Marisa is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker-Supervisor with twenty years of clinical experience, as well as expertise in program planning, training, and education for mental health clinicians, health care providers, educators, caregivers, and other professionals. As Director of School and Community Engagement at the Trauma and Grief Center (TAG), Marisa oversees and provides school and community-based trainings for TAG in the areas of children’s trauma and bereavement, trauma- and bereavement-informed organizations and schools, evidence-based assessment and treatment, as well as secondary traumatic stress, self-care, and a variety of other mental health topics. Marisa is a certified problem-based learning facilitator for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s Core Curriculum on Childhood Trauma, as well as a certified Master Trainer for Trauma and Grief Component Therapy for Adolescents (TGCTA). Marisa was also instrumental in overseeing evidence-based, trauma- and bereavement-focused services in the community of Santa Fe, TX following the tragic school shooting in May 2018. Marisa has extensive experience utilizing evidence-based assessments and interventions, both individual and group-based, with children and families who have experienced mass violence at school, as well as those who have experienced other types of traumas and/or losses.
Prior to joining the TAG team, Marisa spent much of her career working as a clinical social worker and supervisor at MD Anderson Cancer Center, creating and overseeing programming for children whose parents had cancer. At MD Anderson, Marisa received the Outstanding Patient Educator Award and was a three-time nominee for the Eleanor Clark Award for Innovative Programs through the Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care. Marisa served as a national co-trainer for The Children’s Treehouse Foundation, a Denver-based, nonprofit organization dedicated to training mental health and health care professionals in a psychosocial intervention to support families facing parental cancer. Marisa’s experience also includes providing clinical services and support to both pediatric and adult patients experiencing a variety of illnesses and injuries in the medical setting.
Marisa completed her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Texas A&M University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Houston.