Deborah is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) with a Bachelor's degree in English Language & Literature from the University of Maryland College Park, and a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Texas Pan American (now called UTRGV). Deborah also studied studio art in college, which she uses to inform techniques in expressive therapies. Deborah is Certified in Integrated Dual Diagnosis Treatment, which addresses co-occurrence of substance abuse and mental health problems. Deborah is currently working towards certification as a Registered Play Therapist (RPT).
Deborah has several years of experience providing individual, group, and family therapy in a variety of settings. She has worked with adolescents in an inpatient psychiatric ward, children and adults in an outpatient clinic, as well as families and adults in the community. Deborah is the Clinical Manager of a community-based mental health program in Washington D.C. that provides intensive services to low-income, at-risk youth and their families.
Deborah has experience assessing and treating individuals with diverse issues, such as post-traumatic stress, abuse/neglect, trauma and loss, attachment issues, self-harm, suicidality, psychosis and thought disorders, depression, mania, borderline personality, anxiety, anger, and substance abuse. Deborah has specialized training and experience in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), trauma treatment, and crisis intervention. In her work, Deborah uses techniques culled from multiple treatment models, including Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Trauma-Focused CBT (TF-CBT), play therapy, art therapy and bibliotherapy.
Deborah's research on dementia and bilingualism has been published in peer-reviewed journals (e.g., Cortex) and she has presented her research at local, national and international conferences. Other research interests include children with sexualized behaviors, trauma and loss, self-harm, and treatment outcomes.