Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Green.
Hi Amy, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I have personally attended therapy on and off for most of my life- during times where I was doing great, and times where I needed to really ground and be supported. One therapist, in particular, Dr. Legge, was very influential during my teen years and I always felt respected, that she honored my pain, and found a nonjudgemental space to grow and learn.
When I was 14, my mom signed us up for a business course at a local community college in Buffalo, NY. We would go each week at night to this course, learning how to build a business, write a business plan, hear from financial experts on how to read a profit and loss or balance sheet, among many other skills to start and run a new business. I dreamed of opening a therapy practice- writing out my business plan, dreaming about the groups or individual therapy types, how many clients I would have, and even the furniture and decor that would go into the space.
Fast forward to my 20s. I had worked for the American Cancer Society in Baton Rouge, LA. I felt humbled to sit with patients going through treatment and hearing their stories, and their families who rallied and resourced them with love and care. I also felt like I did not have the skills to support them emotionally the way I desired. I contacted a mentor from my college days at Tennessee Tech (Dr. Ada Haynes) and she shared that social work would be a great way to build this skill set.
I attended the University at Buffalo School of Social Work where I gained specialization in trauma-informed care and child and family trauma treatment. After graduating, I had the opportunity to move to Nashville in a senior leadership role, where I was able to train clinicians in how to provide trauma-informed care in their day to day work with clients, successfully obtained a $5 million dollar contract with the state for Family Support Services, and upon leaving this role, knowing that I wanted to continue to create change in mental health care. I knew in order to have an impact, and have access to the tables I wanted to be at to create change, I needed to finish my licensure hours. During this time, I worked in a residential role with teenage boys who had experienced significant trauma, as well as a school-based counselor.
After experiencing three miscarriages, I decided to pursue a certificate in maternal mental health through Postpartum Support International. I did not want another woman to go through that type of pain and not have a provider in front of them who had the expertise they deserved. I also founded The Rooted Bridge (therootedbridge.com) during this time to increase access to care across our state for maternal mental health services. This became heart work and continues to be, for me professionally- ensuring that every parent has access to mental health care during pregnancy, postpartum, loss, or infertility.
I had worked for a private practice upon finishing my LCSW, however was feeling very frustrated with that model of care- knowing that many people could not afford $125 per session for counseling, and yet still needed- and deserved- that type of care. I decided to end my time there and start my own practice in January of 2019- Nashville Collaborative Counseling Center. I desire to create a space where access to care was at the core of our values and strategy. I am in awe, and so greatly humbled, by how this has been received by our Nashville community. We have grown to a team of 38 clinicians (in Sept 2021), with the largest maternal mental health therapy practice in Tennessee. It is such an honor to have served over 1500 clients just this year!
Over the next two years, I hope that my business can continue to grow to meet the needs of our community, our state (eventually!) and that we can grow in our collaborations with community partners to ensure all have access to mental health care.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I started my practice in Jan 2019. I added my first therapist, Amber Kowing, in October 2019. Shortly thereafter, I added two more therapists and an administrative team member. I signed a lease for office space in Metro center in Jan 2020, and we started buildout- aiming to be complete and ready to open in March 2020.
We were a team of five going into Mar 2020, and then the tornado hit Nashville- stopping construction fully for two weeks. Once the electricity had been restored to begin construction again, Nashville was then shut down due to Covid. I went from dreaming and opening my in-person counseling practice, to having to flip our model to a full telehealth business in a matter of days to ensure we could still see our clients. This pivot, as Covid has so graciously provided so many entrepreneurs, has forever changed my business.
We will forevermore be a hybrid counseling practice- which has so many benefits too for our clients and our team members. Scaling as much as we have in the last year has absolutely come with its challenges and mistakes. To meet the need of our community, we have added about five team members every two months for a year. With so many new people, and so much change, the business can feel constantly in change for our team, and it is in so many ways. We have had to add new leadership roles to support our team, which involves finding the right people for the right roles.
We have grown in our policies, procedures, and systems- which has never been a strength of mine- to support grounding the business and ensuring all have clear and kind expectations and know what is expected. Due to the constant growth, our culture has expanded and evolved as well. In so many ways, we are all learning and getting to know each other- which is complicated by Covid where there are some team members that we have not yet met in person.
We have also recently experienced a wave of resignations. While this is expected and normalized by what is going on in our country in so many businesses, this was difficult to navigate for many reasons. I was reminded by a colleague that so much of our own stuff comes up in workplaces around saying goodbye and the ending of relationships. We aim to be a trauma-informed workplace and work hard to ensure that our practices internally with our team reflect that, and we are also learning and growing in how to support our team well.
I find, more than anything, the grace of being a baby business while also growing so quickly can be challenging to balance. I talk with my team a lot about reciprocity in relationships in the workplace, and while we absolutely are committed to showing up for our team and rally to ensure they are sustained in their heart work as a therapist, we also are committed to showing up for each other as a team with curiosity and grace when there are struggles.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Nashville Collaborative Counseling Center (NCCC) is a group practice of mental healthcare counselors and helping professionals committed to creating spaces of accessibility, healing, and justice for our clients and the communities in which we serve. We deliver tailored care for individuals navigating life transitions. We match your specific needs within our team of over 35 therapists to deliver results in as few as 12 sessions.
NCCC seeks to break down barriers to mental healthcare, specializing in care for perinatal mood disorders, trauma, eating disorders, and kids/infant mental health. We seek to practice mental health care with compassion, integrity, authenticity, and collaboration, paving the way for a different and joyful means of offering mental health care and creating spaces of healing in our communities. We seek to be a force for transformation and healing in the world.
We specialize in working with:
- Pregnancy and Postpartum
- Trauma and Abuse
- Grief and Loss
- Transitioning to Parenthood
- Body Acceptance
- Teens and Adolescents
What was your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory is spending the summers at our lake house in Chautauqua Institution outside of our hometown, Buffalo, NY. We would go there for two weeks, at least, each summer. Once there, I would spend time in a summer camp, attending lots of different art classes (ceramics, drawing, painting, pastel) and learning how to sail, biking around with friends, and having down time with family. It was such a safe, sweet, and enriching environment to be able to grow up in and around.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.nashvilleccc.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nashvillecollaborativecc/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NashvilleCollaborativeCC/
Southwell Photo and Dayna Gliebe