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Meet Shawn Quinlivan of Cathexis Therapeutic Imagery in Chatsworth

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shawn Quinlivan.

Shawn, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My father was a combat veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. He witnessed and participated in atrocities during the Korean War. He made life altering self-sacrifices and lived with horrors that were not entirely of his choosing. He was predisposed to violent and abusive episodes that he could not control, and inflicted a legacy of rage, vengeance and sorrow upon those who loved him the most. Overcoming the trauma of my relationship with him―which occurred through hypnotherapy -provided profound meaning and purpose to experiences which once seemed hopelessly tragic and senseless. The unique insights I gained into the primal nature of love and fear and how they function in the human psyche were life-changing. It became my personal mission to help others solve their suffering by sharing what I have learned. This was a defining crossroads in my life. I left a successful career in corporate restructuring in 2011 and founded Cathexis Therapeutic Imagery.

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?
On the entrepreneurial side of things, a therapy practice is a non-traditional business, so the accepted wisdoms of networking, marketing and sales don’t all apply – or they don’t apply in conventional ways. I have made many mistakes along the way, yet I have learned rich lessons from those experiences and I don’t regret them. Perhaps the most important lesson is that people are resistant to being pitched, and that traditional self-promotion tactics do not engender trust, which is the critical element for a therapist.

Instead, I simply engage in conversations with people and connect with them on an empathetic level. This is mostly about listening and attending. Another way to put that is to say that I have learned to apply aspects of the therapist/client relationship to business development. I trust my intuition. This is also about listening and attending. I invite people to tell me and show me who they are and what they are about. As well, philanthropy is innate to what I do. I extend this to the San Fernando Valley community by volunteering performances of our musical group, The Black Phoebes, to beneficial causes and events. This generates a distinctive kind of exposure, engenders goodwill among community leaders and organizers, and organically draws attention to my business.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Cathexis Therapeutic Imagery – what should we know?
Cathexis Therapeutic Imagery specializes in personal development, mindfulness training, holistic health and workplace wellness. Via private therapy, workshops, presentations, a proprietary E-Learning platform, and our expert partnership in the unique online wellness community Vigoroom—used by Kaiser Permanente, E-Factor and other notable companies—our nationally recognized programs and practices help clients make positive changes in their lives. At the heart of our approach is helping people understand the primal nature of love and fear, and how they function as the fundamental forces of motivation in our lives.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I was blessed with a vision of making my father’s unfortunate and conflicted life stand for something noble. Remaining true to that vision is paramount. My guiding principle is a question I pose in every therapeutic situation: ‘Where is the fear and how can love solve it?’ Cathexis Therapeutic Imagery’s unique programs and practices influence people and organizations on a visceral level. Our clients experience a perspective shift both mentally and emotionally, and begin learning to use their hearts as a compass. This is also known as mindfulness and emotional intelligence, and serves as an impetus for self-awareness and discovery, altruism, philanthropy, social grace, creativity, and spiritual identity.

Compassion, empathy and the power of love―aligning people’s conscious intention and inspiring a more meaningful understanding and life purpose―are what define success for me.

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Image Credit:
American Hypnosis Association

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