Monica works with individuals, families, young adults and seniors. She has worked with clients who have experienced Domestic Violence, anxiety, depression, divorce, co-parenting and shared custody, grief and loss, disordered eating, child abuse trauma, and pornography/sex addiction issues, among others. Applying multiple therapeutic strategies, Monica provides a compassionate and collaborative space to aid her clients in creating their optimal life in the present. In many cases, Monica believes that one cannot move forward effectively if the past is not examined and understood. She also knows that the choice to begin a therapeutic journey is one desirous of change, along with being a courageous and hopeful one.
Prior to working as a therapist, Monica worked as an instructor in conjunction with DCFS for several years. She focused on young childhood and attachment wounds and how these can manifest in dysregulated behaviors in later years. She was also an adjunct faculty member at Santa Monica College where she taught Human Development.
Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT):
This modality focuses on addressing emotional and psychological needs of teens, adult survivors, and families who are struggling to overcome destructive effects of early trauma. Cognitive Behavioral techniques help to restructure distorted or maladaptive thinking and negative patterned reactions and behaviors. It also looks at family dynamics and supports development of new more adaptive patterns of communication and behaving.
Monica was trained in a 10-week course by the State of California and received a certification from Rowan Medicine Cares Institute. Monica gently assists her clients within the framework of TF-CBT. Confusing or upsetting aspects that are related to the identified trauma are also explored after stabilization and integration of positive client resources. This work ultimately imbues clients with a feeling of control and empowerment that perhaps may have been lost during prior traumatic events.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT):
Monica trained with the State of California and has utilized DBT skills with clients including, distress tolerance, mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness and emotional regulation. DBT can also help a client learn how to change emotions that the client desires to change if such emotions are not effective or warranted in certain contexts.
Mindfulness. Mindfulness has been found to be effective in the treatment of numerous mental health and physical issues, including depression, anxiety, personality disorders, chronic pain and various stress related conditions. Essentially, Mindfulness is the act of applying sustained attention to the immediate and present experience, the most common being, breathing skills and meditation.
Domestic Violence Therapy: Monica trained and is certified in the PS-MAPP curriculum, and has instructed on DV topics in relation to family dynamics and early childhood effects. Monica has run a DV group for Family Services Agency of Burbank for the past 2 ½ years and also teaches a Court mandated Co-Parenting & Divorce course.
Monica is thrilled to bring her brand of compassionate, client-centered therapy with her focus in Domestic Violence issues, as well as, in overcoming present emotional hurt stemming from past environmental failures to O’Neill Psychology.