EP 34: The Unburdened Leader Roundtable Sessions: Kim Paulus, LMFT and Natalie Gutierrez, LMFT

ifs Aug 27, 2021

Leadership and discomfort are inextricably connected.

So much personal and professional development teaches us to figure out the problem and quickly move on.

But true resilience and growth require more than just the decision to “let it go.”

Leading well requires tolerating the discomfort of being seen, not just at your filtered best, but really being seen in your strengths and also when you make a bad decision and navigate the fall-out, respond defensively to criticism, and struggle with your confidence.

Bypassing or shutting down discomfort leads to numbing and disconnecting instead of feeling through the hard things.

It is essential that we get to know the burdens we carry and learn how to heal them so we can lead ourselves and others with more presence and generosity.

On today’s show, it is an honor to give you a window into the friendship I have developed with two colleagues of mine, Natalie Gutierrez and Kim Paulus. These friendships have become so valuable to me because safe, trusted relationships that can hold up a mirror to my growth edges are so rich and valuable.

Natalie and Kim help me kick off a new series for the podcast: The Unburdened Leader Roundtable Discussions, where I have conversations with colleagues, friends, and other leaders on topics we care deeply about.

Natalie Gutierrez is Puerto-Rican LMFT whose work is dedicated to providing trauma-informed psychotherapy to Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color/Mixed race. She supports her clients in healing legacy burdens, ancestral trauma, and the impact of colonial trauma.

Kim Paulus is a biracial, queer psychotherapist and IFS clinical consultant in private practice in Oakland, California. With a background in social justice activism, she serves primarily the LGBTQIIA+ and BIPOC communities, including multiracial people and adult children of immigrant parents.



Listen to the full episode to hear:

  • How our legacy burdens impact our ability to make friends, especially later in life
  • Why a mindset of scarcity makes deep connection difficult in our relationships and in our movements
  • How burdens of fear, self-doubt and mistrust keep us from being seen and what makes us feel safe to let our guards down
  • Why decoupling the cultural legacy burdens of power, privilege and historical trauma from shame and blame can help us take responsibility for doing the work to release them
  • How moving with urgency can bypass the slower work of making foundational changes

Learn more about Kim Paulus, LMFT:

Learn more about Natalie Gutierrez, LMFT:

Learn more about Rebecca:


Note for Clarity:

A brief explanation of some language and acronyms you will be hearing from Kim, Natalie, and myself in this segment of our roundtable conversation. At the time of this recording, the three of us are in a couple of Internal Family Systems trainings, which we often refer to as IFS. One of these IFS trainings we refer to a lot is a pilot IFS Advanced Training Program (ATP) where we were invited to participate in a year-long training program to become Assistant Trainers (ATs). The three of us are also serving on a leadership team in an IFS Level One training.


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