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Meet Cecille Ahrens of Transcend Therapy in University Heights

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cecille Ahrens.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Cecille. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started my private practice in 2010 while I was working full-time for a well-known corporation. I continued to work at that job full-time while building my practice part-time. Within three years of growing the practice, I was able to quit my full-time job and follow my passion of helping people heal and grow – through psychotherapy. It was a scary time for me due to all of the normal anxieties associated with starting and growing your own business or company. It was also exciting to know that I was following my heart and making my vision come alive. I trusted my gut and I’m glad that I did. It’s the best job I have ever had. 🙂

Great, 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?
There were definitely struggles along the way. The self-doubt, the stress of marketing, learning the business end of things, the pressure you can feel when everything depends on you. The success of my company solely depended upon me in the beginning. I now employ 2 other clinical staff so that we can reach more people. This also allows me to fulfill my love for training and mentoring in a manageable way. Wearing many hats can be tricky. But overtime, you learn what works and what doesn’t for you as a Clinician and for the Practice as a whole. It can also be challenging to balance the clinical needs of your patients, with your own ethics and values, and the needs of the business in order for it be profitable. Sometimes social work values collide with business values such as profitability. Enforcing policies should a client become unable to pay you due to real and/or unforeseen events in their lives can also be a dilemma. It’s certainly a process of self-discovery – getting to know yourself as a Clinician, a Business Owner, a Clinical Director and as a Human Being. I definitely feel like being a business owner in my field (“the helping profession”) has made me even more reflective of the values I espouse and requires me to be clear about why we do what we do.

Transcend Therapy – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Simply put, we are an outpatient mental health office. We provide psychotherapy services in the form of individual, couples, family and group therapy. We are a trauma-informed practice and I, together with one my clinical interns, specialize in Trauma and PTSD. My other clinical intern specializes in LGBTQ-related issues. We run an Anger Management Group and a Trauma Group. We also treat other issues such as depression, anxiety, grief and loss, relationship and intimacy issues, domestic violence, self-esteem issues and occupational stress.

I think being Trauma-informed sets us apart from others. I am most proud of the quality of work that we do and our commitment to trauma work. Many of our clients seem to experience real and lasting results. Of course we are not the best match for every single person that we serve, but I think we have a pretty good satisfaction rate. We look at each case through a trauma lens – meaning – we try to really understand the person as a whole and carefully examine how certain “emotional or psychological injuries” have the shaped the person who is sitting in front of us. I am humbled and often moved by our client’s strength, courage and resiliency.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Gosh, there are so many. Too many to name. I am fortunate to have a job where I get to have real, meaningful, heartfelt and amazing conversations with people. When someone has an “a-ha” moment, when someone decides to end an abusive relationship, when someone dares to go for their dream job, when someone fully recovers from a loss they were sure they would never get over, when someone chooses to trust again after being molested by their mother or father, when someone takes a chance to love again after being cheated on, when someone decides to stop abusing substances after years of abuse, when people face their fears and stand in the center of the fire and become a more whole person, when I see people healing, getting better, thriving – It’s simply one of the BEST feelings. And we get to do it over and over again. It is truly such a gift.


  • $90-$150 for licensed therapists
  • $75-$90 for clinical interns

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