Lu Rocha, MA, MSW, LCSW, RYI (Founder)
Lu is a bilingual Spanish speaking trauma therapist. Her professional experience includes more than twenty years of counseling, organizing, activism, and advocacy within the Latinx community and other marginalized communities. Lu identifies as a Latina with indigenous roots, first born generation in the United States, a proud daughter of a Brazero. She is the founder of Multicultural Consulting Services, a for-profit business dedicated in helping institutions make their services accessible to everyone.
Lu is dedicated in addressing trauma from a cultural perspective, while using methods that are evidence-based and trauma-informed. She works with clients from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds and has experience in providing services to youth who have experienced and/or witnessed family and community violence. Her professional aspiration is to support the growth of providers of color in the mental health field so that communities of color can have more options in obtaining services that align to their cultural beliefs and values.
Tamara Fermaint, Biller/Community Liaison
Tamara Fermaint has been in the health care field for over 30 years as a registered dental hygienist. She has experience in providing patient care services in hospitals, private practice, and community settings.
She brings with her a commitment to advocate for individuals living with mental health illness, LGBTQ community members, people affected by homelessness, and children with learning disabilities, obtain quality services and support.
Tamara is excited to join Lu Rocha Counseling Service as their new insurance biller and care coordinator.
Andrea Espinosa, MSW Psychotherapist
Andrea is a bilingual Spanish speaking therapist. She graduated from The University of Illinois at Chicago with a master’s degree in Social Work. She has a wide range of experience helping children, adolescents, and adults work through PTSD, depression, anxiety, sexual and physical abuse, grief, and other life challenges. In addition, she has advocated for individuals navigating around the criminal justice systems, has provided case management services to people in need of medical and housing benefits, clinical services, and U Visa letters.
Andrea has experience co-facilitating groups for adults and teens working through everyday stressors and helping middle school students strengthen their social and behavioral skills. She has facilitated educational workshops for parents on sexual abuse and safety.
Lastly, Andrea uses an eclectic approach that incorporates mindfulness, psychotherapy, trauma focused-cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT), solution-focused, and strengths perspectives, among other methods. Andrea leads her work according to the needs of the client and utilizes active listening, empathy, and strives to create a safe and trusting therapeutic environment.
Nikiya Pruitt, LCSW, Psychotherapist
In a society filled with checkboxes, performances, and expectations, oftentimes we can start to feel overwhelmed, depleted, and left alone to feel like we don’t have much to offer or give. We find ourselves questioning our worth, purpose, and existence, while still trying to live up to societal expectations. Why me? Why wasn’t I good enough? Who am I? All of life’s hurts and disappointments can make us feel like we are just surviving and not living or that even in a crowded room of our loved ones, we still feel alone. Where do we go from here?
Working in the social service field for more than 10 years, as a therapist, I offer a warm, affirming, and non-judgmental approach to help all those in need, feel welcomed, safe, and valued. I specialize in working with individuals who have a hard time managing their anxiety, grief, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, gender identity, HIV/AIDS, stigma, relationship issues, family conflicts, and suicidal ideations using the following approaches:
· Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
· Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
· Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)
· Holistic Psychotherapy
· Journal Therapy
· Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
· Motivational Interviewing
· Person-Centered Therapy
· Psychodynamic Therapy
· Rational Emotive Therapy (REBT)
· Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)
Furthermore, as a therapist with a unique style and therapeutic approach, I enjoy helping individuals find comfort and strength in their spirituality along with exploring alternative therapy styles we can utilize both in and outside of sessions. Together, we will work on strategies that will allow you to address the root causes of your stress, identify your strengths, all while helping you build meaningful social connections through community support.
Diana Gallardo, MSW, Psychotherapist
Diana is a bilingual Spanish speaking therapist who has earned her master’s degree in social work from Dominican University, with a concentration in the military. She is a first-generation Mexican-American who has witnessed first-hand the adversities and oppressions faced by the Latinx community. She acknowledges that these challenges are faced by many other minority communities and believes there is a crucial need for curated mental health services to help individuals coming from these experiences. Her empathy and passion create a safe and non-judgmental space where clients can process, build on existing strengths, and reach their goals to live a more fulfilling life.
She has a wide range of experience working with diverse populations ranging from adolescents to geriatrics. She has worked in various settings such as behavioral hospitals, inpatient/outpatient treatment centers, Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) transitional living placements, and skilled nursing facilities. Throughout her experience, she has worked with individuals suffering from co-occurring disorders, psychotic disorders, mood disorders, and neurocognitive disorders.
Her concentration in the military has allowed her to also assist service members, veterans, and their families are better equipped to understand traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders.
Diana believes in meeting each individual where they are and utilizes a collaborative strengths-based approach to help clients acknowledge the unique contexts that impact their life and connect with their strengths to learn new ways to cope. She also utilizes a variety of techniques and skills drawn from recognized therapeutic modalities including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, dialect behavior therapy (DBT), play therapy, and mindfulness.
