Aligned Birth

Ep 148: Matrescence (the process of becoming a mother) - Interview with counselor Kristina Tucker

March 27, 2024 Dr. Shannon and Doula Rachael Episode 148
Ep 148: Matrescence (the process of becoming a mother) - Interview with counselor Kristina Tucker
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Aligned Birth
Ep 148: Matrescence (the process of becoming a mother) - Interview with counselor Kristina Tucker
Mar 27, 2024 Episode 148
Dr. Shannon and Doula Rachael

The process of becoming a mother, matresence.  Much like the process of becoming a teenager and adolescence, there are chemical, physical, and emotional changes that occur as we become a mother.  In this episode, Dr. Shannon chats with maternal mental health counselor Kristina Tucker about the change in our identity in motherhood, where society fails us, and what resources are out there for support.  They also discuss:

  • How to treat matresence from a holistic and empowering lens 
  • The things that change within is in motherhood
  • Support vs fixing
  • Self-compassion
  • Find the gray area of motherhood (the both/and)
  • Trauma - attachment - narrative work 

Resources mentioned in the show
Episode 132: navigating motherhood and friendships
Episode 90: Holding 2 truths
Connect with Kristina:

Support the Show.

Want to show your support? Want to help us continue doing this important and impactful work: Support the Show (we greatly appreciate it!)

Don't miss new episodes: Join the Aligned Birth Community

Instagram: Aligned Birth


Find us online:
Sunrise Chiropractic and Wellness
North Atlanta Birth Services

Editing: Godfrey Sound
Music: "Freedom” by Roa

Disclaimer: The information shared, obtained, and discussed in this podcast is not intended as medical advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional consultation with a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your individual medical needs. By listening to this podcast you agree not to use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or others. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having. This disclaimer includes all guests or contributors to the podcast.

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Show Notes Transcript

The process of becoming a mother, matresence.  Much like the process of becoming a teenager and adolescence, there are chemical, physical, and emotional changes that occur as we become a mother.  In this episode, Dr. Shannon chats with maternal mental health counselor Kristina Tucker about the change in our identity in motherhood, where society fails us, and what resources are out there for support.  They also discuss:

  • How to treat matresence from a holistic and empowering lens 
  • The things that change within is in motherhood
  • Support vs fixing
  • Self-compassion
  • Find the gray area of motherhood (the both/and)
  • Trauma - attachment - narrative work 

Resources mentioned in the show
Episode 132: navigating motherhood and friendships
Episode 90: Holding 2 truths
Connect with Kristina:

Support the Show.

Want to show your support? Want to help us continue doing this important and impactful work: Support the Show (we greatly appreciate it!)

Don't miss new episodes: Join the Aligned Birth Community

Instagram: Aligned Birth


Find us online:
Sunrise Chiropractic and Wellness
North Atlanta Birth Services

Editing: Godfrey Sound
Music: "Freedom” by Roa

Disclaimer: The information shared, obtained, and discussed in this podcast is not intended as medical advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional consultation with a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your individual medical needs. By listening to this podcast you agree not to use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or others. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having. This disclaimer includes all guests or contributors to the podcast.

Dr. Shannon (00:02.685)
Hello, hello, this is the Aligned Birth Podcast. I am one of the hosts of the show, Dr. Shannon, prenatal chiropractor. And today we have a guest on the show. And when she and I were chatting about, well, we've been chatting for a while to come up with the idea for this show, but we're talking about maternal mental health. And we've had several shows on maternal mental health, but today...

There's gonna be like a vocab lesson. So I hope you learn some new words, the word matressence. So our identity changes and motherhood is one focus of it. And this concept of motherhood doesn't have to be like either or it's like a both and. And so that's what stands out in my mind, but we're going over all the things. We're going over all kinds of maternal mental health.

mood disorders, we're going to go into support versus fixing it, looking at validation and normalization, self -compassion, finding that both and that gray area and coming in with ways that you can support yourself. So I have a guest on the show, Christina Tucker. She's a virtual counselor specializing in maternal mental health. She often includes approaches such as EMDR, which is the eye movement desensitization reprocessing.

IFS, internal family systems and ego state work, narrative therapy, education and experiencing to facilitate a better understanding of how the brain and body processes stress and trauma. Like that's a lot. I'm so excited to go into that with her on that. She often uses body -based approaches, pulling from her training as a trauma conscious yoga instructor, also has thorough training and experience and enjoys integrating the Christian faith in the counseling process when her clients desire.

She's a mom of three, so six year old boy, seven year old boy, one year old girl. So she's got her hands full. Also married to a high school teacher and football coach, so she spends a lot of time at sports. But in her free time, she plays around with creative mediums like knitting, hand embroidery, painting to help ground her and have fun. She posts stuff on social media. She's authentic, she's real. You should follow her, she'd reach out to her. I love her. Welcome to the show, Christina.

Kristina (01:58.89)
Thank you.

Kristina (02:20.426)
Oh, I'm so glad to be here. Thank you. Thanks for that wonderful intro, too.

Dr. Shannon (02:24.669)
Yes, this is so fun because a lot of times when I have guests on the show, I sometimes haven't met them in real life, but I'm like, I know Christina in real life. And I'm so excited because she, I don't even know how you found the office, but she worked in my office complex, like in the office above me. We have people there's, and so she was in a counselor's office above me. And I was like, oh, this is amazing. And she loves chiropractic care. And she just, her holistic approach to maternal mental health. And then she moved.

Kristina (02:52.458)
And then I moved. I felt the same way for whatever it's worth. I was like, no, I just found her.

Dr. Shannon (02:53.213)
And I was like, no, I just found you. So that's how I know Christina in real life.

I don't want to move. But you've been a real gem and I'm glad that we have stayed in touch and connected. And like I said, you're on social media a lot. So I know we didn't get to dive real deep into our relationship while you were there, you know, in person. But I just love everything that you share. And when I knew you, you only had the two little boys. So you've had a new, a new, a new baby. So you...

Kristina (03:27.274)
That's right.

Dr. Shannon (03:32.253)
put in here that you've been a counselor for 10 years, but you have a six, a seven and one year old. So you've been a counselor before you had children and then now into that counselor world you had children. So I wanna dive deep a little into your counseling work, how you got to where you are and how that shifted into that maternal mental health focus.

Kristina (03:55.498)
Yeah, absolutely. So I was one of those, I don't know, I don't think many people have experienced, but as like a teenage girl, I knew I wanted to be a counselor. So I kind of started undergrad, did psychology and specialization in child and family development, and then went on to get my master's so I could be a counselor. I always knew that I wanted to. I had some just difficult family circumstances, different things, and counseling like helped me get through.

So I always knew I wanted to be a counselor. So yes, made it to, and I loved it, you know, right out of grad school, typically right out of grad school, you're kind of trying to figure out who are my people? What is my kind of niche? What am I, if I'm gonna have a niche, like what is my niche? I saw a lot of teens at first and was kind of like, okay, I like this, I'm good at this. Connected with teens, but never really.

Dr. Shannon (04:38.213)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (04:52.266)
I don't know, was always felt like something was a little lacking. And then kind of in that process, kind of three years years in with counseling, you get a associate license, you practice for three years and then you can get your full license. And so I, yeah, did my associate licensure, got pregnant, you know, like timed it all out as best I could. And then when I became a mom, I'm like,

Dr. Shannon (05:15.249)

Kristina (05:19.594)
Whoa, okay. Now I'm seeing client issues, how I'm seeing what my clients are bringing into the office is changing a little bit. I was always super accomplishment driven perfectionist. And so then I had these two worlds and my boys are back to back, they're 18 months apart. So I never stopped and I was breastfeeding. So I basically went from breastfeeding to pregnant again to breastfeeding to yeah. And I'm still working through all of that, took super short maternity leaves, which looking back, I'm like, oh, I just.

Dr. Shannon (05:44.379)

Uh huh.

Kristina (05:47.914)
Yeah, kind of hurt from for that young mama in me that was doing it all. But yeah, really came against this, this thing of like, I'm not the same person that I was. And counseling is so relational. And then I was going to the office and I just kept bumping into I'm not, I'm not the same person that I was. And then I found that, you know, motherhood was bringing up different stuff for me, like how my

Dr. Shannon (05:59.261)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (06:13.514)
how I was parenting my kids, kind of my relationship with my parents. My parents were great. They did the best that they could with what they had. And also there were some significant gaps. And so I found myself like working through the attachment work and some of the beliefs and different things as we all do with our own parents as I'm learning to parent. Then it was just messy. So I started diving into like research and trying to figure out, is this maternal mental health thing? Can this be a niche?

Dr. Shannon (06:19.877)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (06:40.785)

Kristina (06:41.194)
And I found myself seeing moms and I was like, oh yeah, this is a thing. Yeah. Totally, yes.

Dr. Shannon (06:45.285)
Uh -huh, because you were probably attracting that as well too. Well, and I will say, so I have a 14 year old and an 11 year old and I feel like it's that Mean Girls scene when the Toaster Street Girls girl, I can't remember her name and she's like when Regina George like it's the whole, you may think you like Gold Hoop earrings or you may think you like this guy, but you could be wrong. And I feel like it's the same thing with motherhood like you might think that.

Kristina (07:09.704)
Uh -huh.

Dr. Shannon (07:12.349)
everything is fine and oh, your childhood was great and you have nothing wrong and then you have a kid and you're like, oh, you could be wrong. There could be things triggering you that you don't realize. I think that's been one of the most eye -opening things with parenting is not only parenting and then like healing and being aware of what is going on with me. I mean, that's so eye -opening.

Kristina (07:23.53)

Kristina (07:35.978)
Yeah, yes, I totally agree. Totally agree. For me, I was super lucky, maybe lucky, I don't know, in the sense of I'm the oldest on one side of my family. I'm the oldest of five kids. And so, and I babysat and nannied and all of that through high school, college. That was kind of my side hustle in college and in grad school. And so, I knew the physical part of taking care of babies. And so I think that's, I went in and I was like, oh, I can do this. This is fine. And the physical part, like,

Dr. Shannon (07:59.301)
Mm -hmm.

Mm -hmm.

Kristina (08:05.322)
I didn't have a huge learning curve there like a lot of moms. And also it was so hard and that caught me off guard because I was like, there's a 10 year gap, 12 year gap between me and my younger siblings. And I was like, I don't know how to do this. And I did, but I didn't. Yeah. Yeah, totally.

Dr. Shannon (08:12.837)

Dr. Shannon (08:18.685)
Yeah. Exactly. That's motherhood. I did, but I didn't. Like, I don't, yeah, I don't know. And I like when you speak to your own, I mean, not everyone. I just know I identify too with that overachiever and striving and all of that. And then sometimes motherhood, it can kind of slap you in the face a little bit too. One of the things I hear the most in the office though is also how...

most moms don't realize how difficult postpartum can be. And it doesn't have to be difficult. It's not like a bad difficult. It doesn't have to be a bad difficult thing, but that it's just, there's just a lot going on. There's a lot. So there's a lot. So I wanna get into this word, matrescence. I know we were just talking about this before the show and I was like, am I saying this right? Is this how you say it? But it is, I...

Kristina (09:01.098)
Yes, there's a lot.

Kristina (09:09.514)
Thank you.

Dr. Shannon (09:16.349)
hold up the like definition here too, because I was like, oh, what's the definition of it? Blah, blah, blah. It literally is the process of becoming a mother. But I'm like, I know, I was like, okay, well, it's not as deep and profound as I thought, because it's such a big word. So I want to get into...

Kristina (09:18.89)

Kristina (09:24.106)
Oh, how helpful.

Kristina (09:29.93)

Dr. Shannon (09:35.997)
I guess shifting that thinking of it in the process of motherhood, how we have a process of adolescence and then we have this process of motherhood, and that's the adolescence growing into the teenage years. We're very open and forgiving in that time, right? Oh, it's adolescence, you know? But I don't think the same can be said for matressence. So what does matressence mean to you and in your line of work?

Kristina (09:45.482)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (10:02.634)
Yeah, so what I think about metressin, right, I do go back to that stage of development, just like you said, that has been the most helpful way of learning about it is, okay, we kind of think about and understand for adolescents that kids are coming, you know, from kids to teenage years, they are experiencing all the hormone shifts, all the peer changes and relationship changes. Their bodies are changing dramatically.

So when you think about that for adolescents, we all can kind of understand that. I think we have a frame of reference for that. Then when we take that to mattress sense, it's the same kind of idea that our bodies have changed dramatically or are changing dramatically. Our hormones are all over the place. Our relationships change dramatically. So it's that same, that's what I think about is, okay, it's a developmental season of life where we go through a lot of changes.

Dr. Shannon (10:44.241)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (10:57.386)
Um, the other thing I think about too, is it's not, you don't just do it once. So it's not just like you have your first baby and then you've gone through that period. It's really the reality of this developmental stage can happen if you've adopted a baby. It can happen if you've experienced lots of a baby. It can happen from baby one to two, from two to three, um, that there is this, uh, season of, of mattresses. Always. Um,

Dr. Shannon (11:03.069)

Kristina (11:27.466)
when you're adding a baby or supposed to add a baby and something where it happened. So yeah.

Dr. Shannon (11:32.187)
Mm -hmm. Now, what about, too, as the child is growing, then it's like you're coming into those new seasons of motherhood as well, too. So I also see it as not only in each of those immediate, I guess, after the fact events, but then the growth and the development.

Kristina (11:45.514)

Dr. Shannon (11:58.269)
I feel like it's the same thing of like postpartum is like forever. I'm like, matressence is forever. Like, maybe then there's like grand matressence or I don't know what word would be for grandmother, but.

Kristina (12:02.57)

Kristina (12:08.746)
I don't know. I would really love like, you're exactly right. This is a huge developmental, like, I think we make room for that developmental kind of transition up until people are in their, you know, mid to young 20s, I think. But then we think at some point, we all have different markers for when you reach adulthood. But you reach adulthood and it's like, okay, and then maybe you think like mid age and then elderly.

Dr. Shannon (12:15.205)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (12:29.605)
Uh huh.

Kristina (12:35.05)
But there is so much gray in the whole process. And right, I think you had on something really important there that, right, there's developmental changes for us as moms and dads and parents throughout, kind of like we talked about at the beginning, different stuff is triggered in us as our kids reach different ages. And so that's, yeah.

Dr. Shannon (12:55.389)
Yes. And I think when you can be graceful with yourself too, because like maybe the earlier years aren't so bad, but then it's the teenage years or something that really trigger you. And then you can feel a little bit like, well, crap, I've been raising this kid for so long. I shouldn't be feeling this way or I shouldn't be having these feelings, you know? And you can kind of spiral out of control. It's very easily done. So I want to get into why the language...

Kristina (13:10.122)

Kristina (13:14.986)
Totally. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (13:25.401)
of Matresson's is important because we So Christina and I had were emailing and chatting we've been trying to do this interview For a while now and then it just kind of came about and then like well What do we even want to talk about because she's got so much? I don't know everything that like I said everything that she shares. I love and she has so much knowledge with it No, I love it. I'm like, please keep sharing This is amazing because you'll share like the books that you've read and then like the artwork and stuff. That's just very

Kristina (13:44.522)
Because I do too much.

Dr. Shannon (13:54.845)
Um, it's so authentic. I love that though. I love that. It's real. It's real. I'm like, I want to see real people, you know, like I don't want to see this fake stuff anymore. But, um, why, so we communicated a bunch and then, um, I was like, well, what if we focus on this? And then you sent this beautiful outline and one, I know I was like, I hope we can get to everything is that like, but, um, one part was, cause I want you to go into this a little bit more and how we look at.

Kristina (13:57.726)
Thanks. Good.

Dr. Shannon (14:24.581)
matressence in the Western world and how we view postpartum in that like Western medical view, you know, like go down that route and then how kind of like a shame, a shift in perspective and that lens can change how we look at postpartum.

Kristina (14:35.294)
Mm -hmm. Yeah.

Kristina (14:48.81)
Totally, yeah, yeah. So no, I mean, there is so much there, but right, our Western model, think about like postpartum period, typically, it's you see your doctor so many times through pregnancy, and then you have the baby, and then you go in for your next checkup at six weeks after. So you got a whole six week gap there.

Yes, pediatrician has you fill out at this point, has you fill out the little mood survey. So somebody's got sort of an eye on you as mom. But once again, the mood survey is screening for postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety. It's screening for diagnosable like, okay, do we need to be concerned about mom? Is there a problem? Instead of this reality of, okay,

Dr. Shannon (15:25.341)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (15:29.734)
everything has changed in life pretty much. You have gone to taking care of this little thing that is parasitic. You love it beyond belief, but it takes up literally every ounce of your time. Um, and that very beginning, especially that first month. Um, and it doesn't smile back. It doesn't do anything. It just needs so much. You can tell this is like still really fresh for me. Yeah. Um,

Dr. Shannon (15:36.965)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (15:48.637)
It just needs. It's very fresh for you.

Kristina (15:56.586)
But so no, and it's okay when you're sitting here saying like, this is hard and you go to the doctor and you try to be real about this is hard. It's okay, well, she's not doing well. She's got a problem. Here's an SSRI. We gotta fix this problem. Where Matressens allows us this language of like, no, no, no, no, no. This is understandable. Of course it's hard. And of course you're struggling.

What supports do you need? How relationally have things changed for you? What does your support look like? Do you have relational support or are you doing this kind of on your own? What's that look like? Do you have other kids in the house? What does their care look like? Are there feeding concerns? What do those look like? Because so often, right, the feeding concerns and how you're feeding and breast is best and all the things, that's more stress and more shoulds.

And then we go into the shoulds and then we're beating up on ourselves. And then there goes into depression and anxiety. Like it's just so much. So this lens of matressence really gives us this like more soulful, holistic, compassionate, empowering view when we're thinking about this shift into motherhood. It's okay, yes, you're struggling in which ways? What ways? Because there's always gonna be some sort of struggle. How are you struggling and how can we help?

Dr. Shannon (16:51.165)

Kristina (17:20.458)
And yes, maybe I'm a huge fan of some Zoloft. Maybe that is part of the tools. Maybe that is part of the support. But what else? It's not, okay, six week checkup, here's some Zoloft. Oh, do you have a counselor? All right, maybe here's a couple you can call. No follow up. Maybe in three to six months, depending on your OB, your gynecologist, will they follow up on that? But no, no, no, we need ongoing intentional checkups, support and not.

Dr. Shannon (17:29.661)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (17:39.493)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (17:49.864)
pathology, but just a like, okay, what do you, what do you mama, what do you need? Um, and how can I help?

Dr. Shannon (17:51.333)

I know when you put that in the outline, I was like, oh my gosh, because that's how, but that's like the lens I look at things through with chiropractic care as well though too, because you've got this allopathic, this pathogenic model where we reduce everything down, which we should, we need a kidney doctor, we need a heart doctor, we need a lung doctor, we need all of those special things, but the heart and the kidney and the lungs don't work alone.

Kristina (18:03.85)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (18:22.493)
So when you, there's also this look at shift in chiropractic here with like that salutogenic, that whole healing vitalistic body that works together. And I think when you shift that lens of looking at that postpartum time period or that shift into motherhood, instead of it being so pathological and more of that like, oh yeah, this is just a normal development, like a normal developmental process, but there's...

