Home Local Business Business Spotlight: Family Therapist Highlights Coping is Different for Everyone During Shelter-in-Place

Business Spotlight: Family Therapist Highlights Coping is Different for Everyone During Shelter-in-Place

by ECT

In today’s business spotlight, Julie Garcia, a family therapist, highlights how she has seen a spike in calls due to anxiety from the shelter-in-place directive and couples/families spending more time with one another without a break. She highlights how the impact of this crisis is different for everyone and everyone will have a different journey. Support and coping skills are essential and talking to a therapist is a great resource.

Garcia’s spotlight comes a week after Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston told the Board of Supervisors they have seen a spike in domestic calls during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Julie Garcia, LMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist, with a private practice in Brentwood, CA where she helps many people feel better emotionally, and improve their relationships and their life.  Julie specializes in individuals, couples, and families. She now provides Telehealth Therapy (facetime and phone sessions) to those throughout the state of California.


Why did you open your business?

I have been providing therapy for nearly a decade, which includes completing several thousand client hours before becoming licensed. The last 7-years have been held in a private practice setting, which has allowed me to gain successful experience helping many clients who have struggled with a variety of concerns such as, depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, relationship issues, grief and loss, marriage issues, PTSD, and parenting etc.

I also have experience counseling teens at several high schools, including Liberty and Freedom High School. It has always been my goal to open my own practice, because it has allowed me to provide a comfortable environment, see a variety of clients, and flexibility in scheduling.

I see many couples and individuals who have busy schedules, so I have been able to accommodate them.


What do you love most about the service you provide?

I am incredibly grateful to be a therapist and I consider it a privilege to get to know my amazing clients and witness their courage, strength, and personal growth, every day! Everyone goes through moments in their life where they feel stuck and need additional support, especially during these uncertain times. Many people struggle to manage difficult emotions that impact their relationships and ability to feel happy. In these times, many turn to temporary relief, searching for anything to numb them, but we must feel in order to heal.

I also work with many couples, helping them improve their communication to be able to resolve conflict and increase their emotional connection. I believe that the quality of the therapeutic relationship is key in the clients healing process.  In therapy, I provide a nurturing, safe space where they can feel heard, understood, and supported in their growth.

I have helped all types of people in their darkest moments, and to be able to see them release shame, heal, and improve their emotional well-being, to me, there is not a more rewarding feeling.

“Its an amazing feeling and rewarding. When they go on their way, I will still hear back occasionally, or sometimes I will see them. They will come up to me or email me and tell me I have helped them so much and we are in a great place and say thank you/ That is when I know I have done my job,” said Garcia.

When I work with kids, I am always working with their parents giving them tools, its the hardest job ever and it’s a 24/7 job and they need their own breaks, especially now. Its about helping their parents understand their child’s mental health and their own. Everyone needs tools and what I am doing is helping unlock those tools to improve communication.


How has the Coronavirus impacted your business?

As much as I love and prefer face-to-face therapy in my office and could continue to do so, since I am a healthcare worker, I made the change to temporarily transition to solely providing Telehealth (facetime and phone sessions) therapy. It was critical to ensure safety and that we all do our part to help “flatten the curve” of this virus.  Sessions can be held from the privacy of my clients own home or wherever they feel comfortable. Isolation and stress can take a toll, creating more anxiety and depression. I am grateful that I can still connect and help my clients, during this difficult time.

The impact of this crisis is different for everyone and everyone will have a different journey. Support and coping skills are essential and talking to a therapist is a great resource.

While face-to-face therapy is ideal, Garcia says clients are getting the same tools as they always would but noted that non-verbal communication is important for her to observe so she makes sure to pay extra attention to them over video chat to observe body movement. She also notes that some people are actually more comfortable in their own home as opposed to face-to-face.


How have you responded to Coronavirus?

Many more people have been seeking therapy during this crisis and being that, I now offer Telehealth Therapy, it has allowed me to help people not just locally, but throughout the state of California.

Most people are struggling to manage difficult emotions during this time, understandably. The Pandemic has impacted everyone, forcing us to deal with drastic life changes, that we never expected.

“It has created national anxiety, heightening our uncertainty that changes by the hour.  We are all going through a collective trauma, that is bringing up profound grief and loss, which everyone will process differently. Many have suffered job loss, loss of businesses, cancelled events, loss of celebrating graduation ceremonies, loss of lives, and the list goes on,” said Garcia.

She urges people to acknowledge your sadness, anger, or frustration and those around you that are feeling the same. Being there for each other is going to make it easier to navigate these times.

She says she has seen a spike in calls because of anxiety as well as couples being on lockdown together. She aims to use those calls to provide people the tools to cope because people do need an emotional outlet.


Any tips or special deals right now that the community can take advantage of?

We are better able to cope with any crisis, when we can focus on taking care of our mental health.  Social distancing doesn’t mean emotional distancing. We are built to connect. Nurture your connections by phone, let people know you are there for them.

Check on your neighbors, maybe they need someone to talk to. Laughter is the best medicine, try watching comedy. Anxiety is contagious, limit your media time and follow the CDC guidelines.

Thank a health care worker, an EVS worker, a first responder, a grocery employee, all delivery drivers, a teacher, janitors, utility workers, truck drivers, postal workers, restaurant employees, and many others who have always deserved to be acknowledged for their hard work.

“Be mindful of how others are feeling. The people who bought all the toilet paper, they are suffering too. We all cope in different ways when there is change. Rather than judge, try to have compassion and don’t be afraid to ask for help, consider contacting a licensed mental health professional,” says Garcia.

I’m happy to provide a free 10 min phone consultation and talk to you about how therapy, could be helpful for you.

Garcia is also utilizing her Instagram account where she frequently provides mental health tips.

“I imagine when this is over, we will not take life for granted and realize that we are more similar than we are different.  We will also be kinder to others, something our world has needed, and above all, we will be stronger and more resilient than we have ever been,” says Garcia who encourages everyone to spread love, kindness, and calm’


Business Spotlight Series

Disclosure: this series is being done at no cost to local business or individuals as an attempt to provide value to our community. If interested in potentially being included in this series, email [email protected]

You may also like


Simonpure Apr 21, 2020 - 1:07 pm

I feel better already

RAY Apr 21, 2020 - 4:17 pm


Angie Apr 21, 2020 - 6:57 pm

Very well said. My dear friend Julie is always so eloquent and articulate. Thank you for being there for our community during these difficult times.

Debra Hudson Apr 23, 2020 - 10:15 am

Great advice and points concerning feeling and temperaments in this trying time. Julie understands the importance of therapy not only in a crisis but in everyday life. Was happy to see that she offers Telehealth Therapy so you do not have to live close by to discuss your problems with her. Her insights display that she has knowledge and skill in a variety of areas and I am sure she has or will help many people.

Comments are closed.