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Hidden Gems: Meet Candy Carter of Transcending Boundaries

Today we’d like to introduce you to Candy Carter.

Hi Candy, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Well, I am the oldest and only girl of my siblings Stanley Jr. and Sidney Allen.  I grew up in the great city of Baltimore, until my parents moved to Baltimore County when I was a senior in undergrad.  I started out as a “big sister/mentor” for some very special young ladies at my church the Greater Paradise Christian Center.  My professional journey derived from my aspirations to help youth and be that adult they could count on while being a “big sister/mentor” not only to these ladies but to my younger brothers as well.  While in undergraduate school at Coppin State University I realized after taking Psychology 101, I wanted to learn more about how and why the human mind works the way it does.  I was guided to the field of social work due to its approach to the “whole” person.  My first professional job in my field was being a residential counselor at a group home for boys in 2004. This was in place while completing my first internship at the Progressive Life Center.  I began working with at risk youth to providing support and services to them and their families in effort to keep them in the community.  My career began to progress in the right direction while in Graduate school at the University of Maryland, school of Social Work.   I began working with children and families in a different capacity; in 2006 I landed in therapeutic foster care at WIN Family Services as a family services supervisor, while obtaining my master’s degree in 2007.  From 2009 through 2018 I’ve gained experience working as a Clinician in a residential treatment center, juvenile detention, private group practice as well government work with the State of Maryland and the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

Through all my work experience and college tenure, I knew I wanted to work for myself; I just didn’t know how. While working in Virginia I was inspired by a good friend who became one of my professional mentors when we first met in 2006; Mrs. Sharon Lawrence, LCSW-C (Selah Wellness & Therapeutic Services).  We lost touch and ended up working together again in 2015 in Northern Virginia.  In the fall of 2017, I decided it was time to go into Clinical practice for myself, things were changing in my life including being a new mother and I needed to have the flexibility as well as leave a legacy to her.  So, that’s exactly what I did!  Out birthed Transcending Boundaries, LLC through fasting, prayer, tears and processing out loud with my dad, who has always been my “sounding board” and support from my family and friends who knew.  My practice initially was running in a part-time capacity every Saturday. My first office was 500 sq. ft in Lanham, Maryland with three clients.  That lasted only a few short months until life dealt me some different cards in another direction that I didn’t see coming.  I made a complex decision to move back to Baltimore in 2018; after I had created a life in Northern Virginia and business in Prince George’s County, Maryland.  While this was a difficult decision it was a necessary one. This allowed for an opportunity I wasn’t expecting. I was able after nine months of being back “home” to go into Private Practice full time.  I felt like no time like the present, what did I have to lose? Nothing! So, I closed my office in Lanham and began subletting from an Amazing Clinician in Baltimore City, Mrs. Sheena Green, LCPC, the owner of Reforming Lives. 

Transcending Boundaries, LLC moved from Lanham to Baltimore City.  I looked at this as being “back where I started” meaning this was where I was born and raised, received my training, education and most of my work experience.  As a solo practitioner I went from three clients once a week to a full caseload of 30 plus clients in a few months. One and a half years in full-time private practice “we” as a nation were hit with a pandemic. We faced uncharted territory not only as a country but as it related to therapy as we knew it.  Switching from in-person to telehealth sessions were both refreshing and worrisome. It was great being home with my then three years old who is now five as well as challenging due to the uncertainty with life and the increase in the demand for services. It became harder and harder for me to turn away potential client, but I also knew that I could not burn myself out.  I had to protect my health, peace, sanity as well as be there for my daughter while also being present for the needs of my clients.  I went from referring clients to trusted colleagues and creating a waiting list to deciding it was time to expand! 

Through prayer and guidance from God my Father, in September 2020, Transcending Boundaries, LLC moved into our new space from 500 sq ft to 3000 sq ft suite with four office spaces, lobby, and conference room equipped with a “kitchenette.  This was truly a God move!  I was able to utilize the use of the many resources and connections my father and God father had (i.e., realtor, interior designer, architect, etc.).  We are now a fully operational group practice with four amazing Clinicians and two awesome interns, one from Towson University and the other from Frostburg State University who are both open to learning and absorbing what it takes to do this extraordinary work in the field of Psychology and Social Work! I’ve always wanted to be a Business Owner, Author, Speaker and Teacher, I just didn’t think it would happen especially at this time in my life. I’m Grateful and Humbled for such an experience and I am patiently waiting to see where this journey continues to take me.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
This process has not always been smooth, there have been challenges. Challenges like navigating insurance companies, learning billing, payments, forgetting to collect co-pays to clients not wanting to pay their co-pays or full fee for sessions not covered when they have large deductibles.  Not, to include the administration portion of being the “Boss”. I knew how to be a Clinician, but I didn’t know how to run a business to this capacity; the basis yes, but some of the other stuff it was learn as I go “sink or swim” and I have chosen to swim. That part has been trial and error and I’m blessed to have business-minded people as a part of my support system.  I knew enough to delegate task and hire people to do the things I couldn’t while I took trainings and talked to other business owners to learn everything I can, because I’m still learning.  One other challenge initially was not being selective about my clients and how I could best service them.  I began to focus in on my Niche to make sure I could service those that came to me to the best of my ethical and human ability.  I learned that that not every client who contacts me is a good fit for me or me for them and that was OK!

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Transcending Boundaries, LLC is now a fully operational Group Practice located 6615 Reisterstown Rd. Suite 203 Baltimore, Maryland 21215. We provide mental health therapy and wellness services with the current focus on mental health.  Soon we will begin to focus some on the wellness portion.  As the owner and a Clinician, I specialize in Trauma treatment, couples therapy through prepare enrich and individuals with depression. I am a trained trauma therapist as well as trained in EMDR which is a treatment modality used to help a client learn to reprocess traumatic events through rapid eye movement. These specialized treatments set me apart as well as my clinical team who has experience working with individuals and family using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and forensics to name a few. I would like for people to know when they come to my practice, they are receiving quality services by therapists who are experienced and caring as well as the environment is safe and clean. We offer limited in-person services by appointment only with screening protocols and virtual therapy through our electronic health record.  We accept most insurances as well as self-pay.

How do you think about luck?
I don’t really think about luck, I believe luck has not been a factor I would include in how my life and business has flourished over the years. I know my belief and relationship with God is the reason for both individual and practice growth and receiving opportunities such as this. My amazing parents Stanley Sr. and Sydney Croskey have instilled in me the power of prayer, the use of common sense and the power in treating people with dignity and respect. I hold on to that and display it daily in my own life as well as humility and gratitude, it will take you a long way.

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