We had the good fortune of connecting with Crystal Valdez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Crystal, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking. A whole jump scare in just two words. Taking risks was a scary thing for my brain to accept, because its’ one job is to protect me and it does that best in familiar settings. Usually risks are accompanied by change, hence the discomfort that comes with. It used to take me months and months to decide wether or not I was going to go through with any decision that resembled even a little bit of risk. Literal months, just ask my therapist.

It has influenced the trajectory of my entire life, for sure. My relationship with risk-taking has changed over time. It has become less terrifying and more of an insight to myself. Every risk that I have taken has taught me something great about myself. Risks have taught me that I am a lot of things; resilient, maturing, evolving, persistent, capable, worthy, able, and daring. Personally, it’s strengthened the security that I feel within myself. Professionally, it’s granted my the space to prioritize my growth as a clinician so that I can support people in their healing journeys in new ways. I’m grateful for all the things that come with it. I am looking forward to more lessons and changes this year and I hope that I have some exciting news to share with you all soon!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am most proud that I am existing and I have survived up to this point. I think that will always be the first thought that comes to mind. I am most excited about my EMDR training and the doors that it opens up for my clients. I had to really grind to get to this place in my career. I am a 24 year old woman with a Clinical License from the state of Texas, who helps people heal. Reaching this point has been everything outside of easy. I have had to overcome challenges by learning to feel all the things. I have had to do tons of work in my own healing journey to maintain my mental stability. I’ve learned that I am able and worthy of receiving support, that there’s relief waiting behind those risks, and that I really am built to handle this life of mine. I want the world to know that my story is remarkable, but there’s so many like mine. I want people to know that you can give yourself things you needed in the past, now. I want people to know that life doesn’t have to be what other people think you are destined for. I reallllly want people to know that we are more than just statistics.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, I am a bit of a homebody. Patrick Star and I, we live under a rock, and we really like it under our rock. Coming from a small town, the simplest of things bring me lots of joy. I would probably want them to have some tacos from Taqueria Temos in Fort Worth. Anything that has to do with dogs is a given… so we would probably have to find some trails to walk/ hike on. Best bet for us would be to hit the movies, eat rolled ice cream, and look up any shows or concerts going on. I think escape rooms, ax throwing, panic rooms, fancy schmancy dinners are cool.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many humans that flooded into my brain with this question. My brain works in chronological order for things like this. Obviously, shout out to my moms for birthing me and doing everything in her power to be the best Mom she could be. China, you did the best you could with what the world gave you and I am thankful for that. I love you infinitely. My brother Anthony for surviving life by my side. My not so baby brothers Arturo and Manuel, thank you for pushing me to the greatest heights.
I always credit my Ama, Apa, and Tia Elvira. Y en espanol para que pueden leer. Le doy gracias a mi familia. Gracias por el apoyo y todos los consejos. Que mis padres descansen en paz.
A huge shoutout to Van Horn, TX. My small little hometown and I have had a complicated relationship from the jump. One thing that I know for certain is that Van Horn has love for you, if you look in the right places. So shoutout to anyone in Van Horn that showed me genuine love.
Shoutout to my Upward Bound Mentors that pushed me to apply for the Michael & Susan Dell Scholarship that granted me a scholarship, mentor program, laptop, etc. All the things a broke girl needed to get through school.
I had some amazing mentors in my field; both my LCSW Supervisors were huge parts of my growth, my “therapy friend group chat”.
Shout out to my beautiful Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc. for the opportunities to grow personally and professionally.
Shoutout to UT Arlington and all the organizations that I was able to be apart of thought my college career.
Of course I’ve gotta shoutout my partner for all he does to support me in every move I make. He’s a warrior that comes from a beautiful family that shows me so much love.
I see all of y’all. Trying to include all the shoutouts would mean we would be stuck here forever, so I will leave it at that.

Instagram: @mindfullycrystal

Other: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/crystal-u-valdez-arlington-tx/1077121

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