In this episode, Amanda is joined by licensed therapist and teen resilience coach Gina Nelson.

Gina shares about how we can start to help young people to map out their nervous system, catch when they’re going into fight or flight mode and self-regulate their emotions and mood. Such an important discussion!

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Sound bite

And so when we look at kind of regulating this nervous system, the, the ladder at the top really looks at safety and connection as being kind of our key elements. And so when we feel safe and connected, we see the world as kind of a safe place and we see ourselves in relationship to others in that safe space.

But the minute our brain perceives something to be a threat, even if it’s not a real physical, We drop down this ladder into this fight and flight. And so now, now we’re making assumptions that, you know, our friends don’t like us. That, um, my parents don’t think I’m good enough. I can’t meet their expectations.

It’s almost like the world’s attacking them from that sympathetic fight flight space. And so when they’re in that, uh, sympathetic fight and flight, Most of them don’t know how to connect to their emotions. They don’t even know how to tell me where those emotions land in their body. They’ll just say, I’m anxious, or I’m overwhelmed.

And so we have to first teach them how to feel and sit with some of those feelings in their body so they can kind of catch it. Because our goal is to try to catch it and bring them up to the top of this ladder where they can feel safe again. If they can’t do that, they’re gonna get to an overwhelmed state, and then they’re gonna drop to the bottom of this ladder, which is really where they kind of check out.

generic intro

Hello and welcome to the youth mentor podcast. This is your short burst of inspiration tips and research about teens for parents, educators, and mentors. I’m your host, Amanda Rootsey, founder of teen personal development school Shine From Within and coach to incredible youth mentors all over the world. Now I certainly don’t know it all.

So I interview the experts about what’s going on for youth today. From psychological insights to really practical advice, this is your moment of inspiration, motivation, and a few laughs amidst the ever changing world of teens and tweens.

Episode Intro

In this episode, I’m chatting with Gina Nelson, a licensed therapist and social worker who made the shift from always feeling like she was putting out fires, as she put it to starting her own private practice.

She focuses on teaching and coaching teens to be resilient and to self-regulate their emotions. I’m so thrilled to get to share this with you because Gina shared so much light on how we can help young people to catch and understand how they’re feeling in the moment and start to self-regulate their emotions and mood for the.

We also talked a little bit about shame and how that can show up for young people too. There are some really great tips here for anyone wanting to understand their nervous system a little bit more, and for parents, teachers and mentors who want to support the young people around them with this process too.

Enjoy this episode. I’m sure you’re going to love it. 

Episode Begins

Welcome, Gina. I’m excited to have you here on the Youth Mentor Podcast. 

[00:02:44] Gina: Yes. Thank you Amanda. I’m so excited too. This is really exciting to be here and love the work that you’re doing, and I just really am happy to share a little bit about teens and what I get to do with them too.

[00:02:56] Amanda: Yeah. Great. Yay. Well, um, to start us off, would you mind telling us a little bit about you and the work that you do and how you got started? 

[00:03:06] Gina: Yeah. Um, I have been a licensed clinical social worker for, gosh, 22 years now. And, um, I spent probably a good 2020 years of my, um, career in the medical world working with anxiety in the medical world and crisis, and I got really tired of, um, Always kind of putting out the fires of the crisis, but never got to see kind of the outcome to anything.

And so, um, in 2017 I got, uh, certified in Brene Brown’s work and I thought I’ve always wanted to have a private practice. It was time to really leave the corporate world and. Dive into my own practice. And so I started working with adults and originally was adults. Um, didn’t think I was gonna be working with teens.

I had raised my own kids and went through all of that fun teenage stuff. And I found that as I was working with adults, so many of them were in their forties, um, or fifties, and we’re trying to unravel all of these years of anxiety and family of origin stuff. And I started thinking, gosh, you know, if we could catch people so much earlier, that would be just an amazing thing.

What if they could learn some of these tools in high school so that they didn’t come to me? You know, 20, 30 years later? Trying to unpack things. And so, um, so I really, I started taking on teens and, and that’s kind of how I fell into the teen arena. Um, because I found them not only fun, but they were kind of a sponge for, for knowledge.

And they were, they were willing to learn, at least the, the clients that were coming to me, they were excited to have some tools. So that’s kind of how I landed. That’s kind of the, the short version of it. But that’s how I went from having, and I, so I see adults and teens in my practice. 

[00:04:55] Amanda: Yeah. I love that.

Yeah, it’s so true. I feel like we hear that quite a bit with people coming into our youth mentor training. They kind of, it’s that, oh gosh, how good would it have been to know this stuff when I was younger? Or, um, how great would it be to hold a space to, to learn that stuff? Yeah, pride. before it gets to a point where it’s unpacking everything and unlearning everything.

[00:05:16] Gina: Yeah. It takes a lot longer to unlearn a lot of bad habits, and I feel like if we can address some of the teens earlier and they can start to understand more about what’s theirs to own and maybe what’s their parents to own, or what’s somebody else’s to own when it comes to shame and shame, resilience, I just think they have a better chance at moving forward with some self.

[00:05:38] Amanda: Yeah. Yeah. Uh, what an interesting topic to dive into with, with young people. Are they, um, how, how do you, how do you do that, First of all? Is it kind of one on one sessions or do you run workshops about this kind of thing? Like, how does it, how does it happen? 

[00:05:53] Gina: Good question. I mean, I, I have done some workshops with teens, um, and that there’s some, obviously some good benefits.

You I’m sure see that too, where they kind of see themselves in other people’s stories and they don’t feel so alone. So the group work can be really good, but I think that so many of the teens that I’m working with, um, are really. High achievement driven, uh, kind of perfectionistic have come from families that also carry a lot of high expectations of them.

And so that sense of fear of failure is starting to show up for them in their academics and socially. They’re starting to, you know, feel like they don’t fit in or that people don’t like them, and there’s just so much going on. Of course, the pandemic has caused a whole nother layer. I’m sure you’re seeing that too, on, on top of all these kids.

But just the, the individual work, I think once they get to meet me and we start kind of normalizing some language and. Um, one of the things I do immediately with clients is, is help them start to learn how to regulate their nervous system. And so, so many teens come to me thinking that they’re, you know, crazy quote unquote crazy because they don’t know how to manage all of these feelings and.

You know, they’re explosive. One moment they’re crying, the next moment they feel isolated and alone and they just don’t know what to do with any of that. And so we, we work, um, to, to kind of teach them the skills to just be practicing on a regular basis, how to kind of catch that anxiety and start to manage the anxiety, um, and, and their nervous system and how it responds, you know, to their external environment.

[00:07:32] Amanda: What a beautiful space to get to come in. And sit with, with someone like you and, and recognize that bely, that they’re not crazy and they, they, um, yeah. And to learn some of these tools. Wow. What a beautiful gift you’re giving to the world. 

[00:07:49] Gina: Oh, well thank you. I, I just, I feel like it’s, I’m just, I wish I had it.

I guess, you know, I, I’m that the adult who was the anxious teen and wish I had, had those kind of skills, um, but. I think a lot of the parents of the teams that I work with and, and you know, my parents too, came from a generation where mental health wasn’t something that was really kind of acceptable. It, uh, the term anxiety wasn’t really discussed.

We didn’t really use that term. Um, so nobody really dealt with the real stuff and I think everybody learned to just kind of stuff it, at least in my, my family of origin. Stuff, stuff, stuff. And then just do, do, do more things. And, you know, I, I recognized in my own life that, you know, everything comes to a head at some point.

You can’t, you can’t keep spitting all those plates and trying to be perfect in all those areas. Um, and you know, the anxiety will catch up with you. It’ll show up in a physical, it’ll take you down with your body or it’ll shut you down with anxiety or something to let you know it’s. 

[00:08:51] Amanda: Mm. And so do you also work with the parents in some cases?

You’ve mentioned that quite often in the Yeah. In the kids. Yeah. Would be also present in the parents. 

[00:09:01] Gina: So sometimes the parents show up. Um, I’m really, um, often the parent obviously is the one that reaches out to me. Mm-hmm. , But if the teen really wants to work individually, um, I’m really clear about kind of the, the laws of confidentiality and I make it really clear to the parents that I’m working with that for my teens to feel safe.

