Jessica Soriano, LSW (Associate Therapist)

Jessica Soriano, LSW (she/her/hers) is an Associate Therapist at the Center for Growth.

Jessica Soriano, LSW (she/her/hers) is an Associate Therapist at The Center for Growth.

Jessica Soriano, LSW (she/her/hers) is a compassionate therapist who serves individuals, couples, children and families. She practices therapy and counseling in Society Hill, Philadelphia PA. Some of the types of therapy that she provides include: Anxiety therapy, Depression therapy, Child, tweens and teen therapy, Codependency therapy, Complex trauma therapy, Generational trauma therapy, Body dysmorphia therapy, Disordered eating therapy, Divorce & break ups, Family therapy, LGBTQIA+, Mindfulness therapy, Multiculturalism Issues, Narcissistic abuse recovery therapy, OCD & phobia therapy, Poly / Open Relationships, Self-esteem therapy, Shame therapy, Play Therapy, and PTSD therapy.

Jessica obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania. While therapy can be intimidating and frustrating, she believes that when everything “clicks,” therapy is a powerful and transformative tool that can help you better understand yourself, break unhelpful patterns, and reach your goals. In Jessica’s experience, this process is especially beneficial for (though certainly not limited to) those dealing with self-esteem issues. Jessica draws from a variety of evidence-based techniques including: client-centered, strengths-based, cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, motivational interviewing, psychodynamic, mindful self-compassion, and mindfulness-based stress reduction.

Jessica’s Professional Background:

Prior to joining The Center for Growth, Jessica worked in community behavioral health treating adults with complex trauma and severe and persistent mental illness. She has treated post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, bipolar, anxiety, grief and loss, schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, body image and disordered eating, and adjustment disorders.

Her areas of expertise include recovery from trauma, negative thinking, generational trauma, family dysfunction, low self-esteem, codependency, and narcissistic abuse.

Jessica has also worked as an outpatient therapist for children and adolescents. She believes the best way to reach kids is to speak in their language and that play therapy is an effective vehicle to help raise a child’s self-esteem, while establishing each child’s safety, competence, and ability to openly express themselves. She teaches mindfulness skills as a part of emotional regulation and integrates psychoeducation for parents to help normalize challenges, broaden their perspective, and learn how their parenting style can be optimized to support the unique needs of their child.

The work that Jessica does as a therapist builds on the skills that she spent over a decade building before entering the field. Before earning her Master’s degree in Social Work, Jessica spent a decade in marketing strategy and research making meaningful connections for brands. Her decision to change career paths was inspired by her own journey of self-discovery and the realization that her career as a researcher had primed her for therapy; she was adept at creating an environment where people felt comfortable, listening to people intently, asking the right questions to understand the whole picture, and analyzing the information without bias. She is passionate about therapy and is grateful to apply her skillset to helping others heal rather than developing new products or marketing campaigns. Though she enjoys working with individuals, she also enjoys working with couples and families based on her belief that any meaningful change within relationships involves the work of all parties involved. When working with couples and families, Jessica takes a neutral approach. She believes it is essential to continuously take each person’s perspective, history, and individual needs into account as issues are worked through.

Jessica’s Approach To Therapy As a Compassionate Therapist:

As a compassionate therapist, Jessica believes that everyone is capable of achieving their own definition of happiness and success shaped by their individual idenities, experiences, and unique sets of values. Jessica offers her clients a safe, judgment-free space and believes in approaching individuals with a blend of curiosity and compassion. She takes a trauma-informed approach focused on meeting each individual where they are at, based on their readiness and willingness. Jessica believes in giving her clients as much autonomy as possible, from setting treatment goals to dictating the pace of sessions and choosing how much they feel comfortable sharing. She recognizes that there is often a gap between understanding something logically and processing something emotionally, and she values her role in helping clients work through each challenge.

Jessica’s role as a clinician varies greatly based on her clients’ needs. Most often, she acts as a mirror and a guide, using Socratic questioning to help clients reflect on their feelings, relationships, and actions, and at times, where their patterns and behaviors stem from. Other times, she acts as a coach and educator, modeling compassion, creating awareness of trauma responses, highlighting relationship dynamics and patterns of generational trauma, explaining different types of cognitive distortions (patterns of negative thinking) that fuel depression and anxiety, and empowering clients with the right knowledge and tools. Above all, her greatest responsibility is to treat each person with unconditional care, compassion, and acceptance.

