For those of you who don’t know Yolanda, she is credentialed and insured practicing therapist and recently established her company, Innerstanding LLC (TherapistsNeedTherapyTOO.com).
She is now offering individual counseling and group services to the public at large and I could not be happier for this milestone in her life and career. For those of us in counseling for mental health challenges (raises his hand) how unique would it be to sit across the room from your counselor knowing they truly understand you? They really understand in the deepest way what you are dealing with, because, in fact, they are dealing with the same. Speaking specifically to HS and depression for me personally. To understand where I am coming from, you should know that Yolanda is also a Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) Patient.
“I was introduced to this disease at an early age by way of my mother and aunts. Only it was not called Hidradenitis Suppurativa or HS, it was simply called having “boils.”
You can read Yolanda’s Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) patient story titled, “My HS Life” at HSSUPPORT.org here. Also, for the sake of transparency, I need to mention that Yolanda has chosen to join our organization long term as a leader. To help me and the others develop and grow our programs and projects for HS patients. This includes leading and establishing a dedicated team to address the various mental health focuses our organization is to take on. In addition, Yolanda will be a leader within our Big Data Research Program for OPEN ACCESS academic publishing to medical journals that we have started flushing out and planning for.
With all that said, I leave you below with an interview Yolanda and I took the time to put together. I hope you enjoy learning about Yolanda and all she has to offer. I could not be more proud to call her my dear friend and blessed to have her as part of our growing organization for Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) Public Awareness.
Ron Bercume (@RonBercume)
An Interview with Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) Patient Yolanda Miller, The “WORLD’S OKAYEST THERAPIST”.
Ron: Yolanda, thank you for taking this time with me and our audience at large to discuss your new business Innerstanding LLC and your personal story as a Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) patient. I think by sharing both your story as a female HS patient and as a Women Business Owner, our interview will be rather valuable to other patients that might be of similar entrepreneurial mindset. I feel you can help to inspire others to move forward with their own dreams and special projects.
Would you agree with my statement above? That by sharing your journey and multifaceted story that it will help others? If so, specifically what message would you like our audience to come away from after reading this interview?
Yolanda: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my story with you and so many other people. I would definitely agree with your above statement. I feel like this is what I am here for, actually what we all are here for, to help and inspire one another. I would like our audience to walk away with a sense of unity and strength. Knowing they have one more person who will not only get more awareness about HS to the public but be there to help them as a therapist and a fellow HS warrior.
Ron: My thanks to you my friend, and you are welcome of course. For the sake of transparency and to identify my own personal bias I should also add here for our audience that recently you have decided to join our organization and it’s dedicated leadership team long-term.
To quote myself on a previous announcement I made.
“What is also very exciting is that Yolanda, as a volunteer, has chosen to join our organization long term as a leader to help me and the others develop and grow our programs and projects for HS patients. This includes leading and establishing a dedicated team to address the various mental health focuses our organization is to take on.”
So allow me to once again thank you sincerely for taking on duties and roles within our organization that are yet to be defined in totality. I have some exciting ideas of my own we have touched upon and need further planning for, thoughts and ideas I need not go into here about how we will be able to work together for a common cause into the future.
To put you on the spot here and now, may I ask you how you feel about joining the HSAWARENESS.ORG team and our to be Non-Profit 501c3 in 2018? In your own words, where do you feel you will align with our programs and projects? How do you feel you can as an individual help the organization to realize our stated purpose and mission?
Allow me to include and quote below from a section of our organization’s literature as our stated purpose and mission below for yours and our audiences reference.
“Addressing the unmet needs of HS patients is the singular purpose of our growing organization. Our programs and projects seek to improve the quality of life for patients worldwide. Helping to bolster public awareness through educational publishing across the Internet, Print, and Social Media is what we excel at.”
Yolanda: I am very excited about joining the organization because together we are going to do incredible work for the HS community. One of the projects I am excited about working on is raising awareness about how our mental health is affected by HS. As a Licensed Therapist, I am very familiar with the effects physical health has on mental health. Unfortunately I don’t think this is common knowledge because HS is not a chronic illness that is heavily researched in the medical and mental health community. I will tirelessly advocate for our awareness while providing mental health support when needed. I am not trying to become everyone’s therapist. Sometimes we just need to know someone is there just in case we need to talk.
