We had the good fortune of connecting with Selena Soni and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Selena, what do you attribute your success to?
I have to say “gumption” and willingness are the two most important factors to my success. My grandmother always used the word gumption to describe me and told me to hold onto it. Willingness is something I learned later. It has helped me feel curious when uncomfortable, dream when questioning, try even if I fail. Without these two traits, I’d never have taken the first step to open MUV Counseling. As a therapist, I am naturally excited by change and how people can either change or not. And my willingness to experience the present moment is what helps me connect with my clients and made me a more effective psychotherapist. It’s gumption that led me to think outside the four walls I had been practicing therapy in for the first ten years of my career. And it’s gumption that helped me take the opportunity to bring therapy onto the streets, canals, and trails of Scottsdale for walk+talk therapy – it gave me the drive to open MUV Counseling in Scottsdale. I am passionate about my work every day, and it sure feels like success to me! There’s a Gaelic proverb I think of often, “Nothing is easy for the unwilling.”
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
MUV Counseling was opened in 2018 with the goal of bringing walk + talk therapy to Scottsdale, AZ. MUV’s integration of walk+talk therapy is what really sets us apart from other therapy practices nearby. MUV Counseling in Scottsdale was opened near the canal system so walking and the environment could be integrated into the therapeutic practices, using the calming environment and client’s whole body to support mental health and thus our motto “Move your mind”.
I have to say early on, people (mostly other counselors) asked “Can you do that or is walk+talk therapy a thing?” The answer is “Yes and Yes!” Of course we can walk and do therapy- haven’t you seen all the articles on the benefits of exercise on your mental health, the mind-body connection and integrating mindfulness into everyday life? Walk+talk therapy does all that! So MUV Counseling was the first to bring walk+talk therapy to Scottsdale but surely not the last.
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.
Most friends come into town on Friday afternoon so we would kick the weekend off by picking up beach cruisers from my house and riding to our first stop- drinks at the Hermosa Inn. We’d continue our ride on the Canal to OHSO for a beer and a live dog meme show and a snack. Our final destination would be Barrio Queen for tacos and spicy margaritas. We’d probably call it an early night, since it’s late somewhere.
Our Saturday would start with a hike in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve followed by spa services and lunch at the Biltmore- have you seen the new waterslide? Saturday night would be dedicated to music- that’s right, it would be time for Karaoke at the Grapevine in old town Scottsdale or Geisha Go-Go. The night would end at the Rusty Spur because it’s a classic. Sunday would be a leisurely walk to La Grande Orange and visit to the MIM.
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?
I want to dedicate this Shoutout to Rebekah Wilson (Aging Care Coach). Rebekah has been a friend and career mentor since 2005. She is a trailblazer in the world of dementia care. She has wholeheartedly thrown herself into her work- supporting those with dementia and their caregivers. When Rebekah founded her business she decided to offer services that were tailored to her clients needs which meant meeting them and their families online, over the phone, at home and in facilities around the country. She provides dementia consultation and education for individuals, families, and larger healthcare organizations nationally. She really showed me how following your passion, meeting your clients where they are at and building an authentic business can lead to success. She gave me the courage to follow in her blazing footsteps.
The city of San Francisco, SF- 2022 St. Patrick’s Day Parade (always join the parade if given the option) and My husband- Jay Soni.