Meet Ana (Nanet) Comerio
I see therapy and the therapeutic process, regardless of where we are, as an opportunity to explore new or different ways of thinking and being. I believe that through therapy clients can find their way to strengths, resources, and pathways that they may not have thought they had; and that regardless of their story or present circumstances, they need not to be defined by them.
What is your process?
My process is in taking a collaborative journey with clients, while I provide psychoeducation, support, and guidance as part of the therapeutic experience. I believe in “holding a space” for my clients where they can freely feel, speak, and explore whatever they need to, and that through the therapy process we can find relief and create ways to move positively forward, whatever that means for each of my clients.
I value, recognize and respect the uniqueness and the contextual reality of each individual experience, and thus I work with an integration of different Therapy Models.
Family of Origin Issues/Systems Therapy
I am a systemic therapist, (which includes, but is not restricted to, family of origin/cultural issues), and I assist clients in changing “core material.” Core material is composed of memories, images, beliefs, neural patterns, and deeply held emotional beliefs. This material shapes the styles, habits, behaviors, perceptions, and attitudes which define us as individuals. Our responses to the major themes of life, such as safety, belonging, support, power, freedom, responsibility, appreciation, sexuality and spirituality, are all organized by our core material. I help client focus on and think about how his or her core material shapes present personal experience, and how they can change this to better fit who they are now.
Grief, Loss, and Bereavement
While loss is universal, grief is always individualized and personal. I believe we are greatly impacted by the language and perception of grief in the culture we were raised, and the one in which we live.
Often grief is seen as a kind of malady, a terrifying, messy emotion that needs to be cleaned up and worked through. We are exposed to outdated beliefs around how long grief should last and what it should look like, and it is seen as something to overcome. I like to support clients in working with their grief where they are at, helping them see it as a natural response to loss- regardless of its nature. Whether grief is connected to the loss of a person, of certainty, of a way of living, or the loss of a marriage or relationship, I want to help clients in their understanding of grief as a process, not something to be rushed or maligned, and help them to recalibrate to a reality “without,” whatever that “without” may be, at their own pace and with the inner and outer resources they choose.
Effective Communication and Relationship Building – Individual/Couples
Our lives are made of a network of relationships. Whether in a partner relationship, at work, with our friends, family and children, conflict is virtually inevitable in relationships and not necessarily a sign of trouble. It’s how we go about resolving it that can be trouble… It is not just the what, it is the how.
Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions
Going through a separation or through change, adjusting to any kind of transition, personal or in relation to others, can have an impact on our identity and our ability to cope. Whether the transition happens within, or it is in relation to others, parenting and welcoming new members in a family or group, helping teenage children navigate their changing needs, starting or leaving a career or a job, I like to help clients build their own brand of resilience and ways to care for themselves and others during these challenging times.
Self-Regulation/ Coping Skills Development
Regardless of the reasons why our coping skills might be depleted, some of the tools that we may explore in this process can include distress tolerance, self-regulation skills, working on reframing cognitions and behaviors, and mindfulness/grounding-based interventions, eliciting client's present emotions and experiences.
I grew up and was partly educated in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a culturally-induced regard and appreciation for psychotherapy and the therapeutic process. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Addiction Studies from UM, and I completed my Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at St. Thomas University.
Growing up in Argentina, under a strict dictatorship throughout my childhood and young adult years, I experienced how loss, grief and trauma can have a profound effect on how we cope and develop as individuals. My calling to the field of counseling and psychology came because of what I lived and witnessed, as well as my own personal journey and life story. Raising a bicultural family, experiencing chronic uprooting and loss, and understanding the impact of parenting children with special needs is what makes my work sacred to me.
I have studied, as well as applied, the teachings of Gabor Mate on trauma and grief, Murray Bowen theory and practice on Family Systems, Daniel Goleman on emotional intelligence, and Mark Wolynn’s work on inherited family dysfunction.
Over a period of ten years, I attended the PEER Counseling Training Program, developed for counselors and therapists involving neurolinguistics and Experiential Therapy concepts and techniques. Particularly geared towards working with difficult emotions, the training involves an integrated approach; working with the body (somatic), feelings (affective), and thought (cognitive), to facilitate neuro-emotional change and bring both mind and body more fully into the process.
"Life's journey has a past, a present, and a future. Exploring your narrative takes courage; redefining it takes love".
— Ana Comerio, MFT