Therapy & Coaching While Becoming The CEO In Your Life
By: Dr. Tomi Mitchell
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In this episode, I, your host, Dr. Tomi Mitchell, had the pleasure of interviewing the lovely Dr. Robin Buckley
About our Guest
Dr. Robin Buckley, CPC, helps high-achieving clients thrive in their careers and relationships. She is an author, public speaker, and cognitive-behavioral coach who works with executive women and high-performance couples. Her proprietary coaching model uses a business framework and cognitive-behavioral strategies to support clients in creating and executing concrete, strategic plans for developing their careers and relationships.
The founder of Insights Group Psychological & Coaching Services, Dr. Buckley has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and served as a doctoral professor and dissertation chair for students in business, leadership, education, and healthcare. She has published two books, including Voices From the Village: Advice for Girls on the Verge of Adulthood. Dr. Buckley is a columnist for Entrepreneur.com and has been featured as an expert on multiple media platforms, including Thrive Global, Authority Magazine, Nike, various podcasts, News Radio 96.7, and WGN Radio 720.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 0:07
Hello everyone, this is your host Dr. Tomi Mitchell from the Mental Health and Wellness show. Today I have the pleasure of introducing Dr. Robin Buckley, CFPC. She helps high achieving clients thrive in their careers and relationships. She is an author, public speaker and cognitive behavioral coach who works with executive women and high performance couples. Her proprietary coaching model uses a business framework and cognitive behavioral strategies to help support clients in creating and executing concrete strategic plans for developing their careers and relationships. The founder of insights group psychological and coaching services. Dr. Buckley has a PhD in Clinical Psychology and served as a doctoral profession and dissertation chair for students in business leadership, education and health care. She has published two books including Voices From The Village, Advice For Girls On The Verge Of Adulthood. And also Dr. Buckley is a communist for entrepreneur.com and has been featured as an expert on multiple media platforms, including Thrive Global, Authority Magazine, Nike, various podcasts, news, Radio 96.7, and WG and Radio 720. So with no further ado, Robin thank you for coming today.
Dr. Robin Buckley 1:25
Thank you for having me. I've been looking forward to this.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 1:27
Yeah, we definitely try to connect for some time, the stars aligned. This is amazing.
Dr. Robin Buckley 1:33
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 1:34
Yeah, I kind of like, almost choked on your bio, it's so long, it's so beautiful, like you've done a lot. And you know, when I read it again, it's like it puts a smile to my face, so I try to continue talking with my big old cheeks smilling it's been a harsh. You know as a woman who definitely realized I am very, I'm a high performing individual. And I guess executive, it's interesting that that's your niche. Because you know, in this post COVID world, or whatever you want to call it, I'm sure a lot of women, including myself, they found their weakness that they found their kryptonite their Achilles heel where they thought, Okay, I got to balance my life, because this is not working. So anything you'd like to share with the readers just out continue asking questions after but I mean, I'll give you a chance to really talk about you.
Dr. Robin Buckley 2:20
I really enjoyed what has happened in my own life has been just that transformation from traditional mental health into coaching. Even though I got certified as a coach, right after my PhD, I didn't really go into the coaching model, because I spent years getting my PhD. So it was like, well, you know, it was just nice to kind of have and but the longer I did traditional mental health, the one thing that did not resonate with me personally or professionally was the medical model that we step in for intervention and we step in when there's a crisis and coaching just always drew me back to the why can we do this preventative model or a proactive model? Like why why can we work with people who are motivated to change not because they're in such horrible pain because they just want to get better be better, be their best. So coaching just aligned so much better. And as I got older, more and more, I just wanted to spend time with people that really just wanted to make improvements for the sake of improving not because they were so miserable, they had no other option. So I've really loved to the transformation in my own career and helping women do that has been just such a just, I don't know, honor privilege, like fun. It's just so great to watch women step into what they want and do what you know the life that they've always wanted. I just love being part of that. And then my couples work has been a fun evolution that we can talk about as well. But it's it's it's just really a wonderful part of us. You know.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 3:49
Dr. Robin Buckley 3:49
Doing what you love and helping other people do what they love.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 3:52
Yes, everything you just said again resonated with me it put a smile on my face like you, I will, your PhD I'm MD different tracks right. And after for me, I knew I believed in preventative medicine, preventive care, but the traditional model, like you said is reactive. It says don't intervene watch and see, less is more, right?
Dr. Robin Buckley 4:12
Seriously, if we're going to get a little bit personal. So my.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 4:16
Yeah, go ahead.
Dr. Robin Buckley 4:16
My mom, I told you my mom just got diagnosed with her second round of breast cancer in November and my sister has been through seven biopsies in her lifetime already. She's just coming out of one and she keeps begging to have a mastectomy. She's an intelligent, smart, she has done her research. She's like, I don't want to wait around. And then you treat the cancer I'd rather just like avoid that and Western medicine won't do it even though there's a strong family history that she has constant biopsies literally almost every year now because of questionable things. I'm like yeah, let's wait till she's like really at risk and then that feels away. It's crazy to me.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 4:17
I 100% agree it breaks my heart when I hear stories like that for sure. There are some people that will do it but I mean and then insurance and lots of other things. But it's it's wrong in many levels, because you're just waiting for this train to just derail you know what's going to happen.
Dr. Robin Buckley 5:08
Right, and then not only is it a physical count, you know, you're physically compromise, mentally. Exactly. So she's.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 5:13
You don't enjoy life, you don't enjoy.
Dr. Robin Buckley 5:15
Exactly, you just anticipate it. And my sister's a strong, tough woman. But you know, and she functions, she's just like, oh, well, let's just see. But I'm like, That is not a way to live. It's just horrible.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 5:26
It takes so much mental energy to have that positive outlook. Okay, let's see what each day like, I feel something is something going on.
Dr. Robin Buckley 5:34
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 5:34
How much time do I have with my family? You know, you don't start to plan too far for the future. Because you're like, oh, what if I have cancer?
Dr. Robin Buckley 5:41
Right, right. It's, it's crazy. To the idea of, and I know that lately, one of the reasons you went into coaching, like, it's just such a pleasure that to not be existing as a professional. Like, sorry, we can't do anything yet.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 5:54
Yes, it truly was. Because unfortunately, a lot of the public doesn't understand how our fields are regulated, how they're structured, right? In medicine were gifted, maybe 10 minutes an appointment, especially if your fee for service. Seriously, what can you do in 10 minutes? Right? And we're also scrutinizing my case, when I used to do a lot of counseling and couples counseling in the office, the biller, the payers insurance will be like, Why are you doing all this? Why are you doing this so often, and this isn't a Canadian healthcare system that's supposed to be free. So I'm like, well, because if we intervene now, their kids can have a happy home and not be scarred because their parents are dealing with a dysfunctional childhood, which is affecting in their dysfunctional relationship and how they live with each other. Oh, we go way to we have a situation where they're having gone through a horrible divorce dealing with lawyers, and the kids are pitted against each other. And their careers are torn. They're on disability, and it's just like a bloodbath.
Dr. Robin Buckley 6:50
Yeah, it's, that's it and that I love that you brought up the working with couples, because that's why I really, couples therapy is just hard. It's hard for everybody in the room, the professional and the couple. And I get why couples are like, I don't want to go to therapy because it's that emotional upheaval. It's taught spending a lot of time talking about the past. And as I worked with the executive women that were my clients, that's where my model for couples coaching came from, like the idea of why can't we when a couple's in a rut, why can't we do it then instead of when they're on the brink of divorce? And when one moment like you want you want a relationship that's satisfying and happy, then let's let's build a plan. Let's create a strategic approach to making that relationship healthy and satisfying and better before it's in crisis. And it's been so fun to watch couples, like settle in and I'll tell them right from the start, like I screen couple, certainly for anything that should be in therapy. So, recent abuse, recent addiction, recent fidelity, recent loss, absolutely should start in therapy. But after that, it's like, okay, let's, let's take out the emotion, let's or at least reduce it significantly. And we can't change the past, what happened in the past can't change. But we can change how you are now and how you want to be in the future. And that's where we focus. And I love when couples settle in and we start to talk in, I frame it like a business. So we start with a mission statement, what's your couple's mission statement? And I could God if I had $1, for every couple that looks at me, like what are you talking about? We don't have a mission statement. Like you mean, my one at work? I'm like, No, you want your relationship? Because if you can see the value in your organization, why wouldn't you have it the most important relationship in your life? That's where we start.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 8:34
Yes, I know. I love how you mentioned competitive business, because let's face it, it is a business. If you think about it, you want great, there's a third transactions that happen they have to check on balance. There has to be you know, there's things that need to get done.
Dr. Robin Buckley 8:48
Exactly. I feel when I walk when I talk to couples, we talk about, you know, performance improvement plans when things are not going right, or what are your KPIs? How do you how do you do your annual reviews at first? Couples have a hard time because they're like, but but it's a marriage it is supposed to be about love.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 9:05
And fun and it should be easy and flower.
Dr. Robin Buckley 9:07
And I'm like, yep, and those are all awesome. And I hope they are perfect but if you're basing the foundation of your relationship on love and sex, good luck.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 9:16
Good luck. Thank you, Sister. You like you are speaking my truth. And good luck. But they say oh, it shouldn't be hard because it's love. Even if it's hard. It's not meant to be a no sorry. If anything good in life you have to maintain, your car you take it into guest service, right?
Dr. Robin Buckley 9:34
Oh my God, I love this. Yes. Yeah, exactly. Like but you put a lot of financial investment into buying a house. And then if you don't do anything to invest in your house over the next 20 years, this supposed to be going to be worth on anything when you sell it. Do relationship is no different. But people just assume I get married and we're done. And I'm like, oh, no, that eight hour day. That's nothing like and you put in $25,000 and 300 hours to plan your eight day wedding. How much time and money did you put into planning your 30, 50 whatever years commitment like, oh, it is.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 10:10
Oh I, this is beautiful. No, you're right. I this should be regular check ins. I think every couple should have a qualified professional that they talk to, not someone who's given them airy fairy advice and just says, you know, very patriarchal, oh just listen to him, he's this or this and that no, no, no balanced. Well, you have two whole individuals coming together and there's mutual respect.
Dr. Robin Buckley 10:34
Right and the thing that I think is amazing to is that couples, not just couples, people don't translate regularly translate the skills and strengths they have in like the professional life into their relationships. So I was just working with a client couple weeks ago, and she was really upset. We're talking about a professional life. But she said she was really distracted because her husband, her husband is not participating in their relationship right now. He's really, he's going through his own challenges. And he's just like, totally checked out. So she's getting all worked up. She's getting very emotional. And I finally just didn't know, let's just take a breath. I said, let me ask you about work again. I said, tell me about like your team. I said, so is your team going well? Knowing that there were some things going on? She's like, no, there's this one team emerge driving me crazy. She's not doing her part. I'm like, well tell me how you've been? How are you going to address this or how so my client was able to say, well, I'm going to sit down with her. And I'm going to go through her responsibilities. And then I'm going to take over whatever I'm comfortable helping her with until she gets gets some time to get back on her feet. And then I'm going to check in with her once a week just to have a quick and she stopped and she's like, oh, my God, I could do this with my husband. I'm like, exactly, you know how to do it in your professional life. Just take those skills and strengths and apply it to your relationship. But again, like you said, people just stop at the, no, it's marriage, it's love, it's fine. And they don't realize like, but you don't have to reinvent yourself, you can just use what you do well in all other areas and apply it and it could work just as well.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 11:55
Yes, definitely. You know, individuals go decades in school, from the time you were four or five, depending on the part of the world, you started until like mid 20s, and some professionals well into their 30s and beyond if you especially if you didn't start right after high school, right? So you spend all this time and energy and all these systems and all this theory to practice but then when you go to your house, it basically you dump it out the welcome mat, and then you go in acting like you're just I'm here, honey.
Dr. Robin Buckley 11:56
Right and I sometimes think I actually wrote an article about this because it was something I heard from women over and over that they were they go to work, or they wake up in the morning, they'd be nurturing to their, you know, their partner to their kids to their dog or whatever it was, and they'd be in that role of maternal nurturer, they get in their car, and they'd have to flip it by the time they got to work because then they had to be professional and objective and keep their emotions in check. And then they go back home and they'd have to switch it again. And like no wonder you're exhausted. Like, could you find more of that harmony where you again, your strengths from home and at work could benefit in the other environment? So you're not feeling like you're literally taking off hats. Because that's me is such an energy SAP? Mentally, physically, emotionally, like, yeah.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 13:08
Yeah, I know, I hear you. Um, you know, when I finally decided I'm going all in with this coaching. Honestly, it first transformed my life because I had to go through all my past, present, future goals. And then naturally, you look at your next is your children and your your partner, in case my case, my husband, and it's funny, my husband would asked coz he's listen to me listening to whatever audio I was listening too. So he, he kind of heard it. And then one day, we're in the car, and he said, Are you trying to coach me? And I said, baby, and then, that one time, he said, do you treat your patients this way. I'm like I do with love and care. Right? So I get on them, and they know it. Well, they treat you any differently. So I can proudly say Dr. Buckley, I have mashed the two together.
Dr. Robin Buckley 13:52
I love it, I love it.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 13:53
Like there's no difference.
Dr. Robin Buckley 13:55
That in it, yeah. When when people talk to me about, you know, coaching, and I'll say to them, we all send them to my social media. I'm like, because it gives you a snapshot like you're gonna see you know, how I am in my videos because I don't use a script. I don't like it because I want you to see who I am authentically. So if I mess up, you see it in the videos if I if my dog runs them behind me or you know it that's because that's life and you're getting all of me and coaching like you're you're getting who I am as a person, which then dovetails with who I am as a professional because I don't I don't think it has to separate out like many, particularly women feel like they need to hide that side of them. Because again, leadership is based on more of that masculine model. And it's like, no, we can reinvent how leadership looks by just being who we are.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 14:39
Exactly. You can add your own touch to it, right? Doesn't have to look the same way.
Dr. Robin Buckley 14:45
Right because if we keep trying to, gosh, we've already evolved into so many topics. I love this. But if we try to keep trying to force ourselves to meet that traditional, stereotypical male base model of leadership, and it's never going to evolve and then our daughters and our our granddaughters are going to say, why hasn't it changed? Well, because we kept trying to conform instead of just saying, you know, yeah, that's some of me. But that's not all of me and other parts of me can be as successful, beneficial, efficient, productive, as you know, the traditional model, so yeah.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 15:15
100% and who says the traditional model doesn't need to adjust and evolve, just like the healthcare model, which I think is completely broken. No I think I know it is. And I feel like I'm betraying myself and the oath I swore when I first became a physician and to what is happening right now.
Dr. Robin Buckley 15:33
I agree. It was funny, because during the pandemic, now, the coaches in the private practice that I own, we're used to doing phone calls and video based calls, because that's what coaching typically relies on, my therapists were like.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 15:45
Oh, my goodness, no.
Dr. Robin Buckley 15:46
It's gonna happen. I'm like, we're just gonna do what we're doing in coaching, you're gonna apply it because now we can do telehealth, you know, therapy through telehealth. So as things I've been flowed and when they seemed like things were getting better, and they're like, okay, so are we going back full in person. And that was the one thing I told them they couldn't do. I said, you know, what, you have to hell a hybrid model where some of your clients you can offer in person, but you have to still maintain, you know, once you get to whatever it is 10, 10 during that week, the rest are going to be telehealth. Because I don't want to revert back just because that's the way we always did it. Because we made so much progress and knowing therapy and mental health can be addressed effectively and even more consistently through telehealth. So I'm not going to contribute to going back to the way we always did it. I know. So they were my therapists were like, Yes, great. We that we because we like the model too. But I don't want like you said just because it's always been in place. Just because you know, the model has always been based on leadership around the masculine perspective, just because therapy is always been done through in person, just because couples work has always been through couples therapy, we don't have to hold on to that if it's not working for us.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 16:51
Yes, I fully embrace the hybrid model. In many ways, I believe virtual is actually more effective. Number one, the client can actually get to you because they don't have to worry about dropping their kid here. And their tight schedules, they can literally roll out of bed and hi, right and the way you go, or they can go take their phone and go somewhere quiet and talk to you.
Dr. Robin Buckley 17:12
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 17:14
And you can show them things on your when you share screen, like, like, okay, this is a resource. Let me drop it into your chat. So you can copy and paste. Do you have that? Do you have that? Thank you.
