Practice of Being Seen

Rebecca Wong

A collection of weekly Connectfulness® Conversations with therapists and and change-makers. we examine how to create deeply restorative ripples of change within ourselves and with the world around us. Connectfulness® begins with the Practice Of Being Seen. Hosted by Rebecca Wong, relationship therapist, mentor and consultant to therapists and change-making professionals . read less
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Episodes

Lessons & Layers of Sensitivity with April Snow 
HSP Series part 4
Aug 15 2018
Lessons & Layers of Sensitivity with April Snow 
HSP Series part 4
There is something for all of us to take away and learn from this conversation. Every single one of us gets to pause and learn who we are in relationships with ourselves and who we are and how we show up in relationships with others and we also have to pause and learn our partners and loved ones.    April Snow is an Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in downtown San Francisco. She believes thriving as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) a matter of knowing yourself and making adjustments to care for your unique temperament. If you’ve been listening for some time, you may recall April joined us to open our Highly Sensitive Series back on episode 57. She’s returned to dive even deeper and answer listener questions and curiosities around the Highly Sensitive Trait.    We’re talking about the ways the highly sensitive trait and trauma, especially in a dysregulated state, can overlay. We dive deeply into discussion around the development of one’s inner voice. We ask big questions like: “where do you shine?” and “what parts of yourself do you sacrifice in service of others?”   Resources: expansiveheart.com   Sensitivetherapist.com HSP Adult Self-Test The full HSP series on the #POBScast Working With Rebecca: Dive deeper with Rebecca while helping to support production of the #POBScast when you join our Wild Woman Discussion Groups; we meet online through September 2018.    Learn more about Rebecca’s relationship therapy practice and intensive couples retreat in NY go to connectfulness.com   Join the #POBScast Community practiceofbeingseen.com/community For more information and resources, visit the website at practiceofbeingseen.com.   To join the conversation on social media, use the hashtag #POBScast. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.   If you have questions or inquiries, email us at practiceofbeingseen@gmail.com
Releasing Shame & Reclaiming Desire with Arielle Brown
Aug 8 2018
Releasing Shame & Reclaiming Desire with Arielle Brown
Many people feel that they can’t be themselves in relationship, either because of society’s pressure on them to be and act a certain way, or the pressure they feel from a significant other who demands them to be something other than their true self. In this episode we’re talking about Releasing Shame & Reclaiming Desire with Arielle Brown so that our intimate relationships can allow for more alignment between our inner self and our outer reality.   Arielle is a Relationship Coach and Intimacy Educator based in the San Francisco Bay area. She helps visionaries craft intimate relationships with conscious design so they can truly bring their voice and their impact into the world. She says the key is connecting and communicating our desires in ways that release shame and self-doubt and transmit our gifts.   Gender conditioning is one of the obstacles all of us face. We can’t share our gifts when we live with the fear of losing love and having to fit ourselves into “boxes of appropriateness.” Often women believe they need shape themselves into something they’re not. Arielle asks the question, “Who am I and how do I release the fear of how other people perceive me?” She says that doing this kind of work is the only way we can change the current culture around relationships and intimacy.   Arielle shares her personal journey; filled with negative body image, sexual obsessions, an unhealthy relationship with food and emotionally abusive and toxic relationships with men. Her personal transformation journey has been filled with learning true intimacy and sexual healing practices. Her healing work centers on helping people figure out where they are carrying underlying beliefs that undermine the power we seek to embrace and cultivate; which leads to liberating what society teaches you to shut down and conform.   Our conversation also covers simple and practical ways to play with relationship in ways that allow for full expression of self. We discuss how to find balance between controlling desires and the art of being in command of them. Arielle shares her approach to communicate openly and shift dynamics around sexual intimacy.    Connecting deeper and exploring intimacy requires self-love and compassion--- we all need more of that.   Resources:   www.ariellebrown.com APPETITE is Arielle’s 6-Week Virtual Course for Women Reclaiming the Purity of their Desire, beginning on August 15th, 2018!  Find Arielle on Facebook!
Sacred Spiritual Relationships with Tamara Powell
Jul 25 2018
Sacred Spiritual Relationships with Tamara Powell
Have you ever thought of relationships as sacred and spiritual spaces? Join us for a conversation that takes a deep dive into concepts you’ve never considered before and open your eyes to new ways to think of yourself and your relationships to others.    My guest, Tamara Powell, LMHC, is a colleague, and past guest of the show. Her favorite topic sacred psychology -the intersection between traditional psychology with a focus on the holistic self, including the spirituality of a person- honors the divine nature in all of us and the connection to a higher power. In her Pensacola, Florida practice Tamara works with clients about anxiety, identity exploration, relationships, LGBTQ issues, sexual issues, and spiritual abuse and trauma. She describes herself as “rebel and a visionary with the heart and soul of a gypsy.”   Relationships can be mirrors, revealing and polishing our growth edges. Tamara explains these spaces as “heavenly sandpaper,” or the spaces in life that rub us and cause us to grow and explore. Life is full of reflection points that grow our self-esteem as we learn how to more realistically see the world. And yet, sometimes we feel like misfits, or “a trapezoid in a world full of circles.” Tamara believes that suffering results when people don’t fit in.    Tamara shares the concept of “radical autonomy” and what it entails. How do we connect with another person while remaining intact? There are numerous ways to apply this thinking to any human relationship. Relevant in today’s society is the question, “can I celebrate another’s culture while taking pride in my own?” Radical autonomy comes into play and is useful when we learn NOT to be triggered by things like social media posts. It’s what it means to fully embrace another person’s everything. We discuss what truth really is, how to honor your perception and the other person’s as well, and how to identify the “gremlins” in a relationship.    Resources: Tamara’s practice:  www.aryatherapy.com
Supporting Transgender People And The People Who Love Them with Sarah Gilbert
Jul 18 2018
Supporting Transgender People And The People Who Love Them with Sarah Gilbert
What kind of support exists for people who question their gender identity and the people who love them? Fortunately, there are therapists who specialize in offering support and safe spaces for the discussions and self-discovery in the face of the intense societal pressure trans folk experience. Today’s show tackles these issues and more. Sarah Gilbert, LCSW, is the owner of Transitions Therapy, LLC, a private practice in Manchester, Connecticut. Her mission is to help people author their unique identities. She specializes in working with teens and adults who identify as transgender, as well as those who love them. A part of her practice also involves giving support and education to the family members of transgender people. Sarah believes that when people live in their true identities, they come alive and inspire others to do the same. Sarah shares the metaphor of gender as water that surrounds fish as representative of the subtle gender reminders that surround people even before birth. We are socialized in the binary limits of gender identity, however, an increasing portion of our population are finding ways to live out their gender roles as other than strictly male or female. Sarah would like to see shifts in people opening up to this conversation and the wide range of gender identities, with many choices to empower people in the individual gender identity process.  One important aspect of this conversation is to realize that gender identity and sexual orientation are NOT the same thing, even though they are related. There are deep layers of self-discovery and uncertainty in the identity process; there can also be intense grief, knowing that life is not going in the easy direction that someone expected and that others around them are affected and disrupted.  A takeaway from this conversation: there is no ONE plan for transitioning that fits everybody. There is no set formula, but this journey is an individual one. As with each of us, the trans person wants to belong. They don’t want to be misgendered, misunderstood, or invalidated. What they need from others is respect, compassion, and awareness from friends and family as they figure out who they are and how they fit in the world. This is what each person deserves, regardless of how they factor into society’s norms.    Resources:  www.transitionstherapyllc.com Find Sarah on Facebook: Transitions Therapy LLC Learn more about Sarah’s upcoming events including The SPOT a FREE support group for spouses and partners of trans folk and her Introductory Training to Transgender Affirmative Care at: http://transitionstherapyllc.com/events/ The Radical Copyeditor's Style Guide For Writing About Transgender People: https://radicalcopyeditor.com/2017/08/31/transgender-style-guide/    Working With Rebecca: Dive deeper with Rebecca while helping to support production of the #POBScast when you join our Wild Woman Discussion Groups. We meet online the last Thursday of the month through September 2018.  Learn more about working with Rebecca's 1-on-1 integration coaching at: practiceofbeingseen.com/integration-coaching Learn more about Rebecca’s relationship therapy practice and intensive couples retreat in NY go to connectfulness.com Join the #POBScast Community
