Today we’d like to introduce you to Shant Boyadjian.
Shant, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
It’s funny to say this, but I think I knew I was going to be a therapist as early as 9th grade. Let’s just say I was that guy whose shoulder every one seemed to cry on. 🙂 Unfortunately, the 18 year old Shant was not the most confident of people and allowed people to persuade him that there were not enough work opportunities in mental health. Nonetheless, I was fascinated with psychology and minored in it at California State University, Northridge where I received my bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies.
After graduating, I worked in many corporate jobs that did not satisfy me or give me a sense of purpose. When I reached my mid-20s, I couldn’t fool myself anymore. I knew that I had to give myself an opportunity to work in mental health. I took a job working as a behavior interventionist for a middle school boy with special needs. After the school year ended, the gratitude this boy and his family expressed to me and recognizing how far this boy had come throughout the year gave me the sense of purpose and happiness I had been yearning for. I realized that I wanted to be able to help people and transform lives on various levels.
I immediately took prerequisite courses at my local community college and enrolled into the Master’s Counseling program with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy at California State University, Northridge. I was fortunate enough to be admitted into this program and make the most of this experience. I gained great insight about my own issues that I had no clue I was dealing with. Gaining insight about one’s own issues and finding various ways to work through them is a gift that most therapists want to give back. I am truly blessed to have worked with professors in my classes, practicum, and traineeship that allowed me to grow as a therapist.
Upon graduating with my master’s degree, I was able to secure an internship at Didi Hirsch Mental Health services and complete the hours required to become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. My experience working at Didi Hirsch has allowed me to build relationships that have great meaning to me till today. I have learned so much from supervisors and therapists that were completing their hours as well.
When I received a passing score for my second and final licensing exam, I walked out of the building and had an Andy Dufresne moment when he escapes Shawshank. LOL! I literally got on my knees and looked up into the sky thanking God for this accomplishment. Since becoming licensed, it has allowed many opportunities, including working in my own private practice, working as a therapist for students with special needs, and doing independent contract work for a group practice. I feel truly blessed for each and every experience I have had through this entire journey.
Has it been a smooth road?
I had an Andy Dufrense moment (hopefully most people reading this have seen Shawshank Redemption.) There were times when I wanted to throw in the towel both while in school and interning. It is not easy doing a juggling act between working and going to school. It is lot of sacrifice, dedication, and hard work. Having my family support and encouragement me was crucial in my staying on path.
Things only became rougher for me during the time I was interning. I carried quite a large caseload and did not always know how to manage my own self-care. With the support of certain supervisors, colleagues, and of course my own therapist, I learned to set better boundaries with myself and others. My own transformation during the process of becoming licensed has been remarkable. When my clients ask me about it being possible to manage their anxiety, my response is always, ” I’m living proof of anxiety being manageable.”
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Glendale Counseling & Wellness – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
In my private practice, I do individual, family, and couples therapy for adolescents, adults, and older adults. I work with a variety of diagnoses and specialize in anxiety and depressive disorders. A good majority of my clientele is young adult males. I must say it is quite refreshing to see men voluntarily coming to see me to work through their issues. I take a lot of pride in being able to incorporate different types of treatment in my sessions. When clients initially consult with me and ask the type of treatment I provide, it’s difficult to respond. I do not work the same way with every person. I take pride in my ability to meet people where they are at and allow change to occur at a pace that is comfortable for them using different treatment models.
Being an Armenian, male therapist in itself sets me apart from other people in my profession. We need more males in this profession and I hope I am an inspiration to men who are considering this profession.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I think it’s safe to say what I like most about our city is the diversity that comes with it. I have the privilege of meeting people from various backgrounds and understanding what has shaped them into who they have become. What I like least about this city is how spread out things are and the cost of living. This unfortunately contributes to less time spent with loved ones, which is something I value greatly.
- Address: 230 N. Maryland Ave #303
Glendale, CA 91206
- Website: www.shanttherapy.com
- Phone: (818) 850-1774
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: support_therapy