Decolonizing through Connection with Silvana Espinoza Lau
“I’d rather stay in what I know, in my comfort zone, because it’s so comfy as opposed to going into my learning zone where I can realize that things can be different. I can have a different relationship to money, to my practice, and to everything I do.
“And that gives you so much more space and so much more energy to do things. It allows you to continue thinking differently in a way that is not harming anybody. It is pushing against the system as it is, but it allows you to have so much more space and a healthier relationship with everyone and everything that you are interacting with.”
~Silvana Espinoza Lau
Meet Silvana Espinoza Lau
Silvana Espinoza Lau is a psychotherapist and clinical supervisor in private practice as well as an embodied liberation coach for mental health clinicians. Silvana supports mental health professionals who want to incorporate liberation focused and anti-oppressive values in their practices in an embodied way.
In this Episode...
Have you considered the connection between oppressive systems and our relationship to money? What can marginalized therapists do to be empowered while still existing within these systems? In this thought-provoking episode, Linzy and guest Silvana Espinoza Lau examine the impact of messaging and systemic pressures on marginalized therapists.
Linzy and Silvana explore the connection between implicit and overt messaging and therapists’ relationship to money. Silvana shares practical ways to push against systemic oppression while also increasing personal and professional well-being.
Connect with Silvana
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Silvana [00:00:07] I’d rather stay in what I know in my comfort zone. Right. Because it’s so comfy as opposed to going to my learning zone where I can realize things can be different and they can have a different relationship to, again, to money, to my practice, to everything that I do. And that gives you so much more space and it gives you so much more energy to do things and to continue thinking differently in a way that it’s not harming anybody. It’s pushing against the system as it is, but it just allows you to have so much more space and a healthier relationship with everyone and everything that you are interacting with.
Linzy [00:00:58] Welcome to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast, where we answer this question: How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion, to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host Linzy Bonham therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills For Therapists. Hello and welcome back to the podcast. Before we get into the episode today, first of all, disclaimer, I will say that as you can hear, I’m a little bit sick, so be prepared for that today. My voice is a little bit off and I wanted to share a review from Apple Podcasts because I so appreciate when you folks leave the reviews that one of our listeners left. The review is titled Informative Podcast. They write: the podcast has been such a blessing and is so needed. The strategies have been helpful and Linzy’s eloquence, empathy, and constructive approach is so refreshing. This topic is so needed. Thank you so much to the listener who left that review. It means a lot to me. And I say this at the end of the episode a lot, but you know, you’ve probably stopped hearing it at this point. Leaving reviews is really the best way for other folks to find us on the podcast platform on Apple Podcasts. So if you are enjoying the podcast and you could take a minute to go leave even just a short little review, I really appreciate it. Today’s episode is a conversation with Silvana Espinoza Lau. She is a psychotherapist and a clinical supervisor in private practice, and she’s also an embodied liberation coach for mental health clinicians. She supports mental health professionals who want to incorporate liberation-focused and anti-oppressive values into their practices in an embodied way. And this is very much what we got into today. Silvana and I talked about specifically BIPOC and marginalized therapists, their relationships to money, some of the specific messages that folks get around money in those communities. We talked about the silence around money and how it keeps these systems in place. Like the silence is not accidental. And we also got into perfectionism and shame and not-good-enough. All these things that impact all sorts of folks, of all sorts of identities, the self included, that are actually part of these bigger systems and help to keep these bigger oppressive systems in place. It was a really interesting conversation, kind of coming to some of the topics that I feel like I explore with my students, that I’ve explored before, but in a new way. And with this lens, I really enjoyed this conversation with Silvana. Here is my conversation with Silvana Espinosa Lau. Silvana, welcome to the podcast.
Silvana [00:03:45] Thank you for having me, Linzy.
Linzy [00:03:47] Yeah, I’m really excited to have you. So before we dig in today, we’ve got – I’m really excited about what we’re going to chat about today. But let’s talk a little bit first about the work that you do for people who might not have heard of you yet.
