MEET OUR TEAM

We have bilingual licensed psychotherapists, with  years of experience specializing in the treatment of individuals, couples, and families experiencing a wide-range of difficulties. Our warm, passionate, friendly and patient approach is aimed at developing a therapeutic relationship with our clients that will inspire hope, help them recognize their strengths and to develop the insight and skills to navigate life’s challenges. We are dedicated to helping people who are struggling with depression, anxiety, shame or addiction as well as trauma and issues surrounding sex and sexuality. We also work with process disorders  such as narcissistic abuse, co-dependency and recently, have been doing a lot of work with shoplifting as these are highly underserved communities and specific treatment for these issues are rarely available or even recognized.

Our team has experience working with individuals, families, groups, children, teenagers, and couples. Our knowledge and experience along with a combination of treatment modalities including communication skills, cognitive behavioral, goal and task setting allows our clients to reach their highest potential. Our areas of expertise is robust and can help with a multitude of problems ranging from marital / divorce, relationship and family therapy behavioral issues, addictions and sex therapy, sex change therapy and issues that affect men.

Here is our team:

THERAPISTS

 

Alessana Fordin, LMHC, MS
Founder and Director

Alessana Fordin, LMHC, MC, is a licensed psychotherapist specializing in treating individuals, couples and groups. She maintains a group practice, LOTUS COUNSELING CENTER in Miami, as well as, Aventura and Boca Raton in Florida.

Alessana works either in a more traditional ‘psychodynamic’ and/or ‘self-psychology’ orientation (helping clients to link the unconscious to the conscious and identify those behaviors that are not working for them) or in a more ‘solution-focused’ perspective–getting results and moving sessions along quickly. Read more …

 

Dr. Jasmine Davis, PhD
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Jasmine Melody Davis, PhD, Life can bring a number of challenges that can cause us to feel out of balance. Through therapy, you can begin to make positive and lasting changes, leading you to a greater sense of fulfillment. My job is to help you find that balance and  fulfillment.

My doctoral degree is in Clinical Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. I have six years of therapy and assessment experience. More importantly, every year, I become more certain that I could not have chosen a more suitable path. Read more …

 
 

Dr. Rafael Botta, PsyD
(English / Español)

Dr. Rafael Botta, PsyD, has over 20 years of work experience in the field of mental health and substance abuse. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Florida International University, his Masters in Counseling Psychology from Nova Southeastern University and his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Carlos Albizu University. He has completed 2 internships: one at the Domestic Intervention Program in Miami and the other at the Miami Children’s Hospital Psychiatric Adolescent Unit. He also taught part-time at Miami-Dade College North Campus classes for divorcing parents and their children. Dr. Botta has a strong belief that one must maintain a healthy balance in life and in addition to his passion in his work, he loves music, theatre, fitness, dining and travel. Dr. Botta is also a member of the American Psychological Association. Read more …

 

Olga Capriata, LCSW
(English / Español)

Olga Capriata, LCSW, is a dynamic, results-oriented, bilingual Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years experience in treating children, adolescents, adults and couples. Olga has dedicated herself to assisting individuals, couples and families to achieve their greatest emotional well-being by using their inner strengths and capabilities. Her approach is collaborative and goal-oriented utilizing strategies from family systems, Cognitive-Behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic and play therapy.

Olga creates a sound therapeutic relationship with her clients providing a warm, interactive, and supportive environment. Read more …

 

Andrea Fishberger, LCSW

I am a Psychotherapist specializing in individual and couples therapy. I received my BA from the State University of New York at Binghamton, and my Masters in Social Work from Columbia. University School of Social Work in New York. In addition to my education, training, and professional background, I bring a substantial breadth of life experience to my practice. This has enhanced my ability to help others address a wide range of issues. Read more …

 

 
 
Sharon Matson, MFT-I
(English / Español)

Sharon Matson is a bilingual registered MFT-I. Sharon believes that creating a trusting therapeutic relationship is of utmost importance to a positive treatment outcome. Using a collaborative approach, she takes the time to get to know her clients, and appreciates each client for their individuality. Although she tailors therapy to the individuality of each client, her preferred approaches to therapy are Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Mindfulness, and Person-Centered Therapy. Read more …

 

 
Tammy Vazquez, MHCI
(English / Español)

Tammy Vazquez, MHCI is a bilingual registered clinician. Tammy believes there are partners out there for everyone who desires relationships whether it’s life long, romantic, temporary, etc, and the best ones can appear in your life when you least expect it.  “In relationships, it’s important to accept that as much as someone may love and accept you, they are allowed to have negative thoughts and emotions towards you, too!” Tammy is getting advanced training specifically for couples and enjoys guiding couples to better communication skills, reaching couple’s dream goals, enhancing intimacy and connection, establishing boundaries, learning to forgive, and exploring new couples’ ideas. Tammy’s preferred approaches with couples therapy is emotionally focused and imago relationship therapy because the combination of these two help couples build a bridge towards each other to fall in love with their flaws. Read more …

