Today we wanted to tell you the story of the Location Independent Therapists Community. Launched in February 2020, our community supports various mental health professionals around the globe.
I was searching for a sense of community; a place to share fears as well as successes, and to learn from other professionals. To date, my favourite part of the community is exactly that culture of sharing that is fostered by each member. – Gabriela Encina, Psychologist and Expat Coach, who mainly works from Chila, Austria and Spain
Who are we?
We are an international community of location independent mental health professionals working across borders and time zones. Our members include licensed psychologists, psychotherapists, counsellors, coaches, and many more working in the mental health field.
We help our clients through (online) counselling and therapy no matter what country they (or we) currently live in or travel to.
This community is where we get together, talk about best practices and the ins and outs of our daily work. Our community is a safe space for therapists from all around the world to connect and help each other.
We launched this online community in February 2020 and since that time it’s already grown to over 35 mental health professionals from around the world. Our members are all at different stages with their location independent practices–some have already taken their office on the road, while others are just beginning to explore how they can make their business portable.
While this way of working gives me the freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere, it can become a little lonely. The LIT community serves this need for me – it allows me to exchange ideas with like-minded people and provides a space where we can support one another. My favourite parts of the community so far are the coffee meetings, business meet-up and the case supervision sessions. – Romina Reginold, Swiss psychologist currently based in Dubai
Who founded the Location Independent Therapists Community and why?
The Location Independent Therapists Community was founded by us, Sonia Jaeger and Melissa Parks.
We are both trained as mental health professionals and over the past few years we’ve had great success with running our online, portable businesses.
We often get asked how we came up with the idea for the LIT Community. It all started when we met online in a Facebook group for Location Independent Therapists.
Since that first encounter, we’ve continued to grow our online practices – doing the work we love while living lives we love, with the freedom to take our office wherever we want.
Over the years, we’ve collaborated in many ways:
- as business accountability buddies
- creating a peer mastermind group
- establishing an online therapists’ book club
- in 2018. we even had the chance to finally meet in person and present together at the 7in7 digital nomad conference in Medellin, Colombia!
We’ve enjoyed great success with running our online, location-independent practices over the past few years and it’s largely due to all of these support systems we created for ourselves along the way. This type of work can be really lonely, but we’ve been able to manage this because we’ve had peers to connect with along the way who support us and hold us accountable.
We’ve also found a lot of support in the Location Independent Therapists Facebook group that we co-moderate.
However, in 2019 we decided we were ready to take this group to the next level and created a dedicated space off of Facebook for other mental health professionals around the world, who are looking to create (or grow) their location independent businesses. This is when the idea for The LIT Community was first born.
I was searching for a professional community who are doing what I want to do – a community of people who share similar values and who are working in location independent practices, or working towards that goal. I landed in the right place. The LIT Community has been really supportive and I’ve been enjoying having a place to share ideas and knowledge. – Richelle Dadian – American psychologist based in Germany
From first launch to a thriving community of peers
We launched our LIT Community in February 2020 and realized that indeed, we weren’t the only ones who were looking for more, when over 30 colleagues joined us as founding members!
Obviously, when we first launched we had no idea that just a few weeks later a world-wide pandemic would change the face of the earth and bring most of our travels to a halt. But, having our LIT Community has definitely helped us get through this year!
Since our first launch, the LIT Community has grown quite a bit. We have added a directory to our website where our members can list their profile (and yes, even though our website is still pretty small, they are getting client referrals through it!), and more recently we added the blog that you are currently reading. We are also launching a series of video interviews on our Youtube channel and are slowly but steadily growing our social media presence.
But more importantly, the “inside” of our community has grown. Our members are generating new ideas, collaborations, and projects all the time, from becoming accountability buddies to suggesting guest experts we should invite or topics we should address. They’ve also created a few event series of their own that are now favorites amongst members including a LIT Movie Club and the LIT Talks series, where members share their professional expertise with each other.
I joined [the LIT Community] as a way to push myself to reach my professional goals and to surround myself with other therapists who would “get it” and support me in the process. My favourite part of the community has been connecting with the other members because they have truly inspired me to move forward in my location independent journey. Everyone has unique experiences and perspectives and they are an incredible source of encouragement. – Sámar Khalife Iglesias, Psychologist and sexuality educator based in Spain
We could go on forever about the community but why don’t you come find out what it’s like for yourself? Our doors only open a few times a year so sign up for our mailing list to be the first to know when we’re welcoming new members. In the meantime you can also join our free Facebook group.