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At the heart of my counseling approach is the conviction that everyone can heal and make changes they desire, by making an authentic commitment towards healing. 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 fulfilling direction.
I work primarily from an existential therapy framework, which views human suffering as deriving from certain “givens” of life such as: isolation, freedom of choice, perceived meaninglessness, and death (or fear of death). Throughout our time together I will help you manage the uncertainty that comes along with the “givens.” I do not consider myself to be the expert on your life; I am a fellow explorer walking beside you on your path, helping you observe the reality of your life from a more objective place while offering insights that are easier to see from an external perspective. In our work, I will be your mirror made of unconditional acceptance and compassion. I will be your faithful advocate, encouraging you to embrace all facets of life, even the realities we may find difficult to accept or appreciate.
My goal is to teach you how to respond to existential realities effectively, while practicing deep introspection and holistic wellbeing. Together, we will face life’s existential challenges, allowing you to move into expanded freedom, empowerment, and self-discovered meaning in your daily life. Further, I will help you gain strength and resilience from life’s inevitable challenges, while taking ultimate responsibility for the choices that are 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 are the ultimate creators of our own experiences and growth.
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.