We had the good fortune of connecting with Kate Amini and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kate, how do you think about risk?
I think risk taking can play an important role when it comes to any kind of self growth. We learn how to navigate when we are out of our comfort zone, because we have no other choice. Calculated risks have been a big part of my adult life. I moved across the country in hopes that I would have more opportunities, and in doing so I experienced major ups and downs. I was far from my family and got homesick often. Friendships I thought would be lifelong succumbed to distance and life changes. I’m grateful I met my husband and we adopted our dog Daisy early on, as they made the hard times easier. I felt starting my Master’s program for counseling was a risk in itself. Would it pay off? Was this going to be a waste of time, energy and money? I didn’t know much about the mental health industry at the time, so thinking about my future career felt like looking into a black hole. By the time I reached the internship stage of my program, I was even more disoriented. I had reached out to multiple clinics for internship opportunities and hadn’t heard back from one. I had to push my program back because I ran out of time. I was seriously considering dropping out. I went to my supervisor at the time and told her what had been going on, and she wasn’t having it. She took a huge risk on me and let me do my internship with her private practice. I still remember that feeling of intense relief. Being able to work with someone that I admired who was invested in my success in an environment I aspired to be part of was surreal. By the time I graduated, she offered for me to stay on as a contractor once I started my own business, which was exciting but daunting. At this point, I was still working full time elsewhere but needed to give myself the space to grow my business for my future. I left my full time job. I struggled building up an initial client base and learning how to run a business for a year, until I hit my stride, and I’m thankful to say I’m in a secure place with my business to this day. I owe those risks a great deal of gratitude.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business is called K.A. Counseling LLC. What sets me apart from others…is a great question. In a way, I like to think emphasizing the universal human experience is part of it. Sure, I’m a therapist, but that doesn’t mean I don’t deal with issues just like anyone else. I can resonate with and relate to my clients, which, I hope, makes them feel less alone in their struggles. I genuinely care about the people I see. If they’re dealing with something I’m not familiar with, I familiarize myself. I put in time outside of sessions. Am I doing enough to help? is a question I ask myself when clients are having difficulties. I had to be patient and learn to trust in myself and my skill set to get where I am in my business. It was hard. It came with a lot of self doubt and uncertainty. I have learned through the progression of my business to be confident in myself, and that I do good work, even if I have days where I don’t feel like it. I have learned the importance of boundaries between work and life balance and client relationships. I can give a client tools, but whether they choose to use them or not is up to them. I cannot take responsibility for things that are out of my control. I would like the world to know that despite difficulties, owning a business dedicated to someone you are passionate about is wonderfully fulfilling. Having a business has changed my life in such a major way.

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 am all over the place when it comes to places to go. I love going out to eat, so restaurants would be a huge part of the itinerary. I live in Mesa, Arizona, and typically go between Mesa and Gilbert. Some of my favorite restaurants are RA (Mesa), Brio (Gilbert) and Sauce (Mesa). As far as places to see, that definitely extends much further. I love the desert out in Tonto National Forest, Papago Park and Tempe Town Lake, Flagstaff, Payson and Sedona. Monument Valley is a must see in my opinion!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Big time. My supervisor, Diana Canfield for sure. She has supported me since day one, not only as my supervisor and mentor, but as my friend too. My husband Justin, for preventing me from dropping out of school, always supporting me, and especially for taking the risk with me of plunging into my business. Thank you for always believing in me, helping me fight my imposter syndrome and perfectionism, and just for being you. My family and friends of course, for all of the emotional support, love and kind words. My dogs Daze & Zero, who have no idea how much they help me every single day through the good and the bad.

Instagram: @kacounselingllc

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