Staff Interview Vol. 4: Anastassia Putilina-Naylor, LMFT
We interviewed one of our therapists, Anastassia Putilina-Naylor, LMFT, who is with BHT ever since we opened the door to our clients and communities.
Q: Can you tell me about your work?
A: I’m a Marriage and Family therapist licensed in California. I’ve been with BHT for over a year and am loving it!
Q: Why did you join BHT?
A: I’ve joined BHT for a number of reasons. Firstly, I’ve known the founder of Blue Humming Therapy -- Manami Yamamoto -- for a number of years now. We’ve crossed paths through our previous mutual engagement with nonprofit organization in the East Bay, where we made a beautiful human connection, which, to me, makes the world go around. Since then, I’ve always thought of Manami as a talented, attuned, and very rare culturally sensitive therapist. Years have past, and we’ve stayed in touch. Since then on, I went into crises work with teens and families for a key non-profit in the Bay, but kept the dream of some day opening a private practice alive. The opportunity revealed itself when Manami and friends launched Blue Humming Therapy -- a labor of love -- to fill in a much needed niche for a culturally diverse therapy center in the Bay. They’ve graciously invited me to join the team and without a second thought I’ve accepted the offer and hopped on board! What could be better than collaborating with friends on making one’s life better, while helping others do the same?! It was a dream come true!
Q: Tell me about your background.
A: My background aligns with BHT’s, since culturally I myself am diverse. Professionally, I come from 18 years of experience in mental health, having worked mostly with marginalized patients from young to old in intensive settings. After years of mental health community service work, I got my Master’s in Counseling Psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in the Bay and became a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist soon after. I’m bi-cultural and was born and raised in Russia, which remains my home and where a half of my heart resides. I keep very close ties with the motherland, travel the world every chance I get, and think of myself as a citizen of the planet Earth. Because I had worked with such a diverse body of patients from all walks of life, I feel like their stories and the legacy of human bonds with them have shaped me, in addition to my own life experiences, a part of which is an immigrant journey. With humbleness, but also a sense of honor, I think of myself as a success story in a way, as I was able to pursue my passion of understanding human soul and psychology and to help others, while finding a meaningful profession, in the context of which I could do that. I’ve been very fortunate in having been able to help people transform pain, change towards wellness and happiness, and partake in our planet’s evolution.
Q: What is good for you to work with BHT?
A: I feel like my story coincides with that of BHT,as well as its philosophy and a tremendous culturally diverse background. And yes, what else could I wish for than working with friends in such a healthy and supportive environment!
I feel very seen personally and professionally on BHT’s multicultural team, as oppose to frequent past encounters with invisibility in predominantly “white” therapy world in both my own and patients’ experiences.
Q: How about challenges?
A: Learning how to build private and group practices is a challenge because of my predominant experiences having taken place in the non-profit world of mental health, but I’m enjoying every step of the way!
Q: What is your goal? How do you want to grow?
A: My goal is in the future to have a combination of private/group practice, as well as continuing to collaborate with non-profits on projects that reach populations, for whom private practice is out of reach. My goal is to generate wellness and happiness in my life and help others do the same.
Q: Any message to readers?
A: Thank you for your interest in BHT! It’s a rare gem in the Bay Area therapy world. Glad our paths have crossed!
Thank you very much, Anastassia, for such a heartful message :)