Eps 364: Online mental health support with Olivia Thompson

Episode 364

My guest today is Olivia Thompson. 

Olivia shares her path to Sesh, a mental health platform for online support groups led by licensed therapists.  Olivia shares what she loves about Sesh and tells Casey her thoughts on support groups and connecting with other people who are going through the same things you are.  Casey & Olivia talk about the benefits of telehealth.  Olivia explains how she was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, her own mental health journey, & strategies that work well for her. Casey connects Olivia’s story to how we can support and scaffold for teens & young adults with ADHD. They also touch on addiction, recovery, identifying triggers, and the stigmas & barriers around mental healthcare. 

Olivia Thompson is the VP of marketing at Sesh, an easy-to-use mental health platform for online support groups led by licensed therapists.

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Takeaways from the show

  • Using online & telehealth resources for mental health 
  • Support groups & connecting with a community 
  • ADHD diagnosis as an adult 
  • Sesh platform & offerings 
  • Stigmas around & barriers to mental healthcare

What does joyful courage mean to you

Everything we’ve talked about is exactly what comes to mind!  Joyful courage to me means that it might be scary to take that first step into whatever you’re doing.  For me, that was getting off of Adderall, it could be leaving any of the jobs- whatever it’s been in my life, but knowing that you’re going to be happy after.  It might be hard, but you’re going to be so much better after.  I think that’s something that I’ve – not only just through our conversation, but overall, I’ve reflected on.  Getting off Adderall is not easy.  Leaving toxic jobs, none of it was easy, but I had the courage and I was so happy after I did it.  That’s something I want everyone to feel, whether it be people that work for me, people I interact with with our product, or it might just be people I come across in my apartment complex, whatever it might be, I want people to know that it’s going to be better.



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Olivia Thompson, Casey O'Roarty

Casey O'Roarty 00:00
Hey, it's Casey. Before we start today, I just wanted to jump in and let anyone out there who thinks they would like to work with parents and facilitate positive discipline. To know that I will be facilitating a teaching parenting the positive discipline way workshop with my friend and business partner Julietta school org, march 20, through the 24th from 9am to noon Pacific. This will certify you as a positive discipline parent educator and train you up in everything you need to start leading and supporting parents. It is super fun. And if you enroll before February 20, you will get the $50 off the cost of the workshop you'll get the early bird special. Go to be spreadable.com/parent-educators. For more information and to register again, that's biesbosch audible.com/parent-educators. Let us know if you have any questions.

Casey O'Roarty 01:07
Hey, welcome to the joyful courage podcast a place for inspiration and transformation as we try and keep it together. While parenting our tweens and teens. This is real work people and when we can focus on our own growth, and nurturing the connection with our kids, we can move through the turbulence in a way that allows for relationships to remain intact. My name is Casey already I am your fearless host. I'm a positive discipline trainer, space holder coach and the adolescent lead at Sproutsocial. I am also the mama to a 20 year old daughter and 17 year old son walking right beside you on this path of raising our kids with positive discipline and conscious parenting. This show is meant to be a resource to you and I work really hard to keep it real, transparent and authentic so that you feel seen and supported. Today is an interview and I have no doubt that what you hear will be useful to you. Please don't forget sharing truly is caring. If you love today's show, please pass the link around snap a screenshot posted on your socials or texted to your friends. Together we can make an even bigger impact on families all around the globe. I'm so glad that you're here. Enjoy the show.

Casey O'Roarty 02:32
All right. Hello, listeners. Welcome back. Welcome back to the pod. I'm so excited to introduce you to my guests today. Her name is Olivia Thompson. Olivia is the VP of Marketing at sesh, which is an easy to use mental health platform for online support groups led by licensed therapists and considering all of the conversations that I've had with so many people, friends, family members, clients, members of our community around how challenging it is to find support when we need it for mental health issues. I was excited to bring Olivia on to talk about this new way of coming together and feeling that support that we need. So we're going to talk about that. Hi, Olivia. Welcome to the podcast.

Olivia Thompson 03:23
Ryan kayfabe. Thank you so much for having me.

Casey O'Roarty 03:25
Yeah, thanks so much for being here. I would love to have you share a little bit about your journey of doing what you do. Because I know that there will be places and pieces that will be relatable to listeners.

