Mildred Reyes, MSW LIU
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. My parents are from the Dominican Republic. I was raised in a single parent home. My mother made many sacrifices to provide the best for my siblings and I. My mother taught me the importance of being a hard worker, caring for others, and how to speak up for myself. My mom is an independent woman, a “go getter” and I am proud to take after her.
I consider myself Dominican-American. I attended York College and earned my bachelor’s degree in social work. I graduated in June 2013. I am currently attending Graduate school where I am pursuing my master’s degree in social work with a concentration in children and families and anticipate graduating June 2021.
Social work has always been my passion. I knew I was going to be a social worker from the time I was 8 years old. I have always been passionate about helping others. Growing up in Brooklyn I was exposed to poverty, drugs, violence, and injustice. This drove me to want to help my people and my community.
Sheesh! I have worked in quite a few social service agencies throughout NYC. I have been working in this field for 10 years. I have provided family support, counseling, support to pregnant women and new mothers. I have worked in a drop-in center, domestic violence shelter, as well as a family shelter. I was a housing specialist and assisted single mothers with children find appropriate housing. My current position is social worker. In the past 4 years I have worked with adults and seniors diagnosed with mental illness.
I must say that I enjoy working with mental illness because it has taught me so much about different types of illnesses and human behaviors.
There has always been a stigma regarding black/brown people and therapy, counseling, and mental illness. So many suffer in silence and do not seek the assistance that is so desperately needed. I hope to be a part of helping in bridging this gap. Also, Black people have been affected by racism, oppression, and so many other traumas. Healing is so necessary in this beautiful strong community. I am the mother of amazing multiracial children, I want better for them, I want better for OUR community.
I most certainly have dealt with racism on a personal level, in my community, and previous jobs. I have been called “spic” and other derogatory names, I have been overlooked at for positions at work, and experienced my son being racially profiled while walking outside. These situations upset me and there have been times where I have spoken up and questioned people. In these times we are living, we must be careful, but we cannot continue to allow our counterparts to get away with the hate and the unfair behaviors. I have experienced things that could have destroyed me due to my ethnicity and skin color.
My clinical approach varies, and I use the approach that is appropriate for each individual. However, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an approach that I have been studying and I like that CBT is hands on and it helps individuals modify their way of thinking and behavior patterns.
My clients always tell me that they appreciate how kind, caring, and helpful I am. I believe I have a way with people, I am compassionate, and approachable. I try to create a comfortable environment where my clients can express themselves. I listen attentively and provide the support needed.
I enjoy art especially painting (although not so good at it), nature, and the ocean. These things help me destress and clear my mind. My kids are my world.