Diverse vital events can generate stress. Day-to-day situations can be stressful too. When a person is under stress, this can manifest with the presence of different and diverse symptoms. They can range from emotional to physical responses.
Why should we be concerned if these are natural responses? The answer is that there is a connection between our nervous system and our immune and endocrine systems. For that reason, we can say that stress can have an impact on our health. In times of great stress our body can get sick or deteriorate, if we already have a health condition. Learning to deal with stress can be challenging. As your counselor, I can help you.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Did something terrible happen to you and you can’t remember all the details of the incident? Does something sometimes trigger a partial memory of what happened and you experience strong emotional reactions as if you were living the situation again? If your answer is yes and this description somehow resembles what is happening to you, you may be experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
There’s a reason these feelings and memories don’t go away on their own, whether it’s referring to a recent situation or something that happened a long time ago. The reason is that the brain of a traumatized person learned to cope with the situation in survival mode. Only a therapeutic process can reduce or completely eliminate the impact of a traumatic event.
There are many therapeutic approaches to dealing with trauma, in our services we primarily use traumatic incident reduction (TIR), and we have seen very good results.
A Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR) session can be part of a treatment plan if a traumatic event is part of the person’s history, and at the present moment still has a negative emotional charge. A client can come to our services, referred by another professional who does not specialize in trauma, to receive only this type of intervention. If this is the case, you should be clear that the therapist needs to do at least one exploration session before we start working on the traumatic event.
A session in which a traumatic event is not completed until the client completes its processing, reaching what we call “an end point”. The duration time can vary from person to person. We will only know when the time has come, making it impossible to plan ahead how long the process will take. To schedule these types of sessions, both the therapist and the counselor must ensure that we both have open or flexible hours after the session. The therapist discussed with the client the type of intervention that is recommended as the most appropriate according to each case.
Sexuality is a very important area of our life and can be a source of pleasure and happiness, but sometimes the area of sexuality is surrounded by pain and suffering. This can happen because we lack information and we create erroneous beliefs, or because we can have some difficulty working sexually; or because something that happened in the past impacted sexuality in a negative way, including a traumatic experience such as rape or other form of sexual abuse, or contracting a sexually transmitted infection, for example.
Through Counseling or Psychotherapy we can create a climate where you feel comfortable talking about these private matters, and with the appropriate therapeutic interventions I can be your counselor and help you resolve them.
Sexual orientation and gender
Many people go through difficult situations in the process of identifying their sexual orientation, or gender identity. On very frequent occasions, isolation due to fear of rejection causes these concerns to trigger more serious psychological problems that can cause a lot of stress and severe consequences for emotional stability. As a therapist I have had work experiences for many years supporting clients in these processes and I consider myself an ally of the LGBT community. I offer a safe space where you can speak openly about your concerns and where you will be treated with respect, compassion and without judgment.
Mental health is important because it can help in the following:
Coping with the stress of life
Be physically healthy
Have healthy relationships
Contribute meaningfully to your community
Achieve your full potential
Sometimes it is not what we say, but how we say it that defines the results that we will achieve in life. People react to our way of saying things, sometimes much more than to the content of what we are saying. Communicating effectively requires a set of skills, and assertiveness is one of the main ones. Being assertive means being able to say what you want to say, validating your own needs, but recognizing and respecting the rights of other people; at the same time that socially appropriate communication is used. This may seem like too much for a person to be able to always do, especially at times when we are emotionally involved or affected by a particular situation. Assertiveness is a social skill, which means that it is learned, but it is not something that is taught in school, we need to be trained. As your counselor, I can help you develop an assertive communication style.
The relationship with the couple is one of the most important areas of our life. Many of the great emotions in life come from the result of our bond with a partner. These could be positive if the interaction goes well, but whe the relationship is negative and painful and is not working as we hope or wish. There are many aspects involved in the proper functioning of a couple beyond love and attraction. In some cases the reason is the personal history of each one before reaching that relationship; others reasons are part of the history of the relationship in its context and other cases but no less important the reasons are part of the abilities that the people involved have to relate in an adequate and productive way. Even saying it is not easy, so executing it we know that it is much less. Such a complex relationship often requires professional help for the growth of the relationship and each of its members. My professional experience includes having helped many couples in the resolution of their conflicts.
Some substances like alcohol and other recreational drugs create addictions. Some of them create physical dependency, others psychological dependency and in some cases both. In any case, stopping drinking alcohol or using drugs is very difficult. The first step is to recognize the problem and be willing to work on it.
It takes many people a long time to get to the point where they feel the need to stop taking or using drugs. When someone finally makes the decision to quit or stop, it can be a big challenge to change behaviors related to substance abuse. An experienced clinical therapist can be very helpful in this process. As a therapist I understand that behind an addiction there can be many psychological issues and problems and perhaps traumatic experiences that need to be processed.
You are the expert in your life and you know better than anyone why you do what you do, but I am in the best position to help you in the different phases of the change, if you are willing to deal with your addiction.
The feelings we have towards ourselves influence how we live our lives. People who feel loved and appreciated (in other words, people who have high self-esteem) have better social relationships. They are more likely to ask for help and support from friends and family when they need it. People who believe they can achieve their goals and solve problems tend to do better in school. Having a good self-esteem allows you to accept yourself and live life fully.