There's things within it that you can get support for outside of just that little check sheet like you're saying and just like sending them on their way with this big event, you know? I mean, our teenagers are surrounded by us. We comfort them in their adolescent struggles, those type of things. We don't leave them alone. So we shouldn't leave the moms alone too. So I love that the shift in the language.

Kristina (19:03.562)
Yeah. Yes.

Kristina (19:20.234)
Mm -hmm. Me too.

Dr. Shannon (19:20.637)
I think is important, you know, because then that can shift the lens with what we're looking at.

Kristina (19:25.13)
Right, right. Because too, I think, well, number one, the statistics of like 85 % of moms experience some sort of mood disorder after pregnancy, some sort of big shift in mood in this postpartum period. And actually that statistic holds true even for adoptive parents too. So, right, so 85 % experience a dramatic change in their mood.

Dr. Shannon (19:37.083)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (19:44.379)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (19:51.198)
And then it goes on like between 15 and 20 percent are then perhaps diagnosed with an anxiety depression But when we're thinking like 85 percent That is so high like why are we not then? How can we as it kind of becomes my question of how can we then validate like what's going on? Why is it that high and then that's when I started diving more into some research and trying to understand of like the brain changes the hormonal changes the right you add on the challenges of

Dr. Shannon (20:01.915)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (20:21.2)
Kind of having an infant and we're thinking like sleep disturbance, which does not help anything with mood. It makes everything with mood worse Yes. Yes, like we said possible feeding challenges if there was any birth trauma Addressing that mom is still trying to process and death still trying to process any birth trauma It's just a recipe for Adjustment challenges anytime we're going through big adjustment. We need more support

Dr. Shannon (20:27.675)
Mm -mm. It makes everything worse. Yep.

Dr. Shannon (20:38.877)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (20:49.693)
Well, and I've just like jotting down notes as we chat, because then I just wrote more than just OB. So that was my trigger to you had mentioned that this isn't to shame the medical providers or the OBs like, you know, as far as like, oh, I only see you at six weeks and you didn't catch this and blah, blah, blah, blah, because their business is pregnancy, labor and birth. So I think there's...

Kristina (20:59.378)

Kristina (21:05.258)
Oh, no, no, no.

Dr. Shannon (21:18.557)
I don't know where the shift comes in, but it's like, I think people need to know that there are people out there. There are counselors, there's pelvic floor physical therapists, there's lactation consultants, there's chiropractors, you know, specific to those things that can help. So yes, I think it's tough because that postpartum time period is so hard because you're trying to like heal yourself and keep this baby going and all of that. And then it's like, oh, and now you want me to seek out a counselor and seek out this. So like, I get that, but then that's what we need.

Kristina (21:48.554)
Yeah, yes.

Dr. Shannon (21:49.405)
hard part because it can't just be, oh we're just going to rely on the OB. Yeah, I think the OBs could do a better job of providing resources of the things and saying you need to do this. Like, you know, I get that we don't need to get into the whole like the health care issues. But just to say, you know, I don't know. Like it's not just on them. I'm trying to badmouth them, but it's also like it's tough. But knowing that that support is out there.

Kristina (22:05.93)
Are we? Yes.

That's such a good point though. Thank you for saying that. Yeah. Yes.

No, it's tough. Yes, yes, yep, yep, really tough. Yeah, yeah, and that's where right, if you can get in touch with a great chiropractor, with a good counselor, with a, I mean, eventually pelvic floor, but you could start pelvic floor in pregnancy too. Like these things, if you can start some of the support in pregnancy, how then that helps in the adjustment period. Because right, I think we look to the OB to do that.

Dr. Shannon (22:19.611)
You know, it's really tough.

Dr. Shannon (22:32.541)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (22:37.947)
Mm -hmm. I'd try so hard that with my mom's. Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Kristina (22:43.018)
right? Because we're there all the time. And then it's like, okay, we're no longer there. But if we could engage with those supports earlier and then you carry them in, my mamas that adjust the best are always the one that have seen me through pregnancy. Always. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (22:50.469)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (22:55.261)
Yep. Yep. No, same. And my mom's too that even if they didn't reach out to every single person on my resource list that I have, at least they know about those things. They know these words that maybe, you know, OB isn't sharing. And a lot of times they'll come to me for those type of resources, you know, or things like that. So probably the same with you. It's like, oh, I've got this going on or maybe a little bit more, you know, accessible there. Yeah. So.

Kristina (23:18.218)
Same. Yep.

Dr. Shannon (23:24.157)
It's and that we just did an episode. It's not out yet, but it's called planning for postpartum and that's what we kind of talk about It's like yeah, it's the immediate like setting up your meals and that type of thing But it's also like your support system like you can't you you do need to kind of I guess plan a little bit for you know that postpartum time. So I Know it is a good one. It is a good one. So

Kristina (23:42.474)
Yeah. Yeah, that'll be a good one. I'm excited to listen. Yes.

Dr. Shannon (23:53.277)
In your line of work and what you do with moms who come to see you at whatever point, what does that look like? Because you've talked about all the ways that you can support. So yes, there's medicinal Western medicine support. There's therapy, counseling, other aspects support. So...

support versus fixing something like that along those lines. How does that look when moms come to see you or visit with you? Yeah.

Kristina (24:26.058)
Yeah, yeah, yep. So for me, a lot of it depends. I start every client, I'm a counselor who very much like starts first relationally of you and I have to feel, you have to feel safe here for this to go anywhere. And then I start with where clients at as far as, okay, are we needing education and normalization of, okay, this is what you're experiencing is understandable and.

Dr. Shannon (24:41.519)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (24:51.338)
And normal doesn't mean okay. Like normal just means like, yes, we're all experiencing this, but it doesn't mean that it's okay. We're not saying, no, it's okay that you're struggling. It's no, no, no, this is a period of suffering or of hardship or whatever it could be. And like kind of validating that. And then what do we do with that? So lots of validation and normalization, you know, could be, I do a lot of self -compassion work. So talking a lot, you kind of said the shoulds and we can dive more into any of this, but I'll kind of just give a high level view.

Dr. Shannon (24:57.787)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (25:21.499)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (25:21.55)
So I do a lot of work with self -compassion. So right, instead of using those shoulds or I should do this, we as moms, I think, say should so much to ourselves. So, yep, adjusting and kind of doing some self -compassion work. We'll come back to the finding the gray, the both and. I do a lot of both and work of, yep, it doesn't have to be this or this. It's actually both. And how if we hold both, that helps our adjustment. It helps us move through.

Dr. Shannon (25:30.939)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (25:40.699)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (25:49.812)
And then I do a lot of depending on the mom and kind of what they're needing to work through I do a lot of trauma and attachment and narrative work. So that's where like EMDR comes in. That's a trauma therapy approach. And so that's where looking at kind of some of these past experiences that we've had could be big T traumas of like what we think of when we think of trauma typically or it could be little T traumas this accumulation of little T traumas of I kept feeling this pattern with

with my parents and then with my teachers and then with peers and I left with this belief of I'm not enough. And right, maybe you didn't ever experience a big treat, big T, huge trauma, but you have this accumulation of experiences that have reinforced this belief of I'm not enough. And so then you're trying in every single way in your motherhood to be enough when the reality is of a newborn. And then multiple kids, if you have multiple kids, like.

Dr. Shannon (26:37.957)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (26:44.138)
there is never enough. And so how can we kind of come to this place of acceptance, but also restoring of the not having enough isn't a problem and actually isn't a negative belief to believe about yourself, but how can we kind of rework that? And that's where I won't go into the nitty gritty of EMDR, but I do a lot of kind of that EMDR trauma work, attachment work, story work within my work with clients too. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (26:50.331)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (27:08.465)
That's fascinating. I love it. And I can see how, I mean, it's so funny too, because I talked about in the office, we've got thoughts, traumas, toxins. So those are the main three T's in chiropractic that we talk about that cause nervous system irritation. But then a lot of times I'm like, we've got the microtrauma, those repetitive tasks. It's the same. I mean, it's amazing. But the body, that's why I love the book, The Body Keeps the Score, because...

Kristina (27:18.858)

Kristina (27:29.866)
Same thing, yeah, it's cool.

Kristina (27:35.528)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (27:36.573)
you can hold that and there's so many ways to process it, you know, as far as sometimes I look with chiropractic care as like, let's move this stuckness, let's move this, because it can get stuck there and then, you know, coming in with therapy as well too and like, let's process this as well and move it along so it doesn't get so stuck. Or when those things come again, you can be like, whoa, whoa, whoa, I'm not going down.

Kristina (27:57.29)

Dr. Shannon (28:05.789)
that path, I'm gonna choose this path, you know? Mm -hmm.

Kristina (28:05.896)

Kristina (28:09.834)
So true, so true. Well, and I love that with chiropractic care, I'll sometimes refer to a good massage therapist too, but then pulling in like, right, our body does hold in store. And so EMDR is great because it approaches, we have thoughts, we have how the body is holding onto something and then emotionally. So when you think back on a trauma that's happened, you might like viscerally feel that or hear things or see things. And so you kind of, that's the way that the body is holding on.

Dr. Shannon (28:16.741)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (28:32.347)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (28:38.154)
And so there's so many ways to release EMDR is helpful in that it will help release some of that often. But right, kind of our talk therapy usually goes after the thoughts and emotions. And so pulling into some of these body -based approaches, and that's why a lot of times I'll pull on yoga, EMDR work will naturally help kind of connect to body too. But that's what kind of forayed me into the yoga world too, was kind of like, oh, I'm missing a huge chunk here. And so movement.

Dr. Shannon (28:38.235)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (28:54.447)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (29:05.373)
That movement. I mean, I constantly am telling people like, I want you to do yoga and move. It doesn't, you know, especially if we've got lots of aches and pains for whatever reason. Because then a lot of times too, I'm trying to figure out is this ache and pain from someone because of actual physical mechanism of injury or is this a visceral reaction? Is this a psychosomatic reaction? Because that's very real.

