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[00:00:00] Dr. Sharp: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Testing Psychologist podcast, the podcast where we talk all about the business and practice of psychological and neuropsychological assessment. I’m your host, Dr. Jeremy Sharp, licensed psychologist, group practice owner, and private practice coach.

This episode is brought to you by PAR. PAR offers the RIAS-2 and RIST-2 Remote to remotely assess or screen clients for intelligence and in-person e-stimulus books for these two tests for in-person administration. Learn more at parinc.com.

All right, y’all welcome back. It is great to be here with you. I’m guessing that you might be listening on Thanksgiving or shortly thereafter. So I am trying something a little bit different today. Today is not a typical business episode. So if you came for that hardcore business advice, I don’t think today you’re going to get that.

But [00:01:00] what I would like to do is share an episode of gratitude. Yes, that’s what everybody does on thanksgiving. And yes, it is a little bit contrived. And I typically am not that person who does the thing that you’re supposed to do when you’re supposed to do it simply because I’m rebellious and don’t like to conform and all of those sorts of things.

But in the context of the year that we have had we, the collective we, Gratitude just made sense. So instead of releasing the first episode in a series of EHR reviews like I planned to, I am going to do a little bit of gratitude episode and see how that goes. I think it’s necessary. I think it’s helpful. And I [00:02:00] hope that some of you take something away from this for yourselves. And of course, the intent is to maybe inspire some thoughts of gratitude and reflection on your part. So without further ado, let’s jump into some gratitude.

And we’re back. Just getting right into it and putting it out there right from the beginning. There are a few things to acknowledge. One, is that any time someone like me, by which I mean a white guy born with nearly [00:03:00] all the privilege that I could possibly be born with, tries to do an episode like this, it always runs the risk of coming across as entitled and any number of other not so great things which would just backfire and defeat the whole purpose of this episode.

My hope is that if you have been listening to this podcast for a while, and for those of you who’ve interacted with me personally via coaching or some other way, my hope is that you maybe have the sense that that is not what I’m about. That’s not what I am going for with this although I’m fully aware that it may come across that way. I am going to do my best to not present my gratitude as [00:04:00] something that is just a reflection of entitlement and privilege.

But I have to acknowledge that before we even get going that to have the luxury of being grateful for things is one that is much harder for some to come by than others. So with that acknowledged, I just have to say that this has been a hell of a year for so many people.

It has just been completely devastating. People have lost their family members, their businesses, in some cases their lives, and I’ve reflected at many points over the course of the year that I am just fortunate to have all of those things intact at this point along [00:05:00] with many other things.

But in spite of that, I don’t know if some of you have this tendency as well, but I certainly have a tendency to lose sight of the things that are going well and I can dwell on the things that aren’t going well. I can get into that place of anxiety and fear and scarcity. And for me, that always results in more of a constricting feeling. And I don’t think that’s helpful for anyone, myself included, my family included, my business included.

And along with that, research would say that having a deliberate gratitude practice just one simple thing that we can do to help us stay balanced and move a little closer to whatever you might call happiness or [00:06:00] joy. So my intent here again is just to pause and reflect and take a little bit of time to recognize some of the things that are going well. And it’s all relative. And again, I just want to acknowledge that that gratitude looks different for different folks. Circumstances are different for everyone.

 But this has meant to honor all of us, the struggles of this year but also just taking a little bit of time to tap into the more positive aspects of our lives. So here we go. This is my list. This is no particular order. This is in no way, comprehensive. These are just a few things that popped up in the top of my mind that I’ll dive [00:07:00] into.

The first thing, just because it is probably very evident on the recording and very clear from my situation right now, my environment is… the ability to work remotely. A lot of people don’t have that capability, but I have the capability to work remotely at least briefly. And I’ve been able to take advantage of that to escape the cooler temps and winter and snow in Colorado and be somewhere where I can work outside. That might explain the outside noises if any of you have heard the outside noises, birds, planes, et cetera.

So that is one thing I’m extremely grateful for. I can be susceptible to [00:08:00] seasonal dips especially over the winter mood-wise and to be able to get away to somewhere that’s nice and warm and relatively good weather is something I’m incredibly grateful for. Now, like I mentioned in the beginning, again I was objective, really just born with a large amount of privilege. I have to acknowledge that grateful for that.

But one of the things that came up top of mind just for me is we have a healthy family at this point. I have healthy kids. My parents remain healthy. I’ve had some scares. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned on the podcast before that my mom has had MS, Multiple sclerosis for going on 30-35 years since I was relatively young [00:09:00] and she’s immune-compromised, of course, and has had to go into the hospital on three or four separate occasions since all this started back in March for unrelated concerns and just remain thankful that she emerged from all of that without getting COVID and remains in good health for now.

So a healthy family, a huge point of gratitude. My wife’s family is also healthy and we’ve had the ability to come stay with her family here for a little while. Just grateful to be able to see them.

Again, in no particular order, I’m very grateful for the PPP loan that came in really, really handy back in the spring when we took an enormous dip in our testing business. [00:10:00] and I was able to secure some of that loan money and keep employees floating without too much of a dip in their income. I feel very grateful for that. 

Related to my employees and testing, I have an amazing staff. They have weathered a crazy year. They continue to weather a crazy year as we go in and out of quarantine and kids go to school and then come home and stay home. And they just rolled with so many schedule changes, so many changes to our testing protocol, and just uncertainty. It has been crazy but I’m so grateful for them.

And just the other day, just on Monday I was talking with one of my postdocs [00:11:00] and she echoed my feelings that we just have an amazing staff and I’m so grateful for my team. Also very grateful related to testing that the WIAT-4 has been released and we don’t have to worry about scoring that essay anymore. Can I just get a hands up for not having to score another WIAT essay for the rest of your life? It’s incredible.

Let’s take a quick break to hear from our featured partner.

PAR has developed new tools to assist clinicians during the current pandemic. The RIAS-2 and the RIST-2 are trusted gold standard tests of intelligence and its major components. For clinicians using Tele assessment which is a lot of us right now, PAR now offers the RIAS-2 Remote, allowing you to remotely assess clients for [00:12:00] intelligence and the RIST-2 Remote which lets you, screen clients remotely for general intelligence. For those assessing clients in office settings, PAR has developed in-person e-stimulus books for both the RIAS-2 and the RIST-2.

These are electronic versions of the original paper stim books. They’re an equivalent convenient and more hygienic alternative when administering these tests in person. Learn more at parinc.com\rias2_remote.

 All right, let’s get back to the podcast.

A little more seriously, this has been an interesting year in terms of business. We had a huge debt testing-wise in the first few months of the pandemic. But along that same timeline, we have had pretty incredible growth in counseling services and that afforded the [00:13:00] opportunity to grow into a local pediatric practice and established some therapists down there for an integrated care model. Super grateful for that and I’m hoping that many of you are also experiencing this where if you have counseling or therapy as a part of your practice, that side is just off the charts.

Related to the podcast, gosh, there’s so much again to be thankful for. I have an amazing virtual assistant who helps with podcast publishing. She does so much for me. Makes us run the Facebook community, the testing psychologist community is just continuing to grow week by week. I’m incredibly grateful for my moderating team who just works so hard behind the scenes to keep the group on track and [00:14:00] hopefully has helped the group become a safer space over the last several months for people to post what they want to post without fear of being criticized or otherwise rejected or made fun of or any number of other things. We continue to work on that as a moderating team, and I think we’re moving in that direction and Just so grateful for them for doing that work with me.

And the last thing, at least for this episode, I mean, I could keep going. And I feel so lucky to even be able to keep going. But again, these are just some things that came top of mind and I tried to keep them relatively related to business. But the thing that I want to end with is having some gratitude for [00:15:00] being continually reminded by my wife, by my coach, and just circumstances in the world that the only thing that we can really control that I can really control. we can really control here in this world is our own choices and reactions.

So things can be completely nuts. Things have been completely nuts and truly catastrophic and devastating. There’s no doubt that many people are experiencing these things at this point and have been for a long time. But what I keep coming back to is something that has helped me stay grounded and not spin-out [00:16:00] completely as bad as I might have in the past. But this idea that we truly can only control one thing, and that is our choices and how we react to stressful situations, and how we conduct ourselves in our lives.

 And I know that there are circumstances and there are situations, of course where someone may be more or less in control of themselves and I get that. And this is one thing that, again, I work with folks on them in my coaching practice, but also work hard on here in my own life is just controlling your choices. So whatever the world gives us, we can take that and do any number of things, but we have that choice [00:17:00] with what to do in those situations. And I am trying to remember that as much as possible.

So with that, I will say goodbye for now. I hope that all of you are spending the holiday and the holiday weekend in the best way that you can, whether that’s with family, without family, mourning, celebrating. Whatever this looks like for you, I hope it is what it is supposed to be. And I hope that you are staying centered and grounded and grateful.

I will be back next week with a book review of Overcoming Dyslexia, second edition. And next Thursday, I will start [00:18:00] a 4-5 part series dedicated to reviewing different EHRs for testing practices. So stay tuned and take care.

The information contained in this podcast and on The Testing Psychologist’s website is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast or on the website is intended to be a substitute for professional, psychological, psychiatric, or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Please note that no doctor-patient relationship is formed here and similarly, no supervisory or consultative relationship is formed between [00:19:00] the host or guests of this podcast and listeners of this podcast. If you need the qualified advice of any mental health practitioner or medical provider, please seek one in your area. Similarly, if you need supervision on clinical matters, please find a supervisor with expertise that fits your needs.

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