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Expert Insights on Therapy and Mental Health with Britt Frank
Episode 6520th June 2023 • Momma Has Goals • Kelsey Smith
00:00:00 00:36:53

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Today, we're diving headfirst into the world of therapy and mental health. Whether you're a therapy enthusiast, a skeptic, or just itching to learn more, trust me, this episode is worth a listen.

Our extraordinary guest is the one and only Britt Frank. This woman is a force to be reckoned with! Not only does she have all the credentials as a clinician, educator, and trauma specialist, but she has lived through her own battles, conquered substance abuse, and navigated her personal mental health journey like a true warrior.

With a BA from Duke University and an M.S.W. from the University of Kansas, Britt is a force of nature. She's a somatic experiencing practitioner and a level three expert in the internal family systems therapeutic model. From being a primary therapist at a drug and alcohol treatment center to an inpatient therapist at a children's psychiatric hospital, Britt has seen it all and is now killing it in her own private practice.

In this episode, we're tackling tough parenting situations and delivering information that's not only easy to digest but also action-oriented. Join me and Britt as we embark on this conversation of self-discovery and empowerment through proven mental health strategies.

What you'll hear in this episode:

[3:25] Stuck is a starting point.

[9:10] Red flags for high performers and high achievers.

[15:10] Anxiety is not designed to hurt us.

[19:00] Tools parents can implement to feel safer.

[22:30] How to offer support to someone not actively seeking it.

[28:05] What are some of your favorite social media accounts?

[33:25] How do you know if you’re sharing information in a positive way or passive-aggressively?


Follow Britt on Instagram: @brittfrank

Check out Britt's website to learn more about her book and great services: Science of Stuck | Britt Frank, LSCSW

Shop Britt's Book: The Science of Stuck


Follow Kelsey: @thisiskelseysmith

Follow Momma Has Goals: @mommahasgoals

Download the app for Apple or Android

Learn more at

Join our text list. Text "Goals" to (707) 347-0319


Speaker 1 0:00

If the kid sees you're upset, and you're like, No mom's fine, that's fine. Everything is fine. They're not learning. No, actually, mom is having a meltdown right now, and they're not being shown. Here's how you have a meltdown, but like a boundary meltdown. And what that would look like is, you know what? You're right. Mom's not okay. Hey, I'm having a really big feeling. It's not your fault. You don't have to worry, you didn't cause it you there's nothing you need to do. Mom's gonna take a big breath and grab something out of the big Mary Poppins tote full of squishy and fuzzies and smellies, and things to whatever. And then you're modeling. This is what a big feeling looks like here's how to handle it.

Kelsey Smith 0:38

Let's reimagine mom life together. Mama high schools is your hub for relatable support and helpful resources that help you fuel yourself alongside motherhood. Your identity is bigger than mom, in whatever your goals are. Together, we're making them a reality. The concept of therapy and mental health is significantly improving. Whether you have a positive relationship with it or a negative, maybe you want to dive deeper into it. Maybe you don't want to talk about it at all, or you're curious to learn more. I know for me when I am learning about a topic that's potentially sensitive, or it's something I want to learn more about. I really want to trust the person that's giving me the information and nothing gives me more trust than someone that has walked the walk, not just talk the talk, and Britt Frank while she has all the credentials. She's a clinician, educator and trauma specialist. She also has walked the walk. She has overcome substance abuse, she has navigated her own mental health, and she speaks and writes widely about the mental health myths that keep us stuck in stress. Britt received her BA from Duke University in her MSW from University of Kansas where she later became an award winning adjunct professor. She's a somatic experiencing practitioner, and a level three trained in the internal family systems therapeutic model. Britt was a primary therapist at a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center, an inpatient therapist at a Children's Psychiatric Hospital, and now owns a private practice. You can find me on Instagram at Brett Frank, and on her website with her book, The Science of stuck. I'm super excited to bring this conversation to you. We don't leave anything off the table. We talk through a lot of situations, a lot of dynamics and allow it to be really digestible and action oriented because this is a big conversation and a big topic. So grab your headphones tap in, we do talk really briefly about Brett's substance abuse at the very beginning. So note that if you have little ears around, but it's quick, and I can't wait for you to dive in and get all of her amazing feedback at this episode. Brent, thank you so much for being here today. I was just telling you before we clicked to record when I really saw out resources and support really the concepts of mental health and breaking patterns and working through trauma, things like that, I noticed that so many people weren't receiving help, because they didn't want to go to someone they knew or they didn't know how to get started. That can be such an overwhelming topic, especially when you're struggling, it can feel so overwhelming to even take that first step. How did you get started doing what you're doing? Bring us up to speed and how you now have your book bring us all the way up to speed.

