Moving From The Therapy Chair To Online Income With Dr. Melvin Varghese

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Dr. Melvin Varghese is a licensed psychologist, podcaster, and course creator.

After starting a podcast to grow his therapy practice, he soon found an audience of therapists who were hungry for education and tools to help them grow their businesses.

Today Mel is the creator of an online course and mastermind for private practice  therapists..

Through his work he helps therapists create additional income streams and transition from the therapy chair to making online income.

Listen in here:

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In this episode you’ll learn:

  • What Dr. Melvin does
  • His path into psychology
  • Mel’s transition from the therapy chair to online therapy
  • His thoughts on multiple streams of income
  • The strip mall model for building a business
  • Ideation of the online course for therapists
  • The benefits of Melvin’s podcast for therapists
  • How Mel encourages therapists to share their voice through podcasts
  • Busting the myth — transitions aren’t smooth, they’re tough
  • Downstream effects of trauma and how to begin working through it
  • Insecurities with money — identifying and overcoming them
  • About “brain spotting” and tuning into your body and mind
  • How Mel thinks about the work that he does
  • Why you should think about your calling in terms of an active verb

Resources Mentioned:

Mel’s website

Mel’s Tweeter

Software Generated Transcription:

Dan: Mel. Thank you so much for joining me. I’m so excited to have you on the show. Welcome podcast.

Mel: Okay, Dan, uh, I’m so grateful for you. Grateful something like Twitter has connected us and, uh, you’re doing such. Important work in the world. And, uh, I’m just honestly such so privileged to be a part of the podcast.

Dan: Love it. I’m flattered. Thank you. And, uh, listeners, you Mel. And I first connected on Twitter, which is just so fun that a tool like that can make these kinds of connections and relationships possible. And likewise Mel. Just love, love what you’re up to and excited to get into your story. The question I like to start with is how do you begin to talk about the work that you do?

Mel: Yeah, that’s a great question. So I’m a licensed psychologist, who left the therapy chair to build an online business. 

And a part of that is because I loved clinical work, but I was getting really burnt out and I was essentially trading time for income. And I just thought, how do I use this skill set in a different way?

And so I launched an online course, launched a mastermind, and now I, I walk with therapists to do that very specific thing. And I launched a podcast as well. So now I walk with therapists to help them either partly or fully transition out of the chair to online income, but specifically through courses and monetizing their podcasts.

Dan: Wow. It sounds like you’ve been busy. That’s a lot of education, a lot of building one business and then building another business. Maybe just to to rewind was therapy and, and being as a, a psychologist, was that like always the end game or at least was that the end game, when you were in school and and, you know, 

training cuz there’s a lot of education that got you there right?

Mel: Yeah, absolutely. Actually the plan was for me to go to med school and be a pediatrician out of all things. 

Dan: oh, wow. 

Mel: But I had actually never taken a psychology class until, you know I got to college and there was something about psychology and just how, the mind works that I just became very fascinated I also think like it fit well with my personality. You know, a lot of people. Like very kindly share that I’m easy to talk to. I’m very like even keel. And I think that’s been really good, when I was doing clinical work. It was not the initial plan, but soon became the plan and to be completely honest Dan like the plan was actually for me to be a psychologist at a university counseling center um,

Dan: Yeah. Yeah. Mm-hmm 

Mel: I

Was, you know, I lived most of my life in Texas and then I did my internship in postdoc, in Nashville at, at Vanderbilt.

And then I was actually gonna stay on staff there, and either be at the university or at the med school teaching and 

uh, yeah, 

that was the blend. 

Nice stable job. Right.

Dan: Yeah. Wow. Yeah. And so then, well, I, I can see how if you’re, if you’re in your mind, you have the track of being a, a pediatrician, like, so you already maybe had this idea that you’re gonna be in school for a while. You’re gonna be doing you know, getting, you know, doing residency and like all the whole, the whole deal.

And then it feels like maybe you just kind of switch lane or two over. I could see how that, that shift was, you know, maybe not as, as painful as other, I guess, major shifts could be for folks, but I’m curious. How long you’re in the field when you started thinking about, on shifting to online, and then also just that transition away from, being in the chair, um, to helping, helping other people do the same.

