Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Sometimes throughout the life span unexpected events or situations can happen that can leave you feeling lost and confused of how to move forward. Perhaps, it is a time in your life where you could benefit from skill building or an enhancement in emotional intelligence to improve emotional well-being, self awareness, and coping. Tonya Torres takes a collaborative approach to problem solving with my client to assist them in getting the results that they desire.
Tonya Torres is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) who has been providing mental health services throughout California since she began her training in 2010. Tonya feels passionate and truly inspired by the work she has done throughout the variety of training experiences and communities she has served in. She is a LGBTQ+ affirming therapist and a social justice advocate supporting clients to feel empowered to live authentically as they really are while providing compassion and understanding.
Tonya graduated with her Masters of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California (USC). She completed her undergraduate studies at San Francisco State University where she achieved a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Counseling. Since Tonya’s career began she always worked with complex presentations of mental health issues and served underprivileged communities.
Experience and Expertise
Community Mental Health
During Tonya’s undergraduate studies, she worked extensively with at risk adolescents and foster youth in level 14 group homes providing interventions. She witnessed firsthand the impacts of prolonged trauma exposure to children and teens how this alters development and impacts learning. Following this experience, Tonya worked in a crisis residential facility treating adults facing significant mental health issues on the verge of hospitalization. From this experience, she gained an expertise in dealing with severe mental health concerns such as major depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, PTSD, personality disorder, and dual diagnosis.
As she advanced in graduate standing, she gained experience working in extreme impoverished areas impacted by community violence, marginalization, and multi-generational issues. Tonya was working in a community mental health clinic in South Los Angeles providing services to adolescents and adults. She gained a better understanding through this experience about how one’s community and environment impacts treatment outcomes and ones ability to thrive.
Following her time in community mental health, she transition into working with adults struggling with issues chemical dependency and other comorbidities. Tonya describes her work with the recovery population as transformative as people are given a space to heal the past. Swiftly, she observed the positive changes possible when people learn to adopt a fresh perception of the world as they begin incorporating healthier ways of coping and thinking.
For the last 4 years, Tonya has been working with adolescents and at risks youth through the education system in both traditional high school settings and juvenile detention institutions. She has developed a talent for joining with adolescents and collaboratively work with them on the issues impacting their lives. During her time in the juvenile institutions, she gained a strong skillset for working with issues of Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Chemical Dependence, Complex Trauma, and early signs of at risk behavior. She has supported youth through gang prevention, relapse prevention, and assisted in identifying strengths. While working in education Tonya has also supported as an academic counselor, so she is knowledgeable of the high school requirements, pressures, and the pathways for higher education. Currently, Tonya work for Irvine Unified School District as an Educationally Related Mental Health Services (ERMHS) Specialist supporting students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP’s) meet their academic goals in the least restrictive environments. She is well versed in social issues and the academic pressure that youth face today and she bring this knowledge into the room whenever she is providing treatment.
Yoga Practice & Therapy
Tonya has always had a love for learning and self-development, so to expand her repertoire of skills in 2017; she embarked on a journey and completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training certification. She has been teaching yoga at Radiant Hot Yoga, Newport Beach for the last 2 years. She has gained additional training in Trauma-Informed Yoga techniques and mindfulness practices. She describes witnessing firsthand the powerful healing component yoga and mindfulness can have in helping people heal the past and get grounded in the present.
Tonya feels like she is not married one therapeutic technique but rather meets her clients where they are in the moment. She utilizes evidence based practices to help her clients’ connect and heal. She considers herself an eclectic therapist that is intentional about the different approaches she incorporates in the therapeutic setting. Tonya makes it her primary goal to create a safe space for her client’s to feel a sense of belonging. She has found great success in her ability to attune to her clients’ by showing up as an authentic human in the room. Her primary treatment techniques derive from a trauma-informed lens. She always considers how the impacts of trauma are playing into a client’s current symptoms and circumstances. Incorporating Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to assist clients in modifying and improving faulty thinking patterns. She utilizes Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) to assist her client’s that struggle with a lot of dysregulation to find more acceptance and to live in the present. Tonya considers herself a holistic practitioner and she incorporates mindfulness, yoga, and Brainspotting into her work often to help clients increase their body awareness and get connected to their whole being.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, MFC#112043- California
Masters of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy- University of Southern California (USC)
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Minor in Counseling- San Francisco State University (SFSU)
Additional Trainings and Certifications:
Brainspotting Phase 1 and 2
Gottman Method Level 1
Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT)
Trauma-Informed Yoga Training (level 1)
Exposure Response Prevention (ERP)
Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS)
Mindfulness USC, Mindfulness Lab
Competent in DBT techniques
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
Applied Suicide Intervention skills Training (ASIST)
Restorative Practices and Healing circles