Therapist Spotlight: Ladi Agahiu, LMSW


“Life is a series of decisions and we all have the right to make a new one when the last one didn’t turn out right” Adapted by Ladi Agahiu

What inspired your career as a therapist?

I spent years in the field as a Social Worker and found a great deal of joy in being able to help people navigate through very difficult situations. I discovered that I really enjoyed the process of listening to people and helping them sort through their current life challenges. I loved witnessing the ‘light bulb’ moment! Seeing someone dawn on an understanding that they have choices in the present situations and in the outcome of their lives. 

My own experience of self-exploration fueled a passion in me to help others by creating a safe place for people to find healing and wholeness.

What is your favorite thing about being a therapist? 

I love to help people connect the dots. Usually people go to therapy to work through an issue that they are currently facing, not realizing that one issue does not represent the whole picture. I approach therapy through a holistic lens. Often, we must dive deep to find out how all the pieces of life have brought us to our current state so that we can nurture healing and growth in the present. By connecting the events in life, instead of focusing on fragments, we can  connect the dots to bring clarity to the whole picture.

I love when people begin to realize they can be who they want to be and live a life that they love. The goal is to create a safe space for my clients. I also aim to equip them with resources to release pain, sadness, and help them embrace new life choices that they can be proud of.  

As a therapist, what are you most passionate about? 

I absolutely love learning about the ways in which our thoughts impact our lives. I’m constantly reading new books and collecting information to give my clients the necessary tools to thrive in their journeys. By bringing awareness to the value of understanding your core self and your inner voice, I am able to help others live a more balanced, healthy, and happy life.

What are you most passionate about in your personal life?

Spending quality time with my friends and loved ones is very important to me. Even when life is hectic, I find my balance through self-care and carving out time for the people I love most. I meet up with my friends on a regular basis to share a good meal, lots of laughs, and encouragement. It is also important to me to take time out for myself to watch my favorite shows.

What makes you unique as a therapist?

My cultural heritage has given me a wonderful foundation for being open to all backgrounds, identities, and sexual orientations. I have found that being multicultural, raised in America by Nigerian immigrant parents, has given me access to unique viewpoints. I have personally experienced the joys and trials of acculturation which allows me to not only empathize, but to bring unity to all that comes along with being multicultural in America today. I have worked with clients from all over the globe and I am so grateful to be able to help them bridge the traditions from their family of origin to who they are and how they wish to show up in the world today. 

What is a personal challenge you have overcome that makes you a better therapist?

Within the last year I have had someone in my life become very ill. Over time they have become stable, but going through the challenge of being a caretaker has taught me so much about myself. It has definitely increased the amount of empathy and understanding I bring into practice with my clients. This has made me a better therapist, in my opinion. 

I think it is most important to learn about who YOU are and that will help you make better decisions for your life.

What is your take on current social issues?

I’m very frustrated with our political climate and how those in government are not compassionate about everyone they represent. I have seen how the social and political issues of our day are having devastating affects on mental health. I understand and share common views with many of my clients which allows me to be supportive in their journey as they navigate the current climate.  

What are some of your passion projects or interests?

I would love to invest more time in advocating for therapy and outreach for people of color. I believe therapy is a resource that everyone should have access to and I would love to see the stigma around mental health alleviated, particularly for high functioning women of color. 

All people should have a safe space to process.

What is your dream vacation?

Lounging on the beach on the soft sand shores of Hawaii!

Do you have any hidden talents?

I love to sing. I used to sing background vocals in a band. I definitely need to sing more often. 

What do you hope your legacy will be?

I ultimately hope my children value themselves as people of color. I hope they know that they can be successful. I hope they cherish the love of their family and friends and always hold them close. 

This is such Fulfilling work, this is my passion. It is not easy work, but I love doing it.”

-Ladi Agahiu