About Emily

Who is Emily of Oviedo?

Hi there! My name is Emily, and I’m a community-oriented counselor in Oviedo, Florida. 

One of my favorite things about being a therapist is seeing the immense amount of progress my clients make in their lives after committing to regular counseling. When clients come to me, they feel lost, anxious, and insecure. After a few weeks of counseling, clients notice changes in their personal lives, relationships, stress levels, careers and more. I love being a part of that transition. 

Read below to learn about my experience with kids and teens, disability advocacy experience, professional networks, and education. Connect with me today! 🙂

Experienced With Kids and Teens

I am experienced in working with children and teens in middle and high school settings. I work with young children in private practice and have experience working with children during my graduate and undergraduate program.

Down Syndrome

The iCan! Excel program is designed for children with Down Syndrome to gain executive functioning and mindfulness skills. I facilitated group therapy using Expressive Arts Therapy and yoga. This experience was pivotal for my counseling style. Expressive Arts Therapy is one of the most accessible forms of counseling for children and adolescents – I love to use it with my younger clients! 🙂

Foster Care and Dependency Court

As a Guardian ad Litem, I helped children and adolescents who have histories of abuse, neglect, and abandonment. In this role, I was a mentor and advocate for kids and teens I supported. During home transitions, I was by their side as they found a safe and permanent home.

High School

My responsibilities at Seminole, Orange, and Alachua County Public Schools:

  • understand and explain course requirements to students and parents
  • support in dual enrollment and answer college-related questions
  • help students explore their career options and develop a plan

Middle School

In Seminole and Orange County, I was involved as a middle school counselor intern. In this role, I ran small group counseling on self-esteem and confidence. Using games, activities, expressive arts, and talk therapy, all group members substantially improved their self-esteem, as evidenced by the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. As a middle school counselor intern, my major responsibility was to:

  • encouraged students to participate in class
  • led students in exercises regulating emotions
  • communicated student improvement with their parents
  • mediated conflict between students, peers, and teachers

Disability Advocacy Experience

Who is Emily of Oviedo? I’m a disability advocate – I have worked at the Center for Independent Living of North Central Florida (CILNCF) for 6+ years. The CILNCF is a non-profit that empowers the disability community to participate in the community more fully (learn more about the CILNCF by clicking here).

I have also run group counseling with students with disabilities enrolled in Inclusive Education Services (IES) at the University of Central Florida. We covered a variety of topics, including boundary-setting and managing peer conflict. Read more about IES here.

I know the value of accommodations, access, culture, and independent living in the disability community. I’m a proud disability advocate and someone who appreciates diversity in life. I will always accommodate my clients with disabilities to the best of my abilities. If you have an accommodation you would like to request in your counseling, please let me know at any time.

Image of Emily and Michael, counselors presenting at a conference, accommodation ideas for counseling and titled "improving access to counseling for clients with disabilities"
My colleagues and I, presenting at the Annual Principal's Meeting at Seminole County Public Schools.

Networking and Referrals

I am a current member of the National Council on Independent Living, Florida Counseling Association, and Mental Health Counselors of Central Florida, and a past member of the American Counseling Association. I have a variety of professional networking and referral sources if you are looking for extra support. In addition to my network of counselors, I also have colleagues in Speech-Language Therapy, Audiology, Psychology, and more. If there is a need that I cannot fit, I will find the right professional support for you and your family. 🙂

Education

I hold a Master of Arts in Counselor Education and a Bachelor of Health Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

My undergraduate education at The University of Florida (UF) focused on speech therapy, helping children and teens with language, literacy, speech, and communication disorders. I spent time volunteering at Shands Hospital in the Dyslexia Clinic, screening for literacy disorders, and working in a research lab.

My graduate program at the University of Central Florida (UCF) emphasized School Counseling and Mental Health Counseling. I have experience counseling in private practice as well as in K-12 schools and UCF.

Graduating UCF Counseling Cohort

Emily of Oviedo (Off Duty)

When I’m not counseling, I love hiking and going on nature walks. Florida has a ton of local, scenic trails. Some of my favorite places to walk around in the Orlando area are Lake Lily (Maitland) pictured here, Black Bear Trail (Sanford), Oviedo on the Park (Oviedo), and Jay Blanchard Park (Union Park). I also love listening and dancing to Salsa music. Dancing is like therapy to me! Some of my favorite artists are El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, Frankie Ruiz, Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe, and Jerry Rivera.

Photo of Emily Berndt, M.A.

A fun fact? I’m a dog person…

One thing that you may not know about me is that I looooove dogs! Here are a couple pictures of my cute pup!

Handwritten text that says, Oviedo Florida.

Let’s connect. I’d love to hear from you!

Speech bubbles. Logo for Emily Berndt, LLC. Mental health therapy in Oviedo Florida.

Mental Health Counseling

Now accepting new clients! 🙂

No insurance? No problem! I would love to meet you and help you reach your goals.

If you’re ready to take the first step of your healing journey, reach out for counseling today! I have weekday availability in the afternoons and evenings in the Orlando area (870 Clark Street Suite #1030, Oviedo, 32765). Click here to send me a message.

Read Emily of Oviedo’s Mental Health Counseling Blog

Happy Disability Pride Month!

July is Disability Pride Month. Here are some resources to learn more about disability pride.

Why do kids miss school?

Examine the reasons for absence and brainstorm solutions with Emily of Oviedo.

Apps for your mental health

12 FREE, counselor-recommended apps.

The beauty of standing out

Check out this video reading of, "Leon the Chameleon," a book for unique kids.

Teaching the value of inclusion

Lesson plan for Elementary School Counselors and Teachers. BOOK ACTIVITY INCLUDED!

A counselor you can depend on

My clients know they can depend on me. Here's why.

SCCT practices for employability skills

Support students with disabilities using SCCT. Download the FREE worksheet activity.

A book for adult anxiety

Read, "The Precious Present," by Spencer Johnson, and use the guided questions provided.