Hispanic Family Counseling

mejorando la Calidad de Vida

Katherine Pilarte, MFT Intern was born in New York and moved to Florida when she was 10 years old. Katherine's parents are from the Dominican Republic. Katherine considers herself a proud Hispanic American woman. She is currently in her last year of her Masters program studying Family and Marriage Counseling at Stetson University. Katherine's undergraduate was in psychology with a sociology minor at the University of Central Florida. Her goal is to work with couples, especially Hispanic couples. Katherine also loves to travel and dance! 

Xiomara Sanchez, 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.

Leysha Lopez, MSW Intern was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Children’s Services Certificate from the University of Central Florida. She is currently working towards her Master’s in Clinical Social Work. She is fluent in both Spanish and English. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family. Leysha is strongly passionate about working with children.

Gloria Ruiz, MSW Graduated from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Puerto Rico. Gloria has worked in the field of human behavior since 2002. She has fifteen years of experience and was a supervisor at the Department of Children and Families in Puerto Rico for ten years. Gloria has worked with a large variety of behavioral and mental health issues with families or individuals. She currently offers therapies to individuals, groups and families. Gloria Ruiz provides services to children from five years of age to the elderly population, including adolescents. It will be a pleasure to serve you.

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.

Barbralee Suarez, Registered MHC Intern has a Bachelor’s Degree of Science and Psychology from the University of Ana G. Mendez and a Master’s of Science in Counseling and Psychology from Troy University. Barbralee gained experience from working in a wide variety of settings such as Substance Abuse Agencies, Psychiatric Hospitals, Private Practice, and Non-Profit Organizations. Crisis Intervention, Trauma, Individual, Group, Substance Abuse and Grief Counseling are a few of the many services she provides veterans, adults, children, adolescents, geriatric, parents and couples. She is fluent in English and Spanish, and loves her career.

Maria Valentina Moreno, MSW  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.

Norma I. Arzola, MSW was born in Aibonito Puerto Rico. In 2016 she moved to Florida looking for new employment opportunities and a better quality of life. In 2012, she graduated from the University of Puerto Rico in Ponce in Social Sciences with a concentration in Forensic Psychology. She started her master's studies in clinical social work at the Universidad Del Este in Santa Isabel, culminating her studies in 2016. She was practicing her profession as a clinical social worker in the Mennonite Hospital of Aibonito and Amssca (Transitional Center for Independent Living). She has experience working with adults, adolescents, substance abuse and dependence, diagnosis of depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, loss, and separation. She enjoys her profession to the fullest. "I love helping people, providing them with the necessary tools to strengthen them and guide them to a better future." She likes spending "quality time" with her family and children in her free time.

Mayelin Aguilar, Registered MHC Intern, MA graduated with a Master’s in Psychology and Mental health Counseling from the University of Phoenix, Liberty University, and Troy University. She is a licensed therapist. Mayelin is bilingual Spanish and English.

Vanessa Mojica, MSW Intern she was born in Germany and moved to the United States when she was 2 years old. Her parents are from Colombia and Puerto Rico. She obtained her bachelors degree in Psychology and a minor in Criminology from the University of South Florida. She is currently at the University of Central Florida trying to obtain her Masters in Clinical Social Work. In her free time she likes to spend time with her family and friends. 

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.

Lillian Silva, 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

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.

Jose Selles, MSW  is from Puerto Rico.  He obtained his Bachelor and Master in Social Work in the University of Puerto Rico.  He has 18 years of experience in social and mental services.  For five years he worked in Family Protective Services in the Department of Family like child abuse investigator, case manager and Supervisor.  For ten years he was mediator and supervisor in the Conflict Mediation Center in the General Court of Justice of Puerto Rico.  He also has experience in community and religious base organizations where he was part of their boards. Four years ago he moved to Florida where he has worked like Mental Health Targeted Case Manager in Out Care TCM Inc, Mental Health Counselor in Big Bear Behavioral Health Inc., and Family Service Worker in Orange County Head Start. Throughout his career he has served to children, teenagers, adults and families. Jose is a professional committed with his clients.  His goal is to offer the best possible service to the people served so they can achieve their goals and succeed in life.  Language Spanish and English.

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!

Lurmar Melendez, MSWShe 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.

Claudia Lopez, MSW was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is currently working on her Master’s in Clinical Social Work (MSW) from the University of Central Florida. She has a Children Services Certificate also from the University of Central Florida. She is completely bilingual in English and Spanish. During her free time she enjoys running.

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.

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.

Sasha Morales, MSW Intern was born in New Jersey and moved to Florida with her parents at 10 years old. She is currently in the Master’s of Social Work program at the University of Central Florida and is completing her clinical internship with Hispanic Family Counseling, Inc. Sasha obtained her Bachelor’s of Social Work in 2015 and pursued a career in the child welfare field. Sasha currently works for Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services as a Dependency Case Manager. Her areas of interests include child welfare, working with the family system as a whole, and working with at-risk populations, specifically at-risk youth. In her spare time, Sasha enjoys spending time with her fiancé and step-son and also working on her photography. Sasha speaks fluent English and some Spanish. 

Kiara Serrano, MSWwas born and raised in Bayamon, 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.

Sandrine Oliveira, MA, LCCC was born in Brazil and has been living in the US since 2005. Sandrine has helped people all over the world in the past 12 years to create in their lives health, balance, love, happiness and overall personal grow. Sandrine holds a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from University do Vale Do Itajai, Brazil and a Master Degree of Arts in Clinical Counseling from Florida Christian University, USA.  She is a Licensed Christian Counselor in the State of Florida and a Worldwide Life Coach. Sandrine speaks fluent English, Portuguese and some Spanish.

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.

Elizabeth Rodriguez, Registered MHC Intern  Elizabeth Rodriguez “Liz” speaks both Spanish and English. She works in the Orlando office and also makes in home visits according to client preference and appointment availability. Liz is a register intern with the State of Florida as Licensed Mental Health Counselor # IMH15664. She works with adolescent and adults in an individual, couples, family and group setting. Liz has over 19 years in the helping profession. She has dedicated her life to helping others live their best life through integrating new information to restore balanced and peaceful living. Liz sites the following accomplishments as the highlights of her professional life; proudly serving in the United States Marine Corp, working in Public Service more than fifteen years, graduating with a B.A. from Columbia College specializing in Psychology, graduating with honors from Troy University with a Master’s of Science in Psychology, specializing in Mental Health. Liz completed her practicum and internship at the Grove Counseling Center (Residential Treatment Center), in Longwood, Fl, working with individual, group and family counseling setting. Liz has experience working with a broad spectrum of mental health concerns which may include but are not limited to the following disorders; adjustment, anxiety, PTSD, depression, grief, drug use, career, parenting and relationship concerns. Liz uses Cognitive- Behavior therapy, motivational interviewing, solution- focused and Faith Based Counseling (Christian) to help the client meet their individual and family long term goals. 

Yasiris Santos, MA moved to Central Florida from Bayamon, Puerto Rico were she was born and raised. She studied Human Biology at the University of Puerto Rico, Bayamon Campus and proceeded to work in various projects within the mental health and education fields.  Passionate about helping others and encouraged by her family, in particular her father who is a clinical psychologist, Yasiris completed her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her work experience includes both providing in-home services to clients’ directly and as part of the office staff managing sensitive clinical information such as testing materials and protocols, case files, and insurance authorizations.  Yasiris’s greatest reward as a therapist is to help clients explore ways to make the changes in their lives that will allow them to look forward to the future with hope.  She strives to provide clients with that warm, nonjudgmental environment—a safe place to explore the issues that may be preventing them from living the life they want. 

Christian Gonzalez, MA Coming Soon!

Cecilia Tavares, MHC  provides bilingual (Spanish/English) individual counseling to children, adolescents and family. Her passion is to convey hope and provide tools to those struggling with life’s many challenges. Cecilia values diversity and is a highly culturally sensitive counselor. She strives to help teens and children create positive change in their lives and build healthier family relationships. Cecilia was born in the Dominican Republic and began her education in New York where she lived for fourteen years. She has lived in Florida for the past twelve years. Cecilia's interest in psychology and human behavior during her undergraduate work led her to pursue a degree in Mental Health Counseling. During and after receiving her degree she worked in diverse settings in the mental health field including an alternative school, the public school setting, and a mental health therapy center. Family is a very important aspect of my life and I have raised 3 wonderful children. I enjoy spending time with my family, working out, traveling, and cooking. I earned my Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology from Webster University and then received a Masters of Arts degree in Mental Health Counseling in 2016 from Troy University.

Luis Vargas, Juris Doctor was born and raised in Ponce, Puerto Rico. In 2014 he moved to Florida in search of new opportunities for personal, professional growth and best quality life. In 2003 he graduated from University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus with a B.A. in Secondary Education and in 2008 graduated from School of Law, Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, Ponce Campus. In 2009, he obtained his License as an Attorney at Law in Puerto Rico and currently a Public Notary of state of Florida. Also, Mr. Vargas was a Criminal Justice Professor for Ana G Mendez University System on a graduate and undergraduate level from 2008 to 2014 before he moved to Florida. In addition, since 2008 he's worked as a Mental Health Therapist and has 8 years of experience on the field of Psychology including inpatient and outpatient clients. He was a founder of Martínez & Vargas Law Offices. As part of his services he specialized and provided legal advice and training regarding Mental Health Diagnoses, Mental Health Laws and procedures in a variety of Mental Health Hospitals, providers, and Institutions. Since 2009, Mr. Vargas has been involved Pro-Bono, Inc where he voluntarily offers legal services free of cost in civil and administrative areas and has experience as a Targeted Case Manager in which he assisted clients in reaching their highest potential and learning to live in a healthy environment. Luis enjoy spent time with his family, read, run, play tennis, basketball and run bicycle among other recreation activities. At the time Mr. Vargas is member of HFC Team as a Mental Health Therapist and Case Management Supervisor.

