Marcela’s Small Steps

Marcela recently began therapy because chronic anxiety was making it a struggle to complete everyday tasks. As she began to work on reducing her anxiety, the pandemic upended “life as normal” in St. Louis, causing her anxiety to skyrocket.

Continuing therapy via telehealth, Marcela shared that her anxiety over contracting the virus was severe­–she didn’t even want to retrieve her mail or go outside. She shared she wanted to feel some sense of control over her life.

Helping her reach this goal, her therapist led Marcela through breathing exercises and then began Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). As her therapist, Evelyn, explains, “During CBT, we look at a client’s thoughts and identify patterns. We often find ourselves thinking certain thoughts over and over, making a challenge so scary and large that we paralyze ourselves. My goal is to help the client recognize that their concerns are important and valid while setting up strategies to challenge those anxious thoughts and over time reduce anxiety.”

Together, Marcela and her therapist created a plan to retrieve her mail. Practicing breathing exercises each day, along with taking precautions such as wearing a mask and gloves when outside, Marcela has been able to go about her day with less anxiety. By creating a plan and the consistent support of her therapist, Marcela was able to retrieve her mail and get into the sunshine. Though, as our therapists always remind us, healing is a process, we are excited by Marcella’s success!

Our Bilingual Mental Health Counseling Department serves families and children who migrate to St. Louis and have suffered trauma that impedes their adjustment to the St. Louis community. We are one of the few providers in the St. Louis area who offer Spanish-language therapy to children, adults, and families as they work through these past experiences. Our clinical staff is trained in a wide variety of evidence-based practices to assure they are able to have the most appropriate intervention for each individual.