Artwork for podcast All Things Private Practice Podcast
Episode 47: Psychotherapy Memes — Connecting & Commiserating Through Humor [featuring Nicole Arzt]
Episode 4721st August 2022 • All Things Private Practice Podcast • Patrick Casale
00:00:00 00:41:59

Share Episode

Shownotes

Burnout and impostor syndrome are common for therapists, so taking a moment to connect with other therapists to find some humor in common struggles can really help you get out of the grind for a moment to laugh and relax a bit.

In this episode, I talk with Nicole Arzt, therapist, author, and the creator of Psychotherapy Memes, about how she built an inclusive space for therapists based on the idea of shared humor and collective experience, as well as the struggles she faced as a therapist in community mental health, how she copes with and overcomes impostor syndrome on the daily, and more.

More about Nicole:

Nicole Arzt is a practicing psychotherapist in Southern California. In her work, she has worked with a wide variety of individuals, couples, and families. Her clinical emphasis lies in treating substance use, eating disorders, and complex trauma. 

An accomplished author, Nicole contributes to numerous mental health organizations. She owns Soul of Therapy LLC, a writing and SEO business for therapists. She is also the founder of Psychotherapy Memes, a global community of more than 125,000 followers. Psychotherapy Memes aims to provide a comedic outlet for coping with the many challenges associated with this field. 

In addition, Nicole enjoys consulting and speaking with new therapists about working in mental health. She's been featured on several podcasts and has been the keynote speaker for several events around the country. She currently facilitates the Prelicensed Group on the Teletherapist Network. 

Her debut book, Sometimes Therapy Is Awkward, is available wherever books are sold.

Nicole's website: www.psychotherapymemes.com

-------------------------------------------------------

🎙️ Listen to more episodes of the All Things Private Practice Podcast here: www.allthingspractice.com/all-things-private-practice-podcast

🎙️Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/5sErokE8RKrjhR9aIkXJAv?si=ZPSv_f3fSv-vmMPauoJ6Zw&utm_source=copy-link

🎙️Apple https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/all-things-private-practice-podcast/id1596161682

🗨️ Join the All Things Private Practice FB Community:  www.facebook.com/groups/privatepracticebuilding

-------------------------------------------------------

A Thanks to Our Sponsor!

I would also like to thank Embark EMR for sponsoring this episode.

Embark EMR is a superb software solution for solo practitioners, as well as group practices. Embark was designed by therapists to be simple and intuitive without all the extra stuff that you don't need so you don't feel like you're being nickel and dimed. Embark enables scheduling with automatic appointment reminders, a note organization system with multiple pre-built templates, and an automated invoice and superbill generation to make it easier on your clients.

There's even a patient portal where your clients can access notes, documents, and generate their own invoices and superbills. Embark EMR is setting a new precedent in EMR functionality and affordability. Embark’s simple one-tier system is $20 a month per therapist, and there are never any extra fees. Try Embark EMR today with a free trial at embarkemr.com.

Transcripts

PATRICK CASALE: This episode of the All Things Private Practice Podcast is brought to you by Embark EMR. Embark is a superb software solution for the solo practitioner as well as group practices. Embark was designed by therapists to be simple and intuitive without all the extra stuff that you don't need, so you don't feel like you're being nickeled and dimed.

Embark enables scheduling with automatic appointment reminders, a note organization system with multiple pre-built templates, and an automatic invoice and Superbill generation to make it easier on your clients. There's even a patient portal where your clients can access notes, documents and generate their own invoices and Superbills.

Embark EMR is setting a new precedent in EMR functionality and affordability. Embark's simple one-tier system is $20 a month per therapist and are never any extra fees. Try Embark EMR today with a free trial at embarkemr.com. You can also use code ATPP for 20% off an entire year of Embark.

Hey, everyone, you are listening to another episode of the All Things Private Practice Podcast. I'm your host, Patrick Casale, joined today by Nicole Artz. She is an LMFT in California, but also, more importantly, the creator of Psychotherapy Memes, which a lot of you probably pay attention to, follow all week, and use so that you can get out of the daily grind of being a clinician. So, really glad to have you here. And we're going to talk about imposter syndrome, Nicole's book, and whatever else comes up along the way.

