“My greatest assets are my kindness and ability to fully engage with my clients almost immediately.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I knew what I wanted to do when I took my first psychology class in high school. After completing college, I joined the military in 1985 when they offered me a career in psychology. For the next five years, I worked in industrial/organizational psychology while I went to school at night to earn my master's in counseling. I've always been the person people talked to when they had problems, and I've always enjoyed listening. My greatest assets are my kindness and ability to fully engage with my clients almost immediately. Coming from a family with a history of mental illness helps me identify with my clients and understand their concerns and problems.
What should someone know about working with you?
My intake process includes forms to be filled out electronically. Some forms are consent forms for providing therapy and others provide me with your background information. Sometimes, I use surveys to measure progress, but I usually gauge progress by asking you questions. I sometimes assign homework, especially when we are working to change negative thought patterns or implement relaxation methods. I especially enjoy working with young adults and couples, but I have a strong background in working with depression, anxiety, bipolar illness, and trauma at any age.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I read a lot of professional books and enjoy continuing education in EMDR, couples therapy, and sex therapy. I'm interested in internal family systems and somatic therapies at this point in my life. There's always so much to learn! I'm currently reading about attachment theory to brush up on my knowledge. I often collaborate with therapist friends and attend professional meetings.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
I've worked with diverse populations, from women and men who've been sexually assaulted to marital counseling for gay couples. I've experienced severe trauma in my own life and had brushes with mental health issues related to it. Consequently, I have an understanding of the issues that arise with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Living in a city that was majority Hispanic for 35 years and being of service to many non-white clients allows me to recognize the importance of sensitivity toward other populations. I cultivate this by reading, listening to interviews on podcasts, and watching related television programs.
“I especially enjoy working with young adults and couples, but I have a strong background in working with depression, anxiety, bipolar illness, and trauma at any age.”