Kristina (29:30.314)
Yeah. Yeah. And sometimes it's both. Yes. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (29:30.493)
It's very real. And I think a lot of times people feel validated. Exactly. And it's both. That's always fun. I'm like, okay, what's going on here? You know, but I think that's validating for people too. When you can say like the brain is very powerful. And so I know that you've been to these other providers and maybe they're not finding anything wrong. And maybe we just mask it with a medication or something, which again, no, no shame with that, but let's dig a bit deeper and see.

why we're having that reaction or why that's causing that in the body. But validating people and say, okay, it is real. I know you may not have actually slipped and fallen and landed on your tailbone, but your tailbone hurts now. It's all of these, where's that coming from? And the kind of validating, the brain is very powerful. Yeah.

Kristina (30:06.218)
Yeah. Well, I don't know.

Kristina (30:19.562)
Mm -hmm.

Completely, completely. I don't know if you see this from the chiropractic end too, but so often, especially with an antidepressant or anti -anxiety med, so often I'm thinking of that too, of that allows you, your brain, your body to come back to sort of a stable place so that then we can access all of these other tools. And so that's why it's like, it's a toolkit. That's where the holistic care comes in of...

Dr. Shannon (30:44.315)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Mm -hmm.

Kristina (30:51.242)
Like those things, those medications, they're not bad. They're really important. When we use them the right way and it's not just the one thing we do, it's okay, let's do this. And then when we can find some stability, then we have access to all these other things that we can do too.

Dr. Shannon (30:58.693)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (31:04.645)
Mm -hmm. I love that you said that finding that stability of a lot of moms that do that and that's what's like, okay This is where we're at now doesn't mean we have to stay there But let's find that stability point where we can work through those things. I know

Kristina (31:18.378)
Yep, right, because if you're in fight, flight, survival, you can't work on those things. Yeah, you're just surviving. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (31:22.181)
Mm -hmm. You can't I know I often say like you can't your body's not gonna heal if it thinks that's continually running from a bear So what are things that we can do to calm it down calm things down? Um, what are some things that change in? Motherhood like The the normal things that change as we become

Kristina (31:33.738)
Totally. Calm things down. Yeah.

Kristina (31:50.378)
Cool, yeah. Yeah, yeah. So the normal things that maybe, right, not okay, not that we want them or that they're comfortable, but it's normal. One big one is brain changes. So I was reading this great book, it's actually called Matressens by Lucy Score and I think that's Lucy Jones, sorry, not Score, Lucy Jones. And it's such a beautiful weaving of some poetry of her experience, some of her...

Dr. Shannon (31:50.605)
and change that identity shift in motherhood.

Dr. Shannon (31:55.963)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (32:08.925)
Okay, I've heard of that. Lucy Jones, yeah.

Kristina (32:20.388)
journey through Matresson's and then also she's a scientist of some sort. I should have looked back at it. But so she like waves in a whole bunch of like really cool science and biology and stuff. And then along with just education about this normal. So right. So but she talks about like the literal brain changes that we experience. And one, this isn't pulling from hers, but it's from something else that I was reading, kind of talking about like,

Dr. Shannon (32:37.221)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (32:49.834)
we hear that term mommy brain, where, you know, we probably think of it as like, she's spacey, she's forgetting things, she's so emotional that we have that term mommy brain. One of the articles I was reading talks about how in some of the literal brain changes that we go through is we become more right brain dominant. And so our babies, babies are right brain dominant for the first two years of their life.

Dr. Shannon (32:51.805)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (32:56.549)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (33:00.207)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (33:18.986)
And so moms become right brain dominant to best bond with baby. We have to connect with them through emotions. They don't understand logic. So those brain changes we go to that we call mommy brain, because we're spacing, we're not keeping up with life or whatever, they're actually the exact same things that are allowing us to bond well with the baby and have secure and good attachment. And so that's part of that normalization and restoring.

Dr. Shannon (33:27.877)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (33:42.493)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (33:48.202)
of instead of being this flaky mom who can't stay on top of anything, it's no, no, no, my brain and my body, I've changed a lot. My brain has literally changed to be more right brain dominant so that I can connect with this little thing, this little guy, this little girl, so that I can connect. And that's a really beautiful and powerful thing. Yeah, I miss being able to be more on top of things. And also that'll come back to some degree. Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (34:05.531)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (34:16.093)
Yeah, exactly. Just under -greet. I'm just gonna blame it on my like, my right brain. My right brain is just dominant right now. It's my mommy brain. But it's a beautiful, innate design, you know, as far as that beautiful, yeah, beautiful design. So almost a little bit of like, embrace it a little bit rather than the push on it. But those brain changes, yep. It's very real.

Kristina (34:25.034)
Yeah. Totally.

Kristina (34:31.274)

Kristina (34:40.426)
Yes, it's real. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So yeah, that would be one thing. I mean, obviously the dramatic hormone shifts, that would be another one. And everybody experiences that a little bit different. And of course, like how your feeding impacts that too of like when weaning happens or when, you know, if there is milk that is drying up or whatever, and kind of when all that happens plays into the hormone shifts. So there's not as much of a...

Dr. Shannon (34:50.127)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (34:53.925)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (35:08.874)
kind of linear, here's what you can expect at one month, three months, six months, because it's a little bit different. But yeah, dramatic hormone shifts regardless, kind of all throughout that first year at least. What else things that changed? I mean, our identity, we've added this whole piece of identity of mother. And so maybe you had identity pieces and roles that you had of work, wife.

Dr. Shannon (35:12.709)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (35:27.195)
Mm -hmm.

Mm -hmm.

Kristina (35:37.34)
if you were already a boy mom, I found myself with having a little girl. Speaking of identity, I didn't, I knew, I knew because of this research and because of doing what I do that it would be a change, but my gosh, I did not know. Like, like this whole girl mom thing. Well, number one, it's really fun because it's so cute, but bows and all that. I mean, my boys are, I'm.

Dr. Shannon (35:41.989)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (35:53.405)
Uh, that's hilarious.

Kristina (36:04.234)
football coach is my husband, right? So my boys are boys. They are from day one. It was all the cars, all the balls, all the everything. Yeah. And so with her, it's been really fun, you know, on the surface things, but it's, it's, there was so much deeper of like realizing, okay, some of the, the mom and, and

Dr. Shannon (36:05.117)
They're, yeah, yeah.

Rough and tough, yeah.

Dr. Shannon (36:22.821)

Kristina (36:31.466)
matriarchal, I guess, line and some of those things of like, my grandmother's relationship with my mom and my mom's relationship with me and now my relationship with her and kind of these generational patterns. And so there's all of that work going on and sort of identity shifting too. So that identity shift is big, it's a lot. And mom's gonna have that same thing, right, with the son. I've got a dear friend who like is one, she had a mom and a sister, dad was out of the picture.

Dr. Shannon (36:33.669)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (36:40.293)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (36:47.013)
Mm -hmm. That's a lot. Yes.

Dr. Shannon (36:55.547)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (37:00.714)
And then she had a little boy and she's like, I don't know what to do with boys. And so kind of that, right, it's not all gender -based, but that's just one of the ways in identity. I think that, you know, identity has kind of shifted and stirred up. And then another thing that I always think about and kind of address and within counseling work too is relationships of your relationships change, your ability to have conversation changes.

Dr. Shannon (37:03.739)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (37:09.851)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (37:22.269)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (37:25.93)
Even when baby's not there, you're constantly thinking about baby or even when they're older, you're thinking about, okay, is he actually getting to soccer? Who's taking him? Do they actually make it there? Did he remember his shin guards? Like your brain is just doing different things. Yeah. Then pre -kids, when you're sitting with a friend, you're actually like with the friend fully. And that's a new sort of, yeah, relationships just shift. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (37:38.525)

Dr. Shannon (37:45.477)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (37:51.517)
Yes, there's so many shifts. There's so many shifts. Let's go into...

I don't know because I wrote some notes too though. I wrote yoga and an exclamation point because I was like, I wanted to talk about that as well. And like the movement, like I think that's what I, yeah, just how, so when did the yoga stuff start with you? Because it was after you, and what's trauma conscious yoga? Yeah, let's talk about that.

Kristina (38:08.074)
Ha ha ha!

Kristina (38:12.618)
Let's dive into that for a second. Yeah, what are you? Uh -huh.

Kristina (38:21.994)

Yep. Yes. Cool. Cool. All right. So I have done yoga. I started yoga in college and it was actually my way of like, I was experiencing a little bit of dissociative patterns, kind of trauma response. I was really into like, once again, achieving, achieving, achieving. And I found yoga and I found it to be both this way of doing.

Dr. Shannon (38:31.653)

Dr. Shannon (38:44.261)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (38:50.634)
really hard things and unnatural things with my body and like moving my body in different ways and like, oh, I'm repeating this flow, but I can, as I do it more and more and through the months, I'm realizing like, oh, this feels different or oh, I'm like, I'm actually feeling like some weird emotion with this movement. And so I just became curious and like fell in love with it. So it was this balance too of like, I had all that movement, but then there was always the Shavasana at the end where it was like, then you rest. And I was like, oh, I love this.

Dr. Shannon (39:00.411)

Dr. Shannon (39:09.029)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (39:17.061)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Kristina (39:20.138)
And so I've practiced yoga now, you know, since college, once again, became a counselor, then in motherhood. That was one of the few things that I like jumped back to really quickly. I had a friend that was a yoga teacher at the time and she said, your doctor hasn't even cleared you six weeks. Like, what are you doing? And I'm like, I won't do a lot. I just have to like not be mom for a minute. I just have to be here and like breathe. And it was...

Dr. Shannon (39:42.011)
Mm -hmm.

Mm -hmm. I think it's a beautiful way to connect with your breath. It's a beautiful way. And then that can just like re -center things. So I totally get what you're saying. Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Kristina (39:50.218)
Yes, yes, beautiful way.

Totally, it's grounding. Yeah, so it was my way of like, okay, let's, I have my feet on the ground, I can feel my breath in my body, I can show my body some love after all that is done and all that it's still doing and work through some of the junk there, because there's some junk there after pregnancy and birth, of course, as how could there not be. And yeah, so that was kind of, it was always a personal thing. And then I started doing,

Dr. Shannon (40:03.451)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (40:14.249)

Kristina (40:24.778)
more trauma therapy, kind of realizing the body piece with just within my talk therapy work, realizing like, I need to adjust, the body is important here, I'm missing something. And so then it also became just this fun, I love learning. And so it was just this, and COVID happened and I was like, let's take a yoga training. And so it was kind of my like for me thing of.

Dr. Shannon (40:36.475)

Dr. Shannon (40:50.267)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (40:51.05)
I started this yoga teacher training and did my 200 hour. That's kind of your basic training. I did a 200 hour training. And yeah, just sort of spiral into it. Started teaching a little bit from there. I've now my last year of a 300 hours. So after this year, I'll be like a 500 hour trained teacher, which is really exciting. Just to like, and for me, it's like so much fast. Like as we're talking about.

Dr. Shannon (41:11.133)
That's so awesome!

Kristina (41:18.172)
matressants that so multifaceted here because it's yes, this thing that I like love and need for my self care and grounding and coming to my breath and helping regulate anxiety and my my nervous system. And yes, it's all of those things. And also, it's been this really important way that I've invested in myself and my learning and my growth, which is a value of mine. So to be able to do this, these teacher trainings, like it's

Dr. Shannon (41:43.909)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (41:47.402)
once a month for three years now, or once a month or twice a month, depending on the month, that on Sunday afternoons, they're mine. And yes, I'm doing a teacher training and I'm, you know, whatever, learning, but I'm in community with other people who love yoga and we're talking about the body and talking about how our body holds stuff and exploring different anatomy. And I just, like, it has fed me. And so, yeah, yeah. And then of course, the trauma conscious piece, I guess, to address that last part of that question.

Dr. Shannon (42:09.381)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Kristina (42:17.098)
I then took an additional training kind of in the middle of all this, have taken a training with the Trauma Conscious Yoga Institute. I can't remember, it doesn't matter how many hours it was, but it was an additional training where she really weaves together your typical kind of yoga teacher training, yoga information alongside trauma work. So it looked a lot at like polyvagal theory, it looked a lot about where different things are stored in the body, where, you know,

Dr. Shannon (42:38.749)
Mm. Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (42:43.837)
So as oh yeah, yep, uh -huh.

Kristina (42:45.556)
hips or emotion a lot of times. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yep. Heart space being open versus closed and like this is we can do a lot of grief work when we're here and like this is important, but then also this is and so sorry, not everybody's seeing this. I was doing like a rounded back kind of hunched over protecting heart space versus opening heart space. But yeah, so did that training as well and then have done a few like online and in the future we'll do more some online just trauma based.

Dr. Shannon (42:54.501)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (42:59.773)
Yes, a flexion. Yeah. Uh huh.

Kristina (43:15.754)
yoga sort of where we always focus on a coping skill and then move and do some yoga and then do some reflection. So this really like holistic once again approach of let's do some emotion thought work, but then let's also be moving and helping the body let go of those things too. Yeah, it's key, it's key.

Dr. Shannon (43:24.987)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (43:30.543)
move. That movement is key. I think it's key too. And that's when I look at like even if I'm looking at chiropractic here, it's like I've got to get the spine moving, you know, and like move those aspects and I want proper motion movement. It's the same thing with like that yoga aspect of like kind of have to like move it out. I always envision it just kind of like flying out of the body, like move and it releases.

Kristina (43:44.264)

Kristina (43:54.538)
It's awesome.

Kristina (43:58.642)
Releases, yes.

Dr. Shannon (43:58.941)
A little bit. I know. Just get out.

Kristina (44:02.088)

Dr. Shannon (44:06.301)
Okay, so we touched, okay, we went back to our yoga thing. I know, I was like, where were we? I love that. I know, that's totally fine. But I want to touch too on...

Kristina (44:09.95)
We took a rabbit trail.

Dr. Shannon (44:21.371)
Some of the going into the the the aspects of what you work on in the office So I would say there's a little bit of like you've got the trauma attachment narrative work a little bit of like that self -compassion work helping moms find the the the gray of both an aunt so I want to kind of dive into I don't know if it's maybe the tools that you use I'm trying to think what do I want people to get out of this? I want them to like hear themselves

Kristina (44:37.448)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (44:51.005)
in this and then what are tools they can use to help them? Does that make sense? Like I want someone to be like, oh yeah, I am this attachment style. That's my narrative or that's what I struggle with. Okay, what are the things that you do to help folks with that?

Kristina (44:57.482)
Yes, it does.

Kristina (45:09.386)
Cool, cool, yeah. So my first thought would be like a self -compassion work because I think that's something that no matter where we're at, typically within the West, we can be more self -compassionate. We grew up in a culture that's very much achieve, accomplishment, should, judgment -based. All our advertising is like, if you have this thing, you'll be better. So we're constantly kind of putting shame and should and that kind of stuff on ourselves. And so...

Dr. Shannon (45:20.923)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (45:37.551)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (45:38.954)
Self -compassion work is something I do with every client. And it started once again with my own journey of needing to be more compassionate towards myself. Instead of I was...

Dr. Shannon (45:51.311)
Mm -hmm, and you know sometimes I don't think you have to have grown up in a family too where you felt They were pushing you were striving like because I feel like I need a lot of work in that because sometimes the negative self -tolerant Good grief. I'm like, where does this come from? I'm like I did not have like an unsupportive family, you know They were like you need to calm down like everything's fine. So it's kind of like the opposite So you don't have to have that I like that you mentioned that it's like

Kristina (46:02.73)
Not at all.

Kristina (46:18.44)

Dr. Shannon (46:20.285)
Sometimes it's just, I guess, who we are, but then also like society doesn't help, like the advertising of things, of just all that little stuff kind of feeding in. So I think it's important to recognize that.

Kristina (46:24.818)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (46:28.842)
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, thanks for sharing that. That's so true. Yes, yeah, because I think we all do, even if it's not a family rule or script or whatever, most of us have some of that right judgmental or harsh or whatever kind of self -talk. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (46:39.003)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (46:47.749)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (46:49.098)
Yeah. And it's so interesting. Like I'm even thinking of my little seven year old who yesterday he was eating. Oh, I handed him a little container of peppers. We were making pizzas. And so he's got this little container of peppers. I handed it to him. He was supposed to take the lid off and then put the peppers on while he dropped it. And his immediate, immediate thing that he said was, oh, what is wrong with me?

Dr. Shannon (47:12.133)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (47:12.97)
And I was like, oh, buddy, nothing's wrong with you. It just slipped out of your hand. And I'm sure there are times, I am far from a perfect mom. I know there are times that I have, you know, said things or, you know, added, okay. But that is one, like I'm like, oh gosh, like it, you know, I could just felt it. But right, that's not something he's, that I know of heard at home, but it's like how quickly, and I don't believe this. I love his little t -shirt. I don't think.

Dr. Shannon (47:16.731)

Dr. Shannon (47:22.903)
Right, he's dropped something and it's been like, okay, yeah. Oh, yeah, yeah.

Uh huh. Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (47:36.165)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (47:40.17)
I don't know where he's got that, but right, I think so much of that is personality and culture and who knows? And we just start to hear those things and say those things so quickly to ourselves. So with that, right, self -compassion is this idea of, right, it's self -kindness. It's thinking sometimes like, okay, what would I say to a friend? Can I say that to myself instead? That's like one of my quick go -to tools of when I'm hearing a mom talk through something then.

Dr. Shannon (47:40.229)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (47:46.203)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (48:01.853)

Kristina (48:08.778)
you know, she's putting all of these shoulds or all of these expectations or this judgment on herself. I'm like, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Let's pause here. If you had a friend saying this whole scenario to you, what would you tell her? And that what you would tell her is typically a very compassionate and kind response. And so speaking to ourselves like we are our friend and really becoming our own friend is a large part of compassion work. It's, it's instead of,

Dr. Shannon (48:22.693)

Dr. Shannon (48:28.731)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (48:39.178)
Sometimes we can think of ourselves I think as our enemy or as this thing that needs to like get it together. But no, no, no, like I'm doing the best that I can with what I got and I'm actually doing a really good job and how could I better encourage myself? Like that's gonna lead to way more change and better functioning and better mood and better relationships if I can have kind of more of that approach.

Dr. Shannon (48:44.827)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (49:04.97)
So yeah, it's the self -kindness piece. It's this connection and suffering. Like you're not alone in your suffering. That's another part of self -compassion work is naming like, okay, this is real, back to that validating. This emotion you're experiencing, this hardship, this really difficult thing within parenting or within adjustment, that is, yes, part of humanity and part of like this common commonality of suffering. And so kind of finding that.

Dr. Shannon (49:04.977)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (49:11.973)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (49:33.034)
connection perhaps in suffering, whether it is just literally a counselor telling you yes and validating that, or it's going to a friend or a MOP support group or MOPs or whatever it might be that there's connection in suffering. And then balanced awareness of we're not saying like, it's way worse for you or way better for you. We have this just balanced awareness of this is the way things are. Kind of once again, removing that judgment. It's not good or bad.

Dr. Shannon (49:45.093)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (50:00.549)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (50:01.386)
It just is. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (50:04.989)
I know that's important. I think everything that you mentioned I like the the aspect of balanced awareness I like that just those words together though Can I don't know that can I guess ease some of those? Yeah, that negative self -talk or whatever it is that's going on, you know in your just kind of that balanced awareness How now I know you mentioned too that you do?

Kristina (50:14.664)

Kristina (50:26.546)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (50:34.973)
you've integrated the Christian faith into counseling as well as far as when people want it. So what does that look like? Or maybe we can talk about the end, like once we go through all the things or however we want to talk about it. But I do want to touch on that, how you weave that in for those that do want it to help them process things. So I'll be talking about now or just don't let me forget. I wrote it down. Yeah.

Kristina (50:39.848)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (50:51.754)
I'd love to too, yeah.

Kristina (50:59.882)
Cool. Okay, I'll put down a note. Let's come back to it. Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Shannon (51:05.021)
So let's go into, okay, so Rachel, my podcast co -host, we did an episode called Holding Two Truths. And it was loosely based on that Pathways magazine that I really love, that I have in the office. And it was all about the like, and of things like,

joy and sorrow, good and bad. I'm just being very, very like trying to find the exact opposites of things here. But just that those two, like holding those two truths instead of not. Because I think when you don't, that's when you can cause a lot of like extra suffering. So I want to go into your thoughts and processes on how motherhood is.

Kristina (51:41.226)

Dr. Shannon (52:02.429)
it isn't necessarily so black and white. Like there is a lot of gray area and maybe helping us like embrace the gray area for those that really like black and white.

Kristina (52:14.922)
Yes, oh, I hear you on that. Yeah. Yes, yes. One of the things as you were talking that just immediately leaped to my mind was thinking about bonding and bonding with baby. I think we have this sometimes kind of false expectation or thought of I'm gonna have this baby and know kind of a little bit of what to do with it. I'm gonna bond immediately. I'm gonna love it immediately.

and we just have this this expectation of this bond being immediate. And the reality that typically sometimes there is an immediate bond, but very, very often there is a lot of like nuance and gray there of, okay, I see and love this baby more than any anything. There's this whole form of love that I never thought possible or knew anything about. And also,

I, every single solitary thing about my life has changed. And I really don't like taking care of this baby all that much because she, he needs so much all the time. And does that make me a bad mom? And so we, right, it's this, right, once again of, okay, if I, I don't like taking care of this baby all the time. And so maybe I'm not a good mom. And so maybe that means I'm not bonded. And it just becomes this really black and white of.

Dr. Shannon (53:20.669)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (53:41.386)
Right, not a good mom, don't have a good bond with my baby and what have I done? Where, no, no, no, no, no. Bond, like that attachment, that bond takes time to build and is multifaceted of right, impacted from your relationship with your parents, also what kind of baby, like not to say that babies are not good or bad, but there are babies that have colic, there are babies that have digestive concerns, there are babies that just fuss and there are babies that are just.

Dr. Shannon (53:45.885)

Dr. Shannon (54:03.493)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (54:09.994)
happy easy going babies. Having three babies that are all very different, I can attest to that. Like, it's just the reality. And so all those things impact like what attachment looks like and how quickly you attach. And so instead of it being this like good or bad mom, I've got good attachment or bad attachment. It's no, no, no, no, no. Like this is so nuanced and gray of yeah, I can really like loathe parts of motherhood and also be a really great mom.

Dr. Shannon (54:11.621)
Mm -hmm.

Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (54:22.139)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (54:37.989)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (54:38.57)
I can love my work and love going to work and send my kids to daycare. And there's a little bit of me that's like, oh, this is hard and sad. And also, I'm so glad to leave you. Like, it's both. It's both. It's both. It's both. And if we can allow all those things to be true, instead of saying, you know, it could be, I dropped my girl off at daycare and I'm like,

Dr. Shannon (54:49.755)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (54:54.277)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (55:02.942)
Yay! And then I start heaping shame on myself. Oh my gosh, I cannot believe that I am that mom that wants to get rid of her kid and drop her off at daycare. How terrible, you know? I could so quickly snowball there into judgment and shame and all of those things. Instead, it's, no, no, no, she loves daycare actually. She has a lot of great little baby friends. I feel like I'm able to fulfill part of calling, part of just things that are life -giving to me when she's there.

Dr. Shannon (55:14.235)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (55:33.066)
And also, I'm a better mom. When I pick her up from school, I can be a better mom. I can be more present because I've been able to nourish these different parts of me and my identity. And that's different for every mom too. Like I work with stay at home moms that have that same experience around stay at home mom kind of life and dynamics. And so, you know, once again, not judging anyone choice here, but just saying like, it is not black or white.

Dr. Shannon (55:38.171)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (55:45.883)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (55:51.419)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (56:02.962)
all of those things, holding all of those truths and even those polar, kind of very polarized truths together is really important in helping us move through instead of snowballing in the shame and judgment.

Dr. Shannon (56:15.643)
Oh yeah, because if you don't, it is very easy to snowball. Uh -huh. Mm -hmm.

Kristina (56:20.298)
So easy. Yeah. Yeah. That's one of my quick go -tos with moms too of like calling out, are you on a snowball thought or a hamster wheel thought is my other language of like, is this one of those thoughts that's going somewhere good? Are you ruminating in this hamster wheel? So you're hamster on a wheel, right? You're not going anywhere. So even just having that language for yourself of like, oh, am I on the hamster wheel again? Ooh, am I doing that snowball thought?

Dr. Shannon (56:30.427)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (56:35.965)
Ugh, I ruminate so well. Uh -huh. Mm -hmm.

Kristina (56:47.53)
How do I need, what can I do to stop that thought? How can I hop off the hamster wheel? How can I stop the snowball? Sometimes it's stop and replace. So you stop the thought and replace it with something else. Sometimes you practice some mindfulness. You get really present, use your five senses and really engage with here's what's going on around me. Sometimes it's you go find one of your kids. Kids are so good for helping us be present of, hey buddy, would you want to play a game real quick and choose a quick card game or a quick game and just like be present with your kid.

Dr. Shannon (56:49.477)

Dr. Shannon (56:57.849)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (57:01.765)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (57:10.011)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (57:16.746)
and how quickly that can then get you out of the snowball or the hamster wheel. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (57:16.891)
I hear.

Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm. I know for me, I'm a big runner and I always call running like my therapy. And so that is, that's, yeah, that's always really big. But that movement, that process, because I was thinking too like yoga flowing through, finding the breath as well, like center and grind.

Kristina (57:28.074)
Mm -hmm.


Kristina (57:35.818)
Yeah. Yup. Such a good way of getting, yes, movements are huge on getting kind of off the hamster wheel or stopping the snowball. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (57:43.485)
I went for a run over the weekend and I never run with headphones. I ran with a friend the other day too and we were talking about that and I was like, I just don't, part of it's like safety stuff. It's like I'm on the road. I don't know as like if you're running by yourself and you're female, I don't think it's the best thing to like run with headphones on. I don't know. Just unfortunately our day and age. But even if I'm out on the trails, I would rather hear the trails. And I even told her, I was like, I'd rather hear my thoughts. Like this is my time alone.

Kristina (58:03.626)

Dr. Shannon (58:12.413)
But I was running and I don't, the whole time I was like, why is my breathing so loud? Like it was like louder than normal. It was just interesting the little things that you notice, but it helped me like shift my brain a bit. But I was like, man, I sound like 18 people coming up behind someone. And I was like, is it all, am I always this loud? I don't think I am. It was just, I don't know why I noticed that, but.

Kristina (58:21.576)

Dr. Shannon (58:39.773)
Which is very funny. But little things like, you know, that movement aspect. I always go back to movement. When you talked about expectations, and that always brings me to like Brene Brown and her work. And I think a lot of self -suffering could be stopped based on the expectations. Because when I have gone, when...

Kristina (58:43.658)
Yes. Yeah.

Kristina (58:48.618)

Kristina (58:52.106)

Dr. Shannon (59:02.877)
I have continually asked myself like, well, why that? Why that? Why like on something to kind of try to get to the root of like, this was what happened. This is how I responded. Why? Because it wasn't that event. It was something else that was over here. So trying to get to the part that's over there, it's a lot of times it's been in like an expectation. And I'm like, well, crap, you know, like, I mean, I guess it's good to be aware of, but those expectations, they can punch you in the face. Yeah.

Kristina (59:23.368)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (59:30.666)
I get you every time. Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (59:33.353)
Like, really rudely. So I'm glad you mentioned at least the word expectations in there when we have that self -compassion. I know. Yes, so motherhood is both and. Both and. I know. I think that's like, that's a huge statement. I hope that sinks in for people.

Kristina (59:36.33)

Kristina (59:43.05)

Kristina (59:52.17)
Yeah, both and.

Kristina (59:58.6)
I hope so too. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (01:00:00.733)
And I think when the episode that we did, I think we were talking about motherhood, but I think we were also, it was a lot of like birth because it can, you know, like it's painful, but, but blissful, like that aspect. So that's kind of where we were going at it with it too. But I think it can apply, you know, in a lot of other areas as well.

Kristina (01:00:07.912)
Oh yeah.

Kristina (01:00:19.658)
Yeah, well, I use this idea. So really this pulls from dialectical behavior therapy and DBT is a type of therapy approach or a model and dialectics. That's what dialectics is. It's this both and and so really this is something that right in motherhood. We see a lot of it, but it's for anybody this idea of both and is actually really really helpful. It's a very practical and important sort of lens that if we can think through really helps with that the expectation piece the non -attachment.

Dr. Shannon (01:00:29.947)
Mm. Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:00:40.709)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:00:49.776)
the how we're judging things and really just helps us to name and move through versus being kind of stuck in this more black and white, black and white approach. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (01:00:51.877)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:01:00.997)
Mm -hmm, name and move through. That's perfect. Okay, so talk a little bit about some of the trauma work, the attachment work. Does that, and I want to go into like, is that like attachment styles that we have? I've spoken to some, did you, okay, with Maisie.

