The Wit & Delight Podcast

35 - A New Way to Approach Bad Days with Barbara Powell

November 20, 2019 Wit and Delight & Barbara Powell of Speakeasy Season 1 Episode 35
The Wit & Delight Podcast
35 - A New Way to Approach Bad Days with Barbara Powell
Show Notes Transcript

Today on The Wit & Delight Podcast, I'm sitting down with Barbara Powell of Speakeasy. Barbara is a professional certified health coach with Speakeasy, which presents a brand new way of looking at how we deal with really bad days. You can essentially drop in at one of Speakeasy's three Minneapolis locations or schedule an appointment online with a licensed professional to talk about whatever is on your mind. The whole idea is that you look at how you're feeling right now in the moment and figure out how you can take actionable steps toward moving past whatever is on your mind.

In this conversation, we discuss how Speakeasy helps clients, what it means to be a health coach, and how to know when you should go to therapy versus going to see a health coach. It's an enlightening look at how we can approach the bad days and tough situations that inevitably arise in life.

If you have any follow-up questions for Barbara, you can reach out at [email protected].

Speaker 1:

You are listening to the Winton delay podcast, episode number 41

Speaker 2:

yeah .

Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome to the Whit and delight podcast. I'm your host Kate errands , founder of wit and delight. As a recovering perfectionist, mother of two and juggler of many businesses. I know how hard it is to find time, time to reflect on yourself, your choices and here becoming so. If you're new to this podcast, sometimes you'll find myself into guest discussing where life and style intersect and how the choices we make both big and small can help us find empowerment and self discovery in unexpected places. Okay. Now for today's episode, you guys are in for a treat. Today I am sitting down with Barbara Powell , a professional certified health coach who is from the company speakeasy , which is this brand new way at looking at dealing with really bad days. You can essentially drop in or schedule an appointment online with a licensed professional to talk about whatever is on your mind. The whole idea is that you look at how you're feeling right now in the moment and figure out how you can take actionable steps towards moving past whatever is on your mind. It is completely different from seeing a therapist. A program is a really new and kind of unique way of looking at dealing with problems as they pop up. The conversation with Barbara is really interesting. I asked a lot of questions. I had a lot of a lot of questions that you guys probably will have around what does it mean to be a health coach? How is it different from a life coach? When do you know if you need therapy or if you should be going to something like speakeasy. And I found it pretty enlightening, so sit back and enjoy my conversation with Barbara Powell from speakeasy.

Speaker 3:

Hi Barbara. How are you? Hi Kay . I am so well, thank you.

Speaker 1:

Good, good. I know we got on the call and just sort of just jumping right in, so I'm , I'm super excited to , to jump on the phone with you today. We went and delight are such a huge fan of what you guys are working to do, you know, both locally and you know, outside of outside of the state. So I'd love to just kick things off by a little bit about who you are and how you are involved with speakeasy.

Speaker 3:

Oh my gosh, yes. So thank you for having me on today. So I'm really excited to talk about speakeasy. I'm a national board certified health coach here in Minnesota and as of this time there's about just shy of 3000 of us throughout the country. So we're small but strong force. And I've partnered up with speakeasy to be able to offer in the moment emotional support for folks. So speakeasy is all about being a remarkably easy, affordable and being able to talk face to face with a professional like myself about having a bad day or something that you're moving through a big emotion that you're experiencing. And honestly being able to normalize it in such a way that doesn't feel really heavy, you know? It feels more so accessible or I'm honestly more like sitting down having that cup of coffee with a person and feeling like, okay, you know, I can talk through what I'm going through in my life right now.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And do you think that you kind of bring a little through through normalizing it, is it more like, yeah, everyone's kind of going through this or do you kind of help minimize the problem? Or do you sort of put things into perspective? How does it, how do you kind of go from disaster mode with the client to kind of, you know, being able to laugh about it?

Speaker 3:

Oh my gosh. Yeah. Well it's, it's funny because we have people come through for all rhyme and reason, right? It's folks who are feeling as though they have that disaster day or folks who just know, Hey, like my job is feeling like not necessarily feeling a good fit and I want to be able to brainstorm about that talk. The process that we use with health coaching is first and foremost about working with the present moment. So anytime a client comes in, we sit down together and before we even get started, we just take a deep breath. We get into the moment together to say, okay, here I am right now showing up for each other. And then as we start moving through the session, so each session is 40 minutes as we move through, it's an allowance for the person to really first of all, unpack what they're experiencing. So to lay it all out there and then after the unpacking process or the unpacking, it's about processing it. So, okay, why might this be coming up? What am I feeling in my body as a result of this big experience or emotion that I'm going through? What can I learn from this? What do I want to do as a result of what's happening here? And then finally in the fight , you know, these final stages of the session. That's our remove into that forward motion of okay, what are some tools, some techniques, what is a way in which I can go back out into my life with this predicament, issue, concern, emotion, and feel as though I have either control of it or feel better about the situation or feel. So I am so much more empowered to take action, whatever that may be. So it varies from person to person. That's what's so enjoyable about it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And so would you say this is, it's set up differently in terms of, a lot of times when you're looking for a therapist, we have a lot of people who are like, how do I find the right therapist? So they, they're sort of look at it as this big hurdle to kind of come, this is just a really big hurdle to feel comfortable with someone and and find the right fit. Do you think that that what you guys are providing is a little bit of a way to test out the idea of a longer term relationship with therapy? Is that , do you have longterm relationships with clients that you see over and over again? How has it kind of differ or kind of help assist in more of that traditional like cognitive speak talk therapy.

Speaker 3:

Oh, I'm so glad you asked that because it's so easy to confuse the two between therapy , health coaching. And the reality was is that where we are incredibly different from therapy. So first and foremost, I mean with therapy and what makes us different from that is that there's no commitment on our behalf. So when you come to speakeasy, when you either drop in for an appointment or you schedule, you know, same day appointment, you can just come in for that half the 40 session and then beyond with your day in your life, there's no commitment have to come back week after week like you might find with therapy. And then we've also, I mean when we first put, you know, got speakeasy together, we're doing the research around it and talk to so many people. I mean there was this overwhelming need to find something that was a step before therapy .

Speaker 1:

Yes. Okay. That makes sense to me because sometimes that follow up and that sort of like consistency, you kind of need that when you're going through a big life change. So is that something that you guys suggest, you know, outside of what you offer? I'm trying to figure out like the readers are going to have a ton of questions about the difference between the two and how they might kind of work together or apart . Cause I think the word health coach is a little nebulous at this point. So maybe maybe shed a little bit more light on what, what it means to be a health coach. I know that that's something that's new to me. You know, how you maybe assist in some of those bigger conversations around, well on what to do next in the next 24 hours, but possibly, you know, when they've maybe reached the point where they need a bigger team of support. You know, that might include, you know, a licensed therapist.

Speaker 3:

Yes. So first and foremost, I mean health coaching can and does go or Ken go alongside therapy. So we're not here to say, Hey, like choose one or the other. If you have a therapist and you use one regularly, that's wonderful. And we definitely support that. Coaching can definitely sit alongside that. So what may really makes coaching different from therapies , therapy can very easily go into your past, right to go into like the digging and the reasons why and your childhood and all of that past momentum. Whereas coaching says, okay, here you are in this very present moment. Here you are now with me. What is it that you're experiencing today? And then how do you want to move forward? And that's not to say that you don't dip back of course, into what's happens , you know , in the past because that does inform where you are today. However, coaching really sits upon this forward momentum and really truly once again being the present moment.

Speaker 1:

So what do you guys do with like understanding patterns if , if you don't really focus on the past?

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So for a coach, it's our , you know, part of our scope of practice and what we do in sessions is if we see a pattern or you know, something within a person's behavior arise again and again, it's on us. We offer a gentle mirror to that to say this is what I notice and to to be truthful, right? For what we are experiencing or seeing. And once again, it's sitting in that moment, right? So if a person is my client and they're coming to me week after week and I realize, Oh, the thing that you said there or that you know , experience with your friends, you seem that seems to be occurring each and every time that you come in and have a conversation with me, let's be curious about that. And then I always hand it back over to the client. It's not, I'm a health coaching and it's not about, you know, diagnosing a mental health condition. It's not about , um, giving direction or expert advice or opinion on a matter. It's simply handing it back to that person, handing it back to the client and saying, okay, here it is. What would you like to do with this?

Speaker 1:

Interesting. So how are all of you guys like certified health coaches and how does that work? Yeah,

Speaker 3:

so it's really fun on our behalf because all of the coaches here at speakeasy, we are board certified health coaches all from the same program over at the university of Minnesota. So the university of Minnesota. Yeah, there's a master's program as well as a certification program through the center for spirituality and healing and all of us, there are four of us coaches on staff and all of us have completed our master's level education for integrative health coaching and then have gone through the process of getting board certified because now there's a national board certification for coaching that's been instated for the past. It's been about almost five years now that that board certification is present.

Speaker 1:

Interesting. And it doesn't have anything to do with any sort of cognitive behavioral therapy like training at all.

Speaker 3:

Well, it's interesting. I'm glad you asked that because part of the training has to do first and foremost with, it's interesting, our own self growth and development. So Karen Lawson, she's Dr. Karen Lawson is the director of the university of Minnesota program and she really instates within us coaches that you can't take someone anywhere. You haven't been yourself. Right. We all have our own perspective and understanding of life and whether we think it or not, we always come into our professional relationships and our personal relationships with that perspective. So we went through this process of self growth and development in that first year and then we move into the basics and fundamentals of health coaching, which do include motivational interviewing, emotional intelligence, positive psychology as well as yes, looking at behavioral psychology and the reasons why people want to make changes. The reasons why people may be resistant to change. Right? Because that's a huge part of it too. So it's that sense of psychology is encapsulated. Yes. Within the program itself.

Speaker 1:

Interesting. Okay. So I guess I'm curious to know the term health that definitely relates to like you know, aspects of, of your like your physical wellbeing. How do you guys handle when someone like is legitimately depressed but you can't like diagnose them? Right. Like that actually probably gets me to a good question is like who, who is the ideal client? Because we do have some people, sometimes I talked to us who were like, I like I really do need to like I'm not, I'm not feeling well mentally, you know, I think that like the advice for coming to a place like, you know , speakeasy, it would be very different depending on your circumstances. So maybe maybe explain exactly when the circumstance would be not right to come to speakeasy so people could maybe understand, you know, if, if that's not the right step that they should maybe look at, you know, at going to like a doctor or something.

Speaker 3:

Right. Yeah. And that's so first to your first point here at this term of health, it's within the health coaching community. We all kind of like raise our fists like a health coaching that can seem,

Speaker 1:

yeah, I ask a question cause I know people are going to be thinking that.

Speaker 3:

So we look, I mean health is, I guess an easier word to really encapsulate the entire human experience, right? Because the reality is, is that how you like the things that you think the people you're in contact with, your relationship with yourself and others as well as your physical, emotional, mental wellbeing. That's all part of that health story. Right. So health coaching helps to facilitate. Okay, well let's zoom out to the big picture so that you can have a full vision understanding of what that full idea of health is for oneself.

Speaker 1:

So how's that different from life coaching? Oh gosh, I get that question all the time. Yeah cause I'm , I'm very familiar with life coaching. I mean yeah , so I've never heard the term, you know, health coach and a lot of it , it sounds like there's some crossover. Yes.

Speaker 3:

So there certainly is crossover within with life coaching, with health coaching, first and foremost, you know we are board certified so you go through that rigorous process and then long side that health coaching hat , we have the ability to not just sit in a session with a person and talk through what might be coming up on the emotional or mental level. But we can also look at, okay, physical health and wellbeing, nutrition, we can look at, once again like their health of their relationships, their health with the financial understanding of their financial wellbeing. Coaching really zooms out into all that. Those areas of our lives that do affect at the end of the day do affect our physical health.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Yeah. Okay. That, that makes a little bit more sense. You know, I do a lot of reading on this, a little bit like woo topic, but uh, you know, like I'm a big fan of Byron Katie and Eckhart totally. And you know, they, they do begin to sort of touch on the fringe of how the, how energy resonates within your body and how trauma can, you know, the , the book, the body keeps score is another, I'm a big fan of that book as well. So yeah. Maybe could you talk a little bit about your point of view on how we might physically or manifest , uh , some of these emotional issues that you won't hear licensed psychologists talking about?

Speaker 3:

Yes. So, you know, within a session with a health coach or with, with myself or one of the other health coaches here at speakeasy, once again, we work within the present moment. So what is it like now? And we have this really wonderful opportunity together to be able to say, okay, well what is arising in the body? What sensations are you feeling? What thoughts, you know, are bumping around as you're experiencing and feeling this? And then how can that help to inform you in this moment, you know, whether it's giving you insight to the origin of trauma or the origin of where that energy may be coming from or honestly inform you as to what might be intuitively the best next step to take.

Speaker 1:

Right? Yeah. Or even just, I think there is such a barrier with what you're feeling and thinking that, I remember when I first started my own journey of really understanding my own motivations and how I walked through life and sometimes in that present moment, right? Realizing when I'm, you know, acting on my own, you know, against my own best interests and why I do downloads like that. Like, okay, let's, let's pause for a second. Like why are we wanting to avoid this? And I have this , this understanding of myself now that when discomfort shows up in work in life, it means that I need to run towards it versus a way because when I move away from it, I, it tends to compound on itself and become a more nebulous issue that I, that I don't that then I then I need therapeutic kind of like untangled . But if I handle it in the moment and , and I'm not afraid of the discomfort, those problems seem so much smaller. But a lot of times I think it took forever to even figure out that discomfort was a good signal versus like a reason to like shut down completely and like not feel anything.

Speaker 3:

All right . And it's that discovery process. I mean, you brought a sense of curiosity to that and I think that's what's so important about all of this process around having a conversation with someone here, speakeasy or doing your own work outside, you know , have a session with a therapist or even a conversation with a friend. You know, it's bring that gentle curiosity to it and Oh, what you can learn as a result of it .

Speaker 1:

You're not judging yourself when you're curious, you know, like everything, everything's an opportunity or, or a possibility or something to be discovered when you're curious, which is a very, it's a much more positive language to around sometimes when you have to face things that are hard, you know? Um, I see a lot, a lot when I talk with people that's they sort of want like a magic fix or to like use their you to like sprinkle some fairy dust and have it all kind of all the, all the hard stuff go away. When , when in my own reality I found that it's through the harder things that I've, I've gained a lot of confidence and the ability to, I think, walk through life with less fear. Can you talk a little bit about maybe some transformations you've seen with clients who have come to you regularly? Like the first time they came to you with a problem versus this , the second or the third time? Do you find that you offer tools that you're able to sort of assist the lesson less walking them through are like kind of what does that transformation look like? Uh ,

