Get to Know Me’Chele Frierson, Owner of M Frierson Therapy
Can you provide some background about yourself?
I grew up in Garfield Heights/Miles area of Cleveland. I attended John F. Kennedy High School, graduating in 2000. I am married to my college sweetheart, Wil Frierson, owner of Wfrson Video LLC, and we have a son Satchel Froshi who is 18 months old. My favorite pastimes are cooking, hosting dinner/cocktail hour for my family at home, reading, and listening to Miles Davis.
Can you explain how you became interested in social work?
When I was young my eldest brother had to return home from undergraduate school because he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. That experience created a passion in me for mental wellness overall. When I started out at Cleveland State University my major was education. However, once I began student teaching I was more concerned with the behavioral and environmental challenges that the students faced. I spoke with my advisor who suggested I consider changing my major. I looked into the social work program, changed majors and knew I was “home”.
Do you see people in private practice only? Do you take insurance?
The majority of my clients are seen at the office but I also work with Employee Assistance Program companies, some non-profits providing therapeutic support groups, and most recently with The Welsh Academy as a third-party contractor provider/school psychotherapist. I do accept insurance and offer self-pay rates as well.
Are you taking new clients and how can folks get more information about you and your work?
At this time I have a waitlist. However, for information about me, client reviews, or inquiries please visit my website www.mfriersontherapy.com.
Do you practice alone? If so, is that ever lonely? Do you work with colleagues who have their own practices or do you have colleagues through professional organizations?
Right now I am transitioning my former graduate student Siobhan Dupree, LSW into a part time position at the office. She also co-facilitates the therapeutic support groups with me. Private practice can be very isolating, especially a solo private practice. However, over the years I have built a good support group around me that offers consult, training, resource sharing, or just meeting up for coffee/dinner. This has really helped. I am active in my Sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Also my work at The Welsh Academy has provided a good balance for me overall.
Is there something in particular about having your practice in Shaker Heights that is important to you? Can you talk a bit about that.
I love that my practice is in the city where my home is, where Wil and I have decided to take up roots. I feel more connected to the community and I am really looking forward to when things slow down more so I can be more involved. Owning a business in the Lee-Chagrin Business District is very nostalgic and is one of my full circle moments. When I was in high school I spent a lot of time in this area shopping, and visiting the hair and nails salons in the same part of Lee Rd. where my office is. So having a business rooted in the community that I grew up in feels right. I hope that whatever young black girls and boys connect to the practice see me as a positive influence, a support, and also that M Frierson Therapy is a safe haven of sorts. I am extremely grateful and honored to have come this far and to use my skills to pour back into a community that offered me so much as a youngster.
Do you have any business advice or thoughts to share with other business owners who may be reading this article?
If I can offer any advice I would say always stay focused on your vision and what energizes you. Stay connected to people who are positive and like-minded. Find someone or something that grounds you, that makes you feel emotionally safe and allows your creativity to flow uninhibited. And never stop learning.
What else would you like readers of the SHDC eNews to know?
I really feel supported and seen as a Shaker Heights business owner. I am looking forward to growing my business here and connecting more with my fellow business owners. I hope to be here awhile. Thank you for thinking of M Frierson Therapy and shining a light on what business are doing in their small corners of the city.