• 6909 W. Ray Rd. Suite #15-105 Chandler, AZ 85226
    2211 E Highland Ave, Suite #100 Phoenix, AZ 85016

  • Hablamos Español (480) 712-8201

Maria Casal Porto, LAC


Languages: English and Spanish

My Counseling Philosophy

I believe that counseling is a tool that will help you overcome the challenges that life throws at you. Each person has the internal resources and capacity to overcome difficult times and gain strength and knowledge in the process. My role as a counselor is to assist you to increase your awareness, identify your strengths, and apply the tools you have in order to build a strong satisfying life. In our work together, you will feel empowered, find solutions, learn new skills, and be in control of your own healing journey. I will work closely with you to understand your worldview and guide you in meeting your goals.

Training and Therapy Approach

I strongly believe that you are the expert of your life and you will guide the focus of your treatment while I provide a supporting and guiding role. I am a Licensed Associate Counselor and hold a master’s degree in psychology as well as a doctorate in counseling. I received training in evidence-based modalities including Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI). I use a Trauma-Informed Care approach and strive to be sensitive to potential triggers in the therapeutic relationship. In therapy, one size does not fit all, that is why I utilize a combination of treatment modalities based on your specific needs, experiences, struggles, and culture.

Treatment Focus:

I work with adolescents and adults who are struggling with emotional distress due to life events, relationships, work problems, trauma from migration and immigration, and other day-to-day emotional distress. I will help you find relief from the emotional distress and guide you in using healthy skills to improve your mood and life situation. My areas of specialty include Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Migration Related Trauma, Immigration-Related Trauma, Emotional Stress, Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse, Anxiety, Depression, Life Transitions, Acculturation Difficulties, and Life-Altering Events.

What to expect from me:

You can expect that I will be sensitive to your values, beliefs, and culture. I utilize my education and experience to provide high-quality services to all my clients. I strongly believe in creating an environment that is supportive, safe, and respectful. I value your unique experiences and appreciate the perspective you bring to the therapeutic relationship. We will work in partnership to ensure your goals are clearly defined and are addressed at every session.

When I am not working

I am enjoying my time exploring Arizona, as much as I can with the pandemic.  Staying home has given me the opportunity to explore interests and hobbies. I enjoy arts and crafts, painting, spending time with family and friends, and socializing with others.