Episode 12: “Prove Yourself Worthy of Being in this Country”: The Traumatic Impact of Immigration
Episode 12: “Prove Yourself Worthy of Being in this Country”: The Traumatic Impact of Immigration
Dr. Katherine joins Alyssa to discuss her journey of immigrating to the United States. They explore the implicit and explicit messages Dr. Katherine received as a child about having to be worthy of staying in this country. Dr. Katherine also opens up about the long-lasting effects that her experience with immigration had on her wellbeing.
For more information on how you can work with Dr. Katherine, please visit her website at www.drkatherinephd.com
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Alyssa Scolari [00:23]:
Hi, everybody. Hope you all are doing well. Welcome to another episode of the Light After Trauma podcast. I’m your host, Alyssa Scolari. Today we are going to be talking about a whole host of different things with my multi-passionate friend, as she likes to call herself, which I think is very fitting. This is Dr. Katherine Perez-Rivera. Dr. Katherine is a multi-passionate licensed psychologist in the State of New Jersey, and a Mind-Body Nutrition Coach. She’s the founder of the South Jersey Center for Psychological Services.
Dr. Katherine works with children, teens, and adults. She provides individual therapy, couples therapy, marriage counseling, and family therapy. She also conducts comprehensive psychological and parenting capacity evaluations. As part of Dr. Katherine’s PhD in Clinical Psychology program at the University of Alabama, she was formally trained in providing all of her services in English, as well as her native language, Spanish. There is so much more to this wonderful woman that we are going to get into. So hello, Katherine, how are you?
Katherine Perez Rivera [01:38]:
Hello, Alyssa. I’m doing wonderful. It’s just so nice to be here with you. I haven’t known you for that long, several months, but our relationship just seems to be so organic.
Alyssa Scolari [01:49]:
Katherine Perez Rivera [01:50]:
It’s been wonderful getting to know you.
Alyssa Scolari [01:52]:
Yep. That’s the exact word that I would use for it. Katherine and I met … Well, you had reached out to me, right? You had sent me an email.
Katherine Perez Rivera [02:00]:
Yes. Yes. Yes I did. Because of Noelle. Your beautiful Noelle.
Alyssa Scolari [02:06]:
Aw. My beautiful Noelle. We were just saying right before we started recording, I may be firing her from the role as therapy dog. As many of you know, who are a part of the Facebook group, and who see some of the things that I post on social media, I have three dogs. I have another Australian Shepherd who’s a year younger than Noelle. His name is Bentley. And while he was the worst-behaved puppy I’ve ever met in my life, he is becoming the sweetest dog. I took him to work with me last week. I think it was last week. And when I came home, he was so well behaved. He was so attentive to everyone’s needs. And when I came home, I told Noelle she might be fired. So we were just talking about that before we started recording. But yeah, so you reached out to me to ask me about how I got Noelle certified.
Katherine Perez Rivera [03:09]:
Yes, exactly. Exactly. Because I was in the process of adopting a dog from a shelter, and I always wanted to do something as incorporating a dog in my office. When I saw you, I was like, “Wait, this is someone who’s local. And let me reach out to her and see how she went about the process.” And I’m fortunate to have now adopted a Husky mix. We don’t know her other part, but she’s definitely more Husky than anything else, and she currently started her classes,with the ultimate goal of making her a therapy dog. We’ll see if she makes it. If not, I’ll just have to hire Noelle.
Alyssa Scolari [03:50]:
Noelle might be up for grabs. Your dog is so sweet. Oh, she’s so beautiful.
Katherine Perez Rivera [04:01]:
Very gentle. Very, very empathetic. I love her.
Alyssa Scolari [04:05]:
Yeah, I think she’ll be a great therapy dog. But tell me a little bit more about what it is you do, because you are, I mean, truly the epitome of the phrase multi-passionate. So where are you in your life right now? What are all the projects that you’re in? Give me the details.
Katherine Perez Rivera [04:29]:
I think that’s a perfect question, “Where are you in your life right now?” Because what I do really depends on the season of my life, and it’s never something that I plan out. Somehow I’m led to work with certain populations, have different contracts in my office at different times in my life. It’s just always interesting how I don’t seek them out. It just lands on me.
Right now my main focus is working with families who are involved with DCP&P, the Department of Children and Families. Primarily parents whose children have been taken away because of suspected or because of founded neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse, and/or sexual abuse. There’s usually a lot of substance abuse involved, a lot of complex trauma that the clients come with. My primary position with the State of New Jersey with this particular department, is to provide parental capacity valuations to determine if this particular parent is ready for either reunification, or what services do they need, or sometimes the children have not been removed, but there’s supervision in place, and whether the supervision should be lifted or not. That’s part of what I do.
The other part is I provide therapy to the clients that come through the state, through this particular department. I do have also some clients that I just see through my private practice. Then the other exciting portion, this is really exciting, is I do crisis management. It’s very last minute. Sometimes I’ll be in my PJ’s, and I’ll get that phone call saying, “How fast can you get to a particular company to provide support, specifically crisis management support for the employees that we have?” And it’s oftentimes because of some tragic incident, such as a suicide, a homicide, sometimes it’s a murder/suicide, and at times it’s a car accident. I have been very busy during the pandemic, whereas I’ve been called out to several companies to support the employees, the essential workers who were working many, many, many hours, and to just be able to support them. So it’s fascinating, because I don’t just do the traditional psychotherapy. I do the forensic evaluations, and then I also do the crisis management work.
Alyssa Scolari [06:56]:
I think one of the things that I admire about you the most is that, and when I talked to Katherine, I think I’ve probably asked her 75 times at this point, “How do you do what you do?” Which is the crisis management. Going out on the crisis calls. I used to have to do that through my… Basically all the jobs that I’ve had, prior to launching into full-time private practice through my job with the police department, through when I worked at the Center for Family Services, when I worked in the city of Camden, all of my positions required you to be on-call in a crisis. So you have to be at-the-ready to put your therapist hat on at any time, even though you’re not really providing long-term therapy. You still have to be in that mode. Why do you think that you’re so drawn to that?
Katherine Perez Rivera [08:02]:
That’s a great question. I always wanted to pursue a career with an agency such as the FBI. Something in which I was solving problems, I was doing detective type of work, and I wasn’t able to pursue that because I was, as I’ve shared with you before, at some point, undocumented in this country. And so of course that barred me from any government position, even though it doesn’t barr me from having contracts with the government. There’s an element about not knowing what I’m walking into, and yet being extremely confident that the skillset that I have will absolutely meet the needs of the clients.
I walked with this confidence because I have had so much experience in psychology that I got this, and it’s not always the case. There are times when I’m stumped. There are times when I’m not sure what to say. But I just feel that going into something, and not knowing what I’m walking into, it’s just really exciting. It shakes things up. It goes back to just testing myself like, “Well, this is another test. How good am I going to be?”
And I also remember that I am not there to fix. I am only there to contain the fire. That’s the way I think about it. I’m just there to contain the crisis. And I don’t hold responsibility for the people I work with. I really believe that people … I try and put people in an empowered position. And so I don’t hold the responsibility that when I walk into a company, that I have to know all the answers, and that I have to make sure that everything is fine before I leave. And so that’s also very helpful. I don’t have very high expectations for myself, even though I do walk in knowing that I have a very good skillset to apply to a company that I walk into.
Alyssa Scolari [09:54]:
Right. That makes a lot of sense. You thrive in chaos, it sounds like. Right? That’s your sweet spot. Do you get an adrenaline rush from it?
Katherine Perez Rivera [10:10]:
I do, Alyssa, I do. In fact, there was a time when I was teaching quite a number of indoor cycling classes,and also running my private practice, and also doing crisis management. And so I remember a few times I was getting off the bike just saying goodbye to the riders, and I would get that phone call and say, “How soon can you be there? There’s there’s been a homicide.” And I always had a change of clothes in my car, my earrings, my accessories, my shoes, and I’d be running out to the car, and I’d be grabbing and I’d see as soon as possible how soon can I shower, rinse off, how soon can I get dressed, how soon can you get in the car? There’s just something fascinating, just experience of this hero life, even though I don’t see myself as a hero in a way.
I just felt like I’m being called to do the best. So technically being called, but I’m also being called to serve in this way, very differently than I had been. I’ve been doing this for about three years, the crisis management component in my practice. And I just feel like I should have been doing this for a lot longer, like why didn’t I start this until three years ago? So it is something about that. It is very chaotic when I get that phone call, and I always have to be ready, and I am ready. It just really feeds into my self-esteem, it just really feeds into the fact that I’m pretty seasoned in the field. I’m pretty seasoned, and the way that I do things is very organized. And yet when I’m being called to do this, it tests me. Can you really pull it together?
You know, another thing too is that it’s time limited. When I’m out in the sites, I know that it’s time limited, and there’s something also very refreshing about that. I love psychotherapy. I love long-term psychotherapy. And yet, this is the other side of the coin. Maybe I’m at a company for four hours, maybe two, maybe eight hours. And that’s it. Now during the pandemic, I was stationed at one company for five weeks, and another company for 10 weeks. And that was seven days a week for five weeks, seven days a week for 10 weeks. And that was extremely unusual. But usually it’s a very time limited experience that I have, and people go so deep in such a short amount of time. They talk about things that I just would have never expected them to talk about. Some people would reveal very traumatic childhood traumatic experiences and relationships that we’ve had in the past or are currently in. And they know that they’re never going to see me again.
Alyssa Scolari [12:40]:
Yeah. It’s so interesting that you say that, because I remember, and I think that, I think that that’s more about who you are as a person, and speaks to the level of safety that you can provide people right off the bat, the level of emotional safety. I noticed that that was happening to me as well when I would go out on crisis calls, and that doesn’t happen to everybody. After talking with my colleagues, not everybody pours their whole heart and soul out to you, knowing that they’re never going to see you again. And I had found that that was happening to me often. Anytime I would go out on a crisis call, I would find myself listening to somebody’s whole life story, and every trauma that they’ve ever endured, which is wonderful that they felt a sense of safety to be able to share that with me.
But at the same time, it didn’t work for me personally, because I wasn’t able to leave it at the door, so to speak. I would bring that home and go, “Okay, I’m never going to see that person again. And I was the container for three decades worth of trauma. And I don’t know what to do with that. So it’s, I think, really reflective on who you are as a human being, that people feel safe enough to be able to unravel in front of you.
Katherine Perez Rivera [14:12]:
Thank you for sharing that. And yeah, I could see that discomfort in terms of leaving, and now it’s like, “What happens next? What do I do with this?” And I know that because I’m going out with presenting Employee Assistance Programs, there’s always employee assistance counselors that are the next step. And so I contain the fire as I call it, but then I hand it off, make sure that the client knows how to access the resources through the Employee Assistance Program.
And again, because I believe in the power of choice, I really try and put someone in an empowered position. That is your choice on how you decide to process this further. But then I walk away just with this knowing that they will make the right choice for themselves at this point in time. And whether that is accessing the services, the additional counseling sessions that are offered to them through the Employee Assistance Program or not, it is what they’re ready for. They get to decide that. I don’t get to decide that for them. And I feel really complete when I leave, knowing that I get to-
Alyssa Scolari [15:16]:
You get to pass the torch, so to speak.
Katherine Perez Rivera [15:19]:
Alyssa Scolari [15:19]:
And have them set up for help, and whatever it is that they may need, should they choose that.
Katherine Perez Rivera [15:25]:
Yes. And so that’s the way that I pretty much brainwashed myself into thinking they’re good to go right now. I’ve done my end, and they know the next step to take. And it’s their choice whether they take it or not. And if I didn’t have that trusting in human nature, and the human choice, and the human condition, I think I’d be a mess.
Alyssa Scolari [15:47]:
Katherine Perez Rivera [15:48]:
I’d be like, “Oh my God. Oh my God. This is something that I have to… I have to meet up with them again. I have to get their phone number, call them, make sure they’re okay.” But it took a lot of years for me to get to that point. When you’re first starting out in psychology and counseling, I think most of us do feel a sense of responsibility for our client’s success or failures.
