Asking for help and the process of finding a therapist is often frightening or at a minimum, uncomfortable, especially if you are trying therapy for the first time. Reasonable questions: How can anyone help me? What will I have to do or say? To help ease any initial anxiety, yes, there are a few routine assessments and procedures, but we will go over these in the first meeting. I will spend as much time as you need explaining the purpose and answering any questions you may have about expectations. This experience is all about you, your needs, and your goals; that will be the focus of our first meeting and every meeting following. My only aim is to create a safe space for you to be open without fear of judgement. Many people who come to therapy already feel judged—mostly by themselves, but sometimes by their peers, spouses, employers, neighbors, and, sometimes, society at large. Also, all of us have been given plenty of advice, most of the time unsolicited. My role as a therapist is not to provide advice and especially not judgement, but to provide sincere empathy, attention, acceptance, and encouragement. My aim is to understand how you define a healthy mentality. Together we will develop, begin, and continue a process of practicing mental health until you feel comfortable with that process on your own.
In my opinion mental health is not a destination, but a process you choose and then use in the pursuit of your chosen goals. In other words, to use a clichéd therapy metaphor: mental health is a journey, but mental health is your driving skill, not your destination. You are the driver; I am not the chauffeur, but rather a passenger with a few different maps. The journey (or process) is yours, but as a passenger I provide support, alternative routes, and sometimes just an ear or recommendations for a good soundtrack. The journey is yours and should feel personal and meaningful.
Your experience of therapy matters more than any objective therapy measurements. All therapy, in a fundamental sense, is self-therapy. If it is not working for you, then there is no point. As the old joke goes: How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Several (because all therapists want to feel helpful), but the light bulb has to want to change. And yes, humor, even bad humor, belongs in good therapy.
A little about me … since I was a teenager, I have been in professional roles that have allowed me to work with people who have been ignored, neglected, and judged, in other words, marginalized. I did not intentionally seek a “helping” path, but in hindsight realize I am pulled towards life stories with struggles because that is my story and because those stories more than others bare raw honesty and often profound strength. I specialize in addressing trauma and have experience working directly with marginalized populations, but I am open to working with anyone who is simply looking for someone to walk with them through their mental health journey. I love reading autobiographies and (embarrassingly) self-help books. I enjoy all genres of music but have found there is never a mood in which Willie Nelson does not soothe.
I am a graduate of The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) with a master’s degree in Social Work and I currently hold a license as a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in the state of Texas and I am in my second year of clinical supervision.
I look forward to working with anyone who made it through this entire bio and is still interested in partnering through the process of mental health.