About AnaMaria

AnaMaria Guevara, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Owner & Founder of Thrive

Professional Biography

“I had my first client when I was twenty-years-old while doing an internship at Live Oak Elementary School in Santa Cruz, CA. He was a selectively-mute first grader. He did not speak to me for the majority of our time together. The months of silence unnerved me, yet when the breakthrough came, the progress was tremendous and rapid. My biggest lessons from this experience were that the most powerful ingredients in therapy are the relationship between therapist and client, and the pace.” AnaMaria

AnaMaria earned her BA in Psychology with an emphasis on Child Development in 1995 from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her Masters in Clinical Social Work at San Francisco State University in 2000.

AnaMaria has over twenty years of experience helping adults, families and children live a healthier life. She has worked in a range of settings from shelters for battered women, to juvenile halls, schools, outpatient clinics and private practice. She has also served as a consultant, developer of Social Emotional Learning curricula, and trainer for educators and paraprofessionals.

In the past ten years, AnaMaria has immersed herself in research and practice with gifted, twice-exceptional, High Functioning Autism and related developmental disorders. AnaMaria has sought interdisciplinary training as she recognized that the traditional training mental health professionals receive is limited. She has completed training on multiple intervention models such as Integrated Peer Playgroups, Early Start Denver Model, Social Communication Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support (SCERTS) Model, Social Thinking with Michelle Garcia-Winner, Sensory Processing & Integration, and Social Emotional Learning models.

As she engaged more actively in delivering individual therapy to adult clients in her private practice in the past seven years, AnaMaria also recognized that adults come to therapy with cemented patterns that interfere with their well-being and happiness and sought training to enhance her methodology in order to better help her clients heal and thrive without medications, and to do so quickly with proven cognitive behavioral therapy techniques. She has joined the Feeling Good Institute in Palo Alto, California for ongoing training with fellow therapists and has earned Level 1 Certification in CBT-TEAM Therapy Model developed by Dr. David Burns, author of bestselling book, Feeling Good. (Learn more at http://feelinggood.com). 

AnaMaria truly is a life-long learner that seeks to improve herself as a tool for change and has found the training with TEAM invaluable to improve her own life and sense of joy.

Her most rewarding experience has been that many clients have contacted her after therapy to share their excitement about their improved quality of life. They report that the tools they learned and practiced in therapy improved their independent ability to self-care and maintain the progress achieved in therapy. Children leave therapy with a self-science journal full of tools that are personalized to their needs and report an increased ability to self-soothe, self-regulate and problem solve with the simple reminders of their journal.


  • AnaMaria and her husband are the proud founders of Sage Vista School in San Jose. This journey has enhanced her knowledge and understanding of inquiry-based learning for children with high intellectual potential as well as shifting from healing to thriving as a longterm goal.
  • Outstanding Woman of the Year Award, Santa Cruz County Women’s Commission, 1997 — One of ten women recognized countywide for outstanding work for the betterment of women and the community at large.
  • Facilitated 6½ hour Girl Child Task Force: California Women’s Assembly: Beyond Beijing Platform for Action Statewide Conference, San Francisco, California, 1996 — Selected as a workshop facilitator from hundreds of statewide conference participants.
  • Co-Founder/Co-Chair, Planning Committee for the Annual Teen Women’s Conference, Watsonville, California, 1995-98. — Developed, planned, organized, and implemented conference for 300 high school-age women on leadership development and violence prevention with the help of women of the community and gracious financial sponsors. Fundraised $25,000 annually from community, businesses, and grants from foundations such as the California Wellness Foundation and the Women’s Foundation.
  • Chosen from Large Pool of Experts to Present at the National 2014 Annual SENG Conference: Growing Gifted Globally, July 2014 on topics of Sensory Integration with Judy Crosariol, Occupational Therapist, and Creating a School-Wide Culture of Social Emotional Learning at Sage Vista School along with Lead Teacher, Caroline Varner.

Special Skills and Memberships:

  • Member, California Association for the Gifted
  • Member, National Association of Social Workers
  • Member, Social Emotional Needs of the Gifted
  • Member, Greater Good Science Center
  • Spanish Language Proficiency
  • Level 1 Certification in CBT-TEAM Therapy
  • Certified Domestic Violence Counselor
  • Certified Crisis Specialist
  • “How To Testify” Training and Filming in San Mateo County (by County Counsel)
  • Two-day Child Sexual Abuse Interviewing Training (by Miriam Wolf, LCSW)
  • Child Welfare and Family Mediation Training and Certification