About My Approach / Training Background
You might not have gone to counseling before so the idea of coming in to see a therapist and share what is on your mind can be scary. It might be difficult to share how you feel with friends and family, so being vulnerable to someone you do not know can feel like a stretch.
While all of these feelings are normal, its also important to know that pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zones is when change happens. So maybe counseling is the next step for you in moving toward what you want most.
For many, taking this next courageous step is something they feel has been worth it. It has given them a greater sense of who they are because they are not afraid to strive for more. They know they deserve to be happy in life, love and in their relationships.
About Me / My Services Q & A
What experience do you have?
I have worked as a therapist for the past ten years in many settings. That includes working at a non-profit agency, in schools, and in private practice. Before becoming a therapist, I worked as a teacher’s assistant and was also a behavioral coach for children with special needs.
I have also run court-ordered batterer’s intervention groups with Los Angeles County probation department. Working with the courts and in rehabilitating perpetrators of domestic violence was rewarding work where I gained a lot of experience. During that time I also provided counseling to victims of domestic violence and their families.
Do you have a degree?
Yes, I have a Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology with a Specialization in Latino Counseling.
(I have a Latina and Italian background and felt it was really important for me to take additional courses so that I could provide comprehensive support to those in these communities.)
What do people come in to see you for the most?
Most of the time, clients come in to see me because they are feeling burn-out, stressed out and overwhelmed from all of their obligations and responsibilities. It is as if they are treading water and do not have enough time to stop to catch their breath.
They also are short on time and are finding it difficult to rest and take care of themselves to manage their stress and take care of their health. There is always something to do and someone they need to take care of which means that the needs of others is taking priority over their own needs.
It feels like they are burning the candle at both ends and they know that they won’t be able to keep up this pace for much longer.
Many of these clients also have medical conditions which adds to the daily challenges they face.
How can you help me?
I offer you a safe, confidential and supportive experience (either in the office or online through video counseling) to talk about what is stressing you out the most. Just having that time where it is the two of us talking is oftentimes what brings immediate relief.
I listen to what is causing you the most distress and we work together in a way that gives you resources, support, and understanding. That may include handouts and stress management exercises to use in between sessions. We may even come up with an action plan for the week that lays out specific steps and mini-goals to help you stay on track and work towards your therapy goals.
What is your therapeutic style?
My approach is interactive and provides both structure and focus. The direction we move into is a collaborative process because your input and feedback are valuable.
I also make sure to check in with you each session to make sure we are on the same page and that the therapy approaches I am using are helpful to you.
Common therapy approaches I use include addressing and challenging unhelpful thoughts and beliefs, using mindfulness based practices, introducing coping skills exercises and exploring self compassion.
I enjoy sharing tips, tools and educational information to help you feel empowered and supported throughout the therapy process. The goal is that these approaches will give you the skills needed to better cope and manage on your own when challenging situations arise.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about supporting those with chronic pain and illness because I live with health conditions and chronic pain myself. My passion is to offer you the support and understanding I actively sought out but was not able to get, when I was seeking out my own chronic illness therapist.
My hope is to be that therapist for you. I want you to be able to feel like I have a close understanding of what it is you are going through with your chronic illness and pain. I want you to feel like I get it and understand where you are coming from when you share your experiences with me.
This is also why I offer presentations in the community. Presenting on topics including chronic illness, chronic pain, sleep strategies, caregiver support, mindfulness and pain management are my way of sharing what I have learned with you. I provide information based on my experiences both as a therapist and as a chronic pain patient.
I have presented multiple times this year on ways to manage chronic pain and stress and I look forward to more opportunities to share this knowledge with the public.
I have also spoken about stress, anxiety, chronic illness, chronic pain and online counseling on several podcasts. I have links to many of those interviews on my media page. You can find a those podcast talks here and here.
I am an animal lover who was born and raised in Southern California. I love the beach, being outside in nature and going on hikes when I can.
I have an amazing family and supportive friends; many of which are therapists too. I have an adorable cat who acts more like a dog and is very mellow and loving.
When I am not providing therapy or spending time with loved ones, I am busy connecting with other health care practitioners in the community, writing blogs, creating videos on my YouTube channel and developing programs focused on health and wellness.