I received my Bachelor’s degree at Humboldt State University where my studies focused on the field of psychology and went on to complete a Master’s level education in clinical psychology at Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo. Working with domestic violence and sexual assault survivors, families afflicted by trauma, and people suffering from addiction and co-occurring disorders has given me a wide range of experience.
My specialty is working with trauma. Trauma has been defined as any negative experience in life causing havoc in relationships and other aspects of daily life. Given this broad definition, it allows me to work with those affected by every day stress, anxiety, depression, addiction and other compulsive behaviors, relationship issues, codependency, co-occurring disorders, and more. I find great value in helping others locate an integrated and authentic self through the use of many different therapies, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Gottman Method couples therapy. Collaboration, creativity, and fun are integral to my work.
Pasadena Site Supervisor
Lizzete Banuelos, LMFT
Open to a directive approach in therapy? I help individuals and families work through their issues causing depression, anxiety, and relationship impairments with a directive approach in order to heal their emotional scars and find a deeper meaning in their relationships with others. After graduating from Pacific Oaks College and earning a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2008, It has been my passion as a clinician providing therapy for those who have suffered sexual trauma, PTSD, depression, and anxiety of various populations from 2007 through 2013 at a non-profit organization. I transitioned into a private practice group setting in 2013.
Everyone has a time when facing a difficult period in their lives and “change” can be overwhelming when going about it on your own. Whether needing to heal the emotional wounds of your inner child, grieving a loss, feeling lost and unable to find a purpose in your life, or trying to understand triggers in dealing with sexual trauma. It would be my pleasure to help you begin your journey towards reaching your vision in life and begin the healing process.
As your therapist I will help you understand the emotions that you may be dealing with, whether it be loneliness, pain, anger, happiness, fear, or if you are just unsure of your next move. I will work to build a trusting relationship that allows you to begin to reveal more of who you are, what you experience, and what you want. I work to help support the development of greater self-awareness and a clear, healthy, internal sense of what is best for you. I am also pro-active in pointing out perceptions and behaviors that may be contributing to your issues and sabotaging your success. I will challenge you to try new things within the session and well as in your day-to-day life between appointments.
I trained at McKinley Children’s Center where I provided therapy to children and adolescents who had mental disorders. I also provided therapy to the families of children and adolescents as they worked to adjust to life’s changes. I graduated from the University of La Verne with my Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. I am a member of CAMFT (California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists). I am registered with the Board of Behavioral Services as a LMFT
I have a special interest in working with individuals who need help with career counseling. Individuals dealing with autoimmune disorders. Equestrians and athletes. Children and adolescents with behavioral, emotional, developmental, or social difficulties. Families. Parenting Skills. Individuals dealing with trauma, grief and loss, stress, mood issues, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and anxiety issues. Women relationship issues and postpartum depression
Please contact me to schedule a free phone consultation.
San Marino Site Supervisor
Cristina Castrillon, LMFT
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I provide counseling services in both English and Spanish. I’ve worked in an array of settings from community counseling to psychiatric hospital settings. My approach is meeting the patient where they are and using an eclectic theoretical approach to work with what they need. We are all looking to obtain clarity and a sense of happiness and peace. Everyone is working from their experiences, feelings and views on life, making the best decisions based upon what they know to be true. Life can be challenging and at times confusing. Not only could we benefit from obtaining some support through that journey, but heightening our own awareness to ourselves and raising our consciousness to a healthier state of mind. I’m a believer that we all need a sense of purpose, fulfillment and connectivity. I welcome you in your decision to seek that for yourself.
We all need to feel connected and heard, and we each deserve a therapist that is truly interested in us and has our best interests at heart. I believe this is an essential component of therapy.
For the last 15 years, I have practiced in a variety of settings with children, adults and families. I have helped my clients with issues such as: anxiety, depression, grief and loss, relationship issues, family conflicts, life transitions, trauma, career/school issues, and addiction.
I use an eclectic approach to work most effectively with my clients. Every individual I work with is unique, so I pay careful attention to what therapeutic approaches and interventions are the best fit. My style is warm, interactive, focused and positive. I respect my clients and deeply enjoy my work as a therapist.
I am honored to have the opportunity to help you gain more freedom from your past experiences and develop, lasting and meaningful changes in your life.
I received a Masters of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Appalachian State University, North Carolina. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in North Carolina and California and a member of CAMFT (California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists).
