“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” – Cynthia Occelli
Sometimes we might feel like we’re falling apart, like we’re so broken, rotten, empty, or planted in such hostile soil that relief is impossible. Becoming a therapist has shown me the other side of the struggle – that while the healing process can be intense or confusing, it is also rewarding and liberating. I feel fortunate to be able to use my skills to empower others whose challenges have overwhelmed their typical ways of dealing with difficulties, and to enhance competence, peace, strength, healing, and acceptance. Therapy is a safe place where we bear witness to what has happened, learn skills to make desired changes, and envision becoming our best selves.
My style is creative, collaborative, and directive. I do best with clients looking for an actively involved clinician. I excel at facilitating others to access hope and visualize healing, empowering you to confront the biggest, baddest wolves in your life, whenever you’re ready. I specialize in treating problems rooted in intense experiences. Sometimes what we learn to do to survive a situation ends up creating problems for us later on. We will work together to uncover what is holding you back and develop the skills you need to live a rich, full life.
I use a strengths-based approach that enhances skills you already use, mixed with a variety of evidence-based therapeutic techniques. Rather than just one technique, I tailor my sessions to meet my clients’ needs. I often utilize body-centered techniques with my clients to alleviate physical symptoms of stress.
The majority of clients I have worked with have been impacted by trauma and/or systemic oppression, including gang-affiliated teens, LGBTQIAP and TGNC folks, immigrants, Latinx, African Americans, and low-income people. I’ve developed into a therapist who values each facet of one’s identity, both the privileged and oppressed parts of ourselves, and how they work together to affect one’s life within systems of oppression and privilege. This development has run parallel to my development as a community organizer.
I’ve provided individual, group, and family psychotherapy in English and Spanish in a variety of settings (private practice, community health, hospital, school, foster care, grassroots organization, large nonprofit). No matter where I’ve been, my focus is always on the person in front of me.
Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, 2015
MA (MSW equivalent)
University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration, 2012
BA in Spanish
The Ohio State University, 2007