Psychological Health & Wellness services for all ages, specializing in First Responders

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." (Proverbs 27:17)

About Us

Who we are

Police/Clinical Psychologist Melissa J. Rodriguez and Licensed Professional Counselor Larissa Palacios established SYA in 2020. Dr. Rodriguez and Larissa chose Sharpening Your Arrow because human beings are like arrowheads, uniquely crafted to serve a specific purpose. When you think about the process of sharpening iron, iron is sharpened through heat, friction, cutting, and slicing. As the iron is beaten, it is reshaped into something beautiful, purposeful, and even better than before. Thus, sharpening is purposeful but can also be painful. The intentional friction often results in a purer, stronger, sharper character. Human beings can be sharpened by a similar act of chipping away the excess buildup to reveal the beauty that lies within.

SYA is like your personal and professional metalworker who is skilled, deliberate, focused, detailed, and trustworthy. Allow SYA to help you discover the parts of your life that need to be refined and reveal the unique work of art beneath. At SYA, we encourage learning, growth, and change by sharpening oneself. Rather than viewing yourself as “broken” or needing to be “fixed,” SYA strives towards teaching clients how to sharpen and refine themselves.  

Meet Our Team

Our Services

Psychological Testing & Evaluation

SYA provides comprehensive psychological assessments to assist with diagnostic clarification, assess for ADHD, learning disabilities, mood and cognitive concerns, testing to determine the psychological suitability of police and public safety personnel (L-3 exams), for promotion and assignments into specialized units, and for fitness for duty.

Individual, Couples, Family, Child & Adolescent Therapy

SYA offers individual, family, marital, and couples counseling using brief, systemic, and strength-based approaches to enhance stress resilience, improve self-awareness, develop healthy coping, strengthen familial relationships, and overcome problems related to stress and trauma, sadness/depression, grief and loss, anxiety/panic, relationship issues, marital discord, family conflict, infidelity, suicidal ideation, and life transitions (divorce, parenthood, marriage, retirement, etc.) SYA operates outside of normal business hours and offers daytime, evening, and weekend appointments in person or virtually.

Single Session Walk-In Wednesdays for First Responders

To express appreciation, give back to the first responder community, and improve accessibility of services, SYA offers Walk-In Wednesdays: Every THIRD Wednesday of the month, first responders (PEACE OFFICERS, FIRE FIGHTERS/PARAMEDICS) can walk in for services between 2 pm-7 pm and receive a FREE SINGLE SESSION without scheduling an appointment.


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Dr. Rodriguez is a bilingual (English/Spanish) psychologist born and raised on the southeast side of San Antonio, Texas. She graduated from Our Lady of the Lake University with a doctorate in psychology and a Psychological Services for Spanish Speaking Populations certification. She has been working in the mental health field for over 16 years. Dr. Rodriguez was initially trained as a counseling psychologist and transitioned into police psychology in 2019. She worked as a psychologist for the San Antonio Police Department for four years before going into private practice. Dr. Rodriguez specializes in the psychological health and wellness of police and public safety personnel and their families. 


  • First Responders; Police & Public Safety
  • Children & Adolescents
  • Family/Marital
  • Psychological Testing & Evaluation
  • Trauma & PTSD
  • Stress, Anxiety, & Depression
  • Relationship Issues
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Single Session Therapy, Brief Therapy, Solution-Focused & Strength Based Therapy, Systemic & Family Therapy, Narrative, Collaborative, Trauma Focused CBT

Issues: ADHD; Anger Management; Behavioral Issues; Coping Skills; Divorce; Education and Learning Disabilities; Emotional Disturbance; Family Conflict; Grief & Loss; Infidelity; Life Transitions; Men’s Issues; Parenting; Peer Relationships; Self Esteem; Self-Harming, Women’s Issues



Health Service Psychologist

Psychological Services for Spanish Speaking Populations.

FEES: $150 a session; Testing varies $500 and up.

Larissa Palacios, LPC is a counselor who practices in San Antonio, TX where she was born and raised.

She graduated from St. Mary’s University in 2009 and then from Our Lady of the Lake University in 2012, earning a graduate degree in Individual and Family Counseling.

She has been fully licensed as a therapist since 2015. Larissa believes in the power of dialogue to help solve problems which is why she practices using Solution Focused Therapy in session.

She believes people have natural strengths and redeeming qualities to aid in the process of conflict resolution. She accepts patients over the age of 10, and specializes in therapy for first responders and adolescents, as this is where she has had the most experience.

She accepts multiple insurance plans and can work on a sliding scale as well as private pay and encourages you to call to schedule your first appointment.

Life sometimes takes us in directions that are unknown, unwanted, unexpected and out of our control. When it does, it can appear overwhelming and difficult to face these issues and emotions by ourselves. Sometimes we feel that is the only option in order to succeed. What we tend to forget is life is a journey that we should take as a community and not individually. We can overcome theses issues together. My role would be to ride alongside with you, supportively and with an open mind to help you achieve the life that best fits you.

I have experience working with a variety of individuals from children to adults from diverse cultures. I specialize in sexual abuse and trauma, behavioral issues in the home and school setting, loss/grief, depression, anxiety as well as child exploitation. I have acquired a certification in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT).

My goal is to provide support in a non judgmental and safe place for individuals to assist through difficult times, decisions or complicated phases in their life. Life happens and sometimes it is difficult to get back on track. Please feel free to reach out through phone or email with any questions. Remember that it’s never too late to get back on track.

Kelsey Tovar is a licensed professional counselor associate supervised by Dr. Kevin Milligan. She is pursuing a doctorate in Counseling Psychology at Our Lady of the Lake University. She was born and raised in San Antonio and grew up down the street from OLLU on the west side of San Antonio. She has extensive training in Single Session/ One at a Time therapy and has served as an SST/OAAT consultant. She works with children, teens, and adults in a variety of settings using a strengths-based therapeutic lens and believes people have the resilience and potential to tackle life’s challenges. She provides psychological testing and assessment services for SYA. 

Dr. Núñez is a licensed psychologist in Texas. Her special interests include health psychology, immigration mental health, and diversity and social justice. She joined our SYA team in 2023 and offers consultation and psychological testing for: pre-bariatric surgery evaluations, disability determination assessments, psycho-diagnostic evaluations (mood disorders/ADHD/Autism), and immigration evaluations.