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About Amal Bernal

About Amal Bernal

A collaborative, solution-focused therapist.

Amal Bernal, MS, LMHC, is a licensed mental health counselor who specializes in trauma, personal growth, relationship, and professional therapy. I maintain a private practice in Bonita Springs, Florida. I am also a Clinical Member of both the National and Florida Associations for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, a Professional Member of the American Counseling Association and the Association for Play Therapy and am completing my specialized training as a Certified Eye Movement Desensitization and Reorganization (EMDR) practitioner.

I serve as a private practitioner working with a broad spectrum of clients. In addition to being a licensed mental health counselor, I’ve also presented nationally to general audiences speaking on the topics of organizational development, conflict management, domestic and intimate partner abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder and trauma bonding. Additionally, I have designed, developed and authored customizable intervention models to help partner with you in creating your own pathway to identifying and reaching your goals. Life is fluid; so are the Create Pathways Models. Through empowerment and self-advocacy, you will begin finding your way, your way.

I am a collaborative, solution-focused therapist. Through this approach, I provide support and practical feedback to help clients effectively address personal life challenges. Additionally, my post graduate and Master-level education in counseling, and my over 20 years of counseling experience equips me with specific training to work with individuals with mental health issues, trauma and co-occurring disorders. I also integrate evidence based and empirically proven techniques and assignments to offer a highly-personalized program tailored to you. With compassion and understanding married to scientifically proven intervention models, I work with you to help build on your strengths and attain the personal growth you are committed to achieving.

As a licensed mental health professional, I am adept at diagnosing and developing organizational growth and change initiatives by designing customized studies, providing action-oriented recommendations and measuring outcomes with metrics specific to your corporate culture. Multi-cultural issues, communication optimization, leadership and peer management implementation, and trans-disciplinary team workmanship are all areas of s

Specialized Experience

Amal has specialized experience working with children, teens and adults in the areas of attachment, trauma, depression, anger management, anxiety, and domestic violence. She also has specialized training in the treatment of sexual abuse and abusers and is a Clinical Member of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. She has a long tenure of the implementation of both Solution and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as well as incorporating Motivational Interviewing, Mindfulness and Play Therapy techniques to lead to a more individualized approach to client care. Amal is currently receiving extra training in becoming a Registered Play Therapist and has completed training in EMDR and is completing her certification.

In addition to private practice, Amal has worked with non-profit organizations as both a sexual victim and offender counselor and was the Lead Therapist for a group home for adolescents and the Specialized Therapeutic Counselor for an in-home therapy agency providing services to at-risk children in foster care. She also has experience conducting psychological evaluations and assessments, participating in Judicial Review Hearings, providing supervised visitation for displaced parents and children and has been a Key Note Speaker at several nationally recognized human services organizations and foundations.

Amal is a spokesperson for the Naples Shelter for Abused Women and Children, a proponent for the Tahirih Justice Center for initiatives against forced marriage and provides advocacy for victims of human trafficking and intimate partner abuse. She also participates in humanitarian missions to war-torn countries counseling and advocating for displaced families transitioning into foreign cultures as refugees.


I received my Bachelor's Degree in Communications and Family Studies at the University of Kentucky and Master's Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from San Diego State University continuing on to post graduate studies in the Joint Doctoral Program with the University of San Diego. I participated in the Post Graduate, Accelerated Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School and completed additional post graduate studies in the Mental Health Counseling Master's Program at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Certifications, Additional Training & Awards

I am a Golden Key Honour Society and San Diego Workforce's Entrepreneur of the Year Award recipient in addition to being twice nominated Woman Business Owner of the Year by the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce. I have founded and operated five vital businesses and successfully grew one of my companies to be recognized and featured as #1 in the country's "Top 100 US Fastest Growing Companies"; a nationally recognized industrial magazine. I have supplemental training in Solution Focused Brief, Play and Complex Trauma Therapies. Additionally, I have authored several proven intervention models for corporate change initiative diagnosis and development; multi-cultural work place sensitivity training; sexual harassment seminars in a multi-cultural environment; personal growth directives and proactive self-advocacy skills development; interpersonal communication skills assessment and development; conflict management education and resolution tools, and; am the author of "The Love Matrix" a novel relationship skills building tool.

Professional Activities and Memberships

In addition to being a Florida State Licensed Mental Health Counselor, I am an avid Domestic Violence Victim Advocate and peer counselor and a strong proponent and supporter of the Tahirih Justice Center in its international efforts contributing to the Forced Marriage Initiative and ending human trafficking. I participate in humanitarian missions to war-torn countries counseling and advocating for displaced families transitioning into foreign cultures as refugees.

A Bit More About Amal.. On a Personal Note

How nurture and unconditional love can turn a life around. Nyre Handy went from being born confined behind the four walls of prison to be released by the power of love.

Amal's adoptive son, Nyre shows how a history of foster care should not be a limitation in the search for opportunities. With hard work, dedication, and confidence, anything is possible.

Amal's story: Amal has a story filled with trauma and abuse at the hands of a powerful man who felt untouchable. Now she is happily remarried. The couple has an adoptive son and is in a home full of love and support.