Episode 184 Expanding Your Impact Through Holistic Therapy Intensives: Interview With Leah Barnes

Jun 5, 2024

What are holistic therapy intensives, and how do they differ from traditional therapy sessions? How do holistic therapy intensives address the interconnectedness of mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being?

MEET Leah Barnes

Leah Barnes, LCMHCS, is the owner of Ridgeline Counseling and Supervision, PLLC where she provides online therapy to adults in North and South Carolina. She focuses on working with late-diagnosed or suspected Autistic and ADHD adults to get rid of internalized shame and ableism surrounding their neurotype, and learn ways to work with their brain, not against it. In addition to traditional weekly therapy, she offers therapy intensives to help clients dig deep into healing over the course of 1 to 3 days. She uses a variety of approaches during intensives, such as brain spotting, polyvagal techniques, therapeutic yoga, parts work, and more. 

Find out more at Ridgeline Counseling, and connect with Leah on Instagram and Facebook


  • What are therapy intensives? 2:58
  • What are the benefits of therapy intensives? 9:19
  • What therapy modalities can be used in therapy intensives? 15:45 
  • What are the challenges that come with this type of therapy? 25:09

What Are Therapy Intensives?

  • What is the difference between intensive and traditional therapy?
  • Can you do therapy intensives virtually?
  • How to schedule therapy intensives
  • The importance of flexibility for intensives
  • Why use therapy intensives?

What Are The Benefits Of Therapy Intensives?

  • How can therapy intensives allow you to go deeper with clients?
  • What type of clients would benefit from intensives?
  • Who would not benefit from therapy intensives?

What Therapy Modalities Can Be Used In Therapy Intensives?

  • The importance of having training in the modalities that you use
  • How to schedule your intensive sessions
  • The importance of utilizing an intake form beforehand
  • What should your session’s timeblocks look like?
  • How to follow up after intensive sessions

What Are The Challenges That Come With This Type Of Therapy?

  • Managing your time and energy as a therapist
  • How to integrate multiple modalities into a session
  • Creating another revenue stream with therapy intensives

Connect With Me

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Resources Mentioned And Useful Links:

Find out more at Ridgeline Counseling, and connect with Leah on Instagram and Facebook


Chris McDonald: Have you considered moving away from the traditional therapy model? Have you wondered about creating additional income in the therapy field, but weren't sure how? Imagine being able to give clients the gift of going further in the healing process in a shorter amount of time while having greater financial stability and lower caseload for you.

Imagine your work allowing you to have open space for more of what matters in your life. If this sounds what you're looking for, then this episode is for you. Today, we'll be digging into the world of therapy intensives. You will learn how these immersive experiences create profound shifts, accelerate progress for clients, and foster deep connections with them.

Join us as we illuminate the path to holistic healing on this episode of the Holistic Counseling Podcast. This is Holistic Counseling, the podcast for mental health therapists who want to deepen their knowledge of holistic modalities and build their practice with confidence. I'm your host, Chris McDonnell, licensed therapist.

I am so glad you're here for the journey.

Welcome to today's episode of the Holistic Counseling Podcast. Have you felt that some clients need more than just weekly sessions? I've felt that too, especially for some clients with complex trauma. Sometimes I feel like what we're doing weekly is helpful, but sometimes it's just not enough. In today's episode, we delve into the unique power of therapy intensives and how they can amplify your impact as a therapist.

Therapy Intensives offer clients a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in focused therapeutic work over a concentrated period. Join me today as we uncover the nuances of this powerful therapeutic approach. We'll discuss how Therapy Intensives can facilitate deeper healing, accelerate progress for clients, and cultivate lasting change.

We'll also explore practical strategies for integrating Intensives in your practice and maximize their effectiveness. Today's guest is here to help us learn more about them. Leah Barnes is owner of Ridgeline Counseling and Supervision. In addition to traditional weekly therapy, she offers therapy intensives to help clients dig deep into healing over the course of one to three days.

