Athena Turek, LSW
I am currently accepting new clients for virtual and in-person sessions. Please note: availability is for daytime sessions only!
Who I Am
I believe that therapy works best if we can build a trusting relationship together, and so you should know a little about who I am as a person and therapist. I am a biracial, Pinoy, queer fem from a working class background. I am areligious, but find spirituality in nature and am deeply curious about how we as humans navigate relationships to land, community, and ancestors/transcestors. I believe in dismantling oppression everywhere, including the therapy space, and so strive to keep learning and integrating knowledge from collective liberation movements. I orient toward decolonization, transformative justice, and intersectional feminism. I am inspired and continue to learn from models of care offered by disability justice activists. I am sex-positive, trans affirming, polyamory and kink informed, pro-SW, and body neutral/Health at Every Size-aligned.
I find joy in dance, spending time in nature and with loved ones, urban farming, art making, and traveling. I love learning languages and about different cultures (especially when it means trying new foods), and am currently diving into Spanish and Tagalog (the latter with the hopes of one day not having my lola laugh at my pronunciation).
What I Do
I believe that through collaboration we can create a therapeutic space that feels right for you. My hope is that our work together will allow you to develop greater capacity, deeper connections, and more softness in your life. You might even find greater clarity around your sense of self, your desires, your boundaries, and your relationships with others.
While I will always support your autonomy and am happy to throw out therapy tools that don’t work for you, there are certain frameworks and approaches I tend to pull from. For example, I consider myself a systemic therapist, which means that the context that you exist in matters, and there’s a lot of insight to be gained by exploring your relationship with the world around you. I also recognize that your environment likely includes various systems of oppression, and so an intersectional and liberation focused lens allow us to work through the trauma and hurt that may exist for you as a result of marginalization and generational trauma.
As someone trained as an experiential trauma therapist, I believe that experiences exist in the body as much as in the mind and the emotions. Trauma in particular can affect how our bodies hold onto stress and pain, affecting our ability to relax and connect to ourselves and others. In order to address these somatic manifestations of hurt, I primarily utilize Somatic Experiencing and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing). Somatic Experiencing is a modality that focuses on resolving the symptoms of trauma and stress that live in the body, by moving us out of chronic patterns of fight, flight, or freeze. I also pull from mindfulness practices, psychodrama, IFS (Internal Family Systems), and even movement or dance in order to help release what no longer serves and find greater ease in your nervous system. Finding ease in the body allows us to explore with greater curiosity our yeses and our nos, so that we can feel into pleasure and boundaries.
Finally, while there is so much that can be accomplished in individual therapy, human beings aren’t meant to live in isolation, and our relationships and communities offer unique opportunities for healing, support, and growth. In therapy with multiple people in the room, I focus on how each of our past relationships affect the ways we expect and express love (Attachment Theory), and how we can better hear the emotions our loved ones are communicating and better communicate our own emotions (Emotion Focused Therapy).
Healing work can be everything from empowering, messy, grief-filled, disappointing, and liberatory at any given time, and I am honored to be on this journey with you.
I work with
Couples & Polycules
EMDR and Somatic Experiencing
Complex & Collective Trauma
Racial & Ethnic Stress
Queer Identity Formation
Cross-cultural & Interracial Relationships
Body Liberation & Combating Shame
*reduced fee availability for Black & Brown folks
Somatic Experiencing, Somatic Experiencing International (expected completion 2025)
EMDR Basic Training, Humanitarian Assistance Programs
Master of Social Work, University of Pennsylvania; Certificate in: Serving LGBTQ Communities
Bachelor of Arts in French & International Affairs, University of Nevada, Reno
Spanish & Tagalog beginner