We had the good fortune of connecting with Elle Michel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elle, how does your business help the community?
As a psychotherapist specializing in trauma and borderline personality disorder, my work not only fulfills my own drive to support and heal, but allows me to teach individuals how to transform their lives and in turn, be healthier, more whole members of their wider community. The most gratifying part of my work is helping people heal from deep wounds. By offering clients a safe space to share their stories, we identify patterns in their lives that cause them pain, and I help them to transform those patterns. For many of my clients, the challenges of daily life can be overwhelming, so we work to find ways to make their lives less painful and more tolerable, even joyful. It is incredibly rewarding to witness my clients turn pain and suffering into wisdom and peace. Through helping individuals live richer, fuller lives, I feel like I am contributing to the world. Each individual I help is better able to show up for their loved ones, their community, and has so much more to offer others. Through making an impact on individuals, I am able to impact society as a whole.
What should our readers know about your business?
I am a licensed marriage and family therapist from Santa Monica, CA, with a master’s degree in clinical psychology and a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology. I maintain a private practice in Los Angeles where I specialize in the treatment of trauma and borderline personality disorder through using EMDR, Brainspotting, Trauma Resiliency Model, and DBT. I enjoy working from a strengths- and skills-based, insight-oriented, and somatic approach. I have in-depth experience treating clients struggling with complex trauma, self-harm, and suicidality and I value the use of mindfulness-based practices to assist clients in reducing anxiety and increasing self-efficacy. Prior to opening my private practice I worked in community psychology and at several prominent treatment centers in Los Angeles. I opened my practice almost 6 years ago and have worked very hard to get to where I am today, through networking, marketing, and building my business from the ground up. I have leaned on the support from mentors and colleagues along the way and have remained persistent in my efforts to build my business. I was originally drawn to becoming a therapist because I had experienced profound transformation in my own therapy. This drive to support others in their transformation process is what has motivated me to keep going and overcome the challenges I’ve faced along the way. I am lucky to get to do work that I find so gratifying. The hardest part of my journey as a therapist was when I made the decision to leave my job as a salaried employee at a treatment center and rely solely on my income from my own practice to survive. This was a big leap of faith, and required a tremendous amount of trust in myself. I remember being scared to take this step but also confident that all the hard work I had done would continue to pay off, and it has. I have really enjoyed working for myself as it offers me the ability to see the clients I want to see and focus on the issues I want to focus on. I also enjoy getting to set my own hours and rates. I had heard that being a therapist in private practice could be isolating but I do a pretty good job of staying in touch with colleagues so I don’t ever feel too isolated.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would start with a trip to the Santa Monica beach and bring a picnic of tacos from Holy Guacamole. Then we would walk around Main St in Santa Monica and check out the shops. We would also spend a couple days hiking, in Malibu, Will Rogers, and Griffith Park. For hiking we would bring a picnic of sandwiches from Bay Cities in Santa Monica (best sandwiches ever!). We would also take a tour of LACMA after having brunch at Republique. To finish off the week we would have a delicious dinner at Osteria Mozza and head up to the Griffith Observatory for a chance to see the views and the stars.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to thank my mentor Jorja Davis for all her help and support over the years. I would not be where I am without her.