Maria Spada, LPC, ACS, CMHIMP
In session with Maria, individuals can expect an integrative, mind-body based approach that results in an ability to manage thoughts, feelings and improve overall mental health. Clients develop an understanding of how to modify automatic thought processes that often lead to distressing experiences and behaviors. Strategies for managing overwhelming emotions and improving relationships lead to a greater sense of peace and confidence. An increase in self-awareness helps with reaching one’s true potential and having a more authentic, meaningful life experience.
Maria has taken special interest in treating individuals who have suffered catastrophic loss, paralyzing life changes, or chronic stress resulting in a variety of physical health issues. She is inspired and driven to honor a holistic philosophy in her practice where integrative treatment is not limited to incorporating nutrition, neuroscience education, meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness practices. Maria empowers her clients to take a deep look inwards and reconnect with their natural powerful ability to heal. Patients are active participants in their own treatment which, is driven by results and leading a more joyful life.
Maria has expanded her clinical practice in a variety of settings including, non-profit agencies, major NJ hospitals and private group practices. She has extensive experience in working with children, families and adults. Maria is also well versed in meditation, certified in the energy healing practices of Reiki II, and a Certified Mental Health Integrative Medicine Provider (CMHIMP.)
Christina Corso, LAC, NCC
LGBTQIA+ Affirmative Care
Christina’s approach to therapy is rooted in a strong sense of advocacy for her clients and her passion for fostering deep healing. She believes that self-compassion plays a significant role in the growth and healing journey. Christina is committed to helping her clients identify and draw upon their personal strengths to empower their own meaningful change. In session with Christina, clients experience a purposeful and genuine process of discovering the root causes of distress. They are encouraged to explore the challenges that led them into therapy in a space that is secure and free from judgment. She prioritizes developing trust and connection as the relationship between client and therapist is critical to fostering emotional safety and progress toward resolution. Since each person is unique, Christina works with her clients to identify goals and develop tools that meet their specific needs. She partners with her clients as a guide on their journey to discover their power and helps shed light on invisible barriers. With newfound insights and training in various skills, clients address the difficulties they face in life with more confidence. Through mindfulness practice and empathy, clients learn and integrate ways of being that foster self-acceptance. With Christina, clients are led to gently explore and repair the layers of self that may inhibit their ability to live a more true and satisfying life.
Christina has taken a special interest in working with individuals dealing with LGBTQIA+ concerns, trauma history, marginalization, unwanted disturbing thoughts, social anxiety, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and body image challenges. In working with children and adolescents, parents are incorporated into treatment as a powerful asset in the healing process via parenting sessions. With Christina, clients find their voice, embody self-worth, improve relationships, overcome personal barriers and learn how to regulate their emotions. They develop a deeper understanding of their challenges and the underlying mechanisms that lead to undesirable behavior patterns. Together with Christina, clients create a new life narrative by drawing on new meaning, insight, and self-awareness from their lived experiences. In the client’s quest to feel self-assured and confident, Christina employs a highly collaborative holistic approach based on the Client-Centered and Mindfulness-Based Somatic Therapy models. By generating more awareness of emotional states in the body, clients are empowered to develop tolerance and the ability to stay grounded in times of stress. Christina holds a safe space as they learn the importance of moving through uncomfortable emotions and how they may manifest physically. Through this mode of self-acceptance, fear diminishes and emotional pain is confronted and released. Treatment with Christina also incorporates an eclectic combination of evidenced-based practices not limited to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness, Play, and Art based interventions.
Christina has experience working in a variety of clinical settings including Private Practice, Partial Hospital programs, Nonprofit Mental Health Service Agencies, and Eating Disorder Treatment Centers. Christina received both her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Immaculata University. Christina is a National Certified Counselor (NCC) by the National Board of Certified Counselors and a Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC). Christina is actively working toward attaining certifications in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and ongoing competency training in the evolving LGBTQIA+ affirmative care.