Speaker 1 3:27

The problem with the mental health thing now is not only do some people not want to ask for help, but then there are others who don't even put themselves in the category of people that would even quote qualify as people who should get help or whatever. So I really am big on the word stuck instead of the word trauma, even though I'm a trauma specialist, because not everyone identifies as having trauma, but everyone identifies as being stuck with something to some degree at some point, which was not your question. Your question was, how did I come to work? And like many people in the wellness space, I came to the work by being a incredibly disastrous, chaotic hot mess of a human being, and just really having a hard time processing or identifying my own trauma. It's like I had to trauma never heard of her. I was almost 30 When a therapist was like Caswell girl, this was not this is not okay. I was like Oh shoot. And so like many people who have childhood trauma that they don't count as trauma, I grew up and all of a sudden now I'm in crazy making relationships. And then I got into addictions and eating disorders. And granted my stuff is the extreme falls on the extreme end of the continuum. But what I found in my personal recovery is that if you're a human with a brain, you're going to get stuck at some points and whether you're like me, I did lots of really extreme things. But whether or not you're just quote stressed or you're just a fried mess, our brains our brains and brains brain the same way, and I was exciting as I moved out of recovering into maintenance. TURNS INTO now I'm a clinician, which is was really fun. And I changed careers because all I wanted to do was talk about the brain and how to get unstuck and being well, because all of my clients are generally pretty high achieving people. And they don't understand that, yes, you're doing well. But like, you can also feel better. Or if you're not doing well, you can change everything about everything to the degree, you have choices, stuck as a starting point, it's not where you have to end up. So Hurray, brain, that's my story in a nutshell.

Kelsey Smith 5:30

Oh, my goodness, so inspiring. I love when people go through something. And then they get to the point that they're not only living for themselves, but then they're supporting and helping others, because now you've changed countless lives by stepping into your purpose in your calling. But if you'd stayed stuck, you wouldn't have been able to support yourself or anyone else. On this podcast, we talk a lot about our kids being one of the people that would receive that positive or negative impact of us either healing or not healing, but it is so much bigger than that. It's the person that you run into in the grocery store, the person that, you know, just cut you off on the road that you then just wave and say, I wish you well, you know, allowing yourself to really find peace in your own life so that you're not spreading it. And we were talking about that, and how that shows up for parents. And so if someone's listening, and they're like, Yeah, I have trauma, and I'm learning how to deal with it. So I don't spread it. That's one person. But for the other person, it's like, I don't know that this applies to, let's break that down.

