I am Dr. Cayla Minaiy. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and I would love to work with you!
I earned my Ph.D in Couple, Marriage, and Family Therapy from Texas Tech University, my Master's degree in Couples and Family Therapy from the University of Oregon, and my bachelors degree in Women's Studies from University of California, Irvine.
In addition to my private practice, I am the associate chair of the Couple and Family Therapy program at Antioch University. I have been working with clients since 2013 and I am an American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Approved Supervisor.
Areas of specialty
Feeling comfortable in your body is essential to confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth. And yet, you feel trapped in your body. Having negative perceptions of your body often creates feelings of low self-worth, depression, shame, and sometimes, feeling the need to hide. Not just hiding your body, but hiding yourself. There are times when you look in the mirror and you either don’t recognize yourself or don’t want to see yourself. You shouldn’t have to live like this – no one should.
You’re wanting to be yourself and comfortable, but shame keeps creeping in and is being perpetuated by societal, familial, and cultural norms. Messages surrounding your age, gender, race, and other “isms” maintain the perception of who and how you should be and sometimes that translates to how your body should be. You field comments, not only about your body, but you hear judgmental remarks that others make. You struggle to know if you are worthy of being seen, but deep down, you know you are worth it, and you’re tired of being invisible.
Exploring body image is not just about the actual body, but it’s about uncovering your identity, all its intersectionalities, and who you are – authentically. Your time in therapy is about you finally being able to be visible, uncover who you really are, and not be the person others want you to be. You are ready for a change, and we can, and will, do this together.
Therapy in working through body image concerns is not about discussing what you feel is wrong with your body. It’s about centering yourself and allowing yourself to be seen. Therapy for you is about uncovering who you are, who you are not, and unlearning the pressures that have been put on you. We will work together to get you to a place of authenticity where you can finally stop performing.
You shouldn’t have to keep living in hiding and merely performing to the expectations of society. You deserve to live your life the way you want to live it. Your first step is acknowledging that you are ready for a change and, together, work to transform your life.
Grief is one of the most challenging experiences a person can endure, and yet everyone experiences it a little differently. Grief can feel all-consuming, where you feel you cannot breathe, see, or even be. Grief can also contribute to you feeling completely numb, unable to enjoy much of anything, and a shell of who you once were. What makes it worse, is that you find you don’t have many you can turn to. Maybe the people around you are also enduring the same loss, or it’s difficult for them to talk about grief. Either way, you’re feeling isolated and alone in your grief. It’s hard to keep moving through life this way but you are stuck – you don’t want to be in pain, but you don’t want to forget your loved one either.
Grief Counseling is about learning to move with grief rather than to ignore it. The real work comes in acknowledging that not only is your loved one no longer here, but that the life you had envisioned with them is suddenly and painfully gone. So, who are you now without your loved one? This is what’s contributing to you feeling stuck in your grief. This is all part of the grief process, but you don’t have to go through it alone.
You may want to just run from the pain and avoid the loss, but you know you are not yourself. Recalling memories can be painful but also beautiful and a way to keep your loved one with you, always
Ethnicity and Culture
The biggest context that shapes your life: culture. Your culture influences how you communicate, how and what you feel, your thoughts practices, beliefs, and identity. Often, this goes unmentioned because it is just a part of who you are that you forget how integrated it is with your identity. In order to feel belonging you need to be seen for your whole self, including your culture and identity.
Trauma is often the silent elephant in the room. You know it and feel it but you don't want to talk about it. Yet, it impacts and influences your view of the world, how you communicate, how you show up in relationships, and, most importantly, how you view yourself. Trauma seeps into all aspects of life if you don't address it. Maybe you feel paralyzed by trauma and you are scared to address it. But, you deserve to have a full life and not let trauma hold you back.