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Exploring Life & Business with Marjory Vazquez of The Sana House

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marjory Vazquez.

Hi Marjory, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I am a first-generation Salvadorian/Mexican licensed psychologist currently working in the bay area but originally from Southern California. I think deep down, I was always called to the counseling profession, but an internship I had while attending the University of California, Irvine is what helped solidify that decision. I interned at a domestic violence shelter and fell in love with the profession and working with women, particularly women of color. I was inspired by the women’s resiliency, hope, and strength. As I finished my doctoral studies, I didn’t think opening a private practice was a possibility until something like ten years down the road. The Sana House was created by a combination of my desire to work with women of color who have experienced trauma and by happenstance. During the pandemic, I got hired on as a psychologist at Kaiser Permanente Hospital at 34 hours a week. Initially, I was quickly trying to go up to work 40 hours a week. I also started to notice that around this time other colleagues were starting private practices and being successful without having a physical location. This is when I began to seriously consider starting my own business. I was eventually offered an additional 6 hours at Kaiser but decided to decline them and use the additional hours to start my own private practice. This was a scary and hard decision since this was my first official job post-licensure and I knew nothing about business. I knew it was a risk but one I felt called to take! In retrospect, I am so happy that I was only offered 34 hours at Kaiser. I don’t think I would have started a private practice had I been working a full 40 hours. Now I get to serve the population I want without any organizational restraints.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I was extremely fortunate to have received a lot of mentorship and guidance during my educational journey. As early on as high school, I had mentors who helped me navigate the logistics of applying to college. As an undergraduate and graduate student, I also had amazing mentors and advisors who helped me enter and complete a doctoral degree. Although the doctoral program was not a smooth road per say, the mentorship and community I had made the process feel much more manageable. I’ve received a lot less guidance when it comes to starting my own private practice. Starting a business and managing being an early career professional has been a much more isolating process. Once you graduate from school, there is much less support and community. It has been a struggle to find other first-generation professionals who are starting their own businesses. I would highly recommend to others trying to start their own private practice or businesses to find community and like-minded people who they can build relationships with!

As you know, we’re big fans of The Sana House. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
I am the Founder of “The Sana House”, which is a private therapy practice that focuses on serving women of color. I am passionate about creating a safe space for Latinas and women of color who have experienced trauma. Many of my clients are ambitious and successful women who have experienced difficult things and want to become better versions of themselves. As a first-generation Latina college student, I know the importance of stepping into your power and therefore help my clients do the same. My focus is on helping women heal in a holistic manner that encompasses the mind-body connection. I specialize in trauma work and am trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy as well as other trauma-informed modalities. Brand-wise, I am most proud of the name behind my business. There was a lot of intentionality that went into the name, and I wanted it to symbolize my biculturalism and bilingualism. Sana is a Spanish word that means to heal and to get better and the name translates to “The Healing House” in English. Although majority of my clients are Latinas, I love working with all women of color overall and am currently accepting clients via Telehealth with anyone who lives in California.

Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
It’s hard to just choose one! But overall, I miss the simplicity of childhood. It’s the small moments that I miss like playing outside with friends or doing the most random things with my cousins during family gatherings. There was no responsibility or care in the world. Whether it was having a “dance competition” with friends, spending the summers with my grandparents in East LA, or creating a “scary movie” with cousins, there was always a lot of laughter and joy involved. In some ways, I feel fortunate that I did not grow up in an era where social media was at my fingertips. It forced children of my generation to be creative and sometimes do embarrassing things with our time. Or perhaps we just got lucky that there is no media trial of the silly things we would do!

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