Maria Marinakis Ed.M., LADC entered her field as a child and family therapist, coaching parents as well as consulting about early childhood mental health issues in her private practice. Growing up, Marinakis survived physical and emotional abuse as well as domestic violence. She wanted to make certain no child would face the challenges she did.

(Photo Courtesy of Maria Marinakis Ed.M., LADC)

(Photo Courtesy of Maria Marinakis Ed.M., LADC)

Originally, she did choose a different direction by obtaining a bachelor’s in Russian area studies from the University of Maryland. She worked for the Department of Defense but Marinakis discovered she was a people person and the nature of the work was more solitary.

Marinakis eventually changed careers and obtained her master’s in counseling psychology from Boston University. As a child and family therapist for over 20 years, she has worked with the State of Nevada-Early Childhood Crisis Home-Based Services, the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe Indian Child Welfare Act and Family Services and Clark County Family and Youth Services.

Marinakis explained that while she enjoys working with individual families and clients, she felt there had to be a way to get information that would benefit many. With her gift of gab and sense of humor, she believed she could get the message in teaching as she trains parents, teachers, caregivers, medical and legal professionals and child welfare workers.

According to Marinakis, a degree forms the foundation for any career choice and teaches people to question, do research, find answers and make decisions. As for counseling, she advises that, “There is so much need especially with all of the technology we all rely on. What we are seeing are trends in kids that they really don’t have social or emotional feelings. So it is not just behavior but being able to relate socially and having emotional literacy so they are able to identify with others as well as be aware. They need to be able to regulate their own emotions and recognize emotions in other people.” As Marinakis said, “It is a very exciting field.”

Debbie Hall is practically a Las Vegas native (34 years and counting) and loves experiencing everything in Southern Nevada from the Las Vegas Strip to the surrounding mountains and Lake Mead. She also teaches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and loves sharing her knowledge. Her work can be found on


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