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  • 08/28/2023 9:35 AM | Tom Linley (Administrator)

    Our new 2023-2024 workshop season kicks off on September 22nd at the Farmer's Table in Boca Raton with a remarkable presentation from Boca Raton therapist Phil Treiber, LMHC (Dude Breathe Counseling) on the subject of masculinity and vulnerability for men in therapy. 

    We would like to thank our sponsors for this upcoming year including the Hanley Center (Fran Marcone), Bruce Law Firm (Chris Bruce), Family First Adolescent Services (Vanina Hochman), Joe Considine Law (Joe Considine), GIA Miami (Terry Shapiro), Full Life Comprehensive Care (John Puls), Treatment Placement Specialists of Acadia (Marina Ocksengorn and Alisa Fliss), John Davis Counseling (John Davis), Coral Shores Behavioral Health (Carla Newman), Kinder in the Keys Treatment Center (Ansley Elfmon), and the Caron Foundation (Amanda Bassos). 

    It truly takes a community effort to drive the kind of organization that we have. Thank you for being a supporter along the way.

    Our 2023-2024 CEU Workshop season has some returning speakers and new ones too. We appreciate our sponsors who support our efforts.

    Fish Out of Water: Exploring the Disconnect between Masculinity and Vulnerability – 9/22/23

    Healing Adolescent Heartbreak: Addressing the Core of Complex Trauma and Addiction - 10/13/23

    Assertive Community Treatment: A Paradigm Shift in Treating Severe Mental Illness - 11/17/23

    Whose Story is it Anyway? Individual Development across Family Systems - 12/8/23

  • 08/17/2023 9:34 AM | Tom Linley (Administrator)

    It takes a lot of effort, resources, and coordination to run an organization like ours that serves the community as we do, and it would not be possible without a capable team. We would like to thank our wonderful volunteers who helped tirelessly during this very successful past season.

    It would not be possible without the generous efforts of our new President, Ara Mascarenas and her team of excellent volunteers including John Puls, Carol Lazarus, Allen Schwartz, Sonia Pozzi, and Phil Treiber, (Suggest thumbnail photos of each here).  We’d also like to thank our website and membership coordinator, Tom Linley, as well as Sean Williams of West Palm Accounting. 

    Our new season begins in September. If you and your colleagues would like to volunteer next year please send an e-mail to John Davis LMHC. When you volunteer you get to attend the workshop for free while enjoying lunch and CEUs on us!

  • 08/08/2023 3:35 PM | Tom Linley (Administrator)

    Giving back to those less fortunate than ourselves is one of the core values of our organization here at the Mental Health Counselors Association of Palm Beach. To that end, we'd like to let everyone know of our generous donation to Vita Nova, a homeless shelter for disadvantaged adolescents in West Palm Beach. A check was presented at our May workshop at the Hanley Center. Membership and workshop fees and sponsorships make up our operating budget. It is with great pride that we've managed to keep our expenses low during the year and can offer help like this to Vita Nova.

    We are especially grateful to Vita Nova board member Dr. Vasilia Binensztokowner of Juno Counseling for bringing her team to the event for everyone to meet.  Thank you also to Christopher and Ashley Bruce of Bruce Law Firm in West Palm Beach, our sponsor for the month of May. 

    We have an exciting 2023-2024 CEU Workshop season planned and hope you'll join us. We have some returning speakers and some new ones too. We appreciate our sponsors who support our efforts.

  • 07/27/2023 4:07 PM | Tom Linley (Administrator)

    We are excited to let you know that Ara Mascarenas, a well-respected colleague, and passionate mental health professional, will be our President for the 2023-2024 term.

    Currently working as a registered mental health counseling intern at the Home for Balance Psychotherapy Group, Ara helps kids, teenagers, and young adults dealing with issues such as ADHD, anxiety, depression, behavior issues, self-esteem, and trauma. She enjoys incorporating elements from art therapy, somatic experiencing, and internal family systems into her counseling sessions.

    Her journey in mental health services spans over five years and has taken her through various roles in diverse clinical settings, including schools, clinics, and outpatient services.  Recently, Ara was a school counselor at NSU University School, where she provided individual and group counseling to students on academic, social, and personal issues. She was also a university lecturer where she developed and taught undergraduate courses in Abnormal Psychology for Spanish speakers. Lastly, she has also contributed to the research field with her presentations at conferences and publication on digital media, teen mental health, and relationships.

    Ara’s educational background includes a master’s degree in clinical Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University where she is a part of both the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Psi Chi Honor Society. Ara completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of British Columbia.

    In the past, Ara served as Vice President and Secretary of the organization. In her new role, she is eager to provide a supportive environment for members, increase opportunities for professional development, and heighten public awareness about the significant role of mental health counselors in our society.

    Despite her professional commitments, Ara believes in the importance of a balanced life. When not immersed in her work, she loves spending time with her family, playing tennis, exploring new places, and diving into a good book.

    Before we look forward to this exciting new chapter, we would like to take a moment to express our deep appreciation for our outgoing President, John Davis, LMHC. His tireless dedication and exceptional leadership have significantly shaped our organization. John will remain on the board as Vice President. Our executive team is further supported by Tom Linley, our membership coordinator and webmaster as well as Sean Williams of West Palm Accounting our CPA. We’d also like to extend our gratitude to our amazing volunteers that make this all possible.

    If you’d like to learn about us further, feel free to click on the links below:

    Ara Mascarenas

    John Davis Counseling

    W. Palm Accounting

    Best Regards,

    Mental Health Counselors Association of Palm Beach

  • 07/21/2023 7:46 PM | Tom Linley (Administrator)

    We are delighted to extend a warm welcome to our newest Premier Monthly sponsor, Kinder in the Keys (, a distinguished residential women's psychiatric facility located in the scenic Florida Keys. This exceptional facility offers a range of cutting-edge treatments, including the unique experience of swimming with live dolphins. We encourage you to take a moment to explore their website and acquaint yourself with the comprehensive services they provide.

    We are pleased to acknowledge that several of our members have already recommended clients to Kinder, resulting in excellent outcomes. We are particularly grateful to Tracy Potter, one of Kinder's exceptional coaches, who has been our primary liaison for a number of years and consistently attends our events.

    Looking ahead, we are excited about our collaboration with Kinder, and we eagerly anticipate their presentation for us in June next year. For any inquiries or further information, please feel free to reach out to our designated contact at Kinder, Ansley Elfmont.

  • 07/13/2023 5:24 PM | Tom Linley (Administrator)

    We would like to say thank you to Dr. Lissette Cortez for rising to a special occasion on the last workshop event of our season, 

    Our speaker, Dr. Porter, was unable to come down from North Carolina due to egregious flight problems. She sat on Raleigh runway all day and still failed to depart. But we were in luck, that during a dinner in Boca honoring, the missing, Dr. Porter, hosted by Acadia Healthcare, we re-connected with some old friends, and our challenge was solved. We are especially grateful to our sponsors Treatment Placement Specialists at Acadia Healthcare led by Marina Ocksengorn and Alisa Fliss 

    We are grateful to Dr. Lissette Cortes who volunteered to present for Dr Porter in her absence. You may remember Dr. Cortes from her excellent presentation on OCD at the Hanley Center last year. She is an expert on eating disorders and did an outstanding job.

    It was an excellent and selfless display of professionalism and passion for a subject. Thank you once again Dr. Cortez!

  • 06/20/2023 3:42 PM | Tom Linley (Administrator)

    The Florida Mental Health Counselors Association’s (FMHCA) Government Relations Committee (GRC) has received inquiries from members regarding recent news reports stating that Governor DeSantis has vetoed HB 385. This bill aimed to enable counselors from other states to apply for the opportunity to practice in Florida by paying fees. Some members are uncertain whether this veto indicates that Governor DeSantis no longer endorses the Counseling Compact or if Florida is no longer part of it.

    FMHCA’s GRC has consulted their lobbyist, who informed them that Governor DeSantis is fulfilling his promise to veto all fee-related bills. The veto does not indicate a lack of support for the compact, which the governor had previously signed into law on April 6, 2022. This historic action made Florida one of the first ten states to join the compact. Additionally, the 491 Board has confirmed that the bill was not necessary for Florida to remain a part of the Counseling Compact.

    The 491 Board has assured us that individuals seeking permission to practice in Florida will be funded through the board's trust fund, and they are actively working towards implementing the compact. The compact is expected to take effect in early 2024.

    We hope this clarification alleviates any concerns members may have regarding the veto. Rest assured that the FMHCA remains fully committed to supporting the Counseling Compact in Florida.

  • 05/22/2022 3:43 PM | Tom Linley (Administrator)

    I wanted to take the opportunity to thank two very important people in our organization who have worked tirelessly to make things possible for us. Dr. Anna Owens and Erinn Beck LMHC have been with us for years. Sadly both of them will be leaving our board this summer to pursue other interests. We, of course, wish them well in all endeavors and of course, leave our doors open for them to return at any time. In the meantime, we are in capable hands with our secretary/ Treasurer Ara Mascarenas, webmaster Tom Linley, accountant Sean Williams, and Social Media Director Christy Granzotto.   

    Ara will be assuming the role of vice president this fall which will open up her role for someone new. We are creating a new paid position of “host/hostess” who will greet guests at events and handle CEU registration for us

     If you know of anyone interested in helping us in the association by putting on events and networking let us know. I look forward to seeing all of you soon. 

    John Davis, LMHC


  • 05/21/2022 3:39 PM | Tom Linley (Administrator)

    We are so excited to be back live and in person with our meetings. Thanks to everyone who attended an awesome meeting yesterday at the Hanley Center sponsored by our friends at Family First thanks especially to Ben Cecil and Vanessa Hochman, as well as Erin Beatty our wonderful presenter for the day. Thanks for all your doing for the troubled teens among us. Join us on June 17 at the Hanley Center live again for lunch and a couple of CE use for an outstanding presentation on obsessive compulsive disorder that’ll be sponsored by our friends at Coral shores behavioral health. Thank you Carla Newman for being there for us. See all of you soon. John Davis 

    Photo Caption: This is a photo of Erinn Beck our vice president on the left and

     Anna Owens our treasurer on the right. These are our departing board members.

  • 06/17/2020 9:00 AM | John Davis (Administrator)

    Take a look at what our state organization is doing right now. Thank you especially to Laura Giraldo, LMHC for helping us get our workshops running online statewide. A giant shout out goes to Aaron Norton, LMHC our current president for an awesome workshop just now on tele-health.


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