Transcription: Basic Attendance: Relationships That Invite Health: INTENSIVE PSYCHOTHERAPIST

*This podcast has been transcribed using a transcription service. Please excuse errors.

Lori: [00:00:06] Windhorse is our innate ability to uplift ourselves and our environment by giving rise to a positive energy that is both relaxed and disciplined. Since 1981, Windhorse Community Services has integrated this understanding with modern conventional therapies, meditation and contemplative traditions in the development of at home whole person mental health recovery. Windhorse community services offers home based mental health services at home and in the community. Windhorse Journal is dedicated to the mission of communicating decades of clinical and personal experience to professionals, educators, students and anyone seeking recovery options. Please join the dialog. [00:00:45][39.0]

Elysa: [00:00:50] Welcome to Windhorse Journal Entry 89 Basic Attendance Relationships That Invite Health Intensive Psychotherapist. This is the sixth episode in a series very focused on the varying roles on a Windhorse therapeutic team. In this discussion, longtime Windhorse clinicians help us to understand this role and invite us into the experience of one client and their team story through the perspective of an intensive psychotherapist. They discuss using mindfulness based therapy for individuals in extreme mental states, major mental illness, psychosis and mood disorders. We hope you enjoy. [00:01:16][25.5]

Chuck: [00:01:24] Welcome everyone to this podcast of the Windhorse Journal. I’m your host, Chuck Knapp, and this is the sixth installment of a series on the clinical practice of basic attendance. Today, we’ll be discussing the role of intensive psychotherapists on a Windhorse team, and I am really pleased and honored to be joined by this venerable group of Windhorse practitioners. So let me introduce today’s group with with brief bios. These will be printed out in full in the podcast posting. So Jeanne Christensen, has been with Windhorse community services since 2004 and for many years prior to that worked as a senior senior psychotherapist and case manager at the Local Community Mental Health Center in Boulder. Along with her extensive experience within the Windhorse approach. Jenny combines a deep understanding of traditional approaches in mental health treatment with the Windhorse model. You also just began working as a member of our admissions team. Is that true? [00:02:29][65.5]

Jeanne: [00:02:29] yeah, that’s true. [00:02:30][1.2]

Chuck: [00:02:31] Okay. Thank you. Jeffrey Fortuna is one of the original co-founders of the Windhorse approach. Since that time in 1981. Jeff, you’ve worked to establish and support Windhorse centers throughout North America and Europe and served as a co-director in Boulder from 2012 to 2013, where you continue to serve as a senior clinician educator. Jeff, you also taught widely and written a book chapter, internal papers in the area of Windhorse treatment. Jack Gipple is the clinical services manager of Windhorse Community Services and has worked extensively with issues related to behavioral and substance addictions as well as a wide range of mental health challenges. Jack You have particular expertise, as I know you in group dynamics and I was fortunate enough to coauthor a paper with you on group dynamics within therapeutic environments. You’re also a longtime gardener and practitioner of thai chi. Eugenie Morton. Eugenie worked extensively in the field of recovery since the 1980s. She joined Windhorse Community Services in 1988. Where your unique style, diverse experiences through travel, teaching, self-defense and your own lived experience have provided a foundation for your work. You particularly enjoy working with women, emancipating youth and those looking to build a fulfilling life that encourages their particular gifts. Thank you all for being here today. We’d like to start off by, Jack, having you describe the role of intensive psychotherapist. So and I’ll I’ll please join in to round that out, if you will. Sure. [00:04:21][110.1]

Jack: [00:04:22] So the intensive psychotherapist, the term has a long history to it that goes back to our kind of Western roots of several generations into the early last century of our forbearers who were working with people in extreme states of mind. So that’s also it’s kind of a nod to our lineage. And then the practice within a team is many of the things people understand to be so-called therapy. The intensive part is that we typically meet twice a week with clients, and there’s an intensification each time, you know, as you meet that it’s kind of a multiplying effect. So I like to say twice a week is more like four times as much as once a week. And that was that. Also within a Windhorse team, which we are intensive psychotherapists are trained in a two year training classroom and in a kind of internship phase. So where they’re intensively trained internally and all of us actually have been trained as intensive psychotherapists. So the value of this training within a winter nurse team is that our therapists are deeply steeped in the model and also deeply connected to other members of the team. The job of the intensive psychotherapist is also to not just pay attention to the client. They identify client, but also to watch the hearts and minds of all the team members. Sometimes families want to switch out a Windhorse intensive psychotherapist for someone outside of the team, which we do. But I always think that it’s a bit of a loss because you don’t have that in the in intensive connection and understanding and the integration that the intensive psychotherapy therapist is a quite integrating element to a Windhorse team. That is part of what we train our therapists to do. [00:06:20][117.8]

