I have been learning about being a therapist for almost fifteen years. During this time, different theories and experiences have helped shape me into the psychologist I am today. My specialties developed from my professional as well as personal interests. In that sense, I’ve used my study of attachment theory, feminist models, emotion focused therapy, and polyvagal theory to create the base of my approach. At the same time, I have taken my desire to support other people’s healing and empowerment journey to fuel my work.
My main therapeutic focus is helping people learn how to be in relationship with themselves and the world. I believe that if we all could heal the ways our history wounded us and hurt our ability to connect with each other, the world would be a wonderful place.
I like to divide that main theme into five topics. You can read a summary of them below. For the longer version, follow the link to each page.
Anxiety is a normal response to the demands of life. The problem comes when this response never ends. Anxiety may be telling you that you’re not liked, that you’re less than, that there’s a threat on the horizon. Of course, you may try to compensate. You may attempt perfection and take a shot at control, or you may try to hide from the world to keep yourself safe. The therapeutic work is two-fold; first we figure out how to help you manage the intensity of the anxiety, then we go for the cause, as best as we can.
Living in doubt of your self-worth can cause a lot of pain. You may find it hard to speak up or to express your needs. There can be a weight in your heart, telling you nobody really likes you, or that people will one day realize that there’s something very wrong with you. To help with that, we try to create a place safe enough to challenge the messages you’ve received. We also use this safe space to create new experiences that reflect back your new truth: that you have inherent worth, imperfections and all.
Trauma can be anything that overwhelms you and makes you lose the ability to respond with flexibility in your life. Most of my work has to do with helping people whose traumatic experiences were inflicted by another person. When this has been the case, a lot of the traumatic response can be seen in the body and in how it affects relationships. How are you supposed to trust, when trust has been abused and violated by someone else?
To help people who have experienced trauma, I try really hard to adapt my work to what makes sense to them. We take the time needed to get to a safe-enough place. I believe this is important to help my clients re-learn how to exist in the world, and how to have the lives they want.
In my mind, relationships are everywhere. When we use how we connect as information, we can bring in understanding and choice to our lives. To do this, I use myself, my training, and my experience to help you explore, understand, and change your relationships. We can do this by asking the right questions; what do your thoughts, feelings, and body tell you about your relationships? In working to help you have a healthier relationship with yourself and your world, I will try to use myself to your benefit. We get to practice new ways of being in the world in session, which then you can take out into your life.
When I practiced psychology in Chile, I did so from a humanistic and transpersonal approach. I had spent the previous ten years working on becoming a psychologist and on my spirituality; it made total sense to me to combine the two. I incorporated a lot of what I had been doing in my spiritual practice on my psychology work: meditation, intentionality, energy work, and intuition.
I can talk the language of those who have a spiritual practice, and know how to incorporate it to the therapeutic process. At the human and professional level, practicing this way makes my work culturally sensitive and makes me a good fit for people of similar beliefs. At the spiritual level, it makes me a willing channel for transformative work.