Speaker 1 6:30

Yeah, and that one is a tricky one also, because I really respect the perspective that perhaps what happened to you isn't in the grand scheme of things as severe and you do have a home and clean water and access to basic needs, having perspective on things like that is useful, looking around and being like, you know, what, all things considered, I have a pretty good and I feel really grateful that I have it pretty good. That's great. But what happens is people think because I have a nice home and beautiful kids and medical insurance and food in my fridge, that now excludes me from putting my pain in a place where it can be healed somehow, it's like there's this zero sum thing where the more blessings I have, the less right I have to claim pain. And that's just not how it works. And I would say this to any parent, you don't have to sit there and now identify as someone who's traumatized, but the tendency to minimize our own pain is something our kids are watching. I was a play therapist in my career very early on for years. And it's amazing to me that kids are watching. And you know, when parents come to me, either with trauma or with whatever, and they're like, What do I do with my kids? Number one thing to help your kids is to let yourself have your reality to whatever degree you have it and to show your kids how to resource Yes, we haven't really good, we're going to count our blessings. But then we're going to count our SATs and our mats, and we're going to make space for all of it. The biggest gift a parent can give a child is feelings, literacy, after basic needs and safety and all that, of course, being able to say yeah, I have a pretty good, but trauma, you want me to say i The word is so buzzy and trendy now, and everyone who's taken like a lunchtime Lunch and Learn is now a trauma expert. And so we've got this epidemic of now everybody is talking about trauma, which is better than no one talking about it. But now people hear the word trauma and they sort of roll their eyes and they're like, that's only if you were in a war or assaulted or if something really bad happened. It helps to know the definition of trauma before you say you don't have it. And the definition of trauma is anything that overwhelms your brain's processing capacity. It's like brain indigestion. You don't have to eat bad food to get a stomach ache. But to some degree, all of us are going to have indigestion at some point. So anything that's too much too fast or too soon or not enough for our brains to process and metabolize is gonna get stuck. People come in, I'm just so lazy. I don't know what's wrong with me. I'm like, are you lazy? Or is your nervous system in freeze because of trauma? I don't have trauma. Alright, well, we won't call it that. We'll just say Are you stuck? If you're stuck by whatever word you use, there's some brain stuff going on. So minimizing it doesn't fix it. Addressing It does.

Kelsey Smith 9:14

Yeah. And I think on the spectrum of mental health, sometimes when people are laying in bed, they can't get out of bed. That is more, you're more aware. Maybe I should be able to get out of bed, I should be able to move. But you mentioned that you work a lot with high performers and high achievers. And I think so often people are running from the things that they need to work through. And with moms, you are busy, your schedule is full. And this podcast is ambitious mums on top of that. So your schedule is really full, really busy and you are almost always putting someone else's needs before your own. Because that's kind of your job. But it's also like we're talking about your job to heal yourself first so that you can be emotionally available mentally available for Word that. So how do you put up a red flag for the person that maybe on the outside looks like they're checking all the boxes, they're doing the things. They're a high performer, high achiever. They're not just laying in bed, unable to get out of bed. But you're looking at it and saying, Hey, I see some red flags here.


Yeah, there's doing well. And then there's being well, while doing well. And I think a lot of people are checking the doing well box on paper, it all looks great. No problem, everything is being done. But if someone's like, I'm fine, I'll say great, you're fine. How is your relationship to food, to alcohol, to sex, to your friends, to your physical body to your medical wellness, and your money? How are those relationships going? And if you are on all cylinders, genuinely, I'm awesome. My tank is full on all of those counts. Cool, put my book down and go somewhere else and teach us all how you do it. But it's true. Like how are your relationships? How's your relationship with your mind? And again, I appreciate how busy life is. But the inability to sit quietly with our own thoughts is a pretty big red flag if the thought of slowing down strikes terror into your heart. Again, assuming that sky isn't actually going to fall down, then we might want to look and see what's going on. Can you eat food without obsessing? Are you restricting? Are you over eating? Do you eat generally for both sustenance? And for pleasure? Is there room for all of that? Do you have friends who have hobbies? Do you have any alone time whatsoever? Even if it's five minutes in the morning to pee if that's your alone time for the day? Cool. So I would just tell people, if you're gonna get really honest, you look at all the areas of life on a one to 10 How are we doing?

Kelsey Smith:

Yeah. And I think everything is truly the spectrum, right? Like the other thing you were talking about was acknowledging feelings with your kids and acknowledging it's okay to acknowledge happiness, sadness, anger, all of the different feelings, in my oldest is four. And this is something that I've had an interesting relationship with lately, because if he has a tantrum, and he gets upset, the biggest thing that I am trying to navigate right now is how do I allow him to be upset, but also help him understand that when he is screaming directly at me, that I want to be that safe place for him. But also, you're hurting my ears so bad, and I might need you to go into the other room. This is so hard as a parent, because there are so many things that say, Don't make your kids feel like they have to just be upset in their room that they have to go to a different place. But also it's acknowledging how do you honor how you're feeling but understand you can't hurt others in the process. And that's where it comes down to me now to my four year old, that's probably going to be a completely different answer than how I show up as a mom, right? Because same thing, if I'm having a hard day, I should be able to communicate to him like, hey, Mom's having a tough day, this is the way I'm feeling. But I still need to show up as mom, I still got to take care of my kids. That's my job. So for your clients that are maybe trying to navigate that walk between caring for themselves, and caring for others, and not hurting others in the process of standing up for themselves. Where do you get started?


