We had the good fortune of connecting with Adam-Jon Aparicio and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adam-Jon, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
In 2014, Oprah gave a talk to the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She ended her talk by discussing what to do when you feel overwhelmed by a challenge. She advised “The way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself, ‘What is the next right move?’ Not think about, ‘Ooh, I got all of this to figure out.’ And then from that space, make the next right move and the next right move … then you won’t be overwhelmed by it, because you know your life is bigger than that one moment.” I first heard this talk when I was feeling stuck in my job as a faculty member and counselor at a community college. I was up for tenure and was overwhelmed by the prospect of staying in one job until retirement. What I realized in listening to Oprah’s words was that I was so focused on the “what-ifs” that I was missing my internal compass. When I started connecting with that stillness I found my inner voice, telling me that this tenure role was for someone else who really wanted it and that person was not me. Oddly enough, the person who later replaced me was a dear friend of mine who is still in that job to this day, loves her role, and is happy to have a tenured position. This quote has become a liberating practice for me in my personal and professional life. Oprah starts this quote with “There are no mistakes…. Failure is just that thing trying to move you in another direction.” In knowing that there are no mistakes, I am better able to trust the universe and ultimately, myself.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’m the owner of Axis Counseling, PLLC, an online mental health private practice based in Colorado and Washington State. When I began my practice in 2016, I knew I wanted to make the process of seeking therapy more accessible to the everyday person. As a person who holds several marginalized identities, I wanted to speak to potential clients in a voice that was both trustworthy and real. So often mental health therapists can come across as guarded, without struggle, and even mysterious. And don’t get me wrong, keeping boundaries as a therapist is vital to our ethical code. However, for many folks who identify as Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) or LGBTQ, opening up to a therapist who doesn’t talk like a “human” or is more guarded with their clients, will simply not cut it. There is a long history of the medical profession being an institution that not only has smaller numbers of diverse practitioners, but also pathologizes the pain or even existence of some identities e.g. Black women have higher rates (3x that of white women) of death at child birth, being gay or lesbian was classified as a mental disorder until 1973, and transgender individuals are often misgendered and lack access to medical insurance due to discriminative hiring practices. Needless to say, many people who hold marginalized identities not only do not see themselves in the therapists that serve them, they also do not have an intergenerational history of positive medical interactions to fall back on. As a therapist, I feel that I need to bring parts of who I am into sessions with clients, in the lectures I give, and mental health initiatives I promote. For instance, I was very intentional about the development of my website, www.axiscounseling.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Currently, I live in Fort Collins, Colorado. Anytime I have visitors I love taking them to Horsetooth Reservoir for paddle boarding or to New Belgium for their awesome brewery tour, occasional drag bingo, and of course their amazing beer! (American Haze IPA is my fav!)
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
“To all the friends I’ve loved before…” Your laughter, love, and metaphorical ‘slaps upside my head’ have given me perspective and remind me of my journey- past and present.