I believe that everyone has the ability within themselves to live the life they want. Our perception of who we are is shaped by our experiences and how we believe others see us. Through my trauma work and healing, I realized that the phrase "seeing is believing" is incomplete, and a more accurate phrase to describe how the world shapes us would include "believing is seeing." Even if you have not experienced a significant traumatic event, minor traumas can negatively affect how we respond in our relationships. These minor traumas could be something like being teased by a friend or having a parent ignore you when you sought comfort as a child. Our adaptive mind is always searching for meaning in every interaction; sometimes, the messages we extract lead us to believe that we are inadequate, unloved, or unworthy. We are social beings, and our sense of self greatly depends on how we think others see us. Through therapy, we can identify those negative beliefs that hold us back. I believe that we are so much more than the tip of the iceberg others see, and helping you find that confidence to be yourself through unconditional acceptance, validation, and empathy is what I strive to do.
My process in working with clients is collaborative and supportive. I genuinely see therapy as an opportunity to understand painful life experiences, make meaning, and learn how to cope more effectively. I will honor your pain, sit with you while you recall your worst memories, and guide you towards the life you want.
Our life events shape our sense of self. Sometimes adaptive responses that worked for us in the past now keep us from forming the intimate relationships we want. My approach to working with trauma incorporates negative beliefs, emotions, and physical sensations associated with disturbing memories. Trauma isn't only physical abuse, neglect, early childhood adverse experiences, abandonment, sexual assault, or war combat; it's any experience that caused significant distress.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a highly researched therapeutic approach to working with trauma that can work more rapidly than regular talk therapy. EMDR utilizes bilateral stimulation through rapid eye movements, similar to eye movements occurring in REM sleep, tapping, or bilateral sounds to keep you present while recalling disturbing events so that unconscious or stuck memories can be reprocessed. EMDR works effectively with histories of sexual assault, physical abuse, accidents, natural disasters, combat trauma, and addiction; by getting to the root of the negative beliefs held about oneself unstuck from the emotional memory network of your brain and body. EMDR requires preparation, but I will support and guide you through the process once you are ready. The only requirement is open communication and interest in the process.
Hypnotherapy is another powerful tool to help unlock hidden potential. By helping you learn self-hypnosis, you gain control of your unconscious mind. When you enter a trance state, you bypass conscious awareness, which holds maladaptive or harmful self-beliefs, to encode helpful beliefs. Hypnotherapy can treat many issues, including anxiety, phobias, substance abuse, sexual dysfunction, decrease physical pain, and improve sleep.
Our unconscious mind is constantly running programs in the background to interpret and respond to the world around us. As a result, disturbing events color the way we see ourselves and others. I want my clients to know that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, and they are always in total control. By allowing themselves to enter this trance state, I will show them how they can receive the messages to help them have the life they want.
I work with couples in all seasons of their relationship. I listen to your needs and help you find the path to come closer together. Whether it's a new baby, an affair, adjusting to change, or you're exploring entering into an alternative lifestyle relationship, I will help you. I have training in Gottman's relationship therapy to help couples improve communication, resolve conflict, create shared meaning, and increase compassion in their partnerships.
My therapeutic approach is to help deliver to my clients the antidote to the criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling that destroy relationships. Together we can build the GPS map to each other's inner world and build trust, love, and commitment. Sexual intimacy is often a concern for clients seeking relationship therapy. I approach sexual issues from a non-judgmental perspective and support individuals in working through their sexual difficulties by helping them better communicate their sexual desires and increase sexual intimacy.
Many people do not fit the traditional couple mold. As a result, I have developed a deep understanding of the many alternative lifestyles couples may choose to explore. From polyamorous relationships to same-sex partnerships and kink lifestyles, I will help you navigate your lifestyle choices with an open mind.
My approach to working with individuals in alternative lifestyles addresses their anxiety, depression, or self-esteem issues, without pathologizing their lifestyle. Instead, I seek to create a safe space and give my clients the tools to openly communicate their needs and determine how they can have a more fulfilling relationship.
Women's Specific Concerns
Many women find it difficult to express the feeling of anxiety or depression when dealing with issues such as infertility, sexual issues, self-esteem, and trauma. I create a safe environment where women can share their deepest fears and concerns to heal and accept themselves for the wondrous beings they are. I am also trained to help perinatal and new moms prevent and overcome postpartum depression. My goal is to help my clients find acceptance and love for themselves while attaining balance in their life, mind, and body.
My approach to working with women incorporates addressing anxiety, depression, adjustment distress, negative beliefs, emotions, education, and physical sensations associated with disturbing memories. I integrate self-compassion, emotion-focused, and mindfulness-based techniques to supplement traditional talk therapy.
At any point in our sexual lives, we can experience sexual function distress. Reaching for help for any sexual challenge is a vulnerable experience for both individuals and couples. Many components can affect our sexual lives, including physical conditions, early childhood experiences, self-talk, emotions, media/entertainment/pornography, chemicals/medication/substance use, cultural and spiritual beliefs. I see both same-sex, heterosexual couples and partners of transgender individuals. I also provide individual sex therapy counseling. Talking about sexual challenges is very difficult for most people, and I am grateful to have your trust and encourage your bravery.
My therapeutic approach incorporates addressing anxiety, depression, early childhood experiences, negative beliefs, education, social-cultural-spiritual beliefs, and physical sensations.
I attended San Jose State University in California and graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1999. I also completed my Master's Degree in Clinical Social Work at Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida, in 2020. Working through my trauma led me to work in trauma therapy, helping others in their recovery. I found the process of EMDR and Hypnotherapy Techniques to be quite profound, and I appreciate and enjoy sharing it with others.
I moved from San Francisco, California, to South Florida in 2006. When I am not working as a therapist, I enjoy the outdoors with my family. Spending time with my husband and teenage son is truly a gift that I give thanks for every day. Having a supportive and loving life partner for over 13 years is exactly the life I always wanted, but it's not always easy. It takes work, but it's work that I love, and with practice, it only gets better each year.
"The unconscious mind holds the key to our true nature. Our pain, our trauma, and our essence is waiting to be uncovered and healed".
— Pricilla Torres, MSW