In this episode, I welcome clinical psychologist Michael Martinez. Dr. Michael Martinez is a gay Latinx father of three and psychologist. He earned his Doctor of Clinical Psychology degree with a focus on Community Psychology at the University of La Verne. His graduate program helped him view his clients as a product of their environment and how their environment contributes to their mental health. Michael has dedicated his academic and professional career to work with many types of minority groups (LGBTQ*, Latinx, Asian Americans, African Americans, economically disadvantaged people, and unhoused people). Ultimately, Michael views his clients as their own experts and is dedicated to helping his clients find balance, control and a voice in their everyday lives.
Main Topics Discussed:
What is alive for you right now?
Right now the major focus for me has been my own healing journey of repairing generational trauma, and also trying to be the best parent partner that I can be and trying to be as present as I can be as well.
What does presence look like for you?
Presence means that there is not only just joy, but also the willingness to do things like this: have these difficult conversations, as well as the joy that comes with living life and enjoying life that I feel really makes up adulthood.
Tell us about your relationship and your family now and how your upbringing has influenced how you are as a parent and a partner.
I grew up outside the traditional makeup of a family. My grandma was a primary caregiver. She was there after school cooking, cleaning, doing laundry. I also tend to kind of take up more of the cooking, more of the laundry, more of the cleaning up around the house. Of course not to say that my husband doesn't help out, but I think I tend to kind of take those on a little bit more.
Do you have a chosen family who helped you become who you are today?
Throughout my college years I had that steadfast group of friends. My best friend who I've known since high school, we always joke that she didn't go to college with me to do classes. She partied with us. She's been an integral part of my life and, for her in particular, I think she's really been there to help me in my coming out process and helping me make sense of my sexuality. I have to give my family credit because I think they really come from the stance of understanding that when you become an adult, you decide who you want to spend your time with.
How have you healed your core wounds?
Presence. Taking the time to reconnect with my family is a big one. Another was becoming more present in my body and moving and stretching and just doing something, because I think it's so true that trauma is stored in your body.
How has your upbringing influenced your work as a clinical psychologist?
I always tend to kind of go back to figure out those childhood roots and understand those and to kind of do that inner child work cause that's what's needed. And I think the one thing I got right was understanding that caregivers are the foundation to the rest of relationships for the rest of your life.
Learn more about Michael:
Check out his favorite resource, Latinx Parenting: https://latinxparenting.org/
Follow him on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mikial013/
Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/danelliaarechiga/support