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Meet Sarah Ali of The Transformation Studio: Psychotherapy. Nutritional Medicine. Holistic Wellness. in Sugar Land

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Ali.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
The vision for The Transformation Studio began as an integrative approach to healing mental and physical health. I felt that many times, we miss the mark in the traditional medical model of treatment. I wanted to create a center where a client could receive treatment from a multifaceted approach incorporating traditional psychotherapy, nutrition, naturopathic medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, herbalism and aromatherapy to name a few. Nowhere else in the area are clients being offered ‘plantscriptions’ instead of prescriptions, which heal the root of the problem and not just the symptoms. We have been so humbled to be sought after by clients nationally and internationally who have been referred to our center. It gives me goose bumps when a client drives 5 hours to see our nutritional consultant. One of the most surreal moments for us, was the result of that session: the diabetic client was able to completely heal his foot which was scheduled to be amputated. The feeling of transforming a client’s life is amazing. Another client went from severe depression, suicidal ideation and low self-esteem at the start of counseling to pursuing her academic dreams of higher education, making new social connections and meeting and marrying her husband within just a year of treatment. Another focus that was important to me was, to de-stigmatize mental health and eating healthily. I am doing this by offering interactive retreats, workshops and a blog and vlog.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There have been a lot of obstacles and struggles in building the practice. Previously, we had a broader concept in a much larger facility which encompassed wellness, natural beauty and spa treatments. As I learned more about business, I had to be everything: owner, manager to all the employees and health care professionals, a therapist, marketer/promoter and mediator. It was at times very difficult, as I had different associates affiliated with the center with different goals and directions. We were unfortunately caught up in some very stressful situations as certain individuals did not get along. In 2016, that led to a big decision for the business. It was time to make a huge change, fine tune the business concept, and break off from the others. We left the space we were in for several years and began searching for a new location. From the fall of 2016 to start of 2017, The Transformation Studio was revamped and re-focused. We were ecstatic to find a handsome newly built office condo just a few miles away from the first location. I am proud to say its my first major real estate purchase. Others buy a home, I bought an office condo to invest in my dreams. It was a huge moment in my life.

Another major learning curve and obstacle was moving from private pay to accepting insurance. It is a challenge to understand the health insurance system and was stressful to apply to panels. If felt like a full time job in itself and was quite frustrating and time consuming. We are finally on 6 panels: BCBS, United Behavioral Health, Cigna, Beacon/Value Options, Tricare Military and Aetna! I did a happy dance when I received letters when we were finally accepted onto the panels. I did not expect to have to re apply several times for some and 6-8 months of processing for each.

People truly have no idea what an immense undertaking it is to open a private practice. I have gained massive respect to business owners and practice owners. Building something from scratch with no connections, affiliations, and referral sources is a doozie. Though, I don’t back down from a challenge, I just work harder. Nothing great comes without hard work and sweat. It’s an amazing feeling to do this myself along with my father who is the nutritional medicine consultant partner.

Please tell us about The Transformation Studio: Psychotherapy. Nutritional Medicine. Holistic Wellness.
I’d like to share about the team that comprises The Transformation Studio. It’s all in the family! I’m Sarah Ali, M.S., LPC. I am a licensed professional counselor with ten years of experience. I enjoy working with adolescents and young adults. Some of my areas of interest include self esteem, women’s issues, family and marriage/couples counseling. I am constantly exploring my clinical interests and furthering my training. Something that separates me from other counselors is my undivided attention towards and connection with my clients, my sense of humor, down to earth personality and how I incorporate integrative holistic healing as part of my mental health treatment. Sadiq Ali, M.S., is our nutritional medicine consultant. He brings a deeper passion and endless desire to heal his clients of their ailments to his work. He literally spends 6-10 hours a week learning more and more about nutrition despite also working full time as a certified civil engineer and meeting with our clients in the evenings and weekends. He healed himself of his diabetes, blood pressure and heart problems and that is when his journey towards becoming a certified nutritional consultant began. We are now going to be introducing my mother to our clients. Nayyar Ali, who combines her education in nutrition with amazing cooking skills will be available to help educate clients on how to have a healthy plant based diet with delicious, easy recipes. We all come together to host workshops and retreats to educate, entertain and enlighten clients on how to make transformations in their health. We also take pleasure in volunteering our services to those in need and give back to the community whenever we can. I am most proud of the progress and transformations our clients have made in their health as a result of coming to us.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I knew what I knew how much of an uphill climb it would be building a practice from the ground up, I would have joined an existing practice to learn the ropes first and then started my own. Though we cannot spend our life thinking about what could have or should have been. I may have taken a different path which would have been easy in one way but likely there would be a different set of obstacles.

Pricing:

  • Individual/couples/family therapy are hour long sessions and are $125; we do take most insurance.
  • Nutritional consultations are hour long sessions and are $50 and insurance does not cover this.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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