We are starting a new occasional series to get to know our members better. We start off with a new member, Doreen Meister, a licensed psychotherapist.
Born: 10 miles outside of Onekama, Michigan
Favorite movie: Waste Land, Ken Burn Jazz, The Sierra Leon's Refugee all stars. And my all time favorite movie is Best In Show.
Near term goal: Start a Wednesday expressive arts group in the fall.
Dream: Opening a studio space where community groups and individuals can gather to create and share.
Every summer after harvesting, we would have more produce than we could freeze and preserve. The extra food we gave to extended family members and neighbors and inevitably later on we would receive something in return. This is my heritage.
Why did you join Bay Bucks?
I like that Bay Bucks is about mutual support, businesses helping each other thrive, so that together, we are more powerful than individually. This concept has been a part of my life since I was born. In Michigan, my father, who was raised on a farm, grew a huge garden. Every summer after harvesting, we would have more produce than we could freeze and preserve. The extra food we gave to extended family members and neighbors and inevitably later on we would receive something in return. This is my heritage.
The value of mutual support and community carries through to my business now. I developed my clinical skills at a community mental health clinic that was run by consensus. After becoming licensed, together with four other psychotherapists we formed Dahlia Therapy Center. We feel that we can create more for ourselves and our community by working in synergy rather than isolated in individual practices.
Our vision at Dahlia Therapy Center is that we all support each other to thrive. As a business owner, it is good to belong to a community.
As a jeweler, I love to barter my work with other artists I meet at art shows and events.
Tell us about your life's journey.
I'm a psychotherapist, an artist and a Reiki practitioner. I use mindfulness, guided imagery and expressive arts to help people discover, experience and express their authenticity. I was born in rural Michigan in the 60s, 10 miles outside a village of 230 people. The area was isolated and had no ethnic diversity. I left because I was curious about life outside of Michigan. My first job was at a water conservation project in Colorado, followed by voluntary work in Costa Rica. There I learned not just another language but also how to communicate with people from a different cultural background. When I returned to the US, I chose San Diego because of ample Spanish speaking opportunities, and worked with recent immigrants, non-English speakers, and seniors, helping them make better life choices. For example, I helped them understand how their energy use impacts their gas and electric bill, how to find a better long distance carrier, etc.
After some years, I started my jewelry business but wasn’t able to support myself before my savings ran out. I was torn between my passion to help people help themselves, and my creative side. I landed a job with a major retailer, working in their HR department, designing internal job training and leadership development.
I helped employees develop skills such as time management, how to run meetings and communicate with co-workers. It was a great experience. I enjoyed helping people have more ease and satisfaction at work. After some time, I wanted a more direct impact helping people, and wanted to work outside the corporation.
As I was struggling with my future direction, I literally walked into my apartment one day, flipped on the light switch, and realized I want to be a therapist. Ten years later, after research and training, I am now a licensed psychotherapist with a private practice in Oakland’s Pill Hill area.
What are you offering our community?
I offer three services targeted for local business owners.
1. Support for emotional concerns and stress. I am a business owner and I understand what it means to own a business: the isolation, the stress, needing to problem solve independently and with a team, the moments of doubt. I can support you through the emotional journey and help you make better decisions.
2. Mediation between business partners: I can help you work through conflict, issues, and differences in vision and come to mutual agreements.
3. Team building through creative process: I can help your team gel and work better together.
My ideal clients are people who are doing their best in life and have a desire for a greater sense of ease, connection and authenticity. They are interested in self-awareness, willing to lean in to what is uncomfortable and to see the truth of whatever they are facing. I work with individuals, couples and teams in their late 20s to early 60s. I am effective with people who are in the midst of life transitions.
My work is influenced by Buddhist contemplative traditions. I believe that our bodies have a natural movement towards health and fitness. I help people connect back to their true nature. I offer different creative processes (drawing, guided imagery) to help tap into a deeper knowing than we can obtain using our minds alone.
What help do you need?
Marketing, Website development, SEO, and self care (massages, etc). I would also love to develop a cross-referral network with other Bay Bucks members.
What's your message to Bay Bucks community?
Running a small business can be stressful and intense and amazingly satisfying.
Sometimes the best approach is to pause, take a breath and see what is needed in this moment.
And I want to share these two quotes:
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” -- Martha Graham
"We have come into this exquisite world to experience ever and ever more deeply our divine courage, freedom and light!" -- Hafiz