Executive Director, Juan Garcia, PhD, LMFT#28235
Supervisor, Abel G Esquivel LCSW#160565
Supervisor, Josie Rangel LCSW#214288
Lead Researcher and Evaluator, Juan Carlos Gonzalez, PhD
Operations Manager, Fausto G Novelo, Associate Professional Clinical Counselor APCC#5161
Program Coordinator, Cesar Casamayor
Atención Plena & Mindfulness Leader, Everardo Pedraza
Alejandra H. Perez, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist AMFT#115917
Jairo Lozano, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist AMFT#89873
Damaris Munoz, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist LMFT#118330
Christina Ramirez, PC, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist AMFT#338484
Ann Marquez, Executive Assistant
Esmeralda Mendoza, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist AMFT#115592
Rita Garcia, Administrative Assistant
Staff Bios and Educational Information
Executive Director and CEO, Juan C. Garcia, PhD, LMFT Licensed Marriage and Family Counselor: Juan C. García, LMFT
Dr. García is the executive director, a licensed marriage and family therapist (MFT) who has dedicated close to 40 years of experience engaging and working with Latinx and other vulnerable communities. Dr. García holds a master’s degree in community-clinical psychology from San Jose State University (1982), and a PhD in anthropology from Stanford University (1985). He has served in a number of leadership positions and guiding policies promoting mental wellness for underserved and unpopulations. For example, he served on the NAMI California Board of Directors for six years and is now an active member of NAMI in Fresno. As a member of the Latino Mental Health Concilio, Dr. Garcia played a key role in the 2012 report titled Community-Defined Solutions for Latino Mental Health Care Disparities. This report is based on input from more than 550 Latinx community members who participated in community forums conducted in 13 cities throughout California. The study is the first of its kind to use a community-based grassroots approach to identify major risk factors and challenges associated with severe mental health disorders and find community-driven solutions to overcome those risks and barriers and meet the cultural and language needs of historically un/underserved Latinx communities.
Dr. García has also created a community engagement therapy model through his work at California State University, Fresno (Fresno State) and in the nonprofit sector that has led to thousands of new and retrained culturally competent and language proficient mental health professionals.
He has founded and led Spanish-speaking and community-focused service provider groups that to-date continue advocating and promoting mental health care for Latinx communities. As a professor at Fresno State, Dr. García established a counseling and rehabilitation program that is aligned to the recovery model with an emphasis on empowering, giving hope with a sense of purpose, changing behaviors through self-responsibility and self-efficacy, and conveying that recovery is possible when mental health consumers are given a meaningful role in life. He has taught multicultural aspects of counseling at CSU Fresno for more than 30 years, and as a result is an expert in implementing culturally responsive approaches in counseling, social services, and in administrative structures in the helping professions. Dr. García is now a Professor Emeritus of the same counseling center in Fresno State that he helped design and lead. Recognizing that the only way to adequately address the health and mental health treatment gap among Latinx and other un/underserved communities is to go inside the neighborhoods where the people live to deliver services. Therefore, in 2011 he co-founded Integral Community Solutions Institute (ICSI) to provide counseling services to un/underserved populations in Fresno and throughout the San Joaquin Valley.
Fausto G Novelo, Associate Professional Clinical Counselor, ICSI Program Manager
Fausto G Novelo, a graduate of Alliant University, California School of Professional Psychology, with a Master of Arts in Counseling, Associate Professional Clinical Counselor, is currently both the program manager
and a clinician for Integral Community Solutions Institute. Fausto is in charge of billing, public affairs, coordinating professional development for staff, and is in charge of assigning clients to a therapist. Mr. Novelo also provides clinical counseling to individuals in need of therapy due to trauma related issues, human trafficking, interparner violance, victims of violance at work, or vandalism at home. Mr. Novelo has experience working with individuals suffering from eating disorders, providing them with individual and group therapy. Mr. Novelo has provided individual and group therapy to women suffering from substance abuse disorders. He provided group therapy on the following topics, grief and loss, substance abuse and mental health, women empowerment, and co-occurring disorders. In addition, he has experience in family therapy. Mr. Novelo also has experience in individual therapy with individuals who are working through substance abuse. Mr. Novelo also has certifications in:
Law and Ethics, Human Trafficking 101, LGBTQ+ and Gender Identity, Trauma Informed, child abuse reporting, systemic Racism & Structural Racialization: Examining the Impact of Behavioral Health Disparities, Account for Quickbooks, Property Manager certificate, and attends frequent webinars with SAMHSA. Mr. Novelo is frequently searching for resources beneficial to clients, such as housing and education resources, that can help those who want to further their education – GED or College.
