We had the good fortune of connecting with Erika Labuzan-Lopez, LMFT-S, LPC-S and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Erika, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
As a therapist, I’ve always been passionate about providing high quality therapy to my clients. However, most therapists coming out of school work for agencies and other non profits that help them get their hours towards licensure, which is great, but at a rate that is often unsustainable. I found myself providing 50 sessions/week of therapy working as a contractor, and I realized quickly this was not the way I wanted to practice. So, I began the process of starting my own private practice in which I had control over how many clients I would see, how much or little I wanted to work, and I actually had time to do trainings to continue to grow as a professional and become an even better therapist. I am now moving into a group practice so that I can hire new therapists to come work with me, help them get the clinical hours and experience they need at a reasonable pace and for better pay. I want to be part of changing the idea about what therapy can be, that we can be well paid while taking care of ourselves and providing stellar service to our clients. After all, we’re supposed to help people learn and place importance on their well being, and therapists deserve to do the same.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My group practice is focused on providing highly specialized services to couples. Our therapists receive top quality training so that we can provide the best therapy available to our clients. We also like to make things as simple as possible, and take a minimalistic approach to our processes and treatment. After all, we don’t want you to be in therapy forever, and will challenge you to bring the real issues to the surface so that you can learn how to deal with them in a real tangible way. We are highly focused on connection, and help our couples to find new ways to relate to their partners so that both of you can understand and recognize what’s happening internally and how you can use it to build the strongest relationship. It has not always been easy to build my practice. It can be hard to overcome the stigma of therapy, and bring awareness of mental health issues to the community. Sometimes it can be challenging to help couples who have had therapy worthy issues for a long time, and the vulnerability of the process can be overwhelming. We come from a non-judgmental place, but people do have thoughts and beliefs about what it means to be in therapy. I’ve also had times before expanding into hiring additional therapists in which I was seeing too many clients, and started to feel the effects of not being able to take care of myself. The beauty of having your own business is that you have the control to make changes as needed, like hiring more amazing employees so that we can serve more the community. I’ve learned that I can make decisions and trust in myself. This is something I have worked on and will continue to work on as a human and business owner, and it’s something I continually get challenged on. It’s ok that things change, and that you may have to do something different. Nothing has taught us that more than the year of 2020. Being an entrepreneur allows you to be empowered to take the step and do the new thing the best you can. You’ll make mistakes and things will happen outside of your control, but it’ll all work out if you lean into that discomfort and trust what you need. I want the world to know about my passion for helping people filter through the nonsense and focusing on what’s really important, especially in their relationships. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and we don’t need to learn a million and one new techniques. You can be two humans, showing up for each other just the way you are. And that’s good enough.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If someone was visiting me, I would take them to the Zoo and the Museum District. There’s so much culture flowing from Houston. With the pandemic, I would take them to Kemah boardwalk where we could be outside and enjoy the water and boats going by. There are so many local restaurants available to frequent here in Houston and surrounding suburbs. I would love to visit Hugo’s, The Breakfast Klub, The Original Ninfa’s, Killen’s BBQ, and Backstreet Cafe to name a few.

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?
Business School Bootcamp- Zynnyme.com

Website: Centerforcouplescounseling.com
Instagram: @BravelyMinimal
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erika-labuzan-lopez-lmft-s-lpc
Twitter: @ErikaLL
Facebook: Facebook.com/ErikaLLTherapy
Youtube: Erika LL Therapy

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX 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.