Mimi Weisberg | Clinical Social Worker
About This Episode
The issues of stress, anxiety, and managing our lives are complicated enough, but when faced with a pandemic, it’s even more challenging! Simple communication between family and co-workers has changed dramatically. So, what do we do? Go With John as he speaks with Mimi Weisberg, Clinical Social Worker, about how to communicate effectively, deal with stress and anxiety, and how to prepare for the eventual “new normal.” Mimi also shares her passion for the Safe Community Coalition organization.
Speaker 1 [00:00:02] Welcome to another episode of the Go with John Show, I’m John Jorgenson and we’re here today at the Long and Foster Studios in McLean, Virginia. I have with us today Mimi Weisberg, who is a clinical social worker, and she is joining us for a conversation on social working. So welcome, Mimi.
Speaker 2 [00:00:21] Thank you. Pleasure to be here.
Speaker 1 [00:00:23] So so tell us tell us a little bit about what is a tell us what a clinical social worker is. What do you do?
Speaker 2 [00:00:29] So a clinical social worker works with families, individuals, agencies, organizations, government. We have the ability to work in all different kinds of fields. And what we really promote is strength based thinking about how things are working with people in the world. And so we don’t look at pathology, we don’t look at disease and sickness. We look at strengths and find ways to reframe what people are doing and how they’re feeling and how they’re thinking. Right. And with a clinical social work degree, you can do many different things right. I can work in policy. I can see it and be in private practice. I can teach.
Speaker 1 [00:01:08] Mm hmm. What do you enjoy most?
Speaker 2 [00:01:12] Well, it would be a toss up between teaching and and in private practice.
Speaker 1 [00:01:17] So in a sense, though, whenever you’re even if you’re working with somebody one on one, you’re teaching your you’re really.
Speaker 2 [00:01:22] That’s true. There’s always a psycho educational component.
Speaker 1 [00:01:25] Right. Right. That’s a big word. So so that’s really interesting because I feel like that’s what I do every day. I have to I have to manage communications with customers. I have to manage communications with employees, with me, with my team members. I have to manage communications with my kids. And there’s a lot of similarities that go that go across those fields. So it’s always it’s always an interesting topic for me. So what are what are some of the situations that you come across on a regular basis that you help people with?
Speaker 2 [00:02:02] So a lot of people, particularly now in the age of pandemic, are coming in with anxiety and depression issues, also in effective communication within their family. Right. How to communicate more effectively over. Zoom in the phone. Right. Those are some issues that are people are coming in. Obviously, people have lost their jobs. People have lost loved ones. So, you know, if we have been having this conversation pre pandemic, right, we might be talking about certain things. And now, while we’re still in the pandemic. Right, there’s more of an emphasis on how to help people deal with stress and anxiety and depression and just managing their lives.
Speaker 1 [00:02:38] OK, that’s that’s and that’s good. And let’s let’s talk about that. I definitely want to get into that. So just for curiosity sake, if you were coming in pre pandemic, what do you think we’d be talking about today?
Speaker 2 [00:02:49] We’d probably be talking about similar things, but we have to understand that this pandemic has been a trauma to the world. Yes, it’s on a macro macro level that we’ve never seen before, especially in R.H.. Right. So that overshadows and exacerbates everything. Right. Any issue you’d come in with? I’m having trouble getting my child to school. Right. Or I’m getting I’m not getting along with a worker and a coworker. Those issues are still the same, but they’re just more compounded.
Speaker 1 [00:03:20] Well, kind of. The cool thing about working on Zoome is you can just like like leave for a minute, right?
Speaker 2 [00:03:26] No, no, I can’t do that.
Speaker 1 [00:03:29] No, you can’t. But like I would tell you, if there was a conflict in between two coworkers, you could you could you could leave the moment for a moment. Right. And come back. Whereas if you’re all in the office together, it’s a little harder to get away from conflict, I think.
Speaker 2 [00:03:45] But your point is actually an interesting one, which is if we were still in the office or when we got back to the office, it’s learning how to deal with, you know, if I need a break. Right. Because I’m going to say something that’s inappropriate or I’m not going to be effective, that I just own that and say, you know, let’s take a break. I’ll be back here in ten minutes. I just need some time to myself.
Speaker 1 [00:04:03] Right. Right. So why should really it all boils down to communication, does it, in your opinion? Does it all boil down to a communication?
Speaker 2 [00:04:12] Yeah, OK. The listening and the speaking press.
Speaker 1 [00:04:14] So why is because because I deal with it, you know, and it’s funny, you know, I talk about a lot of things on the show, like what happens before the show and after and during the break and before the show today, Nic and I were talking extensively about communication within our staff and policies and why, you know, sometimes things don’t exactly go as you would expect them to go. Why do you think communication is so difficult between humans? And let me just say for me, I think it’s easy if I say you have to turn off the lights when you leave the office. At the end of the day, it’s very simple, like kind of a rule and a policy, but in reality, it’s not so easy. And I think companies all across the world have automated light switches now because people at the end of the day won’t turn off the lights because they’re not thinking about it. Why is. Communication between humans so difficult,
Speaker 2 [00:05:04] I think we’re not really great listeners. Mm hmm. And I think that gets us into trouble. We often spend listening time thinking ahead. So we’re really not take we’re not in the moment. We’re not taking in what the other person saying. Right. And sometimes what they’re saying isn’t as important to us. We don’t put as much emphasis on it. Right.
