Today we’d like to introduce you to Jacquelyn Harlan.
Jacquelyn, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I decided to start college in 2003, when my daughter was 6mos old. I also had a 3yr old son. I started at a junior college and was there for far too long. I was also working as a server at the time. I would be home with the kids all day, work evenings, and do my schoolwork after everyone went to bed (there were morning when I would be going to bed as my husband was getting up for work).
I transferred to Chapman University in the fall of 2008. I was a sociology major. My father passed away of cancer in December of that same year & I almost failed out of school due to caring for him. Since I had a minor in social work I was required to do intern hours. At this point, I was working part-time for a non-profit & both of my kids were in school. I graduated from Chapman with my BA in sociology with an emphasis in social work in April 2010.
I stayed at Chapman & pursued my MA in Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. Again, there were Practicum & Internship hours that were required. I wasn’t ow working full time as a liaison for a hospice company. I graduated in 2012.
I thought at that point that I had gone this far, and put in this much time, I might as well go for my PsyD in Clinical Psychology. I started at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Irvine in September 2012. I was required to do a pre-doc internship so I got a position with a Psychologist in Fountain Valley as a Psychological Assistant. I was also interning at an elementary school at the same time. I realized that getting my Psychology license was a long way off so I completed the hours needed for my MFT license; I passed that exam in October 2015. I opened my own practice on April 1, 2016.
I am currently finishing my dissertation to complete my requirements for my PsyD. I will take the first half of my licensing exam as soon as that is complete.
Due to my schooling, I have opportunities to go on short-term study abroad Psychology to The Tavistock Centre in London, I have worked with trauma & torture victim said in Athens, Greece, I have studied at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland, & I just returned from a workshop on trauma & resiliency in Paris, France.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There have been so many hurdles! I promised my husband & kids that my education would never be put above them. That was a hard promise to keep but I think, thus far, I have been able to do that.
There were many nights when I would pull an “all-nighter” to get work done, I have had many deaths in my family since beginning, I have had to juggle work & school internships/Practicum, & there is the financial piece.
There is no class that teaches you how to establish a private practice. Nobody guides a new LMFT through applying for insurance panels.
Nobody trains you on billing codes. My first six months as a new, small business owner were a struggle. I was fortunate to have a husband who supported me & my goals. But the frustration of the business phone not ringing, and money not coming in, was very difficult. Sometimes overwhelming.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I am a Licensed Marriage & Family therapist with a private practice in Fountain Valley, CA. I see patients from ages 7-??? I have experience working with kids, teens, adults, seniors, families, & couples.
I have worked hard to create an environment that makes patients feel safe; safe enough to share all that they are experiencing. I also am very empathetic & work hard to connect in a meaningful, beneficial, therapeutic way with all of my patients.
I think what sets me apart is my willingness to learn & grow as a person, which then benefits anyone I treat. I go on a study abroad to grow my own cultural competency, learn new ways of treating disorders, among other reasons. I attend workshops locally & am part of several professional organizations. I am also looking into specialized training to help those suffering from traumatic issues & PTSD. The idea of continually growing, & realizing I don’t know everything, but I want to do the best I can by my patients, is not lost on me.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Wow! So many people have encouraged, supported, & taken a chance on me.
First & foremost, I thank God. He opened doors for me when they seemed impossible. He gave me the strength & energy to go to class or stay up late to get assignments done. He gave me wisdom & put the perfect people in my path at the perfect times.
Second, my husband & kids have been the best supportive system I could have ever wanted or needed. They went with every crazy idea I had, gave me the time I needed to get things done, & encouraged my travels. There were many times when I was at the table doing my homework while they were doing there’s. my husband carried the financial burden of our household for many years, they helped me set up my office & get it just the way I wanted it, & they have been there cheering the loudest at each of my graduations.
My extended family and friends have also been so great. My grandparents & mom have encouraged me & given me pep talks I needed when I was questioning why I was putting myself & family through this. My friends would do the same, & most were classmates so we would study together. A lot.
Laura Insley, LMFT, helped me tremendously early on. She was my supervisor at one of my Practicum sites and she is amazing. She guided & helped me understand what being a good therapist looked like.
Dr. Leslee Brown, my first professor in my PsyD program, opened my eyes to the fact that the world is so amazing and has so much to offer for our field. She organized many of the study abroad that I have gone on and has given me opportunities to study at places I thought I could only read about in books. I now have this passion for travel & learning through an international lens.
Finally, Dr. Joan David is the Psychologist who gave me a chance to be her psychological assistant. I was so nervous & she saw through all of that. She continues to be a good friend, source of encouragement, and mentor.
- Address: 9550 Warner Ave., Ste. 250-08
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
- Website: www.jackieharlan.com
- Phone: (714) 403-4166
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org