Silvana [00:03:58] Sure. Yeah. So I am a marriage and family therapist in the state of Oregon. So I have a small caseload and I do therapy with people of color in particular, and people of other marginalized identities. I am also a clinical supervisor in the state of Oregon, and I am also a consultant and a coach because of the experiences that I have had personally and professionally. I decided to expand the type of wellness services that I can offer, and I also coach other clinicians who want to incorporate social justice values in their practices.
Linzy [00:04:38] Great. Awesome. And I think that’s often how, you know, whether you want to call it like a side hustle or like your expanded offers. Like that’s often how it grows, right, is like out of our own experiences or like identifying where the holes are for us.
Silvana [00:04:51] Exactly.
Linzy [00:04:52] We step in to do the work that we also have needed.
Silvana [00:04:55] Yes.
Linzy [00:04:55] So I’m curious then, from your experience and your perspective, what affects BIPOC or otherwise marginalized clinicians’ relationship with money specifically?
Silvana [00:05:05] Yeah, yeah, that’s a great question. And yes, that question applies both to BIPOC clinicians and to clinicians of marginalized identities as well. And I think that’s one of the many things that affect that relationship, is the fact that for people with marginalized identities, the idea of imposter syndrome is way, way bigger. The idea of, I have to work harder than my peer who has privilege identities – whatever those privileged identities are whether it’s the fact that you are a white person, a white clinician, or the fact that you have a PhD, so you have educational privilege, or if you have financial privilege or any other of the privileges that you can have, right? You can feel that you have to work harder, that you have to work longer hours, that you have to prove your worth, that you have to prove that you know the same things and that you have to adapt and even code switch to what the norm is in our society and by our society. I am assuming we’re both talking about American society, right? With all the normative expectations that we have in culture, in our culture right now. So it’s like I subconsciously feel or I have been given this message that I have to adapt to that norm in order to succeed in that norm. And because I am not that norm, I have these extra hoops that I have to jump through and I have this extra energy that I need to spend. And that definitely impacts the relationship that a clinician can have with money.
Linzy [00:06:48] So with that imposter syndrome or imposter phenomenon affecting, you know, BIPOC and marginalized therapists so much more, what would that actually look like in the relationship to money? Like what what would actually kind of be some examples of how that’s going to be showing up for them?
Silvana [00:07:04] I think that one very clear example – and this comes not just from the fact that some of us have more marginalized identities and others – is the messages that we have received. It’s this idea, for instance, for all of us or for most of us, I am assuming people who have been through grad school to go to mental health or, you know, some profession that has to do with serving others. It’s this idea that we are here to serve others, but we’re not here to make money. Right? And if the first example that we have right out of grad school, in practicum or in our internships, is you’re here to learn, but I’m not going to pay you what you deserve.
Linzy [00:07:48] Yes, right, Right.
Silvana [00:07:49] You have to have a certain productivity. You have to work certain hours. You have to meet this quota of this many clients per day. And all of these clients with all these experiences. And we are supposed to do it all. So we already learn this expectation of I have to give myself and they have to put other people first and I have to put my clients first before me. And in the case of people with marginalized identities, I am already code switching in this world where I am not the norm. And on top of that, I have to put others first. My clients. Right. Or I have received a similar message to that. My clients are very important. I need to help them if there is a crisis. I am supposed to answer that phone call even if it’s 7 p.m. at night, right? Yeah, because it’s their well-being. So it’s this idea of putting other people first and this idea of, I have to do this so that I can prove that I am worthy of this position or that I am worthy of graduating, or so that I have this experience on my resumé, on my CV, so that so-and-so agency will hire me. And of course, that expectation is bigger implicitly for people of marginalized identities. And that’s so huge. That’s some extra energy. The connections are expanding.
Linzy [00:09:17] Yeah. When you’re saying this, I was an EMDR clinician when I used to practice, and there’s this list in EMDR of like negative cognitions, which I didn’t really use once I became a more like, experienced clinician, but like, I remember that list and as you’re saying this, like, I’m thinking about the belief, like, I am not important. Right. And the way that you know, that belief or, you know, side versions of that belief, like I’m not worthy or I don’t have worth or how those are just being reinforced over and over again for folks through marginalization in the first place and through that, you know, the messages, the subtle, systemic and overt messages that you’re getting. But then also through the training that you get that gets layered on top of that, which just reinforces like, you’re not important. But then as you’re pointing out, and what I think I’m hearing, is then you have to work even harder or accomplish more to get what the privileged person next to you, the person who has more points of privilege to you, is going to get. So it just seems like everything is- I shouldn’t say everything, that’s that’s a little bit over-encompassing, but like, it’s stacked against you.