Alejandra Perez, AMFT
Alejandra Perez is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and a Central California native. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from California State University, Fresno. She is a graduate of California State University, Fresno earning her Master of Science in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling and PPS Credential in May of 2019. During her time at ICSI she worked with the Hip-Hop Therapy Program by co-facilitating hip-hop therapy groups, co-facilitating mindfulness-based substance abuse groups, and providing individual therapy. During her internship with ICSI, she obtained experience counseling adolescents and their families addressing substance abuse, addiction, depression, anger, and anxiety. Alejandra Perez has obtained
experience with clients across all walks of life with emotional and behavioral issues related to premarital, marriage, divorce, parenting, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress grief-work and adolescent suicidality. She is passionate about working with underserved Latinx populations. As a bilingual therapist, she wishes to continue raising awareness of the ability of such services to people of low socioeconomic backgrounds. Oftentimes there are language barriers that limit the access
of services to certain groups. With ICSI, Alejandra feels she has achieved the knowledge and skills needed to successfully serve those who feel that there are insufficient resources available in their own language. Alejandra integrates multiple models, including, but not limited to, emotion-focused therapy, structural family therapy in an approach that best fits each individual. Alejandra also uses mindfulness-based therapy with clients as well. In addition, Alejandra is certified in being trauma-informed.
Director of Research and Evaluation Juan Carlos Gonzalez, Ph.D.
Dr. Juan Carlos Gonzalez’ is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at the California State University, Fresno. He holds bachelor’s’ in Spanish and Philosophy from California State University – San Bernardino, a master’s in Higher Education from The Ohio State University, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Arizona State University. His research interests include: educational policy and history, multicultural and Latino educational issues, and higher education faculty and student issues. Some recent co-publications include: Victimization, Urbanicity, and the Relevance of Context: School Routines, Race and Ethnicity, and Adolescent Violence (Journal of Criminology, with Peguero, Portillos, Sung Hong, Kahle, & Shekarkhar), Experiences of Central California Latino Male Youth: Recollecting Despair And Success in Barrios and Schools (Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education, with Immekus), and Crime Control Strategies In School: Chicanas’/Os’ Perceptions And Criminalization (The Urban Review, with Portillos & Peguero). The latest journal submission includes: “C’mon—you should know the rules, man. You been in the game!”: Latinx Youth’s Perceptions of Chronic Punishment and School Safety. (Sociology of Education Journal, by Portillos, E., Peguero, A., González, J. C., Immekus, J., & Luna, C. V.).
His research interests include understanding youth of color in various contexts and conducting innovative program evaluation. He is presently working on a California Department of Public Health funded project to document effective Latinx therapeutic methodologies for at-risk Latinx youth. Dr. Gonzalez’s contribution is to the research design, serve as co-evaluator, write the research for publication, and help YCMM become an evidence-based practice. Since 2000, Dr. Juan Carlos Gonzalez’ has been
engaged in higher education research and study. He served as PI as small research grants, primarily university-based. He is currently the Director of Research and Evaluation for Integral Community Solutions Institute (ICSI) focused on improving mental health outcomes for Latinx youth. At this stage of his career, he is focused on assisting local non-profits with grant writing and development, mostly non-profits focused on serving school underserved youth. This is amazingly rewarding work to him as he has the opportunity to engage and include junior colleagues, and also because it is working in a severely underserved Latinx community.
Jairo Lozano, AMFT
A graduate from California State University, Fresno Counseling program, Jairo Lozano has developed and implemented the Hip Hop Therapy program at Ripperdan Community Day School and Mountain Vista High School. Jairo began interning with ICSI and participated in SB1569 Human Trafficking Project serving clients who were Spanish speaking, undocumented, victims of abuse and violent crimes, and victims of human trafficking. He has developed a passion for working with underserved and marginalized populations and is currently working with youth in alternative education settings. Jairo has incorporated his experience and insight as a Hip-Hop artist to develop culturally relevant and identifiable interventions that have been successful in providing mental health access to underserved adolescents. He has drawn from elements of Acceptance Commitment Therapy and Mindfulness to provide a delivery system of interventions based on the practices of Hip-Hop culture. Jairo is able to provide therapy to this population through the creation of meaningful music and lyrics. He utilizes layers of culture with adolescents to facilitate establishing rapport and reducing stigma towards mental health. By utilizing a cultural art form that many youth identify with, he is able to lead youth towards psychological flexibility and treatment in depression, anxiety, trauma, family issues, substance abuse, identity issues, grief and loss, and anger issues. Jairo is trauma informed- certified, and has obtained a certificate in mindfulness and cultural competency. Through his work with Madera Unified School District, he has also become certified in Restorative Justice.
Efrain Mozqueda, Associate Professional Clinical Counselor
Efrain Mozqueda is an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor, graduated from California State University, Fresno with a Masters Degree in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health. Efrain has experience treating diverse populations dealing with people with diverse mental health issues. Also mentoring at-risk high school individuals. Efrain has had the opportunity to gain experience working with people who have been diagnosed with Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, Personality Disorders and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Efrain also has experience in working with trauma, emotional and behavioral issues. His approach to therapy is to help individuals get to the roots of their issues by helping them break the barriers that bring them trouble in life. Efrain is also trauma informed and certified. He currently works at ICSI partime and FT at Pleasant Valley Prison working with sex offenders, drug abuse offenders, and other high offender populations.
