Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got. -- Janis Joplin
I remember latching onto this particular quote in middle school, and now, it seems more relevant than ever. Growing up as a nerdy Brown girl here in Denver, it was hard to make friends because I was abundantly awkward, imprisoned in braces for almost three years, and had glasses to boot! It probably also didn’t help that I loved school, but school offered me something I rarely found in other places – solace and control.
As a young child, my mother was often in and out of the hospital for years due to health issues. I had to grow up quickly – take myself to and from school, clean the house, prepare food, and care for my younger sister. Of course, we had some help, but I have often felt more responsibility than many of my peers. My mother’s health continued to decline, and she passed away in late 2016, leaving me to care for my then 16-year-old sister.
Now as an adult, I've learned to appreciate my uniqueness and resourcefulness, as I use these to juggle going to school, working, and taking care of a high school senior. My nerdiness has come in handy, as I am incredibly resourceful and a natural problem-solver.
I discovered my passion for counseling during my time at George Washington High School in Denver and have stuck to it ever since. I then entered the University of Colorado Denver, where I attained my Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with a minor in multidisciplinary research methods. Without turning back, I marched straight into my Master’s program at the same school. I am now in my last year of graduate school, which has blessed me with the tools I needed to strengthen and develop passions for social justice and diversity.
Social justice asks us to work to give people what they rightfully deserve – acceptance and the ability to live, love, and thrive without fear. Oppression and power dynamics thwart all of us whether we know it or not, and I believe that social justice and counseling go hand in hand. I aim to help my clients externalize the issues they are facing, trust in themselves, and feel empowered to change the status quo whether in the personal or public realm. Multiculturalism and inclusivity are threads in everything I do.
I love working with couples and families via a systemic approach, which allows me to see how problems (and solutions!) grow and develop out of the society and communities we live and interact in. I am educated/trained in and love to discuss issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, spirituality, age, ability, class, and indigeneity. I also use an attachment lens in my work with couples and families.
I value authenticity, harmony, consistency, and connectedness, and it is my hope to strive for these standards in guiding my work with clients. I personally understand how hard it can be to seek out therapy, and I commend you for even coming this far. If you do decide to reach out, I can’t wait to be a part of your journey and hear your story.