NICOLE ARTZ: Excited to be here. Thank you for inviting me on, Patrick.

PATRICK CASALE: You know, it is was a long shot? You know, I was like thinking, I'm like, "Man, I've had so many cool guests on." And I follow your stuff, and I was like, "I'm just going to DM you and see what happens." And I'm glad that there's like a mutual linkage with Katherine and The Teletherapist Network. And, you know, she's fantastic. And I can't say enough good things about her. But I am really happy you're here and all of my clinicians were excited to hear this episode. So, I just want to say that to you. You had a major impact on people.

, hopefully, I [INDISCERNIBLE:

PATRICK CASALE: I think you can, you know? So, tell us about, like, the development of Psychotherapy Memes, because you have thousands of followers. And not only is it like, it's just such good, relatable content. And I'm curious about, like, how often you're creating these, like, how often you're putting energy into this too?

about four years now, it was:

PATRICK CASALE: No concept of time anymore. It doesn't matter.

just the grind [INDISCERNIBLE:

And so, I don't know, like, I just started kind of creating some memes for it. And at the time, I was a little scared to, like, really publicize myself serious, so I was anonymous for a couple of years on Psychotherapy Memes, just, it's like [INDISCERNIBLE 00:03:10] making crazy stuff out there and like realizing, okay, other people relate to this.

And so, it's just kind of grown organically over time. I don't have any really cool outreach advice or anything of that note. I started making memes and putting them out there, and then, eventually, getting a little more interactive with the community. I do like a Q&A every week, I share other therapist things, I've got involved with really different networks, and programs, and things like that, and have gotten to talk to and meet a lot of cool people in our fields.

And so, it started just like as a little fun project and now it really has kind of evolved into this big community and this really cool inclusive space of just therapist's kind of, A, commiserating, but I think, also, connecting. Like, connecting and this idea of shared humor and a shared collective experience of, okay, we all have kind of these commonalities, this feeling insecure, or feeling inadequate, or feeling uncertain. And I guess just raising more of a voice to that inner voice that a lot of us have had. Maybe that answers your question in kind of a roundabout way.

PATRICK CASALE: It really does. And I think the beauty in that and, you know, what I try to do, too, is allow people to authentically be themselves, and also, there's relatability in this process, like, you know, I do coaching with clinicians from all over the country and everything is the same. Like, the experiences are the same no matter where they are, whether they're at a group practice or an agency in California, or they are working in Arkansas or Oklahoma. It's like the same shit in these agency jobs and there was always this, like, breaking point, right? Like, where it was like, "Fuck this, I'm not dealing with another, like, bonus Christmas luncheon from this shitty restaurant. I'm done with this. I'm going to do my own thing."

new therapist [INDISCERNIBLE:

PATRICK CASALE: They really are. And I think you're right, when you're in this bubble, you're like, "It must just be this job, it must just be like the fact that we have some things that maybe feel a little bit dysfunctional." And then, you go to another one in your area, and you're like, "Oh, maybe the leadership seems a little bit better." But like, it's still the same process. It's the same expectation, productivity, etc., lack of resources. And I think so many of us have this intense anxiety, and insecurity, and imposter syndrome, that you and I were talking about before about, like, going out on your own, starting your own thing. And this feeling of like, I can't make it on my own, because what I don't know, I don't know. And the only way people can make it in this field is to work for a place that inevitably beats you down and grinds you down.

d like, "Well, [INDISCERNIBLE:

And so, yeah, I think that can be a dark space that I know a lot, like, just in doing psychotherapy memes I've realized a lot of therapists really struggle with that. And it's not just the new therapists, right? And you can be 10, 20 years into the work, and you're still like, "Well, is it me? Am I still not good enough? Am I able to take that leap of faith and try something new? Or am I able to like make it on my…" These questions that you were just talking about that, I think, so many of us still worry.

