Therapist Spotlight: Rosa Figueroa, MA, LCPC

Rosalena (Rosa) is a psychotherapist at Wildflower. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, with an emphasis in Human Services, at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and obtained a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Adler University in Chicago. Prior to coming to Wildflower, Rosa was a clinical director at a rape crisis center. Rosa brings to Wildflower a wealth of experience in helping clients heal in the face of trauma, depression, anxiety, and grief. Read Rosa’s full bio here.

What inspired you to pursue a career as a psychotherapist?

I have always been curious about and sensitive to people’s emotions and their impact on behavior which is why I majored in Psychology in undergrad. One of my favorite classes was where we conducted mock therapy sessions. I was nervous at first, and stumbled over my words but surprisingly found myself comfortable being in that setting. I started to seriously consider therapy as a career. I was also lucky enough to have a very supportive professor who acknowledged my strengths and encouraged me to continue my studies and become a therapist.

As a psychotherapist, what part of your job is most satisfying?

The most satisfying part of my job is being able to offer information that can help. Unfortunately, because mental health is still a taboo subject for many, there are tons of misconceptions about therapy and mental health. It is nice to be able to offer information to a person and watch them have that “aha!” moment.

How would you describe your therapeutic approach?

My approach is trauma-focused and client-centered, which to me means being flexible in order to adjust to a person’s unique needs and circumstances. It also means believing that each person has the ability to heal and thrive. Additionally, my approach is usually marked by lots of psychoeducation in hopes of empowering each client with knowledge about mental health in order to help them better understand their own strengths and struggles.

Why do you believe that psychotherapy can help?

I like to think of therapy as an emotional tune up. Often therapy is sought out because of an acute or significant event that prompts the need for immediate support, which is important. However, I believe that therapy can be a supportive space for anyone who is simply looking for a different perspective or would like to engage in exploration of their thoughts, feelings, values, and goals.

What are some of your specialties and what drew you to them?

I specialize in sexual trauma. I was originally drawn to that particular work because I specifically wanted to work with women and women’s issues. I was privileged enough to work with sexual trauma survivors for 7 years. During this time, I quickly learned that sexual trauma is certainly not just a women’s issue but a public health issue that impacts so many individuals, families and communities.

What is one thing about psychotherapy you wish everyone knew?

I wish everyone had a chance to experience the benefits of healthy and supportive psychotherapy. We live in a world where often the message about emotions are that they should be “dealt with” or “fixed” or even dismissed. To have a supportive therapeutic space, where an individual’s emotions are welcomed and honored, is a powerful experience I wish everyone could have.

What is your motto or personal mantra?

Do no harm. I may not be able to help everyone that comes across my path but my hope is to never cause harm.

What are your favorite self-care activities?

I recently started kickboxing and am really enjoying it. I try to engage in some movement activity at least once a day (walking, kickboxing, etc.) and I also enjoy reading and listening to music.