“I get to know my clients and use various aspects of modalities that tailor the work to fit the individual.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I found my passion for mental health while at NYU where I graduated with a BA in psychology and minors in children and adolescent mental health and anthropology. I began to work as a crisis counselor at a call center, which allowed me to sharpen my counseling skills with young adults and older adults and become knowledgeable of the resources throughout New York City. Once I felt that social work was the right fit for me, I went on to obtain my master’s degree from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. I have worked as a forensic social worker in a criminal justice program with young adults and older adults, assisting in finding alternatives to incarceration. I have worked with unaccompanied minors and addressed the difficulties of reunification with family members. And I have worked with young adults who have struggled to find their way, manage their anxiety, build their self-esteem, and establish healthy relationships.
What should someone know about working with you?
I hope that I have the pleasure of working with you and helping you work through these very real and difficult aspects of life while guiding you in finding the tools that work for you. I do not focus on using only one modality (as individuals are not all the same) and I do not hold the expectation that any treatment modality is one-size-fits-all. Rather, I get to know my clients and use various aspects of modalities that tailor the work to fit the individual. I strongly believe that by doing so, I can successfully engage my clients and help them feel seen, heard, and safe in the work we do together. For clients who are bilingual (English/Spanish), I encourage them to express themselves as they feel comfortable, in English, Spanish, or Spanglish! I do not shy away from reflecting on how culture and upbringing also affect our views/perceptions of mental health and the relationships/expectations we have for ourselves and others.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
We cannot ignore that culture plays a role in preventing many from seeking treatment. Many grew up hearing, as I often did, that seeking mental health treatment was the equivalent of "being crazy" or they were questioned as to why they would seek mental health treatment when family or individual problems are dealt with privately and not told to a stranger. Growing up in a Mexican family, these were not statements that were rare to hear, but they motivated me to push beyond these views and challenge myself to take on a different and healthier approach to my mental health. It is my hope now that I can provide a space that allows open discussion of how culture affects our view and understanding of the importance of mental health and our willingness to seek mental health services, especially with all the complexities life brings.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
Perhaps like many people, I questioned how effective telehealth therapy could be and was stuck in a view that therapy could only work if it were in person. During the pandemic, I was challenged and pleasantly surprised by the benefits of telehealth therapy. With how busy life is and the barriers we can face getting to sessions, telehealth allows you to be able to have your session in the comfort of your home, your car, or your office, making this service accessible to so many. It allows for an easier engagement as you are in a place that feels right to you.
“I strongly believe that by doing so, I can successfully engage my clients and help them feel seen, heard, and safe in the work we do together.”