What led you to become a mental healthcare practitioner?
Initially, I wanted to become a service coordinator at a Regional Center because one of my brothers is developmentally disabled, and he was a client of the Harbor Regional Center in Los Angeles. I saw how helpful all the different Regional Center social workers were to our family and this inspired me to become a social worker.
Later, I changed my path to become a psychotherapist because I enjoyed the process of helping people get through difficult mental health challenges. After witnessing how significantly peoples’ lives were changed for the better through having mental health services, I blend skills from both disciplines and strive to make the same impact.
How do you approach diversity in the room or working with clients who may come from a different background than you?
Being that I worked with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health for many years, I have extensive experience working with people who are from different cultural backgrounds than me. I am inclined to address cultural differences upfront in an open and compassionate way.
I invite you to tell me about how things are in your culture, how those things have influenced your beliefs and behaviors, and whether you have any concerns about working with someone who is of a different culture from yours.
I truly believe in openly discussing difficult issues ingenuously; acknowledging and allowing space for differences to exist in the same place without shame or judgment.
How will our relationship be different than relationships I have with friends/loved ones?
We have a therapeutic relationship where I have no subjective opinion about your life choices, your thoughts, or your emotions; unlike friends and loved ones. I can be seen as a benevolent guide who will openly and honestly help you process difficult feelings; helping you identify barriers that keep you from what you want out of your life, providing encouragement in your process of creating solutions for improving the quality of your life circumstances.
How much do you share about yourself during our time together and why?
Primarily, I keep most information about my personal life private. There may be times during our time together that there is a clinical reason to share personal information, for example in a situation where it helps you relate with me more as your therapist or if the information applies to help you understand more clearly something you are learning about coping skills and how to implement these skills into your life.