Dr. Robin Buckley 17:23
Yeah, I love it. You know, and one of the things that I really liked about seeing the therapist transition and certainly using and coaching, you know, is there are times I remember clearly having clients walk in, in person, and they be like, visually and, you know, sounding happy and okay, I would shut my door and they burst out crying, and we, you know, do our session when I was doing therapy, or then even in coaching sometimes. And then when it was time for them to leave, you know, hopefully they were in that right state, but sometimes they weren't, and they would have to gather it all back up. So they could walk out smiling because there'd be people in the waiting room, and they loved it until I hope they don't have to do that they can just be at home and comfortable, you know, with their dog next to them and you know, whatever they needed, it's it's just nice to see mental wellness spaces that are now so personal because it's their home or their car or wherever is most comfortable for them. And that is, you know, certainly lots of struggles during the pandemic. But that was definitely a benefit that people realize that they get help with.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 18:25
100% even where I was practicing with the medical model, they finally allowed telephone calls where we could actually get paid our patients like what kind of doctor just call me. Yeah, so we're gonna call you and spend 20 minutes or 10 minutes and we have patients waiting for you. Right? And also bring home nothing, because let's face it, it's a business. We have to pay our bills, you have to pay receptionists you have to pay supplies.
Dr. Robin Buckley 18:48
Yep. Yeah, absolutely. It became so much more efficient and streamlined for everybody. So I'm that was the the one caveat. I was like, Okay, we're not doing to all in person, just because that's what we're used to. Um, and I don't think it took a lot of convincing for a lot therapists because they would say things like, you know, it's so great to be working with anybody across the lifespan and again, they're in the comfort of their own, they able to see like, oh, who's you know, who's that sitting next to you? It's your dog and what's not and it just becomes part of that rapport building that you know, we don't go into their homes for specific reasons, but through video we can get some of that snapshot and help them or you know, one of my clients who was having a hard time with public speaking the way we started she got up on video and she would practice with me and it was it was actually replicating what she was gonna do conserve to her talk was gonna be through zoom. So it was it was just lovely.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 19:37
Yeah, amazing. For sure the client can be anywhere and you know, you can talk to them, yeah recently in the news depending on for the listeners, this might not be recent, but I'm sure it's gonna happen again. We've had cases of these high functioning professional women like they will recently was a lawyer in the US who you know, committed suicide just 30 she had won like beauty contest. All these other things, but from the outside looking good, and then but for the inside, clearly not happy clearly not in a great place. And that goes back to these you working with these executive women, these high functioning couples who are able to put on this mask, you know, and then once they get home, it's a whole new story or when they're under significant pressure, that's when it breaks.
Dr. Robin Buckley 20:23
Absolutely, absolutely having the, you know, when people talk about therapy and coaching, like and I think both have very distinct roles, and I like people to know clearly what the difference is between those two, but knowing that there are supports and you know, I talk about and you can, you'll resonate with this as with your background, but you know, people wouldn't wait until their leg is black and they can't walk on it before they go see a physician, they will go in as soon as they start to feel a tingling or going none. But when it comes to our mental wellness, people will just wait and wait, instead of stepping in early or not even early, but not even waiting till there's a symptom just saying, you know, I'm just gonna go in for a regular checkup, just see how I'm doing. Make sure that what I'm perceiving how I'm thinking is aligned with how I want to function. So you're, you're again, that preventative model, you're doing it before there's even symptoms, just like you know, for most women, I hope, especially after what we talked about earlier, but they go in for their regular GYN checkup every year. That's not because there's a problem, it's because to avoid the problems we even check in with your dentist twice a year. To avoid the problems and keep your teeth as functional as they can be. And yet our emotions and our thought processes are just gonna exist without support. And after all these years in my field, it still is like why why are we so much ignore that?
I totally agree. And I believe that this whole mental health and wellness piece is the foundation for Health and Society. And if that is not taken care of at the foundation, which is what I can believe it's the home. That first exposure to people is in your home with your caregivers or parents. And we have a situation.
Yeah, absolutely. So you know, when I look I yeah, that story was heartbreaking. When I read that about she was a miss, I can't remember, she was Miss America or Miss Universe or something like that.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 22:03
Miss America, and she won a few crowns.
Dr. Robin Buckley 22:06
Oh, yeah, she was yeah, amazingly, you know, talented, not just in, you know, that realm. But in all so much of her professional life.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 22:13
She is a