We had the good fortune of connecting with Lindsay Miner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lindsay, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Two things are different about the way I do therapy: 1. I am relatable/normal to talk to and 2. I don’t see anxiety as “mental illness.” I don’t think it’s a “pathology” that anyone should be ashamed of. In fact, it’s a wonderfully communicative tool.
I’ll explain further.
1. I am relatable/normal: a lot of clients arrive to their first session and feel frustrated by past experiences with therapists, where they felt like they couldn’t relate to the provider. I’ve heard clients say past therapists have used a “therapist-y voice” that makes the client feel like they’re not talking to a real human that understands them. I’ve heard clients say they’ve been in appointments where the therapist doesn’t seem like they’re listening (!), it’s like they “zone out”. I’ve heard clients say they’ve been in appointments where the therapist doesn’t respond to ANYTHING, and instead they just stare at the client in silence.
When a client comes into a session with me, they’re getting the real human here. I have gone through a lot of the things my clients talk about. I combine both personal perspective with my formal training, so my clients feel like they’re talking to a professional AND to another human who is experiencing life (because I am). They feel like they can relate to me, and that I am relating to them, because that is exactly what is happening.
2. I don’t see anxiety as “mental illness.” I don’t think it’s a “pathology” that anyone should be ashamed of: in fact, it’s a wonderfully communicative tool.
Our bodies are constantly communicating to us what feels safe and unsafe. We feel tense sometimes, we feel totally relaxed and languid at other times. We notice our fists ball up when we’re angry, or we notice we get the giggles when we feel awkward, etc. Anxiety is another way in which the body is telling us something doesn’t feel right.
Looking closely at anxiety helps us really powerfully clarify the client’s specific needs. I walk alongside clients as they start to look at their anxiety and when it appears in everyday life. We begin to ask anxiety what it’s scared of, or what it would like to avoid. We start to notice the way that thinking brain can start to come up with a million different hypothetical scenarios that increase anxiety. As a result, we start to get a more and more structured understanding of what feels safe and unsafe for this client. And we start to find ways the client can make shifts in their life to listen to and care for themselves, so they feel so much more in control.
By looking at anxiety as a tool – a communication from the body that safety needs to be increased – we start to shed the shame of having the anxiety experience in the first place. Moral of the story: anxiety belongs because it’s telling us something important that we need to know about safety.
What should our readers know about your business?
What I’m most excited about in my work is watching my clients begin to flourish. My goal as a therapist isn’t just to help people survive, it’s to help them find out how to thrive.
I use an analogy with a lot of clients of floating in the open ocean. Sometimes it feels like we’re underwater. Drowning. Can’t get a breath in. The beginning of therapy can feel like the client has just gotten their nose and mouth above water, so they can finally take a breath. They’re surviving. A bit further into therapy, they’re treading water; they feel reasonably sound and steady, and no longer feel like they’re on the brink of drowning again. This is where a lot of clients think therapy is done.
In my practice, a huge piece of the work is also finding out what makes them feel like they can (metaphorically) fly. What are the things that set their souls alight and make them soar? How can they elevate above the water completely and feel like life is theirs to live?
While there are similar themes of human difficulty between clients, the specific recipe for each person to thrive is different. I love my job and enjoy this work so much because it’s an adventure, a discovery mission, with each client to find their recipe.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ooooh this is a very fun question!!
Food is a humongous part of my Denver experience, so the week would entail a series of culinary adventures. I would definitely take a friend to Safta, Beast & Bottle, Enrico’s Italian Market, my friends Rachel and Francesca’s house (that’s always a culinary experience in and of itself), Uncle, The Wolf’s Tailor, Devil’s Food, Tacos Tequila Whiskey, Little Man, Root Down, Señor Bear, The Bindery, Ash’Kara, Bistro Vendome, and Great Harvest Bread Co. on Wadsworth & 80th.
That was a long list, and it wasn’t exhaustive. Denver has fooooood.
I love bringing friends to the rodeo at the coliseum when it’s in town. I also love Cheesman Park, Larimer Square, the Denver Botanic Gardens, RiNo and the Highlands for bars and daytime activities. A Boulder trip is always a great shopping/eating expedition as well, and there are tons of great hikes just on the outskirts of Boulder that are awesome (if you’re willing to get up at 5am to beat the crowds).
For making friends with random people, I’d bring my dog to a brewery, where people generally love to bring dogs and make conversation about their fur babies. Many a dog love in Denver – it’s awesome.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout should go to a number of people! To begin with, Courtney Greth, an exquisite human and ashiatsu massage therapist. She recommended me to Shoutout Colorado, and she is one of my dear friends whose support I appreciate immensely.
I’d also like to shoutout to my supervisor, Kim Polsen, LPC, who has been perhaps the most important source of perspective, learning, and steady support that I’ve had throughout my career in this field. She’s extraordinary, and I am forever grateful to her.