By Mary McPhail Gray
NVW Board Chair
“The most inspiring event in my counseling with individuals or couples is when they start figuring things out for themselves—taking responsibility for their own actions” said Michael Pena, the newest clinician at Nonviolence Works.
Pena works with adults only and is available now for new clients presenting many different issues.
While Pena’s early years were spent in Texas, he moved to New Mexico 35 years ago. Pena was ninth in a family of ten children—an experience that may have helped him as a single dad raising three children of his own. He started a commercial cleaning business in Ruidoso and put them all through college. When Pena began to feel that he wanted to be involved in actually helping others achieve their life goals, he went to Highlands University to become a licensed social worker. His youngest son took over the cleaning business and has expanded it dramatically.
“I am proud of my kids—they are all doing well,” said Pena. He also enjoys his seven grandchildren.
Pena became a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (LADAC) in 2003 and in 2006 completed his master’s. He has worked in a variety of mental health settings and reports that one of the gifts he received has been supervision from outstanding clinicians. Prior to coming to NVW, Pena worked for a year at TriCounty Mental Health Center.