hmeraz0418.jpg

Passion and dedication to helping others

Henry Meraz, LCSW

Owner/Clinical Director

I’m Henry Meraz, a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist working in Fresno, CA. I am here to guide you through life’s most complex and difficult matters. I truly care about my patients’ well-being and guarantee top of the line counseling and psychological services catered to their needs.

I was born and raised in the Central Valley of California and understand some of complex issues that may arise. I completed by BA at UCLA and my MSW at USC. I have over ten years of clinical training in mental health. My training took place primarily in Los Angeles. I have worked in healthcare, community mental health, non-profit advocacy, colleges, and now in private practice settings. My diverse experience has allowed me to learn about people from all over the world and with an array of obstacles.

 

I am most proud of my training that I have received to help individuals dealing with trauma, anxiety, and depression. I also have years of commitment working with LGBTQIA+ populations; including the transgender community and have assisted many through gender therapy and the transition process. I see myself as a much needed resource for the community. Get in touch with me today for more information.

WPATH Member, EMDR Trained, Gottman Levels 1 & 2, Gender Asset Certification

Lacie Turner, LMFT
Clinical Supervisor

COMING SOON...

Donald Turnmire, LMFT
Clinical Supervisor

COMING SOON...

Jacqueline Johnson, LMFT
LGBTQ+ Licensed Therapist

jacqueline.jpg

Hello, my name is Jacqueline Johnson, and I am an Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who aims to help individuals achieve wellness in life. I completed my Masters in Science in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling at Fresno State University. I have experience as a community mental health therapist, Community Outpatient Therapist, and working in Private Practice. Before I received my Masters Degree I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. I have 10+ years working with the Central Valley community. I have enjoyed working with diverse populations, educating myself on barriers one may experience, and obstacles different communities face. 

 

I have participated in a wide range of training that have enhanced my therapeutic skills, trainings such as; Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy/Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, LGBTQ+ Trainings, Motivational Interviewing, and Solution Focused. I enjoy working with Couples, Families, Teenagers, and Adults/Individuals. My primary goal as a therapist is to empower my clients, help my clients achieve what they perceive as wellness, and healing. I strive to provide a safe place for individuals to share their life experiences, goals, strengths, and stressors within their lives.

 

I am passionate, I am person centered, and I meet my client’s where they are at. The road to personal growth is within your hands. You are the driver of your car and I look foreword to being in the passenger seat helping you get to your desired place in life. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

DBT Trained & Actively in EMDR Training

Corion Duran, LMFT
LGBTQ+ Licensed Therapist

MVIMG_20180308_164101_edited.jpg

Life can difficult, sometimes you find yourself in a place and you're not quite sure how you got there, feel stuck, or don't know where to go next. We can often feel overwhelmed by our emotions and thoughts. While emotions can be painful, they are a necessary part of life. We often react to our emotions in ways that only increase our suffering. Despite this we are capable of feeling our emotions fully and still living a valued life, we can learn to accept the necessary pain in life without amplifying it for ourselves. I approach therapy in a way that often involves identifying the things we value in life most and developing skills to help us get over the hurdles that prevent us from living those values. My hope in therapy is that you will walk away from it feeling closer to the life you want for yourself.

 

I work with adults, children, families and people in relationships. I also have significant experience and commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community. My experience includes working with issues such as depression, anger, and general life issues, while I also specialize in trauma and anxiety. It is my belief that therapy should be affirming of your core identity and help you to build a trust in yourself. Central to my approach with anyone is the idea that only you can define your identity and experience. Therapy should be for anyone and everyone, and I tailor my work to the needs of the people sitting with me. My approach to therapy is influenced by Person-Centered Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, as well as the Gottman Institute and Structural Family Therapy.  If you have any questions regarding therapy with me I'd be happy to answer them.

Jose Cruz Alejo, AMFT

LGBTQ+ Associate Therapist

Hi, I am Jose Alejo, a registered Associate Marriage Family Therapist. My primary goal for clients is to create a safe and accepting space so that inner healing can occur. My therapeutic foundation consists of a Mindfulness, Expressive Art, and Client Centered approach. I do believe it is important to tailor therapy for the specific needs and goals of clients and I aim to provide the treatment that clients require. 

Over the past few years, I have had the privilege of working with diverse populations including: Teenagers, individuals on the spectrum, LGBTQ+ individuals, Families, couples, children, and homeless youth.  I have been able to assist clients in managing and resolving their challenges with Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, Self-Esteem, life Adjustments, and Identity. 

I received my education from California State University, Fresno. First receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Art and secondly obtaining a Master’s of Science degree in Marriage Family Child Counseling. 

