In this episode, I am excited to have on my personal friend Dr. Rachel Fry. Rachel joins the show to speak on the importance of mental health in a profession that not only can be exhausting on our faculties, but requires us to be of top mental fortitude at all times. Dr. Rachel Fry is a clinical psychologist in Birmingham, Alabama. She is passionate about helping her clients become more aware and intentional in their daily lives, in an effort to create a better balance and reduce overall stress. Dr. Fry has a lot of experience working with lawyers, in her practice and also with programs she has led and coordinated with law firms and bar associations.
- How to discern when is the right time to seek help and when tips to recognizing and bringing personal awareness to your current state.
- Rachel talks about the trends of issues that can affect lawyers, finding happiness in where you are at, and the importance of reframing your thoughts on your career identity.
- We define what it means when we talk about setting boundaries and concrete tools to help draw and outline these boundaries.
- We take a look at self-care as something that you have to work at daily and the importance of seeing it as a mandatory practice and not selfish.
For more information on Dr. Fry, you can find her at: drrachelfry.com
For more information, visit: jeenacho.com
Order The Anxious Lawyer book — Available in hardcover, Kindle and Audible
Find Your Ease: Retreat for Lawyers
I’m creating a retreat that will provide a perfect gift of relaxation and rejuvenation with an intimate group of lawyers. Interested? Please complete this form: https://jeena3.typeform.com/to/VXfIXq
MINDFUL PAUSE: Bite-Sized Practices for Cultivating More Joy and Focus
31-day program. Spend just 6 minutes every day to practice mindfulness and meditation. Decrease stress/anxiety, increase focus and concentration. Interested? http://jeenacho.com/mindful-pause/
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:00:06] You may not be helping people in the sense that you thought you would be when you went to law school, but you actually are helping people.
Intro: [00:00:18] Welcome to The Resilient Lawyer podcast. In this podcast, we have meaningful, in-depth conversations with lawyers, entrepreneurs, and change agents. We offer tools and strategies for creating a more joyful and satisfying life. And now your host, Jeena Cho.
Jeena Cho: [00:00:39] Hello my friends, thanks for being with us today. In this episode, I am so happy to have my dear friend Dr. Rachel Fry, who is a clinical psychologist from Birmingham, Alabama. Rachel started her practice in 2011 because she really wanted to work with adults and adolescents, and she specializes in anxiety, depression, personal growth, self-esteem, and relationship issues. Before we get into the interview, if you haven’t listened to the last bonus episode, go back and check it out. It was a few episodes ago, I shared a six-minute guided meditation practice, to help you let go of stress and anxiety. And it’s particularly great for this time of year because I know for me it’s always a stressful time. And so often I hear from lawyers that they know they should meditate and practice mindfulness, but they just don’t have the time. And I always tell them you know what, just start with six minutes. Start with just .1 hour. All the hours you dedicate to your clients, work, and others, don’t you deserve to have just one .1 hour for yourself? And so I created a program, it’s called Mindful Pause and it’s designed for lawyers like you so that you can fit it into your very hectic schedule. So head on over to JeenaCho.com to learn more. That’s “J-E-E-N-A-C-H-O” dot com. Or you could also look at the show notes. And with that, here’s Rachel Fry. Hi Rachel, it’s so nice to have you on the show.
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:02:06] Glad to be here.
Jeena Cho: [00:02:09] So I know that you are married to a lawyer, and so you have a special place in your heart and sort of a dedication to working with lawyers. So I want to kind of jump right in and maybe you can just share with us a little bit about how it is that you got interested in working with lawyers.
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:02:33] Sure, yes. So like you said, I am married to a lawyer. My husband has been practicing law for about 18 years roughly I guess. 15 years. I’ve kind of seen the really good parts of practicing law, and I’ve also seen the struggles that he’s gone through. With the firm atmosphere and just trying to build clients and billable hours and all those things. But also, I’ve encountered a couple of things in the community that made me kind of realize there’s a little bit more of a need to bring programs and education into law firms and with lawyers, and start conversations that people haven’t been having. About some things that come up in terms of stress and anxiety and depression, just kind of managing a law career.
