COUNSELORS

Meet Our Counselors

20160505_105144-1024x768.jpg

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-Avila.jpg

DR. LAURA AVILA

Ph.D.

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 holds 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.jpg

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.

Image.jpeg

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.

Monica M. Lara, M.Ed.,LPC-S

Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor

Monica has been a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) for 13 years. She earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology/Social work in 1995 from Texas State University. She then went on to graduate with her Masters in Education in Counseling from Sul Ross State University in 2005.

Once completing her Masters degree she moved to San Antonio to complete her LPC intern. This is where she began working in Long term care facilities providing counseling for residents and their families. She has over 13 yrs extensive experience working in Geriatric Counseling with residents that are diagnosed with Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Depressive and Anxiety disorders to name some. She provides Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Supportive Therapy, and Family counseling for many of these patients. She continues to provide counseling for residents in several long-term care facilities in San Antonio.

Monica began working for Nueva Vida in September 2013 and is currently located in the Downtown office location and Tioga office. Monica works with clients 18yrs and older that have been diagnosed with chronic mental illness, dual diagnosed clients, Anxiety and Depressive Disorders, PTSD, and Behavior Disorders. She enjoys working with a wide diversity of clientele at Nueva Vida. She works with many individuals that have no other place to go or turn to. She has created an open door policy for these Clients that creates a bond and feeling of being safe for her clients.

clarissa_edited.jpg

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.

Salyer.jpg

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.

File_000-1024x982.jpeg

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).

Sydney A. Novoa, MA, LPC.jpg

Licensed Professional Counselor

BIO

IMG_3110.jpeg

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.

SYDNEY NOVOA

Dr. Tony Bobadilla 2.jpg

TONY BOBADILLA

Ph.D., LCSW

Tony Bobadilla is a passionate scholar-practitioner in the field of Social Work
who divides his time between clinical practice, training, consulting, scholarly-writing and research. In his clinical practice, he delivers cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other evidence-based treatments to adult, children and adolescent clients with a wide range of emotional, behavioral, and adjustment problems, such as anxiety, stress, depression, and relationship problems. In his consulting work, he has provided intensive service to adults with
disabilities ranging and behavioral concerns. Dr. Bobadilla received his educational training at New Mexico State University, and now is a full-time professor at Our Lady of the Lake University. He holds an Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialization and is a Behavioral Specialist.
He joined the Nueva Vida family this year as a family and behavioral therapist.


Dr. Bobadilla’s favorite quote: “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” -I. Estrada

Heather_Adams_edited.jpg

HEATHER ADAM

LPC, MFT

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Marriage and Family Therapist. My passion in therapy stems from believing that everyone has a unique life story to bring into counseling and they need a place to safely explore that story. I am an empathic and understanding counselor who works motivationally with my clients to give them the opportunity to develop greater awareness of this story and how they understand themselves and their challenges. My desire is to collaboratively work with my clients using various methods and expressive techniques so that through therapy clients reconnect with themselves, their strengths, and develop new ways of being and connecting with others. I have experience working with children [using Play Therapy], adolescents, adults, families, and couples struggling with life transitions, anxiety, depression, stress management, Autism, grief/bereavement, anger, self-esteem, self harming, relationship issues, and exposure to trauma.

MARGARITA GOMEZ

Licensed Professional Counselor

I provide individual and family therapy to those struggling with stress, depression, anxiety, grief, relationship and family issues including LGBT related issues. My therapy style is collaborative, transparent, and solution-focused to help you reach your desired goals related to your emotional health.

I partner with my clients to help improve communication, learn new coping skills, manage stress and provide emotional support during a difficult period in their life. I can provide telemedicine and/or in-person office.

I look forward to working with you!

Jaclyn_Gonzales.png

JACLYN GONZALES

Licensed Professional Counselor

Jaclyn Gonzales has worked extensively within her community as a therapist for non-profit organizations, parochial and public schools and also assisted living facilities. Her experience within each organization has provided her with a wealth of experience that range from young children, adolescents, through 18 years and older. She has provided therapy to assist with individuals coping with loss of parents and spouses, anxieties, depression, and bullying and assisted patients faced with end-of-life scenarios, loneliness and financial struggles.

Her therapeutic method of intervention includes an eclectic approach compiling cognitive behavioral, body centered, and mindfulness practices. Her primary goal in therapy is to provide a safe place to heal and receive the tools necessary to address life experiences and obstacles encountered throughout life.  She believes that every life experience, good and bad, frame our perspective on how we process through life daily.  The therapeutic process allows us to explore these life experiences and their impact on our present-day situations, and how we might be able to make small changes to make big results.  

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

Alexis_Barreras.jpg

ALEXIS DENISE BARRERAS

Licensed Professional Counselor

You are the expert of your life and I am simply here to help guide you. As human beings, we long for connection and understanding.

My name is Alexis Denise Barreras and it is my role to help you find that connection and understanding whether it be with yourself or those around you. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor-Associate and a National Certified Counselor. I find great value and joy in helping individuals through the use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy where negative thoughts are challenged and self-awareness grows. I base my counseling on client-centered theory where I allow my client to show me their strengths or learn to identify them and guide the sessions by what they find to be important.

Self care is a priority to live a happy and full life. Just like a plant that needs care and food each day, as individuals we need to take care of ourselves daily. Counseling is a way to do just that, and remember even if you may not suffer from a mental illness dealing with daily stressors can also be a reason to seek a guiding counselor.

As per my educational background, I earned my masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Texas at San Antonio. I received my bachelors degree with a double major in Psychology and Communication at Texas A&M International University.

Areas of experience include but not limited to: anxiety, depression, grief and loss, relationship and family counseling, self-esteem, chronic pain and trauma related counseling

Choose today to take care of you!

CYNTHIA LAABS-ORTEGÓN

Licensed Professional Counselor

Are you stressed out and tasks seem more difficult than before? Have you tried different ways to relax, but nothing works? Are you struggling with sleep problems because you can’t turn off your worrying or thinking? Therapy can help create a new way of thinking, and assist you with you developing positive coping skills that can help you take charge of your life again. I believe in empowering my clients with the skills to take back their power and explore their own individual goals and growth. Dealing with all the daily hassles is already stressful through counseling and practice you can work on reclaiming your confidence and life.  My experience includes working with children, teenagers, and adults. Such issues include but not limited to: anxiety, depression, Bipolar disorder, low self-esteem, anger issues, behavior issues, and ADHD.