Counselors

Alba Wellness began as an effort to serve the community as a whole while providing private counseling services to individuals. We believe our mission is to integrate the elements of counseling, counselor supervision, and community service.

Our staff is here to help you begin your journey towards wellness.

Lauren Byrd, MA, LPC

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 I have a passion for helping others. I enjoy spending time with my family, being outside, painting, reading, playing with my dogs, and educating myself about new ways to promote health. I have experience using several types of therapy including: narrative therapy, brief solution-focused, CBT, trauma-focused CBT, play therapy, and sand tray therapy. I hope that if your search has brought you to me, that you will consider contacting me with your information. I would love to hear your story.

 

 

 

Gladys Cisneros, MA, LPC

I am a marriage counselor who sincerely believes there is hope for marriages! I know there are no perfect marriages, but there is such a thing as a happy marriage. My mission is to give you the tools to rekindle the love, respect, and admiration you once felt for your spouse. I have worked with couples who believed their marriage was over and also presented marriage seminars in my community. Furthermore, I have completed Level 3 Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy which is based on 40 years of research, is structured, and is goal-oriented. This approach helps couples break through barriers to achieve greater understanding, connection, and intimacy in their relationships.

In addition, I work with children with issues such as Sexual Abuse, Anger Management, Abandonment, Parents’ Divorce, Domestic Violence, and other emotional problems. I have training in Trauma- Focus Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) which is designed for youth who have experienced a significantly traumatic event.

I have been married for 29 years and understand the challenges of raising children and marital relationships. I work from a Christian worldview helping clients integrate new ways of thinking, behaving, and resolving conflicts consistent with their faith and belief system. My goal is to provide encouragement and skills to assist you with stressful circumstances.

Teenya Creswell MA, LPC

teenyaHello, my name is Teenya and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor.  I received my Master’s Degree from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, TX in 2007 and have experience working therapeutically with children, teens, and adults.

My approach is from an ACT modality (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) which incorporates mindfulness techniques that can help reduce anxiety, depression, and other difficult emotions.  ACT facilitates change by challenging old thought patterns, creating self-acceptance, and learning to become more present within our lives. This form of therapy helps clients get “un-stuck,” so that they can live more fully in the here-and-now.  I challenge my clients to look at the parts of themselves’ that are the hardest to accept, and work towards addressing which patterns of thought and behavior are detrimental to your quality of life, all while heavily infusing the process with self-compassion and acceptance. 

If you are looking for greater meaning in your daily life, searching for a new life direction, or just want to get back on track to creating the life you have always wanted, then I will be happy to join you on that journey.

Marcella Garcia MA, LPC

MarceI am a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern, supervised by Sonia Dimas, Phd., LPC-S. I earned my Master’s degree in community counseling from The University of Texas at San Antonio (2014). My clinical experience began in 2013, working in non-profit community counseling agencies. I have specialized training in couples communication psychoeducational groups and bereavement process groups. I am a therapist that strongly believes in making personal connections in order to earn your trust, create a safe, supportive and empathetic environment with mutual respect. As a veteran and military spouse for more than 20 years, I understand the challenges of Military life. I have experience working with couples working through relationship issues, individuals having difficulties with anxiety, stress, depression, life transitions, developing coping skills to deal with loss, grief and bereavement. I will provide a safe place to facilitate a custom treatment plan designed especially for each client. I’m passionate about helping clients through some of the most difficult times in their lives. I value the importance of supportive connections that lead to successful therapy.  Together we can embark on a committed journey to helping you find solutions and successful techniques for a better tomorrow.

Tamara Kiss MS, LPC

tamaraChange is constant and it can be difficult to handle; change can bring new obstacles that can be paralyzing to deal with on our own.  My own experiences with change have included: moving from one state to another, transitioning from school to work, developing a career, and becoming a parent. Sometimes, trying to cope with these challenges by ourselves can lead to depression, stress, anxiety and a number of other difficulties that make living our day to day life seem like an unsurmountable task.  Let’s identify your strengths, define your goals and start working toward them today. Together, we can work towards reaching your full potential and meeting the challenges that change brings.

My clinical experience has been in a range of settings and includes: outpatient settings, substance abuse clinics, universities, government agencies and private practice.  Areas in which I specialize include military life challenges, relationship issues, career related challenges, depression, anxiety, work/school related stress, life transitions and women`s issues. I work effectively with millennials, young adults, adults, military spouses and dependents. Of course, my scope of interest and expertise is not limited to only those populations. Moreover, I am a Certified United States Military Veterans’ Counselor and a Certified Motivational Career Coach.

A Master of Science in Counseling and Psychology from Troy University has  made it possible to be a Licensed Professional Counselor licensed in Texas and I am also certified by the National Board of Certified Counselors as an NCC (“National Certified Counselor”). Furthermore, I possess the National Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) certification and have over 8 years experience in assisting clients in reaching their goals in career and mental health counseling settings.

