Dr. Kruer is a clinical psychologist and owner of Echeveria Psychotherapy Center. She works primarily with adults with a history of emotional and psychological family difficulties. Dr. Kruer is trained as a child and family psychologist as well as a health service psychologist and has worked with clients ages 3 to 103. She is passionate about helping her clients reach their goals in the area of mental health and wellness.
Hey Adriane, can you introduce yourself to us?
My name is Dr. Adriane Kruer and I am a licensed clinical psychologist working in Los Angeles. I am the owner of a group psychology practice.
Can you take us through your journey as to how you arrived at where you are now?
I’m so many ways I feel lucky that my path has led me to the perfect career for me! I started my career working with children and families abroad while earning my BA at Global College at Long Island University.
I was totally hooked on the combination of giving back and building a skills set specifically designed to help others and continued on to get my Master’s in art therapy at NYU and then a Doctoral degree at Union Institute & University.
The love of learning and the incredibly rewarding experience of helping others has really led to when I am today. I always want to be the most effective at my job- which is technically helping people to feel better! It’s pretty amazing.
What are a typical 24 hours like for you?
So if I use today as an example in the morning I might meet with my team of amazing and inspiring clinicians at Echeveria Psychotherapy – my group practice – where we talk about best practices and how to provide support to each other and our client’s in the best way.
Then I do some evaluation and assessments services in the mornings. I might take a break for lunch and a walk as self-care, answer a few phone calls, do some paperwork and then work with clients in the evenings.
As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and National Register Health Service Psychologist, what training did you have to undertake?
My training was extensive and sometimes intense! I did a BA in international studies and social justice which is really the basis for all of my current work. I completed a Masters in Art Therapy which provided me with an amazing theoretical base and the ability to work with all types of people. My doctoral program was about 7 years and I took a few years in between to run, design and implement children’s service programs in New York.
During a doctoral program, you do many thousands of hours of client training, theoretical training and additional research. After completing training, I completed my pre and postdoctoral training hours at the oldest guidance clinic in the country! To become a health service psychologist, I needed to do additional training and get additional credentialing to work in the health service sector.
What other areas are you looking at to develop your profession and deepen your knowledge as a psychotherapist?
I love to learn and in this field- the learning is never ending! People are complex and we are always discovering more effective ways of helping us with our psychological troubles. I adore doing trauma work and may do additional training in that area- I also love conferences and learning from my colleagues. Everyone is doing such cool stuff!
Why do you think that getting started is that hardest step for so many of us?
Getting started. We all have a little voice in our deepest darkest heart of hearts that show up when we want to do something out of the comfort zone. It says “no way- who do you think you are doing that?!”. It’s a little different for everyone but that’s a close approximation!
Getting started on something new can really force us to battle that little voice that says we cant. I always try to remind myself in those moments of the opposite voice that says “if I don’t, then who?”.
My talents and my abilities are suited for a specific skill and I have spent a long time honing my skills to be able to do the work. Sometimes I think we can really discount our greatest talents because we think “oh everybody can do that”. The truth is- no they can’t!! But you definitely can.
Can you talk us through ACE? (Adverse Childhood Experiences)
An ACE refers to an experience that someone has had in their past. The term is from a research study done on health outcomes of adults with a tough childhood experience.
The results were quite striking in showing the relationship between things happening early in life and later health outcomes. In my practice, we focus on health and wellness, so knowing about and addressing ACEs is a big part of our work to help clients feel the best that they can over the long term.
How are you helping your clients to unravel, understand and conquer inner difficulties of their past so that they can move forward?
In the frame of therapy, we meet every week for 50 minutes. In those 50 minutes, a trained therapist can help a client to discuss things in their life that are troubling them and sometimes have been troubling them for some time.
Within the confidential space of therapy, and the therapeutic relationship with the therapist, people begin to work on the difficult things that have been in what I like to call the “deep freeze”. The therapist’s job is to help the client get through the hard stuff little by little and with all of their skills and education and training. People really can feel better and ultimately lighter after working in the therapeutic process. It’s a really brave and courageous line of work!
