Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sofia Vasi, a psychotherapist based in Athens, Greece.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I offer one-on-one Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy sessions to survivors of childhood trauma who want to get to the root cause of their wounding. My clients are high achievers, passionate professionals, entrepreneurs, and creative businesswomen who want to get to the bottom of their self-limiting blocks and create abundance and empowerment in all areas of their lives.
I’ve worked with countless women who wake up each morning, put on their brave face, and chase joy and fulfillment through another person or success. Secretly they’re knee-deep in the trenches fighting ongoing battles with their own minds and bodies. I call this the Walking Wounded Club (WWC). My clients come from all walks of life and reside all over the world.
Tell us about yourself
I’m a psychotherapist and survivor of childhood trauma. I’ve spent most of my life feeling like a wounded soldier weighed down by layers of armor. Underneath the armor was an inner child lost in the dark, reaching out for a person, an achievement, any security blanket that would make me feel safe, loved, and enough. It isn’t a pretty or pleasant picture, I know. But I’m proud to say this isn’t my reality anymore. I survived my depression, anxiety, dissociation, perfectionism, codependence, self-harm, harsh inner critic, addictions, chronic health issues, and feelings of shame and guilt.
Thanks to my personal story, I’ve dedicated the last 10 years of my life to discovering and sharing with other survivors what it actually means to truly recover from trauma. I now see myself as a guide helping other women become their most empowered, authentic, joyful self. The best part? I found the easiest, most fun, and most painless way possible to genuinely heal. Then I hit the books and got trained in it.
The approach is called Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy. It’s an evidence-based, trauma-centered, psychotherapeutic model developed by Dr. Richard Schwartz. I’m currently Level 2 trained (Level 3 in October 2023), in case you’re wondering.
The knowledge that true transformation is possible motivates me every day. I believe in every cell of my body that we’re all on a hero’s journey, and our traumas are the calls to adventure that, if accepted, can transform any darkness into light. We can discover who and what we really are when we step into the light that is our birthright.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is getting to a point in my healing journey and career in which I can give back to my community and bring cutting-edge, trauma-focused therapy to Greece, the home of my family’s roots. I’ve created the Trauma2Therapy Institute with my friends and colleagues, Depy Ploussiou and Konstantinos Plousios. We are overjoyed to be hosting Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, MD, one of the world’s top thought leaders and pioneering researchers in traumatic stress in Greece for the first time!
We are looking forward to creating a collaboration with Dr. van der Kolk’s Trauma Research Foundation and making Greece an active member of the global community of trauma treatment. We are also exploring and unlocking new ways of healing trauma and the body based on the ancient wisdom of Greek myths. You can learn more at traumatotherapy.com.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about growing and expanding my business is trusting the process. Owning your own business has a way of uncovering trailheads (as we say in IFS) and paths to wounded parts of you. Parts that hold feelings of self-doubt, fear, worthlessness, and a sense of having to constantly achieve. A part of me can’t stand uncertainty and wants everything done yesterday! I’ve learned to let go of the constant “doing mode” and allow my nervous system to settle, listen, and receive. Each challenge in business—as in life—is an opportunity to know yourself more and go deeper into your journey within your own psyche and beyond.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- If you feel the call, you were meant to do great things. There’s only one you with your unique gifts, and not acting on these gifts deprives the world.
- Get clear on your why. Why do you want to start or run a business? Connect your why to a purpose or meaning beyond yourself.
- Mentors. Mentors. Mentors. Reach out to those who have been where you are right now and who walk the path you envision for your future self. You’re not alone, and meaningful relationships with mentors can provide an endless source of inspiration and real knowledge of what’s possible.
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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