Catarina Alves

About me

Hello there!  I come to the University of Maine on my journey to completing my doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology at the Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. I am originally from Brazil, and have been living in Illinois for the past five years. I love traveling, reading, swimming, and trying new things! I love spending time out in the nature when it’s nice outside, and love to snuggle up with hot chocolate, my cat, and a nice book or movie in rainy days.

What has been your most embarrassing moment

There have been so many… Overall I’m just a very clumsy person, so I usually have comical falls in the most undesirable places. One of my most embarrassing professional moment was when I had just started working as a psychotherapist and I was in this meeting with the school board and other professionals at a middle school back in Brazil. I had to leave the meeting early, and was walking out while saying goodbye and thank you to everyone and I just crash face first into a column and split my lip open. Everyone came running to my rescue asking me if I was okay, I was very dizzy, and so embarrassed, with blood gushing down my face, I kept saying I’m fine I just need to go to the restroom. So I walk in the restroom and I hear a lot of people screaming “no, no” outside but I think it can’t possibly be directed at me. So I walk in the restroom where there are 4 middle-school aged boys (using the restroom) who see me walk in and run away screaming in terror. I walked in the wrong bathroom looking like a zombie. I make a great first impression.

What is your favorite food?

Pizza and chocolate!

Favorite quotes

​“It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become” – Dr. Seuss

“Todo lado tem seu lado. Eu sou meu próprio lado, e posso viver ao lado, do seu lado, que era meu”. – Ziraldo (Every side has a side. I am my own side, and I can live by the side, of your side, that was mine.)

If you could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

Professional Credentials and Interests?

PhD Candidate in Counseling Psychology (Southern Illinois University), M.A. in Counseling Psychology (Southern Illinois University), B.A. in Psychology (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina). Although I enjoy working with all kinds of concerns, my areas of focus are trauma, gender-based violence, depression, and career concerns. My approach to counseling is broadly speaking humanistic, with a strong influence from Gestalt therapy and feminist lens. Basically my approach is strengths-based, with a focus on empowering people to increase awareness of emotions and patterns to better manage what they are going through in the present moment.