I was raised in Miami Florida and moved to the Chicago land area 28 years ago. From an early age, I developed a passion to learn about psychology and the many ways consciousness studies can benefit and improve our lives. I pursued this interest by earning my Master’s in Counseling from Argosy University in Schaumburg, IL and then proceeding to work with varying communities and clients. I have personally benefited from engaging in therapy and feel everyone can also utilize this tool to improve their lives. Whether it’s a transition in life or a debilitating emotional concern, I truly believe in acquiring the necessary help to thrive. Also, I believe we all have an innate capability to overcome our limitations and manifest the best we have within us. I utilize these ideals in helping others unite their mind, body and spirit towards the goal of living stronger, happier and more fulfilling lives.
Being involved in several aspects of the mental health field and working with different multicultural settings have allowed me to understand varying perspectives and how to effectively communicate and collaborate with them. I am fluent in Spanish and provided care to many different families traversing the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) and Child Protective Services (CPS). I provided individual and group therapy to individuals requiring care for alcohol and drug abuse and continue servicing this population. I have worked in private and community settings offering differing levels of care and had the privilege of collaborating with many clinicians in several fields. I have also been involved in the martial arts for over 30 years and have an in-depth understanding of how to utilize a strength-based approach towards recovery. I like to employ a collaborative process with you to fully understand the reasons why you have come to feel this way and guide you towards acquiring the tools necessary for recovery. I find it a privilege to be able to help others and am inspired when others prosper.
Areas of Specialty
Addictions are methods used to increase certain feel good sensations that over time become ritualized and hard to stop. Often, they are used to cope with life and not face certain hardships. Whether these have their origins in the past or are problems in the present, the physiological and psychological problem of addiction is in seeking alternative feel good methods instead of dealing with the problem itself. In Addiction Treatment, we call this behavior maladaptive because it eventually resorts in living a lifestyle that is negative and injurious to the self and others. Addictions and Substance Abuse present themselves in varied ways and with a myriad of mind-altering substances. For example, there can be habitual addictions such as gambling, eating, and sex; and with such substances as alcohol, medications, and illicit drugs. The real root of the problem, however, lies within the mind and personality of the individual, and it is in this arena where we help. A complete understanding and support process is key towards helping you succeed. Also, there may be a physiological component to the addiction so a collaborative process may be required with other medical professionals. This process may seem daunting at first, but with the proper guidance and support, you can overcome whatever addictive behavior patterns may have entered your world.
PTSD, Trauma and Abuse
Trauma is when you experience or witness a highly stressful, emotionally overwhelming event, whereas abuse is experiencing the cruel or violent psychological or physical mistreatment by another. Both trauma and abuse can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a diagnosis often given to someone who has suffered trauma and has developed specific symptoms in response to it. Some of the more common reactions found with PTSD include anxiety, depression, nightmares, poor concentration, problems sleeping, flashbacks and interpersonal difficulties. I help individuals recover from the problems associated with trauma utilizing sound therapeutic principles such as psychodynamic processing, cognitive behavior therapy and EMDR.
Depression and Anxiety
We all have periods in life where we feel sad and anxious. These are normal and indicate something in our life is not going well and needs special attention. However, when these emotions and moods become overwhelming, cause changes in sleeping or eating patterns, or bring feelings of exhaustion and lack of motivation, it is a sign it has moved on from just normal emotions to a disorder needing care. Depression and Anxiety affect many individuals and manifest differently for everyone. It is important to understand the reasons why you’re feeling this way and finding the personal approach for recovery.
Other Areas of Clinical Focus:
Relationship and Marital Conflicts
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Impulse Control and Anger Management
Bereavement and Loss