Kristina (01:01:03.58)
Yep. Yep.

Kristina (01:01:18.696)
Mm -hmm. I loved that episode, by the way. Yeah? Uh -huh. Oh, so good.

Dr. Shannon (01:01:24.189)
The friendship went, oh my gosh, I feel like I had my own little mini therapy session. I was like, wait a minute, oh my gosh, can I be multiple attachment styles? I'm like, oh, that explains why. I'm so crazy. But so I wanted to, is that what you mean with the attachment? So like, I wanna go into that. And then the narrative work, is this like rewriting a story that we tell ourselves? Like, I wanna dive into all of that.

Kristina (01:01:30.312)

Kristina (01:01:34.826)
So good.

Kristina (01:01:40.242)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:01:47.25)
Mm -hmm. Yeah, cool. Cool. So the attachment work, yes, I would say going, any of your audience going and listening to that episode with Maisie would be exactly what I'm talking about here. So right, y 'all talked about it in the lens within friendship, which absolutely, but thinking about it too with our kids and with our partner, that attachment work, how we're conditioned to believe others are gonna show up and then what we do kind of with that, do I, am I?

Dr. Shannon (01:01:57.873)

Dr. Shannon (01:02:02.363)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:02:12.092)
Am I pushing him away before he can reject me or am I like in all those sort of micro ways that shows up? Mine is I don't, I don't, it's really hard to ask for help. I didn't experience a lot of like people being in a place where they were able to like show up and help me and model that. Yeah. So, so that's mine. If I go into this hyperproductive, very independent kind of avoidant style and I've learned a lot.

Dr. Shannon (01:02:17.947)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:02:22.299)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:02:26.711)
modeling that or modeling, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dr. Shannon (01:02:35.899)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:02:41.61)
over thankfully 13 years of marriage. But, um, yeah, my husband's always like, can you just ask me? Um, and I'm realizing and through many years it's like, Oh, I can just ask you. But my whole life and my whole belief system has been, um, he won't be able to, he's not going to show up. He's not going to help. And that's not, he hasn't taught me that. That's been none of my experience with him, but it's all of what I've learned from either my parents, my

Dr. Shannon (01:02:43.995)
Uh huh.

Dr. Shannon (01:02:48.869)
Uh huh.

Dr. Shannon (01:02:53.787)
Mm hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:02:59.687)
It's just me. Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:03:08.426)
other caregivers, teachers, friends, like that's kind of that right attachment pattern that's been sort of cemented that I'm now changing. And so that's what's cool about attachment work too is that just because we have, if we have an avoidant or anxious attachment style, once again, I'm not gonna go into all the details here, but if we have one of those kind of attachment styles that is not secure, we can.

Dr. Shannon (01:03:18.853)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:03:29.125)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:03:36.126)
there's this idea of earned secure attachment that we can learn how to do secure attachment that we can move more towards secure attachment. And it's, but it's through relationship that we learned to do that. It's through actual like naming what's going on, pressing against the old patterns and reworking some of those kind of narrow pathways and how we show up in relationship. So I don't know. That's why I love attachment work there too, because I'm.

Dr. Shannon (01:03:39.611)

Dr. Shannon (01:03:57.627)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:04:05.002)
I'm doing that with clients of, okay, if they're showing up and that, well, I've got to have it all together. How can I kind of like break through that a little bit so that it's safe and we're breaking through it in a way that isn't going to flood them, but also to help them learn like, no, no, no, it's okay to not be okay. Like keep showing up here and let's keep working through this. So that's part of like that relational learning of attachment.

Dr. Shannon (01:04:24.379)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:04:31.914)
we do kind of within the therapy relationship itself. So that's a little bit on the attachment work piece. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (01:04:36.765)
And I'm sure there's differences too that people might notice with if it's like attachment with your significant other versus attachment with your friends versus your attachment with your child. Like can you have all kinds of different, because I'm looking at myself and I'm like, I think I have three different attachment styles, which can make you feel like a hot mess, but it's...

Kristina (01:04:53.746)

Kristina (01:04:59.72)
Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (01:05:06.333)
But there's room for growth. There's rooms to like work on that and then thinking of, okay, not only am I bettering myself when I'm working on that attachment, but like now that relationship is going to be stronger. And I know that that can actually help, you know, the other person in that relationship with you, you know, and with their attachment style too. So, I was just fascinated by attachment styles.

Kristina (01:05:11.368)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:05:26.954)
Yes. Yeah. So true. So true. Yeah. I feel like attachment, you could have a whole, well, you could have a series on attachment, but you could do a whole episode just on attachment itself and how it shows up with kids, with partner, with friends and like, right. It's actually different. Likely we have a different attachment experience with our mom versus with our dad. Um, and so those like kind of start to story our attachment patterns. Um, but then right, our, our secondary kind of relationships from there.

Dr. Shannon (01:05:37.605)
Uh huh. I know. That's so good.

Dr. Shannon (01:05:45.115)
Mm -hmm.

Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:05:56.594)
Relations with peers, any of those kind of traumas we experienced perhaps, even the little t traumas, all of that sort of plays into then our attachment style as well. So, yeah.

Dr. Shannon (01:06:07.109)
Mm -hmm. I love it. The trauma work. So you talked about the conscious yoga training that you do and then EMDR as well. Did you want to speak any more on that? Or did you?

Kristina (01:06:15.762)

Kristina (01:06:23.944)


No, I feel like we talked a good amount, pretty good amount about it. I mean, it's a certain, you know, a specific therapy or trauma therapy approach kind of does those three things of emotions, thoughts and body awareness. We look back at the past traumas that you've experienced. I guess the one other piece, when we have, yeah, when we've experienced trauma, our body, right, our body stores it and trauma is stored and kind of gets stuck.

Dr. Shannon (01:06:38.715)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:06:46.301)
big and the little, mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:06:54.698)
And so when we do EMDR, it helps that to not be so stuck anymore. It moves, it kind of reintegrates all of those pieces, the body, the thoughts, the emotions, it reintegrates, restores those in a more healthy way. And then it moves to long -term memory storage instead of being stuck and triggered, that triggered word, and present experiences. So something that happens, right, it triggers a trauma and then you respond out of that default pattern. When we've done EMDR, that trauma,

Dr. Shannon (01:06:54.973)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:06:58.907)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:07:12.731)
Hmm... Mm -hmm...

Dr. Shannon (01:07:20.315)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:07:24.574)
is reprocessed and moved to long -term memory storage. So the trigger happens and you can then, you might still have that little like, kind of like immediate gut little check thing going on, but you can actually choose like, oh no, no, no, no. Like you have more awareness. There's then this, I think a lot about this space between the what happens in your response. That when we do trauma work, we create that space so that we can then choose how to respond instead of responding out of this.

Dr. Shannon (01:07:33.733)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:07:41.115)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:07:47.229)
Oh yeah. You can choose to respond. Exactly. Oh, I love it. Do you work a lot with moms with birth trauma?

Kristina (01:07:54.538)
Yeah, triggered response reaction. Yeah.

Kristina (01:08:07.594)
Yes, yeah, yeah, yeah. I love, I mean, not to say I love birth trauma, I don't love birth trauma. Yeah, no, but I love, I've taken some additional trainings on kind of our birth story and kind of being able to tell our birth story and restoring birth story. And so sometimes the restoring work, speaking of restoring, could be birth trauma work of, okay, here's what you experienced. And I think too with...

Dr. Shannon (01:08:08.445)
Yeah, and processing that as well. Mm hmm. Right. I know what you mean, though. Yeah. Uh huh.

Dr. Shannon (01:08:21.691)
Mm -hmm.

Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:08:31.419)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:08:35.082)
speaking of like birth trauma, there's so often this experience too of like, okay, mom's okay, baby's okay. So woohoo. No, no, no, no, no. Like, there is still so much that maybe it's stuck in your body or you're still, maybe there's flashes of images, maybe there's you really feared for your life, your baby's life. And then that's playing out and postpartum anxiety, because it wasn't in your control and your birth experience. And so then you've had this overactive alarm switch on in your body to say, hey, I gotta be on.

Dr. Shannon (01:08:41.445)
Mm -hmm. Mm -mm.

Dr. Shannon (01:08:49.957)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:08:56.197)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:09:04.458)
high alert because...

Dr. Shannon (01:09:05.413)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:09:07.988)
we're in danger and it's so quick to be triggered that then you become this, you have all these intrusive thoughts and not to say intrusive thoughts always stem from birth trauma, but it's really common that moms experience intrusive thoughts because of unprocessed birth trauma. And so yeah, some of that trauma work definitely. And sometimes that looks like EMDR and there's really specific kind of a capsulated way almost contained way of doing EMDR with a single event.

Dr. Shannon (01:09:09.051)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:09:17.757)
Right. But that can be, yeah.

Dr. Shannon (01:09:23.247)
Uh huh.

Dr. Shannon (01:09:34.725)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:09:37.066)
so that it stays very contained and like we're just gonna work on birth and then we're gonna just sort of kind of move on versus EMDR. A lot of times can be this whole like, okay, we're looking at your whole life and how this one experience then went back to such XYZ. Yeah, so there's different types like kind of within EMDR, but sometimes I'll use sort of that single event kind of approach with EMDR to say, okay, we're just gonna reprocess birth here and really make this so that it...

Dr. Shannon (01:09:52.701)
Ah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:10:04.573)

Kristina (01:10:06.954)
is is digested and and not stuck in your brain and in your body. Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Shannon (01:10:11.063)
Mm -hmm. No, that's important. Yeah, definitely for processing. And I'm glad you mentioned it too, because a lot of times you might even hear from like well and you know, intentioned friends and stuff like, oh, at least mom and baby's healthy and stuff. But like it could have been something completely different. Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:10:23.626)
Yeah, I always go back to that yes and with that of yes, I'm so thankful mom and baby are healthy. Absolutely. And also that was terrifying and sucked. Like, yes. Yes.

