My Counseling Philosophy

My Philosophy on Human Nature

Throughout my life, I have been exposed personally and professionally to different people and how they endure some pretty horrible situations such as a loss of a loved one, trauma from a scary experience or unachieved dream. It was always hard for me to listen about their suffering without the burning desire to help them in some way. I have always had great compassion for the emotional burdens people carry. On the other hand, I have rarely met someone who did not have unique personality attributes, abilities, and talents they could utilize to get through rough situations. I have a very positive philosophy about human nature. For the most part, people strive to be good. Not only do people need to satisfy their basic physical needs such as hunger and shelter and emotional needs to belong and/or be accepted or loved, but also strive to accomplish some sense of purpose. This purpose may be related to a personal hobby or interest such as being an athlete or making crafts (products), creating a family, or mastering a career. Along with their fulfilling their goals and potential, usually the achievements of one person can help satisfy the needs and wants of another as well contribute to the community. Many times, I have witness people leisurely watch and enjoy seeing athletes win trophies or sports team place first for the season. Career or employment success often helps fulfill the needs or wants of others. For example, I would not be able to drive to get to the store if my mechanic did not fix my car. I would not be able to eat if the butcher did not prepare the beef and if the distributor did not transport the meat to the store. In other words, people need purpose and people need people. I hope to help others achieve their purpose as I pursue my own purpose through my counseling endeavors.

People Suffer from Unexpected Events and Pain

I, myself, was blessed with my family heredity and philosophy to reach out to others. My grandfather was a senator, my mother was a teacher, my half- brother is a social worker and my daughter is an adolescent/family outreach counselor. Thus, this philosophy runs in the family. My mother use to say, “take something you’re passionate about and become good so everyone benefits.”  Thus, what goes wrong that problems occur and people cannot function happily?  Anyone of my family members would ask what went wrong in the community, the school system, the family or home, or with the individual person to cause problem(s). As a psychotherapist, I examine and discover what situations and experiences may have affected someone, hindered them from developing and functioning in a healthy way, and how it prevented them from pursuing their potential.  Emotional and mental health symptoms may occur due to painful childhood experiences, inability to cope with life stressors or function in relationships, or not having resources or supportive people available to help.

 Everyone has transitions and unexpected hardships in which they need knowledge, guidance, and support to overcome life difficulties. No one wants, expects, or intentional plans situations that create hardship.  However, people are imperfect and, at times, make mistakes or do not anticipate how events will affect them. Thus, they need knowledge, assistance and support. For example, no one expects to be impaired by anxiety or depressed by a negative event(s) or plans to be addicted to alcohol or drugs. People are never sure how negative events will affect them or that they will become addicted when they try drugs or start drinking.  At times, people inflicted with mental health problems or addiction need methods and skills to problem solve, to cope with stressors, reduce symptoms, manage/regulate their emotions, seek/use resources and connect with supportive family/friends.

How I Help People Overcome Problems and Pain to Reach Their Potential

I am dedicated professional helping people overcome hardship (grief, pain and fear) and improving their lives through goal achievement and behavioral change. I am passionate about client care and developing a therapeutic rapport. Using my counseling skills and methods, I help clients identify the painful emotional symptoms and/or associated behavioral problems that hinder effective functioning and become barriers to accomplishing personal and professional goals as well as satisfactory relationships. People may not be able to perform their role or responsibilities as a spouse/parent or employee because their symptoms interfere with the adequate completion of their tasks. With my clients, I examine the causes or contributors of these symptoms as well as the effects of their symptoms so they can gain insight into their problems. I provide unconditional acceptance in a friendly environment which allows people to examine their issues, make important life decisions, and how they would like to make effective behavioral changes. With guidance, my clients develop their treatment goals in accordance to their own life goals, interests and aspirations. I offer methods that promote behavioral change (Motivational Enhancement Techniques, Cognitive Behavioral Therapies and DBT relaxation/mindfulness exercises) and reduce symptoms of trauma, grief, anger, anxiety, and depression. I counsel male and female adults of all ages as well as couples. My expertise includes mental health issues, addiction and dual diagnosis issues.  My resume summarizes my credentials, education, experience, competencies and specialties.

Licensed Professional Counselor/Licensed Addiction and Drug Counselor Profile

Highly motivated, conscientious licensed administrative and clinical professional (LPC and LADC) with an expertise of counseling clients with substance use disorders, mental health and/or relationship issues. Demonstrated positive outcomes and symptom reduction (anxiety, depression, anger and/or substance use) by utilizing evidenced based Motivational Enhancement Therapies, Cognitive-Behavioral Techniques, Dialectical Brief Treatments and conflict resolution skills. Excellent listening, empathy and communication skills. Organized professional who provides cost-effective treatment and high quality of care by managing multiple of tasks concurrently, and prioritizing client needs and agency issues.  Exceptional high stress tolerance and adaptability while collaborating with effective communication with colleagues, managers and referral sources.  Supervisor of clinicians and monitor of staff performance. Computer skills: Microsoft Outlook Microsoft word, email, internet.  Computer software systems: Simple practice, Caralogic, SMART and Therascribe, and Therapynotes.

Biopsychosocial intakes - Individual & Group Counseling - Couples & Family Counseling - Referrals - Supervision

Accomplishments

Increased client attendance, longevity in treatment and reengagement (return to treatment) by 25%

Heightened client treatment outcomes 20% by monitoring client satisfaction and discharge outcomes.

Modified treatment services 10- 15% to meet clients changing needs and matching clinicians’ expertise with services.

Utilized evidenced based curriculums that increased treatment outcomes by 20%.

Elevated employee productivity 25% through training, career development and incentive plans.

Education

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Albertus Magnus, New Haven CT.
  • Master of Arts: Clinical Psychology
  • Connecticut College, New London, CT
  • Bachelor of Arts: Psychology and Education
  • University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI

Professional Experience  

  • Nutmeg Counseling Services LLC North Haven, Connecticut, 01/2017- present
  • Formerly Shoreline Center for Family Counseling Center and Psychotherapy LLC, Branford, Connecticut, 04/2016-01/2017
  • Psychotherapist/subcontractor in Group Practice
    • Evaluates clients for mental health and substance use problems. Provides hourly individual counseling sessions to clients with substance use disorders and clients with diverse mental health diagnoses. Develop treatment plans and implements Cognitive Behavioral Techniques and Dialectical Brief Treatment modalities for co-occurring clients.   Conduct couples and family sessions utilizing anger management techniques, effective communications strategies, and conflict resolution skills. Completes treatment documents (intakes, 30/60/90 treatments plans and discharges), monthly compliance reports as well as other correspondence to referrals accurately, per criteria, and according to time deadlines.  Consistently manage a caseload of 40 clients in a 40-hour work week. Runs own private practice without supervision or monitoring.
  • Catholic Charities, New Haven, Connecticut, 05/2014-07/2015
  • CSSD Program Coordinator/Dual Diagnosis and Mental Health Counselor
    • Completed clinical assessments and counseled for substance abuse, mental health and co-occurring populations. Developed treatment plans per individual client needs and stage of change. Ran groups in both Substance Abuse and Mental Health Intensive Outpatient Program and outpatient programs, including Men’s Anger Management program.  Provided weekly individual counseling for 50 outpatient substance and mental health clients while supervising program activities.  Provided crisis intervention for dual diagnosed clients. Reviewed clinical assessments, court letters, progress notes, and 30/60 /90 treatment plan reviews and discharge summaries for 500 patients. Measured productivity and monitored timely completion of documents per compliance reports. Developed agency clinical practices according to the criteria of CSSD requirements. Effectively managed clinical operations by ensuring immediate scheduling of biopsychosocial assessment evaluations, immediate client access to treatment programs and tracking of electronic client records. Ran program outcome reports, tracked progress of programs and devised/implemented corrective action plans. Followed DPH and DMHAS audit guidelines.
  • New Era Rehabilitation Center, Bridgeport, Connecticut 12/2011-03/2014
  • Clinical Coordinator of Medication Assisted Treatment/ Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor
    • Provided intakes, individual sessions and case management activities for a caseload of 55 Methadone Maintenance patients who have high recidivism and co-occurring issues. Ran IOP groups and weekly Outpatient Substance Abuse groups: Early Recovery, Substance Abuse Treatment Group, and Relapse Prevention Group. Consistently followed through with agency projects which included tracking clients with positive opiate urines screens and assessing the effectiveness of specific interventions. Assigned intakes and caseloads, and manage counselor schedules. Monitored group census, clinician caseloads and productivity of clinical services. Conducted weekly group (case review) and individual supervision for MMP and outpatient counselors. Developed program structures and modified/revised agency policies to meet SAMHSA Medication- Assisted, DMHAS, and DPH requirements.   Maintained compliance to CARF guidelines by review of clinical documentation of intakes and treatment plans.
  • New Directions, Inc. Enfield, Connecticut, 11/2007-06/2011                
  • Clinical Director of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services/CSSD Supervisor/IOP and Outpatient Counselor
    • Completed biopsychosocial evaluations, formulated integrated clinical summaries, and developed treatment plans.  Sole Counselor of Evening Intensive Outpatient Program for client with Substance Use Disorders. Ran Gender specific groups: SAMHSA Women’s Anger Management Group and Men’s Co-occurring Group. Designed and implemented evidenced-based group curriculums along a continuum of care. Obtained positive outcome measures based on performance measures per discharge reports and client satisfaction surveys. Provided in-services trainings and clinical individual supervision for IOP and Outpatient counselors. Create and follow program structures and procedures according to agency policies, referral requirements (CSSD, probation, DCF and DPH) and regular review of client electronic (Carelogic) chart reviews. Tracked and improved program outcomes.
  • Community Substance Abuse Center, Inc. Hartford, Connecticut, 05/2005-11/2007
  • Senior Clinician of Methadone Maintenance Program
    • Coordinated schedules to include services, staff meetings, implementation of orientation and training of clinical staff. Provided clinical supervision.  Assisted in the role of Hearing and Appeals Officer by responding to consumer grievances and mediating clinician/patient conflicts. Provided intakes, and individual and group counseling. Coordinate the daily operations of substance abuse programs (MMP, IOP, and outpatient services) which included scheduling intakes, assigning of caseloads, and coverage of groups. Conducted chart reviews per electronic (SMART) chart review for timely and accurate completion of documents per regulatory bodies (CARF, DPH and DMHAS).