Serena Messina

I am a psychologist with a passion for helping clients through life transitions, adjustment difficulties and attachment issues.

Dr. Stephen Finn shares the power of TA 04/01/2024

During 2023, I became officially certified in the Therapeutic Assessment (adult model). I am excited to share here a video where Steve Finn, creator of the model, describes a case where he used Therapeutic Assessment. This video well represents the power of Therapeutic Assessment and the reasons why Therapeutic Assessment is such an effective assessment and intervention.

Dr. Stephen Finn shares the power of TA In this video, Dr. Finn shares the powers of TA through a moving case example.

The Makings of a Secure Child 03/06/2022

I had the pleasure to be the guest for an episode of Jill Castle's podcast "The Nourished Child". Here is the link, in case you are you interested in knowing a little more about attachment theory.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaiQH3B1hNg

The Makings of a Secure Child Dr. Serena Messina joins me to discuss the importance of secure attachment in children. It is the cornerstone of our relationships and our emotional wellbei...

12/23/2021

Today I had my last session of 2021. I am so grateful for all the past and current clients that allowed me to be a companion and witness on their journey. I learned so much from you this year.

Opinion | Ahmaud Arbery and the Ghosts of Lynchings Past 05/13/2020

As a therapist working with black clients, I have been mourning this tragedy and the trauma that it provokes in my clients. As a white person, this tragedy terribly shows the extent of my white privilege and the systemic oppression of the society we live in in the US.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/12/opinion/ahmaud-arbery-georgia-lynching.html

Opinion | Ahmaud Arbery and the Ghosts of Lynchings Past As a black man living in Georgia, I am all too aware of the state’s history of lynching.

You’re Not Lazy —  Self-Isolation is Utterly Exhausting 04/15/2020

This article summarizes considerations about emotional wellbeing that have been helpful both for me personally and for my clients during this difficult time

https://medium.com/the-partnered-pen/youre-not-lazy-self-isolation-is-utterly-exhausting-df4695377db2

You’re Not Lazy —  Self-Isolation is Utterly Exhausting I’m the perfect case study for why self-isolation based on societal demand makes all the difference between thriving vs. surviving.

Opinion | Mental Health in the Age of the Coronavirus 04/03/2020

The NYtimes is gathering information about mental health during this time of crisis. If you are comfortable take the survey and share strategies that are working for you. We may all learn from each other.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/02/opinion/mental-health-coronavirus.html

Opinion | Mental Health in the Age of the Coronavirus The struggle between fear and comfort.

Online therapy — Serena Messina, Ph.D 04/02/2020

I feel so grateful to be able to offer support to my clients during this difficult time. If you are wondering about how online therapy works, here is a link to my website with some information https://www.serenamessina.com/new-page-1

Online therapy — Serena Messina, Ph.D If you are seeking online therapy, we will first have a 15 minutes phone consultation to determine if online therapy is appropriate. If this is the case, after consent forms are signed, I will send you a secure link few minutes before the session and you will be able to access the session at the tim...

03/31/2020

I am offering on line therapy to all new and current clients. Let's all stay home and protect both our physical and mental health. We are all in this together!

05/27/2019

Wondering what to read in summer? Just finished "Pachinko" By Min Jin Lee, a family saga about Korean immigrants in Japan and US. A wonderfully told story about how history and culture shape people's life. I particularly enjoyed it, as cultural identity is often an important part of my work with clients, but I also think that the novel speaks to our universal need of belonging

05/24/2019

School year is almost over in most schools in Austin. Shout out to all the parents that woke up in the morning, got their children ready and supported them through the ups and down of a long school year. Your children could not make it without you!

05/21/2019

Summer is approaching. Take a minute to slow down and think about one small thing you can do for yourself to get ready for this new season

IMPOSTER SYNDROME: WHAT IS IT AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT 10/10/2018

Feeling you are never enough? You may struggle with imposter syndrome. Here are some tips on how to deal with it:

https://www.serenamessina.com/blog/2018/10/9/imposter-syndrome-what-is-it-and-what-to-do-about-it

IMPOSTER SYNDROME: WHAT IS IT AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT Imposter syndrome occurs when despite achievements and despite what other people may think, you feel that you have no idea what you are doing and soon or later others will find out. This feeling is common experience for many, and can make it really hard to believe in yourself and be confident in you

Does your child need a psychological assessment? 09/27/2018

Does your child need a psychological assessment? This week blog post helps answer this question:

https://www.serenamessina.com/blog/2018/9/26/does-your-child-need-a-psychological-assessment

Does your child need a psychological assessment? As a psychologist doing therapy and psychological assessments (also called psychological evaluations) with children, I often have parents asking me when they should seek a psychological assessment for their child. These are some considerations that may help clarify when a psychological assessment is

SELF-CARE: 4 STRATEGIES TO MAKE IT WORK 09/10/2018

September blues?

