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Meet Ken Graves of Ken Graves Therapy in Orange County and Long Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ken Graves.

Ken, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
This journey has been long, difficult, maddening, entertaining and fulfilling. I could not have created it this way if I tried. I started off as a youth minister for a moderate-sized local church. I hated it. I felt like I was a glorified event planner. I was working long hours (sorry to my wife this hasn’t changed…) and feeling very unfulfilled. My last year at the church there were a series of events that led to my deciding to become a therapist. I had around 8-10 kids, families and others in the church experience severe loss, trauma and other events. I fell in love with making a difference in their lives. I quit my job – 1 year into being married and spent the next 6 years going back to school, working over 15 internships (mostly unpaid), working full time at a luxury resort in Newport Beach, working full time at an Eating Disorder treatment center, to now being an entrepreneur. Everything I went through including the job crisis of 2010, no full-time paid internships, 3,000 hours to become licensed and then waiting for 8 months to have my hours approved to take 2 hard tests, has made me who I am today. I would do it all over tomorrow if I could.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No way! To get licensed, I worked full time at a resort and went to school full time for my masters. My last 8 months, I worked on average over 100 hrs a week to survive. Following becoming an intern, I found myself in a recession in the job market. There were very few jobs for many interns like myself out of school. I went on over 70 job interviews in 2010. Rejection became something of the norm. Going on an interview, believing I’d be a good fit and not hearing back became expected. I finally completed over 3100 hrs. and at that point in the recession the state of California, who approves the hours to get licensed, had 3 people approving hours for the whole state. What should have taken 6-7 weeks was now taking 10-11 months. This career is not for the person who wants success immediately

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Ken Graves Therapy – what should we know?
I am a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. This is someone who has proven that they are knowledgeable in treating eating disorders. This is not something to try and “practice”. I see individuals and families that at times hate each other, sometimes can’t stand one another, and don’t know what to do next. I provide compassion and courage to those with complex problems. What sets me apart from others is simple. Get better faster and get out. My goals are to get fired one day. When we have nothing left to talk about it’s time to go and practice. I believe I’m kind of like the dentist. People go to the dentist for 2 reasons. Because there is some pain and they need help… and for maintenance. So, we work on steps to feel better and hurt less. Then, we meet for maintenance. I am proud of anyone that is committed to getting better. I am proud of those who are dedicated and committed to the work it takes to improve. I am proud of providing excellent care for complex cases in a way that feels enjoyable and fun… yes, therapy should be fun.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
My ability to think outside the box. So many therapists just treat what you see… like low hanging fruit. Low hanging fruit tastes the worst. Why? Because it’s easy… and wrong (usually). My success is that I don’t see people for their problems. I see them for who they are. Compassion is the key to my success. I ooze compassion. A therapist that is harsh, judgmental or advice-giving, is a lousy therapist. Clients need to know there are better choices out there.

Pricing:

  • Individual or family therapy 60 mins $250 an hour
  • Group Therapy 90 minutes (6 people max) $125 per group
  • 4 session assessment package $800 – $50 off per session

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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