Olivia Thompson 03:38
Sure. Well, starting from the beginning. I've always known that I wanted to end up in marketing, somehow I was always obsessed with like the Wheaties boxes and billboards. And I was like, you know, one day, I'm going to design those. I got into like, probably junior high or high school and I realized I have zero artistic ability. Much, much to my dismay, because I grew up in a family that was very artistic. I mean, I grew up with a mom who like redid in this immaculate design of Van Gogh's Starry Night. And I was just like, Oh, I'm gonna be so good at this. And then I realized I wasn't. So I started exploring things that were in a similar career path to that, which was, I guess, kind of weird for someone that's like in junior high to know what they want to do so early on, but that was like, I just knew that I wanted to have an impact in that way. So I went into college and started learning and realize that like, as much as I love marketing, like these classes are boring, and I was actually a college dropout. So I started working in marketing when I was at the ripe age of gosh, I want to say I was 17 but I might have just turned 18 Because I was I spent about a year in college and then left and I've been doing this ever since So, I've really focused my career because of the opportunity that I have. And then I've been able to, you know, create the companies I've been at with really focusing on companies that are really passionate about driving meaningful work in the space beyond just like saying, like, Oh, we're a mission driven company, like, there's so much more beyond that. So I've always worked for companies that just bring the passion from internal to external, and are really just looking at improving the greater good of the world that we live in. And I think that's something that's kept me sane through my career, because I feel like marketing, in general, it has a lot of negative light, like, marketing is here to convince people to buy things or to do things that they may or may not need, or her and all of those things. And it's like, I don't want to be slimy, I want to be doing something that drives impact and drives value and drives change for people that need it. So I've worked in education, transportation, I've worked in sustainable fashion, I've worked in the fitness space with like, body positive, fitness, Instructure, instructors and things like that. And now I'm at a mental health company. So I think I've been able to, I think I've done a pretty good job of living out my mission through the companies I've been with.

Casey O'Roarty 06:18
Yeah, well, and I'm just listening to you talk about marketing. I mean, you know, I love what I get to do, I love having a mic to talk into whether it's here on the pod or on a stage I love one on one coaching with parents facilitating classes. I do not love putting myself out in the world, like, Hey, you should do this with me. This is not my skill set. And it feels so awkward. And so I'm really resonating with what you're talking about. And I love that you had you knew so young that the mission driven space is where you wanted to be and have explored that. What drew you to sash? Or maybe just tell us a little bit about like, first tell us about sash? And then what was it about it that made you say yes, when they offered you the job.

Olivia Thompson 07:13
My time it sesh started after it really came from a, I was in a very rocky position when it was one that I was ready to leave because it didn't align with my values. Personally, just from what I saw internally, I was at a large retailer that I'll let people figure out later on.

Casey O'Roarty 07:35
Leave some Easter eggs.

Olivia Thompson 07:37
Yeah, I'll leave some Easter eggs for that. And I just knew that what I was doing there didn't, although when I stepped into my role there, it did align with my values. But as time went on, it didn't. So I left my position there. And I was basically just not looking for anything. But at the same time. I'm like, I know the company that I meant to be at will click with me right away. I actually interviewed with Tory, our founder, I think the day after I had left my position. And then I had an offer like it was like a Tuesday and she called me back on like Friday or something like that. And now let's just like from the start having a conversation with Tori, who has had a very personal relationship with an eating disorder. And that's really driven her to start sash. That's what really clicked for me beyond just like us being two women who have just gone through it both in life and career and like being able to connect with someone that's in the same space as you. It was something that was really important to me. I think another big thing that really drove me to pursue the opportunity at stash was how it was very easy to like, understand what they're doing. I mean, sesh at its core is therapist led, but community driven. So every thing that we do on our platform is really focused on how are we connecting a community with valid support with a therapist who's well qualified and doing that. And in my own mental health journey. I've tried every single platform out there every single talkspace BetterHelp, all of those things, I've tried them and it's like, I felt like it was like herding cattle like I was just another person in this. And one thing that Tori had me do during the interview process is actually experienced sesh for myself, she's like, here's a promo code, go to a session, tell me what you think. And the fact that that experience felt so different for me as someone who's also dealt with my mental health and other concerns within that. I was like, Oh, this is it. Like, even if I don't get this job here, I'm gonna use this platform. And like, if I felt that on my first try, I was like, I want other people to feel that way too because it's so hard. It's so hard to go to a therapist, whether you're limited by time, cost, whatever it might be, like I had to purposely go to telehealth because even through my insurance Not only was the weight ridiculous, but I couldn't even go to like the closest center by me, I had to drive like 2030 minutes away. And I'm like, not everyone can do that, right? I mean, I live outside of LA. So it's like, it really shouldn't be that hard in a Metro City. But it is it really doesn't matter where you are at this point. And the combination of all of those things is really what brought me to sesh. And wanting to create the streaming experience that I had for someone else is always top priority for me.

