How did you discover your passion for what you do?

For as long as I can remember, I loved to dance. I began taking ballet lessons at age 2 and slowly expanded into learning jazz, tap, hip-hop, and modern/contemporary. I began competing in dance and performing dance as my “talent” in pageants and shows by the age of nine. Dance became my expressive outlet and a great source of healing by the time I reached adolescents. However, it was not until my undergraduate studies at Arizona State University that I was exposed to the profession of Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT). My academic advisor was very intuitive and supportive of my interest in psychology studies, mental health and healing sciences (yoga, Pilates, kinesiology, etc.) and strongly recommended exploring graduate studies in DMT and taking courses related to the profession and personal growth. After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, I worked two years professionally as an executive assistant and danced less and less. It was from a place of feeling incomplete, lost and unfulfilled that I pursued my Master of Arts degree in Dance/Movement Therapy and Clinical Counseling from Columbia College Chicago. And, my passion for movement, healing, and wellness was reborn with increased clarity.


How do you continue to grow and be a lifelong learner?

The field of mental health, like medicine, is always changing. It is important as a mental health professional that I continue to expand my knowledge in the field, so that I can provide the most valuable and supportive services to my clients. Beyond any requirements placed by credentialing boards, I find myself drawn to personal growth books and new experiences. Through this practice of exploring different philosophies, methodologies, and even hobbies, I continue to be a lifelong learner. Currently, I am reading the book “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramhansa Yogananda and listening to the “Happier” podcast by Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft, while beginning my studies for the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) for my Clinical Counseling license.


What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?

I love to be outside! I spend every Sunday evening on the beach watching sunset in Santa Monica, California. Even on a cloudy or hazy day, this is one of the most beautiful and recuperative times in my week. In addition, you can often find me hiking or even reading a book under a tree at various places in Los Angeles. Too often, we are trapped inside our offices and forget to find peace in nature. These hobbies are written into my calendar and are my important self-care moments for the week.