Sand tray therapy. Psychodrama. Mindfulness. OEI. Art therapy.
“When it comes to our physical health, we’re all quite aware of the different health care options available to us. If you hurt your leg, you could go to the doctor, or take some Tylenol, or go to physio, acupuncture or massage,” said Singer, a Registered Psychotherapist, Art Therapist, and Mental Health Nurse, as well as a Yorkville professor.
“But I don’t think there is a lot of awareness out there about the incredible variety that’s out there for mental health.”
And that, she said, is the situation she’s trying to remedy with WhateverWorks – particularly for newly graduating therapists coming out of Yorkville’s Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology program.
“I hear there is going to be a big class of really exceptional, motivated first-term students that are going to be entering the program in January, and I think WhateverWorks is a really good way to window shop, find out what you want to try on, and see what works best for you,” she explained.
“With WhateverWorks, you get introduced to little snippets – each episode is literally just 20 minutes of different types of therapy, so it’s a really great way to get your feet wet.”
In fact, Singer explained, it was while she was working with MACP placement students during her time as Yorkville’s Director of Mental Health Counselling that the inspiration for the podcast first struck.
“Our students are so phenomenal, so fantastic, but I realized that when they come to placement after 16 months of instruction, that they’re not always familiar with all the weird and wonderful types of (specialized) therapies out there, because there are just so many of them,” she explained.
“So, I began doing research to really to help my students expand their experience, their knowledge of the world. But, the more I found out, the more I became super sucked in. I wanted to know more and more, too.”
Struck with that insatiable thirst for more knowledge about the myriad practices that can help people improve their psychological well-being, Singer turned to Facebook to solicit people willing to share their first-hand experiences with a variety of different styles of therapy.
“I posted on a professional forum for therapists, and I said ‘Hey, anyone want to have a discussion about something cool that they tried, and maybe I’ll record it, and maybe it’ll be used in a podcast?’” she laughed, noting that the response was unexpectedly “overwhelming.”
“I had so many people reply. One person said, ‘I want to tell you all about OEI, because nobody knows about it,’ and somebody else said, ‘I want to tell you all about Sand Tray. I can’t believe nobody’s ever heard of it.’”
The outcome of those discussions resulted in the first, five-episode season of WhateverWorks, which was released in late September. Each episode explores a different – and sometimes unconventional – style of psychotherapy and a conversation with someone who describes how it worked for them:
- Episode 1: Sand Tray Therapy
- Episode 2: Observed Experiential Integration (OEI)
- Epsiode 3: Pyschoanalysis
- Episode 4: Bonnie Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM)
- Episode 5: Psychodrama
Singer is now hard at work editing he second season of the podcast, which is due to be released in January 2021. Sponsored by the Jane app, Season 2 of WhateverWorks will feature a brand new lineup of psychotherapy styles to explore.
“It’s going to be at least five episodes…Listeners can expect to hear about Mindfulness, they can expect to hear about Gestalt Therapy, they can expect to hear about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and they can expect to hear my story,” Singer said, noting that her ultimate goal with the podcast is to get people excited to explore different psychotherapy options in an effort to find their best fit.
“I really do believe in the title ‘WhateverWorks,’ because whatever works for you is the right answer…You don’t have to drag your sad, tired ass to the therapist, you can also go for self-exploration and knowledge and just to learn how to be a better person in a relationship or whatever the case may be.”