We had the good fortune of connecting with Heylee Barriola and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Heylee, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Growing up, we didn’t exactly take “risks”.. My mother always “played it safe” and was not comfortable with change. My mother immigrated from the Dominican Republic with her father and her siblings and they settled in Washington Heights in New York. Being a first generation Dominican American it always felt like we were lucky to be here and therefore risk was too much of a gamble. In 2015, when I decided to move to Southern California for grad school, I felt like I was betraying my mother and everything she’d worked for. I embrace change so moving 2,800 miles from home was not a difficult choice for me. I moved across the country to a city where I did not know anyone and I do not regret the move. If I had to, I’d do it all over again.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Happy Hour Therapy is my therapy private practice that I started earlier this year. It represents a lot of things that are important to me: raising awareness around mental health, making it more accessible, acceptable, and pursuing a career where I can be both empathetic and authentic. Starting my own business so I can have more control about the services that I provide , and challenging myself to confront my own mental health. The most challenging has been putting myself out there to market my services. Therapy has become more virtually accessible and as such, establishing a strong social presence in the digital space is paramount. My professional social media presence has been anxiety provoking and stress inducing but it is also a journey of growth and exploration. In a way, I’m putting my money where my mouth is and taking the advice that I give my clients to become comfortable with discomfort.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I still consider myself a transplant in Los Angeles but I have a few places I frequent. I really enjoy Bacari, a tapas style restaurant. There are multiple locations around Los Angeles. I also really enjoy Chosun Galbee in K-Town. I really love the Korean BBQ there. I enjoy a good brunch and so I love to stop by Toast on 3rd street. I love a good rooftop vibe, so when friends and family come visit from NYC, a rooftop is a must.

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’d like to shout out my mother. My mother was anxious about my move to California but she never stopped supporting me through the process. My mother has always been my biggest support system in most areas of my life. She is more than a parent figure to me, she is also a best friend. She consistently motivates me to be better and do better. She was a single mother but she made sure that my brother and I never needed anything. I am forever grateful to my mother and all of her efforts and hard work. I love you mami!

Website: www.psychologytoday.com/profile/914109

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/happyhourtherapy/

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