Casey O'Roarty 10:29
Yeah, and it's not, you know, when I think about some of the other online spaces for mental health, it's in the model, at least as far as I know, I haven't explored too much, but it's the model of the one on one. But sesh is not. So talk about, like that model that you guys are, you know, creating out in the world.

Olivia Thompson 10:51
Yeah, I mean, our model is really focused on connecting individuals in a support group settings, because of the setting that we've created, you and I can be in a session together, and our therapists could be in Michigan, or something like that. And it's really focused on connecting people with their community around what they need support with, we'll be dealing with anxiety and depression. We even have a super successful group around like money management and things like that, where it's like, driving down to the root of like, why is money management so hard for me, but like, a psychological perspective?

Casey O'Roarty 11:29
Side note, by the way, your money problems are a psychological issue. Yeah,

Olivia Thompson 11:35
exactly. Exactly. You know, being able to connect people in a setting like that is what our model is based on, because we never want people to feel isolated. And it's not to be a replacement for that one on one traditional therapy setting. It's just a different approach to be like, yes, you can do this while you're going to therapy. And yes, you can be in therapy while going through this. But there's a really strong connection between being in a room with other people that are going through the same thing to make it feel like you're not going through this alone, because no one's going through this alone. Like, if I look at any of the sessions that we offer, right now, I'm like, Yep, I deal with that. And all of my friends do too. And it's like, if we talk about this, like in a group chat, or we talk about this over coffee together, why not have someone who is, you know, a qualified therapist to help actually guide us in the direction of, of healing or overcoming whatever this is, is as well. So that's really what our model is. We've seen people in sessions join from both coasts, we've had we our platform is international as well. So we've had people from, you know, Mexico, Canada, Europe join, and it's just, we see this, almost like instant joy of people are like, Oh, my God, someone in a completely different life, state, all of these things is facing exactly what I'm going through. And we've seen incredible results. When we connect people together. People kind of build like, you know, an onscreen friendship with people because they go to the same groups every week. They're like, Hey, Joe, I saw you last week. Yeah, how are things going? Like there's so much healing within that. So many positive outcomes with that? Yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 13:11
I run a membership program for moms of teenagers. And it's that same experience of oh, I'm not living in my own private freak show like this is, you know, sometimes the flavors are slightly different, but we're on this collective human experience. And, I mean, it's reminding me kind of of like, a, like 12 Step programs where there's meetings happening all the time and you find your meeting and you find your kind of group and you show up and build those relationships. And it is it's so you know, we're wired to belong and be in community with each other. And so what a lovely offer for people especially and I love I mean, just the fact that you're in LA and I'm in Bellingham and we're having this conversation on Zoom I love technology for that reason, you know, like we can come together and be together and share real conversations right we are in a room together it's a Zoom Room it's the room accounts room yeah

Olivia Thompson 14:22
we've seen a positive things come out of the setting I mean, we run all of our groups in in series but they're completely like drop in drop out. You're not required to go to the same one every single week. You can go to what about you know, children at divorce and then go to one about dealing with a narcissist and you can just kind of free pick from there but we just recently had a living with a narcissist group that ran and all of our groups are capped at 10 people so if we have that like genuine interaction, I think that group was 70% full and it was all men and it really made us think like, internally of like, this is changing the face of men's mental health. Because well, it's not just what we normally think of as mental health. And it's like, we had, you know, seven men in this group, we're all able to speak with each other about what they're dealing with in a setting that normally probably wouldn't happen, you know. And it's, it's incredible to see things like that. And I think that's at the end of the day, that is what we're, we're here to do. Yeah, it's

Casey O'Roarty 15:21
so interesting, what creates safety for people, right? Whether it's like a gender conversation, or an age conversation, you know, my daughter, who gives me permission to share, you know, when she really had to deep dive into her mental health journey, it started before COVID. But then when she really committed to being a part of her own healing, COVID happened and everything went online. And it was such a relief to her to take away, the anticipation of the drive, the anticipation of the walk, the knock on the door, the sitting down in the same room, you know, take that away, and she was really able to feel so much more comfortable. And, you know, and in that comfort space, that's where we can heal when we're not all especially for people with anxiety, which is her biggest challenge, or had been her biggest challenge, you know, that created like this barrier for her to even be able to settle in. And I think telehealth was such a gift for her to get rid of that drop in, be in relationship. Without all of that, you know, noise? I think for her, that's awesome.

Olivia Thompson 16:33
There's so many things through that journey, too, that can be honestly like how I feel. And this is not anything that on like, on traditional one on one therapy or therapist, I think it's the environment in which it's hosted. It can be so demoralizing in so many different ways. Like I have to get up, I have to do the drive, I have to go in this waiting room of like, there's all these other people and like all these things, and I think it's just the way, you know, the approach is set up right now. But it doesn't work for everyone. And even if you're going to a one on one, like you just mentioned, like doing that one on one practice on a camera is so much more comfortable to people.

Casey O'Roarty 17:07
I love the drive, I'm thinking all about everything, I'm going to tell my guy, I love it,

Olivia Thompson 17:13
I can go get a coffee at home.

Casey O'Roarty 17:16
He is my therapist is like the top like the attic of this old house in town. I mean, then that's me, right? And that's not everyone. And so that's what I'm really loving, you know, more and more is just like, Okay, how can we meet people where they're at, versus forcing them into a model that, you know, is actually keeping them from stepping into their health and well being. So I really appreciate that. Will you tell us a little bit more I know that you have shared that you were diagnosed with ADHD as an adult and, you know, had your own mental health journey, we talk a little bit about that, and how it's come to play into you know, who you are and what you do in the world.

Olivia Thompson 17:59
Yeah, my journey with ADHD has been really interesting and actually kicked off when this is pre COVID. But I started working from home just because of again, it was the another environment thing that I was dealing with. And then I ended up getting a remote role. So I started working completely from home. Now I was actually sharing this with a therapist that I'm connected with on LinkedIn. Her name is Megan Cornish who is actually talking about like ADHD as an adult. There's just like this outpouring of like people who are around the same age as I was like dealing with this and stuff like that. But I realized that when I'm at home, it was really easy for me. I'm normally a person who's like, I have the checklists, I'm tracking everything. And like a project management software, like I'm usually so good with it. And as soon as I started working from home, although I had created like what I thought was an ideal environment. For me. It wasn't like I got easily distracted, I was forgetting, you know, deadlines, all of these things that like normally, I didn't do and like in an office setting. And then I started talking to my therapist about it. And she said, you know, have you ever been monitored or tested for ADHD? And I was like, No, but I also grew up my younger sister is special needs. And she's autistic, along with some other things. So I thought about it. And I thought about like all the testing that she had gone through, and all those things, and even just talking to my mom about it. And I was like, You know what, this makes a lot of sense now, so I ended up going through this process of being tested and everything and she was like, yes, you score really high on ADHD, but you score really low for anxiety, which like in a perfect world is good. Like the combination of the two. I have friends. Yeah, combination of like, are you okay, because I'm really

Casey O'Roarty 19:48
I have a lot of clients whose kids present with both so yeah, it's tough.

Olivia Thompson 19:53
Oh my gosh, I could not. That would be so hard. It would be like, You know what ADHD brings like a certain level I procrastination but like having that mixed with anxiety, I think I don't know how I would function at the end of the day. So I started that time with that therapist and like seeking treatment and getting treated and all those type of things. And unfortunately, the therapists I was working with, I lost access to through my insurance. And it was just a cost that I couldn't cover on my own at the time. And so I started seeking out other telehealth platforms that specialize in ADHD treatment. And during that process, I was switched medication. I was functioning really well on the medication I was on. But the company I started working with, put me on Adderall. And it was, I had an experience of where I was like, on top of the world, and I felt great. Like, I was able to, like, build up my ideal working environment. I was on Adderall, like I was getting so much done. But what was happening is I wasn't sleeping at night, I wasn't eating. And I realized that that was a side effect of the medication. And this company has recently come under fire for over prescribing Adderall. And wait, it was the company you were working for. No, this was a company that I just sought out another. Got it. Got it. Got it. Yeah, this was a different company.

Casey O'Roarty 21:16
Wow, way to energize the workforce, y'all.

Olivia Thompson 21:19
Right. Exactly, exactly. So I it would have been, oh my gosh, I don't even think people when I was working, where I was working out of the thing, people knew that this was all going on. I know there was too anyone that that was on any type of medication or had ADHD or anything, because I still had that like stigma, like, oh, there's something you don't tell people. But I started on Adderall. And I was all these things started to happen. I was like, you know, I haven't eaten in like two days. I haven't slept in like another two days and stuff like that. And when this company came under fire, I was like, Yeah, I was in a space where I probably didn't need that level of that strong of a drug. And it was very eye opening.

Casey O'Roarty 22:04
What was your process coming off of it?

Olivia Thompson 22:06
I went completely cold turkey. I probably should not have done that. Because the company that I worked with was out. It's another easter egg that I'll leave like, people look up Adderall, ADHD. overprescribing, the company is very easy to find. I was not under a care of a therapist, it was very much like, Oh, you have this problem. Here's the drug. See you later. So they just kept sending to me in the mail send it to so I was just like, hey, I think I'm supposed to be taking this much. You know, I have no idea. Yeah. Wow. And it was, once I had like that awakening moment of like, Oh, my God, I haven't slept in two days. I haven't eaten in two days either. In my house, I didn't do the thing of like flushing them down the toilet or anything. So I know you're supposed to do that. But it's somewhere in my house. Because I have ADHD. I do not remember where I put it. So it's somewhere hiding in my house. And I went completely cold turkey. And I think that was the first time that I had slept that well. And months since being off it. Yeah, so I ended up doing that. And then I did have like moments of clarity where I was like, it worked really well for me in this way. But it didn't work really well for me. And others, which were like basic things of like eating and sleeping. Yeah, big things. I was very well hydrated, which was great, because it makes you drink water. That was a good thing. But I started figuring out ways as I was coming off of it, like how can I create the same experience that I was having? On it? Versus? Yeah, so I spent a lot of time with like, since I was working for home, like how do I create my ideal workspace? I have like a she shed in my yard right now, I guess is the best way to describe it. That's right. This is like I work from there. I'm not in there right now. But I work from there normally. And it's like, at the end of my day, everything stays in there. And I separate work from home. And that works really well for me. I got better with like note taking and project management. Like I figured out like, what was I able to do when my essentially my mind was like focused, I don't want to say calm, but my mind was truly like focused on things. And I tried to create that in the same way. So like as I was coming off of it, it wasn't just like a, you're running wild because you don't have this in your system anymore. It was a really smooth transition. It's unfortunate to me that I had to do that all without a guidance of a therapist just because how am I health insurance and all of those things were set up? Yeah. But I felt confident in figuring that out.

Casey O'Roarty 24:32
Yeah, I'm thinking about your story. I'm thinking about a couple things. One is growing up with a younger sibling who you know, has extra needs special needs and how easy it is to miss as a parent having two kids, one needing a lot. It's so easy to not recognize things that might be going on for the other especially if they're pretty easygoing, right.

Olivia Thompson 24:59
Yeah. That was something that my mom said to I asked her I was like, you know, in a non accusatory manner. I was like, did you ever think about this with me? And she was like, honestly, no, I was homeschooled. Because my family moved around a lot when I was growing up. I thrived under like an independent learning, like we followed like a very strict structure because of the states that we lived in with being homeschooled, we had to do that. But I thrived better under my mom giving me like the curriculum and administering the tests and just being very independent versus like a one on one learning, which is obviously where my sister would have benefited a lot more from like, if she gave me a science textbook. I remember clearly is probably like late elementary, Early Middle School. I remember I'm supposed to utilize the science textbook like all your I finished it, like three months was it was just saying to me, she was like when I saw things like that. I'm like, Oh, she's fine. She's just really excited about science or something like that,

Casey O'Roarty 25:53
like just checking the box. Oh, good. Look at my easy kid, for sure.

