After sessions, I take time to reflect on the work of my clients as well as how I have approached it. I will often schedule a consultation with a colleague to very generally share how therapy has been going and how I feel about the week of sessions.
One thing that I’ve been reminded of recently is the importance of not only holding space for the client but being affirmative and sharing reflections that connect with the client’s experiences.
In my training, both prior to being licensed and now, I have studied multiple modalities. These modalities are often blended together when they make sense organically for the specific client I am working with in the moment.
I recently came across an article that was discussing how therapists are often trained in reflections but not necessarily reflections that are deep or connect with the client. In my work, I do include empathy and connection and have cultivated my own style of therapy (which also includes humor!).
But for anyone who is interested, I’m including the link to the article as I was fascinated to think about how my style has evolved from when I first was training. There’s the basic reflection style and then deeper ways of approaching an issue, and when I first started out, I definitely was more formulaic in a way. Thankfully, my LGBTQIA+ Affirmative training quickly allowed me to grow to include important self-disclosure as a cis gay male and also incorporate discussions of the LGBTQIA+ community in therapy when warranted. I also enjoy incorporating my humor naturally in sessions.
Here’s the article that piqued my interest most recently:
As a white male therapist, I could very easily just gloss over the recent hate crimes against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, but the reality is that being silent is complicit racism.
Microaggressions, macroaggressions, and violence against AAPI have sadly been occurring non-stop before the pandemic. It is a part of our history in the U.S.A.
Please check out: https://stopaapihate.org/
I commit to doing my work to learn more about how Asian Americans from different cultures have been affected. The work is lifelong for all Caucasians and people who are not AAPI.
We must not diminish or assume that AAPI friends, colleagues, family members, and clients are doing well or will do well after a certain period of time. The events in Atlanta were awful and were hate crimes.
But there is a long history of oppression, hatred, and assumptions that needs to stop and be addressed.
I stand with Asian American and Pacific Islander communities to Stop AAPI Hate.
Your company likely has an employee assistance program, also referred to as an EAP. I work with a wonderful employee assistance program: Lyra Health.
You can find out if your company participates by contacting your HR department and asking.
Tech-based companies make up the majority of Lyra Health clients.
I really appreciate how easy these companies have made it to seek out therapy for anyone. Oftentimes, you’ll also be able to participate if your significant other is an employee at a company that participates with this EAP or another EAP.
Confidentiality is taken just as seriously. There is no communication between the employer and the therapist (such as me).
If you are an employer and want to offer covered sessions, let me know and I’ll be happy to provide options. If you’re an employee and curious about the process, you can also ask.
I have been a proud user of InnoCaption since 2016. InnoCaption is a company that utilizes relay services, provided by the FCC, to automatically caption audio for cell phone conversations, specifically for those who are hard-of-hearing and Deaf. You must prove you have a hearing loss in order to use any relay service.
As I mentioned, the technology is funded by the FCC and thus goes through rigorous review in order to be approved. In addition, it’s mandatory that the technology be secure to continue to qualify for relay funding.
Similar to how therapists use HIPAA-compliant, secure platforms for video, the same is true for services for those with “disabilities” such as hearing loss that the government pays for.
This service has allowed incredibly accurate captioning for phone calls in addition to video calls. Their DeskView service allows the top-notch captioning quality of their phone calls to be used for teleconferencing!
Despite my partial hearing loss, I do well with people and communication, but having a relay service on my side has allowed me to feel less fatigued as it is yet another way to Before I used InnoCaption’s DeskView, I felt very comfortable with videoconferencing, but the addition of it has made the experience even more enjoyable.
If you don’t have a hearing loss, you probably enjoy the subtitles you see for a movie, right? It’s nice to have. And if you do have a hearing loss, depending on the severity, it may be essential to your business.
That’s the way it was for me with the cell phone app. I was using Bluetooth but was worried if someone talked too quickly that I would lose clarity. By the way, I always clarify if I miss something. This is similar to how any therapist (such as myself!) would ask for clarification if they wanted to ensure they interpreted what the person said to them correctly.
For me, if everyday situations had the accuracy of InnoCaption, that would be amazing. Maybe someday we will have contact lenses that caption what people say! We will, but until then, I rest easier knowing that the lightning-fast, accurate captioning of InnoCaption is helping me in all realms of my life, including business and personal.
My hard-of-hearing clients have described the benefits of InnoCaption as life-changing. And honestly, that’s the way it has been for me.
As I mentioned, I’ve been with them since 2016. I was tired of relying on apps that were created by companies who were motivated by profit and not the experience of the customer. The captioning engines used would often be a failure in terms of accuracy. There would never be updates, and any attempt to contact customer service would go nowhere. I felt I was just talking to a company who pushed out products and then InnoCaption came along and changed all of that.
When mentioning any feedback or curiosities (I’m very curious by nature!) was met with genuine interest by the InnoCaption team and was frequently turned into features or already on the pipeline!
InnoCaption has maintained their small business feel with a special personal touch. I first contacted Joseph Lee, one of the founders back in 2016, and still keep in touch to this day, sometimes on a weekly basis!
My intention is to write blog entries that allow people to know more about what is out there. I hope this blog entry has been helpful for you or might be helpful for someone you know.
By the way, during the pandemic, I was worried that InnoCaption would not have access to funding or have something happen that would require a loss of quality, especially since our society was and is still so fractured in many ways due to the pandemic. But I was proven wrong! My uncertainty was quickly diminished as they continued to improve, listen, and innovate.
I encourage you to check out their website. I especially encourage you to read the personal stories of the founders here.
I want to thank everyone who puts their passion forward and continues to be motivated by that. InnoCaption is an example of a company who has enriched many lives due to their continued passion.
With many races and elections occurring right now, I want you to know that you are supported in my therapy space. Political stress is something to take seriously. The results after an election, or the waiting for final results, leads us to feel strain in our bodies as well as our minds. The COVID-19 pandemic has also caused tremendous strain.
Difficulty focusing, as well as increase in symptoms of ADHD, anxiety, and depression, are to be expected. And likely until we have more certainty with COVID-19, in the form of treatments and a vaccine as well as containment, we will likely experience at least one of these symptoms in addition to others.
I’ve written a bit on self-care and I want to expand on that a bit: it’s crucial to find what works for you. We can work together to figure that out as well.
-Epsom salt baths can be a wonderful way to ease tension.
-Using a favorite meditation app can create calm.
-Free apps, available for both Android and iOS / Apple, that I’ve recommended include, but are not limited to:
Headspace (Premium is free until the end of the year for LA County residents): Find more information here: https://www.headspace.com/lacounty
UCLA Mindful (Body Scans, breathing, etc. are offered)
Insight Timer (meditation, sleep, music)
It’s not uncommon to need to try multiple meditations to find your favorites. You may also decide to alternate.
HEALTH JOURNEYS, founded by Belleruth Naparstek, is a wonderful resource where you can find many meditations including guided imagery. Guided imagery guides your mind to focus and is a wonderful resource for those times we feel unable to focus.
If you have Apple Music, you can listen to many Health Journeys meditations as part of your subscription. But you can also listen to many for free through a webpage on Kaiser, without needing Kaiser insurance:
I always recommend people try out the audios Belleruth Naparstek created first. You’ll find some of them in the above link and on Apple Music. You can also listen to samples on the Health Journeys website if there’s a specific imagery that you resonate with.