SOUTHSIDE

88 Briggs Avenue Suite 140

210-922-0828

1-855-616-0829

MAIN OFFICE

9500 Tioga Dr

SAN ANTONIO

210-616-0828

DOWNTOWN

343 W. Houston

Suite 727

ROSA VERDE TOWERS

210-375-4593

©2019 by www.nuevavidabha.com. Proudly created with Wix.com

COUNSELORS

Meet Our Counselors

HECTOR DANIEL

RRT, M. A., LPC.

The decision to seek out professional help with life events and to pursue the idea of Hope for Tomorrow is always a step in the right direction.  Through the ages, philosophers, and historians have attempted to understand the nature of our races, origins, and psychological make.  They have also tried to find the purpose of man, why man has difficulty living in peace and humanities’ final destiny.  How do we live with our faith, hope, and integrity in this wonderful country of ours where there is so much pain and suffering can be challenging?  I see sometimes the trials of lives too overwhelming and painful.  These trials come at us out of nowhere and without warning.  
In these times, our old coping skill that we’ve used in the past does not work so well anymore.  I believe that sometime we need a jump start to life’s problems.  I believe sometimes there are new changes with which we have to learn to deal with. Together, my clients and I can work toward developing new coping skills and strategies to better understand life’s challenges.  I work at creating a warm atmosphere of acceptance.
In therapy we will work towards reframing situations to give you a better perspective and explore positive choices and options. My main goal of therapy is to teach problem solving, develop coping skill that work for you, and fine tune communication skills.  
I believe that our relationships with the one’s we love are our greatest treasure on this earth.  I work with adolescents and adults, male and female, and couple/marital issues.  I also work with individual, families and Anger Management.  Call Me.

DR. LAURA AVILA

PHD

Dr. Laura Avila is a clinical health psychologist. She received a PhD in clinical psychology from Northern Illinois University and completed a fellowship in health psychology at Brooke Army Medical Center, Ft. Sam Houston Texas. Dr. Avila also hols a master's of science in psychopharmacology from Fairleigh Dickinson university. Her areas of interest include insomnia and other sleep disorder chronic disease management, geropsychology, weight management, mood disorder, and trauma.
When she is not working, Dr. Avila enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and four children.

ELIJAH MONSIVAIS

Licensed Professional Counselor

I like to provided a relaxed atmosphere where we can explore your life story, find your strengths, direction and start helping you to heal. I have had the opportunity to work with people of all ages from older adults to teens and children as small as 3 years old with variety of experiences from life changes, anxiety/ depression, families, behavior issues, lgbtq issues, careers, biploar, schizoaffective, psychosis and more.

Since, I grew up abroad as a military brat and third culture child, I look forward to working with military members, famlies, third culture kids and people of other nationalities, backgrounds, orientations and gender identities.

I offer weekend and evening hour appointments, as well as occasional home visits on a case by case basis. If you think we would work well together, go ahead and give me a call. So we can start your journery of healing together.

DANIELA SALINAS, LMSW

Licensed Masters Social Worker

Daniela Salinas, LMSW graduated with her masters in social work from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2018 and also has a bachelors in psychology from the university since 2012. Daniela has worked with individuals dealing with a workers compensation case since 2013. She has an extensive background in case management and finds the most important aspect of case management is empowering her clients to find what works for them and encourage them to thrive in their situation. Daniela has been a research assistant for a local study on homeless individuals' needs,  in 2018, and has worked closely with different city leaders, like state representative Diego Bernal, to advocate for needs around the community. 

My specialty includes chronic pain, social services, young adults, employment resources and empowerment, and situational therapy. 



BRANDY HAMMILL

Licensed Professional Counselor

If you’re looking for kindness and compassion, then let Dr. Pat Jones manage your wellness and healthcare. From a basic consultation to diagnosing and treating ailments, stop by and see how Dr. Pat Jones can help you.

CYNTHIA LAABS-ORTEGON

Licensed Professional Counselor

A positive attitude goes a long way with Dr. M. Smith. Our doctors and medical staff are here to serve you — get in touch and take advantage of our wide range of services!

DEBBIE HERMOSA

Licensed Professional Counselor

Skill, patience, and excellence are what Jessie Lark RN. brings to the table. Let Jessie Lark RN. manage your wellness and healthcare as our seasoned, veteran Head Nurse.