Devonna Gonsalves, LSW
Devonna’s therapeutic approach fosters the incorporation of the mind, body, and spirit as a powerful mechanism for change. In aligning these three pillars, individuals move closer to a more optimal level of functioning. As individuals progress on their healing journey, inner peace is no longer dictated by external circumstances and the ability to cope expands. Clients are led and encouraged to discover, connect with and nurture their strengths. Devonna is passionate about supporting individuals on their quest to achieve a clear sense of self, increased self-worth, and a more fulfilled life. In session, she intentionally cultivates a space that is conducive to building trust, deep expression, and fostering change. As clients feel free to share and process their story, they are able to view themselves beyond their struggles. Unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, physical and mental exhaustion, loneliness and pain become separate from the true self. Sharing and accepting experiences that once felt overwhelming, scary, or shameful encourages clients to conquer their fears and find ease in the discomfort. Clients feel empowered to navigate through life as they develop effective skills to manage stress, process complex emotions, and respond intuitively to distressing situations.
Devonna has a background in working with teens, young adults, and families since 2015. She has taken a particular interest in working with adolescents experiencing self-esteem challenges, lack of motivation, social isolation, deep sadness, racing thoughts, intense worry, or a constant sense of dread. In addressing these symptoms individuals achieve an improved quality of life, increased ability to function and relate in a more positive way with their environment. Parents are invited to play an integral supportive role in treatment by participating in parenting sessions that improve child-parent relationships. Through a holistic-centered therapy approach, Devonna empowers clients to connect with their physical sensations/symptoms, thought patterns, and emotional/behavioral reactions. Clients will learn to quiet the mind, bring awareness to the present, shift negative thoughts, improve relationships, recognize and intercept symptoms, manage stress, release trauma stored as tension in the body, connect with one’s inner voice and learn to trust intuition. Moreover, clients acquire a working knowledge of how to use food and lifestyle as a form of medicine. Devonna incorporates an eclectic combination of evidence-based practices including but not limited to, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Trauma Informed Therapy. Other practices include; Transpersonal therapy, Internal Family System (IFS), Integrative medicine approach, Yin Yoga therapy, Play therapy, and Mind-Body therapy.
Devonna has dedicated the last 7 years (2015-2023) of her career working in the Children’s System of Care in NJ and the Office of Children and Family Services in NY. Populations served include individuals who experienced homelessness, poverty, discrimination, intellectual disabilities, behavioral/mental health challenges, and victims of physical, sexual, and emotional trauma. She has worked with youth placed in foster care, residential settings, and the juvenile justice system. Devonna received her bachelor’s degree in psychology at New Jersey City University and her master’s degree in social work at Rutgers University. Devonna is a psychotherapist and licensed social worker (LSW) by the Board of Social Workers. Devonna completed an internationally recognized 50-hour Yoga Alliance Certified Continuing Education Program, Yin Yoga Teacher Training which she incorporates into treatment. She is also well-versed in the Nurtured Heart Approach. Devonna is working towards attaining certifications and competency training in Internal Family System (IFS) therapy and Integrative Medicine for Mental Health.
Shannon plays an integral role at Awakened Path as our valued Office Manager and Insurance Specialist. She is the bearer of the warm, welcoming voice that will greet you each time you contact our office. Responsible for a wide range of duties, Shannon ensures our administrative operations run smoothly and efficiently. She has developed a passion for working in the field of mental health and derives a sense of fulfillment in pairing clients with a therapist who can help them achieve their goals. Shannon enjoys supporting her team members, learning about their strengths and anticipating their administrative needs.
In line with our company’s efforts to ensure treatment is accessible, Shannon is tirelessly committed to verifying our clients receive proper reimbursement and insurance coverage through meticulous record keeping and regular audits. Her consistent support, assistance and advocacy safeguard our clients’ right to affordable care. Eager to assist in any way, Shannon is readily available to clients to help via phone or through email on a daily basis.
In her free time, Shannon enjoys reading, yoga, cooking, spending time with family and engaging in philanthropic activities. During her tenure at Awakened Path, she has also discovered the healing power of meditation along with its connection to maximizing the mind’s potential. Shannon has enjoyed it’s impact in enhancing her overall functioning and goal realization. She looks forward to continued personal and professional growth within the company’s nurturing holistic culture.
“Meditation opens the door between the conscious and subconscious minds. We meditate to enter the operating system of the subconscious, where all of those unwanted habits and behaviors reside, and change them to more productive modes to support us in our lives.”
-Dr. Joe Dispenza
Awakened Path Counseling proudly provides quality transpersonal and traditional psychotherapy at their offices in Middlesex County, New Jersey, and online. Their experienced therapists specialize in serving teens, children, adults, couples, and families. The clinicians at Awakened Path Counseling are passionate about their holistic approach to mental health, addressing your emotional, cognitive, physical, and spiritual needs.