No matter how much you previously wanted to come to the United States, emigration and immigration can be very stressful and difficult processes. If emigration was not a desired and planned first choice, the stress that comes with the need for acculturation may increase. People need to make many changes and learn many things after emigrating. Even if the arrival here was very well planned and a dream for a long time, the process can still be very difficult.
Sometimes it can be many years before the person feels emotionally stable. Having goals in life can make the process easier, but sometimes it becomes difficult to define or redefine life’s goals and objectives of acculturation to a new environment. A counselor can help process the emotions that emigration and immigration causes. My personal and professional experience in this area can help to relief your transition.
Loss and grieving
People go through many situations of loss throughout life (relationships that end, close people who die or leave us, problems with work or health, financial crises, even transitions to different stages of life). Each loss has an impact on our emotions and on our body. Sometimes we do not allow ourselves to mourn at the right time and numb the feelings; but it is important to note that an unresolved grief can lead to a state of depression. Therapy can help to process the situations of present or past loss; providing the support and necessary skills to overcome the grief stage, learning to express feelings in a way that supports our health.
These are sessions where we first deal with the role of individuals as parents, in an effort to improve the strategy of raising children, as well as communication between both (mother and father) for the well-being of children.
Parenting is when parents work together on a team to raise their children, even when the marriage or romantic relationship between them is over. Reaching this point often takes a lot of effort and an experienced counselor can be very helpful. I accumulated a lot of experience working with cases that were referred by the Florida family court system. I put that experience at your disposal.
Parents of children with special needs
Becoming a father or mother is a great dream for many people and since that day our children make us happy and leave us smiling for many reasons. On the other hand, educating our children can be a challenge, but it can also be gratifying to see the results obtained. However, when a child has special needs, the challenges can become endless.
Parents of children with special needs experience many emotions and contradictions and most of the time without any support, because the rest of the people around them sometimes hold them responsible for the child’s behavior or do not understand the demands of the children (additional care). This situation sometimes gets in the way and affects parents’ ability to enjoy their children and recognize their skills and talents. As your consent, I can understand these dynamics very well and offer the necessary support and education for parents in this situation.
Learning to live with any chronic health condition can be difficult. HIV and AIDS are no longer a death sentence, but they still represent many challenges for infected and affected people (family, partners, friends and caregivers). There are many things that can be done to adjust to this reality and have a better quality life. The first step is to understand the complexity of the condition. A knowledgeable professional with counseling skills is vital in that process. I can offer you the support you need during emotional adjustment, as well as in the behavior modification process to reduce or eliminate risky behaviors. Psychological reactions have an impact on the functioning of the immune system, therefore it can be strengthened by stabilizing psychological functioning.
Proper therapeutic interventions can be very helpful. I have been working in the field of HIV / AIDS as a mental health professional since 1990, therefore I have accumulated a lot of valuable experiences which allows me to have a lot of empathy with people who are living or are affected by this condition. At the same time, I can offer guidance in your process of learning to live with HIV / AIDS.
My work in this field was extended to the topic of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in 1997. Some STIs are acute and curable with proper treatment, while others can become chronic conditions, such as genital herpes, infection due to papilloma virus and hepatitis B. In both cases, some conflicts or psychological problems arise, and these are not always managed appropriately. The fact that I have a lot of experience working in this area, combined with my profession in the field of mental health, can be very valuable for someone who has been infected or who has been exposed to the risk of an STI. If you or someone you know is in this situation, don’t hesitate to contact me.
The same principles of psycho immunology that I learned in the field of HIV can be very helpful in achieving positive results with other health problems. If this is your case, contact me to assess if I can be of help.
This is an intentional interpersonal relationship used by trained psychotherapists to help clients or patients solve life problems. It is aimed at increasing the individual sense of well-being. It is a therapeutic relationship between the client and his counselor. The sessions are meetings of around 50 minutes, (with the exception of the TIR sessions), where the basic duration in our services is 2 hours.
Everything that happens in the session is considered clinical material. While you are in therapy, most of the work will be done during the session, but sometimes the therapist may assign you a task for you to complete on your own as a form of exercise outside of the session. Regardless of that, it is very likely that you will continue to process mentally after the session, and sometimes your understanding or “realizing” moments may occur when your therapist is not with you. I recommend that you take notes and discuss them later with your therapist.
The objective is to improve communication and solve problems. The center where couples therapy works is not the individual, but the relationship. Although part of the therapeutic process will include personal work so each member of the couple can contribute their best to make the relationship grow, as a therapist I will try to maintain a neutrality focused on the dynamic processes of the relationship.
You can experience the magic of therapy, increasing your possibility of realizing your situation with diverse experiences (through what others have experienced). The support that the group offers gives a perfect opportunity to improve and reinforces the necessary motivation to undertake change. Groups will be scheduled when at least 6 people enroll. The maximum number of participants allowed is 10.
Before the group begins to function, it is required to have an initial evaluation session with the therapist, where María will explore history and assess with you if the group therapy is the appropriate setting for your treatment.
Presentations to the community
Here are some topics of the presentations we offer to the community: