It is important now more than ever to embrace and celebrate what connects us: our resilience. This month, we’re shining a spotlight on Meet Alexa Diego, MA, LPC, NCC, Resilience Trauma Intervention Specialist and member of Resilience’s Spanish Speaking Committee. Read our interview below to hear from Alexa about Trauma Therapy and how we can support the Spanish-speaking community at Resilience.
Read our interview with Alexa below.
You’re a Trauma Intervention Specialist at Resilience: tell me about your role.
I’ve been with Resilience for a little over a year and a half. My main role is to be the first point of contact for survivors of sexual assault and their significant others and families who are interested in trauma therapy. I inform them about our services, which are a couple of different things: individual therapy, group therapy, and one-time sessions. I run some support groups when I’m not assessing people and assigning them to a therapist. That assessment is a comprehensive assessment of their mental health needs, their current functioning, as well as certain things that they might want to work on in therapy. I tell the clients I’m assessing that it’s really a point to screen whether this would be an appropriate service for them. If it’s not, then I might make that appropriate referral elsewhere. I also manage the one-time session waitlist, which usually is no more than a few people, thankfully. In my spare time, I’m also running the Spanish-speaking committee.
What inspired you to pursue trauma therapy and work with survivors?
I’ve been in the mental health field for about eight years now and throughout my experiences, I’ve noticed that so many of the people I worked with had a background of trauma in some way, whether it be adverse childhood experiences, substance abuse, racial trauma, domestic violence, or sexual abuse. I found that the people that I worked with specifically were mainly women of color who have experienced domestic violence and sexual violence. At that point, trauma was a niche that I felt was very important to offer my services in, and I wanted to spend time psychoeducating women about the effects of trauma, how trauma affects the brain and behavior, and things like that. It’s definitely something that I’ve felt was very prominent in my work in the mental health field and feel it is important to include in my philosophy.
Tell me about the Spanish-speaking committee at Resilience. How and when did it come about? What are the goals and vision for the committee?
The goals and the vision have changed pretty significantly since I am now leading the committee and new members have joined us. In the past, there was more of a focus and push for trying to propose a point person for Spanish speakers that would focus on exactly what we’re trying to do now as a committee, however, with budgeting being a concern, we as a committee are now prioritizing being creative in tangible resources to maintain Spanish speakers engaged with Resilience through online resources. We currently have in mind how we want to continue engaging with this community by planning different events such as an informational session where we promote our bilingual therapy services, collaborate with other sexual assault agencies, and possibly bring in professionals in this field who work with Spanish-speaking survivors to psychoeducate them in various areas of mental health.
How does this committee support and keep Spanish speakers engaged with Resilience? How can we support the Spanish-speaking community in our work at Resilience?
We’ve been working on keeping Spanish-speaking survivors engaged by collaborating with the Communications team to improve our available social media and website resources. This stemmed from noticing a lack of Spanish-translated material on our social media and website, so this encouraged us to want to bridge this language gap by pushing for more accessibility on our website whether it’s an article or a hotline number, or translating our current English material. Additionally, we’re working on a Spanish web page for our website that includes accessible information on our services, as well as a blog page.
What is one thing you or the Trauma Therapy team are looking forward to this year?
I think the biggest thing we’re most excited about right now is the different groups that we will be offering. We’ve been getting creative with support groups so that we reach a larger audience of survivors. For example, a couple of people on our team have introduced the idea of having one-time sessions for certain groups, such as a crocheting skills group or a processing group on specific things like the overturning of Roe V. Wade or other current events. We want to make sure that we’re being mindful of different things that are going on in the lives of survivors that we work with to make sure that we give attention to everything as much as we can.
What’s one fun fact about you?
One of my many creative hobbies aside from painting and content creating, is that I run a small batch candle business from my apartment. I try to be as creative as I can because I feel like in our field specifically, we kind of need to. It’s definitely a hobby but also a form of self-care.