Today we’d like to introduce you to Marcelle Craig.
Marcelle, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started practicing psychotherapy back in 2008 while I was in grad school in the Bay Area. I loved it! Loved hearing about people’s experiences and struggles while guiding them to have those “aha” moments that shed light on their patterns and strength. Each day was new and exciting. But while I was satisfied in my career, I had always dreamed of living in New York City. Something about the city was exciting to me in the same way that New Yorkers fantasize about LA. In 2014, I finally made the move, driving from California to Manhattan with my dog and belongings in a van. What a ride that was, literally! I made it in 4 days which was totally nuts but an adventure I’ll never forget. But I had to put my career on hold a little because therapists are only licensed by state. In other words, I could only provide therapy to California clients. I got creative and took on additional positions that were aligned with my experience but did not require me to provide therapy.
I worked in a community center supervising case managers, oversaw a residential facility for teen girls, supervised a program providing services to families struggling with substance use, assisted an agency with a start-up initiative for fathers to connect with their children, and ran a youth employment program for youth disconnected from school and employment. Each position had their ups and downs but I really missed therapy. A few years ago, I discovered how popular teletherapy was becoming. I decided to take a stab at it and see if this could be a positive way for me to scratch my clinical itch and get back to practicing therapy. And finally, after a year of doing teletherapy through one of the main online companies, I decided to take the leap and start my own teletherapy private practice. It’s only been a few months but it’s been great starting my own business and getting back to what I love full time. It’s been a wild few years!
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?
As you can tell, it’s been pretty challenging.
I’m so thankful for technology these days. Yes, it has its downfalls but it’s also made it possible for me to get back to providing therapy services to my fellow Californians in ways I didn’t initially imagine. I also thought about becoming licensed in New York to practice therapy here but that’s a challenge as well. California requires it’s own test for Marriage and Family Therapists that isn’t the same in any other state. So in order to get licensed here, I would need to submit all of my paperwork from years ago in hopes they would approve it and then take two more tests. Yes, even though I already did this and am licensed in another state that has the reputation of having higher requirements than all other states! And all of this costs money, of course. It’s all madness to me. I also wasn’t sure if I was going to stay out here. To be honest, I’m still not 100% sure. I think about moving back to California often.
Another major challenge was starting my business. I put it all together in about a month! That includes getting a business license, building a website, learning all about private practice since I had always worked nonprofits, and building a clientele. All this while working two other jobs. My husband was battling an illness for the past few years and I became the breadwinner for our family while he healed. Fortunately, he’s doing a lot better now. Between him and the new business, I’m really looking forward to 2020!
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I provide therapy online to teens, adults, and couples. My specialties include teens and young adults, polyamorous and monogamous couples, stress and anxiety, and those transitioning to a new identity or working to accept the one they already have. Of course, I’ve worked with so many people so I can work with clients with other challenges as well. My therapy style is typically Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Structural Family Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing.
It might sound corny but really the best thing about my business is me! Many say it but the therapeutic relationship really is the most important part of therapy. Even with all of my expertise and skills, without a connection it doesn’t work as well. My clients know that I work in this mix of balancing their desired pace while pushing them slightly out of their comfort zone. I genuinely care about them but also believe in their resilience to get through many of the struggles that life throws at us. And when appropriate, we crack a few jokes. It’s a good time improving their well-being. Feels weird to say but it’s true. I’m very proud of that. My ability to connect with others fairly easily is something I value in myself and now in my business.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Trust, hands down! It means a lot that clients trust me with their feelings and experiences. I don’t take the privilege lightly.
- Free 15-20 minute phone consultation
- 50 minute video session for $100
- 50 minute phone session for $100
- Website: marcellejcraiglmft.com
- Phone: 914-809-0076
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @marcellecraig_lmft
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marcelle.craig.796