Have you experienced something stressful or traumatic throughout your childhood that maybe you haven't felt like telling anyone or would like to begin the process of healing from?
Folks who have experienced childhood trauma may experience complex post traumatic symptoms (C-PTS) that show up in life through patterns in our relationships. Any event that we experienced to be painful and stressful can continue to stay with us throughout our lives. This can cause us to wonder why certain patterns show up with our friendships or romantic partners and leave us feeling ashamed, confused, or even misunderstood. Therapy can be a place where you can begin the process of learning about how this experience has impacted you and the way you navigate relationships. You can gain self awareness in order to improve your mental health and over all well being. When working with folks who have had to constantly take the temperature when walking into a room full of people, I often focus on acknowledging the past and what we have experienced in our upbringing while understanding how that's showing up in the present day. Sometimes this may include building a strong rapport and relationship in the beginning of therapy in order to re-establish what it feels like to experience safety, trust, calm, and validation. You don't have to carry secrets or issues alone. There is support here for you!
How do you know your therapist is actually affirming?
2SLGBTQIA+ mental health goes beyond identification and authentic self. Affirming therapy understands that our intersectionality shapes and informs the complexities of what we experience as 2SLGBTQIA+. Recognizing the real lived experiences of what it means to face adversity daily and historically while reminding ourselves of the colonial burden of "coming out" is not always safe or meant for us right now.
Culturally affirming mental health services for first generation children of immigrant parents. Having this bi-cultural experience can often feel like being the unofficial therapist of the family. You might experience an expectation of continuing on your family's name and making your parents feel proud for all they worked hard to give you. You might also experience a clash in the way you see the world that is outside of your parent's perspective and narratives. Growing up as first generation and diaspora has been an isolated experience in itself for me, especially as a mixed identified therapist. Not seeing yourself represented in mainstream media can cause one to lack a sense of identity, worth, and belonging. We may also feel burdened with this identity as it may feel as though our more "American" self feels like betraying our family and culture at times.
Many of the clients I have worked with for the past several years are of Latin and Asian descent. A lot of client's share about wanting to work with a therapist who understands the cultural aspects of day to day life and the expectations faced. It's not as simple as, "setting boundaries" and sometimes we simply don't want to. The space that I offer is validation in the challenges you have overcomes despite being told so many things. I offer a space where you can bring all of these identities in and share about how they have impacted you. Understanding how we can co-exist with these complexities is something that can be helpful with a therapist that simply "gets it".
Has your relationship experienced a significant rupture or possibly an infidelity? Navigating relationships in today's culture is even harder than before. Combine this with our own lived experiences and trauma, it takes time! Building trust, safety, tools on how to repair is a significant and important process. And! This process is not just for married or co-cohabiting relationships. Couples therapy can also be for relationships that are committed to one another. For folks who want to do the work together in understanding how they can show up in their relationship and work as a team. I have experience working with couples who have experienced infidelity, couple's exploring an open relationship, and couples from different cultural backgrounds. In the work that I do would couples, I focus on how the relationship can become a safe container for each partner.
Mindfulness practices are rooted in meditative traditions and are most commonly linked to Buddhist practices. Buddhist philosophy believes in The Four Noble Truths in order to cultivate a deeper personal understanding and how we experience ourselves and others. Sessions where I offer mindfulness practices include: deep breathing exercises, grounding techniques, guided meditations, emotional awareness of parts within us, sound healing, and the neuroscience behind the benefits of mindfulness and it's impact on our body. Mindfulness is shown to impact human functioning, improve the quality of sleep/attention/focus, impact interpersonal behavior, and build compassion and empathy. Folks who seek to improve their self esteem, interpersonal relationships, and self regulation due to past trauma or lived experiences may find these practices and tools to be empowering in their process of healing.
As a licensed marriage and family therapist, I have been educated and trained in a wide variety of systemic approaches. As an infant therapist, I was trained in working with clients from a Cognitive-Behavioral or evidence based lens. However, as I continued to grow, I recognized the limitations the appropriated approaches to mental health had when working with clients in real life, outside of a textbook. I have learned, over several years of working with my clients, that it takes a wide range of approaches and styles to help support humans in their remembering journey and coming home to themselves. Techniques and approaches I lean on and utilize throughout the process of therapy may come from Experiential Models, Internal Family Systems (IFS), Narrative Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Therapy, and Common Factors. However, the most impactful intervention that has led to powerful moments in session and life altering outcomes is the impact my healing has had on me as a human being. I believe that a mental health provider can only go as deeply with clients as they have gone with themselves. This is why it is important to me that my clients feel like our work together is meaningful and that they trust the human sitting across from them. When working with me, my hope is that you feel seen, safe, trust, and like you belong here.
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