Silvana Espinoza Lau, LMFT
Anti-oppressive, decolonised, and social justice oriented healing.
Align with your true values and learn to be in authentic relationship with yourself and your loved ones
Psychotherapy begins with an assessment, and in the first sessions, you may be sharing thorough information about your family or systems of origin. The purpose of this is to get to know you better, to be more familiar with your background, and to further understand all the other systems you interact with (family, work, town, etc) and that may be affecting you.
The length of therapy will depend on your presenting problem, on the issues you want to address, and on the depth of the work you want to do in yourself. Some people feel better after 5-10 sessions, while others need several months to process their challenges.
Psychotherapy is not an easy process as it entails getting in touch with the feelings that make you uncomfortable and with the pain that made you suffer. But getting in touch with your feelings will allow you to become aware of your needs, will let you elicit your current values, will allow you to set boundaries and make requests, and finally be a more authentic version of yourself even in trying times.
ISSUES I TREAT
My practice focuses mainly on supporting BIPOC and individuals of historically marginalised and underrepresented identities who have endured the impact of racial trauma, systems of oppression, acculturation, imposter syndrome, and burnout.
I offer compassionate care and support to deal with micro and macro systems of oppression. I help individuals align themselves with their values and protect themselves from pervasive cultural expectations.
1ST & 2ND GENERATIONS
Whether you are living in a new country or returning home after a long stay abroad, or whether you have frequently moved within your home country, it can take you a while to adjust to the effects of these changes. You may even feel as if you can never get back the years you spent away from your home. Sometimes these types of changes can leave you feeling isolated, misunderstood, or like you are performing in social situations and never get the chance to be your authentic self. These are issues we sometimes minimise because we believe it is just a matter of time before we will get over them, or that we just need to make more friends to feel better.
Acculturation can also present as disconnection from your parents or caregiver. Specially when you are the 1st or 2nd generation that has experienced a massive change (move, relocation, school, and other cultural changes).
When you feel like you don't belong or like you are in between cultures, you can experience constant imposter syndrome. Which means feelings like you are not trying hard enough or like you don't belong in your group of friends, school, or community.
INTERGENERATIONAL & RACIAL TRAUMA
SYSTEMS OF OPPRESSION
The effects of individual or collective trauma can be passed on to the next generation until someone is ready to deal with the issues that previous generations could not confront. The effects can manifest as depression, anxiety, or issues in your relationships, to name a few. This type of trauma can make you feel isolated or disconnected, and can make it difficult to trust the people around you. This is of course not your fault but these feelings can make you question your interactions with others and can make you question yourself.
Burnout and its variations, compassion fatigue or vicarious trauma, can make you feel isolated, overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, and/or depressed. The irony of burnout is that most of the time you experience it because of how much you care about your job, education, your community, or the people you serve or care for. Sometimes, it can be accompanied by imposter syndrome (feeling like you are not good enough at what you do) and it can make you question yourself and your goals.