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Inspiring Conversations with Merrissa Hughes of Embolden Counseling Collective PLLC

Today we’d like to introduce you to Merrissa Hughes.

Hi Merrissa, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Growing up, I went through some difficult times. My parents divorced when I was eight thus turning my world upside down. In a way when they divorced a piece of my innocence left and I had to grow up a little faster. Then when I was thirteen, I was molested by an older cousin. Once again, a space that was supposed to be my safety zone was taken from me. That is how I ended up in a therapist office. My parents thought it would be good for me to talk to someone. I am so grateful that my Mom did not let the perceived stigma hold me back from what I needed. In the therapist office, I found myself looking around and thinking this EXACTLY what I want to be when I grow up. I aim to help clients by listening and seeking to understand their perspective. I knew that while my therapist was clinically trained, she was not culturally connecting with me. Connection is now one of my strong suits. I have dedicated my entire scholastic career post high school to becoming the therapist I needed growing up.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Opening my own practice was not easy but entirely worth it. The decision to step out on my own was difficult. I had some wonderful practices that I worked at before starting Embolden. I enjoyed learning from those that had been in the field of counseling for years. I was quite apprehensive to come from under their wings and fly on my own. However, I have always been the type to do the things that scared me. As I looked for spaces, calculated all the expenses of owning a practice, I still found myself wondering will they come? My first year of being in business, little did I know that I would experience some of the most devastating losses of my life. The hardest was my father passing, he was my rock and I always shared my big dreams with him. Later that same year my uncle passed and ALL this during a global pandemic. But still I rise, in midst of the pain and hurt, I continue to grow and train as a clinician.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Embolden Counseling Collective PLLC?
The word embolden means to give someone courage or confidence. At Embolden Counseling Collective PLLC, we believe that therapy is an investment in you and a worthwhile step towards healing and growing. Our clinicians are skilled at creating a space for you to discover your confidence to heal. One key component in therapy is that connection, no amount of training or specialties can replace that piece. Merrissa Hughes, has a broad amount of training because she knows that a person is much more than their presenting issue. An individual might come to therapy to work on perfectionism but then decide to work on their marriage and showing up authentically for their partner. Merrissa enjoys working with clients who are motivated. She specializes in teens, women, self-love/ self-worth, body image and those struggling with eating disorders. She has specialized training in trauma, perfectionism, and dance therapy. Embolden Counseling Collective is a group of clinicians that believe that therapy can be transformative. We offer individual, couples and group counseling. We are thrilled to be adding to the team this year, Ciera Harris and Victoria Gordon will soon be seeing clients both virtually and in person.

How can people work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
Therapy is a wonderful thing, and I am grateful and honored to have the opportunity to work with individuals and groups in their healing process. I am currently accepting new clients. Please reach out to me by emailing me at merrissa@emboldencc.com to book an appointment. I also love to bring mental health awareness to non-traditional settings and enjoy speaking at a variety of events. You can also listen in and interact with me in Instagram lives for Eva Gene’s Dream. This is a brand dreamed up by two best friends for over 20 years that both happen to be therapists. On our IG lives, Celeste Howell and I speak candidly about a variety of topics women face. I am also on the board of a Non-Profit Dear Nicheland Project, which creates support systems for young adults suffering from depression.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Ciera Harris Photography

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