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Meet Dr. Melissa Estavillo of Biltmore Psychology and Counseling

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Melissa Estavillo, PsyD.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My family would joke that I was predestined to become a psychologist as I had a general nack for bossing my little brother around and giving everyone unsolicited advice. My college friends would add to that by saying that psychology was in my future as I was annoyingly curious, incessantly asking question about what made people and the world tick. And while the idea of giving people advice and telling them how to live their life seemed rather appealing, I was truly drawn to the field when I realized that being a psychologist was actually about empowering people to find hope, utilize their inner resilience, and become exactly who they were destined to be. Now that was a career that felt inspiring. And that’s how it all began.

I graduated from Grand Canyon University with a BS in Psychology and began attending the Arizona School of Professional Psychology at Argosy where I received my doctorate in clinical psychology. Along the way, I had the most amazing experience while training at Loma Linda University Medical Center. There I had the opportunity to train as a health psychologist with an emphasis on the biopsychosocial approaches that look at the whole person rather than just their “irrational thoughts.” Through my work, I was exposed to the amazing good in people and was inspired by a person’s ability to grow through the darkest of situations. My eyes were opened to see that most distress was caused by maladaptive attempts to meet real, legitimate, and healthy needs. People in therapy are not “crazy,” we are just, at times, misguided with our attempts to meet the most important of needs.

Today, I get the privilege of working with the best people. Seriously. My clients are so bright, extremely motivated, and looking for guidance through troubling times. I work with couples that are frustrated by their inability to communicate with each other despite their ability to run a fortune 500 company, a woman who is struggling with infertility for the 3rd year in a row, a man who can’t seem to understand his anger, or a young adult looking to find her next career step. My work is inspiring and I feel honored to be a part of it.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Oh goodness no. Well, first off, life never goes the way you have planned. Second, while I think empathy comes naturally for me, I’m not sure that business does. So I’ve had to learn a lot and train my brain to think in a different kind of way. Counseling is a business with some unique features. For example, in most businesses, satisfied customers will proudly tell every friend and family member about their amazing experience. But in counseling, people are much less prone to do that. A satisfied customer will likely keep their experience private and confidential, as they should. So some of the most amazing parts of therapy, confidentiality and anonymity, also make building your practice a bit more complicated than traditional business.

Biltmore Psychology and Counseling – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I started Biltmore Psychology and Counseling in 2012, and over the years, we have grown to a practice of 4 counselors, doctoral students and a very lovable therapy dog. I am proud to say, we provide exceptional, holistic psychology and counseling services to help individuals live an extraordinary life. At BPC, we specialize in general counseling services, couples counseling, health psychology and spirituality.

As a company, I am honestly most proud of our clients. Like I said before, it is an absolute pleasure to walk alongside these courageous individuals and couples as they grow, heal, and thrive.

There are a lot of great psychology practices in Metro Phoenix, but there are a few notable things that set us apart from the rest. Our psychologists and therapists truly are experts in their field. They greatly value professional growth, continuing education and self-improvement, and it shows in their work. Additionally, we are a practice that understands that the experience of therapy is just as important as the work that is done. And with that, we strive to deliver an amazing client experience to help ease anxiety when someone first calls, answer questions that they may have, and communicate our care from beginning to end. Lastly, at BPC we strive to create a safe and caring environment for all people. We have created an experience that is specifically aimed for the everyday person, walking the wild journey of life, who could use a listening ear and a caring perspective.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I am inspired by stories of grit, stories of people who fall down and just keep picking themselves back up again. Their tenacity drives them to push through, try again, and never give up. I also think success is less about what you accomplish, but more about what you are able to give. As I look at my own practice, I am honored to be a part of such amazing work, courageous growth, and inspiring exploration.

When it comes to my business, I define success by our ability to shatter stigma, communicate the message of growth, and train future therapists to continue growing the field.

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