We had the good fortune of connecting with Kara Kohnen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kara, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
The best decision I made once I started my business was to find talented team of professionals who have strengths which I don’t and be willing to grow and expand in new ways. I am working on delegation and highlighting staff strengths and providing new opportunities and systems. It’s been a great honor to provide support and employment to excellent clinicians who provide quality care.
What should our readers know about your business?
When I started Grow Through Life Counseling in 2012, I had a mission to provide a higher level of quality support to youth and families in Eastlake. I didn’t have plans to grow at this point, but families were responding and soon I was overwhelmed with client and the growth happened from a desire to be able to provide more to the community. Quickly, I realized I could only do so much as one clinician and then the team started to emerge! My philosophy is happy, well trained therapists can provide with a passion for youth can provide a higher quality of care to children, teens and families if they focus on youth. We have the expertise, compassion, understanding and empathy to help all families in pain. We believe in reducing mental health stigma as we know counseling provides many benefits with or without a diagnosis and all people go through struggles and can benefit from more support in their lives. Our strengths are our prior experience with children, teens and parents in a variety of settings. We provide safe, quality, effective, cognitive therapy services with uncompromising integrity. Since 2017, Grow Though Life Counseling expanded it’s services to 3 additional locations. This expansion will help us help more San Diego families in the northern part of the county who are seeking high quality care for children and teenagers. In 2020, in response to the COVID crisis, Grow Through Life added Telehealth services to support our patients and in California as a whole now has access to our team. We currently have 33 therapists and 4 locations and are growing! We love what we do.
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?
In San Diego, some of my favorite places are: hiking at Torrey Pines with expansive beach views, dining at Coasterra with downtown and bay views, Hotel Del Coronado as a must do anytime of year be especially when the big Christmas tree and ice rink are up, the beaches with my favorite being Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach. You can’t miss the zoo and stroll through Balboa park or the Tacos at Taco Stand Encinitas.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I first want to say thank you to the thousands of patients and parents we treated over the years who trusted our practice with their care. It’s truly a privilege to be a healer and help people at their most difficult times in life. As far as the business, I have used many resources and had the privilege of learning from others and being mentored. Some of the best material early in practice building for me were “12 Months to your Ideal Private Practice” by Lynn Grodzki and “How to be Be a Wealthy Therapist” by Casey Truffo. Recently I have needed Clockwork by Michael Michalowicz. I am super impressed and inspired by Maureen Werrbach, who has built a great practice in Chicago also founded a virtual summit of group practice owners. I attended this year and will plan to attend in the coming years as the ideas and resources from this group will keep me busy for the next year! I also need to say I had various roles with my BNI (Business Networking International) groups and learned so much from my fellow members about networking and growth mindset. The emphasis is to build relationships and running a business takes a a great team of many supports. I have found wonderful support and friends in BNI as well as personal growth and speaking opportunities. Most importantly, my parents are still a huge support to me and my father was very successful in his own business which has inspired me in countless ways and my mother always provided endless support to him and our family.