I have been working in the field of substance abuse and mental health for the past six years, with individuals and groups in both outpatient and inpatient settings. I integrate family systems with various theories depending on the need of the client. My passion is to create a safe space for my clients to build a trusting client-therapist relationship creating opportunities to identify what is going on right here right now and move from there. I value the client-therapist relationship in the process of healing. Much of my inspiration and influence comes from Gestalt, Rogers, Adler, and Satir – making connections between family patterns and our sense of selves, connectedness, and taking responsibility for ourselves in the process of change, healing, and discovering more of who we are and how we want to live.
I enjoy spending time with my children, grandchildren and friends, hiking, walking and yoga.
Are you are going through a tough time right now? Experiencing fear, anxiety anger, sadness, depression? I am here for you. I listen with my heart, standing shoulder to shoulder, supporting you so you can get “unstuck” from your negative self-talk, trauma, or depression. I believe that feelings are meant to be felt, that is why they are called “feelings.” I am a devoted child centered play therapist. My deep belief is that with a healing heart all problems can be faced and overcome. No one is beyond the possibility of recovery, we can move passed our numbness and unwanted circumstances. I’ll create a safe space for you with no judgement. I will support you in the process of answering questions for yourself like “what is this condition trying to tell me?” Together we will explore and make sense of your emotional challenges and free you up to create a new future. You can move beyond your fears and learn to live with ease and joy. Let’s work together to discover your highest good and set you on the road to celebrate your life! Let’s talk soon at the Soultenders Child and Family Center in South Pasadena.
Kaitlyn Kuo, PsyD
“Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.” The conclusion of 75 year-long Harvard study has revealed the secret to living a happy life. I believe everyone, if given a warm, supportive, and secure space, can discover their inner-self and learn to appreciate who they genuinely are, which leads to improved relationships.
I am a licensed clinical psychologist in California and Taiwan with over 10 years of practice experience. I have helped diverse patient populations with a wide range of issues in a variety of settings, including a community mental health center, a college counseling center, a domestic violence women’s shelter, a re-entry program, an outpatient opiate treatment clinic, skilled nursing homes, a youth correctional counseling program, and an elementary school district. My training and experience have allowed me to help clients with depression, anxiety, trauma, and relationship issues, among many others.
While I have enjoying treating patients in all of these areas, my specialties are working with Asian-American children, as well as pre-teens and teenagers, women, and families. Emphasizing compassion, I assist my clients with their acculturation, ethnic identify, self-identify, family relationships, and issues facing immigrant families, including cross-cultural adjustment. My approach to psychotherapy is both integrative and collaborative. I can provide therapy in English, Mandarin, and Taiwanese.
My overarching mission with each client is help them to obtain a deeper insight into their interpersonal behaviors, to heal wounded relationships, and to bring positive changes into their lives.
Therese Lee, AMFT
“There are times where our lives and our experiences make us forget how wonderful we are as human beings.” You might have deep wounds that you carry on your shoulders. You might have certain beliefs about yourself- how you make sense in the world in which we live, and are troubled by them. You might be struggling with everyday life and need support in how to navigate it. Wherever you are in this Journey of life; I welcome you with an open heart and offer you a safe and non-judgmental space to heal and grow.
My therapy approach is Person centered, insight oriented, solution focused and with an understanding of family dynamics and origin. I have experience working with Trauma, Depression, Anxiety, Grief work, Family and Couples work. I specialize in aiding clients with spiritual development and incorporating it with their life transitions and individuation
I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California Irvine and my Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from California Lutheran University. I am a member of CAMFT (California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists). I am registered with the Board of Behavioral Sciences as an Assoicate Marriage and Family Therapist AMFT#92732, supervised under Maureen Leigh, LMFT 38671
I am passionate about integrating visual art-making with traditional talk psychotherapy to encourage and support self-reflection, healing, and growth. Previous art experience is absolutely unnecessary to benefit from the therapeutic power that producing art inspires and nurtures. The process of making art supports tapping into deeper unconscious parts of the psyche, supporting opportunities for insight and self-awareness. Art therapy is not limited to children and adolescents, adults, and couples benefit greatly from this treatment modality.
