“I currently work in private practice as a licensed therapist, consult for organizations, write, and make my own art, which includes prints, graphics, and mixed media.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I’ve had an untraditional journey to this point in my career. After graduating from high school with zero college options, I decided to work full-time in theater arts. My mentors encouraged me to return to school and explore a career in the helping professions, so I enrolled at Pasadena City College and then transferred to UC Berkeley. Shortly after graduating from Cal, I moved to Providence, Rhode Island where I became part of vibrant arts and nonprofit youth development communities. Those experiences cemented my decision to earn an MSW at Rhode Island College. Since those early days of working in theater, I’ve held many jobs directly supporting others, including former gang members; foster youth; undergraduate, graduate, and medical students; community organizers; social justice workers; and early career professionals. I currently work in private practice as a licensed therapist, consult for organizations, write, and make my own art, which includes prints, graphics, and mixed media.
What should someone know about working with you?
I consider it a privilege to join people committed to vulnerable and courageous healing journeys. I aim to have sessions with clients that feel grounded and conversational, where it’s okay to cry and laugh in the same breath, and I want people to feel safe enough to be their whole, authentic selves. I like the philosophy that I learned while working with Indigenous community healers in New Mexico: “I do not heal people; I join people as they discover their inner healer.” I have worked with a diverse population of clients that include (but is not limited to) people new to therapy and counseling; professionals navigating stressful and harmful work environments; transfer, college, graduate, and medical students; people exploring aspects of their identity (racial, sexual, gender, class, spiritual, etc.); and people striving to live in tune with social justice values.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, and my parents migrated from Michoacán, México in the 70s. I identify as a Chicano/Latinx, queer, cis-male, first-generation college student and come from a low-income background. As someone who has often felt excluded and unwelcome because of who I am or where I come from, I make it a point to make everyone I work with feel safe being who they are, taking risks, opening up to challenges, and trusting their own wisdom.
“I aim to have sessions with clients that feel grounded and conversational, where it’s okay to cry and laugh in the same breath, and I want people to feel safe enough to be their whole, authentic selves.”