72: Bad Therapists

April 29, 2021

Claire’s new family dog, how to know when you have a bad therapist, and more listener questions.

www.joyandclaire.com

email: thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com

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This is Joy & Claire Episode 72: Bad Therapists 

Episode Date: April 29, 2021

Transcription Completed: May 7, 2021

Audio Length: 41:57 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: And this is Joy and Claire. And I just have to address this from the get-go because I do feel like I’m in a wind tunnel. We are having all of the interior of our house painted, and so we moved all of our furniture out of all of our rooms. The painter wasn’t using this room, and I’m like, “Can I record in here?” But it just sounds like I’m in a wind tunnel.

Claire: It’s a little echoey, but it’s okay.

Joy: But we’re going to get through this. We’re going to make it, and it’s going to be fine. We’ve survived worse things in the recording audio world.

Claire: And we also know that Joy could hide in a closet with a towel over her head, but it was 80 degrees here today and no self-respecting Coloradan has turned on their air conditioning yet.

Joy: No way.

Claire: We definitely have. And if you’re asking, “Didn’t it just snow there?” The answer is yes, it did, and it’s supposed to snow again as a matter of fact because this is what it’s like in the spring time in Colorado. It’s very, very weird. Today was a high of 81 and a low of 37. 

Joy: That’s your weather report.

Claire: That’s very common. So I’m sitting here next to a puppy.

Joy: Tell us the big news.

Claire: So obviously that’s the news.

Joy: That is the news.

Claire: Last week, I kind of teased it, like watch our Instagram stories for an update on the dog. And we got a puppy, and she’s so cute. She’s eight or nine weeks old I think. We named her River. Her name was Maggie. They give all the dogs in the litter names at the rescue. So we got her from a rescue called Moms and Mutts Colorado. Basically it’s a foster-based rescue that takes in pregnant mommas and adopts out all their puppies. So if you’re looking for a puppy in Colorado, pretty much all they have is puppies. So originally, we had really wanted to get an older dog. We didn’t really want to deal with a puppy, but I looked at probably dozens of rescues and shelters and talked to a ton of rescue volunteers and applied to half a dozen different rescues. Some were shelter-based, some were foster-based. The number of options for adult dogs who are truly no-questions-asked kid friendly were very, very few and far between. That was obviously our number one requirement, even to the point where we didn’t even want to get a questionable dog. “Well, he was fine with kids in his old house, but he’s a little bit timid now.” We didn’t want there to be a question in our minds that this dog would be great with kids because we already had to rehome a dog due to issues with kids. We had a dog. It was really sweet but absolutely crazy. Border collie mix named Luna. I got her in 2010 or 2011. We had her until Miles was like two. When I adopted her originally, she was totally crazy. Literally, her name was Chaos, which I should have known better than to adopt a dog named Chaos. But she was really, really sweet at first. Then when she got more comfortable at home, she just became a total terror. She would bark at cars driving by. She destroyed all of our blinds and all of our screens in our house. She couldn’t walk on a leash. She was just nuts. So we spent a ton of money and a ton of time with a professional trainer working with her and got her to the point where she had really good manners, was fairly well behaved socially, but never quite figured out kids. But we kind of still were optimistic. She’s been with us long enough; her demeanor is different enough that it won’t be a problem. And she just never warmed up to Miles, to the point where if he got too close to her, she’d kind of bare her teeth. She really would avoid him. It was just like, you know what, this isn’t fun for her to be in our family anymore. I don’t feel confident that nothing would ever happen. So luckily, very luckily, had a friend who had been walking Luna a ton and had dog sat for her a lot. He was a young guy who lived with his brother. And one day we were like, “We know that you love dogs. You foster dogs. You dog sit all the time. You dog walk all the time. Why don’t you have a dog? You don’t have your own dog.” And he’s like, “Yeah, I just haven’t found the right one.” We were like, “Would you be interested in adopting Luna.” Luckily, he immediately said yes and basically has been an unbelievable situation for her. She is living her best life still, and we still dog sit for her occasionally. We’re really grateful that we had such a straight-forward solution with her. We never would have taken her to a shelter or something like that. I don’t think we would have rehomed her had we not had such an ideal scenario. But because we had already gone through that, I felt really guilty about wanting to get another dog knowing that Luna is still out there. I have even said to Brandon before, I don’t think we’ll be able to get another dog if Luna is still on this earth. I would feel guilty knowing, well maybe should we have tried harder with Luna. So we just didn’t want to have even the slightest risk of getting an adult dog that wouldn’t be completely, one thousand percent family friendly. So we ultimately decided to get a puppy. And everyone was like, “It’s going to be so much work.” And I mean, we’re only a few days in, but the hardest thing has been managing Miles around the puppy. Miles will not leave her alone. He has to be within like six inches of her at all times. He is grabbing her all the time. He’s talking to her all the time. He brings her the – he just needs to be interacting with her every waking moment of the day. I mean, tiny puppies sleep a lot. He’s in her face while she’s sleeping. We had to tell him – and somebody wrote me this on Instagram. They were like, “I don’t know how ethical this is, but my parents told me when I was a kid that if we pet the puppy too much she could get sick.” Before I’d even finished reading that message, I was like, “Miles, I just read that puppies can get sick if you pet them too much.”

Joy: Oh my God, what did he say? Was he like, “Oh no.”

Claire: His reaction to that was, “Okay, then everyone else needs to stop petting her because I need all the pets.” 

Joy: Smarty pants.

Claire: Anyone else can’t waste Miles’ petting quota. So hilarious.

Joy: He’s like, “I get them all.”

Claire: Yeah, he’s like, “Well if there’s a limited amount, then they’re all for Miles.” So, I mean, he’s so sweet. But when you’re 5 1/2 and you’re so excited, it’s really hard to control yourself.

Joy: Yeah, for sure. That’s so cute though.

Claire: Yeah. But she’s been really sweet so far. She’s peed in the house a couple of times. It all is what it is. I think because we’re not that removed from the newborn phase, the sleep thing really has yet to bother me at all. We put her in a crate. She did pretty well. We wake up every two or three hours to take her out, and that’s not a big deal to me. Then the messes in the house, people are like, “She’s going to chew everything.” I don’t have anything nice.

Joy: And if you give dogs chew toys. Like Cadet didn’t chew any of our stuff because we just gave her chew toys and things to chew on and a KONG. Did you get the Nature’s Miracle yet?

Claire: No.

Joy: Oh, it should arrive today.

Claire: Thanks. Joy sent me a care package of puppy things. 

Joy: Nature’s Miracle is the best for pet messes, by the way.

Claire: The thing that I think’s been happening is that there are a lot of noises in our neighborhood. We’re surrounded on all sides by other dogs. So when she goes out, she just gets really distracted. Like last night, we were outside with her for like 15 minutes in the grass, kind of getting her to sniff around, having her follow us around the yard. She was doing really good, but she didn’t pee. And then we walk inside and she immediately walked over to the carpet and peed. I was like, “We were just outside.” 

Joy: Oh my gosh, yeah.

Claire: So, you know, it’s a learning curve.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: Like this morning she didn’t want to go on the dew. The grass was really dewy. I set her on the ground, and she looked up at me like, “Uh uh.” I didn’t stand up for this. But she’s really sweet. I already said this. We named her River. She’s a lab, Aussie mix. Like a thousand people have wrote us and said, “She looks like a Catahoula.” I don’t know if she’s a Catahoula. 

Joy: Do you know who her parents are, or do they just take pregnant moms?

Claire: They only knew the mom. 

Joy: Oh okay.

Claire: And I think she was an Aussie mix.

Joy: The mom was an Aussie mix.

Claire: Yeah. But the puppies look so lab. I don’t even think they knew she was pregnant when she first arrived at foster.

Joy: Oh okay, okay.

Claire: So I don’t know how they figured out what type of a mix she was with the Aussie. But I think we’ll eventually end up doing one of those genetic tests. Potentially, I don’t know. To be honest with you, I don’t feel strongly about knowing the exact genetic makeup of my dog.

Joy: Sure.

Claire: She’s got this really interesting blue merle color with these huge, big spots, and she’s just really cool looking. So we’re really excited. If you have any tried and true puppy tips. Joy pretty much has all the tried and true puppy tips, but I don’t really even know. I need extra help.

Joy: You just ask me. Tried and true puppy tricks, I’ve got them all.

Claire: I know, that’s been great. Like I said, we’re only like three days in, and I’m like, so what should I start with? But she’s really smart. It’s only been a couple days. She’s still just getting comfortable.

Joy: Yeah, really when you first get a puppy, it’s mostly letting them relax and adjust to their new environment and learning their name. Because it’s a lot of change for them, and they’re so young that they just kind of need to get settled into their new home.

Claire: Yeah. So we’re super excited. The one thing that’s been really hard so far, because she doesn’t have all of her shots yet, so we can’t take her anywhere. The people at the rescue told us not to even take her on walks if we live in a neighborhood with a lot of dogs, which we do. So we can’t even really let her out of the yard. Thankfully we have this big, nice, fenced in back yard and front yard. So we can’t take her to the park with the kids and romp around. That’s been the hardest part so far because the kids want to take her places.

Joy: Right.

Claire: I mean, that’ll all be over soon. Of all the things to be tough, I didn’t expect that to be the hardest part of, oh we can’t leave.

