We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Houd and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Laura, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
What motivated me to create my business was a personal passion for self-exploration. My clients often come to me looking to understand themselves, improve their relationships and feel better about their place in the world. The trouble is we live in a society that bombards us with distractions, making it difficult to connect with ourselves. Because of this, we are often unaware of the ins and outs of why we feel or behave the way we do. We get stuck in cycles of pain and suffering that extend into our relationships, our community and our society at large. As a therapist, I have a duty to help people break this cycle and identify how they can be more intentional in their lives.
I believe the first step to change is self awareness. If we are not aware of what we do and why we do it, how can we expect to change? This is always where I begin with my clients. I help them identify their core values so that they can gain an understanding of their needs. I help them focus on problematic thoughts and behaviors until they gain insight. As awareness strengthens, I encourage them to make authentic decisions that are both courageous and vulnerable. Overtime and with practice, my clients begin to feel empowered in their decision making, causing them to feel less reactionary and more in control of their lives. The more they practice intentionality, the closer they become to their authentic self and begin to accept and trust themselves wholeheartedly.
If every person were willing to seek therapy and look within themselves, I believe we could address many of the social and political issues we see in the world today. Living life on autopilot and reacting to the world around us will remain tempting as technology continues to advance, but we must remember that we are still in control and we have the power to change. Being a therapist has given me the opportunity to ignite this fire in people’s lives. Therapists around the world are contributing to this mission and as the stigma around mental health decreases, I feel hopeful that we will continue to empower change.
What should our readers know about your business?
My business model came from the belief that connecting with self makes us happier, more fulfilled and more accepting of ourselves and others. I couldn’t believe that my business could encompass this belief and I was so excited to share it with the world. I quickly learned, however, the challenges that come with creating and implementing a small business. Once I got the logistics in place the real challenge began, “how do I get clients?”
Thankfully I had a couple great mentors that helped get me off my feet and guide me through the marketing and networking world. The first two years of my practice were slow and often I experienced excruciating imposter syndrome. I had been in the mental health world for many years now, but what made me think I was capable of running my own business? Can I really help clients connect with themselves and better their lives? These questions were daunting and I could not have done it without my mentors and my friends and family encouraging me to keep going.
Now, my business is 4 years in and thriving in a way that felt impossible 2 years ago. All the networking, marketing, and resources I had connected with had finally paid off. People were finding me and young adults struggling to manage life during a pandemic found their way to my computer screen. It was a major transition to let go of in person appointments, but I also believe the virtual option provided a sense of ease and flexibility for my clients and their emotionally chaotic lives.
I am incredibly proud of the dedication and vulnerable work I have put into my business over the years. Now that I have had many clients in and out of my practice, I feel my skills have strengthened and imposter syndrome has become a less regular visitor. I am proud to say that when young adults find my website or one of my online profiles, they sense that I know what they are going through and that I have the tools to help them.
If you are reading this you probably already know, but following your dreams is not easy. You will struggle and you will feel like a failure. My advice is to just keep going. It is always hard to see the path forward, but if you stick with it and endure the struggle you will wake up one day and see all of the progress you’ve made.
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 would take this friend through my favorite neighborhoods in Denver – RiNo and LoHi. Food is my love language, so exploring all the restaurants and sitting on sunny patios is a must. My favorites include Improper City, Mister Oso, The Source, Happy Camper and Number 38. I would also be sure to drive up to Red Rocks and show them this unique venue we are so lucky to have in our backyard. If its winter time? Skiing at Winter Park would be a must. Summer time? A drive up to one of the many mountain towns for a hike or bike ride. I feel so grateful to live in such a beautiful state and it brings me joy share it.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give credit to my business consultant, clinical supervisor, and friend, Heather Nelson. She is a stellar entrepreneur and founder of Khesed Wellness, an organization that provides affordable mental health services to the Denver community. She has been with me since the beginning of my private practice journey and has pushed me to meet goals I never thought possible. I would not be where I am today without her!
Jeremy Rill Photography Zencare