We had the good fortune of connecting with Alejandro Sandoval and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alejandro, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Taking risks has played a vital role in my life and in my career. I think growing up in an immigrant household and being first generation Mexican-American has influenced how I view taking risks. My parents taught me through their life experience what it meant to take risks. They both took risks and left their home country with the hope they would make better lives for themselves, and they did. Along with taking risks, also mean dealing with a lot of fear.
Being first gen also meant that I had to learn how to manage the delicate balance of risk and security. Feeling safe and secure was vitally important for my family, as is the case with many immigrant families. Those messages where to get a “safe,” “secure,” job with little change and then be grateful of having a job. Learning to challenge and untangle messages of security and risk became the core work I faced in launching my private practice.
In therapy we learn to face our fears and lean into emotionally difficult themes in our life, themes we spend a lot of time avoiding. I believe that taking risks is the manifestation of facing our fears, it can be the bravest thing we do. Launching into my small business meant doing the internal work of facing and untangling the messages of security and risk, and embracing uncertainty, the unknown and growth.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My name is Alejandro Sandoval, and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist practicing privately in Pasadena California. I started Sandoval Family Therapy, Inc because I wanted the liberty and flexibility to provide the best care to my clients without the limiting restrictions of insurance. I wanted to provide the best possible care without the red tape of “managed care.” That meant me leaving a cush medical social work job that had great benefits, but sacrificed client care and sacrificing client care was a moral injury that I could no longer live with.
Trauma, Anxiety, Depression, and Men’s Mental Health are just a few of the areas I specialize in. I use a cultural trauma lens to thoroughly process unresolved issues that get in the way of your best self. I also work with women. If you have noticed patterns in your life that keep you from having healthy relationships with men or have not had healthy male role models in your life, seeing a male therapist may help address those concerns. I help anyone who struggles with relationships, emotional intimacy, and connectivity.
I work eclectically, offering skills-based techniques, insight-oriented processing, EMDR, Brainspotting, TRM and “parts work” to help clients process trauma and feel like themselves again.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, first thing’s first, we need or dare I say, must start the day with coffee! If you follow my Instagram you will undoubtedly see plenty of coffee stories from the general Pasadena area or wherever I travel. I am a huge coffee lover so when family or friends visit they will expect a tour of my favorite coffee shops. My go to coffee is always a good pour over, french press, or gilbrator/cortado. After that, we can grab some good Mexican food and finish off the night with a night Dodger game.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The journey of becoming a therapist is not a solo path. I have been thankful to have amazing clinical supervisors, mentors and professional colleagues that have all helped shape and influence my career. I have been blessed to have supportive people, friends and loving family to lean on when things have gotten difficult and lonely. Lastly, I would like to thank all of my clients that have trusted me along their healing journey, I see you and I appreciate you. It takes a lot of trust and vulnerability to build a safe therapeutic relationship, I sincerely thank you for your trust.