Meet Our Therapists

WILA’s excellent training programs attract an impressively bright, curious, and motivated group of clinicians. Since our founding, over 650 graduate students, psychology interns, and postgraduate fellows have studied at WILA and become exceedingly competent and compassionate mental health professionals.

Peter Achenbach, MA (HE/HIM)

Pre-Doctoral PSYChology Intern

Peter Achenbach is a Doctoral Candidate from Antioch University of Santa Barbara where he also received his Master’s in clinical psychology. He previously trained at New Beginnings Counseling Center in Santa Barbara and at Ventura County Behavioral Health in Simi Valley. He has experience working with patients dealing with anxiety, depression, recovery from addictions, career goals, personal and relationship issues, spiritual development, and a range of other challenges. He works from a psychoanalytic and psychodynamic perspective, and believes that healing takes place within the therapeutic relationship. Within this relationship both therapist and patient can work together to understand how past experiences contribute to one’s current challenges and the experiences unique to that individual. Peter focuses his treatment with a culturally sensitive approach.

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Gabrielle Amoils, AMFT(SHE/HER)

PostGraduate Fellow

Gabrielle received her Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California and holds a B.A. in English and Art History from Georgetown University. She previously trained at The Maple Counseling Center, where she provided psychodynamic talk therapy to adults with anxiety, depression, addiction, trauma, and relationship difficulties. Approaching her clinical work collaboratively and holistically, Gabrielle guides her patients to achieve personal purpose and greater connection with others.

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Kate Beauchene, MA (SHE/HER)

PRE-DOCToral Psychology Intern

Kate is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute and a Licensed Professional Counselor. Her therapeutic style blends psychodynamic methods, somatic approaches, and dreamwork—though she is also trained in Mindfulness, DBT, and CBT. Kate’s experience includes both group and individual work with a diverse array of clients in a multitude of settings. She has facilitated equine-assisted psychotherapy groups, spent time in the community mental health sphere, worked in an assortment of high-acuity settings, and trained in Kleinian Object Relations prior to joining WILA. Kate believes that at its best therapy provides insight into, and ultimately liberation from undesirable symptoms and ways of living. She excels at creating a sense of safety and warmth within the therapeutic relationship.

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Jenna Bennett, PhD (SHE/HER)

POSTgraduate Fellow

Jenna holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the CUNY Graduate Center and the City College of New York. With care, openness and a strong foundation in psychodynamic psychotherapy, Jenna works with individuals and couples to find greater fulfillment and connection in their lives. Jenna helps patients navigate life transitions, aspects of identity, relationship challenges, shifts in mood, and experiences of trauma. Through exploring one’s past experiences and how they intersect with the present, Jenna supports her patients to process, understand, and find new pathways and possibilities for the future.

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Tameeshah Cival, MS (SHE/HER)

pre-doctoral psychology intern

Tameeshah is a Doctoral candidate in Applied Clinical Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles. She holds a Master’s degree in Psychology specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis. Tameeshah has experience working with adults and children with a variety of behavioral and emotional challenges.  Tameeshah draws from several modalities when working with clients including psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based practices, and solution-focused brief therapy. She is also trained in EMDR and values approaching each client uniquely and treating them with an integrative approach. Tameeshah both supports her clients in navigating life transitions while also addressing their mental health. She sees her role as a therapist is to guide, support, and empower individuals through a healing and recovery process without judgment. Her aim is to empower clients to maximize their potential to enjoy a successful and productive life. Tameeshah’s therapy style is warm, empathic, and interactive. She believes in treating everyone with respect and compassion.

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Savannah Giannini-Cocio, MSW (SHE/HER)

social work POSTGRADUATE FELLOW

Savannah received her Master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Southern California. She previously trained at Los Angeles Family Housing where she provided psychotherapy to a diverse population of those experiencing homelessness. In addition, she trained at Santa Clarita Veteran Services Collaborative where she also provided psychotherapy to Veterans. Savannah uses a variety of approaches with her patients such as psychodynamic, CBT, and mindfulness-based practices. She believes compassion should always be the center of a therapeutic relationship with her patients in order to build trust and provide them with a safe space where they are able to find their voice, purpose, self-love, and ability to heal.

 

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Paul J. Gibbs, PhD, PsyD (HE/HIM)

Postdoctoral fellow

Paul earned his Psy. D. at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles. He also holds a Ph. D. in philosophy from the University of Cincinnati. Paul has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults with presenting problems of depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and career goals. Paul has also worked with families and couples. His theoretical orientation and treatment modalities consist primarily of psychoanalytic/psychodynamic and humanistic/existential psychotherapy. Paul believes that the therapeutic relationship is central to positive growth, and he seeks to provide an accepting and compassionate environment where clients feel seen and heard.

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Katie Karsh, MSW (SHE/HER)

SOCIAL WORK POSTGRADUATE FELLOW

Katie earned her master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California, and holds a master’s degree in Education from Stanford University. Katie has worked with diverse populations across multiple settings, including in schools, residential treatment facilities, and in community mental health. Most recently, she worked with students at USC’s Counseling and Mental Health center where she worked with issues of trauma, grief and loss, addiction, depression, anxiety, sex and sexuality, and personal identity development. She believes therapy is the most impactful way to change the world for the better by helping individuals heal wounds, support them to connect to their true selves, and empower them to live authentically.

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Clare Knudson, MA  (SHE/HER)

PRe-Doctoral Psychology Intern

Clare is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Clare’s training in psychoanalytic, psychodynamic, and somatic therapies inform her collaborative and curious therapeutic style. She tailors her clinical approach to support her patients in better understanding themselves and their relationships. Clare has worked with a wide range of adolescents, adults, couples and families that struggle with depression, anxiety, relationships, PTSD, and life transitions. Clare recognizes that the roots of her patients’ issues are both interpersonal and societal. Clare also provides affirmative-based care that understands the nuanced, complicated and oftentimes fluid relationship her patients have with their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

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Alex Kuschner, MSW (SHE/HER)

SOCIAL WORK postgraduate fellow

Embracing psychoanalytic and psychodynamic perspectives to therapy, Alex helps patients work through past and present challenges, deepen their self-awareness, and lead happier, more fulfilling lives. Alex meets patients where they are, moves at their pace, and provides empathic support throughout this transformative, and at times difficult, journey. Patients are never alone in this process, as Alex is an unwavering partner.

Prior to joining WILA, Alex worked at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington in Washington, DC as an inpatient clinical care coordinator where she supported adults and adolescents struggling with psychiatric illness, addiction, and cooccurring disorders. In a previous lifetime, Alex coached collegiate rowing, consulted for the government, and worked as an undergraduate admissions officer.

Alex earned an M.S. in Social Work from Columbia University in 2021. She also holds an M.A. in International Affairs from American University and a B.A. in History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University.

 

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Brittany Magid, MA (SHE/HER)

pre-doctoral psychology intern

Brittany Magid is a Doctoral Candidate from Antioch University Santa Barbara where she received her Master’s in clinical psychology. Brittany previously trained at the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility and the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. She has experience working with adolescents and adults suffering from anxiety, depression, PTSD, grief and loss, addiction, trauma, and with a variety of diverse backgrounds and experiences. Brittany’s therapeutic style is warm, non-judgmental, full of empathy, and compassion. She believes that learning how to cope with life’s various challenges, as well as developing an understanding of emotions and mental processes, are important aspects of the therapeutic process.

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Steve Mason, MA (HE/HIM)

Pre-doctoral psychology intern

Steve is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He also holds a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Humboldt State University. Steve has worked in community, university and inpatient settings with individuals, couples and groups. He has a special interest in working with persons struggling with addiction and interest in personality and identity work. Steve takes a relational and process-oriented approach to therapy and believes that the healing work of integration is a life-long process.

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Bill McCrary, MA (HE/HIM)

Pre-doctoral psychology intern

Bill completed a PhD in classics at UCLA and became passionate about psychology and psychoanalysis while doing research for his dissertation. This led him to pursue his doctorate in clinical psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles. Bill works with adults, children, adolescents, couples, and families and has experience working with a range of issues (from ADHD to occupational difficulties), especially anxiety, depression, and relationship challenges. Although Bill uses a variety of theoretical approaches, his primary approach is psychodynamic. He feels that the therapeutic relationship, with its strong bond between patient and therapist, is the most consistent and powerful mechanism of change. He believes this makes psychodynamic work immediate, powerful, and exciting for patient and therapist alike.

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Peter Narbonne, MA (HE/HIM)

PRE-DOCTORAL Psychology Intern

Peter Narbonne is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University Santa Barbara. Whether as a client or a therapist, Peter believes that the interest in how minds work, access to one’s feelings, and an openness to new ideas constitute some of the basic foundations for psychotherapy. Peter is experienced in working with clients in schools from elementary to college and across the life span in community mental health. By working with diverse individuals, Peter has come to recognize the influence of early life experience upon current functioning and future aspirations. Peter strives to maintain empathy, non-judgement, and respect as a partner in the journey of psychotherapy.

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Brandon Parham, MA (HE/HIM)

Pre-doctoral psychology intern

Brandon is a doctoral candidate from California’s School of Professional Psychology. He has experience working with individuals, couples, and groups. Brandon utilizes an integrative perspective that primarily blends psychoanalytic, humanistic, and cognitive behavioral modalities of therapy. Brandon is passionate about creating a safe and trusting relationship where his clients can feel free to talk openly and experience positive growth and change in their lives.

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Spenser Sussan, AMFT (SHE/HER)

MFT postgraduate fellow

Spenser received her Master’s in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles and holds a B.A. in Political Science from Elon University. Previously, she trained at Colors LGBTQ Youth Counseling Center where she provided therapy pro bono to LGBTQIA+ adolescents. Spenser uses an integrated approach, which allows her to work with her clients on depression, anxiety, grief, and relationship difficulties. She believes that it is vital to help clients build a strong relationship with themselves, in order for them to move through the world in an authentic way.