The Ripple Effect of Childhood Trauma with Laura Reagan
Jul 11 2018
The Ripple Effect of Childhood Trauma with Laura Reagan
Chances are that you or someone you love dearly has been affected by childhood trauma. The statistics are appalling as to the prevalence of childhood trauma, and unfortunately, we don’t seem to be changing the trend. Today we’re talking about childhood trauma and trauma informed care.    My guest, Laura Reagan is an expert on how childhood trauma affects our lives. She’s also the host of the Therapy Chat podcast (a highly recommended fave of mine). Laura is a clinical social worker in Maryland specializing in trauma, attachment, LGBTQ issues, mindfulness, and self-compassion.    The CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study) is a great place to begin broadening our understanding of childhood trauma - it uncovered a link between childhood trauma and higher risk of health and social problems later in life. The overwhelming experiences that impact children can include physical assault, assault by one parent on another, alcoholic or imprisoned parent, death of a parent, feeling unwanted, and sexual abuse. Statistics suggest that nearly two-thirds of adults have experienced at least one. Physical and mental health effects can lead to anxiety, depression, suicide, substance abuse, relationship problems, and physical ailments. These physical effects can contribute to a shorter life span by up to 20 years. The study also shows that early intervention will lead to better outcomes. Laura shares about the types of interventions that work best and how traumatic memories are held in the body and how later-in-life relationships are affected.   On the therapy side are several key issues, including the aspects of boundaries and knowing what you need. It is common for childhood trauma survivors to use dissociation as an escape and a coping mechanism; it’s important for a therapist to get to the “why” of the triggers and teach mindfulness.  Our “unresolved stuff” affects relationships, and what children need most is the guidance to express their feelings and cope with them in order to develop healthy relationships. Laura explains the concept of “parentified” children and the challenges in working through that trauma. She says that the transformation effect is “like going from a black and white picture to technicolor with a full, rich range of opportunities and deeply connected relationships.” In our conversation, we also address the concepts of isolation vs. connection, the tie-in to the current immigrant crisis involving children, and overall dehumanizing behaviors that are common in today’s society.   Resources:   www.therapychatpodcast.com more about ACES
Relational Politics with Brandy Brooks
Jul 4 2018
Relational Politics with Brandy Brooks
We all have ideals, opinions, and expectations of our governing leaders---and sadly, often those ideals are not met because we elect “politicians.” Today’s show is about change---real change that can happen when the voice of the people is truly heard by community leaders and when the needs of every segment of the community are addressed and improved. This conversation is a breath of fresh air.  Brandy Brooks genuinely has the heart and the determination to make these changes into reality--for the good of ALL the people.   Brandy Brooks is an organizer and educator who has spent nearly 15 years working on social, environmental and economic justice. Her areas of focus include community organizing and empowerment, community-­based design, land use planning, food justice, and food sovereignty. She currently works as the Leadership Development Organizer for Progressive Maryland. Brandy has served on multiple nonprofit boards and planning committees locally and nationally. She continues to speak at local and national events on community design, community-­based food systems, and cooperative development. Brandy’s civic and professional leadership have been recognized through numerous awards and fellowships.   We are taught that we are powerless to change the systems that govern us, but Brandy strives to help people reclaim their power and break down false narratives that are used to divide, dehumanize, and control us. Her hope is to provide a “people-powered democracy” where the needs, hopes, and dreams of all are valued. In her words, “I want us to live into our boldest visions for a renewed, healed, and liberated world where we can all live in peace, love, and dignity.”   Brandy recently ran as a candidate for Montgomery County Council-At-Large in Maryland. Even though society tells her as a woman of color that she has a certain “place,” she says her life has a calling and she has a destiny to fulfill. Her goal is to “do politics” differently in a way that engages people in organizing them to tell their stories and experiences and build the vision they want in the world. Brandy’s theme is “relational politics,” based on how we build trust, protect each other, understand benefits and drawbacks, and make choices. When things in our society are broken, it ultimately comes down to fundamentally broken relationships. Unfortunately, some groups want to maintain power over others and keep groups of people “disconnected by design.”   You’ll be inspired by Brandy’s account of the moment when she realized she could not remain in the shadows any longer. She is open and transparent about her battle to maintain mental health in the face of depression. Brandy is an advocate for others who face mental health stigma and have been shamed and blamed. People need support in whatever their needs are, and they need to choose a space of freedom. Brandy’s other passions include improving “out-of-whack” relationships with farming, food, education, and community healing. Brandy dreams of building “a world that matches our values – a world where justice and love and dignity and care for one another are the bedrock for how we govern ourselves.” Resources:   http://brandy4montgomery.com   Find Brandy on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: @brandy4moco