Joy: Yeah, because they don’t have all their shots, yeah. Well keep posting pictures. She’s so cute.

Claire: Don’t worry, I definitely will.

Joy: Alright, so that’s the big news on your end. We got a couple emails this week that I just wanted to address, like a blanket statement. And I’m not going to share the emails because they were more private just for me to read, but it had a lot to do with therapists with some questionable behavior. The writers were asking me – and it’s just kind of weird we got two in the same week, so I’m like, I just need to address this.

Claire: And we got a third in a DM today, too. 

Joy: Did you really?

Claire: Just a couple of minutes ago.

Joy: Oh, I didn’t see that one yet.

Claire: It was a little more basic, but yeah, we’re hearing from surprisingly a lot of people all at the same amount of time with therapists who are behaving in really –

Joy: Questionable behavior for a therapist, that they’re kind of going, is this okay? Like when your gut feeling is going, this seems weird. And they’re just emailing me asking me if their behavior’s okay. And it’s really not. Part of me is like, what is going on with these therapists that are graduating and they’re horrible therapists. The bottom line is, here’s my rule. I graduated from grad school in 2003, so I may be a little old school, but I do not text with patients or clients. That is a huge red flag. It’s a huge boundary violation. If you have to text your therapist, or if you have your therapist’s cell phone number, that’s a red flag. I don’t know any practice or any therapist that would allow that, to text. Unless they had some kind of email system where a text just went to an inbox in their email. That I guess would be okay.

Claire: Yeah, or I’ve received appointment reminders via text that are from a scheduler.

Joy: Right. Totally a robot. 

Claire: Yes.

Joy: But if you’re receiving text messages from your therapist from her cell phone or if you have a texting relationship with your therapist, that is a red flag. I think that’s a poor boundary violation. In therapy, you have to have very strict boundaries about your relationship for a variety of reasons. But that is something that I think is really not good behavior. And if you get into any type of, if you could call it an argument or some kind of discussion where it’s a back and forth over email or text, also not a good sign. Your therapist should never be communicating with you with long emails or long texts when it’s not a session. Those are the things that people are asking about that I’m like, no, absolutely not. I would never text a patient. If you had to communicate with me between sessions, it would be a very brief phone call. That’s it. I have a rule that when patients email me, I keep it to 2-3 sentences max. If it’s more than that, you’re starting to get into a conversation, and that stuff needs to be worked out in the therapy room or at least discussed in the therapy room. Then if you need services in between therapy sessions, you should be calling your crisis line or something. If you need more, then that just shows that you need more intervention in some circumstances.

Claire: Or you need to set up another appointment in between your sessions or you need to see if you can get in the next day or something.

Joy: That’s another thing is, in very few situations should you need more than – it kind of depends. A level of care for therapy. If you’re in therapy, the level of care should be about once a week. In very rare occasions, twice a week. If you’re seeing your therapist more than twice a week, I guarantee it’s more what we call a higher level of care for certain scenarios. But just a private practice type of therapist, I don’t think you should be calling your therapist to be like, “I need to see you tomorrow.” That’s kind of pushing boundaries, and I would reevaluate that scenario, only because if you need something really quick and urgently that’s more for something like a crisis line. But anyway, as far as behavior from therapists, I was just thinking, oh my gosh, if they cross a boundary where they’re acting more like a friend. Or what was the other one I’m thinking of? Kind of comparing you to other patients of hers or his. For instance, if they say, “Well, I’m going to see you for such-and-such sessions because I have patients that are more acute than you.” Things like that are just, I can’t believe a therapist would say something so egregious. So if they’re giving you advice around making a big decision, if they’re actually making a decision for you, that’s another thing that I think is a red flag. But the bottom line, you guys, is trust your gut. If you feel like what they’re doing is not appropriate or crossing a boundary. And if you don’t know if it’s a boundary or not, if it just feels weird, then it probably is weird. And I think that that’s something that you really need to pay attention to. So I just really want to encourage you if you’re with a therapist and they’re doing some type of odd behavior, either confront them or ask them about it. Or if it’s really inappropriate, you can report them to a licensing board. Every state has a licensing board for licensed professional counselors, or LCSW’s, licensed clinical social workers, or PhDs or PsyDs. You can report them to the board if you feel like they’re not abiding by their ethical laws. So there’s very strict rules that therapists and psychologists have to abide by, and it could do a lot of damage to patients if they’re not following that. So I just want to make sure that people are aware that not all the time – just like a medical doctor can do malpractice, therapists can really cross lines with their boundaries and be reported and lose their license.

Claire: Can you also talk about therapists who react to the things that you’re saying? What’s maybe a healthy and less healthy way that a therapist reacts to what you ask from them. I’m just thinking of some of these examples that I’ve heard of, some a little bit gas lighty, really like the therapist is making the patient feel like the patient is responsible for the therapist’s reaction.

Joy: Can you give me an example, like make something up?

Claire: So if you were to go to your therapist and say, “It bothered me when you said this.” And the therapist would say, “Well –

Joy: Oh. “Well, you’re the one that” –

Claire: Well you’re the one that.

Joy: That is so unbelievably unprofessional, it kind of churns my stomach. This is actually not a clinical term, I’m making this up. But it’s kind of like crossing the third wall when you’re watching something.

Claire: The fourth wall.

Joy: The fourth wall. Whatever walls you’re crossing. It’s just not okay for a therapist to say something that is almost like you’re in a relationship.

Claire: That’s the thing. That’s something you say to your friend or you say to your spouse.

Joy: Yeah, it’s something that you say to your friend or to your spouse. A therapist never says that to their patient. There’s a very specific and strong relationship line that is the responsibility of the therapist, not the patient. The therapist should be teaching the patient how the relationship goes. And if you’ve never been in therapy before, you may think this is normal, but it is absolutely not normal if they’re ever making you feel like you did something wrong or they’re making you feel bad. Or that, “Oh, I have more sick patients than you.” All of that is horrible behavior.

Claire: Right. The root of the sort of made up example I was thinking of is when your therapist makes you feel bad for something you said.

Joy: Yeah. 100%.

Claire: It’s like, that’s why you’re in therapy is so that you can say stuff without worrying about feeling bad about it. Unless you’re truly being abusive, in which case your therapist, like you said, it’s their responsibility to hold that boundary.

Joy: Well either way. It goes either way. I’ve kicked someone out of my office before. It was warranted because it was a situation with a child, and I was like, “You’re not going to talk to this child this way.” That’s an appropriate situation where I’m looking out for the well-being for the child, and the parent was not following the boundary that I had set for the therapy room. That’s the scenario where it would go the other way where I would say, “You need to leave.” 

Claire: Can you give maybe an example of an appropriate way in your opinion and in your experience. What would it look like for a therapist to appropriately bring up that this might not be a good fit anymore. 

Joy: For a therapist to bring it up?

Claire: Yeah. Because we’ve talked about what it’s like for if you are a patient. This might not be a good fit. How do I bring it up with my therapist that I want to see other therapists. But what do you think it would sound like?

Joy: That’s a really good question because I feel like most of the time when people want to break up with their therapist, they just stop going. Or they may have that conversation. I think confrontation at face value is not easy for everybody to do. Myself included. I don’t think anyone’s really good at it. But I think when a therapist feels that the patient is no longer making progress. So for example, if I had someone in my office who I felt like we were just kind of spinning our wheels and we weren’t making progress, how I look at it isn’t so much of we’re not a good fit anymore as I’m not sure I’m the best person for you to carry on with therapy because I’ve noticed you haven’t made progress over the last few months. What do you think about that? Or whatever time that we’ve been together. And they may say, “Yeah, I actually feel like I’m just spinning, but you really help me in these ways.” And then we have a conversation about why. It’s always important to talk to a patient about why they’re spinning and staying in one place. And there’s a lot of rabbit trails, bunny trails I could go off of on that topic. But I think for the ethical behavior of a therapist to then say, you are here to see me for treatment. First of all, you need to have a very specific treatment plan. If you’re in therapy and you don’t know your treatment plan, you should ask your therapist what is your treatment plan. Because you should be moving forward and you should have goals and you should have benchmarks so that you know that you’re making progress. How do you know that you’re making progress if they don’t tell you what your treatment goals are. And sometimes when you go into therapy, you kind of name what treatment goals you want. But there should be some type of forward movement every time you go in. I personally – just my own personal over the years of what I’ve done. I’m not a fan of talk therapy just for the sake of talking. I’m a fan of talking through things with a purpose. But some people really like that. That’s not a patient I would take. If a therapist is saying, “Look, I just feel like we are at a standing point, we haven’t made much progress. What do you think about that?” Then we’d have a discussion about – it kind of opens the door for the patient to then say, “Actually yeah, I think I’m ready to move on” or “I feel like I’m not getting direction from you.” I think it’s the therapist’s role to put that out there first and foremost. I would do that almost in the first session with every patient. I would say, “Hey, if you ever feel like we’re not a good fit, and I know that might not be very clear to you right now, but down the road if it ever comes to that point, I want you to know that the door is open for us to have that discussion so I can help you choose a therapist that would be a better fit for you.” So those are kind of the things, just generally speaking, that I think a therapist would say in order to have you progress with someone else possibly.

Claire: Okay, one last question. This was actually from our Q&A last week, a leftover one. And you’ve definitely talked about this before, but since we’re on the topic. Can you give us a little bit of your rundown on therapy apps?

