Get To Know Your Therapist
Vanessa Stanfield, MS
Hi I'm Vanessa, and I believe life's journey is more like a winding labyrinth than a straight path. We all hit moments where shadows loom large, be it overwhelming anxiety, persistent sadness, the echoes of grief, or the twists and turns of major life changes. It's during these times that a helping hand can illuminate the path ahead.
Growing up in Massachusetts, I saw firsthand how mental health and substance use challenges could weave through communities, sometimes even my own family. But too often, these struggles were shrouded in silence, especially within minority communities like mine. That's why I felt drawn to explore the intricate world of mental health – to shed light where shadows lingered and challenge the stigma that kept these stories hidden. Think about it: when a persistent backache throws your balance off, you wouldn't hesitate to seek medical help. So why should navigating emotional distress, crippling grief, or the whirlwind of adjustment after a big change be any different? Our emotional well-being deserves the same care and attention as our physical health.
Let's be honest, life can feel like a rollercoaster—one minute exhilarated, the next clinging on for dear life. I get it. The loneliness, the despair, that suffocating feeling like you're stuck on repeat with the stress dial cranked to eleven. We've all been there, especially after a major life shift leaves us feeling like we've lost our footing. I used to think my job was to act strong, to shove those "negative" feelings under the rug. But that just made me feel even more lost and alone. In addition, my own journey as a biracial woman has shaped my understanding of the complex interplay between societal expectations, internalized pressures, and the quest for true authenticity. Imagine constantly feeling like you have to wear different masks for different audiences, trying to "blend in" and meet conflicting expectations. This internal struggle is not unfamiliar to many of us, whether it's the subtle microaggressions a biracial person faces, the need to conform for acceptance in social circles, or the ongoing battle with anxiety and depression that can blur our inner voice.
That's why I'm here: to break free from that toxic narrative and build a different kind of space. Forget judgment, forget masks. My therapy room is a sanctuary for your authentic self, a fertile ground for growth and transformation. We'll work together, using evidenced based tools and a whole lot of empathy, to turn those obstacles into stepping stones. It's not always easy – personal growth rarely is – but the rewards are invaluable. Just like I've experienced firsthand, embracing your genuine self, unlocks a newfound confidence and resilience, equipping you to navigate life's inevitable ups and downs with grace and strength.
When I am not seeing clients, I love participating in physical exercise. I have found that this is a great way to release the tension that often lingers in our physical bodies even after we have done the emotional/spiritual healing in therapy. While I love adventure and being outdoors, I also am a homebody who loves to sit inside with a cup of tea, watch horror or comedy movies, paint, or hang out with my son and two dogs.
I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from St. Leo University while enlisted in the Navy. After my enlistment ended, I obtained my Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Capella University. Since then, I have gained invaluable experience providing evidenced based therapy to clients in the crisis center and community mental health settings. Think of me as your personal hype squad, your cheerleader in chief. We'll celebrate your victories, big and small, and lift each other up through the challenges. Because at the end of the day, it's your story to reclaim, and I'm here to empower you to write a masterpiece.