She uses a variety of approaches during intensives, such as brain spotting, polyvagal techniques, therapeutic yoga, parts work, and more. Welcome to the Holistic Counseling Podcast, Leah. Hi, it's so good to be here. Yeah. And it's so great to have you. And I'm so happy you're here after taking my yoga basics course.

Leah Barnes: Yes. Which was amazing. And I was actually using some of it this morning with a client. So I love it. Yes.

Chris McDonald: Woo hoo. Back in a different capacity. Awesome. So we're going to talk today about therapy intensives, which I am so excited about. So I thought we'd start from the beginning and can you share what are.

therapy intensives and how they're different from traditional therapy? Yeah,

Leah Barnes: absolutely. So one thing that I always like to clear up when I'm first talking about intensives with folks is that a therapy intensive is not the same as intensive therapy. So we're not talking somebody who needs to be hospitalized or, you know, any of those kind of higher level of cares that we think about.

What a therapy intensive really is, is we're taking One chunk of time, sometimes two, whether it's three to five hours over the course of a couple days, and really digging deep into one particular issue. Oftentimes it's trauma, but there's plenty of other things that people do intensives with that I'm more happy to get to.

But that's really the gist of it. It's kind of like a deep dive. Deep dive.

Chris McDonald: Okay. So it's not like we're locking up clients in a facility for deep intensive or

Leah Barnes: Nope. Nope. No facility needs. You get to, you know, if you're doing it virtually from the comfort of your own home, or if you're doing one in person, just a traditional office setting.

setting like you would for weekly therapy, except instead of coming in for 50 minutes once a week for however long, it's a more finite amount of time. So it may be again, three to five to even, I've seen some people do eight hours, eight hours in a day or over the course of a weekend, almost like a retreat type of style.

But. Not necessarily in a resort setting.

Chris McDonald: Well, I guess, could it move to You could.

Leah Barnes: I guess you could. Which would be really nice.

Chris McDonald: Yeah. Go to Costa Rica. Yeah. Okay. But it doesn't have to be.

Leah Barnes: No, it doesn't have to be. Some people do them completely virtually. I know that's how I do mine. That's how you do yours.

So, yep. Folks are able to be in the comfort of their own home. And, you know, of course we take breaks for food, for drinks, for bathroom, for all of the things that we need to do. But you're not having to fit this in on your lunch break at work.

Chris McDonald: Yeah. Okay. And so do you do it on the weekend or is it weekdays?

How does that work?

Leah Barnes: My schedule just varies on my availability. Um, so right now my, what tends to work best for most people from what I've found is if we're doing multiple days, kind of like a Friday to Sunday, because most of us generally. have free time, then you're not having to take time off work. If you have Children, it's a little bit easier to find folks to take care of them.

If we're not thinking about child care hours at work. But I've had a handful of folks that have done them. We've done a few weekday nights for three hours at a time and That's just been what's worked best for them.

Chris McDonald: So I guess it's just trying to be flexible and see what works.

Leah Barnes: Yeah, a little bit of flexibility for both the client and the therapist as well.

Chris McDonald: Yeah. So what led you to move down this path to use intensives? I

Leah Barnes: actually did a training with Stephanie Feld. Um, she does a lot of intensives and hearing her Talk about the changes that she's seen with folks just was amazing to me and it was one of those things I have to try this and if this is something that will benefit the people that I work with, I am all for it.

And as I was in the training with her thinking through people that I either currently work with or have worked with in the past, we often end up in this space of. You know, we only have an hour once a week and they come in wanting to work on this really severe childhood trauma, but then life happens during the week between sessions.

And so it's, yes, we're trying to do this deep work, but my boss yelled at me at a meeting this morning and right now I just need to process that I can't get into the deep trauma stuff or we have a move coming up and that's. you know, it's causing me to fight with my partner a lot more and so we're having to address that and we don't get to dig in as much to the trauma.

