BEYOUROWN Meets Megan McKernan
Megan McKernan is a licensed clinical social worker and founder of Clarity Wellness Solutions, a private therapy practice based in Maryland. She started her career working in the foster care setting for three years before starting her dream job as a therapist, all in various areas surrounding Washington, D.C.
Specializing in Anxiety, Depression, and ADHD, Megan’s overall passion is for mental health and for everyone to have equal access to mental health resources. In June of 2020, Clarity Wellness Solutions was born from that passion.
Megan will soon be launching her own subscription-based guided meditation platform where you can hone your meditation and mindfulness skills. She helps others find clarity through mindfulness teachings and fights the stigma against mental health daily.
Thank you for interviewing with us today, can you introduce yourself to us?
Hi I’m Megan McKernan. I am a licensed clinical social worker with over 12 year of experience in my field. I have a passion for mindfulness and decolonizing mental health. I reside outside of Baltimore, Maryland (U.S.) with my husband and daughter. Thank you for having me!
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
I finished grad school in 2010 and started as a foster care social worker. I eventually pivoted to mental health therapy in 2014 and received my clinical license in 2015. I had wanted to start my own private therapy practice and started looking for offices in February 2020, but pivoted once again to starting the practice exclusively telehealth. By August 2020 I had a full practice and started looking for contract help. I now have 8 contractor therapists as well as a marketing manager and full time administrative assistant who has helped me grow my practice tremendously.
Since starting, have you made any changes to your business model?
Honestly no, my “business model” has been very simple and unique to my field in that I want to be able to help as many people as possible that come to us for services. If I run out of space on my carload then I look to the next therapist on my team. I keep hiring contractor therapists so that I don’t have to say “no” to anyone as long as I accept their insurance. With an exclusively telehealth “office” I am able to keep overhead costs low and reinvest in hiring therapists at a fair rate and reinvesting in marketing and other creative ventures such as the mindfulness hub.
Have you ever had a mentor? If so how has this benefitted you either personally or professionally?
One of my former long-time coworkers I have always considered a mentor because when we met, she had been in the field for 15 years longer than I had so I was always taking mental notes from her. I look up to her a lot professionally and clinically. In my adolescence I used to be a nanny for a family in my neighborhood, and I consider the mother in that family a mentor figure. I’ve been fortunate to have strong women of color as my mentors.
What outlets do use for marketing?
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Psychology Today.
Which methods are you using to build your own support network?
The social work field is a small but supportive field and anyone that I have had the privilege to work with over my career I consider a part of my support network. I also consider my team of therapists in my practice my support network, and we meet a few times a month virtually.
What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?
Something I have seen over and over is “Know Your Why” which I have always known from day one and that is mental health care for all because it should be a right not a privilege. Unfortunately in our country because we don’t have a national healthcare system it is treated as a privilege. It makes my “Why” a little more challenging but it won’t stop me.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
I credit my husband and daughter for helping me achieve that daily. Working from home I see my husband a lot more than I did before the pandemic. His sense of humor is the best distraction from the stress of owning a business and providing mental health therapy 5 days a week. I also credit yoga and meditation as my preferred forms of self care that help me recharge.
Name a seminal point in your career so far?
It’s hard to point to one because seeing my clients grow and succeed is one of the best things in my career. But I would have to say that the seminal point is starting clarity wellness solutions. What that represented for me was the culmination of a lot of hard work and healing to have the courage to start my own practice at the height of a global pandemic.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Seeing others get into therapy whether it’s clients at my own practice or not, I just want everyone to have a therapist and have it be as normalized as having a primary care physician.
Are there any leading entrepreneurs or SME leaders that you admire and if so, why?
Dr. Courtney Tracy also known as The Truth Doctor. She has been paving the way for other mental health practitioners to use social media as a platform to normalize and reduce the stigma on mental illness.
How do you define your own success?
Being a place where people can come to find wellness solutions whether it is therapy or mindfulness tips, just being more aware of your own mental health and providing access for all.
Finally, What can we expect from you this year?
More fun videos related to mental health, anxiety, depression, trauma, mindfulness. Also starting my subscription based mindfulness hub that includes guided meditations, journal prompts, and eventually yoga routines.
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