Ep #2: The Model and Why it Matters as a Therapist

Clinicians Creating Impact with Heather Branscombe | The Model and Why it Matters as a Therapist

As a therapist, it’s easy to get caught up in the challenges of your working environment. When you feel that pull to solve a challenge at work, it rarely comes from a place that feels amazing. It’s actually the negative feelings that move us to want to change the most. But what if you could use positive emotion to make a bigger impact? That’s where The Model comes in.

As we work with our clients to solve the problems they present to us, we generally use some kind of assessment to get a clear picture. The clearer the picture you create, the better you can decide how to move forward.

So, today, I’m giving you an assessment, or as I like to call it, an awareness tool. I’m introducing you to The Model. The Model is a way to understand how your brain is working in any given situation, and it has the power to change everything you do as a therapist. It’s super simple, and this week, I’m walking you through it and helping you apply it to any challenge you’re currently facing.

To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m giving away a $100 gift card and two $50 gift cards for Amazon to three lucky listeners who follow, rate, and review the show. Click here to learn more about the giveaway and how to enter. I’ll be announcing the winners in episode 10, so stay tuned!


What You’ll Learn:

  • The tool that is the foundation of all the work I do when I’m coaching therapists: The Model.

  • Why objectively looking at the stories we tell ourselves is so powerful.

  • How using The Model will allow you to intentionally create any result you want in your life.

  • Why now is the time to be imaginative, unrealistic, and deeply dream about the impact you want to create.

  • What you can do to apply The Model to start solving any challenge you’re currently facing at work.




Full Episode Transcript:

Episode two, the model and why it matters as a therapist.

Welcome to Clinicians Creating Impact, a show for physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists looking to take the next step in their careers and make a real difference in the lives of their clients. If you’re looking to improve the lives of neurodiverse children and families with neurological-based challenges, grow your own business, or simply show up to help clients, this is the show for you.

I’m Heather Branscombe, Therapist, Certified Coach, Clinical Director, and Owner of Abilities Neurological Rehabilitation. I have over 25 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, and I’m here to help you become the therapist you want to be, supporting people to work towards their dreams and live their best lives. You ready to dive in? Let’s go.

Welcome to episode two of the podcast. I am super excited for this episode today, and it reminded me of the way I used to feel when I came back from a clinical course.

Have you ever gone to what you thought was like an amazing course, you came back to work, and you couldn’t wait to share it with your closest work colleagues? There’s something amazing about learning something new and being able to apply it the next time you go to work.

If you’re like me, it gives you new life into the work that you’re doing, and suddenly, things feel a little lighter. I love that feeling so much. Sometimes I would plan a clinical course just to re-inspire myself. And so that’s how I’m feeling as I go into talking about the model with you today.

So today, I want to go over a tool that has the ability to give you that fresh from an amazing course feeling without the time and expense that it takes to go. So let’s talk about why we would use it, especially as a therapist.

It’s easy to get caught up and caught in the challenges of your working environment. When you’re feeling that pull to solve a challenge at work, it’s not normally from a place that feels amazing. Often, it’s that negative feeling that moves us to want to change.

So when we look at helping to solve the challenges that our clients present to us, usually we’ll use some kind of assessment to get a clearer picture. If you have a problem that you want to help solve, our experience as a therapist tells us that the better the assessment tool that you use, the more clear you can become on how you want to move forward.

We know that a good assessment tool helps us to see the challenge from a variety of perspectives. It helps us to both zoom in and to zoom out to help us to make better choices about treatment planning. So today, I want to share a type of assessment, or what I like to call an awareness tool, that’s called the model.

So this is a tool that I learned in my certification process as a coach through The Life Coach School. It’s a tool that is the foundation of all the work that I do when I coach other therapists and even when I coach myself. It’s a way to understand how your brain is working in any given situation. It’s awesome. It’s amazing. The framework itself it’s very easy, and I’d love you to use a current challenge to help you to apply it to your most important work challenge today.

So first, I’d like you to choose a challenge that you’re currently having at work. Once you’ve chosen that problem, I want you to ask yourself what isn’t working and why. Think of it as kind of like your subjective part of your assessment. So in that, there are no right answers. There are no wrong answers. Just curiosity, right?

So once you’ve done that, the first step in the model is to separate the facts from the thoughts in your story. So if you want to learn more about that, you can listen to my explanation in episode one, or you can just decide facts or things that can be proven in a court of law, and your thoughts are perceptions or sentences in your head, beliefs that may be different from person to person.

I like to think of this as objectively looking at the parts of the story, specifically the story that I’m looking at, to separate facts from thoughts. So one example of a fact could be that I have a client. And a thought that I could have is that client is difficult. So the reason that my client is difficult is a thought is because someone else might think that they aren’t difficult.

The idea that my client is difficult is a thought. This is where objectivity comes in. Do you see that? The reason that this is so important is it’s our thinking that drives what our feelings, actions, and ultimately the results that we have in our work and in our lives.

So the best way to determine how you’re thinking and to determine how it creates what you feel and how you act is to put this into a model. So for those that are visual, I’m going to be adding a visual representation of the model in the show notes. But for now, you can listen and just see if you can picture it in your head.

So the model goes like this, there’s a set of circumstances or facts that your brain creates meaning with a thought. There are many thoughts, but for the purpose of the model, we’re going to use this as an assessment tool for one thought at a time.

