Today we’d like to introduce you to Marissa Long.
Marissa, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
The early path that ultimately led to opening ARC Counseling and Wellness included many hardships that today, I am very grateful for. Like so many kids these days, I was raised in a single parent home. This required me to play a huge role in raising my adorable little brother, work full-time during high school, and kept us moving at least once per year. In my last year of high school, I snagged a full scholarship (thank you Bill and Melinda Gates) which provided the answer to the question of how this college thing was ever going to happen.
I had decided very early on that I was going to be a doctor of some sort but it wasn’t until my senior year in college that I firmly decided on becoming a psychologist. From that point on, I sought out opportunities to learn and develop skills for future clinical work but I knew that entrepreneurship was in also my future and that I needed to learn about business as well. In graduate school I obtained my Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology while simultaneously completing a business degree in Organizational Behavior before completing my Doctorate in Clinical Health Psychology.
My internships were necessary and valuable layovers on the way to the vision I had been developing since starting my graduate program, to have a high quality, multidisciplinary team of professionals working together to meet the multifaceted needs of the clients who cross our path all while setting a new standard of care. During my final year of internship, someone told me that I, “couldn’t do it on my own” and although I tend to have a great deal of tenacity without being provoked, those words sparked an unstoppable fire to meet my goal.
ARC Counseling and Wellness started with me as a solo practitioner in a large office suite and quickly grew to include several other psychologists, dietitians, a reiki practitioner and a psychiatrist. I am also happy to share that just two years after the start of business we recently opened a new location in Irvine allowing us to expand our reach with the goal of greater health and wellness across California.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It’s a rare business that takes off free of struggles or growing pains. We have been oddly fortunate to have a relatively smooth road. Of course, this doesn’t mean that everything unfolded in the exact way I had intended but there is not much I can complain about. As a mental health provider, one of the greatest difficulties our field faces is stigma. Many people who need high quality psychotherapy avoid reaching out due to fear of judgment when the reality is that everyone can benefit from psychotherapy at one point in their life if not several. If more people sought treatment or even sought treatment sooner, our jobs would be very different. My hope is that at some point in my lifetime, the road to providing psychological care will be smoother because our society creates not only a safe place for it but a proactive rather than reactive value for it.
Please tell us about ARC Counseling and Wellness.
ARC Counseling and Wellness is an advanced, reliable and comprehensive practice providing high quality therapy, psychiatric support, and wellness services. All of our therapists have Master’s degrees as well as Doctorates in psychology and are trained in the full spectrum of psychological conditions, human behavior, and also specialize in various areas such as multicultural issues, couples, children, testing and assessment, spectrum disorders, forensic issues, grief, trauma, maternal mental health, student mental health, and corporate wellness.
Above all else, we are known for providing genuine caring and professional support. We believe strongly that if we cannot help you or we are not a good fit for your needs, it then becomes our job to refer you to someone else who is so. The idea of clients seeking help and continuously hitting dead ends with no direction is just unreasonable and we do our best to keep that from being an ongoing experience.
We also set ourselves apart in the ways in which we work. First, we are a comprehensive and cohesive team meaning that each of our providers work together on each individual client’s behalf so even if a client is only working with one provider, that provider may at times consult with our dietitian, or other clinicians to ensure that they are providing the best care and information for everyone they see. Second, we tend to work to put ourselves out of work, by this I mean that we strive to assist our clients in achieving the kind of growth that eventually renders us as their provider, unnecessary. While we do offer long-term psychotherapy when it is indicated, it is very important to me that our primary focus is the needs and goals of each client so when they are met, we are happy to see our clients leave the nest with skills, tools, and insight to help them in the future as well.
It is common for our clients to compliment us on the comfortable environment of our offices, our therapeutic support dog, Dr. Kuzco, the ease with which they can schedule appointments and access their providers, and how professional and skilled our team is.
These shared thoughts may be why we have received so many of our clients from word of mouth which to us is the greatest compliment we could ever receive.
Lastly, it is an honor to be able to say that I have the best team by my side. Each of us take our work very seriously and at the same time, we are real people who genuinely enjoy and trust each other and that makes a world of difference.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
That’s a tough question. In hindsight, I think that I have much more knowledge now than I did when I began but I’m very happy with where the business is at this point.
What I would have loved and am actively seeking is someone who can challenge, push, and mentor me because entrepreneurship is a blast but it is also difficult and being surrounded by people who have already done what you have done is a powerful motivator and valuable benefit.
- Address: Claremont Office: 101 N/ Indian Hill Blvd. #C1-200 Claremont, CA 91711 Irvine Office: 19772 MacArthur Blvd. #200 Irvine, CA 92612
- Website: www.ARCCounselingandWellness.com
- Phone: 866-200-9090
- Email: info@ARCCounselingandWellness.com
A big thanks to Sonja Michaels who created our logo!