April 9, 2024

Episode 59:

Breaking Outside of the Box: Moving Past Money Mindset Blocks and Trauma with Nancy Diaz

In this episode, Nancy shares strategies to manage and overcome money mindset blocks and money trauma that she has learned through her own practice journey.

Episode 59: Breaking Outside of the Box: Moving Past Money Mindset Blocks and Trauma with Nancy Diaz

Show Notes

Kayla: Welcome back to the Designer Practice Podcast and I’m your host Kayla Das.

Have money mindset issues held you back from starting growing or even scaling your private practice?

The first step in moving forward to grow a successful practice and to break outside the proverbial box is to manage and overcome money fears and doubts. And that’s because these fears and doubts often lead to avoidance or procrastination when it comes to practice growth opportunities.

In today’s episode, Nancy Diaz, therapist and owner of Global Citizen Therapy, will share strategies to manage and overcome money mindset blocks that she has learned through her own practice journey.

Hi, Nancy. Welcome to the show. I’m so glad to have you here today.

Nancy: Thank you so much for having me. How are you?


Kayla: Good! Before we dive into today’s episode, please introduce yourself, where you’re from, also where you are as well, because I know you’re from somewhere else than where you currently are located. And tell us a little bit about your own practice journey.

Nancy: Yeah, of course. So, I’m Nancy, Nancy Diaz. I am a trauma-informed therapist, speaker, and the host of the Global Citizen Therapy podcast. I specialize in working with women of color who are daughters of immigrants, and I help them heal from trauma and break generational cycles. I shout about all things trauma, including money, trauma, racial trauma, generational trauma, historical trauma, and just how those types of traumas impact our daily behavior, our current relationships, and even our relationship with money.

Kayla: Fabulous. And where are you from?

Nancy: So, I am originally from the U.S. and my parents are from Mexico. I’m the proud daughter of Mexican immigrant parents and I am now an immigrant myself. I migrated to Australia in 2018. So, I’ve been here for five years and loving it.

Defining Money Mindset Blocks

Kayla: Fabulous. So, we’re going to start today talking about money mindset issues. So, what are money mindset issues or blocks and how can they show up for therapists and listeners?

Nancy: So, money mindset blocks can show up for us based on some money beliefs that we have. So, we first have to go back and understand money beliefs. So, money beliefs and money scripts are very similar because they’re the things that we are told from a young age, usually by our parents, by our caretakers, messages that we’ve received in society these become our internal beliefs around money. And they become what Shapes our worldviews when it comes to money and definitely impacts our relationship with money that we have as well.

So, money blocks, there’s all types of different money blocks. And I actually have an episode on my podcast where I talk specifically about the different money blocks. But they can show up as different things, not just overspending, but also being too careful with money being too frugal. So, there’s lots of different types of money blocks. And for me, it’s been a bit of both, actually. So, if you actually look at your parents’ money stories, their own money beliefs, and those that have been passed down to you. For example, my mom is definitely on the too frugal money block kind of spectrum. My dad is definitely not as careful with money and likes to spend a lot and oftentimes will take it too far in that direction. And so they have done well in balancing each other out and stopping each other from spending too much or being too careful with money. But what I have learned is that for me, it sometimes does show up as a money block of, “Okay, no, no, I need to save everything. I need to make sure that I don’t spend too much.” It was really scary for me to invest in myself and my own personal development. When I started my business, I found it really scary to then invest in my business. That was something that I never saw modeled in my family. They saw anything that was too risky as something that wasn’t worth doing. So, they were actually very scared for me when I decided to start a business to not do the whole nine to five thing and just work for the same employer for the rest of my life. But I knew that I wanted to do something different.

And, yeah, then the other one is, I sometimes do take it too far. And I’ve been working on my own money mindset and my own money traumas. And it’s a long, long, hard journey, but it’s definitely one that’s worth going on. I’ve definitely seen some mindset shifts over the past two or three years where I’m like, “Wow, I never would have been able to do that. And my parents never would have been able to take this big of a risk” invest this much in the business, invest this much in therapy, for example, or coaching or something that I know has really helped me in my own growth and development, but would be something that they would never think about doing. And there’s this mentality of that’s just a waste of money, we’re not going to do that.

So, there’s a whole bunch of money blocks, but I think those are the two kind of main ones that we see quite often is that you either don’t spend enough. You work really hard. You save everything. You don’t spend enough. Or you take it in the other direction and take it too far. And you’re always spending. And it’s almost like you’re regulating your emotions a little bit with that spending, you know, the retail therapy, I think something we can all relate to. So, yeah.

Overcoming Money Beliefs and Scripts

Kayla: I love that you shared your story. So how did you overcome your money beliefs or money scripts that you had learned through your family.

Nancy: So, for me, it was really important to actually do some work with a financial coach who talked quite a bit about money trauma, who was well versed in what money trauma does to us. How it can activate us, how it can prevent us from actually doing the things that we want to do, how that money trauma can then lead to financial anxiety. Because I still to this day struggle with that it’s definitely a lot less. But I remember during the pandemic when I was out of a job, and all of a sudden needing to start this business out of survival because I said “Well, how am I going to make money? We’re in this lockdown. I can’t do my regular job. Okay, I think this might be the time to start my own practice.” And I was scared and I remember that it showed up in the body with the financial anxiety showing up in my chest and difficulty breathing. And I would have to do the breathing exercises that luckily as a therapist, I knew that breathing exercises would help with the anxiety.

But it was so bad that I was like, okay, I have to do this multiple times a day just to regulate myself. And now when I do my daily gratitude meditation, which is another nice habit that I got into during the pandemic and have kept it even afterwards. Now, when it says be thankful for your lungs, for your chest, and I just think about that, like, I think about how far I’ve come, that now it’s very rare that I have difficulty breathing or my heart rate is just out of control. I don’t have that anymore. I and it doesn’t matter. Like sometimes I do. I think all therapists have those months where we call the ebb and flow, right? I’m honestly a little bit tired of hearing the ebb and flow because I think, no, there are ways that we can avoid that ebb and flow, which is definitely one thing that I’ve learned from working with the financial coach besides just thinking about money trauma, financial anxiety, how it’s showing up for me, but I learned some practical things that I could do to help ease that so that I wouldn’t worry when there were some low income months because I had other income streams.

So, there was a lot. I think there was inner work, you know, money mindset work, but then there was also practical things that she taught me of, “Okay, yeah, just because you’re a therapist and you’ve been trained in grad school to just exchange time for money and just do one on one sessions and even to charge sliding scale rates and accept insurance, even if they don’t reimburse your full rate.” She said, “you don’t have to do that. You have these amazing transferable skills and you can definitely do other things.” And so, she taught me to, yeah, diversify that income stream. And now I love teaching other therapists about that too, because I see that there are some people that are doing this amazing work of helping other therapists, but I still think there’s not enough. Most therapists that I know still are stuck in that, that burned out rat race of just trying to see as many clients as possible, oftentimes at pretty low rates. And it’s not really a service to anyone, our clients are not getting the quality care that they deserve. And oftentimes, it’s actually harmful.

One thing that my financial coach taught me that I will share because it helped me so much. She’s a woman of color herself. She’s actually an immigrant and daughter of immigrants herself as well. So, it was really powerful to hear this from her. She actually told me, she said, “just because you specialize in working with women of color doesn’t mean that you have to have low rates.” She said, “we’ve been taught that women of color need lower rates, that they need sliding scale. That there are so many in poverty that and so we need to also lower our rates and essentially also stay in poverty.” Because I know therapists of color that are on food stamps that are being evicted from their homes, they can’t pay the rent, they’re seeing so many clients and yet they still can’t afford their own living expenses. And so what she told me is she said no women of color love to invest. And just because you and I grew up in poverty. It doesn’t mean that every woman of color is in poverty. She said there are so many that are earning great money, have really great careers, but still have trauma, still are looking into personal development, are looking to find a therapist that looks like them that’s culturally sensitive that can help them with money trauma or racial trauma or whatever it is that they want to work on with their relationships. So she said, no, I think that you can charge what you want to charge so that you can rise out of poverty and start building that generational wealth. That’s one of the things that she talked about as well. And I said, wow, that is so important. And I hadn’t thought about it that way, but it really helped me so much to actually see it’s all tied together, the money trauma, the racial trauma, because that is part of my story as well. And I think it’s a part of so many therapists of color story is that we often get told there’s subliminal messaging, but there’s sometimes specific messaging of this isn’t the space for you. This space wasn’t built for you. You shouldn’t charge this much. You’re supposed to be serving your community. How are you going to help other clients of color? How are you going to help the Latino community? The Black community? If you’re charging this much, you need to have accessible rates.

