REPLAY LIVE: Ask a Therapist - Answering Your Posted Questions FT. Y. Bonnie Chi

Jun 26, 2021 19:18 · 9691 words · 46 minute read

Hi everyone thanks for joining another Psych2go live stream! I hope everyone is doing very well and how’s everyone’s doing so far? I see that we have one second here hey everyone thanks for joining back again i was just checking on some of the technical difficulties how’s everyone’s doing i see that we have over 442 or 488 people watching right now welcome thank you so much for joining um i hope everyone’s doing well um just a quick reminder that youtube live stream don’t have a capability to generate closed caption during live however subtitles will be available once the live stream ends and video is made accessible on youtube once again um on behalf of psych2go’s team we are truly truly grateful from our bottom of our hearts for everyone’s believing in us um give me one second here i apologize i think there’s something going on with my bluetooth suddenly acting up um okay it looks okay now um what i was saying is that um once again from the bottom of psych2go’s team we are truly grateful from the bottom of hearts for everyone who believes in us and follow us for so long we we all of us actually made it happen and hitting the milestone of six million subs um some of you may know that psychical originally from tumblr posting mental awareness eventually translated into video content on youtube back in 2014.

it’s such an incredible how much has changed over these years and how much we together have impacted the community and globally and how we are saving people’s lives and again we’re just a small team and we just have a huge dream to help seeing if people reaching out to us all the time saying our content has changed their lives and really and they finally take the approach to seek help from the professional and right there that really warms our heart and we know that we’re on the right path doing the right thing and really motivates us to continue to create more content for all of you and again our ultimate goal is to really inform and open a dialogue on mental health we may or may not be able to provide solution to everyone’s concern but it’s the information that is enough which allows you to be empowered to seek help from a professional as you all know that there is no one solution fits all and everyone is different once again thank you so much for joining my name is cindy and i am the host for today’s live stream i am one of saichigo’s members i believe it is our first time meeting here so there is a chance i may have interacted with you in the comment section their first hour when the live stream went uh when the video goes live for those who don’t know what i do at site2go my main responsibility is to overlook the entire project such as voice over and animation projects from start to end ensuring that we actually have videos to release every single day for you i also overlooked our channel’s membership benefits that you get from joining our channel and also actually your extra support allow us to freely create more content and giving back to the community um such as this special live stream that you’re watching right now where we invite a professional to answer some of your questions and discuss about mental health that being said we actually have collected about 200 questions in our community page today for the live stream and unfortunately we only have you know one hour to cover some of the questions we may or may not be able to go through all of them if this is something that all of you enjoy and you want to see more and more on a monthly live stream and want us to do a part two as a therapist let’s know at the end of the live stream so as a quick disclaimer um that the funny share content is educational purposes and does not represent any of the organization we work for and not only that also acknowledge that some of the portion of this live stream may bring up some intense physical and emotional responses and that’s okay just take a break and do whatever is important to take care of ourselves all right and that’s being said let’s just uh welcome our special guest bonnie chi here we have bonnie hello can you hear me okay um i apologize give me one second here i think like my blue tube is not working apologize it was working earlier um let me see testing testing one two three you know sometime it was working and now okay okay yes okay i think i can hear you now uh again thank you so much welcome bonnie thank you for so much for coming back uh coming on and making this happen i know you’re you’re you’re such a busy person um you know with your work and we’re trying to schedule a live stream for a while and so that being said like why don’t you you know introduce yourself to the audience yeah thank you cindy uh good morning good afternoon good evening wherever you are joining us my name is waibanichi pronouns they them and she her i have the privilege of zooming in today from the unseated traditional ancestral territory of the muskram squamish and slewtooth peoples of turtle island otherwise known as the vancouver lower mainland in british columbia canada it is a beautiful day out really hot really warm i’m primarily staying indoors today to stay cool and i’m hoping that once the temperature drops something a little bit more reasonable i can go out and go for a walk i want to acknowledge that i am a first-generation immigrant and settler and that i have the privilege to work and learn and play here and so before we kind of dive into answering questions that have been submitted i want to just take a brief moment to invite everyone to take note of wherever you’re joining in from today and take a breath inhale and exhale and just simply be here and so passing it back to cindy awesome that was a great uh quick um you know practice in the beginning to get started um thank you so much again and so i have some questions that we kind of narrow down on different themes so first let’s just get to know about your role as a therapist also as known as a clinical counselor so someone in our community asks how does a typical therapy session go and how long or often is the therapy yeah and so from what i understand culturally speaking depending on where you’re located in the world um some sessions differ in length so i’m