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Fine art quilt by participants in STIGMA mental health workshop 

At OCCTAC we care about the general welfare and well-being of our families. We believe that social, emotional and mental well-being are fundamental for the full development of the individual, our families and overall community wellness.  Thus, our Mental Health and Emotional Well-ness Programs provide a variety of free services to our community.







Psychological Therapy or Counseling

We provide emotional support during difficult times. Psychological therapy or counseling is provided to individuals, couples, or families. It is a multi-session process, usually once a week or every two weeks. The process is completely confidential. Any person who is experiencing the following will benefit from therapy:

-Signs of isolation, sadness, constant stress, or persistent irritability / anger

-Difficulty concentrating or performing everyday tasks

-Thoughts of hurting yourself or others

-Family or couple conflicts

-Emotional difficulties in the process of adapting to changes in the country / culture


*Due to the high volume of participants requesting services, at the moment we are only admitting clients that are currently working with OCCTACs programs.
*Services are free thanks to a collaboration with the University of Pepperdine.

*Practicum Students in master and doctoral level provide services with the guidance of a licensed supervisor.




Individual and Group Emotional Support

At times, you may feel the need to connect with people to share how you feel. Sometimes a conversation with one person may help you feel better and there’s other moments where a group with similar experiences can help to process the emotions. In a support group the participants can share their problems, provide mutual help, comfort, and guidance. It’s a space without judgment where you develop trust and strength. The purpose of a support group is to learn from each other while the conversation is led by a prepared facilitator. The option to receive emotional support individually it’s also available for cases that might need it.


At the moment we are offering the following support groups:

  • Mothers empowering one to another: A group for developing parenting skills and sharing common experiences related to taking care of children, particularly those with special needs. It’s a space to vent and normalize emotions related to the process of being the main caregiver.

  • Women empowerment: A group where women get together to identify their strengths and great qualities. This group is recommended for those who may have suffer violence or traumatic experiences, while listening to other stories each participant could develop self-awareness and fuel their inner strength to move forward stronger and happier.

  • Youth Group: Safe and fun space for youth to get together and share time playing board games while having the opportunity to discuss emotional wellness topics that might be important for them. Youth are guided by a facilitator, yet they have the opportunity to suggest topics of interest to discuss weekly.

  • Grief groups: Losses and changes in life can be something difficult to go through alone. These groups provide the opportunity to talk about loss and develop basic strategies to heal emotionally.







Emotional Education Workshops

At OCCTAC we offer classes or workshops that provide information on a particular topic related to family well-being, mental health, or social-emotional development. Some topics include suicide prevention, crisis management, childhood and healthy development, and the use of art as a healing element, among others. You can learn about several topics and also share your experiences in these onetime groups.


To provide these services we work in partnership with various community centers, the Department of Education and other organizations that advocate for the well-being of our community. Our therapeutic approach starts from a model of liberation psychology, which is why we believe in the power that people have to achieve changes in their lives considering the context and power dynamics that surround them. We support the empowerment of individuals individually and collectively by promoting self-reflective processes.


















































Therapeutic & Healing Arts classes

In addition to counseling services and workshops, OCCTAC offers Therapeutic Arts classes and Healing Arts classes to help support your emotional health. Our team provides healing arts interventions to help children and youth communicate their emotions through a diversity of art mediums. These classes are  focused on the expression of emotions and the use of arts as a tool to participants in that process of self-expression. The population targeted for these classes are children and youth with all abilities. These classes are provided via individual and group sessions.  We can also provide referrals for those who need formal therapy.


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If you would like more information about these programs and services, please contact us at:

T: 714-547-5468 ext. 313 or email Mental Health & Wellness Coordinator Axel Melendez-Mercado at

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