All Things Private Practice Podcast for Therapists

Episode 77: Feelings Help Defrost Your Heart [featuring Montoyia McGowan]

Show Notes

Vulnerability can be both frightening and liberating as a business owner and just as a person in general.

When we are real and honest with who we are, we attract more of the people who lift us up and support us and our business. At the same time, others get to see sides of you that not everyone will agree with or like.

However, being vulnerable also allows you to speak your truth and live in a way where you can be more honest and open about your feelings, wants, and needs.

If you feel like you've been holding yourself back and worrying about how others perceive you to a point where you aren't living your best life, then this episode is for you.

In this episode, I talk with my good friend, Montoyia McGowan, owner of Stopping the Chase Counseling and Consulting, a therapist, a speaker, and host of the Bougie Black Therapist Podcast.

Top 3 reasons to listen to the entire episode:

  1. Learn what it truly means to be vulnerable and what the not-so-obvious benefits can come from it.
  2. Identify ways to combat overthinking and people-pleasing habits.
  3. Understand the importance of surrounding yourself with people who support you as your authentic self.

Embracing vulnerability as a business owner and as a person, in general, can be a scary yet freeing experience. While it may attract those who support and lift you up, it also means opening up to potential criticism or rejection. But vulnerability is worth it and enables you to live more authentically, speak your truth, and express your emotions more openly.

More about Montoyia:

Montoyia McGowan, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, is the owner and Chief mental wellness therapist of Stopping the Chase Counseling and Consulting in Memphis, TN. She 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.

Montoyia helps clients consider perspectives that empower them to learn to be more intentional with their thought life and their outside relationships by learning more effective ways to manage past traumatic experiences. She enjoys working with clients who struggle with people-pleasing while helping them learn lasting ways to implement bougie boundaries mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Montoyia is also the host of the Bougie Black Therapist Podcast and Youtube channel where she interviews entrepreneurs and other clinicians to help inspire therapists during the process of starting and maintaining their own private practice. She desires to help make therapy an important aspect of self-care.

Learn more about the "Field Trip" to Ghana here happening from October 2–9, 2023.

Montoyia's Website:


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A Thanks to Our 2 Sponsors: The Receptionist for iPad & Owl Practice!

The Receptionist for iPad:

I would also like to thank The Receptionist for iPad for sponsoring this episode.

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Owl Practice:

I would also like to thank Owl Practice for sponsoring this episode.

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PATRICK CASALE: Hey, everyone, you are listening to another episode of the All Things Private Practice Podcast. I'm your host, Patrick Casale, joined today by my good friend and colleague Montoyia McGowan. She is in Memphis, Tennessee, Arkansas area. She was my first guest on this podcast over a year ago. So, really, really excited to have you back on. And I know we're talking about vulnerability as a superpower and also vulnerability as a self-sufficient person today. So, Montoyia, thanks for being on and making the time.

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Thank you. Thank you for having me. I'm excited.

PATRICK CASALE: I'm excited, too. I love our conversations. I love the fact that we've connected over the last year. And it's really been exciting to see you grow. And I know that's what we're talking about today. And receiving help, asking for help as a business owner and a human is really fucking hard and it's really, really scary. 

And your episode that you were first on which I think we called Bougie Boundaries and Jesus Junior's still one of the most downloaded episodes we've had because I think people really are drawn to your vulnerability, your authenticity, your willingness to disclose, and just be real about how you're feeling in the moment. And I imagine that hasn't always come easily. 

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: No, which is why I had to come up with some phrases and some mantras to, like, help me set my intentions and remember what my intentions are so that I could know that that's what I'm focusing on, and how I decide to do life based on what my mantra is. 

You know, I love to do yoga and in yoga, they suggest when you first start, when you're starting a yoga session that you set your intentions. Like, you decide what you're going to do or what you're going to commit to while you're on the mat. So, when it gets tough, and you decide that you want to give up or quit, then you remember what your intentions were. And if you have integrity with yourself and choosing to keep your word, then you use that as a part of like your GPS for if you decide you're going to give up. Like, are you okay with changing your mind about your intentions? 

So, vulnerability is not something that's easy for me because I don't care about how people perceive me. I do care about how people experience me. And I want to be intentional about that. And so, not being vulnerable means that in the past, I've had a lot of surface-level relationships or surface-level connections because I was trying to manage the perception.