Ron: I think it would be important for us to discuss your HS patient story here in brief, while we can point our audience to your larger story and narrative that we have published on our support website HSSUPPORT.ORG, titled, “My HS Life“. Without going into great detail, as we already have in your published story as mentioned, can you go over a few high-level points made in your story that might be relevant for us to discuss here now? Perhaps as they pertain to your entrepreneurial spirit and your career as a professional within Mental Health and Counseling?
Yolanda: A pivotal moment in my HS journey is in 2012 when I first received my official HS diagnosis. I had been dealing with HS since my teenage years; however I did not have a name for it. Once I was diagnosed, while I was happy to know what was wrong, I was also overwhelmed. I began to see a therapist. She had never heard of HS. I felt as if I had to do an educational infomercial before I could get started with the actual therapy. I knew then I wanted HS to be a household name and I wanted to help. HS is one of the chronic illnesses that has such a stigma attached to it. I wanted to cater toward individuals with chronic and invisible illnesses. Having a therapist that is knowledgeable about your illness, as well as also having a chronic illness helps take the stigma away. I participated in a clinical trial for new HS medications 2 years ago that worked very well, not without side effects of course. Hopefully we will be able to add a new medication to our cabinet in a few years. It will take that long because Humira has a hold on the market for 7 years.
Ron: Allow me to have us direct this conversation now to yourself as a professional and a business owner. What is your background? Education, Work Experience?
Yolanda: I have my Master’s in Professional Counseling and I am a Certified Anger Management Specialist. I am also a Distance Credentialed Counselor. I have been working in the mental health field since the age of 20. I started out with the special needs population before working with families and individuals. I also worked as a crisis clinician for the national suicide prevention hotline for 2 years.
Ron: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Yolanda: The idea of Innerstanding came from me looking at the person as a whole, from the inside out. Once we understand the inside, then we can work on the outside.
Ron: Why are you in business?
Yolanda: I am in business to help others.
Ron: Does your business have a stated mission statement, the reason that this business exists?
Yolanda: I don’t have a stated mission statement, but the reason my business exists is because I wanted to step out on faith and start working for myself.
Ron: What are your company’s short-term and long-term goals?
Yolanda: My short term goals is to get my business out there so I can build my client list. My long-term goals are to not only do individual therapy, but to also do groups and possibly teach classes on self help and various other topics.
Ron: Are there any ethical concerns that your type of business must deal with?
Yolanda: I deal with the same ethical concerns just like every other therapist. My first duty is of course to do no harm. I have to maintain the appropriate therapy/client relationship at all time. I am so thankful for the continuing education ethical classes.
Ron: Does your company help the community where it is located?
Yolanda: Since my business is new, I am working on finding more opportunities to volunteer and donate in my community. I was able to donate over 20 backpacks to a pastor for her children’s ministry in Virginia.
Ron: I would like to also discuss with you and for our audience your new blog (TherapistsNeedTherapyTOO.com) and it’s very creative and witty purpose and how it exists within your larger endeavors as a professional and as a patient of chronic disease.
As you have titled the project, “WORLD’S OKAYEST THERAPIST – I Am Here, But Not All There At Times!”, can you explain the vision or the purpose of why you created this project and what your long-term plans are for it?
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting a business, what would it be?
Yolanda: My blog is one of my new personal projects I was so happy to start. I was toggling between a book and a blog and decided to start my blog first. My purpose for my blog is to humanize therapists. So many people feel that because I am a therapist, I am the most happiest person in the world without any problems. I am just like everyone else. I hurt, I get overwhelmed and I need help too. The one piece of advice I would like to pass on to someone starting a business is to do it afraid. You will not know everything and it’s okay. Everything is a journey and a learning process.
Ron: To what do you attribute your success?
Yolanda: I am still working on seeing myself as successful. I am who I am and where I am today because of my family. They have been very supportive and encouraging. I needed help and someone gave it to me, now it’s my turn to do the same.
Ron: Yolanda, thank you so much for taking the time to discuss all this with me and our audience at large. You not only inspire me personally and professionally, but I am sure through your work and sharing of your personal challenges and experiences so many others will be touched in very profound ways.
Tags: Mental Health Patient Stories