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About Katrina Lopez

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
Individual and Couples Therapist
San Diego and Telehealth

Katrina Lopez

Becoming a Relationship Therapist

I became a relationship therapist due to seeing a trend that common reasons adults enter therapy has to do with experiences from their childhood and underlying behaviors/values that were learned from their parents/adult family members. I feel that if couples are able to participate in couples therapy in order to address and process their concerns, conflicts, and communication styles in a healthy and effective way, then these healthy habits can trickle down the family system. I feel passionate about providing an outside perspective on intimate couples oriented issues in order to provide a perspective that is empathetic and constructive for all members.

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Counseling Philosophy

My counseling philosophy revolves around the idea that there is a right “fit” for therapy. Fit meaning the timing, place, and person all have an impact on the therapeutic experience. I keep this philosophy in mind when working with couples because not every perspective I share or skill I can teach might feel like the right fit at the moment, but that does not mean that we cannot collaborate to see what can work and be helpful. I value the importance of communication in all forms of relationships, because without communication we will never see change. I believe that the relationship you have with your couples therapist should be a safe place to practice advocating for what each individual needs and feel that those needs are heard and seen. For some individuals, the communication and compromise experienced with a therapist is the first healthy experience they have had when it comes to effective communication and empathy. I would love to be that space for any individual/couple that sits across the room from me.

My Counseling Style and Strengths

I come from a client-centered approach, where I hear the needs of each individual and want to prioritize how these needs can be met. However, I can acknowledge that often people experience client-centered approaches as lacking some direction and structure. Therefore, I blend my empathetic approach with direct insight on how I observe continued patterns that are impacting relationship satisfaction. I am not shy when it comes to discussing uncomfortable topics and will often encourage leaning into the uncomfortable in the therapy room in order to process to gain progress. I also value having a space where, while experiencing strong emotions, you are also able to experience lighter emotions such as the importance of laughter.

My counseling strengths include being mindful that a person is not solely defined by their problems. I like to take into consideration how personal factors impact someone's understanding of the world and their place within that world. I value each individual’s unique background and think it is important to explore how this impact’s perception of stressors.

Professional Counseling Background

I have previously been providing therapy to individuals who are experiencing early signs or their first episode of psychosis. During this time, I was able to provide individual, family, and group therapy. This has allowed me to experience how the relationship between parents can have an impact on their children, and vice versa. I have been able to meet with parents without their youth in order to engage in skills building work that can improve their relationship and the relationship with their children. I often found myself focusing on how families can work towards lowering familial stressors, improving communication skills, and creating meaningful quality time.

I have also had the opportunity to create and facilitate a skill building group for youth/transitional aged youth revolving around the topic of Healthy Relationships. During this time, I was able to provide a safe space for individuals to explore and decide what a healthy relationship could look like in regards to establishing and maintaining boundaries, increasing effective communication skills, and advocating for their needs in peer, romantic, and familial relationships.

Professional Therapist Credentials and Training

I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California. I earned my dual Bachelor of Art in Psychology and English Literature from Colorado Mesa University and my Master of Art in Marital and Family Therapy at the University of San Diego. Additional training include: Level 1 and 2 Gottman Method Couples Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy for PTSD, TransYouth Care, and Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy.

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