Available for In-person Sessions & Teletherapy
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At the heart of my counseling approach is the conviction that everyone can heal and make changes they desire, by combining sincere intention with effective actions. When we are in session, you will have my undivided attention as I join you in clarifying and acting upon your core desires. I strive to create a space in which you feel completely safe and seen, so we may explore your unique life path together, and steer it in the most authentic and fulfilling direction.
I work primarily from an existential theoretical framework, which views human suffering as deriving from experiences that cause us internal stress or confusion. These common stressful experiences include isolation, choice and responsibility, perceived meaninglessness, and death or fear of death. I do not consider myself to be the expert on your life; I am a fellow traveler walking beside you on your path, helping you observe the reality of your life from a more neutral, objective place while offering insights that are easier to see from an external perspective. I am your faithful advocate, encouraging you to embrace all facets of life, even the realities we may find difficult to accept or appreciate. Embracing and accepting realities we do not yet understand or prefer is the first step to creative problem solving, and allows us to flow with the river of life, rather than fighting natural forces.
My goal is to teach you how to respond to existential realities effectively, while practicing deep introspection and holistic wellbeing. I would like to help you move from isolation to connection, from powerlessness to empowerment, from confusion to clarity, from entrapment to freedom, from the perception of meaninglessness to finding your own meaning, from fearing death to embracing life in the present and allowing this natural cycle to help you feel even more alive with gratitude. I would like to help you gain strength and resilience from life’s inevitable challenges, while taking ultimate responsibility for the choices that are freely and rightfully yours.
It is not what happens to us or around us, but rather how we respond to these life events, that shapes the people we become. Every experience is an opportunity to respond to life in a way that may help us embody our highest, self-chosen principles. We find that human suffering is an experience that forces us to look deep inside ourselves and know ourselves more fully, and then courageously act from that place of knowing. We humans become the ultimate creators of our own experiences and growth. I am excited to begin merging this existential framework with experiential therapies as I continue to broaden my skill set under Katy’s supervision.
More About Mariel
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at St. Edward’s University, I worked as a support staff member for adults with disabilities at Bona Terra, the day habilitation center. While there, I learned invaluable life lessons while also helping to create the curriculum. I later worked as an office manager for neuropsychologist Dr. Bridget Amatore in New York; she inspired me to journey back into academia to acquire the credentials to help people in a more personal and direct capacity.
I received my Masters of Arts in Professional Counseling at Texas State University, with a focus on grief counseling. I served as a counseling intern at the Christi Center, where I provided counseling services in both individual and group therapy formats. While at the Christi Center I received comprehensive training on how to assist people experiencing deep grief. I also served as a counselor intern at Northwest Counseling and Wellness Center, where I learned how to integrate evidence-based mindfulness practices into group therapy for healing those recovering from addictions.
My natural proclivities, personal life experiences, and exposure to cultural diversity have shaped me both personally and professionally. My aim is to help as many people as I possibly can with the time I am granted on this earth. I bring to the counseling relationship a unique perspective, an empathetic ear, and an authentic desire to see you thrive.