I didn’t really know what I was missing for the first several years that podcasts were in existence. In fact, I really can’t recall how I started listening, but I believe it was in 2017. I had a toddler at that time, and I mostly listened to mom podcasts. Before long, I realized that podcasts were a mom’s best friend. They are ideal for anyone who is busy, actually. You see, I grew up in a family of learners. Learning often happens through reading. But after grad school I was a little burnt out on reading. Then my first baby came along and I found it even more difficult to get into a book. I needed more hope.
Enter podcasts: new voices, new information, entertainment, encouragement. Right in your ear holes. You can listen when you are doing dishes, folding laundry, driving carpool. All those little pockets of time that are the lifeline of busy moms and professionals. And with the boom of new shows in the past 5 years or so, you can really hear just about anything you want. Although I still listen to my favorite mom podcast, I also listen to lots of sermons, therapy shows, business shows, and several shows that are encouraging for my faith. It’s gotten to the point that people expect to hear the phrase “I was listening to this podcast, and…” in most conversations with me.
Filling a Need
In 2018 I was listening to my favorite podcast and noticed that the host and her guests frequently referred to their experiences in counseling. They encouraged listeners to get into counseling, too, even though that wasn’t the main topic of the show. As both a counselor and a counseling client, I realized that many people just don’t even know where to start when it comes to finding a counselor. I reached out to the host and offered to create a resource to help listeners find counselors. Originally I imagined creating a simple document, but she invited me to be a guest on the show. I felt surprised and honored.
The recording was so much fun! It was really exciting to wait for the release date and then to share it with my family and friends. From the moment the recording ended, I knew that I wanted to do more. It matched with a passion of mine: one-on-one conversations with interesting people. Since college, I’ve been looking for ways to enjoy conversations in a way that creates life change. That’s why counseling fit well for my career.
Unlike counseling, which serves only one or two people at a time, podcasts can reach millions with the same amount of time invested. Podcasting can’t take the place of therapy, but it can support it. Since becoming a counselor, I realized that more people need therapy than have access to therapy. Sometimes lack of access is due to location or finances or time. But for many, not going to therapy is due to misunderstanding and stigmatization of mental health care.
Enter the Soul Grit Podcast
My background has me uniquely qualified to promote the integration of therapy with faith. I’ve been in church since I was two weeks old, and I asked Jesus into my heart at age 3. As a teen and adult, I served as a volunteer or staff with several ministries and churches. I went to seminary with the express purpose of learning how to integrate faith into counseling. As a therapist, I worked in community mental health, school-based counseling, group practice, and solo private practice. All along the way, I worked towards marrying my two passions: therapy and the Gospel.
So when it came time to think about where I could enter the podcasting space, it was obvious that mental health and Christian faith were my themes. The Soul Grit Podcast is a dream come true, and it took three years to birth. Like all the resources I create through Soul Grit, the mission is twofold. First, I want to increase the access that Christians have to mental health care by breaking down stigmas, debunking myths, and answering questions. Second, I want to embolden therapists who love Jesus to integrate faith into their practices in a way that is appropriate, ethical, bold, and creative.
Be a Hope Spreader
Maybe you are a podcast junkie like I am. Maybe you’ve never listened to a podcast in your life, but you like the idea of hearing real conversations about faith and therapy. I want YOU to be on my team. Yes, I want the podcast to do well. I want to have more listeners than just my mom. (Love you, Mom.) But more than that, I believe I have a mission that is important to God. Our God is a God of healing and hope. And that’s what therapy can do, and that’s also the Gospel. When more people hear about counseling from a Christian perspective, they will have power to pursue healing through taking care of their minds, bodies, and spirits. Jesus Christ is the ultimate answer to everything that needs to be mended, healed, and redeemed.
If you are like me, and you believe that mental health is something that the Church should be talking about, you are perfect for this team. Here’s where you can help. Talk to your friends about therapy and how God uses it in His plan for healing. On June 1st, you can find the Soul Grit Podcast on all the major players. To help more people find the podcast, you can subscribe, rate, and review. But it’s also those word-of-mouth and personal social media invitations that make a difference! If you’re on board, click here to join the Launch Team. You’ll get the inside scoop as new episodes and resources release and even some freebies just for people who love the podcast!
Let’s launch some hope into earbuds everywhere!