Get to Know Jessica Barnes

When did you decide to go into Marriage and Family Therapy?

Since I can remember I wanted to help people. When I was very little I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted that all the way up until 7 th grade. When I was in the 7 th grade my middle school started a peer counseling program. I was chosen to be one of the first peer counselors. It was then that I knew that this was the way that I could help people in a way that came very easy to me.

Do you have advice for someone who is considering becoming an MFT?

I would say definitely shadow an MFT if you can. Maybe interview an MFT and ask someone who is working in the field and ask them about the pros and cons of the work. It will help you see if it is the right fit for you.

What would you say to someone who is nervous about setting up their first counseling session with you?

I would say that apprehension makes sense but that the good thing about therapy is that you can just try the first session and see if it feels right. Also, I would probably tell them how I could help them feel better about what ever they were going through. I might give them I taste of how I would work with them in session to show how calming and comforting I can be.

Do you have a special area you focus on within the therapy field?

My current focus is with couples and with Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. The understanding of how our relationships can positively or negatively affect our lives is so important to me. I want help couples enjoy their relationships more and in turn thrive more in their everyday lives.

How do you pass time when you are not with clients?

I really love to explore San Diego. I have only lived here four years so I still have a lot of activities that I have not had a chance to experience. I love salsa dancing, or dancing of any kind really. I am a pretty big movie buff, especially movies from the 80’s. I am really into doing home projects. My next one is redoing my floors. I am trying to decide between laminate or rejuvenating the old hardwood.

If you were not a therapist what would you be doing?

If I were not a therapist I would be a doctor. The human body is a miracle to me. I am in awe of it practically daily. And it is such an amazing time to be in the medical field with all of the technology that is able to help us make new discoveries. I would really enjoy being a surgeon. I think after doing basic surgery for a few years I would enjoy being a plastic surgeon. It is such an interesting balance of art and science.