Mrs. Smith Tilka LMHC, CCTP, NBCC
My clinical perspective and practices are based in the belief that we are all curious, courageous, compassionate, and confident human beings at our core. However, we all may struggle to access those parts of our selves at many different times throughout our developmental lives. And during those struggling times, we may have difficulty trying to find and access our paths towards emotional and physical stability and well-being. Many of the clients I work with struggle with control, self-criticism, negative appraisals, obsessions, compulsions, depression, anxiety, and/or feeling not fully alive and at ease with being themselves in their worlds. I am committed to fostering the therapeutic relationship in order to help reduce or alleviate their symptoms with efficiency and care. That is, because I believe the therapeutic relationship is one of the most powerful resources and tools that we have, and this belief is empirically supported, to create the best therapeutic outcomes for our clients. And I do this by creating a comfortable, non-judgmental environment where my clients can begin to heal and grow. I help my clients feel empowered and get on a positive path towards growth and well-being. Similarly, I work with my clients to address their challenges, uncover their potential, and lead a life that is worth celebrating. Thus, I am excited to be on this path of self-development and self-awareness with all of my clients. It is a true honor to witness a client’s growth and change and it is one of the most rewarding aspects of the therapeutic process for me.
My name is Smith M. Tilka, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Nationally Certified Counselor. I specialize in psychodynamic psychotherapy and existential psychotherapy. I believe that the conditions of the mind reside in the intra- and inter-personal struggles that rest and reverberate in the consciousness of the mind. Most of us can, and will, have disruptions in our development at some point throughout our developmental lifespan. Unfortunately, none of us make it out of our childhoods unscathed from experiencing wounds and scars. However, that is not to put blame on those times, but it is to help us understand how the mind is developed and how those impressions can have their influence on the presenting symptoms within the here and now. It is through gaining awareness, acceptance, and resolving these disruptions through processing action that we can help clients unburden themselves from their presenting issues and heal their past wounds.
I utilize an individual approach to all diagnostic and treatment planning. I treat individuals, groups, families, couples, adults, adolescents, and children. I offer experiential healing, motivational training, self-regulation training, and psycho-education. I have been involved in the social and mental health service industry since 2011, and I have extensive training in addictions, traumas, eating disorders, and women’s issues. Some of my additional specialties include phase of life issues, relationship issues, parenting issues, adjustment issues, disorders of the self, post-traumatic stress disorders and their trauma resolution, family of origin and ACOA issues, codependency and addiction recovery, sexual and identity issues, grief and loss, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders. For me, I believe in a holistic treatment integrating the mind, body and spirit into the healing process. Smith M. Tilka, MS, LMHC, NBCC is a Sarasota Psychotherapist and Counselor with her office centrally located in the heart of Downtown Sarasota. She works with clients via in person, by phone or through Telehealth services.
You can contact me directly at 941.623.6035 or email me at [email protected].
Christina is a Nationally Certified Counselor and Certified Clinical Trauma Professional with a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling and seven years of experience in group and individual treatment. She has worked with individuals struggling with substance abuse issues, dual diagnosis, and mental health issues including anxiety,
depression, and eating disorders. She is excited to be utilizing her exceptional experience as a Sarasota therapist.
She works to create a nurturing and warm environment that helps the client to achieve long-lasting improvements to help them meet personal goals. Christina believes in an individualized approach in which the relationship between the client and therapist is paramount.
This style can help individuals begin to process their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, work to uncover the sources of their distress and help to discover the unique coping skills that work best for them.
Ms. Burke is an engaging Sarasota therapist with a genuine interest in people. As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, she thrives on learning what is meaningful to her clients and encouraging them to lead genuine, authentic and fulfilling lives. It is her goal to discover what is most important to her clients; To learn their goals, their values, and what fuels their resilience to tolerate and navigate change, confront uncomfortable feelings, navigate difficult conversations, and set healthy boundaries with clarity, confidence and kindness.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and the practice of Radical Acceptance are cornerstones to integrating a process that brings individuals and couples to the gift of their lives, where discovery, enlightenment, growth and balance can be achieved.
“It is my distinct privilege to be invited into the lives and innermost workings of my client’s lives, thoughts and experiences. I strive to provide a collaborative process using a myriad of techniques throughout the therapeutic journey.”
“Change.” Not many people like it, yet we are all tasked with it at some point. So, why is the concept of change so difficult for us to embrace? “Discomfort.” Change usually requires some upset to our routine, which then creates a sense of discomfort. The other reason we resist change is “control.” The uncertainty that comes along with change is the feeling that we have “lost control.” So, how is it possible to approach change in a way that is less taxing and without activating our inherent push toward resistance?
