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Rediscovering Your Inner Strength – Exclusive Interview With Catherine Cabrera

Catherine Cabrera is a therapist who specializes in treating anxiety, eating disorders, obsessive thinking, and related mental health challenges. After years of living with anxiety and feeling like there was no hope for change, Cabrera explored the underlying purpose of emotions and their interaction with thoughts and behaviors. She has since been passionate about helping others better understand their emotions and use compassion to build a more positive relationship with their thoughts and feelings. She is the owner and founder of Inner Strength Counseling, providing professional mental health care in Virginia.

Image photo of Catherine Cabrera

Catherine Cabrera, Private Practice Owner & Therapist/Resident Counselor

For readers who have yet to meet you, who is Catherine Cabrera? Since I was little, maybe 5 or 6 years old, I was naturally compelled to listen to the people around me – not just to their words, but to their body language and their emotions, even the ones they didn’t verbalize. I was someone people knew they could talk to about anything and they wouldn’t be judged or have their deepest secrets shared with anyone else. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was the beginning of what would ultimately become my career and my passion. Growing up, I experienced quite a bit of my own mental health challenges – navigating my parents’ divorce and the blending of families, emotional abuse from a trusted adult in my life, living with an eating disorder for most of my high school and college years, and multiple toxic and abusive relationships in my 20s. As much as I wish these experiences didn’t happen, I feel they’ve given me something that has significantly helped me in my career as a mental health therapist – empathy from lived experience. Why are you passionate about helping clients with anxiety, specifically? While I’m overall passionate about helping people accomplish their goals and to build healthier habits in their lives, that passion is definitely amplified for the ‘realm of anxiety’, as I like to reference it. Anxiety, eating disorders, addictions, obsessive thinking, perfectionism, people-pleasing – all of thesecan be immensely intertwined and I know firsthand how debilitating and hopeless it can make you feel. It took me a long time of self-exploration, reflection, and trial and error to figure out how to overcome these obstacles, and having the platform and opportunity to help clients living with these challenges inspires me. Seeing clients glow with pride when they realize they’ve made progress with things they’ve struggled with their whole lives is remarkably energizing and, on a personal level, makes me feel like my years of hardship were worth it. What’s your philosophy and approach to the therapeutic process? I’ve always been someone who doesn’t judge anyone for anything and I honored peoples’ privacy when they spoke to me in confidence. I genuinely believe everybody has the inner strength to overcome whatever it is they’re facing, even if they need a little support in finding it, and they are deserving of living a happy and fulfilling life. As humans, we all make mistakes and may have moments of failure, but those don’t define who we are – which is a common theme amongst a lot of conversations I have with my clients. Whether it’s pertaining to anxiety, relationship challenges, addictions, depression, etc., the commonality I’ve noticed is the belief that these determine their worth and who they are as people. Using compassion and curiosity, I work with my clients to gain a better understanding of the discrepancy between where they are currently and where they want to be. In doing this, we explore the underlying messages, reasons, and emotions that fuel these beliefs, and work together to create a space for them to be their authentic selves. We use their individual interests, values, and skills to build themselves up – with an appropriate amount of humor and pop culture references too!

What inspired you to start a mental health blog?

While the world of mental heal this becoming less taboo and is receiving more attention in recent years, I feel there’s still quite a bit of false information or a lack of resources that explain things without the psychological jargon. So, I decided to start my blog to raise more awareness about the specific challenges I have had personal and/or clinical experience with. My hope is to help people feel seen and understood, learn how to help loved ones who may experience these challenges, and educate people who may not have access to other types of resources.

How do you support your clients?

All my services are offered remotely and confidentially via video call. Teens and adults who are struggling with anxiety or related mental health challenges are encouraged to schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation. This is an opportunity for us to get to know one another, briefly discuss what you’re seeking support for, and determine if we would be a good fit for one another.

Working with me, you can expect a safe, welcoming, and casual space where you can speak freely about your experience and share your personal story without judgment. We will work together to build trust, explore how your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are serving you (they are, even if it doesn’t immediately seem that way), and build strategies to help you make gradual and sustainable changes in your life.

Where can people find you, and how can they work with you?

To set up a phone consultation or ask any questions, please reach out to me via my website. From there, we can schedule a time to chat and get started!

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!



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