Mel: Yeah, absolutely. So, I graduated undergrad in 2004. I started grad school in 2005. I became fully licensed as psychologist in 2012. So it’ll be, uh, just 10 years this year. And, uh, yeah, the, uh, when did that, when did that idea come to actually go online income? I actually think looking back, maybe it was always in me as a kid.

I was born in India 


spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ house and they had this like, um, almost like a, like a. Tool room. But honestly, I think it was like a storage room because they didn’t have refrigeration, back in the day. So it was like a cooler room where they stored grains and stuff.

And for whatever reason, it was right next to the kitchen. And I think that’s what it was like, my grandma could keep an eye on me and let me play. But they like gave me like pieces of wood and hammers and nails and all this stuff. And I remember being four years old and just building stuff, and putting. Putting nailing, putting nails into these little concrete walls, you know, 

and I can’t believe they allowed this, but I’m 

just so grateful because I thought, I know it’s hilarious, but I think that’s where it started because for me, I think it was always about being creative and thinking outside the box.

and I definitely did not know this, when I started grad school. But later on in my training, I ran into a supervisor who was a Dean of a university, turned FBI agent turned psychologist, who, who also was doing sports consulting with 

PGA golfers on the weekends. Like sports psychology. So I was like, what you can do all of these different things with this. And so, you know, that person just let me know, like, Mel, I want you to look at this thing, this training that you’re getting as a skill set, as opposed 

to like an end destination, like this is all you could do.

You know? So, I think that was the biggest shift. And then I had another supervisor who told me. Melvin always remember to have your hand in multiple pots when it comes to income, after you become licensed. And at that point, like, you know, I’m the child of immigrants and all 

I ever knew was like, just, you know, trade time for income.

Right. So I never even thought there were these other options out there, but I think I’d always been curious and just sort of explored and yeah, that’s how I end up here.

Dan: Wow. Well, what a cool journey. And thank you for those vignettes. I think, you know, the four year old you building things, um, in the, in the, the pantry just sounds, yeah, it’s just a really beautiful, really beautiful picture. Just how to draw the line from that Building tools and trainings and businesses, it’s just really beautiful.

Uh, so thank you. Thank you for that. Um, also just love that piece about multiple, multiple pots, having your hands in multiple pots. I tend, I tend to have, I feel like have my hands in. Too many pots is kind of my, my tendency. Um, and I know that that’s coming from a different, a different source, right? Where, where often people are thinking, you know, I’m gonna do private practice or whatever, and then that’s just gonna be the one thing.

Um, and so I could, I could see how that goes, but it’s also encouraging for me to hear, you know, okay, this is, it’s not, it’s not, uh, I, Don’s not a bad thing to have a tendency towards, you know, multiple streams of.

Mel: Yeah, no, absolutely. I mean, there’s, think in one of the, recent Twitter threads I shared about. From, the conversation Jay Clouse had with Nathan Barry about the strip mall model of online business versus the skyscraper. 

 And strip mall is basically multiple products that, you know, in combined,

bring in revenue, whereas the skyscrapers one flagship product. And I think for most of us with online businesses, and this is where I’m kind of just wrapping my head around and being okay. I think most of us start with the strip mall because we are trying to figure out like, Hey, what brings in the most revenue?

Where do I feel my 

joy and passion? What, you know, like we have kiddos, right? So like what 

makes sense for us in seasons of life that we’re in, 

you know? And then I think it’s also, like, and then some of us stay there with the strip mall model or we, maybe truncated a little bit, or others of us, like what I’m doing now is I’m shifting.

Like I found out the out of the three that I had, the one that seems to scale the best that gives me sort of the life that I want. And I am making that shift to just focusing on that

Dan: yeah. And so what were, what were those three, one was your, your practice 

Mel: Yeah. Uh, yeah, actually. Yeah.

Well actually, yeah,

Dan: or is that four 

Mel: yeah. If you include the clinical you’re right. Yeah. 

If you include the clinical work, it would be four. So I was doing clinical work. I had a podcasting course for therapist. 

then I have a online course, a course on courses for therapists at 


And then I had this mastermind, which is basically to bring together therapists that wanna transition from the chair to online income, just to have a gathering spot where we do hot seats and stuff like that. so those were the four things and, yeah, it was a lot looking back. I was like, man, how did I manage to do all this?