I specialize in trauma-informed care and am also a grief and loss specialist. I have experience working with children, adolescents, couples, and families seeking to resolve traumatic experiences, process grief and loss issues, decrease maladaptive or unhelpful behaviors or thought patterns, and improve communication and functioning. I have experience working with the LGBTQA communities as well as with individuals questioning their sexual orientation and gender identity.
I received my Bachelor’s degree in Art and Design from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and my Master’s degree in Marital and Family Therapy/Clinical Art Therapy from Loyola Marymount University. I am a member of CAMFT (California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists) and AATA (American Art Therapy Association). I am registered with the Board of Behavioral Sciences as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and am a Registered Art Therapist.
Megan McGrath, AMFT
Feeling stuck in a job? In a relationship? In your own life? Are there things bothering you but you have found that it is hard to put your thoughts into words, or find someone to talk to?
I help individuals, couples, and families address issues related to relationships, depression, anxiety, anger, addiction, stressful or traumatic events and work toward their goals of becoming healthier, happier, and enjoying a more fulfilling life.
My goal in therapy is to foster a collaborative and non-judgmental relationship that allows you to safely explore whatever is troubling you, and to build on the strengths and resources you already possess. I utilize a variety of evidence-based therapeutic interventions including EMDR, Emotionally Focused Therapy and dialectical and cognitive behavioral techniques to aid you in exploring your specific concerns and achieving self-awareness, balance, and connection.
I completed my Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University in 2017. Prior to joining Soultenders, I worked with veterans struggling with issues of homelessness, addiction, and trauma. I completed my EMDR training in July 2017 and am a member of CAMFT and EMDRIA. I am supervised by Maureen Leigh, LMFT.
The challenges that can come with day-to-day stressors, or feelings of being overwhelmed can be hard to manage on your own. Whether you are coping with a recent loss, past traumas, or depression and anxiety, seeking support and guidance from a licensed psychotherapist can be helpful. I am a firm believer in the Whole Person Wellness. Empowering an individual to find not only self-awareness, but also find a voice to create balance and satisfaction in one’s life. My goal is to collaboratively explore issues surrounding one’s emotional well being and look at supportive measures such as physical and emotional health.
I am a bilingual therapist, fluent in Spanish in addition to English, with over 6 years of experience working with individuals from early childhood to Geriatrics. I have experience in the following areas of treatment; Depression, Anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mindfulness, Grief & Loss, Co-Occurring Disorders, Medical Health, ADHD, Aging, Adjustment Disorders, and Military Service Members/Veterans.
I completed my undergraduate studies at Cal State Long Beach where I received a degree in Liberal Arts. I obtained my graduate degree from the University of Southern California from the School of Social Work in 2012. In 2015, I acquired my licensure from the California State Board of Behavioral Sciences, becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW 69102). Along with my experience and education, I also have certification in the following Evidence Based Practices; Motivational Interviewing, Seeking Safety, Trauma Focus CBT, Families OverComing Under Stress, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy & DC 0-3: Diagnosis of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and Development Disorders. I am passionate about partnering with people and using an eclectic approach to guide individuals in a more fulfilling journey and accomplishing their life goals.
Claremont Site Supervisor
Christina Olivera, LMFT
We all yearn to feel heard, safe and supported as we journey through life. I invite you into this space where together we can explore life’s challenges, discover your strengths and feed your passions to pursue a fulfilled life. As individuals, I believe it is important for us to learn from our past, have a hope for the future and be able to live in the present. Therapy can provide a safe space and a timeout from a busy world in order to gain insight and skills to live a life with intention.
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 6 years of experience working with individuals, families and children (3 to 18 years old) in the following areas: Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Adjustment Disorders, ADHD, Childhood Behavioral Difficulties, Relationship Conflicts, Loss, Divorce/Co- Parenting and Life Transitions. I am trained in the following evidenced based practices: Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Seeking Safety, Positive Parenting Pathways, Depression Treatment Quality Improvement for Teens, Managing and Adapting Practice (for anxiety, depression and disruptive behavior) and Military FOCUS.
