Laura Andrea Santos, PhD

How did you first learn about LifeWorks?

I first learned about LifeWorks through word of mouth. I applied for a fellowship in another group practice, Free Life, led by Dr. Ian Bonner. Fortunately (!), their position was covered, and he referred me to LifeWorks, given my interest and experience working with diverse populations.

What drew you to LifeWorks?

When I started reading about the mission, vision, and work style at LifeWorks, I felt it was the right place for me. Awareness statements about “professional codes” based on white predominant culture and the inclusive approaches to clinical work, professional development, training, and even the application process made me feel lucky and excited about the possibility of working here. Then, through the application process, I got to meet a few staff members — that, honestly, sealed my interest, and belonging to the LifeWorks team turned out to be my main professional goal.

What are you hoping to gain at LifeWorks and how do you imagine it will impact your future?

LifeWorks is my first professional “open door” to the psychotherapy field. That means that “transition” will be a recurrent concept in my vocabulary. My hopes are that at LifeWorks, I will continue to develop and polish my voice as a psychotherapist, enhancing my clinical judgment alongside my peer experiences and interacting with diverse client populations.

One of the lovely parts about being a therapist is the constant learning and the humility that comes with the work we do. That being said, I enjoy being in a place where I can grow in a compassionate, judgment-free environment and where I can feel comfortable with the uncomfortable.

How do I imagine working at LifeWorks will impact my future? The solid training at LifeWorks will enhance my knowledge, experience, and sensibility in working with under-served populations. I expect the work environment at LifeWorks and professional relationships I can develop will also have a significant impact on my future. I believe that LifeWorks sets a high bar and that inspires me to focus on the type of therapist I want to be, the job I want to do, and becoming the author of my own story.

In the short amount of time, since you joined the LifeWorks, what has surprised you most and why?

The biggest surprise is that LifeWorks exists! My perception, coming from Puerto Rico, is that in the US people breathe and exist to work and to be “productive” focusing on convenience and fast, solution-focused approaches. I never imagined that I would find my ideal work scenario in the US. A place that promotes the disposition to explore vulnerability, diversity, colonialism, and work with depth psychotherapy approaches. I celebrate this surprise and I feel proud of being part of this team.

Anything else professionally that you are particularly looking forward to this year?

I look forward to everything! I am ready to take in the training, the discussions, the clinical work, and the supervision. That last one, supervision, is a very important part of this post-doc for me. Having someone by your side to consult, vent, and receive support is a golden piece of professional development, that I value, especially at this stage of my career.

Learn more about Laura’s approach and view her professional bio.