Today we’d like to introduce you to Angela Ficken.
Hi Angela, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I am a psychotherapist and have a full-time private practice and I specialize in anxiety and stress disorders. I am also a mental wellness entrepreneur. Both careers have been a journey!
Before moving into my full-time practice, I worked as a head social worker on an anxiety and depression unit at McLean Hospital which is one of the best psychiatric hospitals in the country, and I also worked at Harvard University as a primary therapist to undergraduate and graduate students.
In 2013, after taking the leap into private practice, I began getting feedback from clients that the skills I was teaching them were life-changing and they were noticing significant improvements, but that finding a therapist like myself who taught strategies took months, sometimes years. Boston is not that big of a city, so if they had a hard time finding me, who else out there might be looking for help and is having difficulty finding a skills-based therapist? That question ignited my entrepreneurial career.
I wanted to make it easier for people to gain access to the skills and strategies I teach in sessions, no matter where they are in the world. This is when I started writing monthly newsletters which helped me build an online following, I have also written articles for Today.com/parenting and Huffington post. As I gained traction in the online community, I dove into writing an online intensive, seven-module course focused on skills and strategies to manage everyday stressors. This course is essentially my mini dissertation on stress management. Everything I teach in my individual sessions is in the course. All the worksheets, materials, and skills.
My goal as a mental wellness entrepreneur is to provide help to as many people as I can and make learning new behaviors and skills fun. It’s hard work to change but hard work doesn’t have to be a grind all the time.
I am the most proud of this course, the work me and my team put into creating it, and how accessible it is for the online community.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It definitely has not been a smooth road, but usually the best growth both personally and professionally comes from those bumps you hit along the way.
One of my biggest struggles has been learning how to manage my time. Like many women, I have several important roles in my life- I am a business owner, wife, mom, daughter, sister, and friend. How do I balance all of these roles while maintaining my own self-care? It took some trial and error to figure out a system that works for me, but I am now at a place where I accept not all things will get 100 percent of my attention at all times. And that certain things take priority over others, and that’s OK. Priorities shift and change all the time. Nothing is set in stone. Embracing that flexibility helped me learn how I want to manage my time and be present for all the people and things I love.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
As I mentioned earlier, I am a psychotherapist and mental wellness entrepreneur. I specialize in anxiety and stress disorders and I am trained in two gold standard therapy modalities that treat anxiety- cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). I won’t get into the weeds describing what those therapies are, but in a very brief nutshell these therapies teach people how to stop their negative self-talk and to manage the physical discomfort hard emotions, like stress and anxiety can bring, for example, heart racing, poor sleep, muscle tension, and nausea.
I spent the last six years building my online brand and creating a community where people have access to what I teach in my private practice. You can be anywhere in the world and through the website my team and I built, you can access some of the best skills and strategies to manage your stress and anxiety. I have written an online course, workbooks, skills kits, individual coaching sessions, and I have monthly newsletters that are all part of worriedtowellbalanced.com.
Working to improve your mental wellness and relationships with others can be hard work but it’s also good work. It doesn’t have to be a slog or a struggle, and my focus is on making that learning fun.
I am proud to have built such a wonderful online community and that I get to find creative ways to help to others.
So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
My family matters the most to me. With my husband and daughter by my side, I can do anything. Finding ways to make them happy make me feel happy. Having them in my life also motivates me to focus on my own mental wellness. If I take care of myself, I have more energy and emotional bandwidth for them. I also want to model for my daughter how taking care of yourself both mentally and physically are important ingredients for self-worth.
My family helps me feel grounded, loved, and I just love them more than anything.
- Website: worriedtowellbalanced.com
- Instagram: @progresswellness