“This program really will change your life, if you let it. But I recommend being patient. If you’re like me, you’d like to snap your fingers and arrive where you’re meant to go, right away. But take the time and allow it to change you, and learn the lessons that will help you work with clients and be the therapist you’re meant to be.”
Upon talking with La Keeta Behn-Vasquez, one is struck by her careful attention to the needs of others, to choosing her own words, and indeed, to charting the successes that have made up her career so far, both before coming to Phillips and during her time at the graduate school. That she struggles with any of the impatience she describes above in her advice to future Phillips students seems astounding, but she’ll tell you with a smile that it’s there. As a working graduate student, wife, mother and homeschooler of her 10 year old son named Noah, she has little free time but a powerful intention for each moment.
“I’m someone who tries to get the most I can out of every experience,” she says, and her time at Phillips is no different. From growing up as the child of a hard working single mom in South Los Angeles, to her previous career as a successful dental assistant, administrative manager and dental sales professional, she has always been a high achiever. And yet in an interview, she immediately conveys a warmth and emotional intelligence that suggests her newest role as a psychotherapist may be her most impactful.
With a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from National University, La Keeta moved into the education field after her work in the dental care industry, teaching math and science to sixth and seventh graders at a Los Angeles-area charter school. From childhood, she always wanted to help others and knew being a teacher or a therapist would be the way she could fulfill her dream of helping others. While teaching was rewarding, La Keeta wanted to do more, particularly in the relationships she saw between her students and their parents. This was when she began working towards a career as a psychotherapist. Upon discovering her own therapist was an alumna of Phillips Graduate Institute and recommended it highly, she decided to visit the school herself. She was impressed.
Today, she is finishing her second of five terms in the program. She describes working with clients at the California Family Counseling Center as an exciting process, and one that informs her academic work as a Master’s Candidate on a daily basis.
“Phillips is a great place to grow,” she says. “I’m practicing taking the time to really enjoy every minute of it.”