“You will be provided with tools during each session to help you deal with distressing symptoms as we work toward healing the root cause of what brings you to therapy.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist? What inspired you to choose this profession?
I grew up in a community filled with violence and found myself drawn to conflict mediation ever since I was in middle school. I’ve witnessed many horrible scenes ranging from domestic violence and drug misuse, to family separation and gang violence. I received my bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and became an activist with a feminist organization called Gabriela Network, now called AF3IRM. When choosing between a career in law or social work, a dream led me to study social work at Columbia University. There, I worked with incarcerated youth through direct service, administration, and also in the policy field. I found that therapy was my passion and thus pursued a career that allows me to help individuals rise toward their best selves.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
Together we will uncover the personal and relational struggles that led you to seek help. You will be provided with tools during each session to help you deal with distressing symptoms as we work toward healing the root cause of what brings you to therapy. During sessions, I take a holistic approach in discussing the impacts of mental health on the body and ways to improve overall health. The commitment you have to your mental wellbeing will shape the rest of your life and I am here to support you in being your best self.
What do you think is the biggest barrier today for people seeking care?
I find that the barrier to seeking care is fear: fear that therapy won’t work, fear that one will be judged for seeking help, fear of losing time, fear of addressing the root causes of the pain or distress. I will hold the space for you to be present with yourself to explore these fears with patience, support, compassion, and respect. You will then discover how caring for your emotional and mental wellbeing impacts your life in a positive way.
If there was one thing you wish people knew about the therapy experience who might be hesitant to try it, what would that be?
Our emotional and mental health impact everything that we do and how we move in the world. It is vital that we care for ourselves by reaching out for help to gain coping mechanisms in order to solve the problems that get in the way of daily functioning. I have seen the improvement in people's lives and know that it works.
If you could pick one or two books that influenced your approach to therapy what would they be and why?
"Women Who Run With the Wolves" by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D. uses a style of storytelling and myths to address many issues that women face, like body image, finding intimate love, finding one’s purpose, recognizing signs of abuse, choosing relationships, developing one’s intuition, choosing the right career path, and more. This book has helped many of my clients gain insight and tools to find empowerment in their own lives. "The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma" by Bessel van der Kolk discusses trauma in a nuanced way and provides tools on how to heal from trauma. This book is wonderful in providing psychoeducation and practices clients can use to heal debilitating symptoms of trauma such as flashbacks, hypervigilance, and feelings of numbness.
“I will hold the space for you to be present with yourself to explore these fears with patience, support, compassion, and respect.”