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Mental Health Program

Our Multicultural Mental Health Program offers a culturally-sensitive counseling model that meets the unique needs of foreign born survivors of human rights abuses. The program assists our clients in overcoming trauma and increasing emotional health and well-being.

SERVICES WE PROVIDE
The first goal of therapy is to establish a safe, accepting, nonjudgmental, and genuine therapeutic relationship. When you feel emotionally safe, you are free to explore, gain access to, process, and integrate unresolved losses, complexes, painful memories, and self-defeating beliefs and behaviors. We also provide culturally sensitive counseling model that meets the needs of immigrants and refugees.


ISSUES WE CAN HELP WITH


ADHD • Adjustment • Anger Management • Anti-Social Behavioral Disorder • Anxiety •
Behavioral Issues • Bi-polar Disorder • Borderline Personality • Bullying • Career/Work
challenges • Child Abuse • Conduct Disorder • Coping Skills • Developmental Delays •
Depression • Divorce • Domestic Violence • Eating Disorders • Emotional Regulation •
Entitlement • Family Conflict • Grief and Loss • Obsessive – Compulsive Disorder •
Parenting • Peer Relationships • PTSD/Trauma • Self-Esteem • Self-harm • Sexuality •
Social Skills • Sexual Abuse


WE OFFER
Individual and Group Therapy
Couples Counseling
Play Therapy
Sand Tray Therapy
Art Therapy
Grief Counseling
Parenting Classes
Crisis Intervention
EMDR Intervention.

COUNSELORS

Melissa Gutierrez, LPC
Melissa is a Licensed Professional Counselor and an honors graduate from Texas Wesleyan University, where she received her Masters of Science in Professional Counseling. She completed her undergraduate degree from The University of Texas in Arlington in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. Melissa has been with Mosaic since May of 2016.

Melissa believes in unconditional acceptance of self and others in order to work through a range of emotional and behavioral issues that may manifest into unhealthy negative symptoms. She offers an approach tailored to each client’s individual needs with a foundation in rational emotive behavioral therapy. She works with a variety of populations and conducts culturally sensitive services. Melissa is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), which is proved beneficial for PTSD and complex trauma. She also works with children as young as 3 or 4 years of age and provides play therapy as well as working with Children, Adolescents, Adults, Family, Individual, Depression and/or Anxiety, PTSD, and Complex Trauma, Grief, Family/Domestic Violence, Intimate Partner Violence, LGBTQ, Crisis Stabilization, Geriatrics and is also bilingual in Spanish.

Amy Carr, LCSW
Amy has been a member of the Mosaic team since 2017 and has been working with children and families, specifically within the Child Welfare System, since 2008. She received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin, and has since earned status as a Board Approved Supervisor.

Amy works therapeutically with children and adolescents ages 2-16, and incorporates individual, sibling and family therapy into her work at Mosaic. Amy specializes in trauma focused counseling, and has been trained in Child Centered Play Therapy, Child Parent Relationship Therapy, EMDR, TF-CBT and Sand Tray. Amy is also a Registered Yoga Teacher.

Brittany Mumford, LPC-I
Brittany is a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern currently under supervision with Brandi M. Smith, LPC-S. Brittany holds her Masters of Arts from Texas Wesleyan University, where she graduated with honors. She also received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Texas Wesleyan University in 2013.

Brittany has been with Mosaic since January and uses approaches such as Solution Focused Brief Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy depending on the needs of the individuals. She also has training in play therapy and sand tray. Brittany has a vast amount of experience working with newborns to age 15 and adults. She has extensive training in working with mental health diagnosis and developmental delays. Brittany’s experience also includes grief counseling, crisis intervention, trauma, foster care, attachment concerns, developmental delays, behavioral interventions and parenting support. Brittany also volunteers her time to support children and their families in their grief journey after the death of a loved one.

Jaclyn Contreras, M.S., LPC-I
Jaclyn Contreras is a Licensed Professional Counselor- Intern currently under the supervision of Bret Menassa, Ph.D., LPC-S. Jaclyn holds her Masters of Science from Southern Methodist University. She also received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology, Behavior Analysis, and Development and Family Studies, with a minor in Spanish from the University of North Texas in 2015.