My theory on change is aligned with the foundation of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). DBT holds the belief that we need to strike a balance between validation (acceptance) of who we are/what we feel and the challenges/discomfort of the process of change in order to fully realize and embrace the benefits.
- Mindfulness: This is the practice of being fully aware and focused on the present instead of being mired in the past or worried about the what if’s of the future.
- Distress tolerance: This involves identifying and understanding (validating) emotions in difficult or stressful situations without responding with harmful behaviors with the ability to manage your emotions effectively and accurately.
- Interpersonal effectiveness: This means knowing what your wants, needs and desires are and understanding how to ask for what you want, need and desire while respectfully setting and maintaining healthy boundaries.
- Emotion regulation: This means understanding, being more aware of and having more control over your emotions.
There are many approaches to change. We all tend to recoil when we learn of impending changes. As we have experienced, changes bring a certain degree of discomfort. However, we also become complacent and are sometimes willing to remain in situations or patterns that do not serve us in an effort to resist as well as to thwart change, despite our current level of discomfort. I have found that having an optimistic outlook and adjusting our expectations that change can bring unmitigated joy or at the very least, lessen the hardships that we currently endure. Where we ultimately do have control is how we manage and respond to the changes that we will contemplate.
Helping my clients to understand and identify who they are at their origin, identifying areas than can be improved by increasing awareness and the capacity to regulate their emotions with the use of mindfulness and coping skills while replacing unhealthy or maladaptive coping skills is my primary role when facilitating change. I believe that a strong therapeutic relationship utilizing accurate validation has been beneficial for long-term treatment outcomes.
When individuals experience trauma or any life stressor, it is not uncommon to feel like our lives are unraveling. It can become challenging to figure out what is right and wrong in our lives. My goal is to be the person that “sits in your passenger seat and helps you to explore which road you’d like to go on.”
I have a passion for working with children, adults, families, and couples. I have experience in: personality disorders, anger management, anxiety, depression, adjustment-related issues, grief, health, social skills, and stress management.
I believe that if you are ready for the next step, there is no stop to the change you can accomplish. I tend to practice from a client-centered approach, but I also enjoy using a variety of therapeutic approaches to give each client a unique experience. I believe that being non-judgmental, showing empathy, and being unbiased can allow individuals to continue to grow on their path.
My clinical training includes assessments, individual therapy, family therapy, and couple work.
My educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Western Illinois University. I am currently working towards my Master of Science in Clinical-Community Mental Health and will graduate in May 2023.
You can reach me directly at 708.407.0969 or [email protected]!
Carolyn Saad Gonzalez RMHCI
Carolyn Saad Gonzalez is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern, holding a B.A. in Psychology from University
of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee and a Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Asbury Theological Seminary.
Carolyn's heart is for people. Her passions include seeing wounds healed, relationships restored, confidence built, and persons of all ages and stages living into their fullest potential. Carolyn operates from relational psychodynamic and attachment theory frameworks, and has experience working with adults, teens, and couples.
Please feel invited to give MindSol Wellness Center a call at (941) 256-3725 to learn more or schedule an intake! You may also reach Carolyn directly at (941) 276-9455 or [email protected]!
Candice Burch, RMHCI
Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern
I help adults, teens, and pre-teens with various struggles grow through the hardships they face and find meaning in moments that feel meaningless.
I’m most passionate about helping individuals conquer their fears, lessen their symptoms of anxiety, move past specific phobias that hinder their lives, and overcome traumatic events! I specialize in providing counseling to adults, teens, and pre-teens who are experiencing various forms of anxiety and trauma. I also treat individuals who struggle with depression, anger, grief, low self-esteem, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and so much more!
Often, people think that counseling is venting about your problems and receiving advise from a professional. Instead, therapists help you change your perspective so you can change your own life. At the end of it all, it’s a very empowering experience!
I like to help people through my empathetic nature, non-judgmental attitude, and clinical understanding. I take a holistic approach to counseling which includes keeping a person’s health, sleep patterns, spirituality, relationships, and culture in mind when navigating through the stages of change. The primary approaches that I use are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help change maladaptive thoughts and behaviors, In-vivo Exposure Therapy, Imaginal Exposure Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Strength-based Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Mindfulness Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy.
