As part of my weekly romance and relationship articles, I’m excited to bring you this interview with Mayra Figueroa-Clark, LICSW (clinical therapist, aka The Love Expert) of Intentional Love. She is also a certified life coach specializing in love, life and dating in the Washington, DC area. Figueroa-Clark helps single, black women find and keep solid relationships. relationships.
How and why did you become a love expert?
I’ve been a certified life coach since 2007, but was afraid of long term relationships. I saw the effects of love on other women and was scared out of my mind. I figured that I couldn’t handle it and didn’t have any good married relationship role models in my family. However, after being in six or seven weddings, I heard an inner-voice telling me, “You want a man,” so I worked on figuring out what was holding me back. After doing so, I’ve been helping women find their way.
What are the typical concerns you hear from your female clients?
1. My clients are scientists, psychologists, CEOs – very high powered women that are able to strategically plan for everything except their relationships. They also have difficulties attracting men, and they don’t make time for a relationship.
2. I’m 35, single and don’t know why I can’t meet a good man.
3. I’m divorced, single again and unable to attract anyone.
Do you have more women or men clients?
I have more women clients. My platform is to serve women, as they speak from the heart. I also know that women are hurting. Sometimes, my clients wonder why they keep meeting the same type of man and it’s because wounded people attract wounded people. If you are battling internally, you will not attract the right man that you need. I encourage them to look within to find the problem, while helping them to work through these issues.
Have you not been able to help a client?
Yes. Prior to a new client meeting with me, they complete a questionnaire to see if my services are a strategic fit for their needs. I had one client that needed therapy, instead of coaching, as she was too wounded. However, I advised her that if she sought therapy first and it was successful, I would then be able to assist.
What are your thoughts on their being so many available women in the DC area and not enough good men? It’s all about your thought process. It only takes one man! We need to stop speaking limitations into our existence. The 2014 Census states that 51 percent of women are single in the USA and 49 percent of men are single. Those probabilities are good, but it doesn’t matter. Like I said before, it only takes one! I wish women would begin by saying, “There are plenty of healthy men out there and I can’t wait to meet them.” Speak possibilities into your love life; not the impossible.
What do you consider a success factor in your profession?
When my clients say they see things differently, are able to let go and move on, are able to visit me and understand what’s happening, are able to get closer to the authentic you. I even had a client that would not pay for my services, but would stalk me at all my speaking engagements. She finally approached me and said that she thought that I couldn’t help her, because she had a lot of baggage and felt that no one wanted or loved her. After a few speaking engagements, I was able to help her to unblock those feelings.
What’s a general word of advice you’d give to the dating community? Have fun dating or being dated; don’t play games and be clear of your expectations – know what you want.