And I still struggle with that from time to time. Like, "Am I really going to do what I think I'm going to do? Like, am I really capable of all this? Or is this going to, at some point, just kind of run its course, and then, I'm going to be scrambling?" You know what I mean? I think those insecurities still crop up from time to time.

PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, I think you're spot on with that. And, you know, imposter syndrome, insecurity seems to run pretty rampant in our field and profession in general. And I think maybe that's because there's a lot of introspection, too. And there's a lot of, you know, putting pieces of ourselves in our work and just a different field for a lot of people in general.

But, you know, I spoke at the Therapy Reimagined conference last year on imposter syndrome. And I definitely was having imposter syndrome talking about imposter syndrome, because I'm like, somebody's going to find me out. Like, I clearly don't know what I'm talking about to be on this stage and to talk about this thing, right? But ultimately, normalizing the fact that we can be successful and it can still exist every single day of our lives. And when I try to give, like, some hope and optimism too, is like it can still exist, but maybe it doesn't have to paralyze you the way it paralyzed you when you first started maybe thinking about starting your own practice or doing something different.

NICOLE ARTZ: I could not agree more. And I love that about the imposter syndrome, about talking about imposter syndrome. Like you, I've definitely been invited to give talks, or just different conferences and things. And that's always the topic people want to talk about, because that's what folks are interested on. And I'm sitting there like, "Well, what am I qualified to speak on?"

And it's a trip. It's a weird experience to have that and it's a question I get on my Q&As a lot, like, how do I overcome this? How do I get rid of this, and I just don't think you do fully, but like you said, you've learned to get to a place where it doesn't paralyze you or it doesn't guide your every action. You're like, okay, well, I'm going to still take that job, I'm going to make that, you know, leap of faith, I'm going to take that risk, even if I feel a little, like, I'm faking it, or I'm not good enough for it. Like, I'm going to act as if I can still do it.

art right now, [INDISCERNIBLE:

PATRICK CASALE: Absolutely. It's really well said and people want, like, the magic recipe, I think, to like get rid of it. But I think it's like, if you can talk about it openly, that can sometimes take back a lot of the power that it has over us, because I know for so long it prevented me from doing so many things like leaving my agency job, starting my coaching business. I kept thinking, "Why would anyone hire me as a therapist or why would anyone hire me as a practice coach if there are other therapists and practice coaches out there. And they probably do it better than me or have more experience or whatever the case may be?"

And that is just our own shit coming up our, own insecurity, and then, like, just naming it, and putting it out to the world, and just being like, I feel this way. And it's okay. And then, everyone else is like, "Oh, I feel that way, too." So, you're not alone.

re, right? And [INDISCERNIBLE:

And so, yeah, it's been a journey for me to work through that as well. And I like the progress that I've made. I'm proud of myself for that. But I would be lying if I were to say, like, "Oh, yeah, there's this magic answer, like, this three-step process or just do this to feel confident, you know?" If I could sell that, right, I could just go retire [INDISCERNIBLE 00:11:11] some nice tropical islands away, but…

PATRICK CASALE: If only you could make that, like, self-help book. And I'm sure they exist out there too of like, these are the three things that you do to combat imposter syndrome. And some of that could be true. But, you know, you and I have created things throughout COVID. And, you know, have captured and grown audiences. And you were telling me that even though you've written this book that people are really responsive to and there's a lot of positive feedback, that you are still experiencing significant imposter syndrome around the book pretty often. Do you mind talking about that?

NICOLE ARTZ: Sure. You know, I think any author can attest to this, putting a book out in the world is vulnerable, right? I mean, you are putting some… I hate using cliches, but like, I'll just use the blood, sweat, and tears, because that is kind of, like, the metaphor that speaks to, like, you're putting a lot of effort into producing this thing. And there's that voice in the back of your head or even in the front of your head, like, "Is anyone going to read this? Like, is it how real life is? Like, this was a little waste of time."

n't compare to [INDISCERNIBLE:

And so, you're kind of grappling with that while also being like, "No, I think I got something good here. I do think they know a little bit that could help and support other people." I think my experience was a little different than a lot of first time authors, because I do have a background in professional writing. So, I didn't feel like, "Okay, I have no idea what I'm going to write." I knew I had those fundamentals down.

And I also had a lot of support from the Psychotherapy Memes platform. I knew that people, for better or worse, were kind of looking at me as this kind of point of guidance of like, how to navigate these new ceilings in this fields. I knew a lot of my audience was pretty… I call it zero to five, but the zero to five-year therapist, these like new therapists who are in graduate school, leaving graduate school, or kind of like just getting their feet wet with starting their own practice or getting license. All those obstacles that we were facing in the beginning of our career.

efinitely that [INDISCERNIBLE:

PATRICK CASALE: I like that you name it that way. And there's so much to kind of pick apart in that, like, perfectionism and imposter syndrome go hand in hand, right? Like, I can't release this to the world until it's perfect, and it will never fucking be perfect. Like, I cannot tell you how many times, like, with coaching clients like, "Okay, my site today, my website cannot go live until it's perfect." I'm like, "When is that going to be?" Like, there's never going to be a time that that can happen. But we can get paralyzed by perfectionism. And I struggle with that all the time.

is it maybe at [INDISCERNIBLE:

PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, I think that's really well said, and it comes up in a lot of the stuff that I do, whether it's, like, launching a coaching program, or the podcast, or putting anything out there, like you said about putting a book out there. You allow yourself to then be vulnerable, and then, you're open for critique, right? And that is when we start to see our insecurity rise up. When you do get that one-star review, when that one person says, "It was good, but it wasn't that good." Or like, "It could have been better." And then, you start to like doubt everything that you've ever done in your life.

And that is when I think, okay, instead of doing all these things I should just like disappear back into bartending again and never do this ever again. But there's a-

NICOLE ARTZ: [CROSSTALK:

PATRICK CASALE: Sounds like you wouldn't go back to your agency job, though, if that was the case.

ere's a lot of [INDISCERNIBLE:

PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, I like that. And it's not a binary process in this career. I mean, there's so much we can do. And there's so many ways our skills are applicable, which is a good transition, because you also mentioned talking about multiple streams of income. And I think so often right now clinicians are so ready to get out of the agency job environment, start their own practices. And then, a lot of times get into practice and think, "Okay, either this is great. But I'm kind of bored now." Which is my personality in a nutshell.

But we're like, "This is better than what it used to be, I get to be my own boss, but I'd like to make more money, I'd like to no longer, you know, exchange 60-minute increments of my time and rely upon that." And I get that. And you're seeing a lot of therapists go into coaching, but I'm wondering about, like, streams of revenue that you've created that feel like, okay, I don't have to be in front of the screen, front and center, you know, hour after hour to make the rent or pay the bills.

NICOLE ARTZ: Totally, I love the question. I've always been pretty entrepreneurial. I don't want to say I love money, because that sounds like greedy, but I love like understanding how money works and how to grow my, build my, kind of play with money. And so, building different streams has been enjoyable to me, because like you said, like, there is power in moving away from like 50, 60-minute increments. You exchange time for money and learning how to, like, buy your time back is, in my opinion, like, the best thing you can ever buy for yourself.

And so, going back to that, different things I've done, I was actually just talking about this on Instagram, like, last week, all the different types of things that therapists can do, but things I've done include, one of my first bread and butters was doing a lot of content writing for different therapists. That is an active process, but I would help with like blogs, Psychology Today profiles, homepage copy, building out their websites, things like that, things that a lot of times the perfectionism plagues therapists from getting started, and then, they are, you know, not able to actually launch what they want to launch, because they're still tripped up on, "Does this work make sense?"

[INDISCERNIBLE:

The book, I mean as a source of writing [INDISCERNIBLE 00:19:37] is passive. So, like that's a really cool passive income source for people who like writing, is that you're continuing, essentially, to earn money off of that.

Speaking engagements, I've done some affiliate marketing for different companies. I don't really, like, monetize the Psychotherapy Memes community at times. I've done here now, like, a few different sponsorships, a few different, like partnered collaborations that are compensated, but it's not something I like very primarily focus on. I don't want to lose the integrity of what the page is and maybe get too salesy, right? But there's that balance, because I definitely get some really cool offers that come by, right?

And I mean, yeah, of course, I'm not going to lie and say like, that's not tempting from time to time. But I really try and source the opportunities that come my way to make sure they feel authentic and appropriate for my audience, because I know, like I said earlier, a lot of people look up to the page for, like, trusted guidance, and I don't want to jeopardize that.

Merchandise, [INDISCERNIBLE:

I'm trying to think what else but those are the main ones that come to mind, but I like dipping my toes in a lot of different projects. Sounds like you too, because I get bored pretty easily. It's like once something's like working really well I'm like, okay, now what? Instead of just enjoying, like, the fruits of that labor, I'm like, okay, now I need to go build something else, or I need to build that out even more.

PATRICK CASALE: Sounds like my life in a nutshell. Sometimes it's even, like, the inability to take it in, like, oh my God, you've created this, right?

NICOLE ARTZ: Yes.

PATRICK CASALE: And just to absorb that, instead of sitting with that, it's like, okay, what's next? Now, what else can I create with these skills that I have or the audience that I've grown? And I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. I'm sure some people are like, "Oh, that feels like grind or hustle culture." But in reality, I think, a lot of people's brains just work that way and are wired to do different things throughout our lives.

And like you said, time is probably our biggest currency, right? Because we can't get it back. And I see so many therapists use the word passive income now. And then, I kind of chuckle, "Oh, my God." It takes a long time to become passive income. However, it's unbelievably gratifying. And everything you just mentioned, therapist's skills can apply to all of those ventures. And even more than that.

Like, I think so often, we think so clinically, as if like, how else can I make money if I'm not doing clinical work? And in reality, we're really good at being creative, and resourceful, and, you know, attuning, and building relationships, and helping people feel motivated and empowered. And that can be in so many different realms. And if we could just move away from the mindset of like, "All I know how to do is help people through A, B, and C." And that's just simply not the reality.

o couch with a [INDISCERNIBLE:

And one caveat, like, [INDISCERNIBLE 00:22:58] mean, what if I don't want to do, like, you don't have to do that either. You know, like I know, many colleagues who are very happy with the career that they've built for themselves as therapists and not like, I don't think it's healthy to assume that all therapists need to build, like, these empires, or, you know, hustle culture, what have you.

But I think for certain people, and maybe it's people like you and me who like the energy and kind of the adrenaline of that, it's nice knowing that you can dabble with it, and play with it, and probably build something out of it if you have the grit and the desire to kind of make it grow.

PATRICK CASALE: That's perfectly said. And for everyone listening, yeah, you absolutely do not have to build your "empire." You may be very happy just working for yourself and seeing clients and that can be the rest of your career and that is okay. And for some of us, I think it's important to know that you're probably going to get bored and you're probably going to create something else and create something else. I've already thought, "All right now that private practice coaching has been going really well for two years now what? Like, what am I going to do for money?' And I asked my wife, I asked my VA, and they're like, "What the fuck are you talking about?" Like…

Z: Yes, my husband [CROSSTALK:

PATRICK CASALE: … a curse.

NICOLE ARTZ: My husband and I take these long walks with our… we have two kids. We just had a newborn about a month and a half though and we take these walks and I swear he hears me like go through like 10 ideas before noon, point all these things that I'm going to do, and like most of them don't pan out, and I'm sure you relate to that, like, but there's something fun it just kind of the brainstorming, and then, you forget the threads you were going to pursue, but yeah, he's always like, "Just chill out. Like, truly you already have a lot going on."

work on these [INDISCERNIBLE:

PATRICK CASALE: Yes, absolutely. And I think I had an episode with Jo Muirhead. She's a therapist and coach out of Australia where we were talking about passive income. And it's like, if you're trying to create passive income because you're burnt out from being a therapist, you're probably not going to create passive income well, either, because you're just burnt out as a human being in general.

And I think so often we are just burnt out. This field is seeing an intense amount of it. And that's why having pages like your own, where you can come, and just laugh, and like, have everyone's dark sense of humor come together and have relatability is really important, because this work is fucking hard. And these last couple of years have been fucking hard. And I'm going to get some shit from my email list about saying fuck too much now.

te a bit every [INDISCERNIBLE:

PATRICK CASALE: You don't have to follow it.

owing and it's [INDISCERNIBLE:

PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, I had someone message me, and email me, and say, "Hey, all of your content has been so helpful. You've helped me build my business for free." This is not someone who did coaching with me, "But you curse too much. And that is lazy and unprofessional." And I was like, "Well, you can unsubscribe and you don't have to be subjected to this lazy, unprofessional free content anymore."

NICOLE ARTZ: Oh, I love when they announce their departure, we get relief.

PATRICK CASALE: Who wants a gift of people, like, leaving for airplanes for stuff like that, and things of that nature.

NICOLE ARTZ: [INDISCERNIBLE:

PATRICK CASALE: I can count, like, the amount of times I've said that in my Facebook group for the people who, like, make their last stand and they're like, "And I'm getting out of here and this is why." And I'm like, "All right, see yeah, that's cool."

NICOLE ARTZ: Yeah, and you know what? Speaking of imposter syndrome, one little thing to tie that all together, it's so cliche, but I think it's always humbling for me. And hopefully, for listeners and you like, realizing like you're just not going to please everyone, like, no matter what, but one is not going to like what you have to say. They may be deeply offended with what you have to say and maybe will have an issue with it.

And I think I used to let those one, or two, or even several voices really brought me down, like, those are the real voices, not the 99% of people around your like have my back and supporting me. And so, again, as cliche as it is, just reminding myself, like, okay, there is no universal liking and anything on this planet. Like, we as humans cannot agree on anything, really. Except that we only see us, I think.

PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, I haven't found a pro mosquito person yet in my life.

nything that's [INDISCERNIBLE:

PATRICK CASALE: I couldn't say it better myself. And I think that authenticity creates relatability, it creates your brand, and you are going to attract and repel based on what you put out there. And like you said, we don't exist in an echo chamber. So, we're not going to be for everybody.

And I think our brains do really focus in on and hyper-focus and on, like the 1% of people who are like, "I hate this, this is terrible." But in reality, you lose sight over, like, how many people your stuff is really supporting and helping. And that is really the most important thing to focus on in all of this.

And I think so many of us have these people-pleasing tendencies of like, I can't show up and be myself because someone is going to get upset about it. And then, once you are allowing yourself to have permission to do so, you see some significant growth happen in not just your business, but in your personal life.

And for me, allowing myself to just have my own voice and say things differently, and I know I have a lot more privilege than most, but it really has helped grow my business, grow my brand, because people are attracted to what I offer for a reason. And it sounds like that is the exact same thing for you. And I do think it really does help with the imposter syndrome piece as well.

, "Hey, you're [INDISCERNIBLE:

And I tell you that kind of misses, I don't want to say it misses the mark, but obviously, my intention is not to be [INDISCERNIBLE 00:30:16] terrible shit show. But it's illuminate and like raise voice to what we all are already feeling.

And for clients who view the page, because I know there's a good amount of people who are not there to engage, it's a reminder like your therapist is also just human, and you're not in charge of taking care of their feelings, but this reminders are like we're all just humans down and healing other humans, and therefore, nobody is immune to the human experience.

PATRICK CASALE: It's perfectly said, I could not agree with that more. And, you know, that's a big part of the work that I do is just really helping therapists realize that they are humans. Yes, we have training, yes, we have masters or PhDs. But at the end of the day, we are human beings, and we're allowed to have personalities and be ourselves, and speak up about things that we care about and cursed in our content, and wear shorts to practice. I can't tell you how many times I've been seeing, like, "Do you let your therapist wear shorts to work?" Like, why the fuck do you care about that?