Char Midkiff, Registered MHC Intern is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern, holds a Master of Science in Counseling and Psychology from Troy University, and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Columbia College. Char retired in 2010 from the City of Orlando/Downtown Development Board as the Manager of the Downtown Orlando Information Center, which included an internship program that she wrote and implemented. While completing her tenure of 27 years with the City, she returned to college to obtain counseling skills to better assist people on their life journey. Char genuinely cares for people and enjoys helping individuals become mentally whole, healthy, and able to strive to reach their God given gifts, talents, and dreams. She has a strong faith that serves as her foundation for counseling. Char has experience in working with Adults, Teens, and Children in the areas of: ADHD, Anger Management, Anxiety, Behavioral Issues, Career, Depression, Emotional Issues, Grief, Life and Health Issues/Transition and Sexual Abuse Victims, and Substance Abuse. Char is married to Steve and together they have 2 married daughters, 2 grandsons, and a furry son Marky.

Elba Rivera, Registered MHC Intern 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.

Monica Ortiz, MSW  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.

Lizeth Osorio, Registered MHC Intern  holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from University of Central Florida, and has a Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Webster University. After 10 yrs in the field Lizeth has gained invaluable experience and training working in a wide variety of settings with adults, Veterans, children, and teens (Harbor House -Domestic Violence, Beta Center for pregnant teens and children, Children and Family Place Behavioral Services, Threshold -medical settings, Safe Haven- community shelter/mental health ). Lizeth's areas of specialty are with individual/couples/ families and children include but are not limited to depressive disorders, couples, problems of childhood, therapy with children, parent education, sexual abuse, Trauma and Grief. She is currently certified in Professional Crisis Management for children and families and in Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Young Children. She partners with The Healing Tree, DCF , Targeted case mangers and OCPS as an advocate for children and their parents to provide the best support possible. Lizeth is recognized through EMDRIA international association for crisis intervention and EMDR trained professional. She is fluent in Spanish and feels very blessed to work with those in need offering her knowledge, support and counseling skills to those who are ready to do the work and heal. 

Ivonne Ramos, MSW was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has a degree in Computer Science, Bachelor’s in Social Work, and is currently working towards her Master’s in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida. She is bilingual, speaking Spanish and English. Also, a Public Notary from the State of Florida. During her free time, she enjoys running and traveling with her family. Her goal is to become a licensed social worker.

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.

Eric Portalatin, Registered CSW Intern, MSW  was born in Brooklyn N.Y. When he was five, he moved to Ponce, Puerto Rico with his parents where he lived all his life. After completing High School, Eric entered the University of Puerto Rico in Ponce where he studied Pedagogy and Natural Sciences. Eric then resided in Mexico and Spain where he studied Religious Philosophy for four years. Upon returning to Puerto Rico he earned a Bachelor's degree in Forensic Psychology with emphasis in Rehabilitation from the University of Puerto Rico and a Master's Degree in Clinical Social Work with emphasis in Social Administration and Supervision of the Universidad del Este. At the labor level, Eric has performed different functions and tasks in different private and government agencies, such as: Religious Counselor at La Providencia Hospice and member of the Multidisciplinary Team, Security Functions, Law and Protection as a Security Guard and as Municipal Police in the Municipality of Ponce, Counselor in Vocational Rehabilitation, Mental Health Technician, Clinical-Forensic Therapist in the Restoring Portillos Program and Lecturer of Social, Legal and Security Issues for individuals and agencies that requested the service of educational talks. When Eric arrived in the State of Florida, he worked in different Mental Health Agencies as Case Manager and as a Mental Health Therapist. Today, Eric is proud to belong to the large HispaFam team where he provides services as a Mental Health Therapist to children, youth and adults. His passion and goal is to provide an individualized and professional service (mild, full and joyful) where the individual and his environment is benefited on a personal, psychosocial and family level. Language: Preferably Spanish

Miguel Cotes, MA, LCCC was born in La Romana, Dominican Republic and raised in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. He has a Licensed in Christian Counseling from the state of Florida and a Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling from Florida Christian University. Miguel has more than 8 years of clinical experience working in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at an outpatient mental health clinic as a Psychotherapist with children’s, young, and adults. Miguel has an extensive experience with individual therapy, group therapy and family therapy. Miguel enjoys playing and teaching volleyball and he also like to run bicycle. .