Jeanette Orozco MA, LPC, CI

1205161518aJeanette earned her B.A. in Psychology from UT Austin in 2010 and her M.A. in Community Counseling from UTSA in 2013. She has specialized experience working with substance abuse, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, trauma and abuse, self-harm and suicidality, grief and loss, anger management, schizophrenia, and family and relationship issues. She has worked with clients within LGBTQ communities as well as those with HIV and other chronic and/or painful medical conditions. She uses a person-centered approach to counseling, as well as CBT and solution-focused techniques, to help people meet their counseling goals. She believes that compassion, humor, and hope are essential in the counseling process. Jeanette has over three years of experience as a residential counselor in a substance abuse treatment facility and is well versed in the 12 Step program of recovery as well as trauma-informed approaches to intensive counseling. Jeanette works to empower people to identify their personal strengths and to educate them on healthy coping and communication skills that they can use to continue to improve their wellness and relationships throughout their lives. She believes that dedication to personal growth can be challenging, but absolutely rewarding.

Elizabeth Ransom MA, LPC (Available for weekend appointments!)

Elizabeth Ransom is a Licensed Professional Counselor and received her Master of Arts degree in Mental Health Counseling from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. She has worked in various healthcare settings throughout her career, including private practice, community counseling centers, acute psychiatric hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs. She received a dual degree Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Anthropology from Texas Tech University and participated as a research assistant in a Cognitive Psychology laboratory during her undergraduate studies.

Elizabeth has an extensive knowledge of human behavior and mental health and has a strong passion for learning. She specializes in treating adults and adolescents who experience anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, issues with weight and body image, adjustment stress, and relationship issues. She is passionate about providing resources and education to the community on mental health and wellness.

Elizabeth is a Texas native, originally from Austin. She enjoys spending time with her family, visiting state parks, swimming, fishing, hiking, and cooking up new recipes in her spare time. She is always researching new techniques for relaxation, mindfulness, and natural approaches to healthy living.

Anna Rivera MA, LPC (Available for weekend appointments!)

anna-rAdjusting to life changes can be difficult at times. Finding someone trustworthy and capable to guide you with effective coping methods to live a fulfilling life can be just as challenging. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern in San Antonio and surrounding areas who will provide you with a genuine, confidential, and safe environment. My multicultural background and experience has allowed me to assist individuals experiencing minor problems like adjusting to life changes to those suffering from severe mental illnesses. I have experience working with children, teens, adults, couples, and families in a private practice, mental health outpatient clinic, and psychiatric hospital settings.
In addition, my previous experience has also allowed me to assist our military members and families. Having been a military spouse for 21 years, I personally understand the unique challenges our military families and members undergo; even years after retirement.
Allow me to earn your trust and assist you with enhancing the quality of your life. Give me a call and lets get you on your way.

Nancy Smith MA, LPC

Nancy (2)Nancy is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2005 and a Master of Arts degree in Counseling in 2008, both from The University of Texas at San Antonio.  She has six years of experience working with victims of domestic violence as well as a wide range of other issues such as ADHD, borderline personality disorder, bi-polar, anxiety, trauma and sexual abuse.  Her interests include teaching coping skills, self-awareness, self-esteem utilizing techniques derived from cognitive behavior therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and person-centered therapy.   Nancy takes a collaborative approach with the client to create a treatment  plan unique to the individual’s needs.

Sonia Dimas Phd., LPC Supervisor

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Sonia is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and a Nationally Certified Counselor. She received her Masters and Doctoral level training at St. Marys University and she has earned a doctorate in Counselor Education & Supervision. Sonia is also a board approved clinical supervisor with the State of Texas and provides supervision to LPC Interns as required by the state. Her ten years of experience includes pastoral counseling, outpatient counseling settings, a partial psychiatric hospitalization program, Employee Assistance Programming, and most recently working to assist our nations Armed Forces by providing non-medical counseling to service members, their families, and children. Sonia is fully bilingual in Spanish and her approach to counseling and supervision is based in brief-solution focused counseling. She enjoys working with couples, adults and older adults to who are looking to address phase of life difficulties, mood disorders, and relationship difficulties.

Sean A. Post MA, LPC Supervisor

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Sean is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than five years’ experience in the mental health field. He received a M.A. in Community Counseling from the University of Texas at San Antonio and has experience working in a variety of clinical settings including outpatient programs, a partial hospitalization programs, vocational rehabilitation, as well as private settings. Sean, a bilingual therapist, is sensitive to our unique position near the border and brings a multicultural perspective to the counseling process. Incorporating strategies from Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy allows Sean to bring a structured approach to address a wide range of issues and to work effectively with adolescents, adults, couples, and families.

Interns

Yuliya Cannon MA, LPC Intern (Supervised by Roberta Varela-Hein, LPC-S)

yuliya_picEveryone faces stressful events and experiences psychological pain from time to time.  Struggling with these experiences alone may foster a sense of powerlessness, shame, and isolation.  Mental illness may further exacerbate these feelings.  Using evidence-based treatment approaches such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavioral therapy (DBT), I help clients develop psychological flexibility and acquire practical skills to effectively deal with anxiety, depression, affect dysregulation, and relational issues. My approach is also grounded in neuroscience.

I received a Master’s degree in Community Counseling at the University of Texas at San Antonio where I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision.  I am a bilingual counselor, fluent in English and Russian.  Since 2013, I’ve worked with children, adolescents, adults, and families from various cultural backgrounds helping them overcome various life challenges and traumas.

 

Amberkay Crotts MS LPC Intern (Supervised by Lela Flowers-Brown LPC-S)

Completing my master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from UTSA (2013) has given me the opportunity to gain great experience working with children and families which is my passion. My range of experiences has included working with children on the autism spectrum, working with individuals and groups to address loss and grief as well as experience working with couples, families, and individuals addressing trauma, sexual abuse, and domestic violence. My approach is from a Relational Cultural orientation and incorporates Trauma-Informed CBT as well. Furthermore,I am aware of the importance of attachment and consider Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) an important treatment modality. These perspectives encourage clients and therapists to collaborate and creates an atmosphere of cooperation so that we can move toward healthy outcomes. If you are interested in learning more about my approach please give us a call.

Lisa Guerra MA, LPC Intern (Supervised by Sarah Bendele LPC-S)

Life is difficult, however; when you can talk about life’s challenges and be heard, you no longer feel alone.  My name is Lisa Guerra, and I am a LPC-Intern, under the supervision of Sarah Bendele, LPC-S.  I earned my Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance from Texas A & M, San Antonio and my Bachelor of Science degree in Religion/ Biblical Counseling from Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA.  I approach counseling with a Christian worldview that will apply its spiritual philosophy to the counseling experience.

My experience includes working in Christian ministries, non-profits, and private agency. I have supported clients in the areas of career and life transition, grief, terminal illness, divorce, healthy boundaries, codependency, blended families, adoption, self-esteem, forgiveness, anxiety, depression, relationship direction, spiritual direction, personal enrichment, and emotional wellness.

I have experience utilizing the following therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy and brief solution focused therapy. I am here for you, to provide a safe environment to hear your story and help you find coping skills that will enable you to move forward in your life.

Mercedes Ingram MS, MA, LPC-Intern (Supervised by Christina Del Rio MA, LPC-S)

I received my Master’s of Science degree in Psychology at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) in 2010, my Master’s of Arts degree in Counseling at UTSA in 2014, and am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision at UTSA, with plans to graduate in the Fall of 2017.  Since 2013, I’ve worked with children, adolescents, adults, and families from various cultural backgrounds helping them to overcome various life challenges. I have been trained in trauma informed care and include Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in my approach. I have worked in integrated health care settings, interacting directly with primary care physicians and psychiatrists for a collaborative approach to mental and behavioral health care. My experience has also been in community counseling settings, pediatric primary care clinics, and a crisis transitional center using evidence-based intervention approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing to encourage desired outcomes. It is my goal to help clients develop practical skills to effectively deal with ADHD, anxiety, depression, developmental issues, life transitions, and relational issues. 

Gunnar Newman (Veteran) MA, MBA, LPC Intern ( Supervised by Faith G. Harper LPC-S )

gunnar-newman-lpc-internI value each client’s uniqueness and believe therapy is a collaborative process.  Each client is a person working through an issue that is impeding a goal. That goal may be managing depression, reducing anxiety, relieving stress, or some area within their life they feel is negatively affecting their wellness.  My foundation is in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and mindfulness. I specialize in depression, anxiety, and stress management.

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor – Intern (LPC-Intern) with two years in the field as a mental health professional.  I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from University of Maryland University College, a Master of Arts degree in Counseling and Guidance from Texas A&M, and I am a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at Walden University.

 

Motivational Speakers

Marvin L. Brown, MA, Master Trainer, Leadership & Personal Growth Expert

Marvin Brown

Marvin is a motivational and innovative communicator on the art and science of leadership,team building and personal growth.  He is an empowerment expert and life coach, who is committed to developing leaders.  His core philosophy, “The One-on-One Principle” reflects his creative style of leadership training centered on self-leadership and self-awareness.

Marvin Brown, a graduate with the highest honors from North Carolina A & T State University with a B.A. in Political Science and a M.A. from Webster University in both Leadership and Training & Development, is currently a prominent leader at New Creation Christian Fellowship where he serves as Director of Operations and on the Board of Directors.  Prior to that, he served as the Director of Logistics for USAA.  Marvin, along with his wife Lela Flowers-Brown (owner of Caring Counseling and Consulting Services), co-partner in marriage workshops, leadership, teamwork and change management training as well as personal development seminars.  Marvin has given numerous leadership and team-building workshops to organizations throughout the San Antonio area including the Live Oak, Universal City and Converse Fire Department, USAA Logistics Department, training to parents at Kitty Hawk Middle School, Joshua House of Worship, New Creation Christian Fellowship, Palo Alto, SAC, and UTSA, multi-level marketing businesses: Tahitian Noni International, 90forlife and Women Realtors Association of Texas.

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