Theresa A. Thibodeaux is a writer, teacher, speaker, and visionary leader who has spent her professional career building safe spaces of belonging for youth and young adults in various educational settings. She received her M.Ed. at Boston College and her B.A. at Loyola Marymount University. Her studies focused on language, inter-religious dialogue, youth and young adult leadership, and feminist theological perspectives. Theresa currently serves as the Director of the Resilience in your Student Experience (RISE) Program at UCLA which is the wellness satellite of the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) department. She looks forward to welcoming you into the RISE Center!
Favorite self-care practices: Morning reading and journaling, acupuncture, meditation, regular therapy, meeting with a HAES (Health at Every Size) informed nutritionist, spending time with my nieces and nephews who bring me lots of joy, and cuddling with my cat, Jake!
Fun fact: My last name is 10 letters long, has all of the vowels one time, and ends with an x. I also wrote a children's book that was published last December! You can find it on Amazon!
What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness for me is all about perspective. When I have a balanced nervous system, meaning I am not over functioning, or under functioning, it is much easier to stay fully in the present moment. When I am able to live in the present moment, I am able to respond to events happening in my life and that of others with more thoughtful, empathic, and hope-filled perspectives.
How do you define resilience?
I define resilience as the ability to get back up when life throws you a curve ball. As humans so much of life is uncertain, and we long to control things to create a sense of safety. Part of resilience for me, is learning how to live in the present moment, to truly experience the life happening in front of me (not the story I am telling myself about it), and to keep showing up everyday and giving it my best even when it all feels like too much.