Meet Arianna Farinelli!
Arianna is a marriage and family therapist associate who has been a part of the Family Guidance and Therapy team for 3 months. She believes one of the most powerful tools for healing is providing a safe space to vulnerably explore both the beautiful and messy parts of life. She knows how hard it can be to reach out to connect, and so brings understanding and compassion to the therapeutic experience. Her warm and genuine presence helps clients feel safe to show up authentically, and collaborate together on the path of whole-hearted being.
At the Family Guidance and Therapy Center of Southern California, each team member works from a set of personal values that drive client care. In the interview below, learn why Arianna decided to become a clinician, the values that she brings to the FGTC team, and what challenges her on a personal level.
Balance, joy, and presence aren't things to be achieved, but rather, like all the best things in life, are practices. There is no right or wrong path, nothing to be achieved or completed. Rather, life is a set of practices.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I earned my M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Bethel University in June. I live on a boat with Jesse, my wonderful fiancé, on Shelter Island. We love biking around the area, making sushi, playing board games, and travelling the world. I'm a hippie at heart: I love recycling, composting, and making kombucha! Podcasts are my jam.
What inspired you to work as a therapist?
Like many of us, I come from a broken family. My own story, redemptive relationships with adult attachment figures, and experiences of receiving therapy inspire me to pursue this line of work.
Explain your personal value words and why they are important to you.
"Practice" is a big theme in my life and work right now. Balance, joy, and presence aren't things to be achieved, but rather, like all the best things in life, are practices. There is no right or wrong path, nothing to be achieved or completed. Rather, life is a set of practices. When I shift to this paradigm of thinking, I hold things more loosely and without judgment, and ultimately, this helps me remain in the present moment and show up more whole-heartedly.
What is unique about your work with clients?
Tough question! I suppose the most unique thing about my work is myself. I work hard to pay attention to self-of-the-therapist issues, and this helps me show up to clients authentically, offering my whole self and attending to whatever presents itself during the course of our work together. My own therapy and personal growth practices help me understand what truly works to bring about change, and I'm able to bring this awareness to my clients as well.
What’s the most challenging and rewarding part of your work?
My biggest reward is feeling like I make an impact in both subtle and more noticeable ways. The biggest challenge is figuring out how to balance the time I spend growing my career and prioritizing the important relationships in my life.
After a long work week, how do you de-stress or unwind?
I workout throughout the week to help manage daily stress, and on the weekends I fill up my "tank" by spending quality time with Jesse and my friends.
Tell us a funny story about yourself!
I have a false memory of falling out of my family's Oldsmobile van as a toddler. As a kid, I was convinced that it really happened, and would emphatically assert to anyone who would listen that the sliding door opened as we turned a corner, and my car seat tumbled from the car. I stuck to my story for years! My family always laughed and told me I'd made it up, but I honestly thought it had happened. It wasn't until studying cognition in college that I learned about false memories, and was finally able to understand the situation. I still have the memory, but now I'm on the same page as my family and don't accuse my parents of reckless driving anymore