“Are you as a therapist able to understand people’s pain in a real sense? Without that ability where are you going with that therapy session?” Miki Goerdt, clinical social worker, board-certified art therapist, owner of Emerald Leaf Counseling LLC and artist, joins the podcast to share the influences that shape our paths to self-awareness.

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In part one of this conversation, she discusses her many roles and interests and chats with Jenn about the lived experiences that have shaped her approach as an artist and therapist. From personal loss to her journey as a Japanese immigrant, Miki dives into how she learned to help clients dissect the roots of their own thoughts, emotions and responses.


LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/miki-goerdt-a61808157 

Personal Website: https://www.mikigoerdt.com/ 

Emerald Leaf Counseling Website: https://www.emeraldleafcc.com/ 


Show notes:

00:00 Introduction

1:10 Miki introduces herself to the Pivotal Moments audience, detailing her background and connection to art therapy

3:29 Miki explains how a deep personal loss pushed her further into art, prompting Jenn to relay her own personal experience with the same life change

6:47 The discussion shifts to how therapists deal with empathy vs. compassion

7:55 Miki discusses self awareness through the lens of therapy, noting that self awareness is often the goal

11:01 Representations of how emotions translate to the tangible

12:50 Jenn and Miki discuss self awareness as a gateway to self exploration

15:13 Miki explains how her personal journey as a Japanese immigrant to America lead to her influenced and shaped her self awareness


Quotes Mentioned:

“These kinds of experiences give people what it’s like to feel pain.” – M

“Are you as a therapist able to understand people’s pain in a real sense? Without that ability, where are you going with that therapy session?”- M

“Compassion and empathy are two things where you also have to hold space for your client or patient, but at the same time you have to also hold your boundary.” – J

“I am one of those people who crave self exploration.” – J

“It takes perspective to have self awareness.” – J

“What is it that we are actually getting from coming into therapy sessions? That’s self awareness.” – M

“I start cultivating self awareness from dissecting or really kind of understanding emotions.” – M

“How did you learn to think that way? Who taught you that or what environment taught you that? … Because there’s a history and way that you lived your life that led to that thinking pattern.” – M

“What’s the function of this emotion? What is it trying to tell you? – M

“You don’t have to wake up and be happy everyday.” – J

“You can move forward once you address what’s down here.” – J


Books Mentioned:

Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help YouFind – and Keep – Love by Amir Levin