And even my school counselor, that she didn’t want to send over a recommendation letter, or even send over my transcripts, because she said no, you’re not going to get in anyway. And so sometimes there are these barriers and these challenges, and I ended up getting into a university even without her help. But there’s just so many messages that we receive of, you can’t afford it. And that’s essentially what she was saying. She said, no, I’m looking at your parents’ income here. You can’t afford it. So why am I going to waste my time sending over your transcripts. So we get all this messaging from a really young age. And so that becomes that money trauma that then leads to these internalized money beliefs that then stop us from charging the rates that even get us just average living, and that’s not okay.

And so, I’m really passionate about helping therapists decolonize mental health. And I think part of it is actually saying like this system wasn’t built for us. But we’re going to make it work for us. And part of that is charging rates where we can live a comfortable life. And I think with that, we also end up empowering our clients as well because the first time that I saw my current therapist who charges $250 an hour. And I’m in Australia, and that’s $390 Australian dollars. And so when I tell people here that’s how much I pay for therapy each week, they’re like, “Whoa, like, that’s a lot?” And I said, but it’s so worth it. And that’s another money mindset shift that I’ve made, is that I now don’t equate it to, “Yeah, it’s actually more than what I pay in rent, or it’s more than what I pay in groceries,” or whatever it is. I don’t think of it that way anymore. I just think of what does it give me? And it gives me so much that I can actually continue to serve my clients, that I can be present for them, that I can be healthy, that my mental health is solid. And without it, I know that it starts to deteriorate, that I start to feel burned out, that I start to feel the overwhelm of holding space for my clients, holding space for everything that’s going on in my own life and not having that support. So, there is, there’s a lot there.

Managing Expectations to Lower Fees

Kayla: Yeah, and I think you touched on so many things. But one of the things that I see as a business coach, and you mentioned this, is as caring professionals we feel that there’s this expectation, whether it’s internal or external or subliminal I really don’t know. But there’s this expectation that we lower our rates or that we provide pro bono and sliding scales into our practices to serve individual clients and so forth. Even if we know that it may not be feasible for our own financial situation, emotional wellbeing, or even our practice vision. Kind of moving this conversation forward, do you have any advice or tips for any listeners who might be struggling in their practices with money mindset blocks or money trauma?

Nancy: Yeah, and I think a big part of that is actually the guilt that we feel when we do want to raise our fees. And that’s actually why a couple months ago I decided to give back by offering a free workshop, and I called it how to raise your private practice fees with confidence. And there were 63 therapists that signed up and this was a very last-minute workshop. And so, I was just blown away that that many people signed up and without me doing much marketing, but I think people just started to tell other people. And all of a sudden there were so many people that wanted to learn about this. And I just realized, yeah, it’s that we want to raise it with confidence, without the guilt, and that was the key piece of it. And so, one of the things that I talked about in that workshop is niching down because that’s often so scary for us. And we think, no, but if we can serve everyone, and oftentimes we’ve been trained to serve everyone. Then why don’t we? Like, no, it’s too scary to say that I will only work with this population that I will specialize in this problem. But the more specialized that you are, the more that you will feel that confidence and like, okay, no, I’m specialized in this. Like this is who I work best with. Because you can help everyone in some ways. But I also think that you can’t help everyone in some ways because there are definitely going to be people that you work best with. And so, finding who that is that you serve best, and then saying that in your marketing materials, on your website, on your social media, when you introduce yourself, really helps so much.

