Tina Marie SuarezLMHC
In Eastern Time
My path to becoming a therapist began with my desire to help individuals. I started out, as an undergraduate, majoring in Criminal Justice / Pre-Law. I had the opportunity to intern with an excellent family law firm and be present in the courthouse. I was blessed to have a seat by the judge where I saw families exiting the courtroom. I saw the brokenness of the families and soon realized that working as an attorney would not ameliorate my burden to help others. I changed paths and worked in a school. It was here I thought, perhaps, I could work with children when they were young to help them process their emotions. I entered a graduate counseling program with the initial plans to become a school counselor. I spent time working closely with the guidance office and saw the focus, at that time, was on test administration. The school counselor did not have ample time to spend with the students that were hurting – they were often referred to outside therapists for more extensive counseling. I solidified my graduate major in Mental Health Counseling, began working on-on-one with individuals, and stepped into my calling. I had the honor to accompany clients on their journey to empowerment. I could spend 45-minutes with clients on a weekly basis for months at a time. I saw breakthroughs, restoration, and healing. I knew, since my first session as a mental health counselor intern, that this was my passion. I was able to sit with the brokenhearted, provide a safe place to talk, and help them in their healing journey. I have, since that time, counseled countless individuals. My work encompassed out-patient residential treatment facilities, day programs, para-church and church-based organizations, and even medical case management. I have been blessed with the opportunity to open my own private practice where I provide mental health counseling via telehealth.
The first session with me starts by letting you know that you are in a safe space to share your emotions, feelings, and deepest concerns. We will discuss confidentiality, the limits of confidentiality, and my reporting requirements. Assuring that you provide your physical location and emergency contact are fundamental for your safety. Our session will focus on what brought you to therapy. We will discuss previous therapy (if applicable), medical history, medications, family background, employment, and your support system. Our session will include discussing goals to help formulate a treatment plan. The session will conclude after we have scheduled the next session.
Pele wrote: “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” What does ‘success’ look like in therapy? I believe success in therapy starts the minute a client makes the courageous decision to reach out to a counselor and schedules the first session. Courage is shown here in two ways: (1) by acknowledging a situation that needs to be changed and (2) ownership in understanding that they can help facilitate that change. Together the client and I will discuss what their goals are for treatment – what do they wish to accomplish? I used evidence-based practices ranging from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT). The ‘magical question,’ if you will, is what will a client experience (or not experience) to know when what brought them to counseling is no longer troubling them. Every client is provided with a host of tools for their ‘toolbox’ throughout the counseling process. Clients continue using these tools on their own as progress is made and, when ready, after our therapy concludes!
LGBTQIA related issues
Spirituality & religion based issues
Aging related concerns
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Strength Based Therapy
Culturally Sensitive Therapy
Family Systems Therapy
Florida - Certified Telehealth Practitioner
National - Certified Counselor
- Florida, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, MH 13752
Master of Arts, Counseling: Mental Health Counseling, Florida Gulf Coast University