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 and specialize in it. We speak English, Spanish, Mandarin and a few other languages. We are all licensed therapists with 5+ years of experience.

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Meet Daybreak Therapists

Counseling and medication support to help with anxiety, motivation, academics, concentration, depression and more - for youth ages 11-19

Specialty areas
Therapeutic Approaches
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Ailyne Juarez
UTSA, M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counseling

My name is Ailyne and I live in Houston Tx. with my husband and two dogs. I have been working in mental health for over 10 years and have been a child and adolescent therapist for 7 years. On my free time I enjoy traveling, baking, and SCUBA diving.

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

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.

Depression, Panic Disorder, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Divorce/Separation, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress
CBT, TF-CBT, Relational, Solution-Focused
Ariel Krakowsky
UCLA, Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Education; Columbia University, Master of Science in Social Work; San Diego State University, Pupil Personnel Services Credential

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!

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CBT, TF-CBT, Solution-Focused
Ashley Cherry
University of Nebraska Lincoln, Master's Marriage and Family Therapy; Alliant International University, Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy

I relocated to California to pursue my doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy with no plans of leaving the West Coast. However, on Saturdays during the fall you can find me watching Nebraska football! Go Huskers! I have 12 years of experience working with children and teens. I assisted teens with emotional regulation, ADHD, anxiety, depression, school issues, and life transitions, however, a population that I am passionate about is LGBTQ+ plus teens. I wrote my dissertation on transgender children and have clinical experience with transgender and non-binary teens. It is important to be their voices and experiences are heard and validated. In my free time, I enjoy running, cooking, and hanging out with pets. I just adopted a bunny!

Brianna Skanderup
San Jose State University, Master's in Clinical Psychology; San Jose State University, Bachelor's in Psychology

Hi all! I'd like to introduce myself as your possible counselor. You can call me Brianna or Brie (She/Her) and I am looking forward to meeting you! I was born and raised in Santa Cruz County, where I still live. Most of my experience has been working with children and teens from immigrant families. As a bilingual Latinx woman myself, I can appreciate the ups and downs of being a first-generation person growing up amongst two cultures. I am a new mom of one tiny little boy. I love to read, veg out watching TV shows and movies, go for walks and, I am definitely a foodie. I am growing my own personal little zoo, currently with two cats and a dog, and I enjoy fostering kittens when possible. I also love Disney, plants, DIY-ing everything, and taking trips!

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CBT
Brittany Quail
Holy Names University, Dual Masters in Counseling Psychology and Forensic Psychology

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.

Relationships with Peers, Romantic Relationships, Sexual Identity Development, Gender Identity (including non-conforming or transgender),
CBT, TF-CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Relational, Solution-Focused
Carla Felten
University of Denver, Master's in Social Work Azusa Pacific University, Bachelor's in Social Work University of Wollongong, Australia, Sociology study abroad

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.

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CBT, TF-CBT, Relational, Psychodynamic, Solution-Focused
Carlee Hill
University of Michigan, Bachelor of Arts in Communication; University of Denver, Master's in Social Work

Hi! I’m Carlee (she/her), a Social Worker with a background in School Social Work, providing mental health services to students in special education and general education. I’ve also worked for a mentorship program for youth involved with the Foster Care system, and kiddos undergoing long-term cancer treatment and their families. I am happiest when I am spending time outside, binging TV shows, going to the movies, playing basketball, or hanging out with my dog, Archie. I also really like Dino nuggets and really dislike avocados. So many people and relationships and moments have led me to work in mental health and I am truly grateful to get to do this as a career.

Cassandra Chambers
Pepperdine University, MA in Clinical Psychology

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.

Depression, Anxiety, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Romantic Relationships, Divorce/Separation, Anger Management, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress, Sexual Identity Development, Gender Identity (including non-conforming or transgender),
CBT, TF-CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused
Claudia Estrada
Hope International Unversity, Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapist

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.

Anxiety, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Sexual Identity Development, Gender Identity (including non-conforming or transgender),
CBT
Cynthia Gonzalez
California State University Northridge, Masters in Counseling with specialty in Marriage and Family Therapy

My name is Cynthia which means moon, I am a 42-year-old Mexican-American who was the first in my family to graduate from college and that sparked a passion for my love of learning and personal growth. My hobbies include going into nature for hikes, rock and crystal collecting, live music, and concerts. I believe every person has the inner power to heal, learn, grow and transform into their greatest self.

