With God given listening skills and a love for helping people, I knew at a young age I would be involved in the therapy field. Whether it was sitting in the front row of my high school psychology class or feeling fascinated watching movies like Sybil, my passion for learning more about the brain and depth of human experience grew. By the time my friends and I were applying to college, I had already decided on my major.
After finishing my Master’s degree and becoming a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, my love for helping people expanded even further. Since 2001, I have worked with children, adolescents, adult individuals, couples and families to help them work through and find solutions to their most difficult issues. Through my extensive education and experience, I have learned a lot about many disorders as well as how to provide the best strategies and techniques to help my clients find relief.
One unique skill I have is my fluency in both the English and Spanish languages. Being bilingual has allowed me to treat more individuals, couples and families. If it were not for bilingual therapy, some of my clients would not have been able to find guidance through a licensed therapist. For example, I have treated couples who primarily spoke different languages – English and Spanish. In this situation, I was able to translate many of their concerns and help them explore how their language barrier had affected their relationship.
My clients often say that sessions with me are compassionate, respectful, dependable, comforting and inspirational. They are also pleasantly surprised when I go the extra mile to develop creative strategies, plans and techniques to help them find relief.
While I have comprehensive experience in treating a variety of mental ailments, I specialize in working with children, couples and families. I find it rewarding to work with children because I believe in helping our next generation achieve their highest goals. Also, helping couples connect and relieving family tension strengthens family unity, a value I strive to promote for myself as well as my clients.
Family unity is something I continually work to foster within my own family, as well. I have been married for 16 years and have two children – one adolescent and one tween. Firsthand experience handling family issues has helped me to learn which strategies work, as well as give my clients a more in-depth analysis of their situation. I often tell my clients, “If I haven’t experienced it yet, I am probably going through it right now.”
My married life has also given me a deeper understanding of couples therapy practices. Many couples I meet feel ashamed because they struggle in their relationship. While most marriages and relationships have ups and downs, if you seem to be stuck in negative patterns, attending couples therapy or family counseling sessions can bring you one step closer to an ideal relationship. Taking the steps to reconnect with your partner demonstrates your love for him or her.
In addition to helping people in my professional life, I also value my service to God and the community. I serve in my church as an usher and a member of a women’s ministry group. In my community, I work in the office of the secretary in the Dallas Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. I also volunteer as a mental health first responder for Colin County Medical Relief. I am certified as a teacher for early elementary through high school education, and I volunteer as a mental health teacher and mentor in local schools. I also tutor children in language and math subjects.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, serving God, embarking on outdoor adventures, meeting new people, walking, reading informational textbooks, going to movies and attending small group bible studies. Interestingly enough, I have even gone skydiving!
Vilma Cea, M.A., LMFT earned her M.A. in Clinical Psychology, License in Marriage and Family Therapy and a B.A. in Psychology. She is certified as a teacher for students in early education through high school. Vilma currently takes continuing education classes in order to keep her expertise as up-to-date as possible. She is working toward a Certificate for Emotional Transformation Therapy. In the past, Vilma has worked with children in foster care as well as with parents who needed help with anger management problems.