Speaker 3:

but transformation, this , I mean, as a health coach, this is probably one of the most exciting parts of the work that I get to do. I mean, I get to sit in front of people as they not only share their most vulnerable sides of themselves, but they are willing and able to, I mean more so willing to do the work, right? To move the Tufts stuff. Cause you're right, that transformation can't and won't happen if you don't move through the difficult things, you know? So I think of one individual who he came to see me and initially was having difficulty with his work experience. Right. He didn't feel as though he was connected to the job. He felt mopey and low energy and really challenged with the high intensity of the work that he had to do as he was working with folks who had significant mental health concerns. So he was on the other side of the spectrum from, yeah. So he came to to speak with me as to just , just sort out what is even happening up in his head. How is he absorbing the energy of the people that he's coming into contact day in and day out. And when he started to really realize the energy of himself as well as the world around him, how that impacted him and how he in turn impacts others. He was able to really move through this realm of, Oh like I can create these, these boundaries for myself. I can show up to work and do this important job and do this important work around folks that may give my energies, you know, in my, my system, a little bit of a shakeup. He gets the other side of it to be fully affective and not get home at the end of the day and feeling so incredibly drained of energy because we've all of this energy to people along the way. So there's, I mean I have their examples all over the place of individuals like that. Just taking time to notice what the content of thoughts are. I mean, you brought up Eckert Talle earlier and it's really, he does such an amazing job of pinpointing, Hey, like what happens when we just simply take notice, right, of our thoughts . I love that so much . I do. And it's like the content of those thoughts of Paul, what are we doing in response to that and how we're allowing it to make us feel in the process. So gosh, yes, exactly.

Speaker 1:

The best thing that's actually been huge for me especially, you know, we were talking earlier how it's, you know , kind of like a take action kind of person. We get in , we do it and I found that there are so many times where I'm like, Ugh, this is that feeling. This is that feeling that normally you make a rash decision that ends up being more work because you've been jumping too fast. Like you have to sit in this and I used to hate doing that. I mean, every ounce of my body would be like, you just need to say something or do something or just like rush through it and no , sometimes it's about listening and waiting until you're ready to either make the next move or maybe it doesn't require a response at all. Maybe you're just supposed to feel it, you know,

Speaker 3:

the understanding or even just like crapping with that idea of what's the difference between being and doing. It can be incredibly profound for folks to have that light bulb moment.

Speaker 1:

What do you wish people knew about their options for caring for their mental health? We touched a little bit on this because it seems to be, you know, people go to, I don't want to go on antidepressants. I don't want to go through talk therapy. I really don't want to relive the trauma. Like I know I had a shitty childhood and like I want to move on. What do you wish people knew about their options for providing care for their mental health?

Speaker 3:

Mmm , well I'm important question, isn't it? I mean we on social media, we're bombarded with all the options, you know, we see it's a whole flare up of folks being, you know, more vulnerable, right? And how they express themselves and then just having this influx of options. So from the health coaching perspective, I mean it is our strong belief that each and every person is intrinsically whole . That each and every person has the answers within them. You know, each and every person has the ability to shift and grow or simply like we were saying before, just be in that moment. So my message around, you know , mental health and access and all the options that there are out there is, well, where can you trust your gut on what you need? Can you ask yourself the question of, well, what am I experiencing today? What am I experiencing ongoing? You know, what might I, what might I actually need? Can I tune out the noise of what others are saying that they need? And can I focus in on myself for a moment? And that may lead to a therapy option or psychotherapy. You know, if there's a , especially if there's chronic trauma or something that really does need to take the work, you know, to move through with the professional.

Speaker 1:

