ALAMFT Clinician Spotlight


Name/Title: Luciana C. Silva, Ph.D., LMFT

Work Setting: Private Practice at Southeast Systemic Therapy and Consulting                            

Length of time in this setting:  Brand new! :)

Education: Ph.D. in Child and Family Development, specialization in MFT, The University of Georgia

  • How did you come into the field of MFT?

I remember being about 10 or 11 years old and watching some psychologist on TV and thinking, "I want to do that." Like a lot of us, I declared Psychology as my major on my first semester in college, thinking that would make me a therapist. When it dawned on me that I'd need to go to graduate school in a different field, I started researching options. I completed my undergraduate studies at UGA as well, so one of the options I looked into was their MFT program and ended up interning at their training clinic for a semester, and I was sold! The whole idea of relationships shaping our identity and experience resonated with me, so I became convinced that MFT was the path for me.

    • What do you like most about your job?
    Observing and understanding human behavior.

    • Do you have a crucial career lesson you have learned so far?

    Everything counts. You either learn from the negative experiences or you build on the good experiences to grow and thrive.

    • Is there someone special who inspires you & why?

    Oh, so many people it's difficult to think of (and thank) everyone here. I'm immensely grateful to my graduate school mentors, David Wright and Maria Bermudez. I have amazing friends who are also colleagues in the MFT world who "fill my cup" every day, celebrating the good times and helping me think clearly in the more difficult times: Kathryn Jones, Desiree Seponski, Bart Grooms, and Robbin McInturff, to name a few.

    • We know clinicians need to take care of themselves before caring for others - share with us one important self-care tip.

    I've learned that self-care is a moment-by-moment process. It can be as simple as taking a deep breath or standing up and stretching. I am very overwhelmed I try to remind myself of that so I don't fall into the trap of beating myself up for not "being better at self-care," which defeats the purpose, of course.

    • Is there something you want to achieve in the duration of your career?

    I want to write a book. I haven't figured out what it will be about yet, but I'm sure it will come to me. And I would love to translate Murray Bowen's work to Portuguese, my native language.

    • What is a piece of advice you have for new clinicians?

    Get greedy with collecting experience with various groups, settings, problems, etc. Cast a wide net so you can try a lot of different things and see what you like best. I never thought I'd like working in the field of substance use disorders and recovery, and yet, I love it. Once you start to realize what you like, that's the time to dive into it and become more and more specialized in your models and theories, but you gotta date a few before you marry one.


      An interview/reflection from the prior Spotlight Clinician, Sara Garrett:

      It was such an honor to get to know Luciana! Her smile brings such joy and she has such a neat background! She is originally from Brazil, so she speaks Portuguese and English. She has a passion for helping immigrant families, especially in regards to those seeking counseling services. Luciana is currently transitioning from a Clinical Director position at a non-profit agency to her own counseling private practice. She has her counseling license in Tennessee and Alabama, so she can provide telehealth counseling to those in both states. Her goal is to be able to help as many people as she can and will be pursuing her license in the state of Georgia soon! 

      Interested in the Process of Spotlight a Clinician?

      Clinicians who are spotlighted get networked with the previous clinician by a Board member. They then facilitate a short (15-20 minute) conversation around the questions outlined above. Each clinician has access to a Google Form with the questions before the live conversation so that interview serves as a fun way to network with a new professional. Our Student Intern helps with this entire process, so you are not alone! Have additional questions, feel free to reach out!