March 25, 2021

104: Do You Need Therapy? How to Know if You Need A Therapist | LCSW Kristine Butler

Kristine Butler is a graduate of The University o…


Kristine Butler is a graduate of The University of Kansas with Bachelors and Masters degrees in Social Welfare. She has held licenses at the Bachelors, Masters and Clinical levels of Social Work and has been licensed in 3 states, including Florida, where she is currently licensed.

She is a graduate of the Tampa Bay Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Program and currently attends training at the Contemporary Institute in Sarasota, Florida on a monthly basis. She is also continuing her training in the Gottman Method for working with couples.

Kristine has been a Licensed Social Worker since 1991. In the past 28 years, she has worked in both the public and private sectors. Currently Kristine works with adolescents, adults, and couples. Navigating life can be difficult. Therapy is a way to gain insight into our troubles so we can make more meaningful decisions about our responses to difficult situations. Kristine practices psychodynamic psychotherapy while pulling in the ideas of several other types of therapies. Kristine is also boarded in lifestyle medicine and we touch on this topic as well.

Her website is https://growthisachoice.com/ 

Transcript

Kristine Butler  00:00

So people know that it's time to get I say, professional help, when they are not coping the way they had been. So a sign of not coping well would be, maybe they're realizing that their sleep is very disrupted, they're not eating, or they're eating too much. So eating patterns have changed, sleep patterns have maybe changed. If people are having a hard time getting out of bed, or maybe they, you know, they get out of bed, and then they can't wait to get back in the bed every day when they feel like they're withdrawing from the world. And, you know, that's a hard thing to judge this year. Right? Because the world has kind of pulled itself away from all of us. And, and so when people are saying, you know, I don't want to do anything, like, you know, somebody tries to call them and they don't want to pick up the phone or they're not answering texts or voicemail. So when you feel like you're like, retreating into yourself, that's absolutely time to get help.

 

Narrator  01:07

Welcome to the Plant Based DFW Podcast weekly show with Dr. Riz and Maya, a show broadcasted from the Dallas Fort Worth area that focuses on lifestyle medicine. This is the use of evidence based lifestyle therapeutic approaches, such as a whole food plant based diet, regular physical exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management to treat, prevent, and oftentimes reverse lifestyle related chronic diseases that are all too prevalent. Every week They feature a guest who speaks on one of these lifestyle medicine pillars. This show is for you, the person who is seeking to improve your overall wellness and quality of life. So whether you are driving, walking, or relaxing at home, we hope this show will provide you one more tool for your wellness toolbox. Let's meet today's podcast guest

 

Maya Acosta  01:59

Kristine Butler is a graduate of the University of Kansas with Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Social Welfare. She has held licenses at the bachelor's, master's and clinical levels of social work and has been licensed in three states including Florida, where she is currently licensed. She is a graduate of the Tampa Bay Psychoanalytics Psychotherapy Program, and currently attends training at the Contemporary Institute in Sarasota, Florida on a monthly basis. She is also continuing her training in Gottman method for working with couples. Kristine has been a licensed social worker since 1991. And in the past 28 years, she has worked both in the public and private sector. Currently, Kristine works with adolescents, adults and couples. Navigating life can be difficult. Therapy is a way to gain insight into our troubles so that we can make more meaningful decisions about our responses to difficult situations. Proceed practices, psychodynamic psychotherapy while pulling in ideas of several other types of therapies. Kristine is also awarded in lifestyle medicine. And we touch on this topic as well. Her website is Growth Is A choice.com. I hope you enjoyed this episode. So welcome Kristine Butler,

 

Kristine Butler  03:15

thank you so much. My I'm really excited to be talking to you today. So I have a graduate degree in social welfare actually. And then all of my training is in mental health.