well how i’m going to be answering is uh specifically pertaining to my knowledge uh here in vancouver north america specifically right typical sessions that i engage with with my clients are about 50 minutes long sometimes clients can request for 75 minute sessions or for those who do couples or family therapy those sessions can go on to 75 or 90 minutes long thank you for the answer another question that someone asked is when you start therapy for the first time how many sessions does it normally take for a person to be comfortable with the therapist they are talking to yeah good question that again um will vary depending on who the therapist is and where the person is at in terms of uh their their journey and whether they feel ready to start therapy i’ve had clients come in um and sit there and we spend we spent the longest i sat in silence was 15 minutes um and i’ve had clients come in and they just immediately burst into tears um and and so like that that doesn’t like that isn’t representative of how comfortable one is i think that will always be dependent on the client um i for myself i check in with them let them know like if things change if um there are things that they want to share with me don’t want to share with me there’s no rush the idea is that ideally it goes at a pace that feels safe and comfortable for the client however some people perhaps are limited to the amount of therapy sessions they’re able to receive through their work benefits or through the community that they’ve connected with sometimes it’s one sometimes it’s three sometimes it’s eight sessions depending on the scenario the therapist can also request for more um yeah it just it varies and everyone’s different right so it’s like it varies and everyone’s different so it really comes down to the situation that you brought in that you connect with the therapist yes um okay um so the next questions that someone our community asks um i guess maybe let’s talk about your role like how do you become a therapist like um you know and they also have a concern or a question that they they mention like due to technical investment will there be no need for therapy therapists in 10 to 20 years that’s quite interesting i see your thoughts yeah so um two separate questions there i’m gonna answer the first one how one works to becoming a therapist depending on where you’re located in the world there’s going to be different regulatory bodies right in north america in the uk there’s training there’s certification there’s requirements that are necessary and i imagine in other countries as well right and so uh figuring out you know what the requirements are for your area is the first step or for wherever you want to eventually practice right speaking to canada in british columbia counselors therapists we do a bachelor’s and it can be in psychology sociology criminology i knew somebody who did a bachelor’s in communications and but then what’s important is meeting the prerequisites that are necessary in order to then get into the master’s level and so some of those prerequisites could be counseling related courses or psychology-related courses and after that we go into the master’s level and there is an intensive training process where we learn more about you know the human body the human brain what may contribute to the way that people respond and react there’s a lot of different approaches and in bc after you get your masters you’re then able to register with the bcacc to become a registered clinical counselor or you can register with ccpa um and become a canadian certified counselor and so um that’s that’s primarily in in uh canada um and and then in america from what i understand there are also similar steps like uh supervised hours that need to be met um intensive training in a master’s program and in terms of things like uh diagnoses or writing prescriptions you know that will also vary depending from country to country interesting it sounds like there’s a lot of process to become a therapist and lots of the education um background as well um okay that’s that’s that’s great that i think um that really covers that question of how to become a therapist um the second question more like interested uh interesting question that they were just curious about like as you know like technology events like quite fast and they’re wondering like well do you actually be no need for a fair bit in 10 to 20 years let’s see from your point of view yeah i uh personally think that therapists are always going to be around um to to to try and sound hip um this is the hill i will die on um like there’s been a lot of talk like um i i i won’t um i won’t deny that the advancements of technology and having apps and um ways in which to support individuals outside of therapy has not been helpful right um at the same time as humans we are relational beings right healing occurs when we’re able to be in relation with another when there’s attunement and uh being able to connect with somebody and have that healing process like neurologically that attunement right to be present that energy it it’s different okay um yeah i do agree with that because i feel like even though you know our technology advances we still need the interaction with human to human because like you can’t have like ai who plays a human or a favorites to kind of try to understand you a little bit better um yeah i do agree with that um so let’s go to your next question now we’re getting to uh the next section of getting help like um i know a lot of our audience um you know may not have access to therapy or therapy is too expensive so these are some of the questions that they have that they want to ask you so number one is how do you know um how do i know it’s time to get therapy or how do you know you need to see a therapist yeah that’s a good question and you know some of the listeners and viewers will notice the theme with the way i respond because a lot of my answers will be it depends it’ll be dependent on the individual where they are in their life um quite often what i say to my clients is most people come to therapy because they want to change in their lives they’re realizing that the way that they’re living is no longer sustainable and something needs to shift and perhaps they’ve been trying to do certain things a particular way and it