And often sometimes it just takes a while to get there even within a session where how often are we with somebody and it maybe takes 30 minutes to get to the point where they are in session enough to really address what needs to be brought up and by that time we've got to close them back up. Because they've got to go back to work or back to kids or we just don't have the time.

And so with an intensive model, we can set aside this specific amount of time. We can take a little bit longer to get into things. We can do a lot more of the grounding work as well. Like let's start off with some, with more deep breathing than we would typically do in a 50 minute session. Let's start with some yoga.

We can then move into what we're doing. We can do some, I'm, brain spotting as well. So we'll do some brain spotting, but even being able to go off on all of the different places our brain takes us, rather than we've got to rein this back in right now without the distraction of daily life. And not that those things aren't important, but sometimes it can make it that much harder to get at those underlying issues.

Chris McDonald: Excellent. It makes me think the word restricted sometimes with, uh, when we have just that one hour a week. And cause I, I feel like in some ways that we are restricted, cause I'm always like time aware in a session, like, okay, for where we have to be aware, we have to be pay attention to the client, be part of the process, but we have to say, okay, where are we in the session?

If you're looking at where are they with their goals? Okay. Was, we have a lot going on in our minds as right in our, are we going where they want to go? Okay. Cool. Okay, are we getting deep? Okay, we're deep. How much time is left? I don't know if this stuff goes through your mind.

Leah Barnes: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I have, I'm sure anybody that I've ever worked with will tell you that I have said, I don't really want to open that up right now because it's like, you have 10 minutes

Chris McDonald: left.

There's so many of these clinical judgments. Okay, let's see how much time is left. Okay. We, we're getting, we're in this deep now. So what I have to have enough time to shut things down, to close things down, to get them more grounded towards the end. So it's, it's always that balance, isn't it? It's so restrictive with the traditional therapy model.

Yeah. Yeah. I could see that. So is there more freedom? Intensives, I think in

Leah Barnes: a lot of ways. Yes. Yeah. We have not only the the time freedoms that also I feel as someone who tends to be a bit eclectic, it allows me to more fully get into some of those spaces that would maybe be glazed over a little bit more with the time limitations.

So I think about IFSI, am IFS informed, not certified. But when you're doing some parts work, like it can take a while to really the internal family systems. Right, yes. All of those, you know, we're talking about our inner child or those protective pieces and parts of ourselves. We can really spend the time with those parts that's needed rather than we either can't go there because we just don't have time or that dipping our toe in.

And we can spend the time really being with those parts if we're, again, not there. brain spotting. We know brain spotting can take us some amazing places that we didn't plan on going. We have time to follow that and see, you know, where that's going to take us. We also have with people living in such a mobile society nowadays, If somebody say travels for work a lot, and maybe they can't commit to weekly one hour a week therapy because they're in Boston one week a month and they're in California another week a month and they're in Missouri another week a month.

Are they only getting one hour of therapy a month? And then how much can you really get? Especially when you're new to each other versus, hey, when you're in town, we can do some really good deep work. And then if we need to come back, we come back. If not, we don't, you know, keeping it open from there. Yeah.

I think there's a lot of flexibility with it.

Chris McDonald: Yeah, that's true. To go deep because I feel like sometimes are we skimming more of the surface, even though we can go deep. Mhm. But there is limitations with traditional therapy. I mean, of course, unless there is a crisis, then of course we have to go over the time limit.

Of course. We want to make sure that we're safe and that we're doing, of course, emotional safety too. If, if there is a wound that's, we can't close, then we have that ethical obligation to, to go over our time. But yeah, it makes it difficult. Our job is difficult sometimes with traditional boundaries, right?

Leah Barnes: Yeah, it really is. And when we have. People who just need more processing time as well that oftentimes, you know, 50 to 60 minutes just isn't enough.

Chris McDonald: So what kind of clients would benefit from Intensive?

Leah Barnes: I'm sure you know by now. I think anybody would. So a lot of it, but depends on what someone's looking for.

