Holly Mundon - Essential Therapy & Counseling, LLC.

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This is a podcast episode titled, Holly Mundon - Essential Therapy & Counseling, LLC.. The summary for this episode is: <p>Today on From the Basement Up we welcome Holly Mundon. Holly is a community hero. Holly Mundon has worked with individuals struggling with persistent mental health conditions for over 15 years. She has her clinical licenses in social work in two states, is a certified trauma specialist, and has a certification in chemical dependency. Holly has been both a social worker and a therapist, working with patients in hospitals and hospice. She understands the needs of both patients and their families struggling with trauma, grief, and mental health. Holly meets people where they are and helps them identify goals, so they can move forward to a state of satisfaction and total well-being.</p><p><br></p><p>We hope you enjoy listening as we discuss Holly's experience in her field, as well as hearing some helpful tips from someone who considers herself a lifetime learner. As she continues evolving both in her self and in her career, by going back to school, beginning a company in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic to aid essential workers, and always being someone to help those around her; Holly is going to continue to do wonderful things. We hope you enjoy this episode of From the Basement Up, and take away with you the many drops of wisdom Holly left us in today's episode.</p><p><br></p><p>Survive, Persevere, and Thrive! Thank you, Holly.</p>
This clip is how Holly got her start in Essential Therapy and Counseling🦢
01:20 MIN
In this clip Holly discusses her code of ethics😇
02:42 MIN
In this clip Holly discusses her journey🛣
02:42 MIN
In this clip Michelle and Holly discuss Holly's expansion into advocacy and counseling for a different area of healthcare in communities🩺
01:06 MIN
This clip Holly is leaving us with some advice💌
01:49 MIN
In this clip Holly leaves us with her words of wisdom✨
01:44 MIN

Michelle: Hello. Hello. Our next guest on From The Basement Up is a community hero. Holly Mundon has worked with individuals struggling with persistent health issues for over 15 years. She has her clinical licenses in social work in two states, is a certified trauma specialist and has a certification in chemical dependency. Holly has been both a social worker and a therapist working with patients in hospitals to hospice. She understands the needs of both patients and their families struggling with trauma, grief and mental health. Holly meets people where they are and helps them identify goals so they move forward to a state of satisfaction and total wellbeing. Welcome Holly, to From The Basement Up.

Holly Mundon: Thank you, Michelle, Emily. Thank you for having me. I'm so glad to be here.

Emily: We are so excited you're here.

Michelle: Very, very thrilled, so thank you. And I was hoping to start with you and your background. And did you know from an early age that you would be helping people?

Holly Mundon: I did know, at an early age that this would be my goal, helping people all the time. But I know as a child, I was always helping people with church and my father was a big community activist and worker and I being a daddy's girl, followed him everywhere. So I got wrapped up in just doing things for others, but it was just what we did. No, I didn't know," Oh, there's a profession you can do to do this. You just did it." So I think I just came to it naturally and was around it so much that it was inevitable that it happened.

Michelle: Nice. So you have your own practice now and your own business and it is Essential Therapy and Counseling. And if you wouldn't mind, I would love for you to introduce that to our listeners.

Holly Mundon: Well, I began Essential Therapy and Counseling, ETC. I like to call it et cetera, it's ongoing, in the June of 2020. And I started it because I lost my job because of COVID. Had a full- time job, was in counseling and worked for a company and they phased out my department and grant. And I had gone back to school because I wanted to be a mental health therapist and wanted to have my own practice but life gets in the way, you just don't do it, you don't think you can do it. And I think for me in a faith- based way, God closed the door and opened the window and said," Get the going." So I started my practice then, didn't know what I was doing. I can't really say that I know what I'm doing now, but I did it. And so June of 2020, Essential Therapy and Counseling started. I went with the name because my goal is to help essential workers, which became the big buzzword during COVID, but that had always been my interest, secondary trauma with first responders and things like that. So, that's where the name comes from. And slowly but surely I have been picking up steam and building and learning as I go. And I'm almost two years in.

Michelle: That's great. Congratulations.

Emily: Yeah. Congrats too.

Michelle: And just that transition, I'm shocked that therapy at your... Okay. So how you say," One door closes and another one opens," is true and I'm a big believer of that, but I just can't believe that your previous employer cut counseling when COVID was hitting. That doesn't make any sense.

Holly Mundon: Michelle, you took the words right out of my mouth. When they called to tell me that I'm like," What?" I am busier than ever struggling with families who can't see their family members who are in nursing facilities and how they're trying to cope with this new... And I was just supporting so many people and to have to make those calls to all those families and patients and say," I'm no longer going to be able to do that for you," was just heartbreaking to me.

