Mariana Gonzalez joined Gearing Up after many years of study in the field of psychology. A sensitive, attuned, and compassionate counselor, she listens carefully and works hard to understand the concerns of her clients. Due to her natural empathy, incisive thinking, and academic knowledge, she is especially gifted in helping her clients understand how therapy works and how the process of skills acquisition and individual therapy can work together to create life changing results. She carefully explains the synergy between skills based therapy, the dedicated practice of those skills, and the support and validation that she offers in each session with her clients. Her impressive knowledge of DBT helps her to guide her clients in applying these invaluable skills to their own lives, to their interactions with others, and to the challenges they may face in the future.
Mariana understands the fundamental goals of therapy for her clients, and she collaborates with her clients to make a plan to build towards the hopes and dreams they have for their lives. She helps them build a new relationship with emotions and thoughts that may be holding them back from the things they want. Mariana skillfully weaves in immediate, practical steps in handling emotions effectively while keeping the client’s vision of their life goals centrally in awareness. This process requires the therapist to keenly understand the unique personality of their client, the client’s journey in life so far, and the ultimate destination that the therapist and client team are heading toward.
In the therapy sessions, Mariana presents as a dedicated and deeply sincere therapist who engages her clients in a therapeutic partnership based on trust, transparency, and a shared commitment to the common goal of the client’s improvement. She understands that therapy can be challenging and difficult at times, but Mariana works to be supportive and to provide an enduring sense of understanding, safety, and hope. Even when setbacks occur, she is there to validate, redirect, and to push forward to change. Appreciating how being in counseling can bring both hope and relief along with anxiety, she never dismisses concerns, moments of discouragement or uncertainty, or requests for information, support, and help.
As her clients begin to build new coping skills, she emphasizes that these new ways of processing emotions and thoughts must be reinforced and practiced daily. She reminds them that the practice and the maintenance of these skills is essential in continuing to make healthier decisions, to engage in wise behaviors, and to move forward successfully.
Clients have reported that they can talk with Mariana candidly without feeling judged, misunderstood, or invalidated. Such a skilled approach helps her clients truly accept where they are emotionally with compassion and non-judgment. Most of all, Mariana shows them how to be compassionate and to suspend judgment toward themselves even when they take a misstep or have a setback. Most of all, through her own empathic example, she continues to lead her clients to a new sense of self with an unprecedented hope for the future and a clarity about their new life worth living.
Mariana’s Professional Experiences Include:
- Adult Individual Therapy
- Adolescent Individual Therapy
- Child Individual Therapy
- Group Therapy
- Patient Assessment and Diagnosis
- Mood Disorders (Depression/Anxiety)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Non-Suicidal Self Injury
- Defiant Teens
- Grief and Loss
- Assessing and Managing Suicidal Ideation
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD)
- Anger Management
- Social Anxiety
- Panic Attacks
- Grief and Loss
- Eating Disorders / Disorder Eating Issues
- Bipolar Disorders
- Divorce and Relationships Dissolution
- Relationship Issues
- Family Conflict Issues
- Multicultural issues
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Complex Trauma Disorder
- Domestic Abuse
- Abuse (mental, psychological, sexual, physical)
Specialized Training in:
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy – She has studied Dialectical Behavior Therapy both in formal training and in on-site supervision with senior supervisors. Mariana completed the prestigious DBT Foundational Training with Dr. Marsha Linehan’s organization (sixteen weeks with five hours per week requited equaling approximately eighty hours of advanced study). Mariana has also participated in Dr. Gearing’s acclaimed DBT group program as a group assist.
- Complex Trauma Certification – Mariana has completed her training and certification in Complex trauma and is studying the work of internationally renowned psychologist and author, Janina Fisher, Ph.D. Dr. Fisher was one of the first psychologists in the country who began studying and treating trauma. She is a former instructor at Harvard Medical School.
Upon completion of this prestigious program, Mariana is now a Certified Complex Trauma Treatment Level Two Professional and an expert in the treatment of Complex Trauma.
Among Mariana’s many accomplishments are the following:
- Bachelor Arts in Psychology from Texas A & M International University (TAMIU)-GPA 3.5
- Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Texas A & M International University (TAMIU)-GPA 4.0
- Licensed Professional Counselor–Associate in Texas
- Under supervision with Melissa Woods, LPC-S, LPA and June Holcomb, LPC-S, LCDC