Joy: Oh yeah. So the two really more popular apps are Talkspace and BetterHelp. I think I mentioned this in one of our episodes previously – one of our like 400 episodes. But I actually signed up for BetterHelp or Talkspace, one of the two, because I wanted to see what it was about. I as a therapist wanted to see how they screened and onboarded their professionals. Because I was like, if people are going to be using this app, I just want to know more about it. And especially because I work in healthcare and I work in a therapy department. I wanted to see what the, not competition, but I just wanted to see where the future is going with therapy because it’s really interesting. And I can say… I think it was BetterHelp. I’m assuming both do the same because they’re very similar apps. BetterHelp did a really good job of credentialing their therapists. That just means they kind of put you through a very extensive application process in order for you to be onboarded onto their app. So you can trust that people don’t have grievances filed against them or an inactive license, things of that nature that you probably wouldn’t – here’s a hot tip. Anybody who’s seeing a therapist, you can go online right now to the board. Ours is called DORA. It’s Department of Regulatory Agencies. And you can go to any Department of Regulatory Agencies in your state, and you can look up your therapist’s license and make sure they have no grievances, make sure that they have an active license. So that’s something that you can also do before you go see someone is make sure they don’t have grievances, and that is public record. But BetterHelp and I’m going to assume Talkspace, but I was on the BetterHelp app does a really good job of screening providers. Now, when I’ve heard feedback from people who’ve done it is it’s really is limited what you can do for therapy, which I can see. It’s an app. It’s video. It’s texting. You text on the app. This is the only time that I would think texting is appropriate because you message each other through the app, so that is already an expectation that’s set up and that’s the way that the therapist and the patient decide to communicate. But I think that that’s something that I would recommend. If you’re not going to do anything… I’d rather you to that than do nothing because I think that that type of support, if you’re in an area or if therapy is not something you can afford to do an actual session every week, I think the apps can be a huge benefit because it reduced barrier to entry of people getting therapy and getting support. I have heard with mild to moderate and even sever diagnoses, it’s just not going to fit the bill for that type of patient. And so people who might be on the app, the therapist would hopefully say, “I think you need to seek help in these areas. Let me help you find resources.” But I do think that they’re good for help, period. You don’t need to know or even compare yourself to be like, “Well maybe my issues are more severe,” “Maybe I’m too serious for the app.” Just try it. The professional will be the one to say, “Hey, I’m so glad that you reached out here, but I think we might need to get you some help in person closer to you,” those types of things. I think it’s great. I think it’s a resource. We also in my line of work refer patients to apps like Headspace. We do a lot of meditation apps. SilverCloud is another one. I think it’s really cool that we are able to kind of use all of these tools virtually. I know it’s been around for quite some time, but it still is really neat that when I started, it’s like you go to a therapy office and you just do therapy in person. And now we’re in this virtual world where tele therapy is really everything because of COVID.

Claire: If you guys ever have any questions about therapy, please feel free to reach out to us. You know the two emails we have gotten, we still respond to – especially if it’s a therapy email. We’re pretty good about responding to those. I also personally try – once I realize that a lot of people, I open them and it’s like “Hey, this is for Joy,” I try to respect that. Sometimes I’ll just sort of glance over it just so I can text Joy to say, “Hey, you have an email in the inbox for you. It’s sort of about this.” I try to respect people’s privacy. We really appreciate everybody who puts themselves out there to reach out about that. 

Joy: For sure.

Claire: And especially if you have a question about how to find a therapist in your area, we have a highlight for that on our Instagram profile. The information’s pretty old, but it’s still very much applicable. Here’s how you start to think about just searching for a therapist, and here’s how you start to think about who might be the right fit for you. I think the other thing to remember is that therapists are all so different. If you’ve tried therapy before and it wasn’t a good fit, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are doomed to never have a good therapist. I feel like I always use this comparison when it has anything to do with –

Joy: The hair stylist.

Claire: The hair stylist. Because everyone gets it. There are so many things like that where it’s like you wouldn’t get one bad haircut and be like, “That’s it. I’m never getting my hair cut again. I’m just not the type of person who gets haircuts.” And yet we’re so quick to do that with so many other things, and I think therapy is one where we’re so quick to do that where we’re like, “No, I had a bad therapist” or “I didn’t really like it,” “I’m never going back,” “Therapy just doesn’t work for me.”

Joy: The other thing is, hair stylist is pretty straight forward. At least for me too –

Claire: Totally, it’s less of a vulnerable situation.

Joy: But it’s so hard to find a good one too. 

Claire: Yes.

Joy: My therapist retired in October, and I haven’t looked for another one because I’m just like [sigh]… I will. It’s fine.