Jeena Cho: [00:03:25] So maybe that’s a good place for us to start. When lawyers come to you because they’re experiencing stress or anxiety or depression, I think that takes a lot of courage; particularly for the people in the legal profession. We’re taught to be sort of invincible, we’re supposed to be the savior, we’re supposed to sort of have this warrior type of mentality. And so I want to start by asking you, when should a lawyer consider going in and seeing a therapist? How do you know if it’s just the blues or maybe you’re feeling bad because you’ve lost a case, versus something more serious?
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:04:11] Sure, I think that’s a great question and I think it’s something that’s very confusing for a lot of people. And what I would say is if you’re not able to work through feeling down, for example, if it’s not something that stays for a couple of hours and then you’re able to kind of move on into a better mood or different state, then that’s definitely something to kind of notice. But really, it’s kind of if it just stays and it won’t go away for days or a week or a couple of weeks you know, and you kind of feel like something’s off but I can’t pinpoint what it is. And I’ll also just add that we’re not very good observers of ourselves.
[00:04:58] So it may be that friends are saying you know, you don’t seem like yourself this week, or you seem kind of down or even really irritable. You’ve been kind of difficult to deal with. And so those are kind of things, wording to kind of be aware of in terms of, other people can see us much more clearly than we can often. And just knowing okay, something feels off but I don’t really know what it is. But I know that this is not my normal state, and I cannot work out of it.
Jeena Cho: [00:05:28] Yeah. And I know for me, I’ve been in and out of therapy throughout my, probably starting in law school. And I don’t, I’d be curious just to hear your thoughts on this, but I actually found that like I didn’t need to feel like I have depression or some sort of an anxiety disorder to go see a therapist. Because I actually found that therapists are just so helpful. And like, working through everyday life stuff. Like something happens at the office and I feel like I let that person sort of step all over me. And I have held feelings and I’ll go and talk to the therapist, and you know the therapist would actually help me sort of sort through and give me a better vocabulary or words or maybe a different way of framing things. Something I can actually go back and say to that person and say, “Hey you know I feel like when you did this in front of that other person, you know I felt disrespected, or I felt that you were sort of undermining me.” Can you talk a little bit about that? You know like what do therapists actually do?
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:06:37] Right? I think that’s a great question, because I think a lot of people aren’t really sure what we do, or what we do helps, or if it’s worth the time or if it’s something that they should even look into. And there are so many mixed messages in the media that it’s certainly confusing. So I would say what we do or what I do is you know, someone comes in and I kind of evaluate. All right, what’s kind of the initial thing that brought them in? Because there’s usually something that’s happened recently that’s made them go, okay I need to call and make an appointment. And then kind of get a full picture of what does their life look like, what are the stressors in their life, where are they struggling maybe with setting some boundaries, or not seeing there need to be some boundaries? Or where how do they cope with things, what is their stress level but also what is their stress capability?
[00:07:35] You know because we all have different levels of that. Some people have very high levels of stress that they can tolerate and deal with very effectively. Whereas other people have really low stress you know hardiness skills and really need to be a little bit more aware of exactly what is creating stress and how they deal with. So I really kind of get a gauge of where their stress level is for them their personal stress level but then how do they deal with it. How do they interpret things from the outside and bring them and know how they are and do they internalize or do they react behaviorally maybe back to someone inappropriately when they’re stressed and trying to figure out OK. What messages are going and the thought processes that they’re creating and kind of you know start going in a circular pattern switch.
[00:08:30] And how can we rephrase that set up effective coping strategies and then try to just really eliminate a lot of the extra stress because we all have that regardless of how we feel on a given day. We do have control over cutting out different stress stressors in our lives. Yeah yeah, I’m feeling you there.
Jeena Cho: [00:08:55] Yeah I found just that like often with a therapist will help me do is to just help me reframe the situation. You know like maybe like I lose a sharing and I just don’t have it. And that brought her back that nagging voice inside of my head is like Gina you’re like the witch lawyer on Earth because you lost that hearing. You should just never practice ever and doubting your entire life. And you know can you just be any more awful.
