Hello, my name is Alex Gallegos and I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist (Lic. 101393) in California. I have been providing treatment for 14 years in mental health. I have provided therapy for adults, children, families, couples, and support groups. Some of the areas related to mental health that I have addressed are depression, anxiety, trauma, grief and loss, domestic violence, and parenting problems, and I work with fathers struggling to parent their children as a result of historical trauma.
I have life's experience and along with my past and continuing education, I am able to provide empathy and a safe space which are essential components for clients to open up and explore their internalized emotions. When one is able to feel one's emotional pain, the therapeutic process is enhanced allowing for the client to identify their problems and explore solutions to move forward in life. I provide reflective practice techniques allowing for my clients to be heard and feel that they are not being judged. The techniques I use in therapy are a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy, internal family systems, client-centered therapy, and solution-focused. Should we work together in exploring and processing your issues and concerns, I will support you by listening to you and providing the tools necessary for happiness and growth.
I typically find myself working with clients that range from the ages of 18 to 55, men, women, couples, and families. Ethnic background typically is Hispanic, African American, Caucasian, and Asian. But I'm open to all. I also engage clients that desire the need to incorporate their faith into therapy. The conditions are depression, anxiety, loss, anger, and trauma. Finally, I specialize in "Project Fatherhood." This is a men's support group specific to parenting enabling the participants to explore their past and empowering fathers to build strong relationships with their children.
My communication style
My tone is typically enthusiastic. However, when the need arises as the mood changes, I will join with the client to enable the therapeutic process to develop. I've been told that I'm a good listener. That I establish an understanding of what the client is trying to convey. I feel it is very important to be at the level with the client to establish rapport.
My journey to mental healthcare
Well after working with Sears for almost 31 years (I was 21 when I started) I told my wife "I can't see myself doing this after 50." I have always been involved with people at an early age as a youth caring for my siblings and cousins. For most of my life I've been told I'm a "people person." My grandmother told me I'm going to be a priest. I told my grandmother, "I'm not even an altar boy." But I think what really did it for me, although I did not know it at the time, I have a very high EQ. I leaned this from my mother and grandmother. I realized I have the ability to genuinely empathize with others. So, I decided to go to school at the young age of 49. I remember sharing my story with the school director Dr. Ringenbach at an open house at Chapman University and after sharing with her my story she told me. "You know Alex, social work is not for you. You would be a great therapist." I replied, "You mean six years of school, not four?" So here I am today and I'm so glad I took her advice. I genuinely enjoy helping others as best I can.
My goals for you
I simply ask the client what they want to work on and what they want to gain from therapy, in their own words. I'll quote it and remind them as therapy progresses as they might discover there is an underlying goal, they were not able to covey in the beginning.
My first session with you
Some anxiety, me too. But what I'm trying to establish is rapport, making sure I'm actively listening to my client intently. This is the session where I gather the important information and if I just listen, they just might open up in that first session. They trust me.