Hispanic Family Counseling

mejorando la Calidad de Vida

Xiomara Sanchez, MA, MHC was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She completed her Bachelor's degree in Sociology in 2006, at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus. Then, in 2013 completed her Masters in mental health counseling in University of Phoenix, Puerto Rico campus. She likes to help others achieve their goals. Her experience in the field of counseling has been with children and adults. Currently, she is proud to serve the community in Orlando, Florida with Hispanic Family Counseling, Inc.

​​Keila Solís, LMFT, Clinical Supervisor, South Florida Regionreceived her Master’s degree from Barry University in Counseling with a dual specialization in Mental Health and Marriage and Family Counseling in 2005. Early in her profession, she worked with adolescents and their families in a juvenile prevention program providing group and individual counseling. Mrs. Solís also has experience working in an outpatient setting providing individual and group counseling to adults with a broad spectrum of mental illness. Currently, Mrs. Solís works in ministry providing educational workshops to the couples of her home church. She also organizes retreats with the goals of empowering and equipping couples with the tools necessary to sustain a healthy and joyful marriage. Mrs. Solís is a proud member of the Hispanic Family Counseling Team providing diverse services to clients and their families. She can provide these services in English or Spanish.

​​​Massiel Hernandez Coming Soon!        

Maria Valentina Moreno, MSW, Registered CSW Intern was born in Colombia and came to the United States when she was 12 years old. At the age of 10 she lost her dad in a car accident. This has been the hardest event in her life, but it also gave her the opportunity to meet therapists and understand the value of their work. Now, Valentina is a therapist. She graduated with a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida (UCF). Throughout her years at the university she completed two internships at Florida Abolitionist and at Florida Hospital. These internships gave her the opportunity to work with different communities including human trafficking survivors. With this career, she plan to help a lot of people and keep growing professionally. Her next goal is to obtain her LCSW. Valentina has other long term goals that are guided by her passion for human rights.

​​Lurmar Melendez, MSW She holds a bachelor's and master's degree in Social Work from the Interamerican University in San Juan Puerto Rico. At the beginning of her career Ms. Melendez worked offering services to patients with addiction to controlled substances and alcohol. She has 10 years of experience offering services to children and their families. She also worked designing and supervising prevention programs for students at high dropping out risk.  Certified in developmental deficiencies and early intervention, focused on school age children. Ms. Melendez is passionate about working with children with special needs and their families. Offers services in Osceola County.

​​​Luann Salgado Coming Soon!        

​​Lisa Del Valle, Ph.D. has a Ph.D. and MA in School Psychology and a Bachelor of Social Work at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico Metropolitan Campus. Within the field of psychology, she has expanded her studies, becoming certified in cognitive behavioral therapy for Puerto Rican children and adolescents, and acceptance and commitment therapy for families and couples from the Psychological Research Institute (IPSI) - UPR in Rio Piedras, PR. She was a founder of the corporation of professional services Puerto Rico Psychological Group. During the past 7 years, she has worked as a therapist for preschool, school children, adolescents and families. She is an expert on grief and the loss process. She has extensive experience working with the Department of Education of Puerto Rico in various psycho-educational and intervention programs. She has been an evaluator and researcher in her native country. She has written for various professional magazines and newspapers in Puerto Rico. She belongs to the Board of the Association of Pre and Prenatal Psychology of Puerto Rico. Currently, she moved to the city of Orlando, Florida in search of new opportunities for personal and professional growth. She is a wife and mother of three children.

Yorlenice Rodríguez-Irizarry, MSW, Registered CSW She was born on April 24, 1979, in the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico. Her parents are Elena Irizarry and Julio C. Rodríguez, she is the third of three brothers. Yorlenice grew up in a town in the mountain area of Puerto Rico called Jayuya "Ciudad del Tomate". She graduated from high school in 1997. Then she started her university studies at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico Ponce Campus. When she started her university studies, she entered in the Education Department with a concentration in Elementary Education but, her passion to serve and help others made her make changes to the Arts and Humanities Department with a concentration in Social Work. When she finished her bachelor in 2001, she started working in the Department of Education of Puerto Rico as an intermediate level Spanish teacher. On November 5, 2001, she went from being a teacher to occupying a position as a School Social Worker, which she did for 14 years (2001-2014). In 2010 -2012, while performing her duties as a School Social Worker, she returned to school to complete a Masters in Clinical Social Work, this time at the Universidad del Este, Utuado Campus, PR. In 2014, she and her husband made the decision to move to USA, where they lived in Lancaster, PA, for one year and in 2015 they moved to Orlando, FL, where she started working as a Targeted Case Manager from 2015 to 2016. In December of 2016, she had a wonderful experience and great opportunity to work as a Remote Clinician with a population of immigrant adolescents arriving in the USA from their countries (Central America). Enriching experience which helped her to confirm that she loves what she does and that SERVING is her vocation.