[00:09:24] And make and then like those type of like internal messaging or voices was actually causing so much unnecessary stress. Right. And then like I would go and say like you know I just feel like the worst lawyer. Like on the face of the planet. And she would be like OK let’s step back and look at this like home hearings have you done in your entire life man. No a couple hundred. Like how many of them have you MOS have you like lost more than winning or you know and like I would just like a really simple question. Well, how did the client feel about it? And I would say well the client was actually OK because we knew this was going to be a difficult hearing and we actually had a really low chance of winning but the client was actually grateful that I helped them and I was an advocate for them, and then be like see?! So like is it really true that you’re the worst lawyer on the face of the planet. I know that’s not true. Yes.
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:10:19] It’s so helpful because we get into these automatic thoughts and we’re in very convincing a base and we can come up with all kinds of evidence that’s not really realistic but it’s just where we get.
Jeena Cho: [00:10:34] Yeah. Even just like learning about the thinking as it has been. So how fun. It’s like I’m doing the back thinking again. And has amazing yes. Yeah. The lawyers come in to see you. Are there sort of typical issues that you find that they’re struggling with.
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:10:54] Yes so a lot of the things I see with the lawyers particularly are you know just feeling like OK I went to law school because I wanted to help people. And now I feel like I’m stuck in a cycle of billable hours. You know sometimes not enjoying my work. And. And I’m not feeling like I’m helping people. And so it’s kind of part of what I think is important as helping reframe in terms of like OK may not be helping people in the sense that you thought you would be. You went to law school but you actually are hoping people in being able to kind of look at different clients in different scenarios and help them see you know. Yes. You are helping this person create a great business or you’re helping this person you know really figure out a fine tuning of how they can be more successful how they can have their policies and procedures. And I find too that it’s helpful for a lot of lawyers to have work outside of their practice to kind of fill that.
[00:12:05] OK I feel like I am helping people whether that be through pro bono stuff or volunteering or somewhere they’re giving back to the community in some way can be really helpful for a lot of that. A lot of people some people some lawyers. They can kind of reframe it that way. OK. So I am fulfilling this that some other people sometimes need to add some other things into their lives their daily lives just to feel like they’re feeling that a little bit more.
Jeena Cho: [00:12:38] Yeah I mean I certainly feel like often when I talk to lawyers there’s this sort of yearning for wanting to just find more meaning in the work that they do when there is such a disconnect between what you thought that meaning would be when you’re in law school or even in the beginning of your law practice. And like when you enter the daily grind of like we get some patent application and you’re just like OK like helped me understand or especially when you’re working like a large firm where you don’t actually get to see the whole picture of the defense or the impact that you’re making it’s just you’re sort of doing like demanding work or silly thoughts about how to find the meaning right where you are. You are finding just happy right where you’re at.
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:13:22] Well and I think that’s you know really looking and like I was saying earlier just to be able to look at some of the clients that you really enjoy working with and trying to reframe know how what am I really doing for this person and how is that impacting me. Then I think you know talking with other people that you work with about how they’re finding meaning and what they’re doing.
[00:13:50] And even within the firm, you know the kind of assessing OK how is our firm contributing or finding meaning through our work and having kind of focuses or highlights or discussions on that. Also, I think you know moving outside of work we’re where d where do people find meaning outside of work. Because I think that’s another thing that can kind of come up is you know people are putting themselves to work so much and putting sand much weight on having to mean and like from work. And then if you’re not finding meaning at work it’s like I’m having a hard time finding any meaning. So really being able to evaluate what or how are work and everything else coming into play. And where are the places? Worker otherwise this person is getting meaningful.
Jeena Cho: [00:14:44] I have to talk to lawyers who are like really unhappy at their job for whatever the reason is and that they have this idea like OK like if I just quit and start a new job then that will sort of tour all of its problems and I know from personal experience that that’s not really true. Like it was two that had that happened where it’s like I quit and I go somewhere else and like all the same issues would just show up again because somebody like unresolved that sat there if you can just talk about the height you know.
