My name is Bonnie Cardillo, my pronouns are she/her/hers, and I’m a third-year graduate trainee at the University of San Diego. I’ll be earning my Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in Spring 2021. First off, I would like you to know that I aim to provide a warm counseling space for you and your loved one to process without judgment – where all thoughts and feelings, even partially formed or tentatively felt ones, are heard and acknowledged. As a counselor who listens with empathy and cultural humility, I will approach your relationship with genuine curiosity to help you notice and shift patterns intentionally to meet your goals. Deciding to seek help for yourself and your relationship is an act of self-love that takes courage, and I applaud you for trusting yourself and potentially me with making positive changes to your mental and relational health.
In addition to working with clients at Estes Therapy, I also work with clients at the Veteran’s Village of San Diego, conducting intake assessments and individual counseling sessions with veterans struggling with co-occurring mental health diagnoses, problematic substance use, and homelessness. As an undergraduate Psychology major at Santa Clara University, I gained research experience and an eventual publication exploring dating partners’ use of technology when feeling disconnected from one another. After graduating, my work in management at the online counseling platform BetterHelp has helped to reduce barriers to access for mental health care. During graduate school, I joined the team facilitating the Fostering Hope support group, which provides a free and safe space for couples dealing with infertility looking to adopt or foster through San Diego County; an opportunity that led to our team co-authoring a counselor education book chapter on the subject.
These experiences have enhanced my understanding of communication patterns, emotional connection, and the need to address trauma in a validating and empowering way in counseling. Fundamentally, I aim to offer a space for couples and individuals to be seen – to provide a space where thoughts you may have been avoiding are heard, vulnerable feelings are felt, and meaning is tried on in the effort of achieving your goals.