Michelle: Absolutely.

Holly Mundon: It was really hard because I know they needed that. But the powers that be didn't think that was necessary at the time. And so here I am, but it was a difficult transition and that's why I knew even more, I needed to continue that. And so here, launched the practice and be able to support people as I can.

Michelle: Good. So it can be difficult. I know I've gone to therapy and it's difficult to find a good therapist. It really is. And I'm just curious how you put yourself out there to allow people to go," Oh, this is someone that I can trust and open up to." And I was just curious what your technique or what you typically do to introduce yourself to a new client?

Holly Mundon: Well, you have your bio out there. I have mine on Psychology Today. Also, I have on some web based sites that do marketing for me. So it's out there on their platforms for people to read. But after someone reads it, looks at my story and what I do, if they reach out, I usually set up a 15 or 20 minute free initial consult. And that's how I get the feel of, are we going to be a good match. Because not every therapist is for every person and I don't work with all mental health issues. I have some specialties that I've honed my skills to. So I don't want to treat someone that I'm not going to be a benefit to. That they're not going to see results from. So in that 15, 20 minutes, and then if I think we're a good match within those first few sessions and assessments, we really determine are we going to be able to work together and meet what their goals and ultimate outcomes are.

Michelle: I like that. That's the best way to handle that.

Emily: And such like a new approach. I feel like when people talk about their therapists or like their shrinks, or like people that are helping them with their mental, whatever they need, it's not so, I don't know, cooperative I guess.

Holly Mundon: Right. So I like to be solution focused. So if you don't want to find some resolve or solution or new path, because you've tried them, that these things and they're not working for you, if you are not ready for that, I may not be the therapist for you. Because I'm going to give you homework or assignments or task or different ways of thinking or looking at things so that you can try to reach the outcome you want. And if you're just like," No, I don't want to do that," then that's fine. I have some referrals for you and here's some other choices for. And that's fine. Well, how I do things is not how every therapist does things and is not how every client wants to work. And it is their session and it is their treatment. So they do have a say, they do have a voice in it, but that's where finding that you're both can work together and you're on the same path with the same goals and treatment.

Michelle: You just mentioned that everybody does things a little bit differently. And looking at your website and I look through your materials, I love how you have a code of ethics. And that was something that I was like," Wow." Because as I mentioned, I've gone to therapy before, I've never seen a vision or a mission from a therapist. I've never seen a code of ethics. And I love, you have all of that. And I didn't know if you wanted to share some of that for the listeners, because I just think it's so important. You get to know what to expect from your counseling.

Holly Mundon: Yeah. It helps to hold myself accountable as well as the client, because part of that code of ethics has expectations of what I am going to do and how I'm going to treat them, but how they also are expected to be in this therapeutic relationship. So the basis of my code of ethics is off of NASW which is the National Association of Social Worker's code of ethics. As a social worker I am bound by those code of ethics when I'm dealing with clients. And so I tweaked them a little, I added a few different ones in with mine but it really is based on the NASW code of ethics. And so in my day to day work life, that's how I have to do that. So I have to, as a social worker be in service and social justice, deal with people, with dignity and worth, the importance of human relationships, integrity, competence. And social workers have to behave in a trustworthy manner. Those are our values and ethics that we have as social workers, and then allowing people to have self- determination. And that's really important as a therapist and a social worker, because I can't tell you what to do. I can't make you do what I would do. I can't make you do what someone else would do. You have the right to have those self- determining factors come in. You can make core decisions, but then I'm just there to support you through whatever may come from that, the consequences or anything. So my ethics deal with equity and I want everyone to be treated fairly and equal when they come to my practice, accessibility. People can come in person or assess virtually. I mainly do virtual now, so I can reach even more people in two states. Competency is important for me. I want to be competent in what I do and know what I'm talking about is best to my ability. And if I don't know, find it out. On confidentiality, of course, HIPAA, this is big for us. So what you tell me, stays with me and is safe with me. And you need to know you're in a safe environment, and then having integrity, and then self care. I have to take care of myself so I can take care of you. And that's where I come. Those are the things that I thought of that were most important, but they're a lot. You can't write them all down. You can't have them all, but they're there.

Michelle: Yes.

Holly Mundon: Those are the main ones.

Michelle: Well, I do like how you focused on self care there at the end. And that is something I've talked about for myself. I was really bad at that for many, many years. And hearing people's concerns and problems and their heart pain every day would be really difficult. I can imagine that taking care of yourself, that has to be a huge priority or you wouldn't be able to sustain such a long career.

Holly Mundon: It is a huge priority, but people don't prioritize that. I fortunately am good at that. I can shut it down when I need to, I can stop. I can tell when I'm hitting the wall, but a lot of people can't and a lot of people feel guilty. And we, as women often feel guilty to take time for ourselves because we have so many other responsibilities and caring for others and family and friends, and we put ourselves out there. That's who we are, but self care is so integral. You've just got to do it. You've got to take that time, be it hours in a day or a weekend or a vacay, however you do it. And there's no set way, but just something that's for yourself, that's going to reenergize you and just make you feel good. And sometimes it's just sleeping in, an extra couple hours in the day. We lost an hour here recently.

Michelle: Yeah.

Holly Mundon: Just whatever for you. Self care is very individualized, but you've got to do it. You've got to do it as you. You will just face inaudible plan eventually.

Michelle: Yes.

Emily: I completely agree. And I don't know if anyone else had a really tough winter this past winter, but I don't know why it just felt so long and dark. I don't know. And I was actually talking to your sister, my other aunt. And she was like," Just light a candle for self every morning. Just do something so tiny every day for yourself. And you'll start to feel more like yourself. You'll start to feel a little bit better."

Holly Mundon: Absolutely. Even just five minutes of like a little daily mantra," I love myself. I love my life. I love..." And just take those minutes to breathe. Just focus on you. And some people may only need five minutes or a meditation. Some people might need a beach and sand and a margarita. I don't know, but anywhere between that. Whatever's going to give you that extra revitalization that gets you over the hump and get you refreshed to keep going is what you need to do for yourself. If it's a healthy thing. Yeah.

Michelle: Yeah. I agree.

Emily: Yeah.

Michelle: Absolutely. I would the beach right now.

Emily: I'm going on Wednesday.

Michelle: Oh, I'm so jealous. So Holly, you've been doing this for over 15 years and your background is really extensive and you've had a great journey and I was hoping that you could give the listeners some of your background of how you started and how you worked into becoming a counselor.

Holly Mundon: Wow. What was the long journey? I've had several career changes, because... I'm not sure. And I'm in school now so I'm not sure I really know what I want to be when I grow up, but I've switched careers a couple of times, but to get into mental health and therapy really happened after 9/ 11. My previous career, in one of my careers I was a flight attendant and I was a flight attendant during 9/ 11. And I from that moment knew that the world was going to change and my industry was going to change. And I didn't want to get stuck in something that, I don't know, would the airlines even exist anymore. So, on 9/ 12, I called a university here locally and was like," I need to get back in school." And after flying, I knew a lot of policemen. I knew a lot of firemen and I saw what they went through and they've been working in the industry for years, but 9/ 11 was different and it changed things for them. And I was like," Wow. I think I could be helpful. I think I could help these people because my friends, I helped." I knew fireman who ran into those buildings and thank God they survived, but how are you doing that? And they don't talk about it," it's my job."" But your job is different and stressful, most people don't run in, people are running away." So that's how I got into wanting to do secondary trauma and help first responders and people who worked in the helping profession, where you see things all the time and just tape it in, but don't really respond to it. And some times become numb to it and have issues with it. So that's what sent me back to school, sent me to mental health. I knew I wanted to do mental health. I knew I wanted to have my own practice. So I went on a mental health track with social work, and I decided between PhD and becoming a psychologist and getting my social work master's with an Independent License. That's what the LISW, is I'm a licensed Independent Social Worker. And that allows me to practice just like a psychologist. So I was older when I went back to school. And so I was like,"Do I have five years or do I have two years?" And so speaking to psychologists, they were like," Hey, you can do the same thing we do with an LI, go get your LI and hit the ground running." And that's what I did. After you get your masters, you have to do then two years of post- training and things like that. But basically from the time I started school, I was doing mental health therapy and treatment and service. And so that's how I got into it long winded wise. But yeah.

Emily: Wow.

Michelle: So it looks like you continue to get certifications and you continue going into school.

Emily: You continue to educate yourself and are actually earning your master's degree in legal studies at American. And I think that you're getting healthcare specialization, but I wondered if you could expand on that?

Holly Mundon: Sure. Yeah. So when I initially went back to school for my MSW, there was a program that was a five year program that you could get your MSW and your JD at the same time. I've always liked law, always. I think I'm a Libra. So I have the scales. I'm like fairness, balance, all that kind of stuff, right? And I have always loved it. I'm like," It's not fair. What does the law say?" Ever since I was little, my father's like," Life isn't fair." I'm like," But it should be, right?" I went, I got accepted to that program, but then again," I'm like five years. No, let's just get my master's." So, that love itch has always been there. So I found this MLS program, which is in law school, but I'm getting my masters in legal studies with a concentration in healthcare law. And so with my healthcare background, that just seemed a natural way. And so that's what I'm working on now. To know the legal piece of the healthcare, which I do know, but also the advocacy piece, which will nail my social work in there. So hopefully finding something that I can do for advocates, because there's too much disparity in healthcare access to it. People of color, women, don't have healthcare still. How can that be? So working for laws and different ways to get that is interesting to me and I may do that. And I continue my certification because just like I said, competency. I want to be competent in helping people. So we always have to have continuing education, but I go even further a lot of times and just get a certification and things just so I have the utmost knowledge that I can in certain areas.

Michelle: Do you see yourself going into advocacy and working to expand healthcare for different communities or helping people out in that way or just staying in the counseling side of it?

Holly Mundon: I want to do both.

Michelle: Okay.

Holly Mundon: I want to do both. I do advocacy things now in the community through organizations that I work with. And again, just having that knowledge base to bring to those organizations, but now trying to see what's out there. I don't really know what careers are out there as I'm getting this masters, as I'm looking but I would like to be always an advocate for it. I always am outspoken when I notice things that are a little off kilter or don't make sense or disparate to people. So I'll always have that advocacy piece. But healthcare is really one of the big ones because it is. I just can't believe not everyone doesn't have access to healthcare. And COVID was a big glaring issue where we saw people were not getting the healthcare that they needed, didn't have access to it.

Michelle: Yeah. Heartbreaking.

Emily: Yeah. And even still. I don't know. Things are going to have to change and it has to start soon because we're still picking up the pieces from what we had to do two years ago. At the same-

Holly Mundon: We're going to see the ramifications for this for years to come. We're not going to really know the overall effect of this pandemic on us until, five, eight, 10 years out, on how it affected. We've lost so many people. But then the effect that had on families and people and careers and industries and jobs. Everything has morphed and changed. So when I talked about doing online treatment, pre- COVID people are like," Yeah, who's going to go on a computer and talk to you about?" And now everyone's just like," Where do I sign in? Where's my link. What do I do?"

Michelle: Exactly. Yeah. Everything's so different now. It's so crazy. But I did notice that you have your clinical licenses in two states and-

Holly Mundon: Yes.

Michelle: ...this was something that I was like," Wow, that's a lot of burden on the individual trying to get license in different areas." Isn't there something that we can just do on a federal level so you only need one license? That just seemed so crazy to have to keep going through the process.

Holly Mundon: Well, the states love to have their independence from the federal government as much as they can. And the federal government, it's like," Yeah. You should be able to run your states as you want to a certain degree." So I don't think that'll ever change. I don't think there'll ever just be an overall federal license for people to treat. But usually, there are a lot of states that are reciprocal with other states. They're usually pretty open. The process isn't super hard. It's a lot of red tape and hoops to jump through, but I wanted to try state area. So Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana. And especially once I went virtually, then I can pull clients from different states if I want to. And wherever I go, I could be living in California, but still treat patients in Ohio, Indiana and when I get my license in Kentucky. So it lends or just expanding. When you need more clients or you're trying to just expose yourself, it just gives you the opportunity to be known in here.

Michelle: Yeah. I know that Emily and I have a lot of discussions between state and federal things quite a bit. But for me, as being someone who wants to help and you have a client that calls from Massachusetts, are you not able to help that person?

Holly Mundon: No.

Michelle: No.

Holly Mundon: No. I'm not because I'm not licensed there.

Michelle: Okay.

Holly Mundon: And that's on all the bios and that's all right away. So it tends to be on some of the platforms I get every once in a while, I'll get sent a client that's not in my state or that's international and the international rules are different. But for the most part, when people are searching, they do search their area. There's very seldom if someone's in California, looking for a therapist in Ohio. It just really doesn't make sense, especially. And it's just too far. It's too far to have somebody in case something happens. But I think state to state most states do well with licensing. They're able to keep an eye on who is practicing in their area. And that makes sense. You can't have DC trying to monitor what the doctors or social workers are doing in Ohio. They can't even monitor what's going on in DC sometimes. So to have to monitor every state's license. So it is better for it to just be amongst the states. I don't really have an issue with.