I think they're great for trauma because that's, I, I wondered,

Chris McDonald: yeah.

Leah Barnes: So many different pieces from, from what I'm aware of where Intensive started, or at least the first place I heard of them was out of EMDR. So I'm not EMDR trained, but I do a lot of brain spotting intensives so we can address trauma through that lens.

I could see using a variety of other modalities for that. I know some folks who do internal family systems intensives, whether they're addressing trauma or shame, whatever that may be. I've done some with OCD where we are Thinking about kick starting treatment almost, so instead of we've got an intake and then we've got maybe two sessions of psychoeducation and then we're getting into the work, it's really, hey, we can do the intake, we can get all the information, then let me give you everything you need to know.

Maybe not everything, but a lot of it. And we can really start digging in more immediately. That makes sense. Follow ups afterwards. Yeah. And it's been the clients that I've done it with have really appreciated that because you're not, sometimes there's a feeling of you're waiting to get started with therapy, even when you start, because it does, it takes time to build that rapport, to get to know each other, all of those things, but they get things to do.

Right. Then. Yeah. Sure. I know there's people who do couples therapy intensives. I don't work with couples, but that's something that I see a lot of as well. And I'm also going to be offering some parenting intensives for right. My kids in therapy. How can I help them as a parent? Like you don't necessarily, yeah.

And you don't necessarily need on going. Counseling or help. It's more of I just, I need almost like a class, but with feedback, right? And so being able to do that piece is how are you parenting? How can you best help your child? But really, I would be hard pressed to find a population that they couldn't be beneficial for.

Yeah, because I think there's just so many different ways to do them that you can really tweak things to whatever the client needs. I

Chris McDonald: guess, is there some clients that it may not be beneficial for?

Leah Barnes: I'm sure there absolutely are. One thing would be finances because That's true. Intensives are Not a model that's covered by insurance.

So you are paying out of pocket. That's obviously something that we would need to take into account. Somebody who is needing a true higher level of care, whether we're talking, you know, residential treatment, whether we're talking. Even some of the different programs, right, intensive outpatient where they're also needing that regular check in versus we can do a lot of work in a couple of days.

There are some people who do legitimately need that. I need to be doing this in little pieces and I need That oversight almost that continued

Chris McDonald: care because I wondered who was with clients who are more suicidal to if that might not be the best that would

Leah Barnes: be definitely assessing screen. Yeah, if we're talking those higher needs, that would be more of a weekly therapy, or even someone that it might be worth starting with, say, like, a 3 hour intensive to really work on some skill building, but we're having that more traditional model following rather than.

We are only following an intensive model. Yeah.

Chris McDonald: So it could be starting with that and then gradually. So I can see how it could be a flexible model too, based on the client's needs. And yeah, so I know you mentioned like brain spotting EMDR. So do you have to be trained in one of those or can it be? Not at all.

Flexible with modalities, is it all different kind, whatever you want to bring to the table as a clinician? Flexible

Leah Barnes: with modalities, as long as you have the training that you need to implement the modality. Now, that being said, I am not trained in every single modality out there. I am sure there are some that wouldn't be a good fit, but.

Overall, yeah, nothing that's coming to my mind immediately would be this isn't something that could work. There may be some adjustments, especially if we're talking models that require more fidelity to a specific protocol that would depend on if your protocol has wiggle room in there for flexibility.

Chris McDonald: Yeah. Cause we talk about a lot of different holistic modalities on this podcast. And I'm just thinking, man, there could really be some healing going on with that.

Leah Barnes: I mean, you can bring in right. Brain spotting or EMDR doing some yoga, some somatic experience, meditation, meditation, parts work. Beautiful.

Yeah. Art in there, all of the pieces, it doesn't have to be just one. Again, as long as you're trained in whatever it is that you're doing, as we would do with weekly therapy. Yeah,

Chris McDonald: exactly. Cause I'm, I'm just wondering how you set it up, cause I know you mentioned maybe doing longer breath work and so how do you set yours up as far as how long to spend on each thing if we break it down?

Yeah. So. Everybody's

Leah Barnes: favorite answer, right? That depends on the client. Usually what I'm doing when I always start with a free consultation to make sure it would be a good fit, right? So to make sure one, that the person is bringing issues that I'm competent to treat, that we're not hitting any of those things where this might not be a good model for them.

So active suicidality, if there is. Especially since I'm virtual, immediate danger where maybe there's interpersonal violence happening in the home. This might not be virtually not a good fit. So we're screening for all of those things, talking just a little bit about what are you wanting to get out of this?

Is this trauma? Are we looking at kind of kickstarting therapy? What's a brief overarching goal? And then I'm going back developing a client workbook that I send out to them. So that's got a lot of the assessment tools that we sometimes use during intake, and those will depend on what the presenting issue is, but also some journaling prompts, some things for them to think about before the intensive and just some general information for them to have.

We schedule a 90 minute intake so we can get, do all of that good background information that we always do in a first session but really have time to get as much as we need in there and then also talk more specifically about goals. From there, we're scheduling the intensive sessions. I have mine set up where I offer either three hour sessions or five hour sessions.

So that's going to be conversation between the two of us with three hour intensives. tend to break about 15 20 minutes somewhere in the middle to kind of grab a snack, get up and move around if we haven't been up and moving around already. For a five hour, we actually have a scheduled meal break, essentially.

And then it really depends on how the client is doing. What I've What I love about intensive work is we can spend, you know, depending on levels of activation, I mean, even an hour at the beginning, just going over some grounding, some breath work. Are we doing some, some yoga, some movement? What are those things that we need to be doing to make sure that they're staying within their window of tolerance?

So we're not getting too deep into trauma that now you're completely dysregulated. I see the flow is very similar to a traditional therapy session, just longer. Yeah. Okay. We can stick with things as long as we need to. Yeah. It doesn't have to be again that, oh, we've been opening up for 20 minutes now.

Well, now we only have 20 minutes to really do deep work. And then I've got to work on closing you back up. We can really spend more time there. And even specifically with trauma. I envision trauma work as coming in waves, and even to a degree with other areas, right? Where we kind of get real deep in it.

And sometimes we have to come up for a little bit if somebody is outside their window of tolerance or getting dysregulated, but then we can go back into the work. We're not having to spend so much time outside getting so far out of it that it's hard to can do five hours of deep work. Right. No, that's.

Too much. I think. Um, but for some people maybe it isn't, and that's okay. Um, and it also allows us. Exactly. And it also allows us a good amount of time towards the end to, instead of, okay, you've got five minutes before we're done, like, let's do this. Let's take a deep breath. Name five things you see around the room and see you next week.

It's, we can spend half an hour, grounding and, you know, re regulating, getting reacquainted with where you are, discussing plan for self care. If there's another intensive day scheduled the next day, that may be a little bit briefer because it's, Hey, you're going to bed tonight. What are you doing for self care?

What are we going to be thinking about tomorrow? But after that last intensive. session. It's okay, what is our little bit longer term plan? And then I also, after, so we have the intake session, we have the intensive day or days, and then I also have a 60 to 90 minute follow up a couple of weeks after the intensive.

That allows us to check back in. Did you hit the goals that you were looking to get? What are the changes that you've seen, that processing time? But also, what are future needs? Do you need a referral out somewhere? Are we going to be working together? When I've had folks come in in that more flexible space of, I want to start weekly therapy, but I really want to, again, jumpstart things.

We're not necessarily doing that because we're moving from an intensive into weekly therapy, but for folks who are more of a, peer intensive model that allows for that follow up. So it's not like, Hey, we've done 15 hours of deep trauma work over the weekend. Bye. That's not okay. So they still get that check in and then we discuss future needs from there.

