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Meet Nili Askari

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nili Askari.

Nili, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My story starts in high school when I took a psychology class my senior year and I fell in love with how people’s thought process worked and how I could use the experiences that I had gone through to guide them out of the storm they were going through. I am a daughter of immigrants and seeing how at times, it was hard to connect with different cultures and feeling like I might not be “American” enough or “Iranian” enough put me in an identity crisis that I thought I would never really get out of. As hard as it was, I started to fall in love with parts of both cultures in order to find who I was as a person as well as finding my passion to help people find their voice as well. I have always been the type of person who wanted to make it okay to be more vocal about mental health and form a transparency for people to be comfortable and safe to share their story without feeling like they are going to be judged for their experiences.

My personal journey as well as my passion of lending helping hand for people led me to get my Masters in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapist in 2016, and today I have been able to practice in Orange County. My specialty is working with young adults especially suffering from transitions in their lives, anxiety, depression as well as substance abuse. I believe that everyone has a story to tell and can change the future of the story with the guidance of their therapist.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I would say it definitely has not been an easy road in my journey of becoming a therapist because at times, it can be an emotionally charging job. Getting into the field, I wanted to do everything I could to help every single one of my clients. During my process, I found that it was not my job to “save” everyone, but be their guiding light to see the power they hold within themselves. As a therapist, I have noticed how some clients have a bigger impact on me and how their stories at times make me feel more than I typically would in other situations. I have learned to set a boundary up for myself with my clients because as someone who is empathetic, I can cause myself to carry their experiences with me which can lead to burnout. With the help of my support system, my colleagues and mentors, I have been able to make sure that I don’t take the emotions home with me and able to process my emotions in order to fully be there for my clients.

Another struggle that has come up has been adapting to telehealth therapy during these hard times. In order to keep my clients and myself safe, I have been doing telehealth therapy due to COVID-19. In the beginning, it was a bigger struggle for us to form that connection that you could from when we are face-to-face without feeling disingenuous. At first, it was a bit of a trial and error run but meeting where my clients are and the form of telehealth they feel most comfortable with has been the biggest success.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
This year I started my journey of going into my own private practice in Newport Beach. I specialize working with young adults in transitioning situations in their life, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. I also specialize in working with therapists in their journey of becoming licensed as interns. I believe that everyone has a story that they have been experiencing and with my guidance they have the power to change what they want their story to say in the future.

One I am truly proud of is being able to be part of a private practice that forms a safe space for people from different walks in life to feel comfortable sharing their story and having their ah-huh moments during their hard times. One of the hardest things for anyone to do is choosing to take the steps in order to come out of their dark moments in life. As a therapist seeing their determination and their courage to share their stories. The proudest moment for me is also seeing my clients utilize what they have learned in the therapy room out in their everyday lives.

What sets me apart from others is that I go into each of my sessions with a notion of meeting my clients where they are at in their journey. I am not the type of therapist who will tell you what to do as if I have been on your journey with you. I believe that everyone’s journey is unique to the individual and that their journey is valid. I love that everyone has a story to tell and I will always find a space for my clients to know that they not only have someone on their side but that they can find the same within themselves. Everyone has the strength within to continue their journey to write their story and I will make sure I will guide them to find that strength within themselves.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason so I don’t think personally I would have done anything differently other than believing in myself more. I think at times when we begin working on our own we have that little voice in our head that stirs up our self-doubt and at times, makes us think we are not good enough. One thing I wish I had was more resources or people I could lean on during my licensing journey. At times there are not enough information given out as associates after graduating in order to cumulate our hours and guide us in a direction. This is one of the reasons why I found my passion to help students on their journey to become an associate and then licensed.

Pricing:

  • $150 therapy hour but accept sliding scale and out of network for insurance

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

KROP Photography

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