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RIVER ORNELLAS, MA, AMFT

Pronouns: They/them

River is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist in the State of California (#103387) and will be clinically supervised at RtW by Katherine M. Zwick, MA, LPCC (#3334).

Location: Santa Cruz

River provides individual outpatient therapy to adolescents and adults at RtW. They have experience serving a diverse array of individuals across the lifespan facing a broad range of issues.

River is non-binary and passionate about providing gender-affirming care to transgender, non-binary, gender-expansive, and gender-questioning people, as well as those with experiences of queer sexualities. They also specialize in grief and loss.

River has a Master’s Degree in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Their strong social justice and equity values are reflected in their work history.

They come to RtW with nearly 10 years of experience working in social services throughout Santa Cruz County, providing support to individuals from marginalized communities in school, office, and community-based settings.

River has a warm and nonjudgmental approach and works to create a safe and supportive space. In their work with clients, River brings depth to the therapeutic process. Their priority is to listen and attend to the needs of the client’s whole authentic self, including the mind, body and soul. River’s integrated approach draws from various modalities, including trauma-informed, mindfulness-based, somatic, and transpersonal models. They tailor therapeutic techniques to meet the particular needs of each individual.

River holds a framework of intersectionality to support the understanding of how the many layers of one’s identity such as race, gender, ethnicity, class, ability, sexual orientation and culture can affect one’s experience.

River is an active member of the Santa Cruz Transgender Consultation Group, a group of therapists, medical professionals, and community advocates who collaborate to bring affirming care to trans, non-binary, gender expansive and gender questioning clients in the Santa Cruz area. They are also a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

You can email River at river@ridethewaverecovery.com