MEET THE TEAM
LICENSED CLINICAL TEAM
Founder & LMFT92438
Feeling like deep down you're a piece of trash or that your life would be ruined if others knew what you were really like is no way to live. Every day having this incredible inner struggle just to get through your day grows old pretty quickly. Feeling like you know a lot of people, yet feeling alone starts to just feel really hopeless after a while. I know it seems impossible because you've tried all the things that you know or have read to do, but relief from your suffering is entirely achievable if you're ready to collaborate on finding the solutions that truly work for you.
I truly wish I had the power to magically heal people, but alas I'm as human as everyone else. In truth, I am a collaborator and you are the one that does most of the heavy lifting of changing your life. My job is to care about you, provide compassionate honesty, help you stay motivated, and teach you the skills you need at the right time in the process to heal yourself. You're in control and you can always say no to what I suggest. I try to approach this work with humility and respect for you because I believe you are strong and already have what you need to heal within you. Let's unlock it today! Learn more about how I think by checking out our blog >>
Many who suffer from anxiety and depression experience the symptoms you might expect. A sizable majority, however, also seem to battle daily with their “internal critic" - a seemingly separate entity residing in their mind that seems intent on robbing them of any joy or sense of real accomplishment in their lives. For some, this has resulted in feelings that their mind is at war with them and leading them on a path towards self- destruction. The internal critic often reinterprets one’s own mistakes (real or imagined) and turns them into unpardonable sins that are deserving of relentless mental clobbering of the self. Many of us also struggle with what is known as “catastrophizing” - a process in which a given situation is eventually going to turn into... well... a catastrophe for which he or she is going to be held mercilessly responsible. A common thread for many individuals who struggle with an internal critic is that stopping themselves from either worrying about an impending catastrophe and/or relentlessly beating themselves up seems virtually impossible – ultimately, an existence of what seems like perpetual suffering.
If this sounds like your struggle, I welcome the opportunity to work with you. I've been humbled to learn that many have felt safe enough with me to even share about issues they have never felt comfortable talking about with anyone prior to coming into therapy. In my view, this level of safety and trust is a critical starting place to effective therapy. I believe the things that weigh us down the most become much lighter when they see the light of day and are handled with the utmost care by the right person. Surprisingly, some of my best (albeit unwitting trainees) were the troubled adolescents I provided direct care to when I started out in the field 30-plus years ago. The most valuable lesson that I learned: the best way to affect positive change in the lives of these young people was to build a positive working rapport with them. Interestingly, they had far less use for me prior to my investing in building any relationship with them.
As your therapist, I am dedicated to providing you with as much healing as I can from past trauma. In addition, I am also invested in your developing coping strategies that either keep your internal critic quiet, or at the very least getting him or her to be a far less intense presence when showing up, as well as keeping it to a much shorter visit.
“When you’re raised with addiction, substance use disorders, you so frequently say ‘I’m going to make sure it doesn’t happen to me’ but children of addiction are the ones more likely to become addicted than any other identifiable population. If I am that person who is taking care of everybody else’s emotional needs then think about what alcohol and drugs can do for me. For just a moment it can allow me to think about myself. If I’m that serious child, I don’t know how to play and suddenly for just a moment I’m going to take the burden of the world off my shoulders and you know what it feels good. People say well does that make them addicted? No…but it makes them thirsty.”
- Meadows Behavioral Healthcare [Beyond Theory Podcast]. (2020, February 35). Beyond theory podcast S2 E1: Dr. Claudia Black on the family dynamics of addiction [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iE6aowHanak
Have you ever felt thirsty like that? You want something, anything that will give you a break from the weighty burden life handed you. Finally having something for yourself that feels good for a moment is bliss. Yet at the same time, you’re thinking and feeling like there has to be a better way to do this thing called life.
Psychology not only captured my interest…this area of study saved my life. I struggled academically and somewhat socially throughout my childhood. I was fortunate to have encountered some teachers that went above and beyond. I made the decision to pursue my college education with a major in psychology as I was fascinated by the idea that I could study people all while gaining an understanding of my family dysfunction and self-identity. As an adult child raised by an alcoholic, Dr. Claudia Blacks words resonate deep. My first job consisted of being a caseload manager to those seeking treatment from alcohol and drug addiction. This is what led me down the path to pursue higher education and become a therapist. Throughout this time I was given the opportunity to work through my personal healing process. I am now equipped with the education and tools to help others through their personal healing journey. I like to see others grow, live healthier balanced lives and discover their own identified purpose in life. I am a solution-focused, culturally-sensitive, Jungian-inspired therapist. I am dedicated to supporting those willing to accept the help.
We all come from different backgrounds and our paths in life all walk their own course. However, despite our many differences, I firmly believe that we all ultimately want three things: to be seen, to be heard, and to be valued. If you’re lacking in at least one of those areas, you might find yourself going through some mental/emotional distress. You may also find yourself feeling like you’re just going through the motions, existing without truly living, and not being entirely sure as to why. The choice to come into therapy is an important first step on the path of rediscovering and strengthening your most authentic Self. This is the best core version of yourself that you were born with that never goes away; some parts of the world may refer to this as the Soul. However, as life happens, adversity adds up and stressors pile on, you may lose sight of that Self and perhaps you’re so preoccupied with what others think of you that you can’t even see yourself clearly. Your mind and body might be stuck in the past, or constantly fearful of the future. If you want to learn to simply and profoundly be, to reorient your focus to the here and now, then there is no time like the present to begin the process.