 

Jonathan Closner, LMHC
Qualified Supervisor

My name is Jonathan Closner and I have been providing therapeutic and clinical counseling services to clients for over 15 years.  I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and also a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC). I hold a dual masters in Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy. Moreover, I am currently completing research and writing towards the completing of my PhD in counselor education. My research interests are in the area of post traumatic growth experienced by survivors of sexual trauma. I am also an adjunct professor in the Counseling Department at Barry University. Read more …

 

dr beda bjorn lotus counseling

Dr. Beda Bjorn 

(English/Spanish)

Dr. Beda Bjorn, MS, LMHC, has been in practice for six years in the clinical field. She has received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida, Master’s of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from Capella University. Dr. Bjorn specializes in treating trauma-PTSD, depression, and anxiety disorders by integrating trauma-focused treatment, cognitive-behavioral models,  dialectical behavioral techniques, motivational interviewing, and client-centered humanistic approaches to therapy. 

There are times when we may feel “stuck,” which can be a struggling experience. My passion is to support clients to develop healthier and satisfying lifestyles by using strategies that help them get “unstuck.”  

My mission for optimal results includes collaborating with my clients to tailor a treatment designed to address their needs. While trauma-focused treatment is my specialization, I am prepared  to manage anxiety, depression, gender identity, sexual orientation, and sexual wellness, among  other areas of concern. I recently completed my Ph.D. in Counselor Education and  Supervision (CES), advancing my specialization in clinical skills training, research, ethics, advocacy, and social leadership, pedagogy, and clinical supervision. 

 

Alvaro Domenech, LCSW
Qualified Supervisor

Mr. Alvaro Domenech, LCSW is a Qualified Clinical Supervisor with over 20 years of progressive experience in Clinical Social Work, Management and Leadership. Mr. Domenech earned his Masters Degree in Social Work from Barry University in 1995. In that same year Mr. Domenech was hired to teach and subsequently coordinate the Divorce program at Miami Dade College. Mr. Domenech retired from The Institute for Child and Family Health (formerly known as Children’s Psychiatric Center), after 20 years of service in December of 2015. His last appointment at ICFH which lasted 8 years was as Director of Outreach program.

 

Cristina Behrens-Soulavy, RMHC-I
(English/Español)

Cristina Behrens-Soulavy, RMHC-I is a Licensed Psychologist in her country of origin, Venezuela, and is currently a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern in Florida. Having lived in Paris (France), Munich (Germany), Buenos Aires (Argentina), as well as now residing in Miami for 10 years, she brings an international and unique multicultural sensitivity to understanding the clinical and developmental needs of people across the world, as well as their migratory experiences. The life experience that Cristina brings into her sessions, incorporates much of what she has learned in terms of adapting to a different culture, as well as the resiliency that it takes to make a new life in a brand new country. Read more …

 

Xinyan (Cindy) Yu, RMFT-I

(English / Mandarin Chinese)

Xinyan Yu (Cindy) is a bilingual Registered Marriage and Family Therapy Intern, she has a Master’s degree (Summa Cum Laude) in Marriage and Family Therapy and is currently pursuing her PhD degree in Family Therapy at Nova Southeastern University.  Cindy believes that each client is comprised of unique yet charismatic components such as personal upbringings, religious beliefs, and cultural backgrounds, that all contribute to narrate a cohesive personal story. 

Cassie Mor, MFT-I

(English / Português / Español)

Cassie Mor is a trilingual Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern (MFT-I). She has a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and a master’s degree (Summa Cum Laude) in Marriage and Family Therapy. 

Cassie specializes in working with couples and individuals on relationship issues, trauma recovery, life transitions, mindfulness, meaning and purpose. She utilizes strategies from family systems, collaborative language systems, The Gottman Method, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). She takes a curious, client-centered, whole-person approach, with the goal of co-creating lasting positive change. 

In her free time she enjoys reading psychology books, traveling, yoga and spending quality time with her loved ones. Prior to becoming a therapist, Cassie worked as a corporate executive specializing in organizational change management for over a decade. Read More …

 

gessica-presken-lotus-counselingGessica Presken, RMHC-I

Gessica (pronounced ‘Jessica’) Presken is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. 

