Carrera Counseling Services, PLLC in The Woodlands, TX is a reliable counseling center that welcomes everyone seeking personal or spiritual growth. We offer professional help in navigating various life transitions, including coping with anxiety, grief or overwhelming stress and dealing with trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Browse through this page to learn more about our team.
About Our Licensed Therapists
Priscilla Carrera, MA/EdS, LPC
Priscilla is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and owner of Carrera Counseling Services, PLLC. She was born and raised in the Houston area but moved to Lubbock to obtain a Bachelor’s degree (BA) in Psychology from Texas Tech University. During her time in Lubbock, she worked with children and adolescents whose parents suffered from addictions and provided drug prevention education to community schools and juvenile detention programs. She then moved to New Jersey to obtain her Master’s degree (MA) and Education Specialist degree (EdS) from Seton Hall University. While in New Jersey, she gained experience working in a variety of settings that included a therapeutic nursery, an inpatient psychiatric unit, and a community mental health agency that provided outpatient counseling services and in-school services. She also gained valuable experience doing crisis work and case management with Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (formerly known as the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey).
Priscilla moved to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina in 2012 and became an Employee Assistance Program counselor for the local hospital system. There, she worked with health care employees, such as nurses and paramedics, as they navigated through work-related stressors. After having two children, she chose to move to private practice, which would allow for a better work-life balance. While in private practice in the Ft. Bragg area, she gained experience working with active duty military families and veterans, which led to her interest in working with trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Priscilla is very passionate about helping people who have been negatively impacted by distressing events and she truly believes that, with a willingness to reflect on self and a desire to get better, healing can happen.
Priscilla moved back to the Houston area in 2017 and, since then, her practice has expanded to different forms of trauma and diagnoses. She works with people who are recovering from traumatic events but also works with people who may not meet diagnostic criteria but want some help navigating current life stressors. Priscilla tailors her approach to the individual needs of each client but she generally utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which is an intervention that helps the brain resume it's natural healing process that is sometimes blocked when experiencing distress.
Chris has more than 20 years of experience, knowledge, and wisdom as a licensed mental health provider, educator, and researcher. He has worked with a wide range of adult and adolescent clients, and has expertise with many client issues and therapy models. Research consistently demonstrates that the most important factor in the success of psychotherapy is the strength of relationship between the patient and the therapist. Chris will work to support an environment of mutual respect, trust, and honesty. It is his belief that therapy works best when there is openness, sincerity, and compassion. Chris practices from a trauma-informed care model that seeks to avoid exploitation or revictimization.
In much of his career, Chris has worked alongside other medical professionals, such as psychiatrists and primary care providers. He believes in a holistic approach – Mental Health is Health – and can guide clients in seeking, understanding, and communicating with their health care providers. While he does not prescribe medications, Chris is well-educated in pharmacotherapy (using medications to assist with psychiatric concerns) and can assist clients in navigating the intersection between physical health and mental health.
Chris welcomes all adults and adolescents aged 13 and above. Some common issues he helps with include: depression, anxiety, abuse/trauma, stress (including PTSD), grief/loss, relationship issues, chronic illness, and crisis management.
Chris has a special connection with the following populations:
Healthcare Professionals / First Responders
He has worked in and around law enforcement for 30 years. Chris began a career as a peace officer after completing his undergraduate degree. Although he left fulltime law enforcement and pursued graduate education, he remained close by volunteering in reserve work and special projects. Chris continues to work within the 911 system in Harris County, TX riding with a peace officer partner and responding to 911 calls with mental health components. He regularly teams with law enforcement, psychiatrists, emergency physicians, trauma nurses, paramedics, and EMTs to provide emergent care to patients in psychiatric crises. He knows firsthand the unique stressors of working as a first responder and the toll it takes personally and relationally.
Victims of Spiritual Abuse, Religious Trauma, and “Ex-vangelicals”
Spirituality is at the core of the human experience. Chris was raised in a fundamentalist evangelical religion and like many people today, he experienced a spiritual crisis that led him to deconstruct his faith. Having degrees in theology and psychology, he had many tools that most do not. The education did not, of course, spare him the full weight of the emotional turmoil that followed, as he struggled with sometimes overwhelming feelings of fear, loss, anger, resentment, guilt, and despondency. For a time, Chris felt completely lost.
He believes his knowledge did allow him to reconstruct a spirituality that favored a reasoned, compassionate, and informed theology. He discovered that he could have a healthy faith that looked different on the surface from his upbringing but that brought back the deep and meaningful spirituality that he had lost during his crisis. It is vital to note, however, that Chris does not “evangelize” or seek to “convert” clients – which is exploitative and a violation of ethical codes of conduct. Rather, he seeks to support each person through the crisis of faith and the powerful emotions that follow, into their own process of deconstruction and into reconstruction that supports mental and emotional wellness. He approaches as a fellow traveler on a spiritual journey, knowledgeable of both the healthy and unhealthy aspects of the Judeo-Christian religious tradition.
Gabriela is a bilingual Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in the state of Texas under the supervision of Megan Coit, LMSW-S. Gabriela received her bachelor’s and master’s degree in International Studies from Texas State University. She completed her Master of Social Work degree at the University of Houston where she specialized in clinical and macro practice. She completed her practicum as an advocate and counselor working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. She has extensive experience working in a mental health hospital as an outpatient therapist providing group therapy for adolescents and adults.
Gabriela is an anxiety disorders and treatment specialist. She utilizes Exposure Response and Prevention (ERP) to help adolescents and adults who struggle with Anxiety disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD), and other phobias. ERP is a science-based treatment and the gold standard treatment in mental health to helping clients overcome their fears. A reduction in symptoms is achievable through exposure therapy.
Running away from your fears can often lead to patterns of behavior that may provide immediate relief but does not break the cycle of anxiety; instead, it only increases it. You may find yourself engaging in ritualistic behaviors such as avoidance, reassurance seeking, overt behaviors, and even mental compulsions. If anxiety has become debilitating and prevents you from functioning in day-to-day tasks, exposure treatment may be what you need. Exposure therapy can be hard but it is effective. It requires consistency and work. As an exposure therapist, her approach is compassionate, and treatment is tailored to your specific needs. Gabriela also incorporates additional evidenced-based therapy that include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Inference Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy (I-CBT).
Most importantly, Gabriela recognizes the importance of the therapeutic alliance and believes that change can only take place in an environment of trust where the client feels safe to explore, take risks, and learn about themselves. For a free consultation, please call or email (direct contact info below).
Ashley is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate supervised by Cyndi Doyle LPC-S. She received her Bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University and her Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Sam Houston State University. Prior to entering into the counseling field she worked as a 911 paramedic in the north Houston area and still maintains her paramedic license. During her time as a paramedic she saw the unique needs of the first responder community and is now dedicated to tending to the mental health and wellness that is essential to success in the field. Ashley has experience with Veterans, first responders, and those recovering from addiction, but her main specialization is in complex trauma. She utilizes many different techniques to help her clients reach their goals, but all are centered around increasing self-awareness and empowering her clients with skills and techniques to live a more full life free from the constraints that trauma places on them. Her primary focus is creating a safe environment for her clients to heal through the therapeutic relationship. Ashley is accepting individuals and couples.
At Carrera Counseling Services, PLLC, we offer a safe space for patients to share their struggles. We aim to change your perspective and help you take the first step toward recovery. Contact our counseling center today for more information about our counseling services.
To schedule counseling sessions, you may contact us via email or phone. We look forward to providing you with compassionate counseling services.