Meet Our Miami Alternative Medicine Team
Rafael Padro, DOM, AP
Dr. Rafael Padro combines Traditional Chinese Medicine (Yin-Yang, Five Elements, Acupuncture) with Western Medicine theories in his diagnosis and treatments. He holds a Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a Bachelor of Health Science from The Acupuncture and Massage College in Miami, FL, and a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Psychology from Excelsior College in Albany, NY.
Being a third-generation medical professional and learning the gratitude that is received when helping others, he knew what path he was going to follow. Even though his family’s background was more concentrated on a Western aspect of medicine, he knew he wanted to do something different. After researching while finishing his Bachelor Degree in Psychology, he introduced himself to Oriental Medicine. There, he realized that there were other ways you can heal patients, regardless of their conditions, and that combining Eastern methods with Western methods could benefit even more a patient recovery towards any disease.
Mariela Padro, MD
Dr. Mariela Padro is the third generation of behavioral health professionals in her family. She graduated from her psychiatric residency program as a Chief Resident from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, she has a Fellowship of Psychoanalysis from NYU, and she is an Adjunct Member of The Florida Psychoanalytic Center. She worked in an established private practice in Staten Island for three years and then moved to Miami in 2015. Here, she opened her own private practice, Mind & Soul Therapy, PLLC, where she provides psychotherapy with or without medication.
Dr. Padro believes and understands that every patient is unique. Additionally, she understands that, in order for treatment to have a long-term effect, it is necessary to go through a thorough process that will help you understand and address your behavior and feelings. At times, this process might seem challenging, but in the end, we assure you that it will be one full of enlightenment and awareness.
Since the beginning of her career, Dr. Padro has focused on patients as a whole — medically, psychologically, and spiritually — to decide the best course of treatment.
Dr. Padro has completed a year-long fellowship in Integrative Psychiatry with the Integrative Psychiatry Institute and has also completed an Integrative Medicine for ADHD course and a Ketamine Medical Training Certification. She has completed training in Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy with Biote, a leading innovator in precision and preventive medicine, and is currently pursuing certifications in Nutritional Psychiatry and Personalized Medicine Training.
Francesca Vazquez, PsyD
Francesca Vazquez, PsyD combines her knowledge of nutritional psychology and health psychology to guide her clients in gaining mind-body wellness. If you are experiencing stress, anxiety, low mood, health issues, chronic pain, insomnia, addiction, emotional sequelae after injury or medical diagnoses, she can help. If your goal is to use more than just talk therapy and want to actually heal both your mind and body through nutrition, relaxation training, guidance/support, and lifestyle changes, you’re in the right place!
As a licensed psychologist and a yoga instructor, she has developed a holistic approach to mental health and treatment. Ms. Vazquez seeks to eliminate your symptoms and improve your mental health by treating the root cause and using behavioral medicine, lifestyle changes, mindful practices, and food as medicine.
It can be hard to take that first step to actually change your life and heal patterns for good. It can be tough to seek support while overcoming a medical condition or suffering from chronic pain. Ms. Vazquez’s approach is far from ordinary, and by combining psychotherapy with nutritional guidance, lifestyle changes, and mindful practices, she can assure results fast.
Lia Moses, LMHC
Lia Moses is a Licensed Psychotherapist with more than 20 years of clinical experience. She holds a degree in Psychology and Psychoanalysis in her native country, Argentina, as well as a Master Degree in Psychology in the USA. Since she was trained in Psychoanalysis, she has an eclectic approach, combining psychoanalysis with a goal-oriented approach. She works mainly with an adult population diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders. Her practice is a goal-oriented cognitive therapy, and she helps patients manage their life in a positive way by appealing to their own internal resources. Through it, they learn how to find effective solutions while facing their circumstances. For the past 15 years, she has been working as a Clinical Supervisor.
Lia specializes in couple’s therapy, coaching them to reach open communication and mutual respect in the relationship. As patients, you will find a friendly and relaxing environment that will facilitate the expression of your main concerns. You will receive professional feedback and a possible action plan will be discussed.
Lia is able to conduct psychotherapy in Spanish.
Oxana Naidina-O’Brien, RYT-500
Oxana’s yoga journey began while growing up in Russia where her parents, both hatha yoga practitioners, insisted that she practice asana as part of her daily exercise routine and encouraged her to read books on yogic philosophy. After moving to New York City in the early ‘90s with her husband, she managed an Ayurvedic Panchakarma Treatment Center where, through observing both patients and practitioners, she realized that all ancient esoteric healing practices are closely linked to how our body systems function. From there, she began her formal studies in mind/body modalities by becoming a Reiki Master.
Following a tragic accident in 1993 that took the lives of both her husband and several friends, she spent time in a monastic retreat in upstate New York practicing mindfulness meditation while she processed this major life change. In the late 90s, she relocated to Miami and rediscovered yoga as a way to help balance the demands of a new marriage and raising children while working in her second husband’s design business. With regular practice, she became conscious of yoga’s ability not only to achieve a healthy, strong body and calm mind, but also how these ancient practices can lead to self-realization and the fulfillment of our highest potential.
Oxana completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training certification program in 2015 under the guidance of Karina Ayn Mirsky so that she could pass these valuable practices on to others. Following this training in tantric hatha yoga, meditation, and pranayama, she went on to complete my 500-hour teacher training with Cyndi Lee and studied Restorative Yoga and yoga anatomy with Judith Lassater. Her teaching is strongly influenced by her love of ice skating and dance and studies of Sri Aurobindo, the Indian yogi philosopher and founder of Integral Yoga, and Swami Vivekananda, a Hindu monk who played a key role in introducing ancient Indian philosophies and yoga to the Western world. Her deep thirst for understanding how to reduce human suffering and help each of us to be present in each moment led her to current mindfulness practices based upon Tibetan Buddhist teachings.
She teaches classic hatha-vinyasa and restorative group classes at a local Coral Gables studio and works privately with students through Xanadu Yoga. When she practices with students, she intuitively interweaves postures and breathwork into a vinyasa-style flow designed to build strength and develop a balance between effort and ease in both the body and mind. By freeing the body and mind from familiar routines, we learn to fully embrace and experience each moment both on and off the mat and gradually awaken to our fullest potential.
Madeleine was born and raised in Miami Beach and received her undergraduate degree in history from the university of Florida with a concentration in holocaust studies. Madeleine went on to complete her masters in mental health counseling at Nova Southeastern University. She spent her practicum year working with schizophrenic and substance abuse clients and has since then been working with adolescents and young adults suffering from anxiety, depression, OCD and more. Madeleine believes in an integrated approach to counseling using a variety of therapeutic techniques including cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic. She believes that a strong client-therapist relationship is a foundation for achieving growth and healing. Additionally Madeleine values a safe, non judgmental space for her clients and hopes to assist her clients in overcoming any obstacles they face. Madeleine has always had a passion for helping others and believes strongly in the therapeutic benefits of approaching mental health from a holistic standpoint.
Lourdes E. Velazquez Perez, ARNP, FNP B-C
Lourdes E. Velazquez Perez, ARNP, FNP B-C, is a professionally trained Family Nurse Practitioner with a strong background in psychiatric services. She is a foreign Medical Doctor who graduated in Cuba from the University of Medicine of Havana, “Calixto Garcia.” She has more than eight years of experience in the medical field.
She treats patients with psychiatric conditions like depression, anxiety disorders, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and other mental health diagnoses. She is passionate and dedicated to her work and patients’ health outcomes.
She initially attended Miami Regional University in Miami, Florida, where she earned her Associated Science Degree in Nursing. She worked as OB/GYN and transitional care nurse at Hialeah Hospital. Then she pursued her Master of Science in Nursing with a subspecialty in Family care. Lourdes is a Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner licensed in Florida, holding a national certification with the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). She has worked primarily in Psychiatric settings, but she also performed as a pain management NP. While working full-time, she returned to St. Thomas University to continue with her Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Postmaster, which will be finalized by August 2022.
Lourdes is an active member of several professional organizations, including the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.
Marjorie Zurbaran, LMHC
More and more people are searching for emotional health, mental stability, peace, and love in today’s world. In our quest to achieve this stability, we look outside ourselves, and we, unfortunately, are still experiencing feelings and a sense of emptiness within us. It is not until we truly start the journey of the inner search when the magic begins to happen, and let me tell you, I am here to guide and support you through this journey.
I have been a Licensed Mental Health Counselor since 1998. I was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, where I completed my bachelor’s in Clinical Psychology and later in Florida earned my Master’s in Psychology from Carlos Albizu University in 1995. I am offering you more than 30 years of experience with conventional and alternative healing modalities. I have worked with various mental issues and age groups who are grappling with diverse mental ailments, including but not limited to adjustment disorders, difficulties dealing with changes and loss, anxiety, chronic worry, social anxiety, depression. I have extensive experience in the field of mental health and mindfulness practices. I love to merge both to bring a holistic approach to work with my clients.
Through the use of experiential exercises, I will encourage and support you to develop effective coping strategies for dealing with the pressures of daily life, reducing stress and anxiety, and bringing healing overall. Within with my client, I assist in finding and rediscovering their inner strengths that ultimately provide the needed coping skills.
My hope for helping humanity is to bring lightness to work with my clients in these difficult times. With the basis of understanding that everyone’s experience is unique, I work step by step with each individual to establish a clear path in the direction of feeling better, making progress towards healing, and improving overall wellbeing, one person at a time.
Lourdes Badia, LMHC, Psy.D. is a respected clinician in the behavioral healthcare industry, serving both as a licensed Mental Health Counselor and Qualified Supervisor through the state of Florida. Her experience has been applied in diverse clinical, administrative, consultant and service positions in an array of psychiatric and mental health settings.
Lourdes earned her bachelor’s degree from St. Thomas University in Miami, Fl. and received her graduate degrees from St. Thomas University and Carlos Albizu University in Miami, Florida.
She is offering more than 20 years of experience with conventional and alternative healing modalities. She has worked with various Mental Health issues and age groups who are grappling with diverse issues. She has extensive experience in the field of Mental Health and Mindfulness practices
Her practice is goal oriented Cognitive Therapy and thru this process she helps clients manage their life in a positive way by appealing to their own internal resources and rediscovering their inner strengths that ultimately provide the needed coping skills.
According to her it is not until we truly start the journey of the inner search when the magic begins to happen. One of her greatest passion is bringing healing to people who have been through a traumatic and stressful experience.
Justin Menendez, MS, MHC, was born and raised in Miami and received his undergraduate degree from Florida International University with a concentration in Psychology. Justin went on to complete his Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from NOVA Southeastern University.
Having an extensive background in mental health, he is able to use so much of his past experiences to help clients find their inner drive to give their mental health the attention it deserves. Justin has worked with young adults, couples and adolescents suffering with but not limited to depression, anxiety, OCD, identity issues, and grief.
With his prior work experience at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, he prides himself in the breakthrough he has helped clients reach, due to forming a client-therapist relationship with no room for judgement and aiming towards the goal of healing. He is currently a middle school counselor at a local charter school and is able to use this experience to better serve his adolescent clients.
Justin hopes to work with you and your families, side by side, in being the catalyst to your most resilient self.
Maria Fernanda Antunez
Maria Fernanda Antunez is a board certified, psychiatric mental nurse practitioner. She received her Master’s of Science in Nursing from Regis College of Nursing from Boston, Massachusetts. She focuses on treating adult’s patients across the life span, while working alongside with families, and other health professionals. This is essential in forming a treatment plan that follows a holistic approach, with the overall goal of creating a more desirable quality of life. Maria Fernanda is easy to talk to and focuses on making sure you are heard. She will brainstorm ideas with you, develop a plan, and set goals. Maria Fernanda ensures each patient receives individualized care and enables trust in the partnership. As a PMHNP, Maria’s role is multifaceted, including educator, mental health advocate and therapist.
Iraisy Mendez is an ANCC board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner, with experience providing treatment for a wide variety of mental health concerns, including mood and anxiety disorders, ADHD, PTSD, and personality difficulties.
Iraisy perfectly balances management, excellent clinical care, quality education to students pursuing careers as psychiatric providers, and distinguished, tailored care to patients and staff. Her focus on education ensures that high-quality care is delivered to each and every Mental Health patient. Her training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy provides the appropriate psychotherapeutic balance required for the success of managing her patients.
Iraisy graduated from Walden University located in Minneapolis, MN. Iraisy is a passionate advocate for minority mental health and emotional wellness, human emotions, free will, ethical practice and policy in mental health, and psychiatric and medical innovation.
My name is Tirzah Neves, I’m Brazilian (licensed psychologist in my Country) and I’ve been living in Miami for the past 6 years. I received a Master degree in Psychology with a concentration in Mental Health from Albizu University while I had the opportunity to continue working with domestic violence, sexual abuse and human trafficking victims, something that I have been doing since 2008.
I have been a Trauma and Crisis specialist since 2019. I believe that we all know that you cannot change the past, but you can build a better tomorrow. Let me support you to overcome your traumatic experiences and to feel empowered to face any difficult time you might confront in the future. My goal is to help individuals to gain insight that will impact enough to improve their wellbeing while improving quality of life. I would like to invite you to a journey…The most important journey in life: “Get to know your inner self!!!”. I am specialized in crisis interventions (member of the Florida Crisis Response Team), Hypnosis and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern in the State of Florida. Fluent in Portuguese, English and Spanish.
Delia E Nieves-Arvelo
Dr. Delia E Nieves-Arvelo is a bilingual (Spanish) Board certified Adult Psychiatrist.
Dr. Nieves-Arvelo received her medical degree from Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra, before moving to New York to complete her residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in affiliation with Weill Medical College and Cornell University. After completing her residency, Dr. Nieves-Arvelo moved to San Diego to work for Kaiser-Permanente in various settings such as outpatient, inpatient, consultation liaison, and chemical dependence/dual diagnosis programs.
She has vast experience providing psychiatric care to patients from Hispanic backgrounds whose preferred language is Spanish. Dr. Nieves-Arvelo is a compassionate and patient-driven psychiatrist who takes time and dedication for the well-being of her patients. In addition to psychopharmacology, she uses motivational interviewing as well as supportive therapy.
“If you want to live a happy, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects” by Albert Einstein