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

Hi Joshua, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
At first, I questioned what I would like my career to look like as a therapist once I am done. The idea of a private practice was always there but I knew there were necessary steps that I had to take: I knew the plan would take time and patience. The idea went into full effect while working a job I was not fulfilled with. I felt like the job I was doing was not aligned with my purpose; it did not fit what I wanted to do nor the reason I went to school for so many years. I made an assessment and saw what was lacking. This propelled me into starting my private practice. I knew it would be a slow boil because anything worth having takes time. I just knew that the foundation needed to be there and that I could not rush my 5-year plan into a 5 month process.

The thought of starting my own business was something that had been there since the first day I started graduate school. I knew at some point I wanted to have my own private practice and provide therapy in a way that fit my ideals and beliefs. As I experienced more with school and internships, the fine tuning of what I would want my own practice to look like was taking place. I was never sure about when even though I was certain that I would, which has allowed me to be open to a plethora of experiences and relationships that have helped me grow into my own dream that I set to have 5 years ago. I knew I wanted to work for myself and facilitate therapy the way I knew people that identified with me, needed therapy facilitated to them. I’ve been doing practice part time and it has been the best decision I have made in my professional career. It has helped me grow as a clinician and has kept me dreaming about what is next in my practice. It has also given me the confidence to show up for more opportunities that further expand my practice whether it is teaching at NYU, public speaking engagements regarding complex social issues, and co-authoring a book.

The thought process, when left alone, can be filled with anxiety, doubt, and fear. For me, it was always an ongoing battle with imposter syndrome especially as a Black man from Rockaway, New York where the resources and encouragement are scarce. At times, I still have to remind myself of the work that I have already completed in this short time as a therapist. The abilities that I have been blessed with, were the same ability that helped create successful mental health treatment at my first full-time job for two years. People whom had never been to therapy before, was interested in starting and invested in their own growth. There was a moment that I had to sit there with myself and think about the positive impact that I had on Black and Brown people who came to me for therapy to combat the self-doubt. To be a young Black male in this world is to be in consistent conflict with the misnomers the world places on me and what I actually believe about myself.

It took a community of people that I trust to protect me from what the world has defined me as. Thanks to my mentors Dr. Jae James, Dr. Anna Morgan, and Peggy Noel, I was able to take their words of encouragement and start my own private practice. With their guidance, I was able to see that my desire to be a full-time therapist in private practice is possible. Now that I have the foundation in place and the confidence that I have worked hard for, I see the need for me to step into fulltime private practice; to provide folks with a space to heal. I am looking forward to what’s to come and the new ideas that I come up with to impact more people in a restorative way.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Mental health professionals aren’t always taught how to run a business even though we end up in private practice. Establishing the thought that I run a business has been difficult because I also do human work. My job is to help others heal thus placing a monetary gain to the work I do has been conflicting on a ideological level. With that being said, my mentors have assisted me with seeing the value in the work that I do and how important it is to be compensated for it.

One of the most important things I have done was Youtube University and asking my mentors about private practice. I knew I needed to build a foundation that would support me structurally. I wanted to create a workflow that would give me the least amount of stress. One of the biggest takeaways so far has been the realization that even though I am in business alone, it does not mean I have to do it alone. There is still a team of people around me along with a really good accountant and lawyer that is there to make sure everything is working properly.

When people look at me or my story, I want them to feel inspired. I want them to know that they are only limited by their imagination. I want them to know that patience is a form of love and to love themselves is the best gift to have in any circumstance. Nothing combats fear, self doubt, and insecurity more than the ability to love oneself. Love creates faith a pushes out fear. Love creates space to build a solid plan. Keep believing. Keep love first.

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.
Damn, where do I start? If it’s the summer, I’m taking them to my hometown of Rockaway. I love the beach even though I can’t swim so every day has to start with the beach then head out to various restaurants on the boardwalk and on the peninsula. It is a beautiful place that is great to explore…just don’t be pushing my people out and gentrifying the neighborhood. My Black and Brown folks rely heavily on affordability and accessibility. Visit not gentrify please.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I truly want to give all honor to God who has blessed me continuously with the people I needed at all the right times. From my parents to my mentors. I want to make sure that when they read this, that I love them from the deepest parts of my spirit and heart. I could not have done anything without God bringing them into my life and showing His love through them.

Website: joshthetherapist.com

Instagram: iamjoshthetherapist

Other: www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/joshua-immanuel-ware-brooklyn-ny/451674 secure.helloalma.com/providers/joshua-ware/

Image Credits
Instagram: @atilanoimages

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