Marianela Medrano-Marra

Marianela Medrano

Marianela Medrano is a counselor and Dominican writer living and practicing in Stamford, CT. She writes poetry, essays, and creative non-fiction; with publications including essays and four books of poetry.

  • Working with Clients from Other Cultures: The Polyoccular Approach

    Dec 30, 2009
    People don’t get along because they fear each other. People fear each other because they don’t know each other. They don’t know each other because they have not properly communicated with each other.-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In my work with individuals from other cultures, I always start the conversation around our differences and how these differences can improve the quality of the counseling relationship. There is so much we can learn about ourselves, and then so much we can expand if we put our differences to work. If we start the conversation about what makes us different, as opposed to pretending that “we are all the same under the skin,” we expand the periphery of our visions and enrich the texture and depth of our own cultural identity.
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  • The Counselor at Work: Ethics and Virtue

    Dec 12, 2009
    The virtues, then, come neither by nature nor against nature, but nature gives the capacity for acquiring them, and this is developed by training. Aristotle, in Nicomachean Ethics As our profession continues to solidify, California recently became the 50th state to grant licensure to professional counselors. I echo the claim of many, in that we ought to pause and reassess our approach to the practice of counseling. Virtue and ethics should be at the core of examining our profession, as they are the pillars upon which we can build and sustain our professional personhood.
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  • The Counselor as Observer

    Nov 16, 2009
    Shifting from the laptop screen my eyes glance at the family of cardinals landing on the deck, one after the other, forming a red line, to then disperse in a disorderly manner. Their perky crests sticking up proudly, chests open, confidently pecking the seeds stuck between the boards, while a few finches dance their way around the openings in the hanging feeder. I push the computer aside to give the birds my undivided attention. A family of blue jays, five of them, arrives, and the cardinals fly away. The blue jays establish supremacy, and the finches too depart. One blue jay ventures so close to the glass door that I can see how the blue darkens in a circle around the neck, the wings and tail spotted with white and light blue. In the distance, I hear other jays singing out their dominant call. The visiting jay finds its way around, hopping from one end of the deck to the other, until a red-bellied woodpecker bullies it away. Not content with pecking at the suet feeder hanging to the left, the woodpecker flits to the cylinder feeder, and once again chases away the finches, who had ever so stubbornly returned. I look in ecstasy at the gleaming red cap, the slender body and the long beak and feast on the privilege of my seat.
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  • Creativity in Counseling

    Nov 06, 2009
    As psychologist and author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi puts it, creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives. It is “a process by which a symbolic domain in the culture is changed. New songs, new ideas, new machines are what creativity is about.” Everything in our surroundings is the result of inventiveness, of creativity. Csikszentmihalyi’s idea is that the creative process emerges in five steps: preparation, incubation, insight, evaluation and elaboration.
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  • Awakening the Poetic Imagination to Promote Healthy Growth

    Oct 28, 2009
    After morning yoga I walk to my car, conscious of every step. I look down at the muddy path, my clogs stepping firmly, yet gently, on the soft ground, knowing that the moment is precious and feeling the interconnection of breath and step. The rain falls discretely on my curls, and the scent of lavender rising from my wet hair awakens me even more. I take a deep breath, and direct my attention towards the softness beneath my feet, the fresh air on my face, and the warm fleece against my skin. A blue jay lands two trees ahead of me and flies away before I invade its space, but the blue remains inscribed in my mind. The memory of a therapeutic writing group I led a few years ago for elders rushes into my awareness, perhaps because of our frequent writing about the wonders of nature.
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