Our Team

All of Our Counselors Are:

Professional | Certified  | Compassionate 

Our team at Holding Hands Mental Health Counseling all share a passion for counseling and walking alongside others in the journey toward mental and emotional strength and flourishing. No matter where you’re at on you’re journey, we’re ready to journey with you. Meet our team below: 

Damari Pedroza

A Brooklyn native of Puerto Rican descent, Damari’s passion lies in assisting individuals, couples, and families in navigating life’s challenges and fostering healthier lifestyles. Using diverse methods like talk therapy, play therapy, and sand play therapy, she creates a non-judgmental space for clients of all ages to heal and grow. 

Ms. Pedroza is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) with two Master’s degrees in Counseling and Professional Studies with a concentration in Urban Ministry Counseling and is currently pursuing a Psy.D. in Christian Counseling and Psychology.

On my free time, I love going on hikes, the beach, a good read, and making memories with my loved ones.  

Certifications

  • Bilingual Counseling
  • CFTP – Certified Family Trauma Professional
  • CATP – Certified Child and Adolescent Trauma Professional
  • CCATP – Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional
  • Trauma-Informed Sand Play Therapy
  • Christian Counseling

Founder, Counselor

Damari Pedroza

Founder, Counselor

A Brooklyn native of Puerto Rican descent, Damari’s passion lies in assisting individuals, couples, and families in navigating life’s challenges and fostering healthier lifestyles. Using diverse methods like talk therapy, play therapy, and sand play therapy, she creates a non-judgmental space for clients of all ages to heal and grow.

Ms. Pedroza is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) with two Master’s degrees in Counseling and Professional Studies with a concentration in Urban Ministry Counseling and is currently pursuing a PsyD. in Christian Counseling and Psychology.

On my free time, I love going on hikes, the beach, a good read, and making memories with my loved ones. 

Certifications

  • Bilingual Counseling
  • CFTP – Certified Family Trauma Professional
  • CATP – Certified Child and Adolescent Trauma Professional
  • CCATP – Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional
  • Trauma-Informed Sand Play Therapy
  • Christian Counseling

Keysha Lleras

Keysha Lleras is a bilingual Limited Permit Mental Health Counselor, holds a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling, and has over 17 years of experience in Social Services. Her expertise extends to working with everyone from adults to adolescents and children. Throughout her career, she has come to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to establishing a successful therapeutic relationship. Each individual she encounters seeks something unique, whether it be clarity, healing, hope, support, or simply a guiding hand during challenging times.

As a dedicated clinician, Ms. Lleras is committed to providing a safe, warm, and judgment-free environment for her clients. Beyond her work with diverse age groups in underserved communities, she possesses a wealth of experience in Child Protective Services and is certified as a Youth Communications Trainer, as well as in Safety Crisis Management. Her expertise also extends to handling cases involving domestic violence, and she is an integral part of the Safe Horizon speaker bureau.

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the vibrant South Bronx, Ms. Lleras has a deep passion for healthy nutrition, running, and maintaining an active lifestyle.

As a dedicated clinician, Ms. Lleras is committed to providing a safe, warm, and judgment-free environment for her clients. Beyond her work with diverse age groups in underserved communities, she possesses a wealth of experience in Child Protective Services and is certified as a Youth Communications Trainer, as well as in Safety Crisis Management. Her expertise also extends to handling cases involving domestic violence, and she is an integral part of the Safe Horizon speaker bureau.

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the vibrant South Bronx, Ms. Lleras has a deep passion for healthy nutrition, running, and maintaining an active lifestyle.

Counselor

Keysha Lleras

Counselor

Keysha Lleras is a bilingual Limited Permit Mental Health Counselor, holds a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling, and has over 17 years of experience in Social Services. Her expertise extends to working with everyone from adults to adolescents and children. Throughout her career, she has come to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to establishing a successful therapeutic relationship. Each individual she encounters seeks something unique, whether it be clarity, healing, hope, support, or simply a guiding hand during challenging times.

As a dedicated clinician, Ms. Lleras is committed to providing a safe, warm, and judgment-free environment for her clients. Beyond her work with diverse age groups in underserved communities, she possesses a wealth of experience in Child Protective Services and is certified as a Youth Communications Trainer, as well as in Safety Crisis Management. Her expertise also extends to handling cases involving domestic violence, and she is an integral part of the Safe Horizon speaker bureau.

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the vibrant South Bronx, Ms. Lleras has a deep passion for healthy nutrition, running, and maintaining an active lifestyle.

As a dedicated clinician, Ms. Lleras is committed to providing a safe, warm, and judgment-free environment for her clients. Beyond her work with diverse age groups in underserved communities, she possesses a wealth of experience in Child Protective Services and is certified as a Youth Communications Trainer, as well as in Safety Crisis Management. Her expertise also extends to handling cases involving domestic violence, and she is an integral part of the Safe Horizon speaker bureau.

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the vibrant South Bronx, Ms. Lleras has a deep passion for healthy nutrition, running, and maintaining an active lifestyle.

Janet Cuevas

Janet Cuevas is a bilingual Limited Permit Mental Health Counselor. She obtained her Masters in Mental Health Counseling from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology. Janet is a dedicated mental health counselor specializing in working with children and adolescents who are facing challenges related to Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Learning Disorders, Anxiety, and Depression.
Using a combination of play therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), Janet provides a safe and engaging space where children and adolescents can express themselves and explore their emotions to help them develop coping skills, build resilience, and improve their overall mental well-being. Janet utilizes evidence-based therapeutic techniques tailored to the developmental stage and individual needs of each client. She works closely with families to provide education, resources, and support to foster collaborative therapeutic relationship with young clients and their families Janet is a strong believer in the power of expressive arts therapy as a tool for healing and growth. By integrating various creative modalities such as art, music, movement, and play, she offers a unique approach for children and adolescents to express and process their emotions. Janet is passionate about making a difference in the lives of children and adolescents and strives to help children and adolescents find, become and love the best versions of themselves. In her free time, Janet enjoys spending time with family, kayaking and attending concerts!

Counselor

Janet Cuevas

Counselor

Janet Cuevas is a bilingual Limited Permit Mental Health Counselor. She obtained her Masters in Mental Health Counseling from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology. Janet is a dedicated mental health counselor specializing in working with children and adolescents who are facing challenges related to Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Learning
Disorders, Anxiety, and Depression.

Janet is passionate about expressive arts therapy and her approach combines play therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to create a safe and engaging space for young clients. She tailors evidence-based techniques to each individual’s developmental stage, promoting coping skills, resilience, and overall mental well-being. She believes in nurturing young individuals’ strengths to boost self-confidence as they navigate the world. Janet also collaborates closely with families, providing education, resources, and support for a comprehensive therapeutic experience. Janet loves making a positive impact on young lives, reducing the stigma surrounding mental health, and in her free time, she enjoys family moments, kayaking, and attending concerts.

Using a combination of play therapy and cognitive-
behavioral therapy (CBT), Janet provides a safe and engaging space where children and adolescents can express themselves and explore their emotions to help them develop coping skills, build resilience, and improve their overall mental well-being. Janet utilizes evidence-based
therapeutic techniques tailored to the developmental stage and individual needs of each client.
She works closely with families to provide education, resources, and support to foster collaborative therapeutic relationship with young clients and their families Janet is a strong believer in the power of expressive arts therapy as a tool for healing and growth. By integrating various creative modalities such as art, music, movement, and play, she
offers a unique approach for children and adolescents to express and process their emotions. Janet is passionate about making a difference in the lives of children and adolescents and strives to help children and adolescents find, become and love the best versions of themselves. In
her free time, Janet enjoys spending time with family, kayaking and attending concerts!

Anyeka Hudson

Anyeka Hudson is a Mental Health Counselor-Intern currently attending Mercy University pursuing her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. She currently holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Queens College and an associate degree in Psychology from LaGuardia Community College. Ms. Hudson has experience as a Care Manager working with people in need of Mental Health services while also providing crisis intervention. Furthermore, she has experience with children who have been in the foster care system.

As a therapist, she recognizes that embarking on a counseling session is a brave and essential step toward self-improvement. Her approach is warm, caring, and nonjudgmental, allowing you to open up and share your ideas and feelings within a safe environment. She uses an integrative approach that combines cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, and mindfulness techniques to engage you in identifying your strengths, creating coping strategies, and attaining your goals. 

Whether you are dealing with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, life transitions, or other challenges, her role is to offer guidance and support tailored to your unique needs. She has extensive training and expertise, but she also knows you are the expert on your life. Together, we will embark on self-discovery, healing, and growth. Her methodology to therapy will involve binding on the therapeutic relationship, characterized by trust, open communication, and partnership. Ms. Hudson is able to provide counseling services for individuals, children, adolescents, or families.

Ms. Hudson is a Jamaican native who was born and raised in the beautiful Caribbean Island of Kingston, Jamaica. She came to the United States at the age of 14. On her free time, she looks forward to traveling, going out to eat with friends and family, and engaging in new fun activities.

