[00:00:00] Sherman Hu: Welcome back to another episode powered by Through The Forest Counseling. We have Felicha here with us today. Good morning, Felicha.
[00:00:08] Felicha Laforest: Good morning. How are you?
[00:00:09] Felicha Laforest: Very well, thank you. I have a few questions for you.
What are the languages spoken and the cultures represented amongst your clinicians?
[00:00:13] Sherman Hu: First off, what are some of the languages spoken and the cultures represented amongst your clinicians?
[00:00:19] Felicha Laforest: The languages that some of our clinicians speak are Spanish French, Haitian Creole. There is one clinician in particular that I believe can speak a little bit of Mandarin, but I’m not entirely sure if that’s the right one, but those are the primary languages that we’re able to cover and offer services in.
[00:00:40] Sherman Hu: Outside of English, what are the languages most spoken to requested amongst clients?
[00:00:46] Felicha Laforest: We’ve gotten a lot of Spanish and we’ve gotten a lot of Spanish and Creole, Haitian Creole, Cape Verdean Creole. Those are the requests that we’ve gotten.
[00:00:58] Felicha Laforest: And you speak Haitian Creole, is it?
[00:01:03] Felicha Laforest: Yeah. I understand it better than I speak it. I would never go up against a native speaker and dare to say that I am fluent in it.
[00:01:11] Sherman Hu: Would you ever counsel in that language, or not?
[00:01:14] Felicha Laforest: I would 100% do it. I’m just still working on my proficiency.
What are the specialties and the training that your clinicians have?
[00:01:19] Sherman Hu: That’s great. What then, outside of languages and cultures, are the specialties and the training that your clinicians have? I know it’s broad. So what are some of them?
[00:01:33] Felicha Laforest: Some of them are Solution Focus, CBT, Trauma-Informed. We are working to get more of them trained in DBT. We’ve done some trainings in Eating Disorders. We’ve done some trainings in, I’m trying to think of a way to put it, but being able to calm the body and relax the body, which helps a lot with anxiety. So we’ve done, we’ve gone through some trainings along those lines.
[00:01:58] Sherman Hu: You mentioned calming the body. Is there a therapy type that focuses on that or is it just outside of it?
[00:02:05] Felicha Laforest: It was more so we’re able to give these techniques to clients, to help with trauma, to help with anxiety. Just different methods to calm the body and bring the mind and the body back together.
[00:02:16] Sherman Hu: And have you worked with these skills for some of these clients, and have you seen results from them?
[00:02:23] Felicha Laforest: Yes, we have. And we’ve seen some really good results and relatively quickly, too. So that was very exciting for us to be able to put into practice.
[00:02:31] Sherman Hu: That’s great. You mentioned also wanting to train more clinicians towards DBT, which if I’m not mistaken is dialectical, dialect… tell me what it is…
What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy & how does it help?
[00:02:43] Felicha Laforest: Dialectical Behavior Therapy. It was close. It was close.
[00:02:46] Sherman Hu: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Yes. Why the emphasis?
[00:02:50] Felicha Laforest: It’s something that we’re getting a lot of requests for. It’s something that works good with teenagers. It’s something that works good with a lot of different disorders and people are becoming more and more interested in it. That, and EMDR.
[00:03:05] Felicha Laforest: Okay. Before we hit on EMDR…
Why is there a demand for DBT?
[00:03:07] Felicha Laforest: Why the focus? Why the emphasis? Why their requests for DBT? What is the general public seeing or experiencing that they want more of it?
[00:03:16] Felicha Laforest: I think what people are seeing is how we’re able to tie in the emotional and the logical portions of the brain. Like people tend to fall into one or the other.
[00:03:29] Felicha Laforest: But being able to bridge that gap allows for people to be true to their logical selves or be true to their emotional selves, but still being able to move forward in problem-solving and overcoming some of the difficulties that they’re facing.
[00:03:44] Sherman Hu: So if we were to wrap some skin around it in a practical, small little practical example, what would that look like as to the issue and the treating with DBT or the application or approach, and the potential outcome or result?
[00:04:00] Felicha Laforest: I’m going to use teenagers. I’m sorry for any teenagers that may hear this, it’s just, it works really well with teenagers.
[00:04:07] Felicha Laforest: So teenagers are going through physiological changes. Their emotions are very extreme. They’re very much out there.
[00:04:14] Felicha Laforest: And one thing that it does is let’s say a teenager gets upset at a job, and they’re yelling, or they may feel like they want to throw something. What we do is we’re able to give them some techniques to calm down that emotion and let them reintegrate their logical portion of the brain.
[00:04:33] Felicha Laforest: Maybe they’re able to name a couple of things to calm themselves down. Maybe they’re able to use some grounding techniques to calm themselves down, and then they’re able to, re-engage their logical portion of the brain to actually express,
[00:04:45] Felicha Laforest: “I’m upset right now. Can I take a break?”
[00:04:48] Felicha Laforest: “Upset right now? Can I go home for the rest of the day?”
[00:04:52] Felicha Laforest: “Can I talk to you? And we can work through these things. That’s making me upset.”
[00:04:58] Felicha Laforest: Instead of having that blow up, there’s a more appropriate way to handle the situation instead of just allowing emotion to take over, having that blow up and then maybe getting fired.
[00:05:10] Sherman Hu: Hmm. Okay.
Can you share more about EMDR?
[00:05:12] Sherman Hu: If I could pivot, Felicha, to what you mentioned earlier with EMDR, what would that look like? What is it?
[00:05:18] Felicha Laforest: What it does is it allows both parts of the brain, both sides of the brain to come into a heightened sense and we’re activating both sides of the brain. So we’re able to desensitize the individual to whatever it is that’s causing them the duress.
[00:05:35] Felicha Laforest: So let’s say there is a trauma memory that comes up. Our hearts are racing. Our mind is starting to shut down. We can’t speak. We were just trapped in this heightened state of arousal. So what EMDR does, is it activates both sides of the brain, usually through tapping or eye movement, and we’re able to slowly deescalate the individual to that memory or to that stimuli.
[00:06:03] Felicha Laforest: At some point, we’re able to get someone from a 10 to a 2 and they don’t have that extreme response as they did before.
[00:06:12] Sherman Hu: That’s incredible.
Are there any clinicians that currently practice EMDR in the clinics?
[00:06:13] Sherman Hu: Are there any clinicians that currently practice EMDR in the clinics?
[00:06:18] Felicha Laforest: Myself, I do that and we are working on getting two, maybe three clinicians trained as well. It’s the hopes within maybe a year, we’ll be able to have more people up in training and going and comfortable enough to use it, but that’s definitely where we’re aiming for.
[00:06:37] Sherman Hu: That’s great.
What is a popular question that your clients seem to be asking these days?
[00:06:38] Sherman Hu: Felicha, what is a popular question that your clients seem to be asking these days?
[00:06:44] Felicha Laforest: A lot of requests have come in for female therapists.
[00:06:50] Felicha Laforest: Some have come in for male, but more so have come in for female therapists and wanting to make sure we have someone who fits that. And we, of course we absolutely do. We have male therapists, we have female therapists, but we have a lot more female therapists.
Any last words to wrap up today’s episode?
[00:07:05] Sherman Hu: In wrapping up today’s episode, Felicha, any last words?
[00:07:08] Felicha Laforest: We do have some openings. We’re hoping to get our New Haven, Connecticut office up and running really soon, but we do have openings for both Boston, MA and Quincy, MA and we’re here and ready to help.
[00:07:18] Sherman Hu: That’s great. Thanks Felicha, for your time this morning. And for everybody who’s watching, or listening, stay tuned for next week’s episode of the podcast powered by Through The Forest Counseling.