For me, even the wording, right? So, I say I specialize in working with women of color who are daughters of immigrants. I don’t just say I help women of color who are daughters of immigrants. And so, for me that’s a mindset thing. That’s okay. I feel good in charging $250 a session, because I know that I am specialized. I know that this is the type of women that I have been working with for years, and I know that I work with this population, no matter their cultural background, no matter where they are in the world, but this is who I work best with. And so, for me, that gives me that confidence of, okay, no, like, people are going to seek me out, who fit this demographic. And they’re going to seek me out for that specialty and that’s what’s been happening. And it was really scary and there were a lot of people, other therapists, other coaches that told me, no, you’re niching down too much or they said you’re niching down incorrectly. They told me you need to choose a presenting problem. You specialize in anxiety or eating disorders or is it money trauma. And I said, you know what I feel that there are so many presenting problems for daughters of immigrants and there’s no one that’s saying that they specialize in working with daughters of immigrants. And so, I said it doesn’t feel right at the moment for me to niche down even further. So, I’m going to do what feels right for me because that’s where the confidence comes in as well. And that’s when you start to remove those money mindset blocks is that you start to actually own it and say, like, I feel good charging this because I have set myself up as this. I presented myself as this. And now I feel confident in this. And so slowly you start kind of shattering those limiting money beliefs of no, I don’t deserve this. Or I’m going to feel bad about myself if I charge this. What are people going to think? I think oftentimes that’s what worries us, is what are people going to think? What are my clients going to think when I tell them that I’m raising my fees? What are new clients going to say when I tell them that it’s $250, $350 a session? And so, it stops us.

So, I hope that that’s helpful. I have plenty more tips. If you ever want to hit me up for that workshop, we shared quite a bit. And I think it is about healing and community healing from these money traumas and examining those money blocks. And there’s so much, but I think it does start with finding that confidence, finding your power in your niche.

Kayla: I agree 100 percent and when I look at money mindset issues, sometimes I think that a lot of what shows up for us internally is connected to what’s happening externally. And you kind of touched on that right. Our family history, how we’ve grown up. Others’ expectations, whether it’s our supervisors, our teachers, our colleagues in the field. And one of the reasons I created the Designer Practice Podcast is because I don’t believe there’s one way to do any of it. Even though there’s this unwritten rule when we graduate, even though I cannot tell you who told me this rule, but there’s this unwritten rule that this is the way you build a private practice if you even go into private practice at all. Like when we are in private practice, setting those fees and raising those fees can be really difficult because we’re looking at everyone else. What is my colleague charging? What would my supervisor think? What would my teacher think about me going into private practice? All of that is irrelevant because this is you and your practice and who you want to serve and at what rate you want to serve.

And I love how you deconstructed how we’re almost taught to charge less. But what it does is it leads therapists to continue to live in poverty. It continues for therapists to feel burnt out. It continues for therapists to not even feel as passionate about providing therapy or helping people because of the caregiver burnout.

Nancy: Yeah, definitely. I agree 100%. And I think that that is actually the most powerful reframe for therapists that helps with that guilt is when we start to think of it as by us charging more, we are actually going to be able to help more people. And so, I talked about this quite a bit during my workshop. That once I actually saw, and this is where representation matters so much because first time that I saw this therapist charging $250 and she’s another Latina immigrant and daughter of immigrants. And she told me her rate. And of course, at first, I was scared, like I’ve never paid this much for therapy, but I was like, wow, I can’t not charge this much. And be paying my therapist this much and somehow just seeing her confidently tell me her fee. I was like, I can do this. And the very next day I changed my fee on my website. And I was like, is it that easy? Sometimes it takes that, it takes seeing other people doing this. And it’s sad that I know very few therapists that charge as much as I do. Because I think that we should all be charging more.

