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Meet Nadia Alvarez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nadia Alvarez.

Nadia, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
When I started college, I knew I wanted to study people but I didn’t know exactly what that meant. So I took classes in Anthropology, Sociology, and Psychology hoping to narrow things down.

It wasn’t until my Psychology of Human Sexuality class that I found some direction. The professor was a self-proclaimed “loud Greek lady” and she created a space that allowed for us think critically and ask questions about issues – without judgment – that for the most part adults avoided talking to us about – sex, gender identity, what giving birth is actually like.

After that class, I took a mix of psychology and gender courses and their intersection led me to clinical psychology with the hope of working with clients and creating spaces where they can look at and better understand their own issues without judgment.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I think like most people, I hit bumps along the way. My mother had been diagnosed with ALS – a neurodegenerative disease – when I was 12 and she survived with it for almost 18 years. Most of college years were split among taking care of her needs, going to school, and working. Balancing all of that was a challenge made easier by the fact that my mom was fiercely independent and even at her highest need prioritized my finishing school over anything else. Coming from a Latinx family – my mother is Puerto Rican and my father is Puerto Rican/Mexican, many members of my family expected me to She served as an inspiration to face challenges head-on and honestly, probably would have made an amazing therapist herself if she had not dedicated her career years to teaching in the El Monte School District.

All of the sacrifices I made during that time made me into the person that I am today and I grateful for it. It taught me how to better understand living with a chronic illness, to have compassion for those with complicated cultural family systems, to make use of personal/medical/academic resources, navigate complicated systems. All things that have helped me serve the clients I see in therapy.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I work as a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice serving the NELA area. I take a gender and culturally inclusive mindfulness approach to working with individuals and couples. Mindfulness Based Therapy is a form of therapy that incorporates mindfulness practices such as meditation and breathing exercises, as well as elements of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Using tools like meditation, relaxation training, and goal-focused strategies, we are better able to adapt to stressful situations and come out with more successful outcomes.

I love the work that I do and being able to help my clients navigate difficult times in their life successfully is something I am really proud of as a therapist. There is a joke that therapists are in the business of putting themselves out of business. We know therapy is working when the client learns the skills and develops the confidence to face life on his/her/their own.

Something that may set me apart from other therapists is my background and study in cultural and gender issues. I also teach an array of classes at Cal State University – Fullerton, including Abnormal Psychology, Psychology of Gender, and Social Psychology. So, while my practices focuses on mindfulness interventions, I am also sensitive to intersectional factors such as race, gender, SES, privilege, and other issues that can play a role in our day to day. Having a place to process those issues and feel heard and understood can be liberating.

What were you like growing up?
Haha, bookish. I think I am best described as an outgoing introvert. I love learning and reading. As much as I have always loved being around friends and family, my favorite way to recharge was through reading and being out in nature. When I was in grade school, I think I would read at least two books a week. Growing up, my also family traveled with our trailer in tow camping throughout CA and the US. We once did a road to the Niagara Falls and driving there the northern route and back the southern route so I have been to most of the states. As an adult, I have started traveling more outside of the US and have spent time teaching English in Nepal, hiking in Machu Picchu, and backpacking in Europe.

Pricing:

  • $125 per 50-minute session for individual psychotherapy
  • $125 per 50-minute session for couples psychotherapy
  • Discounts available for students and other mental health providers

Contact Info:

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