Therapist:

Valerie G. Rivas, MA, LPC-Intern

|Supervised by: Annie Viers, MA, LPC-S, LMFT-S|

 Education

    • Texas Lutheran University, 2006-2010

Bachelor of Science in Biology, Molecular Biology Specialization

Minors in Chemistry and Mathematics

    •  Wayland Baptist University, 2013-2016

Master of Arts in Counseling

Clinical Experience

    • Abiding Hope Institute of Christian Counseling
    • Community Bible Church, Care & Support Groups
    • South Memorial Christian Church
    • The Vine Wellness Group

My Counseling Approach

First, I believe it takes strength and courage to accept when one cannot handle parts of life, and so, I commend you.  Counseling is a resource where one can enhance their skills to live a more beneficial life.  As a therapist, I accompany clients exactly where they are while offering empathy, unconditional acceptance and respect without judgement, and open communication to build a safe, inviting, and warm counseling environment.  I believe each client brings a set of unique morals, values, beliefs, and strengths which makes each person who they are.  During my experience living in South Africa, I learned that each of us exists because everyone else with us exist too, therefore, working together to acknowledge deep, honest feelings, recognizing core issues, and building a trustful therapeutic relationship will aid the counseling process.  I use a combination of counseling theories while also emphasizing the holistic biopsychosocial perspective.  This perspective understands that the interaction between biological, psychological, and social factors all play a role in a client’s problem situation(s).  In addition, counseling is client-centered, focusing on feelings, understanding history, and identifying both healthy and unhealthy patterns to reach a more fulfilling, empowering, and purposeful life.  My approach to counseling has a foundation in Christ’s teaching about the advantages of companionship, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, whether dealing with something alone or with someone else.  “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.  Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone?  A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”

 

Areas of Clinical Interest & Focus

Infertility Issues

Miscarriage

Abuse

Adolescent (6th grade and up)

Adoption

Adult

Blended Family Issues

Cancer

Chronic Illness

Codependency

Couples

Divorce

Eating Disorders

Family

Foster

Grief & Loss

HIV/AIDS

Life Transitions/Adjustment

Marital

Multicultural

Obesity

Pregnancy

Pre-Marital

Refugee Transitions

Remarriage

School Issues

Sleep or Insomnia

Spirituality

Stress

Suicidal Ideation

Teen Violence

Weight Loss

Women's Issues