Michelle Cauley is the founder of Cauley & Associates, a Los Angeles private group practice established in 2004.
The practice provides therapeutic services to adults and couples. Some of Michelle’s clinical specialties include depression, anxiety, trauma, and grief and loss.
In addition to her clinical work, Michelle has extensive experience in working with large corporations providing business consultations, coaching, crisis management, training, and development. All associates in her practice are licensed clinical therapists and educators making them uniquely qualified to assess and address the full scope of corporate needs.
Michelle is certified in cognitive coaching, a grief and loss expert, Dare to Lead trained by Brene’ Brown, and a specialist in emotional intelligence.
All associates are certified in Crisis-Management providing immediate responses to trauma that could overwhelm and debilitate a work community or individual. Other specialties in her practice include Mindfulness, Substance Abuse expert, Wellness Coaching, and more.
Michelle empowers her clients with the knowledge, tools, and courage to work through life’s toughest challenges. Her clients appreciate her blend of knowledge, empathy, humor, and her down-to-earth approach to therapy. Whether it be the corporate client or her everyday client, she creates a safe empowering space where clients can find acceptance, healing, learn to love and reconnect with their authentic selves.
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- How corporations can benefit from mental health support for their employees
- Business therapy
- Anxiety surrounding the last two years (pandemic and world-wide concerns)
- Self-care relating to burnout, exhaustion
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:05] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for high velocity radio.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:14] Lee Kantor here, another episode of High Velocity Radio, and this is going to be a good one. Today on the show we have Michelle Cauley with Cauley & Associates Inc. Welcome, Michelle.
Michelle Cauley: [00:00:25] Hi. Thank you.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:27] Well, I’m excited to learn what you’re up to tell us about calling associates. How are you serving folks?
Michelle Cauley: [00:00:32] Sure. Calling Associates. We are a group private practice. We are all licensed clinicians, licensed educators. So we work with that good old fashioned stuff like individual therapy, couples therapy, we provide trainings, stuff like that.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:51] And with mental health being in the headlines so much lately, you must be pretty busy.
Michelle Cauley: [00:00:59] We have never been this busy. I thought we were busy before, but yeah, we. Yeah, yeah, we’re running and we have not stopped, which is important because we also have to take care of ourselves as well.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:15] That’s right. You can’t neglect that, that’s for sure. Can you tell us a little bit about your background? Are you working primarily with individuals? Do you work with corporations? Who is that kind of ideal client for you and your team?
Michelle Cauley: [00:01:31] Sure. You know, we do it all. We do both. So initially our practice, we started off working with individuals just, you know, regular day Joe Blow, someone that might comes in with experiencing depression or anxiety or, you know, that boss at work is giving me a hard time and I’m just, you know, having a really hard time or sleep issues. And then there was there’s couples counseling. You know, my husband or my wife or my partner is doing this and we’re not getting along. And so that’s how we initially started. And then, of course, over the years, we grew into working with corporations, just like you have an individual client that comes in, a corporation is a client as well, you know, and each company has a culture. And so with that, sometimes we’ve gotten calls where, you know, there are two employees that are not getting along or we’re having a lot of high turnover or you name it.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:43] So now.
Michelle Cauley: [00:02:44] We do.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:44] Both when you’re working with a corporation. And what, because this may not seem intuitive for corporations to go, you know what? We should partner with a mental health support person or team. You know, that may not be like kind of top of mind. So and you mentioned some challenges that a lot of companies are facing, whether it’s turnover, whether it’s retention, whether, you know, it’s just conflict or and culture. Those are all issues that every company has to deal with in some regard. But but it may not be kind of, you know, like I said at the top of their mind to go, let’s partner with a mental health professional. So can you talk about like ways you work with companies, like are you talking with the leadership of the company and then kind of getting to know them to understand how you might be able to plug in and and support their employees?
Michelle Cauley: [00:03:36] Yes. Well, you know, it is a unique way. Right. You think, you know, with a corporation with retention or or conflict or any of those things, like why would we call a mental health provider? And the thing is, it’s the smartest thing I think of it is something like we’d like to frame it as business therapy. And so sometimes people think, oh, we need some conflict resolution or we need to talk to legal because there are some issues here. But really sometimes just being able to talk things out, folks with mental health background, we really have a unique skill set. And so we’re able to look at the behavior because we’re all people and people have behavior, but then we’re also able to listen to it from a problem solving perspective. And so really when you marry both of those, it’s like the best of both. And so oftentimes hours have come from HR department. Sometimes it’s word of mouth. A lot of times, you know, in terms of bringing in a mental health professional. And then, you know, and the other thing is mental health professionals, they’re different names. So it could be therapist, it could be an executive coach, it could be. So that’s how it can look in terms of. Our entryway into corporations. I don’t know. Did that answer does that help or.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:09] Yeah, I’m just trying to I’m trying to for the listener, I’m trying to open their mind to how they might be able to best leverage this because they may not have thought about it. They might have hired a consultant, they might have hired a lot of people to try to solve this same problem where they hadn’t it hadn’t occurred to them that maybe this might be the best path to solve that problem.