​​Juanita Salgado, LCSW was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia.  She completed four years of Psychology at Konrad Lorenz University in Bogota before moving to the United States in 2003.  Juanita worked with the migrant population in South Carolina while completing her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  After moving to Central Florida, she began her Masters studies in Clinical Social Work at the University of Central Florida.  Once Juanita completed the Masters of Social Work program, she has worked in crisis intervention on a wide variety of the population.  She is now fortunate to work with the Hispanic population, of which is closest to her values and heart.

Ruth H. Calo Castro, D.Min, Certified Family Therapist was born and grew up in Puerto Rico. She did her graduate studies and initiated her professional life in well-known institutions in Illinois. Ruth gained her Certificate in Family Therapy at the Family Institute of Chicago. During the last decades, she worked in family agencies in Puerto Rico.  Ruth was cofounder and director of two community based agencies which provided social, educational and recreational programs to families, children and adolescents. She is an ordained minister of the Christian Church Disciples of Christ since 1988. The local church has provided her a broad pastoral care experience. She has taught in universities and at the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico, a well-established theological graduate institution. She finished her basic training as Essential Coaching from Centro Gaviota in Hato Rey, PR. In her middle age Ruth lost her husband, and she can relate to individuals and families facing grief and losses.  The immigration process is part of her reality, for Ruth recently moved to Florida after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. 

Kiara Serrano, MSW, Registered CSW was born and raised in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. She is fluent in both English and Spanish. Kiara is a graduate from the University of Central Florida where she graduated with her Master’s degree in Social Work. Kiara completed her internship at the Juvenile Drug Court and at Hispanic Family Counseling. Kiara’s clinical experience includes providing counseling to individuals (children, teens, and adults) experiencing depression and anxiety, trauma, substance abuse, eating disorders, self-harm, and anger. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and watching television.

​​Gloria Vanessa Lopez, MSW was born in Salinas, Puerto Rico. Gloria has a bachelor's and master's degree in Clinical Social Work from the Interamerican University of  PR, metro campus. Gloria V. Lopez worked for over 16 years as a School Social Worker in the Puerto Rico Education Department. She recently moved to Florida in search of a better future. Gloria enjoys in her free time to watch movies, reading and she is passionate about traveling. Her goal is to become a licensed Social Worker in the state of Florida.

​​Nyrgidma Santiago, MA was born in Puerto Rico.  She is bilingual and has lived and worked in Orlando, Florida for the past 29 years. Nyrgidma has a Master’s degree in clinical psychology and addiction counseling. She is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Puerto Rico.  Nyrgidma is part of the National Association of Forensic Counseling and is AODA Board Certified. Nyrgidma is a DUI Evaluator and instructor in the State of Florida. Nyrgidma has over thirty years working in substance abuse prevention, treatment, education, court intervention, program development, and service coordination.  She has mora than twenty years’ experience in counseling with children and families and more than ten years’ experience in private practice. She also developed and directed the implementation of a Family Care Program, targeting at risk families. Nyrgidma was involved in the domestic violence movement as the President of the Board of Directors of a domestic violence center, Casa Protegida Julia de Burgos, where she provided counseling for victims. Nyrgidma also has experience with mentoring and supervising. She has over fifteen years working with the correctional system. She is an ex-member of the Orange County Citizens’ Police Review Board.

