Mental health has become a critical issue in today’s society. As more people struggle with anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders, it’s become increasingly important to find ways to manage these issues. Gaby Toloza, a clinical psychologist, is doing just that by helping people find calm through the chaos of everyday life using the tools of psychological flexibility, especially mindfulness.
Toloza learned early on that life includes pain, grief, sadness and overwhelm when she lost her dad at 17 to cancer. Several years later she lost her fiancé suddenly to a unexpected blood clot which proved fatal. She realized that uncomfortable feelings were not things to avoid or deny, instead they are emotions to embrace, opportunities to connect with oneself and those who matter most, pain and suffering are a time for being which ultimately leads to growth.
Toloza’s professional journey began with a passion for helping and serving others. With an initial desire to become a teacher, her career path changed when “In undergrad, I realized I wanted to help the one kid that was struggling in class,” she shares. She started her career as a behavioral aide supporting children with autism and other behavioral challenges in home, community and classroom settings. Through her six years of graduate school training to become a clinical psychologist she helped people in various mental health settings, rural health clinics, homeless shelters, schools and prisons.
Toloza’s company, Mindful Connections, is a recent establishment. After moving from Oklahoma to Italy, she shifted to virtual services to continue serving her US clients. Her approach to mental health is unique as it’s tailored to each individual’s needs, focuses on what matters most and what barriers tend to arise for them. She uses a system of mindfulness that’s based on the seven tenets of mindfulness and the acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) model, which helps people become more psychologically flexible.
For Toloza, success in her client’s lives is based on finding their core values, understanding their thought, feeling and behavior patterns, working through their attachments to patterns ultimately learning to take commitment actions in the present moment towards what matters most. Her system helps clients adapt and coexist in an ever-changing world as ever-changing individuals.
As for success in her own life, she focuses on her core values; connection, mindful presence and most importantly, love. She emphasizes the essential importance of slowing down and choosing love for self and for others at any given moment.
Looking to the future, Toloza is launching a mindfulness retreat in Hawaii, which she will expand in the year to come along with her group coaching practice and experiential wellness workshops. Specifically designated for women, the retreat will include values identification, befriending one’s inner critique with self-compassion; along with opportunities to be mindful in ordinary ebb and flow moments of life.
If you’re looking to better connect with your intuition, calm the chaos of daily life and feel able to adapt to this roller coaster called life, Gaby Toloza’s Mindful Connections is a great place to start. To connect with her and learn more about her upcoming retreat, visit her Website or follow her on Instagram at @drmindfulmama.