Shifting Money Mindset

And I know that sounds a bit wild because we want it to be accessible for our clients. But I think, why is this burden on therapists? Why is this burden not on the government to actually provide such a needed service. I mean, during the pandemic, we saw how important mental health is and how we can’t function if our mental health is not strong. And so, yeah, why aren’t we putting pressure on the government? We’re putting pressure on therapists to keep lowering their fees, to keep lowering their fees. How many therapists during COVID were like, Oh, there’s this huge need. So, I’m going to have to lower my rates even more. I’m going to have to see even more clients. And like you said, it’s causing burnout. It’s causing us to leave the field in droves. And the third thing that I talked about too is we don’t want to burn out and leave the field. I want therapists to stay in the field. We work so hard to get to this point. And oftentimes we do it because we love this type of work. I think a lot of us are in this type of work for the right reasons, we want to help people. But oftentimes we’re so burned out, we just can’t even see that anymore. And so, when we start to actually charge more, and this is one thing that even for therapists of color, what you actually start to see is raising your fees as something that will empower your clients and you can be that example for them. Maybe even that motivation for them to start earning more to ask for that promotion that raise to maybe leave their job and start that business that they know will be successful. I’ve seen that happen with my clients that the more that I work on my own money mindset and every time that I’ve raised my fees and told my clients I’m raising my fees. I’m always so scared still. And yet the reaction is like, “Wow, good for you.” Literally had clients that you like good for you. And it’s because they want me to be successful. They want me to not burn out. They want me to be able to do this work. But I think oftentimes we’re just so scared. And I think all of us have had that one client that’s not reacted so well, or who’s said something about like, Oh, but it’s so expensive or something. And I’ve even had friends sometimes say like that a workshop or that’s something I’m doing like, “Oh, that’s a bit expensive.” And we don’t even think about what that actually does to our entrepreneur friends when we say something like that to them, because I think before I became an entrepreneur, I would say things like that all the time to business owners, like, “No, that’s too expensive. I can find it cheaper somewhere else.” And what we’re doing is we’re making sure that they still have that money mindset block. That they are still thinking, “Okay, I’m not worthy of charging this much. I’m going to lower my rate. And so, we have to really even think about the way that we talk to each other, because I see a lot of shaming and blaming from one therapist to another when we start to charge more.

Or for example, I shared in a Facebook group that I started charging for initial consultation calls. And I think it makes sense, there were a lot of no shows as soon as I started charging, I started seeing that I actually had more people book consultation calls. They all of a sudden started seeing the value in my services. And they, there were definitely less no shows and late cancellations. And there were more. People likely to fit my niche and be my ideal client, and they were more likely to actually book in for a full session after that. And I just realized like, wow. And so, I thought I’d share with the Facebook group. But right away there was some shaming and blaming. There were some people that were happy for me and thought that this was a very interesting observation and they thought they might try it as well. But there were a lot of people that are like, “Oh, but that’s unethical. How can you charge?” And even when we raise our fees, like, Oh, that’s unethical. How can you charge so much? You need to be accessible and affordable. So, there’s a lot there.

Kayla: And I think that when we are shaming or saying these statements to other therapists, it really is a reflection of our own money mindset. And I think the other piece, too, is that sometimes we hide behind ethics, and I don’t really know if sometimes we really truly understand our own ethical requirements or code of conduct, because I see that a lot in Facebook groups or in conversations with therapists of, is this ethical or that’s not ethical. But when you really look at your standards of practice or your code of ethics, it really doesn’t speak about that in an ethical component in an ethical way at all. And I think that we really need to differentiate the difference between what is ethical, and what it is that feels right for you. Because the truth is, is not everything is going to feel right for every person. And again, going back to private practice, how you set up your private practice or how you set your fees, it’s going to be very different from somebody else. Sometimes it could be mindset blocks, or sometimes it could be that these are the things that you want to see for yourself and your practice. Like providing sliding scale and pro bono services is a good thing, as long as you have a strategy or some sort of way to make sure that you’re providing it in a way that you’re not putting yourself in a place where you’re feeling more burnt out, or you can’t pay the bills and things like that. But I think we need to move away from the word ethical when it really doesn’t fit that particular scenario, right? There’s a difference between ethical and what you believe to be right.

Nancy: Definitely.

Brainspotting and Money Trauma

Kayla: So, when we chatted offline, you mentioned that brain spotting can help those who have experienced money trauma. Can you explain, one, what money trauma is? We’ve talked about it a little bit. But also, two, how brain spotting can help manage money mindset blocks and money trauma.

Nancy: So, money trauma can look like something that has happened to us. It could look like you were in a financially abusive relationship, for example. It could look like you lost your job, lost housing. So, it could be something that happened to you. But we can also talk about generational trauma, while we’re talking about money trauma, and we can look at how our parents grew up. Did they grow up in poverty? Did they grow up with housing insecurity? Were they on food stamps or some kind of government assistance? And did that trauma get passed down to us? Do we store that in our bodies? Because as we know, trauma is stored in our bodies and so there is only so much that we can do in traditional talk therapy, especially when it relates to childhood trauma, we know that there are certain things that we cannot remember. And even when something traumatic happens to us as adults, we know that our minds are amazing and they protect us from something that we don’t want to remember.

And so, what we do with brain spotting is that it access is a different part of the brain. So, when we’re doing traditional talk therapy and accessing the prefrontal cortex, that’s all well and good, but there’s only so much that we can access. But with brain spotting, it allows us to access the sub cortical region of the brain, oftentimes where the trauma is stored. If you picture like in a little capsule and sometimes, we can’t access certain things. And so with brain spotting, it helps us to safely go there so that we can release the trauma from our bodies. Because our trauma shows up in different ways. Sometimes it shows up as memories. Sometimes it shows up as something in the body, even chronic pain or just some kind of back pain that even if it’s just comes and goes, but we know that when we’re extra stressed or we’re feeling triggered by some kind of event, then we start to feel that pain or that sensation.

So, with brain spotting it’s a very gentle type of approach it actually came from an EMDR therapist who actually noticed when he was working with the client there was something there. There was some kind of block. She was a figure skater. She couldn’t land. I think it was a triple loop and he thought like there might be some trauma, something that’s blocking her from doing this. And he realized that with EMDR It’s about the eye movement, right? But he realized that there was a particular spot that she kind of kept going to. And I think she was the one who finally said, can we stop there? And she just wanted to keep her gaze on a particular spot. And he realized that when he said, yes, like, let’s stay there, all of a sudden, she was able to access a different part of the brain and go to a childhood traumatic experience. And actually, process it there and after doing some work on that same spot for some time, was actually able to process it enough and eventually land that triple loop. So, it was amazing that there was something hidden there, something that she couldn’t access. And even EMDR, I think is so powerful and I love EMDR. But the difference that I see between EMDR and brain spotting is that brain spotting is a quicker there’s less setup involved. And there’s just more flexibility and how we can use brain spotting so I sometimes use it in groups during workshops. I often use it online or in person. We can use it with dogs, with adults, with babies, you can use it in so many different ways. I sometimes use it to help clients regulate, if they’re, you know, talking really fast, they’re highly anxious at the beginning of our session, I might just say, do you want to start our session with five minutes, just five minutes of brain spotting. And that just helps them same as a meditation would. So sometimes it helps with the grounding.

But as far as with money trauma, I’ve realized that it helps quite a bit with processing that money trauma as well, because oftentimes we don’t remember or we don’t really think about what happened to our parents and in terms of money trauma that is now stored in our bodies and showing up when we sit down to look at our finances. Looking at my finances was something that I was always terrified to do, terrified. And I could feel that anxiety coming up. And even when things were good and I knew that it wasn’t going to be something scary to actually open my accounts and look at things. And yet I didn’t want to do it. And there was so much avoidance. And so actually working with this financial coach and working with my own therapist and actually examining this money trauma, where does it come from? That’s when I finally was like, okay, yeah, it’s all related to what my parents have been through, what I’ve been through and doing some brain spotting on that has been really helpful as well because I’ve actually been able to see like, okay, yeah, for me, it’s in my chest. And this shows up, I know, as the breathing. So anytime that I do brain spotting and I bring up money issues, financial anxiety, it goes back to the money trauma. And right away I notice activation in my chest. So, brain spotting is about lowering that activation level. And so, it is very gentle. So, when we start brain spotting, we usually check in with the client and say, what is that activation level like when you think about that issue? On a scale of 1 to 10. And the goal is actually to have lowered the activation level. And it’s so interesting that usually it does lower. And even if we’re talking about something really heavy, something really traumatic, it’s interesting that it will at least lower from a seven to maybe a five. Sometimes I’m just amazed that a client will just find that peace or that gratitude or they’ll find that resourcefulness, that resilience within them. And they’ll say, wow, yeah, I’ve been through so much. And sometimes it’s just acknowledging that. Acknowledging that our bodies are holding so much trauma, so much pain, so much suffering, and just validating that. And so sometimes, yeah, we are able to lower that activation level. So, it can be helpful with so many different issues. I’ve used it for so many different things.

I host a workshop called brain spotting and racial trauma. So, I’ve used it for that. I’ve used it in how to raise your private practice fees with confidence workshops. I’ve used it in so many different ways. And it’s interesting that even people who have no therapist training or background and haven’t ever heard of brain spotting, but they do notice, you know, like, oh yeah, when I look to the left, there’s different activation. I’m thinking of, okay, I’m seeing some memories come up, like it’s visions or images. When I look to the center, oh, I noticed something in my body. Maybe it’s in my back or my chest, but I noticed something. When I look to the right, it could be totally different. Or it could be like, no, there’s nothing there. It’s blank. And so just, actually tuning into your body, I think is really important so we can slowly start to realize. Okay. Yeah, there’s trauma there. There’s something there. Stay there, process it in a safe manner so that we can hopefully move past that. And there’s not so much financial anxiety.

