Autobiography of Ismael Gerena

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I have always sought ways to be of service to others, even as a child I explored service vocations through faith and spirituality.  I entered college having considered a career in education and taught as a substitute teacher in middle school with that degree. As both a patient and student of psychotherapy I have been able to experience first-hand the benefits of therapy, and during my undergraduate education I came to the realization that what I wanted to be was a therapist.

Following the completion of my undergraduate degrees and brief teaching experiences, I began my career in community mental health, with developmentally disabled adults, and volunteered as a youth counselor for at risk young adults age 13-24 who identified as LGBTQ.  I recognized that life experience was as crucial an element in the making of a good therapist as their educational background.

I spent 16 years contributing my skills in the behavioral sciences and in computer sciencces to the telecommunication and information technology world. Moving into training and management within the technology sector of The Fortune 500 including America On Line, Apple Computer, And The Nielsen Company. This period gave me rare insight into the wide and varied effects of new technologies on human interaction, and how these advances in communication are able to bring people and ideas together in ways unmatched in human history, while simultaneously isolating and widening the space between us, eroding the social and emotional foundations built by millennia of social evolution.

I have 10 years of behavioral health and counseling experience including previous licensing as a Professional Counselor and a Mental Health Treatment Specialist. I am currently an independent Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), and Certified Hypnotherapist (C.Ht). In Addition I hold credentials and training in ADHD coaching, Interpersonal Mediation, and as a Sex Therapist.

The most important part of my own training in supporting my community, and in practicing couples and relationship therapy has been confronting my own emotional wounds and my personal experiences and growth as a gay man in a fulfilling complex relationship since 2001.