We had the good fortune of connecting with Chelsea Twiss and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chelsea, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I currently own my own counseling practice as a licensed psychologist in Fort Collins. Both of my parents were business owners who did not obtain four year degrees. They worked from home while I was growing-up. I really appreciated having them home (well mostly my mom, my dad was gone on business trips a lot). I really wanted to find a career where I could have similar scheduling flexibility and autonomy. I’ve always liked to be in control of my schedule and to choose how much and when I work and who I work with. Having my own counseling practice affords me that freedom. It takes time to start-up and really make a decent profit but I’m getting there one step at a time. When it’s stressful or when money is tight, I just remind myself that it’s worth it for the freedom of being my own boss. One hard thing about being a business owner is that, at least in my case, there’s really no template for how to start and run your business. I’m not a very detail oriented person so it’s been a huge learning curve for me to navigate the in’s and out’s of business ownership. It’s a lot of trial and error and learning as I go.
What should our readers know about your business?
My business is called Chelsea Twiss Counseling Services, LLC. I see counseling as a science, an art and a practice. I believe that what sets me apart in my practice is the way in which I bring myself into the work I do and the value I place on my relationships with clients. The relationship comes second to none and that’s the principle I use to guide the work I do. I’ve felt the healing power of good counseling and am constantly inspired by my clients. I recently started an Instagram account to share information related to the counseling work I do (@healthruconnection) at the urgings of my clients who have asked me to share my perspectives on a public platform. I’m also hoping to publish a book one day on building healthy relationships from a transformative justice lens and/or a book on living with chronic pain and illness from a sociocultural perspective as these are two areas of specialty in my practice. Social justice is a huge cornerstone of my practice philosophy and I’m very invested in continuing to grow and learn how to deconstruct oppressive structures that exist within my field (counseling). Getting to where I am today has taken nearly a decade of formal and informal training as well as multiple temporary or part time jobs just to squeak by and pay the bills. One of the greatest obstacles of earning a higher degree in my field is the financial cost and severely low reimbursement rate for work during the training process. I am also a singer/songwriter and gigged at local venues part time to make some money while going through school. During my training years, I would show-up at a “professional” work setting on a Monday morning, park nearly a mile away from my work place because I couldn’t afford a parking pass and work alongside people being paid five times my salary and then go home and eat a can of soup for dinner because that’s all I could afford. It’s a major source of imposter syndrome and I felt really taken advantage of during that whole process. I’m just now getting to a place where I am getting compensated fairly for the work I’m doing but I’m also nearly $200,000 in debt as a result of the path I’ve chosen. People in my field don’t usually expect to get rich but it would be nice not to stress about paying my bills each month. I’m hoping to get there soon.
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?
I have lived in Fort Collins for three years now and I feel like I’m still trying to get a pulse on Colorado in general. Things I appreciate about living here mostly include the group of friends I’ve become close with since moving here. When friends have visited me in Colorado I generally like to take them hiking somewhere up the Poudre canyon and then grab a bite to eat in Old Town. I love cities that have historic or old town areas. I find them really charming and love to eat out at local businesses when possible. My favorite local place for dining and drinks in Fort Collins is The Regional. For a great cup of coffee or tea I love Harbinger Coffee Co or Wolverine Farms. For buying great local and fresh food I love the Mountain Ave Market Food Co-op. The Forge pub is also a great and cozy spot for date night.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to shoutout to my partner Maxwell Tretter. We have both been working from home together during the pandemic and, while sometimes we want to kill each other, he’s been a great support to me in the process of starting my business and fulfilling my dream of having my own private practice. He’s been there through my stress meltdowns and held me when I’m crying and want to give-up. He’s a musician and composer and his work and creative energy often inspires me to keep going even when things seem insurmountable.
So the site wouldn’t let me upload more than one photo per page so if you want more from me let me know. The first photo credit goes to Maxwell Tretter. The second photo goes to McKenzie Tharp.