Meet Groundwork member Evan Colbert. Beyond counseling his clients through some of life’s toughest moments, Evan is also a book lover, sci-fi nerd, and a dad. We’ve gotten to know each other over the past few months the way people who work in the same office do. We cross paths, share a friendly greeting, and move on our way. Overtime; however, we’ve learned just how much we have in common. Now a 5 minute conversation can quickly turn to 50 minutes. Whether we are discussing a favorite television show or some deep mystery about the human experience, Evan is always a well of humor, wisdom, and empathy. Read on to learn about his work, hobbies, and how he manages the “I don’t wannas.”
What’s your profession?
I work as a licensed mental health therapist who specializes in trauma.
Describe a typical work day for you.
Every day looks a little different. I meet with up to 7 clients a day and spend at least an hour with them working through some of the most difficult and painful things that have happened to them, helping them gain insight and supporting their healing and growth. There are a lot of paths to that end so, some days I might be doing the traditional “talk therapy “ where a person sits on my couch and tells me about their mother. Other days might be using art, meditation, yoga or some physical activity to calm the central nervous system.
What’s the biggest challenge you face at your job?
My biggest challenge is a system that limits people’s access to mental health but other frustrations are all of the different entities that I need to interface with in order to do my job well. Each insurance company has its own system for processing payments and submitting bills, each of those systems are proprietary so they are very different from each other. Essentially it is like having 16 different phones for work; each one has a different cord, different service provider, and a different customer support line and each customer support line. It’s exhausting!
Do you have a morning routine?
Yep. It is not a super enlightened routine. My morning “must haves” consist of coffee and some time with my wife before the day dumps its stress on our shoulders.
What are your favorite productivity tips or hacks?
I gamify EVERYTHING! There are things that I hate doing with the heat of a thousand white hot suns. So I have a list of all of those things and a 20 sided dice. When I am struggling with the “I don’t wannas” I grab my dice and just do whatever it tells me to. I learned this hack from a great book called The Anti Planner by Dani Donovan. I highly recommend it for anyone who struggles with the “I don’t wannas”
What do you listen to during the day?
I have a pretty wide range of music depending on my mood and what I am trying to get done; everything from classic 80’s heavy metal to 90’s country (I blame my mother and sister for this lol) I also have a few “go to” podcasts as well; Unlocking Us and Dare to lead by Brene Brown, UnF*ck your Brain by Karen Loewentheil, Struggle Care By KC Davis.
How do you benefit from using a coworking space?
I love being able to cross paths with others when I am between client’s or have some down time. I am a pretty social person and can get burnt out by being alone. There are so many interesting things that people are doing and everyone is pretty friendly and welcoming.
What’s in your digital toolbox?
I am really careful about how much facebook I consume and in what ways. I almost exclusively only use facebook to participate in professional “groups”. I use Libby to connect to my local library and listen to lots of audiobooks. This is a way of making learning more adaptive for me. I learn best by listening to audiobooks that are free from the library. It feels like a no-brainer. Spotify is essential for podcasts and music, and with all of the passwords that I need to keep track of I would be a disaster without LastPass.
What inspires you?
I feel inspired when people share their vulnerable truth.. I learned really early to lie to myself about a lot of things in my life that were causing me pain. I have a lot of respect for people who have humbled themselves to honesty. Their honest self reflection and non judgmental approach to truth makes “truth” something that is safer for me to explore.
What does self-care look like for you?
I’m trying to listen more to what I actually need instead of what all of the self care “gurus” are trying to sell me. Right now that looks like finding some alone time and exploring creativity. I am slowly converting my basement into a shop where I can refinish/upscale furniture and do a little woodworking. I am also learning how to mix cocktails and grill amazing steaks. Not traditional creativity but I suck at painting so I guess I am learning to work with what I’ve got.