My journey as a therapist officially started in 2003 when I worked with abused and neglected teens at a non-profit residential treatment facility in Austin, TX. I started my first private practice in 2006. In 2008 I became a board approved supervisor to LPC interns and began training other therapists in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
In 2011, I opened the Austin Mindfulness Center where I continued to train and supervise other clinicians and led a team of mindfulness-based therapists to provide exceptional mental health services and educational opportunities to the community. In 2012, I founded the Texas Chapter for the Association of Contextual Behavioral Science and was president until 2016.
After eighteen wonderful years in Austin, we decided to move the family to Tucson! I'm looking forward to working with you.
Jiovann Carrasco, LPC
AZ license #17635
The short answer? Because you're human. Me too. And one thing I know about humans, is that we all suffer. We all experience pain and have a natural inclination to escape it. And when all of our efforts to escape, avoid, and struggle against our pain prove to be fruitless, we are wise to ask for help. It is only the wise who seek wisdom. So I am deeply honored to meet the wisest of our community, and that is just the way I see you.
That being said, here is what 90% of my clients are looking for, and it isn't surprising. You want an end to your suffering. You want to make the pain go away, or at least minimize it so that you can live your life. Said another way, "WHEN my pain goes away, THEN I can live my life." When you hold tightly to that logic, "then" will always be in the future, never now. And now is all there is.
This is one of the main reasons we are unhappy, disappointed, frustrated. We keep postponing our lives for an imaginary future and living in a virtual reality, not an actual one. And when we deny reality, we fail to live.
But reality is hard. That's where the pain is.
Yep. And that's where you also find joy, and compassion, and love, and freedom. So avoiding pain (reality) is the same as denying yourself what it means to be fully human. And there is nothing more frustrating than that. Kelly Wilson said, "Values and vulnerabilities are poured from the same vessel." That means if you want a life filled with meaning and vitality, you have to be willing to be vulnerable. You have to be open to pain.
Well, that doesn't sound at all like what I'm looking for!
What if I told you that pain was not the problem? Remember, we all have it. It's universal. You aren't alone in your pain. I have it, too. To say that pain is a problem is to say that being human is a problem. So what if we could drop that judgment and see what it would be like to allow it?
You may have spent a lifetime building up walls and emotional armor to protect yourself from getting hurt, so opening up to it and allowing it to be what it is, might be met with great skepticism and doubt. Makes sense. I know exactly where you're coming from because I do it, too. We are the same.
There are three reasons for suffering:
1. We buy into our thoughts about who we think we are, the rules of society, what other people think about us, and other limiting beliefs that keep us confined to a quite narrow existence.
2. We avoid, resist, and suppress our natural emotional experiences in the present moment. And we do so in various and creative ways.
3. We are not clear about, or connected with, our values.
Now let me say a little something about this third reason. Values are defined as desired qualities or characteristics that are uniquely important for you to be who you are meant to be. So let's break that down.
Values are desired. That means they are what you want, and have nothing to do with what anyone else wants. They are unique to you, and come from you. There are no justifications for what your values are; you don't have to give any reasons why they are important to you; they just are.
Values are desired qualities. They describe HOW you want to be. Values are action-oriented. They are something you DO. So this excludes how you might want to feel, or not feel, or even what you might wish to get or receive. And you can always choose them. Any time, any place, and under any circumstances.
So this is likely where we will start. We will clarify what is really important to you and from there see what is getting in the way. Hint: Reasons 1 and 2 above. You will learn mindfulness and acceptance skills to develop a different relationship with what you have been resisting. You will learn how to let go and let be and how to orient yourself in the present moment so that you can connect with your chosen values and do what really matters (rather than struggling with reality).
Therapy will progress toward living a meaningful and vital life. There is bound to be some discomfort during this process as you connect with and open up to painful experiences. This is part of the process and I ask that you communicate openly with me so we can work through it together.
I can't protect you from feeling pain, but I will be there with you to help you connect with what gives meaning to that pain. Ultimately, the measurement of your progress will have to do with how closely you are living vitally by your chosen values instead of struggling with or avoiding what you fear.
Instead of helping you feel better, my goal is to help you feel better so that you can be present to a life of your intentional creation. You can read more about my approach in my e-book How To Feel: A Guide to the Mindful Life.