Claire: It’s also hard to find a good hair stylist though.

Joy: That’s very true. And the other thing that’s really hard is – I mean, boohoo me. But it’s hard to find a therapist who knows how to counsel therapists. Because I cannot tell you how many times – well, luckily it hasn’t been a lot. But I can easily find when I sit down with a therapist if they’re kind of intimidated because there are people that will be intimidated that you’re a therapist if they’re a therapist. They’re like, “Oh, well, I don’t know what to do with her.” Because it’s like, you know all the tricks, so it’s kind of like staring into a mirror. They’re like, “Okay, uh.” But I remember one time I went to a therapist and the entire time I was talking, she would finish everything and she would say, “Well, you probably already know this.” And I’d be like, “No, I don’t. I need you to not tell me that I know all these things already.” 

Claire: If I knew this, why would I be here.

Joy: I need you to be a therapist. I need you to not be worried that I already know these things. I’m here for help.

Claire: Please just help me. 

Joy: Please help me. And I never went back. I was like, that was horrible. But it’s hard. It’s hard to find a good therapist. It is worth the search. I always recommend going online before you see a therapist or even choose a therapist and just read their bios and read what they have to say online. If you like their website, if you like what they have to say. The pictures, the beautiful scenery they have. Anything that kind of attracts you. I think websites are a great place to start and get a vibe for what the therapist is. Okay. So yeah, happy to help with any therapy-related questions you guys might have.

Claire: Alright, so we’re going to finish up with a few- sorry if you can hear a dog hacking in the background.

Joy: I can’t hear it.

Claire: Okay great. We’re going to finish up with some Q&A left over from last week.

Joy: Great. I also don’t want to forget about people’s voice memos we have about COVID, and we will put all those together.

Claire: So there’s still time to send them. This will be the last week that you can send them in, and we’ll put all those together as a special bonus episode. So if you want to talk about your experience with COVID, especially if you live abroad outside of the US, but really if you feel like anything was unique to your experience, please send us a voice memo. You can record it on your phone, send it to thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com. And we’ve really enjoyed listening to your guys’ experiences.

Joy: Yeah, love it, thank you guys.

Claire: Okay, let’s start with this one. “Funning in adulthood. What brings you joy, especially ideas for non-COVID times.”

Joy: Funning. Well because the warmer weathers are upon us, the warmer temperatures are upon us, I just love gardening. The past weekend, I sat outside and I just planted flowers on my deck. They’re all in pots because most of our yard is landscaped, but I just love planting annuals and being outside in the sun, walking the dogs. I feel like COVID has truly just made me appreciate the little things. Where we used to be like, “Let’s go to concerts at Red Rocks.” Which by the way Scott got his first ticket to an upcoming show at Red Rocks, and he’s so excited.

Claire: Which one is he going to?

Joy: Ben Harper.

Claire: Oh fun.

Joy: Yeah, yeah.

Claire: That will be so fun.

Joy: So anyway. I’m starting small because COVID has just made us all kind of very cautious. I don’t want to go too crazy making plans or doing things, but it will be all outdoors. It will be all outdoors.

Claire: We still have tickets to Iliza Schlesinger.

Joy: We do?

Claire: No.

Joy: Oh, you do. Because we got tickets to MEAN GIRLS.

Claire: We had MEAN GIRLS, for MEAN GIRLS the Musical. No, Brandon and I do. We were supposed to for his birthday last year on March 14.

Joy: That’s right. Oh my gosh.

Claire: As far as I know, it’s supposed to be next month. I haven’t gotten an update about whether or not that’s still the plan. Part of me kind of feels like it might not be. But TBD.

Joy: TBD.

Claire: I’m very excited about that. But as you guys know, I love hiking. I love being in the mountains. I love being outside. I also really love gardening. I really love baking. I think the biggest thing that I miss when I think about non-COVID times is just being – if you guys haven’t heard the recent episode of Brené Brown’s podcast Unlocking Us with Samin Nosrat, go listen to it. You guys know, I don’t listen to that many podcasts, but I love Samin and I really like Brené. Not quite as much as a Brené –

Joy: Devotee.

Claire: – as some people we know named Joy. But I do really like her and I really like her interview style. So this podcast is really good. And Samin and it talks about how she misses being in a room with people just not doing anything. With COVID, you can still see your friends, but you’re having a meal outside or you’re hiking. You’re doing something. We’ve really missed out on just hangout time. 

Joy: Yeah, just good old-fashioned hangout time.

Claire: I miss that. I’m looking forward to it coming back. Just chilling with friends. So yeah, I’m excited for that, and I miss that casual socialization and all that. Okay. We’ve covered this before, but just say it again. As of right now, we are loosely planning on going to the CrossFit Games. We don’t have our travel plans yet, but we would really like to make it happen.