So I would start with and this is not an every time for all people this is just take what's useful leave what's not if you're, if kids are not modeled how to manage big feelings, tantrums, are going to be their own, like I know 50 year olds who don't have the emotional fluency to communicate appropriately with what's happening in their inner worlds for well meaning parents that really want to protect kids from bad, horrible, whatever. But when you come home and you tell a kid, I'm fine, everything is fine. Or even if the kid sees you're upset, and you're like, No mom's fine, that's fine. Everything is fine. They're not learning. No, actually, mom is having a meltdown right now, and they're not being shown, here's how you have a meltdown, but like a boundary meltdown. And what that would look like is, you know what, you're right, Mom's not okay, I'm having a really big feeling. It's not your fault. You don't have to worry, you didn't cause it you there's nothing you need to do. Mom's gonna take a big breath and grab something out of the big Mary Poppins tote full of squishies and fuzzies, on smellies, and things to whatever. And then you're modeling. This is what a big feeling looks like, here's how to handle it. But I find that and again, easy for me to say. But part of the reason I was able to learn the language of kids is because I wasn't also simultaneously trying to raise one. But most of the time, adults, we can't sit with our big feelings. So there's no way that we're going to be able to do that for a kiddo. And it's really hard because when kids flip out, we get triggered. I had to do that. And I only saw him an hour a week. If a kiddo is losing their mind and screaming, I'm getting all dysregulated and discombobulated and what does it mean and what do I do? The best way to help first your first task is you have to settle your system first, before you're going to be able to stop a tantrum or inner Nene or whatever it is that needs to happen in the moment, but being able to separate Right, as a mom, you're not failing. If your kid has a tantrum, it doesn't mean that like you're doing something terrible, it means they're having a big giant feeling. So let's all learn how to manage big giant feelings because nobody from a two year old to a CEO knows how to do it, because none of us were taught.

Kelsey Smith:

Yeah. And I think when we think back to scenarios that we wish adults had dealt with situations better, it comes back to that acknowledging how you're feeling. And not just moving forward and projecting it in a different way. I can think of this happening a lot in the corporate environment, right, where maybe your boss or your supervisor hasn't communicated with you in the right way, it probably has nothing to do with you at the end of the day. But unfortunately, you're finding yourself at the other end of it. And when you were giving the example of how you communicate with your kids, I love that you say it's not your fault, you didn't cause this, but I am feeling this way. And I need a minute. And then you also talked about having a tool to make you feel better, that isn't just pouring a glass of wine. It's a finding that I live in Napa, don't get me wrong, I love a good glass of wine. But that's not how we deal with that situation. So allowing yourself to find what is that you can do. And I know for me, like taking a step outside is always like if I'm ever feeling stressed or anxious or anything, outside is my thing. But I love that you said even just little squishy is to squish, or things that smell good. Just allowing your other senses to get involved, I'm sure that you can tell me about some of the science behind that. But allowing you to tap into those things. One of the things that I saw on your page that really stuck out to me was you talked about anxiety, secret identity, I would love for you to walk us through that.


