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Because parenting doesn’t come with an instruction manual.

Effective strategies, tools, and support for adoptive parents and children.

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My Philosophy and Approach 


I believe parents are trying their best to raise strong, smart, and resilient children in a rapidly changing world. And, at times, everyone lacks the knowledge, awareness, or tools to be effective. This often leads to parents feeling frustrated, children and teens feeling disconnected, and the entire family feeling stress and conflict. However, it does not have to be this way. 

My passion is to translate insights from psychology and neuroscience to tailored, practical, and effective strategies for parents and youth. I draw from my training in child and adolescent mental health, brain development, and parenting as well as from my extensive experience working with highly complex and diverse clients. While each client comes with different needs and backgrounds, my goal remains the same: help parents and youth better understand each other and work together to create tangible and long-lasting change.

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"We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future."

Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Services Provided 

Image by Margarida Afonso

Executive Functioning Coaching

Helping students reach their potential.

Tools and skills to develop efficient and flexible lifelong learners.

Adoptive Parent Coaching & Courses

Support when you need it most.

Research-supported strategies to help adoptive parents feel ease and pride in the family they are building.

Workshops & Speaking Engagements

Sharing vital knowledge.​

Interactive and tailored talks on a wide range of topics. Available virtually  in English, Spanish & Portuguese.

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About Me


I am a naturally curious and solution-driven person. My desire to better understand human behavior and how to help people overcome challenges has been a driving force from a young age.

As a teen expat in Minnesota, I formed a group with other expat teens to make suggestions on how corporations could better support teenagers that move due to their parents’ employment. After college, I pursued AmeriCorps to understand how to better support underserved students in South Los Angeles. This experience cemented my desire to learn the cutting-edge clinical tools to help improve people’s psychological wellbeing.

Thus, I pursued a PhD in Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychology at UCSB where I learned effective and science-driven tools and interventions to support children and adults. Then, I completed a specialization at UCLA to gain expertise in working with diverse families, foster and adoptive youth, and mitigating the impact of trauma.

Now, I incorporate the knowledge from my extensive training and experiences to help parents and teenagers develop the skills, knowledge, and tools they need to reach their potential. In addition to working with individuals, I help organizations apply the latest psychological research to increase their employees’ effectiveness, psychological safety, and socioemotional wellbeing.

In my free time, I love keeping up with my family living around the world, cooking new foods, practicing Portuguese, and doing improv comedy.



PhD. in Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology: University of California, Santa Barbara

M.A. in Counseling Psychology: University of California, Santa Barbara

B.A. in Psychology: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

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Contact Dr. Mercedes

I'd love to talk to you more. 

Please send me a message or give me a call to set up a free consultation.


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