Silvana [00:10:19] Exactly.
Linzy [00:10:20] Right. Like, you’re- the way that you work is so much going to be to your own self-sacrifice.
Silvana [00:10:25] Exactly.
Linzy [00:10:26] Because of these different pressures. Yeah. With that, you started to talk about our training. Like, what messages do you think that clinicians in general get about money and about being business owners like, you know, within the bigger systems, one of them being capitalism.
Silvana [00:10:42] For sure. For sure. I don’t remember a single class in grad school that would generate the discussion of, Let’s talk about money. Right. Whether you are going to private practice or you’re going to work for an agency. Nobody talked about money in grad school. And for some of us, nobody talked about money in college. And for some of us, nobody talked about money in our families. So we have all these different layers of nobody ever talked about money. And how is that possible in a capitalist society? It feels like such a double bind to me. I am supposed to live in this system that is a capitalist system, whether I like it or not, whether I agree with it or not. So I am supposed to think of money day in and day out, but I cannot have those conversations and I don’t have those conversations in grad school. I guess the fact that there is not a message – that in and of itself is a message, right? Is we don’t talk about money. We talk about helping people. And we talk about – at least my experience – this is what community mental health is and this is what private practice is and this is what group practice looks like. And we highly suggest that you start with this or that you do this or that. You get this experience or, you know, these are the evidence-based practices and that is all good, but there’s not a conversation about money ever. There’s not a conversation about you should not equate your worth to how much you’re making, and you should still make a very decent salary. I never received that message in grad school or elsewhere. Therefore, that was a non-message message that I have received. And I think that most of my colleagues have also received either in grad school or as they were going through their professional development.
Linzy [00:12:41] Yeah. To really clarify it, like what is the non-message message that you think we get through that silence?
Silvana [00:12:47] We don’t talk about money, right?
Linzy [00:12:49] Right.
Silvana [00:12:50] Yeah. Just don’t talk about money.
Linzy [00:12:53] Because what I mean, what it makes me think about too, and like, you know, capitalism as a whole thing unto itself. And I- it’s been a while since I’ve done some in-depth reading about capitalist theory, but it does make me think in a very general sense, how there’s kind of like people who, like, strive and win in capitalism by like having others who they’re pushing down and then those who are being pushed down. And I’m like, if you’re of the class that doesn’t talk about money, you’re probably the ones who are supposed to be not making money, and the ones who are supposed to be like kind of being exploited, right? If we want to be very simplistic, exploit or be exploited. Yeah, we are certainly not being set up to exploit others for sure. But in doing so, then there’s like this, as you say, like we do also need money though, to live.
Silvana [00:13:34] Of course.
Linzy [00:13:35] Right. And so there’s a contradiction there. You know, it’s like, exactly. We don’t want to get into the thing where we think that we’re only worth- you only have a successful practice if you’re making six figures or if you’re, you know, heading these certain like lifestyle, these materialistic goals. But at the same time, we know that we need money to be well and to navigate the world that we live in.
Silvana [00:13:55] For sure. For sure. And I do think that it’s so hypocritical, the fact that for some people, because of the messages that we have received, for some people, it’s okay to make money, right? We have these millionaires, billionaires, making money and investing and, you know, all the things that they do. And yeah, we can criticize them and- period. We criticize them, but they continue making money. But what about us? I think that there’s nothing wrong with changing our relationship to money and there’s nothing wrong with creating generational wealth, for instance. To me, the idea is if I am going to live in a capitalist society because I just cannot move to, you know, to my plot of land and live off the land, if that is not a possibility, if I have to live within these systems, I will try to make- I would want to make the system work in my favor. And how can I, if you will, reappropriate that system so that it benefits me and it benefits the people around me in a good way. What’s wrong with me making more money and so that I, in turn, I can be a better clinician, in my case, have more space, have more energy, to serve the people that I want to serve and serve them better, and have enough money so that I can rest, so that I can be creative, so that I can think of other ways in which I can help others and be even more creative and have more space to think of other ways in which I can invest that money still in benefit of my community, which is what I want to do. And I think it’s possible. And I know that I’m not the only one doing that. So I think that, again, it’s so hypocritical that for some people it seems to be okay that they have this money and they can continue investing and they are educated about money. But that is not our reality. Like how can that happen if we are both existing within the same system?