[00:15:16] And I think there’s like two different thoughts like that you have to sort of work through the issues like right where you are so it doesn’t sort of follow you and I think the same thing happens from some relationships right like you did a guy and he has this particular negative behavior. And then like you know you dump him and you find somebody else and then the same pattern repeats itself like what is that all about. Why does that happen?
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:15:40] Great. Well, I think a lot of this is this is part of what I really enjoy in therapy with individuals is you know it’s our personalities and how we interpret and how we. Respond to things. And again. We can’t be our best observer with that. You know we’re very subjective and can’t see all the different pieces that are from different points.
[00:16:09] We have a high-stress personal stress level and they are going into stressful scenarios you know every single day then we’ve got to figure out a way out of we how do we deal with this. And so it is it is kind of immediacy people are really warriors right. It’s not uncommon for them to move. Firms are new you know working with different practice groups and that kind of thing and then again it’s kind of the same. And for me taking the time to figure out how do you match up with what your expectations are. And even kind of writing them out thinking about what are my actual expectations because a lot of times don’t take the time to sit down and think about what we are literally really expecting anyway. Or right.
Jeena Cho: [00:16:59] Yeah. Yeah. So true. You know something you mentioned earlier in the conversation that sometimes you help lawyers sort of work on their boundaries and I think that’s one that I certainly have struggled with. And I don’t know if it’s more just common from women lawyers but just from my observation, I feel like that’s just you know that seems to be more of a struggle for women lawyers. And I wanted to dive in a little bit and talk about it.
[00:17:29] Well first what boundaries are what you know what we mean when we talk about boundaries. And also some of you can offer some concrete tools to the listeners on. You know how to actually begin to draw boundaries because they think there’s so much fear and hesitation like I know for me like Al you know it’s like someone will offer me and asked me to do something and I just know like that’s not the right thing for me. But like I don’t want to say no and disappoint that person I have that person be upset at me so I find myself saying yes and then I sort of do it like begrudgingly and then like I hate myself for that. So maybe it just offers some suggestions.
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:18:07] Sure. No I will say and when I’m working with clients they laugh because I love boundaries and I get really excited about people making up Feira areas to work with people on though I like to think of boundaries in terms of perceived boundaries and then really like I’m setting this up so in terms of perceived boundaries maybe there are some situations you can’t get away from. But we have but you have to work on. How to think about this I’m going to set a mental boundary for myself. This person I know you know and Jane shows up every day and she comes to my office and starts complaining. It makes me feel you know I just kept going through the day and so when Jane comes in I know she’s going to do that.
[00:18:56] And I’m just going to special rainbows in my head or I’m in a place of music and I’m going to an end and then the physical like OK I’ve got to be somewhere in five minutes you know kind of figuring out what are some real actual behavioral things that you can do to set a boundary. It doesn’t have to be this awkward you know very aggressive direct approach. It can be very subtle. A lot of times. But knowing again I have certain expectations and know kind of how some situations are going to go. And I know I need to be prepared ahead of time and have some boundaries in my mind options ways to deal with the situation.
Jeena Cho: [00:19:38] That’s when they’re so certain that I anticipated places where I need to drop boundaries like when like if you work with a toxic co-worker or someone that’s just not much healthy for you to be around.
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:19:51] Right. Right. And kind of knowing OK this is the scenario and I’ve just got to figure out some ways and again this is easier to do with someone else. If you go to your desk when your stress levels that have made out a tan and you’re having a bad day you just you just need to be somewhere. And I’m depressed mental state to think about it. But I guess to like just thinking about you know the pros and the cons like with what you were saying about you we’re asking you to do things and just knowing when you say yes you’re really saying no in your head. And you’re like no.
[00:20:31] And one thing that’s the and I even use this term I saw is like a hundred dollars. The very beginning of the day and I know you know I only use this amount is all I have. And I think 50 percent before ten o’clock and then I find that I have a negative no negative stay balance of about three. Then I’ve got to look at how much energy do I really have to be able to throw out there today. How do I really want to spend my energy? There are some things I have you know there are always things we have to do that we can’t get out of. So that kind of comes and going also. What do I choose to do outside of those things?
