Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)
Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed; it means the damage no longer controls our lives. - unknown
Bendiciones! My name is Mary, I have a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and am a Bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor. I specialize in trauma providing services to individuals and families. I encourage fighting for what you believe in and my belief is I can do all things in Christ, who strengthens me daily.
When I meet individuals and families who experience severe life stressors, I relate to the difficulty to identify these stressors, especially when mental health is unfamiliar or not accepted in cultures. In many generations, families and individuals experience mental health misdiagnosis by professionals. On my own journey, growing up in high crime and violence on the streets of Miami, Florida, I experienced trauma, stress and poverty. It is because of this journey; I gained a great passion in dedicating my career in providing counseling services utilizing a holistic approach. I gained an understanding that talk therapy is one aspect with healing trauma; however, recognizing that it's not the sole approach for others, in particular my own Hispanic culture.
I graduated with a BA in Criminal Justice and minor in Psychology from St. Leo University. I enhanced my career graduating from Argosy University with an MA in Mental Health Counseling, providing services as a Bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor within my community. I trained in a range of modalities and gained Master Level certification in ART (Accelerated Resolution Therapy) a trauma-based technique. Utilizing this holistic form of therapy in helping others heal intense emotions attached to intrusive images. I then enhanced my ART skills and gained a certification as a trained coach in SAF-T (Sensation Awareness Focused Technique.) SAFT-T is a technique provided to train and coach professionals in the helping profession, first responders or therapists to assist in immediate relief with anxiety or panic. In 2013, I developed a strength-based curriculum providing counseling services to survivors of sexual exploitation. I participated in developing an evidenced based mental health modality for unaccompanied exploited youth. The treatment modality incorporated a trauma-informed care, holistic empowerment model with animal therapy to assess the needs of each individual. In 2015, I presented at the JuST Conference in Washington, DC, Beneath the Surface Case Study comparing traditional treatment and gaps in systematic failures with misdiagnosis. I have had the privilege of teaching modalities of mental health and trauma education at Leadership Jesus University to future pastoral graduates increasing mental health awareness in faith-based communities. I am dedicated to the field; my goal is to empower individuals and families who struggle with trauma or intrusive daily symptoms. My passion is to empower those who struggle with a history of violence, high crime and addiction. Providing services that are measurable to all individuals, evidenced based holistic effective approaches to heal the mind, body and spirit.