We had the good fortune of connecting with Saba Harouni Lurie (she/her/hers) and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Saba, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
After graduating from my master’s program in Marriage and Family Therapy, I began my career working at a non-profit mental health agency. I was really excited to have found a place to gain hours towards licensure while being supervised and receiving further training. While it was an amazing opportunity, it also required that I divide my attention. I couldn’t focus solely on client care; I had to also meet productivity standards and meet an impossible number of billing hours per week. Trying to maintain any sort of work/life balance came second to not sacrificing client care to those productivity standards. I was dismayed to find that this was also the case at my next job, which was another non-profit mental health agency. There, I worked around 60 hours per week and spent my evenings tutoring and driving Lyft, and eventually, building my own practice. Those early experiences working in non-profits were one of the things that motivated me to found Take Root Therapy. For years, my motto was “The dream is free, but the hustle is sold separately.” I worked evenings, weekends, whatever, all in hopes of helping my business succeed and being able to provide care that is more aligned with my values. And it eventually worked. But more recently I have taken inventory of my life, including how much of myself I am leaving for my children, my family, my friends, and for myself. I have found that I don’t want to give all of myself to my business, and that while my work is rewarding, I don’t want it to be (and it can’t be) everything. I have been more intentional about setting boundaries around personal time, family time, and time with friends. At the same time, I also understand that there isn’t a perfect recipe. There may be days or weeks when the business is the main priority again, and days or weeks when I only focus my energy on my family. I am fortunate enough to love what I do, and to have a personal life that I also love. I think learning how to create space for all parts of myself in my life will be an ongoing endeavor.
What should our readers know about your business?
Take Root Therapy is an LGBTQIA+ affirming, client-centered psychotherapy practice in Los Feliz. Our guiding principles are curiosity, compassion, and living with intention. Apart from our clinical experience and evidence-based practices, what I am most proud of is our humility. All of us became therapists because we know what it’s like to need extra support ourselves. We genuinely like our clients, and we see our work with each client as a collaborative experience. I’m also excited about our company culture. I know from experience that you can’t pour from an empty cup. That’s why we offer our therapists a healthy-work life balance. We strive to cultivate a space where not only our clients feel truly seen, heard, and held; our therapists can also feel supported in their journey to reach their full potential as clinicians. While founding and growing a business hasn’t been easy, I’ve definitely learned from different challenges that have come up along the way. Being intentional about the people you choose to support you and then learning how to delegate makes a big difference.
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.
In the before times my favorite places included: Shamshiri Grill in Westwood. In my opinion they have the best Persian food in Los Angeles and they have so many vegan and vegetarian options! There’s also a wonderful ice cream shop down the street, Saffron & Rose Ice Cream. I grew up going there (at their first location) and when I have taken friends who are visiting, they’ve never been disappointed. When I was in high school I would frequent Venice Beach and the boardwalk almost weekly, and I still enjoy going now. Rollerblading along the beach brings me so much joy. I really enjoy going to the movies and there are so many great theaters in Los Angeles! My favorites include Los Feliz 3 Cinemas and the Landmark Theater. I am also someone who loves live theater and would frequent the Ahmanson and the Mark Taper Forum. And finally, Los Angeles has some phenomenal museums. The Getty, LACMA, The Hammer, The Broad… I love visiting them all! But honestly, just walking down Hillhurst in Los Feliz can be a good time. There are great shops to visit, great places to eat, and nothing beats Jeni’s for ice cream. What a great city!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout to my team, including our amazing care coordinator Juli Lydell! She has been so instrumental in allowing me to create balance in my life and does such a wonderful job helping support our team of therapists and our clients! And to The Jane Club, a co-working space turned online community where I have been gifted with support and with opportunities to learn and grow!
Photos are of Take Root Therapy team: Renae Johnson, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Marie Mizuno, Licensed Clinical Social Worker Clarissa Greguska, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Claire O’Connor, Licensed Clinical Social Worker Juli Lydell, Care & Content Coordinator