Today we’d like to introduce you to Robert Hilliker.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I came to this profession like most people do — as a patient first. In my early adolescence, I was introduced to therapy and it transformed the entire trajectory of my life. From then on, I knew that I wanted to practice therapy as a Clinical Social Worker. When I began practicing therapy, I specialized in working with adolescents with substance use and behavioral issues, and have now transitioned into working primarily with professionals, namely attorneys and physicians. I have always been honored to do the work that I do and continue to find it interesting and gratifying. My many adventures in this profession included starting up a nonprofit organization treating adolescents, initiating a training and certification company called The Daring Way, and ultimately launching The Lovett Center in the Montrose area with my good friend, Will Davis.
The Lovett Center has been by far the most exciting and wild ride of any of the start-ups I have participated in creating. In 2014, I reached out to my friend of 17 years, Will Davis, for help in finding an office space for myself and a group of clinicians to lease. Will is a commercial real estate broker and manager, and I knew he would be able to help me find the right space fit for a group of therapists. As it turns out, that perfect place that allowed for leasing of climate controlled office space at untraditional hours with appropriate parking and locality did not exist. That got our wheels turning. We thought, “what if we can create a type of co-working space specifically for therapists.” The therapists would have the advantage of working with and near each other to better serve their clients, and the clients would have the benefit of multiple specialists under one roof. Less than six months after that conversation happened, we created The Lovett Center in the heart of Montrose. With the largest collection of specialized therapists in the greater Houston area, we have now served over 7,000 people since September of 2014.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Not at all. The first major struggle was that our original model didn’t grow at the pace or in the fashion we had expected. We were a young start-up, bootstrapping our way through things, and of course we made some silly mistakes along the way. Luckily, Will and I are both flexible and creative so we have found new ways to adapt our programming at The Lovett Center, which has led to growth and success.
When we launched our mental health intensive outpatient program named Pathos within The Lovett Center, it looked like that was our plan all along but, truth be told, it wasn’t until we had all of these wonderful therapists in our building that we realized we could and should pull our team of clinicians to work together as a team and not just alongside one another; this would enable us to provide a higher level of care within The Lovett Center. Looking back, it seems like such an obvious thing for us to do with the center, but this genuinely didn’t hit us until 6 months into the launch of our business.
The Lovett Center – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The Lovett Center today is known for having the largest community of therapists under one roof in the greater Houston area. We have therapists that specialize in everything from substance abuse and alcoholism to mood disorders (depression, anxiety, bipolar) and eating disorders. We have individual therapists, couples therapists, and group therapists that are all highly skilled in their different modalities for providing therapy.
I am most proud of our staff and Pathos team members. They are such a backbone to the organization and they all work towards a common mission to provide the best possible standard of care we can to all those that seek help and support from us. I’m incredibly grateful for our front office staff and management because due to their hard work, myself and other clinicians are able to focus our attention on what matters most, which is patient care.
There are several factors that set us apart from other companies in our industry. One big differentiator is that The Lovett Center is bright, airy, and has exceptional art and furnishings to ensure that patients feel comfortable. We believe that the aesthetic quality of the building really matters, as people are more likely to get well in places that look and feel conducive to healing. Most offices that offer similar services look depressing, dark, or even dirty. Another interesting aspect to The Lovett Center is that we are a co-working space specifically, and only, created for therapists, which is the first of its kind anywhere in the country.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I think some people would imagine that the big building and the commercial success of our business would be my proudest moment, but the truth is my proudest moments are quiet moments. They are the moments that happen between words and in the sacred space of the therapy office when I see someone transform in front of me. There is nothing in my career I could be prouder of than seeing someone show up and face the most difficult parts of their lives only to find that they were stronger and more courageous than they had ever imagined.
- Most of the therapists practicing at The Lovett Center are self-pay and range in price from $80-$225 per session, though we do have some therapists that are in network for certain insurance plans.
- Address: 900 Lovett Boulevard
- Website: thelovettcenter.com
- Phone: (713)470-9878
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheLovettCenter/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheLovettCenter
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-lovett-center/