“I work hard to decrease stigma in many communities; going to therapy is brave and it takes courage to share.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I worked in the nonprofit world for many years and had a career as an advocate for women's health. I was motivated to pursue a social work degree to improve connections between health and mental health. I work hard to decrease stigma in many communities; going to therapy is brave and it takes courage to share.
What should someone know about working with you?
When I meet the client for the first time, we get to know each other. I encourage clients to interview me, as this is a two-sided relationship and we both should be invested. I will contract with the client to address agreed-upon goals. If we are not the right fit, I will do my best to provide referrals to my colleagues. I hope we can use this alliance as a model to build healthy attachments and interactions in the client’s real life.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I build competencies in a variety of ways. I rely on resources, which can enhance a client’s support system. I assist clients in meeting challenges by encouraging them to never give up and encouraging them to optimize their self-care so they can be resilient and persistent. I take classes and training frequently, so I understand how to convey new tools to clients.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
I was brought up with a strong sense of justice and I love working with all individuals. If I don't know something, I will actively listen to the client to get their view. I will also obtain a general, Wikipedia-like education in the client’s culture and identity. I network with therapists who specialize in specific cultures and communities to best serve my clients. I respect differences so that we can connect and co-regulate in our work together. I believe that my values assist me in respecting the values, concerns, and protective at-risk factors of a client’s identity.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
The pandemic taught me not to apologize for my limitations. Connection and co-regulation, bonding, and meeting goals are all possible through technology. I am capable of making eye contact, providing empathy, and making a person feel supported and less alone even via technology.
“I assist clients in meeting challenges by encouraging them to never give up and encouraging them to optimize their self-care so they can be resilient and persistent.”