Prior to opening her own practice, Maria provided individual psychotherapy, couples therapy, and group therapy for adults, adolescents, and children in a wide variety of settings including community mental health clinics, inpatient hospitals, Polk County school district and the mental health department serving Polk County jail. She completed the coursework and research for her Clinical license followed by her clinical internship at Baycare Hospitals.
Maria offers therapy that is grounded in scientific research, while incorporating practices of mindfulness, yoga, and other mind-body techniques. By integrating the time-tested sciences of holistic health with modern psychotherapy, Maria supports her clients in reaching optimal wellness, maintaining balance, and finding contentment in life.
I hold a deep respect for each person's unique story. I am passionate about supporting people in finding greater connection with themselves and those around them, and in being more present in their daily lives. Together we can craft an approach to counseling that works for you.
I am a bilingual/bi-cultural therapist; able to do therapy in both English/Spanish. I strongly believe in a holistic approach to mental health: psychological-physical-spiritual development are all integral aspects of emotional well-being. I am sensitive to inter-generational conflicts that arise due to acculturation issues.
Therapy provides an opportunity to wonder about experiences, emotions, and desires that we may not otherwise have space to explore. This process can deepen our insight into the impact of personal history on our current behavioral and emotional patterns, allowing us a greater sense of self and choice in our life and relationships.
I am mindful of trauma at all levels, and pay attention to how my own subjectivity informs my practice. In the course of psychotherapy, we will create a space of non-judgmental curiosity, including space for creativity, playfulness, and humor.
I have extensive experience working with adults who have problems with mental illness, addiction, depression, anxiety and trauma.
Psychotherapy is a collaborative endeavor. My intent in the therapeutic process is to be active and transparent. I have two slots set aside for individuals who cannot afford traditional psychotherapy fees. If this fits your situation, please call to discuss your situation and to find out about current availability.
Together we will work to deepen self-awareness, presence, and sense of possibility. I use she/her pronouns.
Am I the right Therapist for you?
Selecting the right therapist is obviously an important decision and I encourage you to be discerning. Although training and experience obviously matter, it is most important that you find someone who feels right to you and/or your family.
My words and pictures on this site will give you some sense of who I am and if you are drawn to work with me. As these depictions are inherently limited, it is typically best for us to talk on the phone and ideally meet in person so you can get a deeper sense of whether or not this is a good fit for you and/or your family.
MS in Mental Health Counseling - Nova Southeastern University
B.A. in Psychology – Pace University
American Counseling Association
American Psychological Association
Suncoast Mental Health Counselors Association
Thank you for your consideration.
Animals can provide a sense of calm, comfort, or safety and divert attention away from a stressful situation and toward one that provides pleasure. Advocates of animal-assisted therapy say that developing a bond with an animal can help people develop a better sense of self-worth and trust, stabilize their emotions, and improve their communication, self-regulation, and socialization skills.
"And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. "
-Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
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