Today we’d like to introduce you to Marie Freschl.
Hi Marie, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I’ve always wanted to be in a field that contributes to change, no matter how small or big that change would be. My relationship with therapy and the idea of being a therapist was a soulmate-level match! As much as I hope to bring to the mental health world, I am constantly grateful for the role it has played in my life. When I started my journey, however, I was beginning to learn the flaws within the mental health system. I learned quickly that therapy, at least in America, was rarely beneficial for marginalized populations. Furthermore, the population of therapists were limited in diversity, often creating a divide. Understanding these limitations through both personal and professional endeavors, I wanted to cultivate a practice that focused on spaces that were safe for everyone. One where clinicians understood multicultural impacts, sexuality, gender fluidity, etc. I knew that doing it under someone else’s space would give me limited control in this. So my best friend and I decided to open our own practice. Since then, we have successfully built a practice that continues to evolve for those who haven’t always had the space. As a woman of color myself, having this success while upholding initial goals to make mental health more widely accessible has been the most rewarding process. I am always excited to continue to build and expand this accessibility.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
For the most part, my business partner and I have had many privileges that have helped propel us in a successful direction. However, there are always different hurdles. Like with any business, we saw an ebb and flow with clients. When we started the practice, we both were balancing two other jobs at another practice and a nonprofit agency. It was emotionally and mentally challenging at the time and with mental health, you want to try your best to model balance. I made sure to always be active in my own therapy to ensure that my personal and professional life maintained a healthy relationship. Once we started to see success, it was empowering and rewarding to be able to take the leap and leave the other two jobs. I am forever appreciative for that transition.
Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I opened my practice with my best friend from grad school. Though we both have different specialties, we agreed that our practice was to be a space that provides healing for persons of all backgrounds. We continue to utilize eclectic treatment plans that address interpersonal, societal, and generational impacts. We also continue to deepen our understanding of the flaws within therapy and its multicultural shortcomings. I, myself, specialize in complex traumas, multicultural and gender-related issues. I’m so proud of the success we have in bridging the gap with mental health and underserved populations. As an Asian American woman, I know firsthand of the lack of trust and also lack of applicable therapy methods with my culture and mental health. Being able to provide representation in the field and connect with many other Asian Americans in my practice has been incredible to be a part of. Also, being able to connect other POC in this space has been rewarding. Though the mental health field has ways to go in becoming safer for these populations, I am proud to be a part of the current therapists who are part of this needed movement.
Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
Though I appreciate learning from those who have been in the field a lot longer, I have also found some of my best support to come from peers and colleagues. Developing strong relationships with trusted peers in the field has brought me such powerful support, advice, and inspiration. To this day, I utilize my support system for professional advice, referral sources, and personal check-ins. These particular people inspire me everyday to continue to strive for success but also take care of myself.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://www.coastlinewellnessgroup.com/
- Instagram: @coastlinewellness