Roberto F. Santiago, MFA, MSW, PPSC

(he/they)

Roberto F. Santiago is a queer-Latinx author, performer, and social worker seeking to explore the ways in which experiences of intersectionality can challenge and galvanize their clinical and artistic practices. Santiago received their Master of Social Work, with an emphasis in family and education, from the University of California, Berkeley in 2019 with a designation from the Latinx Center of Excellence. In 2012, Santiago received their Master of Fine Arts, with a focus in Poetry from Rutgers University, and in 2009 they received a Bachelor of Arts, with a concentration in Performance Studies and Literature, from Sarah Lawrence College. Santiago’s debut poetry collection, Angel Park (Lethe, 2015), appeared on the LA Times list of “23 Essential New Books by Latino Poets” and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. Their second collection, Like Sugar, was released in 2021 by Nomadic Press.

Santiago is a NuYorican Bronx-native with over 6 years of social work experience that have been informed by 20 years of working as a community advocate and educator. Having navigated systems of education from multiple vantage points—student, admissions advisor, professor, curriculum coordinator, and school social worker—Santiago understands how fraught relationships to academia can be, particularly for QTBIPOC in predominantly white institutions.

In Santiago’s creative and clinical practices, they have sought to amplify the voices that most often go unheard. Santiago believes that the stories, experiences, and innovations of women, immigrants, disabled folks, and QTBIPOC are crucial to create long-lasting change across communities and creeds. When appropriate, Santiago employs music and creative writing into their practice… so get ready for some custom-made playlists, free writes, poetry, and ekphrastic writing exercises.

Specialty Areas

  • QTBIPOC Intersectional Issues (cultural conflict, intergenerational trauma)
  • Anxiety/stress
  • Bereavement (ambivalent, uncomplicated, non-traditional grief)
  • Confidence and self-esteem
  • LGBTQIA2S issues
  • Education Related Issues (transitions, navigating PWI, challenges in higher education)
  • Effects of Systemic Oppression (agency, isolation, acculturation, appropriation)
  • HIV/AIDS (treatment, mixed status relationships)
  • General relationship difficulties (including non-monogamy, romantic friendships, power exchange)

Theoretical Approach

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Strengths-Based Approach
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Solution-Focused Perspectives (goal setting, reality therapy)
  • Interpersonal Therapy (minority stress model, anti-racist perspective, feminist perspective, sex/kink positive, person-centered)
  • Gestalt

Languages Spoken

  • English (fluent)
  • Spanish (heritage speaker)

A photo of Roberto Santiago standing in a colorful room