Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Dance/Movement Therapist, Ballroom Dance Instructor
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work professionally in fields that are dear to my heart as a licensed counselor, dance/movement therapist and ballroom dance instructor. Ok, but what does that mean and how does it all work together you may wonder... Glad you asked!
Human behavior and the reason we do what we do have always intrigued me, I wanted to understand it. I am deeply drawn towards exploring what truly makes us tick, this desire led me to the field of psychology, which prompted me to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in the subject from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez.
Dance makes me come alive, it is one of my “love languages”.
Dance makes me come alive, it is one of my “love languages”. It has helped me connect with God, myself, and others. It also provides the means to express my emotions, and feel accomplished and excited after learning a piece and sharing it with an audience. Dance was an amazing outlet during my adolescence, looking back I can’t imagine myself moving through those years without it.
If you’re not familiar with the field of Dance/Movement Therapy, not to worry… It was quite unfamiliar to me until a few months prior to applying to the graduate program! I was introduced to this awesome sounding, perfect match career path by my much esteemed dance teacher in Puerto Rico, Maria “Mumy” Badrena. She shared a news article with me which described psychologists using movement during their psychotherapy sessions. I decided to contact one of the psychologists mentioned in the article and she told me about this concept called dance/movement therapy, and how different programs in the US were offering it at universities.
A program that focused on the study and application of the body/mind connection and its relation to our behavior, thoughts, emotions, body language, development, creativity, and relationships? My own personal dream, job tailor made from my greatest interests? Sign me up! This surprising, timely, and exciting new information encouraged me to pursue graduate studies in the subject. I completed a Master’s degree in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling at Columbia College Chicago, which qualified me to practice as a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) and board certified dance/movement therapist (BC-DMT) in the State of Illinois.
Much like the choreography of dance, these different ideas ended up connecting, relating, and shaping into a beautiful piece which now informs and guides my work with you.
With over ten years of experience in the mental health field I have worked in inpatient, residential, and currently outpatient treatment setting through my private practice. I've had the opportunity to present locally and out-of-state on topics related to dance/movement therapy (DMT) and experiential therapies in the treatment of eating disorders, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders. I've enjoyed dancing for fun and professionally with training in styles like ballet, jazz, modern dance, and Puerto Rican folkloric dances amongst others. In 2014 I completed a ballroom teaching training program with master teacher Tommye Giacchino. I love to dance and perform when able, and during my free time you may find me enjoying nature, watching a good show, or spending time with loved ones.