Ana Leon Gomez Matute
My name is Ana Maria Leon Gomez Matute. I have over 30 years experience working with children with learning differences and supporting their families. I graduated with a B.A. in Bio-psychology from Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York and have an MSc. in Psychophysiology from the University of Manchester, Manchester, England. I am licensed as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the states of Florida and New York.
At an early age I became interested in medicine, psychology, and research. I was not sure which would be my calling. I was accepted as a student at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York where I carried out studies in Biopsychology. Learning about the interaction of mind and body was fascinating to me. I continued working in this field and teaching and doing research. I obtained a master’s degree in Clinical Psychophysiology at the University of Manchester, Manchester, England. In the next few years, I worked in two research projects at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore, MD. All these experiences led me to start a private practice in psychology in my home country of Honduras. Around the same time, I started working as a school counselor. The professional experiences from these two areas helped me work with families whose children/youth had learning differences. My path had been set. In 2012, I moved to New York City and worked as a clinician at Spence-Chapin Services for Families and Children. I worked with pre-adoptive and post-adoptive families which was an enriching experience both professionally and personally. As the COVID-19 epidemic advanced I decided last year to move permanently to South Beach, Florida where my family resides. Joining Parallel allows me to continue my professional path and provide services for families in need of support.
I am passionate about accompanying children with learning differences in their journey of becoming a successful and happy person. Throughout my career I have seen how their learning challenges impact their lives. I believe all children want to learn and feel empowered. The child with learning differences struggles not only academically but also socially, emotionally, and in his/her family life. Learning challenges are accompanied by feelings of insecurity, anxiety, low self-esteem, and shame. The latter are addressed in the therapeutic work which starts by establishing a positive, secure, and accepting relationship with the child. It is so rewarding to see them thrive as we move through the therapeutic process.
I am very excited about Parallel because it provides an all-around service for families that have children with learning differences. Their innovative approach uses virtual learning which allow the child to be able to receive services in his/her own home and at different geographical locations. Their technology also enables the providers to reach the child’s school and the family to incorporate them in the work being carried out.
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