 

Maya Acosta  03:26

So you have over 22 years of experience working with people you are like the perfect person to have on our show today. You also are trained in lifestyle medicine, which many of our listeners hear us talk about all the time. So and a lot of times when we bring on people, we have guests that talk on the various modalities of lifestyle medicine, so we always have someone talking about nutrition or the importance of exercise for health. But stress management and building healthy relationships is one that I kind of underrepresented a little bit because we don't have too many people speaking on that. So you're here today, we're going to talk about that. How do we get through 2021 that we got through 2020? I have lots of questions for you in terms of you know, what have you seen on your end in terms of mental health? are more people seeking help like never before? I'm curious about relationships, how are young people coping when you know they were pulled away from their support system? So what have you seen on your end?

 

Kristine Butler  04:31

I have a small practice. So I'm just a one person practice here in Tampa. And I can tell you that I am very, very busy. I think I'm busier than I ever have been before. You know, through the pandemic therapist switched gears very, very quickly to be offering telehealth and so, lots of us we're not used to doing that. But you know you woke up one morning and all of a sudden you are sitting in front of your zoom all day or on the phone with clients all day. So having said that, I would say that I've had more clients, I can't give you the number, but I'm probably seeing 10 more clients a week right now than I was a year ago. So that's quite a lot for me, I have a colleague who actually signed up for providing services through one of the online therapy programs. And in one week, she had like, 30 new clients. So that's a lot. And we see the wide, you know, wide range of need from, you know, very young children all the way up through elderly, patients who seem to be much more stressed and anxious, even depressed more than usual. In the past, I would say year.

 

Maya Acosta  05:50

Last year, a lot of things came up for me as well, because it's so easy when life is normal, whatever that is anymore. But it's so easy for us to have all these distractions in our lives. Work being the main one, right, that keeps us distracted from facing some of the things that continue to kind of be there. And so I'm working now with a transformational coach, we went through this thing, we're doing zoom, I can't tell you how beneficial that is to have someone so available and almost in my space in my home, who is here working with me directly? How do people know that they need someone to talk to someone like yourself?

 

Kristine Butler  06:29

So people know that it's time to get I say, professional help, when they are not coping the way they had been. So a sign of not coping well would be, maybe they're realizing that their sleep is very disrupted, or they're not eating, you know, their eating pattern is off, maybe they're, they're not eating, or they're eating too much, you know, when things were going pretty good. And now they're, you know, in the pantry all day, or they're, you know, sneaking ice cream from the freezer and doing those kinds of things, or they're not eating at all. So eating patterns have changed, sleep patterns have maybe changed. If people are having a hard time getting out of bed, or maybe they you know, they get out of bed, and then they can't wait to get back in the bed every day. When they feel like they're withdrawing from the world. And you know, that's a hard thing to judge this year, right? Because the world has kind of pulled itself away from all of us. And, and so when people are saying, you know, I don't want to do anything, like, you know, somebody tries to call them and they don't want to pick up the phone, or they're not answering texts or voicemail. So when you feel like you're like retreating into yourself, that's absolutely time to get help.

 

Maya Acosta  07:56

Can we start by learning a little bit about yourself? How did you know that you wanted to go into this field?

 

Kristine Butler  08:03

it took me a little time in college to figure out that this is what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to help people. And I started in the path of education and figured out that was not the right place for me. And so I had a really great professor who said, you know, you should go talk to those people in that social work office over there. And so I did, and I never left. You know, I really enjoy being with people talking to people. And I like the different, just different stories and how people get through life. I think it's really amazing. And so I've always worked with people. I did Protective Services very early in my career, and then went back and got my graduate degree, which allows me to be a therapist.

 

Maya Acosta  08:54

It takes a certain personality to be able to work with other individuals at your level.

 

Kristine Butler  08:59

You know, I think I'm learning how to think of it as kind of pacing yourself and keeping, keeping the people I work with and letting them have autonomy and they can deal with their problems, and allowing myself to have my own problems and to deal with my problems. It's very helpful. And you kind of learn that over time. Right? So I don't think I was as good as it when I started as I am. And now but the kinds of people that I find in my field are people who are really warm, usually who really want to make a difference in the world. I think we all share the the idea that we can change, you know that change is possible. Sometimes it's small changes, but we all have some some idea that there's hope and change in the world.

