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

Hi Cecille, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I believe risk-taking is necessary for growth and success. We cannot play small and expect big results. However, risk-taking should be in proportion to our resources, values, goals, and risk tolerance. Too much risk too soon in the game can end up hurting us, and too little risk when there is a clear or viable opportunity to grow can cause us to become stagnant. That balance can be hard to strike sometimes. I would not be where I am today if it were not for certain risks I have taken in my life. I see risk-taking as the courage to fail and the will to succeed. One of the things I am very proud of is my private practice. Building it took time, a lot of work, and determination. I took calculated risks and learned from a few trials and errors. But every time something did not work out, I always learned and grew from the experience. Starting a radio show and podcast on mental health was another venture I am proud of. This took an incredible amount of determination, focus, and sacrifice. I could’ve used the funds to do luxurious things, but I took a chance on myself instead. I think the key question is – how badly do you want it and why? What are you willing to do and sacrifice to achieve it? On the flip side, I have started and invested heavily in many other ventures and projects that didn’t always come to fruition or didn’t turn out as I expected. But what’s so interesting is that have I never regretted spending the time, energy, and resources in those endeavors. When I stay open to the lessons, and when I’m done crying about it or when I’m not stuck in shame – I can see the “gifts” of the so-called “failures.” I really don’t see those experiences as failures. These setbacks have sparked new ideas, have gotten me clear about what I thought I wanted and no longer do, or took me on a different course altogether. I try to stay open to the entire creative process while staying consistent with my discipline and work ethic. My support system also helps me evaluate risks and think about things in a balanced way, so it’s vital to have a loving circle – personally and professionally. Lastly, risk-taking can be incredibly fun and satisfying. I get so pumped when I create something from nothing and see it come alive and become a reality. At the end of the day, ask yourself, “If I knew I would succeed, would I go for it?” It can be scary and lonely to go for your dreams, but frankly, what’s the alternative? Which problem are you willing to have? I would rather have the problem of trying than the problem of always wishing and wondering. I would rather try than not at all.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Transcend Therapy is a private practice that specializes in trauma recovery. We provide individual, couples, family, and group counseling. I believe what sets us apart from others is our trauma-informed approach and our excellent customer service from when they contact us until the time that treatment comes to an end. We have great satisfaction rates, and our clients often report experiencing real change and improvements in their lives! I got here today by not forgetting about the fundamentals. A strong work ethic is everything – showing up every day, working hard every day, consistency, commitment, persistence. Passion is not enough. We have to put in the time, energy, and resources if we are to succeed. The challenges were there, just like any other venture or business. So I had to stay open and curious. Creativity and collaboration were key factors in overcoming the challenges and barriers, asking for help, thinking outside the box, outsourcing, delegating – all the things that needed to happen for us to grow. I call them growing pains, and I welcome them because it means we are doing something right. It’s a significant problem to have. Building my business and projects was not always easy, but it was (and continues to be) super fun for me! I mean that. I think it’s because I love what I do. I look forward to it all – the ups and the downs – because at the end of the day – I get to do what I love, and equally important – I get to share the joy with my staff because the people on my team all love what they do as well. My vision is to make private practice a viable career for the therapists who work for Transcend Therapy – and it’s happening! Lastly, we are a diverse group of seasoned therapists who are each genuinely invested in people’s healing, growth, and success. Outstanding customer service and effective therapy are two areas where we consistently stand out and excel! Our clients consistently report feeling better, happier, more confident, and hopeful about the future. We are committed to ending the cycle of trauma. It is not just our business – it is our purpose.

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 love San Diego and feel so very fortunate to live and work here! I love hanging out at Carlsbad Village & Little Italy to stroll the streets, grab a bite to eat (you’ll always find something yummy), and take friends and family who visit. Beach wise, Tamarack Beach, Torrey Pines Beach, La Jolla Shores, Coronado Beach are my go-to’s. For beach volleyball, I would take them to Mission Beach and Carlsbad State Beach. Restaurant wise – I love taking first-time visitors to Mr. A’s for happy hour. Sab-e-Lee in Linda Vista for incredible, authentic Thai Food. Madison for a classy and delicious lounge experience and Plumeria for an unforgettable vegan/vegetarian experience, both in University Heights. For fine dining, I highly recommend Greystone in the Gaslamp Quarter. For Mexican – I would take them to Barrio Starr in Bankers Hill, and of course, Old Town is a must-see! Rocky’s in Crown Point is perfect for a good-old-fashioned American Burger! For ice cream, I would take them to Stella jeans in University Heights. As far as historical spots, I would take them to Cabrillo National Monument, Balboa Park, and Mt. Soledad.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shout out to my husband first and foremost for supporting me from day one. His love has allowed me to dream big and evolve into the woman, wife, and mother I am today. There are truly so many people to thank and credit for my success. My faith, family, friends, my team, past therapists, past mentors, and supervisors. As far as books, I credit “The Gift of Therapy” by Dr. Irvin Yalom as one of the books that validated my innate belief that therapists must humanize people and not merely view people as a cluster of symptoms to be “treated.” This was the beginning of the process of self-trust that has guided me throughout my professional life, especially with my work with clients. Looking back now, I guess I really needed to hear that! Professionally, I am eternally grateful for Dr. Francine Shapiro and Dr. Richard Schwartz for EMDR therapy and IFS theory, respectively. These two individuals have each single-handedly changed the game for our profession. I credit their work for much of my healing and transformation. I am a proud ambassador of their work.

Website: transcendtherapyca.com
Instagram: @transcend_therapy_inc AND @lwcshow AND @getmentalpodcast
Linkedin: Cecille Ahrens, LCSW, CEAP
Twitter: @CAhrenslcsw
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lwcshow
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3f01mLz7aKAFzo3L1ud1ew

Image Credits
Cassandra Kendall Photography

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