Olivia Thompson 25:57
Yeah, looking back, she's like, that was your ADHD focus of the year. Like, that's what you dedicate all your time to. And she's like, it makes sense now that you're older. But in comparison, when I had another child that was so high touch, yeah, you don't think twice about it. And it makes complete sense, because I probably wouldn't have thought twice about it if I was in the same working environment that I was in, you know, and it made me be in my mid 20s to be diagnosed. So you know, if it makes sense.

Casey O'Roarty 26:24
Well, and that's what's so interesting to me like putting it in the context of my listeners who have many of them. Yeah, most of them have kids at home. Right. And, you know, we talk a lot about teens, and teen brain development and all the things that can start happening under the surface that present just as I like to call it mischief. misbehavior, risky behavior, defiance, you know, fill in the blank, all the things at the tip of the iceberg versus looking at what's going on underneath and this conversation with you about your experience, you know, there is that, like you said, like, there's no parent blaming here. I lived through this with my own two kids. And I remember being, you know, really conscious of turning towards my youngest and saying, like, hey, there's a lot going on with your sister, I just want you to know that I'm here for you, whatever you need to talk about. And I remember one time, he was like, I'm just gonna have a really normal life, I'm gonna go to high school, I'm gonna go to college, I'm gonna get married, I'm gonna have a job. It's just going to be regular. And I said, Okay, great. And you can fall apart. It's okay. Like, I have space for that. Right? So just trying to, even as I knew I was missing things, right. And what I love about your story, Olivia is even if it was your mid 20s, which makes perfect sense, because your brain was finally fully developed. Right? And what I tried to tell parents too, and give them faith around and trust is even when our teens are struggling, whether or not we know it, you can build the scaffolding for your teenagers as far as like support, all the support, right? Academic Support, mental health, support all the things, but until they're willing to show up and say, Okay, I'm going to use this for me, I'm going to be an active participant and making my life better. That's their job. That's what they get to decide on their timeline. And sometimes the timeline looks like mid 20s. And life is chaotic enough to finally they say, Okay, I gotta get my shit together. This doesn't feel good, this isn't what I want. And as a parent of a 16, and 19 year old, it's a tough ask to say like, Hey, they're gonna figure it out. It might not be before they leave your house. And your story is an example of that of having the wherewithal to say, you know, what, I'm gonna, I'm curious about this. And even as things got rocky with the Adderall, it's so great to hear a young person while younger than me, everybody's a young person to me, because I'm 49 It's so great to hear somebody say like, I was aware enough to recognize shit, I'm not sleeping, I'm not eating, this is not okay, I'm going to do something about it. So I'm just celebrating your self awareness for you, but also for all of us as an example, like, hey, they're gonna get to that place, you know, and self awareness is like, maybe they'll get to that place and it's going to take a little longer, you know, it might not be cold turkey might not be as easy for some people as it is for others. And of course, like I just watched dope sick, which I realized oxycodone is not same as Adderall. But you know, so I have this kind of intense like,

Olivia Thompson 29:35
Oh my God, it is the same one ago. It

Casey O'Roarty 29:37
is so similar, the over prescription of it. Yeah.

