We had the good fortune of connecting with Mairead Jacobs Dougherty and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mairead, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind my success in genuine care and authenticity. I truly believe a crucial part of what draws clients to my therapy practice is that I own and share who I am and what I’ve experienced. Counselors are often encouraged to be “blank slates” and to not self-disclose to their clients. The way I approach my work contradicts that. People are drawn to others they can relate to, places where they can feel safe to be seen and share parts of themselves that feel hard to share with the rest of the world. I believe authenticity and transparency allows others to see themselves in someone else and creates a powerful environment for healing!

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am the founder of Rise Wellness Center, a counseling practice for children and adults in Colorado. My center specializes in working with individuals from marginalized sociocultural locations, in particular, people with chronic illnesses and disabilities. As a disabled individual myself, I offer strengths-based, trauma-informed somatic counseling services informed by my own lived experiences. This is unique because my work with clients does not just involve talk-therapy but also involves the body! I invite movement and mindfulness into my sessions, which helps individuals improve their relationship to their body, express themselves on deeper levels, and heal trauma.

I have known since I was 10 years old that I wanted to be a somatic therapist! I had just discovered the healing powers of dance and it was integral for me during difficult times in my childhood. I knew I wanted to share that with the world. My journey to becoming a therapist and small-business owner has not been easy. Graduate school, in particular, was quite difficult to navigate with a chronic illness. However, my mission and vision were so clear that the barriers and challenges were not going to stop me! Quite honestly, our academic system still needs a lot of improvements in terms of accessibility for people with disabilities. I learned to navigate this system through many ups and downs. Some important lessons along the way were to pace myself, to practice regular self-care, to self-advocate, to utilize accommodations, and the beauty of inter-connectedness and community support.
The goal of my practice is to offer body-based counseling services that are accessible to all people. I am affirming of all identities and offer a healing space that is highly individualized to the client and their process. Often my work involves: supporting clients to strengthen their mind/body connection, learning to regulate their nervous systems, working with unprocessed material, improving relationships, and locating their sense of meaning and empowerment. I believe we all have strength and resilience, and it is truly a joy to help people uncover their inner resources.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If a friend was visiting Denver, I would take them on a lot of outdoor adventures! We would hike in Boulder, paddle board in Fort Collins at Horsetooth reservoir, ride bikes on the Cherry Creek Trail and visit the farmers market. For meals we would eat at the Edgewater Food Market and get Happy Cones ice cream for dessert, perhaps taking a stroll around Sloan’s Lake afterwards. I would love to share with them other gluten-free friendly places like Marcos Coal Fired Pizza, Park Burger and River and Roads Coffee.
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?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to my partner Lashaw Salta. Lashaw has always been my biggest encourager and believes in me and my mission whole heartedly. As an entrepreneur and small business owner himself, he inspires me and pushes me to keep dreaming bigger!

Website: www.therisewellnesscenter.com
Instagram: @therisewellnesscenter
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maireadjacobsdougherty/
Facebook: therisewellnesscenter

Image Credits
Amber Walker (my headshots)

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.