River City Six – Taylar Mason

Meet Taylar Mason, mental health therapist at Clearwater Counseling, PC (clearwatercounselingpc.org).

Tell us a little about your business. –

Clearwater Counseling’s mission is to treat mental health diagnoses through personalized and compassionate counseling practices that promote growth, development, and well-being to further enhance quality of life.

How did you get started in the business? –

I started my career as a therapist at a psychiatric residential treatment facility. Ultimately, I saw myself working in private practice, but did not know how to get started. I saw the job posting for a part-time therapist at Clearwater Counseling. It was my opportunity to get my foot in the door and learn about private practice, even if it meant working long hours on top of my full-time job. I interviewed for this position in February 2020, right before the pandemic hit. I felt lucky that Kayla Leddy and Nikki Bauer, co-owners of Clearwater Counseling, hired me even though there was a lot of unknowns with the pandemic and how it could impact small businesses. Since being hired, I have gained so much knowledge about being in private practice and confidence in my ability to provide mental health services.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? –

Doubting myself and my abilities.

What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? –

Landing an internship at Florida International University (FIU) at the Center for Children and Families. I honestly did not think I would even get an interview. I was an adolescent counselor at FIU’s Summer Treatment Program for adolescents diagnosed with neurodevelopment disorders, disruptive impulse-control and conduct disorders, and applied behavioral modification treatment for research. I was intimidated from the start and thought everyone around me was more qualified than myself. Throughout the internship, I became more confident in my abilities and decided I wanted a career working with adolescents in any capacity.

What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? –

Visit my parents and sisters in Lincoln. My parents inspire me.

What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? –

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Ghandi

If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? –


What local nonprofit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? –

Friendship Home in Lincoln. Their mission is to support, shelter, and advocate for victims of domestic violence and their children. Friendship Home is the reason why I decided to get a master’s degree in social work and, ultimately, become the therapist I am today. I began volunteering for Friendship Home when I was a senior in high school because it was a requirement for a government class. Little did I know, this would change not only my life, but my outlook on life. My time at Friendship Home did not stop there. Throughout undergrad and graduate school, I completed an internship, started as an on-call women’s advocate, moved to a full-time children’s advocate, then became the transitional housing case manager. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about my time at Friendship Home and their mission.

What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? –

Good Morning, Monster: A Therapist Shares Five Heroic Stories of Emotional Recovery by Catherine Gildiner.

What is your favorite movie? –

10 Things I Hate About You.

If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? –

(308) 210-8487; tmason@clearwatercounselingne.org; clearwatercounselingpc.org.