We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Tslil Feinberg and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Tslil, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
The most important decision I made is with regard to how I can best allocate my time to accomplish the most good. People are what first motivated me to become a clinical psychologist. While this core motivation continues to serve me well, getting to the point of running a successful practice asked more of me than my commitment to people alone. In fact, the most important question I was asked when I started my business was from my partner John. He asked, “Do you want to be a practitioner or do you want to be a business owner?” My initial response was of course a practitioner. For one, I’d just studied for the last six years and I was not about to forego using my doctorate. For another thing, I really love providing therapy. It’s rewarding. It gives me a sense of true meaning when my patients achieve positive growth. Now that CAST Wellness is an established practice, I had a chance to revisit John’s question. What I realized is that, as a practitioner, my reach is limited to the people I interact with directly. And while I still want to maintain a portion of my time dedicated to patients, I also know that I want to expand my reach to others—to provide education, support, and consulting to help grow other providers in the community. To accomplish this, I have allocated time and resources toward developing a strong business plan with measurable goals. I invested energy to expand my business which includes networking with other organizations that serve our community. CAST Wellness is now hiring a network of trusted providers who can offer the evidence-based treatments we provide at CAST Wellness. We are now well on our way to achieving these goals, and I’m so excited about what is to come for the CAST Wellness family and our patients.
What should our readers know about your business?
The Center for Anxiety, Sleep, and Trauma (CAST) Wellness is a mental health practice committed to providing short-term, evidence-based therapy. Everything we do is grounded in research. CAST Wellness is unique in that, at least in the private sector, we’ve helped pioneer the remote (“telehealth”) model within the field of mental health. We didn’t switch to this model due to external circumstances, but originally established CAST as an online practice offering HIPPA-compliant, secure video therapy to the comfort of our patient’s homes. Fortunately, we were well prepared to answer the growing need for mental health care precipitated by the pandemic. As I write, CAST Wellness is in its second year of growth and we’re so excited to announce the expansion of our practice. Now more than ever there is a dire need for qualified mental health providers. We’ve decided to answer this crisis by adding new specialty providers to our clinic. This will help immediately accelerate our ability to bring our excellent standard of care to our community. It was our mission when we started, and it’s a mission that continues to grow and evolve today. When I founded CAST Wellness, it was so important to ensure that I dedicated a portion of my time to community outreach. Over the past year, I have developed a strong collaboration with, among others, the Japanese Friendship Garden (JFG) at Balboa Park. What a beautiful sanctuary in the heart of San Diego! Through this relationship, I provide ongoing monthly “mental health talks” to our community members. In addition, I am more than excited to serve on the JFG’s cultural committee, yet another opportunity to provide representation for underserved community members. Financial circumstances are often what prevents patients from pursuing the mental health care they need. At CAST Wellness, we reserve a portion of our clinical hours each week to assist individuals with limited finances through our partnership with OpenPath a non-profit organization dedicated to providing access to care at a reduced rate to those in need.
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 serve patient’s throughout the state of California and often encourage them to explore their surroundings and take advantage of the many beautiful areas this state has to offer. Many of my patients find healing through being in nature, going on hikes, spending time at the beach, and exploring interesting and beautiful spots.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The person who deserves the most credit for my success—the person who has provided the most support and insight—is my partner John Ernest Ceisel. John not only supported me throughout my time at graduate school, residency, and postdoc, but he’s also been invaluable in the development of CAST Wellness the business. Throughout my many years in graduate school, I trained to become an excellent clinician. However, when it came to building a business, I felt like a fish out of water. While I was getting CAST Wellness off the ground, I was so blessed to have John’s expertise in business development. His support has been a huge help to me every step of the way, from establishing my digital presence to navigating the world of insurance, accounting, and business finance. Getting CAST Wellness up and running wasn’t without a fair amount of stress! John has not only been a business advisor but incredible emotional support throughout my highs and lows in this journey. I’m sure he has felt my frustration along the way, but I could not have dreamed the CAST Wellness practice would get to where it is today. I am so fulfilled that I get to do what I love every day and help my patients while also building a family of providers who represent a shared vision. I would also like to express my gratitude to Alliant International University California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP), its wonderful faculty, and the Japanese Friendship Garden at Balboa Park for their support and partnership. It is the care and motivation of these partners that have helped to bring the CAST Wellness dream to light.
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