Eugenie: [00:06:23] One thing I would point out to Jack is I think you’ve already said this, but just there’s a potency. And kind of a synergistic quality that can happen within that particular seat. As, as you said, as people are, you know, for me as a therapist, just dropping into my own experience, how I see it mirroring and being experienced within the team, and then how that, you know, is rising within the situation that somebody has come to Windhorse around. So it’s very synergistic and there’s a lot of potency in that role. [00:06:57][34.4]

Jack: [00:06:58] Sometimes I’m concerned that in our modern age we become so digital and we like to switch out and click different pieces together that I think people sometimes bring that approach to Windhorse like maybe we can just use the the this part of it and not that part of it. And when that happens, we lose the synergy that you’re talking about using. [00:07:21][22.4]

Chuck: [00:07:21] One of the things that just came up as you were both talking about the synergy, we try to create teams very specifically tailored to each person’s situation. So for instance, Jack, your point about sometimes, you know, there’s an urge to switch a psychotherapist out and and or other team members, for that matter. And sometimes that’s indicated. But but most of the time, we’re careful to have somebody whose skills and personalities and interests are at least a good enough match for the situation. And then from there, the relationship comes to her. And this is so much about relationships. Anything more on this, do you think? [00:08:06][44.5]

Jeff: [00:08:07] A couple of things come to mind, particularly about the meaning of this qualifier intensive. All of us are involved with contemplative practice in our personal lives, which is our personal lives are overlapping with our professional lives in a way through the contemplative practice, meaning that we train in developing our presence. And it’s a lifelong training. Strangely enough, it seems obvious. Presence seems obvious. On the other hand, it seems to require some training to really gather the compassionate dimension of presence. And so we bring this kind of mindfulness to our to the psychotherapy in particular, which I think creates a kind of in intensity or intensification of being present together or being present with, which is a key term both or a key reference point both in the practice of basic attendance, which is our general. Discipline in the psychotherapy discipline in particular. So this kind of presence is in a way, it comes across as an invitation to the client to come as you are. It’s a sense of full on invitation. So in that sense, it’s an unqualified invitation. And some people may experience that as a kind of intensity. Like, you mean you’re not going to set down guidelines for how I am supposed to be or give me some structure. But there’s a general open invitation which is connected with the sort of being fully present with. Well, thank you all so much for introducing us to the role. And in order to make this hopefully more understandable, Jeanne, you’re going to talk about a story, a clinical vignette, and help us see how this actually works in action. So please. [00:09:59][112.0]

Jeanne: [00:10:01] Okay. I’m going to talk about somebody I’ve worked with for a couple of years here at Windhorse, and I’m going to call her Mary. I’m changing her name and many of the details just to protect the confidentiality of the client and not to share any identifying details. So Mary is in her forties and she came to us from another program like many of our clients do. She happened to be in a long series of residential programs, none of which were working very well for her. She was diagnosed with a dual diagnosis of poly substance abuse and bipolar disorder. So it kind of came to us with a variety of problems. And she just was feeling pretty lousy about herself in general, feeling very much like a failure because she had attempted many things in life and and had the sense that those things failed. You know, failed relationships, jobs lost, even getting kicked out of programs for breaking the rules and that kind of thing. So this person really, really didn’t have very much confidence or self-esteem. So as the psychotherapist on the team, I began by trying to create an atmosphere of acceptance and and curiosity, nonjudgmental and just just an openness to really listen to what she had to say. I tried to meet her in the present moment of her experience. So when she arrived in Boulder. She had such a profound experience of freedom because these residential programs she had come from were so highly structured. You know, they kind of managed everything. And so she arrived in Boulder and immediately slipped into an old pattern of using again, really destabilized herself and ended up in the hospital for a short stay. So then coming out of the hospital, the team and I worked really closely with her to establish kind of some some structure and support and encouragement. And where is the team leader kind of focused on on setting up a household, helping manage medications and schedule, which is really important for the person. My focus was more on her thoughts and feelings and her patterns of behavior. And so over time. She began to settle and and really see that she had some choices. And, you know, and she began to look at the differences between other people caring for her. And and her being responsible for caring for herself. And she decided that it was worth it. So this is this is where, like we talk about maybe a shift of allegiance, where before, you know, she was really tied to those old patterns of getting high, getting married, being wild, having somebody else come to the rescue and and provide for her and care for her. And then, you know, and then she felt horrible about herself. So the choice became, oh, you know, she was really lonely and and really wanting more meaningful connections, really wanting to make something of her life. So over time, little by little, her shift of allegiance changed to being more independent and more personally responsible and accountable for her actions. So. Yeah, that’s what happened. So let’s see. Anything else? I’m forgetting to say about this journey. [00:14:08][246.9]

Eugenie: [00:14:10] You know, and I think a shift of allegiance. Jeanne I think of kind of that dawning of perspective. You know, that sort of recognition of, oh, I might have a choice here. [00:14:21][11.3]

Jeanne: [00:14:22] Yes. [00:14:22][0.0]

Eugenie: [00:14:23] You know, and that empowerment. [00:14:23][0.6]

Jeanne: [00:14:25] Yes. I saw that happening. Yeah. And they actually decided to get a job, which really went a far way and kind of improving her confidence. Big time. Yeah. So. So she’s working full time now. And still have a team. You know, of course, the team kind of condensed a little bit with the full time hours. She started out with a a house made in a full team, and now they’re down a bit because she’s becoming more independent. [00:14:58][33.2]

Chuck: [00:15:00] And Jeanne, that the arc of time you’re talking about there was probably about a year and a half. [00:15:05][4.9]

Jeanne: [00:15:06] Yes. Yeah. [00:15:07][1.1]

Chuck: [00:15:08] Mm hmm. [00:15:08][0.1]

Jeanne: [00:15:09] So I think how the psychotherapy itself really helped is creating some space and time for this person to express her loneliness, her grief. She ended up talking about traumas from her past, which then led to early substance abuse and prolonged substance abuse. Lots of kind of escaped type of behaviors. And she developed a real understanding of that and and kind of it kind of clicked like, oh, yeah. That’s why I. I did that because I was traumatized. [00:15:47][37.2]

Jeff: [00:15:48] I’m curious about the very beginning. So she came Mary came here and hit the place of freedom was right away and things really went downhill, so to speak. And I did I imagine there’s some contact with her family along the way, but I’m curious, maybe I’m asking you directly more. How did you work with your disappointment? Like we’ve just started and this is already falling apart? [00:16:16][28.0]

Jeanne: [00:16:17] Yeah, it was kind of a big oh. At first I thought, Oh no, what is this family going to think? Like just getting to a new program and immediately ending up in the hospital? [00:16:28][10.3]

Jeff: [00:16:29] Yeah, exactly. Yeah. How did you work with that? [00:16:30][1.9]

Jeanne: [00:16:34] I tried not to be too concerned about that. My focus was so much on Mary. Oh, yeah. Know, I knew. I knew she needed to be in the hospital. I went this year, and and just, you know, it was very obvious that that’s, you know, she just needed a break in this. In this use. He is very you know, it’s just it’s just what was needed. So I felt hopeful. I, I, I trusted the team supervisor on the team to work with the family. And I really trusted that relationship. So I, I guess I just actually wasn’t that worried. I definitely wasn’t disappointed, like I said, kind of approaching with that state of presence. And nonjudgmental. Yeah. And my sympathy and compassion for for this person to start with was very solid. And so it was just what was happening in the moment and. I was just right there. [00:17:36][61.5]

Jeff: [00:17:36] Yeah. Yeah. Good. Thank you. Yeah. [00:17:39][2.7]

Eugenie: [00:17:40] Well, you know, Jeanne, it’s also this sounds. This will sound really off, but in a strange way, it’s the good news, which is. Oh. Here we are. [00:17:49][9.4]

Jeanne: [00:17:50] Mm hmm. [00:17:50][0.2]

Eugenie: [00:17:51] You know, this is the familiar place that that Mary has experienced time and time again. Her family has experienced time and time again. And the good news is, is now we’re seeing it and we’re having an opportunity to move into the situation in a fresh way. [00:18:06][14.9]

Jeanne: [00:18:07] Exactly. Exactly. [00:18:08][1.0]

Eugenie: [00:18:08] It feels bad. It’s like it’s kind of good news. [00:18:11][2.7]

Jack: [00:18:12] My mind was going to the same place, Eugenie, I was thinking, because we’re all experienced. This is a good example of what we were saying earlier about the integration is because we know this territory. You sound like you had the confidence Jeanne that, oh, this is okay, this is okay. It could on the surface, it could look look like a problem. But what I always look for in teams is the team often gets in the same kind of predicament the client and their family have been in repeatedly over time. And because we’re in a way, we kind of mirror a lot of the dynamics in the family system, start to reappear in the team. So there are often an early period where we get into the same predicament, which is, like you’re saying, usually the good news is where you are right away you were back into that place and then our practice with each other and our familiarity with each other is using our relationships and our experience to wake up and to come out of the predicament. Going in a predicament, it’s often especially early phases of a Windhorse team. Mm hmm. [00:19:21][69.1]

Jeanne: [00:19:22] Yeah. I think this person, Mary she wanted to show us that she’s. You know, her her identity for so many years is I’m a failure. I’m a horrible person. And it was almost like C See, see how proud I am. [00:19:35][13.5]

Jack: [00:19:36] Here to prove it to you that she look, I’m a failure. You should now. Just give up now. Right. [00:19:42][5.7]

Jeanne: [00:19:43] Exactly. And so, yeah, I wanted to point out that this journey over time, over this last year and a half or couple of years. Is that I could really start to see her also shifting that internal dialog like, Oh, maybe I’m not so bad. Maybe I do have some talents and strengths in the world and I can do things and. I do deserve friends. You know, I. Maybe I could be in a relationship. [00:20:15][32.7]

Chuck: [00:20:17] Yeah. I think what you all have been talking about here with this experience of. Of the greater freedom of our team approach relative to where Mary had been in these very structured, like really structured residential situations. I was the team supervisor in the situation, so it was my role to work more directly with the family while being an integrated part of the team and a part of our. Intention was to to be a a more spacious transitional step away from the high, higher level of structure. Because it was precisely there that it kept falling apart for Mary, and then she’d have to go back into more structure. So we were we have a lot of experience of of doing this making this step, this big step out of these highly structured situations. And then how to work with the learning process of when a person gets into a repetition just like what you all are talking about. So we were not totally surprised that the hospitalization occurred. Then the trick is, what do we all learn from that and can that be a step on the path as opposed to just a repeating situation that doesn’t have much therapeutic value? And as you’re describing, this had a lot of therapeutic value. It was a real shock because the first Mary was really thrilled to have more more freedom and then is like and then was like, Oh, what’s up? I can’t handle it. But can I have like, how can I learn? So that was a big part of what we were doing. [00:21:51][94.5]

Jeanne: [00:21:52] Mm hmm. Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. [00:21:54][2.0]

Chuck: [00:21:57] I have a question. And it goes it goes to the notion of testing a health based approach and naming the shift of allegiance and allegiance to one sanity. And the health based orientation that we have is actually around inviting someone’s sanity to be part of a much more active part of their lives and the lives of the team. So I’m just curious how, you know, Jeannie or anyone else would would like to address that health based notion of how we go about working with our with our folks, our clients and families. [00:22:31][34.7]

Jeanne: [00:22:33] I could say part, you know, in relation to Mary, as time went on, she started to become a little bit more self-aware, like even to notice those early warning signs of of mania arising and noticing what kinds of things would, would kind of encourage mania. Like too much caffeine, not eating, not sleeping. Like before, she really didn’t know about those things. It seemed like she had really no awareness or mindfulness of her own body or what she was doing that influenced her mind. And so part of the health approach was was really educating her about those things, about the connections between mind and body, to the point where she decided, Oh, yeah, it’s not good for me to use. Oh, yeah, I need to keep these things in balance. So, so kind of teaching a balance. [00:23:29][56.5]

Jack: [00:23:32] Part of our approach. Also, I’m thinking as we talk goes to this kind of foundational article and concept, the history of sanity that we we start with looking at people’s sanity. I think that unfortunate tendency and bias in our system is to look at pathology and to, you know, try to understand stand, where did it start and what’s the history of pathology. But a really deeply held part of our. Work and training and kind of ethos is where’s that sanity? Where’s the health or the fundamental health? And it’s in everybody. Everybody we encounter. There is a history of sanity if you care to look for it. [00:24:14][41.8]

Jeff: [00:24:15] I Think one dimension of that Jack that comes to mind as you’re talking is the. Sort of the, you could say, history of deep feeling. There’s something about this this self-awareness that that Jeanne is talking about, which can extend to the level of feeling of the person. So the fact that Jeanne and Mary together were willing to face, for example, that the depth of her suffering. To to feel that and allow that. Allow that to happen in the full field of experience. Itself is so important because, you know, there’s a tendency to I mean, we all have this to sort of try to subjugate suffering. Like press it down. Oh, let’s not let’s just feel the good part, so to speak. Let’s just try to go for the good feelings. And so making room for the suffering in some way is almost so that activates the healing response within oneself, that sort of activates that. And so then in that sense, one knows what one is fighting for, so to speak. [00:25:17][61.8]

Eugenie: [00:25:19] You know, Jeff, when you’re saying that I’m thinking of that often, it’s such an unusual experience for someone and maybe for Mary. Is that the patience and the space to actually open and sit with that level of despair, the fearfulness of nothing will ever work. I’m a failure. And tonight I know for me, there’s that urge. Oh, someone’s suffering. I’m suffering. I want to be a good therapist. Therefore, I’m going to begin making suggestions. Problem solving. What about this or that? And it’s it’s so powerful to just sit and allow that to be and see if there can be an expansion into the acceptance and the tolerance of something that’s been pushed free, structured, diagnosed. [00:26:13][53.8]

Jack: [00:26:14] Uh huh, yeah, yeah. [00:26:16][1.4]

Jeanne: [00:26:16] Yeah. I think that is the key. You see any just really being able to sit with that? Yeah. As a therapist, it can be tempting to to try to fix and do and. Not sit in that kind of soup of of despair. [00:26:32][15.6]

Eugenie: [00:26:35] But I’d be saying you’re the worst therapist I’ve ever had. [00:26:38][3.4]

Jeanne: [00:26:40] Well. [00:26:40][0.0]

Eugenie: [00:26:41] i’m note feeling any better with you. In fact, I’m feeling really lousy with you. I’m here to feel better. [00:26:47][5.4]

Jeanne: [00:26:52] Nobody wants to be sick. You know, that’s what I found is. Is that they’re there. Like everyone wants to feel better. We all want to feel better. And so just to sit with someone and feel that pain with them can be pretty profound because there is a mutuality. Yeah. Like, if you go and kind of sit there with that person, you really experience that experience. And then there’s there’s a room for a transformation to happen. [00:27:23][31.5]

Eugenie: [00:27:25] He sees me like Mary might be thinking she sees me well. [00:27:30][5.2]

Chuck: [00:27:32] You know, a theme that’s been running through this series is creating environments that invite a person’s health. And what you’re describing, all you’re describing is this paradoxical situation of being able to create a space where people can feel how they feel, feel a certain kind of pain and suffering. We can tolerate it. The experience of that starts to rouse their health. Yeah. Yeah. That’s a way we can help invite a person’s health in. A kind of a paradoxical. [00:28:04][31.7]

Jeff: [00:28:07] There was there was an interesting part of our interchange there where I think, Eugenie, you were pointing to the so this willingness for the for the to for the therapists and client to sit with and fully feel what’s happening, which implies a user acceptance. Acceptance requires a kind of acceptance which often has a little bit of a quality of warmth to it. Warm acceptance or maybe. Maybe. I mean, I know Jeanne and Jeanne, I know you and your body. This warm acceptance is not just like any kind of acceptance, but anything goes wild. Substance abuse is also very accepting, like, okay, let’s just reach in the pot and take whatever bill we can find. So it’s a warm kind of knowing acceptance, which is already health. That’s already a health that’s like just appeared. Even though the suffering is seems to be taking up the whole space. [00:29:05][58.4]

Jeanne: [00:29:08] It is health, isn’t it? When when two people join in that way. [00:29:12][3.6]

Chuck: [00:29:13] You know, it’s a free kind of environment and a little environmental element. The two people are both creating something together. We. Eugene, you had started to talk about hope. Does that seem to fit in here for you in terms of how oftentimes a therapist may be holding a view of a person’s sanity, curiosity about their history of sanity? And and the therapist has acknowledged that this is you know, if you work these things together in the right way, oftentimes a pass can really unfold from there. And there can be this this contagious hope. I don’t know. Where you going? Anywhere like that. [00:29:52][39.8]

