Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexandria Tillard-Gates.
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Growing up, I always had a passion for helping others, which is likely because both of my parents have always been services providers. My mother is an elementary school teacher, and my father a program coordinator for urban youth development. They have been in their fields my entire life, so its no surprise my passion for helping others originated when I was young. As a child, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but when I graduated college I joined Teach For America. I was excited to make a direct impact on my students, I was surprised at just how hard the job was. Teaching middle school for those two years was probably one of the most challenging and life-changing experiences I’ve ever had. It was a catapult for me deciding to go back to school for Marriage and Family Therapy. I wanted to understand how to help others heal from their past life experiences, challenging family relationships, and have more control over their life, decisions, and happiness.
After finishing grad school, I moved to Los Angeles and began working in South Los Angeles serving children and families who had experienced trauma and female victims of sexual assault. These experiences helped me to see trauma differently and understand how it can impact the lives of everyone at some point. While doing this work I decided to start a private practice called HerHealing working with women, specializing in trauma and holistic healing. Not long after, an amazing opportunity presented itself for me to work part-time as a school counselor at an all girls middle school in Panorama City and support them with developing a counseling program. This was the stability I needed to go full-time with HerHealing.
It wasn’t until three years later that I decided to start HerHealing Community, our non-profit. HerHealing Community came from the passion to expose women of color to a range of different holistic healing practices at a low cost, enabling them to experience alternative healing methods that they may not have been able to experience otherwise. Through bi-monthly healing sessions women can experience emotional and mental healing in a safe space utilizing methods such as art therapy, yoga therapy, creative writing, and prayer, just to name a few of our past sessions. By working with women and girls of color for over seven years, I have identified barriers to our healing. Some of those barriers include finances, limited exposure to alternative forms of healing, and a lack of support or a sense of community. Through HerHealing Community, I wanted to eliminate those barriers.
Has it been a smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road, but I truly believe that I am doing God’s work and fulfilling my purpose. Early on, I had a vision of owning my own business and creating a company that was a source of community and healing for women but I had no idea how or what it would look like. HerHealing Community is that vision. One challenge of mine early on was understanding how to start a successful business and financially support myself at the same time. Having only lived in Los Angeles for three years when I started HerHealing, I didn’t have a big support team or business network in the beginning. I had to have faith, be willing to take big risks, and listen to God to get guidance on my next steps. This experience has been a lot of trial and error filled with tons of learning. I am grateful for the journey and relationships I have made along the way, I now have a great support team!
Please tell us about HerHealing.
I am most proud of the impact HerHealing Community has had on the lives of others. It’s amazing to me that since our first session in October of 2019 we have had 9 Saturday healing sessions, each exposing women and children to 9 different holistic healing approaches. I am grateful for the women who come to our sessions and leave sharing revelations and gratitude for the experience. Recently a woman approached me after a group healing session and shared how she has never been to therapy and never tried yoga. She was invited by a friend to attend the restorative yoga session and during the session she noticed a big release of energy in her hips. She was amazed that for many years she had avoided trying yoga because she thought it was only for people who are “flexible.” If it weren’t for HerHealing Community she wouldn’t have felt comfortable trying this new healing modality and experiencing the benefits. I am doing exactly what I set out to do and in only six years of being in Los Angeles.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Over the next 5-10 years, I see HerHealing Community growing and impacting women in all areas of Los Angeles County. I see us having healing sessions in multiple locations along with our current Downtown LA location. I see us establishing partnerships with other service and mental health organizations in order to build a bigger community of healing. It is my hope that by the end of this year, we will obtain funding that will allow us to continue to provide bi-monthly healing session to women of color for the next 5-10 years.
- Group Healing Session Fee: $10
- Please go to www.herhealingla.com for individual, couples, and family therapy fees
- Address: HerHealing Community Saturday Sessions
1325 palmetto St. Suite 120
Los Angeles, CA 90013
HerHealing Office- Psychotherapy
8500 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 700C
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
- Website: www.herhealingla.com & www.herhealing.org
- Phone: 213-317-7821
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @HerHealingLA
- Facebook: @HerHealingLA