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Tree of Life Counseling and Consulting
Welcomes You

Empowering you to grow meaningful roots

Our Counselors: Welcome
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Maria "Mica" Istre, MS, LPC, CFRC
Owner & Clinical Director

"I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”

 – C.G. Jung

Maria “Mica” Salazar Istre graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with her Master’s of Science in Counselor Education. As a Licensed Professional Counselor, she has a heart for helping people overcome the obstacles, traumas, and patterns that continue to hold them back from living life to the fullest. Through her work at a sexual assault center, she has gained clinical experience providing bilingual counseling services to Latino victims and conducting Mental Health Status Evaluations to aide immigrant clients pursuing U-VISA's. She has dedicated her time as a counselor to serving the highly marginalized and systemically oppressed in various clinical settings. As a Las Vegas native and child of immigrant parents, Mica is passionate about bridging the gap for ethnic and linguistic minorities in the Acadiana Area. It is this passion that led her to open Tree of Life Counseling and Consulting, the only multiculturally focused group counseling practice in the region.

My specialties include trauma recovery  (PTSD and Complex Trauma) for events such as sexual assault, childhood abuse, race-based trauma, and combat trauma. I am a Certified First Responder Counselor and am passionate about serving those who serve our community. As a former military spouse, I know firsthand the struggles of military, veterans, and first responders. I have received extensive trauma training throughout my years as a counselor and approach counseling through a trauma-informed lens. I am trained in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET), Trauma Resolution Therapy (TRT), to help with the trauma recovery process.

Additionally, I have received training from Ashland Theological Seminary in Formational Prayer (Inner Healing) and integrate Christian Counseling when requested. I believe in viewing a client as a whole person thus, integrating spirituality when applicable, can help foster healing in the therapeutic process.  


Working in a collaborative relationship is vital to the counseling process and I strongly believe that you are the expert of your life. I look forward to learning about you, how to best serve your needs, and help you lead a thriving and fulfilling life. I hope I get the privilege to help you find the path that empowers you to live a meaningful life!

Mica is licensed to practice in Louisiana, Georgia, and Florida. She accepts BCBS, Aetna, UHC, UMR, and Humana commercial insurance. We do not accept Medicaid. 


María “Mica” Salazar Istre se graduó de la Universidad de Louisiana en Lafayette con su Maestría en Ciencias en Educación de Consejeros. Como Consejera Profesional Licenciada, tiene un corazón para ayudar a las personas a superar los obstáculos, traumas y patrones que continúan impidiéndoles vivir la vida al máximo. A través de su trabajo en un centro de agresión sexual, ha adquirido experiencia clínica brindando servicios de asesoramiento bilingüe a víctimas latinas y realizando evaluaciones del estado de salud mental para ayudar a los clientes inmigrantes que buscan U-VISA.

Trabajar en una relación colaborativa es vital para el proceso de consejería y creo firmemente que usted es el experto de su vida. Espero aprender sobre usted, cómo satisfacer mejor sus necesidades y ayudarlo/a a llevar una vida próspera y satisfactoria. ¡Espero tener el privilegio de ayudarte a encontrar el camino que te permita vivir una vida significativa!

Mica tiene licencia para practicar en Louisiana, Georgia y Florida.

Our Counselors: About
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Reginald W. Lemelle, MS, LPC

“Everything I’ve gone through in this life can’t be for nothing. I have to do something with it, I have to use it to help others.” -Reginald Lemelle

Reginald is a Licensed Professional Counselor and graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Reginald's areas of focus include individual, family, group psychotherapy, crisis intervention, grief/bereavement, men’s issues, racial trauma, young adults and psychoeducational sessions. He is trained to work with problems of childhood and parenthood, marital difficulties, grief/bereavement and life difficulties of adulthood that may relate to disturbances in family and other types of relationships.  

Goals for therapy are always established through collaboration between the counselor and the client. The overall objective for therapy is always the successful resolution of the problems that are deemed the most important through that collaborative process. I take an integrative approach to counseling that includes, but is not limited to, Solution-Focused Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and Person-Centered Therapy. In respect to the individuality of every client, I will choose the theories and techniques that effectively meet the needs of the client.  I will use both in-session and between-session techniques. These techniques are a vital part of the therapeutic process. The completion of between-session tasks is necessary if the client is to get the most from the therapeutic experience.

I see counseling as a process between the client and the counselor in which a collaborative therapeutic alliance is built through trust. We will work as a team to explore and define present problem situations, develop future goals for an improved life, and work together toward realizing those goals. Genuineness, trust, and openness will be fostered and encouraged. Additional support for challenges, obstacles, and opportunities throughout life will be provided as a tool to assist with coping.  I hope to foster the skills needed to manage challenges and opportunities effectively. 

Our Counselors: About

Mariam "Reem" Abdo-Pitre, PLPC

I graduated with my Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health counseling from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. I focus on LGBTQIA+ populations, culturally diverse populations, and those who are going through transitional periods of their lives.  As an international student, I traveled to the United States to pursue my undergraduate degree in Psychology and Sociology where I combined my love for research and introspective growth. 

All people are unique, and I implement counseling in a manner that integrates approaches that are tailored to an individual’s needs. With a foundation of Cognitive behavioral therapy, I implement creative interventions, Mindfulness, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to best meet each client’s needs. By creating a groundwork of understanding your unique path through life, mutual trust, and honesty, we can work to journey into a life that is more aligned with your authentic self.  

Learning about who you are and walking the path to where you want to go, in a safe space, would be an honor. 

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Our Counselors: About

Karina Santiago-Velazquez, BS, Counseling Intern

“We cannot change, we cannot move away from what we are, until we thoroughly accept what we are. Then change seems to come about almost unnoticed.”

― Carl R. Rogers

I am currently a Mental Health Counseling graduate student at the University of

Louisiana at Lafayette. I am seeing clients at Tree of Life Counseling and Consulting as part of my studies to refine my skills as a counselor.

I am passionate about helping my clients find their way to who they are and navigating the difficulties of life. Throughout my studies thus far I have found myself drawn towards helping

my clients through Solution-Focused and Person-Centered approaches. However, each client’s situation is unique, and I believe in treating clients as such by using interventions that will best suit the client’s needs. As part of my professional development, I am also seeing Spanish speaking clients to provide counseling services to linguistic minorities in the area.

Actualmente soy estudiante de maestría en Consejería de Salud Mental en la Universidad de Louisiana en Lafayette. Veo clientes en Tree of Life Counseling and Consulting como parte de mis

estudios y para refinar mis habilidades como consejera. 

Me apasiona ayudar a mis clientes a encontrar su camino hacia quienes son y navegar las dificultades de la vida. A lo largo de mis estudios hasta el momento, me he sentido atraída a ayudar a mis

clientes a través de enfoques centrados en soluciones y centrados en la persona. Sin embargo, la situación de cada cliente es única, y creo en tratar a los clientes como tales mediante el uso de intervenciones que se adapten mejor a las necesidades del cliente. Como parte de mi desarrollo profesional, también estoy viendo clientes que hablan Español para ayudar a servir a esta comunidad desatendida.

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Our Counselors: About

Patrick Rappold, MS, PLPC

“You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you, and allowing that goodness to emerge.”

-Eckhart Tolle

I earned a Master of Science in Counselor Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. I have experience working with adults from a wide variety of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, and I have a passion for helping clients work through issues related to anxiety, depression, self-esteem, grief, and more. I value the opportunity to see clients from marginalized or minority communities.

Finding yourself in the modern world can be a strenuous and painful process, and in counseling I seek to walk with you through your journey. I see counseling as an opportunity for the client to experience a relationship where they can be authentically themselves without fear of judgement. Together we will

address any struggles you are facing in a manner directly catered towards your individual needs. I believe that every client is unique, and not every style of therapy fits every person, which is why I take an integrative approach to counseling. I can take a variety of approaches to our sessions, such as through Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Solution-Focused Therapy, or more mindfulness-based approaches, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Seeking out counseling can be a scary experience, but I am committed to earning your trust and doing whatever I can to assist you with living a healthier, more fulfilling life.

Patrick accepts Aetna commercial insurance. We do not accept Medicaid. 

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Our Counselors: About

Briana Clay, BS, Counseling Intern

“The greatest gift I can give is to see, hear, understand, and touch another person.”

– Virginia Satir

Briana Clay is a graduate student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette studying both Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. She has experience working individually with children, adolescents, and adults within community, in-home, and school settings. 

As a counseling intern at Tree of Life Counseling and Consulting, my goal is to help clients live with intention as they begin a journey of self-discovery. My most preferred therapeutic approaches are Strength-Based, Solution-Focused, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy. I take an eclectic approach in my therapeutic orientation, depending on each client's individual's unique needs. By navigating the therapeutic process with each client through a collaborative approach, I ensure that goals set align with their cultural background and personal beliefs. I believe it's vital to create a safe environment for clients to express themselves without fear of judgment. Together, I hope to assist my clients in discovering the tools and strengths they already possess, while working together to establish new ones. 

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Our Counselors: About
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