Growing an Anti-Racist Practice – A Formula for Healing with Gary and Brittany Wardlaw (Part 2) | GP 136

On this therapist podcast, Gary and Brittany Wardlaw talk about Growing an Anti-Racist Practice

What does it mean to be anti-racist? How can you go against the grain and find what truly matters? Where can you make the most impact in your community in making a genuine change?

In the second part of this two episode podcast, LaToya Smith speaks about growing an anti-racist practice and finding a formula for healing with Gary and Brittany Wardlaw.

Podcast Sponsor: Brighter Vision

An image of Brighter Vision Web Solutions is featured as the sponsor on Faith in Practice Podcast, a therapist podcast. Brighter Vision builds all in one websites for therapists.

It’s that time of year again!

My friends over at Brighter Vision are once again kicking off the fall season with a month-long digital conference event they call ‘Fall Into Cash’.

For the entire month of September, they’ll be teaming up with the top brands, consultants, and coaches in the mental health industry to provide you with the best advice, tools, content, podcasts, and giveaways; all centered around one main goal – helping you grow your practice and make more money.

Plus, in celebration of the 6th anniversary of ‘Fall Into Cash’, they’re also offering a very special discount exclusively for Practice of the Practice listeners.

From now until the end of the month, they’re offering $20/month off of any website service plan for your whole first year plus no signup fees – that’s a savings of over $200!

For more information and to take advantage of this great offer, head on over to brightervision.com/joe.

Meet Gary and Brittany Wardlaw

A photo of Gary and Brittany Wardlaw is captured. They are the founders and co-owners of The Relationship Clinic, a mental health clinic. They are featured on Grow a Group Practice, a therapist podcast.Gary and Brittany Wardlaw are the founders and co-owners of The Relationship Clinic, a mental health clinic.

Brittany received her Business degrees in International Business and Marketing but then went on to earn her Juris Doctor degree shortly thereafter. While it was her intention to get in the courtroom when she finished, she ended up taking a position in higher education (thinking it to be temporary) but finding a niche in conflict resolution—specifically mediation and restorative justice. The move to The Relationship Clinic was a natural next step.

Gary’s experience began as a counselor at the local YMCA. From there, his clinical experience was gained in psychiatric facilities, the K12 school system, and in church settings where he provided pre-marital therapy and education to couples looking to tie the knot.

Whether through psychoeducation, group, or individual therapy, Gary affirms that it’s time for us as a community to heal from the generational trauma we’ve carried for centuries while coping with the trauma currently.

Visit The Relationship Clinic and connect with them on Facebook and Instagram.

In This Podcast

  • What does it mean to be anti-racist?
  • Find your niche
  • Spread the information

What does it mean to be anti-racist?

Anti-racist hangs on this moving sidewalk and says, “You know what? I know it’s going in this direction but I’m going to turn around and I’m going to actively walk in the opposite direction that this sidewalk is going”. (Brittany Wardlaw)

It is difficult to “walk in the opposite direction” because society is constructed with systematic racism and you have to move “against the traffic” of people walking and talking in a way that they’re used to, even though it is damaging.

It requires you to push against what is naturally being fed to you or what’s “naturally” happening, and we can talk about this in any system that you want to talk about. (Brittany Wardlaw)

In almost all systems, black people are at the top of the “bad” statistics and the bottom of the “good” statistics.

  • Anti-racist work challenges not the outcomes of the systems, but the systems themselves, because this work knows that the system is rigged to fail certain people while elevating others.
  • Anti-racist work actively challenges the old narratives and ways of interacting with people.
  • Anti-racist work is purposeful work. You have to be intentional, aware, and driven to challenge and change what is presented to you as the “norm”.

Find your niche

In doing anti-racist work, and if you want to incorporate it into your private practice, then seek out your niche and your ideal client.

For some people that might be their calling in life to go to the people that you got to convince, but we feel like there are too many people that don’t need convincing but still want to learn and understand.

Some people need to be taught and made aware of anti-racist work, while others are searching to learn more.

You’re saying, “My niche right now is the people who want this [work]”. (LaToya Smith)

Which position resonates with you? Which type of work draws you in? There you will find your niche.

Spread the information

Share your information and make it accessible to those who want to take part, become involved, and who want to learn from you.