hasn’t gotten them the results that they would like to see so there are scenarios like that and then there are scenarios where individuals come to counseling really unwillingly like they’re there because their family members want them to be there or they’re there because they’ve been mandated you know they’ve been institutionalized right and in those scenarios there’s a lot of pushback a lot of hesitation which makes therapy even more difficult right um therapy is meant to be a place where people feel safe and comfortable to share and you know be unapologetically authentically themselves right which i think not many of us feel comfortable doing because society has kind of put these expectations on how we need to be seen how we need to act how things are um in particular in the last 15 16 months i imagine a lot of people have had to really sit with themselves um working from home or learning from home or you know not having that relational connection with others right mm-hmm you you brought up a good point about um how they have to be comfortable with the the therapist because that’s important and then so then that comes to the next question like how do you know it’s the right therapist that you’re you’re seeing or when do you know it’s time to move on to the next therapist yeah really good question right um again depending on where people are at in their lives some people stick with the therapist that they have because financially speaking uh that that’s what they’re able to afford right um speaking for myself when i was in grad school um the therapist i saw was through my my school right and we were able to pay i think it was forty dollars a session which was quite affordable therapy um at least in bc um starts off at 120 a session um and at the time i i like that was what i was before i’m able to afford um it was great therapist perhaps not like the most perfect fit but we were still able to get work done right um and something that one of my colleagues mentioned um earlier this week is like um when it comes to therapy sometimes sometimes when you’re in a crisis it’s similar to like the vaccine situation that’s going on right the first vaccine you get is the best vaccine right so the first therapist you can get for support is is the best therapist you can get and um from there being able to get ourselves you know into a place where we have the resources where we realize okay um working with this therapist has served me um has provided me what i’ve needed in this time and if things are staying stable they’re realizing okay i’m ready to wrap up or i’m ready to tackle something else on and perhaps this therapist doesn’t specialize in it right and wanting to shift to something else that’s interesting um because you just mentioned they might you might need to find different specialists but i’m just wondering like um therapist is very like therapy is very complex and there’s different types of therapy that you can go into uh do you mind just briefly explain to our audience about like what different types of therapists or uh uh that’s out there yeah yeah um so before i dive into that um i do want to like acknowledge that depending on where people are located in the world some places do not have like the word therapist or clinical like counselor regulated right and so what that means is anybody can hang a shingle outside of their house and call themselves like a life coach or a therapist which is really concerning because that’s when you can get you know that’s when harm can occur right and so when you’re when you’re looking for a therapist really really taking the time doing the homework and and checking to see you know does this person report to a regulatory body are they registered are um are they done by a code of ethics so that they do good work right and um so there’s that portion and then um when it comes to therapy the different kinds of therapists um so the fancy term that is used in in the counseling world is theoretical orientation and so what that means is the approach that the therapists use um when they are working with a client right the more popular ones that people have heard of are um cognitive behavioral therapy right um there is also person-centered or client-centered meeting the person where they’re at um there’s there’s trauma therapy so emdr uh there’s also uh dbt dialectic behavioral therapy um so these are all different modalities that can be used when working with clients some people prefer individual some prefer groups some people prefer intensive it all kind of varies and it’s really figuring out um like what fits the individual right right it comes down to doing your research and finding what works for you because there’s a lot of different type of therapy it may not work for you in the beginning and that’s where you will have to dive a little bit deeper and find the next one that actually works for you yeah um because like a lot of people can easily think that oh if i go into therapy for the first session i feel like that might resolve all the the concern that they may have but it’s actually it’s a long it’s a long journey that takes time to you know recover or heal from whatever issue that or concern that you may have okay um okay so let’s go to the next question um this is another question that a lot of people have um asked our audience asked um so they feel like they have anxiety or depression and um they want to bring out the the concern to the parents um but they they’re afraid of um hearing back from the parents of rejecting their uh requests on um asking for therapy so for help um so in your opinion like what can uh it could be teenager adults uh what can they do to bring up the the concerns that they have right now with their parents they want therapy for help yeah that’s a really good question and i think it’s a it’s a concern that many people experience especially since there is that you know stigma around mental health and therapy right depending on what culture you’re from and so on um yeah and so depending on what age an individual is right um there’s there is a legal age of consent right if people are of age and they feel comfortable reaching out to mental health professionals um communities like resources in the community like non-profits in order to seek therapy they’re able to do that themselves right um