Alyssa Scolari [16:08]:
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And I want to go back to when you said a little while ago, that you weren’t able to pursue the career path that you wanted because you are undocumented. What was that like? I know we’ve talked a little bit, not recording, about what your early childhood days were like, but part of me wonders if, because it must have been chaotic for you. And there’s a big part of me that wonders if that chaos that you experienced in your childhood is part of the reason why you thrive in the chaos now. Does that make sense?
Katherine Perez Rivera [16:57]:
It does make sense. You know, and there’s this pull that I have towards being extremely organized and detail-oriented. I wouldn’t call it perfectionistic, but it has a tendency to veer that way towards perfectionism. And then there’s this other comfort that I have with chaos. And I do think that it definitely stems, and I think that’s very observant of you, Alyssa. I do think it stems with the fact that I was undocumented. I actually came to this country when I was eight years old from Venezuela. And I came with a Visa through my father, who was a business owner. He would import-export goods from the United States down to Venezuela and back. And we decided to just hang out for a little while so the girls, me and my sister, could learn English. And it took a little longer than the six months he expected. It took two years.
And by then, we wanted to stay. But by then, our Visa was expiring, and things were really becoming politically unstable in our country. And so he made the brave and questionable decision to keep us here. But it was extremely rough, because there was a lot of food insecurity, there was a lot of insecurity regarding whether we were going to be deported or not. And certainly by the time that I learned all of this, it made sense of why there was so much chaos in my household, so much ineffective communication, so much, “You have to eat everything that you possibly can right now, because you don’t know if you’re going to have food the next day.” And it was also time for me to apply to colleges, not knowing that I really couldn’t apply.
So it all worked out, obviously I did all my studying here in this country. It all worked out. I’m a citizen now, but there was just an element of having to always keep it together. I do remember an attorney saying to me and this, this haunts me, but at the same time it’s been, what’s propelled me. This attorney said to me, “You need to prove your self worthy to this country, in order to be able to stay in this country.” And I wonder if I wouldn’t tell-
Alyssa Scolari [18:59]:
That’s a loaded statement.
Katherine Perez Rivera [19:01]:
Right. Right. I mean, would I have pursued a doctorate? Would I have gone this far in education? If I hadn’t been told that? I don’t know. I just know that being told, “You need to prove yourself worthy to this country so that you can stay in this country” is pretty significant for a 15 year old. And so-
Alyssa Scolari [19:22]:
You were 15 you heard that?
Katherine Perez Rivera [19:23]:
Yes, I was 15 years old when I heard that. Yes. And so I was like, “Okay, no problem. Everything’s chaotic, but I’ll pull it together.” And so that was, in my world, it was traumatic. I wasn’t able to make it traumatic at the time. I just couldn’t afford to feel the trauma. Because it would have just, I think overwhelmed me.
And it’s just, as I got older, that I began to experience the impact that those words had, the way that I work, the way that I just, I go all out. I go above and beyond, and in things that are sometimes trivial and not important, things that are just not important, but I go above and beyond. And I’ve really had to work to just kind of balance things out, and not do it all, and not do it all at once, because time’s not really running out, even though physiologically, the trauma has wired me to really think that time’s always running out.
So it goes back to, yes, it was very chaotic. And yes, that is probably why when I go into an unknown, I’m okay with it, because I know there will be an end, as opposed to, I know there will be a time when I’m scheduled to leave. And I know there’s support that I can leave the client with as opposed to you when I was a child, I didn’t have that support. And there was no end in sight.
Alyssa Scolari [20:41]:
Yeah. That makes it so much sense to me now, why you are on the career path that you are on, because you have the best of both worlds. But it’s almost like you’re able to replay out your childhood in what you do now with crisis management, because you know that there is going to be an end to it. And you know that they are going to have support, and you’re able to offer them the solution that you ultimately didn’t know you were going to have as a child. Right? I hear this sense of like, “Well, I didn’t know when my time was going to be up.”
Katherine Perez Rivera [21:22]:
Yeah. Yeah. I remember when I would hear a helicopter, I would think, “Oh my God, they’re looking for me.” I would envision like, “Okay, what would I take if I hear that knock on the door? What would I take with me?” So, yeah, it was definitely very vivid. I recall just feeling just so ungrounded. And so that’s why in my practice, that’s what I really try and get people to focus, not on what they cannot control, because that just makes her crazy, right? I try and make people think about what they can control, and to try and just really give themselves permission to be uncomfortable with those things that they cannot control. To know that it’s going to be okay, as long as you do keep focusing on the things that you can control, and you process the feelings that you have for the things that you cannot control. So I really try and get people to feel grounded by just that little tiny thing they can control. That’s just so essential to my work. Because I felt so out of control.
Alyssa Scolari [22:26]:
That’s so important. Right. And it’s what you needed. Even in the basic sense. You didn’t even know if your needs were going to be met, in terms of like, “Well, we don’t know if you’re going to be able to eat tomorrow, so eat everything that you can today.” Which is really setting you up for eating disorder behaviors, which I’m guessing, and you can speak further on this as part of the reason why you are a Mind-Body Nutrition Coach as well.
Katherine Perez Rivera [22:59]:
One of the interesting things about Mind-Body Nutrition Coaching is that, and we all have, most of us have the knowledge, and we all have access to the knowledge on how to lead a healthy lifestyle. And I just find it fascinating how, including myself, that there were many years in which, of course I had the knowledge, but I would not apply the knowledge. And on how to eat healthy and how to be healthy, how to live healthy.
And that’s why I was drawn to that particular coaching program through the Institute of the Psychology of Eating. Because if I myself had the knowledge, and I had a doctorate, and I was still not eating healthy, then there was something more. It was something way more. And I was really able to understand that that food insecurity I had as a child growing up, made its way into adulthood. And made for some disorder in me, for some times, just this consumption of food that just, this binge-eating, I just couldn’t stop.
It was like, “Oh my God, this food tastes so good.” And it wasn’t, I don’t think just about the comfort that comes with food. It was about the fact that, “Will I have any food tomorrow?” was playing out in the background. It was playing out on my father’s messages that, “You must eat everything that’s available to you right now, because we do not know if you will have food tomorrow.” And so there have been patterns. There have been times in my life when I have engaged in binge eating. And fortunately that’s not longer. I am so in touch with what I’ve put in my body, and the reasons why I’ve put it in my body at this time, that I’m in that phase anymore. But I have had those phases before, and I didn’t understand them until I became a Mind-Body Nutrition Coach.
Alyssa Scolari [24:47]:
Wow. Wow. I am just so impressed and in awe of the work that you do, and how you have taken, right? This is what this podcast is all about, is spreading this awareness to people that regardless of what you’ve been through, it’s not a death sentence, so to speak. You have the opportunity to take all of the horrible things that you have been through, and make the world a better place as a result of them. And you embody that. And I knew that from the moment that I met you. So I am very honored that you are able to come on here, and share your light to all of the listeners out there, because your story is one that needs to be told.
I would hazard a guess here and say that you are so not alone when it comes to the connection between being undocumented in the United States, and eating disordered behaviors, because I’m sure it’s always that thought of, “Well, when is my time up?” And it’s so very, very sad. But the fact that you’re able to reflect on it, and then help others to be more present-focused, and live in the moment on, “Okay, well, what can I control? What can I control right now?” It’s amazing. It’s amazing.
Katherine Perez Rivera [26:24]:
Thank you. You know, I’ve been able to, but that the fact that yes, I did want to pursue a career with the FBI, I wanted to do certain things that I was unable to do because of my status, my legal status. And yet I have found that now I do forensic work, that I do interface with the court system. I interface with judges, I interface with attorneys. And so that’s what I really find interesting, that even though I wasn’t able to do it the traditional way, I’m still somehow involved in that-
Alyssa Scolari [26:59]:
You found your way.
Katherine Perez Rivera [27:00]:
Yeah. In that kind of legality, that legal world. And yet I’m protected, because that’s not all I do. It’s not all 100% that I do this forensic work either. So that’s where just being able to just have that experience of being multi-passionate. I’m drawn to different things. And not to mention that I’m talented in those different areas is really helpful. So I get to play around. I get to use some of my creativity as well.
With the mind-body nutrition coaching, it is something that I started again about three years ago, and I find that the philosophy behind it is still pretty new. It’s something that doesn’t resonate with a lot of people. A lot of phone calls I will get is, “I want to lose this amount of weight. And I want to get on a meal plan.” And that’s not what mind-body nutrition coaching is. It’s about-
Alyssa Scolari [27:49]:
No way Jose.
Katherine Perez Rivera [27:50]:
Right. It’s about unearthing your wounds, and also unearthing your potential, by having a different relationship with your body. Some of the exercises are things such as writing a letter to your body, praising it, apologizing to it, and having your body write a letter back. Things that people that are seeking a meal plan, that are wanting to count calories, macros, that’s not what they’re going to get with mind-body nutrition coaching. So I find that it is something that is not… It doesn’t resonate with a lot of people just yet, but I do think that it is our future.
I do think that we’re going to find that many of us will do the calorie counting, the restriction, the this, the that, and guess what, we’re still not getting to where we want to get. We don’t look the way we want to look. And mind-body nutrition coaching really gets you out of that.
Alyssa Scolari [27:50]:
Katherine Perez Rivera [28:35]:
So when everyone’s knocking on everyone’s door, not proposing a meal plan so we can track calories, because they really want to slow down. They want to look into vitamin L, love, vitamin R, rest, they want to look into all of these other vitamins that are beyond the vitamins that you can buy at a pharmacy. To see how this resonates can really impact the way that you feel about yourself and bring food into the picture.
Alyssa Scolari [29:01]:
Yes, I love it. That is the future, right? It might not be right now, but that is the future of our world, which is pushing things like South Beach Diet and Weight Watchers right out the door, because you can count until you’re blue in the face, and it’s not going to work. Sorry to disappoint those of you out there who don’t know this, but diets do not work, nor have they ever worked. And people are now going to be knocking on doors. And instead of saying, “Help me to lose this weight.” They’re going to say, “Help me to figure out how I can intuitively eat, because there’s so much noise going on in my head with diet, culture, and trauma, and this and that, that says, “I need to look a certain way.” But we need to learn how to be at peace with ourselves.
Katherine Perez Rivera [30:00]:
And that’s why only 5% of people will reach their goals. And it’s typically short-term, in terms of the dieting. And so that’s very sad to hear that, because a lot of times diets are just masking our traumas, or they’re masking challenges, or masking deficiencies that we just haven’t really addressed.
Alyssa Scolari [30:18]:
Absolutely. My chronic dieting was the way that I could avoid having to remember my abuse. So if I just focused on trying to control that number on the scale, or trying to count the points in Weight Watchers, I mean, I could have been the poster child for Weight Watchers. And it all served a purpose, which was to mask the abuse that I had endured. And I believe that to be true for so many people who engage in that chronic dieting behavior. So, and not necessarily that it’s abuse, but it’s usually masking trauma of some sort. Chronic dieting serves a purpose, and the purpose really is never simply to lose weight.
Katherine Perez Rivera [31:12]:
Yeah. Yeah. And you know, what I say about working with people, and one of my primary goals is just to get them to focus on what they can control, it’s always things, for instance, like a conversation, like what can you control about not knowing what this person is thinking? Okay, well, you can ask them. It’s never about numbers. It’s never about this rigidity. It’s typically very interpersonal. And when I work with people in the mind-body nutrition coaching area, and I try to get them to focus on what they control, it’s never about the number on the scale. And I do find that most people are so focused. People sometimes will weigh themselves several times a day.
Alyssa Scolari [31:51]:
Oh, yeah. I did that. If I didn’t like the number, I would step back off, step back on, if I still didn’t like the number, I’d be like, “All right, well, what if I take my hair tie out? Maybe my hair tie is adding that extra ounce.”
