Hi, my name is Jessica!
I am so happy you’re here. I look forward to meeting you and providing a calm and inviting space to explore and process life’s many challenges. Earlier this year, I graduated from National University with a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy. For the past 10 months, I have been working as an intern at a non-profit practice where I was fortunate to work with individuals and couples of all different backgrounds. Prior to entering the field of mental health, I worked as a Special Education Teacher for over 10 years. My foundation in education and working with vulnerable populations of children and families has provided me with a foundation in empathy and understanding, which has been so valuable to my work as a therapist.
Now as part of the Estes Team, I look forward to continuing to provide support and care to individuals and couples alike. At times, life throws us challenges that we are unsure how to tackle on our own. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by anxiety, depression, or difficulties in our relationships. I have a passion for helping individuals maximize their potential for happiness by becoming deeply connected with their inner self and for working with couples to become better connected and grounded in their relationships. I am especially interested in exploring attachment and family systems with individuals, examining the past to inform the present and future. Additionally, I hope to provide couples with a safe space to explore their relationship when feeling disconnected or stuck utilizing an EFT approach (Emotionally Focused Therapy).
When I am not working with clients, I am spending time with my family, including my dog Luna and cat Marty. I enjoy exploring our city, San Diego, and am always on the hunt for a great new restaurant or coffee shop. A warm coffee or yummy meal can often be healing in their own right. I look forward to hearing what makes you feel cozy and content!
**Supervised by Dr. Ida Fariba MFT#124097
Getting to Know You Questionnaire.
When did you decide to go into Marriage and Family Therapy? After completing my undergrad in 2009, I debated pursuing two fields: teaching and marriage and family therapy. Circumstances at that time led me to teach which I loved and continued for 12 years. However, during the pandemic, I began to feel that, as a teacher, I wasn’t able to provide the care and support I was called to give. The world was suffering and I realized it was the push I needed to pursue this long-standing passion of mine. Additionally, during that time I also began my own journey in therapy. I experienced such amazing growth and healing that confirmed my desire to provide others with the same opportunity for clarity and healing.
Do you have advice for someone who is considering counseling? First, congratulations on taking this step. You are making a choice to be an advocate for yourself and your healing. Remember as you move through this work to continue to advocate for yourself. Sometimes that means being honest with your therapist when it doesn’t feel like a great fit. It can be hard to share this but please remember that your therapist wants nothing more than to support you, and that includes ensuring you have the best possible therapeutic experience you can.
What would you say to someone who is nervous about setting up their first counseling session with you? You are not alone. I was so nervous to make that first call. There were so many negative thoughts swirling around in my head about what starting therapy meant about me. Although those thoughts seemed loud, they were not as loud as my desire for change. Deciding to engage in therapy for the first time is a decision to put yourself first and give yourself the attention and care you deserve.
○ Do you have a special area you focus on within the therapy field? I am passionate about working with individuals and couples, specifically those struggling with anxiety, trauma, and relational challenges. I believe each individual’s lived experience shapes who they are, and because of that, sometimes we get stuck in challenging patterns or with negative beliefs about ourselves. My aim is to help clients explore their past to inform their present and future, in order to bring clarity and relief to their life and their relationships.
How do you pass your time when you are not working with clients? When I’m not with clients I love spending time with my family and friends, having fun in San Diego! I love to go hiking with my dog, out to dinner with my friends, and cooking for my family! I am also an avid concertgoer and love a good summer music festival.
If you were not a therapist, what would you be doing? That’s a hard question to answer. This is my second career (I was a Special Education teacher for 12 years) and I don’t intend on having a third! With that being said, I do love to cook (and to eat), so maybe something involving cooking or food blogging.