My approach consists of helping individuals and couples gain a deeper understanding of the patterns that keep them from living a more fulfilling life. I do this by examining the influences that impact their current thoughts and feelings, such as family patters and cultural beliefs. In practice, I use a variety of techniques from family systems theory, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and psychodynamic theory to provide my clients with education. It is my philosophy that education and understanding helps create empathy for ourselves and our partners. Understanding the motivations behind our behaviors allows us to make conscious choices that are more in line with our goals. In addition, I provide my clients with tools they can continue to use once our therapeutic process is complete. I believe in setting my clients up so they may better communicate, collaborate, think critically, and problem solve independently.
For me, being a psychotherapist is more than a profession. It is a calling. Years ago, when I was a freshman in college, a change in life circumstances caused me to change career paths which led me to nursing; a choice I do not regret. Working as a registered nurse, for many years, has given me a unique perspective and understanding of how our physical and mental health intertwine; how difficult it is to have one without the other. I realized that most of us are neither sick nor healthy for most of our lives. Health is on a spectrum. It is the same for mental health. I don’t like to think of my clients as sick or healthy, but rather functional versus otherwise. Is my client healthy? Is my client living the best version of their life? Do they feel fulfilled? Do they feel understood? Are they feeling connected? If not, how can I best help them help themselves?
It is important to me to have the time to think over these questions and formulate a personalized plan of care for all of the clients I work with. It is just as important for me to maintain a healthy work-life balance, take time for continuing education, and embrace my own self-care. This helps me be present to my work and ensure that I can take each client interaction seriously. Studies suggest that clients, whose therapist maintains a smaller caseload, tend to have better outcomes. Client outcomes can also become impacted by therapist burnout. Part of my commitment to this work includes making sure I am continually learning something meaningful while keeping a smaller caseload so that I can deliver the best care possible. I believe it is this work ethic that sets me (and the rest of the team, at Love Discovery) apart from agencies that focus on numbers and the bottom line. Our commitment to quality is substantial to the care we provide.
I provide individual therapy, for adults, presenting with symptoms related to:
• History of psychological, physical, and sexual abuse
• Witnessing domestic violence
• Occupational related stress and trauma
• Sexual related complaints
• Difficulty with intimacy
• Relational problems
• Difficulty adjusting to new medical conditions or limitations
• Somatic complaints
• Adjustment to phase of life problem
• Problems related to social environment
My work with couples focuses on repairing the relationship that has been stressed by family of origin issues, infidelity, conflict, or miscommunication. In addition, I work with couples to help them heal past wounds, communicate more effectively, understand each other at a deeper level, and hence improve their intimacy. I have experience in working with couples presenting with:
• Difficulty communicating
• Difficulty with problem solving skills
• Sexual concerns
• Difficulty with intimacy
• Adjusting to change in circumstances
• Alternative lifestyles
• Different attachment styles
• Need for premarital counseling
I am a board-certified sex therapist. My experience includes working with clients presenting with erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, painful intercourse, lack of sexual desire, orgasmic disorder, sexually compulsive behavior, symptoms related to sexual trauma, difficulty cultivating emotional connections and decreased sexual pleasure. In addition, I work with couples to deepen their levels of intimacy.
I am an ally of the LGBTQ+ community and have experience providing support and counseling.
I provide sex-positive therapy to individuals and couples that have alternative sexual practices, such as polyamory and open relationships. I believe in the de-stigmatization of all things sexual and intimate within your consensual relationships. I create a safe, non-judgmental space for couples and individuals to explore any aspect of their lifestyle.
Infidelity can be one of the most painful experiences for a couple. Oftentimes, it leads to the demise of the relationship, but it can also be a chance for transformation. Infidelity is a symptom that there is something not working in the relationship that has not been addressed. By processing the causes that lead to it, couples can find themselves in a more fulfilling relationship than before the affair occurred. I can provide a non-judgmental, empathic, space for couples to discuss their pain and work on their healing.
I have experience working with women on specific issues including body image issues, abuse, trauma, domestic violence, relationship issues, assertive communication, anxiety and depression, sexual concerns, gender related concerns, and miscarriage/infertility grief counseling.
Men in Therapy
In the past I've worked with men struggling with a variety of issues, including history of abuse, witnessing domestic violence, acting out, anxiety and depression, as well as difficulty with sex and intimacy. I enjoy working with men who want to have more meaningful relationships. I do this by providing them with insight into their feelings and improving communication skills.
I am a licensed psychotherapist, registered nurse, and board-certified sex therapist. I graduated with a master’s degree in Counselor Education, from Florida International University. My experience includes community mental health, domestic violence/sexual assault counseling, and private practice. My most recent endeavor includes working as an adjunct professor of psychopathology at Barry University.
Prior to pursuing a career in counseling, I worked in an acute care setting for over twenty years; First, as an intensive care room nurse, later, as a case manager in the emergency department. Currently, I am enrolled, in the Doctorate of Sexology Program, at The International Institute of Clinical Sexology. I am fluent in English and Spanish.
Doing the work takes time. There is no magic pill, but committing to learning and exploring yourself is a gift that will keep on giving for the rest of your life.
— Dulce Martinez, LMHC