Meet the Indigenous Circle of Wellness Team

Our Wellness Providers

Stephanie Mushrush, LCSW

Stephanie Mushrush, LCSW

Wellness Provider
Stephanie Mushrush, LCSW (Lic#76738) is a member of the Washoe Tribe of NV & CA, and also Filipina, who has served her community for nearly 20 years. She earned her Master of Social Welfare at UCLA in 2013 as an Indian Health Service Health Professions Scholar. Stephanie is currently entering her 8th year as a mental health professional, including her work at American Indian Counseling Center - LA County Department of Mental Health, as well as at the Washoe Tribal Healing Center in Gardnerville, NV. She also previously worked as a Home Living Assistant at Sherman Indian High School, where she was inspired by her students to become a therapist. Stephanie has experience and training in several cognitive behavioral-based therapies including Mending the Circle, and prefers to approach clients with an integrative and holistic approach - emphasizing balance of the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual. Stephanie is committed to supporting the healing and resiliency of individuals, families and communities - with consideration of Native cultures, traditions, and historical, intergenerational, as well as continued trauma. She is active in the local Native community as a participant, music artist, and volunteer, as Chair of the Many Winters Gathering Of Elders. Stephanie’s interests include decolonization, indigenization, reflection, expression, and self-growth.
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Denise Copeland, LCSW

Denise Copeland, LCSW

Wellness Provider
Denise Graciela Copeland (Licensed Clinical Social Worker 70160) is a Xicana woman born and raised in the Los Angeles area with a strong commitment to providing culturally sensitive services and promoting overall wellness for traditionally underserved communities. Denise is strongly committed to supporting empowerment, healing, and access to services in her community. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Master’s degree in Social Welfare from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Denise has over 10 years of clinical experience utilizing strengths-based approaches in community mental health and community clinic settings. Denise has specific training in supporting parents and children (birth to five) by building parent confidence/skills and the treatment of trauma in young children. Additionally, she has experience working with individuals impacted by grief and loss, immigration concerns, chronic illness, trauma, and intergenerational conflict. Denise believes in the importance of relationships, skill building, and mindfulness to promote healing. Therapeutic styles include attachment-based interventions, cognitive behavioral therapy, play interventions, structural family therapy interventions, as well as evidenced based practices. Denise is a bilingual therapist experienced with providing services in both English and Spanish.
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Robyn Gomez, LCSW

Robyn Gomez, LCSW

Wellness Provider
Robyn Gomez (Licensed Clinical Social Worker 96526) is a Huichol-Xicana born and raised on Tongva and Tataviam lands, known today as the Northeast San Fernando Valley. She utilizes strengths-based approaches, clinical interventions, and ZERO TO FIVE core knowledge skills to engage families and the community through holistic approaches, ancestral healing, and social justice advocacy. Robyn is a current fellow of the University of California Davis Continuing & Professional Education, Napa Infant-Parent Mental Health Program and has been accepted into the Reflective Supervision Academy. She is certified in the following evidence-based practice modalities: Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) ages 3yrs and up with a specialty in grief and loss, Parent-Child Interactive Therapy (PCIT), and NCAST Parent-Child Interaction (PCI) Feeding Scale observable behaviors that describe caregiver/parent child interaction. Robyn believes in the power of relationships, increasing the parent-child dyad, and facilitating to find one’s inner healing towards growth. She has 4 years of utilizing therapeutic interventions such as Reflective practice and 7 years Motivational Interviewing, and Problem-Solving. Robyn is a bilingual therapist able to provide services in Spanish.
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LaTonya Marshall, ACSW

LaTonya Marshall, ACSW

Wellness Provider
LaTonya Marshall is an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ACSW #78381) with over 10 years of clinical experience working with at-risk youth and young adults, families, and individuals coping with a disability, substance abuse, or chronic illness. She completed her bachelor's degree in psychology and masters degree in generalist social work at California State University of Northridge (CSUN). LaTonya is a proud African American woman who is committed to helping individuals remember their why or their purpose, within self, with family, and with the community. As a therapist of color, LaTonya is passionate about providing multicultural counseling to teens, adults, blended families, couples, survivors of sexual violence, as well as previously incarcerated youth and adults. The therapeutic modalities she utilizes include, mindfulness, motivational interviewing, and Gestalt therapy. *LaTonya is under the clinical supervision of Monique Castro, LMFT (Lic# 104427).
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Kylee Jones, ACSW

Kylee Jones, ACSW

Associate Clinical Social Worker
Kylee Jones is an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ASW #93587) who was born and raised in Riverside, California. She has earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from California Baptist University and her Master’s of Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University. She has worked in the urban Native community within the Los Angeles and Riverside Counties for over six years. In addition to working with the Native community, she also works with low income individuals in San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties offering court-mandated psychoeducation courses, treatment and services within the residential rehabilitation setting, services during acute hospitalization, and short-term counseling. Kylee is a multiracial woman who has a passion for advocacy, outreach, and representation. Her areas of focus include intergenerational trauma, race and ethnic relations, identity development, self-worth/self-esteem development, and life transitions. Being of mixed race, Kylee understands the feelings of not belonging, questioning one’s identity, and forging one’s own path. Healing the past for the success of the future is one of Kylee’s passions. She use’s motivational interviewing, solution-focused, and other evidence-based treatment models.
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Our Leadership

Monique Castro, LMFT

Monique Castro, LMFT

Founder & CEO
Monique Castro is a citizen of the Diné (Navajo) Nation and Xicana, born and raised on the ancestral homelands of the Tongva People (aka Los Angeles). She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, certified professional coach, social justice consultant, facilitator and advocate with over 14 years of professional experience in the areas of health, wellness, community organizing, and education. Her approach centers an Indigenous world view and core values. She is a collaborative and relational-leader with an exceptional track record building and maintaining sustainable relationships with Native-led organizations, Tribes, higher education institutions, and community members throughout California and nationally. Her leadership includes establishing the California Native Vote Project (co-founder), So'oh-Shinálí Sister Project (co-founder) and Indigenous Circle of Wellness (founder and CEO), a thriving psychotherapy private practice located in Southeast Los Angeles. Monique earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from California State University of Los Angeles (CSULA) and Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from Mount Saint Mary’s University (MSMU) and is clinically trained in Relational Gestalt Therapy, EMDR, and other holistic approaches to wellness.
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Natalia Lopez, LCSW

Natalia Lopez, LCSW

Wellness Provider | Clinical Supervisor
Natalia Lopez is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW #76095) with over 10 years of clinical experience. She earned two bachelor degrees in Sociology and Chican@ studies from the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and her Masters in Social Welfare from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). She is the daughter of immigrant parents from Mexico and was born and raised in Boyle Heights, CA. As a therapist of color, Natalia is interested in providing therapy that is culturally relevant and compassionate. She recognizes that communities of color have had to develop survival strategies to endure marginalization and historical trauma. Natalia has experience working with adolescents, adults, families and couples. She also has an expertise in working with the LGBTQIA2S community and offers a lively LGBTQIA2S affirming outlook in a safe and caring environment. Her educational & professional backgrounds include extensive trainings in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Problem-Solving Therapy, and other evidence-based treatment models. Natalia is a bilingual and bicultural therapist who is able to conduct therapy services in Spanish. Se ofrece servicios de consulta y psicoterapia en espanol tambien. *NOTE: Natalia is currently not accepting new clients.
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Elena Nourrie, M.Ed

Elena Nourrie, M.Ed

Co-Director of Education & Community Engagement
Elena Seymana Nourrie (Hopi, Cherokee and Chicanx) was born and raised on traditional Tongva territory. Thanks to the teachings of her mother and grandmother, Elena has a deep personal commitment to advancing social justice and equity for Native Americans in order to strengthen tribal peoples' right to self-determination. Her evolving career roles reflect her values for learning, growing, and building community. She has worked in multiple professional capacities within local K-12 districts including in elementary and high school special education classrooms as well as within private academic success sectors and higher education settings. Elena has also served in several roles within the Native American community of Los Angeles and now serves as Co-director of Education and Community Engagement for Indigenous Circle of Wellness. Elena completed her bachelor's degree in English with an emphasis in Education and a minor in Psychology at Cal Poly Pomona. She also earned her master's degree in Higher Education with an emphasis in Student Affairs from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
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Melissa Alcala, M.A.

