I respect and honor your decision to seek psychological treatment. Whether people are looking for guidance, alleviation, learning, comfort or support for themselves or their loved ones, it is difficult for most to begin or continue the journey of therapy. The sense of vulnerability created by sharing personal experiences with another is at the heart of this difficulty. For this reason, I strive to provide a kind, compassionate environment where you feel safe and motivated to work toward your individual goals. My collaborative and nurturing approach integrates evidence-based cognitive, behavioral and interpersonal interventions within a context of awareness, connection and compassion towards self and others. I highly value the therapeutic relationship and view it as a fundamental instrument of change, and so I work diligently early in the treatment process to establish a trusting and caring relationship.
I work with children, adolescents and adults who are struggling with difficult thoughts, emotions, relationships or circumstances and who are seeking to live a more fulfilling and meaningful life. My focus in treatment extends beyond alleviating symptoms to include fostering positive experiences such as love, joy, peace and freedom. I also strive to recognize the inherent wisdom from my clients and use this as a guide for treatment. I have learned through my clinical and personal experiences that we all yearn for similar things in life; we seek clarity in thinking, balance in feeling, and meaning in behaviors. Therapy is a space where these yearnings become tangible and where you can work towards realizing them in your life.
Self-concept – We often focus on relationships with others while neglecting the relationship to ourselves. Yet, the stories that shape our inner dialogue about who we are and what we do have a profound impact on our overall well-being. Therapy is not so much about changing these stories but increasing awareness of them; it is an exploration of what our sense of self has become in our minds and hearts. In navigating who we are, we gently work to accept and forgive those areas that are painful or that make us feel guilty and broken. We also find ways to solidify and develop strengths. Through kindness and compassion in relating to the self, we begin feeling whole, connected and capable of realizing our potential.
Emotional functioning – As humans, we have a tendency to gravitate towards difficult feelings. We somehow find a way to feel sad or anxious in the midst of the most beautiful day or angry during the most joyful celebration. This bias towards negativity does not necessarily mean our emotional functioning is deficient or impaired. From an evolutionary perspective, these feelings actually play an important role in our survival. Difficult feelings such as fear, sadness and anger can also provide valuable information about who we are and what we value. Nevertheless, these emotions frequently become intense and may turn into depression, anxiety, aggression, or other emotional disorders that interfere with our relationships and daily activities. Therapy is a place where feelings are experienced, observed, discovered and better understood. It is also a place of healing that promotes learning new ways of perceiving and relating to emotions. The goal is not just feeling “happier” or “better” but experiencing a sense of freedom and openness, and a life where emotions help rather than hinder you in your journey.
Social functioning – We are social beings and relationships are crucial in shaping who we are and how we feel and think. Therefore, relationships usually make their way into the therapy room, either as the primary focus or in the process of working on other areas. According to research, caring, trusting, and safe relationships are key in achieving a sense of well-being, success and happiness in life. But these same relationships can bring us much pain, confusion and turmoil. Therapy can help you navigate challenging aspects of relationships while cultivating trust, connection, and compassion towards others. By facilitating understanding, practice and application of both basic skills and more complex relational dynamics, therapy can strengthen and improve your social world.
Adolescents – Young people experience many unique pressures and stressors as they try to discover who they are and what they want to do in their life. By means of various psychological tools and techniques, I help young people manage these challenges, which frequently arise within their family, friendships, school environment, or self-identity. I am truly passionate about empowering adolescents to cultivate strengths, manage thoughts and emotions, develop and maintain healthy relationships and make safe and healthy choices that lead to the realization of their full potential as they transition into adulthood.
Evaluation services – I conduct psychological assessments and have received specialized training in neuropsychological and psychoeducational assessment.
I am a Florida-licensed psychologist with a Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the Florida School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Tampa. My training includes an APA-accredited internship at the Veterans Affairs Caribbean Healthcare System and post-doctoral clinical work at the Hillsborough County school system. I have also worked as the Director of Senior Services in a community mental health setting. I currently serve as an adjunct faculty member in a Clinical Psychology Doctoral training program and have provided extensive clinical supervision to psychology trainees.
Throughout my training and career, I have gained extensive experience providing psychotherapy and evaluation services to children, adolescents, adults and older adults of diverse racial/ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds. I provide services in both English and Spanish. I also enjoy working with populations of diverse religions and have experience integrating religion and spirituality in clinical work.
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you have any questions about how I might be able to assist you, please contact me at (813) 419-1043. If you reach my confidential voicemail, please leave me a message and I will promptly respond to your call for a consultation. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about my practice and the services I provide. I look forward to hearing from you.