My primary goal in working in mental health is to put myself out of a job. Given that each of us intrinsically know what we need to heal and grow, my approach to psychotherapy is to couple your expertise of being you – your reality and lived experiences – with my skillset, in order to collaboratively work towards achieving your goals. Rather than leading, I walk alongside you in our work together, refining the techniques that you bring with you to therapy and teaching you new ones, so that you learn to become your own therapist.
As a first-generation, pansexual/queer, child of Filipinx and Jamaican immigrants, feminine-of-center being who grew up in a military family, I understand the importance of being seen in all of our intersecting identities, and the relief that comes when someone “just gets it”. Through a culturally-affirming and healing-centered stance, I utilize evidence-based treatments to facilitate our work. My primary therapeutic approach is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which centers mindfulness; ACT allows us to foster compassion, bravery, and commitment to self in the service of living a full and enriched life, in spite of the discomfort, pain, and challenges which arise while trying to live it. I have also been extensively trained and supervised in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), and Prolonged Exposure (PE). Additionally, I am a certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) provider.
Since obtaining my Master of Social Welfare degree (MSW) from UCLA in 2016, I’ve provided psychotherapy in community mental health settings, worked as a medical social worker, done project coordination for Los Angeles County by disseminating evidence-based therapeutic modalities to mental health providers from a culturally-affirming stance – given that change also needs to occur at a systems-level to sustain our individual healing and growth, this allowed me to disrupt colonial systems and practices rooted in oppression – and served as an intergroup dialogue facilitator in response to marginalization and race-based trauma. Presently, I work in the wellness coaching & consulting space, by providing trauma-informed resilience coaching for individuals and organizations working on the digital frontlines.
Most people come to the mental health field to help others heal and get healed themself. Outside of my own therapy, other ways I heal look like recipe testing baked goods in my kitchen, convincing myself that there’s no such thing as “too many” plants and subsequently becoming overwhelmed when I get home and have to figure out where I can fit *another* plant, curled up on my couch watching anime and conspiracy theory documentaries, trying to figure out which planet conjuncts my eighth house, and (most likely on the ground, hurt laughing) re-learning how to roller-skate, which is much more challenging than I remember it being.