Linzy [00:16:02] Yeah. And I mean, what it makes me think about too, as you’re saying, that is like I think sometimes it’s easy to get into this very simplistic narrative about like money’s bad look at like Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk and like, what are they doing to make the world better? Good questions.
Silvana [00:16:19] A very good question.
Linzy [00:16:19] You know, but it’s like you look at a fortune like that and the money that that one person is amassed could drastically change the quality of life and the well-being of community. Of literally hundreds of thousands of people. What this one person individual has amassed. And it’s like there is so much potential in that money when it gets into the hands of people who- like making the difference between a household bringing in $40,000 a year and $100,000 a year is a massive quality of life difference. It brings down the stress in that household. It builds up the opportunity and supports for the children of that household. You know, it’s like positive ripple effects outwards. And it’s not the same as the immense amassing of wealth on the far end of somebody who could never actually possibly get more enjoyment out of money than they’ve already got because they have multi-billions.
Silvana [00:17:10] Exactly.
Linzy [00:17:12] At that point, the money is having no more positive impact. But if you think about all the households, that would benefit immensely from 100,000 more a year, it’s a different- it’s almost like a completely different situation. The way that that money work is going to work in those different circumstances. And yet we’re all within the same system. And it’s like we were feeling bad because we want to make $100,000 a year.
Silvana [00:17:34] Yes. Yes.
Linzy [00:17:35] But somebody over here is making 300 million a year or even a billion a year. So, yeah, there’s kind of almost like a different set of ethics that’s being put on people.
Silvana [00:17:43] Completely, completely right. And we’re supposed to be the ones who are so ethical. And we have these boards and, you know, all these institutions and agencies to ensure that we are acting and behaving ethically. But again, there’s not a conversation about money really for clinicians. And I think we should have. I think the fact that there’s not a conversation is also very oppressive. It’s you know, how again, for those Jeff Bezos, as you were saying, for those Elon Musk’s, it’s okay, but why it’s not okay for us, I think that’s very oppressive. You know, we should be able to have those conversations. We should be able to make it okay that I want to, I don’t know, I want to leave my 9 to 5 and they want to go into private practice or I have enough energy to create change within my 9 to 5 job in, you know, community mental health. That should be an okay conversation to have.
Linzy [00:18:40] Yeah. And I think, you know, as we’re talking about this, it also makes you think about how having these conversations is powerful because you are pushing against the silence. Like that silence is part of what keeps things the way that they are.
Silvana [00:18:52] Yes, completely. Completely. Yeah. When you talk about pushing against the silence, it reminds me of even in private practice, if you’re working, if you’re a panel with insurance companies, you are not- you sign an agreement that says you are not supposed to share your rate with other clinicians, right? You’re not supposed to talk about your rate. And at some point I thought, well, yeah, that makes sense. But does it make sense? Really? Isn’t that also oppressive? Can’t I talk about what is my fee compared to your fee?
Linzy [00:19:23] Mmhmm.
Silvana [00:19:24] To make sure that we are being paid a fair amount. Yeah. Because if I know how much you make and it’s way less than what I make – again, doesn’t equate my worth. Right. But still, can I go to that company, to that insurance company and request for, for an increase. But if I don’t know.
Linzy [00:19:41] Yeah, that silence is disempowering, right? Yes. It kind of keeps people apart. And it almost makes me think like, you know, because I’m thinking about capitalism right now and it makes me think almost like they’re stopping you from unionizing.
Silvana [00:19:52] Exactly.
