Why Start a Therapy Practice?
When starting my career in mental health years ago and feeling low after a difficult client story, my dad consoled me and also said “If you don’t care about people, the work will be very easy. But when you care, it will be very difficult.” In a profession that supports the needs of others, he knew that it’s important to feel the sadness and that I shouldn’t shy away from the difficult work because the immersion into them is what makes the space so impactful.
I took this nugget with me through every role I had in my career. I embraced the hard work and difficulty and I believe the willingness to follow through on challenges and roadblocks helped me become a reliable outlet for my clients.
In some workplaces, the excellence was evident. Clients always came first and we continued to grow our skills to offer the best support we could. In others, systemic processes and department dynamics were occluded over time and it impacted the experience for the clients. This is where I learned to assertively advocate for client’s needs on the individual and community level, I learned how to start initiatives on my own, and I rewrote roles to ensure clients were provided support at the caliber they deserve.
As a clinician, I want to define the quality of services provided and help people feel that mental health care can be warm, approachable, and effective. I began to learn everything I could about what it takes to start a practice, how to get credentialed with numerous insurance panels, and most importantly, how to prioritize the individual and their communities in the services that are offered. Over the past year, I built socialworkup Therapy with a commitment to make high quality mental health care accessible and approachable. Over time, I realized that a clinical social worker is well-suited to build a practice because they center every decision on meeting the needs of clients and bridging gaps in the community. Intentionality is interlaced in every part of the process.
The mission of socialworkup Therapy is to provide approachable and accessible mental health care to Illinois residents and communities through high quality service, education, and support. The vision is to be a leading psychotherapy practice in Illinois recognized for improving mental health outcomes and bridging gaps in mental health care. Every decision and action is guided by the core values of humility, competence, equity, and service.
So in short, I started socialworkup Therapy because I really care about the process and outcome for clients and feel humbled to do the difficult work to provide reliable care. I was privileged to work in incredible organizations and hospitals and take what I learned about what works and what doesn’t to create a practice that is built on approachability and accessibility. I’m grateful for my mentors and colleagues for all the lessons they’ve taught me.
As I continue to invest in this mission, I hope to collaborate with Illinois teens and young adults to learn what’s needed most. What would you want in your ideal therapy experience? What would make therapy more approachable? What’s a stumbling block that comes up when trying to access care?
Comment below or e-mail me directly at JasmineChandy@socialworkup.com. I’d love to hear your thoughts.