The Evolution of Sensitivity with Julie Bjelland
Jun 21 2018
The Evolution of Sensitivity with Julie Bjelland
20% of the world’s population is made up of people who carry a character trait called high sensitivity. That amounts to 1 in 5 people so the chances are high that either you or someone you love is a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). HSP’s are often overloaded with the chaos of the world and more keenly impacted by both positive and negative experiences. Today’s show dives deep into the HSP trait and coping skills needed for HSP’s to thrive.   My guest Julie Bjelland, LMFT, has a private psychotherapy practice in California. Julie teaches innovative online brain-training courses and has written several books, including Brain Training for the Highly Sensitive Person. She’s a highly sensitive person and is the mother of two HSP children. Julie’s mission is to help HSP’s suffer less and access their gifts more.    We discuss character traits that are common among HSPs, such as anxiety, low self-esteem, negative self-beliefs, and a sense of obligation to take care of others’ needs over their own. And we also explore the research which shows specific differences in the HSP’s brain, most notably increased activation of the amygdala, which controls the “fight, flight, or freeze” response to stimuli. Julie shares why she feels sensitive people have always been needed among the human species for survival, evolutionarily speaking. And I inquire about a possible connection to epigenetics and we muse about how transgenerational transmission of trauma might relate to sensitivity.    What we know for sure is that our world needs sensitive people and in order for sensitive people to thrive they need to focus on balance in life and to recognize their own gifts of intuition and compassion. Julie shares specific examples of the brain training that can help HSP’s shift their lifestyle so it supports them. Check out Julie’s website for great resources that can help.     Resources:   www.juliebjelland.com   Brain Training for the Highly Sensitive Person by Julie Bjelland
Your Relationship with Money with Joanne Leffeld
Jun 13 2018
Your Relationship with Money with Joanne Leffeld
How do you feel about money? Is it a subject you’re comfortable talking about? Most of us know money is necessary in today’s world, but we may not realize the sensitivity we carry around talking about this topic. And how many relationship issues are related to our views of money. Today’s show explores the psychology of our relationship with money. My guest Joanne Leffeld began her career as a Certified Financial Planner in the NY metropolitan area. Now in the Hudson Valley she’s created a unique business working with clients one-on-one and with couples. She offers a holistic approach referring to herself as a “Moolah Doula,” helping people give birth to a healthier relationship with money. Joanne talks about how we deal with feelings of unworthiness and “not enough-ness.” She offers a unique view on the “enough vs. abundance” perspective. And shows how we can change our mindset to fight against self-limiting beliefs. We have to expand our beliefs in what we can accomplish in order to change the flow of energy and put a positive spin on day-to-day lives.  We also talk about a topic that’s really close to my heart as a relationship therapist: how money (and other difficult conversations) can interrupt the flow in relationships. When there is discomfort in the partner relationship, in the couple, we are often showing up as adaptive children who have learned behaviors, because we all carry baggage from our childhood experiences.  Resources: www.joanneleffeld.com Find Joanne on Instagram: Joanne-Leffeld   Working With Rebecca: Dive deeper with Rebecca while helping to support production of the #POBScast when you join our Wild Woman Discussion Groups. We meet online the last Thursday of the month through September 2018.  Learn more about working with Rebecca's 1-on-1 integration coaching at: practiceofbeingseen.com/integration-coaching Learn more about Rebecca’s relationship therapy practice and intensive couples retreat in NY go to connectfulness.com   Join the #POBScast Community practiceofbeingseen.com/community   For more information and resources, visit the website at practiceofbeingseen.com.   To join the conversation on social media, use the hashtag #POBScast. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.   If you have questions or inquiries, email us at practiceofbeingseen@gmail.com
Tending To Our Selves with Dave Conley
Jun 6 2018
Tending To Our Selves with Dave Conley
When is it time to turn inward?   When we show up for the people that we love, our attention is diverted from other things. There’s so much in this world that is competing for our time and attention. The result of this attention-grabbing is that our inner center is often left unattended. When we focus outwardly, especially in a helping profession, we tend to ignore the important inner work that needs to happen in order to take care of ourselves. My guest today has done extensive work with how we show up in the world to different people with a fully integrated life. I am delighted to bring to you the wisdom of Dave Conley.    Dave thinks of each individual life as a series of concentric circles. There is the innermost circle of you, and then the circles around represent your relationship to the rest of the world. Dave is going to tease apart some of those most important relationships, and how feeding and nurturing and tending to that inner circle can extend its influence to the rest of your relationships. He will also tease out an excellent understanding of resilience, and how the right kinds of self-nurturing can build us up to weather the storm.      Dave speaks from a place of personal experience and interpersonal empathy that rings so true for me. His calling to helping professionals, anyone in general, to put more work into your innermost self, and place less focus and energy just on being seen. We show up the most visibly when our innermost self is nurtured and loved. Dave will teach us techniques to help us slow down, pause, and take care of ourselves with small, sustainable shifts. Once we learn to do that, our impact on the rest of the world becomes that much more effective.    Resources: Get better sleep and connect with Dave: https://limitl.es/rebecca/   Quotes:  "Right at the very, very center of yourself is your spiritual practice. It's your self-practices, how you move. It's how you eat is how you take care of yourself. Just the very, very center. It's you." –Dave Conley “When you don’t have to push and work so hard to be seen, the effort that was previously going towards that is freed up to go to so many other things.” –Rebecca Wong  “There's only a finite amount of attention that we have in any given day. And if we keep splitting those things up over and over again, it takes time to refocus from thing to thing to thing.” –Dave Conley       Working With Rebecca:   Dive deeper with Rebecca while helping to support production of the #POBScast when you join our Wild Woman Discussion Groups. We meet online the last Thursday of the month through September 2018.    Learn more about working with Rebecca's 1-on-1 integration coaching at: practiceofbeingseen.com/integration-coaching   Learn more about Rebecca’s relationship therapy practice and intensive couples retreat in NY go to connectfulness.com   Join the #POBScast Community practiceofbeingseen.com/community   For more information and resources, visit the website at
Creative Spirituality and Sustainable Wellness with Lanie Smith
May 30 2018
Creative Spirituality and Sustainable Wellness with Lanie Smith
We are humans, we create.   Treat your soul to some self-care today and join Lanie Smith and I as we explore creativity, self-knowledge, and how art and nature combine. We’re talking about the evolution of Lanie’s signature approach to wellness and self-care as a sustainable lifestyle, EcoArt Wellness. Sustainable is the key word here because for Lanie, creating art and communing with nature are as natural as living her life. Lanie is an art therapist, coach and consultant with a passion for supporting other helping professionals tune in as an antidote to burnout and chronic stress. Lanie is on a mission to put people in touch with the process of life through the natural environment. EcoArt Wellness is constantly evolving, so today, Lanie and I get a chance to dive into what that looks like and what it could be in the future. We also had a chance to explore and tease out what it means to be creative, to be spiritual, and to be, well, human.   Lanie has a gift. She can take charged words like “Creativity,” and “Spirituality” and turn them into something sustainable and life-giving. Together, we’ll define what it might look like to trust our inner knowing, if only we slow down to hear it. I invite you to take what is formless and give it form. Learn from Lanie’s little practices and start cultivating some EcoArt Wellness in your own life. You won’t be disappointed.   Resources: Lanie online and your Burnout Prevention Guide: laniesmithcoaching.com/burnoutpreventionguide Lanie’s group practice in Phoenix, AZ: Integrative Art Therapy Working With Rebecca: Rebecca’s integrative mastermind for therapists is now forming. It’s designed to help release blockages, cultivate your vision and tend to yourself and the relationships that support you. Our foci is on integrating your professional and personal parts in full support of you thriving in all aspects of your life, relationships, and livelihood. All of these layers of you play together to either elevate you to the next level or hold you stuck in a loop of overwhelm and inaction.  We’re still accepting enrollment in our Wild Woman Discussion Groups that meet online the last Thursday of the month through September 2018. We’re journeying together in remembering who we are, what we are made of, and why we are here.   Learn more about working with Rebecca's 1-on-1 integration coaching at: practiceofbeingseen.com/integration-coaching Learn more about Rebecca’s relationship therapy practice and intensive couples retreat in NY go to connectfulness.com   For more information and resources, visit the website at practiceofbeingseen.com.
