Ms. Vanessa Lobo

Master of Arts in Community Counseling
Northern Arizona University, 2013

What made you decide to become a counselor?

While growing up in Brazil, I had the privilege of watching my mother as she supported, guided and sometimes challenged others to improve or overcome life’s obstacles. Even with our own economic, social and life’s related challenges which was significant at that time, she gracefully continued in that path, giving that example, being a role model, not only to the family, but for the whole community. I learned early on that you can turn your very challenges and obstacles into the fuel and motivation to overcome anything in life. So, somehow I became a person that ended up following her footsteps, but was fortunate enough to be able to make it an official profession through completing required education and I am so grateful that that I get to call this profession my work.

How would you describe what therapy looks like in your office?

I believe my approach is to be the most genuine and empathetic I can possibly be, so I can encourage the individuals to feel comfortable and at easy. I believe in supporting others to move past the focus on their challenges and concerns, to how these may actually be the opportunity for growth and positive changes.

Do you have a particular theory or type of treatment you use?

I do believe I am somewhat eclectic and dynamic in my therapy approach, as each individual is unique, so it may call for flexibility and change in approach. Overall, I do believe I maintain a personable and genuine approach, with strong awareness of multicultural background, family dynamics history and trauma-informed care. I am a strong believer of the ‘post traumatic growth’ and will use this concept to facilitate that process in a supportive and safe environment when it is called for.

Tell us a little about your life away from work.

I have two children age of 1 and 2, which keeps me very busy when I am away from work. Even though my husband and I share a strong taste for some adventurous sports which has included snowboarding, ATV and dirt biking, water sports, scuba diving, mountain biking, skydiving, etc. This past couple years though, with two little ones added to our family, it has been much different, yet it is still fulfilling in its own way. Nowadays, we spend time at family outings to local parks, go on walks, watch children’s movies and go to the beach in the summer time. I see this as a different phase of life that I have to cherish and embrace, since I hear that ‘in a blink of an eye’ it will be gone. I am sure that my husband and I will miss this phase as the children grow older, and we go back to doing more of our adventures as a couple and watch as they leave the nest.

What is your favorite movie and why?

Cannot pick one movie, but I have a movie style that I love which includes a few movies in this category. The ones from the top of my head are ‘The shawshank redemption’, ‘The pursuit of happiness’, and ‘The count of Monte Cristo’. The common theme is overcoming great challenges in life and using its obstacles to grow further, succeed and develop ones resilience. I can relate to this concept in my own life and the lives of others close to me and I believe it is also part of my core value