We had the good fortune of connecting with Lindsey Paoli, MS, MFT-Intern and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lindsey, how does your business help the community?
As a coach and therapist, my main mission is really to revolutionize the way the world approaches mental health by creating psychoeducation about prevention. We practice preventative care for everything, from our bodies, to our teeth, to even our cars! The fact that the mental health stigma has impeded our ability to see the importance of preventative mental care baffles me, especially because your mental health impacts everything else in your life: your relationships, your physical health, your success, and yes, your happiness. My company, Fundamental Health is all about teaching the basics of mental maintenance from the ground up, with the MIND Fundamentals, which are a very simple way to incorporate mental care as a part of your daily routine. Before COVID-19, over 51million Americans were diagnosed with mental illness, and that likely was under-reported due to stigma. Those rates are unquestionably far higher now and will only continue to rise unless we all begin to take a completely different approach to the way we talk about and take care of our mental health.
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?
My practice, Fundamental Health has been a steadfast dream in the works for years now. And while it’s been a consistent idea of what I want it to look like, it has also grown in ways I could have never expected when I first started. I just think that’s the coolest, most exciting thing about creating your own business– it’s ever-changing but also, that core vision is always there.
I’ve always known that Fundamental Health would be a practice that focused on changing the narrative about therapy and mental health. The consistent vision has been that it function as a lifestyle brand, where prioritizing mental health feels luxurious and fun, instead of dirty and secretive. If I’m honest, I’m still very new to the business side of things and am still restricted to my post-graduate licensing procedures. As a post-graduate Intern, I’m limited in all that I can do or build. But considering I am still in such infancy stages I’m really proud of some of the shifts I’ve made in my local community without even having a full wellness facility, as the long-term vision holds. In the meantime, I’ve only recently began to offer Life Performance Coaching, which has allowed me to reach a much broader audience who may not be quite ready for therapy and may be outside of Las Vegas. I’m also really excited to be offering Guest Speaking and Corporate Training. I have a really important message that I need people to hear, and I’m so happy so many are coming on board to listen AND pass the information and tools onto their employees.
If anyone tells you that building their business was easy, they are LYING to you. I don’t think it’s ever easy; it certainly wasn’t for me. I actually quit a really solid and successful career in Hospitality Management on the Strip in Las Vegas. To many, I was already living a dream! So even acknowledging that for me it wasn’t enough was a really hard step. And then, I went back to Grad school in the midst of being just over thirty, getting married, and starting a family. It wasn’t what most would define as ideal. I had TWO babies before I graduated, which is a hard enough life transition all on its own without throwing on the additional stress (and COST) of a Masters Degree! It could have been really easy to quit and go back to what felt more comfortable and stable, but I knew I *needed* to do this to feel whole, so I never even questioned sticking it out. And all that was before I even opened my practice, which hosted all the standard challenges for any new business owner–finding paying clients, learning to create your own systems, figuring out the ins and outs of the finances. But it felt so exciting to get the opportunity to do those hard things, under my own terms, my belief structure, and my vision.
Honestly, that was a huge lesson for me to learn in real time: when you’re grinding for something that feels meaningful to you, it doesn’t feel like a grind at all. I’d do any of those years over again without question. But you could never pay me enough to be a Guest Services Manager again! I point out this same realization to my clients now all the time.
And finally, what I want people to know about me and Fundamental Health is that this sh*t is personal to me. I sometimes describe it that I’m an activist just as much as I am a therapist. I think a lot of people see professionals and experts as these untouchable people who maybe had it easy or didn’t struggle or could for whatever reason just never relate to them–especially therapists. But I HAD to create this practice because it was a practice and methodology I wish would have existed when I was in some very dark and scary places battling my own mental health. My messages, tools, voice, and story are all what I wish someone was saying to me when doctors were prescribing me anti-depressants and telling me I needed therapy. The way my coaching and therapy looks and feels is what I wish I saw when I walked out of therapists offices, mid-session. And because of that, it has become really helpful to lots of other people who are just like I was, which is truly the ultimate mission.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This is hard! There are so many people who have contributed to my growth and my mission–in both positive and negative ways. It’s so cliche in my field now but I honestly think the most impactful person to my own journey, and to my practice, has been Brene Brown. Way back when I started my own therapy, after years of battling my internal stigma of it, I was addressing really intense anxiety, depression, and overcoming perfectionism. I was assigned from my therapist to watch Brene’s TEDTalk on Vulnerability. Suddenly all the work I was (begrudgingly) doing began to click and make perfect sense. I decided shortly after that I wanted to go back to grad school and become a therapist myself and hopefully make some sense of others’ internal struggles for them. Many of her ideas come up in my own practice still, in the way that she talks about shame, relationships, courage, and even leadership.
Ati G Branding and LadyBrandBoss Photography