TZ: My husband [INDISCERNIBLE:

But, yeah, it's funny, these like random, and like these biases, and the expectations that we all have, like, we all carry them, you know, what we should or should not be doing? Yeah, cursing being another one, you know, people who've asked, "Can I curse in session? Can I…" Or a client even be like, "Can I curse with my therapist?" And it is crazy. Just all these, I guess, just variables that run through our mind all day long. And I think they contribute to these feelings of insecurity, because there's so much gray area in what we do. There's some pretty defined black and whites that so much and it is still quite gray. And it is largely up to us as therapists to kind of define what that is for us and how we are going to tap into that authenticity ourselves to connect with our clients in the work that we do.

PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, that was perfectly said. And, you know, I've even had staff of my group practice ask me in interviews, "Are you okay if I have tattoos? Like, are you okay if I like show them off?" I'm like, "Yeah, I don't fucking care. As long as they're not offensive, like, be yourselves, you know?" And I think we get this, like, whitewashed messaging from grad school and agency work that we have to be a certain way and how we have to be personally and professionally.

And, again, we're human beings going through the same stuff that our clients are going through. And I think it's important to be relatable. I think it's actually doing yourself a disservice if you are not relatable and accessible.

Like, when I started out, I only worked with young men struggling with addiction, because that was my life and my experience, and I would curse in my content. And I was scared to do it at first. But what happened is I realized, like, then all of these younger adult men started calling me. And they were like, "Oh, my God, like, a therapist, who isn't going to judge me for saying fuck."

And I was like, wow, the power of like being just a normal human being. And that has really translated into everything that I do. But I get why we're scared to do it. But I think that time and time again, we just see that it does create accessibility and relatability. And we are in the business of building connection and relationship.

NICOLE ARTZ: Agree and one good thing to notice is I do think the landscape is changing a bit. And I want to attribute that to just like the internet and social media, websites, things like that. Like, if you're super sterile, you come across as really generic at this point, and you're probably not going to get the clients you want. And I've noticed that in a lot of the writing work I've done for clients, stuff I've done on like on social media for clients, like, if you're not letting some of your personality show through, and how you market yourself, how you talk to clients, how you do those console calls, how you do… like, pretty much every step of the process, including the therapy, but let me even say before you get in your office, you're coming across as a story, you're coming across as like this, like, textbook.

And therapy is changing. I think most of us are moving away from, like, wanting this like blank slate therapists, and we're now wanting more of that human connection with our clinicians. Yeah, I know for me, like, I've always loved going to therapy. And if I were at a place right now where I would look for a new therapist, I don't want just some generic, you know, like, Psychology Today profile. I want to know who you are and what you stand for. And you know, like, yeah, and if you have tattoos, like, that doesn't bother me if you're good at what you do.

But I think, I don't know that… and that's changed a lot, like, even in the past decade, because it's different than how it was when I went to school. Like, I had a professor when I went to school who told women we needed to cross our legs during session, that we're going to come across as pretty much too slightly if you didn't. That would never fly in today's, like, training or teaching, you know? And I think the landscape is changing a lot, industry is not just mental health, but it is one change I think it is and it's for the better, that we're allowed and it's more emphasized that we're human nowadays.

PATRICK CASALE: Couldn't say that better myself either. And I think that is really an important point for everyone listening, both therapists, entrepreneurs, people who may be therapy clients. I was doing TikTok videos about Your Psychology Today sucks And This Is Why, and it was fun. But like, God, they're so bad, but they're all the same. And I can give the same feedback over and over again, I could just copy and paste, like, make it about the client, don't make it about you, stop using clinical jargon, nobody talks like that. But in reality, I do think you're right, the era of psychotherapy is changing. And I think it's for the better, because we are embracing identities, and cultures, and marginalized communities. And just the recognition that, like, blank slate robotic head nodding therapist doesn't really attract or appeal to anyone anymore.

Our homepage for our group practice, actually, I wrote, like, authentic human beings, no head nodding, or how does it make you feel statements here. And then, like, therapy is fucking hard. But we're here to support you. And I cannot tell you how many calls we get because of that. And just like-

eah, you know like [CROSSTALK:

PATRICK CASALE: Oh, no, I just think embracing personality is important.

