A note from Andrea Conde, AMFT
As an associate marriage and family therapist with AMR, I often consider what drives me to do the work I do. From a young age, I was inspired to work in healthcare or related fields. As a teen I was fascinated by public health, particularly the HIV/AIDS epidemic and how queer communities mobilized to fight for proper care and better treatment options. It struck me how belonging to a certain group or socioeconomic class could come to have a real impact on the health and livelihood of individuals. During my undergraduate career I explored career options related to medicine and health as I wanted to help bring healing to communities I care about. I noticed how mental health wasn’t given so much attention in the realm of healthcare, and that the availability of good mental health treatment for immigrant communities, for LGBTQ communities was limited. I decided to continue my education to work directly with individuals on their mental health.
The other related reason for my interest in becoming a therapist was my own experience in therapy. I went into therapy for the first time at age 21, and I found the couch to be a daunting place. There was no hiding being other students, family, or the facade of a curated social media presence. I had to come face to face with my own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and to explore who I really was, and who I wanted to be. I keep this in mind in my own work with clients, and try to bring compassion, patience, and understanding to the virtual “room.” It takes courage to be vulnerable with a therapist. During that first period of time in therapy, I began to understand my own self in a new way and recognize the patterns that were holding me back. That experience also inspired me to go into this work, knowing first hand how impactful it can be.
For my clients, I hope that therapy can be a space for them to bring their worries, their troubles, their frustrations, but also their dreams, their passions and their desires. I hope that therapy helps them to tap into their inner voice and then cultivate the tools and the courage to listen to it. It is an honor to listen to my clients’ life stories, and it is a role I hold with great respect.
-Andrea Conde, AMFT