Jessica’s Professional Passions as a Compassionate Therapist:

Focus on Building Self-Esteem and Self Worth:

One of Jessica’s greatest passions is empowering those with low self-esteem and building self worth. She understands firsthand that low-self confidence can be a quality that is equally damning and defining that leads a person down painful paths including depression, negative thinking, anxiety, trust issues, and people-pleasing.

One of Jessica’s current frustrations is the unrelenting pressures of today’s world, specifically, the thousands of messages people receive on a daily basis that lead to feelings of inadequacy. The media tells us what our bodies should look like, where we should be in our career, how our families should be structured, what our aspirations should be, and what our sex lives should look like. Those who fall short of the “ideal” or the “norm” are more likely to judge their worth based on how well they fit those standards. This is all compounded by negative experiences from our formative years, what is modeled in our family of origin, the generational trauma we inherit, and our relationships to systems of power. As a result, we are more susceptible to anxiety, depression, negative thinking, , low self-esteem, people pleasing, identity issues, and shame. What we are conditioned to want can come into conflict with what we actually need and what we are working towards isn’t always in our best interest. Jessica believes that the process of “unlearning” what you have been taught and the journey of learning to prioritize what you actually value can be exhausting, but it can also be really exciting and life changing work.

Focus on Treating Depression/Anxiety:

Both depression and anxiety can be extremely isolating and it can be easy to lose yourself in the stress of managing your symptoms. When treating depression and anxiety, Jessica focuses on grounding her clients in their environment and who they are in their entirety as people, rather than the labels they ascribe to themselves. She believes that we are often our own worst enemies. Negative thinking can be overwhelming and it can lead us into a downward spiral, but once we are able to give a name to our behaviors and once we are conscious of our patterns, we are more capable of change. She understands that often, it can feel nearly impossible just to name what’s going on, and even more daunting to sit in those feelings once they’ve been located and defined. She works collaboratively with clients to help them identify their triggers and other factors that may be contributing to their condition, while also exploring strategies that can move things in a more positive direction.

Focus on Codependency Recovery Therapy:

Jessica has educated many of her clients on the patterns and behaviors associated with codependency. In the mainstream media, codependency is typically used as a label for an individual whose entire existence revolves around their romantic partner. In reality, codependency is a lot more prevalent. It is the fourth trauma response (also known as “Fawn”) that has received less attention than the well-known “Fight, Flight, and Freeze.”

Codependency is a maladaptive state of being that often develops in dysfunctional families and abusive or narcissistic relationships. It transcends all relationships, both romantic and platonic. Such behaviors can also be rooted in generational trauma if modeled in your family. Those with codependency issues identify as “people pleasers,” who learn to prioritize the needs and opinions of others above their own. These individuals often experience many difficulties identifying their own feelings and needs, making decisions, asking for help, and establishing boundaries. Those who identify with codependency are also susceptible to low self-esteem as their self-worth often revolves around external validation or their projected image, accomplishments, and what they are able to do for others.

When treating low self-esteem and codependency, Jessica takes a comprehensive approach. She believes that recovery means feeling seen, heard, and validated. It is being able to reflect on your past (individual history and generational trauma) with openness and honesty. It is sharing to release shame. It is understanding you are not alone and recognizing who you are in your entirety rather than your perceived shortcomings. It is being brave enough to articulate your needs and boundaries and having the courage to create distance in relationships that fail to respect those needs. It means differentiating your distorted thinking from your reality. It is the ability to better connect with yourself and your needs based on who you are and what you value.

Jessica resides in Philadelphia with her partner, her son, and her dog Bella. She is a proud Filipino-American who was born and raised in Northern California. She moved to Philadelphia with her partner for graduate school. They both loved it so much that they decided to settle down and create a family here. She loves spending time exploring and traveling. Her favorite trips include hiking the Lares trail to Machu Picchu, rock climbing Pao de Azucar in Rio de Janeiro, trekking through the Tu Lan Caves, and canyoning in Lake Bled. She loves being active, including taking Zumba classes, rock climbing, and paddle boarding during the summertime. Jessica is also an excitable foodie who enjoys cooking as much as she loves exploring all the different culinary treats Philadelphia has to offer. As a new first time mom, Jessica is learning to balance her different identities and is being kind to herself in the process of figuring it out.


Jessica Soriano, LSW (Associate Therapist)'s Resume

NPI: 1588271043

Licensure:

  • Pennsylvania: SW138183

Jessica Soriano, LSW (Associate Therapist)’s Latest TIPs:

Filipino American Mental Health
Filipino American Mental Health image

The Impact of Internal Beliefs and External Perceptions of Filipino-Americans in Determining Access to Mental Health

Filipino American Mental Health: Research Paper Topic

To understand the need for …