Olivia Thompson 29:50
From my experience with Adderall, I recently had shoulder surgery on my right side and then two years ago, I had it on my left side, and I was honestly scared Casey because they prescribed to me by good in both times, and I was like, I saw how I was on Adderall. Yeah, I don't say that I was addicted to Adderall. But I was, yeah, I felt so good on it that I was like, dedicated to taking it every single day. Heck, yeah. Why wouldn't you be? And I like when I got those pain meds, I was like, What if I get addicted to this? What if it's as easy for me to get addicted to this as it was for me to feel so great on Adderall. So after both surgeries, I took absolutely no painkillers, because I didn't want to do that. But like, it easily can create that, like a narcotic. And it's so slippery. I think one thing I'm grateful for is like when I did come to this realization, and I think, you know, a lot of listeners that deal with this with having two kids, hopefully find some comfort in this is like when I went to my mom and I started talking with her, because she had the experience of dealing with my sister who is special needs. When I basically came to her in some moments, social dates to like she was very well equipped to like, kind of guide me through that experience, because she had already done it. My sister's 23 Now, but she had done that for 23 years, like she knew how to support a child with these concerns. And she helped me a ton. And I think that's something that like, if this is happening to other parents, like, it's easy to feel guilty, and I will totally understand how feeling guilty but when you were a clip, if you've already gone through this before, or you're going through right now and you're worried about your kid coming to you with these same concerns one day, you have so much knowledge that like Google cannot inform me of you know, I can look days on ends and have so many articles around like, this is how you build the right, you know, working environment at home. And I'm like, it changes every day, but nothing ever fit me. But like my mom knew me, she knew about ADHD. She knew about autism, like all these other things that like, she helped me a ton and still helps me a ton. I love that. And even my mom was recently diagnosed with ADHD and she's almost 60. And I was just like, you know, she's gonna hate me this because I said that, but it's okay. But it's like, she feels okay with it. Because she have all the resources that I need. I've gone through this. Yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 32:09
I'm wondering if I'm ADHD, just having this conversation with you, Olivia, we probably all is there an online test I can take, I think I need to take it, there is there is there's a lot of reasons I'm gonna check it out. Well, and again, what you're bringing up to, from the parent perspective is the ability to and what it sounds like your mom was able to do was to drop into some humility. Because I think, you know, as my kids have gotten older, and I'm expecting as the years come to hear more from them around where I missed the mark, where I got it wrong, and to be able to receive that without slipping into like a shame spiral or a guilt spiral. Like we're all doing this for the listeners, we're all doing the best we can with the tools that we have, in the moment all the time, right. And sometimes the best that we can do from the outside looking in might be a little shaky. But you know what, every moment is a new moment. Every day is a new day. And I hope that by listening to this conversation, I didn't realize where we were gonna go. And it's so useful, right to highlight, cut, it's just freaking hard. It's hard to have the kind of attention and wherewithal to really see in every moment what our kids need. And it's impossible actually, it's not just hard, it's impossible. So when they do come to us and say, Hey, I'm struggling, and I've been struggling, and you missed it, but I need you to know and I need your help, like hear the I need your help part louder than you may have missed it, right? Because that's the place to be with our growing kids or young adult kids. I love that. So I have a question. Are there sessions around groups first in session around recovery, and people that are working through their addiction, addictive behavior, whatever that means for people?

Olivia Thompson 34:02
Yeah, we do. And we have a lot of sessions that focus on Breaking Bad habits that can specifically pertain to dealing with different types of addictions. We're actually in the process right now of exploring how we support people with ADHD to because the need is so wide, you know, we want to be obviously very science backed and all the sessions that we're hosting. So it takes a little bit of time to develop those things. But with addiction specifically, we really focus on like, helping our members figure out kind of the root of the issue and working through that in a group setting. And that's actually one of our most popular sessions and we see anywhere from people having bad habits around like shopping to drugs and a whole different other things

Casey O'Roarty 34:48
like afternoon grazing of all the salty, crunchy things is exactly that session.

Olivia Thompson 34:56
We talk a lot about triggers like what is triggering this for because at the end of the day, all of those behaviors are really closely tied. And if we can help individuals figure out what's triggering that behavior and work backwards from there, yeah, we've seen a lot of impact with that. But yeah, we have sessions that focus on that. And I would say that's in our top five of successful sessions.

Casey O'Roarty 35:17
I'm imagining there must be like some content slash lessons slash facilitation, and then kind of more of an open forum. Is that what the sessions look like?

Olivia Thompson 35:26
Yeah, it varies on session to session on topic to topic, but it's really about providing the space. And then the facilitator really takes the stage one like, truly facilitating, like, not only the discussion, but also the processing from that as well. So some of them start off with like, don't say, like a lesson guide.

Casey O'Roarty 35:46
Yeah, an activity or some experiential. Yeah.

Olivia Thompson 35:48
And it could be something like that. And then they all like come together, and they talk about it in that live session. Love it, again, was every topic they approach can be a little bit different. But we've seen a lot of strong feedback around that approach of like, I love that I have this space to talk, but I'm actually leaving with something as well.

Casey O'Roarty 36:09
I love that. Olivia, I can talk to you for another hour. This is all the things so interesting. But before we wrap up, I want to make sure you know you're here to share. And I know there's so much more about your story and just who you are in the world. But I wanted to make sure is there anything else that you wanted to leave listeners with today? Before we close?

Olivia Thompson 36:30
Oh, that is such a good question. I mean, I without tooting my own company, I think there's such a strong power and ironing support, a lot of the work that I do right now, both within session externally is really helping shape the stigmas around mental health, not just within the black community that I'm a part of, but also just in communities as a whole. This is a platform 20% of our sessions all focus on like cultural impact, and things like that, which is very strong and something that other platforms don't have. But a lot of things that I'm doing right now is focusing on how do we provide support to the community. So I'm really happy to be partnered with the Loveland Foundation, which provides almost immediate support to black women and other people of color. So we're providing sessions or memberships to them completely free, so they can participate in sessions. But that's really what my focus is, in the next couple months is like how do we break down some of the barriers and stigmas around mental health that communities have? I think one that's come up a lot for me, is parents because I think, as I'm not a parent myself, but I know a lot of my friends are parents. And I mean, obviously I have parents as well. They've always talked about how putting themselves second happens so much. So we're actually going to be working on a lot of new campaigns to help connect parents with support, because they're a marginalized community, as well. Yeah, I'm concerned. And I'm really, really looking forward to connecting with individuals who want support, but have something in the way of getting it, whether it be their schedule, you know, juggling the kids juggling life, whatever it might be. So that's the big thing that we're going to be focusing on in the next couple of months is driving the access. And that's something we're really passionate about.

Casey O'Roarty 38:15
So great. Yay. Yeah. Well, I asked all my guests one last question. And so I'm gonna ask you What does joyful courage mean to you? That's the name of my podcast, in case you didn't know.

Olivia Thompson 38:29
Oh, that is such a good question. Because everything we've talked about, I feel like that's exactly what comes to mind. Joyful courage, to me, means that it might be scary to take that first step into whatever you're doing. And for me, that was getting off of our off, I could be leaving any of the jobs, whatever it's been in my life, but knowing that you're going to be happy, after like, it might be hard, but you're going to be so much better after and I think that's something that I've not only just through our conversation, but overall I've reflected on it's like, getting off our roles, not easy, leaving toxic jobs. None of it was easy. But I had the courage and I was so happy after I did it. That's something that I want everyone to feel, whether it be people like as a people leader might be people that work for me, that might be people that I interact with, with our products that might just be people I, you know, come across in my apartment complex, you know, whatever it might be. I want people to know that it's going to be better.

Casey O'Roarty 39:31
Yeah. Yeah. I love that. Where can people find out more about you and sesh

Olivia Thompson 39:38
we are on all major social platforms at sesh groups. So you can find us via typing in that anywhere.

Casey O'Roarty 39:46
sesh groups like se sh groups? Yes. Got it. Okay.

Olivia Thompson 39:51
You can find us anywhere there. I wish I was more active on like Twitter, but you can easily find me on Twitter by just looking for Olivia Thompson. That's my hand Though I connect with everyone on LinkedIn, and I leave a lot of thoughtful discussion there so you can also find me on LinkedIn, Olivia Thompson, I answer every message that I get even though I get quite a view. We like to host like really thoughtful discussions around mental health and mental health stigma is there as well. So awesome for people who are looking for that. That's where they can find a lot of that for me.

Casey O'Roarty 40:22
Awesome. And then sesh is is it sesh group's dot com?

Olivia Thompson 40:26
Yes. group.com You can find us there. And yeah, wherever you consume social media, that's how you find us there too.

Casey O'Roarty 40:33
Yay. Thank you so much for spending time with me today. I know you're a busy executive. So I appreciate you hanging out with me.

Olivia Thompson 40:42
Oh, it was so much fun. I really appreciate you having me on and yeah, it was such a great conversation

Casey O'Roarty 40:56
thank you so much for listening in today. Thank you to my spreadable partners as well as Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for all the support with getting the show out there and making it sound good. Check out our offers for parents with kids of all ages and sign up for our newsletter to stay connected at beasts profitable.com. Tune back in later this week for our Thursday show and I'll be back with another interview next Monday. Peace

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