Linzy [00:19:53] Right. They’re stopping the clinicians from getting together and being like, just a second, why is this person getting 87 and this person’s getting 77? That’s not fair. That doesn’t make sense.
Silvana [00:20:00] Completely.
Linzy [00:20:01] That silence keeps people apart.
Silvana [00:20:03] Exactly. Exactly. Which is, again, very. Very oppressive, Right? The idea of oppression is the fact that you are over here in your world and I am over here in my world, but we’re not together in community supporting each other so that we can effect positive change, whatever that looks like. Right. And that silence really is detrimental to community and to being together and to connecting.
Linzy [00:20:28] Absolutely. Yeah. So another piece, you know, thinking about oppressive systems is is white supremacy. And I’m curious from your perspective, like, how does capitalism and also white supremacy, how does that affect the relationships that clinicians can have to money and to being successful when they have actually done the work to build up a successful practice?
Silvana [00:20:50] Yeah. Yeah, that’s a great question. And again, I think it’s tied to what we have, what we’ve been talking about because at least for clinicians, right, the idea of existence within a white supremacy culture, it’s the idea of we have grown up and we have received this message that there is a norm, right. For clinicians it’s the fact that we all learn, or 99% of us, if not 100% of us, we learn Western white psychology and we live in a Western white patriarchal system, right? And it’s not until someone points that out that we realize sometimes that we realize that something is wrong or it’s not until we are experiencing so many illnesses and so many stressors that we realize that something is wrong. So I think that capitalism and that white supremacy culture also affects us, affects us as clinicians and especially clinicians of marginalized identities, because it’s again, it’s this pushback of this is the norm and this is how things are supposed to be and this is how therapy is supposed to be done. And they serve the expectations and the requirements, and this is how you should conduct yourself and this is how you’re supposed to be professional. And these are the conversations that you can have and these are the conversations that you cannot have.
Linzy [00:22:20] Right.
Silvana [00:22:20] Right. So, again, as a clinician, maybe in the beginning, I don’t realize that I am doing this, but I am code switching to fit this norm of the – I will say it again – of the evidence-based practice and a treatment that lasts a 10 to 30 sessions or, you know, this very many hours of work. And the fact that I am not supposed to talk about money or I should not prioritize money because shame on me for thinking of money. I should be thinking about my clients and I should be thinking about the next training that I am going to take.
Linzy [00:22:58] Right.
Silvana [00:22:59] So that I continue my professional development. So I think it’s very tied to what we were talking about before, and it is very toxic because again, I have nothing against evidence based practices. They are very useful for certain people. Right? And I have nothing against the ten session treatment. It’s also very useful depending on the challenge that you have. And I have nothing against the fact that you may be more or less open to talking about money, but as long as you are educated around money, that’s that’s great, right? But it’s the fact that we have these expectations from the culture and from the system and from the norms. And I think that we should question those expectations. And I should have this conversation with myself of, am I okay with this or not? And if I am not okay, what can I do different that is not harming others, right? Because as long as it’s not harming others, why can’t I do things differently? Or why can’t I operate differently? Or why can’t I have a different relationship to my practice, to money, to myself, to my clients, etc., etc., etc.?
Linzy [00:24:10] Mm hmm. Yeah. I mean, when you’re talking about- I’m kind of picturing as like, you know, white supremacy is like this box and it’s like, stay in the box. You can’t step outside the box because anything outside of the box is lesser-than.
Silvana [00:24:21] Exactly.
Linzy [00:24:22] A certain way of doing things and evidence based practice. And, you know, I remember thinking back in the day when I was practicing like, well, yeah, but who has the money to pay for evidence, right? Like, which, which modalities get the funding to gather evidence to be evidence-based design. Like who are they benefiting? Exactly. You know, like these, these bigger questions, it’s like, you know, the white supremacy is like, get in the box. Don’t think about it. Don’t talk about it. And if you are deviating from this, you’re not good. You’re not as good. You know, you’re lesser-than and like, yeah, it’s something else that I, you know, was also kind of coming into mind as you were talking about. This is- I saw a list of like the tenets of white supremacy, and one of them is perfectionism, right? Like, that’s one of the things that holds it in place. And like, that’s something I see so much. Clinicians struggle with this. It’s like needing to be perfect, needing to be good, like not even wanting to work on their relationship with money because it’s like it’s such a mess. It’s embarrassing. It’s shameful. I don’t know what I’m doing, so I’m just going to stay over here where I’m good at this thing because I need to be perfect. I need to be perfect, like the tightness that comes with that and like the lack of connection or curiosity or like, willingness to kind of like, learn and stumble and feel your way through something is also part of white supremacist culture. You’re not allowed to deviate or make mistakes.
Silvana [00:25:38] Definitely.
Linzy [00:25:39] Or be like a work in progress.
Silvana [00:25:41] Oh, yes, work in progress. I love that. Yeah, I bet that many of us have Googled, you know, white supremacy culture or the what is it, the iceberg, I believe they call it, of white supremacy culture. On top you have like racism and all of this big -isms and phobias. But in the bottom or under the surface, you have things such as perfectionism, right? That some of us may think, well, of course, that sounds like a good idea. I am trying to be better day after day, but the idea of perfectionism is so unattainable, and it’s the idea of being perfect compared to this norm again. Right. And it’s a norm that not everybody fits. Right?
Linzy [00:26:24] Exactly. Yes.
Silvana [00:26:25] I am not white. If I am not neurotypical, if I am not sane, if I am not, you know, a citizen, etc. and so many more things, then I am not going to fit that idea of the norm. And so this perfectionism becomes so unhealthy. Right. And like you’re saying, I can feel so much shame because of the things that I don’t know and that I am assuming that others know. And yeah, I’d rather stay here in in what I know in my comfort zone. Right. Because it’s so comfy as opposed to going to my learning zone where I can realize things can be different and they can have a different relationship to again, to money, to my practice, to everything that I do. And that gives you so much more space and it gives you so much more energy to do things and to continue thinking differently in a way that it’s not harming anybody. It’s pushing against the system as it is, you know, but it just allows you to have so much more space and a healthier relationship with everyone and everything that you are interacting with.
Linzy [00:27:33] Yeah, I mean, like a word that you’ve said multiple times during our conversation is like, like connection. And I think so much of what, you know, we’re talking about today with like capitalism and white supremacy and and even I think our lack of education around money, there’s like lack of connection, connection, lack of connection to self, to your community, maybe even to your clients, because you’re practicing in a way that’s not authentic to you or that’s not going to reach them because it’s within certain norms that don’t fit for them. And I’m curious, like, is connection an antidote for some of these systems or are there other things you think about that are like, you know what? Like what do we would have folks do instead? And I say “we” and it’s not an equal “we”, right, like as you’re talking about perfectionism, like I’m looking at my extremely pale face on our recording and it’s like as you were talking earlier about that, like imposter syndrome and like needing to strive and be more and do more, that’s not equal across the board, right? Like I as a white person start way ahead in terms of being ideal or perfect or like being able to be recognized as successful than so many other folks. Right. But I’m curious like, yeah, what do you see as, as the balance to this or what are, what are folks to do to offset living in these systems?
