Keri Nola is a highly regarded psychotherapists, her particular interest is in a holistic approach to psychotherapy and she has now published two books on the subject. Kerri Nola first became interested in psychotherapy after undergoing her own personal healing through holistic therapies and experiencing the immense power of this approach. Wanting to learn more on the subject and share her experience with others Kerri furthered her knowledge in the area and has gone on to found her business Path to Growth, LLC an integrated healing center in Florida.
Psychotherapy works to help alleviate people of their stresses, emotional problems, relationship issues or even habitual behavior Psychotherapy can often be confused with Psychiatry, however a distinction is easy to find as psychotherapy uses therapeutic approaches to treat emotional issues, psychiatric disorders and every day stress. Find out more about Keri Nola and her progressive work in psychotherapy by reading below.
How did you first become interested in this career path? Was there something that led you into it or did it just happen naturally and gradually?
For me, I feel more like this career path chose me. I have always felt a strong pull toward holding space for people’s pain and empowering them to shine light on the darkest places to welcome relief and healing. From a very early age I knew that I wanted to “help people,” but over the years, my idea of how I would go about this evolved into the reality of being a psychotherapist, author, and teacher.
Talk a little bit about your education experience? How has the education turned you into the professional you are today? Are there things or techniques you learned that you still use today? What are some of the most important things students should remember as they pursue a similar education path?
I received a double bachelor’s in psychology and interpersonal communication and then continued on to receive a master of arts in mental health counseling. I’d say that my education definitely supported me in building my professional foundation and that strong foundation helped to launch me to where I am today. Most of the things I learned in graduate school were very traditional in nature and this informs my basic knowledge about human nature and the development of the psyche, however my interest and specialization in trauma recovery and holistic healing has been developed and supported by training and experience outside the traditional educational setting.
There are lots of methods for psychotherapy and you have chosen a more holistic approach. Maybe you could talk about what makes holistic approaches and your approach in particular different from traditional psychotherapy methods if you don’t mind? Also, what was it about holistic healing that interested you? Why did you decide to teach these methods rather than others?
I believe I can only take my clients as far and deep as I am willing to explore within myself and my interest in holistic psychotherapy was actually born out of doing my own healing work as a client. I found limitations and blocks to resolving my own bothersome symptoms when relying solely on traditional techniques and approaches, which led me to explore other options where I found more significant relief. In my experience and practice, holistic methods honor humans more completely as they recognize the mental, emotional, physical, energetic, and spiritual aspects of each individual and take these elements into account during the course of treatment. In a more traditional approach, I often find that only the mental and emotional areas of a person are addressed while other important aspects of the self get ignored, which can greatly influence a person’s potential progress. I choose to use and teach these methods rather than others because they resonate with me deeply and I have experienced their power personally and want to share that with others to help empower them to live their best lives.
You founded your own healing center. What inspired you to found your own center? Talk a bit about the process in general; what were some of the hardest obstacles to overcome? What did you learn from the process and are there still processes or things you want to continue to grow or change?
My vision for helping people was always broader than working one on one in an office day after day so I knew I needed to create a business plan that honored the totality of my interests and passions. My integrative healing center, Path To Growth, LLC was born out of the desire to have a space with a variety of healing professionals with diverse specialities, education, training, and experience to meet the vast wellness needs of our community. In my experience, when I’m doing something that aligns with my passion and purpose, it comes much easier than something I’m trying to force into fruition. I found this to be true when opening my center, as I went with the flow of my desires and dreams, I seemed to meet the people and welcome the opportunities to manifest my vision into reality with ease.
When starting your own center, you need to be effective at marketing yourself and you seem to understand that. How did you go about marketing yourself? Was it difficult to market yourself initially? What are some of the techniques and tactics you used to help get your name out there?
Oooohhh I love this topic! Marketing is about building relationships. The only money I ever spent on marketing in my first 5 years of building my practice was on business cards and my website. The majority of my time and resources were spent in developing mutually beneficial referral relationships with other professionals and community organizations. In my experience, people spend too much time and money attempting to sell their service. My approach has always been to engage authentically in relationships and as people get to know me, like me, and learn to trust what I have to offer, then my services sell themselves. As part of networking and relationship building, I always lead by asking others what I can do for them. For example, how can I help you? What kinds of clients to you work with and how can I get them to you? When others know I’m interested in building a “mutual” relationship, then I find they are more willing to support me in return.
