WELCOME!  LET US INTRODUCE OURSELVES.

We understand the issues that impact youth, from isolation to self-confidence, anxiety and more. We truly love working with adolescents.  In fact, we all chose to specialize in it. We speak English, Spanish, Mandarin and a few others. We are all licensed therapists in California. And we all have 5+ years of experience. 

Melanie Galan

School

National University, Master's in Counseling

License

LMFT #125909 (Expires: 2023-05-31)

Years of experience

6

My name is Melanie Galan and I have been working as a therapist for six years. Prior to that, I was a special education teacher. When I moved to California 10 years ago, I was not licensed to teach here so I decided to go back to school and become a therapist. Both my teaching and therapy work has focused on adolescents with emotional and cognitive struggles. I enjoy reading, making art, sewing, spending time with my family and my pets. I have two dogs and five cats!

I specialize in helping young people process trauma. Many of us have had difficult, adverse, or traumatic experiences and those experiences impact our thoughts, moods, and behaviors now. I help young people build insight as to how and why that happens, and what we can do to minimize that impact as well as the discomfort of the feelings around those memories.

Why I love working with youth:

I've always enjoyed working with teenagers. I find them to be creative and honest about their thoughts and feelings. Providing mental health support to young people can help teach them the tools that are needed to become happier and more successful adults.

Speciality areas

Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Self-Harming Behavior/ Suicide Risk

Also experienced with

Sleep Difficulties, Substance Use, Eating Disorders

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, TF-CBT, EMDR

Susan Waasdorp

School

Cal State University - San Bernardino, Masters in Social Work

License

LCSW#20164 (Expires: 2022-04-30)

Years of experience

30

Hi everyone! My name is Susan and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker living in Southern California with my husband of 25 years. I enjoy hiking in the Sequoia’s, playing board games, and spending time with my two college kids (as well as my cat and two dogs). I began my career providing counseling to adults hospitalized with severe mental health issues including Depression, Bipolar Disorder, suicidal ideation, and substance abuse. I transitioned to working with children and adolescents and have never looked back. Their energy and passion have continued to inspire and energize me. I specialize in working with children and adolescents who are struggling with anxiety, depression, low self-confidence, and trauma.

My experience over the last twenty years has been working with children and adolescents, providing support, and using various modalities including CBT, DBT, and Solution Focused interventions to help meet goals and individual needs. As a therapist, I’ll enjoy getting to know you while helping you to achieve your goals and increasing your confidence while challenging you to be better and never give up. My mission is to motivate, inspire and educate, and to turn what you may feel is impossible into the possible.

Why I love working with youth:

I love working with youth and helping to establish healthy lifelong mental health habits. Together, we work to realize our best selves.

“When I get older I want to be a therapist too. I want to help people like you helped me.” Alex

Speciality areas

Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Self-Harming Behavior/ Suicide Risk

Also experienced with

Sleep Difficulties, Cognitive Delays, Learning Differences, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, DBT, Solution-Focused

Anna Jones

School

The University of Wisconsin, Madison, Bacheler's in Sociology; Vanguard University of Southern CA, Master's in Clinical Psychology

License

LMFT #124783 (Expires: 2023-03-31)

Years of experience

7

I completed my B.A. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where I received a D1 Softball Scholarship. I also completed my M.S. in Clinical Psychology from the Vanguard University of Southern California. I went on to become a published author and co-wrote the daily devotional "What We're Afraid To Ask…”. In this project, I used my education, clinical skills, and foundation of faith to help those who've been abused increase in awareness and heal from the emotional, psychological, and spiritual impacts of dysfunction and abuse. I desire to write more in the field so I can encourage and help others connect to their intrinsic worth. My belief system is a fundamental part of who I am and so is supporting others in identifying and living out their strengths and purpose. I love music, nature, sports, and using my creativity and problem-solving skills to make things happen.

Do you have shame around what you've done or who you are? Do you need someone to talk to where you won't be judged? Would you like to increase your self-esteem and explore your identity? If you're someone who needs support, validation, understanding, and wise counsel then you've come to the right page. If you know in your heart that change is possible, you're right. I've helped many adolescents tackle a variety of mental health concerns yet my clinical focus has been eating disorders, addictive behaviors, depression, anxiety, OCD, relationships issues, dysfunction, abuse, and how these impact one's sense of self and world. I've worked at almost every level of care. This is important because I have many tools in my toolbelt to help meet your needs. I utilize a client-centered, empathic, solution-focused approach so we can not only connect but also meet your goals.

Why I love working with youth:

It is a privilege to support my adolescents during one of the most difficult stages of life. I often see myself in each of them, for different reasons, and do my best to meet them exactly where they are. They're impressionable while also super resilient so it's important to be a solid sounding board for them. Not only do I make a conscious effort to put myself in their shoes, I remember what it was like being that age and truly just wanting someone to listen and acknowledge the pain. As a therapist, I have the opportunity to do that along with implementing my clinical skills. What an awesome job!

"Anna is not only compassionate, she's wise. I sometimes think she's a people-whisperer lol. She sees my value and connects to my therapeutic needs. She's an awesome person and a great therapist!"

Speciality areas

Substance Use, Eating Disorders, Immigration/ Immigrant Family, Cultural Diversity/ Acculturation, Anger Management

Also experienced with

Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Panic Disorder

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, DBT, ACT

Brittany Quail

School

Holy Names University, Dual Masters in Counseling Psychology and Forensic Psychology

License

LMFT #128743 (Expires: 2023-10-31)

Years of experience

6

Hello there! My name is Brittany Quail and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I am excited to be able to meet and work with you! I am a California native, as the seventh generation of my family born and raised in Contra Costa County. I love to find any excuse to be creative, be outside, listen to and relate anything I can to music, and sing as loud as I can. I have moved through my career from starting in afterschool and summer programs for youth, to clinically continuing with the adolescent population. I am always looking for fun and new ways to bring in activities, genuine openness, honesty, flexibility, fun, and lots of energy in everything that I do.

My experience has been working with youth and adolescents in several arenas, including after-school programs, summer programs, school counseling, and foster youth. In each of these populations, I have provided support on different challenges with youth, including Anxiety, Depression, Oppositional Defiance, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Adjustment Disorders, Attachment Disorder, Trauma-related disorders, Social and Communication challenges, family reunification and engagement, and building independence and independent living skills in both individual and group settings. I work with a Client-Centered focus, with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused, Reality-Based theories. My focus and goals are to support individuals through challenges, acknowledge the hick-ups, and continue to grow and learn together with patience and consistency knowing that progress is still progress, big or small. It all takes time, and together we can get there.

Why I love working with youth:

My passion and career focus have always been working with youth and adolescents. Living in a period of time when we are trying to find our way in the world and understanding ourselves and our independence. For me being able to be a sounding board for an adolescent, and the ability to walk with them as they find what works for them is an experience I love to be a part of. Adolescents give me the opportunity to continue to be creative, energetic, and supportive of building a foundation for their future.

"Brittany just gets it. She is always understanding and I feel like I can talk to her about anything and she just knows."

Speciality areas

Self-Harming Behavior/ Suicide Risk, Relationships with Peers, Romantic Relationships, Anxiety, Panic Disorder

Also experienced with

Sleep Difficulties, Substance Use, Eating Disorders, Cognitive Delays, Gender Identity (including non-conforming or transgender)

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Relational

Peggy Vaquera

School

Capella University, Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

License

LPCC #10336 (Expires: 2023-09-30)

Years of experience

4

Hello! My name is Peggy and I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in California. California has been my home my entire life. I have over 11 years of experience working with youth who have suffered from some form of trauma. My journey working with youth began as a foster parent. Providing caring support and structure to children in need fueled my passion to further help children who had unfortunate life experiences and needed support and guidance. Therefore, I spent the next 3 ½ years as a social worker for a foster agency, training foster parents and supporting foster youth. I valued building trusting therapeutic relationships with the youth I worked with and enjoyed being their advocate in getting their physical and mental health needs met. I also enjoyed working with the foster parents and providing them psychoeducation and support in meeting their foster child’s needs. This led my passion for working with youth to grow even more. I have spent the past 4 years as a Child Trauma Therapist, providing mental health counseling to children and teens who suffer from some form of trauma. I have found my niche and absolutely love providing mental health therapy to children and youth! Outside of work, I am a wife and mother of 3 young adult children and 1 teenager. I enjoy spending time with my family and taking family vacations. One fun fact about myself is when I am on vacation I tend to be adventurous and enjoy ziplining over canyons and swimming in caves.

