Meet Alyssa Bray, MA, LMFT. She joins The Guidance Center as the newly appointed Chief Clinical Officer. We’re thrilled to have Alyssa on our executive team. Her passion for helping children and their families and her experience in doing just that throughout her more than 20-year career in various clinical and leadership roles makes her a perfect fit to guide the overall direction and vision of our clinical services.
Continue reading to get to know a little more about Alyssa.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Encino, and raised mostly in Simi Valley.
Can you share a fun childhood memory?
When I was very young, my parents would take my sisters and I to Catalina Island every summer. I am fair-skinned, so my mother would slather me in sunscreen, and dress me in a long sleeved blouse and big floppy hat. When I see pictures of me with that big floppy hat and two teeth missing, I remember all the fun times I had playing on the beach with my sisters and parents during those early years.
Why are you passionate about children’s mental health?
Mentally healthy children lead to mentally healthy adults. Our early childhood experiences and how we learn to manage them sets the stage for how we manage experiences in adulthood. Although life even as a child can have difficult, painful, and even traumatic moments, if children are provided with loving support and effective tools to manage their feelings, they can build resilience to these events. Building positive resilience leaves children better equipped to successfully handle the challenges they face as they grow into adulthood.
Why do you believe mental health is important?
Problems and challenges are a regular part of life. Mental health is crucial to effectively manage those challenges and the feelings associated with them.
What are your favorite self-care activities?
Things that feed my physical and mental health include exercise, spending time with loved ones and animals, reading inspirational books, listening to inspirational music, and spiritual pursuits.
If you’re outside of the office, what are you most likely doing?
I’m probably doing one of my self-care activities, unless it’s Fall, then I am probably watching a college football game; or if it’s Spring/Summer, I am probably watching an Indycar race!
What inspires you?
Loving acts of kindness. Seeing people being patient, loving, understanding, and forgiving of others at times when it is difficult.
What do you hope to accomplish at The Guidance Center?
I strongly believe in the mission and vision of The Guidance Center. My hope is to build upon the depth and breadth of services provided, with a particular emphasis on services shown to achieve positive outcomes. These would include assisting and collaborating with other community members in a way that would support our most disadvantaged children and families struggling with issues of mental health and abuse.