But you know, in the moment you do right.

Dan: Yeah. Yeah. So tell me a little bit more about that progression there. So you were doing the clinical work and 

then I think my assumption is you started a podcast for your, for yourself. And then, uh, I assume from there you transitioned to teaching others how to, how to do the podcast. And is that, um, I, I feel like I’m telling the story.

I’m making a lot 

of assumptions, but maybe you could connect the dots for me.

Mel: those are great assumptions. And, they would be accurate. Yep. So I was doing clinical work and. me and two of my friends that were in the group practice, we would gather together on weekends, because we had never taken a business or marketing class in our life. but we all knew we wanted to have small businesses and not like work for, you know, group practice you’re working for somebody else.

Right. So, um, And we would read like books, watch Ted talks and all this stuff 

on just to get to be bit our business owners and. I remember like one weekend I had this random thought and I was like, I wonder if there are other therapists that need this information, like, what would it be like to actually interview successful therapists in private practice 

to learn about, like, how they built their businesses and where the mistakes they made and all of that stuff.

and then, you know, as, most of us, when we have a really good idea, I put it off for about six months 

Dan: Yeah.

Mel: because I was like, I’m not the person to be doing this. and there was already an existing podcast that was kind of business related for therapists. And I was like, oh, I don’t wanna like step on your shoe, toes or anything.

Right. but, you know, I, I, somehow I, you know, fr I had several friends that encouraged me and they were like, Mel, you should do this because. You’re good at talking to people. And I think just like your sort of beginner’s mind, because you 

literally don’t have any business


marketing launch.

Right. Like I think that could be really beneficial. And so, 


I launched a podcast in March of 2015 and then I launched my, and then what ha essentially happened is people that were listening to the podcast, started reaching out for one-on-one paid consult. Like To launch a podcast, they were like, Mel, how did you do this?

 We understand this, but not really, can you just get on? So I was like, oh, this is really interesting And I started at like 200 an hour and I was like, oh, people are actually willing to pay. And then the question became, well, I don’t wanna trade timeframe, income from one model to another.


Dan: Yeah. Switch out one for the other.

Mel: Yeah. And so then that’s where the idea for the, online course came from. And then, you know, I’ve, I’ve been very fortunate to build that course to now 275 plus therapists have 

taken that course. And yeah, I mean, it’s so niched. And that’s probably a 

whole other conversation how, the riches can be really in the niches.

Dan: Yes. Well, I mean, so, so much of that is, is really fantastic. And I’m curious for you, I mean, it makes sense that you it’s, like you started the podcast almost as a, as a tool for yourself, right. To get you, to give you an excuse, to have these conversations with other you successful therapists or people who are you know, at, at 

the next level.

Right. So you can learn from them. And then, so it’s like you were learning it to apply it. I assume to your clinical practice or, or, you know, figure out ways to grow, grow the business, but then it kind of grew and became its own own thing in a really kind of surprising, surprising way. Talk to me a 

little bit about how, how can other therapists who are looking to start.

Podcasts. Like, what are the benefits of, of starting a podcast for a therapist 

other than cuz the route that you took is wasn’t maybe wasn’t initially the end goal, right. To, to teach other people to, I know you’re not teaching therapists to, to start podcast, to teach other therapist to 

start podcast, you know,

Mel: right, right, meta

Dan: yeah, very meta him,, but also a little bit like a, like like a pyramid scheme

Mel: right. Yeah, yeah,

Dan: we know you’re not doing that. but tell me a little bit about like, who are some of the folks who go through your materials and what are some of the outcomes for them? And something like curiosity around this is I, I have a master’s degree in a theology and psychology as an interdisciplinary 


but I know a lot of therapists.

Um, and so I’m even curious for them of 

like, they know I have a podcast. Most of 

them don’t have a podcast, even just in my conversations with my friends. I wanna be able to tell them.