[00:21:17] And I think looking at pros and cons like sometimes saying yes to someone that’s over you a boss benefits you. Right. And it’s like OK I’ve got to look at this and take a second and say well I don’t really want to do this but if I do this then this will really help me with X or no and so that’s kind of that’s where that accountability kind of comes into. Because it’s also easy to get into this cycle where you keep doing that and then you have nothing. And so I’m just kind of being aware. And intentional about OK I’m going to do it this time but next time this comes up I’m not going to do it and I’m going to kind of see how each one of those responses feel for me.
[00:22:05] The other thing I guess I would say about boundaries I think are really good coming up with reasons why we should do things come up with all kinds of awesome scenarios about OK this I’m feeling though about this I’m still saying to myself I need to do this. There’s just no vision I just got to do it. And so I think to be aware of your physical response and what your gut is no windows. When you say yes. And you really feel like it’s a no. Watch that over time. Yeah. And I think you know what most people find is it’s the same scenario is that kind of bring that up and all of that stuff again goes back to that hundred dollars for the day. You know just taking stuff away from you to where you can really thrive and be productive in the areas where you need to be.
Jeena Cho: [00:23:00] Yeah so true. And I think there’s this feeling especially for lawyers like that and we should be able to do at all. And we just keep adding more and more and more stuff to our to-do list. And then it’s like well I just have to work harder not realizing that and I think I use a similar analogy to your 100 dollars that there are only 4800 40 minutes a day and that it is literally one of our most precious resources. It’s so precious in fact that we sell it. And point one-hour increments and so this actually being really intentional about like no I’m not going to get to that point three hours because you know this other way that it’s you know that time is actually not just like the Internet. And I don’t know why.
[00:23:47] It’s like let’s just have like really hard times for them and really just like there’s like there’s so much dysfunction like how we set boundaries and particularly when it comes to like you know how we allocate our time.
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:24:01] And I think that’s particularly hard for lawyers because the legal profession is so focused on time. So you know I can bill in a bill in six-minute increments then figuring out time and you know the time at the office or you’re not billing. I mean it’s it’s a balance it’s hard. I mean me.
Jeena Cho: [00:24:28] Yeah. Oh, you just brought up my favorite topic which is self-care. So it’s not about that. When does that mean when you say self-care is that you don’t have to go on a vacation to Hawaii for a week or have to go get massages or like what this health care actually.
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:24:46] Though I think self-care and I think I’ll just I’ll just say at the beginning I think a lot of people do look at it like OK I’m just going to kill myself and work and then I’m going to go on this awesome vacation and then that happens you get on the airplane you get there and you’re like I’m a little bit relaxed and I’m not as relaxed Zapata would be. And then you’d come back to the fire.
Jeena Cho: [00:25:08] Like your plan was back at the office the entire time while you were on vacation. Right.
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:25:14] Right. So it’s kind of like is there really a point a way I like to look at self-care is. You know not looking at one three week vacation. You like to solve yourself here needs for the year right. But trying to add pieces of vacation into your daily life. So you know really kind of we’re all we’re all also different in terms of what makes us recalibrate it and what brings us back to being reenergized.
[00:25:46] And so I think self-care is you know if it’s getting a message you know every couple of weeks or once a month or if it’s exercise or if it’s just going and is sitting by yourself at a park you know with absolutely nothing around you. If it’s meeting with a friend really being intentional about setting that up like this is a monthly saying it’s on my calendar. Think we’re so here is not an optional thing. I don’t look at it that way at all. I think it’s a necessity. And I think in women I think we as women especially are really bad about. Letting that piece go and taking care of everyone else. Or you know making sure everything else is lined up but then it’s like end up in a hurry.
[00:26:36] And stress and no energy and not able to sleep. So I think. That’s a huge thing that I work on with my clients is like this is not an optional thing this is like brushing your teeth. I’m thinking this is something you have to do every day to be you. And I’m yeah I totally agree with you there. So.
