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Get to know Chicago Growth Mindset...

Chicago Growth Mindset aims to give you the emotional tools to help combat stress in the workplace and in your personal life. Here is more about our staff, our work and our ethos…

Why we established CGM

Our working lives are hugely important to us. If we are happy in our job, then this radiates to our lives outside of work, whether at home or socially. It makes us better partners, better friends and, crucially, it makes us feel better within ourselves.     
     However, if work isn’t quite as we’d like, for whatever reason, then this has a negative impact and can lead to issues such as absenteeism, anxiety and depression. That is where Chicago Growth Mindset comes in.
     There is no need to suffer alone. Our team of experienced clinicians will use their expertize to help give you the tools, focus and support you need to overcome workplace difficulties.
     The spotlight on mental health and personal wellbeing has never shone brighter and the access to resources never greater. Make sure you help yourself, your co-workers and those closest to you by reaching out to Chicago Growth Mindset

Vision

A society where everyone can achieve mental wellness with dignity, respect and where emotional wellbeing is the foundation of a healthy community.
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Our mission

Chicago Growth Mindset builds stronger communities by creating the opportunities for people and organizations to cope with life demands by supporting comprehensive, equitable health practices that are culturally and linguistically responsive and honor traditional healing practices.

Our vision

A society where everyone can achieve mental wellness with dignity and where emotional wellbeing is the foundation of a healthy community.

Chicago Growth Mindset mental health services

Our mission

At CGM, we believe people who are emotionally healthy are in control of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. They are able to cope with life’s challenges, and they can keep problems in perspective and bounce back from any setbacks. CGM creates the opportunities for people and organizations to cope with life’s demands by supporting comprehensive health practices and building stronger communities. 

Our vision

A society where everyone can achieve mental wellness with dignity and where emotional wellbeing is the foundation of a healthy community.

Meet the co-owners

CGM staff are diverse in background and thought, a bilingual group of experienced and caring mental health professionals with a broad range of affordable counseling services that address the whole person: mind, body, and spirit. 

CGM staff are diverse in background and thought, a bilingual group of experienced and caring mental health professionals with a broad range of affordable counseling services that address the whole person: mind, body, and spirit. 

Rosa Julia Garcia Rivera, LCPC​

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Rosa Julia Garcia Rivera - Chicago Growth Mindset

With her professional foundation as a clinical therapist Ms. Garcia Rivera works systematically, taking a non-judgmental, strengths-based approach to facilitate change and foster emotional growth, helping individuals and organizations build resilience and social emotional capacity.
     Rosa Julia grounds her commitment as a champion of mental health from her own life; growing up in an under resourced community on the south side of Chicago, she was forced to contend with racism and loss.
     Rosa Julia draws on nearly three decades of experience and leadership providing culturally responsive clinical services.     
     Presently, Rosa Julia is the co-owner of Chicago Growth Mindset, a private practice specializing in integrating workplace mental wellness programs and providing evidence-based behavioral healthcare for high stress professionals as well as community leaders and first responders. Outside of therapeutic services Rosa Julia also provides expertise in the areas of Consultation, Training, Coaching and Supervision.
     “I focus on high stress, demanding sectors and leaders who are making a positive impact on society, to not only cultivate a vision of holistic wellbeing, but because mental wellness in the workplace allows individuals to feel connected, accomplished, and be fulfilled.”

Finally, Rosa Julia enjoy teaching in a variety of educational institutions currently serving as an adjunct professor for Erikson Institute the Graduate school of Child Development where she teaches Diagnostics and assessments enhancing the mental health field with competent qualified practitioners.
     In addition to Chicago Growth Mindset Rosa Julia gained local and national recognition for her tenure and impact serving disinvested communities within a multimillion-dollar, social service organization that had been in existence for over 124 years. 
     Rosa Julia held several professional roles that included Director of Mental Health Services, Chief Operating Officer and finally Chief Programs Officer Her legacy lies in creating Healthy Minds, Healthy Schools: a multi-tiered, multi-system, intergenerational approach to school-based mental health that serves students with complex trauma and severe mental health challenges and equips parents and staff with the social emotional competencies to sustain academic and personal growth.
     Her professional career started at the DeKalb County State’s Attorney’s Office where she began working on the gang task force as a Certified Gang Mental Health Specialist.  
     For almost 30 years Rosa Julia would serve children and families with severe, complex trauma in communities suffering from racial and systemic inequities. Her professional experiences include, Clinical Therapist, Crisis Responder, Director of Child and Adolescent Outpatient, and as a mental health consultant for nonprofit and privately owned agencies across Illinois.     
   These diverse experiences not only increased Rosa Julia’s expertise as therapist but served as an inflection point which prompted her to engage the macro-level systemic issues that drives the need for these social supports. 
     Rosa Julia received her bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University and completed her master’s degree in Counseling Education with honors from Northeastern University.
     Additionally, she has completed a 2-year leadership program through the Georgetown School of Nonprofit Management via Prosperity Now as part of their Building High Impact Nonprofits of Color program Ms. Garcia Rivera’s passion lies in collaborating with organizations to design mental wellness programs that improve culture and increase the impact of services.
     “A resilient organization enables your employees to thrive, even amidst challenging and uncertain times.”

Nilsa Ruiz, LCSW​​

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Nilsa Ruiz of Chicago Growth Mindset counseling services

Nilsa Ruiz is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and bilingual clinician with a passionate focus on supporting individuals, couples, adolescents, and families in overcoming generational trauma and destructive mental health behaviors. Born in Humboldt Park to Spanish-speaking parents, Nilsa’s personal experience as a Latina deepens her understanding and commitment to dissolving the barriers and stigma surrounding mental health services within marginalized communities. As a certified racial healing facilitator, Nilsa recognizes the significance impact her clients’ life experiences have on shaping their needs and responds with culturally-competent techniques to build sustainable mental wellness.

Our team

Cindy S. Castro, LCSW

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Cindy S. Castro LCSW Chicago Growth Mindset

Cindy S. Castro is a bilingual, bicultural Licensed Clinical Social Worker with more than 10 years of experience providing evidenced based therapy to children, adolescents and their families throughout the city of Chicago and local suburbs. Cindy received her bachelors from University of California, Santa Barbara- and completed her education with her Masters in Social Work from the University of Chicago.  Born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, after her parents migrated from El Salvador, Cindy discovered her passion for helping others at an early age,  and has a first hand understanding of the struggles of living in a community with limited resources and high levels of violence and trauma. Cindy has vast experiences collaborating with systems that include schools, hospitals, Law enforcement,  court systems and  community agencies. Working in the non-profit sector for most of her career, she has dedicated her time to bringing education, awareness and providing outreach mental health support to low income families, but specifically advocating for the increased need of mental health services for the Spanish-speaking community.  With the ongoing mental health crisis affecting the country, Cindy is ready to help and assist, and accepts the challenge of navigating and helping out others in such stressful times. 

Gabriel Moses Garcia, MSSW

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Gabriel Garcia Chicago Growth Mindset

Joining Chicago Growth Mindset LLC, Gabriel Moses Garcia, MSSW bases his work on the belief that everyone can reach their potential with a supportive therapeutic plan. Gabriel brings more than 10 years of experience in therapy, leadership, policy, workforce development; and state, county, and city programming innovation and implementation across Non-Profit, Corporate, and Government organizations. Gabriel brings his heart and training, applied through a Social Work lens, to contribute to improving the quality of life for society’s most marginalized populations. Having been born and raised in Chicago’s Lawndale community, Gabriel knows, first-hand, the challenges faced by Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois residents. The challenges that Gabriel overcame led him to commit his education, career, and life to improving the fabric of society for the most vulnerable. Earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Northeastern Illinois University, and his Master’s Degree in Social Work from Columbia University in New York, Gabriel humbly carries his informal community education along with his formal education in his considerations for development and implementation of programs and services with the focus of efficiently closing as many service-gaps as he can without sacrificing the quality of the services and programs being offered. Gabriel is father to three boys Gael, Aries, and Maximiliano. Gabriel loves spending his time outdoors, in nature, on the trails, in the parks, and cycling with his sons.

Anabel Martinez

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Anabel Martinez LCPC Chicago Growth Mindset

Anabel Martinez holds a Bachelors in Criminal Justice from Loyola University and a Masters in Mental Health Counseling from National Louis University, and has obtained her LCPC. Anabel’s goal is to dismantle the barriers and stigma around mental health treatment to marginalised communities and those in need. Californian-born Anabel has gained experience in the psychiatric hospital setting as a milieu counselor, she also has experience as a Trauma Therapist providing individual, family and group therapy to minors, foster parents and biological parents for adoption or reunification in the child welfare system. She has served as a Community Crisis Therapist providing therapy services to individuals discharged from psychiatric/ behavioral hospitals with complex diagnosis and/ or safety plans to provide the continuity of aftercare with psychiatric assessment needs. Anabel is certified as a Trauma Informed yoga practitioner and a Racial Healing Circle practitioner through TRHT. Anabel sustains her passion for serving the community by providing workshops, consultations, and individual/ group/ family/ couples therapy. 