​​​Libby Mejias, Registered MHC Intern Her previous experience includes working with children and adults in the inpatient setting for treatment of anger, trauma, depression, and anxiety during her internship. She has also worked with children with ADHD and emotional and behavioral difficulties. Libby holds a Master’s of Science degree from Mercy College where she majored in psychology. Libby provides counseling services where clients can have a safe place to explore their life, heal from pain, and have the life that they desire. She enjoys working with children, adolescents and adults.  Libby believes that everyone brings their own unique story to counseling and to honor each client’s story, she uses a variety of therapeutic approaches, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Person-Centered Therapy, to fit each individual client’s needs. In her personal time, she enjoys reading, traveling and attending music events. 

​​Amy Almonte, MSW holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Work from Herbert Lehman College in NY. In 2001, she obtained a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from Yeshiva University in NY. In 2013, she received the NY state Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW). In 2015, she became a Certified Field Instructor for Social Work Student interns in the state of New York.  Amy was employed by New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) for over 15 years. She was employed in different positions such as Child Welfare Specialist, Application Supervisor for the Child Protective Investigators. Furthermore, she became the District Attorney Liaison Supervisor for ACS and was instrumental in training Manhattan Police Officers re: Special Victims, CSEC and the Instant Response Team. Ms. Almonte was soon promoted to Child & Family Specialist Supervisor III in which she was responsible for conducting and facilitating Child Safety Conferences and Family Team Conferences etc. Evaluating risk and safety of the children, developing appropriate safety plans, treatment, interventions to address the needs of the family while utilizing a strength-based perspective. Amy brings extensive experience in Mental Health, Child Welfare, Sexual, Physical and Emotional Abuse, Neglect and Trauma. Amy is a passionate advocate for the education and total welfare of children. Her level of expertise extends to working with families undergoing stressors such as Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse and Mental Health amongst other areas. Ms. Almonte is of Dominican Descent. She resided in NYC all of her life but in August 2017, she embarked on a new journey with her family, as she relocated to the state of Florida for a better quality of life and professional growth. Most recently, Amy worked with the Department of Education, teaching Grades K-12 in Polk County Public schools. Presently, she is in pursuit of becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Florida. Amy is fluent in English and Spanish.          

​​​​Melanie Pasciuta, MSW is originally from Long Island, New York. Melanie moved to Florida when she was 5 years old with her father and older sisters but enjoys going back to New York every summer to visit the rest of her family. Melanie graduated from Florida State University with her Master’s in Social Work and from The University of Central Florida with her Bachelor’s in Social Work. Melanie was an intern at Aspire Health Partners and Central Florida Behavioral Hospital, where she learned acute care on crisis stabilization units. Melanie’s experience includes working with the homeless, individuals struggling with chemical dependency, depression, grief, self-harm, and anxiety. Melanie prefers working with adolescents (12-17) and adults. English speaking only.

Glenda Matheus Roldan, MA is from Puerto Rico. She received her Bachelor’s in 1993 in Social Sciences Sociology at the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras. Glenda then studied at the Interamerican University in Puerto Rico. She received her Master’s degree in Counseling and Guidance in the year 2000. In 2007, Glenda moved to Orlando, FL. She has experience in individual counseling and group counseling with children, adolescents, and adults.

​​Angelina Correa, MA, Registered MHC Intern was born in Cartagena, Colombia. She has been living in USA since 1985. She graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University with a Master's of Arts in Mental Health Counseling and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. In addition, she also has an Associate in Occupational Therapy in which she provided treatment for early intervention for children with various needs such as developmental delays, sensory integration and neurological deficits. Some of her clinical experience includes providing counseling with individual experiencing depression, anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorders and substance abuse. She has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults. Some of the techniques that she incorporates during counseling include CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Expressive Arts, Gestalt technique (Empty Chair) and mindfulness. As a counselor, Angelia will help her clients to identify problems, resolve conflicts and promote optimal functioning in everyday life. She is fluent in English and Spanish and conversational in Portuguese. She enjoys spending time with her family, friends and her two dogs, Jax the beagle and Destiny, the diva Chihuahua. 