I work well with clients who…
- Are wanting to work towards improving their lives and lessen the severity and duration of their symptoms
- Are ready to leave what no longer serves them behind
- Are wanting to become more aware of the obstacles that are holding them back
- Want to experience more joy and are ready to work towards living a more value-rich life
- Embrace the idea that healing and growth is a beautiful journey
- Are ready to reflect on the chapters in their life so, they can heal and work towards becoming the person they were always meant to be
What’s it Like to Work Together
1. Get to Know each other
It is my mission to get to know you for you! I offer a judgement-free space and accept all of my clients for where they are at. It is my job to help people become aware of what is holding them back and work towards creating a clear path towards a brighter present, together!
2. Create Goals to Work Towards
During our time together, we will create goals for you to accomplish. I want to know how you’d like to feel, what you’d like to be doing differently in life, and what you’d like to accomplish in session, together. It is my mission to lead you in the right direction to where you want to be.
3. Clear your Pathway
In session, we will be looking at what behaviors, thoughts, and obstacles are leading you away from the life you want to live and what is already moving you towards the place you want to be. We will work towards clearing what is no longer serving you and give you tools to move you in the direction of fulfillment.
4. Celebrate all You’ve Accomplished
We will celebrate all you’ve accomplished and look back at how far you’ve come!
Training & Education
- I have a Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology.
- I am an EMDRIA (EMDR International Association) approved EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) Therapist.
- Some of the specific trainings I received were in Counseling Theories, Human Growth and Development, Substance Abuse Theory and Prevention, Diagnostic and Treatment of Psychology, Social and Cultural Foundations of Counseling, Ethics, Career and Lifestyle, Trauma, and Human Sexuality. I have experience working in Community Mental Health settings and private practice.
- I have also completed numerous internships and have experience counseling individuals with anxiety, depression, grief, anger, trauma, codependency, low self-esteem, Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, ADHD, PTSD, specific phobias and so much more!
You can reach me directly at 239.789.9333 or [email protected]!
Mary Thomas is a charismatic counselor who has a strong presence in the recovery community. With over 10 years of experience in
recovery, she has touched many lives and knows what it takes to work on one’s self. Her experience with addicts extends to homeless outreach, being a caseworker for the homeless. Additionally she has over 8 years of professional experience in the treatment of addictive disorders.
“I would oversee close to 60+ clients daily. I did their assessments when they came into the program, held meetings with the women once a week to go over concerns and struggles, and worked with the Sergeant of the Sarasota Police Department and the Sheriffs Department. My door was always open for the clients throughout the day.”
Mary’s story is one of triumph, hard work and overcoming all odds. She has found the tools and means to not only survive but to thrive as well. Among one of the most daunting tasks anyone faces, loving one’s self, Mary is eager to help others find just that. With a mantra of building self confidence and kindness for one’s self, she shares with others the keys to overcoming adversities and dependencies. Her experience with addicts and alcoholics has allowed Mary to conduct therapy and reach her clients through a patient, kind and understanding point of view.
Nonjudgmental and solution-based, Mary brings experience, strength and hope to each one of her sessions
Mrs. Desarae Wyant PCLC
Professional Certified Life Coach
I am a Certified Life Coach who takes a holistic approach bringing a personal cheerleader, clarity and direction to reach your highest goals and dreams. Do you have a lack of motivation? Have you tried and failed, and tried and failed again? Are you struggling to see past what has been, and through to your desired achievements? Have you been in an endless loop with no improvements? I have been there and back and that’s why I’m passionate, even fiery about helping others claim their dreams. I believe everyone is capable of achieving the life they desire. With some planning, direction and follow through we will fill in the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. I’ll work with you one-on-one keeping the end game of satisfaction and success in focus. I look forward to working with you on your journey! You can reach me at (941) 999-8226 or email me at [email protected]
Certified Addictions Counselor
David was raised in the Bronx, New York by a family who wouldn’t put up with his addiction and all the chaos and
heartbreak that came with it. Their healthy boundaries were a big part of catapulting David into recovery. David brings an outstanding 30 plus years of personal recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, 10 years of professional
experience in recovery support services, and eight years experience as director of a residential school for troubled teenagers. Today, David is a Nationally Certified Intervention Practitioner (NCIP) a Nationally Certified Recovery Coach (NCRC-I), & a Florida Board Certified Addiction Counselor a trained professional who truly cares. 941.444.6560
Cole Young is a empathetic counselor who specializes in empowering individuals to overcome their personal
struggles with addictions in all forms. He has been active in the therapeutic community since 2005 when he worked as a adolescent counselor at a boarding school for troubled teenagers. In years since, he has worked as a sober companion and recovery coach for teenagers and adults struggling with substance abuse. His years of experience in recovery, personally and professionally, inform an effective approach to treatment. His professional credentials include a Certification in Addictions Counseling by the Florida Certification Board. 941.444.6560