Today we’d like to introduce you to Soco Reynoso, LCSW.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Soco. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
I began studying social welfare at the graduate level in 2008 at UC Berkeley, only with an understanding that I somehow wanted to repair communities in need (communities of color). After graduating, my first job was at a girls group home. I worked there for a few months and then landed a full-time gig with Child Protective Services (CPS). While at CPS, my wheels kept spinning on how to get back to residential treatment. My heart was invested in helping adolescent females realize their potential and achieve greatness despite the pain they’d experienced and the love they lacked. I slowly eased my way back in, getting a position as a therapist and was later promoted to the agency’s mental health director.
Simultaneously, the first group home I worked for hired me back on but this time as the administrator. While holding these positions, I was able to see all sides of residential care and watched what worked and what didn’t. Unfortunately, in residential care as in jails and prisons, Black and Brown faces fill these spaces. What I saw was that we (Black and Brown people) don’t really gravitate toward service providers who don’t look, act, or speak like us. The clients sought familiarity. They also did not like the idea of having a designated time and separate room to process difficult topics. I found them spilling their hurt in casual ways like over a meal, on a drive, or while cleaning the home they lived in.
With this information, I felt I’d be remiss in not developing a method and business that altered the way mental health services were delivered. If we want communities of color to access what we know to be beneficial services, we have to adjust how we advertise and deliver those services. I felt that if I could pave a new way and make therapy casual (AKA “chill”), I could reach more people who need help. So in September of 2018, I launched my private practice (Soco Rey Therapy) and used the motto that described my style and what I knew worked: “Therapy that’s chill AF.”
While Soco Rey Therapy is chill AF, professionalism is never compromised. I care way too much about healing people, families, and communities to deliver anything less than great services. I just deliver it in a way I think it’ll be best received by the communities I aim to serve.
Has it been a smooth road?
The eight years leading up to this place were not smooth. Never in my professional life have I worked just one job. At one point, I held three jobs and worked 70 hours per week. I recall doing three things and three things only for about a year, and that was eating, working, and sleeping. Nothing else. I literally was a machine.
The only thing that kept me going was understanding that volume counts. That if I was working 70 hours a week, I was basically working 1.75 jobs instead of one. At that rate, I knew I could collect the experience and money needed to be prepared and confident enough to take calculated risks, which I knew at some point would be required of me. I committed to giving 100% at each job, regardless of how tired I was feeling.
I knew that if I could maintain excellence at 70 hours per week, I had what it took to launch a business and would be that much more excellent when I was able to scale back to a normal work schedule. While I was working those crazy hours, I often felt overwhelmed, but I knew that at some point, it would all pay off. Apart from the stress of working a lot, I often made my days more difficult by taking things at work personally.
If something didn’t go right on my watch, I thought it was my fault and would beat myself up about it. If someone in the workplace didn’t approve of me or something I did, I thought maybe I’d lose my position or reputation. I made small things big because I hadn’t yet realized what was actually small or big. Things became easier when I learned to let things go and realized that so long as no one dies, anything can be fixed and nothing is the “end of the world.”
I quickly learned I’m either going to be bothered and worried a lot or just take everything that was happening as “learning” and as a sharpening of myself. I had to remind myself that whatever was happening and not feeling good was not going to last forever, and trusted that all that was happening was preparing me for when it was my “go-time.”
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Soco Rey Therapy is privately owned by a young Black & Mexican female psychotherapist in Inglewood. Soco Rey Therapy offers individual, couples and group therapy as well as psychoeducation groups. The company specializes in mental health services for communities of color.
Soco Rey Therapy is known for being “chill AF” which is very different than most mental health services. It’s a boutique company that isn’t afraid to step outside of the box created by people who didn’t have “us” in mind. Soco Rey Therapy is a place where you can find a therapist who doesn’t seem stale, outdated, or unrelatable. It’s relevant, refreshing, and full of color. It’s therapy for us, by us.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I feel like the Los Angeles area is a great place to launch any creative endeavor. Sky is the limit here. We are a blue state and a very blue region, so progressive and new ideas usually get a stamp of approval or at least some applause and attention here.
- Individual therapy is offered at $100/hour with a sliding scale option.
- Address: 302 E. Manchester Blvd. #203
Inglewood, CA 90301
- Website: socorey.com
- Phone: 424-416-8003
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @
Will Utley, Briana McLean