Melissa Alcala, M.A.

Co-Director of Education & Community Engagement
Melissa is Naakáí Bilagáana born for Honágháahnii Kinyaa'áanii Naakáí-dine’é, In this way, she is a Diné (Navajo) woman. She was born and raised on Tongva land, in Northeast Los Angeles, known as Lincoln Heights. Melissa has worked with scholars at different grade levels (K-12) and in different educational settings and capacities, including that of Torres-Martinez Tribal TANF. Melissa completed her B.A degree in English with a minor in Theatre Arts and Dance. She received her M.A in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction in the Urban Setting. Melissa’s Master’s thesis was written on how to develop culturally responsive curriculum and instruction in literacy for urban Native American students, as well as how to bring cultural understanding and awareness to all educators serving Urban Native American students. Melissa currently serves as an English high school teacher in the Huntington Park area and acts as the Co-director of Education and Community Engagement for Indigenous Circle of Wellness. As the co-instructional leader for the English Department and advisor for her school’s “Culture Committee,” Melissa strives to decolonize the curriculum by including various indigenous voices and writers to the literary canon, by lending an indigenous perspective to viewing and understanding the world, and by providing a safe communal space in the classroom that is reflective of our traditional core values. She strives to reverse the disproportionate representation of people of color in the educational field by finding ways to maintain teacher retention and support all stakeholders to advocate, spread awareness, and bring social justice topics to the forefront of their schools. It is Melissa’s hope and dream that one day her very own children, Mariel and Gavin, will grow up to receive a public education that is conducive to equity, access, and inclusiveness, where they can see themselves in their teachers, and continue to change the trajectory of education as we know it.
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Bridget Garcia Vera, M.A.

Bridget Garcia Vera, M.A.

Operations Manager
Bridget Garcia Vera (Latinx and Chicanx) was born in Veracruz, Mexico and was raised in Tongva Land (LA). Being dacamented, she has been able to continuously advocate and fight for her community and for undocumented folks by volunteering in various local organizations within Los Angeles. Bridget's parents have taught her that in life nothing comes easy and working hard towards one's goals comes with dedication and passion. Being instilled with this mindset, she pursued her education by attending East Los Angeles College where she obtained two associate degrees in Chicana/o Studies and Psychology. Transferring to Cal State LA, she was able to complete her bachelor's degree in Mexican American Studies in 2018. She immediately pursued her masters degree in Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies, graduating in 2020. She now serves as our Operations Manager here at Indigenous Circle of Wellness, where she is able to service the Native community of Los Angeles.
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Our Administrative Staff

Valerie Cabral

Valerie Cabral

Administrative Assistant
Valerie Cabral (she/her) is Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara from her maternal side, and Chicanx on her paternal side. Growing up as an urban-Native, Valerie learned to navigate cross-cultural settings by balancing her cultural practices while living in non-Native spaces. In high school, as Valerie attended multiple Native retreats, started her journey as a Jingle dancer and Sundancer, it would soon spark her passion for social justice and mental wellness. Soon after, she joined the Indigenous Circle of Wellness team as a youth volunteer and was offered an administrative assistant position where she helps with organizational tasks, assists with event programming, facilitating virtual community events, and supports the team in their roles. Valerie is currently working on her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at San Francisco State University while aspiring to minor in American Indian Studies. Upon completing her Master’s and licensing, she hopes to become a wellness provider and serve the Indigenous community in Los Angeles County.
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Danyell Mayen

Danyell Mayen

Community Engagement Assistant
Danyell (they/them) is a differently abled non-binary person who is currently working on completing their Bachelors degree in Sociology, with a minor in Communication Studies at Cal State LA. Danyell aspires to be a counselor working in a high school setting with marginalized youth. Danyell's drive and work ethic stems from a transformative justice lens that supports the lives of colonized people, as well as challenges colonial ideologies. Danyell contributes to the ICOWellness team by welcoming new clients, managing referrals, facilitating virtual community events and supporting other administrative staff in their roles.
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