Working With Children And Families Is My Passion
I’ve been described as an empath throughout my life and have often been told that I have the ability to see the world from the perspective of others. I think this has something to do with my upbringing. I am an immigrant who speaks 3 languages—English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Being multilingual, as well as multicultural, has given me the opportunity to meet people from a wide variety of backgrounds and be exposed to different life experiences. I’ve had a special affinity with children throughout my life and from an early age I knew that I wanted to help them.
The first time I realized that mental health would be my path in life was after I took my first Psychology 101 course at a local community college. That’s when I decided to get my undergraduate degree in Psychology and, while pursuing my degree, volunteered with an organization that worked with child victims of sexual abuse. Over those three years of volunteering, I decided I want to help children as part of my career, so I earned a master’s degree in social work with an emphasis in child welfare. It was during my Master’s Program that I interned as a mental health therapist serving middle and high school students in a low-income community. This internship was pivotal in reassuring me of my passion for helping children in need.
Throughout my years of working as a childrens mental health therapist and, more recently, as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), I have gained a great deal of experience working with families of different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. And as a mother of two children myself, I understand the barriers and fears that parents can face before, during, and after seeking treatment for their kids. Since my clients are primarily children, my philosophy is to work closely with their parents. I have learned that collaborating with the parents and the family as a whole can greatly improve a child’s quality of life.
It takes a unique set of qualities to work with children—both my empathetic nature and listening skills help me form a close relationship with kids as well as their parents. I aim to build trust and to meet families wherever they are in life and set goals for progress from there. I have a genuine desire to assist the families I work with while also being open to whatever limitations may arise in their lives. I am particularly sensitive to the adversity they face, because I have experienced adversity in my own life and know what it’s like to walk in those shoes.
My approach to counseling is behavior-focused. My specialties are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), both of which emphasize exploring patterns of behavior and overcoming negative thoughts and feelings so that behaviors improve. Through CBT and PCIT, I have witnessed breakthroughs with the children and parents I work with and have even applied what I’ve learned to my own family. Moreover, I continue to broaden my knowledge of children’s mental health—I am currently taking Play Therapy classes at UC San Diego and will soon be a licensed therapist in this modality.
My passion is to build community through sharing my knowledge of mental health and child development. I have created a blog and an Instagram account dedicated to children’s mental health and DIY activities for young children that encourage developmental skills and strengthen relationships with their caregivers. I am also on the board of a non-profit organization that provides after school programs and summer camps for children in Compton, CA. Additionally, I am an active member of the SAM Initiative, a Los Angeles-based philanthropic foundation for women, children, and families.
Whether your child is suffering from anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or any other mental health issues, feel free to explore our website to find out more about our specialties or contact me to schedule a free, 15-minute consultation. My practice is based out of the CBT Treatment Center located in Manhattan Beach, but I offer online therapy services for children within the greater Los Angeles area.
Bruna Soares Thompson has been practicing as a childrens mental health therapist for 6 years. After receiving a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Psychology and Social Behavior from UC Irvine, Bruna went on to receive a Masters in Social Work from California State, Los Angeles. She became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in 2018. Additionally, she is a Train of Trainer for Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), has received certification in Managing and Adapting Practices, and is trained in Alternatives for Families Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.