Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Meredith Hansen.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Dr. Hansen. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
For as long as I can remember, I have always been interested in love, relationships and human behavior. Growing up I remember wanting to make an impact in the lives of children as a teacher, but when it came time to declare my major in college, I chose psychology. Something drew me to the topic. I wanted to learn more.
I did well in school and enjoyed studying psychology, but I remained interested in teaching. It wasn’t until my senior year of college that my career interests changed. On a whim, I enrolled in a Psychology elective course focused on the application of psychological theory to themes and characters in classic movies. Films such as, The Seventh Seal and Taxi Driver were analyzed in this course and instantly I was hooked. Everything in this class came easy to me, it just made sense. I remember leaving class one day and calling my mom without thinking to tell her that I wanted to be a psychologist. At the time I had no idea what that actually meant but I knew, psychology was for me.
In graduate school, I was driven towards attachment theory. Again, everything about this topic/theory clicked and made sense. Learning about the power of love and relationships and how a secure relationship can help us heal and an insecure relationship can deepen our pain fascinated me. I couldn’t get enough and I knew that my area of clinical practice as a psychologist had to be all things love, relationships and parenting.
Has it been a smooth road?
I always knew I wanted to have my own practice and I was able to make that happen pretty quickly upon obtaining my license as a psychologist, however, there were bumps, turns and detours along the way.
Some of the struggles I faced were related to the business side of my practice. Learning about marketing, web design/development, finances and taxes, choosing to partner (and un-parter) with other psychologists, learning how to set myself apart from other psychologists in the area (and there are a lot of psychologists in my area) were a few of the challenges I faced. Some of these challenges were easy to work through and improve upon and others I continue to work on.
As a clinician, I am well-trained in my trade and am great when I’m sitting on the couch in front of a client. But running a business requires a different skill set, one that I was not taught in graduate school. While I have definitely grown as a business owner, there will always be a need for more growth. Luckily, continued education is a requirement for psychologists, so adding in continued education courses for the business feels natural to me.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Dr. Meredith Hansen story. Tell us more about the business.
My practice offers counseling and coaching services in Laguna Niguel and Newport Beach. I work with individuals and couples who are either trying to improve their current relationship, dealing with a bad breakup, trying to find the “one” or going through a life transition such as getting married or becoming parents.
In addition, I offer parent coaching sessions, workshops for couples looking to learn new skills to boost their relationship, and support groups for moms of preschool age children who want guidance and support as they navigate the challenges most moms face.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
While technology has changed some aspects of my industry such as “text therapy” or “virtual sessions”, nothing really compares to or beats the power of a face to face counseling session. While yes, it is wonderful that we can work with people who may not have access to a specialized mental health provider in their area, the goal should not be to eliminate or attempt to replace the traditional aspects of psychotherapy with technology. The relationship is ultimately what heals.
In general, I do believe that today mental health is a more commonly discussed topic than even just 5 or 10 years ago, but we still have a long way to go. Even in our modern society, there are individuals and couples who keep their participation in therapy a secret out of fear or shame of what others will think, people who resist entering treatment all together, those who avoid putting their children in treatment again out of fear or shame and those who drop in and out of treatment fearful of committing to the process.
My hope for the field of mental health over the next 5-10 years is that we continue to propel forward and break down barriers. I believe that with all the tragedy we face today, it is time to make mental health a priority in our country. We need to increase education, resources, community support and funding related to mental health treatment, screenings and crises. We need to increase early intervention, offer alternative treatments to medication for those who are resistant, normalize participation in treatment and educate parents, teachers, coaches and mentors on the power they hold as “key attachment figures” in a young person’s life and how their meaningful relationship with a child can alter their future and the future of our collective youth.
- Address: 28202 Cabot Road, Suite 300
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
- Website: www.DrMeredithHansen.com
- Phone: 949-416-8342
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Natalie Moser, Beaubelle Photography