ELISA CANTU

Licensed Professional Counselor

If you’re looking for kindness and compassion, then let Dr. Pat Jones manage your wellness and healthcare. From a basic consultation to diagnosing and treating ailments, stop by and see how Dr. Pat Jones can help you.

GABBY VILLAREAL

Licensed Professional Counselor

A positive attitude goes a long way with Dr. M. Smith. Our doctors and medical staff are here to serve you — get in touch and take advantage of our wide range of services!

HEATHER ADAM

Licensed Professional Counselor

Skill, patience, and excellence are what Jessie Lark RN. brings to the table. Let Jessie Lark RN. manage your wellness and healthcare as our seasoned, veteran Head Nurse.

JON BENEFIEL

Licensed Professional Counselor

If you’re looking for kindness and compassion, then let Dr. Pat Jones manage your wellness and healthcare. From a basic consultation to diagnosing and treating ailments, stop by and see how Dr. Pat Jones can help you.

Beth Gould

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

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LESLEY CASIAS

Licensed Professional Counselor

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MARGE GOMEZ

Licensed Professional Counselor

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MARTHA MUNCH

Licensed Professional Counselor

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MARY JENNIFER PEARSON

Licensed Professional Counselor

Philosophy invites us to believe that there is nothing in this world more constant than change.  

 

Hello, I am that metaphorical mirror you have been avoiding. That mirror that you’ve allowed yourself to believe is telling you that you cannot change.  

 

If you are reading this, you probably feel some sort of imbalance or crisis in your life.  That is okay, you are not alone! People often wait until they are in the throes of a crisis before reaching out for help.  

 

Know, you do not need to be in crisis to engage in therapy.  Many healthy, happy individuals seek out counseling services to simply develop skills and life habits that can create a healthy, inviting space;  to explore their own thoughts, set goals, and if warranted, make positive changes. Simultaneously, if you or a loved one are struggling right now and seeking guidance and comfort through a dark time; I am here to usher you back to a good place, and help you make sense of the chaos.  

 

I am not deeply invested on boasting that I am the right fit for you, I’d much rather invite you see it for yourself.  In our shared space you should feel comfort, safety, and warmth while balancing that with a large dose of self-accountability, boundaries, and acceptance.  If you feel inclined to begin a new journey with me, I will accept the task wholeheartedly. Together we will collaborate at your pace and according to ever evolving goals.  

 

I am a graduate of Our Lady of the Lake, I have a clinical core of  post-modernism and use this philosophy in a way that is both progressive and multisystemic.  Together, we will create goals based on communication and collaboration. My multicultural scope, adaptive abilities, and over 15 years of mental health experience makes me confident that I can meet your needs.

 

My areas of expertise range from services for children (6 and older), teens, adults, and families.  Topics I treat include, but are not limited to: Anger, Anxiety, Behavioral Issues, Career/Occupational dissatisfaction, Impulsivity, Depression, Divorce, Emotional Disturbance, Family Conflict, Grief, Parenting, Peer Relationships, Relationship Issues, Self Esteem, Self-Harming, Trauma and PTSD.

 

My name is Jennifer Pearson. I am looking forward to meeting you.

MEGAN LUKE

Licensed Masters Social Worker

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MELISSA BROWN

Licensed Professional Counselor

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MELISSA SHIPLETT-JUPE

MS, LPC-I

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MELISSA VERMILLION

Licensed Professional Counselor

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MIKAH WATFORD

Job Title

A positive attitude goes a long way with Dr. M. Smith. Our doctors and medical staff are here to serve you — get in touch and take advantage of our wide range of services!

SYDNEY NOVOA

Licensed Professional Counselor


ANDREA ZUFLACHT-CUKJATI

Licensed Professional Counselor

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CLARISSA VALERIO-VILLA

Licensed Clinical Social Worker - Supervisor

I graduated in 1996 from The University of Texas at San Antonio with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. I began my clinical work at Child Safe serving children and families struggling with Child Sexual Abuse.