PATRICK CASALE: Right, absolutely, so then it doesn't always feel in alignment or the relationship doesn't really feel natural, I imagine either. And I like your… you use a lot of metaphors in your content creation, and just how you speak, and I'm really drawn to that, it's helpful for me. I'm just thinking about the only one time I've done yoga in my life, and it was a fucking nightmare because I am the least flexible six-foot-two human being on the planet. 

And I just remember sitting there being like, "What did I get myself into? And how do I get out of here? There are only three people in this room and I cannot just get up and leave." So, yes, defaulting back to that, why are you here? What's the driving force? 

So, with that being said, you know, you talk a lot about boundaries, you know, you use the term bougie boundaries a lot. And your year, professionally, you know, as a colleague and a friend, I get to see it firsthand, but I know you've spoken at conferences, you're being asked to speak at events, you're traveling the world speaking at events right now, you have your podcast. Like, you have a lot going on. So, without the ability to tap into being able to be vulnerable, and be real, and be authentic, do you think any of that would happen?

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: No, it would not have and I didn't realize that it wasn't happening because I was always busy trying to manage the perception as if I really had that much control. I don't have control over other people's perception, all I have control over is what my intentions are. And I didn't, like, the balance, where really is not a balance in there, but choosing to make my intentions a priority, versus how people perceive me or how people experience me because I'm weird as fuck.

PATRICK CASALE: I think I can attest to that firsthand as a friend. I think we both are, so, you know, but you're right, when we're so concerned about how others are receiving us or perceiving us, we move through life very differently, it feels very disingenuous, and inauthentic, and not in congruence. And it feels like we're not living in alignment with what our values are or what our priorities are.

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: I had a consultation with someone earlier this year. And one of the things, the assignment that she gave me to focus on for the rest of the year was alignment. And she said, "If the conversation, if the experience, if the person, if the conference, if the book, whatever it is, if it's not in alignment with your desires and your intentions, if there's not a heck yes, it's a heck no. If you're confused about it, then it's probably going to be a no, and be okay with the no."

And so, me paying attention to that, I didn't realize how many things I did for the benefit of other people or for the benefit of how I wanted to present myself, versus choosing to go with the desires of my heart because I feel like God speaks to us in a lot of different ways and the desires of your heart is definitely one of them. And I was ignoring a lot of stuff. I let a lot of stuff slide. I learned about myself this year that me going with the flow was me also choosing to suffer in silence in a lot of ways.

PATRICK CASALE: Can you just talk a little bit more about that because I think that's really important, to suffer-

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: So, going with the flow, I had a situation with a long-term friendship. And I was talking to my therapist about how, you know, I didn't want to disrupt anything by telling this person what I was feeling because they had a big day coming up, and I didn't want to ruin the big day for them. I said, "I'm just going to go with the flow and I'll handle it later." And he says, "Oh, what I hear you saying is you have chosen to suffer in silence for the benefit of somebody else."

And I said, "That's not what I've said." And she said, "That's what I heard you say." So, I've been paying attention to the times that am I really choosing my battles or am I choosing to suffer in silence for the benefit of not disrupting something for somebody else? But my heart is still in turmoil. And so, the vulnerability part comes in where I'm honest, and I say, "Hey, you know, I really felt left out, I really felt like I wasn't included and I thought that I was going to be able to celebrate you more."

And their response was, "I don't know what happened. I don't know how that could have happened." And if I had not have said that, we wouldn't have had that conversation and we would have just pretended like nothing happened. But I would have had some resentment, and I would have had some bitterness about not being included and not feeling seeing. It was hard for me, my heart was beating fast, but I survived it. The relationship is no longer a relationship, but I do recognize that if I had a chance to suffer in silence, then I would have still been faking like I'm okay and not really having tough conversations.

PATRICK CASALE: And I think that's what it's all about, right? The tough conversation piece that we shy away from so often because, again, we don't want to ruffle feathers, or disrupt, or rupture a relationship, or we feel like we have to be involved in a relationship, or connection for X, Y & Z reason and we worry about the potential repercussions of the fallout, and not being able to assert yourself, and this comes back to boundary setting, again, I think, you're really doing yourself a disservice and that can be both personally and professionally to always act in the interest of someone else, or someone else's interests, or what you think you should be acting like or how you should be presenting.

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: And I also felt like I was great at being a background dancer. But I think what I really realized this year is I was more comfortable being invisible, and not being a background dancer. Because if I don't have the tough conversations, I just get to hype you up, and then I'll take care of my stuff in the background, then I'll pop back out once I've figured it out. 

But the vulnerability part has been me being in our group just saying, okay, I'm having a tough day today, or I need to have a tough conversation. You know, giving those thoughts a place to go, so they don't continue to fester in my spirit, and feeling confident enough that y'all are not going to say, "Oh, my gosh, she's crazy." You're just like, "Okay, you just weird like the rest of us." Or, "You're actually regular like the rest of us." Just giving myself the courage and a space to speak up about what I need, so that people can meet my needs. 

And so, goes back to the bougie boundaries. I had gotten comfortable in the past with not having any desires and expectations for fear of being disappointed or for fear of disappointing other people. But if you don't give people, you know, some type of roadmap on how to do life with you, then they'll do it based on what's best for them. So, giving myself permission to have desires and expectations, and then telling people what they are, and holding myself accountable to what I said I want.

PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, I love that because you're right. If you're letting someone do life to you, because you haven't been able to communicate what you need out of the relationship it's so hard because that internal resentment starts to build, a lot of times we project it outwards onto that person even though we haven't given them clear instructions of what we need. And then we're upset about the way they are reacting to what we're doing, or saying, or how we're receiving information. 

And, you know, it's interesting how this is impactful in so many ways because by being able to ask for what you need, by being able to follow that, like, excitement factor of yes, I want to do this or no, I don't, it does create positive momentum and energy too because it starts to create this, like, avalanche effect or snowball effect, where it's like, I am starting to recognize what feels like it's lighting me up instead of the feeling of like, I'm saying yes to this because I think I have to.

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, and one of my favorite assignments to do with some of my clients is, let's explore some invisible contracts. What invisible contracts do you have with people that you're holding them accountable to, that they have no clue that they have entered into? We have invisible contracts with parents, we have invisible contracts with colleagues, and co-workers, you know, based off of what they should just know or they know me. Like, no people aren't even really concerned about you like that. Like, ain't nobody checking for you the way you think that they are. They're so busy being in their head, they can't be in your head and their's too. 

So, speaking up and choosing not to suffer in silence, in professional and in work theory is in letting people know, like, how do I do life with you? What are your expectations for me? And, you know, my favorite therapy question to ask people, like at a bar is how can I support you with this?

PATRICK CASALE: I also can see you, like, putting your hands under your face like you just did, and your smile like really lighting up and you're asking that question.

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Right. And so, me letting people know how they can support me has been challenging for me because that means that I have to pay attention to not only what I need, but what I want.

PATRICK CASALE: And that's a complicated thing, right? To determine what I need versus what I want. Those are two things to really be paying attention to that are oftentimes really murky. And I think we can get really caught up and confused in that internal dialogue. And I'm curious for you when you started doing this year and more often and just saying like, I'm going to pay attention to these things, do you still get that nervous feeling of am I going to be rejected? Is someone going to take this the wrong way?

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yes, I do. However, I've had so many blessings from it that I choose to focus on the abundance that could come out of the experience instead of what I'm going to lose. By me being more open and honest with my wants, because I'm great at telling people what I need, but by me being more open and honest about my wants, I can tell sooner who my village people are and who my village people are not. 

And when I find out that this person doesn't have the capacity, the desire, or the space in their life to accommodate me, I can free them. I can free them from any invisible contracts that I may have created, or any past contracts that we've had that no longer serve either of us. And so, we can move on and we don't have to keep holding on to this for the benefit of, because we know each other, or because we've worked together for so long. Like, it's okay for you to move on because you don't have space for this in your life. 

And the other thing is, this caused me to pay more attention to things that I commit to.

PATRICK CASALE: Sounds like that's probably [CROSSTALK 00:16:08]-

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: The things so I need to free myself from because I'm doing things for the benefit of oh, it may be great exposure. I don't really need exposure, I need other stuff.

PATRICK CASALE: Well, leads to more intentionality, right? Like, there's more intentionality when we start to focus on the things that we want because it really does separate and parse out the, "Oh, I said yes to speak on this thing because I've…" Like, you said, "…I want to get more Instagram following." Or, "Oh, I said yes to attend this conference even though I really don't want to go." 

