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Career Conversations with Emily Cox
Episode 3586th February 2024 • The Traveling Introvert • The Career Introvert
00:00:00 00:20:38

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Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor offering therapy sessions for children, teens, and young adults.

Focus on supporting children working through big feelings, adolescents navigating transitions, and emerging adults exploring identity.

Helping those who feel stuck, misunderstood, or unheard find their voice and use it with confidence.

Social media links

@larkspur_therapy on instagram

@larkspurtherapy on Facebook


Link to website

www.larkspurtherapy.com


Primary Topic: Introversion and Energy Management

- Understanding introversion and its effects on energy levels

- How introversion affects energy and connection with oneself

- Managing energy levels in relation to work and personal life

- Dispelling myths and misconceptions about introversion and energy management

- Addressing misconceptions and stereotypes in the mental health field

- Importance of individualized approaches to therapy and mental health care

Primary Topic: Career and Work Experience

- Transitioning into the mental health field

- Background and various experiences before entering the role of a licensed therapist

- The importance of previous work experiences and their influence on the current role

- The impact of diverse work experiences on professional development and personal growth

- Lessons learned from previous work experiences and their relevance to the current role and career path

- Navigating challenges and staying motivated as a therapist

- The value of taking on new challenges and overcoming fears in professional development

- Using past experiences to navigate career challenges in the mental health field

Primary Topic: Self-Care and Boundaries

- Importance of self-care and setting boundaries

- Utilizing boundaries as a way to protect and connect with oneself

- How saying "no" can be a radical act of self-care

- Recognizing the value of setting personal and professional boundaries

- Recharging and self-care practices

- Strategies for recharging as an introverted individual

- The significance of prioritizing rest and self-care in a demanding profession

- Dismissing misconceptions around taking breaks and self-care in the workplace

Primary Topic: Business and Calendar Management

- Balancing work and personal life as a business owner

- The empowerment and challenges of having control over one's schedule as a therapist

- Utilizing control over one's schedule for rest and balance

- Implementing methods to ensure rest and renewal in a busy professional life

- Navigating calendar management and rest

- The significance of taking breaks and restorative vacations

- Addressing workplace challenges and expectations regarding taking breaks and time off

- The importance of creating a supportive environment for taking breaks and prioritizing self-care

Primary Topic: Miscellaneous Light-Hearted Discussion

- Hot dog as a sandwich

- Engaging in a lighthearted discussion about whether a hot dog qualifies as a sandwich

- Exploring the idea of allowing the hot dog to exist without categorizing it as a sandwich

Transcripts

Janice Chaka [:

Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Traveling introvert Career conversations. Today, I am joined by the lovely Emily Cox. Hi, Emily.

Emily Cox [:

Hello, Janice. Nice to be with you.

Janice Chaka [:

Nice too. Listen. And because I could say, like, lights to see, but, obviously, everyone else here does not get that, bonus. So the first question I ask Everybody is, what does introversion mean to you?

Emily Cox [:

An excellent place to So introversion, what a wonderful topic. I'll probably give an answer that maybe some have given before, but it's The most resonant with me Personally, of, like, where we gather our energy and where our energy feels most connected and most resonant with us. So introversion to me shows up in terms of my work and in my life and where I get the energy from. I work with a lot of people that get energy from being around others, And they're like, yes. This refills my batteries. The fills up my bucket. This is the best thing ever. I also work with a lot of people, me included, It's like, I need some time on my own.

Emily Cox [:

Humans are great, but silence is also delightful and restorative and recharging as well. So that, to me, is the most, like, Resonant and authentic answer is, like, where do I feel most connected with my energy? And then how does it show up for me in different ways? How is it helpful for me? How is it sometimes not as helpful as I would like it to be in ways that I can use it and use it in different ways that can Not be initially thought as challenges or barriers, but more things of like, oh, I didn't anticipate this showing up this way.

