Stephanie Garma Balón

Stephanie Garma Balón, MA, AMFT (she/her) is a second generation Pinay-American, & proud Mama—born and raised on Ramaytush Ohlone land (SF/Daly City), and of Ilokano & Visayan descent. As an Expressive Arts Therapist in North San Mateo County (SMC) providing individual and group therapy to youth, parents, and families, Stephanie leans on her belief in the transformative healing power of the arts. This inspires her to intentionally integrate ritual, visual art, writing, and poetry in her professional and personal practice, especially as it relates to her continuous decolonial healing journey. Stephanie’s work is rooted in trauma-informed care, healing-centered, community care, and narrative therapy approaches. Her heartwork and hustle includes over 20 years of experience in health & human services, namely a community mental health advocacy background addressing health inequities amongst hxstorically marginalized populations. As Co-chair of the Filipino Mental Health Initiative of SMC, she co-founded the first social enterprise cultural center/cafe in North SMC (anticipated to break ground in 2022/2023) that aims to increase access to culturally attuned mental health support and provide an intergenerationally engaging, healing & creative gathering space for the Filipina/o/x community.

Poem on Belonging

Presented at the “FILIPINX KWENTUHAN: SAN MATEO COUNTY EQUITY THROUGH ART SERIES