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Recap: Basic Brown Nerds Episode 1

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Basic Brown Nerds podcast is opening its second season with an important talk between Joy Valerie and licensed therapist Veronica Oliveras.


A major focus for many Latinx millennials is the pressure to take on the task of doing better than the generation before. It even impacts the kind of role they play within their family structure. The general feeling in diaspora of being “ni de aquí, ni de allá” is so real, that our families push us to rise out of the in-between to work hard and achieve the “American dream.” The coping mechanisms we learn along the way are built out of survival, but are not necessarily a guide to success.

This comes to a boil when we are forced to create boundaries with our parents in order to manage our mental health and well being. We struggle to forge reasonable limitations, usually due to the inculcated perspectives of unchecked respect for our elders, and guilt. We often feel like we’re responsible for our families and there is an insinuated pressure to prove that their sacrifice was not in vain.

Many of us have also grown up low income and watching our parents work hard, but struggle to maintain a balanced relationship with their finances leaves us with an anxiety towards self-reliance. So when it comes time to understanding our value in combination with respectable effort, we end up struggling to negotiate our raises, and undermine our own work. We doubt ourselves, and don’t step fully into showing that we’re worth it.

Episode Guest:

Veronica Oliveras is a licensed therapist, of Puerto Rican and Ecuadorean descent. She focuses on the intersection of psychology and culture and studies how Indigenous roots come into play when speaking on generational healing.

In the episode, we learn of Veronica’s pull towards psychology when she recognized her family going through difficult situations and not taking care of their mental health. She noticed that many were considering therapy, but a lack of available clinicians, particularly, those of color, made this difficult. This drove her to pursue a career in psych, and eventually, opening her own practice.

Veronica grew up in New Jersey. During her childhood she struggled with her identity and longed to reconnect with her roots. She began researching healing practices from pre-colonial times, questioning how her ancestors addressed mental health, looking to see what their blueprints were. Her journey to connect, led her to incorporating dance, storytelling, and art into her practice.

You can listen to the full episode on Basic Brown Nerds here or your favorite podcasting app.

To see the full transcript check or shop for nerd swag, check out: BasicBrownNerds.com

You can follow Veronica & her work on instagram @VibingWithVero.

Joy Valerie

Joy Valerie Carrera is a contributor to LatinX.com. She is a digital operations strategist, the host of Basic Brown Nerds podcast, and has been to 26 countries so far. As a lover of all things tech, travel, and social impact business - she aims to leverage technology to empower our communities. You can follow her journey on Instagram

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