Inside and outside of the therapy room I am to lead with Authenticity, Compassion, and a dedication to personal growth. I hope to empower my clients to lead with their own values and pursue a meaningful and purposeful life.  I am here to walk beside you on your journey to healing.

profile%20pic_edited.jpg

Supervised by Donald Turmire, LMFT#118711

Tammy Andrade-De La Isla, MSW
LGBTQ+ Associate Therapist

tammy_edited.jpg

Hello, my name is Tammy Andrade-De La Isla. I am currently an Associate Clinical Social Worker working towards my licensure hours under clinical supervision. I have a dual Associate Degree in Social Services, and Liberal Arts from Fresno City College. I completed a Bachelor of Social Work and a Certificate of Completion in Cultural Competencies from California State University, Fresno. I obtained my Masters in Social Work at Humboldt State University. 

 

I bring ten years of community experience. I have worked with a variety of clients from diverse backgrounds and across a range of age groups in social work practice theory in relation to crisis intervention and family work. My experience has provided me with insight into a vast range of client mental health needs and a great understanding of prioritization of progress and needs of my client. My motivation in my practice is to provide a safe and understanding environment to help with interpersonal growth while maintaining cognizance of LGBTQ +populations.

 

I have completed a broad range of training some include, but not limited to; Trauma Focused-CBT, Solutions Focused Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, LGBTQIA + Trainings, Motivational Interviewing, Strengths Based Therapy. 

 

I look forward to working with you and being a resource in your growth.

EMDR Trained & Gottman Level 1

Supervised by Lacie Turner, LMFT#110577

Paul "Daniel" Karkoska, AMFT
LGBTQ+ Associate Therapist

Supervised by Donald Turnmire, LMFT#118711

DanielPic.JPG

I'm Daniel Karkoska, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. While pursuing degrees in Psychology and then Marriage and Family Therapy I spent a lot of my life being active. In college I competed for the swim team and in grad school I took up hiking and rock climbing. My experience as a swim coach and in social services (foster care, school based, and community mental health) have broadened my perspective on the mental and physical struggles we all share as humans. 

 

In therapy, I am passionate about supporting the LGBT community. I seek to fully understand the unique lived experiences of my clients and assist them in alleviating stress while pursuing growth. I believe we all are doing our best and with help can improve our lives in the ways we desire. My approach includes a stance firmly rooted in humanistic and attachment theories. As such, when working with couples I utilise Emotion Focused Therapy (Johnson) which focuses on what is going on in each changing moment. Individually I use the structure of CBT/DBT techniques to help clients discern patterns of thought and behavior that are leading to unwanted circumstances in their lives and gaining skills to structure their future in more desirable ways. I look forward to working with you to change your life for the better.

EMDR Trained, CBT Trained, Gottman Level 1

Wesley Ervin, AMFT
LGBTQ+ Associate Therapist

Hi! I’m Wesley-Martin Ervin and I am an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist here at SAAC. I was born and raised here in the Central Valley, and I am proud to be able to give back to the community that raised me through my work as a therapist.

My work as an AMFT is mostly focused on the LGBTQ+ community. I identify as queer and GNC, so I am ecstatic to be able to work with my community and help those who are still learning about themselves or are struggling with something related to their identity. I also have experience working with children, adults, couples, and groups.

More specifically, my therapeutic approach tends to be a bit eclectic, with focuses on CBT, EFT, and Feminist Therapy. I have worked with patients on processing trauma, grief and loss, changing life settings, and going through college, just to name a few topics. I am constantly learning and working on getting officially licensed with new forms of therapy, such as DBT and Gottman. I am also forming a secondary specialization in the use of board games in the therapeutic setting for children and adults.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need assistance. I am always open to learning and growing as a therapist, so if you feel what you need isn’t represented here, I will take the time to educate myself.

Certified Geek Therapist, Gottman Level 1, and CBT Trained

Supervised by Donald Turnmire, LMFT#118711

wesley.jpeg

Laurel Barnett, MSW
LGBTQ+ Associate Therapist

Supervised by Henry Meraz, LCSW#72943

Hi! My name is Laurel Barnett, and I am an associate clinical social worker. I received my bachelor's and master's degrees in social work from California State University, Fresno, and graduated summa cum laude in both my undergraduate and graduate studies. I was born and raised in the Central Valley and have made it my professional goal to improve culturally sensitive services for the LGBTQIA+ community throughout the Valley. For my graduate thesis, I interviewed various members of the Community about their lived experiences and presented my findings to an array of directors from public health and social service agencies throughout the Central California area--from San Luis Obispo to Stanislaus County--with the hope of enlightening and effecting systemic change. 