Talking with me and to tell me what they really wanna tell me, that there has to be that confidentiality so the parents know. I’m not gonna be talking to them or bringing them in unless the teen says, Hey, you know, I’d love you to help facilitate a conversation with mom or dad. Or if I find that there’s something they’re really struggling with that the parent might really benefit from knowing, then I’ll ask the teen’s permission and say, you know, Hey, what do you think about bringing them in to a session?

And I’ve done that with, um, I have a client where I’ve had a coup, her parents have both joined a few sessions to really kind of give me a better, um, insight of what they see in the home, which is always nice cuz that collateral information could be helpful for me too. 

[00:10:01] Amanda: Yeah, great. Yeah. Wow. Okay. So can you share some, some tips with us?

How do you, how do you take a young person who’s feeling really anxious and feeling all of those feelings? Because we have, we have parents, teachers, and mentors that listen to this podcast. So if they were kind of seeing some of those symptoms in a young person, what would you do to help them to regulate their, their emotions and their mood, and to start to tap into feeling calm again, I guess.

[00:10:31] Gina: Yeah, no, great question. So, um, if some of the mental health therapists will probably be familiar with something called Polyvagal theory. Um, and Deb Dana did, um, something, she took it, it’s a little bit further and, um, caused it that the polyvagal ladder, but this, um, ladder is so powerful and it’s really just based on our nervous system and looking at kind of the autonomic nervous system and how we respond to the, the environment.

And so, When I’m working to teach teens about their nervous system, we start just with some basic science about, you know, how their fight and flight system works. Mm-hmm. and, and how, you know, when somebody’s coming at them and, you know, they’re afraid, or a dog’s running at ’em, they’re fight and flight comes on and, and it’s designed to increase all that adrenaline and all those hormones and, and then, you know, hopefully they’re gonna even be able to run away or they’re gonna fight.

But the problem is that the amygdala in our brain really, um, misunderstands and misperceives those cues. And so sometimes there’s not really a physical threat. It’s an emotional threat, and it could be just somebody rolling their eyes or, you know, Teens going up to a group of friends, and the friends all of a sudden get quiet when they show up.

And that same fight and flight nervous system gets completely activated just as if it was a real threat. And so when we look at kind of regulating this nervous system, the, the ladder at the top really looks that safety and connection as being kind of our key. And so when we feel safe and connected, we see the world as kind of a safe place, and we see ourselves in relationship to others in that safe space.

But the minute our brain perceives something to be a threat, even if it’s not a real physical threat, We drop down this ladder into this fight and flight. And so now, now we’re making assumptions that, you know, our friends don’t like us. That, um, my parents don’t think I’m good enough. I can’t meet their expectations.

It’s almost like the world’s attacking them from that sympathetic fight flight space. And so when they’re in that, uh, sympathetic fight and flight, Most of them don’t know how to connect to their emotions. They don’t even know how to tell me where those emotions land in their body. They’ll just say, I’m anxious, or I’m overwhelmed.

And so we have to first teach them how to feel and sit with some of those feelings in their body so they can kind of catch it. Because our goal is to try to catch it and bring them up to the top of this ladder where they can feel safe again. If they can’t do that, they’re gonna get to an overwhelmed state, and then they’re gonna drop to the bottom of this ladder, which is really where they kind of check out.

It’s where we’re gonna see more depression, they’re gonna feel more isolated, um, alone. And that’s where those negative thoughts get really loud. And so, so I, I’m kind of telling you a whole lot, but basically that I teach them this and we map out their nervous system as a starting, um, and once they kind of see how their nervous system responds, they can start to recognize, oh my gosh, the story that I tell myself when I feel safe.

Is one story. And the story I tell myself when I’m in fight and flight and I’m feeling anxious is a completely different story. And then the story that I tell myself when I’m all the way to the bottom of this ladder is really a negative story. And you know, if they choose to believe any of the stories, you know, from the middle or the bottom, which is that protective space, they’re, they’re just going to live with the wrong story most often.

[00:14:06] Amanda: Wow. What an empowering thing to, to recognize for them, even just to realize that they’re stories and that they can choose to believe them or not, and to recognize how different they are at those different parts of the ladder. 

And I 

[00:14:19] Gina: think the teens really like that. I mean, you know, a lot of them are visual and some of them like the science of it all.