Elba Rivera, MA, Registered MHC Intern, EMDR Cert. is a graduate from Webster University with a Master’s of Arts in Mental Health Counseling. She completed her internship at Sheeler High School and Dr. Phillips Hospital in the Family Counseling department. Elba’s past work experience includes, but is not limited to, working with women in crisis, teens, family, individual and group counseling. Elba also has experience as a case manager in which she assisted clients in  reaching their highest potential and learning to live in a healthy environment.  Elba enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, reading, going to the beach and traveling. Elba has a full training on EMDR Therapy for adults, children and teens to attend the post-traumatic stress disorders (TPT), anxiety, depression and other traumas.

Monica Ortiz, MSW was born in Puerto Rico. From a very young age she discovered her passion for working with children and families. This passion led her to study pedagogy. In 2003, she graduated from the University of Puerto Rico, where she obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Preschool and Elementary Education. For 14 years, she worked as a preschool teacher serving preschool children between 3 and 5 years of age and their families. During her teaching career, she had the opportunity to work with children with different special needs, among them autism and ADHD. She was an advocate for children's rights and worked closely with the families of her students so that they could develop their skills to the fullest. Worked in the Literacy Program of the Department of Education of Puerto Rico. She had the opportunity to participate and motivate adults to learn to read and write. In 2008, she decided that she wanted to help disadvantaged families with multiple situations in their recovery process and to encourage them to have a better quality of life. This motivation led her to study social work. She completed her internship in the Psychiatric Emergency Room for Children and Adolescents (ASMCA) at the Regional Hospital of Bayamón. In 2011, she completed her post-graduate studies at the Interamerican University of Puesto Rico, where she obtained a Master's Degree in Social Work. She worked as a volunteer at the Alzheimer's Association, Puerto Rico Chapter. In the same position, she worked as a support group collaborator. In her role as co-leader of the support group, she worked directly with the primary caregivers, focusing on providing the necessary assistance and education to optimize the quality of life of Alzheimer's patients and their families. She is currently working as a therapist. It is her goal to be able to provide each of her participants and their families with the necessary tools to improve their quality of life.

Yadiel Muñoz, MSW received a bachelor’s and a master's degree in Social Work with emphasis in Mental Health from Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee. He has worked with adolescents and families in a private and group environment. Yadiel has experience dealing with diverse problems that range from addictions, couple problems, behavior problems in children etc.. As a counselor, Yadiel wants to help individuals and families to function in an optimal way. For this, Yadiel focuses on motivating and reinforcing the qualities of the individual or family. Yadiel also feels a great passion for music. Yadiel plays the piano and sings actively in his church. Yadiel is proud to belong to the family of Hispanic Family Counseling, Inc., where he provides diverse services to clients and their families in either English or Spanish.

Lizeth Osorio, MA, Registered MHC Intern, EMDR Cert.  holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from University of Central Florida, and has a Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Webster University. She works with both Adults and Children and specialize in addressing attachment injury, neglect, Trauma, Adoption, Anxiety, Depression, Grief & Loss, Life Transitions, abuse victims and their families, domestic violence, sexual/ physical/emotional abuse, & PTSD and draw from various modalities to meet the unique needs of each client. I utilize a combination of depth oriented and evidence based techniques including EMDR – (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Expressive Arts, Play Therapy, Internal Family Systems, talk, group therapy & Mindfulness. Her approach is compassionate, direct, collaborative, and interactive to help you identify and break negative thought patterns and develop positive changes to feel better. A trusting client and therapist relationship is integral to progress in therapy and I strive to provide a supportive space to help clients reach your goals. As a bilingual therapist of 10 years, Lizeth respects and values the diversity of each client, focus on their unique social and cultural context, and believe that each therapeutic relationship takes a different path depending on these factors. She understands that we all hold the keys to our own growth and development if we are effectively understood and nurtured.

Priscila Manzanet, MSW, Registered CSW graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida in 2012. And, recently obtained her Masters degree in Social Work in the same University. Her goal is to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and she is interested in working in the field of mental health. Priscila also enjoys yoga, pizza, and watching movies.