Michelle Cauley: [00:05:31] That’s right. Well, I also think given since this pandemic and, you know, especially the last couple of years that we’ve had, corporations are now more open to it because people are stressed out. You know, we’ve all heard about this great resignation and it’s just been a really unique time. And really, I think it’s because of the uncertainty. Right. And uncertainty brings anxiety. And so as a result, with all of mental health being at the forefront, there has been more conversation and more dialog around it.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:12] Yeah. And I think also that I think some of the by seeing like some of these professional athletes at the highest levels or, or, you know, entertainers at the highest level say, you know, I’m taking a break because I’m getting burned out or I’m feeling anxiety and I’m not performing it. They’re taking some of the stigma and shame away from it as well, I think. And it’s opening people’s minds to, hey, if if this person can go through this for sure, I shouldn’t be neglecting these feelings I’m having.
Michelle Cauley: [00:06:44] That’s right. Entertainment for athletes. Exactly. And so and the thing about it, it’s so common. Look, we can bend our ear to, you know, our spouses or our friends or our siblings. But at some point, it really is okay just to have a conversation. You know, and I tell people it’s really a conversation and it’s the same thing. If a corporation is able to just say, well, you know what, let me connect with a person, whether we’re coaches or consultants or mental health professionals, it really brings value to the to you know, it shows value to the employees of OC. There’s a space that my employer has provided that I can go in and be able to speak to someone. And then also the other part of this I wanted to just share is corporations are also bringing folks like us in just to do training. So there might be, let’s say, I don’t know, the third Wednesday, the third Thursday of each month. You know, there might be something where we’re going to have a talk about depression, we’re going to have a talk about workplace stress. We’re going to have a talk about imposter syndrome. You know what I mean? So those are those. So there’s a lot more opening. Oftentimes it comes through HR. I don’t know if any of this makes sense. I feel like I’m rambling a bit.
Lee Kantor: [00:08:05] Well, I think it does make sense because it’s I just think that corporations aren’t thinking of your service as the a possible solution and they’re going to maybe more business accepted places like, oh, I’m going to hire a consultant to come in to talk about these issues because it’s a business issue and it’s a business, you know, service that I’m hiring. And they’re not thinking about mental health professionals attacking that same problem. But just from your, you know, your lens and your your way of dealing with these issues. And the company at the bottom line is they just want to solve the problem. You know, they’re really solution agnostic. They just want the problem solved as effectively and as efficiently as possible. And I think that your solution is a very valid and useful way of dealing with these same business issues that are happening every day and impacting their employees in lots and lots of ways.
Michelle Cauley: [00:09:08] That’s right. Because the bottom line is always, you know, it’s the dollar bill, right? And so if we can come in and assist and work on whatever that conflict is or that oftentimes it’s communication and the we can come because we’re a neutral party. And if we can come in and kind of open some things and, you know, kind of like. You have some communication kind of kind of get into some ego. It’s a win win for everyone, right? So the problem can can get solved or can get addressed. And we can dig in and kind of maybe look at some feelings around that and really be able to get back to business, which is what both people want usually.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:57] Right. And I think that in the services that you offer in terms of educational seminars or talks or lunch and learns or just kind of that safe space to talk about some of these issues that are in the back of probably everybody’s mind, but for whatever reason, they’re not comfortable talking about it. You bring an interesting perspective to it, where they might feel safer to be sharing with somebody with your background.
Michelle Cauley: [00:10:26] That’s right. That’s right. And I’m going to tell you, I love this stuff. I love when I see the light bulb pops on. I love when I see, you know, like, oh, I never thought of it from that perspective. We’ve been doing this work for over 20 years. And and it’s it’s, you know, we need it. And I think that to your point of what you mentioned, it’s it’s looked at as a business issue. And I’m just hoping that more mental health professionals, those that are interested in working with corporations, it’s really about using the language and getting our skill set out there for corporations to be able to see that there can be a huge impact and it can be a win win for everyone.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:13] Now talking about impact, can you share a story? Obviously don’t name the name, but maybe talk about the challenge that these folks were dealing with. Maybe you were working with a corporation and somebody inside had an issue and you were really able to work with them and help them get through it and maybe get to a new level that they didn’t even think was possible at the beginning.