Eugenie: [00:29:54] I think, Chuck, one of the challenges I’m always working for is, you know, kind of unearthing an agenda I might have. You know, I might have a notion of what I think might be the quality of life they would want or their family would want or our cultural or environment may want. And I have to sit back from that and really relax that idea, that notion of of hope to move towards something that’s prescribed that may not be what’s actually organically rising within, you know, Mary’s experience, who Mary is in her life. So so it’s that sense of what we call touch and go is I notice it. And there’s a almost a discernment around, oh, well, that’s interesting. And can I just relax with it and see where it goes? Is that my idea or is that actually something that’s rising, you know, from these kind of islands of clarity and inspiration, kind of that sense of the rising of hopefulness and that touching in to our that basic health and sanity. So I think that’s what I mean, because when hope gets really solid, like, oh, I know now. That feels very dangerous because that’s usually when a trap door opens up and goes. I don’t think so. [00:31:24][90.8]

Jack: [00:31:26] I would say that we all work as intensive psychotherapist to entertain supervisors. And it’s a it’s interesting how I will watch my mind and the minds of the team and often of the family and the client. We get a solid idea of where we’re going. And I would I would dare say that that almost is never the real path of healing, that because there’s you start to build this script and this plan of where you’re going, which I know is is very important, like to to have goals that you’re moving towards. But the willingness to let go of goals and go with what’s an emerging kind of healing energy is essential. I’ve I can’t say how many times I’ve felt completely humbled by the trajectory of a team where I think I know where it’s going. And then the often the on the identified Claire does something that seems kind of like an odd move and then it becomes the seed of their true path of recovery. And I think it’s so important that we’re able to let go of our solidifying views of where things are going in our hope. Right. Our view of. It seems like hope is tied to or you’re tying to like the plan of like where we’re going. [00:32:44][78.0]

Eugenie: [00:32:45] That’s where they come from. Often I think that’s the suffering of it, too, is that there, you know, we come into these residential programs or through our schooling experiences, our friendship experiences of this, not that this not that this is right. This is wrong. The losses of independence, that loss of confidence. And then that’s confusion. And as you said, you need that solidification of habits, you know, of escape or medicating. So it’s it’s so potent to offer or hope to offer something that has is a little more ventilated, an opportunity of creativity, a fresh way can come up. And if everybody can put their safety belts on, you know. [00:33:34][49.1]

Jeanne: [00:33:36] When a when a client comes to us with such a strong sense of hopelessness, our urge is to provide the hope. But as as we’re talking and kind of thinking about how it’s not so much that I’m supplying the hope to their hopelessness, but I’m I’m helping them explore their own hopelessness and come up with, you know, like, like identify where those kind of thought patterns had solidified before, you know, those beliefs that are maybe faulty about themselves or about their situation or the world. So we can yeah, I can call that that I have hope for them where they don’t have hope for themselves. But it’s more like I believe in their ability to see those thought patterns and change them. [00:34:32][55.7]

Jeff: [00:34:34] It has an element of courage to it, even though some of the way you’re describing that, it’s like in the face of darkness. It’s like you look into the face of darkness rather than just put up your white flag and slink away. [00:34:49][14.8]

Jeanne: [00:34:50] Yeah. [00:34:50][0.0]

Jeff: [00:34:52] Yeah. I don’t think you own a white flag. [00:34:54][1.3]

Jeanne: [00:34:55] Uh huh. I have caught myself before. You know, with people where I have that urge to. To put up the white flag and change the subject, so to speak. Yeah, like. Like move away from the pain. But every time, as I noticed, I move more towards it and just meet that person there. That’s where the transformation happens. [00:35:24][28.9]

Jack: [00:35:26] What about this? There’s this really difficult place. Like where? I think we all have this is we want the world to be the way we want it to be. And like, I’m thinking of a young trans man that I’ve been working with. And his predicament is that he can’t. He wants the world a very specific way and the world isn’t cooperating. And he’s struggling with holding on to that that picture in view of what he’s supposed to be. And, you know, there’s what we plan and then there’s what the world is and the difference between those. There’s something about the humbling of being humbled by the world and meeting the world as it is. That’s extremely painful. Yeah. Yeah. [00:36:14][48.3]