Emily: Like better for the individual. As far as we know for our healthcare compliance, we know that it's better for the individual to just have the state's authority and their laws covering all of their stuff so that there's no confusion or jurisdiction your issues.

Holly Mundon: That's right. And there's some government, like Medicare's government. So the federal government is watching that, whereas Medicaid is federal and state. They work together on that. So, for healthcare and those issues, if you've got those government run programs, but then private insurances can do what they want to do. But yeah. I think for licensure's purposes or in order to keep up and monitor what's going on based on federal laws, then the states have those departments that monitor. So CMS and all those places within every state is keeping an eye on those practitioners so that there's not any kind to healthcare fraud, abuse and all those things. And then keeping up with licenses, making sure no one's practicing without a license or with expired license or don't have the credentials that they say and those sort of things.

Michelle: Okay. It makes sense. I do get it. In the age of zoom, I'm going," Isn't there a way to make this easier?"

Holly Mundon: Yeah.

Michelle: But I understand. So as far as the hospital environment, how many years did you spend in the hospital? Working in the hospital?

Holly Mundon: Well, technically I'm currently still in the hospital environment. So I do part- time PRM work in the hospital environment. So when I went back to school my internships were all in hospital. So technically over 15 years, but employed about 10 years. And I worked in the emergency department. So I worked in a psychiatric emergency. So anyone coming in with a psychiatric crisis, they're suicidal, they attempted suicide, they're depressed, they come into the emergency room either on their own or sometimes the police have to bring them because somebody called the police. So I see those and I assess those patients and work with the treatment team, the doctor and nurses and everybody to decide, do they need to be admitted? Can they go home with resources? I also work in a department called Office of Decedent Affairs, ODA. And that's a department where we as social workers meet with all the families of anyone who dies in our hospital and helps them begin that process of grieving and work with them to get situated on the next steps with their loved one, releasing them to the funeral homes and things like that. So I do grief and bereavement work on that end, and crisis work. A lot of time, I work at a number one trauma center. So we get all the gunshot rooms and motor vehicle accidents and all the really big traumas that happen in our area go to our hospital. So I'm supporting a lot of families in the midst of crisis. So a lot of crises intervention I do.

Michelle: Wow.

Emily: Yeah. Wow.

Michelle: You are a community hero, so thank you.

Emily: Thank God you take care of yourself when you need to-

Michelle: Yes.

Emily: ...because I'm sitting here thinking," God, oh my. What do you do to get away from all of this?"

Michelle: That is intense. Absolutely.

Holly Mundon: It can be. It can be. Yes.

Michelle: Yes. Well, as far as living in COVID because you were at the hospital level and watching COVID and watching it affect our nurses and doctors and healthcare workers, because you're helping them. That's part of your Essential Therapy Counseling, is working with the healthcare workers. How have you seen it evolve over the last couple years?

Holly Mundon: It was really amazing to watch. You saw people just leave the career. Doctors who had been there who had no intention of retiring or calling it quits. Or nurses who were like," I can do something else," because the demand became so heavy on no matter what, you got to go to work, no matter what's going on, you've got to be there. And patients needing things and early on, not us, not even having enough mask and sanitizer and just basic things. In a hospital, you think we would be in abundance of that, but we weren't. So just seeing people get tired quickly and fear for their own safety and their family safety. And I think that was almost a bigger part. It wasn't that they didn't want to care for people and take care of people. They got concern for themselves and their families and having to balance that," Am I being selfish thinking about myself and my family before I do patients and clients?" And that was a hard decision for a lot of people to make, but it was like," It was me and my family or someone else." And when they made those decisions, they had to leave the career because there was nowhere else. So again, will we have a shortage of physicians and nurses as this plays out in the future? Again, that's another thing that we don't know what that'll look like in five years. Or will more people come to the industry? But it was hard to watch people make those decisions. And then even when it got to the controversy of get the vaccine or not. Get the vaccination or not, because early on we were working with no option and we didn't have a vaccine. So we're all working in that exposed environment. But when option came, then again, people had to make those decisions for themselves. Am I going to do that or am I going to walk away? And people made some tough decisions.

Michelle: Yeah. Will they allow doctors and nurses to come back? If there's a shortage, if they happen to retire? Do you see-

Holly Mundon: I don't know. I don't know how that'll work. If they have everything that they need and they're still up to date with their licensure and credentialing and all that, maybe, but I'm not sure how they'll handle that. How hospitals will handle that.

Emily: Yeah.

Michelle: That's very tough. Oh my goodness.

Emily: In the peak of COVID or when the shutdown first started, I saw a good news movement on Instagram posting about... I remember one lady and she had been retired for 10 years or something and she came out of retirement and was like," This is the worst I've ever seen. I couldn't sit back and do nothing." And so there's people who are even having made the decision to retire after an already stressful work environment and then seeing it and deciding to come back and make those decisions to go back.

Holly Mundon: Right. Or volunteer. Yeah. Because it was all hands on deck. And it was because they were already somewhat short to begin with, some hospital systems. Then you had people working multiple shifts back to back, to back, trying to keep up with the demand that was needed. And that got to be too much. People were just wearing themselves out and then you were short, didn't have enough staff. So it again, just put a spotlight on the weak parts that we have in healthcare. It shined a light on the disparity in the health because people who were susceptible to COVID had comorbidities. So people who may not have been taking care of their health or may have had things that were beyond their control and their health and they succumbed. So what does that look like for us in our society to have that health aspect and then to not have the access to the healthcare, if, and when you needed it. So many different things, I think hopefully will work for the better, but I don't know. I don't know if we get passes and then we, okay, we just forget about it and we just try to brush it under the rug, this horrible two years that we have and not look at really what we can learn from it and how we can prevent some of the stuff when we have another one, because we're bound to have another pandemic. It's just-

Michelle: A matter of time.

Emily: I feel like we're all just expecting that.

Michelle: Yeah.

Holly Mundon: Yeah. We just have them. That's what happens. Yeah.

Emily: Yeah.

Michelle: So Holly, you talk about the mind, body and spirit connection and you just tapped on that briefly. Just we need to focus on ourselves, the whole being, to be able to move through. Do you find that type of coaching are the hospitals asking you to come in to work with the doctors and nurses? Do you see that more in your practice now?

Holly Mundon: Hospital wise, no. No one's asked us to really come in. I think many of the hospital systems have EAP departments. I think a lot of people utilize those from time to time. I get some EAP clients, but just in my own practice, that's just what I focus on because that's how I look at myself. It's like a three- legged stool. And if one of those legs is wobbly or missing or crooked or whatever you want to say, then you really just can't get yourself settled. So I ask people to look at all three pieces, not just the situation that may have brought them in or their ongoing mental health diagnosis, if they have one that may have brought them in. But what else is going on? What's going on with your diet? What's going on if they come in for work stuff and then what's going on with relationships or if they come on with relationships? What's going on with your spirituality, do you have any, do you not? So just looking and pulling all three pieces together and just trying to dust them off and assess them and see how they all work together to create total wellbeing.

Michelle: And I actually think that's something that a lot of people after COVID, getting through COVID were addressing mental health before. I feel like that was something we never talked about as a society. And thankfully people are now feeling comfortable bringing that up and talking about it. Where I felt like it was just pushed under the rug before and now we cannot function. And I've seen it even within my family or within the business. Not everybody got through COVID even if they weren't sick, doing fantastic. It definitely hit people differently.

Holly Mundon: Right. And hit them out of the blue because it was just supposed to be a couple weeks and now it's been two years or months and people who were on the go constantly and having to sit still. And a lot of that sitting still, being with yourself, or if you were by yourself, that isolation piece. Isolation is cruel. People go to prison and what's your punishment? You go to isolation. Isolation-

Emily: And even that's considered usual punishment, I think now.

Holly Mundon: Right, right. And so that played tricks with people's minds and psyche and physical things or you were in families that maybe didn't get along. And okay, your break, was going to work, going to school. Now you're in a home with somebody for months on end or may have been ongoing abuse or ongoing addiction issues or ongoing... So then you're just isolated or not isolated but you're just plunged into those negative or harmful environments with no way out. So all of those things that play in to that, we just, again, will not know how it's going to play out on people. Substance use went up, overdoses, went up, overdose deaths went up during this time. You work with people who didn't have access to treatment. So if you did have ongoing mental health issues and you couldn't get to your medications or to your doctors. We had a surge of inpatient admissions. We're just full, there were never any beds anywhere. So again, how it plays out five to 10 years from now, we'll really see the damage that this pandemic may have done on our society. But it did bring some things to light and hopefully we can talk about mental health. I think in 2020, one in five people have a mental health diagnosis. Someone you know has one. So when you work with has one, the lady at the grocery store, the clerk has one, but we still don't talk about, it's still stigmatized, but it's a disease like any other disease that's out there. And I think I try to make people understand that it's something that we need to talk about and share because once we know that other people have it, we don't feel alone. Then we can do better with treating it and things like that.

