Rebekkah Stainton is a West Coast girl to her core and can usually be found by the ocean whenever she is not occupied by her thriving counselling practice. She is the founder of WestCoast Vitality, a clinic that provides counselling, consulting, and education services.
When you first started your own clinic, how did you know that you were ready and what made you start?
I’ve always known that I wanted to have my own clinic “someday” but never felt confident in taking the leap. I would often be approached by potential clients and other therapists about my ability to see people in private practice so I started doing it as a side hustle. As time went on, word of mouth travelled and soon I had more referrals than I could possibly accommodate. Still I hesitated to leave the safety of my salaried non-profit world surrounded by close knit colleagues. It wasn’t until the pandemic hit and I had to shift to online work that I started to consider what it would be like to fully go out on my own. I began to imagine that I could make my practice whatever I wanted it to be. If I wanted to continue working with sexual trauma survivors, I could do that. If I wanted to continue to provide Clinical Supervision for other therapists, I could do that. If I wanted to have my own office where I’m surrounded by other clinicians, I could do that too! Once I realized that I could do the work I love in the way I wanted to do it, taking the leap felt a lot less scary. Like many entrepreneurs, I still had the fear of “What if I crash and burn?” – but I now also had the growing thought “What if I succeed?”
What keeps you motivated on a daily basis?
I absolutely love what I do and that is the ultimate motivator. There are certainly days that are more intense or draining than others. When those days come up, reminding myself of why I’ve chosen this path keeps me moving forward. I’m constantly humbled by the strength and resiliency of the human spirit. It is so inspiring to bear witness to people working through their challenges, facing their fears, and making their life one they feel proud to be living.
What is your number one business goal to accomplish this year?
Expand the practice by incorporating a student program. One of the things I miss most about my non-profit work is the opportunity to foster new therapists. I loved learning alongside them and seeing them get excited about the work. I’m hoping to be able to take on practicum students starting in January 2023. This will also allow me the opportunity to provide some lower cost counselling services to those for whom finances are a barrier to seeking support.
Do you have a mantra or phrase you live by? What is it?
When all else fails, I often come back to these words by Naeem Callaway:
“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must, but take a step.”
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