Periods, PMDD, and the Stories We Never Tell with Heather Hendrie | POP 979

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Which stories are not told that can bring such positive change when they are? Do you have a passion project that’s been sitting at your side for the last few months? How can sharing awfully funny and relatable human stories start a business that brings people together?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about periods, PMDD, and the stories we never tell with Heather Hendrie.

Podcast Sponsor: The Receptionist

A photo of the podcast sponsor, The Receptionist, is captured. They provide a simple, inexpensive way to allow your clients to discreetly check-in, to notify providers of a patient’s arrival, and to ensure your front lobby is stress-free.

From new patients faced with an empty lobby and no idea where to find their therapist to clinicians with a session running overtime and the doorbell ringing, some of the most anxiety-ridden moments of a therapy appointment happen before a session even starts.

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Meet Heather Hendrie

A photo of Heather Hendrie is captured. She is an author and a wilderness therapist. Heather is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Heather Hendrie has spent years as an outdoor guide, world traveler, and agent for environmental protection. Her path to my calling took me 20 years. Now that she’s there, she wants to support you in coming into your calling too. Heather is finding great joy in weaving together the golden threads of what she’s always loved in her work as a wilderness therapist. She takes mindfulness-based approaches to healing and uses AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy), and nature-based practices to support her clients in thriving. Her first degree in Kinesiology laid the foundations for her understanding of physiology and movement and she takes body-based approaches to our healing work together.

Visit Heather’s website and see also True Nature Wilderness Therapy. Heather is also the co-author of Awfully Hilarious

In this Podcast

  • The messages that women receive from society 
  • How therapists can keep their ears open to PMDD
  • Heather’s advice to private practitioners

The messages that women receive from society 

Of course, it will depend a lot on the family and societal cultures wherein different women grow up, but the messages that women internalize – often in Western cultures and societies – are that bodily functions are not to be spoken about. 

As such, they become taboo, and therefore many women suffer unnecessarily with issues, shame, or misinformation about something that probably many other women experience too. 

As a general rule, menstruation has been very deeply stigmatized on numerous levels so it becomes very hard to talk about. (Heather Hendrie)

Heather herself has a condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder, PMDD, which went undiagnosed for 30 years, even though she had doctors in her family and access to high-quality medical care. 

Menstruating bodies haven’t really been studied in the same way that male bodies have been studied, and as such, they assume that about one in 20 people, one in 20 menstruating folks, have this condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder, but the average time to diagnose it is generally a decade or more these days, and it can be a debilitating condition. (Heather Hendrie)

One of the reasons why it is crucial to speak about taboo subjects is that misinformation and unnecessary suffering that often happens in silence can be given a place to be seen, remedied, and let go of. 

How therapists can keep their ears open to PMDD

If you are seeing clients who menstruate and you suspect that they may be suffering from PMDD, the biggest sign that you can keep a lookout for is cyclical mood disorder. 

It’s often misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder for example. 

It’s very often missed, but something that works really well for me with my clients is [that] I see my clients on purpose every two weeks, and with the clients with PMDD or where I suspect that’s the case, I would notice that on one session they would arrive on top of the world … And two weeks later they’re … just in a feeling of total overwhelm, and over a few months time you can really see that pattern start to repeat. (Heather Hendrie)

If you are looking for a good resource to follow, the International Association for Premenstrual Disorders is a good place to start, as Heather recommends. 

If you want to keep an eye out for PMDD in your clients, in your intake forms, ask your menstruating clients about their periods and their experience with them. 

Heather’s advice to private practitioners 

Have fun! Go with the flow. So many incredible and successful ideas and projects can start from when you decide to follow your passions and what brings you joy.

Sponsors Mentioned in this episode:

Books mentioned in this episode:

Heather Hendrie – Awfully Hilarious: Stories We Never Tell

Rachel Kauder-Nalebuff – My Little Red Book

Joe Sanok – Thursday is the new Friday: How to Work Fewer Hours, Make More Money, and Spend Time Doing What You Love

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Clinical Confidence Across Your Clinical Career with Shannon Heers | POP 978

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Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners who are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

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