Dr. Shannon (01:10:33.357)
Mm -hmm. Exactly. I feel like that could like sum up a lot of things. Yes. Tell me about some of the narrative work though and what that looks like.

Kristina (01:10:38.73)

Kristina (01:10:45.322)
Yeah. Yeah. So totally depends. I am a avid journaler. And so if I have clients that are open to journaling, I'm always encouraging that. Oh, good. Yeah. Yeah. So sometimes the restoring looks like some homework in a sense of like, hey, can you write out that story of what happened? And then can we work on that together in session? Can you bring that in and let's sort of let's look at that story you've been telling and then kind of me gently saying, okay, wait.

Dr. Shannon (01:10:50.607)
Mm -hmm. I love journaling. I love journaling. Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:11:13.866)
can we come back to this paragraph? Okay, what's happening here? And just asking some questions and saying like, is there something different there that actually could have been going on? Is there a zoom out that we could take? Or what about this other person in the room? What was their perspective? Or right, what were you experiencing then and how did that feel versus what do you know to be true? Because those can be very different.

Dr. Shannon (01:11:30.533)

Dr. Shannon (01:11:38.205)
Hmm... Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:11:40.522)
And so it's this kind of, it's really layered, I guess, as I'm sitting here talking through it, but then this like, okay, and then I always go with choice here too. Okay, do you wanna keep telling this story the way that you've written it? Or now that we've really like talked through it a little bit, would you wanna change it a little bit? What would that look like? Do you wanna go home and work on it some more? And just kind of invite that process. So sometimes it is a literal like, we're out a story, especially for my people who like journaling.

Dr. Shannon (01:11:58.589)

Dr. Shannon (01:12:07.163)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:12:09.938)
And that writing can be such a good way to help process. Yeah, yeah. And not to say the first story's wrong. Like I always want to stress that too. That first way you wrote it, it doesn't mean that it's wrong. Like that, maybe it's not the whole story or the best way to tell the story. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Maybe there's, I mean, you think about any story we read, like a novel you read, right? Or a movie you watch. Like there are many ways to tell that same story.

Dr. Shannon (01:12:13.337)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:12:18.585)

But maybe it's not the whole story. Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:12:37.13)
and some are gonna be more impactful. One's gonna tug on the sadness more and one's gonna tug on the beauty more depending on how you tell the story. They're both the same story. They're both the same events that happened, but we're looking almost through a different lens and maybe a healthier lens. Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (01:12:37.211)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:12:46.405)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:12:52.861)
Yes. Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm. I love that. I want to touch a bit on, I wanted to come back to how you integrate faith, that Christian faith for those who...

want it and desire it? Like is that something you can add in to like the narrative work or whatnot and some of the trauma work and what does that look like?

Kristina (01:13:21.16)
Yep. Yep.

Yeah, yeah, I love it. So the way that I do Christian integration in my sessions is, well, very much client driven. So I'm gonna see kind of where the client's relationship is with God, with the Trinity, with, because we typically have a different relationship with God, Jesus, Holy Spirit. So we kind of might look at those three things. We kind of look at God image, like how does the person maybe kind of what are they thinking about God is God.

mean and judgmental, is God kind and loving, kind of looking through some of those things. Like these are just some of the approaches we might take. But I'm always starting with where my client is and trying to understand what their sort of religious framework is so that I can work within that. I don't ever want to come in with a Bible verse or with a this is the way that it is because faith is so much bigger than that. God is so much bigger than that. And so...

Dr. Shannon (01:14:03.485)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:14:11.005)
Right. Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:14:16.586)
I often, the way that I think about it is I want God to show up in session the way that he wants to show up in session. I want to be out of the way. And so sometimes it looks like, you know, if we're looking at story work or trauma work, it's sometimes like clients will, as I'm processing, it'll be this, or as we're reprocessing a trauma, I have some clients with really strong relationships with God who then...

Dr. Shannon (01:14:23.759)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:14:42.312)
sort of have this almost spiritual experience and it's not an over spiritualization or anything by any stretch, but it's this like, Oh no, no, no. Like I can, I can like sort of feel Jesus here maybe, or I can, I feel this Holy Spirit in me kind of stepping into this, this experience or this memory and, and, and Holy Spirit in me, me, this, this true self would be your, your IFS language, that other therapy approach I worked from.

but you're kind of that true self, higher self, Holy Spirit self can then speak to that wounded part. And so a lot of times it looks like that of like, is there some false thinking there of are you misunderstanding perhaps what scripture says based on some of these teachings or experiences or who knows what just this maybe black and white thinking once again that you've gotten in. And...

Dr. Shannon (01:15:19.227)
Hmm... Mm -hmm...

Dr. Shannon (01:15:26.683)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:15:40.074)
Maybe I'm not, I'm not to say if it's true or not. Like that's where I'm like, I get out of the way. I want God to do what God does in those moments. And so that's really my approach with, with Christian integration. And it's very much like, I'm wanting, I always want, and I don't know, maybe this is like related to how I think about religion and just how I do relationship, but I always want to leave an interaction to where the person can feel closer.

Dr. Shannon (01:15:45.627)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:16:09.706)
to God instead of more blocks between them and God. And I think so often, whether it's a church message or a therapy session, I've heard so many bad therapy sessions of, well, the therapist said X, Y, Z and said like, there was this way about doing marriage is the way to do marriage or this way about doing parenting is the way to do parenting. And I'm just, I don't ever come from that approach. I always just err, saying and maybe,

Dr. Shannon (01:16:13.373)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:16:29.487)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:16:39.114)
that's the blessing of being a counselor. If I don't have to operate in those certain toots, but to be able to say like, no, no, no. Like what is God telling you here? When you read scripture, what is your understanding here? And that's kind of my approach with the Christian integration piece. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (01:16:43.461)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:16:51.919)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:16:56.037)
I think that's an important aspect for folks to add in though, to have, I don't know, to add that into the narrative and strongly, mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:17:00.394)
Yeah. Back to holistic healing. Yeah. Yeah. Well, for me especially, there's not healing apart from my faith. That was a huge crux of like the identity piece of I had one belief about who God was and how he showed up that when I became mom and was counselor and mom and doing all these things and then seeing all this trauma and suffering, there was a huge reckoning with me and the Lord. Jacob wrestling with the Lord, that was me.

Dr. Shannon (01:17:10.917)
Mm -hmm.

Kristina (01:17:29.674)
and the limp, like, yeah, that's a, whew, yes. Like there isn't, we can't, we can't heal if we're not addressing that spiritual stuff too. When we go back to holistic, that spiritual aspect of us is part of the healing. We have to address all of it to reach healing. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (01:17:29.819)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:17:35.483)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:17:41.573)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:17:51.287)
Mm -hmm. The holistic approach. Yay! Gosh, we talked about a lot. We didn't, we got through it all. I know, sorry it's a little long, but that was so good. I know. Is there anything else that you wanted to touch on that maybe we didn't or anything else you wanted to say? I think we did really good.

Kristina (01:17:55.914)
We really did it!

Kristina (01:18:02.186)
Oh, no, I'm sorry, but this was great!

Kristina (01:18:18.026)
Nothing that leaps to mind. I feel like we hit my heartbeat. Like that's what I feel like. Like I'm like, this is, ugh, yeah, this was good.

Dr. Shannon (01:18:21.053)
I know, I know. I think we hit the take -home points. Well, I'm so thankful that you were on the show today. Okay, tell folks where they can connect with you and reach out to you.

Kristina (01:18:37.13)
Cool. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I've got, I'm on Instagram. That's probably the quickest and easiest way. It's Christina with a K, Tucker HRC for Healing Roots Counseling. At this point, if you Google me, if you Google Christina Tucker and Counselor Georgia, if you put that in there, you'll find multiple websites kind of pointing to me, counselor directories and stuff. My business is Healing Roots, Healing Roots Counseling. And so you can find me there.

Um, and then I've also started a little newsletter kind of more relating to it is it is counseling related, but it's, um, so it's on Substack. I'm just playing around with some writing back to identity and who the heck am I kind of this right into girl mom life and mom of three life. Uh, there's been this whole like creative energy that I'm just putting towards some writing. So I've started a, a Substack and that's been kind of fun too, to write some more just personal stories, but tying in, um,

kind of counseling and spirituality along with my story, kind of those three, I don't know, points. So, and that's, it's all linked from my Instagram. That's why I say Instagram is probably the best way, because if you find me there, then in my bio, there's the tap link thing and you can get to all of it. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (01:19:50.109)
And it'll link to everything. Yay. Well, I'll put, I'm going to put the, all the links to, to, to your things in the show notes as well. So we'll make it a little easier there.

Kristina (01:19:59.498)
Thank you. Yeah, and also like, yeah, if anybody has any follow up questions or anything, emails on the website, I've also got like a little contact form on my website. You could always reach out there. I love just talking through these things or if you want a referral for anything or just like, hey, what you said about XYZ really resonated and I'd love to talk more, like, please shoot me a message. Like that type of conversation is really life -giving.

So I would love to do that. Like no hesitancy, please reach out if anything, if you want to about anything. So yeah.

Dr. Shannon (01:20:26.629)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (01:20:31.901)
Yes, thank you so much. I am so glad you were on the show today. This was perfect. I think we talked about so many things. And again, I hope this conversation leaves people better than when we first started. I think it was very healing. So again, thank you, thank you, friend. Be sure to check out the link for the show notes because I'll have links to past episodes.

Kristina (01:20:48.434)
Me too. Good.

Dr. Shannon (01:21:00.317)
Links to Wade's to get in touch with Christina as well. And then stay tuned every Wednesday for another episode.