Episode 3: Setting Bougie Boundaries In Your Private Practice
In this episode, I talk with Montoyia McGowan, LCSW and owner of Stopping The Chase Counseling and Consulting out of Memphis, TN.
Montoyia tells her story from working at the VA to starting her private practice and consulting business which focuses on BIPOC entrepreneurs and helps empower creatives and the working well to stop the mentally exhausting cycle of chasing people, places, things, and relationships we often feel would contribute to our happiness.
We discuss "Bougie" boundaries, the need for self-care and working through codependency, and "NOT BEING A JESUS JR."
Montoyia is a force to be reckoned with in the field and has her own podcast and YouTube channel: Bougie Black Therapist.
This was a really enjoyable episode because Montoyia has such a fun perspective on topics that are really difficult for helping professionals.
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Season 1, Episode 3 – Setting Bougie Boundaries in Your Private Practice.
PATRICK CASALE: You are listening to the All Things Private Practice Podcast. I'm your host, Patrick Casale, in Asheville, North Carolina, a podcast where we talk about private practice startup, growth, trials, tribulations, struggles, and triumphs. I am joined by a good friend of mine and colleague, Montoyia McGowan. She is out in Memphis, Tennessee. She is a licensed clinical social worker. She owns a company called Stopping the Chase. She is really a phenomenal speaker, and I'm really happy to have her. She has her own podcast as well. Montoyia welcome and thanks for being on, and tell us a little bit about what you're doing out in Tennessee right now.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Thank you. I appreciate you for inviting me. I am doing Stopping the Chase Counseling and Consulting. I am seeing individuals, couples, and some families. Well, majority of my clients are entrepreneurs or the working. Well, somebody who has some other type of side hustle, and they struggle with codependency. They're the ones in the family who, “Got it or made it.” And so, they are struggling with being Jesus juniors for everybody else.
PATRICK CASALE: I like that term. Jesus juniors, tell us more about what you mean by that stuff.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Jesus junior, so if they can come to you, Patrick, if you're the Jesus junior, then they actually don't have to go to Jesus, they don't have to trust their own faith or their own abilities. They can just be like, “Hey, let me call Patrick. He'll take care of it for me.”
PATRICK CASALE: So, working with a lot of high achieving people who maybe they just made it in their family system, the first one, potentially, who are reaching out to other people all the time and don't trust their own abilities or instincts.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah.
PATRICK CASALE: How did this kind of develop? Where did this come from?
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: A lot of our clients tend to look like us, and they tend to mirror us in some way or another. I realized, well learned, some years ago that I attract narcissists, and I also attract needy people, emotionally needy people. The more I started to dig into that, the more I realized, “Oh, I'm codependent.”
PATRICK CASALE: You started to realize that about yourself?
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, then I was like, “You know what? I don't think I want to be Jesus junior anymore. Let me give some people their stuff back.”
PATRICK CASALE: That's a pretty big realization of, “I don't want to be Jesus junior. anymore. I don't want to be the one who's always responding and supporting.” What was that doing for you in the moment when you were, “Being Jesus junior.”
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: That I was being the fixer, the helper, the rescuer, and I was doing it for people who didn't even ask me to, people who didn't even want me to, but I inserted myself in a lot of things because I know a lot of stuff and I figured, if I can give you the cheat sheet, then it will help make life a little easier for you.
PATRICK CASALE: Sure, yeah.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: It was a great way to avoid my own stuff.
PATRICK CASALE: Which we do very often, right? We try to work our own shit out and other people.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Right, right. I was great at enabling people, but when I started to learn that I made myself this person, and then when I became this person, nobody gave me permission to take a break.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, absolutely. You were even telling me this morning that you were busy or free and doing all of these different things instead of taking a break?
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, yeah. Nobody said, “Girl, you don't have to do it. I'll figure it out for myself today.” And so, it started to show up as acne, back pain, anxiety, inflammation, just unexplained illnesses. I had a really bad case of acne, and I could not figure out how to clear it up. I even had bought some stuff that bleached my face. I was like two or three shades lighter, but I still had the acne. I went to a primary care doctor and she said, “Oh, you're stressed.” I was like, “What?” She said, “Oh, yeah, you need to go to therapy.” I was like, “Therapy going clear my acne?” She said, “It'll definitely help.”
PATRICK CASALE: Okay, were you a therapist at this time when this was happening?