Kayla: That’s fabulous you shared some of these things with us because even going back to kind of money mindset issues, showing that some of the therapeutic approaches that we use can actually be used to help support us through some of these business blocks or money blocks. Because I think as therapists, we don’t always connect the money mindset blocks to money trauma. This is really important for us to understand.

Additional Insights

Do you have any additional advice, insights, or tips for listeners who might be struggling with money mindset blocks or money trauma that have been preventing them from moving forward to a specific stage in their practice growth?

Nancy: I would recommend actually sitting down and processing what it actually looks like for you. How it shows up for you in your life. Maybe how it shows up for you in your body. I gave a very specific example for myself that it shows up with difficulty breathing. But actually, taking some time to look at okay, does this show up for me? How does financial anxiety show up for me? Is it avoidance with looking at finances? Is it in my chest? Is it actually that I start to notice some back pain as soon as I sit down and look at my finances? How does it show up in your body? How does it show up in your relationships? Have you ever ended relationships with friends, with family members, or kept your distance because of some argument or fight over money? I think that’s very common as well. And oftentimes it is that our money trauma or financial anxiety comes up when all of a sudden there’s some discussion some debate even some injustice around money.

For example, right now I’m fighting with my landlord over a hot water issue that they don’t want to fix and so I know that that’s bringing up a lot for me, because I just think well, I’m paying so much in rent and I don’t even have hot water all the time. And so, and I know that I’ve experienced injustice in the past in my own life, my parents have, and definitely related to money sometimes. So, I know that, okay, it makes sense that I’m getting activated again. So actually, looking at it, connecting the dots from a cognitive level. But then if you do examine something with your body, maybe experimenting with some somatic approach, like brain spotting, trying to process it that way. So, working with the therapist, working with the financial coach, I think oftentimes there’s so much going on in our lives that we don’t even think about doing this type of work in therapy, and that’s the feedback that I’ve gotten from a lot of people is that, oh, I never would have thought to bring up money things with my therapist.

And I think that even that is interesting because I think a lot of clients are sometimes uncomfortable to actually tell us that they’re struggling financially. And it’s kind of a good thing because if they care about us and they don’t want us to feel bad, because I don’t know if this has happened to you, but it’s happened to me that sometimes I do feel guilty when a client is telling me that they’re struggling financially. And my first thought is, oh my God, and here they are paying for therapy when they are struggling to pay their bills and they’re stressed. And am I just adding to that stress? And so, we start to feel that guilt. And so, I’ve seen some of that working on our own money mindset can help us actually show up in a much better way for our clients. Because I think it’s apparent which therapists have done that money mindset work and which ones have not, because I think even if you see a therapist and you start to tell them like I’m really struggling with money I’m stressed I don’t know if I can pay these bills or not. And all they do is kind of nod sympathetically as in all, we’re all experiencing this cost-of-living crisis. Like this is something that’s out of your control. It’s out of my control. There’s nothing really to do. Then I think that that often means that they haven’t done their own work to actually be able to explore with them. Like, okay, like let’s talk about money trauma. Let’s talk about money blocks. Like let’s do some activities. And I think that I’ve really been able to help clients in that way when they do bring something like this up, because now I’ve done my own work and I’m able to help them in that way too. So, if it helps to kind of have that reframe of doing your own money mindset work will help you become a better therapist and help you better help your clients. Sometimes I think that we need that kind of reframe because as therapists, we’re always kind of putting ourselves on the back burner, putting ourselves last. Making sure that we’re investing everything in our business and are in our professional development and oftentimes our personal development or personal growth, our own therapy, our own self-care goes all the way to the back burner and stays there for so long. So, if you actually think about how related they are, and if you do your own money mindset work, you can actually help clients. Because yes, it is true. There is a cost-of-living crisis right now around the world. Everyone is struggling. So, odds are you’re going to continue to get clients bringing these issues up and you want to be able to help them with their own financial anxiety without you being triggered and/or just being like, okay, well, we’re all kind of going through this because that’s not as helpful as you actually doing the work with them. Or even alongside them.

