Today we’d like to introduce you to Lorin Shapiro.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up in New York where I was dancing and acting from a very young age. After graduating from college with a BA in Theater, I moved to LA to pursue a career in entertainment. At 28 years old, I found myself feeling quite lost and depressed in a way that I hadn’t experienced before, so at the urging of a close friend, I decided to see a therapist. Therapy was an incredibly deep and eye-opening experience for me and I remember thinking that if I wasn’t performing, I could see myself becoming a therapist. I also remember thinking that if I could help just one person the way I felt therapy helped me, that it would be worth it. It took 7 more years before I would finally make the decision to go back to grad school and get my MA to become a Marriage and Family Therapist. I have been in private practice for almost eight years now and it has been more rewarding than I ever could have imagined. I feel lucky to have found something I love as much as I loved performing and I have been able to integrate my experience in the industry into my work as a therapist.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The process of becoming a therapist is, by nature, a challenging one. It requires you to not only look deeply into the person or people sitting across from you but that you look deeply into yourself. If you can’t do that, you can only be so effective as a therapist. You have to reconcile with your own limitations as a therapist and as a human being. You have to grapple with feelings of inadequacy at times and be willing to tell the person who desperately needs you to know things that you don’t always know and that you don’t always have the answers or solutions they want. Part of being a therapist is having to tolerate being stuck with someone, even when you can see the way forward but they aren’t ready to take it. You have to learn to practice what you preach, which means finding compassion for your own flaws and the messy, imperfect parts of yourself. You have to allow yourself to be human and let the people you treat see that as well. I think, for some, there is this idea that therapists need to be these impenetrable, all-knowing, blank slates. But if that is all we are, then we miss out on the healing that comes from truly connecting.
Please tell us about Lorin Shapiro Psychotherapy.
I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner in private practice. I have two office locations in Studio City and West Hollywood. I work mostly with adult individuals and couples. Some of my areas of specialization include couples and relationships, trauma and the body, partners of sexually compulsive people and people in the entertainment industry. I am also LGBTQIA friendly and I love working with sexually and gender diverse people. While I spend most of my time in private practice, I have also created a Somatic Experiencing audition workshop for actors who struggle with fear and anxiety to help them manage flight/fight/freeze responses in the body that keep them from delivering their best performances. I team up with an amazing casting director, Jami Rudofsky, and together, we offer a one day workshop where they learn about Somatic Experiencing in the morning and then have the opportunity to audition for Jami in the afternoon using the tools they learned. I love being able to work with actors in this capacity because I remember how nervous I used to get for really important auditions. I had no idea what was really going on in my body or how to manage it so that I could stay grounded and present. It’s wonderful to be able to contribute to an artist’s growth in this way.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I can’t say that if I could do it all over I would have done anything differently. I think I had to go through what I went through in order to arrive at this place in my life. There are times when I wonder how things would have been if I had gone back to school earlier, but the truth is, I wasn’t ready until I was ready. That sounds incredibly obvious! But true nonetheless. And I am extremely grateful for where I am because of the struggles I experienced. Mistakes are how we learn and part of what makes us who we are. And in that way, perhaps they aren’t mistakes. Just choices that lead us somewhere unexpected. I never expected to be where I am today.
- Address: 8702 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
- Website: www.LorinShapiroMFT.com
- Phone: 310-712-1971
- Email: LorinShapiroMFT@gmail.com