“Therapy isn’t about becoming perfect or pretending to have it all together; it’s a way to engage with your humanity (and your life) in a way that honors who you are and what you love and value most.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
My path to becoming a therapist was organic. It was a response to growing up in a chaotic and unstable environment in the “hood”. As a kid, I instinctively knew that, in order to survive, I had to make sense of my lived experience. At 13, I became curious about human behavior (including my own) and I delved into journal writing, which allowed me to develop a profound level of self-awareness and gave me some clarity about the state of humanity. That ultimately led me down the path of further exploration, which evolved into years of therapy and transformational work and manifested itself in various ways. Hence, I bring years of insight into my therapy sessions and I’ve developed a skill set that allows me to see people.
What should someone know about working with you?
As a therapist, I know and understand that most people seek mental health services as a response to something negative they’re dealing with in their lives. They tend to see therapy as an opportunity to fix themselves (or their lives). However, I see therapy as an opportunity to practice self-mastery. Therapy isn’t about becoming perfect or pretending to have it all together; it’s a way to engage with your humanity (and your life) in a way that honors who you are and what you love and value most. Whatever feels negative can be challenged and pushed toward growth, development, and empowerment. It might sound corny, but practicing self-mastery — and eventually achieving it — is the greatest asset any human being can possess, especially in a world that does not celebrate all of us. Self-mastery is the key to being liberated from the pain and suffering we sometimes get caught up in.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
As an Afro Boricua (Black Puerto Rican), one of my most important core values is social justice. Considering the fact that we live in a society that is tainted by white supremacy, I know and understand that Black and Brown folk are oftentimes confronted by layers of oppression that prevent us from becoming the best version of ourselves. This is a social justice issue. To be given the tools to work toward becoming the best version of ourselves is among the ways we transcend the odds that are stacked against us. This does not exist in a victimization context but inside an anti-racist one.
“Self-mastery is the key to being liberated from the pain and suffering we sometimes get caught up in.”