Brainspotting and Racial Trauma Workshop

Kayla: So, Nancy, you’ve actually talked about your workshop, Brainspotting and Racial Trauma. Can you share a little bit about this workshop and how it can help listeners if they enroll?

Nancy: Yeah, definitely. I think that racial trauma is one of those topics that is still a bit taboo. Definitely we didn’t learn about it in grad school. And I saw a theme, I think, two years ago that almost all of my clients were coming to me talking about microaggressions in the workplace, racism in the workplace, or even outside of the workplace. A lot of them were in interracial relationships or marriages, and they just didn’t feel like they had that safe space to really talk about what it really was. It was this racial trauma. And I started to use brain spotting to help them with that. And I saw that it is something so helpful because oftentimes what we are taught is CBT. And some of us know and some of us don’t, so I won’t assume, but the problem with using CBT with issues like racism is that we can’t tell people to change their thoughts and beliefs about experiencing racism. Like racism is a systemic issue and so CBT will do more harm than good when using it with racial trauma, racism or microaggressions. So, I felt at a bit of a loss, but once I realized that brain spotting could actually help clients process that trauma that’s been stored in their bodies and actually start to find that resource within themselves. Because we talk quite often about generational trauma. We talk about historical trauma, ancestral trauma. We don’t often talk about generational strengths or generational wisdom or the resilience that has been passed down from our ancestors, from our grandparents, from our parents that we can tap into as well. And so, what I noticed is that with these workshops, I could actually help therapists to then provide this much needed service to their clients who may be struggling with healing from racial trauma. So, tapping into those resources.

Oftentimes my clients, when they’re processing racial trauma and we’re in a brain spotting session, they’re able to actually picture those ancestors and actually have them hold them, have them provide those words of wisdom that they need to hear. Actually, look at what is it that they need? What can they provide for them? And so, it’s just been something really beautiful. And it’s something that I’m happy and proud to say that has reached so many four corners of the world. We’ve had therapists join from all over the world, and it’s just been amazing. You know, therapists of color. allies. It’s just been beautiful to see that so many therapists are interested. I usually just promoted in a therapist Facebook groups. And I’m always just kind of blown away that even after the workshop passes, people are still DMing me and commenting and saying, when’s the next one? When’s the next one?

So, I’ve actually decided to turn it into a program as well that I’m calling From Colonialism to Connection, because I think that it is. It’s about decolonizing mental health, about learning, not just about racial trauma, but learning about some of these other things that we don’t learn about in grad school. So, learning how, as therapist of color, we can feel empowered with money. Learning a bit more about generational trauma. Learning about ancestral trauma, historical trauma. There are going to be so many components to this program that I just thought, you know what? There’s so much interest in this workshop because it’s something that we aren’t taught in grad school. And I know that there are so many topics that I just said, okay, instead of doing one off workshops and having people always ask me when’s the next one. Let’s do this beautiful program where we can heal in community through that connection where we can actually find each other. And begin to heal from everything that we’ve experienced and learn how we can use that as strengths to then help our clients heal from those experiences as well. And having that language. Learning about that language, being in community with other people who may know a little bit about this, a little bit about that. It’s about coming together. So that’s a bit about my program.

Kayla: I love it. So, to sign up for Nancy’s workshop, Brainspotting and Racial Trauma, check out kayladas.com/nancydiazbrainspottingworkshop

Or you can simply scroll down to the show notes and click on the link.


Nancy, thank you so much for joining us today and providing us such great insights on how to manage and overcome money mindset blocks and trauma so that we can move forward with growing and scaling our practices.

Nancy: Thank you so much for having me.

Kayla: Thank you everyone for tuning in to today’s episode and I hope you join me again soon on the Designer Practice Podcast.

Until next time, bye for now.

Podcast Links

Nancy’s Brainspotting and Racial Trauma Workshop: kayladas.com/nancydiazbrainspottingworkshop

Free Boosting Business Community: facebook.com/groups/exclusiveprivatepracticecommunity

Designer Practice Digital Template Shop: designerpractice.etsy.com

PESI Trainings: kayladas.com/pesi

Credits & Disclaimers

Music by ItsWatR from Pixabay

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