Jasmin Suarez Cordero, MA was born in New York and raised in Puerto Rico.  She currently lives in Orlando with her beloved son, Yadiel, and husband, Raul. They are a big support in her life! She had the opportunity to finish a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Puerto Rico.  Also, by the interesting challenges of life, she went to Madrid, Spain to study Social Psychology at the Complutense University of Madrid. Since 1991, she has been working as a counselor and educator in different Agencies and Universities. Her philosophy as a helping professional and educator is based on a strong belief in people’s strengths. She believes that by providing the right tools and experiences, people will build up strengths and resilience that will allow them to manage challenges and succeed in life. She likes to see people grow and empower themselves to live a happy life.

Johanna Lorenzo, M.Psy., She was born in Puerto Rico. She has a master's degree in psychological counseling with specialty in family, and a certification in education and mediation of conflicts. She has worked with children and adolescents in individual and group therapy and with the geriatric population. 

Sully Rivera Montañez, M.Psy., was born in Puerto Rico. Sully possess a Master’s in Psychological Counseling from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. She recently moved to Florida and is a mother and wife. Sully has skills working with disabled children or any with mental disabilities, mourning, and situations related to cancer patients and their caregivers. Sully enjoys to see how human beings have the capacity to be resilient against the many circumstances of life.

​​Migdalia Sanchez Coming Soon!  

Susette Lopez, LCSW is a graduate from the University of Central Florida where she graduated with her Master’s degree in Social Work. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Florida, where she gained experience in crisis intervention and suicide prevention as well. Her clinical experience includes providing counseling to individuals experiencing depression and anxiety, as well as working with individuals experiencing severe mental illness. She has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults. In addition to this, she is a Registered Clinical Social Work Intern (ISW 9869). She is fluent in both English and Spanish and enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and hiking.

Sarah Serrano, LCSW, Program Supervisor, South Florida Region  is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker serving the South Florida tri-county area (Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties). She obtained her Bachelors in Psychology and a minor in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida (Go Knights!) and her Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Addictions Counseling from Florida International University. Sarah has over 13years of experience in the field of Behavioral Health, having worked with the forensic mental health system and later the addictions recovery field in both clinical and administrative settings as Director of Behavioral Health Programs for a local South Florida agency. Most recently, Sarah has been concentrating on providing services as an independent contractor in corporate crisis counseling, conducting clinical trainings and independent clinical audits for local social services agencies, and facilitating educational workshops for community and faith-based groups. Sarah is registered to supervise Clinical Social Work Interns. “My passion lies in assisting individuals and agencies fulfill their potential in all areas.”

Wilner Blanchard, Ph.D, Registered MHC Intern arrived in New York from Haiti in 1983. He graduated from Baruch College with a BA in Spanish and a minor in education in 1995, and graduated from Temple University with a Master’s degree in Spanish education in 2001. Wilner continued his teaching assignment while working for different agencies as a mobile psychotherapist providing psycho educational counseling to children and their families. From there, Wilner Blanchard has found his calling and passion for counseling and psychotherapy. In 2004, while teaching spanish, he went back to school and enrolled at  Alvernia University in Philadelphia in the mental health counseling program. Wilner graduated in 2007 with a second Master’s degree in mental health counseling. As a devout Christian, Wilner Blanchard wanted to combine his knowledge in secular counseling and Christian counseling. So, in 2010, Wilner Blanchard left the teaching profession after 15 years to practice psychotherapy. In 2010, Wilner Blanchard enrolled in the PhD program at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Orlando in Christian Counseling. Wilner moved to Orlando, Florida in 2012 where he continued his studies both at the Evangelical Theological Seminary and Troy University for his PhD. Wilner Blanchard began writing his thesis in 2013, “The Application of Cognitive Behavior Therapy in Christian Counseling,” which he completed in October 2015. He graduated with a PhD in Christian Counseling. Wilner Blanchard is also an ordained minister, preaching the good News of our Lord Jesus Christ. Dr. Wilner Blanchard thanks God for all those accomplishments - “For nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).

