Know the value you provide, align your pricing around that value and outcome. It’s not just about an exchange of service or a product. Our company provides life-changing results by saving lives, marriages and families, allowing survivors to feel confident and have a passion for life. Manifesting a life with purpose and self-worth is priceless.
The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.
As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Trish French.
Trish French is a Licensed Therapist, Certified Addictions Expert and Trauma Specialist. She has developed a modern solution for healing childhood sexual trauma within months, through a transformative 8-week online program. Trish French empowers professionals to heal within their busy lives and schedules, having access to their recovery twenty-four hours a day.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/110ca5b41ce3ddd2af868231a8b92088
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
My childhood is the main reason why I became a therapist. I’ve seen, first hand, loved ones around me suffering from mental health issues, as well as the impact it creates and what can be lost when it declines.
My mother was a trauma survivor and spent her life grappling for control and dealing with anxiety; this stunted her communication, relationships and opportunities. She only had the best of intentions, but that was often overshadowed by fear and stress. Not to misrepresent, I had a good upbringing, I have loving parents. However, over time, I noticed the patterns of her lashing out, which I now know is due to past sexual abuse. It affected me for decades; it impacted her marriage with my father and caused them to divorce. It stole so much from our family. I have witnessed the monumental struggle survivors encounter every day, which is why I do my best to pull others out of that suffering. Nonetheless, I must show deep gratitude to my mother for doing the best that she could, given such a difficult past and the sexual abuse she experienced.
My father was a rock for me; growing up, he was the stability that kept me grounded. He is my biggest fan, and I feel the same about him. I’m grateful and blessed, because it shaped me into such a strong and independent woman. He challenged me constantly, teaching me to push past comfort zones and focus on the important goals. He is an amazing person, who grew up on the plains of Africa and lived abroad. His father was stationed to many locations around the globe, to serve our military and teach the local children. Growing up, I remember him telling me worldly stories and showing me beautiful photos of his trips around the globe. His travels and stories inspired me to explore this incredible world.
I was your typical, A-type, overachiever. As an only child, I was constantly competing with myself, trying to get better at my passions, every day. Dance holds a special place in my heart after I fell in love with ballet and jazz during my youth. School was another area I performed very well in. I found myself fairly balanced between academics and athletics and pushed myself as much as possible, but also felt the stress of high expectations. This lead to me holding myself to unrealistic standards and beating myself up internally when I didn’t achieve my goal.
Taking a step back, I think it’s hard for young girls to celebrate how wonderful they are. What we bring to the table needs to be vocalized more often. I had to raise myself in some ways. I felt an overwhelming urge to widen my point of view, so schooling became my main priority, which gave me many opportunities to grow. After high school, I went to Florida State University, where I obtained my Master’s Degree in Social Work.
Today, I follow in my father’s footsteps, jet setting to destinations on my lengthy bucket list. I love the culture shock, that wonderful feeling of new memories and experiences. Traveling has carved a new path for me; I want to leave a mark in this world. It pushes me to ask questions bigger than myself.
Why do countries experience different qualities of life and happiness? If they have fewer resources, food and safety, do they live with less happiness? I quickly found out, No. Quite the opposite; I found joy everywhere, there is no shortage of love in my worldly travels.
I created this solution to heal survivors, because of my cultural experiences and youth. I think the time we have is vital and should be spent making memories and creating joy, for ourselves and others. It’s having a peace of mind and hope for the future. That’s what I hope to give others, through my personal journey.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Everyone must choose one of two pains: The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”
I’ve heard misconceptions in our society, that if we are excelling in our career, then we are “successful.” This is the furthest thing from the truth. Success comes when you have the strength and courage to look at all components of your life and admit your weaknesses (i.e. personal self-care, having a passionate marriage, pursuing hobbies, chasing your dream job, being there for your family). It’s important to be honest with yourself, taking an inventory of which areas of your life need improvement. To be straight forward, having discipline and balance is key.
This is why I’ve always chosen the pain of discipline. Living a life full of indecision is a slow death. I know for a fact, people want to live their best life now. Our later years are never promised, so personally, I have a strong sense of urgency to get my message out to the world. I choose to push past my comfort zone for continuous growth. I want to inspire my clients to do the same. The only way to change your life is to be highly committed to an outcome, taking decisive action. It is having the mindset of a leader, being able to take command of your life.
If you fail at a task or goal, simply adjust. Find a positive angle and ask, “What is the lesson here, how can I use this information to grow?” Being positive will save your life. You either win or learn. Never failing, always finding lessons to be learned.
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
There are a few books and movies that have made lasting impressions in my life. The movie WILD (with Reece Witherspoon) sticks out in my mind. It’s also a best-seller, a memoir by Cheryl Strayed. It follows her travels as she embarks on a solo hike up the Pacific Crest Trail (1100 mile hike), seeking self-discovery and inner healing.
I found it so inspiring, I set out to have my own “wild” moment in life. I couldn’t book a hiking exhibition quick enough; to be honest, I was obsessed with the idea. I chose the Grand Canyon, for my destination and Tanner Trail, a 7-mile descent, as my beast to conquer. At that point, my path had been a little rocky, both figuratively and literally. I realized what being happy is really about and it’s different for everyone. This was a major milestone in my life. It was the moment I decided my mission is to heal trauma and help others find happiness.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?
I was adapting to modern times; like most businesses, I was thinking digital. So, my goals didn’t shift too much; my focus was moving to an online platform. I wanted to provide therapy in my private practice setting, but also transform clients through an online program. The major difference with doing a virtual treatment is that I can heal survivors more efficiently and with greater privacy. It allows me to hold intensive sessions, while the client is in the comfort of their home.
So I would have to say, before the pandemic, I was unwittingly preparing for it. I understood the overall need for what I do, what experts do. While the virus has impacted my travels and global studies, it has not impacted my ability to treat my clients. In fact, I have seen a surge in people seeking help; the demand is greater than ever.
If you look at the way we are currently approaching mental health care, it lacks the pace and focus needed to fully recover from traumatic events. On average, a client will be seen twice a month. It’s not a time sensitive approach, but what other options have been available? Clinically, it can take up to five years or more. It’s simply an outdated treatment, one that has been set in place for decades and the real cost is to the patient.
I will clarify, traditional therapy still plays an important role. It’s needed for many issues related to mental health and I encourage others to always seek help. However, with sexual abuse survivors, they do not receive the focus, accountability or attention needed to fully heal. It takes daily check-ins, weekly assignments and lessons that promote growth and healthy routines.
Therefore, before the virus, I spent my time spent focused on changing how we conduct mental health for clients with past trauma, getting them to that next chapter in life, but also laying the foundations for long-term success and happiness.
What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?
As a result of the pandemic, interest in doing online treatment has jumped substantially. It’s a unique benefit, being able to access clinical information, twenty four hours a day, compared to being on a therapist’s limited schedule. Having flexibility is crucial. Virtual treatment gives the client reasonable control of their recovery, creating increased confidence and independence, and I’m pushing to stay on the cutting edge.
With the #MeToo Movement, our society has become aware of sexual abuse, addressing it as a global epidemic. The unfortunate truth is, unavoidable lockdowns worldwide has caused millions of sexual abuse survivors to suffer from increased anxiety, fear & depression. With 1 in 4 Females and 1 in 6 Males experiencing sexual abuse, it’s been a silent battle for many loved ones.
Can you tell us about the specific “Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?
I have to give credit to my travels; seeing how different cultures deal with mental health was the big “aha moment” for me. It is my driving force, which pushes me to serve others. It has opened my eyes to the significant issues we have right here at home in the United States, giving me deeper clarity as to why Americans don’t prioritize mental health.
Balancing self-care, mental health and personal time should be the standard. Seeing the gap in our society, I started creating a modern solution. What I have found, online platforms allow me to serve survivors nationwide, instead of impacting just my local community.
Honestly, I’m continuing to have movements that spark inspiration. Helping others opens up a vast amount of possibilities and experiences. What we are doing is creating a ripple effect, bringing my clients to their “Aha moment”.
How are things going with this new initiative?
Our company has had wonderful results, since launching our 8 week trauma program. I have since helped transform over 400 sexual abuse survivors, nationwide. The next step is laying groundwork to reach a global scale. I would like to see us in the United Kingdom within the next year, as well as Canada. I know that sexual abuse is not just limited to the boundaries of the United States, but rather a global issue, and we plan on building support in other areas of the world.
It’s about having access to treating your mental health, from the privacy and comfort of your home. That should be a human right. Mental health is not an expense or inconvenience; it is the deciding factor in our happiness. I’m happy to say our initiative is well underway and we are making positive impacts and changing lives.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am extremely grateful for my husband, Joshua, who paused his career to help me with this dream. As a trauma survivor himself, he has experienced, firsthand, the flaws in our mental health system. We embarked on a journey together, where he has been with me every step of the way, traveling the world on a small budget with a big dream. He pushes me to live my life with more passion and has created unforgettable memories with me.
This is the fulfillment most trauma survivors miss out on. I’m very grateful; Joshua has worked countless hours in the past decade, helping make this dream a reality. He has instilled a tremendous amount of dedication, love and support into our work and I can’t thank him enough.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?
I think the most relevant story was from our meditation class we had taken in Japan. We became pupils to Buddhist monks for an afternoon, during our time in Kyoto. Our focus was far more than just meditation. He challenged us, and discussed the differences between Eastern and Western culture.