Debbie Tonkovich
Seattle University, MA in Counseling

Hi. My name is Debbie Tonkovich. I am a Licensed Mental Health Therapist who has supported middle and high school students, in their schools (pre-Covid) and remotely (once the school buildings closed) for over five years. I am experienced in working with students struggling with those thoughts, actions, or emotions that may be bringing them down; everything from insecurity, anxiety, and confusion to anger or sadness. I am trained in multiple evidence-based modalities and tailor my approach to the unique needs/stories of each client. I see my role as helping students to figure out what they want, and how to get there. In addition to being a therapist, I am the mother of four adult children. They were my inspiration to pursue this work. When my children grew up and were on their way to creating their own homes, I wanted to continue to support young people as well as their parents and/or guardians. So I went back to school and received my Master's in Counseling the same week my youngest daughter graduated from high school. This is not my first career. I have been a photojournalist, advertising copywriter, and in-home daycare provider. But I can honestly say, this work is by far the best of all.

Depression, Anxiety, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Academic Stress, Sexual Identity Development, Gender Identity (including non-conforming or transgender),
CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused, TF-CBT, DBT, Psychodynamic
Diana Dawson
Phillips Graduate University, Masters in Psychology MFT

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.

Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Romantic Relationships, Divorce/Separation, Anger Management, Grief/Loss, Sexual Identity Development, Gender Identity (including non-conforming or transgender),
CBT, TF-CBT, ACT, Motivational Interviewing, Relational, Psychodynamic, Solution-Focused
Dr. Rocio Terry
University of Southern California, Doctor of Social Work; University of Southern California, Master of Social Work; University of Redlands, Master of Business Administration

Hello! My name is Dr. Rocio Terry and for the past 17 years I have worked in this field helping others to work through challenges and become the best version of themselves. I am bilingual (English/Spanish) and bicultural, as well as a first-generation college graduate.

Elisabeth Box
Northcentral University, Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy

I was born in Indonesia and raised in Cairo, Egypt. I moved to the United States with my parents during my senior year in high school 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!

Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Relationships with Peers, Anger Management
CBT, TF-CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing, Relational, Psychodynamic, Solution-Focused
Emily Walton
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Masters in Clinical Psychology, Counseling Specialization

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 bookstore to hang out and find cool reads, hiking, dogs, and my kids!

Sexual Identity Development
CBT, TF-CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing, Relational, Psychodynamic, Solution-Focused
Eve Seagal
UCLA, BA in World, Arts and Cultures/Ethnomusicology; CSU Hayward, Masters of Science in Educational School Counseling; Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

Hello. My name is Dr. Eve Seagal and I am a Mental Health Therapist. I love animals, hiking, nature, music, art, writing, reading books, and traveling. In terms of traveling, ever since I was very young, I was fascinated with people and cultures of the world. This natural curiosity led to a series of trips to developing countries that began at age 15 and ultimately turned into a quest to discover the common thread that unites all people together. I began my early career in the arts--photography, film making, and music, but I always had a deep interest in psychology. This natural interest in people, combined with a strong desire to help others led me to work in the school system with children, youth, and families. It was within this school context that I was able to work collaboratively with parents and teachers, as well as utilize my natural creative inclinations as a healing modality in working with students who have experienced trauma, depression, loss of a parent, adoption, identity issues and anxiety. I believe that adolescence is a crucial stage in human development--a time of challenges, marked by significant physical and emotional changes along the way. Emergence from this stage of life's journey with a positive self-image is a fundamental step toward self-empowerment. I use strength-based CBT along with psychodynamic, positive psychology, and humanistic therapy approaches that incorporate creative forms of self-expression such as journaling, art, bibliotherapy, music, mindfulness, and relaxation to help teens understand themselves and others in their life, and to recognize their natural gifts and capacities.

Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Sexual Identity Development, Gender Identity (including non-conforming or transgender),
CBT, TF-CBT, ACT, Relational, Psychodynamic
Gizelle Alvarado
University of Texas at El Paso, Masters in Counseling Psychology

Hello everyone! I've been a therapist for the past 10 years and have worked with youth and their families for almost 20 years. In my spare time I enjoy traveling, spending time with family and friends, and going to the movies. I love to bake too but my baking is more "Nailed It!" than "Bake Off" though!

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

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.