Anxiety is your superpower, it's not trying to harm you. So the thing with an going back real quick to what you said about feeling better. I just want to speak to this because the wine thing is such a thing. When it comes to tantrums and kids are big feelings and adults, we get into trouble when we try to feel better. We all do myself included. We don't need to feel better, we need to feel safer. Forget about the science and why that's trauma. If that's trauma, if your brain is flipping out, it does not eat better, it needs safer alcohol make you feel better. But the goal here is not let's feel better, it's let's feel safer, let's come down a few degrees because a brain that feel safe won't tantrum a brain that feels safe, won't drink the whole bottle of Chardonnay or whatever we were all taught anxiety is this horrible monster that is out to get us and it's a disorder and it's a disease and it's bad. And it feels bad. I've had anxiety my whole life. It is a horrible, debilitating, and sometimes like life threatening condition medically that needs to be managed. However, anxiety is not designed to hurt us, our language is terrible. I'm having a panic attack, it feels like an attack because one minute you're fine. And the next minute you're not. But panic and anxiety are there to protect us from being eaten by lions. Anxiety is there to warn, it's like the check engine light on your car. I don't like it when the light goes on. But the light is not the problem. The light is a signal that there is a problem. And anxiety is so uncomfortable and so awful and so scary, that we all fixate on making it go away, while forgetting that it's a signal pointing to something else. And that something else never gets addressed. Because we are all so caught up reasonably in the terror of the symptom. But if you don't know that it's a signal, you're gonna think something is terribly wrong. And sometimes something is when people come in my office and they're like, I have an anxiety disorder. I'm like, Okay, do you? Or is it we're in the middle of a global pandemic, you have three children that now you're homeschooling, you have aging parents who live across the country that you can't see because of global pain. Is that an anxiety disorder? Or do you feel horrible because of these environmental factors? And what are some solutions to take the edge off the things that we can change? I've had mental health issues my whole life, I take meds, I am not throwing shade at mental health diagnoses. But anxiety is not a disorder. And it's not there to attack you. It's there to help you if you know how to decode it's very scary messages.

Kelsey Smith:

Yeah. And I love that you're just breaking it down, though. That may be where you end up. But it's not for everyone and acknowledging sometimes the life is just hard. Not that you're doing a bad job at living it. It just sometimes is hard, is a permission to say okay, yes. All these things are going on. Now. How are we going to make you feel safer with all of these variables that are very real in your life? My community has a lot of fear around their kids being in school right now. That's something they can't fix immediately. Right? We can't immediately fix that. They are still sending their kids every day. How do you handle that? How do you work through that? And what are some tools? Right? There's not maybe a solution, what are some tools that they can implement, maybe even on a daily basis, to allow themselves to come back to feeling safer? Oh,


that was so hard the school thing because it's not a perception issue. It's not safe for everybody every day to send their kids After School and trust, everything's gonna be fine. Sometimes safety is a perception thing, it's logically we're safe, but my brain feels unsafe. So grab a squishy grabbing a squishy doesn't work when you're sending your kid off to school in the current state that things are in. And so what I would say is feeling safe is not an option, because that's not where we are living. I would say, Well, how do we live in the non safety reality? And the first step is validating it, instead of trying to gaslight ourselves, oh, everything's gonna be fine, everything's gonna be fine. If you don't know, I can't tell you today, everything's gonna be fine. So we have to validate that it's hard. And it's scary. And that means more than ever, being isolated, and disconnected are just not optional. Our brains weren't meant to do it anyway. But especially for talking children's safety. No parent can manage the stress and the chaos and the terror of that reality without support. Because it's a very real thing. So validating it doesn't fix it, but it does make it so you're not alone in the terror, which is something. Yeah.

Kelsey Smith:

Are there any rituals that you recommend? Maybe just like when you're driving away from school, or you're getting dressed? Is there something that you can say to yourself to help bring a little more safety and calm to that situation?


Yeah, I love the word ritual. And I love the idea of ritual. So what we need to do is figure out rituals that don't fix the situation, but help us at least be able to get to the next step. And rituals largely depend on choices. So the very first question to ask yourself before, what do I do about making myself feel safer? It's what's available to me? Is there somebody I can call? Is there somebody I can go to? If that's not true, then we want to start with that are what are the people places and things available? To me, that can be supportive resources. And so what are my choices is also the first line intervention for trauma. Because trauma, by definition means you didn't have a choice. Because if you could have chosen, you would have chosen to have the thing not happen anywhere, your brain is mindful of choices, you're going to feel less activated. So that works with high level code, red, big trauma stuff, but it also works. If you're just feeling stressed out about your day. Or if you're launching a business and you're like, I feel really overwhelmed. It's great. What are your choices will always bring your brain out of the rafters?