Host internship programs, offer coaching and consulting to other practices, or host webinars to bring people on board and get involved in the conversations.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

  • From now until the end of the month, Brighter Vision is offering $20/month off of any website service plan for your whole first year plus no signup fees – that’s a savings of over $200! For more information and to take advantage of this great offer, head on over to brightervision.com/joe.
  • Visit The Relationship Clinic and connect with them on Facebook and Instagram. Find Gary and Brittany on LinkedIn.
  • Level Up Your Business from September 12th to 15th 

Check out these additional resources:

Meet LaToya Smith

An image of LaToya Smith is captured. She is a consultant with Practice of the Practice and the owner of LCS Counseling. LaToya is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

LaToya is a consultant with Practice of the Practice and the owner of LCS Counseling and Consulting Agency in Fortworth Texas. She firmly believes that people don’t have to remain stuck in their pain or the place they became wounded. In addition to this, LaToya encourages her clients to be active in their treatment and work towards their desired outcome.

She has also launched Strong Witness which is a platform designed to connect, transform, and heal communities through the power of storytelling.

Visit LaToya’s website. Connect with her on FacebookInstagramStrong Witness Instagram, and Twitter.

Apply to work with LaToya.

Email her at latoya@practiceofthepractice.com

Thanks For Listening!

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Podcast Transcription

[LATOYA SMITH] The Grow A Group Practice Podcast is part of the Practice of the Practice Network, a network of podcast seeking to help you market and grow your business and yourself. To hear other podcasts like the Practice of the Practice podcast, go to www.practiceofthepractice.com/network. You are listening to the Grow A Group Practice podcast, a podcast focused on helping people start, grow, and scale a group practice. Each week you’ll hear topics that are relevant to group practice owners. I’m LaToya Smith, a practice owner, and I love hearing about people’s stories and real-life experiences. So let’s get started. Welcome to the Grow A Group practice podcast, episode number 136, part two. I love that because now we’re talking about one, it’s not only were you both very passionate in this area. Then we talked about just that moment in the word is like this kairos moment, like this break in time where it is designed for you to move right through. So now it’s created and I can’t miss this moment and that’s what happened in this growth. Then I also hear you saying, listen because if we be absolutely transparent and honest. Everybody felt, has felt, we’ll feel like, is feeling like this imposter syndrome sometimes. Like, oh my goodness, this work is way greater than anything I can imagine. But what I hear you just say, Brittany, like listen, if you’re supposed to be there, then don’t fall back. Do your work so you can stay in that space and this is what has helped to just help your practice just take off, right? I love this, I just love community work in general. So I hear you talking about this community work, these partnership does help to build you up. What about like, just even breaking down more simple, what it means to be just this anti-racist? I guess I should have asked that question in the beginning because sometimes that gets lost, too, in that language. Yes, I just want to make sure, which I should have put in the beginning, but we’re here now. [GARY WARDLAW] I’ll let you take that one. [BRITTANY WARDLAW] So I always, when people are, when anyone asks what does it mean to be anti-racist? What does that work look like? I always give this analogy and quote Dr. Beverly David, I don’t know if you’re familiar with her, she wrote a book, she wrote several books, but one of her most famous books is why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria? [LATOYA] Okay, I heard that one. [BRITTANY: To me, she gives a beautiful illustration of what it means to be anti-racist. So the abbreviated version is this idea of a moving sidewalk. If you’re on a moving sidewalk and you’re walking in the direction that the moving sidewalk is going, she analogizes that to being racist because this sidewalk is like our systems that are just in place and they’re moving and they’re operating. So racism is walking on the sidewalk in the direction the sidewalk is going. A non-racist is someone that’s on the sidewalk, they might not like, they don’t like where the sidewalk is going, but they’re literally just standing there. If you just stand there, you’re still going to be moving in the same direction the sidewalk is going. An anti-racist gets on this moving sidewalk and says, “You know what? I know it’s going in this direction, but I’m going to turn around and I’m going to actively walk in the opposite direction that this sidewalk is going.” It’s hard because you’re opposing the traffic. You have to work a lot harder to make any headway or make any, to cover any ground but it requires you to push against what is naturally being fed to you or what’s naturally happening. We can talk about this in any system that you want to talk about whether it’s healthcare, accepting the outcomes that are and this, sorry, this is going a lot into the work that I do and I might be derailing this a little bit, but, essentially being able to look at these statistics and say, why are all of the statistics that are bad, black people are at the top of those