Monica Valdivia-Aguilar, MA

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT 41352)

“Even when it’s not pretty or perfect. Even when it’s more real than you want it to be. Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.” ~ Michelle Obama

In each person lives a unique story!  A story filled with life experiences of struggle, uncertainty, and triumphs.  Some stories can be silenced by ourselves, and some are silenced by others.  As a therapist, I have the privilege of hearing many of these stories of love, fear, heartbreak, self-judgements, disconnection, and stories of disappointments and what we thought life would be or should have been.   

In my work with clients, I create a sacred and safe space as we explore moments of vulnerability, access courage and resiliency, and create skills toward a path of compassion for ourselves.  Through individual, group, family, and couple therapy, I help support a journey toward new growth, healing, and connection to your inner strengths.  I use a relational-cultural, collaborative, and skills-based approach.  I also incorporate an embodiment mind/body and mindfulness approach as we listen to the body’s wisdom, messages, and intuitive knowing.  In addition to my clinical work, I enjoy providing presentations and workshops in the community, to colleges, and organizations. 

The role of social justice has become more important than ever as we collectively open the door to exploring what this looks like for each of us.  As we collaborate, I hold a safe space and invite open conversations about power and privilege, intersectionality, and ways to express and give voice to the social and cultural injustice occurring in our communities.  As a Mexican-American growing up in the North San Fernando Valley, I saw many people experience injustice.  When I became a therapist, I worked in the community I grew up in providing a supportive space for women to share their experiences.  I also walked alongside students who were creating their roads down the college path as immigrant students, international students, or first- and second- generation students, and I saw some of the unique challenges that they experienced.  I enjoy helping women, couples and families from all cultural backgrounds, and all of my services are offered in English and Spanish.

Young Women:  I enjoy working with young women as they navigate early adulthood while emotionally preparing for the transitions, opportunities, and challenges that can arise during college, graduate school, early career and relationships

Adult Women:  I seek to create a supportive space in my work with adult women across the life span. Together, we explore the intersections, demands, and joys of career, culture and family/relationship dynamics.  Many of my clients consider ways to slow down moments of challenge to create self-care, to lower the voice of the inner critic, and to allow for self-compassion as they create a new intentional path in this season of life.

I have a Master of Arts in Psychology, with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy, from Phillips Graduate Institute and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of La Verne.  I developed my passion for helping undergraduate, graduate, and first-generation college students succeed while working in college mental health counseling services at Woodbury University.  I also have supervised MFT trainees and MFT associates and had some adjunct teaching experience at PGI. Along with my work as a therapist, I enjoy mentoring and supervising new therapists as they enter their careers.  I have received both certifications as an AAMFT and CAMFT Certified Supervisor.  I am certified as an advanced Imago Relationship Therapist for Couple Therapy, an effective model in working with couples.  I also have a background in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.