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It's just such a unique way to look at therapy and the whole process. Where does the traditional approach to therapy come from? I don't even know. Is this from insurance that told us this is how it's supposed to be? That's been a really good question that I've wondered about. Because this is like how I was told it was when I went to school or, you know.

Leah Barnes: Right. And even who says that an hour a week or 50 minutes a week is what it should be. And there's, and different people have different needs. Of course. Yeah. I think about when I worked primarily with kids. There were a lot of little ones that it's like they would have been better served by 30 minutes, maybe two or three times a week.

Yeah, exactly. Versus an hour once a week. And so that's one of the things that I've loved about intensives is that there is, you know, we're not meeting that need, but we're able to meet these other needs of, Hey, I don't need somebody to check in with every week, but I have this one thing that I really want to work on.

And I really want to be able to go Deep with this and not get, I don't even want to say distracted by outside things, but I think that's a piece of it because there are life comes up. I think about my own therapy. We have our goals that we're working on and then something happens with one of my kids.

They get in a fight with a peer and I'm upset about it because I love them and I care about them. I don't need therapy for that. But because I have my therapist, that ends up being where we go that day when then we're not addressing the things that I was initially coming in for. And so I think this allows for the client and the therapist to really stay laser focused on what is this that we're looking at.

Chris McDonald: Is there some challenges or obstacles that have come up for you when you've done intensive?

Leah Barnes: That's a good question. I think, especially at first, the time management bit is a little difficult because it is so different from what we're used to. Yeah, so I'm sure just trying to get your pacing done. Getting pacing done.

And time management and energy management as well. That's true. Because it is a lot to be so focused

Chris McDonald: with a client. Yeah, with your energy?

Leah Barnes: A lot of it is, you know, how we do it therapeutically, regularly. Some of the things that I do for myself, I am making sure that I have plenty of time. I'm not coming off of regular weekly therapy clients going immediately into an intensive or even life stuff, right?

I'm not. Coming home from picking up the kids from school and immediately jumping into an intensive, I have at least an hour if not more of time where I can really regulate, I can ground, I can do all of my self care. And the same thing with afterwards, being conscious of scheduling. So when I do weekends, typically my Monday mornings are pretty open anyway, but just being extra aware of.

I don't have anything. So if I'm not getting that time off on the weekend, I have that time on Monday. A lot of those things that we think about, like I know you're a supervisor as well, right? Working with new clinicians that when we think about time management, energy management, it's going back to a lot of those basics that It's just thinking about them on a little bit of a different level.

Like I, I can't go into an intensive with a 10 minute break from my last session being extra.

Chris McDonald: Fill yourself up more. And do you have to give yourself more time after maybe

Leah Barnes: having more time to again, decompress to ground, to get my energy back to myself. I don't leave my office. That's right away because, you know, when my family is home, they know not to come in here.

And so I allow myself that time to 20, 30 minutes, whatever it is that I'm needing that day, whether it's a meditation, whether it's a study. you know, some yoga, whether it's journaling, whatever it is that I'm needing to get fully back present and switch my energy over to the rest of life outside of therapist life.

Chris McDonald: True. I do find that brain spotting too, isn't as draining. I don't know if you find that as well. It really just, for me, it's like energizing. It just kind of keeps me as focusing, focused energy in a way.

Leah Barnes: Yes. Yes. It gives you somewhere to go with that. It's a

Chris McDonald: different kind of therapeutic practice, I think.

I would agree. I would agree. I don't know about EMDR because I'm not trained in that either, but for those that are interested in training, I know some people have asked me about brain spawning, so that's something to think about too, you know, because it is a different approach to therapy and EMDR is too.

So it might be a different way that's less draining too to think about.

Leah Barnes: Yeah. And that's one of the things. that I really like about intensives is that we can bring in so many different approaches within one time frame. That's something that tends to keep me a little more grounded and less drained where we can do some brain spotting, but then also we can do some parts work, or we can do some movement, or we can bring all of those things in where it's just harder when you're limited to 50 minutes.

