Mariana Plata is a licensed psychologist from Panama with a Master's degree in Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology. She is also a play therapist in training from the Association for Play Therapy (APT), educator, mental health writer, and public speaker.
Mariana received her degree in Psychology from the Universidad Católica Santa María la Antigua (USMA) back in 2012. She spent the following years working closely with a child and adolescent clinical psychologist at her private practice. Her tasks included conducting psychological evaluations, writing reports, and communicating results to parents and teachers. During this time, she realized that her calling was to work with children, teens and their parents, which prompted her to pursue a Master's degree in Child & Adolescent Clinical Psychology, as well as begin her training as a play therapist through the Association for Play Therapy.
After working as an assistant psychologist for almost three years, Mariana decided to venture into another passion of hers: education. She worked as a learning support specialist at the International School of Panama for the following two years, in which she was responsible for helping Middle School students in both ends of the learning spectrum (with learning need and enrichment possibilites).
Mariana was in charge of developing Individualized Education Plans (IEP's), planning skills-based lessons (focused on executive functioning and self-advocacy), providing in-classroom support with students, and planning and co-teaching differentiated instruction with classroom teachers. She has also worked as a professor at her USMA, her alma mater, where she managed to blend both of her passions.
She's always been passionate about psychoeducation, and writing has always been a part of her. In addition to her practical work as a clinical psychologist in training, she writes about mental health since April 2017. Her work has been published in Psychology Today, Psych Central, Tonic by VICE, Ravishly, HelloGiggles, among others. In addition to this, she conducts workshops and lectures to children, teens, parents, teachers, and other professionals in her field. For more information on either of these services (writing, public speaking or counselling) check out the information on each of the pages.