Kelsey Smith:

Yeah. Let's shift gears a little bit. A lot of what you talk about is the process that you went through, you had these things that you wanted to work through, you found solutions support, and now you help others get unstuck. Now, let's say that you're not actually resonating with that, but someone in your world is the person that you want to help. How do you one acknowledge maybe where you have a place to? And to how do you offer support to maybe someone that's not actively seeking, I have


so much compassion for that dilemma? Because it's like, hey, nudge, nudge Elbow, elbow, I get it, no one in my family goes to therapy, no one talks about feelings or mental health treatment. So I'm like, Hey, guys, I have this great book that, you know, I think you should read and I wrote it. And it's really like, has some info that I think would make life but you can't help people that don't want to be helped. And that's stinks. So if you want to trick them, you can you can say, Hey, I just found this awesome resource. And I thought it'd be fun for us have a book club. And if you want to support someone who's not dealing with their crap, form a group and fight them, and then make them read it, or watch it or whatever the thing is, but really the best way to help someone. It's so cliche and trite, and I hate it. But it's true. The put your mask on first. Yeah, like on the airplane. If you want to support someone who does not want to be supported, you want to be living the happiest, healthiest, most functional version of you possible so that they're asking you, How did you do it? Because once the door is open, then you can say, hey, try this, do that. Read this, watch that. But everyone's watching everyone. And people don't want to take advice from people that have all their crap together. I think that's why my therapy practice has largely worked because I don't sit here on my high horse being like, everything is wonderful. I still see a therapist, I still take medication. I'm a happy person. But life is life. Yeah.

Kelsey Smith:

So let's say it's you and your partner, you're in the household. And you're like, I need husband, wife partner to do XYZ because I need their support, or you're not sure how to even get the help you need without them stepping into the help that they need. What are the ways that you can maybe is it a conversation at the dinner table? Is it what are the smallest steps to just change the culture of the household? For really stepping into healing practices?


Oh, you're asking such good hard clothes like how do I mean my partner do the healing work with me? Again, this goes back to the first line intervention for trauma which is the first line intervention for being stuck which is the first line intervention for intimacy What are your choices? If you have a partner who is an alcoholic workaholic who is unwilling to even have a dinner, let alone a dinnertime conversation, your choice points are going to be very different than if your partner is genuinely caring and very much wants to do well, but just has no skills and no tools and says the wrong thing. Those are going to be very different. Choice points. Yeah. So really asking yourself make a menu list of how available is your partner on a one to 10. And if with one being not at all, the answer is five or below, then you're going to want to look outside the relationship for your primary supports. And taking some of the pressure off, the relationship is not always a bad thing. I am not suggesting someone should be tolerant of abuse or bad behavior. But our partners can't be our everything. So if you're at a five or below, we need to look outside. If your partner is genuinely willing, I would not leave a self help book on the nightstand or do anything passive aggressive, I would make it an us versus the problem versus me versus you. And that's the general wisdom in couples. I don't do couples therapy. But the general wisdom is if it's you versus me, we're gonna have a problem. If it's you and me as a team versus the problem, things are gonna go better. And there are books and workbooks and apps and things that you can do to say, Hey, you want to improve our skill set? Like we can level up as a couple, not you're doing it wrong, you need to do this for me.

Kelsey Smith:

Yeah. And something we talk a lot about here is a family vision because your partner can have a vision and you can have a vision. But if they're just connected, your household is going to be just connected. And I think that's something that's worked well for me personally. But we don't have some of those really high strong variables being thrown at us that some other partners do. But to say, Hey, I just want us to do this, because this aligns with our family vision. And that allows us to have really open clear conversations. But yes, if there's substance abuse or other things at play, that's a different dynamic. Now, let's say someone's listening to this, and they're like, Okay, I'm ready to get help. I am ready to take the next step. Where do they go? What do they do? What is the first step for someone that saying, Okay, I'm ready.