I completed my undergraduate studies at California State University, Fullerton and graduate studies at California Polytechnic University, Pomona where I received a M.S. in Psychology. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (License 96690) with the California State Board of Behavioral Sciences and a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
I am an EMDR trained Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who is passionate about my work and a firm believer that inner strength, determination and hope can lead to growth. I continue to work with adults, teens, young adults and couples who deal with a wide range of behavioral and emotional problems; such as Depression, Anxiety, ADD/ADHD and Trauma.I was born & raised in South America. Therefore, I understand the challenges of raising a family abroad. Taking a supportive stand & learning effective communication will increase the chances of overcoming cultural challenges and/or conflict.I received my MA in Counseling Psychology at Ryokan College and I have worked for most 12 years providing therapeutic services to individuals, families and couples.Prior to my work as a LMFT, I spent almost 11 years working as a behavioral consultant who provided behavioral support trainings to parents as well as school consultations to teachers. My work focus also included presentations and workshops on Behavior Modification Theory; especially targeting children and adults with developmental disabilities (i.e. Autistic Spectrum). I have helped many families to navigate the challenges of raising healthy individuals with developmental disabilities. Currently, I continue to conduct Behavioral Modification Workshops several times per year at a local Regional Center.Please know that if you are looking for support in the area of Immigration, I can be of great help to you as well!I currently conduct Mental Health Assessments for applicants seeking legal stay in the US under U-Visas & Provisional Waivers. My evaluations are professional & comprehensive. They contain all the information required by the Department of Homeland Security to help your case.Call or email me if you have any questions.
Monrovia Site Supervisor
Jennifer Pruitt, PsyD
I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Southern California and a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Guidance at Louisiana Tech University. I completed my Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology at California School of Professional Psychology. I am a licensed Clinical Psychologist (PSY 24215) with the California State Board of Psychology. I am a member of the American Psychological Association and the Pasadena Mental Health Advisory Committee.
Therapy does not involve a therapist giving advice and simple solutions. I guide my clients towards gaining insight and awareness to help them problem solve, make healthy life choices, and establish healthy and meaningful relationships. Therapy can be the supportive environment people need to help make life changes necessary to enhance their lives and futures.
I have experience working with adults, children, adolescents, couples, and families. I have experience working with various issues including Depression, Anxiety, relationship conflict or end of relationships, life transitions, abuse, and trauma. In addition, as a Licensed Psychologist, I also have experience completing Psychological Testing with children, adolescents, and adults. As a Psychologist, I enjoy providing therapeutic services and Psychological Assessment services to provide thorough assessment and treatment to individuals.
Philip Ruddy, LMFT
I specialize in helping creative adults (writers, comedians, performers, producers, directors, film, TV and media professionals) manage and transcend stress, anxiety, depression, emotional blocks, relationship issues, trauma, and life transitions.
My background includes an M.A. in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, and, prior to becoming a therapist, 15 years working in film and television production, so I’m finely attuned to the unique stressors of the industry.
I tailor my practice to meet each client’s needs, using CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Talk Therapy) and Depth Therapy in a safe, nonjudgmental setting where warmth and humor is encouraged. I also offer EMDR Therapy when appropriate, to help reduce the effects of trauma.
Holly Smith, LCSW
Whether you need support through a life transition, or you’d like to address recent and/or past trauma, I will bring an engaged, empathic, non-judgmental attitude to our work together. I am attachment focused, and draw from Psychodynamic theory, Gestalt, and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). I also offer EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy and have been honored to witness powerful shifts in my clients’ symptoms and experience through EMDR. My therapeutic approach varies depending on the needs of my clients.
Prior to entering private practice, I spent 12 years working with teens, school aged children, and adults in outpatient clinics, correctional settings, and in residential treatment centers. My specializations include childhood and attachment trauma, PTSD, grief and loss, anxiety disorders, and depression. I have experience working with and treating Oppositional Defiant behavior, ADHD, abusive/unhealthy relationships, and substance abuse issues. Additionally, I have training in perinatal mood disorders and enjoy working with women and men making the transition to parenthood.
I am LGBTQIA allied. I enjoy working with people with beliefs, customs, and traditions different from my own, and I take pleasure in learning more about cultures with which I don’t have as much familiarity. I speak and understand Spanish; however, since I am not completely fluent, I do not facilitate therapy in Spanish.
Whatever your current circumstances are, I look forward to joining you on your path.
Jennifer Stinson, Ph.D.
For me, therapy is a balance of art and science. The science includes understanding research about mental health, human development, and how the brain works. The art is finding creative ways to make use of the research in the context of each new and different therapy experience. For example, as a therapist, I might ask myself, “How can I use my understanding of treatments for anxiety disorders to help this particular person in my office in a way that makes sense in their life right now?” The answer to that question lies in the therapeutic relationship. I take great care to learn about each client’s unique experiences, feelings, beliefs, values and goals. My favorite thing about being a therapist is when the art and science come together in a way that is both illuminating and emotionally meaningful for the person I am working with. This is the process by which, I believe, positive change occurs.
