We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Mariela Shibley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Shibley, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
One of the most important lessons I have learned throughout my career – in terms of managing a private practice – is to maintain a low overhead. I started by subleasing an office, to then sharing an office, to eventually renting my own. Not having to worry at the end of the month about whether I had earned enough to cover my basic expenses was a huge peace of mind. I think it’s important to prioritize what is essential to running a practice and to expand and improve as your practice grows. We all had to start somewhere! No one will think less of you if you’re running a new business out of a shared office space.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We are a culturally diverse psychology practice where, in addition to individual and couples psychotherapy, we conduct psychological evaluations for immigration proceedings. As an immigrant myself, it is personally rewarding to be able to do my part in keeping families together and helping foreign nationals build better lives in the United States. I started doing this work back in 2007, and with the passing of time referrals kept increasing. This is what prompted me to hire and train other clinicians, thus growing my practice. In terms of lessons I’ve learned throughout my professional journey, I’d say the most salient one is how important it is to prioritize self-care. I cannot give what I do not have, so making time to fill my cup and practice some self-compassion is crucial for being able to be there for others. Self-care is not a luxury; it’s a necessity.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I love the beaches in San Diego – Torrey Pines, Coronado, Mission Beach, in particular. I would definitely suggest going to the Zoo and also checking out some of our breweries. For dinner, Little Italy. And to watch a beautiful sunset, Sunset Cliffs.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Throughout the years, I have learned and grown so much thanks to the support and advice of my seasoned colleagues. They were always open to me picking their brain over coffee, a late afternoon phone call, or hanging out after a conference. These people whom I consider my mentors and are too many to name are all members of the San Diego Psychological Association. I am beyond grateful to that association for providing me with wonderful opportunities to meet and learn from others in my field. I am also grateful to the San Diego Psychoanalytic Center, where I have developed my psychoanalytic identity and evolved not just professionally but also personally. To all my inspiring and supportive supervisors, colleagues, and dear friends, I give thanks. Lastly, I am grateful to have such a loving and devoted husband, whose unwavering support propelled me to be where I am now.