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

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

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

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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Melanie Carpenter, PsyD

POSTgraduate Fellow

Melanie is a doctoral candidate at the California School of Professional Psychology.  As a recovering actress, Melanie is particularly interested in working with performers who are dealing with anxiety and depression, but has worked with a diverse range of clients in inpatient, residential, and outpatient settings.  She has training in OCD and anxiety, substance use/addiction, domestic violence, and trauma-informed treatments, as well as experience working with issues uniquely faced by the LGBTQIA community.

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David Choi, PhD

Postgraduate Fellow

David received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Fuller School of Psychology and has worked with a diverse range of people in university counseling centers, community mental health, and hospital settings.  His interests include helping people through a psychoanalytic lens, emerging adulthood, cultural psychology, and existential concerns.  He sees therapy as a safe and collaborative space that can lead to a deeper understanding of yourself and new experiences in your world.  He also enjoys playing with ideas at the intersection of psychology, technology, and philosophy.

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Sarah Corner, AMFT

POSTGRADUATE FELLOW

Sarah is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. She received her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California. Sarah works with individuals across the lifespan experiencing depression, anxiety, complex trauma, and relationship difficulties. She provides her patients with a warm, empathic, collaborative environment where meaningful experiences and healing can occur.

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Tamara Del Rosso, ACSW

POSTGRADUATE FELLOW

Tamara received her Master’s degree in Social Work from Smith College and holds a B.A. in Psychology from Brown University.  Her clinical work has centered on psychodynamic talk therapy with clients ranging in age and background— often with a focus on interpersonal distress and issues around anxiety, depression, identity and trauma.  Tamara believes that therapy can enliven us to a fuller understanding of who we are and to what growth we are capable of.  Her background in the arts has allowed her to appreciate the creative work that is at the core of self-inquiry.  She approaches her clients with an openness to the vulnerable and collaborative nature of this process, helping them to inhabit themselves and their relationships in new ways.  As a longtime practitioner of insight meditation, her mindfulness practice has become a vital part of her capacity to embody curiosity and attunement to whatever may arise.

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Savannah Giannini-Cocio, MSW

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

PRE-DOCToral Psychology Intern

Paul is a doctoral candidate 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 living with depression, anxiety, ADHD and OCD as well as supporting families in their mental health. Paul works from His psychoanalytic/psychodynamic, humanistic/existential along with a cognitive/behavioral psychotherapy lens. Paul believes that the therapeutic relationship is central to positive growth, an seeks to provide an accepting and compassionate environment where clients feel comfortable to openly discover and express their innermost feelings and motivations.

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Thaís Guimaraes, AMFT

Postgraduate Fellow

Thaís is an Associate Marriage and Family therapist with a Master’s degree is Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. Over the past ten years, Thaís has supported clients who have struggled with anxiety, lack of purpose, eating disorders, complex trauma, grief and loss, self-expression, and interpersonal challenges. As a therapist, Thaís believes her role is to support clients make meaning out of what is present for them so they can cultivate deeper self-awareness and self-compassion. With a background in mindfulness and somatic practices, Thais cultivates a space that fosters vulnerability and healing. She infuses psychoanalytic theories, family systems, interpersonal neurobiology and social justice in her approach and believes that we each contain the answers we are seeking, sometimes we just need a little guidance in finding it.

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Jackie Hanson, MA

Pre-Doctoral Psychology Intern

Jackie is a doctoral candidate 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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Grace Hazeltine, PhD

POSTgraduate fellow

Grace holds a Ph.D. in Clincial Psychology from The California School of Professional Psychology and a B.A. in Psychology and Neuroscience from Grinnell College. She continues her training in psychodynamic and psychoanalytic psychotherapy at WILA as a Post-graduate Fellow. Grace works well with patients who struggle to feel known by others, who have difficulty knowing themselves, who struggle in relationships, and who have suffered losses or been hurt very badly. She enjoys working both with people who have never been to therapy before and people who are looking to return to therapy. Grace sits well with people from diverse or unusual circumstances. Grace has come to see in her patients the ability to live more authentically, express themselves more directly, and experience fewer internal and external hang-ups as a result of therapy.

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Margaret Hickman, LMFT

Postgraduate Fellow

Margaret is a doctoral candidate at Pacifica Graduate Institute, and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She believes therapy is a unique opportunity to know yourself and to become a more authentic, creative and engaged person. She finds that psychotherapy can help you to understand how your past effects your thinking, emotions, actions and beliefs. By doing your inner work, therapy helps to overcome repetitive patterns, critical thoughts and creative blocks. Margaret works primarily from psychoanalytic object relations and attachment theories, and is passionate about working with individuals, couples and families to help foster curiosity, compassion, and openness to create meaningful connections, a sense of belonging and deep fulfilment.

