After nearly three years of building a foundation in and serving the San Francisco Bay Area community, we are so excited to bring thoughtful therapy to the city of Los Angeles (virtually for now, and soon, in-person).
Here at Two Chairs, we’re on a mission to build a world where everyone has access to exceptional mental healthcare. This means adjusting to the ever-changing and complex needs of our client-base to ensure access to care—no matter what. In mid-March when COVID-19 necessitated more precautionary measures, we expanded our teletherapy services to maintain continuity of care during such a challenging time.
Since our world continues to be virtual, many of the initial plans we dreamt up for an LA launch won’t materialize until further down the road in our socially distant world. However, we hope we can celebrate and commemorate this moment in ways that capture the essential human element of our therapy approach, and convey just how thrilled we are about this significant step for Two Chairs.
On that note, our first LA clinic will be under the leadership of Clinical Director and Los Angeles-native, Baaba Hawthorne, LMFT. Like all of our clinical teams, the Two Chairs team based in LA will be comprised of expert, diverse, and deeply caring clinicians from a variety of backgrounds, lived experiences, and clinical expertise.
Baaba’s penchant for leading teams, her affinity for the Los Angeles community, and her passion for delivering empathetic, transformative care to clients are just some of the reasons we’re excited to have her as our first Clinical Director in LA.
A Conversation with Baaba Hawthorne, LMFT, Clinical Director in Los Angeles
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I moved to the Bay Area from SoCal in the Summer of 2016. Before Two Chairs, I worked in adolescent and adult substance abuse residential treatment facilities, a trauma-focused nonprofit mental health organization, and a private practice focusing on working with families.
Outside of work, I love exploring new cultures and traveling internationally. As a first-generation American, being connected to my African heritage means a lot to me. I also enjoy cooking and baking, especially red velvet cupcakes! Another guilty pleasure that I have is watching reality TV shows (so bad but also so good!). I am also a Lakers fan and looking forward to being closer to Staples Center after my move to catch a few games.
What have you enjoyed about working at Two Chairs over the last year?
My time at Two Chairs has been a period of growth and refinement. The matching model has allowed me to hone in on my skills as a clinician and really pay attention to and perfect my craft. I’ve grown a lot as a clinician, colleague and as a leader. The supportive environment that Two Chairs offers allows clinicians like myself to grow and refine our skills in a way that ensures that quality care is delivered to our clientele. I am grateful for the chance to be a part of it! I love the people, I love the client’s and most importantly, I love the work!
How are you thinking about this personal transition, especially given everything that’s going on in the world?
I am looking forward to breaking into a new area that is in need of our services. Two Chairs’ speciality is matching the client with the clinician who is best able to support and help them and given the current climate, finding a provider that fits your needs and preferences can be life changing. Also, given the current pandemic, as well as the growing racial tensions in our country, quality mental health services are needed now more than ever. People need to know that there is support out there for them, especially people of color. I want people who look like me to not be afraid to ask for help.
How would you describe your clinical style?
I believe in the healing power of the therapeutic relationship. I create a safe and trusting environment to explore various past/present events and eventually add in evidenced-based techniques to help alleviate any distressing symptoms. I’m an emotionally-focused clinician and in my work, I encourage clients to connect with their emotional experiences and how it manifests psychosomatically. In addition, I like to draw from my clinical knowledge of family systems, attachment styles, trauma and multi-cultural influences.
What do you love most about working with clients?
That’s easy, their extraordinary courage! I know first hand what courage it takes to sit in that chair and do the work. I am blown away each and every day by my clients' various displays of courage in our work together.
Where did you grow up in LA? What makes you most excited about returning?
I grew up in the valley, about 30 minutes north of LA proper. I am so excited to return home to see family and friends and also introduce SoCal to the exceptional care we provide at Two Chairs! I’ve been talking to my friends and colleagues back home about the work we’re doing so I'm pumped to finally show LA what Two Chairs is made of!
What are your favorite spots in LA that support your mental wellness?
Food, culture, community and nature all support my mental wellness. So in LA, this includes any late night Mexican taco trucks in any corner of the city—the California African American Museum, LACMA and LA Live for a little culture and community. And nothing fills me up quite like finding a quiet spot in the beaches of Malibu, or hiking in the valley or Hollywood Hills.
Help us spread the word by sharing the discount code LAFRIEND with your friends and family in the Los Angeles area. They will get $25 off a consult appointment when they start therapy with us.
If you or someone you know is seeking mental health care, you can reach out to our Care Coordination team at [email protected] or by phone at (415) 202-5159.
If you or someone you know is experiencing an emergency or crisis and needs immediate help, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Additional resources can be found here.