Over time in our sessions together, I will work with you to bring more holistic awareness to your thoughts and feelings. In doing so, you will see just how much choice and agency you have in how you respond to and act on them. That is where you can reclaim your power as a dynamic, creative, courageous, compassionate and curious individual. It is my honor and privilege to be part of your process for however long we’ll be working together. If it helps, you can think of me as a “gym buddy”. Ultimately, you will be utilizing your own innate strength and capability to do the heavy lifting, but I will be there with you along the way to make sure you are safe, supported and encouraged.
I work with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) clients mostly between the ages of 13 and 45 years old, and it is especially a labor of love to be able to support folks within the Asian-American community when I can, as the cross section of one’s mental health and one’s cultural context cannot be ignored or swept under the rug. I look forward to getting to know you and witnessing you rediscover yourself as you embark on this honorable journey.
When I am not being a therapist, I can often be found walking, cooking, playing music, listening to podcasts, watching movies or playing video games.
DR. CHRISTIAN LATINO
I help adults of all ages who seek a more complete life face and conquer their obstacles and suffering by understanding what these events can teach them about themselves and how they can be used to continue to grow into the human being they wish to be.
I truly believe that human beings have the power and strength to overcome any obstacle that they face, and it’s my hope in counseling to help you discover that power within you so that you not only overcome your present obstacles, but that you’re also able to overcome any future challenges you may face, too.
Also, on a personal note, a lot of people are curious about my last name: it is actually of Italian descent (though I did live in Mexico for a few years and do speak Spanish fluently).
Additional Language Capability: Spanish
Feeling stuck in patterns, behaviors, relationships, and jobs, is part of our human experience. Oftentimes, we seek out what we *think* is best for us, only to find that we have ended up in uncomfortable, stressful, overwhelming, or problematic life circumstances. When we find ourselves navigating challenging situations, we may not know which direction to take, and it is in these situations that therapy can be a truly worthwhile tool.
I have a passion for treating anxiety and depression along with trauma-related diagnoses. In my work with my clients, I believe in striving to answer the question, "what is it that's underneath these symptoms and behaviors?" Determining the answer to this question can help me to collaborate with my clients to create the most effective focus of treatment for their symptoms. With my additional training in art therapy, I allow individuals to access the unconscious mind which can be paramount in facilitating discussions and in helping when individuals are "stuck" or are unsure of how to
verbalize what they are currently feeling or how they felt in past experiences.
I firmly believe that most people want to feel seen, heard and validated, and I try my hardest to create a warm, approachable space for them. Once the safety and trust are in place, I guide them toward their goals. I believe there are ways to establish and encourage empowerment and agency in individuals so they can eventually move toward being able to operate with confidence and effectiveness outside of therapy.
My background consists of 15 plus years managing various different health clinics. I started my career as a pharmacy technician and was quickly promoted to manager which led me to hold many roles, including working one-on-one with Lymphedema patients. After working in that field for 14 years, I then decided to move into managing a doctor’s office for naturopathic medicine. When I was laid off due to COVID, my career in mental health began and I worked as a technician for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. It was there when I realized my passion has always been working with people who struggle with mental health and serving them to ensure they get the care they deserve. I know how difficult and overwhelming it is to advocate for yourself and ask for the help you need. It is my goal to administer the best client experience Clarity can offer while providing support to as many people in the surrounding communities as possible. Being part of a team that is committed to reducing suffering, providing care for those who need it and upholding the highest standards of compassion is where I knew I belonged.
I am Elizabeth, and it is my privilege to serve as the Office Administrator at Clarity Counseling. With an undergraduate degree in psychology and a profound passion for promoting mental health awareness and care within communities, I bring a unique blend of knowledge and dedication to our team. I firmly believe that mental health is a fundamental pillar of well-being, and my journey led me here because I wanted to be part of an organization that provides personally meaningful and impactful work. It is my honor to be a steadfast companion on your mental health journey, and I am committed to ensuring that your experience with us is as supportive and transformative as possible.
Business Operations Manager
I came from the non-profit, social services background where everyday there is an opportunity to make change and uplift others. For that reason it is with great pleasure I joined the Clarity team. Being surrounded by a group of people who encourage growth and guide people to overcome obstacles is both energizing and exciting for me. I enjoy being in a space where I know clients we help are getting closer to their life goals. As the business operations manager my focus is on getting clients access to care by expanding our resources to the community.
A Note from the Founder
I started Clarity Counseling in 2019 with one thing in mind: to help people with depression and anxiety feel meaningful relief from pain and suffering as efficiently as possible.
After 10+ years working in non-profit and for-profit mental health organizations I grew frustrated that it took so long for people to experience relief from suffering related to treatable mental health disorders. This isn't to say that faster is always better, but when it comes to significantly reducing suffering - faster did seem important if the results were genuine and lasting.
After attending a training intensive from Dr. David Burns (Stanford University) and putting the approaches into practice I quickly realized the incredible power of his methods (TEAM-CBT) and their ability to add a critical dimension to my therapeutic practice. I continue to advance in the different levels of certification in his method. Those skills in conjunction with a unique session structure comprise what makes Clarity different.
I would be honored if you would be willing to entrust myself or my team with your mental health and I sincerely believe you will be happy with the results if you're motivated to put the work in outside of session.
Wishing You Well,
Daren Casagrande, LMFT92438