We had the good fortune of connecting with Katy Manganella, LPC and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katy, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?Austin City Counseling is a virtual therapy private practice, based in Austin, TX. I opened Austin City Counseling in July 2020, just a few months into the pandemic and we specialize in working with Millennial and Gen-Z anxiety. Prior to starting my own business, I worked for another truly wonderful group private practice here in Austin, and I was doing in-person therapy there. When the pandemic started, it became clear that in-person therapy was not possible, and yet so many people needed support especially during that time. That’s how the vision for what Austin City Counseling is today was born.
Austin City Counseling sees clients exclusively through teletherapy, video sessions. For many people, teletherapy is a better fit than traditional, in-person therapy. We decrease the hassle of therapy, while increasing your comfort in therapy since we do therapy from your couch, not ours.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Austin City Counseling is set apart by its modern take on what therapy can be. With teletherapy, we meet the people we work with literally wherever they’re at*. We focus on being real humans, who are also therapists. We are therapists who show our own personality. We laugh with our clients, sometimes cry with our clients, and more than all else, try to really focus on the issues that matter most to the people we work with. We don’t view therapy or mental health through a lens of “What’s wrong with you?” Rather, we think through the lens of, “What is happening that’s not working for you and how do we create change there?” We focus on how to support you moving forward on your own terms, so that you can feel more like yourself, happier, and fulfilled.
I’m proud of our understanding of the unique pressures that Millennials and Gen-Zs experience. As an elder Millennial myself, I’ve shared some of the same global experiences at a similar developmental point to the folks I also work with. I think that this adds depth to the therapy experience that just isn’t possible to be taught third-hand.
One of the most impactful lessons I’ve learned along the way is to ask for help! Therapists are not taught how to be business owners, and yet many of us end up owning our own businesses so there is plenty we have to figure out as we go. I’ve been grateful to receive help with accounting, brand design, and business development, to name a few.
What do I want the world to know about Austin City Counseling? We really love what we do! We talk to the people we work with like we’d talk to a friend– Honestly and with care. And I also want the world to know that that therapy doesn’t always make things easier, but it does make things better.
*As long as they’re in Texas because our therapy licenses allow us to only practice in Texas.
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 love living in Austin and I would spend the day doing all of my favorite things! We’d wake up and go to Taco Deli (obviously, tacos first), then we would go walk the trail at Town Lake (aka Lady Bird Lake). If it was a summer day, we’d go to Barton Springs. If the weather was nice but not hot enough to swim, we’d bring some snacks to Zilker Park and lounge in the sun. I would probably also show them the Central Library in downtown Austin while we were down there, because that’s just the coolest public space in my opinion. We’d definitely have Home Slice Pizza at some point that day (the eggplant parm pie, specifically.). We might go out to Jester King, if time permits. And we’d go find some live music that night. I truly love Austin!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oh wow, yes! There are so many people going back years who deserve celebration for their part in my story and Austin City Counseling’s story! I have the most incredible sisterhood of women who support me, cheer me on, and help me figure out the hard stuff. My own therapist, years ago, helped me build the confidence in myself to take the leap into private practice to begin with. And my friends could see my vision for Austin City Counseling alongside me, which made it feel possible and real before it actually existed. A dear, fellow therapist-friend said about starting Austin City Counseling, “if you don’t do it, it needs to be for any reason other than you couldn’t do it, because you’re ready.” That’s really stuck with me. To be believed in and fully seen when I was trying to build up my own nerve to start a business was a game-changer.