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

Hi Kelly, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
When I envisioned what I wanted my life to look like, it had a couple of key factors to it. These factors were that I wanted to be in a helping profession where my work would directly impact the quality of life of others and I wanted to have a family where I could be emotionally and physically present to raise my kids on my terms. So, after several different career journey’s in hospitality / restaurant management, administrative support, and also a brief stint in entertainment industry, I decided to go back to school and pursue a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. While in graduate school, it became abundantly clear that I wanted to do my training in a private practice setting. This experience was the foundation and road map toward achieving both of my key factors in my life. Right before graduate school, I had my first child, my son named Leo and right before licensure, I had my second child, my daughter named Mia. After licensure, I began the journey toward opening my own private practice and creating the work/life balance that I would need to meet my original goals. I wanted to open my own practice to be a supportive outlet in the community to help promote awareness and support for mental health and having my own business would afford me the opportunity to make my own schedule and be able to raise my children in the way I had always dreamed of raising them. I also knew that I wanted to be a facilitator and resource for the next generation of therapists and having my own business, has allowed me to hire MFT associates who I provide clinical supervision and private practice coaching/education to as the begin their journey’s toward private practice as well.

What should our readers know about your business?
I own a private practice located on the border of Eagle Rock and Pasadena. I practice from a psychodynamic theoretical orientation, which is a long term depth approach to therapy. I believe the psychological underpinnings that lie in our unconscious, based off experiences from our childhood, play a crucial role in our functioning and psychological health. This approach also relies heavily on the therapeutic alliance and relationship between the client and therapist. I have a clinical emphasis in supporting maternal mental health, including fertility issues, miscarriage, stillborn/loss, post-partum depression and post-partum anxiety, as well as supporting mothers to achieve their goals for motherhood, without losing sight of their own individuality and autonomy. I also support couple’s through their adjustment into parenthood and the recalibration and stabilization of their relationship after such a life changing transition.

I am very proud of three things. My ability to establish and maintain a thriving practice where I am able to not only touch, but heavily influence the quality of life of individuals in our community. Knowing that our relationship can often be a catalyst to people discovering their own worth, value, potential, and be able to make choices and changes that could change the entire trajectory of their lives, is one of the greatest privileges to have. Secondly, I am proud of my decision to become a clinical supervisor, where I can directly give back to the next generation of therapists, by taking them under my wing and supporting the evolution of their skills and confidence as a clinician. Lastly, I am proud that I have been able to have my own business that allows me to make my own decisions for my time and allows me to be a part of our family life on my own terms.

I began creating my private practice while still being a pre-licensed clinician. Since I worked in a private practice setting, I learned all the ins and outs of running your own practice, marketing, networking, and developing strong clinical skills that set you apart from the thousands of other therapists in the greater Los Angeles area. It is not always easy, especially because of the personal emotional investment required to be a successful clinician. There is an ebb and flow in private practice that can create anxiety at times, but the biggest takeaway that has allowed me to overcome these challenges, is knowing and believing in what I have to offer, that my past experience, and the way that I show up and be present for my clients, is the biggest marketing tool that I have in my toolbox. Word of mouth and being authentic are critical in the success of private practice.

I would want the world to know that no two clients are the same or need the same things from me as a therapist. I strive, from day one, to meet people exactly where they are at, and through the evolution of our therapeutic relationship, the work and healing will evolve naturally. I truly believe that people begin to heal the moment they feel known, heard, and understood.

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 am a bit of a coffee lover and foodie so most of our time would be spent in that realm. My favorite coffee shop is right up the street from my house, 1802 Roasters. I don’t even know where to start with food…but some of our favorites include Andre’s Italian Restaurant, Little Beast, Los Poblanos Tacos, Burritos La Palma, Bobby’s Place, Little Flower, Italian Bakery, Teddy’s Red Tacos, The Heights, and my kids love the Old Spaghetti Factory.

As for places, I would focus on outdoor experiences such as Old Town Pasadena, 2nd street in Long Beach, Venice/Venice Canals, Eaton Canyon walking/hiking trails, and the walk/bike path in Long Beach.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people who supported me through graduate school and the licensure process. Each played a critical role in success and development. First and foremost, my husband, Joel, who has been a steadfast example of being my rock and my biggest fan in believing that I had the potential and skill to have a thriving private practice. Secondly, Joel’s family, who helped us care for Leo so that I could go back to school while we both continued to work. Third, my daughter’s home daycare providers, Brenda and Alex, who not only cared for Mia when she was born and I was beginning my private practice, but also treated and cared for our family like we were a part of their family. Fourth, my friends, who were constant supporters of my journey and believed in me throughout the process. Lastly, my professors, mentors, and clinical supervisors at Azusa Pacific University and La Vie Center, who educated me and guided and supported me throughout the process. All of these individuals listed above have contributed to the therapist that I have become and have been my cheerleaders as I launched my own private practice.

Website: www.kellyaguirrelmft.com

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelly-aguirre-668a70b2/

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

Other: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/kelly-aguirre-los-angeles-ca/206051

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