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. 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.

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!)

Adjusting to life changes can be difficult at times. Finding someone trustworthy and capable to guide you with effective methods to live a fulfilling life can be just as challenging.I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Professional Life Coach in San Antonio and surrounding areas who will provide you with a genuine, confidential, and safe environment

I hold a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from UNC Pembroke and a Master’s of Arts in Counseling from Webster University. I have more than seven years working in the mental health field and have experience working with children, teens, adults, couples, and families in private practice, outpatient clinics, and psychiatric hospital settings. I am fully billingual in Spanish. My multicultural background and experience has allowed me to assist many individuals experiencing minor problems like adjusting to life changes, to those suffering from severe mental illnesses. My experiences have also allowed me to assist our nation’s Armed Forces, providing counseling to active, seperated, and retired military suffering from PTSD, adjusting to seperation from service, and marital/family issues stemming from military life. Having been a military spouse for 21 years, I personally understand the unique challenges our military families and members undergo, even years after retirement or separation.

I utilize a person centered approach to treatment. Meaning, I will assist you towards personal growth and fulfillment. The structure of my sessions are based on the needs of each individual client. I utilize techniques derived from various therapy methods to include, cognitive behavior therapy, brief solution focused therapy, and person-centered therapy to create a treatment plan unique and specific to your therapeutic goals.

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

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. 

Alba Associates

Rico Rivera, MA (Certified Life Coach)

My goal is to help you re-imagine your life and let go of thoughts and behaviors that  undermine you, so that a renewed and fulfilled you can emerge. With  my experience in Life Coaching and my individualized approach I will help you attain your goals.

As a professionally trained Life Coach, I have the tools and understanding to help you create the life you imagine and get a renewed sense of self. I can help you change your perception of life so that it is filled with vitality and enthusiasm.

I am a retired veteran with over 20 years of military service.  I have first hand knowledge of military life and the struggles that service members and their families experience. I have deployed multiple times to Afghanistan as well as other countries conducting peace keeping missions and I’m aware of the impact this has on the family dynamic.  I have a Masters degree in Community Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a Bachelors degree in Spanish.  I am bilingual and fluent in most dialects of the Spanish language.  My experience also stems from multiple assignments which took me around the world providing me with a well rounded foundation in cultural diversity.

Committing to the life changes that you seek in order to achieve your goals is exactly that – a commitment, and it is the first step in your journey which will take dedication. Believe me when I tell you it will be worth it. My personal commitment is to provide you with accountability, understanding and support while accomplishing lasting growth.