 

Prior to joining the Safe and Affirmative Counseling team, I had the pleasure of forming and serving adoptive families for four years, through which I gained insight into the inherent facets of the triadic family structure and associated, though often unrecognized, components of grief and loss. Additionally, I have served individuals, couples, and families as a clinician in the private practice setting with an eclectic client base; I have worked with children, adolescents, adults, and older adults. Through a trauma-focused lens and the CBT modality, I have also treated veterans and Southeast Asian refugees to reclaim their sense of power over their symptoms of post-traumatic stress. I'd be honored to work alongside you to reclaim your sense of power and bolster your personal growth. 

Gottman Levels 1 & 2, CBT Trained

Bio pic_edited.jpg

Sara Vazquez Aguirre, AMFT
LGBTQ+ Associate Therapist

Hello, my name is Sara Vazquez Aguirre and I am a first generation Latina. My pronouns are she/her and I am a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. I am a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist working under direct clinical supervision toward licensure.

I received my Masters of Science in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling through CSU Fresno.  I am Central Valley raised and have worked with Central Valley communities under various capacities for the past 12 years.

I primarily use a Person Centered approach as I strive to help my clients as humans first and work together as a therapeutic partner. Over the past 3 years as a therapist I have worked in Community Mental Health providing psychotherapeutic services in English and/or Spanish to children, adults, families, and foster youth. I have supported my clients with processing trauma/complex trauma, depression, anxiety, grief,  relational concerns and life adjustments.

My hope is to provide a safe and affirming space as you work through your therapeutic journey as your most authentic self.

EMDR Trained & CBT Trained

Supervised by Donald Turnmire, LMFT#118711

Sara-wix.jpeg

Jamie DiMeco, AMFT
LGBTQ+ Associate Therapist

 

Meet The Team

I’m Jaime DiMeco, a registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, with a Masters of Science degree in Counseling.

 

I’ve had the honor to serve a beautiful spectrum of clients across the Central Valley with a variety of therapeutic needs and goals. I have worked extensively with clients to improve trauma, anxiety, and depression symptoms. Throughout the cultivation of each of these relationships I have watched individuals transform their lives by learning and utilizing evidence-based concepts and strategies. I’ve celebrated with my clients, witnessing their transformations, deepening their relationships, and thriving through identifying a positive sense of self and confidence in their newfound life-affirming skills.

 

As a therapist, I take a whole-person approach with each client. It is my desire to get to know you, and help facilitate lasting positive impacts by providing support, tools, and structure within a safe space to identify strengths, work through weaknesses, as well as identify and strategize effective methods to address challenges and reach meaningful goals.

 

If you are ready to make real changes in your life, I would be glad to connect to determine if my service is the right fit for you.

TF-CBT Trained 

CLIC Profile 1_edited.jpg

Supervised by Lacie Turner, LMFT#110577

Kayla Bundy, APCC
LGBTQ+ Associate Therapist

Professional Selfie 2_edited.jpg

Hello, my name is Kayla Bundy and I am an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor. My intention is always to lead with authenticity and compassion to create a safe environment for you to freely and curiously look within and to explore your life and journey. Every single one of us has bumps and difficulties in our lives and I hope to help you feel more empowered to navigate your way through these difficult times in an honest and self-compassionate way. Taking the first step to reach out and commit to helping yourself takes courage. I use an integrated approach to help clients learn healthy coping skills, increase their self-compassion, gain true inner healing, and start living more fully and purposefully.

 

I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at UC Davis and my Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling at Alliant University in Fresno, CA. I have been fortunate to work with such diverse populations and especially enjoy working with the LGBTQ+ community, those with general anxiety and depression, life transitions, trauma survivors, those with spiritual/religious issues, and more. I use a holistic approach to heal the mind, body and spirit. I have a strong background in Mindfulness-based interventions, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Narrative Therapy; however, I also use numerous other therapeutic techniques including energy healing, DBT, and Solutions-Focused Therapy, to help meet each client's unique needs and goals.

 

I am honored to walk with you on your journey.

Supervised by Lacie Turner, LMFT#110577

Susie Meraz
Office Coordinator

susie1.jpg

Hello, my name is Susie. I am the Office Coordinator here at Safe and Affirmative Counseling. My job here is to oversee the office operations, schedule new clients and answer any questions you may have. 

 

I have an Associates degree in Business Office Administration. I have over 10 years of office experience as well as over 10 years in customer service. 

 

As an Ally I am proud to support the LGBTQ community. 

 

My goal here at Safe and Affirmative Counseling is to make our clients', and their families experiences here, a positive one.