Philosophy on Mental Health
My counseling philosophy is based in the intellectual and emotional understanding of the multiple factors that impact the individual’s well functioning in different areas of their lives- job/school/home, relationships and/or community. I understand mental health as the ability to work and contribute to the society at large, as the capacity to enjoy life, and as the ability to establish meaningful relationships with others. It is through a working alliance between the therapist and the client that mental health growth can be achieved and individuals can become more autonomous, self-regulated and in control of their own lives. I believe that insight is essential to achieve emotional growth; however, working with the client in the “here and now”, establishing an emphatic relationship and attunement with the client, validating their needs, addressing their goals, and providing coping mechanisms are essential for emotional change. My philosophy as a therapist is that the client is the EXPERT and that the therapist is the one that follows the client’s lead helping him/her to understand and solve in a healthy way their inner struggles and conflicts. A trustworthy relationship and attunement between therapist and client/families’ needs are essential to achieve emotional growth.
Education and Training
I am a bilingual and bicultural clinical psychologist licensed both in Maryland and Washington DC. I earned my BA and Master’s degree from Catholic University in Lima-Peru and my PsyD. in Clinical, Counseling and School Psychology from James Madison University in Virginia. I came to the United States in 1996 with 19 years of professional clinical experience in private practice working with children and families and with eight years of experience as a School Psychologist and school consultant. I currently work full time as the Head Psychological Services for the Baltimore City Public School System. I work part-time in private practice at Crossroads Psychological Associates (during weekdays after 5:30pm and on Saturdays).
I specialize in individual, marital/relationships, and family counseling as well as individual counseling with adolescents and play therapy with children. I also perform assessments of children, adolescents and adults and provide consultation to parents. Assessments include academic problems and learning disabilities, attention difficulties and personality evaluations. I have an intense training in the implementation of programs in schools, including: sexual and physical abuse; anger management; peer pressure, violence and sexual harassment; empowerment programs for girls; social skills, bullying prevention, among others. I am planning to run three parent groups (parents of children 6-10, 11-14 and 15-18).
My hobbies are reading, house decoration projects, going to the movies, and listening to music. My main interest outside of work is being with my husband and two children and spending time talking with my sister and close relatives.