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Welcome to “On the Couch” — a series of Q&A sessions where you get to know the human side of our amazing staff at Well Clinic.

We hope this helps you find a therapist you can connect with, so you can work on your wellness together. This week, we chatted with Rafi Fada, an Associate Social Worker (ASW) at Well Clinic in San Francisco.

Main Image for Well SF Clinic's Rafi Fadda

What is your favorite part about your work?

I truly believe that therapy is a privilege. It’s a humbling experience to witness people free themselves from societal expectations that have been impacting their identity, perspective, and engagement with their world. Using artistic expression and story-telling are my personal favorite tools towards healing. There is power in tracing the origins of a narrative and unveiling ways in which societal expectations are hindering our growth.

 

What is your favorite thing about San Francisco?

Knowing that I can get on MUNI and ride through various cultural hubs without ever getting off the bus. This city holds a dense and inspiring dichotomy.

 

What is your favorite place you’ve ever been?

I love a good outdoor market, so, I have to say the souks in Morocco.

 

Name five things that are on your bucket list (things to do before you die)

Make my own ice cream flavor

Launch a wellness center that is grounded in creative expression

Design a picture book for third culture kids

Own a kayak

Build my home from the ground up

 

What is your favorite memory ever?

Driving across Lebanon with a car caravan of my paternal family. Stopping to buy nuts out a the back of a truck, noticing that we are at an elevation so high that we’re above the clouds.

 

Where did you grow up?

On a hill, near the ocean, in San Diego.

 

What are your favorite quotes?

My dad regularly tells me “do your best, forget the rest”.

 

In your free time, what are you most likely doing?

Making jewelry, haggling at a swap meet, talking to my pets about my day, or laughing really hard with my chosen family.

 

What are five albums you’d want with you if you were stuck on a deserted island

Solange- When I Get Home

Beach House- Teen Dream

Animal Collective- Feels

Kendrick Lamar- Untitled Unmastered

M.I.A.- Kala

 

Where was your last vacation?

Mexico City!

 

What cause(s) are you most passionate about?

Deconstructing racism, uplifting narratives from SWANA folx, normalizing behavioral health needs.

 

What was your career before becoming a mental health practitioner?

I was making ceramic sculptures out of an art space in the Tenderloin!

 

Do you have any talents that few people know about? If so, what are they?

I love painting other people’s nails.

 

What is your favorite sports team?

Oh, no! I don’t follow sports at all. Definitely a part of assimilation that was skipped over in my upbringing.

 

What is your favorite food?

San Diego has raised me to be a Mexican-food loving Arab woman!

 

What is your favorite book?

Pedagogy of the Oppressed, I return to it often to make sense of oppression.

 

What is your favorite movie?

I can’t answer this, I have a hard time sitting through movies.

 

What was your favorite toy as a child?

I was a tactile-driven child, so, legos, k’nex, play doh, and beads. Pretty much drawn to anything that can be used to make something new out of!

 

Do you have any pets? Please introduce them to us.

I have a 13yr old chihuahua-dachshund mix named Quincy. He is an anxious boy and lived in a shelter until he was 9 years old. I’ve had him since then. I also have a 9 yr old bengal cat named Lars, but his nickname is Fish. He likes to splash in water and jump off of really high points in my house.

 

When are you at your most creative?

When I least expect it. Usually when I’m on autopilot and trying to get through a basic task like giving my dog a bath.

 

What motivates you?

A sunny morning. If the sky is blue, I feel ready to take on anything… after I’ve had a large iced coffee.

 

Tell us about someone who inspires you … past or present.

I am inspired by my family’s acculturative journey to America from Africa and Lebanon.

 

Name one guilty pleasure, past or present.

I am inspired by my family’s acculturative journey to America from Africa and Lebanon.

 

Describe one of your first few jobs.

I worked for a (notably problematic) retail company, it felt so much more mentally draining than doing authentic emotionally driven therapy work.

 

What’s one fun thing you wish you could do more of?

Kayak in the ocean.

 

What made you want to become a mental health practitioner?

After working in various art studio settings for 5 years, I noticed myself feeling drawn to talking to artists about the story behind their works. I was drawn to the emotional aspect of art making and recognized the power of art as a communication tool. I looked into social work programs and ended up going to UC Berkeley where I relied heavily on art practice and storytelling in my therapy practice.

 

What makes Well Clinic different?

Well Clinic embraces you for who you are. It allows for intersectionality, authentic conversations around privilege and race, and offers a holistic approach to its clients. I feel honored to be here.

 

How do you affirm yourself?

I write, to myself, for myself.

 


RAFI’S APPROACH TO THERAPY

As a bicultural therapist, I aim to work with individuals who are seeking the opportunity to re-examine their storyline and get creative in unpacking their identity.

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TESTIMONIALS

  • I absolutely love Well Clinic! From the beginning, my husband and I felt like we were in a comfortable and safe space.

    Our couple’s therapy bridged gaps in our relationship and helped us understand each other that much more.

    Ivette B

  • Well Clinic is an oasis, especially for busy professionals like me.

    It’s a relaxing and safe space, nothing like the stuffy or drab offices you’d expect when going to a therapist.

    Brianna S

  • Well Clinic’s inviting and professional design makes me feel comfortable and at ease, which probably benefits the work I am doing.

    In fact, it doesn’t really feel like a therapy clinic at all, which I find awesome.

    Jim M

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