Jessica Heredia, LMHC, Clinical Director is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at Hispanic Family Counseling Inc. Jessica holds a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling from Bayamon Central University in Puerto Rico; a Master’s Degree in Christian Clinical Counseling from Central Christian University in Orlando, Florida; and a Diploma in Biblical Studies and Theology from A/G Multicultural Theological Institute. Jessica's professional experience began and developed in church ministries, and included being a Children's Director and a Youth Pastor. She is fully bilingual and her previous work experience includes working with many diverse populations including children, youth, marriage, and family. Jessica is a certified case manager and has EMDR full training, and is looking forward to having an EMDR certification. She has provided services to diverse populations in terms of cultural, social, and ethnic background. For more than 4 years, Jessica was part of the Youth Pastor Team, Worship Team and Translation Team Ministries at a local church. Additionally, she has experience in presenting at conferences and giving training to churches and schools (in the USA and Puerto Rico) on the topics of Domestic Violence, Differences between ADHD and Anxiety signs & symptoms, Assertive Communication, and Leadership. Jessica is happily married to Norbert for more than 14 years and together they have 2 dynamic sons. Lately, she's been developing professional experience leading groups to educate and empower children and youth. Jessica feels blessed to be a facilitator in the field for individuals looking to regain self confidence and empowerment. She is also on various boards, including Early Learning Coalition of Osceola County, Healthy Start Coalition of Seminole County, and The United States Fire Department Reserve Corps.

KEY:        Speaks English                    Speaks Spanish                   Speaks Portuguese                   Speaks Greek                    Speaks Creole                  Speaks French

*Ph.D.- Doctorate of Philosophy                                             *LCSW- Licensed Clinical Social Worker                            *LMHC- Licensed Mental Health Counselor

*LMFT- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapst                  *MSW- Master's in Social Work                                           *MHC- Mental Health Counselor    

*BSW- Bachelor's in Social Work                                           *MPsy- Master's in Psychology                                            *MA- Master's Degree

Jacqueline Espinal, MA, Eds, LMHC graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 1999 with an M.A. degree in Forensic Psychology. She graduated from Barry University in December 2014 with an Ed.S. degree Dual Specialization in Marriage & Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling. She is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern (# 11158) with the State of Florida. She just obtained her License as a Mental Health Counselor with the State of Florida. She is trained and experienced in providing Mental Health Assessments, Individual, Couple, Family, and Group Counseling to adults and children. She is fluent in Spanish and is available to meet with clients on some evenings and Saturdays.

Tamela Crouch, MSW has worked in a variety of social service organizations for the last thirty years. She received her Master’s and Bachelor’s in Social Work, with a concentration in Family Counseling and a minor in Psychology. She started her professional career in Adult Probation in Charleston, West Virginia, working for seven Supreme Court Justices for five years. She then relocated to Orlando, Florida and worked as a New Horizons Counselor for the Center for Drug Free Living for 21 years. During her tenure with New Horizons, she provided counseling services to high school students at West Orange and Olympia. In addition, she also supervised and trained Master’s level interns and counselors from the University of Central Florida. She was asked by the OCPS SAFE Department to provide training to new SAFE Coordinators. She also provided counseling services to children who had been suspended by Orange County Public Schools due to a Level IV infraction through the Back on Track intervention program. She worked for CFDFL at several of its programs, including: Adolescent Residential Treatment Center, Adolescent Therapeutic Community Center, Adult Drug Court, and Adult Outpatient Counseling Services Center. While working at the Center, she was an Adjunct Instructor for the University of Central Florida School of Social Work, teaching both undergraduate and graduate social work classes. She also served as a Faculty Field Liaison, which included her visiting community agencies that hosted BSW and MSW interns. In 2009, she began work with the Safe Schools Healthy Students Federal grant as a Project Success Coordinator. In this role, she provided individual, group and family counseling, and crisis intervention services to students at two Title I middle schools.  She developed programs to meet the needs of the students and families utilizing the Safe Schools, Healthy Students Program and created and facilitated Social-Emotional Counseling Groups for children. Additionally, she provided professional development services to school staff that needed instruction on how to deal with disruptive students, and assisted with the interventions to strengthen students’ social, emotional and decision-making skills for positive impact towards academic achievement. She is currently a contracted service provider with the Hispanic Family Counseling, Inc. and provides counseling services to a diverse group of clients and families.  

Mary Jane Tolmasoff, LMHC has worked in a variety of social service organizations for the last 33 years. She received her Master's in Counseling and Psychology. Mary Jane started her career working on a residential Dual Diagnosis Unit in Park Ridge, Illinois and worked there for 4 years. She then relocated to Orlando, Florida and worked with adults and adolescents who had substance abuse issues at Parkside Lodge of Orlando for 4 years. After that, she started her own business providing substance abuse treatment, conducting a batterers intervention program, and linking victims of domestic violence with community resources. In 1997, Mary Jane began her 18-year stint at the Center for a Drug Free Living as a New Horizon Counselor at Oak Ridge High School.  During this time, she obtained her license as a Mental Health counselor in Florida. She is also a Certified Addictions Professional (CAP). In addition, she supervised and trained Master’s level interns from Rollins College and the University of Central Florida. Concurrently while working at the Center, Mary Jane provided private counseling at other counseling agencies. Mary Jane is currently a contracted service provider at Hispanic Family Counseling, Inc., where she provides a range of counseling services to children, adolescents, and adults. Mary Jane is registered to supervise MHC interns.

Denisse Centeno-Lamas, LCSW has worked in a variety of social service organizations for the last fifteen years. Denisse was born in Puerto Rico and she moved to Orlando in 1996 to start her professional career. She received her Masters and Bachelors in Social Work from the University of Central Florida in 2001 and 2000 respectively. In 2006, she obtained her License as a Clinical Social Worker. In the same year, she was named the “Intervention Specialist of the year” by the Center For Drug Free Living. In 2009, Denisse became a District SAFE Suicide Prevention Counselor for Orange County Public Schools, where she left a mark by contributing significantly to change OCPS policies in order to meet the state law standards. In her OCPS experience, she developed the suicide prevention program for the district, where, in addition, she provided training and counseling regarding the issue. Also, she reviewed the Baker act policy and she served as a liaison between mental health hospitals, providers, and school district. In 2012, Denisse decided to follow her dream and that is when she created Hispanic Family Counseling, Inc. in July of the same year. Today, Denisse provides counseling services to a diverse group of clients and families, besides being the Executive Director. For the past few years, Denisse has been an active advocate for Suicide Prevention. In fact, she is the President of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - Central Florida Chapter - since 2014 to date. Additionally, Denisse is an adjunct professor at the University of Central Florida teaching an array of different classes pertaining to social work. Also, Denisse is registered to supervise Clinical Social Work Interns. Recently, Denisse was awarded as the “Social Worker of the Year 2015 in Central Florida” by the National Association of Social Workers. Furthermore, UCF selected her as “Alumni of the year - 2015” due to her great influence in the Central Florida community. In October 2015 Denisse' was awarded the Lighthouse award by the Working Together coalition for being a beacon in the community. Denisse was recognized by Orange County Public Schools during Hispanic Heritage month in 2016. Denisse was a finalist in La Prensa's Mujeres Destacadas 2017. Denisse loves to travel and to spend time with her husband, family, and friends. Likewise, she is a founder and an active member of “Iglesia Cristiana Hispana (Discípulos de Cristo) – North Orlando” since 1996. She is also on various boards, including American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Central Florida Chapter, Leadership Council National Association of American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and The United States Fire Department Reserve Corps.

The HispaFam

Mayelin Aguilar, MA, Registered MHC Intern was born in Cuba and, in 1998, she graduated with a degree in Clinical Psychology. Since she was a little girl, she showed her desire to help others, teaching them to be better people and to get ahead by being more positive. Upon graduating as a psychologist in Cuba, she worked in a community hospital for 3 years, then specialized in sports psychology, working also with high performance athletes of sports teams in Cuba. During 1998 until 2005, she worked as a group dynamics therapist with groups of people with addictions, abused children and women, people living with HIV, and traumas. In Cuba, she obtained certifications such as play therapist, art, addictions, family, and traumas. From 1999 to 2004, she taught introductory classes in psychology at the university for workers. In 2005, she left Cuba for Venezuela to work as a collaborator of the Cuban sports mission in Venezuela, educating aquatic sports athletes how to reduce anxiety, depression, and fears before competitions, as well as increase sports performance. In 2007, she began her master's degree in General Psychology at the University of Phoenix and, in 2011, completed her master's degree in Mental Health Counselor at Troy University. She is completing her internship hours and is preparing for the state exam in order to obtain a Mental Health Counselor license. She works with the Hispanic population presently. She has done mental health first aid, trauma, anxiety and depression in adolescents and children, adoption, addictions and multiculturalism in mental health. Mayelin is a therapist who loves her work and works with passion to educate clients to change their lifestyles and how to overcome life's problems without deteriorating their mental health. In the field of psychology, she has done research on the positive effect of cognitive paradigms, the power of cognitive therapy, and reality therapy for mental health patients.