Another perspective of mine is that I think marketing happens from the inside out. It’s important that we align our mind and heart with the vision of our ideal practice, which helps us make this a reality. As for some concrete marketing tools, I recommend attending professional association meetings in your area related to mental health, wellness, and/or health and fitness and use those opportunities to introduce yourself and make connections. Consider using social media and/or blogging to share information on your topic of expertise and build relationships with potential clients. Get clear about your client population of interest—it’s important to have a niche in the world of private practice or no one thinks of you as a referral option. Once you know your niche, when creating marketing material like your website, use words and phrases that potential clients would put into google to search for you, for example don’t say “depression” alone, rather define the symptoms people might be having such as “I help people who are struggling with sadness, low energy and feel unmotivated as these are the items they might type into google to find you and you want to come up in the search J
You are currently pursuing a doctoral degree in holistic theology and I want to know more about that. Why did you decide to pursue the degree? How is it different from your master’s degree program? Why did you choose the AIHT as your school? And most importantly, what are you hoping to learn or get out of earning this degree?
I have actually put my studies on hold because my career is expanding in some exciting directions right now with my writing so it’s up in the air as to whether I will return, but I’m happy to answer your questions. I initially decided to pursue the degree because I wanted more education related to spirituality and energetic healing and how these topics relate to mental health and healing. This program is different than my master’s because it has a more isolated focus and curriculum that relates specifically to holistic and alternative methods of healing rather than traditional and mainstream approaches, which I appreciate and value. I chose AIHT because they offered me the flexibility I needed to continue running my practice while completely coursework at my leisure and also the ability to tailor my curriculum to my specific areas of interest.
You are a two-time author which is impressive. Do you enjoy writing the books? How long the process is and what kind of things did you learn about authorship as you went along the process? What were some of the best and worst parts about the whole process? What did you hope to accomplish with the books?
I love writing! The timing of the process is variable. I have chosen to take the self-publishing route to ensure that I have control over my content and marketing, which has its pros and cons. It is essentially a second job and I’m really enjoying the learning curve. I’m learning that the writing of the book is the easy part and it’s the marketing and promotion that’s when the real work begins. It’s been an interesting journey applying what I know has worked about marketing and growing my practice to marketing and selling my books. I’m learning that it’s similar in the sense that it’s about building relationships with readers and when they know me and like me, they are more willing to trust me and consider purchasing my books. I love the opportunity writing gives me to share my messages, experience, and education with a larger audience. I don’t love some of the more logistical parts like editing, formatting, etc, but I know they are important and I have built an amazing team of people to help me with those aspects of the process so I can focus on what I do best—writing! I hope the books provide valuable information that help people reconnect with their authentic selves, reclaim their power, and live the lives they deserve and desire.
Is there anything you would change about holistic healing as a technique or the mental health industry? Feel free to discuss anything you wish.
I would love if there was more of an acknowledgement of the value of holistic healing and alternative wellness modalities in the mainstream mental health community. It is my hope that we move beyond a traditional medical model of diagnosis and labeling and begin to honor our client’s multidimensionally and not try to squeeze them into categories and treat them all the same. I see a day where we are better able to hold sacred space for people to visit the darkest places of their psyche and empower them to shine light there so they can get the relief they desire and deserve. I think this will require mental health providers and healers to be willing to engage in their own healing journey so they will be prepared to be present for the healing process of others. I believe we are moving in a positive direction and I am hopeful that I will lead by example rather than focus on what’s not going well.
Do you have any advice for students considering a similar career path? Are there things you wish you had known back then that could help current students?
Don’t rush the process. Ask questions and research programs to find one that really aligns with your interests. Honor your interests and passions. Engage in your own process of healing. I wish I knew back then that school was just one stepping stone on the path of my journey and that there is a whole world of options for exploration to create the professional identity that resonates profoundly with who I am and what I am here on this planet to contribute.
Keri Nola is a highly regarded Psychotherapist, Author, and Founder of Path To Growth, LLC, an integrative healing center based in Central Florida. She combines traditional and holistic techniques to help people access their inner wisdom and create a healthy mind, body, and spirit and live their most inspired lives. Her real life experience paired with her extensive education and work background makes her a compassionate, balanced, and sought-after professional in the areas of personal and spiritual growth and development.