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Self care – this comes up a lot in a therapy process. But what does this actually mean? Sure, the obligatory day of pampering like a manicure or a massage, a special food or drink indulgence, or maybe a shopping trip. These are great pick-me-ups! But self-care really can mean so much more than these things. Self-care can bring life to self respect and positive beliefs about yourself. It might mean creating distance for yourself within a toxic relationship so that others can see that although they are important to you, you won’t be taken advantage of or tolerate bad behavior. It might mean being assertive with others, rather than being passive. It might mean giving voice to your values, likes/dislikes, or opinions. It might mean taking time to develop or grow your spiritual life or connection with your faith beliefs. I invite you to let this kind of self-care process bloom into thoughts like, “I am worth being treated well.” “What I think and feel are important.” So, take care of yourself today; embrace your inner well-being. Look within and decide what you need to be a better version of yourself, knowing that it’s much more than care of your outer layer. You might be amazed at what you find!

I am a therapist.  I am human. I make mistakes as my clients do.  Many times they teach me ways to manage life when it gets difficult!  And I honor that- that I can learn from people who come to me for help.  I have often said, “Oh yes, I live in the same world as you.” “I can totally relate to that struggle!”  So much of the therapeutic relationship is about relating, normalizing, and joining people where they are in whatever struggles they’re facing. And helping people feel less alone in those struggles is something I’m all about.  So welcome to my office; have a seat wherever you are comfortable. 

Compassion has no limit. Kindness has no enemy.

You know, we don’t always agree with one another. We may not even like one another. But that doesn’t have to mean that we can’t be compassionate and kind. I try to remember the meaning of Namaste in my practice, that the divine exists in both you and in me, therefore I honor you. Though I may not actually greet someone who walks into my office with “Namaste” or begin and end a session with this word, I work to convey this in my conversations and non-verbals. I invite you to think about people from this place and see what you notice! May compassion and kindness abound… Namaste.

Let me introduce to you our Administrative Assistant, Kyle Sumner. You may have spoken to Kyle, and if you have, I’m sure you can testify that he is kind, patient, easy to talk to, and efficient. He has been on staff for a few months now, and has just been an amazing addition to the team; really finding a home in the values and mission of Waypoints Counseling. Kyle is happy to help you to manage your therapy schedule, and will greet you when you arrive in the office with a smile and hospitality!

I am happy to announce that Waypoints Counseling is “Award Winning!” A very special and humble THANK YOU to all who voted!

Erin Evanson-Lass, LCSW accepted the 2019 Silver Reader’s Choice Award for her work.  Waypoints Counseling wishes to clarify that although Erin was voted Best In Psychiatry, she provides therapy services for mental health issues, an area that overlaps with, but is distinct from psychiatry services.  We look forward to serving our community in 2020!

Maria E. Soto, LMSW

Hello!  I am Maria E. Soto, a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW).  I have ten years of professional experience assisting individuals and families with all aspects of their psychosocial wellbeing.  As a therapist, I find that the concept of self and guiding Clients in answering the question, “Who am I?” is essential in the therapeutic process.  I use a variety of techniques based on the need of my Clients and am excited to serve Clients in my role as Clinical Therapist Intern at Waypoints Counseling.  Accepting this position is an exciting opportunity in my professional journey.  Working and learning from compassionate clinicians will help me improve my skills, therefore provide better services to those in our surrounding communities. 

I received my Bachelor of Social Work Degree from Lubbock Christian University in 2009, and my Master of Social Work Degree from West Texas A&M University in 2012.  I have worked in long-term care settings since graduating from WT, as well as a Social Service Consultant for several nursing homes in the South Plains area.  In my current position at Inspirations, I created a bilingual outpatient group therapy program for older adults in our community to address the lack of services available to this population who struggle with mental health disorders.  My patients in these groups have demonstrated significant benefit from this service.

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