Guiulianna Cespedes, LPC

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Guiulianna Cespedes, Chicago Growth Mindset

Ms. Guiulianna Cespedes, is a licensed professional counselor. Ms. Cespedes is passionate about promoting emotional and mental well-being by embracing uniqueness
and individuality through proving skill development tools to promote growth, goal achievement, and overall life enrichment. She utilizes an eclectic therapeutic approach
centered in the patient’s needs, incorporating trauma informed strategies and family systems theory approach. She has acquired a vast experience in working with youth and families, with five years of experience working for Chicago and several non-for-profit organizations with roles as a Mental Health Clinician serving youth and families, Early
Head Start and Head Start programs, students, staff, and faculty. Furthermore, through her education and her past work experience, Ms. Cespedes has acquired excellent leadership skills, including customer service, communication and relationship building, presenting, consulting, and team building. Ms. Cespedes is currently working on certifications in Art Therapy, and Reiki Healing.

Ulises Ortiz

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Ulises Ortiz, Chicago Growth Mindset

Ulises Ortiz is a dedicated and passionate counselor from the west side of Chicago. Born and raised in West Humboldt Park and Logan Square, he possesses a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities as well as the needs of disinvested communities. With a B.A in Sociology from Benedictine University, Mr. Ortiz began his career at a Therapeutic Day School, working with students facing severe emotional and behavioral disturbance. Here he developed a strong foundation of assessment and clinical interventions.  His commitment to making a difference in the lives of young people led Mr. Ortiz to pursue further opportunities in academia. He was granted a graduate assistantship at Mississippi State University, where he worked directly with the school’s most at-risk Division 1 student-athletes. After receiving his masters in School Counseling with honors, Mr. Ortiz returned to Chicago to dedicate his professional work to guiding and supporting children and their families through their educational and life journeys.  Mr. Ortiz supported a variety of educational institutions, increasing their social emotional capacity, and providing comprehensive mental health services through a racial equity lens. Mr. Ortiz is committed to meeting his clients where they are and working collaboratively to support them in meeting their goals and thriving as the best version of themselves. Beyond his professional endeavors, Mr. Ortiz possesses a lifelong passion for baseball. Since 2013, he has embraced the opportunity to share his knowledge and love for baseball with aspiring athletes at the youth, high school, and college level.

Gabriel Almodovar

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Gabriel Almodovar Chicago Growth Mindset

Gabriel Almodovar holds a BA in Fashion Management from Columbia College and a Master’s in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in Training & Development.  Gabriel comes to Chicago Growth Mindset from a unique background within the Organizational Wellness space. Gabriel has been an educator and a trainer since 2001,” I love seeing people grow with professional development and develop into better versions of themselves“, he said. With his background in education and personal development, he has seen first-hand the transformative powers of self-investment. “Seeing someone learn something new that could potentially alter their life is amazing to witness and even more so- being the person providing that information is an incredible feeling.”   Gabriel takes a Humanistic approach to all his training, which considers free will and an individual’s desire to learn. “Both children and adults have their own respective desires to learn and meeting them where they are, I know will only encourage them to continue to grow”.  “Every single training I do, whether it’s in the classroom or a board room, I come with the information that is delivered in a fun and energetic way while also being highly informative. Gabriel was born in Chicago to Puerto Rican parents and grew up bilingually and bi-culturally. He lived in Chicago until he was 22 when he then moved to Los Angeles for 9 years, then New York City for 5 years, before moving back to Chicago at the start of the pandemic in order to be closer to his family. To transition into the mental health and wellness space, Gabriel obtained a master’s degree from Lewis University in Training and development. This degree paired with his over two decades of beauty education makes him a great addition, as a trainer, to our team.

Amanda Seanior, LCPC LMHC

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Amanda Seanior, Chicago Growth Mindset

Amanda Seanior, LCPC, LMHC, is a licensed clinical professional counselor, holding licenses in the state of Illinois and Indiana to provide clinical services. She received her BS in Psychology at Howard University and her Master of Arts degree (MA) in Forensic Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She has been in the field for 10 years with a focus on providing relational; trauma-informed therapy to individuals across the lifespan. Her clinical expertise is working with individuals who are struggling with depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress reactions/disorders, and relationship conflicts. Amanda is both an empathic and direct therapist, utilizing humor and displaying patience with the process of treatment while providing a safe and secure relationship with which clients can process their vulnerabilities. She believes in providing transformative and equitable clinical care to under-resourced communities; with a special focus on BIPOC and LGBTQ+ identified populations. Amanda’s training includes Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) and cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), as well as a qualified supervisor in the state of Illinois.

Rosa Julia Garcia Rivera, LCPC​

With her professional foundation as a clinical therapist, Rosa Julia Garcia Rivera works systematically, taking a non-judgmental, strengths-based approach to facilitate change and foster emotional growth, helping individuals build resilience and social emotional capacity. Ms. Garcia Rivera draws on nearly three decades of experience and leadership providing culturally responsive clinical services. In addition to Chicago Growth Mindset, Ms. Garcia Rivera has gained local and national recognition for her tenure at Gads Hill Center, a 123-year-old social service agency located on Chicago’s southwest side.  Her legacy lies in creating Healthy Minds, Healthy Schools: a multi-tiered, multi-system, intergenerational approach to school-based mental health that serves students with complex trauma and severe mental health challenges and equips parents and staff with the social emotional competencies to sustain academic and personal growth.

Meet the team

CGM staff are diverse in background and thought, a bilingual group of experienced and caring mental health professionals with a broad range of affordable counseling services that address the whole person: mind, body, and spirit. 

Rosa Julia Garcia Rivera

Co-owner

Rosa Julia draws on nearly three decades of experience and leadership providing a broad range of  culturally responsive clinical services.

Nilsa Ruiz

Co-owner

Nilsa is bilingual clinician who  helps individuals, couples, and families in overcoming generational trauma and destructive mental health. 

Cindy S. Castro

Therapist

Cindy is a bilingual, clinician with more than 10 years of experience providing evidence based therapy to children, adolescents and families. 

Gabriel Garcia

Therapist

Gabriel is experienced in leadership, therapy, policy and workforce development across Non-Profit, Corporate, and Government organizations.

Anabel Martinez

Therapist

Anabel’s goal is to dismantle the barriers and stigma around mental health treatment to marginalized communities and those in need.

Guiulianna Cespedes

Therapist

Guiulianna is a counselor passionate about promoting emotional and mental well-being by embracing uniqueness and individuality.

Ulises Ortiz

Therapist

Ulises is a dedicated and passionate counselor with a deep understanding of the challenges and needs of disinvested communities.

With a B.A in Sociology from Benedictine University, Mr. Ortiz began his career at a Therapeutic Day School, working with students facing severe emotional and behavioral disturbance.
     Here he developed a strong foundation of assessment and clinical interventions.  His commitment to making a difference in the lives of young people led Mr. Ortiz to pursue further opportunities in academia.
     He was granted a graduate assistantship at Mississippi State University, where he worked directly with the school’s most at-risk Division 1 student-athletes.
     After receiving his masters in School Counseling with honors, Mr. Ortiz returned to Chicago to dedicate his professional work to guiding and supporting children and their families through their educational and life journeys.  Mr. Ortiz supported a variety of educational institutions, increasing their social emotional capacity, and providing comprehensive mental health services through a racial equity lens.
     Mr. Ortiz is committed to meeting his clients where they are and working collaboratively to support them in meeting their goals and thriving as the best version of themselves.
     Beyond his professional endeavors, Mr. Ortiz possesses a lifelong passion for baseball. Since 2013, he has embraced the opportunity to share his knowledge and love for baseball with aspiring athletes at the youth, high school, and college level.

Gabriel Almodovar

Therapist

Gabriel comes from a unique background within the Organizational Wellness space. Gabriel has been an educator and a trainer since 2001

Amanda Seanior

Therapist

Amanda is a licensed clinical professional counselor, holding licenses in Illinois and Indiana to provide a range of clinical services. 

We manifest our mindsets from a very early age, and from it springs a great deal of our behavior, our relationship with success and failure in both professional and personal contexts, and ultimately our capacity for happiness.

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