Depression, Anxiety, Self-Harming Behavior/Suicide Risk, Sleep Difficulties, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Romantic Relationships, Divorce/Separation, Anger Management, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress, Gender Identity (including non-conforming or transgender),
CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing, Relational, Solution-Focused
Irma Mendez
University of Phoenix

Hello, My name is Irma Mendez, I am a licensed counselor in the state of Texas. During my free time, I enjoy spending time with my two adolescent children. I also enjoy watching television and exercising. I believe that having good physical health is as important as having good mental health. Most of my clinical experience has been with the adolescent population, and I have truly enjoyed working with children in different settings, such as schools and shelters. Furthermore, I chose this career, as I have a genuine interest in the mental and emotional well-being of my clients. During my sessions, I provide my clients with a safe and non-judgmental environment where they can share their concerns. My commitment is to provide the client with problem-solving skills he/she can utilize to help the youth thrive and function effectively in their environment. I believe that my willingness to listen and maintain a strong therapeutic environment is essential to any counseling relationship.

Jackie Salgado
Cal State East Bay, Master's in School Counseling

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!

Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Sleep Difficulties, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Romantic Relationships, Anger Management, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress, Sexual Identity Development, Gender Identity (including non-conforming or transgender),
CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Relational, Psychodynamic, Solution-Focused
Jennifer Brenes
UCSB, BA in Sociology and Latin & Iberian Studies; San Diego State University, Master's in Social Work

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.

Depression, Anxiety, Familial Relationships, Anger Management
CBT, TF-CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Relational, Solution-Focused
Juan Trevino
Michigan State University; MSW; LCSW

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. You can check out a video of me sharing my therapeutic approach here: https://www.daybreakhealth.com/blog/meet-juan

Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Divorce/Separation, Anger Management, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress, Sexual Identity Development
CBT, TF-CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing, Relational, Psychodynamic, Solution-Focused
Kasey Wallace
Antioch University- Los Angeles, MA Degree in Clinical Psychology with a child studies emphasis. Lehigh University, BA in Psychology

I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist that strives to support my community by working with children, adolescents (tweens and teens) and their families in varies settings such as community, clinics, and school-based settings. I was born and raised in San Francisco and, while I lived elsewhere for more than a decade, I returned to the Bay Area in 2014 planning to stay! I am a fan of the San Francisco 49ers, SF Giants and Golden State Warriors! I enjoy going to the movies, playing tennis, shooting hoops, playing games such as Uno, art, crafts and listening to music!

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CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Relational, Solution-Focused
Kristen Schneider
CSU Stanislaus, Masters in Social Work

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.

Depression, Anxiety, Sexual Identity Development, Gender Identity (including non-conforming or transgender),
CBT, TF-CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing, Relational, Solution-Focused
Lauren Passoff
New York University, Silver School of Social Work, Master's in Social Work

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.

Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Sleep Difficulties, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress, Sexual Identity Development, Gender Identity (including non-conforming or transgender),
Motivational Interviewing, Relational, Solution-Focused, CBT, TF-CBT, Psychodynamic
Lauren Totah-McCarty
University of San Francisco, Masters in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy; Santa Clara University, Bachelors in English and Psychology.

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!

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CBT, Solution-Focused
Lorena Zazueta
University of Southern California, Master's in Social Work

Hey there, and welcome to taking the first step towards improving your mental health. My name is Lorena, and I'm a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with experience working with a variety of populations, cultures, and age groups. I am a graduate of University of Southern California and placed an emphasis to learn about children and families, and military-connected families. I have a strong background working with community mental health helping youth and young adults 7-26 years old with moderate to severe mental health symptoms and impairments. Even though times may be tough, I do my best to make our work together fun! I personally enjoy the outdoors, being at the beach, going for a hike, and trying new foods. I also love traveling because it allows me to escape while learning new things about myself, and different cultures.

Depression, Anxiety
CBT, TF-CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Psychodynamic, Solution-Focused
Maleigha Myers
UW-Stout, Bachelor's in Human Development and Family Studies; Indiana University, Master's in Social Work

Hi there! I'm Maleigha (Ma-lee-ah). I use she/her pronouns. I have known since I was little that I wanted to work with teens and have been working with them for close to 15 years. I am a licensed clinical social worker, originally from the midwest, and have been in Oregon for the past 7 years. My heart belongs in Oregon. My dog Cake and I love to go on adventures, spend time on the water, and binge-watch Netflix. My goal in life is to have stories to tell when I get older and want to help you live life in the most fulfilling ways so that you too have stories to tell.

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

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.