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Angelica Thomas, MA (SHE/HER)

Pre-doctoral psychology intern

Angelica is a doctoral candidate at The Chicago of School of Professional Psychology. She received her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from National University. She has experience working in community mental health, working with individuals and couples. She utilizes an integrative approach combining cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, mindfulness, and humanistic modalities. Angelica believes the therapeutic process guides clients to increased self-awareness, decreased symptoms. She has a particular interest in working with underserved populations. Angelica enjoys working with individuals of all ages, backgrounds, abilities and is LGBTQIA+ friendly. 

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Ebony Towner, MA (SHE/HER)

LPCC intern

Ebony is currently studying clinical mental health counseling (M.A.) and training to become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). Ebony believes in the capacity of relationships to bring about change and healing. She comes from a background in special education and behavioral play therapy with children on the autism spectrum. At this time she began to see how a relationship with a caring, empathetic clinician supported exploration, learning, and growth. In her work, Ebony provides a therapeutic space for people to explore and clear mental and emotional blocks so that they can live a life that is more true to themselves and deeply fulfilling. Ebony works with clients of all ages and backgrounds and has a special interest in working with people who have a non-monogamous relationship style, people on the autism spectrum, and people of color. Ebony also works with the New Center for Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles where she coordinates psychoanalytic lectures, workshops, and trainings for mental health clinicians. 

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Akasa Tseng, MA (SHE/HER)

Pre-doctoral psychology intern

Akasa is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She holds a Master’s in philosophy. She practiced and presented her somatic voice work at Oxford University and other societies prior to joining WILA. She has worked with diverse populations including a women’s shelter, integrative healing & creative communities, community mental health, and college counseling settings. Akasa considers symptom as a calling from the instinctual wisdom of the unconscious for meaning and healing. A sincere therapeutic relationship can serve as a journey of transformation to a new way of being. She has experience working with a variety of symptoms-disorders besides emotional struggle and trauma, relational issues, and existential-identity crisis. She integrates psychoanalytic approaches with Jungian perspectives, dreamwork, mentalization-based therapy, and somatic modalities. Akasa is dedicated to nurturing a therapeutic container for understanding recurring patterns that interfere with internal-external development toward restoring the core self and life potentials.

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Brege von Bleicken, MSW (SHE/HER)

SOCIAL WORK Postgraduate fellow

Brege received her Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Rutgers University and her B.A. in Psychology at the City University of New York at Hunter College. Brege is excited to join the WILA team as she strongly believes in the core mission of equitable access to psychotherapy. She considers herself a lifelong learner and believes the best therapeutic relationship develops through trust, empathetic understanding, and teamwork. Brege has experience working with individuals of various backgrounds aged 14 to 85. The most common therapeutic themes she’s encountered in her training surround management of anxiety, depression, relational issues, phase of life changes, ADHD, eating disorders, grief, and trauma.

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Jackie Wheeler, Psy.D. (SHE/HER)

PostDoctoral Fellow

Jackie received her doctorate at Pepperdine’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology. She has experience working with those struggling with depression, anxiety, past or recent traumas, relationship difficulties, painful losses, and/or stressful life transitions. She is committed to working collaboratively with her patients and believes the most successful therapies begin with meeting a patient where he or she is in that moment, and going from there. She believes a holistic approach to treatment that considers her patients’ values, cultural contexts, early life experiences, and personal goals helps to promote increased well-being. She has worked with a wide range of patients of varying ages and life circumstances. Her previous training sites include Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology’s low-fee community clinic in West Los Angeles, Peter Burnett Elementary School, UCLA’s Longevity Center (neuropsychological assessment and memory improvement), and the Greater Los Angeles Veteran’s Affairs Healthcare System.

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Scott Taney Young, MA (HE/HIM)

Pre-doctoral psychology intern

Scott is a doctoral candidate at Antioch University in Santa Barbara. He earned a master’s in psychology at Antioch and has a bachelor’s in philosophy from UC Santa Barbara. Prior to pursuing psychology, Scott worked in the software industry for 15 years. For him, that time drove home the criticality of finding and cultivating a sense of purpose and meaning in life. His training at the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission and New Beginnings Counseling Center taught him that substance overuse and a volatile temper are not character flaws, that every person has a story worth telling, and that most people want more vulnerability, authenticity, and connection in their lives than they’re currently getting. He believes that therapy patients are doing hard, valuable, and admirable work and is grateful to be able to partner with each of them.

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All therapists at the Hedda Bolgar Psychotherapy Clinic at Wright Institute Los Angeles are pre-licensed Psychology Interns and Postgraduate Fellows under the supervision of licensed mental health professionals on the WILA Faculty. Our therapists hold either a Doctorate in Psychology or a Master’s degree in Psychology, Social Work, or Marriage and Family Therapy. All therapists are registered with the California Board of Psychology or the California Board of Behavioral Sciences or at WILA as part of a CAPIC Accredited Internship.