for those who are younger and perhaps need you know parental assistance there that that does become a lot more challenging right yeah and um you know quite often what may be beneficial is being able to have the language to describe what is going on um finding the supports that are already existing in your life right if there are siblings or aunts and uncles or teachers um or doctors that we’re already working with um that are aware of how we’re doing um having them uh take part or join in on conversation can make things a little bit easier as well so we’re not the ones kind of just diving into the deep end on our own right um because it can be really difficult to start that conversation and yeah i can for sure can imagine it’ll be you know difficult to bring out um that you’re having that you feel like you have inside or you that you feel like you have depression but again you don’t know and you want to bring up your parents um so your your first suggestion maybe like to talk to someone who you trusted first to kind of you know just voice it out to someone that you you trust and and go from there yeah um so it really leads to the next question like um how how can you ask for help when you don’t know how to get the words out to get to get the help that someone has asked that question like you want to you know you need help but how do you ask someone how do you ask for help yeah um so the question that uh the person is wondering like like if they know they need help how do they um ask for help what’s your opinion on that yeah and so before i answer i just wanted acknowledge that you know whoever it is that submitted this question you know uh thank you for submitting it thank you for acknowledging that okay i’m wanting to take this step it is hard it is really hard it takes a lot of courage it is terrifying it is scary uh it’s overwhelming right and even having that thought even coming to that conclusion that i want to reach out for support that in itself right you are making progress you have grown from where you were before right and so being able to acknowledge that to begin with and then again thinking about what is available in terms of resources right the fact that you are watching and listening to this live stream right now i imagine that you perhaps have seen other things on psych2go um and uh are familiar perhaps with you know things like crisis lines or um community resources perhaps like going to your doctor right um a lot of times it’s the first step is the hardest part right and what is great about the community right the mental health community is um ideally not always but ideally um if the person you reach out to uh they aren’t competent and well suited for whatever has been brought up um if they’re unaware they at the very least are able to refer and connect individuals to someone else right um i’ve had plenty of clients reach out to me whether through private practice or in the institution i work for and and we’ll we’ll talk about what’s going on and it’s like they’re ready for therapy and i’ll be like i’ll be completely transparent with you i don’t think i’m the right fit for you i think there’s another therapist that would be able to work with you better and be able to get them connected with that right um and then also acknowledging like it’s not always the case like there are barriers there are obstacles there are challenges right and so uh really asking ourselves you know what is readily available for us right perhaps it’s um watching educational videos to start right to get the language for it perhaps it’s calling into a crisis line or texting into a help text sort of thing i know in the last 15 16 months with with the impacts of kova and the pandemic um there’s been a lot of shift and support that’s been provided online right so whether you are in um usually usually elementary high schools have a counselor available right um and there they’ve got resources to connect individuals to their community uh college university level there’s also a lot of like online resources there yeah so it seems like um that’s important the first step is taking a step acknowledging that you know you you understand that you need help and there are resources out there that you can reach for um such as like you mentioned like elementary school or high school university usually they have counselor there that you can reach out for or even your doctor or like um online research on the government websites so there’s plenty of resources online that that’s the first step to you know look into um that’s that’s a good tip right there um okay so let’s jump on to the next section um this is going to be talking about toxic relationship relating to family friends or perhaps co-worker so someone in our community has asked how to deal with toxic parents or family members yeah do we do three hours um for a couple weeks um do we guys do we yeah that’s that’s that’s that’s a very tough question yeah it can take a long time yeah and it’s it’s something that a lot of my clients have come into therapy for right um i know there’s like a a meme or a post going on around being like um where people are in therapy because the people in their lives aren’t willing to go to therapy um right and and and like when it comes to toxic relationships a lot of it comes down to boundary setting yes yeah and depending on the culture the environment the individuals that you grew up with sometimes boundaries don’t exist right um or if they are um they’re very blurred or they’re not very clear or you know they’re different from what we see um in the lives of others right and so with boundaries it takes a lot of time right and kind of relating to what we were talking about in the previous question about like when you’re starting therapy how do you reach out what are the steps um same with like when it comes to toxic relationships um being able to find even just one person that you feel comfortable with and safe with talking to about the situation um to get um a separate perspective whether that be a friend a colleague a sibling or calling into the crisis line or your doctor or you know um because when we’re in it it’s really hard to realize what’s going on because yeah we know what we know and we don’t know what we don’t know right a lot of people grow up and they’re like oh yeah this is normal right right um you know parents barging into our rooms whenever they want to um phone calls at late hours of the night being expected to drop everything kind of thing right um that’s that’s their their norm and the way that i um i saw this online i can’t remember exactly who it was from boundaries are described as um how much i can love you while also loving myself at the same time right and when a person sets a boundary it’s not that they don’t want you in their life anymore it’s because they’re trying really hard to keep you in their life hmm that’s a very um deep quotation right there um and now i’m just wondering like how do you set boundaries now that that’s that’s tough like because your parents is your parents that you know since you were born or family members that you live with like how do you set boundaries if you know you need to that’s a tough question how do you how how will you do it yeah and there are a lot of um like boundary workbooks right um that like if people are one because i know we’re limited on time right like that like if people want to work through there’s that um going to see a counselor and learning different boundary setting um uh approaches um i know when it comes to boundary setting when i’m working with my clients i really invite them and encourage them to be aware of how they’re feeling right how am i feeling physically right now what’s going on emotionally what’s going on with my thoughts am i noticing that i’m getting anxious overwhelmed am i shutting down am i numbing out right because these are warning signs to let us know when our boundaries are starting to get crossed when we’re we’re not in a place where we’re comfortable anymore right and for that it could be you know okay i need to take a step back and go use the restroom right now where i need to go take go for a walk or i need to go listen to a song right everyone uh for everyone boundary setting may be a little different um and so um really having that awareness is important because we can’t change what we don’t know exactly yeah so like yeah that’s that’s exactly um okay so on to the next question that our committee have asked how would they deal with distrust towards oneself after you have ruined your relationship like pushing away or cheating that’s very specific yeah yeah it’s very specific and i think it’s something that many of us relate to right when we’ve had experiences in our lives where things have not gone the way that we wish that it could have and we start questioning and we start judging and we’re really critical and we start wondering like you know oh i made these mistakes in the past am i do i know if i’m making the right mistake or making the right choice to avoid mistakes um and you know a lot of times um you know uh you know there’s a saying that uh when we find ourselves constantly thinking about the past right um we’re in a state of depression because there’s so much regret there’s so much guilt right and when we’re worrying about the future you know although what ifs we’re in a state of anxiety right because there’s that uncertainty unknown whereas uh if we are able to be in the present the here and now this is the only thing we can control because we can’t control the past we can’t control the future right um the here and now is what we do have control over right that’s why they call it the present it’s a gift yes right yeah well that’s a good one i actually for some reason i just never fall about like present is like you know right now and yeah and so like when it comes to you know asking ourselves like can i trust myself again like that that is hard right yeah um especially when we’ve had experiences where um perhaps you know things haven’t gone well and so we start distrusting our actions or if we have going back to the previous question if we have uh toxic individuals in our lives who really put us down um and have us think oh i am making poor choices i am making poor decisions right neurologically speaking our brain shifts uh to to adapt to protect ourselves right and uh the way that we have been coping the way that we have been responding and reacting you know perhaps it worked at some point in the past right which is why we continue doing it um however you know what worked in the past may not work in the present right and again having that awareness right and then um recognizing we want to take those steps to change and then perhaps reaching out to supports or starting to look at you know books or connecting with doctors therapists so on and so forth so yeah you can’t change the past but you should focus on the present is a present and reaching out for our resources that you have available around you um so let’s go to the next question that our community have asked how do you protect your mind against negative people around you or how do you how to cope in a situation where your family seems to be around you but not with you ooh that’s hard yeah that’s that’s a tough one and i imagine with uh the last 15 16 months a lot of us being at home are having to move back home being around family people or being around people that we not necessarily want to spend time with it’s like oh what do i do right and again going back to like boundary setting awareness of whether or not this is like an environment that i don’t want to be in right now right knowing what works and knowing what doesn’t work right um i’ve had clients share with me how like um they know that they can’t try and do work um in the living room because their families are walking around they’re really loud um so like they know okay um depending on what i’m needing to do maybe i need to be in my bedroom or maybe um i need to communicate with them saying like hey i have a meeting right now or you know being clear about what’s going on and in particular um making sure that what we’re saying like what we’re intending is actually being interpreted the way that we want it to right um some of us perhaps if you’re living at home i’ve heard stories of this where you’re like in a meeting and like even professors teachers they’re teaching and then their mom walks in with like a plate of fruit um which is really sweet but then like super person is just like i i hold you and and i was like well you said you were teaching you didn’t say it’s not okay for me to bring you