Life is not an easy task. Since it is always changing, loss and suffering are inevitable aspects of being human. Some of us may also survive unimaginable abuse, violence, discrimination, and other tragedies having a significant impact on ourselves.
Interestingly, the experience of suffering that connect us can also make us feel alone, so we often rely on ourselves to work through our difficulties. Other times we may feel stuck and talking with someone who is impartial and can dedicate fully to the causes of our distress can be invaluable. I am glad you are here looking for a therapist to be present with you in this process. You are making the first step which is often the hardest.
My approach is compassionate, fully present, nonjudgmental, and focused on strengths. I am passionate about witnessing the process of self-acceptance and transformation among those I support. It would be an honor to have your trust and work with you in this very special journey.
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with a Master of Social Work (MSW)
from Arizona State University (ASU) and a PhD in Clinical Psychology and Culture from the
Universidade de Brasília (UnB), I have worked in a variety of settings, including
outpatient and crisis clinics, shelters, and in the community. Having come to the U.S. as
an immigrant from Brazil myself, I particularly enjoy working with adolescents and adults
from diverse cultures, and I have a deep understanding of the challenges of adjusting
to a new country. In addition, I speak Portuguese and Spanish.
I have worked with domestic violence survivors, unaccompanied immigrant and refugee
youth, and individuals as they worked through trauma, grief, depression, substance use
problems, and anxiety. Considering each person wishes and needs, I have successfully
used therapeutic interventions such as Eye Movement Desensitization and
Reprocessing (EMDR), Somatic Experiencing, Motivational Interviewing, and Mindfulness.
I believe that humans are social beings that influence and are influenced by the environment.
I also appreciate the strong connection between the body and mind. In order to survive and go on with our lives after traumatic experiences, our body can hold onto the impact of those events.Without adequate support, the trauma experienced can take over our lives and manifest itself in various forms such as anxiety, depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), substance abuse and other physical and mental health problems.
While I am aware of the impact of oppression, discrimination, and trauma on well-being; I dedicate time to learn about the resources, qualities, values, and resilience of those under my care.
I am trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which is a type of therapy developed to help people overcome overwhelming experiences through stimulation on both sides of the body. This is done as the traumatic events are recalled in a safe and supportive space. The stimulation can be visual, tactile, or through sound.
Before starting processing traumatic experiences, we will work together to learn to relax when remembering difficult memories. In addition, we will work to strengthen and access personal resources that act as comforts during the trauma processing. Those could include personal characteristics, values, caring people in your life, happy times, and safe places.
Harm Reduction and Motivational Interviewing
It is not uncommon for people to turn to alcohol and other substances to ease emotional pain, alleviate sleep issues, and deal with difficult memories and anxiety that follow overwhelming life experiences. Alcohol and other substances also have a significant effect on our mental health as they may change the way we think, act, feel, and perceive the world.
Learning about the different substances, reasons people use them, and strategies to reduce the negative consequences of consuming them, can be very helpful.
Motivational Interviewing can be also used to aid in the process of making healthy decisions. This therapy approach focuses on exploring reasons for change and resolving internal conflicts through a therapeutic relationship based on acceptance, compassion, and collaboration.
I also incorporate mindfulness practices into my therapy. These are techniques intended to bring our awareness to the present moment. A focus on the present moment is associated with well-being since our mind can be trapped in the past, struggling with guilt and regret, or fixated on the future, worrying and preparing for catastrophes that may never happen.
Mindfulness involves doing one thing at a time, adopting a nonjudgmental and accepting attitude towards what we are experiencing in that moment. Mindfulness is also excellent tool to regulate overwhelming emotions. Since there is a tendency for our body to adjust itself, strong emotions start to change and fade when we simply pay attention to them. With mindfulness, we can respond to painful emotions more wisely as we are not automatically reacting to them.
I am an intermediate student of Somatic Experiencing (SE) 3-year professional program. SE is a therapeutic approach focused on noticing the body sensations and creating a more balanced and healthy experiences. Because of survival mechanisms we are inclined to concentrate on unpleasant feeling and painful internal experiences or avoid them at all costs.
With SE we learn to notice and savor pleasant feeling and tolerate painful experiences as well as to have balance between our internal and external world. Since parts of our brain responsible for our emotions, sensations, and instinct responses are activated when we are overwhelmed or experiencing a traumatic event, it is imperative that we attend to our body sensations to resolve trauma.
Animal Assisted Therapy
My name is Rosa, aka Rosie. I am about 2 years old and was adopted during the summer of 2020. I am currently training to become a psychiatric dog and available for remote sessions only. I enjoy being petted so much that I need to learn to be patient with clients.
You may request my presence for your remote sessions, and I will for sure to make you smile even on a very hard day . I can also assist with demonstrations of mindfulness and Somatic Experiencing exercises. I love my job!!
My standard fee for an hour individual session is $110, and I provide generous sliding-scale fees for those
experiencing financial hardship. Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions.