As with many origin stories, my upbringing was not conducive to a thriving environment. Although I often romanticize my experience growing up in LA during the 1970s and 80s, with a single mother and high school near the beach, my mother's struggle with mental health meant that she relied on my grandparents for support. My maternal grandmother from Boston did all she could, but she also had to care for her paraplegic Mexican-American husband. These early experiences instilled in me certain principles that continue to guide my private practice today. Firstly, education has always been of great importance to me. Secondly, mental health and wellness are rooted in both our individual health and our family health. Lastly, my time living in South Korea as an English teacher taught me that mental wellness is also rooted in culture.
These experiences set the tone for my career as an educational professional in secondary and higher education. As a teacher and admissions officer, the common denominator was always listening to others. Understanding another's story was essential to these jobs, and ultimately empathizing with the mental and emotional health issues influencing their lives and relationships changed me. Finally, in my late 30s, I began a journey that took over a decade to complete. In 2015, I completed my Ph.D., and in 2021, I became a licensed clinical psychologist.
Today, I start my day like many others, with a cup of home-brewed coffee and gratitude towards living my dream of responding to my inner call and helping others find theirs.