For starters, I'm born and raised here in Austin, Texas (a 5th generation Austinite actually!) which means there's no shortage of "y'alls" in my therapy office. While most of my life has been in Texas, it was during my four years living in Seattle that I discovered and cultivated my passion for working within marginalized communities through a career in social work and youth development.
My ultimate goal is to make counseling feel safe and approachable for as many people as possible, especially those who feel that the face of mental health doesn't reflect or welcome their experience. If I can help to reduce the negative stigma around mental health, especially for communities of color, so that people feel free to show their authentic self in relationship and ask for support when they need it, I will have done my job.
I've been told my counseling "vibe" is very warm, down to earth and calming. One of the first things I'll generally say to my clients is "how nervous are you right now?" because I like to acknowledge off the bat that beginning counseling can be scary and I'm a total stranger to them! I love meeting clients where they're at and normalizing the anxiety and feelings of "what the heck am I doing here!?!?" that they may feel when first stepping into my office. I also believe you don't have to be in crisis to seek support. Why wait until your teen is running away three times a week or your relationship is on the brink of ending? Why not give yourself the space to work through some of your questions and struggles before they reach the boiling point? And you may be thinking, "my life isn't as bad as others, so why am I struggling so much?" Because life is hard. It's beautiful, but it's filled with tough moments that sometimes we just can't shake on our own. I'd invite you to consider that a life transition or simply just feelings of "something is missing" are reason enough to start on the path of self-care.
I also specialize in culturally responsive counseling. What's that mean exactly? I'm glad you asked! It means that I will acknowledge your experience of the world as your truth and in our work together we may consider the impact of the stories that society tells about who you are or who you should be. This really allows for deep exploration of cultural identity, systemic oppression, acknowledgment of privilege and more as we work towards a stronger sense of self and define what it means to truly belong.