Diamond Nelson, MA, Psychotherapist
Diamond is an African American therapist with expertise in a myriad of sectors within the psychological field. She graduated from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology with a master’s degree in Forensic Psychology. Diamond has a wide range of experience in helping adults, adolescence, and children work through trauma, depression, anxiety, and psychosis. Her includes fitness restoration services, trauma (firsthand and vicarious), anger management, family services, and court-ordered services. She has also provided many services to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
She enjoys finding creative ways to advocate for her clients, as advocacy is vital in her personal and professional life. Many times, clients have not experienced many individuals that support them. She believes that it is essential to help individuals identify healthy and appropriate ways to advocate for themselves. She has supported individuals that have found themselves involved in the criminal justice system for various reasons, including systemic issues. Some of these issues include race, gender, and cultural injustices. Her lifelong dream is to provide services to various communities of color and highlight the importance of intersectionality.
Diamond believes that many philosophies and therapeutic interventions should be integrated and used in therapy. Although there is importance in childhood experiences and attachment styles, it is also essential to address the present moment, reduce negative thought patterns, and promote strength building. Her philosophy is that there is more than one way to address issues, and they will not work for every client. Flexibility, empathy, and accountability are important factors when providing therapeutic services to others.
Diana Hernandez, MSW, Psychotherapist
Diana Hernandez is a bilingual Spanish speaking therapist who received her master’s degree from The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. Her professional experience includes counseling, advocacy, intensive case management, and program development for the most vulnerable communities. Diana is passionate about working with survivors of community violence and individuals navigating the immigration system.
Diana has experience working with individuals of all ages who have experienced high levels of trauma specifically gun violence. She is trained in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), child and family traumatic stress intervention (CFTSI), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and motivational interviewing (MI). She identifies strongly with a relational, strength-based approach to addressing historical trauma and institutionalized and societal racism. Her professional goals include providing a safe environment for clients to heal and to de-stigmatize mental health in the communities of people of color.
Samekquel McGill, MA, Psychotherapist
Samekquel is an African American therapist who is passionate about assisting people discover effective ways to heal. She believes that a cornerstone of therapy is building and maintaining relationships with those she serves. Her desire as a clinician is to provide a genuinely nurturing space that is safe to explore and unpack various life experiences, while also encouraging empowerment. She believes that the effective change takes place in a collaborative environment. Samekquel has serviced a variety of people ranging in age, background and experiences including residential setting for youth, in home community mental health for those with mental and physical diagnoses as well as in a school setting. She has worked with those who have struggled with depression, anxiety, complex trauma, and PTSD.
Samekquel’s education includes dual undergraduate degrees in both psychology and criminal justice and a master’s degree in forensic psychology. During her education, she became interested in the intersection of mental health and the criminal justice system. She worked with Guardian ad Litem (court appointed volunteers) who assisted in court cases involving child needs and permanency planning. She also facilitated court mandated groups with perpetrators of domestic violence. Samekquel understands the adversities related to people of color seeking therapeutic services and welcomes a nontraditional, electric approach that best serves the client. These modalities may include person centered therapy, trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) and motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Jhoana Mendoza Torres, MSW
Jhoana is a bilingual Spanish-speaking therapist. She earned a bachelor and a master’s degree in social work from Northeastern Illinois University. Jhoana is passionate about closing the education gap, form post-secondary pathways, and bring social-emotional stability within vulnerable communities. During her leisure time, she volunteers in different community organizing projects.
Jhoana brings in experience working with immigrant communities. She believes that immigration could play a role in mental health which often our society does recognize. As an immigrant herself, Jhoana is able to understand, connect, empathize with the culture, the struggles, but, more importantly, the strengths of immigrant communities.
Additionally, Jhoana has experience working with a diverse clientele and individuals of all ages. Jhoana has led and co-led parenting skills, grief support, and social skills groups. Jhoana utilizes a variety of therapeutic approaches; including Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), mindfulness, strengths-based, art therapy and play therapy approaches.
Jhoana’s professional goal is to contribute to lowering mental health stigma, provide accessible and quality mental health treatment within diverse communities.
Lu's Method of Therapy
Lu prefers to provide therapy from a strength-based approach. This form of therapy emphasizes a person’s self-determination and strengths. It is a philosophy and a way of viewing a client as resourceful and resilient in the face of adversity. To help clients improve their mental health, Lu utilizes diverse inclusive therapy (DIT), which includes talk therapy and other modalities that have been proven to be effective and beneficial.
Breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga, which are proven to improve one’s mental health. And as a registered yoga instructor (RYI), trained in therapeutic yoga, Lu teaches her clients how to use these tools to better manage anxiety, anger and other overwhelming emotions and sensations.
Understanding how trauma and anxiety effects the body, brain, and one’s overall health is important; therefore, Lu teaches her clients how the effects manifests within the body.
Lu believes that having a spiritual practice is important in one’s healing, so when appropriate, Lu addresses spirituality in her therapy sessions. This may include conversations on connecting with one’s ancestors, practicing traditions or rituals, smudging etc.
Historical trauma (HT) is an emotional and psychological wounding experienced by a group/community across generations and within one's lifespan. When appropriate, Lu believes it is important to explore how historical trauma is currently affecting one’s mental and physical health.