Janice Chaka [:

Converse. Yeah. I very much feel that. And and sometimes you don't know until you come across that thing. Sometimes you're doing something new, and you're like, oh, it'll be fine. And then, like, oh Oh, no. Not in this particular way or on this day or The the weather is doing weird things. So you mentioned that, in In the work that you do, you deal with a lot of different types of humans.

Janice Chaka [:

So tell us a little bit more about the work you currently do.

Emily Cox [:

Yes. So I'm a licensed therapist in North Carolina, and I do a lot of work mainly with children and teens, also with young adults and women as kind of my target area. With that being said, I also get people all along the life spectrum and the age spectrum and the experience spectrum. So just because they don't necessarily meet the criteria of 16 year old child doesn't mean that I don't, work with them. So with that, there's a lot of different things going on. Basically, people just seeking out support or help or ways that therapy could be beneficial for their life. Me, as clinician, has to figure out, okay. How do I create a safe and therapeutic space, and how do I set the groundwork for healing to happen Confirm and sit with people on their journey, not necessarily leading them along and being in charge of the bandleader or anything.

Emily Cox [:

But how do we sit together in the darkness and get through that to the light?

Janice Chaka [:

And so being a therapist, I'm sure there are a lot of misconceptions that people have about your industry. And, one of the reasons I do this podcast is to help, you know, get rid of some misconceptions about intervention in general. So obviously, the next question is what are some myths about your current role that you would like to dispel?

Emily Cox [:

Oh, what a great question, Janice. Especially mental health field. Oh, there's so many information and misinformation going around. There's also, like, humans that exist in the world. Right? And all humans have different opinions. Some of those opinions are very strong and very entrenched. So people are like, no. This is the only way that therapy can look.

Emily Cox [:

No. This is the only method that can be appropriate or that can be helpful for people. So kind of my view on it and what I found to be most helpful It's like, what works best for the individual? So if I come in and tell you, no, we gotta do some hardcore cognitive behavioral therapy And really get down into those thoughts and those cognitions and tease them out and do some worksheets. That may be great for some people, The may be miserable for others, And that might not be a safe space for them to be. So I think that's one of the main, misconceptions or, like, Misunderstandings is one of those is the mystery of kind of, here's this scary Janice, here's this person, they're gonna judge me. I'm supposed to go to this No. Thank you. So this thing is, like, the mystery of it behind the veil.

Emily Cox [:

It's like, oh, it's Neo. We can see it in the old school of, Psychoanalytic and kind of Freudian that they're sitting behind you, and you're laying down on the couch, and you're talking to the ceiling, and you don't even get to see the face of the therapist. Like, no. You're just out in this own blank space in your own world. So kind of demystifying of, like, we're humans. We're humans working with other humans. Your therapist is a human too, But they're there to help you on the journey of how our best is working for you and what is gonna be most beneficial for you. And that You don't owe anything to them necessarily, and they don't owe anything to you other than providing a safe and supportive space.

Emily Cox [:

So, like, I have a lot of people where sometimes We get a little bit into the journey, and I was like, this ain't feeling great, or this ain't feeling, like, groovy for me. Changing is always an option, And, like, feedback is always an option. So not feeling like we're locked into a certain thing and going, like, oh, I'm not feeling something about this is off. Great. I'll always welcome that feedback because it's like, how can I connect you to something where it feels groovy, where it feels right, where it feels like, yes, this is really the kind of intervention or knowledge or words that I need at this time? And then I could go, That was my main thing is demystifying. I could go down a rabbit hole of all the other misconceptions in mental health and world and psychology world.

Janice Chaka [:

Oh, I kind of want that. I'm gonna say The thing. What you mentioned about having the option to give feedback and you, as a therapist making that change. I think a lot of people don't realize The. Some people like, well, I have to find the right therapist, so therefore, I have Jump around, and it's gonna cost me money to jump around to find The right therapist rather than feeling that it is okay to give your current therapist feedback because they probably have a very large toolbox of things that they can use, but they're they're just trying The one thing with you because that's I don't know where they start or, like, what It seems like a good idea at the The. I'm not realizing that most, I'm guessing, and so you can tell me otherwise. Therapists, I'm not just trained in one thing. The might be like, that might be their Janice, that might be their specificity, but it doesn't mean that they don't have a toolbox of other things.

