Belen Guillen, LMFT

License #92379
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Individual Therapy, Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy
Anxiety, Bipolar, Career/Academic Stress, Depression, LGBTQ+, Life Transition, Parenting, Perfectionism, Perinatal/postpartum, Racial/Cultural Identity, Relationship Issues, Self-esteem, Sex/Intimacy Issues, Trauma/PTSD, Women’s Issues
Short term (Solution-focused), Structured, Insight-oriented (Psychodynamic), Non-directive (Humanistic), Behavioral (CBT, DBT), Trauma Focused
Mornings, Around Noon, Afternoons, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Taking new clients
Telehealth, In-person
Spanish, English
Ethera Irvine, South Orange County
Out of Pocket, Superbill
Individual: $150
Couples and Family: $200
Sliding Scale: $100

Meet Belen Guillen

My name is Belen Guillen. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, independently licensed in the state of California since 2016. I have been practicing psychotherapy since I graduated college with a Master’s in Psychology in 2004, at University of Buenos Aires – Argentina. Since then, I have provided psychological evaluation, psychotherapy, and parenting education for hundreds of individuals struggling with a wide range of disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety, bipolar disorder, as well as issues related to adjustment to different stages of the life cycle, domestic violence, infidelity, substance abuse, grief and loss, separation from loved ones, and dislocation. I have also done work assessing children’s attachments to their parents, development, and milestones. Since 2019, I have been conducting evaluations for clients adjusting their legal status in the US though seeking hardship waivers, asylum, and protection through the Violence Against Women Act.

 

What was one of the most challenging experiences during your training to become a therapist. How did you overcome the challenge, and what did you learn from it?

One of the most challenging experiences in my career was moving to the US after graduating college and practicing in my home country, Argentina; revalidating my degree, and obtaining a license in California. Once I set my mind into it, I took one step at a time to make my goal achievable. I learned that anything is possible if you believe in yourself.

 

What is one thing that you have learned through your own therapy?

That the quality of our relationships will dictate the quality of our lives.

 

How have your personal experiences helped your work with your clients?

I have a Hispanic background. My family migrated from Spain and Italy to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and I grew up in a multigenerational home. The fact that I have been exposed to different languages, cultures, and interactions with people different ages since birth, helped me create and hold safe environments and adapt to different scenarios when working with my clients.

 

Is there an example from your daily life where you practice what you preach?

Most definitely when it comes to my parenting. My decisions and interventions as a mom are neuro-developmentally informed, rooted in a secure attachment and in the best interest of my children.

 

How do you approach the stigma surrounding mental health and therapy?

I associate therapy with learning opportunities, personal growth, and social commitment (since we are members of a society) rather than focus on a patient’s deficit or illness.

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Belen Guillen?

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Therapy Styles

Short Term (Solution-focused, etc.) 
Ideal for those who are coming in with a specific problem they’d like to address and gain clarity on. Typically, short term therapies are present focused and do not dive deep into your past.

Structured
Structured therapies are goal and progress oriented. Therapists may incorporate psychoeducation and a specific “curriculum.” In order to stay on track, therapists may provide worksheets and homework.

Insight-oriented (Psychodynamic, Existential, etc.) 
Exploring the past and making connections to present issues can help clients gain insight. Getting to the root of the issue and finding deeper self-awareness can help with long-term change.

Non-directive (Humanistic, Person-centered, etc.)
Going with the flow and seeing where it leads.

Behavioral (CBT, DBT, etc.)
Focuses on changing potentially unhealthy or self-destructive behaviors by addressing problematic thought patterns and specific providing coping skills.

Trauma Focused (EMDR, TF-CBT, etc.)
Recognizing the connection between trauma experiences and your emotional and behavioral responses, trauma focused therapy seeks to help you heal from traumas.