I had the pleasure of interviewing Angela Ficken, LICSW. Angela is a full-time psychotherapist in private practice. Her office is located in Boston, MA. She specializes in OCD, eating disorders, and anxiety related concerns.
She started her career at McLean Hospital, which is one of the top ranking psychiatric hospitals in the country, and affiliated with Harvard University. She was the head social worker on an inpatient unit that focuses on anxiety and depression. During her time at McLean, she trained in exposure therapy and became certified in CBT and DBT. Shortly thereafter, she worked at Harvard University as a primary therapist for undergraduate and graduate students. During her time there, she taught students CBT and DBT skills to help them manage a range of challenging emotions that young adults face daily.
Along with her work at McLean and Harvard, Angela had a small private practice for years before she decided to move to full time in 2013. From there, she focused her attention on working with young adults and entrepreneurs primarily after noticing that both groups struggled with anxiety disorders and stress-related issues due to life transitions and the uncertainty of what was coming next in their lives. The struggle, as they say, is “real”.
She spent years fine-tuning her practice and building her business into something more than a standard full-time private practice. She began writing for Huffington Post as an expert, which then catapulted her into writing for other major online sources which include Marriage.com where she is a verified expert, YourTango.com, ThriveGlobal.com, and has been quoted on Bustle.com, Popsugar.com, Buzzfeed.com, Nylon magazine, StartupNation.com, Nav.com, Getstigma.com, and Justluxe.com. She has also been a guest on Onward Nation with Stephen Woessner where she talked about OCD and intrusive thoughts, as well as on the radio in Chicago and Reno speaking about stress and anxiety.
Through her writing and hearing from her clients how difficult it was finding an understanding therapist — one who could actually teach coping strategies to manage difficult emotions — she decided to create the Breaking Every Day into Slivers Not Chunks: Practical Skills to Deal With Everyday Stressors course to reach more people other than those she could meet within her office. The course helps those who have significant stress in their lives and struggle to find ways of coping and managing their emotions.
Angela’s goal is to help as many people as she can who need help with stress and anxiety relief. She designed the course to reflect individual sessions and the skills she teaches to her clients.
When Angela is not in the office or spending time with her family, she enjoys watching British murder mysteries, the occasional game of Candy Crush, and bopping around the city of Boston that she loves so much.
Can you tell our readers about your background?
After college, I got my first job at McLean hospital working as a counselor at the OCD Institute. There, I learned about anxiety disorders, and received training in Exposure therapy, and learned about cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Then after Grad school, I returned to McLean Hospital but this time was a social worker on an inpatient locked unit. I, again, had another wonderful opportunity learning from the best doctors and social workers. I became trained in DBT and CBT, both therapies I use today in my practice with clients, focusing on teaching effective coping strategies for anxiety disorders.
After McLean, I worked at Harvard University as a therapist to undergrad and graduate students. I enjoyed working with the young adult population, everyone coming into their own, finding their way, and being apart of that journey with them was very rewarding.
Now that I am in full-time private practice, I remain committed to teaching skills and strategies to people who are looking to manage their stress, anxiety, and other challenging emotions more effectively.
I decided to write this course after hearing from people how helpful the skills and strategies were that I taught in sessions or writing about on my blog. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share more with my readers and also others around the country who were searching for effective ways to manage their own stress.
How is Breaking Every Day into Slivers Not Chunks: Practical Skills to Deal With Everyday Stressors different from all of the others out there?
I designed it to discuss every aspect of stress and how to manage it effectively so it doesn’t manage you. Throughout the course, you will learn where stress can come from, how it forms, and how to manage it. Unlike other courses, you will learn a multitude of skills and strategies to manage any type of stress.
What’s the best piece of advice you have for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?
Focus on one thing at a time. It’s okay if you have no idea what comes next. I didn’t and I still don’t! I take all the mistakes I’ve made and see them as learning opportunities.
Without the failures and obstacles, I wouldn’t know what I know now. So embrace uncertainty and the mistakes that go along with building a new business. We learn by doing, so go do!
What’s your top business tool?
My online calendar is my top tool as I am able to collect and track payments. I used to have a paper scheduling book and fought to leave the old school method. So glad I gave in!
How can our readers connect with you?