A conversation with Lucia Arreaga
Lucia Arreaga is one of LVC’s student counsellors, currently completing her Master of Counselling and working under the supervision of Emma McLellan, RCC and Abby Chow, RCC, RCS. Lucia works with all types of client concerns, with particular focus in areas such as grief and loss, special needs parenting, first responder mental health, life transitions and questions of belonging. We talked to Lucia about her approach and interests when it comes to her counselling practice.
What made you decide to go into counselling?
I came to counselling after a decade as a personal trainer and yoga instructor. With training and experience, my work evolved to include a more holistic mind-body approach, integrating trauma-informed practice and working with clients at the intersection of mental and physical health. This helped me build a layered, multifaceted understanding of human psychology and physiology – topics I’ve been fascinated with for a very long time. The more I learn, the more I want to know, and that’s what ultimately led me to pursue a career in mental health. I love this work, and I’m grateful to have landed here.
What are your goals when helping clients?
Oftentimes, we reach out when some aspect of life becomes unbearable, and my goal at the outset is to help clients find the skills, resources and insight to alleviate the acute hardships that brought them to therapy in the first place. On a longer-term basis, I am keen to dive deeper and support clients in developing a holistic perspective of their life and place in the world, connect to meaning and purpose and live a more fulfilling life.
What is your approach to helping?
It takes a tremendous amount of courage and vulnerability to turn towards the experiences, relationships and parts of ourselves that cause us difficulty. So it is with deep humility that I walk alongside clients on their healing journey. I have been human for much longer than I’ve been a therapist, and the challenges and growth of my own life deeply influence how I approach my work and hold space for clients. I draw from attachment-based, narrative, feminist and existential-humanistic theoretical frameworks. I believe deeply in the wisdom of the body and our innate capacity to heal. While I bring education and experience to my work, first and foremost I see my role as a human being walking alongside my clients, offering tools, insights and resources if they’re helpful and exploring this beautiful mess of being human together.
How should I prepare for my first session with you?
If you’ve never been to therapy before, the first session can feel scary, exciting, or maybe a bit of both. Therapy is come as you are – bring yourself, bring any questions and we’ll figure the rest out together.
What do you like to do outside of work?
To me, life is best lived outside. My favourite days are those spent in nature, losing track of time and breathing the fresh mountain air.