Jeena Cho: [00:27:00] But isn’t being a practicing self-care kind of selfish like you’re doing something like free you know and it’s like pampering yourself. Many say a client that’s like oh no that’s selfish I couldn’t possibly go to yoga for an hour. And Nick like my kids or neglect work.
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:27:25] No it’s not selfish. Again I think it’s totally it’s totally unnecessary it’s mandatory. But I think sometimes you know a lot of people feel that way right. And I certainly for a long time and so I realize though that other way wasn’t working so well for me. But I think people have to try things out slowly and they. So I would say try yoga class this week instead of picking your kids up right at 3:00. Or whatever it might be and see how you feel about doing that for a couple weeks.
[00:28:01] See seeing what kind of difference you see. A lot of people. Have to have kind of experimental stages. It’s like I’m not sure I can buy any of those yet. But I’m willing to take maybe one or two small steps and just see where this leads me. And then realizing the difference in seeing OK I feel calmer when I pick my children up here because I want to do is like I’m actually a better mom I’m a better person because I’m gone and taken care of this whereas before maybe it was just you know agitated or not calm and not feeling good at all. And then and then starting to get frustrated and then starting to beat yourself up over that. Right.
Jeena Cho: [00:28:49] Right. Yeah, I think it’s you know particularly for women lawyers for moms like you think it’s actually really important to like a model for your kids what it looks like to take really good term view. You know because it’s like saying like secure your own oxygen mask before helping others. And if you know if you’re tired of running yourself to the ground if you’re just consciously running on empty on fumes. I don’t think that’s like modeling great behavior for your kids and I think you know it’s probably not fair and productive to tell your kids to pack self-care when you’re not to yourself.
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:29:28] All right. Right. And do you think you know we tend to put our kids some towns ahead of ourselves? And that’s. Not necessarily a problem. But it can become one if it just continues and there’s no self-care out there.
Jeena Cho: [00:29:49] What do you do for childcare. Well.
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:29:52] I have a lot of things to call it my toolbox because sometimes I need different things now so I’m a runner. I love to run. That’s my only. Really clear bought time to think. You know what I’m doing that day feeling about things where I’m at with different projects and energy levels and that kind of thing. I like to do volunteer work. Just a little thing each week. That’s you know an hour and that just brings me kind of reasoners me back and see. Where I am and what’s important and very helpful for me.
[00:30:41] I’m a big believer in massages. I probably don’t do that as often as I should. And then you know I also have found I need to get better of time by myself whether that be ten minutes. I mean a lot of times I’ll just make sure I schedule 10 minutes in between clients. And then just not get on e-mails and not do things like that but either I’ll do you know a short little meditation or I’ll just sit there and sometimes I’ll bring a book and just read you know just something that kind of breaks up the day and what I’m working on intensity or whatever is going on around me.
Jeena Cho: [00:31:25] Yeah. And you know I found that I’d want things that I certainly struggle with and I think it actually gets in the way of practicing self. Tara, it’s just my relationship to digital technology.
[00:31:39] I feel like I’m honestly on a device line when I’m not I can actually feel the discomfort of like not being on digital device so they have thoughts or suggestions on like sort of raking yourself out of that habit of like constantly needing to be connected and constantly needing to check again. Yeah. Like I actually find that I don’t feel like I sometimes feel sort of hung over because of just how much screen time I’ve gotten on any given day and it’s like wow that’s like really not healthy and I know it’s not healthy. But then I’m like I can’t it’s like really hard for me to rate myself that how do I actually do is I just go on a week-long meditation retreat. So then I just don’t have access to the digital technology. But aside from that, it feels kind of dramatic. And you like that.
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:32:36] Sure. Well, I know for me. I have my spine on Mr. Most of the times and a lot of that is because I’m meeting with people on my phone beeping you know the whole time. But I’ve also found myself doing outside of work because even though I know things are coming and I can’t hear it and there’s something mental about not hearing a ding you know every 15 minutes or so I wasn’t there. But I can’t hear it I can’t hear what’s going on on it. And that that brings me a lot of calm and I think the other thing is and I think this is something that you mentioned in the past media as well as just putting it in another room recharging.