Janice Chaka [:

Kinda like a coach, I would assume.

Emily Cox [:

Yeah. Totally. And that, like, we people can have their specializations or they can have their track or their niche that The really Connect with and identify with, but that isn't necessarily all that they do or all that they're welcome to. And even if it is, that they can give that feedback, we're All humans, so we're all connected. So, like, if they're going, nope. I only do this. This is my own thing, they have got to have, like, 5 to 10 to 15 other people in their back pocket Where they can go, okay. If this isn't the right fit, I'm thinking that so and so or so and so might be the good fit for you.

Emily Cox [:

And you brought up a really good point, Janice, of, like, Sometimes we get into this power dynamic or power differential of, like, I'm going to this person. This is the right person for me. I did all this work. I had 12 tabs open in my browser. And then I finally got the courage to send the email to this 1 person, and then I scheduled the intake. And it was 6 weeks out, and I've been waiting all The time and feeling miserable in the meantime. So by the time we get in the door, we've already been through this journey. Right? So then, we can get into the process and go, So then when we get into it and go, why spend all this time getting here? And now I'm on session 3 and I'm not feeling it.

Emily Cox [:

Oh, man. We have that, like, Converse cost fallacy of, okay, I put all this effort into it. I'm stuck with this. But, like, most people in the helping professions are always gonna be open to feedback. And if they're not open to traveling trying something else, you're saying, like, oh, most people really appreciate the feedback. As a lot of people I work with, I'm like, please tell me. I'm not a mind reader. For all of whatever schooling and education and licensure I got, I still did not get the magic wand, and I did not get the crystal ball as part of that.

Emily Cox [:

So, like, having the relationship of, hey. Like, what is important? What am I missing? What am I totally not hitting the mark on? And you're, like, cool. You said a lot of words. None of those made sense to me or connected with me at all. This is not my jam. Excellent. I think most clinicians are at least open to that, the feedback of, okay. That is really helpful.

Emily Cox [:

That is really beneficial. The goal is change. The goal is healing. However we get there is most important to the client.

Janice Chaka [:

Converse. So what did you do before this work? Because I could talk about that for a really long time, and now I've got, like, a little but oh, let me touch on some other things. So what did you do before you got into this role?

Emily Cox [:

Oh, great question. I've had many lives, so this is one of the many lives. Oh, I did many things. One of the things, like icebreakers that happen is, like, when is your 1st job? When I was a very, Not very small child. A small child, I was a pony trainer. I was in the horse world. So that's what I always describe as my icebreaker answer is first job is, like, pony trainer. Just jumping on ponies and making them safe for children.

Emily Cox [:

Not safe for me as a child, but safe for other children. So I've converse lots of different things, service industry, restaurant industry. I always recommend I am a firm believer that, like, everyone should have a position in retail or food industry because The gets you in front of people and, like, teaches you so many skills that are applicable to everything, and then teaches us great, like, self regulation skills as well. Because, like, That's stress. You wanna talk about stress? Those positions are very stressful. So lots of things that just led me to this path of this journey of how I got here and to the mental health work.

Janice Chaka [:

Okay, and so is this something that you do regularly The you would say has helped improve your career as it's going forward or at your business currently? Excellent question.

Emily Cox [:

We can always add things to our routine, right, and try different things and go, okay. What is helpful to me? What do I feel like is the main factor? Different points in our lives that can be different things. Right? Of, like, okay. Maybe daily yoga is the answer for me, and now I can't look at a yoga mat without having intense feelings of resentment. Who knows what is happening on the journeys? One thing that I found helpful overall is, like, putting myself out there or at least trying and going out. So anything that seems a little bit scary at the time, trying it. And anything that gives me a little bit of resistance or fear when I think of it, That seems like a path that's helpful for me to go down and whether that's in business and in personal development and in terms of therapeutic healing, That has always yielded really positive results for me. So not in terms of, like, this is causing me the most anxiety.

