WHY EUSTRESSIN'?: ELIZA BOQUIN
We all know there is a stigma surrounding going to therapy. So imagine the looks that one may get when they say they are getting help from a therapist that specializes in relationships and sexual wellness. Throughout my social media travels, I connected with Eliza Boquin. Recently, I was able to chop it up with her to learn how she incorporates eustress in her life as a Relationship and Sex Therapist.
HEY ELIZA, WHY EUSTRESSIN’?
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING/ HOW LONG?
I reside in Houston, TX where I’m a psychotherapist & entrepreneur. My private practice, The Relationship & Sexual Wellness Center, specializes in addressing relationship & sexual wellness challenges. I’m also the Co-Founder of Melanin & Mental Health™ which promotes minority mental health awareness and connects people with culturally aware clinicians. For 12 years, I co-owned and ran a family-owned medical equipment company, but left it to pursue my dream of being a psychotherapist. I’ve now been living my dream for the last 3 years.
DO YOU EVER THINK ABOUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IN YOUR PROFESSION?
In my profession, thinking about, caring for, and addressing my mental health is essential. If I don’t practice good self-care, I cannot show up fully for my clients.
WHAT UNIQUE CHALLENGES DO YOU ENCOUNTER SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUR JOB THAT HAS AN IMPACT ON YOUR MENTAL HEALTH THAT OTHERS MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT?
My profession requires me to hold emotional space for others to heal from their pain. This requires my empathy, compassion, and emotional connection. If I don’t stay aware of my own mental health needs and limits then I am unable to do that. I also have self-monitor the effects that others’ pain may be having on me—how I’m being triggered.
What others may not know about psychotherapists is we also need to actively seek out support, supervision, and our own therapy to stay grounded and present.
Therapists need therapy too from time to time!
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH WHEN TAKING ON DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES?
In graduate school , my professors would stress the importance of self-care to avoid burnout and compassion fatigue. It took me a while to figure out what they meant, but I fully understood after experiencing panic attacks while trying to be “perfect” in grad school, internship, and my personal life.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE THOSE STRESSORS ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
I regularly meditate, pray, listen to inspirational audiobooks, and podcasts. I do my best to incorporate movement—walking, jogging, dancing. I have a tribe of support that consists of friends & colleagues whom I touch base with daily to keep me motivated, inspired, and feeling supported.
HOW DOES BEING MENTALLY HEALTHY HELP IN YOUR FIELD OF WORK OR ON THE JOB?
It makes me a better clinician. If I’m not doing my work, clients will sense it. I have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.
WHAT DOES EUSTRESS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU AT WORK? AT HOME/AWAY FROM WORK?
I love, love, love what I do. Being a clinician is challenging because of the emotional demands. Being an entrepreneur is challenging because of the pressure & demands of being self-employed. Being both can be overwhelming, but I absolutely LOVE it. A full day of clients and different business projects can be challenging, but it makes me feel alive. I am living my purpose.
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD TELL SOMEONE JUST STARTING IN YOUR PROFESSION OR A YOUNG PERSON WHO ASPIRES TO BE THE PROFESSIONAL THAT YOU ARE?
Do your own therapy and work with an experienced mentor/supervisor. If you’re going to be a good clinician, you have to do your own work. Otherwise, your unresolved issues will be activated and they will affect your personal & professional life. There will also be times when you doubt your clinical skills. A good supervisor will help you with the clinical & ethical issues, and with the self-of-the-therapist issues. (Side-note: if you never doubt yourself then you REALLY need a good mentor/ supervisor.)
ANY OTHER INFORMATION YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU AND WHAT YOU'RE UP TO?
I am so excited about the future of Melanin & Mental Health™. There has been a huge response, highlighting the overwhelming and underserved need for our communities to come together and heal. We have a lot of exciting plans for both clinicians and clients. Please go to the website and sign up for our newsletter to stay informed.
HOW CAN PEOPLE CONTACT YOU FOR MORE INFORMATION?
Melanin And Mental Health