Listening to different philosophies, changing the lens I see the world through has helped me to understand, there are many levels to self-awareness and growth. The big lesson learned, it is not enough to say, “I feel this way”. We have to take a deeper look at why we choose to act, think and live the way we do. It was a profound moment that peaked my curiosity. This perspective drives us to ask questions more often and opens our minds to new ideas.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. Having credentials is not enough to build a successful career. Spend years mastering your field and find the one specific niche you are passionate about.
2. Everything you do in your business needs to be heart-centered. Cultivate and connect with the deep belief that what you’re doing in your business is making the world a better place.
3. The five people around you are determining your success, choose them wisely.
4. Know the value you provide, align your pricing around that value and outcome. It’s not just about an exchange of service or a product. Our company provides life-changing results by saving lives, marriages and families, allowing survivors to feel confident and have a passion for life. Manifesting a life with purpose and self-worth is priceless.
5. Wake up every morning and start listing things you are grateful for. I make it a point to list at least three things that bring me joy. This is an easy way to maintain a positive mindset.
So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?
The best strategy, turn it off. Put your phone in a basket, where you can’t fixate on the next post or tweet. Grab a book, go for a walk or throw on some music. Escape for a while; do something introspective. It’s hard to care about what others are doing, when you are completely focused on bettering yourself. Neither NBC nor Facebook are more important than a nice bath, or relaxing nap. This progress doesn’t have to be shared or liked by anyone but you; it’s time spent creating habits and hobbies for yourself.
At the office? An easy fix is to turn on the “Do Not Disturb” setting, cutting off notifications, allowing you to focus on the important tasks. This constant bombardment of notifications is known to trigger pleasure in the brain, but also anxiety, when negative information floods our feed. Prime example, our election season has caused more anxiety in my clients than in the past 4 years. It’s a predictable trend.
I call it “Social Media Burnout”. The overwhelming impulse to use social media as a distraction, while neglecting self-care and mental health. It’s very dangerous and limits our ability to cope with reality. It’s not uncommon; we all know someone who is lost on their phone. A family member that doesn’t talk as much, a friend losing interest in activities you once shared. In my professional opinion, there is something wrong with checking out, by checking in to social media and television.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
A global movement that inspires all sexual abuse survivors to feel empowered and worthy. I know for a fact that we do not have a fair response to both genders when discussing trauma. Oftentimes, a male will receive a lack of empathy when opening up about past sexual abuse. I believe in honest and fair representation, we need to recognize and support all survivors. To anyone struggling with their past, I want you to know you are strong, can gain your life back and thrive. You are worthy of self-love and inner-peace.
A #Worthy movement would be a great way to build a community for anyone struggling with self-love or self-worth. It’s not just a generational problem; it’s an issue with our society. We need to push the #MeToo movement to the next level. Not just opening up about sexual abuse, but how we can heal and live our best lives.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
If I could have lunch with one influential person, it would be Tony Robbins. He is a powerhouse, creating new approaches to the mental health field. I have researched and applied quite a few of his mindset trainings; they are fantastic. It’s about breaking down complex situations, helping people see the core issues they are struggling with.
In his documentary, Tony Robbins explains that it is important to give credit to the people in your life who have given you both happiness and pain, which helped shape you into the greater person you are today.
“Because if you’re gonna blame people for all the shit, you better blame them for all the good too. If you’re gonna give them credit for everything that’s bad, then you have to give them credit for everything that’s great. My mother beat the shit out of me. She loved me. She was freaked out that I was going to leave. I was her source of everything. I blame her for all the beauty in my life. I blame her for having the woman I have in my life, because I cherish my wife and I know what the opposite is. I blame her for the capacity to feel and care. I blame her for my insatiable hunger to end suffering for any human I can, ’cause I suffered a ton. If she had been the mother I had wanted, I would not be the man I am proud to be. If we can realize that life is always happening for us, not to us, game over. All of the pain and suffering disappears.”– Tony Robbins
Tony has had a substantial impact on the world, healing trauma, allowing people to discover their purpose. It’s our goal to carry those ideals to our business, operating with integrity, compassion and connection.
How can our readers follow you online?
To follow our mission and help create a global impact, visit our website at www.trishfrenchtherapy.com. Here, you will find our Free Masterclass for Healing Childhood Sexual Trauma within Months, Gaining Confidence, Purpose & Self-Worth. You can also listen to our 5-Part Radio Series on Business Talk Radio, and read insightful articles on wellness, self-care, trauma and addiction. Mask sure to follow us on our social media handles through Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube (@Trish French, MSW, CAP, LCSW). I would love to hear from you. Whether sexual abuse has impacted you or your loved ones, let’s end the stigma and start a conversation.