“I think people have this idea that you have to be in crisis in order to go to therapy, but you don’t,” explains student Paloma Franco, M.S. “Life can be messy and sometimes having the space to safely explore feelings and process different experiences is so important.”
Paloma’s unshakeable belief in that is what has spurred her throughout her educational journey and her career. She discovered her love of psychology while in undergrad and has pursued it ever since.
A bilingual clinician, Paloma is currently working as a psychological assistant at a private practice in Northeast Los Angeles. The Applied Clinical PsyD student hopes to work with victims of crime in the future. Her affinity for working with the population was discovered while volunteering at non-profit, Freedom and Fashion. The organization’s mission is to use fashion and the arts to empower youth and women overcoming sex trafficking, domestic abuse, and other injustices.
Paloma enjoying the outdoors
“I have always had a passion for women’s rights,” she says, “and this organization allowed me to develop that even more.”
Paloma’s other interest lies in destigmatizing mental health.
“Destigmatizing mental health is important to me so that people know it’s okay to seek therapy and are aware of the services and benefits. It’s important to let others know that therapy and taking care of your mental health no es cosa de locos. ” (is not just for “crazy” people).
She knows that not everyone sees therapy as beneficial, and that admitting to mental health needs can be considered a weakness. She wants to change that. “I plan to continue having conversations with others on the importance of their mental health and advocating for therapy by wearing my #therapyiscool tote bag.”
After graduating from TCSPP, Paloma plans to continue working in private practice and obtaining further trauma-informed training.