Speaker 1 [00:05:22] And maybe also maybe maybe what people want to say is more important than what they want to hear. So that creates a block on both sides.
Speaker 2 [00:05:33] Yeah, most people want to be able to get their points across. One of the things I talk to people about is know your audience. And that audience could be your child. It could be a coworker. It could be your spouse. You know, you want to think about the way that you want to present yourself and what you want to say, depending upon who you’re talking to.
Speaker 1 [00:05:50] Yeah. So it’s amazing. Have you read Stephen Covey’s book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People? When I got a hold of that book at some point in my life and read Habit Number five and started practicing habit number five, which is seek first to understand before you’re understood, it changed my world. And I talk about it often when I’m with folks and even on the on the show here is that is I do that with my kids. I do that with my team. I do that with my customers. And when you take time to understand where they are and and start the conversation from their position, whatever it is, and then try to find alignment in in between my mental position and their mental position, it goes a lot easier, but it’s not easy to do.
Speaker 2 [00:06:41] It’s not. But, you know, you’re talking about the first rule of good therapy, which is you meet the client where they’re at. Mm hmm. Yeah, my agenda. It’s the other person’s agenda.
Speaker 1 [00:06:50] Right, exactly.
Speaker 2 [00:06:51] The other thing I can share with you and your listeners is there are three ways that you can listen. Mm hmm. And I think these are really effective. The first way you can listen and you can ask you, as the listener can ask, how do you want me to listen to you or you, as the speaker can say, this is how I’d like you to listen to me. Right. Particularly if you’re trying to get a point across. The first one is, hey, would you just listen? I just need to get this out. I need to vent. Just do what you’re doing now, John. Nodding your head, making direct eye contact, showing that you’re very present with your body. And that’s really helpful. I just I want to talk to a human as opposed to a wall. Right. That’s the first way. The second way is. Hey, John, I’ve got some ideas. I need to get it out of my head. I want to do a brainstorm. I’d like you to add to the brainstorm, but I still want to have control over it and, you know, be a partner with me about it and I’ll come up with my own answer to my question or whatever I’m wrestling with. The third way is, John, I’m in a crisis. I need you to really listen. And then I want you to take over. I want you to be my knight in shining armor, because at this point, I can’t do it anymore. Right. And if we kind of keep those three things in mind in terms of a listener. Mm hmm. And in terms of a speaker, that’s some effective communication skills.
Speaker 1 [00:08:06] Mm hmm. That’s good advice. That is. Those are good points. I like it. It is. It is it is fascinating how difficult it is to to to to communicate. It really is fascinating to me. It’s every day of my life is filled with a miscommunication somewhere someone and you know, if you’re surrounded by thirty or forty people every day and you’re trying to get through, it’s just it’s a constant passion, I guess, of of correction with with the communication. So anything else do you have any other tips about communicating?
Speaker 2 [00:08:46] I’ve got lots of tips.
Speaker 1 [00:08:47] So let’s let’s really dig in because I think this is so valuable. And anybody listening, especially if you’re in a service business, if you are if you’re in any sort of a position in life where you have to communicate with lots and lots of different people all throughout the week. Right. I think I think you have people who are kind of in their bubble, who have their their families around them. They go to work. They’ve got two or three or four coworkers, and they’re not really dealing with, you know, all these different things coming at you all the time. Right. And I think everybody finds their own way to kind of work through whatever situations. And there may be they don’t. And then they come see someone like you. Right. Who can give them the give them pointers. And but but let’s talk a little bit more about communication. What other tips do you have for folks to help them communicate better and to listen better? Maybe.
Speaker 2 [00:09:36] Yeah, I think one of the first things I would say is speak from the. I own what you’re saying. I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening. Hey, I messed up. Hey, I’m uncomfortable with something. Let’s talk about it. I’m owning it, I think really helps. It makes it personal. People are much more willing to stop and say, oh, this is important. So that would be the first thing. Mm hmm. The second thing I would. Say is something it’s an old old technique, it’s called the eye message, it’s a three or four part formula, if you will. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. And it would go something like when you do blank. Mm hmm. I feel blank. Mm hmm. And then X happens. Mm hmm. And so, for instance, I would say, John, when you weren’t listening to me the other day, I felt really put off and offended. And it really stopped me from wanting to tell you what I needed to tell you. Mm hmm. And then the fourth piece you can add, which is I’d really prefer, is that if you don’t have the time to really listen to me, let’s reschedule. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. And so that’s an easy thing to teach and it’s an easy thing to practice. I teach it to little kids, to adults, to older people.
Speaker 1 [00:10:48] Right. But you say it’s easy, but it’s so hard because it’s so easy in the moment. Right. We can sit here and we talk about it, but then we go out in the real world and, you know, life happens all around you. And then that opportunity comes up when you need to use that skill. And it is elusive at the moment. You need it.
Speaker 2 [00:11:07] It’s true. And but you can always go back, you know, hey, the conversation we had yesterday, I’ve got some feelings about it I’d like to share. Mm hmm. So it really it doesn’t have to be a lost opportunity. Right.
Speaker 1 [00:11:19] But not very many people have that discipline to go back. It’s a
Speaker 2 [00:11:22] practice. It is. It’s like anything else. Yeah. And the other thing to that is to being present, you know, when you’re talking with someone, be as present as you can be.
