Life can be hard. It can be even harder when you feel like people hear you, but are not truly listening with empathic ears.
“In order to empathize with someone’s experience, you must be willing to believe them as they see it, and not how you imagine their experience to be.” ~ Brene Brown
If this quote resonates with you, I can help. It is a basic human need to feel heard, understood, and to have a sense of belonging. Some of us have support systems that help us get by, but we may need a little more. Or we may feel isolated and alone. I am confident that I can help to inspire self-discovery, challenge existing thoughts that might be getting in your way, and teach you skills and strategies that will help you live your most fulfilling life.
A social worker by training, I believe in treating the whole person, and I employ a holistic approach to therapy, respecting each person’s individual differences. My work is also guided by a strengths perspective, which places your strengths and potential at the center of your healing process, rather than solely focusing on your problem areas. Just by visiting this site, you are already demonstrating your strength. By having the courage to seek, and accept help, you are already advocating for yourself.
I can help you process your emotions and thoughts about your struggles. Whether your challenges are about life transitions, grief/loss, trauma, anxiety/depression, or the stressors of everyday life, I will provide you with concrete tools that will help you long after our sessions have ended. My universal goal for my clients is to help them achieve self-determination -- to have full power over their lives, and to take a leadership role in their own lives.
Have you been impacted by cancer? Are you living with cancer or have a relative or friend currently living with cancer? Have you lost someone to cancer? In my own life, I can answer yes to all of these questions. Caring for loved ones and losing one to cancer has guided my passion for working with those that have had similar experiences. I specialize in providing individual therapy and facilitating support groups for people who are newly diagnosed, currently in treatment, experiencing metastatic cancer, are cancer survivors, and those who are caregivers for people living with cancer or have lost someone to cancer. I also work with clients experiencing other types of chronic illnesses, grief and loss. I work with adults, young adults, teens and families. I use integrated principles from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic Therapy, Strengths-based Therapy, Personal-Centered Therapy, motivational interviewing, and other modalities.
As a Latinx woman, I provide a safe space for people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and those in underrepresented and marginalized groups.
Education and Employment:
I received a B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Indiana University in Bloomington. While there, I conducted an independent research project on the social and emotional effects of parental bereavement in childhood, and continued this research during my graduate studies.
I obtained my Master's in Social Work at the University of Kentucky, with a concentration in Families and Communities. I completed clinical internships with college students, and in residential treatment settings for adolescents with a history of trauma and neglect. I also worked for the Office of Institutional Diversity as a Counselor for college students of color, and other underrepresented backgrounds. Since graduation, I worked at a cancer wellness organization for several years, providing individual and group support to people impacted by cancer. I facilitated support groups and social emotional activities for kids, teens, young adults, and families, and provided grief/bereavement support.
Besides my work, I support our Chicago community by serving on a board for a local domestic violence organization. I am also a College Mentor for financially under-resourced and first-generation college students. I am also a founding member of an Associate Board for a Level 1, non-profit, charter school serving families in the Chicagoland area. A majority of students are low-income, diverse learners, with limited English. I am passionate about empowering children in a holistic, trauma-informed school setting by ensuring they have the appropriate resources to pursue the path of their dreams and a fulfilling quality of life. In my free-time, I run on a Chicago Marathon team for a cancer support organization.
Specialties and Clinical Interests Include: