Elizabeth Sánchez Arvizu, Ph.D.

I am the daughter of two Mexican immigrants. I made a point of traveling to as many places as possible to learn as much as possible. My education journey took me from a town in the middle of nowhere, Mexico -> town in the middle of nowhere in California -> UC Merced -> Rome, Italy -> UCM -> Hong Kong University ->Alliant International Univerisity, San Diego. 

In my travels, I learned about many different cultures, which helped me understand how culture impacts us, our mental health, and our everyday life. 

I have worked in a variety of settings and ages. I love working with children/adolescents. I am an all-inclusive therapist passionate about using pop culture in sessions. I want to create a safe space for everyone, including immigrants, geeks, LGBTQ+,  and marginalized communities. 


If used carefully, the media and social media, by extension, can be a great medium to help us with our mental health. I created @psych4geeks (and this website) to build a community of geeks and therapists working together to improve our mental health. 


My clinical experience includes working in schools, community agencies, a Crisis Center, a Hospital (inpatient and outpatient), and an integrative clinic. I lead groups for children, adolescents, and adults, in addition to individual therapy. My therapeutic style matches what works best for the client's needs.  I am well-versed in ACT, CBT, DBT, Mindfulness, and Play Therapy. Collaborated with physicians, social workers, MFT's, Psychiatrists, administrative staff, and nurses. I have provided services in Spanish and English.


Mission 

Partner in Crime


*fantastic paintings made by Kindred Soul Art 

My Fandoms

I will eventually write about/post how to use my favorite fandoms in therapy or discuss the mental health themes found in the movies/episodes.  

Doctor Who 

Harry Potter 

Brooklyn 99

Studio Ghibli 

Disney/Pixar 

How to Train Your Dragon  

Marvel 

DC

Naruto/Boruto

History's Vikings 

Avatar the Last Airbender 

Jumanji

Dungeons and Dragons

Star Wars

The Untamed 

Merlin

Anime/Manga 

Cartoons 

And bunch more

What Psychology for Geeks means to me...

I believe it's important to address a person's culture in therapy, which includes geek culture. Whenever I make a reference to a movie or show in therapy, I noticed an increase in the client's interest and enjoyment. 

Therapy can be a difficult process because we are discussing painful experiences, that we may have been avoiding for years. 

There is no reason why therapy needs to be boring. When a therapist incorporates what the client is passionate about in the therapy session the client feels more comfortable, interested, and willing to actively participate in the session. 

Geek culture is part of my identity. Immersing myself in the world of fiction allowed me to bond with my brothers, make new friends, and overcome challenges. In many ways, it made my life exciting and fun. I want to share that with others through this website and my social media. 

My Mental Health Journey 

Growing up I never really thought about emotions other than fear and happiness. All I knew was that I needed to do well in school because that was necessary for the kind of future my parents wanted for me. 


When I received a letter of acceptance to the only graduate school program I applied to, I was ecstatic. I needed to drive down to San Diego (a 5-hour drive) for an interview. At the time, I had no reliable transportation other than my parent's SUV, which sometimes worked, and I’ve only driven a handful of times. All my plans fell through, and I took my younger brother (for support, as he didn’t know how to drive) and drove down to San Diego for the first time. Spoiler alert, it all went well, and I am a few months away from graduating with my Ph.D. 


I clearly remember my father telling me that I was brave for doing that. Was I? I didn’t feel brave. I just knew that it was something I had to do. Looking back now, I realize my achievements centered on two thoughts: “It’s not enough” and “I have to do it.” The cost of my achievements on my mental health was never taken into consideration, I didn’t even know that was a thing. 


After learning more about psychology and culture, I realized so many things that were not good. I grew up with anxiety and ADHD, which I never even realized. It accumulated to such a level that I was returning home from school/practicum with zero energy, and all I wanted to do was curl up on my bed and live there for the rest of my life. 


I hated feeling like that, so I contacted the university’s mental health department and booked my first therapy session. Here is what I learned in therapy…



It’s been about five years since my first therapy session, and I am still learning. One thing that was very clear to me was that I was no longer going to wait. It doesn’t matter how long it takes me to accomplish something; I want to live a life I can be proud of. Saying things like “I’m broke, so I can’t,” or “once everyone wants to go,” or “when I have a good job” can no longer hold me back. 


Sure, I can’t do the 2-week European trip I really want to, but I can picnic in the mountains, take my dog to the beach, try new food, practice self-compassion, take time off, reach out for help when needed, and keep trying. 


I have good days, and I have days when my anxiety tries to paralyze me and wants to tell me all kinds of unrealistic lies. Since my first therapy session, I have learned much more about myself, my triggers, anxiety, relationships, habits, etc. I have learned through trial and error. I learned from my classes, practicums, and my clients. 


My relationships with friends and family have steadily changed for the better.  I am more comfortable with myself than I have ever been. I am still figuring out where I want to be (yet), but I am making progress every day. 


Thanks to @em.j.art for creating this digital version of myself.

You can find me on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook @psych4geeks.