My specialty is working with children and teens who have endured trauma and/or struggle with anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress, anger, self-esteem, and identity formation. I have experience with providing clinical mental health counseling to children and teens who have witnessed domestic violence, have been physically abused, emotionally abused, or sexually abused, date raped, have experienced a loss (death, separation, or parental divorce), have been in the foster care system, are a victim of bullying, or have endured/witnessed some other crime. I am also adoption competent and have experience working with youth who are transitioning to adoption. I understand that adolescents and teenagers are in a crucial time of their development, where they are seeking independence and are sensitive to judgment. They want someone to listen and understand what they are experiencing and help them come up with a solution to their struggles. This drives my approach in therapy, as I believe therapy is successful and meaningful when your therapist works side by side with you in developing solutions. Each person is unique and has his or her specific interests, perspectives, experiences, and drive. Therefore, there is not a “one size fits all” approach in therapy. I have a wide variety of tools and techniques I can teach you, so you can determine what works best for you. I can also help you work through any family conflict you may have. I have a big heart for adolescents and teens, and I truly care about each individual I work with. My style is warm, kind, caring, direct, and empathic. I am here to listen, help you feel better, teach you ways to overcome any struggles you may have, and guide you towards living your best life.

Why I love working with youth:

I love working with youth because they are at a point in their lives where they are emerging from childhood to adulthood. Their whole life is ahead of them and they are often full of curiosity and enthusiasm. Yet, they are faced with multiple life changes all at once, which can be overwhelming. Their search for identity is a crucial time to tackle internal conflicts and develop healthy coping skills that will lead them towards a successful future.

"Miss Peggy listened to me and didn't judge me. She helped me believe in myself and come up with life goals, which got me away from hanging out on the streets."

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Self-Harming Behavior/ Suicide Risk, Familial Relationships

Also experienced with

Relationships with Peers, Anger Management, Grief/Loss

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, TF-CBT, DBT

Letitia Obot

School

Adler Graduate School, Masters in Clinical Counseling and Psychotherapy

License

LPCC #10542 (Expires: 2023-10-30)

Years of experience

5

Hello, my name is Letitia, and I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor from CA. I have been in the mental health field for several years, specifically providing clinical support to children and families from diverse backgrounds. I have experience in providing individual, group, and family therapy to children and their families in different settings including inpatient and outpatient, as well as support in navigating the foster care and school systems, and linkage to appropriate community resources. I am a mother of preteens, and when I am not working I enjoy spending time with family and friends, movies, and hiking. Fun fact about me; as a teenager I also sought out counseling for support in managing different teenage relationship dynamics. My counselor was so helpful to me, I decided to study counseling in college so I can help others.

I have knowledge and experience working with individuals struggling with depression, PTSD, adjustment disorder, parental/family relational problems, anger, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, etc. I am trained in different therapeutic modalities including but not limited to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Solution Focused, Psychodynamic, Motivational Interviewing (MI), and Client-Centered approaches. Over the years working as a therapist, I have gained experiences in utilizing those modalities in working with children, adolescents, transitional age youth, and families including biological, foster, and blended families. We are all unique, my goal is to walk with you in your journey of discovery and healing.

Why I love working with youth:

I love working with adolescents because of the endless possibilities to make a real difference one teenager at a time.

"Thank you so much, Letitia. I honestly feel like a weight have been lifted off my shoulder"

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety, Self-Harming Behavior/ Suicide Risk, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers

Also experienced with

Immigration/ Immigrant Family, Cultural Diversity/ Acculturation, Anger Management, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Relational

Diana Dawson

School

Phillips Graduate University, Masters in Psychology MFT

License

LMFT #113633 (Expires: 2022-06-30)

Years of experience

5

Hello! I am Diana, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. The majority of my experience has been working with youth which started when I worked in the school system as a teacher’s assistant, then becoming a special education assistant to a therapist who works with youth and their families. I enjoy what I do and believe that my method for therapy can be boiled down to providing my clients with a nonjudgmental space, good rapport, and new tools to address stressful life events.

I have a lot of knowledge/ experience with clients struggling with depression, anxiety, panic disorder, family relation problems, communication, anger, post-traumatic stress disorder, and adjustment disorder. My training includes, Individual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma Focused Cognitive Therapy (TFCBT), motivational interviewing, Depression Treatment Quality Improvement Intervention (DTQI), Crisis Oriented Recovery Services (CORS), Seeking Safety (SS)

Why I love working with youth:

I love working with youth due to the rewarding feeling I get when we begin to see change by just providing them with an alternative perspective. Life is full of possibilities for adolescents and I believe some youth might need added support to reach their protentional. I love what I do as a therapist and am passionate about connecting/ supporting others.

"I love Diana. She is personable and I truly feel like she listens, comprehends, and provides useful skills to work through my issues. Best therapist I've had in years."

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Self-Harming Behavior/ Suicide Risk, Familial Relationships

Also experienced with

Relationships with Peers, Romantic Relationships, Divorce/ Separation, Anger Management, Grief/Loss

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, TF-CBT, Motivational Interviewing

Cassandra Chambers

School

Pepperdine University, MA in Clinical Psychology

License

LMFT #116922 (Expires: 2021-12-31)

Years of experience

13

Hello!!! My name is Cassandra. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (CA-based) with over 15 years of experience working in the mental health field. I have worked with a wide range of clients, the majority are children and their parents. I have worked with a large number of foster youth and their foster parents/families as well. Some of the areas that I have worked with clients on include, but is not limited to depression, anxiety, blended families, parenting, anger management, as well as trauma-related work. It is my passion to see clients win and an honor and privilege to assist clients in their personal healing journey. I strive to break the stigma of minorities and mental health one person at a time. My goal is to assist clients in helping themselves be the best self they can be. It takes courage to take the first step and when you are ready we can do this together.

Over the years I have worked with teens from various backgrounds, households, and life experiences. One thing that is common is that young people want to be heard. My goal is to be the voice and the bridge that helps each person on their healing journey.

Why I love working with youth:

I love working with teens because they keep up lively and in the know. They have a lot of insight and unique qualities as they are still navigating this world and learning about themselves. I enjoy watching and assisting in this process.

"I am grateful that I have someone who looks like me and understands me".

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety, Self-Harming Behavior/ Suicide Risk, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers

Also experienced with

Romantic Relationships, Divorce/ Separation, Cultural Diversity/ Acculturation, Anger Management, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused

Julie Schmidt

School

Antioch University, Masters in Clinical Psychology

License

LMFT #41096 (Expires: 2022-09-30)

Years of experience

20

Even as a young kid I loved the expressive arts! Dance, music, creative writing! I love to think outside the box and dream a little too! Allowing full expression in fun and enlightening ways for my clients is what gives my "work" joy!

I love to be with young people who want to become the best version of their vision! I enjoy assisting young people with their own goals, and navigating through the interesting and sometimes challenging world of relationships! Parents! Academics! Peer Relationships! Questions about the future! Making it through each day with less stress and more fun! Those are the things some of my clients love to bring to the table! There is nothing too deep, too sad, too confusing that can't be worked out! I would love to walk beside you and assist you in your journey, always looking for your next best horizon!

Why I love working with youth:

Working with adolescents is the epitome of what is right about therapy! Adolescents are curious, determined, thoughtful, genuine with emotions, and trying to figure out the world and their identity in it! These themes will be carried throughout all future life stages! This is why it's a great time to help an adolescent get the skills now that can be used throughout life! What a great investment for the adolescent and what an honor for me, their therapist!

"You're organic! I love the free flow style we have where I can go anywhere in my session with you!"

Speciality areas

Learning Differences, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Romantic Relationships, Divorce/ Separation

Also experienced with

Immigration/ Immigrant Family, Cultural Diversity/ Acculturation, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Relational

Ayisha Winn

School

California State University Long Beach, Master's in Social Work

License

LCSW #85603 (2022-09-30)

Years of experience

10

My name is Ayisha Winn, I am a licensed clinical social worker with extensive experience as a Clinical Therapist. I received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from California State University, Long Beach with a Mental Health concentration in 2013. My work history and education has afforded me the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in being able to work with a diverse population of children and adults with developmental disabilities/mental illnesses, and dual diagnoses.

Throughout my years working in community mental health, I’ve gained a substantial amount of experience with children, adolescents, transitional age youth, and families (biological and foster families). My experience also includes working in the medical clinic setting with adults and the elderly population who struggle with numerous mental health, medical-related adjustment conditions, and substance use/dependency disorders. I am experienced working with clients ages 5 through 70.

Why I love working with youth:

Children have a positive light and energy that most adults have forgotten still exist.

"Progress does not equal perfection, it's the baby steps that count."

