Jennifer Shapiro-Lee, LCSW-R, is an Ivy League educated Psychotherapist, Certified Mindfulness and Meditation Instructor, and Mindfulness in the Workplace Trainer with a private psychotherapy practice located in Roslyn, NY. She takes a holistic approach to mental health, integrating traditional therapies with mindfulness, meditation, and self-care to help clients cope with life’s challenges and transitions.
In addition to Jennifer’s therapy practice, she teaches individual and group meditation classes, leads therapeutic retreats, corporate wellness events, and is a motivational speaker. After losing an immediate family member to suicide, Jennifer knows first-hand the devastation suicide leaves behind and how this pain is often exacerbated by stigma and silence. In Jennifer’s previous career as an Account Executive in the fashion industry she had close to ten years corporate experience in sales and was responsible for a team that generated $10 million in business.
In 2019, Jennifer was honored by the Long Island Press as a Power Woman in Business, recognized by the Long Island Business News as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Business, and interviewed on the Donna Drake Live It Up show for CBS WLNY. Jennifer is currently acting Mentorship Chair on New York State Society for Clinical Social Work’s (NYSSCSW) Board for the Long Island Chapter. In September 2020, she was honored to be selected as a keynote speaker at Ellevate’s Raise Her Voice event and received a 2020-2021 Best Psychotherapist nomination for Bethpage’s Best of Long Island. Most recently, Jennifer discussed the importance of mental health awareness on Opportunity Calls with Ellen Volpe on News12Plus.
Read Jennifer’s detailed Q&A Interview with us and be inspired.
Who or what inspired you to start your business?
My brother is my biggest inspiration for his fearlessness and dogged pursuit of excellence in everything he does, even if it requires taking major career risks to get there. I am grateful that these qualities seem to run in our family, because my dad and I have also always had the same determined work ethic and drive. For that reason, whenever I have doubts, my brother is always right by my side, reminding me that I can and will make it happen.
When I made the decision to go back to school to be a therapist, I knew the ultimate goal was to open my own private practice. Two and half years ago I found my office space, and while it was double my budget, I knew in my gut that it was for me. When I told my brother about it, as well as my hesitations, he asked me if it was perfect. I told him the truth- it was perfect. He then said, “You will make it happen. This is the next chapter in your life, and you are going to go for it.” I think back on that call a lot. I went from working for someone else to having my own office, renting it out to other therapists, hiring employees, participating in public speaking engagements (including on television), publishing articles, and more. My former self would never have believed the journey and where I am now! Everyone needs someone like my brother for “you can” and “you will” reminders. Now, whenever faced with a major decision, I think back to that day and all that I would’ve missed out on had I made a different decision, and suddenly the risks are easier to take.
“You will make it happen. This is the next chapter in your life, and you are going to go for it.”
What do you attribute to your success?
I think an amalgamation of things have contributed to my success. First and foremost, I have a really strong work ethic and drive. None of my accomplishments came easy or without sacrifice along the way, but once I decided to pursue this career path, I went for it whole-heartedly. I also go out of my way to push the boundaries of my own comfort zone. At the end of the day, I trust and believe in myself and my abilities, and face everything with an “I can” attitude.
Another major contributor is that there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing – I am living my purpose and believe that passion is a crucial part of success. My career is so rewarding, fulfilling and a place where I can really make a difference. I also am a big supporter of not only writing down your goals, but also the steps it takes to achieve them. I have yearly goals, 5-year goals, and 10-year goals, and work towards them every day. I believe in staying curious, informed, accessing the right resources, and always committing to self growth. I could never have done this alone, so find your team – regularly give to and receive help from others – know your strengths and weaknesses and trust your gut. What you give out finds a way back. It’s okay to fail or do something wrong because it’s all about how you recover and move forward.
“I am living my purpose and believe that passion is a crucial part of success.”
What do you hope to accomplish in the near future?
I am working to grow my private practice into a group practice and have recently brought on some wonderful, highly skilled therapists. While my specialty is adults, one of my newest therapists specializes in children, and eventually, our overall wellness practice will be able to meet the needs of any potential clients that walk in the door.
Once my group practice is more established, my next step is obtaining my PhD. My focus up until now has been clinical, but the PHD program will be policy-based. Clinical work is my passion so I will always do this line of work, but I am looking to grow awareness about mental health on a global level. My mission is to help decrease stigma and silence around mental health issues, especially suicide, and have it be accepted and acknowledged the same as any other physical disease. I believe that being open about mental health struggles will be the gateway to improving the mental health crisis.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
I have learned that life doesn’t always look the way we want it to, but that there’s an ability to find good in everything. In so many ways, my life does not look exactly as I’d imagined. I have been through a great deal of hardship in my life, but I still find wonder, joy, and curiosity in the world around me. There is always hope.
“There is always hope.”
What is your take on woman to woman inspiration?
If I had to count my top blessings in life, one would be the women standing behind me. I am extremely grateful to have such amazing women in my life, who are an overwhelming source of strength and joy, have shaped my journey, and who I call on for highs and lows alike. We need to bring one another up, rather than down; share and celebrate in one another’s achievements; and support, accept, and fight for one another.
How can readers find out more about your business and connect with you online?
Readers can connect with me via the following: