Our final therapist post is about Jennifer Gonzalez, LMFT 98444 who has been working with Thrive for almost 7 years! Jennifer is incredibly passionate about working with teens and their parents, but also has a specialty in working with parents individually. Not only does she do an amazing job supporting her clients, but she also works with me on supervising our team and helping to lead them clinically. If you have the rare opportunity to work with Jennifer (as her schedule is rarely open), I think you are in great hands!
Who do you LOVE working with?
I enjoy working with clients of all ages! However, I am particularly interested in tweens and teens as I believe adolescence is the most challenging and complicated stage in a person’s life! As a therapist, I love having the opportunity to support my client’s identity development, interpersonal challenges, and social and emotional health. Also, due to my many years of experience working with adolescents, I have also developed a passion for working with their parents. My unique insight into this stage of development helps support parents' goals of raising healthy and autonomous individuals.
What should potential clients know about you and your style in therapy?
I utilize various evidence-based therapeutic modalities as I believe the therapeutic approach should meet the client’s needs, not vice versa. In treatment, I always operate under a trauma-informed and culturally sensitive lens.
What is your favorite parenting tip or recommendation?
Although not the only form of communication, words matter. Even when you think that your child is not listening, they are.
The best way to teach your child positive behaviors is by role modeling, but you are also human, and you might not get it right every time. You are also learning with your child, so if you notice that your emotions are intensifying and might dictate your reaction, take some space and walk away rather than saying things you may not mean or want to say.
What advice would you like to have received when you were younger?
Expressing sadness is not a sign of weakness. I was raised in a culture that values strength and promotes the “fake it until you make it” mentality. Just because you are not doing or feeling well does not mean that you have to act like everything is fine. Feel all of your feelings. This will create opportunities to learn more about yourself and how to cope better.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I am an avid traveler. The best way to experience culture is by visiting the place of origin. One of the best learning experiences is cultural shock, as this provides a unique opportunity to question everything you know and perhaps change your perspective for the better. I think this has made me a more well-rounded therapist, so I can better understand and serve my clients.
At Thrive, we take a positive, client-centered approach to therapy that is focused on creating a genuine connection with our clients. If you would like to talk with Jennifer Gonzalez, or another Thrive therapist about yourself, your child, or teen attending therapy we offer in person and video sessions, please reach out to us by phone at 858-342-1304.
Blogs from the Thrive Family!
Musings from Erica, Jennifer, Maria, Kim, Andrea, Molly, Abbey, and Ying-Ying