MHC-Intern

Anyeka Hudson

MHC-Intern

Anyeka Hudson is a Mental Health Counselor-Intern currently attending Mercy University pursuing her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. She currently holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Queens College and an associate degree in Psychology from LaGuardia Community College. Ms. Hudson has experience as a Care Manager working with people in need of Mental Health services while also providing crisis intervention. Furthermore, she has experience with children who have been in the foster care system.

As a therapist, she recognizes that embarking on a counseling session is a brave and essential step toward self-improvement. Her approach is warm, caring, and nonjudgmental, allowing you to open up and share your ideas and feelings within a safe environment. She uses an integrative approach that combines cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, and mindfulness techniques to engage you in identifying your strengths, creating coping strategies, and attaining your goals. 

Whether you are dealing with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, life transitions, or other challenges, her role is to offer guidance and support tailored to your unique needs. She has extensive training and expertise, but she also knows you are the expert on your life. Together, we will embark on self-discovery, healing, and growth. Her methodology to therapy will involve binding on the therapeutic relationship, characterized by trust, open communication, and partnership. Ms. Hudson is able to provide counseling services for individuals, children, adolescents, or families.

Ms. Hudson is a Jamaican native who was born and raised in the beautiful Caribbean Island of Kingston, Jamaica. She came to the United States at the age of 14. On her free time, she looks forward to traveling, going out to eat with friends and family, and engaging in new fun activities.

Shiela Martin

Sheila Martin is a Mental Health Counselor-Intern who is currently attending Mercy University in pursuit of her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. With 18 years of experience in the Social Services field and with a background in Human Resources Administration, she understands that no one is immune to a success story. Ms. Martin is committed to holding your hand as you journey through your healing process to obtain mental wealth. The ability to heal is in each of us through Love, Commitment, Giving, Communicating, Releasing, Receiving, and Support.
Sheila Martin was born and raised in the beautiful Caribbean Island of Jamaica, and she believes that that there is beauty in watching the seeds that get planted in good soil, grow into something beautiful. With modalities such as CBT and DBT, Ms. Martin is devoted to assisting you so that, like those planted seeds, you too can become all that you are created to be. From individuals to couples and families, whether facing depression, anxiety, or simply life stressors, she is eager to get to know you. When she is not working, Ms. Martin enjoys hiking and gardening. She is also fascinated by the changes of the seasons, and she embraces all that life has to offer.

MHC-Intern

Sheila Martin

MHC-Intern

Sheila Martin is a Mental Health Counselor-Intern who is currently attending Mercy University in pursuit of her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. With 18 years of experience in the Social Services field and with a background in Human Resources Administration, she understands that no one is immune to a success story. Ms. Martin is committed to holding your hand as you journey through your healing process to obtain mental wealth. The ability to heal is in each of us through Love, Commitment, Giving, Communicating, Releasing, Receiving, and Support.

As a dedicated clinician, Ms. Lleras is committed to providing a safe, warm, and judgment-free environment for her clients. Beyond her work with diverse age groups in underserved communities, she possesses a wealth of experience in Child Protective Services and is certified as a Youth Communications Trainer, as well as in Safety Crisis Management. Her expertise also extends to handling cases involving domestic violence, and she is an integral part of the Safe Horizon speaker bureau.

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the vibrant South Bronx, Ms. Lleras has a deep passion for healthy nutrition, running, and maintaining an active lifestyle.

Sheila Martin was born and raised in the beautiful Caribbean Island of Jamaica, and she believes that that there is beauty in watching the seeds that get planted in good soil, grow into something beautiful. With modalities such as CBT and DBT, Ms. Martin is devoted to assisting you so that, like those planted seeds, you too can become all that you are created to be. From individuals to couples and families, whether facing depression, anxiety, or simply life stressors, she is eager to get to know you. When she is not working, Ms. Martin enjoys hiking and gardening. She is also fascinated by the changes of the seasons, and she embraces all that life has to offer.

Melodie Cortes

Melodie Cortes is the administrative assistant behind Holding Hands Mental Health Counseling, PLLC. She is a Mercy University alumnus, who is currently pursuing her graduate degree in Mental Health Counseling. In her free time, she enjoys reading the Bible and taking on new projects.

Office Assistant

Melodie Cortes

Office Assistant

Melodie Cortes is the administrative assistant behind Holding Hands Mental Health Counseling, PLLC. She is a Mercy University alumnus, who is currently pursuing her graduate degree in Mental Health Counseling. In her free time, she enjoys reading the Bible and taking on new projects.