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

Hi Laura, how does your business help the community?
Here we are, in 2022, finally accepting as a society that mental health matters! People are starting to talk about the fact that it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling. As a therapist, educator, and content creator it’s so important to me that folks have access to resources for their mental health, either on an informal scale like through my content on social media, or more formally by attending a workshop I host or starting therapy with me. In my private practice, I accept insurance for folks who need affordable therapy, but I also accept private pay for folks who need more privacy or don’t want to involve their insurance companies. I’m also working on some on-demand courses and workshops in the next year that folks can purchase as a supplement to their own therapy or if therapy isn’t an option for them at that time. On social media, I post mental health tips and relatable content that hopefully helps people feel less alone with whatever they’re going through. These supplemental resources are awesome because therapists can only practice in states where they’re licensed, so providing different offerings ensures that people outside of my area can benefit too. I think it’s imperative for folks to have choices in what their care looks like, which is why I try to incorporate a lot of different elements into my business.

What should our readers know about your business?
I opened my private practice in October 2021 because I needed a “quick” way to leave a different therapist job. Joke’s on me, because starting a business isn’t quick or easy. In graduate school, they taught me how to be a therapist, but they definitely didn’t teach me about opening my own business. However, with a lot of trial and error, making mistakes and finding creative ways to correct them (and crying to my partner *a lot* from stress), it’s been such a phenomenal experience. What started as direct 1-to-1 clinical work has expanded into public speaking, educating, creating content on social media, partnering with other mental health organizations, and getting involved in mental health spaces that I hadn’t even had on my radar before. I get to work the hours that make sense for my family. I get to have a greater impact on my clients’ care because I’m not burnt out. A huge component of this is also my core belief that I can do anything I put my mind to. I’ve always had a knack for making situations “work out” one way or another, and I relied on that in order to persevere through the challenges of navigating business and financial logistics, periods with no client inquiries, frustrations with social media algorithms, confusing liability clauses, staring at a screen and having no motivation to do tasks, and all the other things that are part of running your own business. My practice is truly one that lives and breathes in alignment with my own core values, and I’m proud of myself for being able to build that.

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.
My caveat here is that I’m a born and bred valley girl, so I’d want to show my friends around all the hidden gems in the valley and less traveled areas instead of the usual tourist hotspots. For dinner, I recommend Wood & Water in my neighborhood, Sherman Oaks, Yen Sushi in Studio City, or Spumoni for the BEST Italian food. Bonus: there’s always parking in the valley! Most of my friends are giant nerds like me, so I’d take them to Vroman’s bookstore in Pasadena after grabbing coffee at Coffee & Plants, or to grab a drink at Catcher in the Rye bar in Toluca Lake, or we’d spend a night at The One Up in Sherman Oaks for some vintage arcade games (and then I’d probably force them to join me at The Oaks Tavern for karaoke, because that’s my favorite thing in the world). I’d also take my friends on at least one epic hike — the Bridge to Nowhere in the SGV is a must-do for moderate hikers, or Temescal Canyon in Topanga State Park has gorgeous views of the beach the entire way up. I’m a big fan of exploring all that LA has to offer outside of the main hotspots, so I love doing things like wine tasting at Rosenthal Winery on PCH or checking out quirky bars like Scum & Villainy.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
So much of my story has relied on the support of my inner circle — my parents, my partner, my friends, and my colleagues. A few years ago, the thought of owning a business wasn’t even on my mind. As my journey took me closer and closer to this inevitability, it was the support and, ultimately, the faith that my inner circle had in me that allowed me to push through the imposter syndrome and the unknowns to create something. And as it has continued to build, I also think it’s imperative to thank my clients. I learn so much every day from the wonderful folks who come into my practice, and I’m super grateful for the opportunity to support them in their own stories.

Website: www.laurasgrolcsw.com

Instagram: @laurasgrolcsw

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