Michelle Cauley: [00:11:34] Sure. One that comes to mind is there was a company and there was conflict between two people, you know, to two people that were that were really important. And so because there were conflict between these two people, they were causing disruption and chaos for the other teams. And it was just they were just having a difficult time. And so I guess other consultants and others had been called and nothing had happened. And so they called us and they said, well, you know, we really don’t know how to present this, but they shared it. And I said, well, sure, absolutely. We’ll we’ll come in. And so we did. And we listened to what the issue was, and we ended up spending time with both of these two employees. And we realized that one of the employees was having a mental health break and the other employee there was I guess I could I would just term it as what we call workplace bullying. And so. It really looked like there was a lot of bickering and there was a lot of you don’t respect my work and you know, I’m not hurt and all of those things. So after we met with both and we went back and we shared our findings, we realized we were able to get this one employee some mental health assistance because that’s what that person needed. They would have never known that. That would have they would have never known it would have been looked like this is a problem employee the employee that was kind of I don’t know doing the heckling. We were able to get him some education. And. Ever since then, we know we’ve been providing assistance, you know, to this company.
Lee Kantor: [00:13:35] And it probably changed the dynamic of the company. People don’t feel like they’re on eggshells. There’s not a feeling of safety and respect. And and the culture actually changes, you know, when you deal with these difficult situations in a productive manner.
Michelle Cauley: [00:13:53] That’s right. Absolutely. It completely changed. And, you know, this person, both both employees had been there for a really long time, you know, but there was this. So yeah. So yeah. So it changed the culture and but everyone got help and it was there was assistance and but it was interesting where they were like, we never thought of it from that aspect.
Lee Kantor: [00:14:15] Yeah. And to you it’s probably like in 2 seconds you saw it, but to them this is what didn’t even occur to them at all. It wasn’t even on their radar.
Michelle Cauley: [00:14:24] That’s right. That’s right.
Lee Kantor: [00:14:26] Yeah. So I think it’s so important to work with experts like yourself and and have a team of support that can help people get through difficult times. And like you said earlier, coming out of the pandemic and with all this uncertainty, with sometimes you’re working from home, sometimes you’re in the office and you want to be you don’t want to be. There are so many issues that people are dealing with now that are causing anxiety that it just exacerbating any type of, you know, which might have started out as a small mental health challenge becomes a big one pretty quickly.
Michelle Cauley: [00:15:00] Well, you know, generalized anxiety disorder is the number one diagnosed disorder in the world, not just the USA in the world. And so since this pandemic, I think it’s there has it’s been an increase with children, with teenagers, of course, with adults. And so what do we do? You know, and so some people that would have never entertained let me just go talk to a counselor. Let me go talk to someone, you know. You know, they’ve reached out, which is a good thing. And I you know what I say to people, you know, there is a stigma with mental health where, oh, you know, something’s wrong with you or you must be crazy. And, you know, and really, I say you’re not. It takes the more in-depth person to be able to pick up the phone. You know, you think about if you go to the doctor or let’s say if something’s going on with my skin, I’m going to go call a dermatologist. Right. I’m like, you know, this is their specialty. Let me go have them look at this. It’s the same thing. But really, it’s just like what you and I are having. It’s really just a conversation. And and sometimes people go in and all they need are just a few sessions. It’s like, okay, I got a different perspective. I was able to listen. And then sometimes people, you know, need more. And so, you know, just to kind of get that stigma out of the way of there’s something wrong with me, you know, from a deficit model.
Lee Kantor: [00:16:33] Yeah, I agree 100%. And congratulations on all the success. It’s just an amazing story. If somebody wants to learn more about your practice and get, you know, on your calendar, maybe to have a conversation. Is there a website?
Michelle Cauley: [00:16:50] Sure. Leigh, it’s Collie, which is my last name. C a u l e y. And then the word associates all spelled out plural dot com. So call the associates dot com.
Lee Kantor: [00:17:06] Well, Michelle, thank you so much for sharing your story. You’re doing important work and we appreciate you.
Michelle Cauley: [00:17:11] I appreciate you. Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate.
Lee Kantor: [00:17:15] It.
Michelle Cauley: [00:17:16] All right.
Lee Kantor: [00:17:17] This is Lee Kantor Russel next time on High Velocity Radio.