Emily: And your approach for mind, body and spirit, just to loop it back as well, is just so wholesome and holistic. We came out of this and your mind, your body and your spirit were probably all messed up in one way or another. So let's be proactive about going forward and lead this change that we're all feeling and reunite the three in a way that's going to help you.

Holly Mundon: Correct. And get back on track with all of them again, because we're beginning to get more access to things again. So exercise and diet and health. And like I said, people who were already ill and weaker in their health succumbed to the COVID virus. And so again, I'm like," Look at our health, look at our diet, look at what we are putting in our bodies that affects everything. What we feed ourselves affects our brain, affects how we think. Are we foggy? Are we happy? Are we sad?" And using that to regulate our emotions instead of working through them in more healthier ways. So again, a spotlight shined on the disparity and health and food. If you're lower income, you have not as great a food access or quality. If you don't have access to healthcare, your health... And in the end, I feel like that costs more than," Let's get health and not pay for treatment." Let's pay for keeping people healthy instead of the treatments when they're sick.

Michelle: I guess. For preventative side. Absolutely. And I'm listening to you and I just feel like you're a wise woman. Just the wisdom that people would go to, to talk to. And I'm wondering have you always been this way or because this career is perfect for you. Now at this point of your life and I'm just curious, have you grown into it?

Holly Mundon: I think I've grown into it. Like I said, I've had other careers, I've done other things and I think it just now is my time. I don't think if I did this at 20, would I have been as good. I don't know if I'm wise or whatever, but I think I've just settled into who I am because I'm comfortable with who I am and what I'm doing and what I want to do. And have that purpose driven so then I can stay focused on helping other people and getting them there. So because I'm settled to a certain extent, we all base are searching and growing and things, but because I'm settled to a certain extent, then I can do for others. And that also helps me when I start feeling like a little wonky, like," Okay. Who can I help?" Because then that takes my mind off of whatever I might be going through at that time. So it helps keep me centered. I don't know how wise I am. I just-

Michelle: Oh. You are. You are.

Emily: You are.

Michelle: Trust me. You are. But this is one thing that I think is so important for people or the listeners to be aware of, we're evolving and we're growing and I feel that us as human beings and people, if we stay open and positive, we grow into amazing people. And you are in this career, that's just so well suited for you. And I love that you've evolved and gotten to this place. So it's really inspiring and that's basically where I wanted to get to. So it's an amazing thing to watch someone go 15 years, learn different things and continue to go back to school and go back and get their masters and want to keep growing. So I love this story.

Holly Mundon: Thank you. I appreciate that. Yeah. I've always considered myself a lifelong learner and every time I have a paper due, I'm like," Why am I doing this?" But like," What was I thinking?" But yeah. But I just am always inquisitive. And as a therapist, I get to use that as an excuse for asking all kind of nosy pointed questions, just trying to peel back the layers. Just tell me about that, I'm very interested in what you have to say. So yeah.

Michelle: So you briefly talked about the stigma of mental health issues. And I was just wondering as coming from a counselor or therapist, if you could teach people one thing about mental health and just being open to it and helping get rid of the stigma, what would it be?

Holly Mundon: Like I said before, mental health is real. It's real. People want to say," Oh, there's this. Or just suck it up or just get over it or whatever." People have mental health and emotional struggles and they're real. Depression is real. Anxiety is real. And so people think if maybe we don't have the most severe pervasive mental health issue, which may be schizophrenia, that it's not as important, or it's not a mental health issue. But like I said earlier, one in five Americans have a mental health diagnosis. Those are the people we know have a diagnosis. There are a lot of people out here who are undiagnosed. So it probably is a lot more and it doesn't have to be something that debilitates your life, that you can't do things every day and function, but you still have it. And you learn how to manage and cope and live with that diagnosis. I think it's real and people shouldn't pull it away or blame it on a bad marriage or a bad day or a bad career. It's real. And when people tell you they have it, accept that and be supportive, and be supportive of them. And help them, get help or be in the listening ear or whatever, but just know that when they tell you they have it, to believe them.

Michelle: That's true.

Emily: Yeah.

Michelle: Thank you. Good words to have people just open up and understand.

Emily: And support.

Michelle: So do you have a saying or a favorite quote that you would want to end on?

Holly Mundon: Oh wow. I don't. Well like-

Emily: That's what we like to end on.

Michelle: And actually anything.

Holly Mundon: I can't remember a quote. I have a few little things. Like my practice, change can happen. So my practice symbol or logo is a swan and you know swans, did they say start as ugly ducklings and transform? And so therapy is transformative. It can be transformative and change can happen. It can happen. Sometimes it happens slowly. Sometimes it happens in very small increments and it takes time. There is no magic pill to cure everything. So change can happen. And also I say survive, persevere and thrive. Whatever has happened to you if you've survived it then-

Michelle: We're writing this down. This is great. I love it.

Holly Mundon: You can persevere through it. And that could be through therapy, counseling medication. How do you persevere? And then thrive from it. So if you can survive, persevere, then you can thrive. But it's not always quick. It takes time. It takes energy. It takes effort. It takes fortitude to do that, but it can be done. And any little change towards progress is change and is positive for someone. So some of the most devastating things can happen to someone and they don't... But I always start with," But you survived it. You're here. You're sitting here. So now let's, let's talk about it and lets figure a way to get to the thriving and thrive." So those are what I use in my practice.

Emily: You are awesome.

Michelle: Yes. Thank you.

Emily: I'm sure that you've already helped so many people and you're helping so many people. And I can't wait to see what you do as you earn your degree this May, right?

Holly Mundon: Oh, this May. I'm so excited. It went so fast.

Emily: I know. Blink and its over.

Holly Mundon: I know. I'm like," Oh my gosh," to figure out what I'm going to do. But yeah, it's been an adventure and it fired up some of those brain cells that had got a little sluggish. Yeah. It fired me up too, to keep going. And give me a little bit of energy to just keep going and do some new things. And so it keeps it fresh. So it keeps me just wanting to do more, something fresh. I don't get stagnant. Which is easy to do when you get stagnant sometimes and you can be less effective.

Michelle: So Holly, thank you for joining us today. And just so everyone knows on our show notes, we'll have Essential Therapy and Counseling, some of your ethics, your vision, your mission, your link to your bio. And just thank you for joining us today. I think that this is just very important information for everybody to have.

Holly Mundon: Well, thank you for having me and it's National Social Work Month, so I'm figuring out-

Michelle: Nice.

Holly Mundon: ...work month. But thank you. And for your podcast, congratulations on this. This is wonderful to give people access to all different kind of information about all different types of people moving up from the basement. I'm very honored to have been invited and-

Michelle: Thank you.

Holly Mundon: ...you ladies are awesome.

Emily: Thank you.

Michelle: So are you. Thank you, Holly. Have a good day.

Holly Mundon: Thank you. You too.

Emily: Thank you so much for joining us today on From The Basement Up. Please be sure to check namebubbles. com or our blog on the podcast and all of the show notes, resources and links for our guests every Thursday. And please be sure to leave us a five star review wherever you get your podcast. See you next week. And thank you.


Our guest today is Holly Mundon. She has been a Social Worker/Therapist focused on Mental Health treatment of persons with persistent and pervasive mental health conditions for 15 years. She has her Independent and Clinical licenses in Social Work in the states of Ohio and Indiana respectively. Holly also has a certification in Chemical Dependency and is a Certified Trauma Specialist. Holly has worked in various environments inclusive of hospital inpatient units and emergency rooms, outpatient clinics, community agencies, and private practice. 

Additionally, she has provided individual and group therapy. Holly works with clients who suffer from grief and bereavement, trauma, and secondary trauma related to health professionals and first responders as well as general therapy for adults. She got her start in this new chapter as a result of working as an essential worker herself. Holly saw a need that needed to be filled once mental health began to become more recognized and spoken about openly and honestly, and she was happy to hop on board.

Holly is a community hero. She has worked with individuals struggling with persistent mental health conditions for over 15 years. How is it possible that she has her license to practice in two states, is a certified trauma specialist, and has a certification in chemical dependency?! Years and years of continued education. And she doesn't plan to stop educating herself.


Holly has been both a social worker and a therapist, working with patients in hospitals and hospices. She understands the needs of both patients and their families struggling with trauma, grief, and mental health. Holly meets people where they are and helps them identify goals, so they can move forward to a state of satisfaction and total well-being.


We hope you enjoy listening as we discuss Holly's experience in her field, as well as hearing some helpful tips from someone who considers herself a lifetime learner. As she continues evolving both in herself and in her career, by going back to school, beginning a company in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic to aid essential workers, and always being someone to help those around her; Holly is going to continue to do wonderful things. We hope you enjoy this episode of From the Basement Up, and take away with you the many drops of wisdom Holly left us in today's episode.

Today's Host

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Michelle Brandriss

|Founder of Name Bubbles
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Emily Flanagan


Today's Guests

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Holly Mundon

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Michelle Brandriss

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Emily Flanagan