We had the good fortune of connecting with Jess Perez, Employed & Supervised by Hallie Ggnatovich, LMFT #52775 and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jess, what are you inspired by?
I’m inspired everyday by the womxn in my life. To my wife, my partner, my love of this lifetime and many more. She is a ceramicist and a musician, a true creative and also a nurturer through and through. Her work, her perseverance and the dedication to her craft is something of magic and i’m so lucky to be able to witness it so closely every single day. She is the brightest part of my darkest days. She is an inspiration to so many simply by just existing, born to create, inspire and help others. To my sister-in-law and best friend who is also an artist of many forms. There isn’t anything she can’t do. She is one of the most truest forms of beauty both on the outside and in. I wish she could see herself the way others in her life see her. I’m truly in awe of her every single day and the warmth and comfort she brings to everyone around her is irreplaceable and also magic. To my mother. There simply aren’t enough words to explain or make sense of what she has has done for me. She told me I could do anything and for that i’m truly and eternally grateful. She instilled in me the belief that anything was within my reach and she was right, time and time again. She will always be the lighthouse guiding me home, the calm that I need in moments of despair, the reminder to breathe that “this too shall pass.” To my supervisor. You have given me strength, confidence, warmth and a home when at times I feel so far from home. You are the definition of a woman, a pillar of strength, the warmest but most powerful presence, the best smile and laugh and a natural sense of ease with everything she touches. I’m so lucky to have been chosen by you, to work alongside you, to be guided by you. Lastly, to my therapist. Our relationship is so cherished and i’m eternally grateful for everything you have and continue to help me with. Life with you is a lot less scary. These are a few of the countless womxn of my life that inspire me every single day.

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?
I decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology when I was 27 years old and in the pit of an existential crisis. I was completely lost, unfulfilled and longing to find a way to create a career out of helping others. I decided to apply on a whim and just see what happened. 5 years later I have a completely full private practice based out of Los Angeles working with the LGBTQ+ community and young women working through various life transitions and struggles ranging from depression, anxiety, trauma or identity work. I have to pinch myself every single day that although the road to get to this point was some of the hardest and most strenuous years of my life, the life I am currently living is everything I could have hoped for and more. When I initially started my graduate program I chose to specialize in LGBTQ+ affirmative therapy. As a queer woman of color it was important that a large portion of my studies focused on working with marginalized communities. Now nearly 5 years later, I would say 80% of my clients are queer women of color and elated would be an understatement. To be able to witness my clients growth and sit alongside them as they work through some of the hardest and most challenges moments of their life is so special and I don’t know if i’ll ever get over the fact that I get to do this for the rest of my life. I spent the first 22 years of my life living in Kentucky and there are countless moments where I desperately needed someone to talk to. To help me sort out my identity as a queer woman of color, to sit with me through the pain and to help navitage that chapter of my life. When I chose to go back to school I made a promise to myself that I would try to become the therapist I always needed when I was younger.

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.
I’m an east side gal so all of my favorite spots would be on this side of town. I would absolutely hit up little areas and neighborhoods that I love which include Los Feliz for the little shops, vintage style movie theater and adorable restaurants. I would also visit Silver Lake for their amazing restaurants, the walkable neighborhood and cute boutiques. I would take my friend to Echo Park Lake for a picnic and paddle boats at night when they’re lit up with a beautiful view of Downtown, LA. I think for anyone visiting LA you must visit the Griffith Park Observatory, if anything for the beautiful view. Last but not least, I would take my friend to visit my most favorite neighborhood Highland Park. I would take them on York Boulevard and also Figueroa for tons of restaurant and boutique/shopping options.

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?
To my wife, my love, my partner, my best friend, my love of this life time and many more.

To my nan, (my grandmother). To the baddest, most effortlessly chic, the coolest and most powerful woman I know. Our connection is undeniable, an irreplaceable bond. You are so important to me and I hope you always know how cherished and missed you are.

Website: www.jesspereztherapy.com

Instagram: @jesspereztherapy

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jess-perez-4a144530

Twitter: @jessptherapy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jesspereztherapy

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/jess-perez-therapy-los-angeles

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