But, um, you know, we don’t get too technical, but we, we want them to kind of understand the main key points. And then, you know, obviously the, the goal is if they can start to figure out where I feel things in my body and, um, our goal is to try to. Teach them how to breathe and to do things to kind of anchor them back in safety again at the top of the ladder because our brain can’t think really rationally.

From either the middle of that ladder or the bottom. And so when we’re in that protective fight and flight space, or we’ve checked out, our brain, can’t even get curious about what just happened, What triggered me? Why did I respond the way I did? Why did I have the thought that I had? And so we have to teach, um, the teens how to catch all that.

And then how do they work on anchors and different tools? Work for them. Cuz not everything works for, you know, every teen can be different and so we find what works for them to calm that nervous system down so they can get curious. 

[00:15:30] Amanda: Yeah, great. Yeah. Yeah. So that they’re able to recognize, Okay, I know I’m not feeling okay right now, so my, for the first thing is to breathe or, or to, Yeah.

To get curious and find what that, what that thing is that anchors them again, so that they can start to think ration. 

[00:15:48] Gina: Yeah. But they have to recognize, um, that process. I think, you know, when we talk about panic attacks and when things get so escalated that they’re having that extreme anxiety, it’s almost too late to try to slow that train down.

Mm-hmm. . And so being able to recognize. What does a panic attack actually feel like? Is that what they experience or do they just have this kind of overwhelming kind of pit in their stomach and they just feel like they don’t belong and nobody likes them and you know, these kinds of things and how do we calm ’em down, um, so that they can get curious?

When, when they get curious, then the question becomes, you know, if you were to talk to a friend in that same situation, what would they, what would you tell them? Or how would you see the situation if you felt safe and you felt like people did like you and, and, and were connected and all of a sudden it’s a different story.

Cuz then they can remember, Oh, you know, I actually am a good friend, or I, I know I’m likable because you know, there’s X, Y, and Z friend. That when I think of these experiences, I can remember that, that I am a good friend. But once we get hooked and once we’re in that fight and flight space, The negative is all we see.

And, and so sometimes with the dish need to be reminded that there is a story and that story changes if we can get them back to safety. Mm. 

[00:17:14] Amanda: Yeah. Amazing. I can just, I can just picture teens just eating this kind of stuff up, you know, that, that love of learning about themselves and that really diving deeper into, Oh wow, that’s how my brain works.

That’s how I kind of handle these things. Okay. Like, what’s next? What can I do to, to be better in this situation? Like, I can just imagine how much they would love it. . Ah. 

[00:17:38] Gina: Well, I, I think they do, and I, I think they start to, to see even how that affects them in their, their family, right? Mm-hmm. , because sometimes they don’t feel safe in their family and it, it’s not because all their parents are physically, or, you know, they’re not, it’s not because people are abusive towards ’em in some way.

It’s usually an emotional. something that they’re perceiving. So it’s the not good enoughs. And you know, I can’t live up to that expectation of mom or dad or you know, they’re high achievers. And look at them. They have these great jobs. And if I don’t get all A’s and get into the university of my choice, then then I’m a failure.

And so that safety can show up in the family if they don’t feel like they can come to their parents to talk about. Anything. It could be academics, it could be, um, sexual identity. It could be, you know, clashes and values over, you know, religious beliefs. I mean, there’s so many things that they’re feeling unsafe about.

And so that same ladder, we can use that to help them kind of understand, Wow, that’s why I don’t feel safe talking to mom, or that’s why I don’t feel safe talking to dad. And then use that visual to kind of give them tools of how to kind of go back into conversation. 

[00:18:52] Amanda: Mm. Yeah. Amazing. There’s so much, there’s so much to it, isn’t it?

That, um, that conditioning, the, how we’re socialized, how we’re brought up, all of that, all of that messaging from such a young age, you know, that has landed in, in our families, in our, in our parents, in ourselves. Messages are getting at school like they. So much. 

[00:19:17] Gina: Yeah, it is. And, and I think that, I think the teens are a little bit more, um, astute, I guess that’s probably the best word I could say.

