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Inspiring Conversations with Dr. Lisette Sanchez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Lisette Sanchez.

Hi Dr. Sanchez, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
People always ask me why I became a psychologist. First, I would like to share that I have wanted to be a psychologist since I was in 7th grade. I wanted to be a psychologist because the field fascinated me and I was particularly interested in how culture impacted mental health. I would hear my mother and grandmother talk about “nervios” but I did not fully understand what that was. It further fueled my interest and curiosity.

My parents are immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador. They grew up with a strong stigma about mental health and that therapy was only for “locos”. To be honest, even though I am a psychologist, at times this is still a challenge for them. It is why I am so passionate about destigmatizing mental health and helping others understand that therapy is not just for “crazy people.”

I share my background because my upbringing strongly informs my present work. I am intentional toward and mindful of the intersectional identities of the clients I work with; I view my clinical work as an opportunity to help someone start a new journey to shift their circumstances and improve their quality of life.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I have experienced many challenges on my journey. I was the first in my family to graduate high school and pursue a higher education. For me, this meant learning how to navigate many different environments with limited resources. However, these challenges are what have helped me gain confidence to navigate new experiences and take risks.

Although obtaining my doctorate degree and completing my education has been a challenging journey, starting my business has been an even larger undertaking. When I was in school, it was always very clear what was expected next. There is not a perfect path to run a business. I am still learning every day and I make sure to have a lot of self-compassion for those extra difficult moments.

We’ve been impressed with Calathea Wellness Coaching & Psychological Services Inc., but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I launched my private practice in April 2021, Calathea Wellness Coaching and Psychological Services Inc. I named my business after my favorite plant variety, Calatheas. These are beautiful plants that symbolize new beginnings, to turn over a new leaf. I view therapy as a journey where you begin to gain insight and learn tangible skills to make a difference in your life. At times, this experience may feel like a fresh start just like symbolism behind calatheas. I offer individual therapy, coaching and speaking services. Although, currently my focus has been on individual therapy and speaking engagements.

In my individual therapy work, I specialize in working with BIPOC and First Gen Professionals. In addition to my clinical training, my lived experiences provide an added depth to my work with these populations. I have a unique understanding of the importance of intersectional identities and systemic influences. Additionally, I recognize that I may be the expert in my field, you are the expert in your life. Overall, I highly value being transparent and providing a collaborative work environment.

If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
My paternal grandmother shared a story with me about my childhood that I want to share with you. I was visiting her in Mexico when I was about six years old and she asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up. My answer was to point up at the sky, “I am going there.” She shared with me that my answer confused and scared her. However, she explained that it started to make more sense as I grew older. I have always been a dreamer and I always dreamt of having experiences beyond my understanding. Although many of these experiences and decisions were scary, I always trusted that I would adapt and persevere. Overall, I have always been a very strong-willed individual, or as my mother would say, stubborn.

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Image Credits
First image with flowers – Zein Delgado Jr. & Paola Morales

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