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Self-Harming Behavior/ Suicide Risk, Sleep Difficulties

Also experienced with

Eating Disorders, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Romantic Relationships, Divorce/ Separation

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, TF-CBT, Relational

Katherine Warner

School

Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Masters in Counseling Psychology

License

LMFT #87393 (Expires: 2022-12-31)

Years of experience

11

Hello! My name is Katherine. I am originally from Kansas but have lived in CA for 21 years. Fun fact: I actually came to CA for what was supposed to be a two-week vacation and never got on the return flight home, and I've been here in CA ever since. I received a job offer the day before I was supposed to fly home to be an assistant Youth Minister. That job actually led me to realize my calling to work as a therapist. I led hundreds of youth retreats and during small groups, I connected with teens and heard their personal stories and struggles. From there I returned to school to become a licensed clinician and along the way, taught high school, worked as a professional nanny, even worked for San Francisco's first dance music radio station (Energy 92.7FM). To this day I still LOVE dance music! I am excited to work with teens again after focusing exclusively on couples work in my private practice. In my free time I paint and refinish furniture - usually, things I find for free (my way of recycling), love to cook and ride my bike around town.

As noted, I previously taught high school Seniors and led youth retreats. I blend those skill sets into my therapeutic work and like to teach hands-on skills that you can take with you outside the therapy sessions. This might be anything from CBT to mindfulness practices, guided meditations, or journaling prompts. I believe that therapy is a process and a sacred, safe space to explore what works for you and what doesn't. Therapy also usually works best when you fully engage with it and are open to the process. Together we will come up with a toolkit of practices that will help you with whatever you're struggling with. My clinical background is working with anxiety, depression, OCD, ADHD, and trauma. I also have a special place in my heart for family work and helping families to communicate their deepest needs and desires. My style is warm, direct, friendly, humorous, and always compassionate.

Why I love working with youth:

The teenage years are a time about learning to be authentic, finding out who you really are aside from other impressions from family, society, peers, etc. It's also a creative time to "try on" different modes of being to see what fits and what feels good to you/most authentic. I love helping teens explore this time and aiding them to discover who they really are at their core.

"You're an incredible listener and so open. I've always felt like you were there for me."

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Romantic Relationships

Also experienced with

Divorce/ Separation, Self-Harming Behavior/ Suicide Risk, Sleep Difficulties, Substance Use, Cognitive Delays

Therapeutic approaches

ARC, Relational, Psychodynamic

Jennifer Brenes

School

UCSB, BA in Sociology and Latin & Iberian Studies; San Diego State University, Master's in Social Work

License

LCSW #86188 (Expires: 2022-10-31)

Years of experience

6

Hello! I'm Jennifer and I’m looking forward to walking with you through this season of your life. I’m kind and empathetic and I’ve been told more often than not that I’m a good listener! I love the ocean and the mountains, and for fun, I like to explore new places to eat and travel. I’m an ambivert- I have a little bit of both introvert and extrovert in me. I’m a music enthusiast and can dance to a beat. I grew up in Southern CA, specifically the LA and OC areas, and have also lived in Santa Barbara and San Diego.

I’ve had the privilege to work with youth and families in the community, school, and juvenile justice system. My experience lies in helping youth navigate through stressful seasons of life by providing knowledge and tools for self-awareness that can help reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and trauma. I am here to help you get to where you want to go and achieve the goals you desire for your best life.

Why I love working with youth:

I love working with teens because they are genuine and have more insight than they think! Their resilience astounds me, their wittiness is refreshing and I have a childish excitement for their boundless future!

"You were honestly the best therapist I've ever had. You care and you paid attention to what I had to say. If it weren't for you, I probably would've stayed in the dark place I was in."

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety, Familial Relationships, Immigration/ Immigrant Family, Cultural Diversity/ Acculturation

Also experienced with

Anger Management, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress, Relationships with Peers, Romantic Relationships

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, ARC, Motivational Interviewing

Rita Wong

School

Lesley University, Master’s in Expressive Therapies and Mental Health Counseling

License

LPCC #9292 (2023-02-28)

Years of experience

18

Wong, in my Chinese last name, means yellow - the color of light. I believe a therapist’s role is to bring light for clients to see for themselves what’s in front of them in order to choose or make the next move in their life situations. I enjoy this role of witnessing clients’ self-discovery journeys while facilitating and providing support in the process. My clinical training was in Expressive Therapies (music) and mental health counseling. I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) as well as a nationally board-certified music therapist (MT-BC) with an expressive-arts-therapy-based approach. I have worked with clients from age 0-100+ and I found learning moments in serving every population. I worked with children and families in early childhood intervention programs, school-aged individuals in a community counseling program, students with special needs, teenagers in intensive residential treatment, adults with disabilities, older adults with age-related issues, and families needing end of life emotional support. I have learned many counseling/therapy skills and embraced the arts in healing. I am a therapist with an integrative approach. I like to invite my clients to explore their own creative expressions. A fun fact about me: growing up in British colonial Hong Kong, I learned the concept of “ambivalence” (two cultures, two languages) and therefore I can relate to the “stuck in-between things” feeling, which can be common amongst teens, quite well. Outside of my Daybreak time, I love reading an actual book, seeing the colors green, orange, yellow in nature, listening to music in a different language, biking uphill then down, and hugging all the important people in my life.

Do you struggle with relationship issues with family? Or issues with self-esteem? Do you experience anxiety or mood issues? Are you someone with learning differences who feels that it’s hard for others to understand you? Or do you need a bilingual therapist who can understand your culture? A bilingual (Chinese Cantonese) therapist with an integrated approach, I follow a CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) framework to build on expressive arts therapy techniques in therapy. An example: a songwriting experience for a client to express and process suppressed feelings in order to gain insight into his/her situation.

Why I love working with youth:

I love the authenticity, creativity, energy, honesty, and the “in-between-ness” of teens. These are very helpful qualities for insightfulness, healing, personal growth, self-discovery, and many other life lessons that we all need to learn. Working with teens makes me a better listener and a healthier boundary-setter which I really appreciate professionally and personally.

Speciality areas

Anxiety, Cognitive Delays, Learning Differences, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers

Also experienced with

Immigration/ Immigrant Family, Cultural Diversity/ Acculturation, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, Psychodynamic, Solution-Focused

Louanna Fonnegra

School

Pacific Oaks College, Masters of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy and Pacific Oaks BA in Human Development

License

LMFT #112865 (Expires: 2023-04-30)

Years of experience

7

Hello! My name is Louanna Fonnegra. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I have a specialization in Latino Family Systems. I am a Native American part of the Navajo tribe. When my parents divorced, my mother and I came to California when I was 5 years old. There were no other natives around like me, so I adopted the Latino culture growing up. My experience includes working with children, adolescents, and young adults. I love working with adolescents! Adolescents are one of the misunderstood age groups and deserve to be heard. I have done community work which includes trauma, domestic violence victims, victims of crime, child protective services, parenting, and immigration. I enjoy “nerding out” with reading: Star Wars and learning piques my interest. I have a degree in fine arts and love painting with oils. I have a love for dogs—I currently have 3! A fun fact I like to share is my father chose my name when he first heard it in the movie Million Years BC in 1966 with actress, Raquel Welch, who played Loana. When I was baptized the priest said it was a savage name and my parents changed the spelling to “Louanna.” I am always honored to be part of someone’s journey.

Life can be so confusing with so many changes happening all the time. Uncomfortable experiences and thoughts like, “will I fit in at school,” “will I meet friends,” “what are others saying about me,” “I can’t keep up on social media,” “who am I,” “am I good enough,” “no one understands me” --- these thoughts begin to live in our mind every day inviting feelings of depression and anxiety. In my work, whether the person is a child, teen, and parent, my goal is to create a therapeutic environment that is safe and consistent, where teens experience full acceptance, empathy, and understanding while sharing their story, identifying their struggles, worries, fears and how this invites anxiety and depression into your everyday life. The goal in my work is to help you find ways to manage the physical sensations (anxiety) and learning how to respond in healthier ways and build your self-confidence so you can feel good about who you are. Collaboration is an important aspect of working with teens –I teach/empower teens to learn how to handle the big feelings and thoughts instead of going into survival mode, therefore it is important to include parents/guardians in the process of therapy by continuing the work outside the therapy session by supporting, validating, listening, communicating, and understanding where your teen is developmentally and for parents not to take their teens' negative behavior/words personally. This includes communicating with the school to give guidance to support your teens.

Why I love working with youth:

I love working with teens because they are our future! I was once a teen and I remember the challenges and the great experiences – today I believe it is much harder to be a teenager mostly because of the digital world. Teens continue to be resilient and energetic, creative, and able to think outside the box. Teens have a unique world view and I get to see life through their young eyes—teens teach adults to be fluid and not stagnant—they are our future.

"Hi I'm Isaac and I was getting bullying. I was sad and depressed but my parents help me. We find help with therapy. Thank you to my therapist Louanna . Now I'm ok. I did it :)."

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers

Also experienced with

Romantic Relationships, Divorce/ Separation, Immigration/ Immigrant Family, Cultural Diversity/ Acculturation, Anger Management

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, TF-CBT, Motivational Interviewing

Elisabeth Box

School

Northcentral University, Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy

License

LMFT #119471 (Expires: 2022-06-30)

Years of experience

6

I was born in Indonesia and raised in Cairo, Egypt. I moved to the United States with my parents during my senior year in Highschool back in 1994. I am a very outdoorsy person so I love living in California. I have always worked with children and teens. Before I became a therapist, I served kids and families as a behavior interventionist. In total, I have 15 years working with children, youth, and families. It's a career I truly enjoy!

Growing up in today's world presents unique and complex issues no generation has ever faced. Navigating social issues and coping with intense thoughts and feelings can cause struggles with anxiety, depression, and often, suicidal thoughts and substance use. Reaching out to an experienced clinician who has a non-judgmental, empathetic perspective to help you sort through difficult thoughts and feelings so that you can feel good and create the life you want can be enormously helpful.

Why I love working with youth:

I enjoy working with adolescents because they have a unique perspective about the world around them. Often, adolescents ask deeper questions about life because they are learning and growing at a very rapid rate. I enjoy the energy and creativity of these kids; they often surprise me with amazing talents and skills!

"Therapy just helps people feel better about themselves and about life!"

Speciality areas

Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Relationships with Peers, Anger Management, Self-Harming Behavior

Also experienced with

Depression, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress, Divorce/ Separation, Romantic Relationships

Therapeutic approaches

Motivational Interviewing, Relational, Psychodynamic

Tiffany Orewyler

School

University of California, Riverside - Bachelor's in Liberal Studies; California Baptist University - Master's in Counseling Psychology

License

LMFT #110964 (Expires: 2022-12-31)

Years of experience

8

Hi! I am Tiffany Orewyler. I was born and raised in southern California, and I liked it so much that I decided to stay here! I am married with 2 kids and 2 dogs. In my spare time I do yoga, try to learn new recipes, and watch true crime series! I love working with teens because I feel those are the years that really shape a person into who they will be in the future.

I love to work with teens, especially teens who are skeptical about this whole "therapy" thing. I like to get to know you and your perspective so we can work together to get you the outcome that you want. I am not going to make arbitrary goals for you to meet. I am going to ask you what you want out of life and out of therapy, and that will be our goal. I'm not about giving advice or teaching you anything. This is a relationship. We are going to collaborate to make sure that you get to where you need to go with the tools that you need to keep going!

Why I love working with youth:

I feel that the teenage years are the years where we build coping skills and life lessons that prepare and shape us to be healthy, functional people. A teenager that comes through these years with confidence, high self-esteem, the ability to adapt to change and take on life's challenges becomes an adult with dignity, pride, and competence.

"Mrs. Tiffany always had my back. She never judged me, even when I relapsed and kept messing up"

Speciality areas

Depression, Substance Use, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Romantic Relationships

Also experienced with

Anger Management, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Self-Harming Behavior/ Suicide Risk

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, TF-CBT, Motivational Interviewing

Marissa Cheung

School

Columbia University School of Social Work, M.S. in Social Work; University of San Francisco, B.A. in Psychology

License

LCSW #70022 (Expires: 2023-11-30)

Years of experience

11

Hi, my name is Marissa. I am originally from Hawaii but have spent the last 11 years working in school-based settings in San Francisco. Outside of school-based settings, I also have experience in acute hospitals and residential programs. I love spending time with my one-eyed dog named Fetty - taking him on hikes and to the beach. While I enjoy spending time outdoors, I also enjoy binge-watching TV shows or finding a good book to read. I believe in ensuring self-care and trying to stay active as much as possible.

I have experience supporting teens and families with managing stress and mood, navigating academic pressure and relationships, gaining a better sense of self and self-esteem, strengthening relational and communication skills, and improving overall insight and awareness into feelings, behaviors, and experiences. I believe in a client-centered, strength-based approach while teaching Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) skills to support clients with improving their functioning and overall wellbeing to ultimately reach their goals. The thought of therapy can sound scary and takes a lot of courage to reach out for help, but I believe that finding the right therapist makes a world of a difference. I honor clients’ culture and beliefs in a nonjudgemental space and ensure I convey empathy and authenticity. I value humor (when appropriate) and believe in taking a direct approach with those I work with. While I may be direct, at times, I also welcome feedback and believe in a collaborative relationship. I do not take myself too seriously and laugh at myself often.

Why I love working with youth:

Teens are insightful and have so much to offer but sometimes can get lost when facing difficult feelings and experiences. Everyone is different and unique in their own ways and I enjoy showing teens just how exceptional we all are.

"You've helped me in so many more ways than I can put into words. I know I always joke about my self-esteem, but you truly have helped me find some sense of self-worth. You were always there to remind me I wasn't alone in my struggle. You shared that you were excited for me and my future, and sometimes I find myself looking forward to those things as well—something I didn't see myself ever doing."

Speciality areas

Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Sleep Difficulties, Learning Differences

Also experienced with

Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Romantic Relationships, Academic Stress

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, DBT, Relational

Lauren Totah-McCarty

School

University of San Francisco, Masters in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy; Santa Clara University, Bachelors in English and Psychology.

License

LMFT #125538 (Expires 2023-04-30)

Years of experience

7

Hello, my name is Lauren Totah-McCarty. I am a bay area native and love working with and supporting adolescents. I currently work as a high school personal counselor and have been at my school for the past seven years. In my work, I hope to create a safe, inclusive space where people can be themselves and get any support they need. In my free time, I enjoy kayaking, paddle boarding, going on hikes, watching movies and playing board games. I am excited and look forward to working with you and getting to know you!

My ideal client is someone who is looking for a little bit of support and guidance in their life. I typically work with adolescents who may be feeling a bit low, down, overwhelmed, stressed or have difficulty communicating with their friends or family. I try to create a safe, inclusive space where people can express any thought or feeling they have without fear or judgement. I then work with you to help teach coping skills, problem solving strategies, and discuss communication to help you in reaching your next steps and goals. I like to check in and support you in each step of the way and know that I will have your back in this process.

Why I love working with youth:

I love working with adolescents as they are in the process of discovering who they are and who they want to become. Adolescents are often passionate, honest, genuine and looking for someone to be authentically present to them in this process. I hope I can create a safe, inclusive space to help adolescents where they are at and support them in reaching their goals.

“Your support throughout my entire four years was honestly some of the most influential support I've ever received in my life, and words really cannot explain how grateful I feel to have had you as my counselor, through all of the trivial issues and some of the deeper struggles I had. High school is hard for a lot of people but you had such an impact on my ability to succeed there as my top support system, and I know you have the same impact on other students too.”

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety, Relationships with Peers, Academic Stress, Grief/Loss

Also experienced with

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, DBT, Solution-Focused

Emily Walton

School

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Masters in Clinical Psychology, Counseling Specialization

License

LPCC #8363 (Expires 2022-08-31)

Years of experience

7

I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in the state of California. I obtained my Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, Counseling Specialization with a focus on trauma and children from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. I gained my clinical experience, initially working with adults with severe mental illness in Chicago, and moved towards my passion- working with children, teens, and families for the last seven years in community mental healthcare, private practice, as well as in school settings. I lived in Chicago for twenty years and, believe it or not, do not like deep-dish pizza. I have lived in San Diego for the past six years and love the weather. I love sewing, Barnes and Nobles bokstore to hang out and find cool reads, hiking, dogs, and my kids!

I have worked extensively with parent-child relational dynamics, communication, structure, parenting-child interactions, and overall family systems to provide families the ability to increase attunement, contentment, and functioning. I have worked with the following diagnosis and disorders: ADHD, anxiety, depressive disorders, trauma disorders, PTSD, adjustment disorders, personality disorders, anger, life span development changes, psychosis, self-injury, and suicidal clients. I utilize an integrative approach using the following: CBT, DBT, Psychodynamic, Play Therapy, Family Systems, Attachment Therapy, TF-CBT, psychoeducation, and Bibliotherapy. I see the uniqueness of each individual and family and tailors therapy work that is specific and treatment-focused while maintaining authenticity in a safe, confidential, and trusting environment.

Why I love working with youth:

I love the adolescent and teen period of development because parents are also growing with their children. Often there can be conflicts between a child's autonomy and parents' readiness to allow their child to bloom. This can be a "make or break" time in the family's relationship. With knowledge of adolescent development, parents' own exploration of their experiences, addressing concerns around safety, trust, and support, families can work together to make needed changes for their child's development during this crucial time in their lives.

"I feel like Emily really listens to me, she teaches me things like new ways to handle things when I am mad, sad, or worried."

Speciality areas

Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Self-Harming Behavior/ Suicide Risk

Also experienced with

Sleep Difficulties, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, TF-CBT, DBT

Heather Noel Hodges

School

Holy Names University, Master's in Counseling Psychology; University of San Diego, Bachelor's in English Literature

License

LMFT 85916 (Expires: 2022-05-31)

Years of experience

10

Where do you get your oxygen from when you go home to your family? A thoughtful teacher early on in my counseling psychology training asked the class this question. I never forgot it. As a kid, I got my oxygen growing up by the beach within walking (or riding my bike) distance to the ocean in Carlsbad, California. I love walking on the sand breathing in the cool ocean air. I enjoy reading, writing poetry, and journaling. I also like to travel. A memorable trip of mine was when I led an amazing group of high school teenagers on a service-learning trip to New Orleans, Louisiana to help rebuild a home for a family who lost theirs due to Hurricane Katrina.

Relationships are vital. My specialty is family relationships. Adolescents need to be seen and heard in their families and friendships. I can help you be seen and heard by strengthening your relational confidence and connection with your parents, caregivers, and friends. I'm here to help you find the answers you need. I look forward to the opportunity to connect with you.

Why I love working with youth:

I love working with adolescents because they are curious and care deeply about their relationships. Adolescents' curiosity leads them to be risk-takers. I love that they love to try new things!

"Her outreach to families and her ability to read social situations and react with calmness and confidence, allowed her to make great progress with students and their families...on top of all her experience, her qualities as a person are exemplary. She is responsible, reliable, helpful, considerate, and inclusive."

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety, Self-Harming Behavior/ Suicide Risk, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers

Also experienced with

Romantic Relationships, Divorce/ Separation, Gender Identity (including non-conforming or transgender)

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing

Jackie Salgado

School

Cal State East Bay, Master's in School Counseling

License

LMFT #120542 (Expires: 2022-07-31)

Years of experience

6

Hello! My name is Jacqueline Salgado, but most people call me Jackie for short. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and have 6 years of clinical experience. I have a range of experience working with mild to severe in a local home-based program, San Joaquin County Behavioral Health, and my current position at a school district. I have enjoyed every bit of my career so far and especially with the teenagers I have been fortunate to work with. I enjoy family time, I love being adventurous, and I love traveling to new places at least once a year. In my downtime, you can catch me relaxing on the couch watching Netflix. I love learning new things— let’s just say my clients keep me feeling young- periodt sis!

My passion in the mental health field transpired from my culture's lack of access to and quality of treatment for mental health. I utilize a compassionate and collaborative approach to engage individuals in treatment planning— Incorporating education, symptom monitoring, and engagement with community resources to support a person’s decision to engage in therapy. My work in mental health includes those struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, grief, and loss, psychosis, peer and family relational problems, academic stressors, gender identity; and crisis work including self-harm, suicidality, and homicidal.

Why I love working with youth:

I love working with adolescents and teens because they have a unique view of the world. Some of the funniest, deepest, and most meaningful conversations I have had are with teenagers. They are our future and if it means meeting them where they are at to make a difference, then let's do it.

"Thank you for listening and providing a safe place for me in therapy. I never would have thought you'd make a difference in my life"

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Self-Harming Behavior/ Suicide Risk, Sleep Difficulties

Also experienced with

Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Romantic Relationships, Immigration/ Immigrant Family, Cultural Diversity/ Acculturation

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, Solution-Focused, Motivational Interviewing

Ariel Krakowsky

School

UCLA, Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Education; Columbia University, Master of Science in Social Work; San Diego State University, Pupil Personnel Services Credential

License

LCSW #104162 (Expires: 2023-09-30)

Years of experience

4

Hi there! My name is Ari and I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, California. I earned my bachelor’s degree from UCLA (Go Bruins!), and also played Division I soccer there where my team won the program’s first National Championship. After college, I moved to New York City to attend Columbia University where I earned my master’s degree in Social Work. I am now a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and am working toward becoming a Registered Play Therapist through UC San Diego Extension. I truly enjoy and appreciate learning about other people’s backgrounds, interests, goals, and areas for growth. Each of us has our own experiences and journeys, and I integrate a trauma-informed, client-centered, and strengths-based approach in my work with young people. In my free time, I enjoy spending time outside, exploring new hiking trails with my two dogs, and discovering new dessert spots!

My biggest passion is supporting youth in expressing their true self, and feeling their sense of pride when they try something new or accomplish a goal they set for themselves! I often work with youth who struggle with anxiety, self-esteem, and stress management, and it is an honor to serve as someone they can connect with to process the everyday challenges of being an adolescent in today’s world. Our young people are up against so much, and I work to meet each individual’s needs to empower and encourage safe and healthy coping, processing, and communication. Youth who work with me will be met with an open, collaborative approach that blends Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, and Play and Art Therapies to support them in creating lasting growth within their lives.

Why I love working with youth:

I truly appreciate the open and honest conversations I am able to have with teens. They are often so full of joy and passion for life and are searching for a space to grow. I strive to be that safe space where their already bright light can continue to shine. Adolescence is such a challenging time, and I strongly believe that all youth deserve an adult who will encourage them, advocate for them, and offer resources to further their lives. Each youth I come across offers me a new sense of hope for the future, and I am committed to cultivating more safe spaces where our youth can grow as individuals, leaders, community members, and change-makers.

“I wouldn’t be who I am if it wasn’t for you. I never saw myself going to college, or even graduating from high school, but you always believed in me, and now we’re moving on to this next chapter with me as a college student.”

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety, Self-Harming Behavior/ Suicide Risk, Learning Differences, Familial Relationships

Also experienced with

Familial Relationships, Romantic Relationships, Immigration/ Immigrant Family

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, TF-CBT, Solution-Focused

Kristen Schneider

School

CSU Stanislaus, Masters in Social Work

License

LCSW #87295 (Expires 2022-12-31)

Years of experience

7

Hello! My name is Kristen Schneider—I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I’m currently working full-time for a school district in the Central Valley where I get to work at the elementary and high school levels. I have been in the field for about 7 years and I can honestly say that every day is a reminder of why I love what I do.

Fun fact about me: my favorite day of the week is Monday! I have 3 dogs that I adore which you will probably see roaming around in the back of our zoom sessions. In my free time you can find me at the dog park, going on adventures with my friends, going to movies, comedy shows, farmers markets, museums, trying my hardest to keep my plants alive, going for drives, re-watching the same 5 shows on Netflix, or party planning.

If you made it this far, whatever your concern is, you're absolutely on the right path and you should be proud of yourself for getting here! As your therapist, I will always be open and honest with you and tell it like it is even when it’s hard to hear. I also want that in return as I can only help if you are being open and honest in the therapeutic process.

I like to believe I’m not your basic boring therapist. In my sessions, I utilize humor when appropriate. I feel that when dealing with some super tough issues it's okay to have those moments of lightheartedness. I have worked with clients struggling with a multitude of concerns that range from academic stressors, peer and family relational problems, gender and sexual identity concerns, anxiety, depression, trauma, grief and loss, psychosis, suicidal ideation, and self-harm. I am highly experienced in crisis work and your safety will always be my number one priority. I love building a relationship with my client and I will make sure I am always providing you with a safe place to share so that you feel comfortable. Over the last 7 years, I have worked with children as young as 4 years old to young adults in their early twenties. My passion is working with high school-aged teens and I truly look forward to working with you on identifying and meeting your mental health goals if you feel as though I would be a good fit.

Why I love working with youth:

Life is challenging when you're a teenager! I have heard countless clients share that they feel as though their social and emotional needs are overlooked and minimized because “they're just a kid, they have no reason to be unhappy”. Comments like that are what keep me coming back every day, dedicating my career to working with children and teens. I have a passion for this population and believe that they deserve to have someone in their corner that will see them for who they are and treat them with the level of respect and care that they deserve. I would describe myself as bubbly, funny, genuine, and hold nothing back in sessions, and I believe this is valued by my clients and it helps them to be their authentic selves when working with me. Seeing a young person identifying their strengths and working toward their goals is a beautiful thing. Essentially there isn't a cooler client than a teenager taking steps to better their life!

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety, Self-Harming Behavior/ Suicide Risk, Sleep Difficulties, Divorce/ Separation

Also experienced with

Sexual Identity Development, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing

Samantha Lewis

School

California State University - Fresno, Master's in Counseling - Marriage and Family Therapy

License

LMFT #114779 (Expires: 2023-08-31)

Years of experience

8

Hello, my name is Samantha and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist from Fresno, CA. I have worked in different settings over the years including non-profit, school campuses, and my own private practice. During my free time, I like to play video games, go on walks, and watch movies. I also love doing art such as painting and drawing, and I love animals.

If you have never talked to a therapist before, the idea can be scary. I hope to make you as comfortable as possible while getting started. I would be honored to help you reach your unique goals. I have worked with many children and teens during my career with many different needs, issues, and obstacles. A few examples include depression, anxiety, trauma/PTSD, family relationships, peer relationships, self-esteem, academic struggles, and more. I can help provide you the tools to get to where you want to be.

Why I love working with youth:

Children and teens are amazing to work with because they are going through a unique time in their life where they are growing, learning, and figuring out who they are. I can still remember what it was like being a teenager and navigating life during that time, and that makes me want to help even more.

"Thank you so much for helping me through hard times in my life"

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers

Also experienced with

Anger Management, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, TF-CBT, Relational

Tamalina Cummings

School

National University, Master’s of Art in Counseling Psychology

License

LMFT #112753 (04/30/2023)

Years of experience

20

US Naval Combat veteran of 20 years. I hold a license in marriage and family therapy, certifications for LAADC (licensed advance alcohol and drug counselor), pharmacy technician, and trained intervention specialist. I enjoy working with teenagers and helping to make a difference in their lives and affect change, just as how someone steps in and helps change the course of my life.

I specialize in working through trauma, unhealthy relationships, depression, social struggles, anxiety and stress. I’m here to listen, be a soundboard, and work with you to make your life manageable, to help you get through the rough times, process traumas, grief, social situations and get you back on track for the life you want to have. I’m here to help you reach your full potential even when you feel you're at your lowest.

Why I love working with youth:

The hardest time in most people’s life is adolescence. Social pressures, not being/feeling heard, school stress, the unknown future, and the variety of changes. Adolescents need someone that can provide unconditional warmth and understanding while helping them navigate “turbulent waters until they reach smoother seas". The biggest impact and most change can be done while in adolescence, and I love to provide tools that not only get them through the teen years but provide a solid healthy foundation to build on in the future as well

“Thank you for giving me a toolbox to use! I pulled out a lot of different tools this year and I graduated high school”

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety, Substance Use, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers

Also experienced with

Bipolar Disorder, Romantic Relationships, Divorce/ Separation, Cultural Diversity/ Acculturation, Anger Management, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, DBT, Solution-Focused

Robert Garza

School

CSU-Stanislaus

License

LCSW #76744

Years of experience

20

My name is Robert and I’m excited to join Daybreak as a Therapist. I’m highly experienced Therapist (LCSW) with 20 years of experience. I currently reside in Sacramento, enjoy playing horseshoes, and bowling in my spare time. I have worked across various Behavioral Health Programs. I received my bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, substance abuse from Stanislaus State University and my master’s degree in Social Work from California State University Stanislaus. I also received specialized substance abuse addiction while completing my master’s degree. I was also instrumental in the leadership program bringing the Substance Abuse Program to Stanislaus State University.

I have spent most of my career working with teens and children in the Merced and Stanislaus Counties Mental Health System of Care. I have helped clients navigate school stressors, heartbreak, conflict with friends, trauma, bereavement issues, identity development, and family difficulties.

Why I love working with youth:

Adolescents love to genuinely connect with other. Some of funniest, deepest and most meaningful conversations I have had were teenagers.

"I enjoy talking to you about my issues at school comfortably without having to worry about being judged or punished."

Speciality areas

Anxiety, Depression, Relationships with Peers, Familial Relationships, Immigration

Also experienced with

Anger Management, Grief/Loss, Cultural Diversity, Divorce, Substance Use, Self-Harming Behavior, Panic Disorder

Therapeutic approaches

Solution-focused, CBT, TF-CBT

Anastacia Kayne

School

Otis College of Art & Design, Bachelor’s in Fine Arts; Antioch University Los Angeles, Master’s in Clinical Psychology

License

LMFT #102777

Years of experience

10

My name is Anastacia (some people call me Stacy), and I am excited to meet you :) I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA and I have been a therapist working with children and teens for about 10 years. When I am not in sessions, I enjoy spending time outdoors, hiking, yoga, anything art-related (I used to be an art teacher!), hanging out with my pets (who will more than likely make some appearances in sessions, so I apologize ahead of time!), listening to true crime podcasts, re-watching The Office for the millionth time, and going to concerts.

Within my clinical career, I have spent those 10+ years working with children and teens. I have worked with adolescents on managing conflicts with family and friends, processing and understanding traumas/grief/loss, keeping up with school, navigating stresses and ever-growing responsibilities, and exploring who they are and who they aspire to be. My background in art has allowed me to find creative approaches to therapy, which can at times feel a bit scientific and analytical.

Why I love working with youth:

Being a young adult can be some of the most complex and intense times we face, and it is an honor to support clients and their families during this time in any way I can.

“I’ve decided to tell my story and I dedicate it to you. If I didn’t show enough thanks, I would love to say thank you again. I am fortunate to know you. My life has definitely taken a turn for the better with you in it. I couldn’t tell you how grateful I am, there are no words. You’re truly amazing.”

Speciality areas

Depression, Family Relationships, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress

Also experienced with

Learning Differences, Panic Disorder, Divorce/Separation

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, Relational, Solution-Focused

Tammy Visser

School

University of Hawaii at Manoa, B.A. in Psychology; University of San Francisco, M.A. in Counseling Psychology

License

LPCC #9395 Exp. 03/31/2023

Years of experience

5

Hi! My name is Tammy and I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. I was born and raised in San Francisco, but currently live in Brooklyn, New York. For the past 10 years I have worked with young people in various capacities, but most recently as a school-based mental health counselor at a SFUSD high school’s wellness center where I provided on-site mental health services to the students. I love learning about people and hearing their stories. Everyone is unique and has a story to tell. Through sharing our stories and having someone to support us in navigating the inevitable challenges in life, I believe we can begin our journey to living a life that is most in alignment with our truest self. I also believe a great amount of growth, healing, and empowerment comes from building strong relationships with my clients that are rooted in trust and authenticity. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, trying new foods, being outdoors, spending time with my family and friends, exercising, playing sports, attending live music events, cooking, baking, and occasionally binging on shows/movies on Netflix/Amazon/Hulu/HBO.

Taking this step to seek out the support of a therapist is truly an act of courage and finding someone you can trust with some of the most vulnerable parts of you can be nerve-racking. As your therapist, I will be as transparent and honest with you as I ask you to be with me. I will treat you with respect and strive to ensure you feel seen, heard, and valued. I am deeply empathetic, kind, caring, and authentic. I also love sprinkling in some humor when appropriate. In session, I strive to meet each client where they are at that day as I operate from a client-centered perspective. You are the expert and author of your life - I am simply here to walk alongside you to help you navigate the challenges and celebrate your wins. I look forward to meeting and supporting you!

Why I love working with youth:

I love working with teens because they’re truly amazing and bring me so much hope. The teenage years are incredibly impressionable and a time where you are really starting to figure yourself out. It’s also quite a complex time filled with so many mixed emotions that I love being able to offer my support and be of resource to.

"You've helped me so much along my journey...thank you so much..."

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety, Sleep Difficulties, Familial Relationships, Grief/Loss

Also experienced with

Anger Management, Academic Stress

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, TF-CBT, Relational

Jaclyn Waite

School

Bachelor's in Psychology from Biola University; Master's of Social Work from Cal State Fullerton

License

LCSW # 98615 Exp. 11/30/2022

Years of experience

6

I am Jaclyn and it is lovely to virtually meet you. I fell in love with the idea of becoming a therapist from a young age, and it is something that truly stuck. I got my first experience working in mental health when I lived abroad in Spain for a few years. When I am not seeing clients, I usually can be found re-reading Harry Potter, listening to a fun new podcast/audiobook, or swing dancing.

I have spent most of my career working with teens in the foster care system. I have helped clients navigate school stressors, heartbreak, conflict with friends, trauma, identity development, family difficulties, and adjusting to the COVID pandemic.

Why I love working with youth:

Adolescents and teens are in a sweet spot of coming into their own, figuring out who they want to be, and maintaining hope in the future that lies ahead of them. I consider myself incredibly blessed to have the privilege to walk alongside clients in that journey and to be the best support to them that I can be.

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety, Family Relationships, Peer Relationships, Academic Stress

Also experienced with

Grief, Romantic Relationships, Panic

Therapeutic approaches

Relational, Solution-Focused, CBT

Lauren Passoff

School

New York University, Silver School of Social Work, Master's in Social Work

License

LCSW# 101061

Years of experience

14

Hello! My name is Lauren Passoff, LCSW. I have over 14 years of experience working with clients ranging from early childhood, adolescence, children/families, adults, and end of life care. I have always viewed my professional career to learn as much as possible and be able to impact the largest number of people in need of support, counseling, therapy, and a safe space. I have worked both in educational settings, healthcare settings, and clinical settings. I was born and raised in Southern California and have enjoyed also living in San Francisco, and New York City, with as much frequent travel a possible. I love people, learning about people, what their passions are, their pain, their goals, and support the process of each teen discovering the best version of themselves! I am outgoing, easy to talk to, and passionate for helping teens find support during times they are confronted with challenges. I am here to remind you that you are human and doing the best you can. There is help if you want it, and that is what I am here for! I currently reside in Los Angles, enjoy dance, long hikes, walks, the ocean, and family and friends.

My historical area of focus ranges from challenges in school, overcoming childhood traumas, depression, anxiety, social isolation, and conflict within family units. These are common things that we all face as we grow and evolve into our adult selves. I aim to listen, support, and give you the confidence and tools that you may feel are holding you back.

Why I love working with youth:

The teenage years can be filled with so many mixed emotions- fear, insecurity, uncertainty about the future, a desire to be independent, and begin to define what you want for yourself out of life. There are so many sources of pressure from peers, schools, family, social media, etc. I have a personal passion for working with teenagers at this pivotal point in their lives, to define plans for their futures that allow for success, freedom, and happiness.

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Learning Differences, Familial Relationships

Also experienced with

Peer Relationships, Sleep Difficulties, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress

Therapeutic approaches

Motivational Interviewing, CBT, Solution-Focused

Susan Kehoe-Jergens, M.A., L.M.F.T.

School

Pacific Oaks College, BA Human Development./ Antioch University, M.A. Clinical Psychology

License

LMFT # MFC37217 Exp. 8/31/22

Years of experience

25

Welcome and hello! I am Susan Kehoe-Jergens, M.A., LMFT. In becoming a Therapist over the past 25 years I have been given the lifelong gift of helping people see themselves as divine, unique, beautiful and loved. My first mentor Melva Newman, LCSW used to say, “This is our inherent birthright on this magnificent planet”! I just love this! I have learned this with the help of some great teachers, supervisors, my own therapists and of course through overcoming life struggles and adversities. It is corny but true that every day is a new beginning. We are the authors of our own lives and only need to learn the tools to not just survive in this life but to thrive in it! Whether you want to achieve major inner- transformations or help with achieving goals, then I congratulate you for taking the first steps here exploring Daybreak Health.

Choosing a Therapist that you feel comfortable with is really important. After all, you are trusting us with your ideas, hopes, dreams, problems and solutions. This is why I am transparent about who I am so that you can be too. I am a smart professional and very experienced in many modalities of treatment. I am “client centered“ which means that your personal concerns, priorities, interests and styles of learning determines the modalities we will use in treatment. I am authentic, empathetic, patient, kind and loving. If I am not in sessions with you, you can find me outside. Walking in the forests, fishing, kayaking, boating, gardening, at beach or the lake. Nature fills my soul with Joy and peace. Its my happy place! I can also be found curled up reading, watching movies or binging Netflix/Hulu/Amazon. I am passionate about Social Justice, safety and support the need for change. This has always been my true nature and path. I am open to spiritual beliefs and if that is important to you, we can naturally integrate this in our treatment plan together. Thank you for checking out my short Bio! Please message me if you have any questions. I really look forward to working with you. Susan Kehoe-Jergens, LMFT

Why I love working with youth:

Because I color outside the lines of the box too! We all need to march to the sound of own drums, we just need to hold hands while we do it.

"You didn't only see the cultural barriers we struggle with but you truly saw us, as a family and we are very grateful for your help".

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety, Substance Use, Panic Disorder, Gender Identity

Also experienced with

Learning Differences, Relationships, Anger Management

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing

Dora Llaneras

School

California Baptist University

License

LMFT 120629, 08/31/2022

Years of experience

7

I am a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist who has had the privilege of working with individuals, families and children in various settings for over 7 years. Some of my experience includes working with anxiety, depression, grief, family conflict, self-esteem, self-harm, social/relational difficulties, substance abuse, and trauma. As a therapist my passion, is to work with alongside the client to develop skills in improving communication style and focusing on the issues that will alleviate struggles or pain from the past. The goal is to promote a transformation towards freedom to eventually allow the client to experience hope, healing and growth in all areas of the client’s life.

My counseling style is warm and compassionate, to help clients develop an awareness of their feelings, strengthen their communication skills and build resilience. I enjoy working with clients who have the motivation to work through their struggles and although difficult, face their truths and I confident that everyone has what it takes to move through the challenge’s that life throws their way. I am passionate in walking alongside my client to uncover their inner strengths, passions and motivation to achieve overall well-being. In therapy, I utilize several modalities which include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Family Systems, and several others to meet you where you are at. In addition, together we will work towards meeting your desired goal by creating a specialized treatment plan and interventions that are specific to the client.

Why I love working with youth:

This is a time where a client is learning how to juggle all of the pivotal events in their life such as family, school, social anxieties and responsibilities. The transition from childhood to adolescent then to a teen can be confusing and sometimes overwhelming. Providing a safe place where a client can discuss these issues are fundamental in the development of a healthy adult.

"I enjoy talking with you. I didn't think that I was going to like therapy but now I look forward to coming in."

Speciality areas

Anxiety, Depression, Grief

Also experienced with

Family Conflict, Self-Esteem, Self-Harm, Social/Relational Difficulties, Substance Abuse, Trauma

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, DBT, Family Systems

Rosemary O'Leary

School

California State University, Chico, Bachlors in Multiculture Gender Studies John F. Kennedy University, Master's in Somatic Counseling Psychology

License

LMFT #124260 Exp. 2/8/2023

Years of experience

6

I am passionate about the healing and integrative capacity that the therapeutic relationship offers. My background includes over a decade of meditation and mindfulness-informed practices including movement and sound. I faced my own healing crisis in my late teens and early twenties and was eventually lead towards studying Feminism, looking deeply into the interlocking systems of oppression. Finding healing in art, movement, dance, song, expression and activism. One of my feminism teacher's had us read a book called, The Healing Wisdom of Africa which lead towards mentorship and learning about healing from an embodied and soulful, nature based perspective. I received bodywork from a shaman of the Dagara tradition for 3 years. This moved my healing to a profound level and lead to my work as a somatic therapist.

Why I love working with youth:

I love working with adolescents because they are fun. I resonate with the developmental task of adolescence to push against established systems and create new worlds. I found personally and consider in general adolescence to be an incredibly rich threshold towards crossing into adulthood. This is a potent time of self actualization and becoming sovereign.

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety, Relationships

Also experienced with

Academic stress, Anger Management, Sleep Difficulties, Substance Use

Therapeutic approaches

Relational, Psychodynamic, CBT

Lauren E. Alon

School

University of Southern California, MSW with specialty in Mental Health for Children and Families.

License

LCSW24205 EXP.
02/28/2021

Years of experience

20

Greetings, my name is Lauren and I look forward to getting to know you. In my personal and professional life, self care contributes to feeling fulfilled and supporting others in healing and living life to the fullest. Activities that bring me joy include travel, outdoor adventures with my family, conversations with friends, including beach trips and hiking, and have my own time to enjoy a good book, write, and be a lifelong learner. As a therapist, I value bringing my personal sense of feeling fulfilled to support other’s growth, development, goals, healing, and capacity to live a full and joyful life.

My ideal client is one who is motivated and/or is supported to work through emotional, behavioral, and mental health challenges, which are barriers to self care, joy, and fulfilling their goals and dreams. Gratitude, kindness, empathy, optimism and belief in the power of resiliency and healing are guiding principles in my personal and professional life. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I provide individual, group, and family psychotherapy and psycho-education to support healing from trauma, relationship challenges, and managing mental illness. I specialize in treating depression, anxiety, self-harm, peer and family relational problems, and healing trauma. I look forward to getting to know you and developing a personalized therapeutic relationship, to best support you in reaching your self care and mental health goals. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions about treatment and how I can best support your goals.

Why I love working with youth:

Life is full of possibilities for adolescents. I love working with adolescents as there is a true impact of mental health treatment on healing from emotional, behavioral, and mental health barriers to forming a healthy and fulfilled identity. It is personally and professionally fulfilling and rewarding to empower teens to utilize their strength to achieve their goals and lead their best life.

"I feel that you listen to me, let me be myself, and support me to take care of myself and feel better."

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety

Also experienced with

Panic disorder, Substance use, Eating disorders, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Sexual Identity, Gender Identity, Academic Stress

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing, Relational, Psychodynamic, Solution-focused

Juan Trevino

School

Michigan State University; MSW; LCSW

License

LCSW #27425 Exp.
08/31/2022

Years of experience

12

My name is Juan Trevino and I've been working with adolescence and adults for the past 12-years. I have a passion for working with and helping others see their full potential. I also enjoy working coaching teams and using real life scenarios to process therapeutic goals.

I really try to use a clients strengths to work towards their goals. Often having a vision of what a client would like to accomplish is the best starting point. From there we can develop some skills and strategies to make those goals come true. I like to utilize a person's strengths and introduce thinking patterns that are beneficial to progress along with thoughts that are not. Emotions are often the key and we will use them as information in nonjudgemental ways rather than as instructions. If this sounds like it would help, reach out.

