We had the good fortune of connecting with Steffanie Grossman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Steffanie, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
I attribute much of my success to the relationships I have with my with my friends, family, mentors, and colleagues. Making the decision to be willing to put energy and time into getting to know the folks around me and in my field, has been invaluable throughout every step of my journey from start to maintenance. For example, it was a dear friend and colleague who gently encouraged me to trust myself to leave a stable staff position and go into private practice, and was kind enough to walk me through much of the process and let me start out renting her office. I am currently the Treasurer for the DFW Chapter of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals as well as the Professional Advocacy Member at Large for the American College Counseling Association; the reason I even considered applying for these positions is that I had colleagues who encouraged and had faith in me. I am so grateful for the wonderful people that I have in my world and that we have in our mental health community, and I feel very fortunate for their collective wisdom and many friendships.
What should our readers know about your business?
I am a Licensed Psychologist and Animal-Assisted Therapist with a tootsie-roll lookalike therapy dog named Rockstar. I own a private practice in Grapevine and in Dallas, and can practice throughout all of Texas with telehealth. I specialize in working with eating disorders and body image, as well as with gender identity, sexual identity, and the LGBTQ+ community. I offer individual therapy as well as couple’s and family therapy (though via telehealth, mainly individual – family and couple’s have a lot of dynamics to navigate via a computer screen, ha!). I also provide presentations on a wide range of topics, including self-esteem, communication, and suicide prevention. I love being involved in the community, and am currently the Treasurer for the DFW Chapter of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals, Professional Advocacy Member at Large for the American College Counseling Association, and the Coordinator of the Fort Worth National Eating Disorders Association Walk. What I feel sets me apart and that I’m most proud of is how passionate I am about community involvement and connection – I love being able to help clients, supervisees, and colleagues meet and connect with others facing similar struggles or in similar fields. I truly believe that my clients and supervisees benefit most when connected to others who can understand and empower them. I also greatly appreciate incorporating humor into my work (once the pandemic passes I’m planning to take improv classes – I practice what I preach about self-care and following your values!), to help clients feel more comfortable and connected. Rockstar also appreciates this, as he loves hearing clients laugh (as well as loves to be there for them when they cry). Additionally, I work through a strong multicultural and feminist lens – I know that no two clients who walk through my door will have an identical treatment plan, as their experiences and identities will have them entering into my office with various strengths and barriers of oppression. It is my role to be aware of and understand how this impacts all of the therapeutic process and their presenting concerns, and to be with them on their journey rather than assuming their journey for them. I attribute so much of where I am today in my business to wonderful mentors, friends, and family – I have been very fortunate to make so many great connections with people who have encouraged and supported me, who have consistently offered their wisdom, feedback, and advice. A piece of advice I have for clinicians wanting to go into private practice is to utilize the strengths of being open to taking risks and finding windows when a door closes – those are some of the qualities that I appreciate most about myself and have helped me overcome the challenges of leaving a stable job for my own practice (I loved my boss then and love my boss now, ha!). I want the world to know that, every person is worthy. Worthy of love, from both others and themselves. You are capable of developing self-compassion to become a friend to yourself, and coping skills and confidence to manage the whole range of human emotions (which will all happen, including anger, grief, and sadness, but that you don’t have to be alone in).
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 moved from Denton right prior to the pandemic started, and actually would have a list of places in that area that I would show people when they came to Texas to visit! I’m still developing my Dallas list, though am excited to do so too. In Dallas so far, I love Trammel Crow Park (where else can you see cows while viewing a skyline?!), Pocket Sandwich Theatre (popcorn throwing, anyone?!), the Trolley in Uptown is adorable, Reverchon Park (gorgeous rock stairs!), and Theatre Three (you feel like part of the show!). And definitely, head over to Oak Cliff’s Bishop Arts area for such a cute street filled with food and shopping (looking forward to more music there also when the pandemic passes!). Food-wise, I love the brunch and flatbreads at Whitehall Exchange, and Maracas Cocina Mexicana has amazing chipotle cream enchiladas. If I was heading back to Denton, I would definitely show them the Chairy Orchard (…. notice the pun) and stop at the Loophole Pub for an outstanding burger!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to Sandee Nebel, a therapist and the owner of White Picket Fence Counseling Center in Florida. In graduate school, she took a risk in bringing me on as a trainee many years ago, and got me started on the path of working with eating disorders (which I am so fortunate to be able to do and see people find their recovery). We are still in contact, and her kindness, warmth, and wisdom has truly been such a privilege to have in my world.