 

Maya Acosta  09:55

Kind of a personality that's giving that's compassionate, that's caring about others. Yeah, you have these clear boundaries,

 

Kristine Butler  10:02

Call boundaries are so important. And I teach a lot of those.

 

Maya Acosta  10:05

I know a little bit about boundaries, I just now have to put them in place. Okay, you mentioned a little bit before we kind of move on again into your specialty, you mentioned that a lot of your peers in yourself are now have moved to this kind of telehealth practice. And so that's very important for me to kind of emphasize to our listeners that there are more people like yourself that are available, including yourself. Can we talk about what that looks like for clients? And also, I think you had told me in a previous conversation that you kind of have a waiting list, right?

 

Kristine Butler  10:38

Yeah. So right now, as someone's trying to get in with me. It's about two weeks before I can get them in. If I have a cancellation, then sometimes I can put somebody into a spot. But the type of work I do, I like to see people every week. So I can't take more clients on than what I have time for, you know, right now, it's about a two week wait. But I work very hard to get people in and assess with them on the phone, when they do call, is this an urgent situation? Is this a crisis situation? Or do they feel like they can wait a little bit to get in with me? And if they can't, then I'll refer them to one of my colleagues, who hopefully has a little bit more time. But people, people can access therapists in lots of different ways now, and I think it's been really, it's going to change the profession. I think, over time, there are a couple of ways. If you'd like me to talk about that, I'd be happy to talk about how to how do you find somebody?

 

Maya Acosta  11:40

Yes, definitely. One of the reasons that I did want you and I was excited about you coming on is that I would like for people to have this as a resource. 

 

Kristine Butler  11:50

I encourage people to, when they start to feel all say unsteady, or like they're not doing well, to not wait. You know, don't wait until it feels like you're going to you're at that breaking point. Because we really don't know where each person's breaking point is, until we get to that breaking point. So when you feel like you are stressed, and you are starting to say I can't take it, you know, this is too much, then then it's time to look for help. So if you're comfortable, I would say ask your friends and family. Do they see anybody? Do they know anybody, because you'll be surprised the number of people who already are connected to somebody who's been helpful. If that's not for you, and you don't want to ask anybody, then if you can search on the internet, I would say you can search actually, Psychology Today has a very good website that therapists like myself, have subscribed to, and we can put a profile on there. And so consumers can go to Psychology Today, find a therapist and put their zip code in. And they can find a therapist through psychology to today, which is very nice. There are some other online platforms out there. Like I think better help.com is one of them. You can also ask your employer, if a person is employed, sometimes their employer has an employee assistance program. And so they can find therapy through their employer. And I can tell you, a lot of people are nervous about using that. But believe me, most employers don't want to know, they don't want to know what what you're getting help for, they just want to know that you're getting help. So um, you know, I have people come to see me through their employee assistance, and I have no communication other than billing. So it's very, very streamlined and safe for consumers. The other way that I think is helpful is a lot of people do have health insurance. So if you have health insurance, there's usually a one 800 number on the back of your insurance card. And it will say for mental health call. And that will also say for substance abuse Call this number. So if they have benefits through their mental health, they should call that number. If they don't see a separate number for mental health, it doesn't mean they don't have it, it might just be covered under the same plan. So they should just call the one 800 number.

 

Maya Acosta  14:33

I'm so glad that you just brought that up.

 

Kristine Butler  14:36

Um, there are lots of insurance companies that cover mental health services. And you know, your employer wants you to be healthy. Right so so they pay for that, that coverage. People who have Medicare met Medicare or Medicaid, they're they're covered as well. They will have mental health services provided by their insurance as well.

 

Maya Acosta  15:01

When I was going through your website, looking at the various people that you work with, you know, the type of people that would reach out to you. It could be, you know, regular individuals like myself, you work with couples.

 

Kristine Butler  15:11

I really like working with couples, 

 

Maya Acosta  15:13

I was wondering if, if you're seeing more tension in couples like never before?

 

Kristine Butler  15:17

Those couples that seem to be doing really well and enjoying their time together and working at home? And then there are those couples that are really really struggling? You know, because there's too much time to get there.

 

Maya Acosta  15:28

So I wonder how, how do we get through that when we're in the same space? And if you're both working from home, how do you get through something like that?

 

Kristine Butler  15:36

You know, I have recommended all kinds of things, I usually ask couples to come up with some possible solutions on their own, you know, I'll give them some suggestions, like, I have suggested to couples that they they hire somebody from outside to come and take care of their children. While both they are both working. I've suggested that to couples that they find somebody that they trust, who could maybe watch the kids for one night, you know, so that they can go away. You know, I have a pretty much a standard, every couple needs to go on date night, at least once a month, no matter what, and we talk about what date night really is. So you know, when couples are struggling, and certainly this is a hard time of struggle for them. They need to have help reconnecting with each other in a positive way. And then knowing how to disconnect also in a healthy way, and then coming back together. So connecting and disconnecting.

 

Maya Acosta  16:38

Well, a lot of us in relationships, find an outlet, when we get to vacation, we see each other in a different light, we're a little bit more relaxed. I've seen that you work with young people as well. And the other thing that stood out and I want to come back to the young people, but that stood out for me was the caregiving aspect. So and last year, when you when the pandemic started, you heard of a lot of some adult children were encouraged to take their parents out of these retirement homes and care nursing centers that were putting their parents at risk. So whether you're a caregiver or not, you suddenly became you suddenly have a lot more responsibilities. And so I was wondering, you know, caregivers, do they take care of themselves? And who do they go to? But do you work with them closely? Do you have a lot of clients who are caregivers?

 

Kristine Butler  17:31

You don't right now, I don't have that many who are caregivers? I'm not sure why that is I I'm just thinking of my the people that I do see, I don't think I have anybody who's a caregiver of an older person. I certainly have in the past, but not right now. But um, you know, caregivers usually are very tired people, you know, they're trying to take care of themselves and somebody else. And so they're very often on the bottom of the of their list of who's going to get taken care of. So for them, you know, it's important that they find a backup, you know, that I would say that would be their first, their first line of defense is find somebody who, who can do backup for them, or respite really for like once a week or something so that they get a break, especially if they're 24 hours of caregiving every day. That's very difficult.

 

Maya Acosta  18:31

We talked about young people, you work with adolescents. And mainly, is there a particular age group that you work with?

 

Kristine Butler  18:40

So I'll see as young as 13 or 14 year olds, so I prefer like high school age and up. So I see some teenagers and I have quite a few young adults that I see. And then quite a few older, you know, adults 30 years and up.

 

Maya Acosta  18:58

Yes. So I had wondered about the younger people in general, and how they coped how they've gotten through, you know, just being really pulled away from their support system. And if you can talk a little bit about that. And also, you had mentioned you yesterday, when we had a conversation that one of the questions that you would pose to parents or something for parents to consider is when do you know that your child needs help? Or when do you make this available for your child? Can you talk to us a little bit about how we can support younger people in general? 

 

Kristine Butler  19:31

Sure. So if if you are the parent of a young person, and you think about like a teenager, you know, adolescence is really when they're learning how to have relationships. And so this past year has been a very difficult time for them. So they lots of them are missing out on some of those developmental steps to becoming capable of holding on to religion. ships. So I've heard some very creative things by parents and caregivers, things like, you know, they, they help the child to create kind of like a pod or group of friends. And those are the friends that they get to spend time with. And the families make an agreement. These are the kinds of things that we'll let our kids do, and they can do them together. And that way, you know, what is the other family doing in terms of their exposure to the rest of the world. And so a lot of this has to do with parents or communicating so that the child is not completely isolated at home. You know, parents have been faced with the decision of should their child be in school, or should they be at home online learning. And I really encourage parents to weigh that out, knowing their child. So if their child tends to be someone who isolates anyway, and is not doing so well, with social situations, that child might need to be in school, because that can get worse at this time. So encourage children to find outlets and to do things with other kids, it's really important. Kids need to be outside, you know, if the weather permits, I know, I mentioned, I think I'm in Florida. And so we don't have the same problem as the rest of the world. But to be outside as much as possible, you know, if that temperature spikes up to 40 degrees, maybe it is time for a walk, you know, so encourage kids to get out and be outside in nature is really a good tool for them. Encouraged encourage them to use their social media with friends. So kids can have zoom calls, you know, there, there are no platforms out there where kids can watch movies together at the same time, anything that the parents can find to help their kids to encourage those social connections is really important right now.

 

Maya Acosta  22:08

Yeah, it seems also that more families have had time to be together spend quality time like never before, if you if you see it that way, I guess. And if you take advantage of it, and now you're cooking together, again, you're learning together again. But yes, I can see how all of us individually need sort of, to step away a little bit from the family and socialize with people our own age with, like, you know, similar interests and things like that. You've also said that children in general have this intuitive knowing when they need to speak with someone and when they need some additional support.

 

Kristine Butler  22:47

Right. So if you're, if your child is coming to you, and they say, I think I need to talk to somebody, I think parents need to take that very seriously. If a child is is able to verbalize that, then they know they have a feeling about them that they are not handling something well, sometimes parents get upset that their child doesn't want to talk to them about it. Sometimes, you know, they just want, they know this is bigger than what my mom can help me with, or this is bigger than what my dad or my grandmother can help me with. And so sometimes it might involve something with the, with that adult that they don't want to talk to them about. But if if a child is saying that they want to talk to somebody, I really encourage them to find somebody. And you know, school counselors are a really good resource. They often know who in the community could help to talk to their child, sometimes it is the school counselor, and sometimes they know who else to refer to. So they're a good resource for your kids.

 

Maya Acosta  23:55

And you hear a lot of people now younger people talk about that safe space that they need.

 

Kristine Butler  24:00

And I think there are a lot of schools Who, who, who actually have those programs and really want to know which kids in their school are needing help. So that idea of a safe space is so important to teenagers. And when they left their schools, a lot of them left that safe space at school. So it's important that we help them to find a new safe space.

 

Maya Acosta  24:25

Why do some parents kind of resist that additional support and then others are just very open?

 

Kristine Butler  24:31

So I would say maybe it's a couple of things. You know, some people are just very, very private. And so some parents are not comfortable with their child talking to somebody else about what's going on in that child's life that the parents feel like it might be an intrusion into their life. So some parents are very cautious of that. And you know, sometimes parents are a little bit wary to Maybe give up the control, they don't want somebody else advising their child, or they might be worried that they would get bad advice, maybe from a therapist. And I would say, you know, if the parents are worried about somebody else, talking to their child that maybe it's a sign that the parent is dealing with some insecurities. And, you know, the child might might be raising that up for the parent. So maybe it's time for the parent to look at that as well.

 

Maya Acosta  25:32

I was wondering if you can kind of explain to our listeners what psychodynamic psychotherapy is in the first place so that they know kind of what to expect when they're interacting with you.

 

Kristine Butler  25:43

Sure, so psychodynamic psycho? Well, first of all, psychotherapy is just a term that refers to talk therapy. Right? So lots of people say I'm going to therapy. So that's kind of the brief version of psychotherapy. So psychodynamic therapy, really takes a the approach of it's sort of like an uncovering, or discovering of what's going on with that person. So it seeks to understand the deeper issue that's happening. So I work with my clients to help them to figure out what are some of those possible even childhood issues, and old patterns of behavior that are still affecting them today? So in terms of lifestyle medicine, I would say that, if somebody comes to see me, and they really are having a hard time adopting, say, a plant based lifestyle, and they say, you know, I just can't give up cheeseburgers, right. And so we talked about it, and I might ask them, so, you know, tell me about food when you were a child. You know, what, what did food represent for you as a child? And how was that a part of your life? And so I might find out that cheeseburgers were the thing that they and their grandfather went and taught on Saturdays, and it's like their big comfort food, and they just don't want to give that up. And so in that scenario, I might work with them to understand that maybe it wasn't the cheeseburger that was the comfort, it was the grandfather's attention, right? So. So that would be the difference between, say, somebody who just works behaviorally, who says, look, you just got to give up cheeseburgers, I want you to give up cheeseburgers, five days, five Saturdays in a row. And then we're going to go down, you're going to have one and then you're going to go four weeks, and then you're going to go three weeks without, you know, I mean, so that's behavioral approach, while the psychodynamic approach would be to try to get to the root of the emotional connection to that the food or that behavior.

 

Maya Acosta  27:57

But it's almost like family culture. I mean, you're talking about food, but it's the letting go of these kind of family traditions and memories that they that they've had, they feel like they're letting them go when they're changing their diet, for example.

 

Kristine Butler  28:13

Yes, and I think for a lot of people, especially in our, with our standard American diet, that food is a way that we belong to other people. So food is such an important part of our cultures, and our relationships, and even celebrations just day to day life. And so when somebody is making a shift into a plant based lifestyle, they are feeling somewhat disconnected to that tradition and the culture. And so helping them to stay connected in other ways becomes very important. And it's not really the food that connects us, right? So when people assume that it's only the food, my job then would be to help them to understand that the food is possibly connecting them to some of the more unhealthy parts of that relationship or that culture.

 

Maya Acosta  29:12

To understand then what really is going on underneath and other issues that are deeply rooted deep within us that you kind of helped to unveil or to bring up, right? How often does a client see you You say you like to see them on a weekly basis, but how long will they have to see you in order to get through that, that transition that they're making that they want to make?

 

Kristine Butler  29:35

So sometimes it depends on the the things that we're working on. Because of the type of work I do, it does take a little bit longer than some of the behavioral approaches. So I like to see people for six months to a year that would be you know, when we start working with somebody, that's what I tell them six months to a year and I would like to meet with them every week. As much as possible. So I have some clients that have seen me for quite a long time. But they have issues that are. Maybe when they came to see me, we were working on certain things. And then over time, we kind of transition into some other issues, but always kind of checking in to make sure that we're still working on important issues. And they're not just, you don't want people just to linger in therapy. Right? So you want it to be goal driven, and you want it to be with a purpose, really. So it has meaning to them.

 

Maya Acosta  30:38

Are more people feeling comfortable to see a therapist like never before?

 

Kristine Butler  30:42

Is, you know, our discussion about when children say they want to talk to somebody, I think that's a sign. I cannot imagine when I was a young person, I didn't know there was therapy. I didn't know people talk to anybody. So if you think about that, like now kids are saying, you know, middle schoolers, even younger are saying to their parents, hey, I want to see a therapist, or I want to talk to somebody. So I think it is becoming less stigmatized. I think that's the word you're like, yeah, for Yeah.

 

Maya Acosta  31:11

Okay,

 

Kristine Butler  31:12

You know, there's less of a stigma about it. There are, you know, apps that people can use to access therapy, you can look up, therapy online, and you will find so many resources. You know, I think the fact that we can find information now is so important.

 

Maya Acosta  31:32

People are now becoming more aware that there's a mental health area of our lives that we have to take care of, and that we have to be aware of what triggers us.

 

Kristine Butler  31:43

So if you think about it, like when we say it triggers us, what we're really saying is that something out there in the world, pulls up certain feelings for us. And we don't want to deal with those feelings at that time. So we can make a decision about not exposing ourselves to that situation, right. So sometimes we see things on the news. And I'm, I'm one of these people that I had to really do a hard pull back from the news. Even today, like I don't want to hear that very often. Well, I'll watch some news. I try not to watch it at bedtime. So I'll watch the news. But I'm very cautious about the flooding sensations that I might get from watching too much news. So I think it is kind of nice. It seems like it's sort of in pop pop culture right now, right? That everybody has this awareness. But it's also important to say, Hmm, if I feel this strongly about it, or it's this upsetting, maybe this is something I need to do some work around, maybe I need to figure this out. So because we don't always have control over what's going on in the external world, right? Sometimes it's just in front of us.

 

Maya Acosta  33:10

I think about that when we talk about topics on our podcasts that are related, for example, to childhood traumas, there are some things that I kind of don't want to bring out, because I don't want to make our listeners uncomfortable. But also when we talk about weight issues, I'm very sensitive to that topic. And so I don't ever want to come off as shaming or attacking or judging, but maybe I make it all about wellness, health and wellness more than wait. But I sometimes feel like well, maybe I should say that this may trigger. I don't know, sort of like a disclosure. Some of these topics that we'll talk about today may trigger, you know, like that. I don't know, maybe I mean, maybe I'm being ultra sensitive to people. Now. I don't know.

 

Kristine Butler  33:53

I don't think you're being over sensitive. I think that's just part of being compassionate that you want to make sure that you're not harming anybody else by talking about that. And you're kind of warning them that maybe we're talking about something that could be upsetting. But I also think that it's really great that we can talk about those topics out in the open, you know, we can talk about, you know, unhealthy situations, we can talk about people needing to address some of their more personal issues, you know, weight, weight certainly is a very personal issue. And it's nice to be able to think about it as it's a health issue. It's not just what somebody might look like. It's not a number on the scale. It's about our health. Right. So to talk about it in a healthy way is so much better than what maybe we talked about it 20 - 25 years ago.

 

Maya Acosta  34:56

We want to continue to support the individual but not judge them or push them way. So you had spoken a little bit about what parents can do to support their young children. They're teenagers in terms of providing kind of outlets and encouraging them to do a, you know, create pods and things like that. So what can we do to kind of get through another year of probably being limited again, with socialization with spending quality time with family?

 

Kristine Butler  35:23

Sure. So I think that, um, you know, there are a couple of things I looked. I looked up today, some information and I came across some research that's been done about the impact of the Coronavirus on on people who have been, like you say, locked up and very separate from other people. And one of the things that makes a huge difference is our availability, or is nature's availability to us. So people who don't have any access to being outside in nature, have the hardest time people who have a balcony or who can go outside like on their front porch or something, they're a little bit better off the people who can get out of their house and go for a walk there even better, and the people who have access to say, the beach, or the mountains or a trail or something they're doing best, emotionally. So um, I would say first thing is try to get some, some vision of the sky every day, right? Like try to get out under the sky every day experience that if you can find somebody that you can maybe walk with, even if it's six feet apart, and you go down the street together. If you can't do that, then, you know, set up a schedule where you're actually going to have a regular zoom call with somebody. I heard a some radio announcer said that she now she has a friend Friday is what she calls it. And every Friday she reaches out to at least two people in her circle that she hasn't talked to in a long time. So a friend Friday, I thought that was really nice that she reaches out to a relative or a friend, somebody that she thinks might be isolated. So instead of thinking of it as what do I need you? You switch it up, and you think, what do they need? Who can I call today? So that helps you and it helps them?

 

Maya Acosta  37:35

I like that idea. Because it's still kind of encouraging that we continue to reach out and connect with people. How can we continue to connect us people and make it fun. And you just gave us an example, which is someone's doing a friend Friday or Friday friend where they're reaching out to somebody.

 

Kristine Butler  37:53

I've done happy hours with people, I have a another part of my family who does. They call it dinner night, once a month, and everybody eats dinner together and they share what they're eating for dinner, you know, on the on the screen. I have some friends that, you know, we call it a book club, but really we just get together. And so we've gotten together once you know some of the really interesting things as you know, so many trainings and programs are online that I can attend. I am scheduled to attend a concert in Vienna next week. So it's in Vienna, so I'm gonna watch it online. Like who would have thought I could do that? Right? So 

 

Maya Acosta  38:43

love that. Oh my goodness. See, I hadn't thought about concerts I attended. I was telling you that I attended a comedy show with Chef AJ, who would have thought you wouldn't do a zoom comedy show. But this concert? Uh, Wow, that sounds like a lot of fun. 

 

Kristine Butler  38:58

So I think if you know, it's the internet, so we can find almost anything, right? So we can find concerts, we can find classes. We have a theater here in Tampa that they have virtual events. And so you sign up for the virtual event, you get a code to watch their the art film on your screen. And before then you go by and they load you up with popcorn and snacks. So you go pick up your popcorn and snacks and you watch it from home.

 

Maya Acosta  39:32

Wow, that is awesome.

 

Kristine Butler  39:34

Yes. So there's a lot of things that are happening that we don't always think of. And so, you know, the pandemic is requiring us all to be a little bit more creative. And so that that helps us to stay healthy. Right. So if you if you have you know a family member or somebody who you think is maybe isolated or you haven't heard from them, reach out to them and you know, check on them. You know, we're all going to get through it, it's going to take some doing.

 

Maya Acosta  40:03

I think it's also has shown us how important people are in our lives just in general, I think that when we finally come out and begin to attend more like in person conferences, which is what I like to do, I'm going to value people so much more now.

 

Kristine Butler  40:20

You know, I think that's one of the most important parts of lifestyle medicine is, is that our relationships are so very important. And having a support system and finding like minded people who who support your decisions and support you being healthy is really important. So no matter where you are in your journey with lifestyle medicine, searching out those people who think like you do, who support the choices that you're making in your life so important.

 

Maya Acosta  40:54

You were speaking about the concert that you will be attending, I attended a restorative yoga retreat via zoom, and the coaches in Canada, and you know, as a small group of us, and we could see each other stretching and doing all these poses, but I kind of, I don't know, I like connecting in general. So I look for those opportunities as well. So is there anything else that you'd like to tell our listeners just any other words of encouragement or other ways that they can reach out to you or other therapists?

 

Kristine Butler  41:27

If you're somewhere and you're not sure how to find somebody, I don't mind receiving an email, and I will do my best to help you find somebody in your area. Also, you know, if you're listening to this podcast, I think it means that you're interested in a whole food plant based lifestyle. And so I would say that the more you adhere to that whole food, plant based lifestyle, the health the healthier your mental health is going to be, you know, because of that, that the mind gut connection that they're discovering, anxiety, depression, they're all affected by what we eat. The healthier you eat, the healthier Your mind is going to be. 

 

Maya Acosta  42:12

Absolutely, yes. And I will always happy when I see people share photos of what they've done in this past year in terms of weight loss and how they've improved their health. It's, I guess, taken around until this time, so that's wonderful. And also can you share your website and other ways people can connect with you if you have social media?

 

Kristine Butler  42:32

Sure. So you can find me on Instagram at Kristine that's k r i s t i n e. Blakely Bla, K, LEY, Butler b ut l er. And then my website is Growth Is A choice.com. And those would probably be the two easiest ways to reach me.

 

Maya Acosta  42:55

Well, awesome. I can't wait to share this with our listeners. I think they're gonna find a lot of value in all that you shared with us today. Thank you so much for taking your time out of your busy schedule to speak with us.

 

Kristine Butler  43:06

Thanks, Maya. Have a great day. You too. Bye. Bye.

 

Maya Acosta  43:09

What a pleasure to speak with Kristine make sure that you check her website out. Again. She's a licensed clinical social worker who enjoys working with couples and also with adolescents in supporting and supporting them in anything that they need. Thank you so much. I hope that you found some value in this conversation that I had with her. And thanks again for being part of the community. You've been listening to the Plant Based DFW Podcast show. If you like our content, please like, share and leave a review. Our goal is to provide quality episodes to help support the community.