Supervised by Dr. David Lawson, Ph.D., LPC-S, LMFT-S
We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Reed and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, what’s your definition for success?
When I was a little girl, I used to think success meant climbing all the way to the very top of the imaginary “success mountain” and having all of the “perfect” things that supposedly come with that life including the perfect life, home, family, spouse, car, materialistic things etc., but the truth is success looks way different for me now at 28-years old. At one point in my mid 20s—I truly felt like I was at the top of that “success mountain” after I had just graduated with my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy, was in a home with my boyfriend at the time, had a podcast up and running and had my dog Ember there with me. Even with all of those things, I realized I still felt all alone up there “at the top”. Things didn’t feel like they were aligning, but it was hard to admit it to myself at the time. I remember thinking to myself, if I have almost everything I want—then why do I not feel happy or successful with everything I’ve already achieved? Why do I still feel empty?
When everything came crashing down, I realized I got more caught up with the “idea” of how my life looked at the time rather than the actual reality of it. A past counselor once told me that instead of trying to “fit a square into a circle”, I was actually “fitting a circle into a square”. Everything looked like it “fit together perfectly” but truly—that circle wasn’t filling up the square completely and certain aspects of it were missing. That was the first time I experienced true failure and humility. I remember experiencing imposter syndrome for the first time when I was working as a counseling intern at the very first private practice I was at. I felt like a phony helping others when I was still struggling trying to figure out how to help myself. I knew at that point I had to make a choice… let this failure consume you, identify you and control you or make a conscious effort and change towards learning, healing and growing from it.
Success to me now is taking the time to truly get to know yourself as a person by understanding your own needs, values, dysfunctional patterns, boundaries, and beliefs. Success is healing your own hurt so others don’t have to hurt because of you. Success is the ability to remain genuine, kind and humble to those still struggling at the bottom even when you do make it to the top and helping them up along the way when possible. Success looks like taking ownership for your mistakes, learning from them and consistently making efforts towards being a healthy, more authentic version of yourself in all aspects of your life. These are the ultimate “wins” in my book so you don’t have to consistently experience that imposter syndrome. It will also give you more confidence in the workplace, among your co-workers, in your friendships and in your relationships. Examples of working towards a healthy, authentic sense of self can look like creating healthier habits like starting off the day exercising, praying, meditating, doing yoga, reflecting, journaling, surrounding yourself with positive, uplifting, genuine, supportive friends, family and environments, getting counseling for yourself when it’s necessary (yes–even counselors need counselors too) and prioritizing self-care.
Ultimately, I know I have a responsibility towards myself, my clients and my co-workers to maintain my own self-care so I can show up for them the best way possible with a clear, healthy mindset even if it’s not always perfect. Therapists are going to have bad days just like anyone else where we have to ground ourselves, practice staying present, learn how to regulate our emotions and remember to take breaks in between. Personally on the harder days–when the grief really sets in, I know it’s best to opt out for a mental health day for the sake of myself and my clients especially since I am still in the middle of healing, grieving and processing the loss of my brother who passed away last year. So please remember to always be kind because you have no idea what the person next to you is going through.
Overall, I believe true success lies in our own journey towards self-awareness, self-improvement and self-discovery.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My career as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate at Mindful Movements Counseling Center gives me so much purpose and fulfillment in life. It was not easy whatsoever getting into this profession with all of the schooling and hours, but it was so worth it. I specialize in working with couples. adults, teens, trauma and EMDR therapy. I truly do love all of my clients and I am so proud of each and every one of them that sit across from me on my couch. I love watching my individual clients grow and heal and my couple clients reconnect and learn how to communicate in healthy ways with one another. I also encourage people who have had a bad experience with a therapist to try giving it another chance with a different therapist until they find the right one for them. I promise there are some amazing therapists out there who are there to help people process, identify, understand and heal from their past, their shame, their trauma or their fears of being seen as “weak.” Thankfully the stigma on mental health has been reducing and we have come a long way, but there is still work to be done. I encourage anyone reading this right now struggling to please reach out and if you need immediate assistance please call or text 988.
This is the part where I should probably mention that even as a therapist…I also LOVE being a content creator. I have my fun, bubbly, outgoing, creative, marketing side and I also have a deeper, curious, more serious, intellectual, side of me on a mission to help others heal from their trauma and break patterns within themselves and their relationships. After all, I am an Enneagram 3 Wing 2. “I’m not a regular therapist…I’m a cool therapist” ha-ha!
One thing I used to constantly struggle with is if people would take me seriously as a therapist if they knew I was also doing collaborations with brands on the side, but I have truly learned over the years how to break free from that limiting belief mindset. I provide a safe, open, non-judgmental, non-bias space for my clients to share what they are going through with the knowledge and experience I have. If they are quick to judge me or do not feel a connection with me I make sure to emphasize to them that it is okay because it’s all about their treatment and healing journey. I leave it up to them to decide with no pressure. Not every counselor will be a perfect fit for every client, but it’s all about finding one you really connect and feel safe with.
Onto being a content creator- it also brings me so much joy because I have so many creative ideas always swirling around in my head that I get to share. I love getting to show off that side of my personality as a fun hobby. I used to be the creative director and social media coordinator at Beautifeye (the best lash & brow company EVER) and I remember when the owner (who is now a great friend and huge inspiration to me), Cecily, started out with a small following on Instagram and it was so much fun watching it grow over time by creating content, posting fun blogs and reels, creating my Influencer campaign and helping design many of the collections. Cecily gave me so much room to grow and learn and I will always be grateful for her. I also do a lot of my collaborations through a social media agency called Social Behavior which has been so much fun!
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 am a brunch girly all the WAY! I would take them to all my favorite brunch spots FIRST and then do something fun after! So get ready because you are going to want to save these restaurants and places for your next brunch with the girls, date night out or a fun outdoor activity for all!
Best restaurants to visit in Houston, TX:
Bayou City Seafood
Holman Draft Hall
Bloom & Bee
The Ginger Mule
Fun places to visit in Houston, TX:
East River 9
Railway Heights Market
The Escape Game
Heights Bier Garten
Truck Yard Houston
Game Show Challenge Houston
Best restaurants to visit in The Woodlands, Spring, Conroe, TX area:
True Food Kitchen
State Fair Kitchen & Bar
Common Bond Bistro & Bakery
Bosscat Kitchen & Libations
Captain Brad’s Coastal Kitchen
Good Co. Fish Camp
Kings Blu Jam Cafe
Fun places in The Woodlands, Spring, Conroe TX area:
Wave on Lake Conroe
License to Chill Bar & Cafe
Swanson Golf Center
Swing Zone Golf
Riva Row Boathouse to Paddleboard
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?
There are so many friends, family, grad school girlies, boss babes, mentors and role models who have helped me along my journey towards being a better person (mentally, physically, spiritually), friend, therapist and creator. I wish I could talk about them all individually but I wanted to highlight these women specifically because each one of them believed in me, encouraged me, supported me and played a huge role in where I am now in my career journey. I also couldn’t do this without my faith.
Aimee Dogra- My first job out of college was being a receptionist and Aimee was the first person who trained me. She told me she would work on school while she was at the front desk and I remember feeling a lightbulb go off in my head. I told her I wanted to go to grad school so badly to be a therapist but I was scared to take the step and she inspired and encouraged me to go. I successfully completed grad school during the years I worked there. She helped me gain my confidence back and realize I did have the ability to achieve my goals. Thank you for inspiring me to go after my dreams Aimee!
Cecily Gonzalez- Cecily is truly like a sister to me now. While working at Beautifeye, I got to be more than just a creative director. I got to learn what it’s like for a boss to really believe in you, push you in a positive way, create a healthy, positive work environment and lift you up through everything! I talk more about her throughout this article! I love you Cecily! Thank you for seeing my potential, highlighting my strengths and giving me opportunities to shine!
Mikayla Simmons- Mikayla is my wonderful, amazing, inspiring boss and friend! She is the owner of Mindful Movements Counseling Center. After my brother passed, I considered quitting being a counselor all together, but she reached out to me a couple months later with the opportunity to work for her because she knew I would be valuable to the team. She also knew how passionate I was when working with couples and clients with trauma. She continues to show me that she only wants the best for me, accepts me as I am, highlights my strengths and constantly encourages me in the private practice. She is a huge role model for me and I am so grateful for her! Thank you for believing in me!
David & Wendy Mills, Briana McCulloch, Amanda Belinoski and the entire Kailee Mills Foundation- The Kailee Mills Foundation is dedicated to spreading seatbelt safety awareness after David and Wendy lost their daughter on October 28, 2017. They reached out to me shortly after they heard about my brother’s passing from a car accident where he was ejected. It’s still hard to talk about and process, but they truly wrapped their arms around my family and saved us from a very dark place. They continue to honor my brother as a Kailee’s Angel and make sure his life will not be forgotten. They provide support, grief counseling, special events, financial assistance and more. They are more than a foundation–they are a family. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Selena Torres, Karen and the Social Behavior Team- Karen is the owner of Social Behavior–the best social media agency ever! Karen and Selena have been such hard workers and play such a big role in the community by working with influencers to market some amazing businesses. Thank you all for constantly giving me the opportunity to show off my creativity and provide me with the best opportunities to do so in the community!
My sister and my best girly friends you all know who you are– thank you for loving me unconditionally. I love you all so much and would not be where I am today without all of you!
Instagram: Counseling: @anothergoodreed Personal: @xoxo_laurenreed4
Other: To schedule for counseling: firstname.lastname@example.org For other inquiries: email@example.com
Headshots by Jordan Fischels @jordanfischelsphoto