Miriam N. Zuniga
Miriam N. Zuniga is currently holds her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at California State University, Fresno. Miriam has been working with ICSI for five years as an administrative assistant however she is now a program coordinator at ICSI’s Bienestar Youth Center. Miriam has certification in trauma informed care and grief and loss. Always a team player, Miriam is keen on helping and ensuring things are getting done.
Cesar E Casamayor has over 15 years organizing for immigrant rights, youth rights and homeless youth rights. As an advocate and community organizer Cesar brings experience in policy and engagement with elected leaders and has built relationships with stakeholders and communities most impacted by the war on drugs that have faced decades of neglect and poor investments in Fresno. Cesar is a champion for change and brings a grassroots approach to organizing in the community.
Esmeralda Mendoza, AMFT
Esmeralda is a Marriage and Family Therapy Associate. She is a recent graduate of California State University, Fresno earning her Master of Science in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling. She believes that her job as a therapist is to meet each individual where they are in order to get to where they want to be. Esmeralda believes that the therapeutic join is vital for therapy to be successful and works to create a shared goal through an empathic understanding of each client’s experience. She has received a Youth at Risk Certification, Cross Cultural Competence Certification and an LPCC Certification from California State University, Fresno. During her time at ICSI, Esmeralda has provided services to individuals, couples, families, including children and adolescents.
Everardo Pedraza is a Marriage and Family Therapy Associate and a Central California Native. He is the son of Mexican immigrant farm workers and the first and only person in his family to pursue a higher education. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from the University of California, Berkeley in1997 and his California Secondary Teacher Credential from Fresno State’s School of Education and a Master of Arts with honors in theology from the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley in 2007. He earned his Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from California State University, Fresno in 2103. During his time at ICSI he completed his certification as a Certified Integral Therapist with Dr. Mark Forman, author of A Guide to Integral Psychotherapy: Complexity, Integration, and Spirituality in Practice (https:// citintegral.com, 2010). During his time at ICSI he has implemented a pioneering and successful Mindfulness Club at Sunnyside High School (Fresno Unified School District) in southeast Fresno. As well, he has provided individual and couples therapy. During his internship at ICSI he has obtained experience counseling adolescents and their families as well as adults with various issues including depression, addiction, anger and anxiety. He has obtained experience with clients from various walks of life with emotional and behavioral issues related to premarital, marriage, divorce, parenting, substance abuse, PTSD and grief work. Everardo has established himself as a mindfulness leader and skilled facilitator, leading individuals and groups in various mindfulness practices, in individual and group sessions and designing a successful Mindfulness Retreat for Teens with the Sunnyside High School Mindfulness Club. He is passionate about working with the underserved Latinx populations. As a bilingual therapist, he wishes to continue raising awareness of mindfulness practice, psychotherapeutic and personal development and higher educational attainment to first-generation college-students from underserved communities. He has emerged as a respected leader in integral psychotherapy. With 17 years of teaching English in the inner-city, Mr. Pedraza has achieved success in working with at-promise teens and popularized mindfulness and normalized psychotherapy among the youth. Everardo integrates multiple models including, but not limited to, emotion-focused therapy, structural family therapy in an approach that best fits his clients.
Ensuring that cultural and or/linguistic sensitivity is included in all aspects of program planning and service delivery
ICSI is a multiculturally competent agency led by a multicultural board, administration, and staff. ICSI has become proficient in working with other groups such as SE Asian community, African Americans and other nonLatino indigenous groups who may often run afoul of the law. We implement multicultural competence at every level. Currently we are funded by the State Department of Public Health through a 5 year (2017 – 2022) research MHSA funded project to implement community defined approaches to mental health services, outreach, prevention, and education. We have collected the majority of the data, and will soon start to write training manuals, scholarly articles, and provide training in the community about the community-defined evidence based protocols. Much of it helps agencies to become multiculturally competent to support approaches which are effective in the populations we work with, but have not yet been accepted by the mainstream. At the same time we are proficient in mainstream evidence based approaches which we will utilize to assess for mental health status, employment history, career assessment, and educational plans.
Your Information is Confidential and Safe with us.
ICSI staff protects all records by storing, safeguarding and disposing of client records in ways that maintain confidentiality and in accord with applicable laws and professional standards. Mental health professionals are subject to abide by HIPPA regulations. HIPAA’s primary purpose is to protect the privacy of people receiving health care services. ICSI therapists are compliant to HIPAA’s Privacy Rule and Security Rule that state implications for the development, maintenance, retention, and security of medical and mental health records.