“I chose a career in social work to gain the skills necessary to help enhance the quality of life in individuals suffering and to help them create the life they wish to live.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
During my senior year of high school in February of 2005, I had the privilege of traveling to South Africa to learn about the impact HIV and AIDS had on the population and its disproportionate effect on the persons of color residing there. This experience opened my eyes to the complexities of living with chronic medical conditions and the unique psychological impact HIV and AIDS have on people of color (not only in South Africa but also in the United States). I desired to learn more about this condition and developed a strong interest in HIV prevention. This eventually led to my work with children and adults living with HIV. In addition, quality of life has always been of great importance to me. I chose a career in social work to gain the skills necessary to help enhance the quality of life in individuals suffering and to help them create the life they wish to live. In addition to chronic health conditions, I have been drawn to working with individuals with anxiety and trauma.
What should someone know about working with you?
I am a therapist who believes every client has strengths. I like to start off by getting to know my clients, learning what his or her reason is for seeking therapy, and understanding the goals they wish to accomplish. I like to affirm my clients for having the courage to seek therapy as I know it is not an easy step to take. Together, we will develop a plan to achieve their goals and cultivate change. I encourage feedback from the client to learn what they find most helpful and I motivate them to execute what they learn in session outside of session through homework assignments.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
I strongly support the idea of self-care. In order to help take care of others, we must first have a method of taking care of ourselves. I value having a few self-care practices in my toolbox for moments of distress and when I am overwhelmed. This could be meditating for ten minutes, calling a friend, taking a mindful moment, or taking a nap. In session, I like to check in with clients on their self-care practices and help them think of new and realistic ways they can incorporate more self-care.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I look forward to an increase in education and awareness of mental health, especially in communities of color where the idea of seeking mental health treatment is often dismissed, not talked about, and stigmatized. I am excited to witness the shift in sensitivity toward mental health issues. This includes not being judged at work when you request to take a mental health day, primary care physicians taking time during their assessments to inquire about an individual’s mental health, and placing an emphasis on preventing mental illness by incorporating self-care, putting your mental health first, and focusing on enhancing quality of life.
“In session, I like to check in with clients on their self-care practices and help them think of new and realistic ways they can incorporate more self-care.”