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Thrive Together: The Journey to Private Practice

  • Greater Goods Coffee Roasting Co. 2501 East 5th Street Austin, TX, 78702 United States (map)

Taking the leap into private practice can be scary, but it’s also so rewarding! There is no one way to do it, and what we have found to be so refreshing is to hear from others their own personal stories of how they got to where they are, and how they continue to nourish themselves while also operating thriving businesses.

Join us for the second Thrive Together panel discussion, which will allow several clinicians with varying backgrounds to share with us how they got to where they are today. We’ll share personal stories of how each clinician made the decision to venture into private practice, what were the key deciding factors, any obstacles or road blocks they had to overcome, and everything in between. It’s sure to be personal, and also extremely informative!

Our hope for this event is to provide a safe space for fellow mental health professionals to ask questions and dream big. We hope you may walk away feeling confident enough to lean into the desires that are beckoning for your attention and know that you have the space and the community to ask for help along the way.

Vanessa Flores of Colors of Austin Counseling is the brainchild of this event series, and she knows how possible it is to grow your business if you’re clear about WHY you want to it, and she wants to share some of those insights with others. This will be a safe space to ask and share openly about the often untold sides of private practice and some of those other harder-to-discuss topics that are truly beneficial.

Who will be on the panel?

MODERATOR: Vanessa Flores, LCSW-S


What’s the overall structure for the event?

  • 15 minutes to arrive, mingle and grab coffee

  • 45 minutes of facilitated Q&A

  • 45 minutes of open Q&A from the audience

  • 15 minutes to network and close the conversation

Are you planning to host more of these panel discussions? If so, what might those look like?

  • Absolutely! Do you have ideas for the next topic? Email me, and let’s discuss how we can collaborate. My hope is to offer these regularly so that we can continue in the spirit of community and collaboration.

Meet the Experts

Vanessa Flores of Colors of Austin Counseling is a therapist in Austin who is trained in EMDR and the curriculum of Brené Brown.


Vanessa Flores, LCSW-S, CDWF

Vanessa Flores, LCSW-S, CDWF is a therapist in private practice. She has spent the past 10 years working with teens, survivors of trauma, adults and people of color. Her training in EMDR and the curriculum of Brené Brown has helped transform the way clients heal. Vanessa is the founder of Colors of Austin Counseling, a group practice that offers varied counseling services with two locations in Austin and Cedar Park. Her practice is founded on values of diversity, creativity and courage. Vanessa is passionate about helping other practitioners grow their practice through business consultation and is a board approved Supervisor. 

Natalia Amari is an intersectional feminist trauma therapist in Austin and founder of Rebel In Bloom.


Natalia Amari, LCSW

Natalia helps others overcome trauma and reclaim their personal power through intersectional feminist trauma therapy. To date, Natalia has created four small businesses in the past seven years - two creative businesses and two psychotherapy practices. She has been working in private practice settings since 2015 and is excited to recently launch her own practice, Rebel In Bloom. 

Jaclyn N. Sepp is the founder of Ensemble Therapy and a play therapist for children and teens in Austin.


Jaclyn N. Sepp, MA, LPC, RPT, NCC

Jaclyn believes that all human beings, no matter how small, deserve a place to be accepted for who they are, which drove her to establish Ensemble Therapy in 2015 with the mission to bring high quality therapeutic services to children, teens, and their families in Central Austin. Jaclyn is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Registered Play Therapist (RPT) and National Certified Counselor (NCC).  She received her Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling from Texas State University (CACREP Accredited Program) and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a Minor in Applied Learning & Development from The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to becoming a therapist, Jaclyn worked for 11 years in public education, 4 years as a Professional School Counselor and 7 years as an Elementary School Teacher, so she understands the daily challenges that children & families face from a universal standpoint.  She was also one of the three finalists for Austin ISD’s 2016 Counselor of the Year. Jaclyn also supervises school counselors through Region 13, providing guidance and feedback to beginning counselors, which allows her to provide our local Austin community with well-prepared professionals to assist our children in the school setting. Jaclyn has learned that it takes participation from the most influential people in a child’s life - their parents, their teachers, their counselors, their coaches to name a few - to positively influence a child's social & emotional development.

Additionally, Jaclyn is President of the Hill Country Chapter of the Texas Association for Play Therapy, our local play therapy chapter of the Association for Play Therapy.  Jaclyn also has facilitated trainings on play therapy at Texas State University, University of Texas at Austin Nursing School, The DFW Center for Play Therapy, Central Texas Physician Assistants Society, and The Hill Country Chapter of the Texas Association for Play Therapy. For the past three years Jaclyn also was an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Social Work Department at The University of Texas at Austin.  She taught graduate level courses on Methods of Play Intervention, Assessment of Children & Adolescents, Human Behavior in the Social Environment, and Foundations of Social Justice. She has had many years of experience with children of all ages and she regularly attends workshops, trainings and conferences in addition to reviewing the latest literature in the field of counseling. Austin has been her home since 2000 where she enjoys exploring the outdoors with her loyal beagle, consuming the local foodie scene, and connecting with lifelong friends.



Melody Li, LMFT

Melody Li, LMFT (she/ her) is a colony-born immigrant and culturally affirming therapist of color.  She the co-founder of Austin Counseling Collective, an intentionally diverse and radically inclusive group therapy practice. As an award-winning entrepreneur, she helps therapists transform into confident private practice owners at Therapy Practice Lift Off.

Woke Therapists is her latest project. She's launching a safer, simpler way for all people (especially marginalized identities) to find a social justice-grounded, inclusive therapist.  (Unveiling in Summer 2019)