Today we’d like to introduce you to Chantal Pierre.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Growing up in San Antonio, I had a wonderful childhood experience – the Riverwalk, getting school off during Fiesta, taco Tuesdays, and of course the Spurs! But there was another aspect of my childhood that I experienced. Between my home life and other relationships, I often joke that I’ve been a therapist since I was a child. People have always found ease in talking to me, and early on in my life, I realized I had a natural skill for witnessing and holding space for people in distress, and for guiding people through their darkest moments.
While I am a social worker and a therapist, I am also a human being which means I have had my own personal battles as well. Receiving mentorship, support and guidance – from sometimes unconventional places and people – I have always had the sense to remember their kindness and to pass it on. So, in part, I became a therapist because of those who never gave up on me. To help someone allow themselves to live with more authenticity and self-worth, similar to the experience that was allowed me.
Previous to my counseling work at Inspired Practice, I provided services for individuals who had experienced trauma related to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse for about seven years, including crisis intervention; hosptial response accompaniment during sexual assault forensic exams; psychoeducational and support groups; legal advocacy and trauma counseling. Prior to that, I worked in program development, community organizing, peace and social justice, immigration, and disability rights.
Service or “giving back” both to individuals and the community has always been an important value of mine.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It hasn’t always been a straightforward path and there have definitely been some struggles along the way both personally and professionally. Not many in my immediate family or friend circle attended college, and becoming independent early on meant I didn’t have a lot of mentors or social networks to rely on for some time. Struggles at home and school made it difficult for me to stay focused.
So, looking for a chance to get out of my current circumstance I hastily joined a volunteer service program for an entire year – AmeriCorps NCCC – and the experience was life –changing for me. There began my journey for what has shaped the trajectory of my life personally, spiritually, and professionally as a steward of trauma through social work and contemplative psychotherapy.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I’m a trauma counselor for victims of abuse, and I also work as a contemplative psychotherapist for Inspired Practice teletherapy. Essentially, I help guide people toward a greater sense of self-awareness and self-empowerment that helps them reconnect to their lives. My philosophy centers around the understanding that a client is always the expert in their own life. It emphasizes the importance of witnessing and supporting each client’s personal journey, with the overall aim to assist them in improving the quality of their life and relationships.
My work integrates trauma theory, mindfulness, and somatic psychology. I’m inspired by my own transformation and healing through meditation, psychotherapy, mind-body approaches, and integrative healing practices. Therefore my approach integrates perspectives from neuroscience, trauma research, and psychotherapy, as well as meditation and breathing practices. Being able to work to transform my own trauma into tools that help others has been what I am most proud of in my career.
I think therapists each have their own niche and unique experiences that can set them apart. For example, me being a queer BIPOC means I’m informed from a place of understanding of what it means to be marginalized, “othered” and traumatized in our society. This means I can often relate to clients who struggle with feelings of internalized shame, anger, and estrangement.
My interest and training in mind-body approaches and integrative healing practices also set me apart. I love teaching clients various self-care practices to incorporate and integrate into their everyday lives.
If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
I grew up in a bi-racial and bi-cultural household which set the stage for a complicated relationship with belonging, separateness, and connection since I didn’t look or act like anyone else around me. When I was young I was quiet, reserved, and very introspective.
But I remember having a very rich internal world, being very imaginative, and could daydream all day. By the time I was in high school I was very rebellious, and introverted, and remember also having a very negative experience coming out as queer. Biggest takeaway – happiness starts from within. Including choosing it.
- Individual Counseling – $150*
- Couples – $200*
- Sliding scale available
- Inspired Practice LLC is a fee-for-service therapy practice, which accepts payment by credit card/debit card and health saving account debit card (HSA).
- For clients seeking reimbursement, a superbill can be provided directly to you for submission to your insurance company.
- Website: https://www.inspiredpractice.com/
- Instagram: @chantal_contemplativetherapy
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chantal.inspiredpractice