Like, there are so many things that we do and we act on either out of impulse, or because we feel like we have to. And I love that you mentioned focusing on the abundance of the opportunities that get created when you're pursuing the passion, pursuing the alignment, instead of focusing and hyper-focusing on the scarcity of, "If I say no to this, if this relationship ruptures, if this happens then everything crumbles."

And in reality, it's probably more often than not that focusing on that abundance and not paying attention to the one or two things that don't go the way that you think they should leads to growth and it leads to exponential growth because if we hyper-focus on things, it's like the whole thing, when you're like, I really want to buy a black Audi, and then you see black Audis all over the fucking road. And it's the reality of like, we get really hyper-focused in on these little details. 

So, for thinking about the negative or the potential negativity that can come with a decision, that's all we're going to focus on. And that's going to impact how we move through life, both personally and professionally.

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: I agree, I completely agree. And I'm glad that I chose to do this, to focus on this, and be intentional, and be mindful this year because it also allowed me to see I was doing a lot of things without really paying attention to what my intentions and my desires were. 

I had a client last week and he kept telling me that he was asking his friend, like, I keep saying like, "What do you need? What do you need?" And so, I said, "Tell me more about your friend." And the friend sounded like a very self-sufficient person. And I said, "Okay, so how about you asked this friend what did they want instead of what do they need? Like, what would you like for me to do for you today? Or what do you want? How can I help you today based on what you want?" I said because, you know, self-sufficient people who are very guarded, when you ask us what we want, we got to search a little deeper. And we also have to be honest, like, "Oh, I actually do know what I want but cannot ask this person? Am I okay with this person?" But this person is saying, tell me what you want and I'll see if I can accommodate you. If they tell me what you need, I already know I don't need anything.

PATRICK CASALE: And that's your default response, right?


PATRICK CASALE: Like, I don't need anything, I'm good.

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, let me know when you need something, call me if you need something. I won't be calling you.

PATRICK CASALE: And you immediately in your mind you're like, "Okay, well, I'm not going to do that."

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yes. But if he said, "What do you want?" Like, I know I want a lot of stuff.

PATRICK CASALE: There's a difference, right? And also, I think it is, again, about being okay with the response about being okay with if I am honest and transparent about my wants out of this interaction and relationship, I have to be okay with, one, I have to feel safe enough to do so in the relationship and two, I have to be okay if the response is not what I want it to be because that's not something that we can control when we're asking for these things, or when we're setting these boundaries, or having these clear intentions.

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: And workwise, as an entrepreneur, me focusing on that has allowed me to get more help and more support in clearing the space, you know, for marketing, for blog posts. I have a little mini magazine, and I have a friend who takes care of those things for me, but if I had never shared a vulnerable conversation in a once-based conversation, I would not have had those things because I would have been focusing on, "Oh, girl, I don't need that, I know I can handle those things myself, I just need the time to do it."

But having her as somebody who handles my website in place to take care of the things that I want done for me, it's like the sun has come out and I'm more excited to do the things that I enjoy.

PATRICK CASALE: You're always full of these analogies and all this imagery, it's all this creativity bubbling up beneath the surface, like the sun has come out and I can enjoy. I love it. But it's so true because I personally, again, I get a lot of like, behind the scenes on you, because you are part of our mastermind together and we have a lot of group chats that never fucking end. I'm pretty sure Montoyia has the notifications off 99.9% of the time. But that's setting boundaries. And also, just the realization, like, having to bear witness to your transformation since you took my private practice course, I don't even know when that was, almost two years ago.


PATRICK CASALE: It was last year?

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Mm-hmm (affirmative.) 

PATRICK CASALE: Geez, time flies. So, now, like, really getting to watch the passion projects become realities, the things that probably at one time felt out of reach now, like, just really, really incredible things that you are creating in this world and I'm really proud of you.

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Thank you, thank you. That means a lot. Yeah, it was because I needed to connect and I needed to plug into other people that I could relate to, that by their presence, give me permission to be myself and not have to, or not feel like I have to manage perception. Because what if you find out that I haven't cleaned my mirrors in like three or four months, so are you going to judge me? So, I need to clean the mirrors, I need to clean the house, I need to do all of these other things to get ready to present myself. 