Where can you see your self within the next 3-5 years?
I’m always listening to my intuition on where I may need to provide help and services. I most likely will continue with that trend! I would love to continue to grow the group practice and possibly eventually provide international services as well as services in other major cities.
How are you planning to expand?
At some point, we may expand! I think it all depends on where the need is.
Can you tell us what areas you have struggled in professionally?
Working on a big project can always be intimidating! When we zoom out and look at everything and expect ourselves to do everything in one go, it can be so overwhelming! To combat that, I try to just take little steps towards the goal every day, and I work consistently on each thing until it eventually accomplishes the big goal. Also, I use a technique from one of my coaches, Laura Long, called “whole-assing” (just focusing on one thing at a time) which seems to help!
Have you ever had any other mentor? If so how has this benefitted you to grow?
I feel like I am always seeking and working with mentors and that they are so important for seeing where you want to go and getting help on the way there. Some of my mentors have included my supervisors, my colleagues, and my peers. I feel like it is ever evolving but I always have two or three mentors helping me at any point!
What outlets do use to market the services you offer?
I like to use Instagram as we work a lot with creative professionals who utilize visual work and Instagram is a nice way to integrate that. I also love to network within our therapy community here in Los Angeles and I do blog from time to time.
Which methods are you using to build your own network?
I am always trying to connect with others in my field doing this work. That might be at conferences, workshops, coffee dates or on LinkedIn. I think it’s always nice to be in a community of like-minded healers and professionals and so I am always looking to be connected and a resource.
What do you believe are the common misconceptions about being a psychotherapist?
I think people think that if they see a therapist that something is “wrong” with them. This is so far from the truth. We all battle internal conflicts, difficulties from the past and even current stressors. Therapy doesn’t have to be where you go when things are going terribly. It can also be a place to go when things are going right.
What would you like to see changed for millennials in business?
This is a tricky one because I still don’t know if I even qualify as a millennial! But truthfully, I think millennials already see the way forward. I see the mindset of abundance and growth and positivity and I think millennials in business are already doing incredible work.
What is the best piece of advice you have received to date?
I always resonate with messages that have to do with not keeping yourself small, or playing small. This is a bit ironic because I am 5’1” and have always considered myself small, but in business, I have to always remind myself not to think too small and not to hold myself back from the real dream.
What is the number 1 critical lesson you have learned in your career so far?
That I do have important things to offer the world and if I keep myself small, it’s a disservice to the people who may need my help.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
This one is always tough but oh so important. I travel several times a year and always make time for friends and family, even if I don’t think I “have the time”. Exercise and meditation also keep me on track.
The highlight of your career so far?
It’s hard to choose! My favorite highlight happens almost every day when I know I am able to help someone in a meaningful, real and purposeful way. It’s an incredible career.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Feeling able to share my knowledge and abilities in the best way possible.
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
I always look up to my colleagues and entrepreneur friends in New York. Rachel Beider of Massage Williamsburg has really been an inspiration. In LA, there are countless people who I look up to and admire in their approach.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I’m always reading! I recently read Jen Sincero’s new book, I’m always reading Denise Duffield Thomas and other amazing women in business books.
What does your Podcast playlist look like?
It’s a bit eclectic, I listen to tons of practice building podcasts, women in business and money podcasts, health and wellness podcasts and I also love ‘Desert Island Discs’! If you haven’t heard it, you should definitely give it a listen!
How do you measure your own terms of success?
Success is such state of being- not a goal. I feel so successful when I am listening to my own sense of self and where I need to be both professionally and personally. I am always feeling successful when I am working towards the small and big goals I set for myself. I love the process.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
#BEYOUROWN means to me that you listen to yourself in every way- you listen to where you need to be, what you need to be doing, and how you need to show up in the world from your own inner voice and your own sense of self. This can be the hardest thing to do but I know we all have very trustworthy and very smart intuition.
Lastly, what is next for you?
I have a feeling I will be on this path for a while and I am incredibly excited for all of the things to come.