NICOLE ARTZ: I could not agree more and making lots of websites for clients, like, I'm like, yes, Alicia and Laura. Like, I will interview them, they were here, you got to know them. And I think we're in this era of therapy being very trendy, not in a short-lived way. Hopefully, not, but like, we're just more accepting of mental health awareness and mental health intervention probably than we've ever been, which is great job security for people like you. But also, just good for our society, right? People being like okay talking about going to therapy and these kinds of things. And so, yeah, I think that lends a hand to, again, just more authentic space. Some had noddy, "Okay." because I had-

PATRICK CASALE: Some, some, not 60 minutes of it, not like-

NICOLE ARTZ: Of it, that sometimes you can do, a little head nodding. But yeah, I mean, that's the kind of website that would speak to me too, you know? Like, okay, I have an idea of who you guys are, you're authentic, you're real. That means my problems probably won't scare you too much, right? Because that's what most clients want to feel. They want to feel like, I'm not going to scare you, I'm not going to burden you, I'm not going to war, I'm going to be okay for you. And you can help me, you can see.

PATRICK CASALE: Absolutely, absolutely.

, now that you [INDISCERNIBLE:

PATRICK CASALE: That's a great, great ending point for this, because I think that's the takeaway, is like people do respond to boldness, and it's okay to be yourself. And it is scary. And both can be true. That's one of my favorite therapist lines, by the way. Like, I say that way too fucking much. But yes, you can be bold, you can be scared, and both can be true.

And I just want to applaud you for what you're doing. I mean, I think that we just need more and more voices out there that are willing to take risks, and willing to be bold, and willing to just say what's on their mind, because we need to be able to not only destigmatize mental health but normalize the fact that it is cool to go to therapy and therapists also struggle and have these experiences too. And they can all exist together. I do have a real quick question for you though. How many hours a week do you spend making memes?

a meme, like, [INDISCERNIBLE:

I think being in the work [INDISCERNIBLE 00:39:22] in the work there's no shortage of inspiration of, like, just bullshit that comes up, and that fears that [INDISCERNIBLE 00:39:28] up. So, I don't know, if I were to tally it all it's probably a couple hours a week, but some more some weeks, some less, so, I don't know. I probably should figure out a system henceforth. [INDISCERNIBLE 00:39:42] systems and optimization. It's like one area where, like, I don't do it, but it's one of the things that it seems to be working, so I haven't had much of a need to audit it just yet.

PATRICK CASALE: I was going to say if it's not broke, don't fix it. And for some of us, like, that's how my writing is the most authentic is when it hits me. And I'm like, yep, got to write about that, yep, got to put that out to the world. So, I think, if it's working, who the hell cares how it's working. So very, very cool. And I'm really happy that you made the time to be here and that we connected and just please tell the audience where they can find more of what you offer, your book, everything you've got going on.

and Facebook, [INDISCERNIBLE:

You can find me at nicoleartz.com. And from there, all my writing, podcasts, and video [INDISCERNIBLE 00:40:52] should be on there. Contact information, if you're interested in collaborating, or hiring out for any project that suits your fancy or just connecting. So, those are the main sites I can be found

PATRICK CASALE: Fantastic, and we will put all of that in the show notes so you have easy access to find out more about Nicole and what she offers. Just want to thank you, again, for coming on. I really love your stuff. And I've been a big fan. So, it's cool to connect like this. And you know, that's a good lesson for people too. Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there. If you want to collaborate, if you want to connect with people just be genuine about it. And sometimes it works out really well.

And for everyone listening to the All Things Private Practice Podcast, there are new episodes coming out every Sunday morning on all major platforms, like, download, subscribe and share. If you want to find more about me, you can go to allthingspractice.com for coaching, retreats that are coming up, one in Ireland, one in Barcelona, and all of our podcast episodes. So, we will see you next week. Doubt yourself, do it anyway. Thanks, Nicole.

NICOLE ARTZ: Thanks, Patrick

Follow