So again, those thoughts are sentences that are in our head. So there’s usually one sentence, and we will put that into the model. That thought creates a feeling. And for the purposes of the model, we define that as a one-word description that’s coming from that sentence.

That feeling generates some actions. So some things that you are doing when you feel that way or things that you may not be doing because you feel a certain way. And then, from those actions, that creates a result. What is amazing is the beauty and the wisdom of this model is when you notice it is the results that we create in the model will actually reflect the thought that is at the beginning of the model.

So let me give you an example. A therapist can have a model that looks something like this, so in the circumstance line of that model, they have a client. The thought they have about that client is they are a difficult client. And when they think they are a difficult client, they feel frustrated. And what I mean is the therapist feels frustrated. This is the therapist’s model, not the client’s.

So the therapist feels frustrated. And so the actions the therapist do is they dread their sessions with them. They may judge the client more harshly than other clients. They are less compassionate in their interactions with them. And then the result of that is they are finding further evidence that they are a difficult client. And ultimately, I want to offer that they are becoming a difficult therapist.

So what you may notice is the model shows that your thinking is actually creating your current result. Now, if I were to ask that therapist why they feel frustrated, it is a normal human thing to associate that we think that we feel frustrated because we have this client. But the model shows us that it is our thought that they are a difficult client that is actually creating those feelings of frustration, and not the client themselves.

How do we know that? Because if we were to ask another therapist, they might look at this client and might think something like this client is having a hard time and feel something like compassion. Or another therapist themself might think I know exactly what I need to do to help this client and feel really excited.

So notice that the same client can generate different thoughts and feelings for different therapists. That’s how we know it is our thoughts that are creating our feelings. So, knowing that my thought is creating the evidence of my result is amazingly powerful. It means nothing about my client has to change for me to think or feel something different.

So now that we’ve learned about the model and how we can use it to see where we are, I want to show you how we can use it to imagine where we want to be. So we’re going to use it for what I like to call creating an intentional model, a model that we are using to create an intentional result.

So we’re using this tool to assess in advance how we could possibly create a different result. So we’re going to do that. We’re going to use the model. We went from the circumstance to the result, and now this time, we’re going to go from the result back to the circumstance. So let’s do that.

So in order to do that, I want you to think back to your own scenario. Think about your best-case scenario as it pertains to your challenge that you want to work on. Be as specific as possible, even if you don’t think it’s possible. I think that’s even better. And if you don’t think that it’s possible, we’ll talk about that more in the next episode.

But I want you to do this for now, with as much detail as possible. This is not the time to be realistic in your goal. This is the time to be unrealistic. Take some time to dream, even jot it down or journal if that’s helpful. We want to create that imagination and that beautiful mind of yours to create your own intentional model.

So I have some questions for you to help. What is the specific result you’re looking to create with your current challenge? And with that, let’s fill in the results line with that result. The next question that I would ask you is, what do you think you would have to do to get it? And then, we’re going to use that to fill in the actions line.

What would you need to feel to do those things? You can use the answer to that to put into the F line or the feeling line. And then, finally, what would you need to believe to feel that way?

So, if I were to use that for this example of this client, one result that I could want to create in my impossible world is I want to love my client. So I’m going to start with that result, so I’m going to put that in the results line of the model.

Next, if I think what would I have to do to get that? One of the actions that I could think of is I would have to notice the lovable things about this client. What would I have to feel to do this? I think I would have to feel love to notice loving things about a client. What would I have to believe to feel love? My thought could be my client is lovable.

And then I have my client. It’s the same client in my first model, but now I’ve created a result where I want to love my client, and I love that client. So notice, again, there’s a difference between that model of where I want to be and the model where I am currently now if I think my client has a difficult client. And that difference is what we like to call the river of misery.

Again, what I want to offer you is that difference is normal. And this is where the coaching process comes in. So don’t worry if you don’t know how to get there yet. Just notice that there’s even a possibility that you could think something different. And notice that there’s a possibility to create a different result than the one that you have now.

So finally, I just want to take this moment to celebrate. Today, no matter what day you’re listening to this, is an amazing day. It’s the day that you’ve learned, maybe for the first time or maybe on a deeper level, a little bit more about this model and how you can start to apply it in your life, specifically your work life.

I’m so excited for you. I’m as excited as I was when I came back from an amazing clinical skills course, and I wanted to share that. And unlike any other clinical skill that we can learn, and I want to preface this, clinical skills are important. But this concept and tool can help you with any other given skill or challenge you’re looking to work on at work and in your life. And it has the power to change your life.

I know that because I’ve used this tool to completely change my work life, as well as the lives of those that work with me. So are you ready to try and use this tool to make your work life better? Come along as we help you to create more awareness and help you to create the career of your dreams. I can’t wait to see the impact that you create. See you soon.

To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m going to be giving away a $100 gift card and two $50 gift cards to Amazon. I’m going to be giving them away to three lucky listeners who follow, rate, and review the show.

Now, it doesn’t have to be a five-star review, although I sure hope that you love the show. I really want your honest feedback, so I can create an awesome show that provides tons of value for you. So visit abilitiesrehabilitation.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter. And I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in episode ten. Thanks so much.

Thanks for joining me this week on the Clinicians Creating Impact podcast. Want to learn more about the work I’m doing with Abilities Rehabilitation? Head on over to abilitiesrehabilitation.com. See you next week.

" >


Follow the podcasts