food right and so like like being clear with our boundaries being clear what our expectations are right um sometimes we we don’t know we know what we know we don’t know what we don’t know exactly that’s a good point um so let’s go to because we don’t have a lot of time we’re gonna go to the next section of topics it’s going to be on anxiety so one of our committee uh member uh mentioned or asked us this question what do i do when i have a panic attack and how do i overcome panic attack and this is also leads to i sometimes i’m outside i can’t cuddle up in my dark quiet room but sometimes i just can’t do that when i’m not home so it’s hard for me to cope how do i any advice on how i could calm down when i’m not home or alone so there’s like three questions right there yeah yeah um and so these these are concerns that are often brought up by other clients this is it’s not just this person who’s asking and i imagine for those who are listening in right now some of you are like whoo i i experienced that too right you know for myself especially as things are ramping up and reopening like going outside if i’m suddenly around a lot of people it doesn’t matter if i have a mask on i i’m just like i don’t want to be here right now it’s like why are you so close to me um and and everyone again has a different approach and fit to taking care of ourselves right and panic attacks in particular are are challenging because they’re hard to control right um and you know depending on who the person is which therapist you’re working with right again everyone has a different approach and fit okay um for myself you know i’ve had i’ve experienced anxiety i’ve not experienced a panic attack myself however what what i have learned and been informed is that they they eventually pass right um the research shows emotions and physical feelings when physical responses when we sit with them long enough we’re able to regulate ourselves and bring ourselves back to that equilibrium right whether or not we do it quickly is a whole other thing right um and for this individual that submitted this question it sounds like they they know when they feel like they’re able to ground themselves and and managing anxiety right being at home when it’s dark right um and so you know being aware okay these are things that are working are there things similar adjacent that may perhaps work right and being curious with it and and testing it out right again there is no one size fit all right um and a lot of people come to therapy and they’re like what’s the answer give me advice and i’m like i am really sorry to be the bearer of bad news um i’m not here to give advice um i’m just here um you know a lot of laura could do is psycho education looking at things from a different perspective right mm-hmm thank you for answering that i feel like uh we have a long community repeating um similar questions around pan attack i think that might be helpful for those who are wondering um so this leads to the next question on how uh how to deal with social anxiety overthinking and being embarrassed and everything even by talking yeah there’s a lot of layers there yeah yeah i i’ve had clients come with that precise concern right wanting to experience a change wanting to experience a shift and um yeah it’s gonna vary right um i shared this with cindy yesterday um and i’m gonna i’m gonna share it today um with therapy the way that i describe it to to my friends to my family to my clients is it’s very similar to when you are driving a car right um and you’re driving a car and perhaps the car starts acting up so you pull over to the side of the road um many of us are like hey gonna call bcaa or a triple a wherever you are in the world or the mechanic right um and people think like therapy is like you call a mechanic and then it comes and they they fix the car up and then you’re good to go right therapy is in fact not that therapy is the mechanic going okay uh tell me what you see right now is the key in the exam ignition is there gas in the tank pop open the hood is there any smoke right okay uh the right hand side there that’s where the engine oil is i think it’s yellow or like take that out check it and so you kind of explore see what perhaps needs to be adjusted and shifted and maybe are going and so you hop back in you drive a little longer and maybe it acts up again and you have to pull over and and you uh you end up trying what worked the first time and if it works awesome if not you call a mechanic again and as time progresses ideally the duration between the car breakdowns uh lengthens and extends and eventually gets to the point where you don’t have to call them a cat anymore because you’re self-sustaining right and when it comes to anxiety taking care of ourselves managing ourselves right being aware do i have the capacity to do what it is i’m wanting to do right now is really important right if you decide when you wake up in the morning i’m gonna do all of this stuff but you wake up and you are drained you barely slept you don’t have an appetite you feel sick to your stomach it’s really hard to do all those things it’s like um going back to the car analogy if you decide you’re gonna take a road trip but you only have a fourth of a tank full and you drive and then your car runs out of gas do you get mad at the car for not being able to get you where you were wanting to go or do you realize probably probably would be good to fill up the gas right right yeah it’s similar to us as humans that’s a really good analogy using a mechanical mechanic and your car um towards a therapy um okay so because we don’t have a lot of time 15 minutes left but i’ll try to skim through like the topics that most people have asked in our community so we’re going to go to the next uh section as uh it’s on self-confidence and self-improvement so the first question is how do i stop overthinking uh i feel like it’s lowering my self-confidence yeah and what’s your advice on that yeah um i don’t have advice i have different uh strategies that may or may not be beneficial um things to explore right um so um in british columbia we have anxiety bc um as a resource and um some of the resources are available on there particularly surrounding like overthinking and anxious thoughts and such is again having that first step that awareness that