Here are some tips to carry on self-care through the fall

https://www.serenamessina.com/blog/2018/9/9/self-care-4-strategies-to-make-it-work

SELF-CARE: 4 STRATEGIES TO MAKE IT WORK Here we are, summer just ended and hopefully we had a bit of time for re-charging. If this is the case, you may feel motivated to start the fall in a different way and make self-care an important part of your everyday life, instead of an afterthought you have once you are done with everything else.

Assesssment 09/07/2018

I am excited to share that I now provide psychological assessment in private practice to children 5 to 18. For more info, check out my assessment page:

https://www.serenamessina.com/assesssment/

Assesssment

08/18/2018

Stereotypes are present in all areas of our lives. Interesting and thought provoking video on how s*x stereotypes are created and perpetuated

https://www.facebook.com/MTVDecoded/videos/219325512085012/

WORKING WITH SAME S*X PARENTS: A CLINICIAN'S EXPERIENCE 08/16/2018

This week blogpost: my experience working with same s*x parents and their children:

https://www.serenamessina.com/blog/2018/8/15/working-with-same-s*x-parents-a-clinicians-experience

WORKING WITH SAME S*X PARENTS: A CLINICIAN'S EXPERIENCE Families went through many transformations over the centuries. In the last decades, in the United States and in other countries in the world, same s*x partners gained the opportunity to legally constitute a family, by marrying each other and raising children.  An ample body of research high

PARENTING AS A CHANCE FOR SELF-GROWTH 08/04/2018

When we are having a bad day with our children we tend to forget that parenting can offer important opportunities for self-growth. Here is why:

https://www.serenamessina.com/blog/2018/8/3/parenting-as-a-chance-for-self-growth

PARENTING AS A CHANCE FOR SELF-GROWTH As a parent and a clinician, I am aware that there are many moments when we don’t feel that we are our best self. When we are impatient with our kids at 7am while getting them ready for school, when we are exhausted at the end of the day and cannot wait for them to go to bed…In these moments, we...

SELF-CARE AND SETTING INTENTIONS 07/23/2018

Summer, time for self-care? New blog post on setting intentions and practicing self-care

https://www.serenamessina.com/blog/2018/7/23/self-care-and-setting-intentions

SELF-CARE AND SETTING INTENTIONS Just like December, summer is a time when we tend to make an assessment of how our life and year is going. Are things going well? Do you need a holiday or a break? This is also a time when we are reminded that if we are feeling stressed we need to work on taking care of ourselves to be able

07/18/2018

This is also what I learn every day in my job as a therapist working with clients from a diverse background. There are so many ways to be white/African American/Hispanic/Christian/Muslims and so on...Each time I meet a new client I open my mind and heart to a new unique story

07/02/2018

Back from a summer break! Here is a powerful video on racism, discrimination and the importance of accepting our identity and feeling accepted. Happy Monday!
https://www.facebook.com/HuffPostPerspectives/videos/1799262613474695/

6 LESSONS I LEARNT FROM BEING A THERAPIST 05/23/2018

One of the reasons why I love being a therapist is that I never stop learning

https://www.serenamessina.com/blog/2018/5/22/6-lessons-i-learnt-from-being-a-therapist-1

6 LESSONS I LEARNT FROM BEING A THERAPIST One of the reasons I love my clinical work, is that I continue to learn every day, no matter how much experience I gain. There are always clients that teach me something new. Not just because a new client may push me to learn new treatments tools, but also because working with clients I constantly l

Opinion | How to Reduce Shootings 05/19/2018

A very informative article on gun violence and ways to prevent it:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/11/06/opinion/how-to-reduce-shootings.html?smid=pl-share

Opinion | How to Reduce Shootings It has happened yet again: Inevitably, predictably, fatefully, a gunman shot dead 26 people in a Texas church on Sunday.

IS YOUR NEIGHBOR A BETTER PARENT? 05/14/2018

Sometimes parenting can be seen as a competition. Here are some thoughts on how this is not useful and dangerous. Happy Monday everybody!

https://www.serenamessina.com/blog/2018/5/13/is-your-neighbor-a-better-parent

IS YOUR NEIGHBOR A BETTER PARENT? Today’s society pays much more attention to raising children and fostering their development relative to the past. Parents have more resources they can rely on and knowledge about children’s wellbeing than they used to, and more and more scientific evidence points to early child-rearing  as

THE STRESS OF COMING BACK: TIPS TO VISIT HOME AND BE HAPPY 05/07/2018

Getting ready for summer? Here some tips to visit home and be happy
https://www.serenamessina.com/blog/2018/5/5/the-stress-of-coming-back-tips-to-visit-home-and-be-happy

THE STRESS OF COMING BACK: TIPS TO VISIT HOME AND BE HAPPY Summer is getting close and for some of us who moved away, this means having time to go back. You may be going back to your hometown or to your home country. Just like adapting to a new place can be stressing , going back can also be just as emotionally taxing. Here are some things to keep in mind

DEBUNKING PARENTING MYTHS 04/23/2018

Are you a parent? Or do you ever think about one day becoming a parent? In my Sunday post this week, we will debunk some unhelpful parenting myths

https://www.serenamessina.com/blog/2018/4/22/debunking-parenting-myths

DEBUNKING PARENTING MYTHS As an expert on attachment and a therapist passionate about helping clients through life transitions, parenthood is a topic that is particularly close to my heart. I believe that before trying to teach parents strategies to create healthy attachment or address any problem that may arise in the relat

ADJUSTING TO A NEW COUNTRY: DOS AND DON'TS 04/16/2018

Ever lived in a foreign country? Or moved to the US from a different place? This week I talk about the stress of adjusting to a new country in my Sunday blog post. Happy Monday!
https://www.serenamessina.com/blog/2018/4/15/adjusting-to-a-new-country-dos-and-donts

ADJUSTING TO A NEW COUNTRY: DOS AND DON'TS I talked here about the importance of not underestimating the stress of adapting to life in a new place, particularly if you moved to a new country. What is about living in a different country that can be so stressing?  Being in a new country may feel exciting and liberating at first, b

FINDING A THERAPIST A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE 04/07/2018

Following up on my previous post, a step-by-step guide to find a therapist
https://www.serenamessina.com/blog/2018/4/6/finding-a-therapist-step-by-step-guide

FINDING A THERAPIST A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE If you think this is the time for therapy , what should you do next? Finding the right therapist may feel overwhelming and at times is one of the reasons why people end up not seeking therapy. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you through this process:

¿Cómo platicar con sus hijos sobre las explosiones en Austin? 04/06/2018

En univision:
¿Cómo platicar con sus hijos sobre las explosiones en Austin?
https://www.univision.com/austin/kakw/como-platicar-con-sus-hijos-sobre-las-explosiones-en-austin-video

¿Cómo platicar con sus hijos sobre las explosiones en Austin? Serena Messina, psicóloga de Austin Child Guidance, a raíz de la incertidumbre provocada por las explosiones en la capital de Texas en los últimos días.

TALKING WITH CHILDREN ABOUT TRAGIC EVENTS IN THE NEWS 04/05/2018

Talking with children about difficult events in the news can very hard and parents may wonder if sharing these events with their kids is appropriate. This blog post has suggestions on how to have these difficult conversations.

https://www.serenamessina.com/blog/2018/3/23/talking-with-children-about-tragic-news

TALKING WITH CHILDREN ABOUT TRAGIC EVENTS IN THE NEWS Part of fostering a secure attachment and healthy relationships with children is the delicate balance between sheltering them from unnecessary stress but at the same time showing that they can talk with us about their worries. So how can you walk this fine line when it comes to sharing tr

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Are you embracing your journey?

In my work, I am passionate about helping my clients adjusting to changes in their life. A new job, becoming parents, moving to a different country...These changes may be sought after and desired, but when they happen they can cause a lot of stress. As an attachment expert, I can help you focus on how your relationships with others can be part of the solution towards embracing this new phase of your life

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Austin, TX
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