We had the good fortune of connecting with Leor Ram, LMFT, LPCC, NCC, CGP and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leor, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I come from a family of entrepreneurs so, at some level, I think I always knew I’d end up opening my own practice. Throughout my life, as I navigated the healthcare industry as both a provider and a consumer, I found the compartmentalized nature of healthcare to be frustrating. I’m a big believer in the mind-body connection, and I know recent research supports this, so I couldn’t understand why different practitioners or different disciplines were not coordinating in certain arenas. For example, if someone grinds their teeth and is diagnosed with bruxism, there could be several different factors that come into play: teeth shape and dental history, mental health and anxiety expression, neck tension and pain, and food choices and nutrition, just to name a few. Frequently, each of these factors would need to be explored and treated independently without practitioners communicating and working together, and I don’t believe that is the best form of treatment for anyone suffering from any type of condition. In response to that deficit, I wanted to change the paradigm. At my private practice, Integrative Psychotherapy Group, we are not just a talk therapy office. We aim to work with clients on several levels of the suffering they experience resulting from their conditions. This includes psychotherapy, of course, as well as exploration of how a client’s work, family, relationship, and emotional lives all collide. We focus on collaborative treatment with general practitioners, psychiatrists, dieticians, physical therapists, mindfulness teachers, trauma specialists, executive teams, and groups in order to truly integrate, as our name implies, all aspects of a client’s life into a holistic approach to treatment.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Based in Beverly Hills, Integrative Psychotherapy Group’s experienced therapists provide insightful therapy to work through our clients’ concerns and guide meaningful change. We believe that therapy helps provide a sense of relief and self-awareness for those who feel overwhelmed or are having trouble finding the root of their problems.
Meaningful therapy depends on the powerful interpersonal relationship between the client and clinician, which is one of the many reasons why we work together to create a profound and significant connection. Through therapy, clients find themselves expanding insight, achieving deeper self-awareness, and making more invested choices, leading to significant developments in their lives.
We believe that effective psychotherapy can not only relieve unpleasant symptoms and concerns, but it can also change a person. Our approach includes a focus on helping an individual, a couple, or a family to gain deeper awareness into how their past and present affect the way they experience their present and future. The more a client understands how and why they think and feel the way they do, the easier it becomes to use that insight to make better choices in life, work, and relationships.
We integrate empirically proven techniques, rooted in psychodynamic theory, to offer a custom treatment plan based on the needs of each client.
One of the aspects of Integrative Psychotherapy Group that set us apart from other private practices is how we work collaboratively with other healthcare practitioners as well as our business and organizational consulting work. Integrative Consulting Group is Integrative Psychotherapy Group’s exclusive executive coaching and consulting division. We work by applying psychologically informed techniques to achieve specific business outcomes for each organizational or executive need. This includes executive and founder coaching, organizational transformation and team mergers, leadership and talent development and retention, as well as business and brand identity and formation.
Merging both private practice and consulting together to form Integrative Psychotherapy Group was the result of many years of psychological practice as well as business experience in both the entertainment industry and the property development and consulting industries.
Opening my own practice has been a lifelong dream. While there were certainly many lessons learned along the way, having a clear focus on what I wanted to achieve ultimately made the journey successful.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I have lived in Los Angeles for 21 years and love this city. It’s hard to narrow down all the places I’d recommend to just a handful of options, but I suppose I would start with the area right around my office: the Beverly Hills Triangle. Downtown Beverly Hills is world-famous for its designer shopping and restaurant scene, but it’s actually the lesser-known spots that I enjoy the most. Being located right in the heart of Beverly Hills means I get to walk to my favorite spots, which often starts with a draft latte from La Colombe. This place has seriously amazing coffee, and the baristas are so friendly.
When I have a break between clients, I love spending it either at the rooftop of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel (some of the finest views in the city) or having proper tea at The Peninsula Hotel, both luxurious and comfortable at the same time.
When I’m not in Beverly Hills and I want to unwind, I take advantage of Los Angeles’ beautiful nature. My favorite hike is up to see The Wisdom Tree, which is strenuous but worth the view and a moment with my favorite tree in LA. When I’m wanting to have a moment of zen, I like going to the Santa Monica Pier and spending time just people-watching and staring at the ocean waves. I find it so peaceful and meditative, and just about everyone at the pier is there having fun, which is wonderful to watch.
I would also say that the museums in Los Angeles are not to miss. My favorite three would be The Broad downtown, The Getty (mostly for the architecture and views above the art), and the recently opened Academy Museum. The Academy Museum alone could take up an entire day – it’s stupendous.
I’m also quite a foodie, so I’d have to tell LA visitors to check out some of my beloved restaurants: Republique, Sushi Tama, Afuri Ramen, South Beverly Grill, and Craigs!
Finally, if I could recommend a fantastic spot to go out, I am a big fan of San Vicente Bungalows. If you’re visiting LA, find someone with a membership there and take advantage of a hidden gem with amazing food, drinks, and the absolute best crowd in LA.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There is no question that I would not be where I am today were it not for the encouragement, guidance, education, and support that I received at the many different places where I received my training. My first introduction to the mental health world was volunteering at The Trevor Project, where I learned what crisis and suicide intervention looked like and what it meant to help someone to access the resources they needed to save their lives. It was an incredibly powerful, life-changing experience that I owe to their amazing training, staff, and outreach.
When I began my official training as a therapist, I was lucky enough to train at The Maple Counseling Center, which provided me with an outstanding opportunity to learn from and be supervised by some of the most experienced and knowledgeable therapists in Southern California. These people were absolute standouts. I can’t imagine moving forward in my career without the foundation they instilled in me through skills, insight, experience, advice, and support. I highly recommend The Maple Counseling Center to anyone who is considering a career in psychotherapy.
While continuing my training, my work with the Early Childhood Development Center as well as at Teen Line provided excellent opportunities to understand childhood and teenage development. This benefitted not only my work with families, but also to better treat the impact that childhood and adolescent experiences have on my adult clients. Not to mention, these children and teens stole my heart! They are so impressive, brave, and just phenomenal people.
My work at Paula E. Bruce, Ph.D. & Associates gave me the experience I needed to learn how a valuable, professional, resourceful, and all-around excellent private practice can (and should) be run. Dr. Paula Bruce is a powerhouse and having her as a supervisor for so many years absolutely impacted my career path for the better.
Lastly, I must include Bowman Medical Group in my list of shoutouts. Dr. Philip Bowman is more than just one of the most knowledgeable psychiatrists I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with; he is also a friend and mentor to whom I have gone for years for advice and insight. He has connected me with some of the most important people in my life, and I am honored to know him.
Without my experiences with these individuals and organizations, I most certainly would not be the psychotherapist and consultant I am today.