I was born and raised in San Diego, California. From the time I can remember, I was always curious about the complex human journey, individual life experiences, identity and cultural complexities, resilience in the face of adversity, and the impact that the “family nest” has on our experiences in relationships and the larger world. As a child, you would often find me conducting “family meetings” with my two younger brothers during which we would discuss our “problems,” resolve conflicts and use play to nurture our relationships. My two loving parents nurtured me with the foundational elements of my current work with children and families: secure attachment, positive and affirming mirroring, a safe and secure base from which to explore the world, and unconditional positive regard and love. I am passionate about race and ethnicity challenges within family systems as well as larger societal systems. I often draw from my personal challenges and blessings as a Mexican and Caucasian woman in my work with children and families.
I moved to Oakland in 1999 and fell in love with the rich cultural landscape and the social justice flavor of the Bay area. I pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at Mills College and a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology (concentration in Expressive Arts) at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. During my journey, I continued working with children and families in various settings as a Preschool teacher, research assistant at UC Berkeley, nanny, running coach at Mills College, and therapeutic sports coordinator. Most recently, I held the position of school based Therapist at two elementary and middle schools in East Oakland through the East Bay Agency for Children. I provided trauma informed, community based mental health services to at-risk, vulnerable, children and families. Along with my foundational family values, my approach focuses on the parent/child/family attachment relationships, strengthening internal resources and strengths, fostering deeper insight and awareness of personal woundings, and assisting children, individuals, and families in their healing journeys in order to live happier and healthier lives.
In my spare time, you can find me running the lake, hiking in the Oakland hills, catching up with family and friends, and dancing!
I am very excited to join the BACA-Oakland team as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist!