“I am passionate about being a clinician and a change agent.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
Growing up in New York City helped me develop my clinical focus. As a Latina, I see that my community is still hesitant about seeking therapeutic services. I am passionate about being a clinician and a change agent. I worked in underserved communities for most of my career and I found that when I was treating children with ADHD or conduct disorders, it was crucial to have family therapy sessions in order to understand the dynamic of the family and to help guide the treatment.
What should someone know about working with you?
During my intake session, I collect psychosocial information that will give me a deeper understanding of a new client. I like to spend an hour to an hour and a half on the intake session. Ongoing sessions are used to build up a client’s treatment plan. The client will share things that they would like to work on and topics they want to prioritize. I use cognitive behavioral therapy and, within that framework, I use behavior activation, reframing, and journaling techniques. I am empathetic and flexible in the therapeutic process, which works to make the client feel comfortable during sessions.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
Collaboration with other providers enhances treatment with clients. I often collaborate with psychiatrists to explore the need for psychotropics, as therapy with medication management can support the positive outcomes of therapy. I’ve found that peer supervision is another way to collaborate with other providers, as exchanging ideas and clinical challenges with other therapists enriches the way I approach treatment with clients.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
Be open about the process. Therapy is an opportunity to do some self-searching. Discussing challenges that you confront on a daily basis will open up a conversation about what you can do differently to improve yourself, or you might learn that you are already doing things to improve yourself and may think about reframing your thought process.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am very excited that we can now reach our clients via virtual tools. This allows clients and therapists to be more flexible about when they can schedule therapy sessions. With scheduling conflicts arise, virtual therapy allows people to continue meeting to meet their clinical goals.
“Be open about the process. Therapy is an opportunity to do some self-searching.”