The Family Counseling Center of St. Paul’s has built a strong bilingual and culturally competent team working together via a shared leadership model driven by a collaborative culture.
Sister Theresa Elitz, OSF, LPCMH / Founder and Senior Clinician
Sister Theresa Elitz, our founder, has worked in Central America, North America, and the Caribbean – initially as a bilingual, culturally competent professional nurse and then as a professional bilingual, culturally competent behavioral health therapist – serving diverse cultures for over thirty years. In addition to her license in counseling, Sr. Theresa is also licensed in Alcohol and Drug counseling, and certified in hypnotherapy and spiritual direction. Over the past decade, Sr. Theresa has supervised many Spanish-speaking professional mental health therapists and community leaders, who have gone on to serve the community in various health, education, faith-based, and community settings.
Rob joined the FCCSP team because of his passion for helping those less fortunate who are dealing with behavioral health issues, and the opportunity to help develop an organization driven by team-based shared leadership. In addition to advocacy, development, fundraising, donor relations, and program development, Rob capitalizes on the individual and collective strengths of our team and taps into each team member’s expertise to develop a strong professional culture. He helps create opportunities for our team, Board, donors, volunteers, and other community stakeholders as they work together to build on the successes and tackle the challenges of our organization to ensure fulfillment of our mission.
Kathleen is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with extensive experience in community building. She was the founding organizer of ‘Voices without Borders’, a nonprofit organization focused on community organizing, particularly with respect to immigrants’ rights. As a social worker for the past 15 years, Kathleen has had wide-ranging experience with interdisciplinary teams in faith-based and health care settings, most recently in hospice care. Recently, Kathleen completed extensive training by the State of Delaware in PCIT (Parent Child Interactive Therapy), an evidence-based treatment to help improve the skills parents have to deal with challenging behaviors of young children with negative attention-seeking or oppositional behaviors.
Born and raised in Venezuela, Mariella has 20 years of experience working with non-profits and in private practice. She has worked with a wide range of age groups, and has experience with substance abuse, mental health, parenting education and support groups. Within her psychotherapy practice, Mariella has a special interest in working with women’s issues, transitions and grieving. Her compassion combined with her depth of expertise has helped define FCCSP culture, and our approach to serving clients.
Nan graduated from Wilmington University in 2011 with her MS in Community Counseling. In 2010-11, she completed an internship at Community Hospital of Chester in Pennsylvania treating adults with chronic medical and mental illnesses. Currently she has her associate license in mental health. In her clinical practice, Nan has experience with treatment of depression, anxiety, grief and adjustment disorders, as well as post-abortion healing.
Belkys Sanchez, MSW, LCSW / Clinician
Belkys is a bilingual, culturally competent clinician who graduated with her Masters in Social Work from Widener University in 2016. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Universidad Adventista Dominicana. Belkys has experience in individual, family, couple, and group therapy as well as Parent Aide programs. She is trained and well-versed in a wide variety of treatment modalities, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Parent-Child Interactive Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Narrative Therapy. Belkys’ interventions are guided by assessments, such as Self-portrait, Family portrait, Trauma Recovery Scale, BDI, ECBI, SIPS, and others as needed. Her experiences in human services and nonprofit organizations have helped Belkys find her passion to help clients build better family relationships. She has also participated in training programs including Creating Safe Spaces for LGBT Youth, Providing Services to LGBTQ and Orientation Questioning clients, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, and Understanding Youth Culture.
Maria C. Aguilar, MSW / Clinician
Maria C. Aguilar is a graduate of Widener University where she earned her Master of Social Work. She obtained her Bachelors in Psychology and Criminal Justice from the University of Delaware. While at Widener University, she also completed a Trauma Certification. Maria has been trained and certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She is also trained in Attachment-Based Family Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools.
Maria has experience facilitating therapeutic and support groups, parenting education and working with survivors of domestic violence. Maria is currently completing a 3-year post-graduate program at the Gestalt Therapy Institute of Philadelphia.
Abner was born and raised in Wilmington. He is an alumnus of St. Elizabeth’s High School and received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Wilmington University. He has broad experience in counseling, supervision, and non-profit administration. Abner has specialized experience with Domestic Violence survivors and offenders and is certified in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Abner has also specialized in work with young children and their families, and received extensive training as a practitioner and trainer in Parent Child Interaction Therapy. Abner is currently working as the Lead Behavioral Health Consultant at La Comunidad Hispana in Kennett Sqaure, PA, focused on the effective integration of Primary Care and Behavioral Health. Abner is a leader and a mentor in the community. He currently serves on the Advisory Council for the Chester County ACEs Coalition and the Community Advisory Board for West Chester University’s Graduate School of Social Work.
Irma is a 2012 Masters graduate of the Delaware State University School of Social Work who has worked with individuals and families across the lifespan – from early childhood to older adults and their caregivers. She is currently working full-time for Christiana Care’s Behavioral Health Department at its Wilmington Campus. Irma spent several years working as a Family Crisis Therapist at William C. Lewis Dual Language Elementary School, one of FCCSP’s key community partners located just a few blocks from the agency. She has also worked with the Center for Child Development, and was trained in Parent Child Interaction Therapy while working with pediatric clients there. Additionally, Irma has experience with case management and care planning, connecting patients to community resources through the Visiting Nurse’s Association.
Meliza was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She has a rich history of working with non-profit organizations while working closely with culturally diverse communities. Her most recent two positions were working with adult education programs helping them to integrate into their communities. Meliza’s investment with her students are valued because of her personal interest in them as individuals and their future plans, helping them achieve their goals. Her experiences of working with non-profit organizations include state, municipal, and the private sector funded organizations. Meliza’s professional goal is to serve individuals in the community by assisting them to connect with the different resources available in Wilmington.
Jennifer is currently a senior at University of Delaware. She is finishing up her last semester and will be graduating Winter 2018 as a Criminal Justice Major. During her Freshmen year at UD, she began volunteering at the Domestic Violence Advocacy Program and assisted victims of Domestic Violence through the Protection from Abuse process. Because she enjoyed working with the Criminal Justice System, in beginning of her Junior year she began working for Delaware Volunteer Legal Services as an interpreter gaining experience with all Family Law matters. She aspires to go to law school once she is finished with her degree and feels she is ready for that new journey. In addition to her work with DVLS she has now joined the FCCSP team as a Legal Liaison. As a Legal Liaison she assists with all legal matters in order to provide the most beneficial resources to the clients.
Carmen is pursuing a Master’s in Social Work from Widener University. She is on track to graduate in May of 2019. Having spent over 16 years as a Bilingual Victim Assistant with the New Castle County Police Department, she is known to many as strong advocate who is committed to serving the state’s vulnerable community. Carmen is certified as a Domestic Violence Specialist through the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence. In addition, she recently accepted as a faculty member of the new Delaware Victim Assistance Academy. Carmen strongly believes self-care practice is vital in order for her to continue serving the community in an efficient manner. Her daily practices consist of prayer, meditation, QiGong, words of affirmations, sharing with loved ones, and laughter. Hiking and seeing the sunrise at the beach provides much healing for her. Carmen finds great joy in sharing with others healthy coping skills, so those in her path can be their best selves.
Luly was born and raised in Wilmington. Her first approach to working towards her passion for wellness was through her certification as a Massage Therapist. She found the experience of providing relaxation and relief from stress in others to be truly self-fulfilling. Most recently, Luly worked as a Bilingual Assistant at a personal injury law firm for over three years, helping individuals and families access legal support. Luly is currently working towards her Associates degree in Human Services at Delaware Technical Community College. She is excited to continue to contribute her professional experience and develop good relationships with people in the community through her role as Intake Coordinator at FCCSP. Luly and her two young sons live in Wilmington.
Born and raised in Ecuador, South America, Galo is bilingual, culturally competent, and skilled in finance, case management work, and insurance and billing. An affable ‘family man’, he brings a strong sense of compassion blended with a solid work ethic. Galo’s focused, dedicated drive and determination, combined with humility and humor, help our clients and his colleagues every day.
Marie Redfield / Operations Manager
Marie joined FCCSP in August 2016 with experience in office management, finance, fundraising, graphic & website design, marketing, human resources, and communications. She brings steadfast support and organizational skills to the task of promoting the work of FCCSP. Marie was born and raised in Wilmington and has worked and volunteered with nonprofits for 23 years.