We had the good fortune of connecting with Nina Garcia and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nina, what role has risk played in your life or career?
“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” That pretty much sums up my view of risks! I practice taking risks daily: small ones. Manageable ones! Calculated ones. I almost have a secret, maybe not-so-secret recipe and here it is: most risks follow relatively the same formula. 1) Am I willing to make this choice of my own accord? 2) What are the consequences of this choice for myself and others? 3) Am I willing and able to deal with the consequences? Small. Manageable. Calculated. Here’s an example: maybe you’re a Traditional Cheesecake person – but one day you see a Mixed Berry Cobbler and you think, “That’s different! Small risk that I won’t like it? Sounds manageable to me! And I’m having a pretty good day, so it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle if I’m disappointed with this.” Look at you taking risks! Now here’s a bigger, real life one from me. When I first started Houston Creative Arts Therapy, I had just decided to put in my one month notice at a local treatment center that didn’t understand how empowering Drama Therapy could be: I felt unfulfilled, and wanted more! But I hadn’t really saved up, having planned to spend months more in the position. So I put it into my formula: “Am I willing to make this choice of my own accord to leave this position? Yes, I am unfulfilled and want more. 2) What are the consequences of this choice for myself and others? My partner will be affected if I can’t support my part of our mortgage – I’ll have to speak with them to see if I need to get another job that will bare minimum maintain my responsibilities in that department. 3) Am I willing and able to deal with the consequences? Hell yes.” Was it an easy road? No. But two years down the line, a successful part of our community, and now growing into a group practice? SO WORTH IT HOUSTON! 

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Houston Creative Arts Therapy began as a private practice: I specialize in Drama Therapy which is incredibly rare in Texas – there are around 12 of us and counting! In particular, I empower people with Trauma, Emotional Regulation (be sure to check out the podcast “Triggered: Can we play with that?” to this end), and Identity concerns (#MixedAmerica campaign coming soon). Community is super important to me, so you can also join our Meetup group for events under “Houston Creative Arts Therapy & Wellness”. Now when it comes to Therapy…We co-create together in session, and are working through things to leave you feeling empowered to live your best life. It’s complex, and intricate, and really that simple. Also – playful.. Very playful haha – the reality at HCAT is we’re usually playing with the hard things in sessions instead of trudging through it. Play can look like a lot of things, which is why I’m also proud to say we Creative Arts Therapists can individualize the process for you. ‘Cuz you is special friend! One size does not fit all, and we get a kick out of supporting you as unique individuals: no two alike. As we continue to grow, we are also able to offer a certain amount of spots under Scholarship at a discounted rate. A portion of all full price sessions goes toward adding money to the pot to support this endeavor, which we are proud to offer even as a small two person practice! Beyond all that, it is exciting to say we have also begun to grow with an Art Therapist who specializes in working with children. It’s incredible to just see the business grow, at the same time people are growing! I LOVE WHAT WE DO!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh my goodness – a whole week?! Listen, I gots to work to still put food on the table Shoutout HTX haha. That said – let’s do an ideal weekend with me (with a few seasonal liberties). Thursday night: free movie on the lawn at Discovery green. Friday night – outdoor Salsa dancing at The Aquarium OR Ice Skating at Discovery Green! Saturday: 8 AM climb at Momentum Rock Gym; Snack & Shower for Brunch at Lucille’s; let’s do some afternoon hiking around the Arboretum (maybe with babies in tow); Dinner from The Cajun Stop (MOUTH WATERING AS I WRITE THIS) to take home and finish with a movie on the big screen. Sunday: Early morning breakfast at Snooze AM Eatery, then KAYAKING ON THE BAYOUUUUU!!! Followed by a late lunch which used to be at Andes (no longer exists I hear but OMG was it good) so instead we’ll head over to BB’s Cafe in the Heights or if we’re too exhausted – we’ll order in with family, Ah. That sounds like a good weekend. A packed weekend – but a good one.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Here’s a reality – we often forget the people in our lives whose interactions with us supported a shift toward a future success. Even dark clouds have silver linings, right? Here’s a shoutout to all the people who were not silver linings – but straight gold: Deidre Douglas, for offering me discipline. Cathy Wafford, for offering me a space to blossom. Tom Prior, for offering me a flexible understanding of success. My Mother, for whom all else would not be possible had she not gifted me fire, freedom, and what would eventually become creative resilience. My Father for his sense of grounding, and fantastic imagination. Stages Repertory Theatre, for the opportunity to create. And New York University, for the grounds to stomp, the drama to overcome, and the opportunity to dream big. There are many more people along the way I could thank, but in this moment – these feel like the milestones, you feel me?

Website: www.houstoncreativeartstherapy.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hcatwellness/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HoustonCreativeArtsTherapy/
Other: Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/hcatwellness/

Image Credits
Nina Garcia (me!)

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