“I enjoy working with folks who challenge me and with people who are not afraid to explore the human condition within us all.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I was part of a family business and later became involved in developing community-focused projects. I was born in Portugal and identify with the immigrant experience and how deeply it affects folks from all backgrounds. Therapy helps a person adjust to a particular culture. I have extensive training in trauma and cultural adjustment and I have worked with people from various unique cultural backgrounds. I also have extensive experience in substance abuse within the harm reduction and motivational interviewing paradigms.
What should someone know about working with you?
I start with the person's motive(s) for seeking therapy and work my way into childhood memories and experiences. I enjoy working with folks who challenge me and with people who are not afraid to explore the human condition within us all. I enjoy developing a therapeutic alliance and working toward agreed upon goals, which can always be changed. I have found that most people do not complete assigned homework unless they are highly motivated for change. Most people start with some ambivalence and establishing trust is the homework I assign as folks are overworked as it is.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I continue to study various modalities, attend many conferences, and keep up with the current literature in the area of integrative healing. I am SIFI-certified and have found the experience of supervising students and colleagues very enriching.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I’m most excited by the fact that we no longer treat the body and the brain/mind separately and the mind/body connection is something we’re starting to explore.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
I have done research on the role of mindfulness in helping to prevent work burnout in social workers.
“I enjoy developing a therapeutic alliance and working toward agreed upon goals, which can always be changed.”