Joy: “What’s both of your biggest pet peeves?” 

Claire: Pretty much, “What’s the plan for this?” Is a big pet peeve of mine.

Joy: Like you seeing it and going, “What’s the plan for this?” Or someone, “What’s the plan for this?” to you.

Claire:  Pretty much just Brandon putting things away. One of my biggest pet peeves right now is that he does this thing – and I hate it. He’s going to listen to this, and he’s going to yell at me. But he doesn’t clean things as he goes. He never has. And I’ve complained about this on the podcast before. He doesn’t clean as he goes. He just stacks everything up and puts it all away at the end. He just puts it all away at the end, and it makes me crazy because half the time – he’s going to listen to this and be like, “Not half the time.” More than one in a blue moon does he stack everything up and just walk away.

Joy: So when you’re talking about stacking things, what are you talking about? Papers, dishes?

Claire: Dishes. Ingredients. Say he’s making breakfast for himself before he goes to work in the morning, he will put the egg carton with the rest of the eggs in it, the butter stick, the bread, the jar of peanut butter and jelly that he made a PB&J with, the blender, the bananas he used. Instead of just putting things away as he used them, he’ll “stage them,” as he says, all on the counter together as if he’s going to do one final moment of putting everything away all at once. 

Joy: Okay. But he never does.

Claire: But he leaves them there, and I come on and I’m like, “Oh wow. Here are all of Brandon’s ingredients.” Because normally before I even wake up in the morning. So yeah, that’s my biggest pet peeve.

Joy: I feel like I have a lot that Scott hates. I think I’ve mentioned before that Scott won’t twist the tops on anything. So any time I pick something up, it flies out of my hand or it spills. I’m like, “Gosh, dang it.” The thing that he does too is he’ll eat – like we buy, let’s say, a box of crackers at Costco. You know how two packs come in a box? And he’ll just keep taking the bag out and then he’ll leave an empty box in there because he’s forgotten that he ate the other bag. And so I’ll go in and I’ll just have an empty box. Or the last crumbs of chips at the bottom of a bad. He’ll just leave them.

Claire: Yes, Brandon also does that. Like the other day, he put away… what was it? It was something like a cracker box with one cracker in it. Or oh my gosh I hate this, and he does this. Then we can stop just complaining about our husbands. Although I do think it’s healthy to some degree. We’ll have multiple cartons of eggs in our fridge at one time, like we’ll maybe have two or three dozens of eggs in our fridge at one time. He doesn’t finish one carton necessarily before starting the next one. So I’ll look in the fridge and think, “Oh wow, we still have two dozen eggs.” And in reality, each carton only has three eggs in it.

Joy: Oh my God.

Claire: It makes me crazy.

Joy: Oh my God, that’s so funny. So the other thing that I think is hilarious is I know Scott has so many about me. One of them is I will often in the morning if the trash is full, I will just stuff the trash bag with trash around and I’ll just pull the strings up like I’m going to take it out. But I’ll like, “I’m going to take it out when I’m on my way to work.” And it drives him crazy because he’s like, “The trash is just right outside. Why don’t you just take the trash out?” I always laugh because if I know that he’s going to be out and see the trash bag handles pulled up like you’re about to take the trash out, it drives him nuts. That’s your thing.

Claire: That would drive me nuts too actually if you did that.

Joy: Really? Okay, let’s do two more. We actually got a lot of – by the way, you guys submitted some really good questions about working with a naturopath. I think at some point I’ll talk a little bit longer about your questions specifically because I thought they were really good. I just wanted to call that out. This is more serious, but “Thoughts on the Derek Chauvin trials?” So that happened last week, one week ago. And I am very happy with the outcome.

Claire: Verdict? Same.

Joy: Yeah, that’s the word I was looking for.

Claire: I was surprised.

Joy: I was just so nervous. Here’s the thing. The feeling was similar to when I was waiting for the election results.

Claire: Yes. Even after the verdict was read, I still felt similarly to when we finally realized what the election results were going to be where I felt like someone was going to jump out from a closet and be like, “Just kidding.”

Joy: Right, exactly, yeah.

Claire: I was like, really? Okay, okay. I know. I was really surprised but definitely felt relieved.

Joy: So yeah, I remember feeling like so stressed and so nervous for the election outcome, and then of course we’re so relieved. But also, I love that this happened. And with any of these events or I guess you could say “victories” is that it is not the end of the work for white people. I think that’s something I always have in the back of my mind as well.

Claire: Okay. One more?

