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i believe the most important part of the work is the relationship i have with each of my clients.

I invite you to bring all of YOU into our sessions. I know our identities, stories, experiences and communities are important.

I want to share a bit more about my own story. I was born in San Fernando Valley, CA and grew up in a large Mexican-American family. My family was very loving and supportive but we never talked about our mental health. I witnessed loved ones who were going through depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, gender and identity issues, and many other common experiences; but it was never an option to seek a therapist, psychiatrist or psychologist.

There are many reasons for this. For my family, there was a stigma that still exists today that says that only people who are "crazy" or "loca" need a therapist. Also, it was not easy to find a Spanish speaking or bilingual therapist available in our area. Cost was another major concern when you were living paycheck to paycheck. Honestly, there was also a sense of mistrust in talking to someone outside of the family about “your problems,” especially when you are an immigrant, first generation or considered outside the dominant culture.

I was a young adult when I started to make connections and realize that experiences from my past were still very much present. I noticed I was living with anxiety and fear of close relationships. I learned about trauma and its long lasting impacts. I was also coming to terms with my queer identity and what that meant within my Mexican cultural norms and my family’s Catholic religious beliefs. This is when my own journey of healing and growth began.

On this path, I connected with several excellent and compassionate therapists. I also quickly learned that most mental health was founded on Western norms and ideology. There were times when I felt my therapist was not “seeing” me and my cultural context. These painful experiences in therapy have shaped the way I work and invite my client’s culture, context and values into each session. It also shapes my passion for serving and celebrating people of color, lgbtqi folks, immigrants, first-generation, healers and activists.

Starting to talk about my experience was only part of my healing. It became clear to me that healing needed to be holistic: mind, body and spirit. I consider yoga, dancing, being in nature, time with community and laughing all part of my healing practices. I love exploring what holistic healing looks like with each client I work with. I bring in all of my experiences as a yoga teacher, somatics student, Naturalist, Americorp Vista graduate, healer and mental health advocate into my work.

On my own healing path, I also found my professional passion. I deeply enjoy and care about my work as a therapist. That is because of the folks I get to work and grow with. For me, this work is sacred and calls on me to be a life long learner.

Therapy can feel like a journey. I will be with you every step of the way in the work we do together.

-Vivi