Perinatal Mental Health Alliance Provider October Blog
Karla Cardoza, LMFT
Meet Karla Cardoza, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a small private practice who lives outside of Sherman Oaks, California with her husband and furry pet Onyx. Karla specializes in perinatal mental health and takes a holistic approach when working with her clients.
Karla completed her Master’s degree at Pacific Oaks College with an emphasis in Latinx Family and Trauma Studies in 2016 and incorporates traditional Mexican medicine, trauma-informed yoga, pre & postnatal yoga, breathing, body movement, meditation, and Cacao ceremonies when working with clients.
“What I love about my job is incorporating a variety of practices in both my bilingual virtual and in-person sessions, such as dancing, yoga, singing, chanting along with heart talks, or talk therapy. Before I start my work day, I smudge my work space to create a sacred space for my clients to embark on their transformative journey. In addition, I set up a small shrine next to my desk with items representing the four elements and a few other special items.”
In addition to working with clients in her private practice, Karla is a PSI Spanish group facilitator and PSI Spanish Helpline Manager; therefore, self-care is very important to her.
“Having a consistent self-care and wellness practice is a priority for me; it is really about creating balance and being kind. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been more intentional about listening and observing in order to include practices that make me feel whole. A few of the ways I take care of myself are daily meditation, dancing alone or with my husband, practicing yoga, walking, going on retreats, sleeping, petting Onyx, and watching the hummingbirds outside my office window.”
Karla, we thank you for all of the work you are doing in the perinatal field. If you would like to learn more about Karla please watch her Telemundo Interview Telemundo Youtube -Spanish Interview , visit her website Yerba Buena Wellness & Counseling, or connect with her on Instagram @yerba.buena.wellness
Support Group Highlight
October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Month and we spoke with Erica McAfee with Sisters in Loss who partnered with PSI in May 2022 to lead our Black Moms in Loss support group. Erica shared, “this group is incredibly important for those grieving the loss of a baby or expectation of a baby. We all need support and a community of peers who look like us and have similar experiences to gain knowledge on how to cope and heal and a path forward.”
Black Moms in Loss meets every 2nd & 4th Thursday at 8PM EST.
Learn more about our English speaking groups here and spanish speaking groups here
“Access to affordable and timely mental health treatment and resources is a reason why many BIPOC individuals do not seek help. The COVID pandemic has made timely mental health care inaccessible for all socioeconomic groups, which I believe has made it twice as hard for BIPOC groups. In the Latinx community (as well as other communities of color) mental health illnesses and treatments are highly stigmatized. Having a mental health illness is seen as a weakness or that mental health illness occurs due to a lack of faith/spirituality.The PMAD rates in women of color are 1 in 3 vs 1 in 7 for white counterparts. There are specific PMAD risks factors and parenting topics within the Latinx culture where this support group offers a nonjudgmental space to share these experiences. BIPOCs need a place to connect with others in a nonjudgmental space where topics such as discrepancies in medical care and racism can safely be discussed.”
Meet Lisette Lopez-Rose one of our Perinatal Support for Latinx Moms and Birthing People support group leaders. Prior to becoming a support group leader, Lisette was a help seeker in 2021 looking for resources and support while suffering with an undiagnosed Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders for 6 months. The PSI support groups helped her feel less alone with her struggles and less guilt about having a hard time adjusting to parenthood.
Lisette shares, “mental health illnesses during the perinatal period are brushed off as jitters in becoming a new parent or expanding your family. The education PSI provides is vital to understanding the risk factors to developing a mood and/or anxiety disorder and can help prepare you for the parenting transition or provide support. “
She also highlights that, “the Perinatal Mood Support for Moms and Parents are excellent groups to attend that support these topics, but at times I felt lonely with my cultural struggles and generational trauma I was processing in therapy. I hoped one day I could help in any capacity to destigmatize mental health in the Latinx community and I am proud to have helped launch this group within the PSI organization. This group is a special virtual community to connect with others who have similar cultural experiences. It is amazing to see the Latinx group attendees hold each other up and I feel honored to provide support.”
Lisette, we thank you for the work you do for our help seekers, Alliance community, and within PSI. If you want to connect you can visit her at the following: