Thanks for stopping by my site! I’m Zulema Bond, a native South Floridian, a proud wife, and a very energetic mother of two beautiful children who keep us on our toes every day. And I wouldn’t have it any other way! I graduated from Florida State University in 2003 with my Masters in Social Work with a specialty in Marriage and Family Therapy. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Autism Specialist, and a Clinical Supervisor for Registered Clinical Social Worker Interns who are seeking licensure in the State of Florida. I have been a psychotherapist for 14 years.
Like many of you, I have gone through many life struggles, but it’s precisely those life experiences that have helped me become the clinician that I am today. Like everyone else, I am not immune from dealing with children who have behavior problems, but with my experience I utilize effective tools that I have learned in my field and I apply them in my home. The path of my life enables me to effectively connect with others, and I’m committed to strengthening families and individuals so they can lead happy, fulfilling lives chaos-free!
My primary focus and passion is working with children, teens, adults, and their families to get the most appropriate treatment for their symptoms.Time and time again I have seen children who were being labeled as “bad kids”, when in fact, they were acting out for other reasons and they could not appropriately verbalize their frustrations. The children had never been taught by any adult in their lives how to manage difficult situations and develop tools that would minimize their anger or frustration, and uninformed adults were quick to label them “bad.”
I also see children and teens diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, which in many cases, is not an appropriate diagnosis. In addition, I see many children and teens that are misdiagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Anxiety Disorders and Depressive Disorders. Lastly, I have seen teens and adults who are ADHD/ ADD and have never got the diagnosis to get the help they need to be successful at home, at school, at their jobs, and in their closest relationships.
The most misdiagnosed or undiagnosed clients that tug at my heart the most because they come into my practice as school-aged children, teens, and adults that are on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). They have been misdiagnosed with ADHD, ADD, ODD, Anxiety Disorder, Depressive Disorder, Communication Disorder, and/or Sensory Integration Disorder. Most clients have not received the complete and/or correct treatment for all of their symptoms. While it’s true that people with ASD have some of those symptoms listed above, the primary reason they have those symptoms is due to the autism that is not correctly identified. Early intervention is the key for better outcomes for people with ASD because it is less damaging to their self-esteem, their relationships, their productivity in school, their jobs/careers, and their ability cope with their anxiety, depression and sensory issues. They often go through life being bullied, ignored, and isolated from their peers, sparking issues that are detrimental to their mental health.
Since school is such a big part of our young lives and emotional development, I focus my assessments at how the child/teen is functioning in the school environment. I worked as a School Social Worker for 5 years in Broward County and the past 5 years as an ESE Family Counselor at a specialized behavior school for primarily ODD and Conduct students. At the school and in my practice, I often see many children who fall through the cracks because they do not get the assistance they need to be successful in school and in life. They get labeled as “bad” students and once labeled, they do not perform well, they drop-out of school, and they perform below their potential. I see students self-medicate with either alcohol and/or marijuana to cope with the stressors and anxiety they feel inside, and many of them give up and live up by their label. With proper treatment, I know I can help kids maximize their potential and lead incredibly productive lives. It is my passion to make that happen!
Besides working with children, teens and families, I also focus my skills on working with individuals and couples. I see more and more individuals who are dissatisfied with their lives because their family dynamics are so negative. They shoulder the burden of constant worry about the future for themselves, their partners, and their children, and rarely do they ask for help for themselves. Unhappy in the marriage because all they do is argue 24/7. They have grown apart because they have forgotten to have fun with each other instead of only focusing on their responsibilities. Many single individuals can’t figure out why their relationships never work out, and develop serious self-esteem issues that they carry into each one. Happiness becomes an elusive dream for them, but it is my job to separate the many strands of their lives and show them how to focus on the positives while they decrease the negative factors that are hurting them.
If you desire a dedicated therapist who is truly down to earth, genuine, nonjudgmental, and can empathize with your issues, then contact me today to schedule a Free 15 Minute Consultation. We can determine if I would be the best therapist to work with you and/or your family; I do not take this lightly. I think it is very important that I make sure I can help you and/or your family. I hear many stories from my clients about non-productive experiences in therapy, or worse, harmful ones that cause years of pain to linger. I make a conscious effort to ensure that this does not happen to my clients. I’m here to make things better, not worse.
Zulema Bond, LCSW