Gabriela Parra, LCSW
Depression, Anxiety, & Self-Esteem Counseling for Women
Proudly Serving the South Bay, Palos Verdes Peninsula, & LGBT Communities
Call (424) 264-5156, Book Online, or Email firstname.lastname@example.org
I think the best therapists know first-hand what it's like to have walked your path in life and have chosen to take the road towards healing first.
Let's face it, as a woman, it's very easy to get caught up in taking care of everyone else's needs before even thinking about your own. There was a time in my life when I was struggling for this very reason and sometimes felt like I was just going through the motions of my daily life, not feeling like myself at all. I was caught in a cycle of emotional stress and over-extending myself to others. I knew that I was letting it get the best of me and I had to take action if I wanted to lead a more peaceful, fulfilling and happier life.
So I made myself a priority and worked on my own process. By doing this, I finally found some coping strategies that really worked! I changed how I dealt with stress, took better care of my physical and emotional health, and enhanced my personal and professional relationships.
Now as a therapist in private practice who has "walked the walk," I've devoted myself to helping other women to also stop struggling with issues that drain them of positive energy and joy in their lives. It's my honor to walk beside women like you and to support you on your own journey towards more peace, happiness, and better self-care.
I think my life philosophy is now best summed up by this picture I snapped in Hawaii:
Your life stressors or "coconuts" may be different than mine, but one thing I know for sure is that we all have them!
My Mission as a Therapist...
Is to provide you with the empathy, guidance, and structure you need as a woman with depression, anxiety, or self-esteem issues to make positive and lasting changes in your life.
For over 13 years, I've had great success working with many women in difficult life circumstances. They have bravely faced such issues as depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, family conflict, parenting problems, relationship problems, unresolved childhood trauma, work stress, and a variety of other problems.
My Background Experience as a Helping Professional
Since 2001, I've had an extensive professional history of working with adults, children, teens, and families in critical need. These experiences have been extremely valuable and have served me well in preparation for the therapeutic work I do now in private practice.
My past clinical social work positions include:
A Licensed Clinical Social Worker providing individual, group, and family therapy to children, adolescents, and adults in a community mental health setting;
A Medical Social Worker providing grief and psychosocial counseling to adult patients suffering from end-stage renal disease and co-occurring medical issues.
A Child Protective Services worker for foster care youth and foster families.
An Emergency Response Social Worker investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect with children, parents, and other adult caregivers.
An Adoptions Social Worker clinically interviewing and evaluating prospective adoptive parents and preparing home studies; and
A Child Sexual Abuse Therapist conducting support groups for adolescent survivors of sexual abuse.
My therapeutic approach is to join you wherever you are in your process, knowing that you are the expert in your own life. I'd like to give you the attention, respect, and compassion you deserve to inspire, motivate, and move you along on your own unique journey. Using warmth, humor, authenticity, and evidenced-based methods, we can move you from a point of stress and worry to more ease, focus, and fulfillment in your life.
Interested in my formal qualifications as a mental health therapist?
Here you go:
My Professional Education & Therapist Credentials
1996 - Awarded Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree in Psychology, UCLA Department of Psychology, Westwood, CA
2003 - Awarded Graduate Degree of Master of Social Welfare (MSW), UCLA Department of Social Welfare, Westwood, CA
2007 - Received Status of Individual Therapist National Provider (NPI: 1255510673) from the National Plan & Provider Emuneration System (NNPES) to Provide Individual, Couples, Family, & Group Psychotherapy
2011 - Earned State License as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCS 27964), Issued by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, Sacramento, CA
2013 - Certified Therapist in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT- to focus on enhancing relationships & child compliance)
2013 - Certified Therapist in Reflective Parenting Groups (using Mindfulness-based approach)
2007 - 2013- Additional Clinical Training & Agency Direct Practice in: Individual, Family, & Group Therapy for Parents, Children, & Adolescents in Pre- and Post-Adoptive Families, Mindful Parenting Groups for Parents with Young Children, Incredible Years Children's Behavioral Groups, & FOCUS Family Resiliency Training through UCLA
Four Fun Facts About Me!
1) I love cake and cupcake decoratoring. I even took a 6-week cake decorating class at a popular local bakery. Of my amateur "works of art," I made a ghost, a pumpkin, and something that I was told should have been at a children's birthday party... because it looked like a kid decorated it.
2) Along similar lines, I once took a Thai Fruit & Vegetable Carving Class and was very proud of a large fruit basket I carved out of a watermelon. I've also taken a French Macaroon Baking Class and was surprised that I made tasty treats like Pistachio and Raspberry macaroons, without ruining them.
3) On a vacation to Hawaii, I had the chance to mingle with wild dolpins. Although I've never learned to swim in the ocean (pools were my thing as a kid), I jumped in head-first! I was anxious but very excited, so I pushed myself to do it and I'm so glad I took that plunge!
4) I've done comedy improv. Yes, another recreational class in the community, and this time I was really encouraged to participate by a work friend. I wasn't the best or the most clever, but I cracked myself up after each time I did it. And the self-esteem boost I got from doing it still surprises me to this day!
I welcome you to call me at (424) 264-5156 to discuss your therapeutic needs or to schedule an appointment.
You can also send me an email to let me know you're interested in treatment and I'll give you a call you back asap.
If you would like to immediately make an appointment, you can book a session online by clicking here.
I look forward to meeting with you, hearing your life story, and discussing how I can best serve you.