“I hope to be the listening ear for those who are still struggling to find their voices and my goal is to empower folks to recognize little ways to improve their lives regardless of their backgrounds.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
One of the driving factors that led me to become a therapist was the hard realization that there weren’t many therapists who looked like me or shared my background. Mental health is rarely acknowledged in many immigrant communities and was heavily dismissed by my Filipino-American family. I hope to be the listening ear for those who are still struggling to find their voices and my goal is to empower folks to recognize little ways to improve their lives regardless of their backgrounds. I’ve had experience in a range of adult populations, working with sex offenders, those with substance abuse, severely mentally ill clients, people living with HIV, clients challenged by life changes, those experiencing interpersonal difficulties, and clients with depression or anxiety related to racial identity conflicts.
What should someone know about working with you?
To me, therapy is a space that’s created by the client to explore, challenge, and affirm themselves while the therapist is there to gently guide them on their journey. I take a very integrative approach to therapy. I like beginning by collecting a client’s history and then building upon what brings them to the therapy chair. I believe that goals are ever-changing and I love chatting about them every session. I like offering literature, daily tasks, or simple exercises to explore during the next session or whenever the client is open to it. Progress looks like a shift in perspective and being better able to spot the successes over the pitfalls.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
My upbringing and life experiences have taught me that it’s truly up to us to take care of ourselves; when we take care of ourselves, we take care of everyone around us. My upbringing has taught me that collectivism is an essential part of Filipino culture while the American society I was raised in prioritizes individualism. I find that my core value is acknowledging and respecting that both can exist. No matter what someone is coming into therapy with, respect and patience are key.
“To me, therapy is a space that’s created by the client to explore, challenge, and affirm themselves while the therapist is there to gently guide them on their journey.”