Meet Ainara. Dr. Ainara Echanove is one of our Psychologists here at LIV. She is also the Regional Manager in Cheyenne and Northern Colorado! Let’s get to know her a bit better!
Q: How would you describe yourself as a therapist?
A: My approach to therapy is informed by social justice and cultural-relational perspectives. What that means to me is that I believe everyone deserves equal rights and opportunities and that is reflected in how I talk to and treat my patients. It also means that I believe that throughout our lives, and via societal, cultural, and family conditioning, we grow, hurt, and heal in relationships and we need healthy connections to live and survive. I help my patients differentiate between power and powerlessness and identify the shadow and light archetypes, feelings, and beliefs that guide their realities. Through this process, I support patients in moving toward self-connection, authenticity, and healing. Sometimes we can hear the truth in ourselves and identify how to make more optimal choices when we share our stories and deepen our understandings of who we are in the world. I utilize Jungian, psychodynamic, skills-based, spiritual, and experiential approaches to inform my clinical work. My patients also get to experience my humor, irreverence, and active approach to therapy.
Q: What is your favorite family recipe? Will you share it?
A: This is a toss-up between my dad’s paella and his bean soup recipes. The one I gravitate toward really depends on my mood. My dad’s bean soup evokes a cozy feeling that connects me to my culture and heritage and brings back warm childhood memories. The paella recipe reminds me of the ocean (one of my favorite places on earth) because it’s packed full of delicious seafood and Mediterranean spices. I would love to share either upon request.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
A: I love interior decorating and am constantly changing things up! It helps to insert some newness when things feel a little more monotonous. My other favorite spare-time hobbies are running, yoga, and spending time with my dog, Gemi.
Q: What is LIV to you?
A: LIV provides a patient-focused and nontraditional approach to healthcare. In this way, LIV is an agency that attends to each patient’s unique concerns, empowers patients, and promotes holism. LIV is made of a group of people who espouse these values and have an empathetic and knowledgeable approach to healthcare. LIV is a place where people-and all of who they are- are seen and matter.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do for self-care?
A: I’ve re-invented my self-care routine and it goes back to the basics! I listen to my body first and foremost. Our bodies hold stress that can accumulate over time and daily stressors can distract us from our needs and our psycho-social-bio reactions to the world. My favorite strategies for taking care of myself and getting grounded are 8-9 hours of sleep per night, a balanced and compassionate diet, weekly aerobic and anaerobic exercise, and (most importantly) nourishing my relationships. I try to keep it simple and give myself permission and grace when I need to re-adjust.
Wanna hear more from Dr. Echanove, make sure to check out her sleep scan meditation here on YouTube!