Silvana [00:28:47] It may sound simple, but I think that the balance is finding connection and relationships and community. And by connection I mean connection to everyone and everything. Right. And I don’t mean I need to find a best friend and I need to find a buddy or I need to find a peer. We think of connection and we think of relationships as other people or the people around me and sometimes myself, right? I definitely need to be in connection with myself. I need to know what I need, what I want. I need to know what my boundaries are. The things that we discuss with our clients. Right? I need to apply that to myself as well. I need to be in connection with the people around me, whether those are family members or friends or my coworkers. And I am not saying befriend everyone. But the idea of being in connection is understanding who this person is, understanding what my identities are, maybe not understanding or experiencing the identities of my coworkers or peers or friends, but understanding that there’s a gap between me and them. Right. And understanding that because of that gap, I have had a certain set of experiences and they have had a certain set of experiences. Neither is better or worse than the other. It’s just a set of experiences that we’ve had, and those experiences are either more privileged or less privileged, right? But we don’t think about our relation sometimes. We don’t think about our relationship to things, right? My relationship to my practice and my relationship to the board and my relationship to this set of rules from my governing body, the ACA or the Social Worker Association or the one for LMFTs. And I don’t think of my relationship to money or to all the other things that I need in my practice, right? How am I feeling towards that and how are my paths or my different identities feeling towards that? What are the messages that I have received? How would I like to change that relationship in a way that would make me more content or more satisfied with the values that I hold? So that is something that we sometimes don’t think about, right? So again, I’m not talking about necessarily befriending everyone, but just being in connection because then I can understand better what the other person needs, what I need, what are my- again, the boundaries that I want to set and the needs that I have. And I think that’s very important to be in community, to be in connection, because then they can understand that I am not alone, that I’m not the imposter, that people around me are also dealing with perfectionism and- just like group therapy, maybe that can help decrease the shame or the guilt or the frustration or whatever other feeling that I am having. I can understand that those feelings are more universal and that it is more about the systems that I am living in. It is not about the people so much, but about the systems and how we have made that system so okay when it shouldn’t. And that would empower me to actually question the system as opposed to question myself. Right. So I start thinking maybe there’s nothing wrong with me, maybe there’s everything wrong with the system that I am living in that is asking so many things of me that don’t make sense.
Linzy [00:32:17] Absolutely. Yeah. And it makes me think about earlier you mentioned, you know, about like, insurance companies, not you’re not supposed to communicate with a neighbor next to you, like your peers, about your fees. And it’s like, yeah. Because when we do that, we realize like, oh, there’s this weird, unfair thing happening here that’s not actually because of me. Like, I’m not only getting paid $55 an hour because I’m a bad clinician and I can’t support my family and all these things that these shame spirals that we can expect. But like, oh, there’s like this uneven kind of injust system at play. That by connecting with others, you could actually illuminate that experience rather than having you be the problem.
Silvana [00:32:57] Mm hmm. Yes. Yes. If we are in isolation, we can start thinking that we are the problem or that there’s something wrong with us. Right. But if we are connected, we can start realizing that, oh, there are other people unfortunately having the same or a similar experience to the one that I am having. Therefore, what’s the thing that needs to change here? Is it us? Or is it the, you know, the systems in place that we’re living in?
Linzy [00:33:23] Right. Yeah. The problem is not that you are not good enough.
Silvana [00:33:27] Exactly.
Linzy [00:33:27] Yeah. Yes, yes, yes. Silvana, thank you so much for joining me today. Of course, if folks are listening, want to get further into your world, where’s the best place for them to find you?
Silvana [00:33:38] Sure they can find me at WWW dot seventh self consulting dot com or they can also find me on Instagram and my handle there is Decolonize your practice.
Linzy [00:33:54] That’s a great handle.
Silvana [00:33:56] Thank you.
Linzy [00:33:56] Great. Thank you. It’s been great talking with you today.
Silvana [00:34:00] It was nice talking to you as well.
Linzy [00:34:15] In my conversation with Silvana, something that really stuck out to me is that the double whammy that folks get when you’re marginalized in any way or, you know, multiple marginalization depending on your identity, and then also a therapist at the same time. It’s like from two different sources, you know, based on your identity, but then also based on your profession, you get the message over and over again that you’re not good enough and you need to strive and you need to be perfect and your needs are not important and other people’s needs are. And just how- what a powerful cocktail that is in the worst sense of the word, getting those messages in all these different ways and how that deeply impacts people as clinicians, as people living their lives, but also deeply impacts your financial well-being. Right? Your ability to make the money that you need to make, relate in positive ways to the money that you make, are deeply impacted by these messages that, you know, people get it from all sides. So I really appreciated this conversation today with Silvana. And if you are curious about her, definitely check her out. We’re going to put her links in the show notes so you can get further into her world. If you’re enjoying the podcast, as I mentioned at the beginning, please do leave me a review on Apple Podcasts. It’s super helpful. It means a lot to me. I’m going to be sharing more reviews this season in season five and I would love to share your review. So take a minute and jump over to Apple Podcasts, leave review. And of course, if you want to hear more from us, you can also follow me on Instagram @moneynutsandbolts. Thank you for listening today.
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