After graduating from the University of Oregon, I earned my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2004 from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant University. Since then, I have provided therapy to children, adolescents and adults who have sought help for various issues, including anxiety, depression, family conflict, anger problems and recovering from trauma. I have also provided supervision to many therapists as they worked toward obtaining their licenses. I am licensed with the California Board of Psychology (PSY 20997) and am an active member of the San Gabriel Valley Psychological Association. Additionally, I have a background in working with adults with developmental disabilities, such as mental retardation and autism. I have conducted research, given presentations and co-authored several articles related to issues for women with disabilities.
Who I am and how I work
I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT #44632) in a private practice in Arcadia, CA. I work with individuals, couples and families. I assist children and adults through life’s transitions and challenges that can potentially lead to depression, anxiety, low self-image, decreased self-confidence, or behaviors they would like to change. I work with couples who want to improve their relationships and those considering marriage or separation. We will work together to figure out where you are, where you want to be, and how you can get there. I provide childhood and relationship trauma treatment if necessary to help individuals heal and move on in life.I find that cognitive-behavioral and solution-focused therapy in conjunction with mindfulness, behavior modification, EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), TRM (trauma resiliency model) works well for most people. My approach is integrative and tailored to each individual or couple. My goal is to assist you in developing skills and strategies that you can use to bring about realistic and positive changes in your life.
I grew up in Ukraine, then studied and lived in Moscow, Russia, before moving to the USA in 1994. I have two master degrees in psychology: one from Moscow State University, another from New York University. I started practicing psychotherapy in 1999 in Houston, TX, with individuals who suffered chronic pain. Since 2004 I work in Los Angeles, CA, with children, adolescents, and adults.
Trauma Resource Institute, EMDR International Association, Tourette Association of America, California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT), and San Gabriel Chapter of CAMFT.
I like to travel, read, hike, dance, and paint in watercolor. I speak Russian and Ukrainian.
South Pasadena Site Supervisor
Lauren Stockly, LCSW, RPT-S
Lauren Stockly, LCSW, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor/RPT-S, ECMHS, PPSC
I am a licensed therapist with a passion for supporting youth and their families through the ups and downs of life. I honor the uniqueness of each client and will partner with you to tailor my treatment to their specific needs, goals and strengths. I provide a compassionate, creative, non-judgmental and engaging space for your child/teen to explore their feelings while learning to manage their emotions, behaviors and relationships.
For children, self-expression and communication occur most naturally through play. While adults tend to process thoughts and feelings verbally, children engage in play to show us their inner worlds. This is why I specialize in Play Therapy, a model that uses the therapeutic powers of play to help clients resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development. My practice integrates this invaluable technique with insight-oriented and evidence-based practices including Neurosequential Therapy, EMDR, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Sand Tray, Trauma-Focused CBT, PCIT, Theraplay and Mindfulness.
I earned my undergraduate degree in Psychology from UC Irvine before pursuing a Masters in Social Work from UCLA. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (License # 71707), am a member of the Executive Board of the California Association for Play Therapy. I also have a background in school-based mental health and hold a Pupil Services Credential (PPSC), which has provided me with the training necessary to help you communicate your child’s needs to their school and navigate the special education process. I am the Site Supervisor of the Soultenders Child and Family Center in South Pasadena, where we aim to provide high quality, specialized mental health services for children and families.
I have experience working with children, adolescents and families in a range of areas including: trauma, grief, anxiety, LGBTQA/gender identity, depression, emotional regulation/anger management, school issues, parenting, relationship conflicts, giftedness, life transitions, attachment issues, divorce, selective mutism, domestic abuse, child welfare, and adoption. I am a Certified Child and Adolescent Trauma Professional (CATP) and main passion is for treating childhood trauma and helping clients to reconnect with themselves as they process their experiences at their own pace. I feel honored to be part of each client’s personal journey through recovery as they begin to regain control over their lives.
I also work with Transitional Age Youth (adults 18-25) dealing with childhood trauma and former clients who are now adults and would like to return to therapy. I do not typically accept referrals for adults outside of these circumstances.