[00:33:20] You know I’ll try that when I get home I’ll try to take it upstairs and plug it in. You know stairs are better or something, where it’s just not down here, are just as likely to go. The most recent thing I’ve been trying to and I have been very successful at this but it’s still a goal is to get an alarm clock and just leave my phone downstairs and hide. Her. I have another thing that I do without which I suggest is just I love to go to the bookstore and get new books. And I find that if it’s a book I’m really excited about that I will that I will not be on my phone and I will be excited about reading the book. That’s just kind of go in and it’s easy easier when I have something else. I’m really looking forward to doing more relaxing read that.
Jeena Cho: [00:34:14] I love all the gestures and. You know the other topic that I want to have with lawyers and money is when we can chat a little mix a sort of like a hot topic. When you work with lawyers and they think there’s a sense for lawyers because we trade our time for money there’s this constant feeling of well I just have to make. I just have to work more and therefore earn more. And then there is also this extra final yardstick that we measure ourselves against. You know it’s like oh my co-worker and this much money worries that particular client and brought this much revenue. And so there’s this sense of like keeping up with the Joneses now thoughts about it. I don’t know how to have a healthy relationship with money.
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:35:05] And this is a challenging one because you know a lot of lawyers I mean have gone to law school and have loans. So that’s kind of hanging over and then-then you get a job at a firm and you look at you look at the income you think wow this is awesome. Right. Then kind of go down the road a little bit further and you realize well I’m spending a lot of those. So I’m getting used to this which is not a bad thing. But when it becomes so linked to the billable hour I think it’s really hard to separate. And I think for a lot of lawyers it’s hard to imagine doing any other type of job. Not not because they don’t want to because they get used to the money and the lifestyle and you know knowing OK you know it may not make as much as I’m making right now and I’m not sure what my life looks like without making as much money without being able to have you know to be able to buy and afford these things.
Jeena Cho: [00:36:08] And I think kind of try to. It’s not like I’ve certainly not had this experience of like I’m just sort of buying stuff. It’s like the self-soothing measure because it’s like my work so hard to earn this money than if I’m going to do you know a little too much like I’m shopping therapy because I don’t deserve it. You know I deserve to buy this really expensive thing. But then I also don’t get any like much today out of buying it like there is now sort of like momentary pleasure in buying that thing. But then afterward they sort of have like cancer you know.
[00:36:47] And I didn’t really have like a very clear understanding of like what actually really matters to me and am I being intentional about how I spend my money. I think kind of going back to what we’re talking about in terms of like managing our time prioritizing those things that are important to us. If the same thing applies too to how we spend our money and.
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:37:09] Lo and I think obviously having nice things and you know nice things by you know have nice things is really awesome. Right. Like it’s nice to be able to go in and buy something really nice even wanting one side I guess is what I would say it is what’s driving that. Right. And so when your fun and I mean especially with our culture and society I mean we all fall into the swirl humans.
[00:37:37] But when you find that you know every time I have a really bad day at work I end up at a mall or on Amazon or you know it’s kind of become just that coping strategy right. And it’s very. And that will not ever get to the root of the problem or the issue. So just I mean some are waves of all or whatever else it might be. Right. So when you find yourself in the pattern its words like I can’t break free of this and I feel OK I feel better for a minute but then I feel just as low as I did before. Then it’s time to kind of assess and figure out what’s up to read about.
[00:38:27] Yeah a lot of people think of therapy and they think oh I don’t really want to go into all that work and it’s still going to the plow of everything that happened in my childhood and everything happened and that does sound like golfing and not. And I just want to say that’s not how it was. And I think I mean I realize that I’m a psychologist. I think therapy is awesome. And just for me just be able to see little the small changes people can make to realize how strong they are or where they can grow that it’s that it’s not always Leggott stuff being brought up are actually very positive. And for people to be able to realize things need to shift and change my life. They don’t have to take me back to the joys of my childhood always when they were still small things I can do make big changes.
Jeena Cho: [00:39:25] Yeah. And I know I really just got so many tools that I didn’t before going to therapy. That’s really one of the benefits of it and so that when I am in a challenging way difficult or you know a situation like I can go into my tour bus and say OK which of these tools I need rather than just having one which is a hammer which is a super effective and efficient healthcare like every other job where the hammer is perfectly appropriate but not always.