Speaker 1 [00:11:31] Right. Right, right. Yeah. For me personally, I try to deal with things as quickly as possible because once 24 hours or 48 hours get between me at an event, then it becomes less important. And yes, you know, and I think for me, if the problem never, ever comes up again with a certain individual or, you know, it could be any individual I’m dealing with, it could be some place where I’m doing business, could be a vendor, could be a team member, it could be a customer. It could be a lot of different people. If you have a bad experience and you feel like you need to address it and you don’t and it never comes up again, then then it was a moot point anyway. It got resolved. It resolved itself.
Speaker 2 [00:12:12] Yes. And not everything needs to be a point of contention or a point of hard feelings or.
Speaker 1 [00:12:18] Right. Right. Fantastic. So any other we’re going to take a break in a second. And before we do, are there any other items in the kind of the communication field that you think you would want to add to this segment?
Speaker 2 [00:12:33] I think learning to be assertive and understand the difference between being assertive, aggressive and non assertive, that that’s.
Speaker 1 [00:12:42] Yeah. And don’t be passive aggressive, right? Is that in there somewhere?
Speaker 2 [00:12:47] Oh, yes, that’s on that continuum.
Speaker 1 [00:12:51] Yeah, that’s the hardest that’s the hardest thing to deal with. I think sometimes is the is the passive aggressive activities that that happen. People trying to get in your way and making things more difficult for you without actually standing in front of you. But things are just going wrong around you. And it’s it’s it’s tricky. So how do you deal with that? How do you deal with somebody who is in that in that, you know, let’s not even call it passive aggressive. Let’s just say passive. Right. Somebody who’s just not responding. And you want to try to get a message across. Would you give the same advice that you gave earlier and just try to have a one on one with them and get direct and say, I need you to hear what I’m saying? Is it the same? Yes.
Speaker 2 [00:13:37] Or the opposite, which is I really need to hear what you’re saying. Right. But you have to say is really important to me. Mm hmm. And so the more direct you can be with me, the easier we can resolve this or work on whatever you want to work on.
Speaker 1 [00:13:50] Yeah. Fantastic. All right. Well, listen, that’s a great first segment. Really enjoyed it. Maybe you hit a topic that is very close to home. And when we come back from our break, we’re going to talk about covid and the stresses and some of the things that you’re dealing with today in our present day world. OK. In case you missed it, here’s a clip from Episode nine with Rachel Foster of Long and Foster Real Estate and a hip.
Speaker 3 [00:14:20] There’s there’s a lot of coaching that goes into balance and being a complete person. And so what gets me out of bed in the morning is being able to interact with them in meaningful ways, being what is called a servant leader, rolling up my sleeves and walking the walk. You know, if we need to put stamps and and and mailing labels on envelopes. I get down and I do that, like, whatever it is that needs to get done, we get that work done. But in the midst of all of that, we get to know one another. We care about one another. And it speaks to our earlier conversation about the culture of long and foster overall, that we really are committed to being supportive of one another, being generous with our time.
Speaker 1 [00:15:22] All right, we’re back with Mimi, so Mimi, thank you again for coming in. I’m really enjoying the conversation. So so let’s talk about what you’re dealing with today, what is going on in the world and how are you helping
Speaker 2 [00:15:36] what’s going on in the world that people are trying to figure out where they are in the world and where they stand and what they can do, what they can’t do. There’s peer pressure to open up their homes when they may or may not want to write, trying to get facts and information. I think people are really kind of discombobulated.
Speaker 1 [00:15:54] So can you tell me? Can you tell me some real stories? Obviously, we don’t want names and places and things like that, but are there some real stories that you can tell us, some real world scenarios that you’re coming across that are causing people difficulties? I mean, I think I think we all know there’s a lot going on, but what are you dealing with today?
Speaker 2 [00:16:17] The things that I think is the most challenging are people who are really isolated for health reasons or restrictions or inability to get the vaccine at this point, and that isolation is really deadly for a lot of people. Having said that, there are other people that are thriving in this situation. Right. And so it’s finding it’s interesting to have different clients come in and talk about their struggle, their challenge.
Speaker 1 [00:16:45] Right. So the people that are thriving have one set of challenges that they are seeking your help with. And then you have the people who are really struggling. So you’ve got, I guess, a quite a dichotomy on your hands there.
Speaker 2 [00:17:02] It’s a wide range. Yeah, it really is.
Speaker 1 [00:17:05] So so the people that are isolated, what advice do you have for them? What are they doing?
Speaker 2 [00:17:10] Well, that’s what we do. We try to go over what are you doing? How are you taking care of yourself? How are you nurturing yourself. Yeah. You know, are you getting out? Are you exercising? Are you eating right? You know, the things that we all know. You know, you can Google, anybody can Google. What are the ways to stay healthy in a pandemic? Right. Right, right. And so we know that making sure we eat right, that we exercise, which is really important, really important to get some movement.
Speaker 1 [00:17:33] It is. I agree with you to
Speaker 2 [00:17:35] get outside, to take your vitamins to, you know, check with your doctor if it’s appropriate to go for your dental and doctor appointments, have find some ways to socialize that six feet apart with masks, of course. Yeah. Or over zoom, which I know is making people really fatigued. And it doesn’t feel like it’s enough because it’s not enough, but it’s what we have right now.
