Gabriella Patronella, LPC
Gabriella was directed to this career path of counseling before she even started college at the University of St. Thomas. She has great empathy for the trials and suffering of others and always knew her purpose in life was to help people. After gaining a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, she attended UST’s Master of Science program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and graduated Summa Cum Laude. Gabriella has clinical experience working with adolescents, women, and children primarily in residential treatment programs. She has helped clients with a variety of mental health concerns including panic disorder, anxiety, depression, grief, nonsuicidal self-injurious behaviors, suicidality, substance use, identity development, and attachment related issues to name a few.
Gabriella is an EMDR Trained Clinician and specializes in the treatment of trauma. The primary focus of her treatment model is utilizing Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in her work to help her clients heal their trauma. You may think, “My life or issues are not that bad.” When we think of trauma, the first image that often comes to mind is our honorable veterans. However, the truth is, trauma can be found in all facets of life, and it impacts everyone, but not everyone’s brain processes the trauma in an adaptive way. We do, however, have our honorable Vietnam veterans to thank for their advocacy to focus efforts in trauma research and the creation of a diagnosis that describes their shared symptoms, PTSD. After this, research related to trauma exploded and EMDR came shortly after that.
The thing is, the definition of trauma is changing. It’s not about what happened to you anymore that defines trauma, but rather, based on research in neuroscience, trauma is about how any negative experience is processed and internalized in your brain. How that negative experience creates your beliefs about yourself, others, and the world determines the perception through which you experience your life. Because of these reasons, Gabriella finds power in using EMDR due to its ability to be incorporated into therapy for any kind of concerns with mental health that are keeping someone stuck.
Gabriella additionally has training as an equine therapist in the Natural Lifemanship model of equine therapy. She has found passion in the healing power of horses and the relationships forged in equine therapy. While not currently practicing equine therapy, Gabriella is able to utilize aspects of the Natural Lifemanship model of equine therapy concerning trauma, the brain, and relationships in nonequine settings. Although Gabriella has a specialization focus, she calls on her breadth of knowledge in various interventions and theories of treatment to individualize a client’s treatment to meet their unique needs.
Gabriella believes that relationships are at the core of mental health and they have a great capacity to help clients overcome their trauma. Vulnerability is difficult for many because it sometimes can be frightening. Trauma deceives many to believe that being vulnerable means the guard is down and therefore suffering is a threat. She strives to create a safe therapeutic relationship and environment for clients to tackle their barriers and access the powerful vulnerability that will direct their growth. Gabriella is honored to have the privilege of being witness to her clients’ growth in learning more about themselves, overcoming their struggles, and achieving fulfillment in whatever they seek.
In her free time, Gabriella’s passion for psychology doesn’t end. She enjoys watching crime shows and documentaries that focus on forensic psychology. Gabriella also loves spending time with her dog and has a minor obsession with puzzles.