That's super helpful. You know, one , one thing that I've, I have noticed that surge of people kind of sharing open wounds online and I've been writing for 10 years and wrote about my, my mental health journey way back in 2013 before people were doing this and it was a wound that had already worked to heal. It was just a scar. And it was kind of a , a way of saying, you know, this is part of who I am but it doesn't define me. And also you can find a lot of freedom through, you know, working on, on getting better and kind of asking why is it , well, you know, for , for me it was, I needed to figure out why I was behaving in a way that was kind of destroyed . I was hurting her , blew up my life and I wanted to figure out why. And it took me, you know, back a little bit. It also brought me into a realm where I was better able to advocate for what I need as a person. I found a lot of confidence in areas that I used to find shame. And by talking about it, my hope was always to help people be able to feel confident that in embracing their bad days, by starting to sort of work through where you are in the moment, you were going to come out the other side better than you were before. And I think people like that forward momentum. But what I've seen is a lot of, a lot of this is who I am. I'm now awake to what has happened and now I'm like freaked out. And what I'm hoping that that shift one up happening in sort of just the general , uh , awakeness of people within their own trauma is self-reliance and the ability to believe that they don't need to be defined by their past and that they have the opportunity to move forward with that knowledge in a way that is actually incredibly empowering and free because you get to let go and it doesn't need to sit in your rear view mirror anymore and it doesn't need to pop up in places that you are least expecting it, you know, like everything's going well in my life. What can I blow up because I don't deserve this, you know, kind of stuff. So, you know, I think it's, I think it's really interesting to, to hear this kind of, this idea that you , you're available at all times to just sit in and talk through a bad day. Could you tell me again, you know, who your ideal client would be? Like, could you kind of like paint that picture of, of someone who would maybe come to you for the first time? Yes. So our ideal client, and it's funny because

Speaker 3:

my gut response to that is, well everyone, you know, going through the human experience, but our ideal client, it's someone who has, is experiencing where , you know, that bad day, someone who, you know, had a fight with someone that they love or you know, really had a bad day at work or is going through a breakup and really just needs to be able to cry it out, talk with someone and move through what's happening in that moment. So we want to be the place that people think of when that bad day, that difficult emotion, that tough moment is happening and they need someone to talk to that day or tomorrow or as soon as possible.

Speaker 1:

Yeah . So it's an option in your head when you feel like, I need to do something, I need to talk to someone, but I don't know what to do. So instead of maybe going and drinking or you know, eating or, you know, working so much that you don't have to think about what's happening. This is that this is like in your arsenal of, of self care options.

Speaker 3:

That's right. That's right. Yep .

Speaker 1:

Great. So maybe this is a good time to tell people how to get in touch and how the whole thing works.

Speaker 3:

Yes. So we are really excited to have opened up three separate locations now. So our main hubs, speakeasy hub is in downtown Minneapolis at the first covenant church, which is right by the U S bank stadium. Yeah. And it's really easy cause you can book an appointment online and for that location you can actually just drop in. So we're set up in a like a legit speakeasy set up where you can go to the front door, there's a speakeasy doorbell, you ring it and then the health coach comes through to let you in so you can come to that location. And we coach there , you know, Monday through Friday about 10 to four and then Fridays we have shorter hours. And then our two other locations are first at modern, well which is a female coworker hub in Minneapolis. And we are going to be there Mondays from 10 to four and then starting actually that will be starting September 9th and then in October we will be opening up location at impact hub which is another coworking space and be offering coaching there once a week I believe on Wednesdays.

Speaker 1:

Fantastic. Well I hope that we can figure out a way to partner with you guys more with Whitten Deloitte because I know that this seems like something that a lot of our readers would be really interested in pursuing and thank you so much for really explaining some of the nuances. I know that the questions that our readers would have as to what to expect and how your programming works and all, all of that fun stuff because I think all of us need sometimes a little bit of encouragement to know that taking the first step is often the scariest part and doing good things for yourself when it comes to experiencing emotion even when it's bad.

Speaker 3:

That's right and I will too. If anyone does have questions or just wants to pick my brain or get a better idea of what we do here, you can always email me [email protected] and I'm more than happy to reach out.

Speaker 1:

Fantastic. Well thank you so much. This was so enlightening and I am going to try it. I think it's a, it's, that's a great next step for me. Next time I'm overwhelmed, which happens a lot. So thank you so much for being on the call everyone. We are going to link to all of the information that we talked about today on the site. This is also going to be an episode that we will be transcribing on the site, so if you want to read the post, get a little bit more detail. And again, Barbara has graciously offered to have us contact her directly, so thank you again and have a wonderful [inaudible] .

Speaker 3:

Thank you so much Kate.