I am a native of the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There I received my 4 years Bachelor's degree in Psychology in the year of 1996. I followed a rigorous psychoanalytic training while working with adults, children and families in private practice, outpatient and inpatient clinics, as well as in residential settings.
During my psychoanalytic training years I had the opportunity to work with traumatized children and adolescents from the underprivileged communities or Favelas in Rio. That was my first experience as a Trauma-Informed Child and Adolescent Therapist and it spoke strongly to me.
After moving to the U.S in 2001, and deciding to embrace this country as mine, I worked as a volunteer at the San Diego Hospice and Palliative Care offering emotional support to hospice patient and their families. I subsequently earned a Master’s Degree in Psychology and a license to practice Psychotherapy in California.
I started my career in San Diego working as a therapist in the inpatient unit of a Psychiatric hospital, while simultaneously working at a non-profit agency partnered with the Child Welfare Services (CWS). At this non-profit agency I worked with children who had suffered many forms of abuse and neglect and with their reconciliating parents.
I had the privilege of working for this agency for five years in several positions such as Therapist, Parenting Educator, and Clinical Supervisor to psychotherapy Interns and Trainees.
As my passion for working with children grew stronger over the past decades I decided to open a Private Practice dedicated exclusively to children and adolescents. Since the work with children differs from the traditional "talk therapy" utilized with adults I decided to learn about Play Therapy. After additional years of specialized training in the field of Play Therapy with children and adolescents I became a Registered Play Therapist (RPT) and later on a Play Therapy Supervisor (RPT-S).
Currently I divide my working hours between the sessions with my clients and the supervision of professionals working towards their Play Therapy and Psychology credentials, as well as offering clinical consultations to licensed professionals.
On a personal note I love collage, dancing and cooking for my family. I am a wife and a happy mother of a 5th grader.
Through the collaboration with parents and the lenses of Attachment Theory I look at my client's early experiences and current relationships in order to understand the child's presented challenges.
My years of Psychoanalytic training allow me to recognize the role of underlying issues that may be affecting the children's feelings, behaviors and their healthy engagement in the current relationships.
My experience as a Play Therapist allows me to speak the children's "natural language": Play and to have access to their creative minds, worries, unique perceptions and fantasies - all of that in a gentle, and efficient manner.
In my work with children I utilize various techniques and interventions that can alleviate exacerbated symptoms and help clients to express their dilemmas in a comfortable way. Those include interventions from the fields of Expressive Arts such as writing, drama and puppets and Art Therapy such as drawing, painting, collage and sculpting.
All learned theory is put in practice with the objective of enhancing the client's sense of well-being and the establishment of a higher level of functioning, meaning ... less stress and more quality of life!
It is my priority to make my clients feel comfortable and safe during and after our sessions, as well as to support their parents in their parenting journey.