The 2022 Filipino American National Historical Society Conference

The 2022 Filipino American National Historical Society Conference
August 23, 2022

An interview with Euryale Gadin, LMHCA, and Tara Cristobal-Rivera, MS, CN from Mente Counseling & Consultation

When I started Mente Counseling & Consultation, I couldn’t have imagined having a more amazing team of colleagues and friends taking this journey with me. We learn so much from each other, and I certainly get the honor of growing by hearing all about Euryale and Tara’s work in the community.

Euryale Gadin, MA,LMHCA, is a mental health counselor at Mente specializing in bringing a social justice and liberation perspective to her work. Euryale’s clients come from all walks of like, but she has devoted much of her energy to providing the most culturally sensitive care to the Filipinx community.

Tara Cristobal-Rivera, MS, CN is our nutritionist at Mente. Tara’s approach is rich and varied with wisdom that combats forms of oppression that seep into our relationship with food and eating. Tara’s work expands awareness of what true nourishment means for our bodies and for our communities.

Yale and Tara

Please read the brief interview below where I get to ask both Euryale and Tara questions about their recent participation at the Filipino American National Historical Society Conference.

Martha: Tell me more about the FANHS conference – what it is about, and what is something you really like about it.

  • YALE: It is the Filipino American National Historical Society. This was their 40th year. The founder Dorothy Cordova started this with her husband, Fred Cordova, and a group of students. It has grown from its original homebase of Seattle to stretch across the United States. I am a part of the Greater Seattle FANHS chapter, and this is my first year attending as a presenter and also a volunteer. I enjoyed meeting other Fil-Ams and interacting with them when possible. What I liked about it was seeing more people who looked like me in various positions across industries and academia.
  • TARA: This was the 19th Biennial Filipino American National Historical Society hosted in Seattle, WA at Seattle University: August 11 – 13, 2022. It was the first hybrid conference with attendees from all over the world. The conference is an opportunity to network with other Filipino Americans (Fil-Am), learn about ground-breaking research, and learn about Fil-Am history and preservation. I really enjoyed meeting with the founder (Auntie) Dorothy Cordova and other scholars who have been sharing their research in the psychology and therapy space.

FANHS Posters

Martha: What made you decide to attend?

  • YALE: I would like to get in touch with my heritage, to network, connect with others, and also to dip my toes into something I was always interested in but had felt not being ‘Filipino enough’ to go to.
  • TARA: I went to network, connect with other psychologists and researchers working in the Fil-Am community. I also donated my time volunteering as tech support to help the presentation sessions.

Martha: How does this build or expand your work at Mente?

  • YALE: I hope to connect with more mental health colleagues as my Fil-Am Client base grows. I hope to be able to glean from and share our experience in this field as there is still stigmatization regarding mental health within the Fil-Am community.
  • TARA: Destigmatizing mental health support is instrumental in supporting the Fil-Am community. I believe this work furthers Mente’s mission, and expands opportunities to center communities of color.

FANHS Posters

Martha: What do you hope to bring back to share with clients?

  • YALE: I hope that through connecting with others, I will gain a richer and deeper understanding of Fil-Am history. In addition, I hope to be able to share additional resources and support through my work with clients.
  • TARA: My goal was to share and begin discussions in the collective thinking around body shaming and dysmorphia as a result of the effects of colonization on the Philippine national psyche. The discussions would support further client and training discussions in breaking down negative body and food beliefs.

Martha: Is there anything else that you would like to share?

  • YALE: I look forward to also having a community to draw from as a clinician, researcher, educator, leader, advocate and as an individual.
  • TARA: The connections and relationships I created is a start in tapping into a flourishing and supportive community.

I am so grateful to have both Euryale and Tara’s wisdom and advocacy in our community. I am excited to share more with everyone as they continue their journey to make big impacts and bring meaningful change.

Martha Stebbins-Aguiniga

I am Martha, Director, and Mental Health Counselor at Mente. I am a mother, partner, tía, daughter, and friend. I am a cis-gendered Latinx bilingual woman.