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CBT, TF-CBT, DBT, Relational, Psychodynamic, Solution-Focused
Melissa Patak
University of Houston - Clear Lake, Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

After spending 25 years in the legal field, I returned to school to pursue a career in counseling and earned a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. My desire to go into counseling stems from my personal experience of witnessing others struggle with mental health issues. I provide therapy services with both adolescents and adults. My experience includes working in psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment center, and detention. I practice using cognitive behavioral therapy, solution-focused brief therapy, and strength-based approaches, all tailored to my clients’ needs. During my free time, I enjoy treasure hunting at thrift stores, gardening, traveling, and spending time with my family and dogs (Witten the lab, Dizzy the Jack Russell, and Beast the mixed breed).

Melissa Stevens
The University of Texas at San Antonio: Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a Bachelors in Arts with a Major in Psychology and a minor in Sociology

I completed my Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of Texas at San Antonio. I have several years of experience in the field with most of that time being working with children and teens. I have served in a variety of roles including working for the mobile crisis team in Comal County, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children in Bulverde, Willow Springs Recovery in Bastrop, and serving as a SPED counselor for Bastrop ISD. I am skilled at working with many types of clients, diagnoses, and situations. I have come to understand the importance of providing a safe, comfortable, and empathic environment for clients, where they can openly talk about feelings and thoughts free of judgement. I have spent the last 4 years of my life working as an LPC within the school setting serving youth ages 6-19. I truly enjoy working with students and their families, and helping them as they navigate the school system and the ongoing challenges of being a young person and parent of a young person in today's ever-changing society. Growing up I was always the kind of kid who people wanted to talk to when they were dealing with tough things. I became a great listener and had awesome friendships. I experienced a lot in my family and with my friends growing up and lost a lot of people early on in my life in ways that forever changed me. For these reasons, I experienced anxiety and depression myself due to the hardships I endured, but through discovering who I wanted to be and working for it, I have come out the other side of things using those experiences (as well as ones I have continued to come up against) to help me connect with people and help them to find the same connection within themselves. This is especially helpful in working with children and teens as connection, understanding, and empathy are vital to building a trusting relationship with them. I look forward to being a part of continuing to help students and their families meet their goals and fulfill their dreams in the days, months, and years to come.

Monica Villar
California State University - Fresno, M.S. Counseling in Marriage and Family Therapy

Hello! My name is Monica Villar. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I have been working in community behavioral health for the last 10 years in Central California, primarily providing school-based counseling and also working with youth who are involved with juvenile courts. My background, prior to working as a therapist, was providing behavioral intervention to youth with developmental disorders. I also hold a credential in school counseling, so I'm familiar with the education system and how to support teens at home and at school. A little about me: I'm a very "outdoorsy" person. I enjoy hiking, backpacking, and camping with my kids, who are also teens. I enjoy all kinds of music of different genres and different decades. I also like to spend my free time reading or traveling to the beach or mountains.

Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Romantic Relationships, Divorce/Separation, Academic Stress, Sexual Identity Development, Gender Identity (including non-conforming or transgender),
CBT, TF-CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Relational, Psychodynamic, Solution-Focused
Nallely Martinez
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Master's in Rehabilitation Counseling

Hi! My name is Nallely and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor with 6 years of clinical experience. I have experience in different work environments and in different specialties. My goal is helping clients with stress, anxiety, coping with addictions, career difficulties, and depression among other diagnoses. I work with my clients to create an open and safe environment where thoughts and feelings can be shared without fear of judgment. Counseling takes work and time and welcomes clients to give themselves time to work on their personal goals. I enjoy reading, listening to others, being outdoors, and spending time with family. I am a wife and mother to a beautiful baby girl that is soon to be one year old. Everyday I stive to continue growing as a person and as a profession with the goal to provider support to others. I value self-care and is one of my priorities as I am aware of the importance of it.

Peggy Vaquera
Capella University, Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

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 _ 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.

Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Self-Harming Behavior/Suicide Risk, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Anger Management, Grief/Loss
CBT, TF-CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused
Priscila Garcia
USC, Masters of Social Work

Hello, my name is Priscila Garcia. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I attended the University of Southern California, where I earned my MSW. I am a first generation Mexican American. I feel that as a first generation Mexican American, you have that added pressure of trying to figure out what culture you identify with. At times it can also feel like parents might not be able to completely understand because their struggles are completely different. Nonetheless it is these challenges that give me strength to pursue a higher education and be able to help others.

Rahul Ragu
UC Merced, Bachelor of Arts, Psychology; CSU Fresno, Master of Science Counseling- Marriage and Family Therapy

I am a licensed marriage and family therapist with 6 years of clinical experience. I have worked in the nonprofit and county sector and have recently started my own private practice this year. I specialize in working with anxiety disorders such as OCD and social anxiety disorder. I also specialize in utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy. Personally, I have struggled with anxiety in my own life and feel that I can relate to clients on a personal level. On personal time I am a huge sports fan and support Bay Area teams. I enjoy working out in my spare time, being outdoors, reading books, trying new restaurants, and spending time with friends and family.

Raymond Chung
California Baptist University, Master's in Counseling Psychology

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.

Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Self-Harming Behavior/Suicide Risk, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Divorce/Separation, Immigration/Immigrant Family, Cultural Diversity/Acculturation, Anger Management, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress
CBT, TF-CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused
Rita Wong
Lesley University, Master�s in Expressive Therapies and Mental Health Counseling

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.

Anxiety, Cognitive Delays, Learning Differences, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Immigration/Immigrant Family, Cultural Diversity/Acculturation, Academic Stress, Grief/Loss
CBT, Psychodynamic, Solution-Focused
Roberto Parris
Vangard University, Masters in Clinical Psychology

Hello and welcome! I am a licensed marriage family therapist who sees life as a classroom in becoming a better version of ourselves. I have come to believe that we all have the ability to reach our full potential. Yet sometimes, when we encounter life's not so pleasant experiences, the ability to rise to our full potential becomes stifled. Through my life's journey (8 years of pursuing a dance career, backpacking across western Europe, and obtaining 3 professional degrees) I have a more profound understanding of life as a teaching platform. All of which has lead me to pursue a path in helping others find emotional freedom and a life of possibility.

Depression, Anxiety, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Academic Stress, Panic Disorder, Self-Harming Behavior/Suicide Risk, Romantic Relationships, Divorce/Separation, Sexual Identity Development, Immigration/Immigrant Family, Cultural Diversity/Acculturation, Anger Management, Grief/Loss, Gender Identity (including non-conforming or transgender),
CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused, TF-CBT, DBT, Psychodynamic
Samantha Lewis
California State University - Fresno, Master's in Counseling - Marriage and Family Therapy

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.

Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Self-Harming Behavior/Suicide Risk, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Divorce/Separation, Immigration/Immigrant Family, Cultural Diversity/Acculturation, Anger Management, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress
CBT, TF-CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused
Susan Kehoe-Jergens, M.A., L.M.F.T.
Pacific Oaks College, BA Human Development./ Antioch University, M.A. Clinical Psychology

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, LICSW 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.

Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Sleep Difficulties, Substance Use, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Romantic Relationships, Divorce/Separation, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress, Learning Differences, Immigration/Immigrant Family, Anger Management
CBT, TF-CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing, Relational, Psychodynamic, Solution-Focused
Susan Waasdorp
Cal State University - San Bernardino, Masters in Social Work

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.

Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Self-Harming Behavior/Suicide Risk, Sleep Difficulties, Cognitive Delays, Learning Differences, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Romantic Relationships, Divorce/Separation, Cultural Diversity/ Acculturation, Anger Management, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress
CBT, DBT, Solution-Focused, TF-CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Relational, Psychodynamic
Tamalina Cummings
National University, Master�s of Art in Counseling Psychology

I am a U.S. 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.

Depression, Anxiety, Substance Use, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Romantic Relationships, Divorce/Separation, Anger Management, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress, Sexual Identity Development, Gender Identity (including non-conforming or transgender),
CBT, TF-CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing, Relational, Solution-Focused
Tammy Visser
University of Hawaii at Manoa, B.A. in Psychology; University of San Francisco, M.A. in Counseling Psychology

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.

Depression, Anxiety, Self-Harming Behavior/Suicide Risk, Sleep Difficulties, Familial Relationships, Learning Differences, Relationships with Peers, Romantic Relationships, Divorce/Separation, Sexual Identity Development, Immigration/ Immigrant Family, Cultural Diversity/ Acculturation, Anger Management, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress, Gender Identity (including non-conforming or transgender),
CBT, TF-CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Relational, Psychodynamic, Solution-Focused
Tara Bennett
National University, MA in Counseling Psychology

My name is Tara and I am a Marriage and Family Therapist. I am a California native and have spent most of my career in a school-based setting, helping students and their families remove barriers so that they can lead their lives in the direction that they want. I feel honored being able to stand next to teens while they make their own way forward. In my free time, I enjoy spending as much time outside as I can- I love hiking and water activities. Fun fact: I have lived in three countries!