Joy: Yeah, one more. “Does JT miss going to work with you?” JT is a joy in his retired life. He loves it. He stays home all day. He sleeps. He’s doing great. He’s living his best life. He doesn’t have any type of urge to go to the door and go to work with me. Cadet goes to work with me now. He’s totally retired and transitioned well into his life, so he’s doing great. 

Claire: On JT, I’ve been thinking of you this whole time with a puppy. I think River’s about as old as Cadet was when you got her. And I still am a little bit resentful that I haven’t been able to spend any time with Cadet because of COVID. I mean, you and I have talked about this a ton, that I’m like, I can’t believe I’ve only met Cadet once. And by the time that COVID is over, your time with Cadet will almost be done. And I never met Cadet when she was a tiny puppy. But I’ve been thinking a lot about puppy raising and what that process has been like for you. And thinking about the people who raised JT. It’s just so funny to think about JT as a puppy because he’s always been such an old man, ever since the first day you got him.

Joy: Such an old man. He’s always been an old man. And I see how much of an old man he is compared to Cadet even. Even as a two-year-old, JT was more of an old man, and it’s just so funny to see the difference in their personalities. I love it. They’re just the best. 

Claire: I remember when you first met him and they were like, “We’re sorry Joy. He’s not a runner.”

Joy: He doesn’t run, yeah.

Claire: And you were like, “Um, okay.”

Joy: I was like, “It’s fine.” Because when you apply for a dog at CCI, they kind of ask what kind of lifestyle you have. Do you have any deal breakers. Which to me, I’m like, heck no. You’re giving me this amazing dog, I do not have deal breakers. But you know what I mean. And so it was just really cute because they saw how active I was. I would go running every day while I was staying there for two weeks. They were like, “Sorry Joy, he’s not a runner.” And it really is true. It’s so cute. If you even start to pick up the pace with JT, he just starts dragging behind. And you look back and he’s just looking at you like, “No, that’s just not going to happen,” It’s so cute.

Claire: Me and JT should hang out.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: Alright guys. 

Joy: Okay, can I do one more real quick?

Claire: Yeah, go ahead.

Joy: Someone asked what you’re currently watching or reading. So anybody out there who watches The Handmaid’s Tale, the fourth season is out this week. Scott and I were watching it last week because I was just like, okay, I am too far into this show. It is too emotional for me to just not finish it. Because I’m like, they have taken so much of my emotion. I’m not letting them get away with this. I am finishing this darn series, and I really hope that this is the last series because it’s gone on for way too long. But Scott and I were watching this. He’s like, I mean, there’s parts where it just is really bad but I just want to finish it. So anyone out there who’s a Handmaid’s Tale watcher, I wouldn’t say you’re a fan. I mean, the actors are amazing, but the story is just super, super dark. So I’m going to be watching the fourth season this week and hope it doesn’t bum me out, but I’m really, really looking forward to an ending. And then we also watched the Sound of Metal last night, which was so good. I’m really bummed that we waited this long to watch it. I told Scott, like gosh I wish we would have watched this sooner. And I’m like, sometimes I just can’t handle, like I know when things are going to be so emotional and I can’t do it, so I just avoid shows or movies that I know –

Claire: That’s why I never watch new shows or movies. 

Joy: Yeah. Well I mean, I knew it was good. But I was just like, am I really ready for this story? Because I knew how sad it was going to be. It’s actually really, really a great movie. And then the watched the Oscars and it was great. I highly recommend Sound of Metal.

Claire: I was definitely reminiscing on the three-year run that we had where we would always be like the Oscar ballots and have an Oscars watch party. That was so fun.

Joy: God, that was so fun, and I make the little orange chicken from Costco. Brandon thought I was like a professional chef, and it made me feel so good. Because ever time he’s come over, he’d be like, “Oh my God, these are amazing.”  I’m like, “Thank you. I just popped them in the oven.”

Claire: I don’t know why, I was actually talking to somebody about this this week. We don’t go to Costco. We don’t have a Costco membership. I don’t know why we don’t. I mean, the main reason is there’s not one super close to us. 

Joy: Sure.

Claire: So, I don’t know, we just don’t. All the Costco drinks, you can just wow Brandon every time.

Joy: Oh, every single time. Oh my gosh. I have so many things that I want to buy, but I’d be like, “Who would I feed this to? Brandon.”

Claire: Brandon is the answer. That’s the real reason subconsciously that we don’t have a Costco membership. Because I know in the end we would actually just spend way more on food because we would have so many more choices.

Joy: You would have so many more choices and so many things that you can pop in the oven or microwave to make. And Brandon would be very happy.

Claire: He would be very happy. 

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: Alright guys, well thank you for hanging in there with us for another week. You can find us online. We are on Instagram @joyandclaire_. You can go to joyandclaire.com. You can email us thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com. We will talk to you next week. Bye.

Joy: Bye guys.

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