Vicarious Resilience through Storytelling
May 23 2018
Vicarious Resilience through Storytelling
I had the deep joy of chatting with my friends Eva Tenuto and Hayley Downs to discuss the transformative power of sharing your story. I’m honored to share this episode with you. You may recall Eva, co-founder of the TMI Project, was a guest on our Where Storytelling Meets Activism episode on season one. I connect deeply with TMI Project's mission of “changing the world…one story at a time,” so much so, that I moonlight as a TMI Project workshop facilitator. Since 2012, twice a year, TMI Project has offered 10-week memoir writing and true storytelling workshops specially tailored to meet the needs of the Mental Health Association in Ulster County, Inc.. A documentary about this partnership, entitled Vicarious Resilience, will be released on May 29, 2018 at The Rosendale Theatre in NY. This short documentary highlights the experience of three participants, Morris Bassik, Barbara Stemke and, our guest, Hayley Downs as they went through the workshop, from the first session to the final storytelling performance before an audience of over 100, and a final follow-up session where they voiced the ways in which they experienced positive transformation. Eva, Hayley and I discuss what makes a good TMI story, and why divulging the parts of our stories that we usually leave out — the parts we are usually too ashamed or embarrassed to share — and the parts others most want to hear, helps participants turn their pasts into testimonials of survival, dispelling old shame and inspiring others. As Eva says, “we can’t heal what we don’t talk about.” Our culture’s perception around mental illness is shifting. The #VicariousResilience initiative is hoping to facilitate a deeper shift in compassion and understanding, to eradicate stigma and raise awareness about the ways so many suffer, and suffer in silence, for too long. Discover how the ancient art of storytelling can help eradicate stigma, improve mental health and create a truly inclusive community. This is Vicarious Resilience.  Resources:  TMI Project Vicarious Resilience Film   Working With Rebecca: Rebecca’s integrative mastermind for therapists is now forming. It’s designed to help release blockages, cultivate your vision and tend to yourself and the...
Shamanism and Self-leadership with Dr. Carmen Roman
Apr 25 2018
Shamanism and Self-leadership with Dr. Carmen Roman
As we look into ourselves we seed the very transformations we desire to manifest in the world. So it’s worth noting, the deep work of healing our own wounds is often so ripe with potential to affect outward ripples of change. In this episode I’m talking with Dr. Carmen Roman a bilingual and bicultural psychotherapist with 25 years of experience working in both Mexico and in California. She combines both cultures and both worlds in the work and specializes in creative expression as a form of treatment for sexual abuse, trauma, and immigration related stress.    Carmen and I talk about the responsibility we all have to be present in the here and now. And how this responsibility, simply breaks down into: our ability to respond. This is self-leadership. This is liberation.  It’s integral that healers, caregivers and change-makers find and cultivate healing spaces for themselves. Too often, we struggle to allow ourselves the space to be held, to dive deeply into and liberate ourselves from the hard, murky, ugly stuff. Yet we all know our wounds are the places most in need of our tending, healing and love. These are our entry points.  Carmen invites us into her deep and personal journey, blending gestalt and transpersonal psychology she integrates spirituality, meditation and shamanic experiences. She shares that for her, it’s about the ability to stay in deep focus or concentration: in who she is and the impact her actions have on the world and herself.    This is a beautiful discussion of what stepping into self-leadership can look like. In sharing Carmen’s journey, we bring to light a collective inward journey for many healers. Permission to dive deep with us.  Full Show notes available at: practiceofbeingseen.com/episode/65