Mel: yeah. That’s a great question. So the therapist had end up taking my course, First of all, they tend to be like five plus years and they’re usually private practitioners. They tend to be five plus years And I always actually tell people to not take my podcasting course if they’re early on in their private practice journey, because the benefit of a podcast is.

the first five years, lets you kind of hone in on the niche and the population that you wanna work with 

and you get clarity on that. And then when you bring in a podcast, you almost like add gasoline to a niche that’s already working. Right? so the ways that, a lot of my colleagues use podcasts are one, they interview like local referral sources, related to like an so for example, let’s say you’re a eating disorder.

Therapist. Right. So they might, 

interview like a nutritionist in the area and talking specifically. So it’s both educating the public as well as building these like strong network, like professional network connections. 

Right. Because it’s not just like going to like a, a meet up or, like sending them like a random letter.

Right. You’re 

actually inviting them to a podcast you’re supporting their work. You’re getting to like form these genuine connections. 

Right? So 

I like it because it feels to me it’s like very heart centered, um, connection 

and networking. Uh, so that’s like one, I think the other advantage, is for therapists that are interested in becoming thought leaders in a certain area.

You can create solo episodes, you can do teaching, any of those things related to that topic, right? Like, let’s say you are taking that same example. you wanna specialize in bulimia and you wanna be known as a bulimia expert. Right. sort of sharing strategies, like stuff you’ve learned, all of these things On a podcast, it just helps reach such a wider audience. I mean, I don’t know how sometimes I look at these numbers, I’m like, how is this happening? But. You know, my podcast is now and I’m sure yours is similar. It’s heard in 130 countries. 


I record this from a home office in Philadelphia. Right.

Like it’s 

Dan: Yeah. 

Mel: Right.


yeah, it is absolutely insane. So I think like for the therapist that feel like they have a bigger message to share than just their 

local clients. 

I think a podcast is a great, tool and I feel like, especially the audio medium. Therapists are already really good at that. because we spend a 

Dan: yeah. 

Mel: talking and listening. 

It’s just an offshoot of a Yeah.

Yep. So it’s just a medium, that’s already natural, you know?

Dan: I love it. And I think I’ve heard you before. Talk about that. That you’re you. think the phrase you say is therapists who have a, have a message to share, or some, something along those lines. Um, and you kind of circle back around that, um, here. And I think that that’s maybe a really good way to think about. For me to think about what you do. Like if there’s a therapist or people in my network who, uh, who who should think about starting the podcast are people who are, you’re doing their private practice, but they have something bigger inside them that they want to get out there. that could be a good vehicle for it.

Mel: Yeah, absolutely course a book, you know, Becoming like speaking at conferences.

Dan: Yeah, I love it. It’s really easy for me to, you know, I, I have my notes here. I’ve been, you know, typing as we talk, you know, kind of put this timeline on paper, digital paper and, and tell myself this story of like, oh, it’s just like, Mel did this one thing. And then he started this podcast and he started teaching the people to podcast, and then it started this course and then not the mastermind.

Um, at least that part of your story feels very linear. And it’s easy for me to tell myself that it’s also like a relatively painless process. I doubt that that’s actually true. And so maybe, can you, do away with that myth that I’m making up in my mind about, about how, uh, about your journey and, and talk to me a little bit about like, Some of those like painful transitions.

Cause I know that every time, you know, work, one of my assumptions with all of my work, with the meeting movement and, these conversations about work is that work is always about identity. And at every shift that you have to make you, it’s not just you going and doing something, but you have to reconceptualize how you think about who you are in the world, how you show.

in all of your interactions and that can be a really challenging, you know, at best, it’s really exciting to like, be able to change and see that change, you know, manifest, but also it can also be really painful and anxiety, provoking. So I’d love to hear just a little bit about, yeah. Some of the difficult, of the transformation path that you’ve been on.

Mel: Yeah. Uh, I’m so glad you asked this question because it is like, it’s so easy to. On social media and see like slivers of people’s lives and their 

successes and feel like it seems so easy. Like what’s wrong, you know?

Dan: Yeah. 

Mel: what’s wrong with me and like, why is 

this so hard for me? Right. 

Dan: Why is it so hard for me? Tell me, Mel, please. . Hmm.

Mel: Dan to be completely honest, it’s been a really, really tough journey.

it has not been that smooth. I mean, so even I can give like a couple of examples, like, You know, with my podcasting course, like one thing I initially did was like, I, I, you know, I had some like real, pretty significant childhood trauma. And what I didn’t realize is that impacted how I saw myself as a teacher and the price I charge for my courses.

