Today we’d like to introduce you to Beatrice Ballard.
Beatrice, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Since college, I planned to be a therapist but temporarily got “cold feet” thinking I would become depressed listening to people’s problems all day. I temporarily took an interest in working with college students but they brought their problems to me and I realized I didn’t mind listening to them plus seemed to be good at responding.
I knew I had to pursue a Master’s degree that would allow me to become a therapist. I took some time out to be a stay-at-home mom and then returned to school when my children were older. What really propelled me was when my marriage began to fall apart. I knew I needed to go back to school so I could support myself if I needed to as a single woman. It was the right choice because my husband left the marriage when I was one semester away from graduating.
I completed the program and then dove into my new career. I worked for others for a few years and tried to learn all I could from them about how to run a private practice. When the owners made some big changes to their practice that greatly affected me I knew I had to launch my own practice sooner than I had planned. I had six weeks to figure it out. I turned to two other women who were in the business and they helped me launch in record time.
Women helping women in business was so important to me in getting started. The other key that was so important to me was a saying I once heard and that is: “The biggest secret to success is starting before you’re ready.” In my case that was true! I’m so happy to be doing what I do, which is helping other people succeed. It’s also so amazing to be doing what I always wanted to do and what I believe I was meant to do.
Alright, 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?
I chose to go through graduate school during the worst season of my life when everything was falling apart all around me. Maybe some people would have said that is not the best time to go back to school but for me, it was just what I needed. I needed a distraction from my life, needed to be around people who didn’t know what was going on in my life and made life “normal” for me.
They also gave me compliments and encouragement with each project, presentation, and research paper. Besides that, due to some changes in circumstances, I ended up having to launch my own business quickly before I was ready. I learned that sometimes situations propel us out of our comfort zone and that’s a good thing and that there are always others who are ready to help if we just ask!
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
I am a Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in seeing couples, though I see individuals as well. I specialize in seeing clients dealing with anxiety, depression, grief, stress, relationship issues, and trauma. I offer both in-person and virtual sessions. My style of speaking rather directly seems to attract clients.
I don’t hold back in telling clients things I think are difficult but important for them to hear but I try to do that with respect. I also invite my clients to constantly collaborate with me in their therapy. I need their feedback and tell them that. I have a therapist myself so I consider how I want my therapist to treat me and that helps guide me in how I should treat my own clients.
I also see some clients who are local celebrities or high profile personalities and so I provide a separate entrance for them as a way to protect their privacy and also their right to do therapy in person if they prefer that. Many local celebrities and high-profile personalities feel they have to rely on teletherapy when they really would like to see their therapist in person. I offer them both options.
Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
COVID forced me to offer video conference sessions to my clients, something I really resisted. I never thought I would offer teletherapy to my clients except on rare occasions when circumstances were extenuating. Because of COVID teletherapy was all I could offer to all my clients for quite a while!
I realized there were many people who needed to see a therapist and wouldn’t until teletherapy was offered. I gained clients from all over the state as well as within my general area. When quarantine ended and my local clients had to return to work many could not take time during the workday to come to my office for appointments but they could do a session during their lunch break.
My client base expanded significantly during COVID. I also learned that some people speak more easily while in their pajamas and in the comfort of their own home, an invaluable thing when having to talk about difficult subjects!
- $25 per 15 minutes of a phone session
- $50 per 30 minutes of an in-person or a teletherapy session
- $100 per 50 minutes of an in-person or teletherapy session
- Email: TherapyByBeatrice@gmail.com
- Website: www.soulutionscounselingandwellness.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/SoulutionsCounselingandWellness
- Other: www.pinterest.com/SoulutionsCounseling