Hi, I’m Silvana (she/her/ella), I'm a psychotherapist, consultant, and embodied liberation educator in my own journey of decolonizing and unlearning all of the "isms" and "phobias" I have also internalized by conditioning and socialization. I'm dedicated to supporting other mental health practitioners in their own journeys of embodied anti-oppression, decolonization, and liberation.
We'll do this work together!
Coming from a family that has been migrating for generations, and being an immigrant WOC myself, I have experienced several systems and structures that have at times embraced me and at other times have made me feel like I don’t belong.
Since I became a therapist, I have seen how access to services is not fair and equitable across the board. I have seen how people who hold several systemically marginalized identities feel reluctant to seek care because care is not affirming of their identities and is not understanding of their different cultural experiences. It is unfair that individuals need to adjust to the way the mental health system is set to exist and it is harmful and unethical that the mental health system does not adjust to the different realities, backgrounds, cultures, experiences, voices, and identities of all therapy seekers.
For the last 13 years I have compassionately supported clients of different underserved and unseen identities to find home, feel rooted, affirm their identities, and reclaim the spaces they deserve. I have also supervised and consulted with other clinicians, so that they can offer this decolonized and liberatory approach to their own clients. But this is not enough for me.
I believe that being an inclusive and anti-oppressive mental health practitioner should not consist of hiring DEI consultants, cultural "competence" CEUs, a diversity and inclusion statement on your website, or just reading a memorizing all the latest books on social justice practices. Don't get me wrong, DEI/JEDI, CEUs, and statements are a place to start. Reading books written by people with lived experience is great too! But there is way more to do! All the diversity, equity, and inclusion in the world will not work if we don't decolonize our professional selves and if we don't decolonize our personal selves.
For this reason I want to support fellow colleagues, in all stages of their professional development, embrace anti-oppressive, decolonized, and liberatory values in a wholesome and embodied way. And I want to support fellow colleagues in finding the ways of decolonizing their practices in a way that makes sense to them. So that they can have a practice truly centered on liberation and decolonization. And to do this I created Decolonize Your Practice. Because it is my hope that in community and held by peers, we can unlearn all the colonial ideas, scripts, and stories in our brains and bodies. So that we can hold each other accountable to grow and better serve, affirm, and hold our ever changing communities.
For now, I live in the Pacific Northwest, as a settler in unceded Kalapuya territory of the Champinefu band, trying to find community, trying to understand what it's like to be a WOC in these lands, and trying to find time and spaces to continue affirming and loving my own identities.