statistics and all of the statistics that are good, were at the bottom in every single system, I mean every single one? What does it look like to purposefully do work that changes that narrative? So we’ve had that opportunity to do that in the fields that we’re in, in growing a practice because naturally if Gary just went along with the system that was in place, he could have just jumped on a private practice around him that were majority white, that were not focused on doing anything that tends to racial trauma. These are all hard things. No one else, I won’t say no one else is doing it, but it’s not the norm because there’s not a whole bunch of research out there. It’s out there, but it requires some digging. It’s not going to be provided, it’s not in y’all’s education, it’s not something that you study as a course. This is something you have to purposefully look for, purposefully attend to and so that’s my soapbox, anti-racism in the work that we’re doing. [GARY] Yes, you got to go from being Eurocentric. I think that’s a lot of times what going to your point of going against those systems is what do you, because most of those systems are designed — [LATOYA] And that’s an intentional. I don’t mean to cut you, but that’s an intentional, like you were saying, when you turn and go the other way, it’s an intentional act to go from being Eurocentric because that’s what we are taught, period, like directly, indirectly, so to do this work absolutely determined, intentional. I will not be shaken, time flow. Sorry, go ahead. [GARY] People that want like understanding that you will get a lot of flack, a lot of people that you’re trying to convince why you are doing the work that you are doing. We’ve come to learn that, that’s not an audience. [BRITTANY: For some people, that might be their call in life to go to the people that you got to convince but we just feel like there’s too many people that don’t need convincing but still want to learn and understand. [LATOYA] Yes. And that’s good because that’s your niche. We talk about that a lot, well, especially in consulting, you’re saying, listen, my niche right now is the people who want this. So we are not, we decided as a practice we’re not going to go in space. Now somebody else can do that but our niche is, hey, if you want to do this work, if you’re saying, I want to turn around and go the other way, this is us. Call us. That’s a good thing to know that. And what I was just thinking too, this is different because we’re talking about, you’re talking about, I don’t know, like I said, I’ve never been to to Waco, but you’re doing this in an area where you had mentioned before there’s not a lot of black in 2017, where not a lot of black therapists. I’m even thinking, okay, then you have areas like inner cities that may be oversaturated with these organizations who may be doing what you’re doing. So what you guys are doing where you are groundbreaking and different to be effective and keep it going. [BRITTANY: And that actually reminded me of what I was going to share earlier about that, especially with the people that are quietly coming to us. It is groundbreaking. So we would be very vocal and outspoken about the work. What’s interesting is there’s a lot of people listening, but they’re not going to comment. They’re not going to engage because they don’t, because it is groundbreaking and uncomfortable and not, some of the things we’ve said are not very popular, especially in the area that we were in. So you’re not going to know that it’s as impactful as it really is because people are not going to engage in that way publicly. Then people engage privately because they recognize that this is a need. They’re secretly supportive, but they can’t let their communities know that they are supporting in that space. So it is groundbreaking. Not to compare us, so I do a podcast as well, and I talked about this in one of my episodes, but, and it sounds very arrogant to compare us to Martin Luther King or Jesus, but I bring them up because we look at them like, oh Jesus, and yes, oh, I’m okay, but real time, nobody. That wasn’t their lives. People were not publicly — [LATOYA] Oh, they got ridiculed and bashed and people wanted them to be quiet and cast them out. You guys are trailblazers. I’m just cutting into your like, I’m sorry I wasn’t, I watch on Instagram, but carry on. [BRITTANY: Yes, well, I mean that’s killer. [LATOYA] If you’re doing anything that’s legitimately groundbreaking, typically, not typically, but sometimes I have the support like that. That’s a word. That’s a whole word. I feel like that’s, I feel it’s going to turn to a 10-part podcast. That’s a whole part. [GARY] I was going to add this piece and I’m good for just random thoughts. So my wife will bring me in but I think what thought came to my mind was even the groundbreaking work that we’re doing, we can’t really put it out there because they have that therapeutic sense or spin to it. So for example, I did a group called The Circle. There was, we partnered with Chick-fil-A and they sponsored a group therapy for, was two groups a total of nine-week group therapy. It was between black and white people or black people were the majority and then they invited white or Asian people to be a part of that. It was a group called The Circle where Black Voices was elevated and the people that they brought around them, it was a space where they can actually talk about their lived experience without being questioned or minimized. That’s one groundbreaking thing. Then I did group therapy called The Brothers Group, all black men. [LATOYA] That’s good. [GARY] You can imagine the power in that room, but we can’t talk