Taylor Langley
California Institute of Integral Studies, Masters in Counseling Psychology

Hi, I’m Taylor and I have been working with teens, kids, and families for over 6 years in San Francisco. I think that teens have some extra challenges these days with all the abrupt changes that have happened over the last few years, and I enjoy supporting them. I have worked with teens that have dealt with trauma and teens who have a hard time getting along with their families and/or peers, among other issues. I have a natural curiosity for the inner workings of human beings, which allows me to explore your inner world and unfold your potential while concurrently finding ways to appreciate and cultivate love for yourself, as you are. We are all unique and need different things at different moments, and I carry that through with a flexible therapy approach that sets me apart from other therapists. Prior to moving to the Bay Area nearly a decade ago, I grew up in a culturally rich area of Atlanta, Georgia, which helped to shape my desire to understand the inequalities, both racially and socioeconomically that exist in the world. Having experienced cross-cultural relationships has given me a unique cultural lens to help people who may have experienced or are experiencing similar issues in relationships. Fun facts are that I like cats, trying to grow vegetables, and reading and studying astrology in my spare time. Please reach out if you have any questions about me.

Vanessa Rivas
University of Southern California, Master in Social Work; California State University Northridge, Bachelor of Arts in Chicana/o Studies

My name is Vanessa Rivas and I am a bilingual Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I graduated from the University of Southern California School with a Master's Degree in Social Work in 2010. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Chicano/a Studies from California State University, Northridge. As an LICSW with a background in ethnic studies, my passion is rooted in community, human rights, and in supporting children, adults, and their families through the challenges of social justice. I have worked as a strength-based mental health therapist in non-profit community settings as well as medical settings.

Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Romantic Relationships, Divorce/Separation, Academic Stress
CBT, TF-CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Relational, Psychodynamic, Solution-Focused, DBT
Vera Liao
California State University Sacramento, Master's in Marriage Family and Child Counseling; University of Oregon, BS in Psychology ; Aletheia University, BA in Business Administration

Hello! I'm Vera (she/_) 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 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.

Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Self-Harming Behavior/Suicide Risk, Sleep Difficulties, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Romantic Relationships, Divorce/Separation, Sexual Identity Development, Immigration/ Immigrant Family, Cultural Diversity/ Acculturation, Grief/Loss, Academic Stress, Gender Identity (including non-conforming or transgender),
CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Psychodynamic, Solution-Focused
Wendy Youngsmith
Alliant International University, MA Marriage and Family Therapy

I came to the world of therapy after trying on a few careers, including teaching, advertising and journalism. The common thread for me was always a passion for people's stories about themselves and the world, and how this influences their growth, behavior and relationships. As it turns out, I care much more about the people telling those stories than about selling them things, or improving their grammar, so here I am! I continue to find inspiration in books, music and movement, and enjoy helping others find healing through their unique passions and strengths.

Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Familial Relationships, Relationships with Peers, Romantic Relationships, Academic Stress, Divorce/Separation, Sexual Identity Development, Grief/Loss, Gender Identity (including non-conforming or transgender),
CBT, TF-CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Psychodynamic, DBT, Solution-Focused
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We're Hiring Therapists in every Area very soon.
Attachement Difficulties
Difficult to Engage Youth (foster youth, homeless youth, complex trauma)
Spirituality
Religion
Trauma
Neurodiversity (ADHD, ASD, Sensory Processing Disorders)
Romantic Relationships
Cultural Diversity/Acculturation
Immigration/Immigrant Family
Gender Identity (including non-conforming or transgender)
Sexual Identity Development
Divorce/Separation
Learning Differences (Dyslexia)
Cognitive Delays
Eating Disorders
Substance Use
Sleep Difficulties
Self-Harming Behavior/Suicide Risk
Bipolar Disorder
Depression
Academic Stress
Grief/Loss
Anxiety
Panic Disorder
Familial Relationships
Relationships with Peers
Anger Management
Psychodynamic
Internal Family Systems
Family Therapy
CPT
Solution-Focused
Psychodynamic
Relational
Motivational Interviewing
ACT
ARC
DBT
EMDR
TF-CBT
CBT

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.

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