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Sometimes people need to discover things by themselves, so they can improve their lives. I became a therapist because I love working with people; I’m compassionate and good at listening, and I love seeing the changes in people as I help them empower themselves to grow.
I started out studying social welfare in the Catholic University of Chile – I’d always wanted to specialize in mental health. I finished my studies at the University of California (Berkeley), specializing in family therapy. My goal was to help parents work with children to promote the children’s self esteem. Then I realized the foundation of a healthy family is the couple’s relationship, and I looked to see who had the best method. The Gottman Method is research-based and the most concrete and reliable. Now most of my practice is with couples. I apply these tools regularly both in my practice and in my own relationship with my husband. They are solid, specific and easy to do.
My approach is direct, respectful, practical, and empathic. I really put myself in my client’s position and try to understand them with no judgment. Coming from a different background, having to learn a new language, I feel more sensitive to individual and cultural differences and I understand and respect those differences. I always emphasize the positive qualities that each individual has, and emphasize the need for improvement focusing on those positive qualities.
Potential clients are offered a complimentary 20 minute session so they can see if they feel comfortable with me right away. I invite their feedback and if there’s any discomfort, we process that right away. I find this approach results in a better foundation of trust moving forward.
In addition to my work with couples and families, I specialize in families that are adopting. I have an adopted child myself, and know quite a bit about attachment theory.
Four times a year, I present “The Art and Science of Love with Mike Basta, another Gottman Certified Therapist. This popular weekend workshop teaches couples the basic Gottman communication method and gives them new insights and relationship skills that can dramatically improve the intimacy and friendship in their relationship.
One of my biggest passions is my work with the Spanish speaking community – as a native Spanish speaker, I’ve appeared on many Latino TV and radio programs to talk about relationships, family life and parenting. I’ve translated a number of Gottman Method materials into Spanish, and have taught parenting classes and Loving Families/Loving Children to native Spanish speakers in their language. I was pleased to introduce the Gottman Method to clinicians in Argentina for the first time in 2011 – my goal is to spread the model in Latin countries throughout South and Central America.
I enjoy working with couples in general; but being bicultural and bilingual I am particularly sensitive to cultural diversity. I work well with couples with different ethnicities, cultures, and sexual orientation.