We had the good fortune of connecting with Shahla Nikpour and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shahla, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Starting my private practice has been a sacred process for me in the sense that the services that I have offered are exactly what I have gone through as a human. I am a survivor of Narcissistic Abuse in a family and as well as a past relationship. The recovery and healing process are messy and arduous and as a therapist I was so scared for so long to start my private practice, but it was through a series of painful experiences that I was able to go inward and discover that this is what I needed to be doing because for so many people that don’t quite understand what Narcissistic Abuse is like, I tell people it’s almost like coming back from a war. I started to do a lot inner reflection and reading and thinking about an image that represented my ability to pull myself out of the trenches and move forward. The image of a phoenix came to mind. I started the research the symbolism of what a phoenix represents and it represents rebuilding yourself from nothing into a strong bird that is able to take flight and soar. I want all of my clients to feel like after working with me that they were able to rebuild themselves from the ashes into a beautiful creature that is able to take flight, to do and connect to themselves authentically.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Phoenix Thriving Therapy is a private practice that specializes in helping survivors of Narcissistic Abuse and Recovery whether it be from a family member or interpersonal relationship. My practice works on healing from the anxiety, depression and complex post-traumatic stress disorder that many of my clients are living with. I am extremely proud of my story and use it as a tool help clients understand that I have been through this!! I get it completely. I work on helping clients connect to self-healing, assertive communication skills and empowering themselves to live the life that they want to. Starting this practice during a global pandemic while dealing with my own recovery isolated and alone was not easy, there were times I just felt stuck and alone. After reflecting on what I wanted, what was going to give me the most inspiration I knew this is exactly want I needed to do. It was not easy, with everything moving into telehealth, how was I going to find clients? I had never started my own practice before and living in more isolation during the pandemic made it even more difficult to network and get the support I needed. I definitely did a lot of research on my own, attended as many webinars and Zoom meetings on topics I needed support with. But after all of it I was able to give birth to my practice.
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 definitely someone that enjoys food, so if I had a guest coming into town I would be getting a sense of what they like or something they are curious to try. I am also all about self-care so I would definitely take them to some of my favorite local spas for a massage, or sound healing. I am all about meeting my guest where they are at when it comes to relaxation and fun.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to recognize all of the frontline mental health professionals in my life that have been working so diligently during a time of crisis first and foremost. I would not be here if it was not for my “tribe of women” in New York Liz, Ada, Michelle and Shelbi for constantly showering me with support, gently feeding me the love and validation that I needed. All of my mentors in my life from Jessica Sinclair, Patricia Hall, Allynne Skove, Dr. Josie Diaz and Dr. Denise Fournier they have all been instrumental in my journey.
Henry Orth Photography