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Rising Stars: Meet Chante Pantila

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chante Pantila.

Hi Chante, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I’ve had many life experiences that lead me to seek understanding human behavior. I am the first generation born in the US, to say that I come from a blended family is an understatement, I am the first in my family to graduate from college, and the only doctor. I have endured a lot and my life has shaped me into who I am and who I am growing to become. I didn’t allow the narrative created for me to hinder me from success and paving my own way. Healing is possible, to grow from impeding experiences is a pretty amazing thing and everyone deserves the opportunity to live a life they love.

I obtained my bachelor’s degree in psychology because of this yearning to learn more about people. I completed an internship, where I learned that a counseling degree could be the vehicle to utilize my interests and life experience to help others. My counseling degree is where I grew the most. I learned a lot about myself and was challenged about my place in the field. I acquired my doctorate in behavioral health because I liked the idea of bridging the mental health and physical health fields, as I believe the two are interconnected and wanted to be able to treat people in an innovative setting. My educational background further helped to prepare me for the profession.

I found EMDR and got into trauma work early into my career and it changed the game for me. Seeing therapy through the trauma and attachment lens has allowed me to get to the root of concerns, work with people to clear out the disturbance related to traumatic experiences, and help people to create a healthier way of being and truly heal.

You don’t have to stay stuck in a life that doesn’t feel fulfilling. I have seen people move forward in a way that feels authentic and courageous. My life, education, and training have granted me the ability to connect with people, which allows them to feel secure enough within themselves to face fears and make changes in their lives. I am proof that dreams really do come true. I want to inspire all little girls, black and brown girls especially, we can break the societal norms and be whoever we want; business owners, doctors, successful women who break glass ceilings, and eradicate limitations set by people who weren’t us. Representation matters.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It was not an easy path to get here. The challenges I have faced throughout my life I now see were opportunities for me to grow so that I can better serve my patients. There were times when I questioned my career path, business decisions, and doubted my capabilities. I think one of the biggest hurdles was sustaining my business and opening my own office during a pandemic. There was a lot of ambiguity and existential concerns during 2020. Various things were delayed that strengthened my patience, renewed my faith in Devine timing, and I was provided the reminder to trust myself. Oprah said, “Turn your wounds into wisdom,” and I did just that.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a therapist and I help people heal from past experiences that have prevented them from moving forward. When people ask what I do, I tell them that I help people change their lives, because that’s actually what I do. People make changes in their lives while in treatment and I speak to what I do instead of telling people that I’m just a counselor. I am able to build connection by being myself and modeling genuine vulnerability. I believe this helps to break the stigma of mental health treatment.

I specialize in treating trauma and attachment. My approach to treatment helps me see people, what happened to them, their adaptations, and their unlimited possibilities. It was a journey to get here, but I am most proud of my new office, which far exceeded anything I imagined. The space took everything from me to get it established in the way that showcases the envisioned ambiance; from the custom artwork, to the detailed pillows, and pink in every room, there was intention in every part of the office. The décor moves treatment out of the box, promotes growth, and inspiration for change.

We love surprises, fun facts, and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
I think what’s most surprising about me is that I am who I say I am. I’m transparent and I don’t fake the funk about having my own history of trauma and how it shows up. I speak to what is true for me. I am human, living this human experience too and I am still growing. I’m known for my candidness and my ability to create relationships by being my authentic self. I also like to make jokes as this also helps me connect. One thing people don’t know about me is that I really wanted a suit growing up, I guess I have always been all business. My mom refused to buy me a suit, but I was able to put together an eight grade version of a white pant and matching vest “suit” and rocked it for years to come. I found a picture of this masterpiece and hung it up to help promote vulnerability in the office.  My ability to see the humor in things encourages joy in the therapeutic space in a way that assists with treatment.

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Image Credits
AmandaOsbornephotography.com

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