these thoughts are coming up right um the the term that’s often used is um thinking traps like ways of thinking um that we find ourselves trapped in right and some of those categories um cindy what i can do is i can send you the links so you can provide them in insurance afterwards and people can click on them right so let me see if i can pull mine up so i can just read some of sure here um so like some examples of thinking traps are you know when we are fortune telling right um predicting that things are not gonna go well right um even though we don’t really have a crystal ball to predict how the future is going to be or we think in black and white you know anything less than perfect is a failure right or we mind read you know ah everyone who’s watching right now must think like this is a really dumb livestream either right now um like i am i am not good at public speaking my face is red right now people aren’t gonna notice we made label like oh i’m so stupid i’m a loser right um or we may overestimate danger you know um oh i’m gonna i’m so worried i’m so anxious i’m gonna die like being on this live stream or we filter and and like um you know cindy you mentioned at the beginning um like oh there’s all these people watching and i’m like oh man uh how many people are gonna like this video how many people are gonna dislike this video and then just filtering in on like oh these many people disliked it what did we do wrong right um or catastrophizing worst case scenario um or this one is one that’s often used should statements i should never feel anxious i should do this i should do this i should do this right and so all of these are considered thinking traps and um having awareness that these are thinking traps helps because we’re then able to start challenging our thoughts right is there evidence that this is true have i confused it with a thought or is it a fact right what would my friend say am i 100 sure that this is going to happen all right is this so important my life is going to depend on it what’s the worst thing that can happen right so on and so forth and so uh the documents that i’m referring to right now cindy what i can do is i can send them to you you kind of um share them as a resource right um and sure yeah thank you so much for sharing that i would definitely include uh it’s like a website link or is it like it’s a pdf it’s a pdf okay sure i’ll upload it um it’ll be listed in the description box so all of you guys can check out uh for your resources that you can look into um we’re gonna go to the next section um on trauma um so this is a very personal question i think um how to how to start living my life after past trauma or how do you how do you learn to trust again after your trauma yeah and so before even diving into answering this um to whoever submitted this question thank you for submitting it um trauma is hard drama is you know described as something that is unexpected overwhelming out of control right um people often think of trauma as like the things we see on tv uh car crashes neglect abuse right um when that’s not always the case right um there’s trauma from the third grade math teacher who told us we’ll never be able to get this right or the seventh grade english teacher who was like you’re never going to be anything well that shows up later on in life when we’re in college trying to take a stats course when we’re trying to get the right paper out so on and so forth right and so even just acknowledging that yeah this is something that that we’ve experienced that in itself is really difficult right um because the thing with with trauma you look at history right um after the world wars it wasn’t called like ptsd right trauma um it was shell-shocked right there was never really language for this like this has been around for a really long time but we never had the language we never had um the capacity or the understanding for it right and um for those who have taken like biology or psychology courses you’re familiar with like our physical body and how it responds um to the stress or you know or our nervous system right there’s the parasympathetic nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system right one helps our heart rate increase the other helps it like relax this is super cliff notes version if there are any bio majors or medical students watching right now be gentle um but the but the gist of the idea is um again having that awareness right um because again as humans we’re relational beings and our body is going to adapt and adjust to do what it thinks may be the best option in order to protect ourselves and that could be choosing to fight that could be choosing to flight right to run we could freeze in the moment completely shut down completely numb out or we can do fawning which is a more recent um the fourth f that um has uh there’s been more research out but the idea uh the gist of the idea is like we we basically placate and we do what we can to use the other person to keep ourselves safe right and so these these responses are ways to protect ourselves and keep ourselves alive right and again what worked in the past may no longer work for us in the future in the present right and again that awareness um and particularly around like trauma processing trauma therapy getting support with that acknowledging is the first step and then taking the steps to gain support right kind of tying back to some of the earlier questions like how do we find a good therapist how do we find a good um you know general practitioner right um depending on the type of trauma that’s occurred um ensuring that your medical professional team is trauma-informed or say for those who are in the lgbtqia plus 2s plus community making sure that your therapist or your doctor is gender affirming right those are all really important to ensure that we can feel safe feel comfortable um because like with trauma it it stays in our body the body keeps score right um there’s a book um actually uh if you want to look i’ll give you the link so you can provide it but the body shop’s good talks about how physically our body remembers the trauma that we endure right and um it’s a lot of unpacking a lot of working through and again depending on the individual where they’re at in their life which therapist or or or health professional they reach