"With change, comes hope"
I offer counseling to those who seek it and believe I can be a good fit for their needs. However, I do acknowledge specialized practice for issues related to:
Chronic medical illness
Major life changes
Military life/transitions out of the military
Growing up as first/second-generation immigrants
See below for more information and specialty groups
Worry and fear can be helpful at times. They help you prepare for what might be coming. However, constantly living in a state of worry or fear is not healthy and can easily become your new normal without even realizing it.
In addition to the thoughts and beliefs, there are very physical symptoms of anxiety: fast heart rate, restlessness, insomnia, stomach issues, shortness of breath, stomach issues, sweating, etc. Your body might be telling you it's time to slow down.
We've always heard that relationships take a lot of work. We hope that when we find the right partner that things will be easy, but that's not always the case. Over time, certain sparks or connections seem like distant memories - but that doesn't have to be the case.
With effort and understanding, that connection can be rebuilt and nourished. Small changes in communication, improved perspectives, and new behaviors can create a world of difference.
Each culture has a different way of communicating, thinking, and expressing. Moreover, mental illness can show up differently in different cultures.
For example, in some cultures that focus on group well-being (compared to individualism) a person might experience social anxiety as fear of making others uncomfortable. In other cultures that are more individualistic, a person might experience social anxiety as self-blame.
Having a therapist who can understand or is willing to explore these cultural differences with you can be very meaningful and helpful.
Finding a therapist who understands the nuances or unspoken norms of your culture can be difficult. Finding a therapist who respects those differences and can listen non-judgmentally should be a right and not a privilege. Whether we share a similar cultural background or you're having difficulties finding one from your own, my goal is to respect any cultural differences or similarities and explore what those mean for you.
I identify as West Indian, or Indo-Caribbean, as my family is from Guyana and Trinidad. I was raised in a culture that naturally had different races and religions. I was also raised in the incredibly diverse city of Miami, where I learned first-hand the differences that came with being a child of an immigrant family (first-generation or second-generation immigrant depending on your definition). This background fuels my passion to advocate for those from immigrant communities to have access to culturally-sensitive therapy or mental health services.
According to a recent survey by Mental Health America, healthcare workers in 2020, "93% of health care workers were experiencing stress, 86% reported experiencing anxiety, 76% reported exhaustion and burnout, and 75% said they were overwhelmed." If those weren't enough, the survey also found that in over half of workers reported "changes in appetite (57%), physical symptoms like headache or stomachache (56%), questioning career path (55%), and compassion fatigue (52%)."
I also experienced this directly as I worked in the hospital for over 4 years and during the COVID-19 pandemic. I understand the roles of medical professionals (nurses, doctors, physician assistants, health unit secretaries, techs, social workers, case managers, etc.) and their role to care for others, while not always caring for themselves.
Military Veterans and Spouses
Working with military veterans has always been a passion of mine. It began when I was in research and worked with active-duty members and military spouses in mindfulness projects. In these projects, we studied the effects of mindfulness and I was astounded at how much it could change someone's life.
We've all heard many statistics regarding veteran's mental health such as 22 veterans die each day by suicide or 30% of active duty and reserve military personnel deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan have a mental health condition requiring treatment. However, there are real people behind these numbers and real families that are also affected.