Dr. Gabrielle Toloza, a clinical psychologist with a deep passion for helping children and families, is making a significant impact in the field of mental health in the United States. Her unique approach to therapy and counseling is not only transforming individual lives but also addressing larger societal issues related to mental health. Let’s explore Dr. Toloza’s journey, her innovative business approach, and how it is solving problems in the US.
A Love for Children and a Career in Mental Health
Her journey began with a profound love for children and a desire to understand the world from their perspective. She realized her calling while pursuing her undergraduate degree when she shifted her focus from becoming a teacher to helping children who were struggling in various ways. Over the past 20+ years, she has worked in diverse settings, from homeless shelters and drug rehabilitation centers to the foster care system and prisons, providing invaluable insights into the mental health challenges faced by individuals from all walks of life.
Personal experiences of loss have added a deep layer of empathy and understanding to her approach. Dr. Toloza believes that pain, sadness, and fear are critical facets of the human experience to be embraced, understood, and utilized to help individuals adapt and coexist in an ever-changing world.
Unique Approach to Mental Health
Dr. Toloza’s approach to mental health is rooted in her belief that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. She tailors her methods to each individual’s unique needs, focusing on a set of principles, including the 7 tenets of mindfulness and the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) model. Her goal is not to “cure” or “fix” people but to help them become psychologically flexible, adapting to their evolving circumstances.
In her practice, Dr. Toloza helps clients by guiding them through a process of self-discovery. She encourages them to identify their core values and break through limiting beliefs and negative self-talk. This process often uncovers deeper issues such as substance abuse and trauma, which may be preventing them from moving forward.
Success in Her Own Life
Dr. Toloza’s personal definition of success revolves around core values like love, both for herself and her community. Mindfulness plays a crucial role in her life, allowing her to focus on what truly matters while shedding attachments to stress-inducing factors. She emphasizes the importance of being present, connecting to what’s important, and taking the next loving action.
Dr. Toloza is constantly evolving and expanding her reach. She recently launched a mindfulness retreat in Hawaii, aimed at helping professional women and families connect with their core values, unpack limiting beliefs, and find inner peace through meditation and mindfulness in immersive nature-based experiences. Her retreats offer a unique opportunity for self-discovery and growth.
She emphasizes the importance of quieting the mind, trusting one’s inner voice, and taking action. She has witnessed and personally practices these steps knowing they can lead to personal growth and fulfillment.