Dan: Mm,

Mel: Right. So, you know, like I started with like a two $97 course. Right. And I knew like, I mean, part of the thing of trauma is right. Like, or at least for me, it’s like, I always feel like I have to go above and beyond. So I knew, like I had put my heart and soul into this 

course, you know, and, I just like completely undercharged.

And so, I started the podcast and the course in 2015. it was right when the pandemic started is when I finally went full time as a creator, cuz 

otherwise like what was happening was I was still doing clinical work and I was like pulling one day at a time down. But I think that could have been a lot accelerated if I had done my work around money and my own trauma and charged more significantly, I’m grateful for that journey.


That’s like one, and then I think the second one I just wanted to share was, I mean, it’s something we’re going through right now. Like I’m about to shut down a course that has generated $300,000 in revenue. and shut down that community to say like, Hey, I wanna focus on the mastermind because I think this is the thing that I think it energizes me.

I feel like it can scale. And, That I just feel passion for, and I’ve realized like I’m not in a season of life. Like when I started everything with the course and all this stuff, like we didn’t have a young child, you know, our, our baby was, is an ICU baby. So she was eight weeks early. for the past three and a half years, I’ve spent like 98% of my Fridays doing daddy, daughter days with.

Dan: Yeah.

Mel: and I love that, like she’s starting 

preschool in the fall and I’m like, okay. Like, I don’t wanna be like a, overwhelming dad, but I still wanna be like super heavily invested in her life, in activities. And I don’t wanna just, I could add another day back to my work, but I don’t think I want that.

You know, 

I also realized like, because of my trauma, I’m used to going 180 miles an hour 

and trying to overachieve on everything. And I think it’s really good for my healing. To just keep to my four day a week work 

and focus that other day on just like CEO and just like, pursuing other honestly, like other hobbies I’ve neglected, you know, 

landscape photography and painting and all of this other stuff, you know, 

Dan: Yeah. 

Cool. I love that. Thank you. Yeah, for sharing all of that, I feel really, I don’t know. I really moved by, um, By by so much of that. And I think just to hear, to hear someone, and of course like, if this is your, your field and your language, but to talk so openly about how trauma influences like just the downstream effect of those experiences in our life and, and like, How those things could be happening.

We could be holding that trauma and it could be affecting us in ways that we are completely, completely oblivious to and unaware of. And, so I just really appreciate you. Yeah. You going there and sharing that with the audience. And it’s challenging to me to think about, okay, what, like what’s the work that I, that I need to do to, to continue to grow, continue to iterate.

and what are the ways that I’m, I’m holding myself back, uh, because of, of, you know, because of similar experiences, 

Mel: no, you’re so welcome. And I can even give like a small example. Like this mastermind is 497 a month. It requires a one year commitment, you know, and. I’ve done a lot of healing work, through therapy and brain spotting, like, especially this past 12 months or so. and I remember having like so much anxiety, like triggered insomnia when I realized like, I wanna charge 500, but not only like, I want them to commit for a year, right.

To ask people for $5,700. oh my gosh. Talk about triggering tough, you know?

Dan: yeah, yeah, money in particular seems to be a, a topic where a lot of these insecurities and a lot of these, Limitations, limiting beliefs, Come up. What are the ways that you’d recommend addressing those? Or maybe even just. Recognizing them naming them.

I’m curious if there’s any just action steps for folks who in the audience might be listening and be like, oh yeah, I undercharge. Or I know that I have, you know, certain fears and insecurities around my worth and that’s affecting my earning potential, whether that be. As an entrepreneur or as, as an employee asking for a raise, you know, or in all of those things, there’s so many ways, but I’m curious if you have any other specific thoughts or recommendations for folks who might feel like, yeah, this kind of resonates with me in some ways.

Mel: I don’t wanna give like 

the generic thing of get into therapy cuz I do think therapy is super healing. for me, I think what was really interesting is when I started thinking about 

pricing and increasing my pricing. started really tuning into my body. And I noticed a couple of things.

Like one is like, my throat would like get real tight. And the other thing is like I felt like my heart was about to jump outta my 

chest. Like it was beating so fast. Like almost like I was having some kind of like, traumatic 


Dan: yeah. 