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Katie Karsh, MSW

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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Jami Kerr, MA  

Pre-doctoral Psychology Intern

Jami is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology at California Lutheran University. She’s a “sex-positive” therapist experienced in working with a spectrum of sexual orientations, identities, and relationships. She finds meaning in working with LGBTQ+ clients, more specifically people who are trans/non-binary and those who identify as pan/bisexual. As a therapist, she provides a compassionate and collaborative space where therapy is tailored to each unique individual and their goals. Her approach combines addressing difficult symptoms that impact daily life as well as helping facilitate an in-depth understanding of patients’ past/present relationships, including power dynamics within current relationships. She has trained in various specialties including Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and psychodynamic therapy.

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Dana Kline, PhD  

Postgraduate Fellow

Dana attended Pacifica Graduate Institute for her doctoral and master’s education in clinical and depth psychology. Dana’s approach to psychotherapy is informed by a range of psychoanalytic, Jungian and existential phenomenological perspectives situated within a socio-cultural-historical context.  She is relationally focused which means that emotional vulnerability, patience, play and directness are essential considerations she incorporates into her work with patients. Together, Dana will support the process of listening to your symptoms and secrets as illustrations of unconscious communication that seek new ways to be understood by you. Exploring the meaning and symbolic functions of your underlying pain and conflict through looking at expressions of your inner life  (dreams, fantasies, images, thoughts, feelings, moods, somatic sensations, motivations behind behaviors, creative and spiritual practices) will allow a pathway to navigate the perils of distress. 

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 Clare Knudson, MA   

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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Veronika Larova, PsyD

POSTGRADUATE FELLOW

Veronika earned her doctorate at California Southern University, and also holds a Master’s degree in Clinical-Counseling Psychology from La Salle University. She has a special interest in working with women, young adults, and those who have experienced trauma. On the basis of her dissertation, she developed the PACT Model, a new model for the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. An article describing the approach was published in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology in April 2021 (The PACT Model: Improving Outcomes in the Treatment of PTSD).

At WILA, Veronika facilitates the Voices of Warriors (VOW) group for women who have experienced sexual trauma, as well as the Safe Space group for women in the entertainment industry who have experienced sexual harassment.

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Steve Mason, MA

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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Nick Monzon, MA

Pre-doctoral psychology intern

Nick Monzon is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Anaheim and received his Master’s in clinical psychology from Argosy University, Orange County. He has previously trained at the California Institute for Women, Coastal Psychological Services, the Argosy University Therapeutic Assessment and Psychotherapy Services community mental health clinic, and at the Latin American Bible Institute in La Puente. Nick works with a diverse population of clients of all ages in both inpatient and outpatient settings with those who experience an array of clinical challenges. He works from a psychoanalytic and psychodynamic perspective and was also trained in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy techniques prior to joining WILA. In addition to his clinical training, he was also a rape crisis advocate volunteer for the YWCA Rape crisis hotline. Nick strongly believes in incorporating culture into therapy and works to understand his clients through their unique cultural experiences.

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Peter Narbonne, MA

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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Suzanne Ovanesyan, MA

PRE-DOCTORAL Psychology Intern

Suzanne is a doctoral candidate of Applied Clinical Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and holds a Master’s in Psychology from Webster Vienna Private University. She has completed training in Vienna, Austria and recently completed training at The Chicago School Counseling Center in West Los Angeles.  Suzanne has experience working with individuals suffering from trauma, substance use, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, personality disorders, and identity development. Suzanne works from a psychodynamic perspective and focuses on the whole person. She believes that the root of pain and suffering stems from a person’s inability to love themselves. As a therapist, she focuses on creating a safe environment where patient can express and explore their feelings, which will cultivate healing in the process.

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Brandon Parham, MA

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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Emily Rosen, MSW, MA

PostGRaduate Fellow 

Emily received her master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California, and holds a master’s degree in Comparative Human Development from the University of Chicago. Emily has worked with a diverse array of individuals and families in hospice and hospital settings as a medical social worker, and has experience facilitating grief support groups. Emily believes that therapy can help change narratives and patterns that no longer serve us by bringing them into conscious awareness. She views her role as helping patients discover more fulfilling ways of being in the world, specifically in relation to others.

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Brooke Rowland, MSW, JD

Postgraduate Fellow

Brooke received her Master’s in Clinical Social Work from the University of Southern California and holds a B.A. in History from UC Berkeley and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School. Brooke’s clinical training and experience includes working with trauma, addiction, depression, anxiety, and emotion dysregulation.  She has worked with diverse populations and in diverse settings including community mental health and holistic addiction and trauma treatment centers.  She believes that the therapeutic relationship can create a safe place in which one can regain a sense of trust in relationships, increase self-awareness, recognize and verbalize needs, and ultimately, find a voice.

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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.