Jaclyn started her journey at Mosaic January of 2018 as a student intern and has now transitioned as a part-time Counselor. She uses Choice Theory and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy depending on the needs of her clients. Jaclyn has a vast amount of experience working with adolescents. She has training in play therapy, sand tray, adolescent counseling, therapeutic parenting, and affirmative therapy.  Jaclyn has a tremendous amount of volunteer and charity work under her belt and has been chosen as an outstanding member for the Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society.

Claudia R. D’Avila, M.S, LCSW, ACSW, CCTP
Claudia D’Avila is a bilingual counselor, Licensed Clinical social worker, Academy certified social worker, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, EMDR trained (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) and is CBT certified (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). She completed her undergraduate work at University of Texas at Arlington, and earned a Master of Science in Clinical Social Work from UTA and a Master of Counseling degree from Texas A&M. Claudia is a doctoral student in Counseling at Texas A&M University-‐Commerce.

She utilizes a humanistic approach to therapy that incorporates modalities such as expressive arts and sand tray therapy. Claudia has experience working with adults, adolescents, children, couples, and families. Areas of specialty include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Complex Trauma, Parenting, Domestic Violence, Trauma, Physical, Sexual, and Emotional Abuse, Trafficking, Self Esteem, Family Relationships, Depression, Anxiety. She has done extensive work with immigrants and refugees and victims of human rights abuses. Claudia is a member of the American Psychological Association, the National Association of Social Workers and the International Association of Trauma Professionals.

PLAY THERAPY

What is Play Therapy?
Today play therapy refers to a large number of developmentally appropriate treatment methods, all applying the therapeutic benefits of play. Play therapy differs from regular play in that the therapist strategically utilizes play to help children express and resolve deep feelings and inner conflicts, gain insight, develop problem-solving skills, resolve dysfunctional thinking patterns, and learn a variety of ways to relate to others. In play therapy, toys are like the child’s words and play is the child’s language.

How Will Play Therapy Benefit My Child?
Often, children have used up their own problem solving tools, and they misbehave, or may act out at home, with friends, and at school. Play therapy allows trained mental health practitioners who specialize in play therapy, to assess and understand children’s play. By confronting problems in the clinical play therapy setting, children find healthier solutions. Play therapy allows children to change the way they think about, feel toward, and resolve their concerns. Even the most troubling problems can be confronted in play therapy and lasting resolutions can be discovered, rehearsed, mastered and adapted into lifelong strategies.

ARTICLES


Anxiety – Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms
It’s normal to feel anxious when facing a challenging situation, such as a job interview, a tough exam, or a blind date. But if your worries and fears are preventing you from living your life the way you’d like to, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. There are many different types of anxiety disorders, as well as many effective treatments and self-help strategies. Once you understand your anxiety disorder, there are steps you can take to reduce your symptoms and regain control of your life.

When does anxiety become a disorder?
Anxiety is the body’s natural response to danger, an automatic alarm that goes off when you feel threatened, under pressure, or are facing a stressful situation. In moderation, anxiety isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, anxiety can help you stay alert and focused, spur you to action, and motivate you to solve problems. But when anxiety is constant or overwhelming, when it interferes with your relationships and activities, that’s when you’ve crossed the line from normal anxiety into the territory of anxiety disorders.

Because anxiety disorders are a group of related conditions rather than a single disorder, they can look very different from person to person. One individual may suffer from intense anxiety attacks that strike without warning, while another gets panicky at the thought of mingling at a party. Someone else may struggle with a disabling fear of driving, or uncontrollable, intrusive thoughts. Yet another may live in a constant state of tension, worrying about anything and everything.

But despite their different forms, all anxiety disorders share one major symptom, persistent or severe fear or worry in situations where most people wouldn’t feel threatened.  In addition to the primary anxiety symptoms of irrational and excessive fear and worry, other common emotional symptoms include:

Feelings of apprehension or dread
Watching for signs of danger
Anticipating the worst
Trouble concentrating
Feeling tense and jumpy
Irritability
Feeling like your mind’s gone blank
Pounding heart
Sweating
Headaches
Stomach upset
Dizziness
Frequent urination or diarrhea
Shortness of breath
Muscle tension or twitches
Shaking or trembling
Insomnia

Many people with anxiety disorders also suffer from depression at some point. Anxiety and depression are believed to stem from the same biological vulnerability, which may explain why they so often go hand-in-hand. Since depression makes anxiety worse (and vice versa), it’s important to seek treatment for both conditions.

Anxiety attacks
Anxiety attacks, also known as panic attacks, are episodes of intense panic or fear. Anxiety attacks usually occur suddenly and without warning. Sometimes there’s an obvious trigger, getting stuck in an elevator, for example, or thinking about the big speech you have to give, but in other cases, the attacks come out of the blue.

Anxiety attacks usually peak within 10 minutes, and they rarely last more than 30 minutes. But during that short time, the terror can be so severe that you feel as if you’re about to die or totally lose control. The physical symptoms of anxiety attacks are themselves so frightening that many people believe they’re having a heart attack. After an anxiety attack is over, you may be worried about having another one, particularly in a public place where help isn’t available or you can’t easily escape.  Symptoms include:

Surge of overwhelming panic
Feeling of losing control or going crazy
Heart palpitations or chest pain
Feeling like you’re going to pass out
Trouble breathing or choking sensation
Hyperventilation
Hot flashes or chills
Trembling or shaking
Nausea or stomach cramps
Feeling detached or unreal

Anxiety self-help tips
Connect with others. Loneliness and isolation set the stage for anxiety. Decrease your vulnerability by connecting face-to-face with people who are supportive, caring, and sympathetic. Make it a point to regularly meet up with friends, join a self-help or support group, or share your worries and concerns with a trusted loved one. If you don’t have anyone you can reach out to, it’s never too late to build new friendships and a support network.

Practice relaxation techniques. When practiced regularly relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing can reduce anxiety symptoms and increase feelings of relaxation and emotional well-being.

Exercise regularly. Exercise is a natural stress buster and anxiety reliever. To achieve the maximum benefit, aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days. Rhythmic activities that require moving both your arms and legs are especially effective. Try walking, running, swimming, martial arts, or dancing.

Get enough sleep. A lack of sleep can exacerbate anxious thoughts and feelings, so try to get seven to nine hours of quality sleep a night.

Be smart about caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. If you struggle with anxiety, you may want to consider reducing your caffeine intake, or cutting it out completely. Same with alcohol, which can make anxiety worse. And while it may seem like cigarettes are calming, nicotine is actually a powerful stimulant that leads to higher, not lower, levels of anxiety.

Train your brain to stay calm. Worrying is a mental habit you can learn how to break. Strategies such as creating a worry period, challenging anxious thoughts, and learning to accept uncertainty can significantly reduce anxiety and fear.

When to seek professional help for anxiety
While self-help coping strategies for anxiety can be very effective, if your worries, fears, or anxiety attacks have become so great that they’re causing extreme distress or disrupting your daily routine, it is important to seek professional help.

RESOURCES


ADHD
http://www.chadd.org/
ANXIETY DISORDERS
http://www.adaa.org/
BIPOLAR DISORDER
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/complete-index.shtml
BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER
http://bpdcentral.com/index.php
CHILD ABUSE – REPORT
http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/contact_us/report_abuse.asp
National Child Abuse Hotline: Child help – 1-800-4-A-CHILD
http://www.childhelp.org/pages/hotline
DEPRESSION
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/complete-index.shtml
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
National Domestic Violence Helpline – 1-800-799-SAFE
http://www.ndvh.org
EATING DISORDERS
National Eating Disorders Association – 1-800-931-2237
http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/get-help-today
RAPE
Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center – 972-641-RAPE
http://www.dallasrapecrisis.org/
SUBSTANCE ABUSE
http://www.drug-addiction-support.org/drug-addiction-treatment.html
SUICIDE
 1-800-273-TALK
http://www.suicidology.org/home

CONTACT US

 
CLAUDIA R. D’Avila, M.S., LCSW., ACSW., CCTP
Program Director Mental Health Counseling Program 
12225 Greenville Avenue Suite 121 | Dallas, Texas 75243
w: 972-755-4421 x 105 | f: 214-821-0810
[email protected]
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