Andrea Brognano: Founder & CEO, Therapy Connection

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My Admission Statement: My name is Andrea Brognano. I am a licensed Mental Health Clinician in the states of New York and New Jersey. I am the Division Director of Development and Community Relations at PCCS (a non profit dedicated to social change). I also have the opportunity to partner and work for CEYou, a company that provides Continuing Education to Clinicians in Social Work nation wide. Most recently: I STARTED MY OWN ONLINE TELHEALTH PRACTICE!! I am proud to say I am the Founder and CEO of Therapy Connection.

As you can tell: I love to work. I find that in my various roles, I have the opportunity to connect with all different people from all different backgrounds. I love meeting others, learning from them, and growing. Positive mind truly brings a positive outcome and I encourage others to think and feel similarly!

How did you get into the industry?

While working as a dance teacher, I had connected well with one of my students who had a developmental disability. Her mother had asked me to babysit for her. Years later when I came home from college, her mother stated she needed a worker in the home for her. I applied and began working as her Direct Support Professional. I then had the opportunity to continue growing in the field. I knew I always enjoyed helping others and seeing them grow. As a therapist, I get to talk to people on a regular basis and watch as their lives transform. Everyone has the ability to live the life they want; they just need the support and tools to get there sometimes.

Career advice to those in your industry?

ALWAYS keep an open mind. There is ALWAYS a reason that you connect with someone. People do not just meet by chance: there is always a common ground in what you do. For me, connecting people that don’t see how their work can align with what I do has always been awesome: to see how worlds collide and we are all one.

Any emerging industry trends?

Online therapy is something that is continuing to come to the forefront of the health industry. I think this largely has to do with our busy world and keeping up with the way in which we receive information. We have the ability to have a convenience of lifestyle and I don’t think that should be limited to just shopping or research. Finding support and help online can really impact someone’s life.

How do you motivate others?

I motivate others by keeping positive and reminding people to unplug. Sometimes, I have to remind others that its okay to not be okay: we ARE all human after all.

What are my aspirations?

I want to lead a life that I am happy and proud of. I think far too often do we get caught up in all the rush and rumble of a work day and we do not spend enough time LIVING. For me, professionally I want to live a life that my family says I spent enough time with them.

My Biggest Success?

Opening my own practice. I think this was a huge accomplishment and something I have always set forth to want to do. Being able to be the captain of my own ship, guiding myself and others is really a huge milestone that I am most definitely proud of it.

My Most Challenging Moment?

Navigating a true work-life balance. For me, I always thought that I would be looked down upon if I did not “do it all.” And this totally was not the case. I had to learn what it really meant to balance my life. Whenever I unplugged from work, I always came back with really fresh ideas and to a team that was happier to have me.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

My mother has always been a role model for me. She encouraged me to work hard and to do what I believe in as right. She believed in me and was someone I always looked up to. As a working mother, she always put her children first and made sure her career took her in a space to be able to support us (my brother and me). In looking at celebrities that influence, Sophia Bush has always been a truly remarkable soul. She recognizes and respects that all humans are humans and that equitable relationships are those we should build upon. As a humanitarian, my soul connects with all that she stands for: in treating others justly, in saving our planet by using resources and companies with the mission to decrease global warming, and to be a positive person in a sometimes negative world.

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This photo was taken in my cousins home. I had such true joy working with my cousin. She was taking pictures for my business. But it was the first time I got to see her in her line of work and to see her shine. THAT was a moment I will never forget.

My Daily Thoughts:

Goal of the Day: End the day with a positive mind. A day ended with unhappy thoughts leads to a bad next day, a bad week, and so on.

Action of the Day: Always do one small act of kindness.

Tip of the Day: Stay organized from the moment you awake!

A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

I like to think that I occupy space in two cities: Staten Island, NY and Old Bridge, NJ. Staten Island is my work home-but its also the space I grew up. I have made so many wonderful connections with people and always can find something to do or someone to be with. I love where I now live, in Old Bridge. My home is 10 minutes away in any direction from some of my closest friends and my family members. It also doesn’t hurt that we have many stores and restaurants to choose from close to my home. A food truck right behind our home?! (Thank you LaLa’s!)

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

My favorite breakfast would have to be my nutritional cleansing shake (strawberry with some greens!). If I am going out to eat, it would definitely be any diner: I mean! How can you resist a good ol spinach and feta cheese omelet with a side of breakfast potatoes?

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – The morning either starts with a workout session at the gym or catching up on laundry. Either way, I always make sure my mornings are productive!

10:00 AM – This is a time of day where most of my meetings occur. It’s a little after everyone has settled into the office and we are all ready to get the ball rolling. I love starting the day off with a productive meeting with a team of people ready to conquer any challenges that might come our way.

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

Tropical smoothie!! I love getting a nice healthy smoothly or a whole grain sandwich. Just the perfect fix for a mid day meal and helps to keep me continued to be energized throughout the day.

7:00 PM - Time to unwind! This is usually the time I hop on Netflix or read a good book.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

TEA. Black tea or a chai tea is my go to! It helps me stay fueled and focused.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

I love going on Instagram to either catch up with the news, friends, family, or to get a good laugh. I LOVE following Sophia Bush. I think she has a great perspective on life and she is someone I admire.

What should everyone try at least once?

Stepping out of your comfort zone. At least once. Stepping out of your comfort zone makes you uncomfortable but also catapults you to the next level of your life.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

In a good book! No matter what type of book, you can escape from the day to day reality you are in to a new space. And that is just awesome!