We recently connected with Ashley Moser and have shared our conversation below.
Ashley , appreciate you joining us today. We’d love to go back in time and hear the story of how you came up with the name of your brand?
My ‘why’ behind the name of my practice.
I had known something needed to change for a long time. I was exhausted and irritable and felt like something was missing even though I ‘had it all’. Making any sort of change felt so overwhelming so I stayed stuck for a lot longer than I like to admit.
With the help of supportive family and a good therapist I focused on taking the next most doable step. Over and over. Until I made so many changes, my day to day life is now pretty unrecognizable.
So I opened a therapy practice with a name that represented not just my next steps but hopefully the next steps of the people I get to support.
If you are feeling stuck and overwhelmed, I get it and have been there. I’m happy to help you find your next steps, just like I’m finding mine.
Ashley , love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
While I did not set out to be a therapist, I absolutely think this is the career that I am meant for. I studied psychology at The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and found that it came easily to me. Understanding and learning about people has always been fascinating and the love I developed for psychology led me to Northwestern University and the masters in marriage and family therapy program at The Family Institute. I cannot understate the amazing training I received as a part of this program and have found that having this foundation has allowed me to stand apart from my peers in my career. Post graduation I held many positions working with children, adolescents and families. I have always gravitated towards positions in leadership and found myself leading teams early on supporting and mentoring the development of fellow clinicians. My career and life took a significant turn when I relocated from Chicago, Illinois to Charlotte, North Carolina and had to complete licensure requirements in order to transfer my license. In going back through the supervision process, something I had never anticipated, I was pointed in the direction of the eating disorder field. What felt like a detour ended up being what led me to my current area of expertise. In the past decade, I became a clinical and operational leader of an eating disorder treatment center supporting locations all over the country. In 2022 I made the decision to take that invaluable experience and open my own practice while remaining connected as a Clinical Education Specialist providing training and education to professionals all over the world.
I am currently the owner and therapist of Next Steps Counseling and Consulting, PLLC, a virtual therapy practice providing services to the states of Illinois, North Carolina and South Carolina. I specialize in the treatment of anxiety, eating disorders and body image with emphasis on women’s issues. My approach is supportive and directive with a focus on sustainable change. I love what I do and the amazing people I support.
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
In 2012, I made the bold decision to relocate from Chicago, Illinois to Charlotte, North Carolina without a job or valid professional license in place. A reality of the counseling and therapy profession is that relocation out of state proves to be more challenging than simply obtaining employment. Each state has its own licensure requirements and I found that my full LMFT license in Illinois would not be transferable to North Carolina. I was required to go through the supervision process which involves significant time and financial commitment. I initially resigned myself to having to seek work in another profession and took courses and interviewed in other fields. Despite the barriers to licensure, I ultimately found that I was not as driven or passionate about any other career prospect. With a renewed sense of commitment to the field, I took a literal step back in my career and went through the supervision process for the second time. It was in this process that I was given the directive to explore the field of eating disorders which is now my clinical area of expertise. I have spent the past decade committed to the treatment of eating disorders and would have never entertained the idea without what at the time felt like a career set back.
What’s a lesson you had to unlearn and what’s the backstory?
Productivity does not have to feel like burnout.
In making the transition from operational leadership to my own private practice, I unintentionally brought the same work life balance that I was hoping to leave behind. I was stretched, stressed and overwhelmed prior to taking the leap and had contributed that primarily to corporate work structure. What I found in the early days of starting my own business was that I was maintaining those same feelings but now had no one to blame but myself. With the help of a good therapist and supportive family, I began really unpacking what my work life balance really needed to look like to have a successful business as well as emotional and physical health. While I still do not always get the balance right, I am continuing to remind myself that I do not have to burn out in order to feel productive.
Linkedin: Ashley Sheil Moser LMFT, CEDS