After 3 years at Child Safe I pursued my Master’s Degree in Social Work and graduate from Our Lady of the Lake in 2002. While studying for my Masters Degree I worked as a Juvenile Probation Officer in the Mental Health Unit as well as the Substance Abuse Unit. Once I earned my Masters in Social Work, I transitioned into the role of a therapist at the Krier Center, which is a residential treatment facility and provided individual, family, and group therapy for over 7 years. While working as a therapist, I also provided therapy to males being released from the Texas Youth Commission and provided in home counseling to at risk youth for Southwest Keys as well.

I then moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and served as the Director of a Drug and Alcohol Clinic for Congreso De Latinos Unidos and held that position for a year. I then moved back to Texas and worked as a Medical Social Worker in a Dialysis Clinic for over a year and a half.

My next position was for Deer Oaks providing geriatric counseling in the nursing home setting for 4 and a half years. I then worked for Immigration and Customs (ICE) providing therapy to the male detainees facing deportation and other legal problems in Pearsall, Texas.

Ultimately, I was fortunate enough to join the clinical team of Nueva Vida Behavioral Associates in 2015 and have been part of the team ever since. My current position enables me to provide therapy to adult psychiatric patients as well as children and adolescents. I see patients ages 4-100. Additionally, I provide in home counseling for GainWell where I provide counseling to older adults and their families.

I consider myself to be a very well rounded and seasoned clinician and am also bilingual and provide therapy in Spanish. I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to have worked in institutions, medical settings, prisons, geriatric care, and now community mental health. My goal was to learn the many intricate aspects of clinical work. I have also been fortunate to have worked with all ages of clients in a variety of settings.

I am trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Behavioral Therapy, Rational Emotive Therapy, Psychodynamic Theory, Solution Focused Theory, and Trauma Informed Therapy to name a few. I am also a Licensed Clinical Supervisor and have trained several Licensed Clinical Social Workers.

I specialize in treating ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Family Conflict, Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, Addiction, Sexual Abuse, Domestic Violence, Grief/Loss Issues, End of Life Issues, Crisis Stabilization, Divorce, CPS related cases, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Personality Disorder and Couples Counseling.

As a Clinical Social Worker I believe in the bio-psychosocial approach to create an individualized treatment plan for my clients. I focus on the Strengths of the client and am dedicated to help those in need of healing and personal growth. I am passionate about helping others reach their potential. Together with the client we will identify treatment goals to serve the client to the best of my abilities in a calm and relaxed environment.

STEPHANIE SALYER

Licensed Professional Counselor

I am a graduate from Texas Christian University with a Bachelor’s in Psychology. After college I returned home to San Antonio and pursue my Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Our Lady of the Lake University. Since graduating from Our Lady of the Lake in 2010, I have been able to provide counseling to adults, adolescents, children, and families. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I began counseling individuals and families who were survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
I also worked for HeadStart providing services to children who had experienced trauma and were exhibiting signs of aggression. I also have experience working within the foster care system and residential treatment facilities for teenagers. I continue to provide individual and family therapy to those ages 5-70 years old with ADHD, Anxiety and Depressive Disorders,  adjustment Disorders, and PTSD to name a few. I offer an environment that is comfortable, relaxed, and trustworthy in order to allow you to begin the process of healing. Every session is tailored to your needs and what will be most beneficial for you. I enjoy talking with individuals and providing assistance with this journey of life. I work from a therapy model that is brief; together we will discover practical and positive solutions that utilize your strengths and abilities.

LETICIA CORTEZ

LPC-S, MFT, LCDC

Over 20 years experience as a counselor/therapist in inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization and currently outpatient practice.  I graduated from UTSA with a bachelor’s in Psychology and then went to St. Mary’s University for my Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy.  I love what I do and always look forward to helping someone grow and improve their life.  My specialties include:  sessions in ESPANOL, marriage counseling, substance abuse, chronic pain, addressing occupational challenges and stabilizing mood disorders.  Currently counseling with children, adolescents, adults, families and couples.  Utilizing CBT, systems approaches and solution-focused theories.  
I am LPC board approved supervisor and facilitate seminars on diagnosing, substance abuse, and improving relationships.  Current outpatient setting accepting most insurances and EAP referrals.  I am a Licensed Professional Counselor(LPC-S), Marriage and Family Therapist(MFT), and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor(LCDC).