Gessica is welcoming, genuine, and creates a non-judgmental, compassionate space for all her clients. Gessica believes clients are the experts of their subjective experiences, making them the ones who truly know how a situation may have been felt and understood. Gessica is here to listen, support, and validate her clients experiences and feelings. In addition, Gessica empowers her clients to make decisions and changes in order to progress, reach self-acceptance, and achieve meaningful outcomes. Overall, she believes that the counseling relationship is a collaborative one, in which the counselor and client work together to reach  identified objectives and goals.

 

 Alexandra-Vavoulis-RMHC-IAlexandra Vavoulis, RMHC-I

Alexandra Vavoulis is a registered mental health counselor intern. Alexandra received a bachelors degree in Economics from Texas Christian University and then continued on to receive her masters degree in Counseling from California State University Fullerton. Alexandra has experience working with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. 

In her traineeship, she worked as a school based therapists with elementary and middle school clients. In this setting Alexandra saw a diverse population presenting with anxiety, depression, and behavioral difficulties. 

After graduation, Alexandra pursued a career in Eating Disorder treatment. She worked as a primary therapist at Center for Discovery and Oliver Pyatt Centers where she gained experience in the residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient level of care.

 

Addison Reekes, MS

Addison is an LMFT intern completing her therapy degree at the University of Miami. Addison received her Master’s degree from Florida State University, and her Bachelor’s degree from Longwood University. Addison has experience as a teacher and coach, and she has lived abroad in Puerto Rico and Spain. 

Addison is trained in individual, couple, and family therapy. Addison believes in a dynamic approach to psychotherapy, and she is dedicated to understanding each person in their entirety. Through working with Addison, clients will be encouraged to gently investigate their relationships, family dynamics, and their subconscious. 

 

LOTUS COUNSELING ADMIN STAFF

 

Denisse Berrios

Denisse Berrios
Director of Communications
(English / Español)

Denisse Berrios joined Lotus Counseling Center in 2011 and was Office Manager through 2018. She has recently rejoined the practice as Director of Communications overseeing social media, web, marketing, community referrals, and general public relations. She is an administrative professional graduated from Florida International University with over 15 years of office management experience.  Denisse also has a demonstrated history of working in nonprofit organizations, international/political affairs, event planning, HR, conflict resolution, customer service, accounting, and project management. 

Her multidisciplinary approach helps her understand the many layers of leading a thriving practice with a humanistic perspective. She is a patient and caring listener who is always prepared to creatively problem solve. Denisse believes the best way to build strong communities is to help empower and heal it’s citizens at the individual level for long-lasting, generational success.

 

andrea-dispasquale-lotus-counseling-centerAndrea Dispasquale
Assistant Office Manager

(English / Español)

Andrea joined the Lotus Family in December 2021 and is our Assistant Office Manager. She is a student at Florida International University completing her undergraduate degree in Behavioral Neuroscience to pursue a career in Neuropsychology. Andrea has a deeply rooted passion for helping people grow and prosper. She is known for her empathetic nature, generous personality and her warmth. She is quick on her feet to solve problems and treating everyone with a humanistic approach. Andrea loves to travel and immerse within other cultures on her free time. As well as, being outdoors, practicing yoga, journaling and reading lots of books to balance out her busy school/work life. 

 

Gina Valentin-Torres
Insurance Billing and Credentialing Specialist

(English / Español) 

Gina Valentin-Torres is a thriving leader in the healthcare industry with over 20 years of profitable success in managing private practices. She is experienced in handling a wide range of administrative and executive support related functions. She is an energetic and self-motivated individual who is competent at maintaining a flourishing organization that is patient driven and ethically appealing to all. Gina is flexible and enjoys the challenges of supporting an office full of diversity. In this manner, she not only promotes and instills confidence in her team, she also provides for a healthy and well minded environment.

Outside of work, Gina enjoys traveling, and getting together with her family members. The holidays are always special as she enjoys decorating her home with her two daughters. And everyone enjoys her culinary skills which she loves to share with her loved ones. Gina is also successful at creating her own podcasts and is always looking for new concepts. She is ambitious and, thus, continues to search for new ways to share ideas and philosophies with others.

 

Internation Overdose Awareness Day: Giving Hope For Tomorrow

International Overdose Awareness Day is an event held on August 31st each year. It is focused on raising awareness about …

Friendship day: 4 friends and vista

International Friendship Day: Maintaining Healthy Relationships

International Friendship Day: Maintaining Healthy Friendships Written By: CRISTINA BEHRENS-SOULAVY, RMHC-I At Lotus Counseling …

schizophrenia and treatment at Lotus Counseling Centers

National Schizophrenia Awareness Day : How much we stigmatize mental health

Written by: Sharon Matzon, MFT-I This year, National Schizophrenia Day falls on July 24 with the goal to shine a light on …