Julia Villalta, LMHC
Julia Villalta, LMHC
My approach to therapy is adaptable to the unique needs of each individual. I like providing a safe and peaceful environment where your feelings, needs, and emotions, will be acknowledged, and met with compassionate empathy and without judgment. A lot of my experience has been working with adult clients with complex trauma who have struggled with addiction as a resulting behavior. Addiction and Trauma are also accompanied by painful losses such as meaningful relationships, job security, shelter, health, and even loss of identity. Therefore, Grief and Loss has also been a main focus of my practice. Grief is not only a concept strictly related to the death of someone, but it is also conflicting feelings and emotions as a result of any major change or life transition that requires adapting to different situations or environments. This process of adaptation can influence a person’s behaviors in many ways. Healthy grieving helps us adapt to any life change and reach a state of acceptance and peace.
Being Latin American encourages me to understand the complexities of immigration and acculturation issues that individuals from different backgrounds endure in their efforts to adapt and strive for a better quality of life. Having attended an international German school in my country encouraged me to experience different cultures, attitudes and beliefs in unified harmony. As a therapist, I am culturally competent and able to understand my own values and how they influence my relationships with others. This has led me to learn that each individual has their own unique views about the world. While I’ve had several years of experience, I value the idea of continuous learning and professional growth. I continue to grow as a therapist by participating in trainings and receiving mentorship and clinical supervision from Carlos Canales, PsyD, FAGPA.
Even though I am eclectic in my approach to therapy, I am person-centered. I want to get to know you as a person and meet you where you are in your life. I understand that emotional wounds are the most difficult to heal, especially those that we have carried most of our life as a result of trauma, tragic loss, or unforeseen life changes.
I come from a small family circle and even though I am an onlyborn, growing up without siblings encouraged me to value and deeply appreciate the friendships and relationships I’ve had throughout my life. Just like I value my personal relationships, I also like developing a meaningful connection with my clients in the therapy setting. While therapy is a profound and purposeful journey, it can also be enjoyable. We will explore a variety of coping methods such as mindful breathing, meditation, relaxation techniques, and even use humor at times. I believe that healing can also come from laughter, music, exercise, art, and sometimes by just sharing a good cup of coffee or tea with a compassionate someone in a place where you can be yourself. I will genuinely listen for to the profound parts of your inner self as I help you discover what is beneath your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. My goal is to guide you through a journey of self-discovery and self-actualization in order to uncover the best version of you.
Julia studied Psychology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and received a Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling from Drake University. While completing her Master’s degree Julia also gained additional experience in the areas of Ethics, Multicultural Counseling and Diversity, Group Counseling, Grief and Loss, Trauma, and Addiction. Currently, Julia is receiving training to become a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP).
Prior to her education at Drake University, Julia worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor for an organization called Humanim in Columbia, Maryland. She provided direct support for clients with severe mental illness and assisted them in improving their daily lives by monitoring medications, teaching basic life skills and assisting them in navigating the community to meet their needs and increase their independence. Julia has had the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience by collaborating with other professionals as well as participating in community activities that support client advocacy.
Julia is independently licensed in the state of Iowa as an LMHC and also earned a Nationally Certified Counselor certification (NCC). She is also a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) in Iowa. Julia has supported clients in both the inpatient and outpatient programs at House of Mercy in Des Moines from 2015 to 2019. During that time, she provided individual counseling, crisis intervention, facilitated several psychoeducational groups, and provided mental health therapy for adult women and men. Julia has experience utilizing various techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused, and Motivational Interviewing to support clients struggling with addiction and mental health difficulties. Julia is bilingual and multicultural, and has experience supporting Latino women and men with co-occurring disorders.