>> Carlee: Are you unsure of where to start when it comes to your mental health and therapy? You'll find out on this episode of The Stress Less Show. Hi. I'm Carlee Myers, a stress management expert. One thing I hear day in and day out is that we feel like we've tried everything when it comes to stress management, but have we really tried to get to the root of the issue? Each episode I bring on experts and leaders to not just put a Band-Aid on your stress. But to actually get to that root. This month's theme is mental health. This is something that's slightly coming around but I think we could get a little bit more going in the movement. So I'm excited to bring on a special guest. IdaMae to talk about finding your happy and finding the right therapy for you. So IdaMae Devers has an MBA and Health Administration and is the co-owner of Philly Family Life Counseling LLC with Dr. Gene Devers LCSW.. Welcome to the show.
>> IdaMae: Thank you. Happy to be here.
>> Carlee: Absolutely. So. We- before the show, we connected multiple times. I mean we met months and months and months ago at I believe a talk that I was giving. And you came up to me after that talk and shared with me your story and I was just in awe of where you've come from and the work that you're doing. So if you don't mind, I'd love it if you could share a little bit about where you've come from and where you're at now with our listeners.
>> IdaMae: Absolutely where I came from is. A lot of serious trauma within my life starting when I was a teenager. I am a survivor of rape and molestation that started when I was 14. I am also a survivor of domestic violence that happened with my first husband and it all goes back to my rape and picking that particular person as a partner at that time. And from there, I am also a survivor of a suicide attempt. When I was married to my ex husband, I attempted suicide not intentionally; but it was one night when things were really bad and I just wanted him to just stop. I didn't want to hear his voice anymore and he had just had surgery and had some opiates laying around. So I took a couple and I didn't go to sleep. I could still hear him, I took a couple more, couldn't go to sleep and and so on and so on. So what happened was I realized that oh my god what have I just done. Fortunately, I was able to call for help before he ripped the phone out of the wall. An ambulance came took me out of the house and then forced me, through the hospital, I was not allowed to leave the hospital until I found a therapist. So that began my journey with therapy.
>> Carlee: Oh. Yeah.
>> IdaMae: Yes.
>> Carlee: Right. Most of us are... Are like teetering on this edge. I think of like should I do it? Should I not? But you had this situation where it was like you. I don't have a choice. I got experience, I gotta go through this whether I like it or not.
>> IdaMae: Exactly I did. And you know the only way that we're going to let me go home is if I promised that I would go into therapy and I had to sign paperwork stating that I would have a therapist and I would notify them that you know within X amount of days that I was in a reputable therapeutic relationship with a licensed therapist. You know not just somebody that I picked out to talk to but a licensed therapist. So I began my search
>> Carlee: How. Yeah. How did that... What was that search like and how did that transform your life?
>> IdaMae: Not knowing what I was looking for, my first dive into therapy was not what I had hoped it would be. It was not... It wasn't what I experienced later on in life. I didn't realize that when you're looking for a therapist, you need to interview those therapists. You need to feel a connection you need to feel comfortable. And I never felt comfortable with this person, but I went because I was ordered to. And I did everything that I was supposed to do. But I don't think she was right for me. You know and realize that being back home with my ex-husband that it still wasn't working. I was going to therapy but I wasn't getting fixed because obviously when you're in that type of relationship, you are the one that needs to be fixed. Not him. Not anyone else in that relationship. It's you that's broken and I spend a lot of years believing I was broken. So. You know. And then after that, one of the positives that came out of that is I did realize that we couldn't be married anymore. His drug addiction, his alcoholism, his violence. I just couldn't deal with that anymore and I finally told him we're done. It took me two more years to figure out how to get out of it and to save money when you know when you're in that type of a relationship, they do not allow you financial freedom. Your finances belong to them. Even if you are the major breadwinner in your family. Your money is their money not your money. So it took a lot of planning.
>> Carlee: And I imagine that. You know in that situation. You know finding the right therapist and getting the right support was really important. So interviewing and finding somebody that you click with is just... At the end of the day like you gotta. Like. This isn't just like any professional is going to work like there is no one size fits all. There's personalities there's -
>> IdaMae: Absolutely
>> Carlee: - types. I mean. You name it. Yeah. So what do you recommend for someone who is struggling with their mental health, are looking to find their happy. And I put that in quotes because I know it's medically correct but. You know. What. What is. What do you recommend for that like first steps. That they should be taking.
>> IdaMae: One of the first steps is don't be afraid of therapy. Don't be afraid of a therapist. Don't listen to old stigma that you're crazy if you're going to a therapist because you're not. You're absolutely not. You're trying to find somebody who is professionally trained in various areas of mental health who can help you to get over and to learn about yourself. And if you're willing and you want to change anything in your life, it's such a positive experience to find the right therapist that can help guide you to where you need to go. I mean I would not have a masters degree if I hadn't been in therapy and had the support of my present husband telling me that you can do this.
>> Carlee: Yeah. It's so interesting too like. For those of you who are listening who don't know my back story. Going through PTSD just and going through starting your own company, having a therapist like... I'm the first one to admit like, "Hey I've got one!" You know. You know because we have to we have to get to the place where this is... Where people aren't afraid anymore because, at the end of the day like, I know you said you couldn't do it like you wouldn't. You wouldn't be where you're at without that and I'm the same way. What. What else do you recommend for people who are searching for their happy?
>> IdaMae: Another thing I recommend is just getting out into nature, taking a walk. I do a lot of walking. I've always done a lot of walking. And I've found that depending on where I am in my own head, walking out under the sky or walking in the city even can relieve stress. Sometimes at lunchtime if I've had a rough morning, I will just go out. I work in Center City, Philadelphia and I will go out and I will take a long walk around the streets or take a walk down to the river and then walk back to work. I live close to Penny Pack park. I used to live in New Jersey so I was used to nature. And I love to walk out under the trees. That's one of the things that really relaxes me. And then another thing that I do is one of my favorite places to go is either south jersey into the farmlands or up to Lancaster into the farmlands and I can just spend hours just sitting somewhere and looking at the sky. and that really relieves stress.
>> Carlee: Yeah I feel like anytime we can get into nature or outside is huge. I know I just went - it doesn't of course have to be this extreme - but I went to Vermont recently and I stayed on a farm and it was like. Oh my goodness is that my happy place.
>> IdaMae: Oh absolutely.
>> Carlee: No signal just trees and animals like it was. It was amazing. So you know in summary, fine... When we're looking back at this episode, finding your happy and finding the right therapy you know. First don't be afraid of therapy to begin with and allow yourself to know that it's like a job interview right you have to interview therapist. And in the meantime and of course once you get one, it's so important to get yourself outside. Go on a walk. Go on a bike ride. Visit your favorite place. And.
>> IdaMae: Draw, color.
>> Carlee: Yes. Be creative. Absolutely. So thank you so much Ida for coming on this show. This has really been a pleasure. So we want to thank our sponsor Philly Family Life Counseling LLC for the support for this episode of The Stress Less Show. Philly Family Life Counseling LLC is an in network provider with most of the insurance companies in the area, in the Philadelphia area. So visit Philly Family Life Counseling dot com to learn more. That concludes this episode of The Stress Less Show and we'll see you next week.