Chris McDonald: Yeah. And that's, it would just be. Blips here and there, it would be hard. It's harder to integrate as much.

Leah Barnes: Yeah,

Chris McDonald: no, that makes sense. I think a lot of listeners that are more holistic and integrative that this approach I think could be really beneficial. And I think a lot of people would be interested in this

Leah Barnes: for sure.

Absolutely. I know some folks who integrate Reiki and sound healing as well. Ooh, that would, those are not things that. That I'm trained in to be able to do, but I can absolutely see the benefit of that.

Chris McDonald: Oh, for sure. Yeah. And I love just how flexible it could be that the sky's the limit as far as healing.

Yes. With this, you know, that you could do so many different things. 'cause I'm guessing that doesn't have to be like totally structured, that you could just flow too to see what does this client need, just like in session too. 'cause I do that as well. I might plan something for this and of course that goes haywire.

They come in and there might have been something else going on and I'm like, uh, I think we might need to do some yoga today. How do you feel about that? All right. So we never know sometimes what, even if we have a plan. So right. Yeah. Just that flexibility. It sounds like it's important to, yeah.

Leah Barnes: And allowing those things to come up, it just, it happens so often that I think of five minutes out the door, like the, you know, some client will say something.

And as a therapist, we're thinking, oh, this. The way that you said that, there's a piece about that that's really important. I don't have time to ask more questions because I've got to make sure that, you know, you're kind of closed back up and okay to go out into the world, but we can really follow some of those tangents that are important because we have the time and the space to be able to do that.


Chris McDonald: So what are the benefits therapeutically for clients?

Leah Barnes: I think a lot of it is, we can never make promises about outcomes, of course, But I think about deeper healing faster, right? So we're not spending six months, one hour, once a week, let alone additional travel time. If you're seeing a therapist in person, going to therapy, we can really kind of get in there in a weekend.

Yeah. Get what we need to do done and we can go really deep again because we're not having to come back out of it right away. It's a huge benefit for some people. The other thing that I hear that is feedback that I get from clients is. Not having to set aside the time every week, because there are times that therapy can feel like one more thing that I have to schedule in, whereas, yes, an intensive is one more thing to schedule in, it is a finite amount of time.

It isn't this ongoing every week. I have to make the time for this and flip side of that. Right. When we talk about self care, we need to have self care regularly, but there's also other ways to do that. That's true. When I think about people with young children where it's really hard to find time away for, from the kids for their own therapy, this can be a good way to do that.

And again, we can get really deep. It's not this surface level bit. And like I said, folks who travel as well.

Chris McDonald: Yeah, that's interesting to think that folks that travel, that could really be beneficial.

Leah Barnes: Um, I think about a little bit of self disclosure. My husband for a while had been doing work between two different offices that his company owns.

So he would be two weeks here and two weeks in another state. Now if he had needed therapy at that time, it would have been so disjointed. Whereas again, you can really get that need met. And I think, you know, another benefit is again, the. Being able to really stay focused and it's easier to stick to that specific goal.

And some of this I'm sure varies from therapist to therapist with, we start with one goal in mind and then things kind of get loose. Almost, almost like we're still doing the trauma work, but sometimes we're dabbling in these other things, or life comes up and we're over here, which are important things to address, whereas again, this really allows us because we're not having that time in between.

To really get into this and do the work that we need to do. So it's more of a focused work. Uh, yeah. And I think that helps a lot. And a lot of people find, feedback I've gotten, there's been a lot of benefit for

Chris McDonald: that. Okay. So yeah, I wonder too, it's just that time is set aside and they know that. It's just like, okay, this is what I, what I need to be doing.

And. Yeah, I could see that. And I wonder, because I know that you have ADHD, is this helpful for folks with ADHD too? I think for clinicians even that this is something, yeah, because you can vary like what you do on it and

Leah Barnes: we can, and we can kind of go all over the place. Yeah. Yeah. You know, I think of a lot of my ADHD years and this is absolutely true for myself as well.

