Dr. Sandra Pabón
Dr. Sandra Pabón is a postdoctoral fellow under the supervision of Dr. Samantha Winton. Dr. Pabón identifies as a Bilingual Generalist Therapist with an area of expertise in trauma disorders. Dr. Pabón enjoys working with early adulthood and adult clients. Dr. Pabón utilizes a Relational-Constructivist approach of treatment whose primary focus is to help clients make meaning out of their difficulties. Dr. Pabón also understands that not all individuals can be helped using one frame of treatment. That is why she also includes approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) in her treatment. With these approaches, Dr. Pabón has been able to help her Clients attain their treatment goals and decrease their emotional distress.
While in graduate school, Dr. Pabón worked in diverse settings from outpatient hospitals, schools, and college counseling. In these settings, she received intensive training focusing on Complex Trauma, PTSD, and mood disorders. She also learned multicultural therapy approaches, which helps her further understand each Client’s lived experiences based on their own multicultural identities. Dr. Pabón is passionate about assisting clients to create change through empowerment and creating new meanings of the world and their circumstances.
Dr. Pabón earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedra’s campus. Dr. Pabón also earned her Master’s degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology in The University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedra’s campus. She then completed her Doctoral Studies in Clinical Psychology in Adler University in Chicago. Dr. Pabón completed three pre-doctoral practicums, which allowed her to work in diverse settings (hospitals, schools, and college counseling) and individuals from every development age. During these experiences, Dr. Pabón co-led skills-oriented and process-oriented groups to help Clients attain self-soothing skills and process their interpersonal difficulties. Dr. Pabón completed her internship year at Florida Gulf Coast University Counseling Center. She worked with college students, facilitated groups, offered presentations, and participated in outreach events within the college community.
Dr. Sandra Pabón: Specialties
- College Students
- Depression and Anxiety
- Grief and loss
- Friendship and Relationships
Traumatic events can affect you biologically and interpersonally. They impact your relationship with yourself, the world, and others, creating internal chaos. This chaos at times is experienced with distressing symptoms and behaviors we use to cope. By creating a solid therapeutic relationship with my client and understanding that you are your own expert, I believe that healing can happen. I use behavioral self-soothing techniques and experiential techniques to help you make sense of your experiences. At times, we feel that our symptoms and past events are the ones driving us. I hope that through our work together, you will begin creating a new meaning of your experiences which will then impact the way you see yourself and others.
College students experience a variety of changes in a short timeframe. Adjusting to a new city, campus, peer group, professors, learning style, and independent living can create stress, doubt, or even impostor syndrome – or feeling like you don’t deserve to be there. I work with college students from diverse backgrounds to adjust to the changes that transitioning out of high school and into community college or a university bring. Together we can help you feel confident, more socially connected, and more adaptive to the changes that come with this new experience.
Our identities and social factors such as race, gender, religion, disability, sexual identity, religion, and other cultural variables can help us understand how we see the world, ourselves, and our interpersonal relationships. Through our work together, I look at how your identities interplay with one another and how they might be maintaining mental distress.
Depression and anxiety can keep us stuck, isolated, lacking motivation, and can cause unbearable intrusive thoughts that are difficult to control. Through a non-judgmental stance and collaborative process, I work with my Clients to attain empowerment, motivation, and identify, challenge, and cope with the negative beliefs that keep them trapped.
Losing a loved one, job, relationship, or health status can make you feel lost and incomplete. I assist my clients with their sadness, the changes the loss brings, and lingering guilt. Through a collaborative approach and experiential techniques, I help my Clients create a new understanding of their suffering and attain new coping skills to achieve healing and mental stability.
At times, our thoughts can be our main oppressor. With the use of self-compassion techniques, I help my Clients increase skills of self-compassion and self-empathy to instill feelings of self-assurance, self-validation, and emotional safety.
Relationships are difficult to create and maintain, and this is no different for friendships and romantic relationships. Through our work together, I will help you understand your attachment styles, communication patterns, and dynamics in your relationships; so you can have meaningful and sustainable relationships that bring joy and happiness.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy
- Humanistic Psychology
- Bilingual Spanish Therapist
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
We go through life creating stories and ideas of how the world should look like. When events such as losing someone we love, losing safety, traumatic events, and stressful situations happen, they can shatter our world. What was known is not real anymore. The loss of these ideas creates internal chaos, which causes the appearance of symptoms. With the Client as the expert, a relational-constructivist therapist will a focus on establishing a safe and supportive environment in which you can explore these events. With self-soothing skills and experiential techniques, the Client begins to create new ways of understanding their events producing unique insight and making new meaning of their life and experiences.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach that targets your core beliefs and thought patterns that impact your day-to-day activities. This approach helps Clients understand that their thoughts, behaviors, and emotions are connected, creating behavioral and emotional responses that cause distress and are maladaptive. CBT teaches Clients skills that will help create new thought patterns that will impact their emotional responses, causing symptom alleviation.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical Behavior Therapy is an evidence-based treatment that supports Clients’ development of coping skills, emotion regulation skills, and interpersonal effectiveness. It was developed for clients who struggle coping with stress, act in ways they later regret or feel badly about, or those who struggle to establish long-term meaningful friendships or relationships with co-workers, friends, partners, or family.
Humanistic psychology looks at the individual as a whole and their distinctive qualities. It is based in the existential assumptions that people have innate self-determination and motivation to achieve their full potential and self-actualize.
As a Latina I understand the unique challenges of the Latinx community. I help Latinx individuals process their unique difficulties such as acculturation stress, assimilation to a new culture, and identifying cultural values and expectations that often cause mental distress. I am fully bilingual as well, and able to offer services in Spanish.
Como Latina puedo entender los estresores particulares de nuestra comunidad. Mi trabajo se enfoca en ayudar a aquellos con dificultades únicas como aculturación y asimilación a otro país y el estrés que surge de ello. También ayudo a mis clientes a identificar los valores y expectativas culturales que frecuentemente pueden causar síntomas de salud mental. Soy bilingüe y ofrezco servicios de terapia psicológica tanto en español como en inglés.
Mindfulness helps Clients staying attuned to the present moment. It means slowing down to notice what is happening in the here and the now. It can allow space to mentally “pause” overwhelming thoughts and feelings creating room for symptom alleviation and a state of relaxation.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy allows Clients to embrace their thoughts and feelings instead of pushing them away. With ACT, I help my Clients learn to cope with their distress and identify their values so that they can live their life authentically to themselves.