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    About Melissa


    “The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself.”

    ~Steve Maraboli


    I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Heart-Centered Hypnotherapist, currently practicing in the states of New York and New Jersey. I was born and raised in New York City and have been living in New Jersey for several years. I feel very much connected to the Bicultural experience as a Latina(e), Bilingual (Spanish speaking) and Bicultural therapist with Puerto Rican roots. I am also a mom of two boys and a dog mom to a 1+ year old puppy.

    I believe that the intersectionality of your cultural, racial, sexual and gender identity is an integral part of your healing process. Growing up in New York City in a Puerto Rican home, I felt very much connected to my culture, which became an important part of my identity. I recall feeling proud and also challenged at navigating what seemed like “two worlds” of living in the United States but being raised with Puerto Rican values and customs. In the therapy room, many times this experience had not been understood or even valued as expressed through my personal lens. In my professional and personal experience, I found that traditional psychotherapy models lacked in ability to connect issues around race, culture and spirituality. I understand the importance of creating the space with the intention for you to be “seen” and “understood” as your whole self, which include your various identities.

    As a holistic psychotherapist, I offer a comprehensive approach to healing that encompasses the mind, body and soul connection. I have experience providing individual and group therapy and am a Certified Heart-Centered Hypnotherapist. I utilize the integration of traditional talk therapy (various modalities), along with Mindfulness, Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy and Inner Child Healing. As a culturally affirming therapist, I invite and welcome you to bring your culture and traditions in order to integrate them into your process. Together, we will collaborate to determine which approaches work best for you.

    I understand that for many, therapy can be uncomfortable at first, particularly if it is your first time. This can be even more apparent for those who identify as a person of color and are the first in their families to even consider seeing a therapist. I am passionate about continuing to work towards destigmatizing mental health in communities of color. However, I have a very interactive style. I will ask you questions, provide feedback, support you and gently challenge you to grow. I will do my best to respect your path and welcome you to set the pace for your journey. I work really well with those who are committed to this process and assist you in empowering your own path to gain deeper insight to who you are. Life is about living it, not merely surviving it. If you are ready to begin your journey, let’s connect.

    Education & Advanced Training

    Master of Social Work- Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University New York, NY 2006

    Certified Clinical Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy- The Wellness Institute, Issaquah, Washington 2019

    Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) 2020

    Associations

    • NASW-New Jersey Chapter
    • Latinx Therapy
    • Inclusive Therapists