Even trying to tell a story of something that happened. Our brains have to kind of make these loops around to eventually come back to it. Like it's not as easy as just get to the point. And so then there's time and space to be able to do that. And we can keep things. we can change them up enough where I'm not, you know, as a client or a therapist, like getting bored because we are able to let's get up in the middle, let's do just 10 minutes of yoga.

And then let's come back. And now you're talking. Yeah. Let's toss some art in there. Like let's, you know, we have time to make things

Chris McDonald: right up my alley. That's why I'm so excited. I was telling Leah before we hit record, that's something that I'm looking into for this year for my practice too. And, and, and just from a financial standpoint.

standpoint too, I think this could be really beneficial for therapists looking to have a different stream of revenue too, instead of just relying on the one to one model, because it really could be beneficial too, right? Um, from that standpoint.

Leah Barnes: Because you're not having to add in the commitment of one hour a week for whatever amount of time, right?

Where as therapists, if I want to make more money, I've got to see more clients, but then that's also more of my time. More energy. On a regular basis. Yeah. Versus if you've got something like an intensive, if I know, okay, summer things are, you know, people tend to be vacationing. If I'm doing one or two intensives over the summer, that allows me more of that flexibility.

I am getting more income without overloading myself with clients where then maybe I'm burning out and not doing the good clinical work that my clients deserve.

Chris McDonald: Yeah, the

Leah Barnes: good

Chris McDonald: clinical work. So it seems like it benefits both clinician and client. Absolutely.

Leah Barnes: Yeah. I think so.

Chris McDonald: I think so too. Cause I'm thinking too, that many of the clients I see, they make progress, but you're right.

It takes like what, eight months for especially those with deep seated traumas to really we're, we're grooving now moving along, but, but I still feel like the complex trauma, it's just like, there's so much there that we can really dig deep, but we can only go so far.

Leah Barnes: Right. And that's something. Another neat thing with intensives is it doesn't also have to be just one, so if we're talking complex trauma, it could be that maybe once a quarter you're doing an intensive weekend, and so they're really, again, digging deep.

It may need to be more than once. But it doesn't have to be that weekly where we're just a little bit, you know, we can set aside that time to dig in.

Chris McDonald: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense.

Leah Barnes: The

Chris McDonald: flexibility is amazing. No, I just, it's, it's got my wheels turning. I hope listeners are too. Yes. So what's a takeaway you could share with listeners who also might have their wheels be turning from this conversation and they want to start?

Intensive, but they're not sure how to, how to get going with this.

Leah Barnes: Yeah. Get creative with it. I mean, I think that's one of the big things. And one of the things that I've loved the most is it doesn't have to be that different from what you're doing now. Just getting creative and You know, there's plenty of resources out there, consultation to help talking with others who are doing that.

Um, I'm always happy to consult with folks. Just give it a try. Yeah, absolutely. And what's the best way for listeners to find you? Yeah. If anyone wants to get in touch with me, the best ways through my website, which is RidgelineCAS. com. That stands for counseling and supervision. Best and quickest way. I'm on social media, but I'm not really on social media.

So website North Carolina too. I am in North Carolina and I also see folks in South Carolina. So if you're in either of those states,

Chris McDonald: awesome. Well, thank you so much for coming on the show today. Leah. This has been great. Yeah. Thank you for having me. It's always a pleasure to talk with you and I'm super excited.

Yeah, this was fun. And listeners, that brings us to the end of another episode. Be sure to tune in next week for another episode. And did you love this one? Please remember to rate and review this episode. This helps us to continue to reach more listeners and grow this podcast community. It also helps us to continue to attract more impactful guests.

And if you are finding this podcast helpful, please support us. Please give us a five star rating and review. This is Chris McDonald sending each one of you much light and love till next time. Take care. Thanks for listening. The information in this podcast is for general educational purposes only, and it is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are giving legal financial counseling or any other kind of professional advice.

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