because even those type of people, they don’t, there’s still the stigma around it. So even with the groundbreaking work that we’re doing, some we can put out front street, but others, unless somebody was to provide a testimony, which we know, I mean they could, but it’s a very sacred space and I think we’ve come a long way with mental health. I feel like we have a long way to go when it comes to people able to say, “Hey man, I just was doing group therapy and was seven men in the room crying talking about relationships and wives and racism and how they’re experiencing it at their job and how they just can’t take it anymore and how they’re grieving.” So this work does require you to be a trailblazer and to not really, being able to not feel like you have to have it all together and know all the answers because we are learning a lot as we go and we’re okay with making mistakes. But we’re also okay with knowing that we have a passion unless we step into this and trailblazer it. It literally fools who else is going to. [BRIGHTER VISION] It’s that time of year, again. My friends over at Brighter Vision are once again kicking off the full season with a month-long digital conference event they call Fall Into Cash. For the entire month of September, they’ll be teaming up with the top brands, consultants, and coaches in the mental health industry to provide you with the best advice, tools, content, podcasts and giveaways, all centered around one main goal, helping you grow your practice and make more money. Plus, in celebration of the sixth anniversary of Fall Into Cash, they’re also offering a very special discount exclusively for Practice of the Practice listeners. From now until the end of the month, they’re offering $20 per month off of any website service plan for your whole first year plus no sign-up fees. That’s a saving of over $200. For more information and to take advantage of this great offer, head on over to brightervision.com/joe. [LATOYA] That’s just, it’s amazing and I’m trying not to be too well, because it’s in me to say it, but whatever. So it’s just like, you’re definitely called to this work because who, I don’t want to keep going in. I’ve never been to Waco. I don’t want anybody to listen and be like, “Why don’t you talk about Waco like this?” But you move from, I’m from the east coast too, so you move from the east coast, you come out to Waco and then this just explodes. So it’s definitely, you are, I think somebody said it like anointed, ordained for this work specifically in this region to do what you are doing. So I think it’s beautiful. One of the last questions I’m going to ask you is do you do consulting for other practices when it comes to doing this anti-racism work? [GARY] No. However, I am, I think I’m ready to. I actually have a class that we should be dropping this week, a CEU for four hours that it’s just like an introductory seminar that we’re going to just put out there and have people to purchase. When it comes to healing a bloodline of trauma, that’s going to be the name of the course. So that’s more so, I know it’s not necessarily consulting, but I share that because I do want to get more out in that vein and we want to get out more in that vein to be able to help our practices because we feel like we have a formula that is impactful, that can be impactful. If you send me to people, I will be glad. This consulting role. [LATOYA] I think there’s a great work in what you both are doing. I think it’s important. I feel like we need a part two, but we’re going to see but this is amazing. Tell everyone how they can reach you. Go ahead. [GARY] Can I add this quick part? As far as growing to, the part that’s growing this practice, we just invested into a consulting ourselves to build our internship program, so TRC as an internship. So the more we grow, the more I’m understanding that I can’t do this, we can’t do this on our own. We have the need to train up and coming therapists. So we actually, I would meet with her today to finish out the contract work with building, having a robust internship program here in Waco and in Dallas because we’re in the Danville area. But yes, that’s another part of this, is growing the practices is making us, or forcing us to think outside of just me and Brittany and how do we prepare and increase the pipeline for therapists in the future. [BRITTANY: Yes. To add to that, I would encourage others, and we encourage, especially black people, we encourage our people to hire people to help, whatever that looks like. Whether that’s bringing someone on part-time to help you clerically, administratively, legally. Whether that’s hiring somebody to help clean in your business or like, because literally there are other people that can do some of the things that we are doing ourselves and you could be using that time to do what you actually have skills to do and make more money to do. So we, I feel like it’s a mental shift for a lot of us. it was for us when we got here, we were watching, because we’ve been in a lot of spaces, black, white, we spent a lot of time in white spaces and we would see people hire to do things and we’re like, oh, that could never be us. Actually, it could. We just have, there’s a shift that has to happen because we’re so used to doing everything ourselves, everything. But what does it look like to hire people to help you? Ultimately yes, it’s going to help grow your practice. So that was, yes. [GARY] Yes, that’s good. [LATOYA] I know in the beginning when we first opened up, I mentioned your T-shirt, which I have worn. I’ve taken a picture in and I put it on Instagram. I’ve worn it out. It’s definitely a statement. It’s definitely