Natalie Montaldi, MSW, Registered CSW Intern is currently a Registered Clinical Social Work intern pursuing her license as a Clinical Social Worker in Florida. She has a Bachelors of Art in Psychology and minor in Family Studies and a Masters in Social Work with a specialization in International Social Work and Community Development, both from Southern Adventist University, in Collegedale TN. Natalie has over 4 years of field experience working with at-risk youth, suicide prevention, crisis intervention, and family/marriage therapy. Natalie’s passion is working with individuals and families providing psychotherapy using strength-based modalities. Her area of specialty is working with teens, adults, couples, families, and individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, self-esteem, behavior and  anger management, conflict resolutions, parenting skills, and communication issues.  Natalie also volunteers at Spring Meadows Church Counseling Center once a month to provide pro bono counseling to individuals and families in need. In her spare time she enjoys supporting her church, spending time with her family and friends, exercising, and traveling.  She is also fluent in Spanish and English and feels blessed to be able to provide her skills and knowledge to help the community and families in areas that are most needed.

Cecilia Hernández, MA was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico. She has a Master's degree in Counseling from the University of Puerto Rico. She has a License Level III as Professional Counselors Psychoactive Substances and is working, privately, with people with drug addiction problems. She worked for 16 years as a Specialist in Rehabilitation from the Administration of Mental Health and Addiction in Puerto Rico. She worked with patients with severe mental condition, but stable. She worked for many years on a voluntary basis, offering counseling services to the community. Counseling is her passion!

Lillian Silva, MA, Registered MFT Intern, IMT was born in Puerto Rico, during her youth and her early adulthood she has gained experience in rehabilitation, physical therapy, speech language therapy and now she is currently working with mental illness for the past five years.  Her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy has facilitated her by assisting families with complex problems such as children with ADHD. She has been part of a multidisciplinary team at Hospitals and Agencies, under the accreditation of AHCA and federal programs such as Medicaid. Currently Lillian holds her internship license as Marriage and Family Counselor in the state of Florida. With her experience and her creativity Lillian has toured different departments in which she has been able to develop as a professional. Lillian worked as a Psychosocial Rehabilitation Specialist, Mental Health Therapist and in an ABA Program assisting Autistic children.  Her goal as a Therapist is to leave a mark on each of her clients, filling them with hope and strength so that they continue to succeed. Language: English/Spanish

​​​Lydia Oyola-Diaz, MSW She has a Bachelors Degree in Social Science from the Univerisity of Puerto Rico. Furthermore, she has a Masters Degree in Education with Counseling from Cambridge College in Massachusetts. Lydia's worked for around fifteen years as a mental health clinician in Hartford, CT and in Orange County, Florida providing individual, group, and family therapy to children, adolescents, and adults.        

Glenda Trabal, Ph.D.  was born and raised in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. She obtained the Master's and Doctorate’s degrees in Psychological Counseling from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, San Germán Campus, in 2008 and 2015. As part of her experience in the Doctoral Internship, she worked as an Assistant Professor helping to evaluate and guide students of the Psychology graduate program of the Inter American University of Puerto Rico. With the Doctoral (PhD) conferred on 2015 she moved to Orlando, Florida in search of new opportunities for her personal and professional growth. Since 2009 she has been a licensed psychologist in Puerto Rico and currently one of her professional aspirations is to obtain the license as a Psychologist or Mental Health Counselor in the state of Florida. Glenda has more than eight years of experience providing counseling and psychological assessments to children, adolescents and adults. She had worked and collaborated with the Special Education Program of Puerto Rico and with the Department of Children and Families in Puerto Rico. Also, she has experience as an examiner for the Office of Disability Determinations in the state of Florida. Glenda is a wife and a mother of two adolescents.  She enjoys traveling and spending quality time with her family. She is bilingual in English and in Spanish.