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Meet Lourdes P. Estrada of New Hope Family Counseling Center in Downey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lourdes P. Estrada.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Lourdes. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born in Guatemala, Central America. I immigrated to California at age six. I am the oldest of four kids. My brother who follows me is my best friend. I am who I am because of my family. They have supported me through this journey of be becoming a business owner. They have seen me at my worst and continue to love me and encourage me. I was raised in Compton, “woot-woot” but went to Paramount schools and graduated high school from Paramount High back in 2000. I married my high school sweetheart and a mom to 3 rambunctious boys. I am the founder of New Hope Family Counseling Center.

I was first introduced to psychology and sociology in my senior year of high school. From that moment, I knew that I wanted to be in the “helping field.” I knew that I was going to college, because in my household that was an expectation. I just didn’t know which college because I didn’t have money for college and well, I didn’t even have a work permit where I would say I can work and help pay for my schooling. Well, little did I know that there were grants and scholarships and so I applied. I received scholarships and grants which helped pay for my undergrad from both community college (Cerritos Community College) and then I was able to transfer to California State University Dominguez Hills where I graduated with my Bachelor’s in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. I was the first one in my entire family to attend college and to graduate. It was a huge accomplishment. I knew I wanted to become a therapist. I knew I wanted to attend a place where I could integrate my faith. I knew that I wanted to help my community. I was accepted to the MFT program at Azusa Pacific University. I knew this was going to be the vessel to my dream. To help my community and provide quality care.

Plus, to create a space where I felt comfortable to pray with my client and for my client. It’s important for us Latinos to have a space for us to talk about our faith. Working in various community mental health agencies left me with a need of providing more for my community. My path towards licensure was not easy. As an MFT, you need to complete 3,000 hours, take two state exams to qualify for your license. I failed the first time by 1 point!!! I was devastated, I had to wait six months to retake the exam. I felt I was never going to make my dream come true of having my own private practice and becoming a clinical supervisor. With a lot of support, self-love and self-discovery, a year later I took the exam. I was licensed in May 2016. I opened up my practice in August 2016. I started by subleasing from an amazing colleague/friend (Janice E. Mclnally). Thanks to her, I was able to start slowly building my practice and learning about private practice (the good and the bad). I felt the calling that I needed to do more. To open up more slots and so I did. Boy! When God has a plan for your life, he is gracious and merciful. I began to network and exposed myself out there.

Something that I would have never done before. I was able to open up my own office with another colleague. Again, I knew that I wanted to do more for my community and have a space where I could share my knowledge and passion for the field with other clinicians. So I became a Clinical Supervisor. I love teaching and passing on my experience and knowledge to others. I felt the calling again to move my practice to the City of Downey. To provide services to Latinos who are struggling in their marriages, their relationships. The focus and the goal for my group practice is to provide top-notch therapy services that are accessible to the community. To have a space where I can train future licensed therapist to work with couples and families without fear of the potential conflict in the room. To provide a space where prayer and therapy go hand in hand. To provide quality therapy at affordable prices.

In December of 2018, I moved my practice to the city of Downey, I started to look for therapist that I could bring on my team. I also decided to open up my practice for Associate level therapist who can get the experience of private practice. I now have two office locations in the city of Downey, I am also a “coach” for individuals who want to start their own practice, and I have an amazing team of therapist who have a passion for the field. Who are healers in their own way and are able to service the community with quality care and free to practice within a faith-based model if desired. I believe in collaborative work. Working hand in hand with the client. They are the expert of their life and we (therapist) are tools to guide them to help them explore themselves without judgment. Thank you God for this calling and for providing the tools to do what I love.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
This dream of having my group practice has been very difficult. I was a newlywed and started the Master’s program. I was working full time and going to school full time. And then, collecting 3,000 hours of clinical practice after my Master’s, to taking twice the licensure exam to see “Pass” in order for me to get my license induced a lot of self-doubt and anxiety. As a minority, female, Latina, no business management experience, has been a rough road to navigate on my own. I had to learn on my own the components of managing a business. How to budget for a business. Another challenge is balancing mom life. Creating a healthy balance has been a work in progress.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about New Hope Family Counseling Center – what should we know?
My group practice name is New Hope Family Counseling Center. Because my clients experience that “Hope. ” Hope that they will surpass this difficult season, “Hope” that their significant other will recover from substance use, “Hope” that their marriages/relationships will be strengthen, “Hope” that their teen will recover from depression. I am known for couples counseling and immigration evaluations. My specialty is working with pre-marital couples/marriages. I use Gottman Method with my couples. My group practice is a diverse group, we have therapist who specialized in working with children, victims of crime to help them overcome their trauma, and with military families. I am most proud of having a diverse group of professionals who come from various cultures and backgrounds. What sets us apart from others is that we have a space where both the client and therapist can integrate their faith in treatment. Many clients who come to us are seeking a faith-based therapist. They want to connect and we provide that space.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Hmm. I would have to say perseverance. Especially right now, this is keeping me as a business owner motivated and hopeful.

Pricing:

  • Free 15 minute phone consultation

Contact Info:

  • Address: 8350 Florence ave, Downey CA 90240
  • Website: www.newhopefamilycounselingcenter.com
  • Phone: 562-242-2400 / 562-273-2135
  • Email: estradafamilycenter@gmail.com
  • Instagram: New Hope Family Counseling Center
  • Facebook: Lourdes Estrada,LMFT @Newhopefamilycounselingcenter
  • Other: Google: Lourdes Estrada, LMFT

Image Credit:
Teresa Flores (Adore the moments photography)

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