Cyndy Petralia, M.Ed/Ed.S, LMHC
Child & Adolescent Therapist
M.Ed/Ed.S, Licensed Mental Health Counselor – MH15377
At Groundwork, I provide evidence-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to children and adolescents struggling with anxiety disorders such as specific phobias, social anxiety, generalized anxiety, and panic disorder. I also work with children experiencing behavioral issues, depression, and social difficulty. In addition, I provide CBIT to children and adults struggling with tic disorders and Tourettes, and HRT to children and adults struggling with body focused repetitive behaviors, including hair pulling and skin picking.
My goal is to provide effective therapy in a supportive environment where my clinical approach is caring, collaborative and goal-directed. I am passionate about developing a strong therapeutic alliance with each client, and committed to providing the best quality of care for my clients and their families. Because each child is unique, I create treatment plans that are specifically tailored to the needs of each child, and each family. It is my belief that children and adolescents are resilient, and can learn new ways of interacting with their thoughts, feelings, and environments, with the help of a skilled therapist.
I provide evidence-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and assist my young clients by helping them learn new skills, face their fears, improve communication, and increase distress tolerance. I work collaboratively with children to help them to identify and challenge maladaptive thought and behavioral patterns, through the use of a warm and interactive therapeutic approach.
When working with younger children my approach is playful and fun, using humor, creative interventions, and play therapy techniques. I believe, family intervention and involvement is crucial to successful therapy in working with young children, I provide education and guidance to parents in order to further encourage lasting and positive changes. I also provide support to parents by developing and implementing behavior plans to help improve unhelpful or disruptive behaviors in young children.
I have a passion for helping children and teens struggling with anxiety disorders through evidence-based treatment. I also greatly enjoy working with clients with ASD seeking social skills support and coaching.
In addition, I provide evidence-based behavioral therapy (CBIT) to children, teens and adults struggling with Tourettes and tic disorders. I have also completed certification in HRT / COMB model for Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs) such as hair pulling and skin picking disorders, and offer these services to children, teens, and adults.
About Me I am a native Floridian, born and raised in South Florida, I grew up in a small town (Cooper City), where I lived until I moved to Orlando for my undergraduate education at University of Central Florida. I studied psychology and behavioral forensics, and fell in love with intricacies human behavior and development. Through various internships during my undergraduate and graduate experiences I discovered a passion for working with children and adolescents. Previously, I worked with children in two alternative school settings, one that focused on learning and developmental disabilities, and the other was geared toward supporting at-risk youth. I also have extensive experience working with substance abuse, both within inpatient and outpatient settings. In my free time I enjoy being physically active, being outdoors- in nature or on the water, and spending time with my husband being a newlywed and our 4 year old Pomsky.
Education & Certification I earned my Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology with a certificate in Behavioral Forensics from the University of Central Florida, going on to earn my Masters of Education/ Education Specialist with a major in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Florida. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Florida – MH15377. I have completed specific training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) through the renowned Beck Institute. I have received specialized training in CBT for the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression in children and adolescents. I have also completed training in Behavioral Parent Training; an evidence-based program aimed to increase parents effectiveness when implementing behavioral interventions at home for behavioral challenges. In addition, I have received specific education on CBIT for tic disorders, and certification in HRT (COMB) for BFRBs (Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors). I am an active member of the American Counseling Association (ACA).