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: I was just doing social work, working at the Veterans Hospital. I was doing therapy like stuff, but I wasn't working as a therapist.
PATRICK CASALE: I got you. A lot of the stress wasn't really coming from the VA. It was coming from your own personal boundary setting.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yes.
PATRICK CASALE: Tell me about where that took you because you have some really cool stuff going on around boundary setting.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yes, so eventually when I decided to be a therapist, and I started to learn more about codependent people, I started to educate people, and make quotes, and memes about being the helper, and the rescuer, and give my people their stuff back, and one day it came to me. I was like, “You know what? I'm going to have bougie boundaries.”
PATRICK CASALE: Tell us about what bougie boundaries mean? I heard you talk about this in Hawaii. I really enjoyed hearing you explain what this means for you and what this means for the world.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, so bougie boundaries are the boundaries of having the luxury of deciding what you want to participate in, and what you're willing to do for someone else, even outside of yourself. There's a couple of different types of boundaries. There's rigid boundaries, there's, I think, it's porous boundaries, where you really don't have any boundaries, and then, there's healthy boundaries.
To have healthy boundaries you have to get really comfortable with telling people no, and if you're not comfortable with telling people no, you got to come up with creative ways to say no, and be comfortable with it, and be comfortable with saying, “Oh, yeah, I'm not going to be able to help you move your furniture this weekend.” And they're like, “Well, what are you doing?” “Oh, I plan on catching up on Ratched TV.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, and then, I think so many of us struggle with that, right? Of like, how am I going to be perceived if I say no? And do I have any value or worth if I'm not supporting other people, or always putting myself second? That's exhausting, that’s fucking exhausting. So, you start saying no to people, and what starts happening for you?
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: It got quiet. I was like, “Where is everybody?”
PATRICK CASALE: So, friends and family are disappearing or not reaching out anymore in those moments when you start to set those boundaries?
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Right, or they got good at feeling empowered in taking care of their own stuff, not even really that they were rejecting me. They felt more confident to be able to handle stuff without me feeling like I needed to hold their hand or I needed to tell them what to do or how to do stuff.
PATRICK CASALE: Wow.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah.
PATRICK CASALE: That’s powerful.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, then I had to get a life.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, so you had to start focusing on your own self and how you wanted to fill your time without always doing what everyone else wanted you to be doing?
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, yeah. That led me to learning about feelings. Nobody has time for feelings, because feelings sucked.
PATRICK CASALE: Yes, they do.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Feeling make people cry, feelings make people feel stuff, and I was like, “Ooh, what is this? Wait, I'm jealous? I'm irritated? I feel left out? I don't like these feelings.” And then, I had to learn after I recognize the feeling, what do I need to do next? And so, me going on my own personal journey has helped me be able to help other people, entrepreneurs, especially, feel seen, feel heard, help them feel validated, and then, give them some tips, and suggestions, and support while they learn how to work through that.
PATRICK CASALE: Wow, so completely changing up not only who you work with, but how you work, and really empowering them by empowering yourself first and foremost.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Even as a business owner, and as an entrepreneur, I have to keep my codependency in check, because if I say I don't want to work on Fridays, and Saturdays, and somebody says they can only come in on Saturday, and I'm thinking, “Oh, I'm not doing anything on Saturday. Should I do it?”
PATRICK CASALE: Right, should I say yes? Should I break these boundaries that I've created? Yeah.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Right, and so, if I feel like I'm going to be resentful because I did that, then I choose not to do it. I have to make sure I pause, I don't respond to people immediately, I have to check in with myself to see what I'm okay with because if I make it for them, and I'm resentful that I did it, I'm not going to be able to give them my full self.
PATRICK CASALE: That's really well said. Does that where bougie boundaries come in then, in terms of figuring this out?
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yes, You got to be bougie with your boundaries. You can be raggedy or ghetto with your of boundaries. You also can be ice queen with your boundaries, because I went ice queen first.
PATRICK CASALE: Sure, just super rigid, like cut it all off.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yes, yes. And it got quiet, and then depression was like, “Hey girl, what’s up? Why you ain’t doing nothing?
PATRICK CASALE: But loneliness starts to creep in and you're thinking, “I'm on an island, I isolated myself from everything and everyone.”
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yes. I had to learn to trust myself with making decisions and trust myself with creating boundaries that were helpful and healthy, and then help people understand why I'm doing certain stuff, so they don't misunderstand my intentions.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, it's not that you don't want to be there for them or support in some way, but you can't always put their needs first.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, and then I found that codependent people were very controlling, and folks don't like that. They don't like that we jump in and try to manipulate the outcome for them in every way. They want us to maybe support them or be a little close. But I'm thinking, “No, no, no, you don't need to do it like that. Let me tell you, it's A, B, and C.” But they're like, “I like C, and then B looks kind of cute.” That's where the Jesus junior comes in at around like, “Hey, sit this one out and trust God for them, and trust that things will work out how they're supposed to, and then you decide on what your role is for them.”
PATRICK CASALE: That sounds like a really cool revelation to think about. I can't dictate the outcome. I don't need to influence it. Taking a step back, checking in with yourself about why am I doing this? That sounds like a big part of what you've learned along the way.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, I'm doing it because I may be affected with the outcome. Because if this is my daughter, and she doesn't do things how I think she should do them, I may have to come in and clean up. Do I want to? And then also, could I be doing something else? I have to be cautious about my wheel for somebody else's life, because there's so many other people's wheels, and especially God's will. His will is what should be the forefront of their life not man for his will’s for doom. It's really challenging to do that for people that you care about.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah. What's been the fear when you start to say that, like, it's really challenging to do that for people you care about?
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: I don't want to see them hurt. I don't want to see them in pain. I don't want to see them have to go through unnecessary trials and tribulations if I can help, but just being an observer, and being hopeful for the outcome and being, okay, well, whatever the outcome is, and to some people, it looks like I don't care.
PATRICK CASALE: Sure. Yeah. Which isn't the case, right? It's like-
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: I mean sometimes.
PATRICK CASALE: …I care very much sometimes, sometimes. Depends on the person.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, depends on the-
PATRICK CASALE: …depends on the situation. Yeah, absolutely. That makes sense. But like empowering them by holding space, and just being there to support but not jumping in to rescue, or save, or give advice when the advice isn't asked for.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Right, because I was raised by a teenage mom. She was 15. Teenagers are so emotionally immature, and sometimes emotionally explosive based on their personality. As I was growing up, I had to learn how to pretend like I was okay all the time. And also, I felt like I was the one that needed to do damage control. I don't know how I got that role, or why I chose that role, and then it just became a part of my personality until I learned that, actually, people don't like that.
PATRICK CASALE: It sounds like it was playing a role at some point where it was actually probably useful to some degree until it became unuseful and it became damaging to you.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Right.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, wow. This revelation happens, you're working at the VA, you're starting to realize this, you're going to therapy. I feel like leaving the VA, you and I were talking about this when this was happening, you were transitioning out, that had to be really scary when it comes to feeling codependent to a system or a job that you don't really like.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, so what happened was the last few months I started having panic attacks, unexpected, uncontrollable panic attacks. I felt like that was the universe's way of saying, “You’re good.” COVID had allowed me to be able to save up money that I wasn't spending. I was just holding on because I felt like I needed a sign or maybe someone to give me permission to leave. I went out on FMLA, and I just never went back.
PATRICK CASALE: Wow, talk about a leap of faith, right? Like, I'm doing this for me. I'm leaving a government job that has a government salary, pension, and health insurance, right?
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Good government job.
PATRICK CASALE: A good government job is right. That had to feel really scary at the time.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: It did. But I had a client where I was telling her that… because I was only seeing people in the evenings and maybe one weekend a month. I told her, I was like, “I’m kind of concerned about filling my daytime schedule.” She said, “Well, people need appointments in the daytime too.” I said, “You’re right.”
PATRICK CASALE: That client really checked that thought process of, “I can't fill my schedule?”
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, yeah. For the past three, almost four years I've been booked up three to four weeks every single week, so being able to open up a few hours during the day allowed me to not have to have people on hold, because some of those people can actually come during the day time. They can work out their schedule, or doctor’s offices are open from 8:00 to 5:00 if people figure it out. The codependent Montoyia was thinking, “I need to accommodate their schedule.” But the recovering codependent said, “Here's your schedule, let them choose and let them figure it out, and if they can't…”
PATRICK CASALE: That will be okay, right? If they can't, they will find someone else who can.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yes.
PATRICK CASALE: And that opens up space for me to have the schedule that works for me instead of for everybody else, so no longer being that Jesus junior, and putting your needs on the backburner.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Right.
