“My creative side has helped me adapt traditional Eurocentric treatments so that they can be more relevant and beneficial to my Black and Latinx clients.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I have been in the social work field for over 20 years. I initially studied architecture and interior design. While interior design is still a hobby, I now take my creativity and use it in my work with clients. My creative side has helped me adapt traditional Eurocentric treatments so that they can be more relevant and beneficial to my Black and Latinx clients. I choose to work with these populations because I identify as Afro-Latina and it is my passion to provide quality and accessible services to my people. My goal is to reduce the stigma around mental illness and show my clients that they don't always have to be strong for others. Getting help for yourself is the greatest sign of strength!
What should someone know about working with you?
My virtual therapy practice has been in existence since 2015, well before the pandemic. My intake and therapy process is very similar to what I did in person. Clients sometimes choose to have a free 15-minute consultation to get to know me and see if we are a good fit. From there, they schedule a one-hour intake appointment, which could take several sessions depending on how detailed the client's answers are. After the intake is complete, we work together on treatment goals (no more than two goals to make sure the client doesn't get overwhelmed). My style is to be transparent and act as an accountability partner; I will "call you out" on self-sabotaging behaviors and negative thoughts and point out when you are calling yourself negative names. I will encourage you to use your voice, speak your truth, and live your dreams. I view you as the expert of your life and I am here to guide you. I will help you find the strategies and answers that are right for you.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I participate in continuing education related to trauma treatments. I am a certified clinical trauma professional and certified in cognitive processing therapy. I’m pursuing certification in racial trauma treatment.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
My upbringing has shown me that it is important as an Afro-Latina to be open about my struggles and to seek help from loved ones and professionals as needed. I learned that in order to help others, I have to help myself first. I learned that self-care is not selfish; it is self-full!
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
In my undergraduate program, I did research on exposure to community and domestic violence, resilience, and social support. That research was exciting because I studied young adults and how they persevere through adversity. It confirmed for me that becoming a social worker to help my people get professional support and support within their communities was crucial to survival and success.
“My style is to be transparent and act as an accountability partner; I will "call you out" on self-sabotaging behaviors and negative thoughts and point out when you are calling yourself negative names.”