Mental Health Therapist
• Masters in Mental Health Counseling
• Licensed School Psychologist
• Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy-Level 1
• Relationship and Couples
• Specializing in anxiety/depression/grief
• Available online and in office
• English and Portuguese
I believe everyone has had phases in which life left them feeling emotionally exhausted and unfulfilled. During those phases, we might feel stuck and dissatisfied in our personal relationships or career. Perhaps that is you today, and you are struggling with your marriage, single life, your kids, recovering from a break-up or divorce, or you might just feel stressed and unhappy. I believe that within a safe and trusting therapeutic relationship—where you can feel seen, heard, and understood—you will discover new ways of living and relating. As you develop greater compassion towards yourself and others, you will find that it becomes much easier to give and receive love and comfort. By discovering how past relational injuries still impact your way of relating to others, you will find yourself being set free to consciously choose a healthy pattern of living. I am confident that no matter what you are dealing with, compassionate and high-quality therapy can bring back the joy, confidence, and sense of meaningful connection to others that we all desire.
My approach is warm, relational, and based on attachment theory, neuroscience, and mindfulness. As your therapist, I will help you explore what you long the most and then discover how to achieve those desires in healthy and constructive ways. It is from a place of strength that we will work together to help you attain vibrant and joyful relationships, as well as let go of unhelpful patterns. We will work together in a way in which you will feel deeply understood, connected, challenged, and supported. Together, we will co-create a safe place to process your hurts and doubts and acquire a new understanding of who you truly are meant to be. You can expect safe acceptance, practical wisdom, and confidentiality in our counseling relationship.
Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP)
At the core of my orientation is a therapeutic model that is an attachment-based, healing-oriented, mind-body-centered approach based on the most current research on neuroscience. AEDP is an empathetic and highly engaging therapeutic modality that promotes new and healing emotional and relational experiences. Having a highly collaborative nature, AEDP fosters a safe environment that facilitates the in-depth processing of difficult emotional and relational experiences as well as the emergence of new and healing experiences. AEDP techniques promote the neuroplasticity of the brain, increase resilience, and a renewed zest for life.
In order to thrive, humans need to develop enduring emotional bonds in which we experience closeness and security. We begin this process by developing attachment bonds with our caregivers. The way our caregivers attune into us as children tends to influence how we see the world and navigate our current relationships. In other words, patterns developed during those crucial early relationships tend to manifest themselves and influence how we perceive and navigate our present relationships. Through the utilization of this modality, together, we will explore attachment injuries, how they impact your current relationships, and how we can heal attachment wounds to set you free to consciously relate to others and love in new and more meaningful ways.
Psychodynamic practitioners believe that what is in your mind is much more than what is in your immediate awareness. They understand that some of our knowledge, memories, and emotional experiences are held outside of our conscious awareness—especially traumatic ones. Therefore, since at any given moment we are impacted by what is stored out of conscious awareness, we might unconsciously respond to the environment negatively without even realizing we are doing so. Psychodynamic practitioners also understand that in an attempt to deal with pain, our minds develop defense mechanisms to help us endure traumatic situations. These defenses help us deny or minimize the severity of our pain. In the past, these defenses kept us safe; however, as we get triggered by the environment and continue to apply them to new and current relationships, the same defenses that once helped us survive pain now get in the way of true and meaningful connection.
I was born and raised in Brazil, and I have lived in the United States for over twenty-three years. I grew up and attended high school in Brazil up to my junior year. I then came to the United States as a foreign exchange student and fell in love with this country. I went back to Brazil and earned a B.A. degree in Liberal Arts, but promptly after that, I returned to live in the United States. Upon my return, I completed my Ed.S. degree in school psychology at California State University Long Beach (CSULB), an M.A. degree in educational psychology at CSULB, and later in my career, an M.A. degree in mental health counseling at Concordia University, Irvine, CA. Having lived approximately half of my life in Brazil and half in the United States, I can relate well to the joys, sorrows, and cultural nuances that were part of my path of welcoming a bicultural stance as a way of living. I have had over eighteen years of experience in the field of mental health. Prior to being in private practice, I worked as a school psychologist, special education administrator, and mental health coordinator for large school districts in CA. With that being said, I understand the pressures of being tasked with great responsibility and accountability.
I moved to Florida in September of 2021. My first husband passed away when my daughter was young, and we are now part of a blended family. I treasure being a wife and mother to four amazing college-age young adults. It has not always been easy, and it took work to get where we are, but I can attest from personal experience to the blessings that can come from dedication to deep relational work. When I am not working or spending time with my family, my hobbies include growing orchids, reading, and traveling. However, I have to say that few things in life bring me as much joy as helping my clients discover how they can live their best lives.
• AEDP - Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy
• EFT - Emotionally Focused Therapy
• Humanistic/Person Centered
• Mindfulness-Based Therapy
• Somatic Therapy
Areas of Focus
• ADD / ADHD
• Addiction/Substance Abuse
• Adjustment Disorder
• Affair Recovery
• Anger Management
• Body Image
• Domestic Violence
• Eating Disorder
• Grief and Loss / Bereavement
• Life Transition
• Major Depressive Disorder
• Men's Health Issues
• Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
• Occupational Difficulties
• Phobias/Irrational Fears
• Relationship Issues
• Sexless Relationships
• Sexual Dysfunction
• Social Anxiety
• Stress / Worry
• Suicidal Thoughts
• Trauma / PTSD
• Women's Health Issues