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Founder of The Hope and Wellness Partnership. Mental Health Clinician specializing in: Depression, anxiety, adjustment disorder related to medical illnesses - Angela Bõdy, LCSW, NSW-C

Hi Angela, can you start by introducing yourself please include education, social, and cultural background. 
I have always had a passion for helping others. I began working in the medical field at the age of 19 as a medical assistant/phlebotomist. I transitioned to an x-ray technician- I also taught phlebotomy at UCLA. I returned to grad school- in 2009. I worked while attended school and graduated from the University of Southern California with my master’s in social work, with a concentration in health. My specialty is working with clients diagnosed with acute and chronic illnesses, along with providing support to family members. I enjoy working with clients from various ethnic backgrounds. 

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How did you get into Mental Health and how long have you been practicing? 
I have worked in the medical field for over 30 years. I observed that many individuals who seek medical help or dealing with undiagnosed mental illness. 

You are the founder of The Hope & Wellness Partnership, how long has it been in existence and what motivated you start it? 
I opened my practice in July of 2018. The catalyst for starting my own business was my desire to meet the needs of the untapped population and to make therapy an intricate part of everyday life. I also wanted to make therapy affordable for all. 

What services do you offer at The Hope & Wellness Partnership and how has these services benefited your clients thus far?
Individual therapy and patient navigator. Client have reported a decrease in their symptoms, a sense of wellness and ability to conquer issues. 

What would you say is one of your greatest joys from working with clients? 
Witnessing clients discover untapped strengths and their ability to conquer their fears and begin to love themselves. 

You the author of "The Hope and Wellness Guide to Emotional and Physical Wellness" why did you write the book and who is this book for? where can people buy the book? 
Actually, the guide was developed to assist individuals in navigating the medical system- It contains basic medical terminology used in the medical setting, an appointment calendar, insight on how to prepare for medical appointment and various other tools. I also incorporated overall mental health wellness piece. 

When we all say "mental health" is it for a certain group of people or is it for everyone? How can we keep fighting the good fight of reducing the stigma on mental health?
Mental health is "physical health." You cannot separate the two. The stigma comes when we separate the mental, physical, and spiritual...just think, if someone states they have diabetes, no one speaks negatively of them. Let's create a culture were mental illness is concerned as standard as a discussion about diabetes. My hashtag is "Wellness is the new Black." 

What are your thoughts on mobile/online therapy?
I prefer in-person sessions, online therapy can be limited due to inability to tap into body language and a client’s energy. 

Can you briefly walk through your therapy process from start to finish, to give the readers a sense of what it might be like to work with you? 
The therapy process will look different for each individual. There is always an intake conducted- were I get to know my client. We discuss their reason for seeking treatment. I focus on a client’s strengths rather than weaknesses. I utilize cognitive behavioral therapy- which is a collaborative process. CBT looks as how your thoughts (irrational thoughts) and feelings determine your actions. There would be home work (or what I like to call soul-work) related to looking at irrational thought patterns. If a client is coming in for health-related concerns. I would focus on coping strategies. Again, it depends on the client’s concerns. 

Why would I need a mental health councilor when I can talk to friend or love one? 
Friends may also be critical, biased, and be prompted to share your concerns with others. Friends are also not equipped to handle major mental health challenges- which for some can be life threatening. Therapists are taught to be non-judgmental, empathetic, and unbiased. 

Do you think we need more mental health councilors? What advice do you have for men or women currently pursuing a career in Mental health? 
Of course, we greatly need counselors that can identify with the black and brown community. For individuals pursuing an education in psychology, I would advise them to stay focused, grounded and flexible in their thinking. Theories studied in grad school may not apply to all your clients.

Is there any advice you'd give to those who hope to lunch their own private practice? 
Yes, learn as much as you can about the business side of opening a practice before launching your practice. Take marketing and financial courses. 

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What is one thing you would like to live the readers with? 
You do not have to suffer alone with a mental health condition. It is okay to talk to a trained mental health professional to learn how to work through issues and develop key coping strategies. 

What’s it like to be you? 
Fun and compassionate.

How can people connect with you and The Hope & Wellness Partnership?
Website:
https://thehopeandwellnesspartnership.com
Twitter: @AngieB_LCSW
Facebook: @TheHopeandWellnessPartnership
Instagram: thehhopeandwellnesspartnership
Contact: 424-226-8052

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