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Getting Better Together

Whether you’re struggling to find your footing in the midst of COVID’s drawn-out uncertainty, navigating ongoing personal issues, or in need of nonjudgmental feedback, help is never far away.

Since 2015, Anne-Marie Miglionico and the Tranquil Waters Counseling team have been providing that sympathetic support and gentle guidance to Central Florida’s residents when they need mental-health help the most. 

“People present as if they are OK—and then you find out that, deep down, they’re really not,” she notes. 

Miglionico has always been drawn to helping others but watching someone close to her struggle with their own mental health nudged her toward becoming a licensed clinical social worker so she could be there for those who put on a brave face, hiding their inner battles from their nearest and dearest. 

She has since accrued nearly two decades of experience in the field: Before establishing Tranquil Waters, she worked in a group home for those who are mentally unwell as an undergrad; while working toward her master’s degree from the University of Central Florida’s social work program, she was employed at the Department of Children and Family for about three years, an early eye-opening experience that further strengthened her resolve to be the beacon of light guiding others through some of their darkest times. 

“I saw a lot of broken families and brokenness in people, and I thought it was so important to keep working with these families,” she says. 

Miglionico specializes in treating depression, anxiety, both post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex PTSD, and general trauma, particularly in children and teenagers. She is certified and trained as an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, Clinician, utilizing the proven psychotherapy approach and its integrated treatment to help patients overcome trauma; she is also a foster- and adoption-competent professional, and trained in couples counseling using the Prepare/Enrich model to facilitate communication and interpersonal skills for an improved relationship.

Her team includes a number of therapists, counselors, social workers and registered clinical interns, whose focuses also include trauma-related issues, as well as those falling under the umbrellas of family and general mental health. 

With all kinds of clients coming to Tranquil Waters for all kinds of reasons, it necessitates a personalized approach to treating each patients’ diagnosis. That individually tailored treatment begins with identifying their specific needs while nurturing trust between care provider and client. 

“It’s getting to know them and learning what their strengths and weaknesses are,” Miglionico explains. “We work on developing coping strategies based on their strengths: You can’t suggest something like writing in a journal if that’s not a strength for them. So listening to what they’re saying helps you identify what tools they have in them already, because then you can show them that they have these strengths and how to tap into them.”

And there is an array of ways to help Tranquil Waters’ patients on their journey of healing. In addition to those areas Miglionico is trained and certified in, the practice also offers the likes of cognitive behavioral therapy, a common talk therapy that, for many, is just as effective in treating depression as medication, if not more so; art or sand play therapy, which facilitates creative expression to encourage emotional release; parenting support and family therapy; and the Muse meditation headset, a device that reads brain signals to heighten the meditation experience. 

No matter the course of treatment, though, the philosophies guiding it remains the same: compassion, affirmation and careful listening.

“People need to be able to share their stories without judgment and that’s what I try to provide for them: just that validation and empathy for what they’re going through,” Miglionico explains. 

The stigmas historically preventing people from asking for help have begun to fall by the wayside as the compounded anxieties, stressors and tragedies of COVID forced many to confront the reality that no one is immune to mental-wellness struggles. The Tranquil Waters’ team—who are still taking new patients, while the practice itself accepts many different types of insurance plans—has both experienced an uptick in patients since the pandemic’s onset and witnessed the promising phenomenon of more people addressing their internal battles.

It’s also driven the rising popularity of telehealth solutions, making it easier for people to make time for their own mental well-being. Additionally, it’s improved accessibility by tearing down the barriers to treatment that immunocompromised individuals, people with mobility issues and anyone else who can’t easily be treated in a traditional clinical setting have faced before such technological solutions were so widely embraced. 

Of course, every journey of healing begins with finally being ready to ask for help, and Miglionico and the Tranquil Waters team tirelessly endeavor to make those first tentative steps as inviting and positioned for long-term mental-wellness success as possible.

“It’s just being communicative without judgment,” she says. “I have a passion for what I’m doing, and I think people can tell that we’re passionate about wanting to help. It helps them understand that they can heal if they have a place to share their story and work through what they’re feeling.”


Tranquil Waters Counseling LLC
12617 Narcoossee Road Suite 110, Orlando
(407) 738-9408