Let Me Introduce Myself...
Hello everyone, my name is Nicole Linardi.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Florida, Go Gators! After graduating from UF, I began working at a local charter school where I taught and integrated speech, language, and literacy into core classes for 2nd-8th grade students struggling with Dyslexia, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders and other speech, language and reading delays and difficulties. While doing this, I also worked in Private Practice alongside one of my first and favorite mentors, Speech Language Pathologist Amy Tomlinson. She taught me how to stay attuned to my clients (children) and their families. While doing so, I realized that these children not only had speech, language, and reading deficits but their challenges went beyond the therapy room, support, and services I was providing. These families needed someone to talk to, they needed and blossomed when listen to, they needed counseling—talk therapy.
This “aha” moment lead me to pursue and obtain my Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University, Go Sharks! After graduating from NSU, I was privileged to be able to work in multiple settings. I have worked in Behavioral Health Units where I treated patients with severe mental illness, substance abuse facilities where I worked with clients who were dually diagnosed and facing the difficulties of substance use and abuse. In both of these facilities, I worked with the individual, their families, provided group therapy, and more. After a few years, I knew my calling was to continue my studies and specialize in working with not only individuals who sought healing and answers but the family as well.
After a few years of experience and finding what tugged at my heartstrings, family—I knew that going back to NSU for my doctorate degree was a no-brainer. In doing so, I journeyed to obtain my Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy. I am proud and honored to announce that just recently I passed my ACP Final Defense titled: “An Action Research Study: The Development and Implementation of ‘The Talk’ Parent Workshop for Hispanic Families Facing Multigenerational Childhood Sexual Abuse Utilizing a Bowen Systems Lens.” My journey and work come full circle, but only the universe and my higher power knew what it would take to get me here. These last few years I have worked with Hispanic families facing the scariest moments in their lives, discovering that their child has been a victim of sexual abuse. When working with these families, parents started to disclose they too had been victims and had never sought help nor the support they needed for multiple reasons. My research with the participants and families adds to the literature in support of how to have the important “talk” about sexual health, sexual abuse, and puberty—in particular in families and cultures where this may be a taboo and oftentimes challenging to sift through the painful dialogue if the parent themselves identified as a victim of sexual abuse as well.
Note that my journey has not been an easy one to get here, but through all of its winding roads, bumps, and derailments my family has truly been my motivation, encouragement, and reason to continue working hard and fulfilling my purpose. With this said, I urge any and all of you who have found yourselves stuck in a rut, discouraged, and/or hurt for whatever reason—to know that you’re worthy of happiness, joy, and ultimately it’s in your hands to have, it is your choice…so choose wisely, choose you.
Throughout this winding road, it has led me back to working alongside my most esteemed colleague. Dr. Claudia Caprio. I am honored to be part of her group private practice as she has such a beautiful spirit, knowledge, and desire to always help, support and do more. Dr. Caprio has cultivated such a beautiful culture here a CMC, and I am also honored to work beside my colleagues Dr. Melanie Hussain who specializes in working with women and the multiple layered challenges we face. Catalina Fortich, who is bilingual and works with Hispanic demographic and growing families. Dara Kobrin who specializes in various techniques when working with individuals who have experienced trauma. Giancarlo Simpson, who is a Doctoral Candidate and focuses his energy on working with teens, culturally-sensitive to diverse populations and minority groups. And Julia Morett-Vij, a Doctoral Candidate who specializes in hypnotherapy.
We truly have such a diverse and well-equipped team, dare I say, family.
Please don’t hesitate to schedule a session with myself and/or any therapist on our CMC team. You will not be disappointed, but rather relieved that you took a chance on you—because you are worthy of feeling love, connection, joy, and after all—whole.
Do your research, gather information, and ask questions. Remaining curious about who we are and what we offer as therapists—that’s a start, but remember that at the end of the day, the main and only priority is you, your health, and regaining your homeostasis. Knock that family taboo out of the park, that whatever happens in the family stays in the family, that talking to a therapist is only for crazy people, that it must be awkward speaking to a total stranger—all of these beliefs are myths! It is up to us to start breaking these generational misconceptions, assumptions, and traumas that have been passed down in our family systems.
Come and see for yourself. Book a telehealth session if you are still social distancing, and/or feel free to book a session and come into our CMC office—we have taken extra precautions to keep you and ourselves safe and healthy.
And remember, strive to be present, grateful and kind, be your whole unapologetic self.