Mel: Right.

And that was a hu 


To numbers. Right? Yeah. So that was a big indicator for me because The other side of this trauma is like you know, as an online creator, I’ve battled like chronic sort of anxiety and depression, you know, 

and I’m trying to build this business and while navigating these two kind of things that seem to pop up like I have to be super mindful of.

And so I just started like, almost like, and this feels 

like different, but like, Taking a step back and almost observing myself right. And saying like, Mel, what is going on, where your body is having so much fear and anxiety and to the point where you can’t sleep. Because you’re thinking about this.

either you can do this for the next 35, 40 years, Or we can try to 

address this. to proactively work on this, because I 

feel like this is gonna be a long journey. And I think truthfully, like having a daughter I think has shifted a lot of stuff for me, because it’s not just about healing from my partner.

It’s not healing from me, but it’s like breaking generational trauma, you know? And 

I want her to be able to grow up with a different experience. You.

Dan: yeah. Wow. Yeah. Thank you for that. That’s really, really beautiful. and motivating like that. You either, address it or it continues, right? Like at the end of the day, it’s like, it’s, shouldn’t ever be, I guess, black and white, but it feels, you know, when you put it in those terms, it really, I think just puts some skin on it.

Like you either, you know, dig deep and find a way to, um, to do the work that’s ahead of you or you stay in the pattern, indefinitely. 

Mel: Yeah, absolutely. And I also didn’t want to like, yeah. You know, 

you’re so welcome. And I also didn’t want to like, I know that addiction runs in my family. Right. and I knew that if I continued this, like I would go down some sort of path like that. and I couldn’t reconcile that.

Right. Like I’m not perfect at all. Right. But I couldn’t reconcile that with being in front of therapists and being seen as a leader 

in front of therapist and like having this sort of, you know,

Dan: Mm. 

Yeah. Yeah. 

Mel: what I preach kind of idea.

Dan: Totally. Yeah. It’s even more poignant. I think when your 

audience is therapist, right. Like I think a lot of, a lot of leaders can get away with, you know, having some major pathology that’s, you know, kind of out, on the open where other people see it. But, um, as a therapist and it’s probably a really good thing, right.

That you’re accountable to live, the life that you’re. That you’re talking about, you know, to be authentic in that way. So, um, that’s great. Thank you for that. Um, I’m curious. Well, I guess a couple things, one thing is, I know you’ve mentioned, brain spotting, um, and I know this is maybe a little bit more technical, but maybe to move, move a little bit, you know, out of the, the, the, the deeper emotional things.

Um, I’m curious about, what brain spotting is. I know it has something to do with, I think, like with your eye movements and like how a therapist or someone who’s trained, can like, Learn things about what you’re saying based on, based on movement, but I would, or just, I’m just from my own curiosity would love to 

Mel: Yeah. 

Dan: talk about that and your experience in it.

Mel: Yeah. So I’m not, I’m definitely not trained in brain spotting nor my experts. So there’s sort of EMDR and brain spotting and. think they’re sort of related, but brain spotting. I think the best way that when I’ve sort of read and understood is basically there are,

Dan: Mm.

Mel: uh, when we’re sort of moving our eyes like across our field, there 

are spots in our vision that can sort of point us to underlying traumas basically.

That’s sort of the best way that I’ve heard. It explained so practically for me, like my brain spotting therapist we go on the X axis and the Y axis. Right. So I’ll kind of 

guide my eyes up, you know, left to right up to down. And she’s able to sort of pinpoint she’s like, there seems to be a spot there.

We actually do this over zoom where it’s not even live. but, she’s able to design of say like your eyes flickered there, So we sort of hone in and part of this is like getting really good and attuned to your body. And what I notice is like, when I hit one of those spots, like there is like a lot of activity in my, in my, um, in my body.

Like I 


headaches or I notice like this feeling of anxiety come up. and so, yeah, and so you spend like sessions kind. Focusing out in, on that spot. And I think brain spotting, different, uh, brain spotting therapists do it differently. so for me, I realize like, I’m, I’m very like a, I have to verbalize stuff.

