“As we work together, progress is seen as forward movement in your personal development, growth, and ability to manage challenges.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I grew up as a Latina in an urban city where I thought crime was the only way to change my community. I entered my undergraduate program as a criminal justice major and I took an intro to social work course that opened my eyes to the many ways my community could be helped. Throughout my academic and professional career, I've always had my community in mind, which led me to work in outpatient clinics, residential treatment centers, homes, and academic settings providing a variety of psychotherapeutic and case management services. Trauma is prevalent in my community, which led me to complete institute training and become certified in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy with the CARES Institute at Rowan University's School of Medicine. I also pursued my doctorate in social welfare and clinical social work in order to continue enhancing my knowledge and practice trauma care with many populations.
What should someone know about working with you?
Upon working with me, I will ask you detailed questions about your background, history, and preferences for treatment. You are the expert of your own life and I try to gain as much insider knowledge for our work to be the most productive and meaningful to you. As we work together, progress is seen as forward movement in your personal development, growth, and ability to manage challenges. I occasionally assign homework and I enjoy working with clients who are willing to be (or learn to be) honest, transparent, and challenged. I appreciate shared power in our therapeutic relationship.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I am a voracious reader and learner. I am constantly reading books and looking for training in attempts to refine my craft. For example, I am interested in learning more about neuroscience and brain processes that influence what we do every day. I also ensure I am reaching out to my network and learning from them to get outside perspectives.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
I came from a family where mental health was not talked about and even now, there are still too few mental health professionals who are people of color. I engage in self-reflection every day and continue to learn from others. I truly believe that it is only through highlighting people's stories that our minds can be expanded. I hope to achieve that in my sessions with my clients as well.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
The pandemic highlighted disparities in mental health access and I am excited to see companies and websites stepping up to close this gap. Since mental health is at the forefront and increasingly discussed, I am interested to see how this impacts communities of color and the general quality of services that are received.
“I occasionally assign homework and I enjoy working with clients who are willing to be (or learn to be) honest, transparent, and challenged.”