Staff Spotlight: Dr. Cristina Gomez
Dr. Cristina Gomez, who started working at Prototypes in 2014, loves working in community mental health. She works with clients on public assistance to help them remove barriers to becoming employed. Many of them suffer from depression and anxiety, have histories of trauma and addiction, and are also parents.
As a Senior Clinician at Prototypes Pomona Outpatient Behavioral Health Center, she provides therapy to participants with the goal of improving emotional and mental health so they can obtain a job or start school. Due to her commitment to her work and the clients, Dr. Gomez was a recent recipient of Living the Prototypes’ Values Award. In her nomination, Dr. Gomez was recognized for helping three clients find employment within three months of receiving services, her determination to work with clients who can’t attend services during normal hours do to work or school, and for her efforts to connect her clients with additional support and resources in the community.
She enjoys working at Prototypes because she is able to involve the whole family in treatment to not only increase support for the client but to also encourage whole families to become healthier. She helps clients understand that it’s not just about them, but how treatment will impact their children in the long run.
“The clients I work with are amazing,” noted Dr. Gomez. She went on to share one client story. This client was very skeptical about mental health treatment and had a history of addiction. She has now been sober for two year and is attending community college to get a degree in substance abuse counseling. Dr. Gomez involved the entire family in the treatment plan – meeting with the client’s husband to help him understand what she was going through and providing them both with the communication tools they needed to support one another in their marriage; and connecting the client’s children to their own mental health services – to make sure the family as a whole is healing. Now, despite all the challenges this client has faced, she remains determined and hopeful.
The mental health services at Prototypes provide the support for each client to heal their emotional and mental health while also providing them skills and tools to success in all areas of their life. Dr. Gomez helps them understand their past behaviors and gain a better understanding of who they are. Clients are able to become more self-aware and mindful of patterns that are not healthy or safe. Overtime, their confidence and self-worth increase dramatically.
“The best pay I get for the work I do is seeing the healing and progress of my clients,” shared Dr. Gomez. “It’s super rewarding to see how well they do.”