PATRICK CASALE: Wow, that's a big statement.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: I was an Army Reserve, and I was a dental assistant. One of the dentists one time was telling me, he said, “You make sure that your seat is comfortable for you.” Because every client that came in, I was adjusting for them, for the patient. He said, “No, you make them adjust for you, because they're only here for a short period of time. You're here all day. You need to accommodate yourself.”
PATRICK CASALE: Wow, how was that to hear that at that point in your life?
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: I was in my 20s, and it felt wrong. It felt like I was being selfish.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah. Like, I'm going to hurt my back and my posture all day because I want to make sure that they're comfortable.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, yeah.
PATRICK CASALE: It's almost like that mentality of putting the air on first for yourself, the mask on first on the plane, right? So that you can take care of other people.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah. I use that analogy all the time. You are putting everybody else's oxygen mask on while you're holding your breath and hoping that you survive before the plane crashes, or you get a chance to put it on right in the nick of time. They're safe, and they're good, but if you put yours on, then you'll be able to help more people, and you'll be able to do it correctly without having to rush.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, that's such a great example, that's great imagery to say, you have to put your oxygen mask on first. You can't just wait until the plane’s about to crash to then take care of your needs, because that's a good metaphor, right? Like, for our own mental health to crash, because we've been taking care of everybody else.
I want to circle back to the acne thing that you mentioned. Did it go away with therapy and working on these boundaries? And did it get better?
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: It did.
PATRICK CASALE: Who would have known? Let's add that to the fucking list of what therapy can do for someone, clear up acne, deal with back pain, deal with posture, all of the things, right?
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Right. What I learned is when I'm stressed, and a lot of us when we're stressed more than normal, we have an overflow of cortisol. The cortisol causes inflammation. The inflammation shows up in each person's body differently. For me, it shows up as acne. I also have something called uveitis in my eye. It’s inflammation in my eyes. When I'm doing too much, or my body's trying to fight off something, or I'm not getting enough rest, my eye will be like, what's up?
PATRICK CASALE: “It's time to watch Ratched TV.” Like you said before.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yes.
PATRICK CASALE: I need to just fucking do nothing and just relax.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yes, yes, and actively involved in a lot of good things, but am I managing my time to where my body is able to heal and rejuvenate itself?
PATRICK CASALE: Right, yeah, that's a great, great thought. And just the realization of, “I've got to take time to recharge, and even if I am involved in all of these fun, cool activities, it still doesn't mean I'm not burning it at both ends.”
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Right.
PATRICK CASALE: Totally. That makes a lot of sense. I love the bougie boundaries thing, I love the Jesus junior thing, recovering codependence. I feel like so many therapists fit into that mold on one side or the other of like, “I got in this field to give myself away and to just have that bleeding heart syndrome of, “I've got to help everybody.” It sounds like this has been really going well for you. What has this created in terms of your businesses?
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: When I took your coaching class, what I focused on mostly was the fee setting. I've done Tiffany's Money Mindset. I think I was in her beta group. I have had conversations around fee setting, and that is the one that I struggled with the most. But after your coaching session, and after Hawaii, I went up on my fees. I just decided that this is what I need. I actually really could use more, but this is where I feel comfortable stopping it for right now. It has allowed me to, like nobody's better to add, nobody is-
PATRICK CASALE: What did you raise it from? Like, what to what?
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: When I first started five years ago, I started out at 80, and then I got scared, and I went down to 15. For like three months, if people came to me for three months, and then I stopped at 80, and I went to 110. And so now I'm comfortably at 115 for individuals and 200 for couples, and nobody says, “Urgh.”
PATRICK CASALE: What do they say instead of “Urgh.”
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: They say, because I require a non-refundable appointment fee, and they say, “Okay, how do I pay?” If I go too long without sending them an invoice, they'll say, “Hey, did you forget my invoice? Do we still have an appointment or what?”
PATRICK CASALE: That is a great example of bougie boundaries, right?
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yes.
PATRICK CASALE: Like, you're asking for what you need. You're relaying it with confidence and transparency, and you're also recognizing my time is valuable. I am offering something really valuable to the community. I love that. You and I spoke about this during the coaching course, being a BIPOC therapist in Tennessee, I think you thought to some extent, “Nobody's going to pay me 150 or $200 an hour.”
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: I did think that.
PATRICK CASALE: How has that changed and shifted now that you are getting that without someone even batting an eye.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: It has helped me be more confident. It has also helped me help other therapists who are shortening themselves be more confident, because they see if I'm charging 150, then okay, so she can only see a certain number of people, so there's other people out there who's willing to pay 150.
PATRICK CASALE: Absolutely. That's exactly it, right? We get so much into this mindset and therapy that people can't afford our services, they can't pay out of pocket, they have to use their insurance, they only [INDISCERNIBLE 00:21:42] sliding scale spots. Although that's true for some people, that's not true for everyone, and getting more comfortable with talking about money, I think, that makes a major difference when we pick up the phone and talk about our fees.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, and it also brings in certain people. What I like about private pay is people are coming to do the work, because they are-
PATRICK CASALE: They’re very invested.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: They're invested, and depending on how much you charge, I enjoy the conversations that I have with my clients because of their intellectual status.
PATRICK CASALE: And it sounds like you're probably attracting more of your ideal clients in your niche that you have.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: I absolutely love every client that I have.
PATRICK CASALE: Who are those clients? Who's your jam right now? Who are you loving to work with?
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Women who are entrepreneurs, who are tired of being everything for everybody, and they are looking for somebody to give them permission to stop it.
PATRICK CASALE: So, it sounds familiar?
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
PATRICK CASALE: We've talked about having your ideal client be a version of yourself.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah.
PATRICK CASALE: That's really a wonderful 180, to say, “I was here, I was doing it all for everyone else, now, I'm helping people break that cycle.”
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, and it's amazing to see, because I have to make sure that I'm not inserting myself in their session, and so, still making sure I keep my codependency in check with just being curious with how things turn out for them without me having to tell them.
PATRICK CASALE: Curiosity and reflection instead of jumping in and saving.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah.
PATRICK CASALE: That's so cool. That makes a lot of sense with the Stopping the Chase piece of stop chasing this savior complex that we can never do for anyone, because we won't save ourselves.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Right, so that's exactly how I came up with Stopping the Chase. I realized that I was emotionally exhausted from chasing people, places, things, relationships, accolades. I was a professional student, and I loved going to school. But at some point one of my girlfriends, she said, “You just got to stop learning.” She said, “You got to stop learning, you got to take a break, and just trust that you know what you need to know. You know enough and apply it, live in it, do what you need to do with it before you move on to something else.”
PATRICK CASALE: How was that for you?
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: I needed that [INDISCERNIBLE 00:24:11]. I needed that [INDISCERNIBLE 00:24:12], because I didn't know that was what I needed, so stopping the chase, and then when I stopped the chase, that means that I had to learn that I already had what I needed. I just needed help cultivating it.
PATRICK CASALE: Sure, it sounds like also just being okay, and having acceptance with where you're at too, and not pursuing the next thing, and the next thing, and the next thing, which I think a lot of-
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Because I feel like I need to prove myself.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, absolutely. Right, exactly. I need to prove myself to all of these different people, to myself, to whoever it is, right? I think that's really wonderful and sounds like it's given you a lot of relief, and a lot of enjoyment, and fulfillment in this career.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: It has, it has. It has allowed me the space to be able to enjoy it, and not feel like I'm out here trying to save everyone. When we left Maui, we went to Honolulu, and when we left Honolulu the Uber driver, he started talking, and we asked him why is he Ubering? He said he's Ubering because he wants to introduce every last one of his clients to Jesus. So you’re a Uber Jesus junior.
PATRICK CASALE: For you coming in contact with this Uber driver is probably a good reminder of who you could be versus who you are today.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: That's exactly what it was. I was thinking, “Just drive me to the airport, sir.”
PATRICK CASALE: I just want to go home, I don't need you to save me right now or support me. I just want you to get me to the airport safely and do your job.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yes, yes. I said, “Oh, that’s not what it looks like.”
PATRICK CASALE: What a great way to see that on the other side of just being, this impacts a lot of different people where we feel like our self-worth and value comes from helping others, and being invested, and available for them all the time, and that's exhausting.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, I can turn my phone off or put my phone on Do Not Disturb and sleep for 10 hours, and when I wake up, I'm just like, “Everybody's okay.”
PATRICK CASALE: You have kids, too. That had to be a thing where you were like, “I'm going to do this, and I can't control the outcomes of what happens in the next 10 hours.” Good.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, I wouldn't drink, I wouldn't go too far away from home, I wouldn't do a lot of stuff as a young mom before I knew better, because I was thinking, “What if my kids need me?” And not remembering that they are out in the world, and there's other adults around them that can help them if they need it. I don't have to be the rescuer and the saver for everybody all the time, not even my kids,
PATRICK CASALE: Right, that's big, that's really big. And that also, like you mentioned, empowers people, and your kids to be self-reliant, to not have to come to you for everything, to also allow them to have confidence in themselves, and in their decision making too.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Right, definitely. My daughter, she used to have a list of complaints every day. What I had her do was write them down, and we'll discuss them at bedtime.
PATRICK CASALE: That's a good way to do it. It allows her to get them out without having to have them consume her, but then you can discuss them at a certain time of the day.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Right, and she didn't have to come to me for each one of them every time they popped up.
PATRICK CASALE: Right, so again, setting bougie boundaries in one way or another.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Bougie boundaries, bougie boundaries.
PATRICK CASALE: You need to trademark that.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, it allows me to be able to enjoy being with people.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, it sounds like you could probably be more present and more yourself when you're operating in a way that is really within your value system.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Right, because I'm also an introvert.
PATRICK CASALE: I don't ever get that sense from you, but that's good to know.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, I'm not shy, but I'm definitely an introvert, and I figured out how to dip out without people realizing that I've dipped out.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, I can relate to that. I'll sneak out the back sometimes, and functions. I'm like, I'm not saying goodbye to anybody, then I started getting this mindset of, “I've got to say goodbye to everyone. I've got to please everyone.” That's exhausting. You can't live your life that way.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, you got to hug all 30 people.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, I'm not trying to hug any of those 30 people, so I'm getting the hell out of there without any of them seeing me, “Oh, where'd you go?” I'm like, “I've been home for an hour, sorry. Must not have seen you, must have been in the bathroom.”
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: That’s me.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, well, I'm glad we're on the same page. That probably is why we connected and became friends. I want to just touch base on some of the cool stuff you're offering, because you have a lot going on right now in your career as an entrepreneur, so tell everyone what you're doing and how they can find you.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Okay, well, I am doing individual sessions for anybody who's in Tennessee, virtual and in person. I am doing some consulting for people who have the license to be clinicians, but hadn't really thought about or considered being a therapist. If they're working in community mental health, and they like to become an entrepreneur, then I do some consulting and some mentorship for them, especially, people of color, because only 5% of registered therapists are of color, and people of color, black people, are coming to therapy is just that they don't have enough options for people who have come into therapy. I've even had people who have friends who are not of color and they need help, and they’re like, “Can I refer her to you?” So yeah, helping to create more therapists of color, or empowering people to become therapists of color.
I also started a podcast, Bougie Black Therapist, and it's all things therapy, and helping people get comfortable with being their own authentic self, not having to feel like you need to be in a box in order to be a therapist, because you're going to attract the people that are attracted to you. I am a yoga teacher, a registered yoga teacher, but I'm still working on getting comfortable with it.
PATRICK CASALE: Okay, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone there. It sounds like you are empowering so many different people in your life right now with all of the different things that you’re doing and it doesn’t seem like any of that could happen if you were still operating in Jesus junior mode.
MONTOYIA McGOWAN: It would not, because I’d just be going through the motions, and going from one hour to the next, and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the quality of life that I have now.
PATRICK CASALE: It’s beautiful for all of you listening that this is what becoming an entrepreneur can be. It doesn’t have to look one certain way, it doesn’t have to be inside of a box. You get to create it, and you don’t really get to see that vision until you’re starting to work in it, and starting to see the options that come with having more free time, more freedom, more flexibility.
Montoyia, I’m really happy for you and I really appreciate you being on here as a guest. I’m going to actually let my wife know about your podcast because that sounds really amazing. I love that you’re empowering black clinicians or people to become clinicians. I think that’s really, really important for our field, especially, when you scroll through pages of therapists and it’s all white faces. Wonderful stuff.
If you all are listening, please feel free to download wherever you listen to podcasts. Share this podcast episode to listen to Montoyia talk about bougie boundaries, Jesus junior, and recovering codependency. Also, if you have any interest in doing private practice building, you can check my stuff out at allthingspractice.com or my Facebook group, All Things Private Practice. Thanks, have a good day.
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