Mental Health Team

Claudia Rodriguez

LMFT, LPC

Is a Spanish and English bilingual licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed professional counselor, and is certified in clinical trauma. She received her bachelor of arts degree from Gonzaga University and has a master’s in clinical psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy from Azusa Pacific University. Claudia has worked in mental health for over 12 years and stays involved through continuing education training and counseling affiliations.

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Claudia has extensive experience working with Latinx clients and is culturally attuned and inclusive of their unique experiences, complexities, and resiliency. She provides therapy for individuals, couples, families and has experience facilitating groups. Her specialty is working with individuals who experience depression, anxiety, complex trauma-related disorders, grief and loss, neurological conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, mood disorders, co-occurring disorders, interpersonal struggles, complex family dynamics, and academic challenges.

She has received training in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), neuroscience, biofeedback, trauma-informed care, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), brain gym, motivational interviewing (MI), and solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT). Claudia employs an eclectic approach that is strength-based and evidence-based, with a strong reliance on cultural sensitivity. Her treatment approach varies and is tailored to the individual and their specific challenges. Claudia has worked in multi-site settings, including schools, colleges, universities, crisis hotlines, outpatient mental health agencies, and private practice. She also has extensive experience working with children and youth in New Solutions and other higher care levels.

Elida Perales

Is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice. Elida obtained her Bachelor’s of Science Degree from Portland State University in 1998 and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Portland State University in 2000 with a minor in Criminal Justice and a Certificate in Chicano Latino Studies. Elida’s work history includes working for the State of Oregon for five years starting at the age of 18. At this time she moved to Kennewick Washington and worked for the Kennewick School District Migrant Program for 10 years.

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Elida returned to Oregon in 1987 and worked for Salem Keizer School District Migrant Program for two years. After that Elida worked for Self Sufficiency 10 years as a lead worker. She worked for Child Welfare for eight years and then started working as a therapist. She worked for Easter Seals for one year and for Northwest Human Services for one year. During this time Elida slowly built her private practice and she has been in private practice on a part time basis since 2001. Elida started doing Immigration Evaluations in 2001 and working with Spanish Speaking clients referred from the State of Oregon Victim’s Advocate Program, schools and other agencies. She worked Marion County Children Behavior Health for 10 years providing therapy services to children and families and mostly to Spanish Speaking families. She has been in private practice full time since 2/01/2019.

Erica Alonzo Leon

MSW, QMHP

Is a clinical social worker that graduated from Portland State University with a master’s in social work. Her passion is to work with marginalized and underrepresented communities with an equity, diverse, inclusion lens and a trauma-informed care focus. She believes our communities of color are strong and resilient and that we all help to provide hope for our future. She wants to do her part in this lifetime to help dismantle institutional and systemic oppression and racism in her professional and personal life. Erica’s professional work experience has been working with a youth crisis team, student threat assessment team, children’s outpatient, school-based mental health and adult/youth drug court teams.

Jose Arredondo-Araujo

Was born in the small rural town of Guanajuato, Mexico. He grew up in a humble home with scarce resources. The conditions of poverty led his family to seek new opportunities and a better life in the U.S. 

Jose was 12 years old when he arrived in the U.S from Mexico, and this was one of the most challenging transitions of his life. During his senior year in high school, he realized that getting an education was an essential facet of his life. He began volunteering in his community and became interested in pursuing a career in social work. In 2017, Jose graduated with a master’s degree in social work at Portland State University. He is the first one in his family to obtain a college degree, and they are very proud of his accomplishments. 

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Currently, Jose works as a Mental Health Therapist serving children and families. This work has a rich meaning and gives him great satisfaction because of the difference he knows he can make in the community. Jose hopes to continue to inspire and to be inspired by others with the work he does.

Maria Cardenas

Is a Latina and bilingual in English and Spanish. She received a master’s degree in social work from Portland State University, focusing on clinical social work and integrated care. Maria’s experiences as an immigrant have fostered a deep sense of responsibility and passion for working with underserved populations. She has worked in traditional outpatient mental health therapy settings and provided school-based mental health services in a rural community. Some of the modalities and approaches that guide her practice are trauma-informed, person-centered, strength-based, and dialectical behavioral therapy. 

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Maria believes individuals and families have innate strengths and resilient factors. That connecting with others at a basic human level is equally important as the therapeutic strategies that guide her work. She feels that one of the contributions that she carries from her ancestors is being a storyteller. Maria is always interested in listening to other people’s stories, joys, and struggles. This process facilitates interconnection in our collective human experience. Maria is privileged to have the opportunity to witness other people’s journey of healing and empowerment.

Noemi Legaspi

Serves as a marriage and family therapist in private practice. Her clinical practice has primarily focused on working with Latino communities. Providing behavioral consultation, immigration evaluations, counseling, and is an appointed custody evaluator for Marion County. In addition to private practice, Noemi teaches and provides academic counseling for Latino students for the College of Education, Bachelor of Education in Teaching and English Language Learning program, and Pacific University in Woodburn. As a first-generation daughter of immigrant farmworkers, she offers a unique perspective on Latino family dynamics, strengths, and challenges. 

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Noemi enjoys giving back to her community through her service as a board member for the Woodburn School District, where she advocates for all students’ best interests. She also attends training and webinars related to her profession and interest in social justice. In particular, she participated in the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Latino Leadership Program.

She is passionate about helping people and has spent over twenty years working with families, especially families in the Latino communities in California and Oregon. Noemi holds two undergraduate degrees in psychology and human development from the University of California Davis, a master’s degree in marriage, couples and family counseling from George Fox University, and is slowly working toward a doctoral degree at Oregon State University. In her free time, Noemi’s interests include the outdoors, cooking, physical fitness, traveling, and spending time with her two young daughters.

Victor Juarez

LCSW

Is a licensed clinical social worker from the state of Oregon. Currently, he works as a school social worker for the Salem-Keizer School District and owns a private practice. Victor has practiced mental health for over 12 years, helping children, youth, families, and couples. His therapeutic approaches include cognitive behavior therapy, family therapy, and marriage counseling. Also, he employs a strength-based and solution-focused therapy approach. His continuing education training areas include suicide intervention techniques, strengthening families, trauma-informed, anger management, managing anxiety and depression symptoms, autism, ADHD, and motivational interviewing.

Veronica Sandoval

Is a licensed clinical social worker doing medical and clinical social work. She has worked in the social field in various positions, the last 16 years being with people from birth to end of life. Currently, she’s working at OHSU and has been there for almost three years. Veronica has also volunteered to help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. 

Veronica identifies as a Mexican-American/Chicana/Latina. She grew up in Woodburn, Oregon as the daughter of immigrants. Throughout her life, strong Latinas mentored, encouraged, and supported her to pursue her goals. One of those goals was to work with her Latinx community, and she has been fortunate enough to do so. Veronica feels blessed to be able to help her community.