out to um the process of healing is gonna look different for everybody right and so again really finding um something that works um yeah that’s interesting you have a lot of points that brought up um that like everyone’s different um they have different you know it may not it may have worked in the past but it may not work the future so that’s where you uh first stuff has to be a knowledge on knowledge and finding the right therapist for to help you out again it comes back to like researching and finding the right therapy and um that’s right for you um so we don’t have much time left but um uh i think i’ll cover maybe one last question um let’s see let’s choose um so this will be someone asked can pets help with depression especially birds and how to deal with depression if you can’t talk to someone or go to therapists mm-hmm yeah and it’s very personal question it is a very personal question yeah um so you know like if we break down that question can can pets help with depression right how do we define help right how do we how does a person define depression and what they’re experiencing right um research has found that being around animals is really therapeutic is really grounding right um depending on what kind of animal we’re around like that’s why there are you know um like pads therapy dogs right um and you know it’s a lot of again figuring out the right fit right um if a person has shared with me yeah i i as a child um i had these dogs chasing after me and it was terrifying um getting them a dog probably is not gonna help with their their mental health right just knowing their past history um and it it comes down similar to like finding a good therapist right does the individual feel a connection do they feel safe do they feel comfortable right um as a little bit of a side note like you look at young children right um for those who have kids or nieces and nephews or siblings do you ever notice how they have like that blanket or that toy that they really love and they don’t go anywhere without it right it’s because that is something that is comforting to them that’s soothing to them right and you know at that stage perhaps that is what they need to stay regulated and ideally eventually you know they get to a place where they’re able to regulate themselves without that however at that time that’s what they need and so for some individuals um i’ve had i have clients who have dogs cats rabbits uh birds snakes you know um for them like that is what works thank you so much for answering a question about pets um i think uh some people just wonder what are other ways to help them quote and that could be a way as well um so uh we’re gonna introduce really quickly if you’re living at home with your parents um or if you have roommates and stuff like that like always check to make sure it’s okay before going and get a pet um just just just sharing like some some some personal experience from from friends who are like um i’m gonna do this and then and then realizing like oh oh no i don’t actually have permission to do this or like someone at home is allergic and then and then they have to return the animal and it’s like this whole this whole roller coaster of emotions right and so yeah yeah first make sure that your roommate or whoever you’re living with is okay with pets before you actually look into getting one bonnie i thank you so much for your time before we wrap up i want to uh do you mind just explain like work when we find you or how can we if we want to uh you know maybe talk to you talk to you or connect with you how can we reach you at yeah um so for those who are located in british columbia canada and they’re wanting to seek counseling services um because uh like i’m i’m regulated and i work primarily with those in in bc um i do have a website it’s why bonniechee.

com i’ll ask you to put the link below yeah i’m also on uh twitter um at why bonnie chi um i do want to mention like um like i like i imagine there’s all these questions i’ve been brought up right i’m not always going to be able to respond to things ethically speaking if there are concerns that are brought up that i’m not able to address and such i i may try my best to redirect you um yeah i know like for for twitter like i do retweet a lot of other clinicians um and um there’s a lot of psychoeducation on there right um it’s not a replacement for therapy um however it is um kind of good it’s a good reminder um so to speak in between sessions right um i shared this analogy with uh cindy yesterday when we are going on a hike somewhere right if there’s a trail that’s already um you know existing and we’re used to walking down that trail where we’re realistically going to go down that trail right and as humans if we’ve learned to cope and adapt and respond in a particular way that’s going to be our go-to right part of therapy is learning okay what is an alternative approach what is a different path we want to take and at first if we’re walking and hiking there’s gonna be a lot of grass there there’s not gonna be a trail but as we walk through it more and more and more a trail a path will start to clear right and you know the 15 minutes once a week once every two weeks right we do as much work as we can but what’s important is what you take out of it and what you apply right and sometimes some of these uh tweets or instagram posts they’re kind of like uh maps reminders prompts that show up that tell us okay this is the path and whether or not we choose to take it is up to us that’s a good reminder because a lot of times we see these uh inspirational quotes online it’s more like a reminder or not replacement for therapy and that’s where you know you guys all all of you are empowered to seek help uh look for a therapist that’s right for you and do your research before you go into it thank you so much for bonnie um this was a great stream that we have covered some of the questions unfortunately we weren’t able to cover all the questions but um if there’s something that all of you enjoy and wish to see more on the monthly live stream and want us to do a part two of a ask the therapist let us know at the end of the livestream thank you so much for bonnie again and hopefully everyone will are doing well and have a great day thank you bonnie i’ll see you guys next time see ya bye now you.