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Meet Natalia Amari of Rebel In Bloom

Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalia Amari.

Hi Natalia, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
Real talk? Trauma.

However, as I often share with clients, we can’t give trauma all the credit. But my story definitely involves a heavy dose of trauma.

First, let’s set the scene. I’m proud to be a third-generation Austinite and I spent many of my formative years in Bastrop and Pflugerville. As a Mexican American growing up with my white biological mother and white stepfather in these places with differing racial demographics, I have had a very mixed experience with both privilege and oppression. In truth, we struggled a lot financially as well. Later, I came to learn that families often bear the burdens of systemic oppression – this, and my upbringing, fuels my work to this day.

Embedded in my family history is so much intergenerational trauma that got played out in my childhood. As a child, it really hurt to go through those experiences and I honestly couldn’t fathom, on a deep intrinsic level, that I was meant to endure all of this hardship for no reason. When I was rather small, I recall thinking to myself that I just had to do something good with all this pain someday. That was how I got through it.

My home life continued to be troublesome until I left to go to college. In high school, I rebelled against the idea of needing a “piece of paper to prove my worth.” However, my beloved stepdad and my English teacher, Ms. Wetz, talked some sense into me. When I was 17, a traumatic incident occurred and I was sorely disappointed by the response of a social worker, which prompted me to consider becoming a psychotherapist – not because I was impressed, but because I wanted to change things. Senior year, Ms. Wetz met me at an IHOP to review my admissions essays and tell me about financial aid and dorms – a whole world I knew nothing about.

From there, I escaped to college. I studied psychology at University of Texas at Austin and went on to the University of Michigan School of Social Work to pursue a masters. My trajectory with getting licensed further highlighted some of the issues with our field, and really, that’s a story for another day. But I am here. And I am so grateful for all the community and mentorship that many have offered me that has enabled me to provide care I feel really solid about and to build a group practice, Rebel In Bloom, where I get to pay that forward to my colleagues. Additionally, I am deeply honored to work alongside fellow Wisdom Panel members of Inclusive Therapists in our movement toward liberation of all people with all bodies and all identities in the field of mental health.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
At Rebel In Bloom, we practice an integrative approach to psychotherapy that incorporates principles of liberation, interpersonal neurobiology, attachment theory, body-oriented approaches and relational experiential psychotherapy.

We apply an anti-oppression framework to trauma-informed clinical work and in doing so, increase access to trauma-informed, culturally responsive mental health services among clients. We provide individual, couples, and group therapy.

At Rebel, we work diligently to check ourselves in how we show up in the world. This is central to work with clients, however it has greatly informed our online presence as well – which is ever-evolving. In this process, it has been paramount to always come back to our values and core goals.

For example, holding that the personal is professional/political, I often think back to that experience of being failed by the mental health system when I was 17. Part of what got in the way was fear of the mental health system – a fear many marginalized people have for good reason. As such, I have always wanted to find a way to be warm, relational, and real while still centering the client and maintaining appropriate boundaries as it helps people feel safe and engage with the work.

Furthermore, while I love healing and wellness, to me, the whole point of healing work is to reclaim our power and agency. I may only do individual work at this time, but I am always mindful that the work we are doing behind closed doors has an impact on society. That is my anchor – the vision of a society that has worked through their intergenerational trauma and is better able to show up for one another.

What do I want readers to know? Change is possible, hope is real. With therapy, you don’t have to be “broken” and you don’t have to know where to start. We can help you navigate that.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
Who doesn’t deserve credit?! As I mentioned before, I would not be here without the help of many, but I will do my best here.

First off, my Stepdad who was my PARENT. He was everything to me and I would have gone down a very different life path without him. Also, my sisters. My biological sister, Danielle, as well as all my sister-sisters (you know who you are, b*tches – love you!).

Many teachers and mentors along the way, including Simine Vazire, Barbara Eagle, Emmy Ritter, Jodi Barker Collins, Candyce Ossefort-Russell and of course, the aforementioned Ms. Wetz.

Last but certainly not least – my community. I have SO many colleagues – queer colleagues, colleagues of color, fellow group practice owners, the Wisdom Panel of Inclusive Therapists and my colleagues at Rebel that have been relentless in their support for me and the growth of Rebel In Bloom.

It literally takes a village. Thank you alllllll from the depths of my Scorpio heart.

Contact Info:

Image Credits

The photo in the office is by Riley Banks of Woke Beauty. The rest are by Inti St. Clair.

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