Hola and hello. My name is EriKa. With a K.
I’m a Latina counselor providing mental health services in Spanish and English in Austin, TX. Austin has been home since December 2016. Home is also five hours south in a border town in the Rio Grande Valley where I often traveled to Mexico for weekend/summer trips to see my familia.
I am de aquí Y de allá.
Growing up, I did not know what counseling or therapy was. My first exposure to counseling and psychology came in year two of college in my Intro to Psychology class. I found out that the ways I processed the world and what was in my head + body had names and reasons for it. I was not loca. That semester, my career path was decided. I learned of psychology and saw that counseling was meant for me also.
Counseling is for my Latinx communities. It is for you too.
In our community, there are negative beliefs about seeking counseling and fear of que va decir la gente if word got out they were going to counseling. But needing and seeking out counseling is not admitting that someone is crazy or something to be ashamed of. It’s a recognition that you do not have to figure it all out alone. That there are ways to take back control of your life.
Before learning about counseling, my Mexican family dealt with and processed difficult times the best ways they knew how. Sometimes through avoidance. But mostly by healing through talk and connection. Healing conversations are part of our culture and have been practiced by our ancestors long before claims to “counseling” were made.
People face pressure in society and cultures to “just get over it” or ignore things with the “no pasa nada” comments. Clients often think they’re weak or broken because they can’t ignore the past and move on. The self-blame and judgment add to the overwhelming feelings and desperation. All this accumulates in intensity and can bring up thoughts of not wanting to live and not wanting to live like this.
counseling does not make anyone weak
true strength comes from recognizing the need for help and asking for it
Five years into my career, I provide bilingual counseling to people of diverse backgrounds as they seek to heal from experiences of trauma, sexual violence, and domestic violence. I provide inclusive therapy through the lens of decolonizing counseling practices. In counseling, I make efforts to disrupt harmful beliefs and create room to heal from the impact of systemic violence and injustices.
My passions are supporting first and second-generation individuals with intergenerational traumas, cultural + identity conflicts, and experiences of marginalization. Another passion is supporting recent immigrants process traumas from their home countries and even new ones after arriving in the US.
My goal is to collaborate with clients to reclaim their lives through talk and connection along with finding therapy approaches that complement the ancestral ways of healing.
Counseling is not the cure to everything.
Doing the work, in and outside of sessions, can be hard. And still, many clients tell me they wish they would have started counseling sooner. Because after each session they feel better. They feel lighter. And free of the weight on their backs they thought was theirs to hold alone. You deserve this too.
What more do you have to lose? You are already here, let’s get started. If we aren’t a good fit, that’s okay, I’ll help you find someone who is.