Speaker 1 [00:17:57] Yeah. I’d say, you know, one of the things we did in my family so early, very, very, very early on in the pandemic, everything stopped and the world got deadly silent and it was very quiet. And, you know, I have twin boys that are now 12 years old while I was in the house with them school, you know, luckily they were in a school that was able to pick up and get kind of right back to it. But one of the things we did in our family was we set up a, you know, 30 inch monitor, hooked it up to a computer, put a webcam on it. And for the first few weeks of the pandemic, every night we were zooming in to another family friend of ours. And it was enormously helpful at the time because we could see our friends, we could talk to him, maybe we would have some wine, they would have wine, we would have wine, and we would have a little cocktail hour. And then over time, people would kind of come in and out of that. You know, when we first started, everybody was kind of sitting there and we were having a conversation and then time went on and maybe the kids weren’t there and the kids would come in for a few minutes and I would leave. And then we would it was really kind of cool. And then after about three weeks, I started to get really busy at work. Things just started. All of a sudden the world started coming back to life and, you know, we didn’t have the ability to do that anymore. But maybe that’s something that some of your folks can set up and have so they can interact with with people not necessarily in a ten minute call, but you just turn on the screen and you leave it for an hour or two and you kind of come in. And I was it was a really cool way for us to stay in touch, you know, with our friends.
Speaker 2 [00:19:31] People are being very creative. I’m very impressed. People are playing games. People are dating online. Yeah. It’s obviously we’re all doing business online. Those of us privileged enough to be able to work. Right. To still work. Right. Work at home. Yeah, it takes a lot of creativity. And I think that after a year, people are just zapped. Yeah, it’s how much more can I do? At the same time? There’s, you know, a year ago we had no hope. We didn’t know what was going on. I think we all have a lot more hope right now. Absolutely. And that’s an important element to staying mentally.
Speaker 1 [00:20:01] Well, yeah. So what other advice do you have for folks that are that are dealing with stress and anxiety?
Speaker 2 [00:20:07] You know, pick up a phone if you have insurance, find yourself a therapist to talk with, get a peer support group, you know, put up those happy hours, do those kind of games right. Whatever can work for you, talk with your agency or your boss or your community service area that you work for. How can we continue to keep community going?
Speaker 1 [00:20:25] Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s tough. So what else are you are you running into today other than anxiety? Are there any other things that you’re working with as a clinical social worker?
Speaker 2 [00:20:39] Well, I mean, people still have issues of substance abuse and yes, people have marital conflicts.
Speaker 1 [00:20:45] It’s a really hard thing to deal with when you’re trapped in the house. But I think everybody feels it. I mean, there’s no question that tensions in my home have been challenging. And when you just have four people in one house that are there together all day long, every day, seven days a week, that’s a whole new dynamic that you’ve got to learn to live with.
Speaker 2 [00:21:04] You know, it is. And we’ve been doing that for about a year. Yeah. Yeah. So I think in that respect, taking some private time, making sure everybody has some private time. Right. And really respect. That is really important.
Speaker 1 [00:21:17] Yeah, yeah,
Speaker 2 [00:21:18] you know, so and also, you know, shared shared roles, right. In terms of how are we going to manage and people have been doing that. Here’s the thing. It’s been a year, right? So however, families have figured things out. Right. They figured it out. Right. Whether it’s really effective, whether it’s really working. But they’re getting through it. And I think we don’t realize how much pre pandemic we are always doing risk assessments. Right. About, you know, should I do this? How do I do that? Problem-Solving options, choices, all that it’s those skills can help us as we decide what we’re going to do now and how we’re going to go forward.
Speaker 1 [00:21:52] Right. Right. Do. But do you think that we’re ever going to go back to the way we were?
Speaker 2 [00:21:57] What does that mean?
Speaker 1 [00:21:58] Well, I think I think that I think I think the world has probably changed forever at this point. And we may never go back to the work environment that we had before. I know within our organizations there have been dramatic, permanent changes in the way we work. We’ve we’ve we’ve eliminated a lot of our office space when people are home based. And I think people like it and they enjoy it and they’re embracing the the the new way of of living. And I think, you know, from my perspective, I don’t think we will ever go back to the way we were. And in fact, Jeff Detwiler was just here last week and his episode is actually going to be released before yours. But he was talking about what Long and Foster is doing and the long and foster companies, and they don’t think they’re ever going to go back to having everybody in the office at the same time, because people do not want, based on their research, which is really good research, people do not want to get in the car twice a day to come to the office when they don’t have to. People do, based on their research, want to come in and interact with their coworkers, but maybe only two days a week, maybe only one day a week. So there. That’s right. You know, Long and Foster’s working on figuring out what is the future going to be, but it’s not going to resemble the past.
Speaker 2 [00:23:22] You know, we we can’t ever go back. It just doesn’t work like that. Life isn’t like that. We always say it. It’s a thing that humans say, people say. But really, I would like people to put their energy towards. How do you want to bounce forward?
Speaker 1 [00:23:35] Yes. Yes.
Speaker 2 [00:23:36] You know, how do you want this to look? What are the things that have been working for you?
Speaker 1 [00:23:39] Yeah.
Speaker 2 [00:23:40] Whoever the you is. Yes. You know, during this year and what things you want to carry forward and what things are not working that you want to change. Right. Right. Really, we’ve had to prioritize because of the pandemic. And so let’s take those skills of prioritizing and take them into the future. Right.
