My Professional Community inspires my work

My work in mental health has developed over the years. The experiences have been so diverse, and I feel honored to have worked under the supervision of, or in collaboration with professionals who I hold dear because of their clinical judgment and personal philosophies. Many of these professionals have inspired my career.

Theory and science inspire my work

No less inspiring than my peers and the agencies where I’ve worked, my theoretical journey involved exposure to research and writings in contemporary psychoanalysis, child development, attachment theory, mindfulness and interpersonal neurobiology. I have attended many conferences, read books and debated these dimensions of the human mind, brain and relationships, and  what can I say  I love it!

Cultural diversity inspires my work

Because I was born and raised Brasileira, developing a multicultural perspective in my practice has kept me grounded in my humanist philosophy. Over the years, I have worked with individuals of different ethnicities, creed, age, immigration status, education and socio-economic backgrounds. Noticing similarities where there seems to be space energizes me. I try to look for the uniqueness of the person while not losing sight of "the village.”

Art inspires my work

Any creative manifestation is an attempt of the human mind to communicate impressions, feelings and sensations in a way other than typical language. Art elicits feeling responses in the public. As for the artist, it taps into the right hemisphere, a particular region of the brain responsible for, among other things, storing emotional memories -- “implicit memories.” Artistic expression such as painting, music, sculpture, performance, or poetry gives us access to a rich archive of feelings in a safe and creatively “structured” way that can be especially helpful in the treatment of trauma. I love hearing about, or seeing my clients’ art work. I am a fan.  

Paying it forward inspires my work

Looking back, I did my share of random acts of kindness before I left Brazil, helping the homeless and the visually impaired. I remember thinking that, in the great scheme of things, my help was just a grain of sand. But, perhaps intuitively, I could understand that a grain of sand to one person might have been just enough to make a difference. Years later, before I "officially" worked in Mental Health, I took on a few volunteering positions in San Francisco. I volunteered at La Casa de Las Madres (a Domestic Violence shelter), at St. Francis Memorial Hospital, supervising court-ordered visitations between kids and their non-custodial parents, and at the Mt. Zion Institute on Aging, Alzheimer's Day-Treatment Center. All these experiences taught me a lot and made me feel warm and fuzzy, the same way our social engagement hormone, Oxitocyn, seems to make people feel when involved in positive social interactions. I find that random acts of kindness and community service are medicine for our brain and soul.

Feliz aquele que
transfere o que sabe
e aprende o que ensina.
— Cora Coralina, Vintém de Cobre.