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Voyage LA Magazine(April 24, 2017)- Meet Caren Lieberman

Today we’d like to introduce you to Caren.

Caren, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today. I had Guillain-Barre (a virus that attacks your nerves causing temporary paralysis) as a child and recovered from it which made me want to become a Physical Therapist.

I worked in South Africa for 3 years and moved with my husband Eric to Los Angeles.

I worked in a Hospital setting and was the Director of Therapy Services for 3 Hospital Systems (Encino, Tarzana and North Hollywood Hospital). In 2000, I stepped down to spend more time with my wonderful four (now adult) children while continuing to work in Outpatient Physical Therapy.

Physical Therapy Studio – Vision Come to Life

In 2015, the outpatient center where I worked with an incredible team of therapists. Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Speech Therapists closed down. I have taken the opportunity to open Physical Therapy Studio, a place for PT (Physical Therapy) where we treat the whole person not only the condition.

The treatment model we use is 1 to 1 physical therapist to patient for up to an hour using education, my hands, exercise, and correct muscle activation, and giving people the tools and skills to help them recover faster. We have set out to create an environment where we can provide PT in the most natural purest way, and backed by science to get the best results. This model of treatment allows us to get there sooner meaning people can come in for 6 to 8 treatments rather than 12 to 18 treatments.

I have tremendous respect for the incredible folks who come in. People first, physical therapy second. My patients know their bodies and are integral to their own success. We work together with trust and accountability with a common goal.

I think physical therapists are incredibly well equipped to assist people in healing. As often people rely on their health care insurance to decide where they have PT they may have omitted asking the questions to help them make the right choice for PT.

Many PT practices have their PT see 2 or more patients per hour. Which means they use aids or other unlicensed personnel. Often meaning their patients do not get their information in a timelier way. They are on machines longer or exercise bikes, which research shows to be less effective.

Physical Therapy Studio has been a joy and a vehicle to pursue my passion of helping people recover faster, and return to sport and /or usual activities sooner.

I have had the privilege to provide 445 visits last year and serve 27 new patients. Practicing Physical Therapy is a privilege, I feel privileged that, every day, people invite me into their lives on a deeply personal level, entrusting me to help them regain their joy of living, restore them physically and take the journey to recovery and return to a passionate life.

This work is my calling.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way? There are advantages and disadvantages to a solo practice.

The challenges have been: Small marketing budget.

People often don’t know what a Physical therapist does and how it will help them. People often refer all sorts of things that may include exercise as having had Physical therapy (often not provided by a Physical Therapist).

Physical Therapy studio is not the right fit for everybody. It is right for you if you value your health and are willing to invest your time and energy into regaining your health. It is right for you if you have clear goals of where you want to get to and what you’re missing out on. It is right for you if you are willing to learn about yourself and value the journey.

Most people know that they need Physical Therapy, know that they want it, and it is going to help them out, they’re just confused about which one to choose and exactly what it does…

I can help YOU make the right decision about Physical therapy … one which is going to let you enjoy your time, have a great experience and get your back/shoulder pain etc. sorted…

Please tell us about Physical Therapy Studio.

Physical Therapy Studio specializes in treating runners, cyclists, weekend warriors, high school athletes and people with injuries, back, shoulder or neck issues, helping them to return to a full and active life including their sport of choice.

California has Direct Access Law for Physical Therapists. This means that you DO NOT need a physician’s script to see a Licensed Physical Therapist in California (for up to 12 visits). Our practice is unique in that we offer Direct Primary Care Physical Therapy for musculoskeletal care, or a musculoskeletal expert (the person people come see first, if hurting).

We find out what happened, listen to what my client is telling me, see if what I find is a match with what they’re telling me. we then put it all together, show the anatomy and biomechanics, explain what is going on (root cause), make sure it makes sense to the client, and then discuss what it is going to take to fix it, and the options to get there. We then create a plan to protect the injured area, while strengthening the areas around it.

We are different in that my clients can communicate with me not only at appointments, but also between appointments and any time after their plan of care is completed by HIPAA compliant email patient portal or phone or text. People often have questions after they leave, or may have forgotten to mention something or may have forgotten an exercise and I prefer they contact me and have clarity on what they’re doing, why and how.

Physical Therapy Studio provides clinical excellence by giving the body the best opportunity for healing. We use manual therapy or direct hands on care to address the muscle trigger points, fascial restrictions, joint stiffness. We use class IV laser (which boost nitrous oxide and has a cascade effect optimizing cellular turnover or healing). We use Back Projects ATM2 which retrains the neurological systems to optimize core control and address the movement impairment immediately (which can decrease pain by 50% in the first session). I don’t have people do in the clinic what they can do at home or in the gym. We do what will best serve our patient’s needs.

The treatment model we use is a private setting with one-to-one Physical Therapist to patient for up to an hour using education, my hands, exercise, correct muscle activation in the right order, and giving people the tools and skills to help them recover faster. We help our clients understand the why, why they hurt, what the root cause is and why they are doing a particular exercise. Once they get the why they will do the how which will fix the problem

We have set out to create an environment where we can provide Physical Therapy in the most natural purest way, and backed by science to get the best results.

I am most proud of the number of times my clients have had their issue resolved and no longer needed to have surgery.

This model of treatment allows us to get there sooner meaning people can often come in for 6 to 8 treatments rather than 12 to 18 treatments.

Physical therapy studio is a cash pay practice. Our clients get printouts of their visit notes and superbills which they may submit to their insurance. Reimbursement varies depending on their insurance.

The advantages of being cash pay are:

We focus on what the client needs rather than the data points that their insurance may require (more care, less therapy time eaten up by paperwork) and we don’t have to employ front desk staff, insurance verification staff, billing staff, or collection agencies.

This translates to:

  • Often,

lower charges for course of Physical Therapy

  • Knowing your cost of care up front.

  • All care with a Physical Therapist.

If someone has not met their deductible yet, it may be significantly less costly vs using insurance based Physical Therapy.

“Physical Therapy Studio keeping active people active, healthy and mobile”.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently? I would have gone with a specialized company for a website template and to boost my google ranking.Doing all aspects of the business is at times daunting. It is better to focus on what matters, do what you do well and enjoy the journey.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 11573 Kelsey street Studio City CA 91604

  • Website:

  • Phone: (818) 535-8661

  • Email:

  • Facebook: Physical Therapy Studio

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