Speaker 1 [00:23:57] So I think to recap what I’ve heard, let’s test my listening skills.
Speaker 2 [00:24:01] I’m scared.
Speaker 1 [00:24:05] So I think I think I’m just going to interject my own experience in what I heard. Right. So no one exercise. I think arguably probably the most important thing from my perspective that you’ve said I’ve found over the last year when I got away from exercise, I certainly was much more likely to feel more depressed then. That’s right. When I was exercising. And I’ve actually been fortunate to have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of conversations with people that are all in covid lockdown. And I ask them, what are you doing? How is your family coping? How are you feeling? And you know, the feedback that I’m getting when I’m asking what’s working for you people that are getting exercise, that are getting out hiking and doing things with their kids or with their family, even single people that are buying homes for me, who are I just had a long conversation with one of our buyers here last week, and she said she’s so happy that the gym is open and she’s back in her routine and she’s felt so much better since she’s been able to get back into her classes and things like that, that that that that it’s really changed the way she feels about being isolated. Right. Is just to get that to get that exercise. And then I think another important thing that I heard you say is that time alone, getting away from the situation, which is really hard and I speak from experience. You know, I’m I’m in a house with with with with my family. And my kids are at that age where they want to they have a lot of questions and they want to be with me. And I’m busy. I’m working. I’m on the computer interacting with people. And then I come up for air and boom, there’s somebody there. All right. Who’s who needs my time.
Speaker 2 [00:25:44] Yeah, I want to I want to emphasize that carving out some sacred time for ourselves is of the utmost importance. Yes. And it could be ten minutes for you. It could be an hour for me. Whatever it is I need. But something that’s going to stop, I’m going to stop vibrating. Right. I’m going to listen to myself. I’m going to pay attention to me and refuel so that especially if I’m a parent, that I’m going to then have the opportunity to then turn around and see my family and be loving and supportive and. Warm and friendly to them, because I’ve taken some time to myself,
Speaker 1 [00:26:18] yeah, yeah, it’s really important. And then I think, you know, trying to figure out how you’re going to bounce forward. If I had to pick the top three exercise time alone, and then how do you how do you figure out how to bounce forward? Because from my perspective and I may be wrong, but I don’t think that the world is going to be much different a year from now than it is today. I think that we are going to have openings and closings. There’s going to be one step forward or two steps forward and one step back. And we we all have to find a way to manage life because we’re here. You know, we can’t avoid it. We have to figure out how to move forward. Do you have anything to say?
Speaker 2 [00:26:59] I do, actually. So this is the analogy that I like to use. So we came into this office. Lovely office. Yes. And the overhead fluorescents are on. Yes. When you walk into an office overhead fluorescent, there’s a bit of a jolt. Yes. And then after a while, you get used to it. Yes. But it’s always there. Yes. That’s how the pandemic is. Yes. We had this huge jolt which lasted for however long it did for all of us. Yes. Yet we’ve continued to live and and do whatever it is we can do, however we do it. But that light, that pandemic is still there, right?
Speaker 1 [00:27:35] Yeah. And these fluorescents annoy me. You landed right on my well,
Speaker 2 [00:27:40] but that’s exactly it. Like the pandemic gets in. Right. And we can’t ever really forget it. But we we put it aside for a while. But it’s always there that pressure that getting into our eyeballs, into our brains, into our bodies.
Speaker 1 [00:27:53] Yeah, yeah. No, no, no. You’re right. So would you add if you had another important was there anything else that you said earlier that you would add to the three exercise time alone and bounce forward?
Speaker 2 [00:28:03] Yeah, I would I would say be kind and gentle to yourself. Yes. And to other people. Yeah. I think empathy and compassion are things that people can learn. Yes. And that we that’s one of the things we need to bounce forward about.
Speaker 1 [00:28:18] Yeah. And that’s a that’s a really great point because and I’ve heard other people say and I certainly didn’t this may make this up, but everybody has a struggle. Everybody every single person on this planet has some sort of a struggle. I don’t care who you are. I don’t care how much money you have or you don’t have. I don’t care how healthy you are or unhealthy you are. Every single person I’ve ever met in my life, every customer that I’ve had the opportunity to get close with over the years, every person that’s ever worked with me as I get to know them, they all maybe not Nick, but they all have a some sort of a struggle. Every one of them is struggling with something. And it’s and it’s and it’s hard to remember and it’s hard to always be kind all day long because I have my struggles. But but yeah. Be kind to others. I love that and have empathy for other people. And I think my my life has gotten better and I can appreciate some of the negative things that happen around me. What I can say, you know what? Maybe they’re having a really bad day, you know?
Speaker 2 [00:29:21] So I think it is important to recognize that we, particularly in this Northern Virginia area, do live a privileged life. And you and I are still able to do the work that we want to do. Right. And so we need to acknowledge that many people can’t and that their struggle is different than ours. But that doesn’t necessarily diminish my struggle or my loss. Right. And with the pandemic has come a huge losses. That’s part of the trauma. Right. And so we don’t have to minimize ours. We do need to appreciate other people’s struggles and challenges.
