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Meet Trailblazer Colleen Mullen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Colleen Mullen.

Colleen, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I always dreamed of being a therapist AND of living in Southern California, so when I decided to pursue that dream, I left everything I knew in New York and moved out to San Diego to pursue graduate school. I earned my Master’s degree in Marriage & Family Therapy in 2002 and my Doctorate in 2009. I’ve been in private practice since 2006, and in 2012, I renamed my practice Coaching Through Chaos to reflect my doctorate work in chaos theory and psychology. In 2015, I launched the Coaching Through Chaos Podcast, bringing my audience interviews designed to empower, motivate and inspire them. In 2016, I joined in as co-host of the Shrink2Shrink Podcast, where we educate our audience about life and relationships through one movie a month. Throughout the last three years, I had the opportunity to write for, be quoted, or be a guest on over 150 articles, podcasts, radio and tv shows, including NBC, Martha Steward Weddings, PsychCentral, and The New York Post. In 2019, my first book was published, “Stop Bitching, Just Lead! The 60-Day Plan for Embracing YOUR Inner Leader” and a companion podcast, Embrace Your Inner Leader, featuring unique stories of success from unique women, will launch in Oct.2019. Also this year, I became the co-founder of Podcast Launch Experts podcasting course for professionals who want to podcast. I still see a full roster of clients at my private practice while I pursue the many other projects and writing opportunities that provide me with creative outlets for my professional pursuits.

Has it been a smooth road?
When you are self-employed, no matter the field, there are always struggles or obstacles that get in your way. One of the struggles I had to overcome early on was thinking I could do it all myself. For as much as I don’t have a business partner in my private practice when I was starting out, I put together my unofficial team of experts who I would seek advice from as I needed. These were former professors, bosses, others in my field I would find on the internet and then call to meet with them. I found that when I pursued someone who’s business I admired and told them that, they were often very generous in giving me tips, or helping me make other relevant business connections.

The other struggle I had to overcome was professional isolation. I was always good at networking, but for years, limited my networking to others who were in the same profession. This type of networking often leaves one with lots of people in one’s periphery with q similar knowledge base. That’s not really great networking because they will want the clients as much as I would, and that’s for any business. I decided to branch out 3 years ago and join a “networking club” in order to become part of the business-owning community (rather than just the private practice-owning community). The impact of this was amazing! My practice tripled in growth that year and I also made some tremendous friends. We may not be in the same business, but we understand the entrepreneurial life. Now, I have breakfast every Friday with 65 of the best business owners in San Diego. A true game-changer for me professionally, and personally.

My advice to these points are:
1. Find your unofficial team of experts. Who would you love to get advice from? We all need mentors.
2. Figure out how to network outside your normal channels.

Tell us about your business and what makes you most proud about what you do?
I am a psychotherapist with a license in marriage and family therapy. This means that I provide therapy to both individuals and couples. Most of my work focuses on how my clients relate to their world – their love life, professional life, and family life. By virtue of my work experience, I specialize in addiction treatment and all the underlying struggles that often accompany addictions: trauma, depression, anxiety, OCD, and relationship struggles. I practice the evidence-based Gottman Method of relationship coaching to best help my couples improve the quality of their relationships.

In October of 2019, Podcast Launch Experts will be up and running.  This is a course I designed with my partner which helps professionals create, record, market and monetize their podcast.  We have packages that range from training with us personally to joining our membership site to have access to our course content where they can self-study.  We are excited to bring this to life as there are a lot of great people out there with a vast amount of knowledge int heir field and strong voices, but who get overwhelmed when they think of launching a podcast.  We’ve created this to eliminate the overwhelm and handhold them through the creation-launch-growth process.

As a therapist, I am so proud of a few things. The first was that many years ago, I was the Director of one of the largest residential drug rehabs in San Diego where I had an opportunity to create lasting changes in the quality of the environment where the clients were previously not treated well. I also feel proud through moments that have come through mentoring up and coming therapists and becoming a resource for them as they pursue their careers. Of course, my proudest moments are when I’ve worked with a client who truly feels they’ve made changes in their life that they never thought they would make.

As a podcaster, I am most proud to have been able to build resources for people who may gain a bit more insight for what they are struggling with, or inspire them to do something amazing all by listening to one of my interviews.

Finding a mentor and building a network are often cited in studies as a major factor impacting one’s success. Do you have any advice or lessons to share regarding finding a mentor or networking in general?
Mentors can come from all over. Many people feel experts they follow online are a mentor of sorts. I am down with that thinking, but my best advice is to find someone locally who has built a business you admire and approach them. Many people are accessible if you tell them you respect what they’ve created. Offer to bring them a cup of coffee or even offer to bring them lunch. It will be a rare occasion to be on the receiving end of “No thanks” when you are coming in from this approach.

I can’t speak highly enough about networking outside your expected cohort. No matter what business you are in, you never know where your next client is waiting. If you don’t get out there and let as many people as possible know who you are and how you do what you do, you will miss out on opportunities. Research networking clubs in your area – they will all let you come at least one or two times to get a feel of the club. Find one that fits, and then JOIN IT!! It will take a little while for people to get to know you and trust you, but you will have a regular meeting captive audience for your business.


  • The 4-Session Relationship Check-Up! $900 come find out where your relationship has room to grow!
  • Individual therapy $150/45-minutes (some insurance accepted)
  • Relationship Coaching $225/45-minutes starts with the Relationship Check-Up as a separate purchase)

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Headshot: KarenFloydPortraiture

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