Emily Cox [:

I can't get out the door with this, but, like, There's this, thing that happened, this trend a couple years ago where there's this gemstone called moldavite and people were like, oh, if you get moldavite, it's change your life. Everyone who got a piece of moldavite, The everything went to shreds, and their life blew up in flames, and, oh my goodness, Nothing is the same. I love using it as a metaphor of, like, if someone thinks I got a piece of moldavite, what would my life look like? So what would all those magical changes be? If they're because of a gemstone or because of our own actions? So what are we looking to be like, oh, Don't wanna be here anymore. Oh, this might not serve me. This might not be helpful for me. So I kinda think of it like The. What scares me? What makes me think, okay. If a gemstone has the power to change my life and make everything go away, what can I do on my own to change this life to get it to where I want it to be? Oh, get

Janice Chaka [:

that gemstone, but, which has probably gone up in price now because of The, what is something that you might say no to and why?

Emily Cox [:

Conversation. Another excellent question. Boundaries are really important. Consent are really important, and they're very important in terms of how they serve I think a lot of lip service is given to boundaries and not necessarily centered on how they're helpful or how they can work in relationships. Sometimes we can think of boundaries. I promise this is related to the question. Sometimes we think of boundaries in terms of how they work in relation to others, and they do in some ways, But they're also ways of protecting ourselves and connecting to ourselves and giving care to ourselves. So in terms of saying no, things that might be an overextension, Things that might be too much.

Emily Cox [:

Things that are adding one more thing to my plate. So, part of me might go, I'd really love to help out with The. Oh, I'd really love to do this for this Center. I really like to be helpful. I really wanna connect in this way, but is this gonna be the best thing for me, or do I have the bandwidth or the stamina for it? In some ways saying no, that can be a radical act of self care.

Janice Chaka [:

Yes. I have a little booklet on that because It's almost seen as a, I'm setting a boundary and it's like, The energy behind it can be really different and how you perceive it. So yes to saying no. And so With the work that you do, you mentioned you deal with a lot of energy people and less energy people. How do you go about recharging?

Emily Cox [:

Great question. As an identified introvert, I find that spending time in Connection with myself is really helpful. I had a pause in saying that because it's like sometimes it can be viewed as seclusion for isolation, and that can be different. That's along the spectrum. Right? So on the extreme side of the spectrum, we can go isolation. Sometimes I'll use this metaphor of, like, is it a safety blanket or is it a straight jacket? Is it a comfort or is it keeping us together? But then in what ways It's not all black or white. It's not all or nothing. So what's in the middle between that of, like, okay, where is my really recharging port? Where is my recharging space? For me, I signed it more in, like, connection with myself.

Emily Cox [:

So getting in tune with myself and knowing, like, what are my body regulations? What's going on with me? What are my signs of, like, whoop. Did a lot of interaction today. Whoop. Did a lot of things today. I, you know, said yes to a lot of things that might I've been scary. I got outside my comfort zone. How is my body responding to that? How is my mental health responding to that? What am I needing in this moment? Do I need to light a candle? Do I need to make a soup? Do I need to chill out? Do I need to just veg out and watch Netflix? The things that I need that are most helpful to me in connecting with my own space.

Janice Chaka [:

There was something you mentioned there about all doing all the things and maybe over booking yourself. With the work that you do, do you have control over your calendar, and what methods have you used to make sure you get rest in between?

Emily Cox [:

Excellent question. Excellent question for any business owner. And it's one of the things that I really value the most about what my business looks like Confirm. In different positions in mental health world, we sometimes don't have that control, and we don't have that access to our calendar. And whoever walks in the door, that's who we get. Whoever shows up, that's what we need. Sometimes we're doing really intensive positions where we're doing crisis work. We're doing 24 hour response.

