What is your Role at Best Within You?
I am a postdoctoral fellow. I work with clients with anxiety, depression, eating concerns, health issues, and relationships. I provide individual therapy as well as couples and family therapy. I have a specific speciality in work with sports, athletes, and individuals in high pressure careers.
What is your therapeutic approach?
I work off psychodynamics – how the past influences the present and future. I like to think about existential ideas, such as fear. I also like to use more creative approaches such as compassion focused therapy with high performing individuals. The model focuses on the different systems in your body and how they respond to different ways you talk to yourself. Finally, I like to use Gestalt therapy, which looks at the overall whole of the person and how their environment and past impact their present. I tend to grab from all of these techniques and tailor it to each individual.
How do you tailor your approach to athletes?
When it comes to my position, I am working with anyone in the athletic population – athletes, trainers, and coaches. I have been working with individuals who play collegiate and high school sports. There is the clinical side to sports psychology, which relates to performance anxiety and perfectionism. There is also the performance enhancement aspect to sports psychology. It is similar to a life coach, but it is performed by a treatment that I have been extensively trained for in graduate school. It is not as in depth as therapy, but more in the realm of enhancing their performance and being able to help them with their mindset so they can perform better. I also work with individuals with high pressure careers such as CEO’s or law enforcement.
Can you discuss your academic and career paths?
I recently graduated from my doctoral program, and if I do go back to school, I would like to become specialized in Gestalt therapy. Another career goal would be to be a sports psychologist for the NBA, and continue working with athletes in sports psychology. I have really enjoyed working with collegiate and high school athletes. I went to BYU for my internship, and I was able to work with one of the most well-known sports psychologists.
What are some of your professional goals and accomplishments?
Getting a sports psychology post-doc was a pretty huge accomplishment. I only started last year, so I was pretty early on when I started interviewing for it.
What are you most passionate about?
I am really passionate about integrating faith principles into different aspects of psychology- some being sexuality, gender, and perfectionism. I began a nonprofit back in March that focuses on those realms – faith in sexuality, faith in sports and high performance. I am really passionate about providing a space for people to talk about their spirituality, and feeling like they don’t have to have a specific religion forced down their throat. Research has shown that if someone has a spiritual connection to something, they are less likely to experience severe mental health stress. My realm is Christian, but I use the principles within my practice in my nonprofit but in a way that doesn’t feel forceful to change them. My goal is to integrate all of those things into my practice.
What do you like to do outside of the workplace?
When I was in Utah last year, there were so many opportunities to hike and snowboard. After moving recently, I am still discovering but I have enjoyed the big city. I love exploring and traveling. I also love to cook and try to pick new things to learn every year. This year I have been trying to learn how to do woodwork and embroidery.
What would you say to an individual considering therapy?
There is no perfect time to start. I always hear “Oh I’m doing great right now!” or “there’s too much going on, and I don’t know where to begin.” I would say to find somewhere in the middle, after coming out of a hard place, or starting in the hard place. If you’re just coming out of a hard point, and you’re just finding some more mental freedom to explore things, that might be the perfect time to start. It is really whenever you think about it. You can start at any time.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Larrea you can visit our appointment page to schedule.