a word. So let’s talk about like where the idea, who was the creator behind that? Was that also teamwork or, the T-shirt says, everybody who doesn’t know, I pray, I talk, I see a therapist or that I talk, I pray — [GARY] I pray, I talk, I see a therapist. [LATOYA] Boom. So let’s talk about that. Who came up with that? I love it. [GARY] It was the Holy Spirit man. We were getting ready to open up a practice and do a ribbon cut in 2018 and a friend of mine was like, “Hey, you need t-shirts?” I was like, she said, “You need to put something on the t-shirts.” They had zero idea what to put on. I was just like, “Yes, I pray, I talk, I see a therapist.” It was real flippant. So we put those on t-shirts just to give as a thank you to the people that had really helped us renovate and just been supporters in our corners. Then at the ribbon-cutting, people were like, “Oh, how much are the shirts?” We were like, “We don’t sell them.” They were like, “You need to.” So at that point we were like, huh? So we started making shirts, started selling them, and then somebody said, “You need to get a trademark.” We were like, “Okay.” Sure enough, we got a trademark. Right after we got a trademark, somebody tried to steal it. So it is a statement. It really just speaks to the de-stigmatization of mental health. [LATOYA] That was the primary. [GARY] That was. How do we destigmatize in communities of color and communities of faith? It just, it touched on that, this idea of prayer and how we, that’s really all we had back in the day. That’s all we could do. And I think because that’s all we had, that’s all we’ve known. We believe that prayer is an integral part to healing. So it’s first, we put it first for a reason but then it’s also going against this idea that we just have to keep things inside. Like, what stays in this house, what’s done in this house stays in this house. We don’t talk about anything. We just rather suffer in silence. So this idea of no, you have a powerful voice. Share what you have gone through when you share your experience, there’s healing in that. Then seeing a professional, just being able to talk to someone who is trained and who understands the nuances of mental health. We wouldn’t, we never shy away from telling somebody to see a doctor or a beautician or a professional, whatever. So why do we, why won’t we do the same thing when it comes to seeing a professional about our mental health? I answer that. Well, you have this. She has her spin on it. Go ahead. [BRITTANY: I don’t know if there’s a, I think it’s evolved. I think you pretty much shared everything that it encompasses and what we’ve talked about when it comes to why we wear this and share this. But when 2020 happened, we recognized that it was a, almost a formula for healing. So how do we heal? Well for us, prayer is foundational in that process. Talking was a big part of my healing process and my transition from Baylor because what they have and what a lot of places organizations do, there’s this idea of being silenced about what has happened. So I’ve always been a rule follower. I don’t want to offend, I don’t want to, I’ve always tried to play the political game of what’s appropriate to talk about, what’s not. But what I learned very quickly is no, I have to talk about what’s happened because that is literally a part of my healing process. Keeping this is almost rotting me from the inside. So prayer is foundational, talking is foundational for healing and seeing a professional, we surely advocate for all of those things in our healing process, especially when it comes to racial trauma. [LATOYA] That is good. You guys see, I know we got to go, but you make me want to keep asking questions. Well tell people how they can find you, connect with you, listen to the podcast, all that stuff. [GARY] Look us up. So TRC or on Instagram, The Relationship Clinic, Facebook, The Relationship Clinic. Go to our website www.therelationshipclinic.com. Let us them know your social media. [BRITTANY: Yes. I am unplugged on Instagram. But my podcast is also bub unplugged on Spotify and Apple. I feel like my social media presence is more our family outside of Instagram. But our family is an integral part of what we do. Our kids are homeschooled, so we are doing this thing together often. They’re very much around the work that we do. They can have a lot of conversation about anti-racism and who their leaders are and all of that. So yes, I think that’s, oh, we’re on LinkedIn. [GARY] I’m on LinkedIn. Gary Wardlaw, Britney Wardlaw. [BRITTANY: Britney Wardlaw on LinkedIn. Definitely have a presence there. [LATOYA] Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being the guest on this podcast. I really appreciate hearing both your voices and I’m really excited about the work you’re doing in Waco and I really hope, well, I know you are going to keep growing and reaching a lot of people, a lot of organizations, individuals, other therapists. So thank you so much and I’m definitely spreading the word about your work. [BRITTANY] Thank you. [GARY] Thank you. [BRITTANY: Thank you so much for having us. It’s definitely been a pleasure. You’re an incredible host. [LATOYA] Thank you. Thank you once again to Brighter Vision for sponsoring this episode. Remember to head on over to brightervision.com/joe to get your first three months of website service completely free. If you love this podcast, please be sure to rate and review. This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the hosts, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or any other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.

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