Carissa is an Associate Marriage Family Therapist (Lic. #101946), since 2017, and is currently working under the supervision of Suzanne Mell, LMFT (Lic. #35315). Carissa has over seven years of experience providing mental health services to children, adolescents, young adults, and families in various settings, including residential facilities, acute psychiatric settings, school-based, community, and clinic-based outpatient services. Carissa earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2013 and her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology in 2017 from Santa Clara University.
Carissa provides psychotherapy services to individuals, youth, families, couples, and groups. In her years of experience, she has gained understanding in working with a myriad of issues, including but not limited to, depression anxiety, PTSD, complex/developmental trauma, relationships issues, ADHD, attachment difficulties, grief and loss, etc. Prior to joining the team at Building Foundations Counseling Center, Inc., Carissa was working in the San Jose Bay Area. While there she completed her traineeship providing counseling services at the YWCA to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking, as well as, adolescents at San Jose High School. She then worked two years at Uplift Family Services in their Family Therapeutic Services department, and she served on a team that provided Trauma-Focused CBT process groups for child and adolescent survivors of Child Sexual Abuse and their non-offending parents. To expand her knowledge of working with couples, she recently completed Level I training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy and became a certified facilitator for Prepare-Enrich, a program designed to assist in preparing couples for marriage and enriching existing marriages.
Carissa understands that everyone that walks into her office brings in their own unique selves and concerns. Because of this she takes an eclectic approach to theoretic orientations, making it so she can meet you where you are. Some of these approaches include Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Trauma Informed, Psychodynamic, Family Systems, Solution-Focused, Attachment-Based and Child Play Therapy.