Like I can’t just stare at the, dot the, brain spotting therapist is giving me. So a lot of times I’ll talk about like, what’s coming up for me, you know, like, for example, I noticed that, when we talk about money, like, I feel like I’m not worthy, right?

Like there’s 

something around worthiness and not being good enough. 

Right. And that I always have to prove myself and, it’s this interesting combo of like 

tapping into what’s happening in our brain. talking about it. And I think the best way to think about it is think of it like a pencil with a sharp point.

And when we have trauma, like it’s almost like that sharp point just keeps poking at us. 

And whereas with brain spotting, it’s almost like the point gets dulled. 

So it’s not that the point’s not there. It just doesn’t seem to activate us as much.

Dan: Yeah. Is the entry point story or is the entry point, the actual movement? Like, do you 

start with like the spot and then go to story or does it work the other way around?

Mel: So I think the way we’ve done it so far is spot to story.

Dan: Wow, that’s 

so fascinating. that just blows my mind.

Mel: Yeah. 

I’m like, 

Dan: the way the brain works and 

the, the body, how it’s also integrated. Right. It’s 

Mel: and and to completely honest, like I was like super skeptical of it 

because, you know, I was traditionally yeah. And I was, I’m trained in traditional like talk therapy, act C 

B T like all of these things. And I was like, what?

but I don’t know if there’s something, you know, I’m only been in this profession for 10 years, you know, as a fully licensed. Right. But like, I don’t know. There’s just things. I feel like our brains do that. Just, we still don’t know, you know, 

Dan: Yeah. 

Mel: how complex the brains are,

Dan: Yeah. And what a cool area to be in right. To 

know, like there’s so much more for us to discover and like, it’s, it’s, it’s an infinite game in 

so many ways, which is it’s really, yeah. Incredible. well, thank you. Thank you for that. I’m I’m. I am gonna continue to yeah. Educate myself around it cuz I’m curious now, um, I’m just kinda zoom out a little bit on your work.

I’m curious how you think about words like vocation or calling or passion, whether in, I think you could, you know, answer this in whatever way. Feels most comfortable and, fits like what words are in your vernacular for how you talk about work. How do you think about those words for yourself or other people just kind of wanna like, yeah.

Think about kind of that, that, that idea of, what is the core of what you’re doing and what people are doing and how you as a, as a professional, as an entrepreneur and as a therapist, think about those 


It’s a big question, but 

Mel: that is a big question. 

Dan: you want to go.

Mel: yeah, yeah. man, that’s a really big question.


Dan: a question.

Mel: yeah, no, yeah, yeah. It’s a, well, it’s wonderful. It’s a wonderful invitation. you know, I think I’ve always been a Renaissance soul, right? Like having sort of multiple interests and my interests have ranged, right?

Like, I mean, I shared that story of. Being four years old and playing with tools. And 

I remember in undergrad, I got into like 

building computers and over clocking computers and learning 

that. Right. And, 

meanwhile, Saturday nights, I’m in the art studio, like painting landscape , 

you know, like watercolors and all this stuff.

Right. so I define my calling as When you look at, like, when you’re on your deathbed and you look at your life and you’re like, man, I am so glad I did that, even though I was so scared. And even if it didn’t work out exactly how I imagined, 

I am so glad I took that step.


It’s the act of taking the step as opposed to the result. so I think that’s one way I sort of look at it. I think for me, I’ve been very fortunate and I just, this is like the biggest thing. Like I used to think, like going into these new areas, right? Like therapists creating online income.

Right. Like I don’t know what I used to think, but now I know, like, I just feel so much gratitude to be in a space like this, because for me, like the work I do, it’s such a privilege and. I know so many of my colleagues trust me. And so I, navigate all of that gently. I mean, 

even with this mastermind, we ran, right?

Like we’re, we’re running, I did 33, 1 on one calls and we mutually agreed or like with 13 of those 33, that to hold off on joining the mastermind. Right. 

And yeah. It’s about a month in recurring income.


Dan: Wow.

Mel: So 

right. But it is a big number. And I, to me, like I have a saying, which is, you know, value the relationship over the sale. 

 and I told them, I said, listen, this is why I think I would love to have you, but this is why I think you shouldn’t do. And they were just so grateful for that, cuz they were like, you know, like Mel, like when I’m ready, I’m gonna come back.


you know, and I would rather do that. Like I would rather leave sales on the table knowing I’d 

preserved the relationship. So.

