Natalia is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) based in Washington DC. She received her Master of Arts and training in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the George Washington University Graduate School of Education & Human Development. Natalia provides therapy for adult and adolescent individuals, couples, and groups who are managing a variety of difficulties: including phase of life issues, anxiety, depression and substance use disorder. She specializes in mood disorders, relationship and family issues, gender and sexual identity struggles, childhood trauma, sexual trauma, and systemic traumas. She approaches the therapeutic relationship and collaborative work from a strengths-based, trauma-informed, psychodynamic perspective, and uses the lens of relational-cultural theory and its emphasis on societal forces, power differentials, and the power of human connection to increase and solidify personal resilience and interpersonal comfort and competence.
As a first generation Cuban American, Natalia has been invested in working with marginalized and underrepresented communities. Before receiving her Masters and licensure, Natalia worked in the advocacy space at the National Network to End Domestic Violence. She began her clinical professional journey in community mental health, working with diverse and underserved populations, leading group therapy and psychoeducational groups. Natalia also has expertise with severe mental illness (SMI) and dual- and multi-diagnoses.
Natalia works from a sociocultural systemic perspective, acknowledging that past experiences, home, school, work, family, or relationships, or sociocultural forces of oppression can place limitations, expectations or demands on us. Natalia works to foster a safe and compassionate space in which to unpack and explore these systemic dynamics to understand and ameliorate problematic or unwanted behaviors, feelings, and symptoms, which are formidably embedded, powerfully reinforced, and deeply ingrained self-preserving functions. Natalia aims to work towards identifying the roots of these patterns and defenses and how these nuanced and adaptive personal constructs underlie and inform those patterns, and, ultimately, learn to recognize, appreciate, challenge, and deconstruct those defenses. She strives to connect with and learn from every piece of her clients authentically, to revitalize sense of self and innate value, and invigorate emotional resilience. Her work pursues growth, not only through continuous internal self-reflection, but also through external curiosity and inquisition, exploration, unpacking, and elucidation of the integral connections between current and past experiences and relationships. Our defenses often overlap with some of our greatest strengths—Natalia works with clients to see them, know them, appreciate what those defenses have protected us from and why, and to release our judgment of their current behavioral and emotional manifestations. Only through this release can we learn where and how they are no longer needed and where they get in our way, how to take ownership of and move with them with intentionality and understanding. Such profound insight is elusive, but perpetual work to deepen and expand it is vital to healthy adjustment, transformation, and life satisfaction.