Trailercast Episode 078: Two therapists walk into a bar ... Interview with Lisa Olivera, LMFT

About the interviewee


Lisa Olivera is a licensed marriage and family therapist and writer in Oakland, California. She has a private practice and also shares her writing and work on Instagram as a way to connect with a wider community, humanize healing, and create more access to tools and insights often only found in therapy. She is passionate about working with people on unraveling their stories, developing more self-compassion and self-acceptance, leaning deeper into vulnerability, and finding more fulfillment, joy, and presence in their relationships with life, others, and themselves.

Today I had an incredibly warm and beautiful conversation on Trailercast with Lisa Olivera about the work that we both have the honor to do. Sometimes when we are asked what we do, our ability to answer the question in a way that really captures it feels so limited. Yes, we do the work of therapy. Yes, this is our profession. But it is so much more than that. It is truly an honor to work with the people we do, to get a front row seat at some of the deepest parts of their heart.

Lisa does a fantastic job of breaking the wall that can sometimes tower between a therapist and client. She really gets how to relate, how to have empathy, how to be a human first and therapist second.

“I believe so strongly that working human to human and not expert to human is how real change happens.”

-Lisa Olivera

Lisa also has a huge presence on Instagram, one that even got her an article in the New York Times. She very humbly explains how there is a movement of people gathering under the notion that mental health and wellness no longer has to be hidden. There is an appropriate and special place to learn about our own wellness online. And she is providing us with some content on her page that people who don’t go to therapy might not otherwise get.

Lisa: “I see such a huge wave of people kind of taking their healing and their well-being into their own hands which is so inspiring.”

We also talk a bit about some myths people have about therapy. One of those being that working as a therapist must be very sad. I hear a lot that it must be so hard to sit and hear difficult stories everyday. Lisa and I both agreed that yes, we may hear some heartbreaking stories, but we also get to witness some of the coolest transformations. There is something about when a client feels seen and heard, and then is able to take the work they are doing with them in their daily life and make some real powerful changes. It makes you want to get out of that chair and shout “YES!” We get this honor. We get to witness beauty and change and healing. It is the farthest thing from sad. It is freaking inspiring.

Lisa is currently working on writing a book. Honestly, if you scroll through her Instagram, it is already like reading a book. I can’t wait for that one to come out. She (and I) are currently craving a way to create community and bringing people together within the work that we share.

Connect with us in the comments!

Tell us how you describe what you do.

If you are a therapist, what is something you wish your clients knew?

If you are a client, what is something you wish your therapist knew?

Find more about Lisa on Instagram @lisaoliveratherapy or at her website

Find more about me on Instagram @elysesnipes_collective or on my website

I also recently began a holistic wellness group called Radical Wellness Collaborative, which you can find out more about here:

Thank you for participating in this conversation!