[00:39:57] So yeah I mean I really would encourage you to know to everyone that soliciting like I know no I almost feel like everyone should just like don’t because it’s pretty like mine because I’m feeling depressed or just because with me some life skills. And I found it to be so helpful and in even more kind of going into like the childhood stuff.
[00:40:23] I mean to spend a lot of figuring stuff out and go oh like why is it that I just often have this sensation of like never having enough money. And like I always fear that I’m going to go home last think that’s completely irrational like my rational mind knows that that is not true. And then when I actually you know kind of like I dug into it a little bit you know kind of poked around and I realized oh that’s the message that I got from when I was a child that like I grew up really poor and that there was this sensation that like we were on the verge of homelessness.
[00:40:56] And even though that condition no longer exists that messaging is still there and then I was like oh OK well that messaging is no longer help all that and that like little 6-year-old self inside of me is still going wait for no. Like we might go homeless if you buy that sweater. Right. Just like Suze that part of myself think I know it’s OK like you know like things are OK now and I’ve got that. So yeah like just learning those like self-soothing techniques which have been so helpful just in managing stress and anxiety but also like living my best self you know like really stepping into like all of my possibilities and not like living in this constant state of fear and anxiety and worry.
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:41:43] Right and also normalizing. OK. That’s kind of what led and graded that framework. That doesn’t mean that that has to mean pieces that are always there but that doesn’t mean that forever.
Jeena Cho: [00:41:58] Yeah exactly. Yeah. And I said just love talking to you because you know like I’ll be like hey look I have this weird thing happening in my life and you will just be like I know that totally comments and. I had to even just from that perspective like normalizing whatever you’re experiencing because I know for so many lawyers are just feeling like Oh my gosh like I’m the only one that feels complete. And in effect, you know in December and I can’t Bill and I just yawn and blue. And I think just having someone that like gets to work with a lot of lawyers and go oh no. Like I actually just saw eight patients last week that have told me actually think that you’re going through. It’s like I’m not the only one and really normalizing that experience. Yeah.
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:42:43] And it’s a powerful thing because I think I think a lot of us can get in our mindset of like no one else is going through that. There is there are always other people going through.
Jeena Cho: [00:42:55] Wow. So I feel like this feels like a good place it just kind of pause. And before I ask you my final question if people want to just learn more about you and your work what are some of the best ways to connect with you or just learn more about you.
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:43:15] Sure. Well, my website shows how the dot com. And then I’m always open to getting e-mails or setting up calls to people others topics that come up are questions. So please feel free and all my information is on my Web site.
Jeena Cho: [00:43:36] So happy to do for anyone though and suggests and you have such a beautiful website. I was just telling you before the show that you like I love you I’m upset it has like such like soothing colors and images and I think it just reflects perfectly who you are so I dearly love it. And so my final question is always does the name of this podcast is called a resilient lawyer. What does it mean to be a resilient lawyer to you?
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:44:15] I think it means really learning more about yourself and trying to figure out what-what really makes you passionate. Really what creates stress for you. And how can you build those muscles you know are those parts of you to be the best you can be in. And to be feeling like you’re giving where you want to go. But overall we can’t all do that every single day obviously. But overall in your overall life, you have your very thing going on. Being able to get back up those strong to get back up have the tools to get back up and bounce back.
Jeena Cho: [00:45:02] I always love attachment and now we’ve been trying to make this interview happen for some time. I’m so happy to have you and to chat with you again. Thank you so much for joining me.
Dr. Rachel Fry: [00:45:16] Thank you so much for having me.
Closing: [00:45:22] Thanks for joining us on The Resilient Lawyer podcast. If you’ve enjoyed the show, please tell a friend. It’s really the best way to grow the show. To leave us a review on iTunes, search for The Resilient Lawyer and give us your honest feedback. It goes a long way to help with our visibility when you do that, so we really appreciate it. As always, we’d love to hear from you. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, and look forward to seeing you next week.