When I spoke in Nashville, at the Not Your Typical Psychotherapist conference, I was worried, my heart was beating fast, and I was anxious because I was telling one of my friends, I said, "What if I say something like because we ain't going to be going over there." Or, like, my southern dialect is one of the things that I used to struggle with so much, and I worried that people would judge me based on my diction or how I talk. 

And so, she said, "Girl shut up. That's why they asked you. They want your voice, not a voice that you created for them to hear." And I needed that permission and once I realized, like, I'm using my voice, not on a voice that I need to present, it just seemed like I was in a room full of friends having a conversation with friends. But I have to have people around me to help give me that permission that I didn't know I needed.

PATRICK CASALE: And I think we all need that. And I love that you name that, you know, to say you're going into this experience already mentally preparing to accommodate everybody else in a way. And then the reality sets in of like, this is what draws people to people, right? Is like is the authenticity, is the unique voice, and experience in the storytelling, and putting your own spin on something instead of acting in whatever, you know, checking the boxes that you think you're supposed to check. 

And that's why I'm glad you sang that CeeLo Green, Fuck You song night before the speech at Lipstick Lounge in Nashville. That was pure, real Montoyia up on stage and it was glorious. 

But in reality, we all need that. Like, we need those moments where we can just let loose and just be ourselves. And the realization that comes with being yourself in these spaces is that not everybody is going to like you and that is okay because you shouldn't want that to be the case, you should not want to develop like a cult-like following of yes men behind the scenes that are just telling you what you want to hear.

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Right, right. Yeah. And the connections that I've created for me being Montoyia has been, it has surpassed what I could possibly dream of. And I feel loved, I feel seen. I feel cared for. Yeah, it feels good. So, even though I've lost some things along the way, the abundance and the increase that I've gained from the losses were worth it. But if I never chose to be Montoyia, all versions of me, then I probably would have still have stunted my growth.

PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, I love that. And for a lot of people, it may feel like this is just the beginning, right? Like, the year of 2022 was your year, but I know how much work has gone into 2022 becoming a reality and moving into 2023 knowing some of your visions, and your goals, and your travel plans, and just these cool things that you've got going on, there's a lot of work behind the scenes, both personally and professionally to get to a place where you start to step into this confidence or this mindset of this is what I get to offer the world because this is what I'm really fucking good at.

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, yeah. And accepting that. Like, being okay with, I'm really good at some things and I don't need anybody's permission to give myself permission to be okay with that. But being around people who help nurture it, good days and bad days has made a huge difference. And so, even though vulnerability to me is being honest about my feelings, and then giving them a space to go, it has been scary, but it feels like my heart is a lot softer. It feels like my heart has been defrosting. 

PATRICK CASALE: I like that. 

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Feelings of a defrosted heart and-

PATRICK CASALE: Podcast title.

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: …I'm really looking forward to it.

PATRICK CASALE: And I'm looking forward to it too. And I like that example. Like, being able to be more open to life, I think, is what it comes down to and just being more willing to embrace what's coming to you, and also be open to it, and open to relationships. Like, there's so often times where we have these opportunities to create these connections that we did not expect to experience. 

And I'm almost thinking right now of like, while we were in Hawaii, two summers ago, not this summer, but the last one, and at that conference, and we had some meals together alongside Yunetta, alongside Jennifer, alongside some other people, you don't really see what's being formulated then, it's just conversation over food. And then if you're not open to these opportunities and these experiences for connection and putting yourself out of your comfort zone, you never really know where the next year or two is going to take you and what those relationships are going to turn into.

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, yeah, I'm proud of you for doing it too. I'm really proud of you. 


MONTOYIA McGOWAN: You like going with things that were placed on your heart and follow through with it and making it happen has honestly been a blessing to a lot more people than you probably could imagine. And so, I love when you talk about the imposter syndrome because I'd be like, "Yeah, this is Patrick overthinking." 

And that's what I was thinking about earlier today.], I had a friend who had on a shirt that said, Hold on Right Quick When You Overthink This. And I'm an avid overthinker. But when you give those overthinking thoughts a space to go with people that you trust, we can help you sort those out. Like, it's okay for you to have those. It's okay for you to feel that way. And once you're done overthinking, then we're going to, like, dissect it just a little bit and give it a place to go because if you focus on facts versus feelings, usually our feelings they don't really correlate with the facts.

PATRICK CASALE: I love that. And thank you for that. Yeah, I think, you know, I've been doing a lot of parts work as my own personal therapy this year, doing IFS therapy, and there's a part of me that is a chronic overthinker, and very logical, and that's the part though, that if I hadn't been working through it, if I didn't have support systems in place of people who I trust to be real with, those are the parts that would consume, and those are the parts that would paralyze, and those are the parts that would prevent me from moving forward or acting on the idea. 

But now, giving that part permission to exist, but also asking it to move to the side, or go to the background, or quiet down a little bit, acknowledging like you're there for a reason, it's okay to overthink at times, there's purpose in that, there's a meaning. But that doesn't have to be the preventative, or the paralyzation, or the perfectionism that it used to be. And I think imposter syndrome, for many of us, is just day-to-day, it's a part of being an entrepreneur, second guessing yourself, overthinking things, defaulting to perfectionism mode. However, that does not have to paralyze you from moving forward and taking action. 

And I think the action piece is the difference. It's where that switch flips, so to speak, where people either get stuck in that, I can never do this because how will the world receive it? Or how will I be judged? Or how will it do? Versus I'm going to do it and feel it along the way, but I'm going to do it anyway. And that's really why I kind of started coining the motto of doubt yourself, do it anyway, the sheer because I noticed in so many other people these qualities, and these traits, and they have all these wonderful things to offer to the world, but they can't see it themselves. And it's just like, move into that self-doubt, that perfectionism, that imposter syndrome, let it exist, but do not let it dictate and control how you move forward.

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: I agree. And in the past, I had convinced myself that me overthinking and my imposter personality was trying to keep me safe. And so, I need to turn around and go back the other way and just stay here. Just stay in contentment, and stay in complacent, and so, you know, you being open and honest about our imposter syndrome has given, like, not just me, but a lot of other people I know permission to have it and to be okay with it, but not use it is a roadblock. 

But it's just a speed bump. It's just a speed bump, that's all it is. It doesn't mean stop, it doesn't mean turn around and go back the other way. And so, I love talking about the imposter syndrome because it continues to help me chip away at it for me.

PATRICK CASALE: Yeah. And I think that's something I realized and came to terms with is, the more you talk about it openly, the less power those thoughts have over you. And they may still exist, and they may still surface, and we may still see a correlation of when they intensify. But instead of just existing as a thought in your head, or this dream that you have, or this goal, or this ambition, it actually can become actionable once you get it out of your head, and then start acting upon it with movement, and ideas, and just intention. 

And for all of you listening, who experience some semblance of imposter syndrome, it really does lessen the intensity if you can get it out of your head. And that can be as simplistic as putting the idea out into a group chat or on your personal Facebook wall where most people are supportive of you. Because once it's out, it's like, "Oh, that is not nearly as scary as my mind was making me feel like that it was." And the possibilities are really endless once you can move out of that space, like Montoyia said, from that scarcity, overthinking mentality more into that abundance mindset of the more I put out to the world, the more that I'm going to attract. 

And I think that if you're able to surround yourself with people that you trust, you feel like have your best interest at mind, are in alignment with who you are and what you want to offer, it really does change things and it helps you grow as a unit instead of trying to do things on your own all of the time. 

And that doesn't mean those people are always going to give you 100% positive feedback, but they are at least going to offer suggestions, and feedback, and critique from a place of care, and concern, and connection. And I think that's really, really important as entrepreneurs to have those groups of people in your life.

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: What's your suggestion for people who say, "Well, I don't have anybody in my life like that and so I don't know what to do or how to move closer to that because I don't know anyone."

PATRICK CASALE: It's a great question. I think you have to create it yourself then. And that's similarly to when I've told therapists, "Hey, if you don't have a therapist community, a Facebook community in your area, create one. If you build it, they will come."

So, what I suggest, and this is going to go full circle into vulnerability, again, is reach out to people who you may want to have a part of this in your life, reach out to people and just ask, "Hey, I'm going to start this small group of people that I would like to have to help support, you know, professionally and personally as a mastermind group, or as a connection group, or as a group where we can bounce ideas off of each other."

Because I think we so often assume that we're the only ones experiencing something, we're the only ones experiencing the disconnection, the struggle, the loneliness, the isolation, the overthinking the, "I don't have anyone in my life." If you're thinking that and feeling that someone else is thinking and feeling that too. So, it really does take putting yourself out there and just asking one person, "Hey, would you have any interest in connecting and talking about these ideas or supporting one another?"

And sometimes, you know, that's the other side of the coin with vulnerability. Some people are going to say no, or have no interest, and it probably is nothing personal. It's probably I've got too much on my own plate. But it's the action of reaching out, it's the action of being vulnerable, and feeling that feeling. 

And I think I attribute a lot of success over the last couple of years to just reaching out for connection and just to put that idea out there. You know, some of my closest friends at this point in time and colleagues are because I was like, "Hey, do you have any interest in connecting? Do you have any interest in like, you know, getting on the podcast, or me coming on yours or creating this mastermind group?" 

And I think that may feel easier said than done for some of you listening, but I do think that if you can act upon it and just ask one person and put yourself out there, it will create that ripple effect of I can't do it. It's too hard. It's too scary. It's too overwhelming.

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah, I completely agree. Most of my closest relationships have come from social media and from me having the courage to reach out and connect with other people. But it's also a great place for you to find your own village people to connect with people understand you, and you are going to get some nos, and you're going to get some people that's not going to follow through and that's okay because it's a part of the process.

PATRICK CASALE: Yep. I agree 100%. And I think that, for any of you who are looking for that group, that, you know, you may see, oh, people have these masterminds going on, they connect off of social media. And then that jealousy comes up or that insecurity which I've been there, I get that, I've felt that, those feelings. It is about starting that process of just taking that step, sending that message, sending that email, sending that invitation to connect because you really never know where that's going to go. 

And that can really turn into some of your closest friendships and connections that you have, which are really crucial for professional development. And, like Montoyia said, having like-minded people with like-minded energy, it's contagious. And that doesn't mean everyone's like, crushing it all the fucking time. People are struggling, but at least when struggling, you have those people who can help pick you up, and support you, and check in on you too. 

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: Yeah and I've learned this past year, too, that I don't have ADHD, but I do struggle with ADD. And so, I need body doubling, especially, as it relates to energy. And as it relates to people who are living the kind of quality of life that I desire to continue to cultivate. And so, having people that can help me do that helps my dark days not be as dark as long.

PATRICK CASALE: I love it. Great advice, and great suggestions all around. And just really wonderful stuff that you're doing. I want to really just highlight that again. I am really proud of you as a friend and a colleague, and just getting to be your backup dancer because I'm definitely not trying to be front and center on this journey. 


PATRICK CASALE: And it's just really exciting stuff. And with that being said, just tell everyone where they can find more of what you're doing in 2023 and where they can find you.

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: You can go to my website at and I'm also on social media on, Stopping the Chase on Facebook and Instagram. Yeah, but mostly my website.

I have a field trip coming up next year that I'm super excited about. We're going to Ghana and it'll be eight days. And then I'll be in Ireland with some of my dearest closest friends and I'll be in Spain, and Greenville, South Carolina. So, I have lots of things that I'm going to be involved in next year next year. Next year I look forward to being on a living spree with people that I love and care for.

PATRICK CASALE: I love it. And I love the field trip to Ghana. So, keep an eye out for that. And we'll have all of Montoyia's information in the show notes so that you can find all of this and follow her stuff. She's got a podcast too, that she's not highlighting. Where can I find the podcast?

MONTOYIA McGOWAN: How did I forget about that? Bougie Black Therapist Podcast is the podcast where I like to talk to clinicians and entrepreneurs because only 5% of psychotherapists are people of color. And therapy is becoming a luxury and an investment for a lot of people of color. And so, I've even had, you know, some allies who are not of color who says, "I can't help your friend, we need somebody else that can better connect with them." 

And so, yeah, Bougie Black Therapist Podcast is a place where people have conversations where you find out like, it's not a norm, is no such thing really as a norm. So, cultivating your own authenticity of yourself as an entrepreneur or even as like a therapist. So, once again, you can get closer to who your people are and repel who your people are not.

PATRICK CASALE: Love it. Absolutely love it. Thank you so much for coming on, and making the time today, and just being a good friend and colleague, and just person enforcing this field. For everyone listening to the All Things Private Practice Podcast, you can like, download, subscribe, and share on all major platforms. New episodes out every Sunday morning. Doubt yourself, do it anyway. We'll see you next week. Thanks, Montoyia. 



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