“With a trauma-informed approach, I work to develop a therapeutic relationship built on mutual trust, respect, and understanding.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
In 2008, I was working as the general manager of a food truck. When the recession hit, I lost my job and a friend of mine, who was working at a program for runaway and homeless youth and intravenous drug users, encouraged me to apply to work at the same program. I got the job and found it to be fulfilling and meaningful. It was the first job I had that brought out the best in me and encouraged me to grow. After four years in that role, I realized that I wanted to become a therapist and went back to school for my MSW degree. Since then, I've worked in a VA hospital, a health center, and an alternative to incarceration program. I've learned a lot from these experiences — about people, about trauma, about mental health, about systemic oppression, about resilience, but most of all, about people's amazing ability to make positive changes and heal when given the opportunity.
What should someone know about working with you?
I started this practice to give each individual I work with the time, attention, and compassion they deserve. I take a trauma-informed approach to developing a therapeutic relationship built on mutual trust, respect, and understanding. I know that for many of you, this relationship requires an anti-oppression practice that is identity-affirming and empowering for whoever you are and whoever you might become; I am committed to that practice. You’ve been yourself for your whole life and you know what works for you and what doesn’t. I want therapy to be something that works for you. I will tailor our sessions to who you are and what you need so that our time together encourages personal growth, healing, and positive changes that ripple out across your life.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I continue to attend formal trainings and workshops on trauma, spirituality, anti-oppression work, and an array of therapeutic modalities. These trainings help me to continue to grow personally and professionally, ultimately becoming a better therapist for my clients. I also attend events and trainings held by activists and community members so I can learn from perspectives outside the mental health field.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am most excited about the normalization of mental health issues and mental health services. We don’t live in a healthy society and most of us aren’t taught how to take care of our mental health. For many, even admitting that they might benefit from therapy can be a challenge and once they do, there can be a lot of barriers to accessing therapy. The more we can normalize this process, the more accessible we can make it. I'm also excited to see the growing effort to decolonize mental health services and train professionals such as myself on how to develop anti-oppression practices as an important part of therapy.
“I will tailor our sessions to who you are and what you need so that our time together encourages personal growth, healing, and positive changes that ripple out across your life.”