“My style of counseling is an accepting person-centered approach with a trauma-focused lens.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
Honestly, I was always the “good listener friend” in my circles growing up. My clinical experience has helped me refine myself into a humanistic mental health professional. This has come in handy in my work with children in foster care, families in South Florida, the mobile crisis unit in my county, and individual men and women going through varying times in their lives. My life, like yours, has also had lights, darks, loves, traumas, losses, transitions, and connections. I’ve learned that it's not necessary to go through life with the same negative thoughts, feelings of shame, memories, hurtful narratives, cultural biases, or unfit relationships. Life is meant to be lived every day, mindfully and vulnerably, with daily commitments to making it a safe place for ourselves. I utilize cognitive behavioral therapy and solution-focused techniques. My personal learning has centered around existential themes and mindfulness. I am also trained in heart-centered hypnotherapy.
What should someone know about working with you?
My style of counseling is an accepting person-centered approach with a trauma-focused lens. I believe in open communication with my clients so that we can confront what is stopping us from really enjoying the here-and-now. I most often utilize cognitive behavioral therapy and solution-focused techniques. My personal learning has centered around existential themes and practices of mindfulness. My experience has taught me to respect and advocate for the perspectives of humans from different cultures, races, backgrounds, genders, sexual identities, religions, ages, hardships, regions, and contexts through open cross-cultural dialogue. I do this by making a daily commitment to do the work of openly identifying my own biases and personal experiences of racial (and religious) trauma. I hope to help you do the same.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
As a provider and human being, I believe that we are always learning. In order to maintain ethical objectivity, I like to continue to train in different certifications and fields, challenge myself to work with different populations, and maintain open dialogues with my open-minded colleagues. My clients always get my best because of these things.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I feel that mental health awareness is reaching a general audience and becoming embraced by a diverse, younger generation that is starting to reject the lack of access to all people (or maybe I'm being optimistic?). This has moved me to practice mental health on my own in order to provide access to quality mental health services to all people and to advocate against any gatekeeping toward underserved populations.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
In my early studies, I provided assistance in research that analyzed the differences in development of youth from different social classes in South Florida. This experience taught me that youth and families from all walks of life have many similarities in human needs and desires (i.e., we're not as different as some of us may want to think!). This has informed the strategies I use to engage with my clients. In my professional experience, I’ve spoken to men, women, and children from all walks of life, from ones who reside in ranch style homes to ones who have to find quiet areas in parks to rest until they can plan their next move. I have learned that, although we all perceive life differently, we all strive for contentment.
“I believe in open communication with my clients so that we can confront what is stopping us from really enjoying the here-and-now.”