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Conversations with the Inspiring Paulina Siegel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Paulina Siegel.

Paulina, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My professional journey started with the following question back in 2009: “Is there something I could be doing with my life that is meaningful and impactful to others?”

I thought long and hard and eventually came to the clear conclusion that becoming a mental health and addiction professional couldn’t be more perfect for my innate gifts and long-term vision.

I received my Masters of Social Work from the University of Denver and went on to receive my Certified Addiction Counselor Level II certification. These credentials allow me to do exactly what I crave and be part of incredible people’s journeys. Specializing in Gen-Z and Millennials (15-39 years of age) is a niche that is fairly uncommon in the mental health field, so it is an honor to serve these two generations in my private practice in Denver.

Has it been a smooth road?
Before I started Courageous Paths Counseling, I was in a tough place. I had just endured major leg surgery and came from a company who treated me pretty poorly. The combination of leg surgery and a toxic work environment left me feeling helpless and uncertain about the future.

One day, as I was laying on the couch elevating my leg, I thought to myself, “What if I just started my own counseling practice!?” It was that moment in time where the helplessness faded away and empowerment emerged. It was that moment exactly which compelled and inspired me to start my own business.

As I continued to recover from surgery, I got everything in order to start my counseling practice and began spending hours reading generational research to become one of the leading Gen-Z and Millennial experts.

The best advice I can give to young women who are starting their journey is to hustle and give it everything you’ve got. When you want to tap out, keep trucking along and push yourself to new limits. The best way to create a thriving business is to work your tush off and strategically network, build a brand, and market well.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Courageous Paths Counseling story. Tell us more about it.
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC II), and master-level trained mindfulness instructor. I have a counseling practice in the Wash Park neighborhood that exclusively serves Gen-Z and Millennials (15-39 years of age).

My mission is helping teens and Millennials learn how to sustain a life filled with authenticity, purpose, clear direction, and courage. I help my clients gain greater awareness internally and help them get connected to their precise values that give their life meaning. I am always eager to share specific tools with clients that will help them discover who they want to be and what they want their life to be about.

During my clinical training, I learned practical and proven skills that help clients to cut through the confusion and life dissatisfaction and allow them to start reliably getting more of what they want and need.

As mentioned before, there aren’t many counselors who specialize exclusively with Gen-Z and Millennials. Additionally, many therapists in the field don’t have the extensive research knowledge to inform their practice. I am incredibly grateful to possess this knowledge and be able to utilize a generational approach to address the unique needs of Gen-Z and Millennials while publicly speaking about generational research across the United States.

What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
There are many barriers and challenges that female leaders face within society. The first issue is that women are not treated equally in the workplace. There is a clear salary discrepancy between women and men and that is something we need to continue to fight against.

Additionally, women tend to struggle with being confident and assertive not only in the workplace but within their personal lives. It is important that we help women to identify their clear purpose and begin to challenge gender norms and expectations. I am incredibly lucky to have a mother who redefined womanhood, and showed me how to be dynamic, poised, and self-reliant.

Moreover, we need to continue to help women build their voice by speaking up and advocating. Women have been told for far too long to be quiet, submissive, and subordinate. It is time to radically change these expectations by developing a trusting voice. Lastly, we need to help women challenge their inner perfectionism as it drives unrealistic expectations and ongoing defeat. We have been told to be superheroes and it’s time to remove our capes and be purely human.

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