Why I love working with youth:

I love working with young people because of how rewarding it can be. A simple perspective can truly change the trajectory of your life and as a young person, I feel like I could have really used some support. I've dedicated my life to working with and helping others and it's truly a passion. When I'm not working with young people in a therapeutic environment, you'll find me on the ice coaching hockey players and using sport as a metaphor for life and relationships. I'm very fortunate to do what I love everyday.

"Juan, there is no one I know that I would rather have my son spend time with than you, and I will be forever grateful that he had the opportunity to spend so much time with you over the years. When I have been asked about you by other parents throughout the years, my answer was always the same, “Juan is a great coach, but more importantly he is a great man and your son will be a better person for having known him”. I believe that strongly and I believe that my son has been truly blessed by you being in his life. You have helped to shape the man that he is becoming, and while he has a ways to go, you should be very proud of the fingerprints you put on that lump of clay. "

Speciality areas

Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Anger Management, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress

Also experienced with

Depression, Sleep Difficulties, Substance Use,

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, TF-CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Relational, Psychodynamic, Solution-Focused

Carla Felten

School

University of Denver, Master’s in Social Work Azusa Pacific University, Bachelor’s in Social Work University of Wollongong, Australia, Sociology study abroad

License

LCSW #82350 Expires 10/31/2021

Years of experience

7

I’m Carla (she/hers) and a California native. I love traveling, animals, writing, music, and boxing. In my travels, my favorite part has been meeting wonderful folk in random places and hearing their stories. I have worked with/learned from children, youth, adults, and families who have experienced trauma, loss, grief, anxiety, depression, identity struggles... and I’m always amazed at people’s capacity for healing and joy amidst difficult times. In my own journey of healing, I’m grateful for people who shared skills and tools for me to adapt to my needs. It’s my hope to provide similar opportunities with others and have a shared experience of self-discovery and growth.

We all have emotions, needs, passions, and hopes; we all deserve to be seen and heard. And we all have unique identities which can shape our experiences and impact how we are treated. If you want to learn about yourself and strengthen/manifest healthy, supportive, and intentional relationships, it would be an honor to provide a space for you to do that. I use family-integrated and attachment approaches in understanding our beliefs and explore areas of hurt within yourself/relationships that need healing. We will also explore how our mind/brain, body, and spirit are connected and can be influenced to meet (or hijack!) our needs. You are driving this process as it is YOUR life – I offer to walk alongside and share ideas for you to try.

Why I love working with youth:

I describe adolescence as the stage of balancing fragility and vulnerability with power/control and influence. Adolescents are starting to choose the directions of their lives and are still impacted by the choices of others who have authority over them. This can be such a confusing time, and yet I’m always amazed with teens who so clearly know who they are and/or are unapologetically figuring it out. I love seeing adolescents live out their truths and I am grateful to have a chance supporting them in making the most out of their lives and changing the world around them.

"You provide a safe place for me to share things easily. I feel like you really listen and don't judge me. "

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety, Trauma-informed care, Family Relationships, Teen violence

Also experienced with

Coping skills, Lifestyle coaching, Peer Relationships, Self-Harming, LGBTQ+, Animal Assisted Therapy; Foster Care/Adoption

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, Family Systems, Attachment; EMDR

Raymond Chung

School

California Baptist University, Master's in Counseling Psychology

License

LMFT #106455

Years of experience

5

Hello,
My name is Ray and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. As a counselor I have worked with adolescents in the public and private school settings. My main hobby currently is to go deep sea fishing. One small fact about me is that no one can beat me in a game of connect 4.

When I became a counselor, I was informed by many colleagues that working with adolescents was the most difficult and not fun to deal with. As I grew in the counseling world, I not only realized how fun it was to work with adolescents, but also humbling at times. Adolescents, that I've experienced, can be blunt, intelligent, introspective, and able to call out the adult's nonsense. Adolescents also are in this weird stage where they might want to still be a child, but also be treated like an adult from their family members. I love being able to work with these adolescents to give them a place to speak freely of their frustrations and also validate the areas they are not being validated.

Why I love working with youth:

Because adolescents are in a unique place where they must juggle the expectations of school, peers, and family life, it can be very stressful. Also, with the fast-paced world of social media added, it can make an adolescent's life even more stressful. I provide a judgement free zone where you can meet with me and talk about things that might be hard for you to talk about elsewhere.

"I'm able to talk with Ray comfortably without having to worry about being judged or punished." - 17 year old Male

Speciality areas

Anxiety, Stress, Trauma-informed care

Also experienced with

Self-harming

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing

Vera Liao

School

California State University Sacramento, Master's in Marriage Family and Child Counseling; University of Oregon, BS in Psychology ; Aletheia University, BA in Business Administration

License

LMFT#49320 (Expires: 2022-7-31)

Years of experience

15

Hello! I’m Vera (she/她) and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I’m an Asian immigrant and mother of two who was born in Taiwan (13 hours flight time from San Francisco). I am multilingual in English, Mandarin Chinese, and Taiwanese. My identity and life story formed my dedication to offering inclusive, culturally affirming, stigma-fee therapy services. With my 15 years of clinical experience working with diverse populations in California, I offer a safe and culturally responsive care and I support all identities and abilities in all bodies deserve equal access to quality mental health care. When not at work, I enjoy traveling to cultivate authentic experiences and have been to China, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Canada, and Mexico.

You are not alone for what you are experiencing now, and it is perfectly okay to feel how you are feeling! I believe everyone was born perfectly imperfect; however, we live in the world that "it is never enough!” When you are feeling lost acknowledge and accept how you're feeling, it's time to take compassionate care of yourself and seek out help from a professional trained therapist. I understand seeking counseling or therapy can be a vulnerable process and getting the right help can become an overwhelming task. I encourage you to find a therapist who matches your needs and identities. I’d like to help you connect with your most authentic self, and re-build skills you have within to improve your relationship with self and with others.

Why I love working with youth:

It could be a tough transition from being a child to an adolescent with not only changes in physical appearance, but also self-identity, relationship, expectation, and responsibilities from self to others. Helping teens is the most rewarding job I can think of. Teens motivate me to be a better person and therapist with what I’ve admired most of teenager’s energetic, creative, honest, flexible, and resilient. I love that no single day at work is the same and the counseling approach for each teen is always different. This is because I don’t only focus on the difficulties you are having, I focus on your strengths, and I always take into consideration your identities, personality, what they have impacted on your life.

" I was so scared and lost when my parents telling me that they found me a therapist. I had no ideas what was that meant and why I needed to talk to a stranger about my problem. Now, I feel much better and healthier because Vera helped me to walk through a therapeutic journey where I've learned my most authentic self and found the strengths I have to deal with others and problem I have. She is not only a therapist to me, but also a good listener and mentor!"

Speciality areas

Depression, Anxiety, Stress, Coping skills, Family Relationships

Also experienced with

Depression, Anxiety, Stress, Trauma-informed care, Sexuality, Substance use, Coping skills, Technology / internet overuse, Lifestyle coaching, Peer Relationships, Family Relationships, School Issues, Self-Harming, Self-Esteem, Sleep or Insomnia, Teen violence, LGBTQ+

Therapeutic approaches

CBT, Client-centered, Family Systems

Claudia Estrada

School

Hope International Unversity, Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapist

License

LMFT #110957 (Expires: 2022-31-12)

Years of experience

6

Hello! My name is Claudia Estrada. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist that has a genuine passion for her clients. Most, if not all, of my work experience has been with children, adolescents, and families in a variety of settings and roles (i.e. caregiver, respite worker, tutor, ABA Therapist, paraprofessional, mentor, group home staff, and therapist). Growing up I experienced some traumatic events which drove me to want to give back to my community as a mental health provider and advocate. As someone who has struggled with anxiety and social phobia, I have a strong passion for helping others learn the tools that are needed to overcome any challenges that might come their way.

As a therapist, I strive to make my clients feel comfortable when working with me in the therapeutic setting. My therapeutic style is a combination of CBT, client-centered, humanistic, solution-focused with emphasis on positive mindset. Overall, I work on meeting my client where they are at to work our way up to becoming the best version of themselves. As someone who has experienced trauma, anxiety and depression in life I love working with individuals who have also faced similar challenges in life because I feel that they feel better understood and connected with me as their therapist. I will work with you and help you develop the skills/tolls that are needed to overcome those challenges, struggles, and barriers.

Why I love working with youth:

I love to work with adolescents because they are at a stage in their life where they are most vulnerable and need the most guidance in their life. It is at this age that they need to have positive role models and people that truly care for them and will accept them without feeling judged or criticized. It is at this age in life that they struggle with their own identity and are at a power struggle with trying to figure out who and what they want out of life.

"I like that fact that you understand me and I can connect with you. I feel comfortable talking to you becuase I know that I will not be judged."