Gabriela Miniscalco, PsyD

Gabriela Miniscalco PsyD headshot

Certifications:

Licensed Clinical Psychologist (071.010045)

Area of Expertise:

  •  Working with teens and adults impacted by developmental trauma and oppression in private practice and community mental health (abuse, neglect, grief, community violence, racism, sexism)
  •  Working with complex/chronic trauma utilizing harm reduction and trauma aware approaches in settings like correctional facilities (prison and jail),community mental health, under-resourced communities
  •  Working in therapeutic day schools and residential program providing individual, family and group therapy to children, adolescents and young adults presenting with disruptive behaviors, severe mental illness and trauma, while navigating the educational system and Individualized education plans (IEP)
  •  Working in higher levels of care within a multidisciplinary team (inpatient, partial hospitalization programs and intensive outpatient program) utilizing structured approaches like CBT, DBT and ACT and co-facilitating expressive therapy groups: yoga, art, recreational, animal-assisted
  •  Providing individual and group supervision to doctorate and masters level
    clinicians
  •  Volunteer work at a domestic violence agency, camps for kids
    experiencing grief and those with intellectual/developmental disabilities
  •  Teaching/lecturing on topics such as psychopathology, psychotherapy,assessment while incorporating information on diversity, BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ populations in higher education

Education:

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Psy.D, Adler University (2017)

Recent Articles

Professional Background

Dr. Gabby Miniscalco’s passion for psychology was ignited at the remarkably young age of just 10 years old! Her extensive experience in the field of mental health spans a diverse spectrum of roles and responsibilities, revealing a rich breadth of expertise and knowledge. Currently, in her capacity as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and the founder of Mini Mental Health Services, Dr.Miniscalco dedicates herself to providing individual therapy to adolescents and adults grappling
with chronic and complex trauma, which often manifests as anxiety, depression, relationship challenges, grief, mood instability, identity struggles, and inattentiveness. She holds PsyPact Certification, enabling her to offer inter-jurisdictional therapy services across the United States. Dr. Miniscalco’s work is deeply rooted in a commitment to delve into the “original pain” with her clients, guiding them gently and empathically toward uncovering the root causes of their suffering. As an immigrant from Poland, Dr. Miniscalco emphasizes the pivotal role that culture plays in an individual’s development and mental health presentation. Drawing from her own bicultural background, she encourages others to navigate and make sense of their multicultural identities.

In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Miniscalco serves as an Adjunct Faculty member at Adler University, reflecting her unwavering dedication to educating the future generation of psychologists. Her involvement in teaching doctoral-level courses showcases her exceptional ability to convey complex concepts in an engaging and effective manner. Her teaching approach integrates experiential learning, instructor modeling, lecturing, role-playing, and case conceptualizations. Importantly, her classes adopt a trauma-aware perspective and highlight the significance of understanding the entirety of an individual, transcending mere symptom-focused analysis. Dr. Miniscalco’s classes also delve into the profound impact of various forms of oppression, such as racism, sexism, and ableism, on mental health.

Throughout her career, Dr. Miniscalco has immersed herself in complicated systems and institutions, providing support to individuals coping with complex traumas and aiding them in understanding their adaptive survival mechanisms. Her journey includes completing an APA-Accredited internship at a medium/maximum security prison for adolescent males, where she gained valuable insights into the universal nature of trauma and the diverse ways in which
individuals adapt to endure their pain. Dr. Miniscalco’s therapeutic approach primarily follows a person-centered philosophy, wherein the client assumes the role of the expert, guiding the therapeutic process according to their needs and preferences. During her postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, she employed a harm reduction approach, leveraging her gift for forming connections to achieve highly effective interventions. Additionally, her experiences in residential and therapeutic day schools, particularly with members of the LGBTQIA+ community, honed her skills in attachment-based and psychodynamic therapy, reinforcing the idea that we are products of our environments. Beyond her clinical responsibilities, Dr. Miniscalco has been an advocate for students and their families navigating the special education system and Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). Her work across various settings, including acute inpatient, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs, has equipped her with proficiency in providing short-term stabilization treatment using structured and skills-based approaches like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

Dr. Miniscalco’s mission is to create a safe, compassionate, and introspective space for her clients, allowing them to embark on their healing journey while she authentically embraces her role in the therapeutic relationship. Her extensive involvement in the psychology field has enabled her to facilitate a diverse array of therapeutic, expressive, and process groups, manage high-risk crisis situations, conduct assessments, and provide individual and group supervision to Masters and Doctoral level clinicians in training. She has also played a vital role in destigmatizing mental health through community engagement, speaking engagements, and training sessions for various communities and organizations. Collaboration within multidisciplinary teams of psychiatrists, nurses, medical doctors, teachers, probation officers, social workers, and guardians has been an integral part of Dr. Miniscalco’s career.

Lastly, Dr. Miniscalco’s dedication extends to various volunteer activities, where she has made significant contributions to different causes and communities over the years. One notable commitment involves her membership in the Lake County Suicide Prevention Taskforce, where she actively raises awareness about suicide within her community. Dr. Miniscalco has volunteered her time to support and empower women and children experiencing domestic violence by facilitating support groups and working a 24-crisis hotline. She has also served as an overnight volunteer counselor at the Moyer Foundation’s Camp Erin, offering invaluable support to grieving children and adolescents through co-facilitated process groups and various activities, even enlisting the assistance of her therapy dog to engage campers! Moreover, Dr. Miniscalco has embarked on international trips to Haiti and Mexico, where she provided medical care and mental health education to communities, orphanages, and hospitals, further exemplifying her commitment to improving the well-being of individuals and communities
worldwide.