We had the good fortune of connecting with Monique Sledd and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Monique, what matters most to you?
Authenticity is the value that matters most to me in both my professional and personal life. Our world and society fills our brains with the thoughts that we “must” prove ourselves, follow the pack’s values and beliefs, and assimilate in order to be successful in life. Although there is some safety and value in following the crowd, that also does not fit for everyone. It can lead to constantly questioning if we are “good enough,” cause distorted thinking patterns, add onto the shame and guilt we may already be holding onto throughout life, and deter us from pursuing our dreams. I spent much of my personal and professional life trying to fit into the boxes that others have created for me and realized how stifling, and pervasive this can be. My therapeutic work involves helping my clients and colleagues bring their true selves to the therapy space. It is amazing the vulnerability, strength, resilience, and contentment one can feel just in being themselves.
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?
When relocating back to the Denver area, I decided to open my own private practice in mental health therapy. I currently work under two larger umbrella practices providing individual, couples, and family counseling to those within or adjacent to the LGBTQ community. My clientele ages range from adolescent to mature adult. I would say I am set apart from others because I pride myself on not only providing quality talk therapy, but making sure to supplement conversations with evidence-based information in the form of skills worksheets, videos, podcasts, and other forms of media for my clients to get the most out of their experience. It was not easy making the leap to self-employment, especially with moving around the country for school and jobs, and then having to reset my intentions to be what I actually wanted (e.g. providing quality clinical care at the master’s level) rather than pursuing more degrees just for the title and prestige. I’ve had to overcome impostor syndrome as a queer, woman of color, and my own self-doubt that gets in the way sometimes. I’ve learned that practicing to progress your craft, instead of perfect your craft, is how to be successful. I lean on following up and working with my networking connections, staying up-to-date on research, and showing authenticity for my brand to succeed.
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.
I love to travel and am a huge foodie! I would absolutely take my best friend to all of the touristy locations, if they haven’t been there before, like the Red Rocks Amphitheater, up into the mountains for a few hikes, and we’d hit a couple of delicious breweries and restaurants along the way. My favorite brewery right now is New Terrain Brewing in Golden, CO. There are so many great things about it: super dog-friendly with a park area, lots of trails to explore via foot or mountain biking, beautiful views, live music set up, phenomenal brews, great staff, and local food trucks that are absolutely delicious. Denver also has such an amazing art scene, that we would have to make sure to hit up some of the immersive art exhibits, Meow Wolf, and cruise around to find some great places in between all of the cool graffiti around town.
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 would not be where I am today without the help of my parents, my wife, and the supportive friends who have stayed by my side when I thought I wanted to tear my hair out due to all of the stress. This world is a lot better and brighter because of them.
Mayo Clinic & Little Thistle Brewing Company