Hi, I'm Lia!
I'm from the Florida Keys, which in my opinion is one of the most beautiful places in the US . One of the reasons I decided to become a therapist is because this beautiful place where I'm from has very few mental health resources. Growing up, there was little access to mental health information. In fact, the county that I was raised in has one of the highest suicide rates in the state of Florida.
I fell in love with mental health when I took my first psychology class during high school at Gulliver Preparatory. I decided I would become a therapist so I could help others in crisis and normalize discussing mental health and wellness.
As a therapist and a mental health advocate, I hope to provide as much mental health information as I can to others.
My approach has developed from working as a substance abuse therapist and helping my clients find healthier coping skills.
My approach integrates Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness, and Holistic methods. Basically, what that all means is that I focus on:
The relationship between your thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
The relationship between your physical and mental health.
Skills that can help you focus on the present moment instead of ruminating on intrusive thoughts.
I specialize in anxiety and negative thinking and I teach my clients skills to use in response to intrusive thoughts. This can lead to relief from these powerful thoughts, but stopping there is just a quick fix to a larger problem.
I named my practice In Depth Wellness because taking an in-depth perspective at why we think the way that we do, what we believe about ourselves and others, and what events caused this way of thinking can create overarching change. Gaining this insight and learning how to cope can help us live the lives we want instead of constantly living in survival mode.
I realized I wanted to become a therapist in high school, during my first psychology class. The material that I was learning provided names to feelings that I experienced throughout my life. As a high school senior, I started taking college level psychology courses at the University of Miami, where I would later earn my Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling.
I earned my Bachelors degree in psychology from Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts. I minored in public health at BU as well and use my social media platforms to provide information to others on a larger scale. What I have learned in and out of the classroom is that each of us has inherent strengths that have been formed by our experiences. My main goal is to help you realize your own.
My areas of specialty are Generalized Anxiety Disorder, trauma, and substance use. I also focus on overthinking, self-esteem, toxic relationships with family, friends and romantic partners, codependency, depression and family conflict.
I currently provide virtual therapy to Florida residents. Prior to starting my independent practice, I was a therapist at Bayview Therapy, Coral Springs and at The Collaborative Counseling Center in Miami. I also worked as a an in-home therapist at The Village South, an outpatient substance abuse program in Miami while I was completing my state licensure requirements.
I previously worked as a family therapist for teenagers with behavioral issues. Working as a family therapist taught me how influential a person's environment and support network is on their behavior.
During my Master's program I completed two internships at Here's Help Inc. (South Miami), an outpatient substance abuse clinic, and at the Institute for Individual and Family Counseling at the University of Miami. I was required to maintain my caseload at both of these locations while keeping up with the requirements of my graduate program, working as a waitress, dance teacher, and as a psychometrist/office assistant at the University of Miami's Counseling Center. My time as a graduate student taught me the importance of self-care and the importance of a work/life balance.
While I was in undergrad at BU, I worked as a tutor at a local middle school for students with learning and intellectual disabilities and as a hotline counselor for parents in crisis. I learned through this position and in my work with families that parents who prioritize their needs and self-care have more energy to attend to their family's needs.
Throughout all of my experiences, I've realized that teens, adolescents and young adults undergo an enormous amount of stress. Sometimes this stress becomes overwhelming and can impact a client's overall health.