Speaker 1 [00:29:53] Right. Right. I absolutely agree with you. I absolutely agree, Meimi. That’s fantastic information. I agree with it completely. I feel it. I live it. And I appreciate your advice. We’re going to take a break and then we’re going to come back for one final wrap up segment. A lot of folks think that building a custom home is a complicated and arduous process. It doesn’t have to be at Stanley Martin custom homes. We have the process down to a science. We will bring you through the buying design and building phase one step at a time. Head on over to we build on your lot dotcom and check us out. Reach out to us if you want to get started on the path to your very own Stanley Martin custom home. All right, we’re back with Mimi Weisberg. So, Mimi, during the break, we were talking about your work with the Safe Community Coalition. So can you tell us what that organization is? What do they do? And what do you what are you doing with them?
Speaker 2 [00:31:05] Yeah, I’m happy to talk about the Safe Community Coalition. It is. The area that the Save Community Coalition covers is MacLane Falls Church, parts of all church, Diana Great Falls, and we are business people, parents, teachers, administrators, people like yourself, right. Or committed to living in the community who want to provide programs and resources to reduce stress, to foster mental wellness and resilience, and to help facilitate families and youth right. To thrive and make responsible choices about their health and safety. Right. And so we pull resources from all different parts, all different segments. I happen to be part presently with the mental health committee. Right. And we put on.
Speaker 1 [00:32:00] Well, that’s appropriate.
Speaker 2 [00:32:01] It is appropriate. So that’s made up of all mental health workers. OK. Does it matter what your degree is? Right. And or people who whether they live in McLean or the surrounding areas, are they service the community? Right. Right. And we put on programs for parents, for students, for kids, for administrators. What I would encourage people to do is to go to McLaine SCAG and we’ll post that for people. And I also want to make note that since the pandemic, many of us mental health professionals have made a series of videos that are on there for free right now called Managing the Moments. Right. And with all the videos, there are resources to talk about things like dysregulation effective communication. How are you doing? Right. Mindfulness, yes. Brain activity, all sorts of things that I think are still relevant even as we’re starting to open up. So I really want to encourage people to go to MacLane Skag, OK? And you can get on your mailing list through there. You can volunteer for a committee. The Mental Health Committee is looking for more members. Wonder if there would be more than happy to to have a talk and invite you to our meetings, obviously, but still doing things over zoom.
Speaker 1 [00:33:14] Right. Right. So when when was this organization created?
Speaker 2 [00:33:20] Probably about 25 years ago.
Speaker 1 [00:33:21] OK, so that’s.
Speaker 2 [00:33:22] Well, yes. And it’s and it is morphed and grown. Yeah. As the community’s needs are.
Speaker 1 [00:33:28] Right. Right. So you guys have you obviously have become much more important in the last year. Do you feel that you’ve become much more important over the last year?
Speaker 2 [00:33:38] Yes, I think people are paying more attention to mental health and mental wellness right now. Thank goodness. I mean, particularly now because we really need that. Yeah. And hopefully that will continue on that because you hear people in the newspapers and politics at schools. Right, just walking in the park talking about anxiety, depression, stress, burnout, how they’re going. What are they going to do? How are they feeling? More people are reaching out and taking the risk of calling a therapist. Right. Which I really want to encourage people to do.
Speaker 1 [00:34:08] Why is it a risk? I don’t understand it. Why is it. I don’t understand that, like, literally I don’t understand. Why is it a risk to call a therapist?
Speaker 2 [00:34:16] I think people don’t understand what the process of therapy is. Right. And so they’re scared and they’re afraid they’ll I have to dig up things from my childhood and I don’t remember it. Yeah, that’s that is far from what talking to a therapist is.
Speaker 1 [00:34:30] Also what is talking to a therapist all about.
Speaker 2 [00:34:32] You have a chance to talk to someone who’s neutral. Right. Who could invest in you, but they’re not about you. Right. As your friends in your family are. And you know, someone to help brainstorm, someone to give suggestions, someone to help you dig a little bit deeper if you want someone to give you skills and techniques. And sometimes it’s easier to talk to someone that you don’t know so well. And the other thing about being in therapy is that it is reciprocal because we’re two human sharing. But you don’t have to worry about me, right? I’m OK. I’m OK. I’m going to get the help I need of supervision. I need the support. I need my focus is on you and you or your family or your couple who however you come in. Right. So I happen to see families, individuals, couples and teenagers up. Right. And I’ll see anybody if they come in as a family. Right. Right. And, you know, sometimes it’s one session. Yes. Sometimes it’s longer. But just exploring what therapy is like for some people is risk. And, you know, we need to appreciate that.
Speaker 1 [00:35:32] Yeah. But I think there’s also a certain stigmatism that comes with it when, you know, nobody ever I’m not afraid. I go to a therapist, I get stuck. I mean, I’ve I’ve been in the last two or three years to try to talk to somebody about, you know, generally business related challenges. If I if I keep having the same problem over and over and over again with different people, I’ll go to myself. I go, you know what? It can’t be them.
Speaker 2 [00:35:58] Like, you’re the common denominator.
Speaker 1 [00:36:00] These three people don’t know each other. Right. And I’m having the same like like I’m running into the same brick wall with these three different people and sometimes, you know, sitting down and even just a lot of times I answer my own question. When I hit the time out button and sit down and speak, you know, I end up solving it for myself, but I think,
Speaker 2 [00:36:20] yeah, that’s that’s the other point is you get to spend 45 minutes to an hour just focusing on you. Yeah. And people sometimes don’t feel good about that. They don’t feel like they deserve to have all that time focused on them. Yeah. And once they start and if it’s a good match, you know, there’s always the match. Yes. And you know what that’s like as a real estate person.
Speaker 1 [00:36:38] Oh, I do. Absolutely. Absolutely. And and you know what? I will I will tell you, you are so right about that, because I’ve had I’ve had good doctors and bad doctors and good dentists and bad. And a lot of it is, you know, chemistry. It is it is the chemistry and how you feel about somebody and trust. I think trust is a big part of it. And, you know, everybody’s got a different personality and the personalities have to mesh and you have to feel like talking to this person that you go and see.
Speaker 2 [00:37:07] Absolutely. And I tell people, you know, that you are a consumer. It’s a different kind of product that you’re consuming. Right. But if you’re not comfortable, definitely talk with the therapist about that. Yeah. Because some things can be worked through. But if not, that therapist is really professionally obligated to then say this isn’t working for you. Let’s find you somebody else that you can talk to. Yeah.
Speaker 1 [00:37:29] Or you go find someone else. Sure. Yeah. And I tend to be helpful. You know, I would also say, you know, just because somebody else had a good experience with a therapist doesn’t mean you will. Right.
Speaker 2 [00:37:39] You’re not.
Speaker 1 [00:37:40] You’re right. You got to find your own. You got to find your own. That’s fantastic. I really like that. So. So what else is there anything else with the Safe Community Coalition that you want to chat about?
Speaker 2 [00:37:57] One of the things I also think is important is that we get the kids involved, particularly middle school and high schoolers. Yes. That they have a chance to do peer on peer work with other people. They get trained in effective communication skills and they end up being leaders and they go on to college often. Right. And they’re doing leadership experiences there, as well as giving other adults in the community a time to rise and have a chance to be leaders.
Speaker 1 [00:38:23] Right. So you need volunteers.
Speaker 2 [00:38:25] We always need
Speaker 1 [00:38:26] volunteers. And then how do you raise money?
Speaker 2 [00:38:28] That’s a good question. There are many of the community partners who will give us money. Some of our there’s fundraising activities that we do, some of the workshops and conferences we put on. Right. We you know, we’ll charge for and we’re very reasonable about that. And a lot of times the speakers that we have, which are nation nationwide, people. Right. Will appreciate the work that we’re doing and cut us a break.
Speaker 1 [00:38:54] Nice as well. They should. Yeah. Yeah. So what do you how do you help a middle schooler? Because that is what I am doing. Yes, that’s right. Night is on communicating with my middle schoolers. And boy, it’s it’s an interesting process.
Speaker 2 [00:39:11] Well, in twins.
Speaker 1 [00:39:12] Wow. Yeah. And, you know, I’ve heard other people say it’s so again, I won’t take credit for this, but raising children is a humbling experience because, you know, if you if you push too hard, they they squirt around and go different directions. And, you know, you can’t just write down the policies and procedures like you do at work. However, I actually did that for setting the table in the morning and they actually loved it. They actually were really happy to have a piece of paper that they could grab that said, you know, make sure the table is clean and then put the place mats on and then put and we had the little check boxes. And, you know, I probably should do more of that.
Speaker 2 [00:39:53] But well, actually, what you’re talking about, I can pull out, which is people, but in particular, kids need structure. Structure helps with secure feeling, a secure base. Right. And particularly now in the pandemic, we need to feel secure. Right. And so having some structure to one’s day, to one’s activities, chores is really important. At the same time, we don’t want to go to a locked down, rigid place. Right. Because one of the things that kids, especially kids your child’s age and after, they really are looking for respect. Yes. And, you know, they we demand or ask for their respect and they want our respect back. Right. So at different developmental stages, you might pull a kid into the conversation, hey, the house is a disaster, right? I can’t do it alone. How do we all want to have this taken care of? Yeah. Yeah. And so we pull them in and then they have some ownership over it. Right.
Speaker 1 [00:40:45] Right. And give them some control over the solution. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. That’s great. But it’s, it’s quite a it’s a lot of work. It is. It is.
Speaker 2 [00:40:54] It’s been. And I have often said to what we have adult children. Yeah. And say that we are really thank you to whoever buys that. We don’t have school age kids right now because I think it would be such a challenge. And my hat goes off to the parents and the single parents who are working and struggling without. Any support, that’s all, you know, having to, you know, make sure that your kid is working on the line, that you’re working online, that the dog is fed, that there’s groceries in the house, that your bills are being paid. Right.
Speaker 1 [00:41:21] It’s overwhelming. I agree with you. I agree with you. I really do. It is tough. It is. And, you know, the really interesting thing about what I do now and how I live now with all my Zoome audiences, I mean, we actually use Microsoft teams. But, you know, I am video conferencing in to people’s homes, their lives in real time. And, you know, some of my meetings have mom and dad, Mr. and Mrs. Buya at the table with three young kids like they’re herding cats. Right. You’ve got it. It’s it’s it’s really amazing to watch. And they’re and they’re buying a house and it’s they’re trying to figure out how they’re going to live because they can’t live in the house that they’re living in now, because it was a great place to sleep at night after they came home from work and school. But to to have mom and dad working or Mr. and Mrs. Buyer or anybody. Right. I’m just, you know, not not trying to we have buyers of all sorts. Not everybody’s married. It’s not always Mr. and Mrs.. So but, you know, they can’t live in the conditions that they have and they have to move in. That’s why the housing market is exploding, because people are forced out of their comfort zone. Their comfort zone was erased overnight, you know, so it’s amazing. So good stuff. And tell me the website again.
Speaker 2 [00:42:45] Yes, it is. MacLane s.E.C. Dawg.
Speaker 1 [00:42:48] OK, everybody, go take a look. So now tell us about resiliency.
Speaker 2 [00:42:53] So that’s one of the things that we try to promote. Yes. And talk about. And we’ve been doing that even before the pandemic. It’s finding silver linings even even in this time, you know, and so maybe it’s I do get to spend more time with my kids. Yes. Or, you know, I get to I get to learn to bake.
Speaker 1 [00:43:11] Yes.
Speaker 2 [00:43:12] Or it’s stopping me from running around and keeping myself so busy that I have to stop in and get in touch with myself. Yes.
Speaker 1 [00:43:19] Well, amen. Yeah, there’s no question about that.
Speaker 2 [00:43:24] Or I’m finding out that I there’s some things that are lacking in my life that I want to add to my life.
Speaker 1 [00:43:28] Right. Right.
Speaker 2 [00:43:30] Yeah, yeah. And so these are things that can help us bounce forward, to be resilient, to reconnect with people, to take a look at toxic relationships in our in our lives that are not serving us and are not helping us. Yep. Maybe we need to say goodbye to that. The other thing, I think, you know, moving on and resilience, the other side of that is the loss and the sadness. And so it’s acknowledging for our children, if we have children, for ourselves, for our friends, for our older parents. Yet there has been huge losses. Yes. And what might be also some of the gains. And so allowing our children in particular to to acknowledge that, to acknowledge, yeah, things have been hard for me to
Speaker 1 [00:44:07] come
Speaker 2 [00:44:07] and tell me about how things are hard for you, dear child. Right. And listening to that and then saying, well, is there anything about this pandemic that’s been working for you?
Speaker 1 [00:44:17] Yeah, yeah, yeah,
Speaker 2 [00:44:18] yeah, yeah. We got a dog. OK, yeah. You know. Oh yeah. You know, we’re having an opportunity to think about vacation now because we didn’t have it before.
Speaker 1 [00:44:26] Right.
Speaker 2 [00:44:27] And to really balance that sadness and the loss with some hope. And we as parents, it’s our job to form that secure base, to be consistent. Yes. To help them deal with ambiguity. Yes. To help them deal with anxiety and stress, to acknowledge it in ourselves.
Speaker 1 [00:44:42] Yes.
Speaker 2 [00:44:44] And to also show how we’re getting through it because kids hear what we say, but not so good. Yes, but they really do is they see how we behave. Right. And they’re taking our cues from that.
Speaker 1 [00:44:54] And then we tell them, do as I say, not as I do. I don’t
Speaker 2 [00:44:58] know. And then you’re called a hypocrite.
Speaker 1 [00:45:00] Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Starting when the kids are at about ten years old, they learn that where they learn it very early in life. Yeah. The kids are tough. That’s, that’s, that’s for sure. I have a lot of empathy for everybody with kids me
Speaker 2 [00:45:16] to go and to think about what it would be like, think about yourself, you know, think about yourself as ten, eleven year old. Yeah. Now what would be like for you to have everything closed down. Right. And to not fully understand. And when things aren’t explained to kids, kids, especially at certain ages, think that must be they must have done something wrong. There’s something wrong with me or I’m the only one that’s feeling this. Yes. And we really want to do a lot of normalizing of those variety of feelings that people are feeling. Right. And that it’s all OK. We don’t need to judge our feelings.
Speaker 1 [00:45:45] Yeah, that’s
Speaker 2 [00:45:45] true. That’s a piece of really of resiliency is not judging.
Speaker 1 [00:45:49] Yeah. You’re obviously passionate about this piece.
Speaker 2 [00:45:53] Yeah, I love working with people and it helps me and I also love teaching and I get to teach this kind of work. Right. And, you know, future social workers are getting to learn this. And that’s a real passion of mine, too. And it’s been a silver lining in my life, is that I’ve been able to, with the help of many people, figure out how to do this. On Zoom in to teach and keep going,
Speaker 1 [00:46:13] right, that’s fantastic. Before we wrap up, is there anything else you want to add in closing today?
Speaker 2 [00:46:21] I want to emphasize hope so. I’m not great at Greek mythology, but if we think about Pandora’s Box, all the evils of the world were opened up. But the one thing that was left in the box is hope. Right. And I think that we need to focus on that. Right.
Speaker 1 [00:46:36] I agree with you. I think that is those are wonderful words to end our segment. And Mimi Weisberg, thank you so much for coming in today to share your thoughts with us. And thank you for telling us about the Safe Community Coalition and the great work that you all are doing there. Thanks.
Speaker 2 [00:46:52] My pleasure. Thank you for this opportunity.
Speaker 1 [00:46:54] Absolutely. Thanks, Mimi. All right, Mimi, thank you again for coming in. That was fantastic. Such an important topic, especially at this time during covid with so many people struggling. We encourage everybody to go take a look at the Save Community Coalition. You can find a link to their website at your episode, Page Maemi and go with John Dotcom. Find Mimi Weisberg and we’ll have a link to the Save Community Coalition website. Thanks again for coming in, and I hope you all enjoyed this conversation as much as we enjoyed having it with Mimi.