Eugenie: [00:36:15] I think the magic that can happen for me, Jack, is that, you know, in some of these experiences, I’m just blown away by what I have an opportunity to wake up to, you know, that it’s time in my life at this age, in my life, at this social location and level of privilege, I have a very particular lens and I can’t truly know what it is to be a person of color. I can’t truly know what it is to be truly no, you know, not neurotypical in a very challenged way in our norms. And, you know, it’s we’re at a time of just blossoming. Awakening to the diversity that is in our world and has always been in our world. But yet it’s been othered. Not to coin a term. So I think that that’s the other thing that I’m always learning and how do I sit back and allow the people I have the good fortune to work with? How do I allow them to be my teacher? And do they feel safe enough to correct me or challenge me or be angry with me or doubt me? You know, so it’s very powerful for me. [00:37:36][81.2]

Chuck: [00:37:38] I think it’s been very helpful to hear you all describe the nuances of of really forming a collaborative relationship between you as the intensive psychotherapist and the client and the courage, the honesty, the kind of looking at the truth of one’s life that can actually when you can tolerate live with that, it actually helps one’s health to grow up and to to be roused. There’s so that’s a real root practice of what you all are doing at the same time as part of a team on a client comes in, there is this very rich, oftentimes palette of different relationships that happen between the client and the team members. And I think one of the really beneficial functions of a psychotherapist on our team is to help the client grow and understand each of those relationships, and likewise to help the the team counselors and team leaders do the same thing. So everybody’s learning in the situation. I’d love to hear you play with that, those experiences of here. [00:38:46][68.5]

Jeanne: [00:38:48] Oftentimes on a on a team, there’s there’s one team member maybe who who kind of bumps up against the client where the client feels like, I’m annoyed with that person. There’s, you know, I don’t like that person. And oftentimes that is such an opportunity to recognize family patterns, work through them actually, you know, not like kick that person off the team, but but more lean in to that tension and relationship and and feel something there. So, yes, the psychotherapist can kind of shed light on on the difficulties within the relationships for the team and the team, the team members, and then bring that all together. [00:39:41][52.4]

Jeff: [00:39:44] Yeah. Jeanne. I hear you talking to this function that are our primary teacher of the psychotherapy discipline Ed Podvall, but before he died, you pointed to this essential function of supervising the client’s relationship with other team members. I mean, in some ways, they seem to think that was more important than the psychotherapy that was going on. And I think it points to the there’s a relative confidentiality going on. The decline in psychotherapist share so that the client can share things with what their experiences of other team members, how difficult they are annoying whatever it might be. And the psychotherapist is keeping that in confidence. It’s not sharing that with the other team members. So it’s creating a place for the client to talk privately, as it were, and therefore openly about these other team members and just as you say, start to work through some of those seeming obstructions or obstacles. So rather than getting rid of the person, let’s be curious about what’s going on with that person. So I think that’s a really very important function that that the two people create that way. [00:40:55][70.2]

Eugenie: [00:40:55] Yeah, that’s a good question, Jeff [00:40:57][1.3]

Jeff: [00:40:58] Oh, sure. [00:40:58][0.3]

Eugenie: [00:40:59] So what if that team member wants to get off the team and is really not liking. Some of their colleagues on that team. And you have a lot of real difficult things happening interpersonally within the team. [00:41:18][18.9]

Jeff: [00:41:19] Right? Right. Right. I, I mean, my my sense was that the only the only way through is to open up the process. And maybe include larger team in the in the exploration of what is going on there. It may be that there is such a thing as chemistry between people that either works or doesn’t. So, you know, maybe a person should leave the team or there are circle of support. But on the other hand, to get there, it seems like there has to be this process of exploration and learning and looking into having that kind of fearlessness to look into it. And I mean, that’s sort of the what we do with just about everything, I suppose. [00:42:00][41.1]

Eugenie: [00:42:01] I’m just thinking about the teams that I’ve been on as a as a therapist when I can sit back and I watch a little bit of a storm building or beginning to happen, and with my particular seat, I often will wake up to the fact that, oh, this is a familiar dynamic, and I’m imagining that this is what has been happening in this person’s family with a partner, with their children, and it’s that replication process. And then how do we not get too focused around this? Yeah, but it is just kind of ventilating. It’s stepping back, not moving into that reactive place which is so familiar and easy, but it’s like there’s an opportunity of harvesting or yeah, an agonizing and kind of, oh, this is really important that it’s happening with us. [00:42:56][55.2]

