At Symmetry Counseling, we are proud of our staff of highly trained and experienced licensed mental health professionals. In the above video, meet Paula Gonzales, a Licensed Professional Counselor here at Symmetry Counseling.
What made you decide to be a therapist?
I knew I wanted to become a therapist at a very young age after witnessing a homeless man who appeared to be experiencing some kind of psychosis or schizophrenia. So at that point, I was pretty frightened and pretty intrigued. So that’s what kind of put me on the path of studying psychology. I wanted to find out what was going on in the human brain that would cause someone to act in that way.
What are your specialties?
My specialties are anxiety and depression. I also treat people who are experiencing borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and panic disorder.
What is your therapeutic stance?
My therapeutic stance is CBT, which is cognitive behavioral therapy, and also DBT, which is dialectical behavioral therapy. Both of those are pretty similar. I love CBT because if you can change your thoughts, you can change your behavior, and you can change your life, so that’s why I love it. I think it’s very powerful, and I have had some good results from using both of those, both CBT and DBT.
What do you enjoy most about being a therapist?
There are several things I love about being a psychotherapist. So one of them is being able to meet a wide range of very interesting people, and then being able to help them through some very tough times in their life. Then, I also believe that practicing as a psychotherapist is part of my life’s plan. So that’s why I enjoy being a therapist.
If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
So, if I was an animal… so this is a tough one. So if I were an animal, it would either be a dog or a bird. So, today I’m choosing a bird because I love to travel, so being a bird, you’re free to go to any destination you want to go to, you don’t have to worry about going to the ticket counter or using your computer to buy a ticket, you can explore all these different destinations, explore the culture, witness the people, and eat the food, which I really love.
What do you do for self-care?
My self-care routine is pretty varied. So at least three times out of the week, I try to attend a workout class. So I go to a Barre Code class, so it incorporates yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, ballet, dancing, and lots of really loud music, which I really love. I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends, I enjoy going out to eat, and I enjoy going to the movies. Movies are my thing; I love it.
What are your hobbies?
My hobbies include horseback riding; I haven’t done it in a while, but it’s still one of my favorite things to do. I also enjoy making my own bath products. So I enjoy making lotions, making body butters, making bath salts, making soaps, or I’ll mix lavender and chamomile and different fragrances just to get my own signature scent.
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
I am definitely an early bird, which has changed. I used to be a night owl, but now I’m an early bird. I love to get up in the morning, I love to start my day with a workout routine, and then I feel I get a lot more done in the morning. I love going out in the summer, spring, or fall, going outside and just seeing the city and feeling the air and it’s just really peaceful and really calming, so I enjoy being an early bird.
What is your favorite quote?
So this one is by Buddha, but let me first say that I am really big on music, and I really enjoy music lyrics. They seem to move me more than quotes do, but I am going to give you a quote. This one is from Buddha, so it goes like this: “What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.” And that is CBT rolled up in one. I love it.