Dan: Yeah. Mm That’s a great, a great vignette from it. Yeah. I’m curious, you know, you said, you know, the, the work that you do is, is such a privilege. I love, I love that you use that word. I also love that you, used the word like that. The calling is it’s an act of taking the step that it’s a verb.

And I think that that’s super important. That meaning is well that we’re as humans, we’re meaning making machines, right. we assign meaning. To everything, or at least we have the ability to, but that, that experience of meaning comes from use of our agency by it’s. Like, it always has to be a verb.

And I think that’s one, thing that a lot of people, um, A misconception. they might have about what they’re looking for when they’re looking for fulfillment or purpose or calling whatever word, that is like a title or a destination, but that it’s something that you’re making as you go you’re, pursuing it, you’re stepping into it.

And it sort, it has to be active. Um, But I’m curious about that. The, the, the word that you said, you know, that this is such a privilege. And if there are like, which part of it is, the most fulfilling and where you feel that sense of gratitude. Is it seeing your, you know, the, the therapist that you’re working with, like level up?

Is it like seeing their success? Is it what you’re able to do in those conversations? Is it all of it? I’m just wanna see. Can we, can we zoom in even just a 

little bit more on that? 

Mel: Yeah. I think it’s the combo of different things. One is I get to use skills that I was learning as a kid in a teen, and I get to use that in my, forties. Right. Like just turned forties. So, the fact that gosh, like what a privilege to be able to do that. 

Right? Like, for example, I did so much landscape photography.

I love landscape photography, you know, and now I get to do video. 

Right. And so I knew I spent so much time, like, you know, like Ansel Adams and all this 

stuff, like studying light. Right. 

And now I get to like, figure out stuff with video. And, so just the privilege to be able 

to all this stuff that I learned when I was a kid, you know, hobbies and all this stuff, I get to like integrate it.

So that’s one, 

and I think too, Yeah. The meaning, like seeing my colleagues’ lives transformed, right. Like at some point, and I’m like slowly realizing this, it’s still, like, I think I still, a lot of trauma I gotta work through, but you know, at some point it’s not just about the money the business brings in.

It’s about like seeing the transformation of others. Right? Like, for example, you know, I’ve got somebody in my mastermind they’ve. you know, a parent that’s dying. 

Right? And so for them creating a successful online course means getting to spend more time with that dying parent.

Right. And that is like priceless, you know, 

that you’re teaching something that’s way beyond yourself. Right. So.

Dan: Yeah. Mm that’s beautiful. what a fantastic answer. Thank you. Thank you for that. Well, I feel like we could go on, um, for so long, cause I have so many, so many more questions I wanna ask you even just for myself about your business and all of these things. I feel like we’re on parallel paths, but you’re, you know, much, further along than, than I am.

Um, but we’ll have to reserve those for another time. Cause I know we’re coming up on our, time here. So I just wanna first just say thank you so much. Just sharing so much of your story and yourself, with us, with, with me, and also just the work that you’re doing with, therapists. It’s, sounds like really, just really rich work.

So thank you for, doing that. Um, for folks that wanna follow along, maybe be a part of what you’re doing. Are there things that you’d like to invite people to.

Mel: Yeah, absolutely. Um, I’ve, been getting active on Twitter, so you can definitely find me on Twitter. I handled MVA geese five V a R G H E S E five. and then, you know, the big thing I’m working on is this online income, mastermind for therapists. So this is specifically for therapists that are.

Five plus years in as private practitioners, they’re successful practitioners clearing six figures, but they’re now interested in moving from the chair to online income, either partly or fully, specifically through courses or monetizing their podcast. And so that mastermind, you can learn more about [email protected] slash master.

Dan: I love it. I’ll make sure to put links to those, um, resources in, in your show notes or in our show notes for this episode. So people can follow along. Thank you so much. Once again, this has just been such a, such a joy, to be with you. So thanks for coming on the show.

Mel: Dan, thank you so much for having me. And, again, I’m super grateful for you and grateful for, you know, the budding friendship and, all the work that you’re doing in the world.

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