Them they’re, they’re a little bit more in tune to recognizing some of it where. You know, parents may or may not be able to identify shame. Um, you know, they might have come from a generation like many, um, that don’t talk about shame. And so, you know, if you have a parent who has to be in control, has to have all this, has their own anxiety, has all this frenetic energy and is always busy and doing things, the teens are watching that.

And some things that I see in a lot of the parents is that, you know, So many moms. As parents, we, we struggle with things like mom guilt, right? Um, but if there’s, you know, something deeper about shame that they’re caring with that, or they don’t feel like they’re living up to their own expectations as a mom, uh, they might have their own negative beliefs of things like, uh, I’m dismissed or I’m not important.

And so if you, you carry some of those from your own family of origin that are just part of your, your life, then when your teen who’s gonna act like a typical teen, starts to pull away or dismiss them or do things that are even triggering or stepping on mom or dad’s own negative beliefs or their own shame triggers, then then parents are respond.

From their own nervous system that’s not, that’s dysregulated, right? And so in, in the work that I get to do when I, when I do some of the coaching with the parents and the teens, which is in the combating teen anxiety work that I do, I am teaching the parents to regulate their nervous system just like I’m teaching the teens so that they can come together and start to recognize some of their own stuff that’s getting in the way of them creating a safe environment emotionally for their.

[00:21:14] Amanda: Yeah. Wow. Amazing. Such deep work. Yeah, I, it, um, it makes me think too about, um, mentors holding spaces, small group spaces or one-on one spaces for young people and how, um, our own shame or, you know, some of those things that we haven’t perhaps dealt with yet could really come into play in the way that we might respond to the young person or the advice that we give.

What might trigger us, I suppose, 

[00:21:45] Gina: Yeah. You know, and, and hopefully, you know, as therapists, I mean, we, we hopefully are, are paying attention to our triggers, but the parents don’t have that level and they’re just, they’re just doing the best they can. Right? I mean, every, there’s no rule book and every kid is totally different.

So raising three. Of my own teens to adulthood. I mean, they were completely night and day, um, personalities. So what worked with one would not have worked with the other. So anybody who wrote the book that says, This is the right way, No, um, I, I think, I think grace to be prepared right, for the, the arrows of whatever’s gonna come at us.

And I think for the parents, the more they can lean into their own vulnerability and not be so, You know, rigid on this is the right way. And um, really kind of getting vulnerable with their own teens, which is a hard concept for parents. Because they didn’t learn that either. And so when parents and teens are both learning about vulnerability and they’re both learning about shame and they’re learning how to communicate with each other better, they’re starting to, um, you know, see more results or I, I’m starting to see more results with them when they both are speaking the same language.

[00:22:56] Amanda: Yeah. Amazing. So this work that you do, um, with the young people and, and with the parents, Um, do, do people enroll with you for like a three month series or something like that? Like what’s the kind of timeframe that it generally takes for you to explore this stuff with the young people and, and move them through?

[00:23:16] Gina: Yeah, no, that’s a great question. Um, it really kinda depends on what they’re doing. Some, some are in therapy with me and they’re getting some of these concepts, and we’re also doing, uh, emdr, which is my mo one of my modalities and treatment that I use, um, in my practice. So if I’m doing one on one, they might be diving a lot deeper into some of their shame triggers and trying to desensitize some of those.

But in my coaching work that I do with parents and teens, They, um, they really kind of go through a consecutive, uh, 10 module series if they’re in that program with me. And some of ’em, um, are just doing a self-study module where they’re watching videos together and talking and working through some worksheets and others are, are actually having me as a coach.

To facilitate and then they’re gonna have 10 coaching sessions with me too. And, um, and so it really kind of depends on where they are and what they’re, what they’re needing or they have time for. But uh, certainly the ones that that get to have the one on one time with me are getting more of the information and they’re learning more about themselves in that process.

[00:24:21] Amanda: Yeah. Great. I love the sound of them going through the program together. 

[00:24:25] Gina: Yeah. Yeah. You know what, when, when I created that, it was, I, I did a lot of research of what was out there. It just seemed that there was so much, um, for parents to learn about their teens, and there was a lot, you know, to kind. About teen stuff for, for what they were supposed to do, but I didn’t see a lot of bringing them together and so that they were actually talking the, the, the same language and, and learning the concepts and, and I think that often we identify our team as the problem because they’re the one who maybe appears more emotional or isn’t behaving or acting the way a parent wants them to.

Quite frankly, more often than not, um, both have something to learn in this process. And so if a, if a parent can be willing to come to the table and get vulnerable and look at some of their own family stuff and how that plays a role, and they can actually talk about that with their team, I think they just improve the connection.

Cuz a teen season is human for the first time. 

[00:25:22] Amanda: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Wow. What’s, what’s the program? Where can we find it? 

[00:25:28] Gina: It’s called, um, com, Combating Teen Anxiety. And, um, what, what I do have for everybody is I, I created a, a free mini course, which is a four part, um, kind of, uh, express course, if you will, that has some of the key concepts.

Um, just to kind of give people a flavor of that and give them some skills to get moving right away. And, um, so that is available, um, you know, to all your listeners to, and, um, that is, that’s something that if somebody’s interested, they can just sign up for that and get that. If somebody’s, um, looking for some more, they can certainly, uh, pursue reaching out to the coaching or for the full program, and then they’re gonna get all of the tools in that series.

[00:26:10] Amanda: Yeah. Wonderful. It’s great. Yeah, we’ll pop the link in all the notes. Um, you can share it to if you, if it’s an easy link. 

[00:26:17] Gina: Oh, well, yeah, I mean it’s really, it’s, it’s the www.combatingteenanxiety.com and it’ll take them right to the free course. So that’ll, that’ll be easy hopefully for people to remember.

Yeah. And then, then the other part that I’m working on, and it’s not quite out yet, but I’m hoping before, um, November we’ll have it out. Um, I worked on a, um, a journal, a parent team communication journal, so that a lot of what we’re talking. In terms of how to communicate with each other from a place of safety, I think people don’t have the tools or, or the language.

And so a lot of times teens wanna say something to their parents, but it comes out, you know, I don’t know, like they’re screamer yelling at ’em because they’re heated and they’re emotionally, um, in a, in a place of sympathetic fight flight. So this journal not only teaches both parents and the team where, where do we feel these emotions in our body?

What are our emotions? And then it gives ’em the language with some prompts that allow the team to put an entry in and say things like, I know it wasn’t your intention too. You know, and they can fill in the blank. Um, cause we wanna start with the positive, kind of supportive rather than accusatory, like, you did this, you did that.

Um, and then it gives them a chance to say, you know, but I feel this emotion and I feel, hear my body, and sometimes I feel unsafe to talk to you when. X, Y and Z are happening, or when I see these behaviors. And so the props are the same for both the parent and the team, but it gives them the opportunity to write and, you know, put the journal someplace safe where they can communicate back and forth to each other, hopefully without other family members seeing it.

So maybe they have a designated spot, but it, it’s gonna, giving them an opportunity to talk about the hard stuff that they might not be able to have a one-on-one conversation. Yeah. Wow. I want a magical book, . I’m excited for it. And, uh, I think it’s gonna, it’s gonna be fun for, for parents because again, it’s the stuff that I know my teens are hungry for and they.

Really want some tools to be able to talk to their parents, but it just doesn’t feel safe. And this is a way that they can verbalize it in a way that they can, you know, put it down and it’s safe language and hopefully it’s not defensive language, so that we’re not gonna have as many defensive responses.

[00:28:41] Amanda: Yeah, Yeah. And even just the thought of then picking up the book to read. Entry from, from the other party at a time when you feel kind of grounded and ready to read it, rather than like the choice in that, in, in, when you write it. Yes. And when you choose to pick it up and read it and receive it, it’s beautiful.

[00:29:01] Gina: Yeah. Yeah. All of that. So I, yeah, I’m excited. I think that’s gonna, you know, be helpful for anybody who’s just doing this work or you know, just for parents to just say, Hey, I just want some quick tool right now. Um, we’re gonna have that on Amazon. 

[00:29:16] Amanda: Yeah. Great. Great, great, great. It’s wonderful to hear the, those prompts too, of, of um, how we can encourage young people to, to get clear for themselves on what they’re feeling at the moment and how they could communicate that to their parent too.

Yeah. One more thing I wanted to ask you before we start to wrap up is, uh, you mentioned at the start that a lot of the young people that you work with are often, they have high expectations on themselves. Mm-hmm. and fear of failure and those sorts of things. Um, And I said like, I’m across a lot of young people in that boat as well.

Do you have any tips for kind of supporting them, supporting them through that without kind of dismissing their, their experience of it? Or, or, you know, perhaps they’re not even necessarily asking for help in it, but you can see that there’s, there’s a lot going on for them and they do have really high expectations kind of placed on themselves.

[00:30:07] Gina: Yeah, I mean, I, I, I usually start by talking to ’em about how, um, How high expectations and that work ethic that they have. Is something that they see as good in a lot of ways, right? Because they, they’ve done well, they’re successful. Um, parents are maybe praising them. And so, so they feel like they’re doing really well with that.

But it has kind of a, um, we call it like the kryptonite side. It it that that high expectation has a downside and, and that’s when we are so critical of ourselves and we’re so hard on ourselves emotionally when we don’t do something perfect or when we make a mistake. And so, Really helping teens to understand the value of self-compassion, which is something we all, um, probably could use a lot more of.

Um, when I work with teens, they, they have tons of compassion for their friends. If the same situation’s happening with their friend, they can completely support them and be empathic. But when it’s themselves, that critical voice gets really loud. And so it’s just this sense of really teaching them, again, when is that voice loud?

Where are they in this ladder? And how something that can be really appear to be positive can also be a kind of like a kryptonite that can take them down or, you know, cause them more stress if they’re not doing things for self care and taking care of themselves and, and learning self-compassion tools along with.

[00:31:38] Amanda: Yeah. Yeah. I love that. Such an important, that’s an important tool and important part of that process. Thank you. I feel like, um, I could chat to you forever, about this stuff.

Um, so Gina, other than, um, combating teen anxiety.com for that free minicourse, uh, where is there anywhere else that people can find you and connect with? 

[00:32:04] Gina: Sure. Um, on Facebook, I am just at it’s authentic gains and that’s my, uh, that’s my business name. So it’s Authentic Gains. And then on Instagram it would be, um, at authentic underscore gains.

Mm-hmm. And I do, um, Monday gratitude videos on my social media, and then you’ll have the links to my. And if anybody just wants to see my website and all the other stuff that, the resources that are up there, they would just go to, um, www.authenticgains.com. 

[00:32:37] Amanda: Beautiful. Gaines as in g a i n S. 

[00:32:41] Gina: Correct? Yeah.

Yeah. It was about making authentic gains in your life. 

[00:32:45] Amanda: I love that. Yeah. It was beautiful. Oh, thanks so much, Gina. Um, yeah, thank you. Yeah, lots of really great tips, and we’ll pop all of those links in the show notes as well for people. Um, yeah. Is anything else you feel like sharing? 

[00:33:00] Gina: Uh, no. I, I just, I’m really thankful that, uh, I had the opportunity to be here with you and I, I look forward to, you know, hearing more about what you’re doing and like you said, we might even do something together in the future, which should be fun.

Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Hearing everything that shared today about, um, about shame, about high expectations, about regulating the nervous system, I think it would be fantastic. Um, for. Our teens to get a chance to connect with you and our online academy. So yeah, I’d really love to have a class with you in there.

Yeah. Um, great. I know we’ve talked about. Yeah. Yep. But yeah, I’ll be excited for. 

[00:33:37] Amanda: Yeah, me too. Yeah. Um, so halfway through this conversation, Gina lost power in her house and I can see she’s now in total darkness. 

[00:33:46] Gina: Yes. On, on the iPad. 

[00:33:48] Amanda: So I should let you go and I hope that you get power soon. 

[00:33:52] Gina: Yeah, me too. . But thank you for being flexible with all the technical issues,

[00:33:57] Amanda: No, no worries. It’s been so great to chat with you. Thanks, Gina. 


Wow, how great. Enjoy unpacking some of that for yourself and let me know your takeaways from the episode too. You could always come on over to Instagram if you like, where at Shine from within hq. Um, and you could send us a private message or tag us in something. Or reach out to us anytime: info@shinefromwithin.com.au by email. But, um, thanks for listening. Thanks for being part of this community and all working towards supporting teens together. Yay. See you in the next episode.

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