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Hi! I'm Vanessa.

Nice to meet you!

Who Am I Personally?

Just like other moms, my world is non-stop: helping my son with homework, driving him to extracurricular activities, and in between trying to cook dinner a few times a week (although that doesn’t always happen). I love spending time with my boys (my husband, son, and goldendoodle) and my family - who all drive me crazy, but who I love very much! I also enjoy slowing down when I can and fitting in self-care... like hopping on the Peloton, salsa dancing, and drinking coffee while it's still hot.

Who Am I Professionally?

I am a caring, warm and enthusiastic educator and counselor who has had a variety of positions including tenured teacher, highly effective school counselor, behavioral assistant, in-home clinician, group facilitator, licensed therapist, private practice owner... and my most important role - mom. 

My passion is helping kids, along with their parents and teachers, through therapeutic services and professional workshops. I also thrive on helping mothers find a balance between traditional "old school" parenting vs. modern day styles of parenting, while keeping cultural values in mind. As a first generation Dominican-American mom of a young child, I also understand firsthand the stressors mothers face with balancing cultural expectations and career success.

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My Why

I'm passionate about helping kids to be emotionally healthy through a focus on mindfulness and

am dedicated to helping parents & educators learn ways to strengthen relationships with their kids,

while living life with peace of mind and ease of heart. 

My Promise

To be an honest, genuine professional who is personable, kid-friendly and easy for all to understand, while delivering great services to make impacting change. 

Free to Be Mindful Values

Genuine Care  |  Client-Centered Acceptance  |  Enthusiasm  |  Mindful Living

Easy to Understand Communication -aka- "Real Talk"

Education

  • BS in Elementary Education & Psychology

    • The College of New Jersey​

  • MA in Counselor Education​
    • The College of New Jersey​
  • Advanced Counseling Certification
    • Montclair State University​
  • Education Supervisor's Certificate
    • New​ Jersey City University

Certifications

  • Licensed Professional Counselor​​

    • NJ 37PC00725200

  • National Certified Counselor

  • Year-Long Mindful Schools Program

  • Director of School Counseling Services

  • Supervisor Certificate

  • School Counselor

  • Elementary Teacher, K-5

Free to Be Mindful Virtual Class Website

Services Offered

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Counseling for Kids  Counseling for Moms

Free to Be Mindful Podcast

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Speaking Engagements

Professional Development

Professional Affiliations

TCNJ's Alumni Association

The College of New Jersey's Alumni Association Board of Directors

National Board Certified Counselors

National Board for Certified Counselors

Association for Play Therapy

Association for Play Therapy

NJ Counseling Association

Presented at Annual 2020 Conference

NJ Association for Multicultural Counseling

NJ Association for Multicultural Counseling

NJ School Counselor Association

New Jersey School Counselor Association

American School Counselor Associatio

American School Counselor Association

Latino Mental Health Association of NJ

Executive Board Early Career Professional Chair

Bergen Co. School Counselor Assoc.

Executive Board K-8 Co-Facilitator BCSCA K-8 Counselor of the Year, 2012

Latinas United for Political Empowerment

Board of Directors

Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority

Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. Lifetime Member Gamma Chapter Area Supervisor

Chi Sigma Iota

Chi Sigma Iota International Honor Society for Professional Counselors Alpha Epsilon Chapter

Girl Scouts of America

Lifetime Member Gold Award Recipient National Delegate