What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison of what lies inside of you.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Dulci Valdez, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Dulci is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Family and Child Development from Texas State University and her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from University of Houston-Clear Lake. Dulci has experience working with children and their families in a variety of settings. She has provided clinical services to children, families, and individuals in English and Spanish since 2013 and has experience working with clients regarding anxiety, depression, behavioral and parenting concerns. She has experience and training in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy working with individuals and families that have experienced trauma.
When not in the therapist’s chair, Dulci enjoys spending time with family, doodling, exploring new adventures, and finding that ever-elusive balance between enjoying life outdoors and binge watching Netflix.
Thank you for considering Austin Mindfulness Center (AMC) and visiting my information page as you
take this next step in your journey. Looking for a therapist is a brave step that shows strength and advocacy for yourself. It is important to take a second to sit with that. Many people seek out therapy for different reasons sometimes for loss, trauma, life transitions, anxiety and depression, feeling stuck in life, and sometimes for help adding coping skills for day to day life. By taking a mindfulness approach, we will find ways to navigate through past experiences and the curve balls life throws at us.
How I Work
Being a Marriage and Family Therapist, I fundamentally believe the family is a system and if something is going on with one person in the family, it will likely affect other members of the family. As such we are products of our environment. In working together, I will acknowledge that you are the expert of you and provide you with a safe space to explore concerns and build on strengths learning new healthy coping skills.
My approach to therapy is mainly rooted in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness, working with you to examine how thought, feeling, and behaviors are connected and how by navigating through changes in our lives with a more present and focus lens we can minimize anxiety, allowing us to challenge unhelpful thoughts and thus add to our coping skills toolbox. I am also a believer that therapy is not a one size fits all approach and that culture can play an important role in the therapeutic experience, therefore I have an eclectic therapeutic style depending on the needs of the client, and work mainly from a strengths based perspective incorporating different approaches as needed.
By taking a mindfulness approach, we will find ways to navigate through past experiences and the curve balls life throws at us.
What made you decide to become a counselor?
Several things, I guess: (1) Growing up, we had a teacher who asked us to write one nice sentence about each of our classmates and then pass them out and I noticed some of mine stated that I was someone people could come to and that theme had a tendency to follow me through life. (2) When I was a kid, I was taken to therapy, and did not have the best experience. I felt that there was a hidden agenda and I wasn't being heard and I wanted to do better. (3) Then later in life and early in my career, in a non therapy job, I noticed that my job at the time was only part of what could be helping families and I saw a need for more therapists.
If you could teach the world one skill or technique to improve their lives, what would it be?
The importance of breathing. I think sometimes we get caught in the hustle and bustle of things and don't realize its effect on our body and how much breathing plays into that and how helpful a tool it can be.
Have you personally been in counseling and if so, what did you learn about yourself?
Yes, I learned that the world isn't carried on my shoulders and in setting boundaries we can also help others as well as ourselves.
If you could recommend one book to all your clients, what would it be?
Over the years I noticed I really like watching the movie version of things sometimes rather than reading (yes, I can be that person) but that I also really like text books so I would recommend Self-help That Works: Resources to Improve Emotional Health and Strengthen Relationships by John C Norcross, PhD, Linda F. Campbell, PhD, John M. Grohol, PsyD, John W Santrock, PhD, Florin Selagea, MS, and Robert Sommers, PhD. I think everyone learns and takes in information differently and this helps facilitate that.
Who is your ideal client?
I don't know if there is one. Anyone seeking therapy is already doing a really big step and that itself is awesome.
How do you personally practice self-care?
I have grown this toolbox over the years and have found I'm a HUGE introvert and regain some of my energy through time alone sometimes, but I also LOVE my family so creating a balance of time with them and time for myself either indoors, outdoors, in the kitchen, listening to music, organizing things around my house while listening to music, and several others. Oh, and ice cream!
How do you relate to Mindfulness? How do you incorporate it in your sessions?
I find mindfulness extremely useful in my own life and in sessions. Since we all take in the world differently and come into sessions with our own experiences, I tend to give several options to my clients to practice mindfulness. I personally tend to gravitate more towards mindful eating and mindful walks.
Your favorite quote?
It's definitely hard to choose a favorite. Lately this one seems to resonate a little bit more "I can't change the direction of the wind but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination." -Jimmy Dean
If you are hosting a dinner party, who are the 3 people you would invite and why?
Probably 3 close friends or relatives I haven't seen in awhile.