To Top

Hidden Gems: Meet Ninel Simonian of Connections Psychotherapy Services

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ninel Simonian.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I came to the United States when I was 23, holding a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Business Management – full of hopes and dreams, overwhelming anxiety, and self-doubt. With all the things to learn in the new environment and the subsequent cultural adjustments, I had to re-discover myself. Peeling the layers and exposing the rawness of the core required some serious work. I reflected on my choices and got to learn things about myself that I failed to notice previously.

Since my teen years, psychology has been a passion of mine. Human nature was and still is very fascinating to me. It gives me so much pleasure to read topics on psychotherapy, listen to mental health-related podcasts, go to conferences- you name it.

Having the chance to start over with the newly gained insight, I decided that it’s never too late to do something you love for a living. I dropped studying for and taking CPA exams, and got back into school to study psychology.

I accumulated my training hours at a psychiatric hospital. After earning my degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, I completed my internship in a number of residential facilities which served adolescents and adults dealing with various mental health disorders. As a licensed psychotherapist, I served as a clinical manager at a dual diagnosis residential facility before taking the leap to transition into private practice.

At this stage of my life, I look back at the decision I made regarding the career change, and I could not be happier with its effects on my personal and professional life. I’m doing what I love, and that’s priceless. The enormous satisfaction I get by being a small part of another human’s journey to growth and fulfillment is something that I will never take for granted.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Definitely not. I was going through a lot of challenges when I went back to school. Being an immigrant, I had to relearn every basic thing one does in daily life. The cultural change, language proficiency, finance-related decision makings, committing to a career path that would take years and years of practice to get to a point of confidence, were really draining at the time. On the other hand, it was one thing to study the textbooks and conceptualize cases at school, it was a whole different eye-opening experience seeing clients in real life. I would deeply feel the client’s pain and it was a struggle to separate work from personal life. I think most people in helping professions constantly deal with this challenge. Feeling another soul’s pain and utilizing it as a tool for growth is a “skill muscle” that needs a consistent workout to get stronger.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Connections Psychotherapy Services?
After years of narrowing down my strength as a psychotherapist, I now specialize in treating adults with mood disorders, particularly issues related to anxiety, fears, and phobias. I constantly try to expand my skills by learning and implementing new tools and techniques that could help my clients experience relief from symptoms. I realized that most people avoid reaching for help from psychotherapists due to traditionally lengthy treatment periods which become costly financially and time-wise. I am currently a Certified Accelerated Resolution Therapist. It’s a form of eye-movement therapy that resolves issues such as phobias, trauma-related memories/flashbacks, grief, anxiety, depression, and other similar concerns in 1 to 5 sessions. I love this therapy and clients are reporting major improvements in symptoms after trying this.

I take pride in what I do and I strive to treat individuals as a whole. All of us go through challenging times at different stages of our lives. It is just normal and human to go through ups and downs, triumphs and setbacks, hopes and lack thereof. Sometimes, all we need is a safe space in which we can think out loud, laugh and cry without feeling judged. And that is something I hope my clients experience during their time with me.

Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
My wish is that all of us do our part in destigmatizing mental health. Way too many people have suffered the irreversible consequences of hiding their pain and dealing with struggles on their own. Way too many families have fallen apart, and way too many relationships have been ruined. It’s on each and every one of us to build a kinder world, in which people don’t have to hesitate to ask for help.

Contact Info:

Suggest a Story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in local stories