Jack: [00:42:58] So I think it’s important to note that you already have touched on it. Is that. The client is not the only one who is engaged in a healing process. And these are descriptions of the of the the staff member who’s maybe also getting stuck, that we have quite a lot of internal processes within teams. And then also in the larger structure of the organization, we have a whole supervision process that is quite unique and it’s for another conversation, another time, but it’s a very unique process where the our clinicians are looking at their own material. So we don’t all just make it about it’s so easy to say, well, that’s all the client’s issues. Well, not really in real human relationship. Everybody’s got things they’re working on. And the the nature of this work is it provokes it in all of us, and we really recognize that. I think that’s a real important and very interesting part of what we’re about. [00:44:02][63.9]

Chuck: [00:44:03] Oftentimes, I think it’s difficult to understand for families why it’s important for a team to attend to its own the health of its own members. I think it’s one of the the actual traps of a lot of therapeutic situations that they’re not taking care of the health of the practitioners which. Does not promote a healthy enough environment for the long haul for people to stay engaged. Their own vitality and curiosity and openness encourage all kind of stuff that actually promotes the healing environment for the client and the family. So this is this is actually for a lot of these recovery house that could be multiple years. This is the way that you actually create a situation that that can go go the distance in a healthy. [00:44:54][51.1]

Eugenie: [00:44:56] You know, Chuck, when I think about that, that if I were a family coming in, I would be saying, why do I need a team leader? Why do I need an counselors? I just am here for therapy. You know, and so I think that that’s a very important conversation to be having with families in an ongoing way about really what’s unique about this program and the developing path of potency and really helping helping a family to to sit within that and learn more as they go, too. [00:45:28][31.9]

Chuck: [00:45:29] Yeah. And we’ll talk a lot more about this in the next discussion with team supervisors. So. Where. Where would you like to go in the last few minutes? [00:45:40][10.5]

Jeff: [00:45:41] Well, I wanted to maybe check with Jeanne. So, Jeanne, you did share this. A real story like this really happened. And it’s still happening. Just how you’re feeling at this point, like, in a way we’ve been. Responding to your story in our discussions. I’m curious how this is leading with you. [00:46:00][18.4]

Jeanne: [00:46:01] It’s wonderful. It’s it’s a really reaffirming, you know, kind of looking back at this journey for for Mary, it’s really helpful just to reflect on that and to pay attention to the the pieces of of the work together that has really made a meaningful difference for this person. And I think, like what we were just talking about, about the health of the team and mutual recovery, I feel like, you know, the mindfulness practices that the team brings in to this situation really helps because a lot of those old patterns were so deep seated and repetitive for this person that I really do think that the awareness of each individual person’s on the team, their self awareness and willingness to explore relationship dynamics within themselves and the clients. And in the therapy, it’s it’s really made a difference for this person. So it kind of all came together. Really appreciate the discussion. [00:47:10][68.8]

Chuck: [00:47:12] Thank you. Jeanne, as you just said, it really makes a difference. It’s striking to me what a difference it is when someone like Mary is really working hard on on coming back to life and into a life that they that they want to have. And she’s experiencing, you know, kind of repeating, doing things that she doesn’t like, but she’s not surrounded by a bunch of people who are perfect, you know, bunch of people who aren’t like. Who acknowledged being human beings as well as recovery is a human process. And and we’re all kind of in our own way, even though the problems are different order of magnitude sometimes. But we’re all working on our human growth and maturation. We’re not perfect. [00:47:58][46.2]

Jeanne: [00:47:59] And I think she recognizes that. And she loves her team. Just the individuals on the team mean the world to her. [00:48:08][8.2]

Chuck: [00:48:08] Yeah. [00:48:08][0.0]

Jeanne: [00:48:09] That’s pretty amazing. [00:48:10][0.6]

Chuck: [00:48:11] Yeah. [00:48:11][0.0]

Elysa: [00:48:26] Thank you for listening. To Windhorse Journal Entry 89. We hope you tune in next month for the continuation of this series, focusing on each of the roles within a Windhorse team. Our next conversation will cover basic attendance relationships that invite help team supervisors. The Mentors Journal can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or W WW dot Windhorse community services dot com slash journal. [00:48:50][24.6]

Lori: [00:49:37] Windhorse Journal is a publication of Windhorse Community Services supporting recovery from mental health challenges at home and in the community since 1981. [00:49:37][0.0]