I’m Dr. Michelle Álvarez. I am Latina; and, in this country, that makes me a minority. But I was not raised as one. In Puerto Rico we are Brown, most of us. And still our culture is rife with racism and colorism. I’ve had to learn how to move through the world as a minority in many different cities and countries. I studied both psychology and art in New York City, Denmark, West Africa, China, and Indianapolis, and now make my home in Asheville, North Carolina.
I've worked as a therapist for more than 16 years in a maximum security prison, the VA (Veterans Affairs), large private hospitals, small clinics, community health centers, an advocacy center for abused children, nursing homes for the elderly, trainings for immigration advocates, backstage at theatre productions conducting therapy sessions with actors in-character, and in my private practice, Santosha.
I choose to put the awareness, sensitivity, and perspective that I've gained to work –with people and families of all ages who are grappling with the reality of what it means to be an immigrant or a person of color in this country, visibly different, visibly "other." A unique therapy that I offer is TALKyogaⓒ, a treatment modality I developed that fuses traditional talk therapy with somatic, movement, and mindfulness practices.
In my “time off,” I am dedicated to fostering social justice and creating awareness and change around inequity and oppression based on race, socioeconomic status), gender, sexuality, etc… and generally taking down the man.