know, going around or in your local groups, and they don't end up happening because people don't fill them. 

Katie May: Right. So, that is, that's how I started my consulting practice was I have a failure group fast workshop, and it's all about teaching therapists to market and fill groups in private practice. And it leans on the marketing and sales aspects of that, is, like, how do I really get visible and get my name out there in the community? And not only how do I generate interest, but then you know your words, butts in seats. How do I get those butts in the seats? Because that's a different skillset; that's really a sales skillset. Um, and so that is at the core of everything I do because our group practice is the foundation is groups. We have a signature core four, and one of those core four is every client is in a skills group, every caregiver is in a skills group, and they're learning skills concurrently while they're doing individual work. And that's how we, um, help people heal quickly and in community and with accountability. 

Jennifer Agee: I love that. Um, yeah, I've sent people your way that I've worked with that are wanting to build, build groups because I'm like, nobody does it better than Katie, and I know you'll get the help that you need for sure. Because I, I think like there's this idea that, um, those of us who are entrepreneurial or we've received a level of, of success, um, whatever that's defined by other people that look, that somehow, we just, you know, are successful. There's a lot of work that goes in behind the scenes to get to that point. And there's trial and error. And the first time you do things doesn't mean it works out, but it's willing to have that resiliency. So, if there are people that are entrepreneurial driven, just know that resiliency is a part of the process, that we are gonna swing and miss sometimes, and that's totally fine because what we learned from that is gonna be valuable information. Keep being who you are. Keep showing up as authentically who you were created to be and the way you were made to serve this beautiful planet, and that is enough. That's absolutely enough. 

Katie May: I love that. I actually just had this conversation in training yesterday, which is exactly what you're talking about. It's like that growth mindset and we, we call it like the gap and the gain. And some people have this big lofty goal, and they're measuring themselves not by how far they are from the starting point but how far they are from this big, lofty goal. And they end up feeling defeated, frustrated, let down. And then there are other people that have this big, lofty goal, and they're measuring themselves from how far from the starting line they are. And so, they're the people that get encouraged, and they keep going, and they feel good. And I was talking to my family about this last night 'cause I was, you know, sifting through new therapist anxieties and perfectionism, and I was like, I think one of the reasons that I have the level of success that I have is that I'm always measuring myself by the gain. And my starting point was, kicked outta my house doing drugs under a bridge. So, like, anything that I've done since then is such a win that I just keep going. 'Cause I'm like, damn, this is better than the last time. This is better than that. And so, like, that is so reinforcing and motivating for me that, yeah, I have these big goals and visions, as we all do, but, like, I feel like that's a moving goal post 'cause I wanna continue to improve and grow. And I'm never gonna reach an end point where I feel like I've made it and I'm done, so, how am I gonna measure myself by that end of it? 

Jennifer Agee: Yeah. And, and for me, kind of that concept, um, leads into this idea of pursuing excellence versus pursuing perfection, right? Perfection means there is an end goal in mind, and you either make it or you don't. If you do it, you succeeded, and if you don't, you're a failure. Like that, all or nothing mindset, where I would always rather pursue excellence in my career or whatever that looks like — providing great quality content, for finding good services for the people that who choose to hire me or sit with me in supervision or whatever. I can pursue excellence and continue to create goals that I want to achieve, but if I get my stuff, self stuck in, there's a very specific place that I have to be, I've already lost the battle because life doesn't work that way. It's gonna take you 10 different directions you did not plan on, and usually you'll end up somewhere way, way better than what you thought in the beginning. But if you keep hyper focusing on this, like this spot that I have to meet, you're gonna miss the joy of the journey too.

Katie May: Yeah, exactly. So, it's like focusing on the process every day and the habits and the actions that you take every day versus that, like you said, this one specific thing that you wanna meet that is, I think so, like, demoralizing if you're not there right away or fast enough. Then– 

Jennifer Agee: Mm-hmm. 

Katie May: Would be really difficult to motivate yourself to keep going.

Jennifer Agee: Absolutely. Yeah. Um, okay. If you could leave, if you could leave our listeners with one piece of advice to help them become their more authentic selves and how they're showing up in their business, what would that be?

Katie May: Oh boy. These wrap ups are always such pressure for me. Um, okay, so I would say, stop worrying so much about being right, and show up every day with a commitment to work on getting it right. Is that distinction different enough for you?

Jennifer Agee: Yes, that is definitely. Yeah. That definitely works. Yeah. And I think, um, the moral of the story here, if, if I boiled down our conversation, um, today, is who you are is enough. Continue to work on your skill set and all of those things. That takes nothing away from that. But who you are uniquely already created to be, your personality, your quirks, your, you know, your, your love of New Girl, or whatever those things. Bring all of you into the room and know that that is exactly what's gonna draw and call the right people in, the right fit, the people you're really gonna enjoy working with. So, don't ever apologize who, for who you are. Show up unapologetically for who you, with who you are, and the right people will come. The right fits will come. 

Katie May: Love it. 

Jennifer Agee: All right, Katie, thank you for being on today. How can people connect with you? 

Katie May: Yeah, so, if you're interested in consulting work, in terms of marketing and filling groups, or if you're a group practice owner that's looking to break through to your ne next level of success, you can find me at If you're in the Philadelphia area, and you have a teen who self-harms, I'd love to connect with people. 

Jennifer Agee: Awesome. Well, thank you again for being on today. If you'd like to connect more with me, all the social medias are linked below, If you're a therapist listening to this, come to one of our retreats. We, we have a lot of freaking fun, I'll tell you that. All right. Get out there and live your best dang life.