15 Latinx Mental Health Pros Fighting the Therapy Stigma on IG
Latinx and Black communities have been especially impacted by COVID-19 and are three times as likely to get sick from the coronavirus compared to white people. As a result of the mental, physical, and emotional toll that's resulted from the pandemic, communities of color have learned the importance of prioritizing their mental health. For Latinx communities, in particular, stigmas associated with mental health still very much exist. There's this fear of being perceived as weak or "loca" and of being judged by family members and peers.
Fortunately, this stigma has slowly begun to fade as millennials and Gen Zers in our communities have found power in being vulnerable and asking for help. There are a number of Latinx mental health professionals who are infiltrating the therapy space and working toward breaking the stigma in their own ways. This is helpful if you're new to therapy and seeking a therapist who can also relate to your cultural upbringing and experiences and can assist with your specific needs. Sometimes finding the right one requires multiple consultations with different therapists before settling on one that you connect with.
Due to the pandemic, many have opted to provide services virtually instead of in person, making therapy even more easily accessible. Some of our favorite Latinx mental health professionals can be found on Instagram flexing their skills and offering their professional insight. However, please keep in mind these are good resources to learn from, but they're not meant to be a supplement for therapy. If you're looking for a place to start, check out our top 15 list of Latinx mental health experts and see which one fits your needs best.
Jasmine Cepeda, LCSW
The expert: Jasmine Cepeda is a New York City-based Latinx psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker of Dominican descent. She is the author of two guided journals: 12 Ways to Cope With Your Latina Mom & Her Difficulties and Making Peace With Your Emotional Disconnection With Your Parents.
Her therapy style: Cepeda specializes in helping clients through life transitions, anxiety, self-doubt, decision-making, low self-esteem, and coping with Latinx family trauma. She prides herself in practicing from an empathetic, antiracist, and antioppressive lens.
Where to follow her: @betternowtherapy
Josie Rosario, LMSW
The expert: Josie Rosario is an NYC-based licensed therapist and intuitive. She identifies as a Black Dominican-American woman who is a proud daughter of immigrants and comes from a lineage of healers with roots in las 21 Divisiones, a syncretic faith from the Dominican Republic.
Her therapy style: She is a licensed master social worker trained in emotionally focused therapy and a systemic-relational therapist, and her specialty is helping folks of color break trauma patterns and realign with their highest self and purpose. She practices from an antioppressive, anti-Black-racism, and trauma-informed lens.
Where to follow her: @josierosarionyc
Genesis Games, LMHC
The expert: Genesis Games is a bilingual Cuban-American psychotherapist and owner of Healing Connections, a boutique virtual practice in Florida. Games felt a connection to therapy growing up as an only child mainly surrounded by adults, which helped her become a good listener and observer.
Her therapy style: As a bilingual therapist, Games offers sessions in Spanish and English and works with couples, individuals, and families. She is a trained mental health counselor who is passionate about helping people improve their connections with others and believes that we are only as healthy as the relationships in our lives.
Where to follow her: @themiamitherapist
Emilia Ortega-Jara, LCSW, PMH-C
The expert: Emilia Ortega-Jara is a proud Xicana and founder and clinical director of Corazón Counseling. She is a licensed clinical social worker experienced in perinatal mental health and facilitates emotional wellness for pregnancy, postpartum, and early parenting.
Her therapy style: Ortega-Jara follows a holistic approach that includes traditional indigenous wisdom and Eastern wellness teachings along with therapy techniques such as CBT and EMDR. She is passionate about healing our communities through her traditional ancestral knowledge. Her therapy specialization focuses on pregnancy, postpartum, parenting, and expectant families. She also coaches and mentors mental health experts and healing arts practitioners.
Where to follow her: @corazoncounseling
Genesis Espinoza, M.A., LMFT
The expert: Genesis Espinoza is a first-generation Latina of Salvadorian and Mexican descent. She is a bilingual, licensed marriage and family therapist in San Fernando, CA, who is passionate about helping the Latinx community by combating the stigma around mental health therapy.
Her therapy style: Espinoza specializes in anxiety, depression, and trauma disorders in children, teens, and adults. She also conducts immigration psychosocial evaluations to help the immigrant community obtain residency through a U visa, asylum, VAWA (domestic violence case), extreme hardship, and/or T visa.
Where to follow her: @healing_and_growth
Natalie Gutierrez, LMFT
The expert: Natalie Gutierrez is a Puerto Rican psychotherapist with a master's degree in marriage and family therapy. She is committed to providing trauma-informed psychotherapy to BIPOC and believes in the power of healing around ancestral, sexual, and race-based trauma. She is currently working on a book being released in fall 2022.
Her therapy style: Gutierrez specializes in working with Black and Latinx folks struggling with complex PTSD tied to racial trauma, sexual abuse, or ancestral and intergenerational trauma. She believes we all carry an implicit bias and isms living in a structurally racist system and practices from an antiracist and antioppressive lens.
Where to follow her: @nataliegutierrezlmft
Katheryn Perez, M.A., LMFT
The expert: Katheryn Perez is a licensed marriage and family therapist in California. She is a proud Guatemalteca who works primarily with BIPOC individuals dealing with depression and intergenerational trauma.
Her therapy style: As a Latinx immigrant, she can closely relate to and identify the wide range of issues that Latinx clients struggle with daily. She provides culturally sensitive therapy and a safe space where clients can process emotional wounds in order to improve their well-being. Her goal for her clients in therapy is to help them gain self-awareness, emotional clarity, and acceptance.
Where to follow her: @kpereztherapy
Dr. Christine Rivera, PsyD
The expert: Christine Rivera is a bilingual and bicultural licensed clinical psychologist who aims to create a space that is culturally humble and inviting for clients. She is a first-generation Latina with family still residing in Guatemala and is passionate about helping women transitioning into motherhood.
Her therapy style: Rivera specializes in helping women who are expectant mothers or new mothers or those dealing with pregnancy loss and/or infertility. She understands that her clients carry many identities and roles including being a parent, spouse, employee, and more. She strives to empower her patients by teaching them about self-compassion, problem solving, and self-discovery as they go through these transitional phases in life.
Where to follow her: @drchristinerivera
Photo credit: Angela Payaban
Dr. Jacqueline Guevara, LCSW
The expert: Dr. Jacqueline Guevara is a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in trauma among first-generation Latinx college students and professionals in Washington DC and Virginia. She is of Guatemalan and Salvadorian descent and has a passion for helping others and providing them with a safe space to help them explore and understand themselves better.
Her therapy style: Guevara is a believer that anyone can heal from their trauma with the right tools. She works with many first-generation Latinx individuals who deal with post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, addiction, and more. She comes from a compassionate, empathic, and nonjudgmental place to help you understand your thoughts and emotions and teach you ways to manage mental health and wellness.
Where to follow her: @drjguevara
Patricia Alvarado, M.A., LPCC, LMHC
The expert: Patricia Alvarado is the director of Alvarado Therapy, a licensed professional clinical counselor in California, and a licensed mental health counselor in New York. She is a first-generation Mexican American who is bilingual and practices through a multicultural lens. She is aware of the stigma that surrounds our communities and strives to share messages in a positive light about mental health and being vulnerable.
Her therapy style: Alvarado approaches patients free of judgment, full of empathy, and through active listening to facilitate trust within the relationship. She aims to understand the underlying concerns that are causing stressful situations and maladaptive behaviors. She enjoys using her training in EMDR with patients to challenge negative beliefs and explore the core concerns that may be causing these feelings and behaviors.
Where to follow her: @alvaradotherapy
Dr. Lisette Sanchez, PhD, Licensed Psychologist
The expert: Dr. Lisette Sanchez is a Salvadoreña and Mexicana, California-based licensed psychologist, coach, and speaker. She's the founder of Calathea Wellness, a virtual practice providing individual therapy, coaching, and mentorship services. She specializes in entrepreneur/founder-related stress, workplace mental health, and social anxiety. Furthermore, she has a passion for working with BIPOC folks and first-generation professionals.
Her therapy style: Sanchez approaches her practice by demystifying and destigmatizing therapy and mental wellness. She believes "knowledge empowers" and makes it her goal to teach her clients ways to be the best version of themselves. She even started her own IGTV video series called Consejos w/Dr. Lisette Sanchez intended to educate her followers about the importance of mental wellness.
Where to follow her: @Dr.LisetteSanchez
Dr. Susana Marquez, LMFT, M.A., PsyD
The expert: Dr. Susana Marquez is a licensed marriage and family therapist who works with Latinx/BIPOC pregnant and postpartum mothers. She has 15 years of experience, is bilingual, and is of Guatemalan and Salvadorian descent. She also offers her services in Spanish and English.
Her therapy style: Marquez likes to provide her clients a safe space where they don't feel judged or criticized. She has worked with children with behavioral issues, relationship problems, and individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, loss or suicidal ideation, and more. She also offers maternal mental health therapeutic support and aims to destigmatize mental health in the Latinx community.
Where to follow her: @healandgrowtherapy
Lorena Ramos, M.A., MSW, LCSW
The expert: Lorena Ramos is a bilingual trauma-informed therapist in Chicago. She founded her private practice, She Is Strong and Mindful, four years ago with the premise to provide a safe and diverse healing space to women looking to improve their mental health and physical well-being.
Her therapy style: Ramos takes a client-centered and strength-based approach with her practice. She recognizes that even though women are resilient and self-sufficient, they sometimes need a cheerleader to help them channel their inner strengths and skills. She likes to delve into their unique personal and cultural experiences to help them discover their full potential.
Where to follow her: @she_is_strong_and_mindful
Raquel Carrasquillo, LCSW
The expert: Raquel Carrasquillo is a licensed therapist and life coach of Ecuadorian and Puerto Rican descent. She specializes in anxiety/stress reduction, improvement in self-worth and self-limiting beliefs, personal development, and creating a healthy mind-body connection.
Her therapy style: Raquel has her own lived experience with anxiety and stress, which is what inspired her to follow a path of self-healing and eventually to help others. She aims to help her clients restore balance and guide them to live out a life where they accept nothing less than the best for themselves.
Where to follow her: @raquelscoaching
Stephanie Villaseñor, LMFT
The expert: Stephanie Villaseñor is a licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in couples therapy, anxiety, childhood trauma, and building self-esteem. She has worked in various mental health settings and with clients dealing with anxiety, depression, addiction, family conflict, trauma, and behavioral issues.
Her therapy style: Villaseñor understands how daunting therapy may appear and aims to make the experience as welcoming as possible for clients. She focuses on inner strength and self-exploration and has mainly worked with the Latinx community. She considers her style of therapy as holistic wellness, with elements of cognitive behavioral and person-centered therapy.
Where to follow her: @villasenorcounseling