Nelly E. Martins, PhD., MA, LCCC was born in Ecuador and raised in Boston, M.A. She worked for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for 15 years serving the community of Boston and surrounding areas as a Provider Service Specialist, Training Coordinator, Educator, and Licensing Procedures and Inspection for Day Care Centers and Family Providers. She educated teacher on how to interact with Special Needs Children by training them on nutrition, children behavior issues, health issues, autism, and child growth &development. Nelly moved to Orlando, FL 8 years ago. She studied at Florida Christian University, where we received her Master’s in Clinical Counseling, and continues studying there for her Doctorate degree in Clinical Counseling. Nelly has experience in individual and group counseling sessions with children, adolescents, and adults. Nelly is a professor at Florida Christian University where she teach subjects such as theology, administration, pharmacology, and counseling. She also provides seminars and conferences about self-esteem issues, weight loss, domestic violence, sexual abuse victims, depression, anxiety, phobias, anger management, eating disorders, weight loss programs, abortion and abortion recovery, and stress disorders among others.

Priscila Manzanet, MSW Intern graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida in 2012 and is continuing in the same university to pursue a Masters degree in Social Work. 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.

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.

Andre Minott, Registered CSW Intern, MSWpossesses a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Barry University.  He is a qualified social worker and educator with over 12 years of experience in providing high quality care, support, and education to the community.  

Marsha Mena, Registered CSW Intern, MSW is a recent graduate from the University of Central Florida (UCF), who obtained her Bachelors in Social Work and a Children’s Services Certificate in May 2015. She is continuing her education at UCF and currently in the Master’s in Social Work program, while interning with Hispanic Family Counseling. Marsha has been in the field for about 2 years. She has a variety of experience with adults, adolescents and children. Marsha is a Social Change and Victim Advocate at SafeHouse of Seminole, working with individuals in crisis and providing services to women and children who are involved in Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking. Marsha previously interned at Community Based Care of Central Florida (CBCCFL) and worked with youth ages 15-21 in Extended Foster Care by providing direct services, support, and empowerment. Marsha enjoys engaging youth in activities and enhancing self-esteem and confidence, as well as developing social skills. Marsha has a vast amount of experience in mentoring youth from the Legacy Mentoring program at CBCCFL and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Marsha's population of interest include working with adults and adolescent youth in Suicide Prevention, Domestic Violence, Child Welfare, LGBTQ+ and Grief & Loss. Marsha is speaksEnglish, Spanish, and some Portuguese. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, being crafty, and volunteering with different agencies on her free time.

Susette Lopez, Registered CSW Intern, MSW  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).

Barbara Soltys, Registered CSW Intern, MSW is a graduate from the University of Central Florida. She currently holds a Master of Social Work as well as a Bachelor of Sociology and an Associate degree in Business Administration. In addition, she is a registered clinical social work intern (ISW-9872) with the state of Florida working towards her LCSW and a member in good standing with the National Association of Social Workers. Barbara’s passion is working with individuals and families providing psychotherapy with a strength-based perspective. Her past clinical experiences include working with individuals experiencing depression and anxiety, providing group therapy for individuals and family members facing addiction issues as well as providing pre-marital and couples counseling. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, exercising, and traveling. Currently, Barbara is a contracted service provider with Hispanic Family Counseling providing a range of services to a diverse clientele

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.

Rafael Dones, M.Psy., Born and raised in Caguas, Puerto Rico, Rafael completed his Licensure in Social Sciences and a Master’s Degree in Psychological Counseling from the Universidad del Turabo in Puerto Rico. Rafael is bilingual in English and Spanish, and moved to Florida in 2015 in search of acquiring more experience and strengthening his knowledge. Rafael continues to serve in the Army Reserve of the United States, where he exercises administrative duties as an officer of the Medical Services Corps. He has serves and administered health and preventative services in Central America and in the Caribbean with the United States Army to disadvantaged families as part of a bilateral collaboration between the governments of Central America and the United States. He has been exposed to all fields of psychology as part of his academic and vocational preparation. He is passionate about Neuropsychology, neurological processes and science and medicine linked to psychotherapy.  He worked under a Government contract in Puerto Rico where he practices psychotherapy for geriatric and adolescent populations. Also works at Park Place Behavioral Health as a psychotherapy in the substance abuse department and currently works for the State of Florida as a Level III Human Services Counselor. In his free time, he enjoys listening to motivational audio books, healthy outdoor activities, likes learning about other cultures and is currently strengthening his knowledge in the Russian language. 

Jessica Heredia, LMHC, Clinical Supervisor  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.

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, Registered MHC Intern, MA, Eds 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 is currently pursuing 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.


The HispaFam