We had the good fortune of connecting with Sofia Kent and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sofia, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I think the seeds were planted in childhood when friends or new acquaintances would tell me I was really easy to talk to and they felt they could trust talking to me about what they’re struggling with. I grew up in a small town with little diversity so as an adopted Chinese-American girl, I did not have many people to look up to with similar identities or people who understood what that was like. This experience also drove me to be a therapist for adoptees– children and adults. When I got to college and had to declare a major, psychology just made sense because I love learning about people and how we develop and function. During my junior year I took a counseling practicum and it reaffirmed my love of helping people with their mental health. As I approached graduation, I was exploring my options for pursuing a career as a therapist and decided to take a year off before going to graduate school for my MSW. I happened to graduate grad school in the middle of the COVID pandemic; therefore, the job market was tight and very competitive for social workers. I knew I wanted to continue my journey to being a therapist so once I completed all the credentials, I decided to open my own private practice. The work I do in my therapy practice is driven by my own intersectionality of identities, my social work values of social justice and equity, and the desire to help create the world I want to see. I believe the best way I can help shape the world I want to see is by working on the individual level and helping individuals, families, and partners gain insight into themselves so that they are better equipped to make healthier choices about their lives and the lives they impact.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work is multifaceted as I am a therapist, social worker, and pole dance instructor. I currently incorporate somatic work into my therapy practice and my goal is to someday create a therapeutic pole modality. While I’ve come a long way to get to where I am, there’s still so much to look forward to and work towards! I’ve definitely faced challenges along the way and anticipate more challenges to come. For my work as a therapist and social worker, I’ve had to do, and continue to do, a lot of work on myself to address my own development, attachment, traumas, internal biases, and intersections of identities. I’ve learned that this process is ongoing throughout your whole life and shows up differently at every stage of development. As a pole dance instructor and aspiring pole therapist, the hard work is not just physical or academic. To occupy this space, we must first recognize and honor the history behind pole dance in the Western world and the privilege that comes along with being able to safely exist here. There are so many opinions and stereotypes about pole dancers and I’ve been very intentional about examining my own positionality and internalized biases surrounding sexuality, movement, and the privilege of expression. I want people to know that when they share space with me either through psychotherapy, pole dance, or pole therapy, it is a safe space that embraces every part of who you are.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’ve got to admit this is not my strong suit! I default to being a homebody because my weeks are so busy, I tend to take it easy on the weekends! However, some places I do recommend visiting in Denver are the Nature & Science Museum, Studio3sixT and Rockstar Pole Fitness, Mellow Mushroom, Tacos Rapidos on Evans, walking trails in Lakewood, Wash Park, and if there’s a Hard Candy show!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to shoutout my parents for always encouraging and supporting me at every stage of life. They have empowered me to create options and make my own choices. I don’t know where’d I’d be if it wasn’t for their love and support. I’d also like to shoutout those in my chosen community: my husband & friends, my Studio3sixT family, and my Hard Candy Dancers!!
NFG Photo, Trey Mosier Photography, Kacey Cole Photography