We had the good fortune of connecting with Sonia Fregoso and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sonia, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
The idea of starting my own business came to me when I was experiencing burnout in my full-time job as a clinical therapist in community mental health. Burnout is prevalent in these spaces, and it was my second time experiencing burnout in my career. When I first thought about starting my own business, I was terrified, but I knew it was a necessary step to take because I was tired of working for others. I didn’t want to continue working in a space where things had to be a specific structure, and I couldn’t be my authentic self. I started my own business because I desperately craved to show up as my authentic self in the world, and that’s what my business allows me to do. My business gives me the freedom to practice therapy as a holistic psychotherapist. I take pride in my ability to combine traditional talk therapy with holistic forms of healing. I am known as a “Tarot Psychotherapist” because I integrate tarot readings into my psychotherapy sessions.
What should our readers know about your business?
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of Angel City Holistic Therapy in South Los Angeles. Angel City Holistic Therapy was born out of my love for Los Angeles, holistic healing, and helping folx build self-trust.
What sets me apart is that I am not afraid of taboo subjects. Death, grief, sexuality, and tarot are my favorite subjects to explore with folx because these topics are not common in our day-to-day lives. So many of us hold curiosity or fear about these subjects; I want to help you explore that curiosity and fear. I have noticed that exploring these subjects brings about long-lasting changes in people’s lives, and that’s what I love about my work. It is a privilege to witness my client’s journey to inner peace and self-love.
I am most proud of and excited about integrating Tarot into therapy; I can talk about this all day. Tarot and therapy complement each other so well that they should be taught together, in my opinion, and that is what I try to explain every time I talk about this subject. I am also proud of my online courses where I teach folx the fundamental skills to reading tarot. I also have a class for therapists who are interested in learning how I integrate tarot into therapy.
Being this open and confident about my practice and my approach to therapy was not easy. I had to unlearn many beliefs and narratives about myself, others, and the meaning of success to get to where I am today business-wise. I overcame these challenges by going to therapy, working on my self-doubt, using tarot readings to help me build self-awareness, and reaching out to people doing what I wanted to be doing for guidance.
The lessons I learned along the way are too many to list here, but if I could share the most important lesson, it would be: be patient with your decisions and find direction. This was important for me to learn because I made impulsive decisions at the beginning of starting my business. Those decisions were leading me to that familiar place of burning out. Being patient with my decisions allowed me to tap into my intuition and build self-trust, and self-trust is vital to running your own business.
I want people to know that there is no “best way” to heal and that healing is a lifelong journey. Healing takes practice and integrating many tools and modalities. Although I have listed the many ways I guide people to healing; therapy is only one way. Explore your options and find the way that works for you.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are so many places to visit! I would start with some street food. My favorite spot for tacos is in South LA, and it’s known as “The Tire Shop Taqueria” on Avalon Blvd. Then I would take them to “Xelas” in Boyle Heights for some drinks and good music. For some dessert/treats, I would take them to the nearest “La Michoacana.” If they want to have a nice sit-down dinner, I would take them to “Baracoa” in Atwater Village (my husband and I came across this Cuban restaurant ten years ago, and it is still our favorite spot).
In my view, some of the most fun and exciting places to check out are hiking trails– Griffith Park is vast and beautiful.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am fortunate to be surrounded by love and support from family and friends.
My husband’s support has been vital to my success. He is the logic behind my madness and the wind beneath my wings. I know I can count on him to question my wild dreams and challenge me to practice patience and find direction. I can also count on him to celebrate every win, even the small ones.
I have four sisters, and one, in particular, has helped me manifest the vision I had for Angel City Holistic Therapy (ACHT). Nancy Villarreal, the owner of VideoStadik, has directed, produced, and edited many projects for ACHT, including my online classes. Her art is the heart of my practice, from the ACHT logo to the mural in my office. Angel City Holistic Therapy would not be complete without her and her passion for storytelling.
Lastly, to my best friend Genesis Morales, my sisters, and my parents, thank you for believing in me— especially when I didn’t believe in myself.