Emily Cox [:

We're doing someone is really in crisis and safety is not guaranteed, and how do we connect with them and work with them to get The safety? How my business and practice looks now is that I do have that control over my schedule and I do have that control over what I can do and when I can do it and being able to say yes or no of when it's most appropriate. And that control is really empowering As a business owner and as a therapist, I'm going, okay. Yes. I can have more of this. Okay. I can take a break.

Janice Chaka [:

I can be in charge.

Emily Cox [:

I can do things at different times. So it's been a really lovely experience to not only have that control, but, like, step into that control as well and then assert it in ways that are meaningful to me.

Janice Chaka [:

How long did it take you to do that?

Emily Cox [:

Oh, that's the tricky part. Right? Mhmm. We get the Introvert, and sometimes there's this inclination of, like, Oh, I'm in control. Let's load it up. Let's do it. I'm ready. I have all the space. I have all the energy.

Emily Cox [:

I have all the gifts to give. Let's give them to everyone. And then sometimes we go to the opposite in the spectrum and go, Ugh. I'm in control, but my schedule's booked out now. Oh my goodness. I'm exhausted at the end of every day. How did Confirm. So it's definitely a process of learning the balance of knowing, okay, I have lots of space here that I can give, Then that means that maybe some weeks long or some summers can happen, that, okay, we can have more space to ourselves.

Emily Cox [:

We can have more vacations for ourselves. Important thing I always touch on with vacations is, like, rest that's always restorative. So sometimes we all have that PTO on the calendar or we all have that break coming up or that trip coming up. It's on the calendar, and we're like, oh, the trip is gonna happen. Things are gonna happen. The trip happens, and the whole time we're thinking about other things. Our mental space is preoccupied whether it's with work or relationship or romantic partner or family things we're spending. So then we get back from vacation and have the intensity of Sunday scaries no matter what day it is and go, I just had vacation.

Emily Cox [:

What happened? Like, I just Wait on this magical trip. Why am I not the most rested, restorative, peaceful goddess that I could possibly be? It's like, well, where were we mentally? Where was our mental space and learning how to take that as well?

Janice Chaka [:

Oh, very good point. And also The, oh, how many emails do I I'm gonna have to deal with when I cut back? Organizations are not good at setting people up for success to actually go on a break. Where they're like, oh, you're back from your break, so you're over you burn out now. And it's like

Emily Cox [:

The organizations aren't great at that, they're also not great at allowing the space for the individual to set that own tone. Right? So then us being like, okay, if the organization their whole message is, like, not very accepting of that, us being saying no, I really I'm not gonna be checking my email. I'm not gonna be available. You will not be able to call me. How responsive are our organizations to that? How responsive are our managers to that? And then that puts us in a tricky area, right, of we're trying to set the boundary, we're trying to respect the boundary, we're trying to maintain the boundary, But then other peoples in our lives keep pushing past it.

Janice Chaka [:

Yeah. Very much that. Okay. So surprise question. In your mind, is a hot dog a sandwich? No. The hand dog. Why is a hot dog not a language in your opinion?

Emily Cox [:

It's a whole other thing. It gets to be its own being. Why do we have to have a label on it? There's so many things that meet the criteria of sandwich. There's so many things that identify as a sandwich. Why do we have to make the hot dog identify as a sandwich? The hot dog can be what it wants to be.

Janice Chaka [:

Alright. Thank you So much for that. Please let my listeners know where they can find out more about you and what you do.

Emily Cox [:

Of course. The best to get me is my website, www.larkspurtherapy.com. It's l a r k s p u r, just like the flower. That's what it's named after. So any information, any questions, any feedback you have, that's the best place to reach me. Larkspurtherapy.com.

Janice Chaka [:

Thank you so much. It has been a pleasure having you on, and I have so many other questions. And so it's been really hard for me to keep this short, but I really appreciate it. And for everyone else, this is Janice at The Career Introvert helping you build your brand and get hired. Have a great rest of your week.

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