A Bit About Me
I am a first-generation bilingual (English and Spanish), bi-cultural therapist who understands the conflict of growing up and raising children in two different cultures. As a result of growing up in a border region, I understand how difficult it is to feel isolated by the two very cultures that I identify with; those cultures being of Mexican descent and having been born an American citizen. I also recognize the importance of de-stigmatizing therapy for under represented communities. Having been raised to believe that one should not disclose private matters outside the home, as well as believing that allowing others to see or feel one's emotions is a sign of weakness. As I became older I came to understand and appreciate the importance of healing our traumas via the avenue of seeing therapist.
I received my Bachelors degree in Psychology at San Diego State University. I worked for 10 years in the non-profit sector in San Diego. Working for various programs that provided in-home parenting services to parents involved with child welfare, working with at-risk youth involved in the juvenile justice system, and working with a fatherhood program that provided counseling, case management and work development opportunities. I saw first hand, the struggles that many community members endured as they worked several jobs, as well as, maintaining a home for their families. Working in these programs is what inspired me to obtain my Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Azusa Pacific University. Currently I am a registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist #119954, hoping to work alongside you.
I began my training working in a school-based setting with children and their families of lower socio-economic status. I trained to utilize art therapy, play therapy, and sand tray play therapy to allow my clients to disclose and cope with their traumas, but more importantly allowing them to cultivate positive relationships with their teachers, their peers, and their family. From school-based therapy, I continued to work with at-risk adolescents who were involved in the juvenile justice system, the foster system, and living through homelessness. I helped my clients to grasp a better understanding of their feelings and emotions as a result of their experienced trauma, and assisted them in forging strong bonds and healthy relationships with their family members, friends and teachers.
Since working with children, adolescents and their families, I have received advanced training in Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples(EFT) and I am Level 1 Certified in Gottman Method Couples Therapy. Additionally, I have received training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Solution-Focused Therapy. Today, the majority of my clients in private practice include: pre-marital couples, married couples seeking to establish deeper connection with one another, highly-escalated couples, and couples suffering through infidelity.
Therapy with Raul
Humans are relational beings. We need to feel secure in our relationships as we maneuver through life. Children need us, as parents, we need to be present with them and support them as they encounter and experience the hurt and pain, but also the joy and excitement of growing up. As adults, we need our partners to be responsive to our needs.
In relationships, we often begin to argue about the most insignificant topics and our attempts in reaching out to our partner go unnoticed and/or are rejected, which leads us to begin to question if they love us or if they even care. But, what leads us to argue with our partner is not the topic at hand, rather feeling unloved, under appreciated, alone, and disconnected.
I work to create a strong alliance with my clients, as well as create a safe environment where we can explore the areas of insecurity and disconnect within our relationship, in order to foster stronger and healthy relationships.
Masters in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Azusa Pacific University
Bachelors Degree in Psychology from San Diego State University
Advanced training in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples - Externship and Core Skills
UNBROKEN BONDS: EFT & Restoring Relationship Betrayals
Gottman Method Couples Therapy Level 1
Expressive Art and Sandtray Play Therapy
In-person and Telehealth sessions available
$175 per 50 minute session
Sliding scale offered
Free 15 minute phone consultation