Meyleen Velasquez, LCSW, PMH-C, RPT-S, is in the Therapist Spotlight this week! She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, FirstPlay® Supervisor, and Certified in Perinatal Mental Health. She serves as the Chair for the Florida chapter of Postpartum Support International, and is the immediate past president of the Florida Association for Play Therapy. Currently, she has a private practice specializing in perinatal and infant mental health.
When You Know, You Know!
Meyleen knew at a young age that she wanted to help people. It was not until her junior year of high school, while taking her first psychology class, that she felt particularly interested in the field of mental health. She said, “I remember spending my high school weekends at the library reading the works of Freud and Jung. I was captivated by the unconscious, defense mechanisms and all the seemingly mysterious ways in which our minds work,”.
Just Get Started
The greatest challenge of having a private practice for Meyleen was starting a private practice. She felt vulnerable when leaving her old job to start her own business and knew it took tons of courage to do it. She said, “I have this photo of myself opening the door to my new office when I first got the keys and then a photo a friend took of me 45 minutes after in a mix of excitement and panic. You know… once I had some time to realize that this was real.”.
A Labor of Love
When asked what she loved most about providing the services she offers, she replied, “For me, putting together the pieces of infant mental health, trauma, and perinatal mental health as been life changing. Being able to see women come through the most vulnerable time in their lives being able to stand on their own ground, feeling like themselves again is such a rewarding experience,”.
The Perks of Private Practice
Meyleen has really embraced having her own practice and being her own boss. She loves having the ability to dictate the use of her time and how she runs her practice. There is the added benefit for her of not having to ask for vacation or time off. “I recently experienced some changes in my life that require travel so being able to take my work with women online has been such a huge benefit,” .
This amazing therapist has taken part in the Play Therapy Practice Building Academy
and also participated in the 90 Day Mentoring Mastermind with Lynn Louise Wonders multiple time. With these experiences, she accumulated so many take-aways. Here are the few she has listed:
Community- It is crucial to find your people. I am so grateful to have been able to connect with other amazing women Lynn brought together who were moving along their paths to create, open and grow their businesses.
Time management- Do not underestimate the power of planning out your day, week, month, and year! This is such a crucial piece of being successful. But it is tough!
Accountability- Maybe this is more about my own understanding of how I work best, but I now know that I am most successful when I have deadlines and a mentor like Lynn to keep me on track. This knowledge has been helpful to adulting.
A Little Piece of Advice
We asked Meyleen what advice she would give to anyone new to play therapy. She said, “… Find good training, good supervision, a professional mentor and a competent psychotherapist. I think that without these pieces, it becomes very difficult to be successful. We need skills to practice but perhaps more importantly we need self-awareness. As one of my past supervisors wisely told me once,
“if we don’t work on the issues that brought us to the field in the first place, we will be constantly replaying them in session with clients.”