Katherine Perez Rivera [32:08]:
Yeah. I was there a few times, too. I was obviously there a few times. It’s like, “Oh, let me take my glasses off.”
Alyssa Scolari [32:08]:
I did that too. Oh, man.
Katherine Perez Rivera [32:20]:
Now I have contacts, so, yeah. And I remember that with the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, where I did my study for the mind-body nutrition coaching, that they have you go on a two month, no diet, diet. So for two months, you’re to just eat anything want, and you’re also supposed to smash your scale. You take a hammer and you smash your scale. That’s part of it.
Alyssa Scolari [32:47]:
I love it.
Katherine Perez Rivera [32:47]:
Because it’s about really reconnecting to you, to your body, as opposed to to these external triggers for many.
Alyssa Scolari [32:56]:
Yep. I couldn’t agree with you more. Smash that scale, everybody. If you’re not there yet, it’s okay. I get it. But one day you’ll be there, and you’ll hopefully smash that scale. So, well, I just want to thank you for coming on the show today. You truly are, I know I’ve said this before, but you truly are the embodiment of a multi-passionate woman who has… You’ve taken everything that you’ve been through, and you’ve used it to thrive in this world. So it is a joy for the world to get to hear your story. And I am so grateful to have met you.
Katherine Perez Rivera [33:37]:
Yeah. Same here. And you know, I’ve told you that several times, that it’s just, it’s incredible. You know, we didn’t know each other at the beginning of the year. And I feel like I’ve known you for years.
Alyssa Scolari [33:49]:
Yep. We’re we’re soulmates. We’re soulmates, in the purest sense of the word. So-
Katherine Perez Rivera [33:58]:
Absolutely. And Alyssa, it’s just that you are so transparent. That is amazing. Your transparency. You make yourself vulnerable, and that’s just very, you’re just so real. You’re so authentic. You draw people in because of your authenticity. And you’re helping people with things like, for instance, this podcast. You’re really trying, you’re doing this for others, and it’s just so touching that you… And it’s a lot of work to do what you’re doing, and you’re doing it because you want to inspire people. And to knowing that trauma is something that you’ll carry with you, and you can fly from it, and can turn it into something more.
Alyssa Scolari [34:38]:
Yeah. It doesn’t have to be a death sentence. And I knew after sitting in my office and listening to my patients, that it wasn’t going to be enough for me to just be in private practice. I need to reach as many people as I can, because if almost every person that I’m seeing in my practice feels hopeless and a sense of despair because of what they’ve been through, then imagine how many other people are out there that feel this sense of hopelessness and despair. And I know, because I felt it. I’ve been there. And yeah, I appreciate you saying that, because that’s my goal, is to be as raw and as vulnerable as possible, so that people know that like, “Yes, this process is ugly. The healing is ugly, but the beauty that comes from it is far beyond what anybody could ever imagine.
Katherine Perez Rivera [35:41]:
Yeah. So thank you to you, for doing what you do, Alyssa.
Alyssa Scolari [35:45]:
Thank you. And if people want to learn more about you, or if they want to seek you out for mind-body nutrition coaching, where could they find you at?
Katherine Perez Rivera [35:56]:
So my website is http://www.dr.katherine. So that’s D-R-K-A-T-H-E-R-I-N-E-P-H-D.com. So sr.katherinephd.com, and I am based out of Pitman, New Jersey, but I also provide, as many of us do nowadays, tele-health services.
Alyssa Scolari [36:19]:
Perfect. And I will link that. I will link her website in the show notes, and in the newsletter, and Facebook page for you all, so you have access to learn more about her, if you are interested. Thank you very much.
Katherine Perez Rivera [36:34]:
Thank you, Alyssa. You take care.
Alyssa Scolari [36:36]:
You too. I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. For more information on today’s discussion, and to sign up for the Light After Trauma newsletter, head over to my website @alyssascolari.com. Also be sure to check out my Instagram for additional tips and resources, at Alyssa_Scolari_LPC. Thanks again for listening, and take good care.