Healing wounds by integrating faith: “The illness has been a blessing for me”

Dr. Mercedes Vallenilla was a Catholic missionary, she had a high probability of dying and today with her project Mindove helps heal people through Catholic Therapy

In life, stories of improvement have a special glow. They are experiences that inspire, that defy adversity, and that show the unwavering human capacity to transform challenges into opportunities. In this context, the story of Dr. Mercedes Vallenilla, who has had a high probability of dying throughout her life, emerges as a true beacon of inspiration, illuminating the path to personal improvement and the realization of dreams seemingly unattainable in the eyes of others.

From undergoing a life-or-death operation to overcoming 17 more interventions. From receiving a medical prognosis of ten years to live, she will be presenting Mindove in Mérida, Mexico. My story is the story of someone who went from having everything to realizing that “everything” was “nothing,” Mercedes reflected when reviewing her experience in front of more than 300 people in person and all those who connected via streaming from different countries.  Everyone who listened to her was excited about the launch of Mindove, a platform that connects online Catholic psychologists specialized in different areas, with patients seeking to heal emotional wounds, in a companion therapy with a comprehensive, bio-psycho-social, and spiritual.

Illness as a blessing

Before the attentive gaze of the spectators, this psychologist with more than 30 years of experience and founder of Mindove, recalled how suffering “led her to rage, anger, denial and to ask God why me?” to discover how the disease has been “a blessing” for her.

Mercedes today has been happily married for 32 years, and she has two young adult children who are a constant source of motivation. Her eldest son, Laureano, is her companion in this divine mission that began with her birth, an event that arose from medical negligence that caused her illness. “God transformed this suffering after 17 surgeries and six times with a high chance of dying into a blessing for us and for others, even though I continue to live in pain, but we continue to witness how pain is transformed by grace in love”. We extend that mission today through Mindove, with the intention that pain does not steal their love, Vallenilla commented.

Laureano Gutiérrez, who has a postgraduate degree in entrepreneurship and innovation, has been her advisor since she was 21 and today is co-founder and director of Mindove. Laureano accompanies his mother in this project “with the desire to transform the lives of many people and for this to benefit the entire society.”

The story of this Catholic missionary, who became a pioneer of virtual psychology and an innovator in Catholic Therapy, shows how – despite the obstacles that life has presented them – she was able to transform her limitations into a powerful tool for change helping those who need to heal their emotional wounds in a manner consistent with the values of the Catholic faith.

When science and faith complement each other

This Easter time, the most important for the Catholic faith, is where Mindove finds its reason for being. The Resurrection of Jesus not only manifests the mercy of God who gives his son for the Salvation of all, but it is also a clear example that death is not the solution to difficulties, because life is always what triumphs. .

Mercedes Vallenilla founded this project motivated by her own transformative experience: “Everyone told me that it was impossible, that there were no Catholic psychologists like me, that Catholic therapy did not exist. The more they told me, the more they motivated me to create Mindove and create a network of specialized and certified psychologists in a space where they did not have to hide their faith or creed”, she expressed during the meeting where she publicly presented her project with which she seeks integrate the Christian faith with the science of psychology. This form of therapy has received scientific endorsement through the perspective of the Psychology of Religion in which Dr. Vallenilla’s doctoral thesis is located, being the first in Latin America, and the Catholic psychologists of Mindove will be among the first of the world to be trained in this perspective applied to Catholicism.

Technology also plays a prominent role in this proposal: the development of a cutting-edge application, the product of arduous development work through different MVPs (Minimum Viable Product), ensures the experience of a fluid, enjoyable online therapy session and close, with the certainty of being in a safe space for the opening, in front of a specialized and certified professional, regardless of physical distances.

In a world where mental health is a challenge, Mindove removes the barriers that prevent Christians (or anyone who needs help) from receiving specialized care based on the values of faith. Depression, anxiety, addictions, family and marriage issues are critical challenges that Mindove is committed to addressing.

The revolution of Catholic therapy

Complementing faith with the psychological treatment of patients allows their healing process to be much more complete, by considering the person holistically, with their body, their mind and their spirituality.

Andrés Arrache – who at just 31 years old became a widower with a one-year-old daughter – is one of the many patients who experienced first-hand the need for a therapy that integrates his own religious convictions.

Before a moved audience, he told how thanks to the Catholic Therapy received in Mindove today “he is open to life and with hope for a better tomorrow” and gave very important recommendations for those people who are going through pain and need help. For Andrés, “faith should not be at odds with professional help” because when both are integrated into a therapeutic process they can help people overcome even the most difficult moments.

Finally, representing all the Psychologists of Mindove, Psychologist Lety Ruíz, spoke about the importance for a believing mental health professional to provide care by integrating science and faith so that there are no longer double fragmentation in therapy; not in the patient, but not in the psychologist either. If not, both undertake a path of personality integration open to transcendence, where biopsychosocial and spiritual unity is sought.

Click here to see the presentation event.


About Mindove

Mindove is an organization that provides a comprehensive service to seek the mental and spiritual well-being of its patients, integrating humanistic psychology with the values of the Catholic faith. Founded in 2023 by Dr. Mercedes Vallenilla, the entity has a large team of certified Catholic psychologists who help Christian patients, or anyone who requests it, to achieve their comprehensive well-being. Its online platform – which has the highest quality standards in therapeutic care – is destined to revolutionize the panorama of online Catholic psychology. The integration of faith in mental health care, from a psychological and spiritual approach, and the professionalism of psychologists are the two great differentiating elements of Mindove. More information: www.mindove.org