And again, I'm going to hammer this just ad nauseam? Do you have the option to go to therapy? If you're on insurance, and you need your insurance to pay for therapy? If there's probably an eight month waiting list, and most therapists are not trained in the brain, which is its own conversation? Do you have options to join a support group? Do you have the options to go to therapy, go to the bookstore and stand in the Self Help section and twirl around until you find all the books that resonate with you? That's an option. But the nice part about this breezy internet digital age we live in is you don't have to reinvent the wheel. If there's something that you want or need someone has it, find out who has it, and then find out how they did it. Ask them what their Booklist is. Instagram, amazingly, has better parenting and trauma informed mental health advice that I've seen then being in therapy and listening to coaches and teachers for years. So social media has its problems, but it's also a really great first line, place to go when you're seeking solutions.

Kelsey Smith:

I love that you brought that up, because I do think social media gets a really bad rap. And rightfully so sometimes there are some parts of it that are really bad, toxic, not safe. But if you are seeking the right information, there are a lot of really amazing providers putting really amazing information out on the internet to support you and help you are there a couple that you could shout out that you love following yourself even just personally, if not, we can put some in the show notes.


It's funny, I closed my play therapy practice, right as COVID was ramping up because therapy with little people virtually was just not a thing, and I just haven't reopened it. My favorite parenting accounts on Instagram are Dr. Becky good inside. Genius. And then Stern, a Suissa su Isa, I don't see kids and I don't have kids and I still read their stuff every single day. Because number one, it's really solid, awesome advice. When people ask me, I'm like, Hey, go check out their things. But parenting advice is also really good for working with the chaotic parts inside us like the inner critic and the inner imposter. If we treated all of the mean harsh voices in our head, like they were tantruming children, instead of like they were these horribly scary parents or bosses, we'd have more success in managing them. So parenting techniques work as you're doing your inner work just as much as it does if you're working with actual children. Stern and Becky big fan.

Kelsey Smith:

Dr. Becky's one of my favorite accounts too. And just like you said that you show up one of my favorite things about her is she uses her real life as an example. It's not just you should go do that. She's like this situation happened in my life. And here's how I wanted to respond. But here's how I actually did and allowing her to just be an example. You have poured so much time and effort into this book. You've seen so many people, you've helped them through so many challenges for yourself. I just love your story as well. I always think that people We're in like three different boats, right? So we have the person in the boat, that's, yep, I'm ready to get help. And we talked about how they should tap into different resources. Then we have the person that's sitting there. And they're like, I don't know, mental health seems like such a buzzword I was grown up to just push through, push it down and go. And then you have the other person that's like, I've been in therapy, I'm going to therapy, I don't feel any better. I don't know what to do. Can you speak to each of those people really quick?


I don't know who said it. So I can't attribute credit. But there's a meme that says that people go to therapy to deal with the people in their lives who think they don't need therapy, but should go to therapy. So it's more often that I'd be speaking to the people who have those people who don't believe in therapy, but I've heard for the people who like don't want or think they need therapy Cool, great. Don't go to therapy, and everyone needs it. Don't worry about mental health issues, because you probably are fine for the purposes of this conversation. You're fine. But like, if you could feel better than you do, now, would you want to, again, I'm not here to sell anyone on it. But for that person, I would just say, if you're fine, and everything's fine, move along. But just so you know, there's more, there's more available for us. As long as we have choices and relative safety and access to the resources we need. And if you want more, it's there. It's so important to me as a clinician to empower people, including and this is hard, but including people's right not to heal. It's easy when I'm sitting across from people that I'm not related to, or people that I am not married to, or whatever. But respecting people's right to not heal is often the key that allows them the freedom to actually heal, because nothing will shut the healing process down faster than pushing someone in a direction that they don't want to or are not ready to go. So it's cool, you're not ready to do this work. No problem. I am gonna go read this and watch this and do this and you're gonna watch me feel really good. And then you're gonna be like, Wow, maybe there's something to this crap.

