Under Nadia Speziale’s supervision
“May the flowers remind us why the rain was so necessary” – XAN OKU
I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX. After, I attended the University of Texas in San Antonio where I earned my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. While still in Texas I also earned my certification as a National Certified Counselor.
I have been working with children since I began my Master’s. For two and a half years I worked as a Registered Behavior Technician where I provided early intervention services to children who have autism in a play therapy form. I was also an intern for a year in an elementary and middle school where I worked alongside the school counselor but providing more mental health focus services. Through my internship, I attended many workshops to continue my education on how to better help are youth.
I mainly work with children, adolescents, and young adults. I have a background of working with those who have autism, specifically early intervention. I also work with those who are experiencing challenging behaviors, ADHD, depression, anxiety, trauma, and self-harm.
HOW I HELP
When working with children, I follow a play therapy model. I am very passionate about play therapy because sitting on a couch as a little one can be a scary thing. I believe play is the child’s language and toys are the child’s words! When working with teens and young adults, my number one goal is to ensure that my room becomes their own breathing and safe room and the only way I can do that is by building a healthy and trusting therapeutic relationship. I adapt to my client’s needs and individual goals, after all therapy interventions are not a “one size fits all”. Together, I encourage clients to explore the past, the present, and the future. I also explore relationships and connections with them to help them understand themselves better and in return, begin experiencing a better quality of life.
MORE ABOUT ME
If I am not working, you can find me on the phone with my mother or searching for a new Spanish telenovela to watch on Netflix (I am originally from Puerto Rico, moved here 11 years ago, so yes, Spanish is my first language!). I moved to Virginia from Texas on September 2019 so during my free time my husband and I like to explore the DMV area and find fun things to do. I am also the proud mother of a 165 pound Saint Bernard named Tex, which means that I also do a lot of cleaning up dog hair and slobber around the house!