Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jenny Walters, Founder of Highland Park Holistic Psychotherapy, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Highland Park Holistic Psychotherapy is a group therapy practice of psychologists and therapists dedicated to working in an integrative approach. This means we bring body, mind, and soul into the therapeutic experience, welcoming all parts of the person who enters our office. We are trained in trauma therapies and believe that when we can heal trauma and turn toward all parts of ourselves, we become empowered to make choices in our lives instead of being run by unconscious fears and hurts from the past.

Tell us about yourself

As a child, into my late teens, I struggled with anxiety and an intense sensitivity to what was going on around me, with no understanding of what I was feeling. By my late 20s, I was suicidally depressed. I always wondered, "What's wrong with me?" In college and grad school, I started to explore this isolating and frightening experience by way of art making. I loved taking big feelings and articulating them visually to better understand them. But the pursuit of a career in art wasn't something I enjoyed at all. The only part I really cared about was making my internal experience external.

I continued to pursue my own healing, and eventually, I had an inkling the healing arts were calling me, so I decided to pursue a career as a therapist. I earned a Master's Degree in Depth Psychology and Counseling at Pacifica Graduate Institute, which allowed me to study the psyche by way of the imaginal, myth, and symbol. This felt right in line with all the best parts of art making.

Along the way, I discovered the work of Dr. Elaine Aron and her research with Highly Sensitive People, a personality trait that affects about 20% of the population (along with over 100 different species!). The description of this neuro-divergent trait explained so much about how I encounter the world and many of my clients as well. Ever since I've specialized in helping fellow HSPs learn how to manage their sensitivity in an often insensitive world.

I also have parts of me that really enjoy being an entrepreneur. The life of a therapist can be quite isolating, and I envisioned opening a group practice where like-minded healers could come together, learn together, and support one another in this work. And Highland Park Holistic Psychotherapy was born.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I'm really proud of the team of people I've brought together. They are an incredible group of humans doing difficult and amazing work. Bringing these folks together and nurturing a culture of acceptance, courage, support, and connection among ourselves and with our clients is something I'm really proud this business is doing.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Having difficult conversations and setting boundaries with folks when it's necessary. It's difficult to disappoint someone when you want to be liked, but you know you also have to protect the business so it can function and be healthy to support everyone.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Find a group of other entrepreneurs in your field who are just beyond where you'd like to be. Connect with them for support and inspiration regularly. Allow yourself to be vulnerable with them and grow.
  2. Pay close attention to your schedule and how it's feeling. It's very easy for the job of owning a business to creep into every minute of every day. It's normal for the first couple of years to be fairly intense but working toward a schedule with time where you're off the clock is doable and necessary for sustainability.
  3. Trust your gut and nip things in the bud. I've learned to trust those little inklings I hear inside that are letting me know something needs to be addressed. When I doubt myself and avoid it, it's always gotten worse. By tending to it right away, I've been able to spend less time and energy dealing with things before they became an actual problem.

Where can people find you and your business?



If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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