Kelsey Smith:

Yeah, that is so hard. I am definitely super guilty of that. And it is really hard to do. But it is important when you know, and something that has helped me is when I don't always do it, right. I just tried to say I'm sorry, if I feel like I pushed someone or if I maybe overstep my bounds, because I will always say like, I'm not perfect. I'm just really excited about this. This is something I'm really excited about right now. And I just want you to feel better. So I'm sorry that I pushed you, I love


that. That's so compassionate. And even the way that we approach it again, before you reach out to offer help or support or advice. And I think consent is so so important. Like, Hey, are you open to feedback on some things, if not totally cool. But if you are, I've noticed a few things that I would love to share with you and give people the opportunity to choose into or to opt out of your advice. Because our role as humans, again, with parents, it's a little different because you're tasked to raise these people, but yeah, adult to adults, our role is not to fix each other our role is to witness each other and to do our things and be available when needed. And people say what if they're an addict, and they don't know they need help? Okay, I was an addict, I promise you they know they need help. And so for someone like that offering resources is great. But being like you need help you need help, doesn't usually work. A very simple Hey, are you open to feedback about a few things is a great place to start. So if they are cool, give them your advice. And then I'm big on asking what is it about your advice that you think is going to be new information? Advice is very tricky.

Kelsey Smith:

Yeah. And I think for moms, I love that you brought that in as an example of just thinking about if someone comes in and they say, Oh, by heard about this for your kid, we know when it's good advice, and when it's thanks. But that's not for me and my family. So putting it through that lens when it comes to mental health and supporting others to say, Are you sharing information in a positive way? Or are you passively aggressively being like, I used to tricking my kids to go to sleep this way? You know, I think that's a really good lens, I'm going to have to think of that myself. Well,


it's so true, because, you know, no one wants to be told to do it this way. It's like, Gee, thanks, go for a walk for my depression. Gee, why haven't I thought of that? It's not everything works for every person. And for parents. I think it's really disempowering to be told you have no idea what you're doing, you should do all of these things. Yeah, sometimes advice is needed. But sometimes a very quiet, I believe in your capacity. And I'm going to be a cheerleader for you. But I know you're gonna find your way to this answer is really powerful.

Kelsey Smith:

Yeah. Yeah. Okay, before we run out of time, that person that's like, I've been doing the work, I've been going to therapy. I've been doing this and I'm still not feeling great or seeing the level of improvement. I hope to, I'd love for you to kind of break that down into two things, because correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe sometimes we don't see our own improvement, right. So is there a way that they can maybe look back and acknowledge the improvement that they're not seeing? And then to how do they take it if they're surely not feeling like they see the improvement?


So for the person in bucket three, the first thing I would say is evaluate your environment. You could be in therapy every De for 20 years, but if your therapist sucks, you're not going to improve. And that's not your fault. And not all therapists are good. So first things first, are you getting help? That is helpful? Sometimes when doing the work doesn't work? It's not because you're not trying hard enough, it's because the health is not appropriate or not good enough. And again, do you have the choice to go to a specialized person? Do you have the choice to switch? And if the answer is no, okay, you may not. But it's important to just assess the environment first. And sometimes when doing the work doesn't work. It's not because you're not working. It's because you're not safe. And that's a whole nother ballgame. And so that's like the first place and then what you said is so perfect. Often we stay stuck, because we refuse to honor the places where we're not stuck. So our brains really love recognizing, wow, everything over on the left is total crap right now. But there are a few things on the right that are working. And if we do not acknowledge our wins, we don't thank them and we don't get the dopamine, we need to do the harder things. So celebrating your wins. I call these micro yeses. Find the most microscopic thing you can do or get a win on and then celebrate the heck out of it. And that will train your brain. Yes, we like this. Let's do more of that.

Kelsey Smith:

So good. Bread, thank you so much for being here today. Tell all of our listeners where they can find you will link your book on Amazon all the different ways that they can tap into and continue to learn and get unstuck with you.


I'm so glad I've no of your work now. You're awesome. So you can find me on my instagram at Brit Frank and my website is science of And you can buy the book wherever you buy books.

Kelsey Smith:

Amazing. Thank you so much. I know that there are so many takeaways for every person in every bucket in every season of life. Thank you for being here.

Unknown Speaker:

Thank you for having me.

Kelsey Smith:

You your story and what you have to offer this world builds me up. I want to meet you join me on Instagram at this is Kelsey Smith. And let's create a ripple effect for mamas with goals together is better